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A Little of This and That

That's about what today's post is, a little of this and that. Really I have had things to post about for ever and just haven't. I'm like Paul, I know what I should do and I don't and what I shouldn't do I do!

Life has really been a whirl-wind lately. We have been keeping busy with both the work in Varazdin and the original work in Cakovec. Seasons have changed so decorations need to change also (which I'm not complaining about one but, love the whole decorating thing). Fall is my favorite time of year, not so much in Texas since it's pretty much brown all year but here in Croatia Autumn comes in in an array of colors that just can't be described. I'm sure the fall here is similar to the north in the U.S..

I have been in the fall mood so much lately. Making nice fall foods, big pots of soup, chichen and dumplings, pot pies and tons of other warm fall favorties. Oh yea and I usually have a pot of oranges, cinnamon and cloves simmering on the back burner just for ambiance, it works too, my husband and kids love it.

I been in love lately with all the wonderful gourds around. I'm talking about every color and
shape that you could possibly imagine, they're wonderful and works of art in themselves. I read somewhere that they really keep a pretty good while, or at least the very hard ones. I decorated the church with some gourds and I sure hope they hold out until it's time to change the decorations for Christmas.
Hey if you know how long they last, please chime in and share that info. with us so we will all know too!

Last Saturday night we had a family fun night at the new church in Varazdin. How much fun was that?? We had a great turn out, around 20 folks turn out and we had way too much food, which is my biggest sin in life. I have no idea why but I always make too much food, without fail! We found a great old fashioned recipe for Popcorn balls over at and Joshua and Hannah had a ball making them. ( get it? a ball???) This is a great recipe for missionaries because it doesn't require marshmellows which are usually totally hard on the mission field.

Grandpa's Popcorn Balls

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar (optional)
  • 5 quarts popped popcorn
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter and water. Stir and heat to hard-crack stage or 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Remove from heat, add vanilla or vinegar; mix well.
  2. Pour slowly over popped popcorn while stirring. Wait 5 minutes and shape into 3 inch round balls.
These were very good and the Croats thought they were very interesting. :0)

We were going to have bobbing for apples at the family fun night but after I did some thinking about the hygeine of the whole bobbing practice we decided against it. Have you ever watched people bob for apples? They stick their face in the water with their mouth wide open trying to catch that apple between their teeth. Most times they miss and slobber goes into the water as their mouth slips from the apple and they go for a different one. After a few people, those apples are floating in a bath of mixed saliva and who knows what germs. Eek! I know I'm a downer and all but I think I'll pass!

We also made some yummy M&M cookies, which always go over good here in Croatia. There are usually only a few varieties of goodies here, we have a kolac (kolach) which is usually a creamy layered desert then we have a Torta which is what our cakes would be considered and lastly they have keks (cakes) which are their cookies. They don't really have any drop cookies like we do with our chocolate chip and so on. Anyhow, they like all the different things I come up with, they think I'm creative and I'm not telling them any different! :0)

Anyhow, this is basically what I've been up to lately other than home schooling my kiddos which are now in the 6th, 8th and 11th grades. (I had to read over that a few times to believe it, I have no babies any more) I also noticed something yesterday as I was thinking about our oldest son Cody, he is about to be 16 and I realized he is just two years younger than I was when I was married at 18, wow time really flys just like my mother always said it would. You were right Mom!

BTW, would you please remember my mother in prayer, she's going through one of the hardest battles she's ever faced and it breaks my heart that I can't be with her. Her name is Deborah so if you do pray for her you can call her by name. TIA!

Anyhow, I'm blogging this morning as the rest of the family is at church. Actually my oldest is a sleep on the couch. He's is havng stomach cramps and some naseau so it looks like he's coming down with a virus, oh joy! And I have been sick for 3 days with some upper respiratory junk so I'm hoping I can medicate enough tonight to be able to go, I'll just have to steer clear off our yummy tottlers.

Hoping you're all having a great Lord's Day and see many come to know Him as their Saviour today.


  1. Looks yummy! We are enjoying the fall weather here too!

    I have made soup, chicken and dumplings, and baked so many sweets this week :D. It's been rainy most days so it's perfect for baking.

    Well, we told the kids about the newest Takala, and they are THRILLED!!!! We also told everyone else at church on Wednesday so I can now relax and stop wearing SUPER baggy clothes ;).

    Hope you all have a great rest of the weekend. :D

    BTW: Bloglines is not updating my posts for some reason, and they haven't gotten back to be as to why~Just thought I would let you know :D

  2. I love autumn too! I don't have a single fall decoration and it breaks my heart! I do have a few gourds in the garden, but what will I do with them? I am so NOT creative!---BTW...I've kept a mini pumpkin for 6 months before and it was till just as cute as the day we brought it home from the pumpkin patch. If that helps you any.

    I love popcorn balls, but can't find corn syrup here. Any advice?

    Hope your son feels better soon and that no one else get's it.

  3. My sister's name is Deborah, so it'll be easy for me to remember your mom in prayer.

    I have to agree with you about the whole apple bobbing thing too. EEWW!

    Hope you all feel better soon! :)

  4. Hi Tori! Wow! How great to "see" you again! You have a wonderful blog! Are you the expert computer graphics lady or what??? I love it! (I'm assuming you did it, anyway!;])My blog looks so weak next to yours, Oh well! I enjoy trying, anyway!
    Thank you so much for saying hello, and for adding me to your bloglines. I'll be doing the same for you.
    I had heard the Frazier's (sp?) had taken over at Burnet, but we don't know them. Several ladies have written me since our move about five months ago. It was so hard to leave those sweet people! But, God knows best. Sorry I'm writing too much here! Stop by again when you can, and I'll do the same here!
    Hope you all feel better very soon!!! :) :)

  5. I love your post!! So fun to actually understand what you are doing too! Autumn in Russia is amazing too...maybe I will take some pics too!

  6. Tori, last year I bought some gourds and tjhey actually lasted several months into the new year. So they last a LOOOONNNGGG time. We have decorated with gourds and pumpkins too. I love decorating. Especially the church. It makes it look so nice. Our revival starts Sunday so we were decorating for the fall and the Revival. Take care. I will be praying for yor mother. : )

  7. The gourds should last until Christmas. I've bought some that lasted for months!

    I hope you and your son are feeling so much better! Upper respiratory gunk is no fun and neither is the stomach virus!


  8. Health food store huh? Who would have thunk it??---I'll try there.

    No pecans yet here, unless maybe they are also at the health food store...can you tell I'm not a big fan of health food stores? They make me feel fat and very unhealthy....I don't like conviction I guess....

    Yep...I got a new do....scary huh?!

  9. I love to make big pots of soup in the fall, too! My least favorite thing about summer is that I have to stop making soup. I made soup all last week!

  10. Love all the the fall thoughts as it is my favorite time of the year too...all that goes with it..the colors, the smells, the foods....
    I sure will pray for your mom...that will be easy as Deborah is my REAL name...(bet we are close to the same age too)....

  11. Hope you feel better soon.

  12. I have been wanting to eat popcorn balls... I think I shall make these!!!!! :D THANKS!

  13. Those popcorn balls look so good. They are saying here in Missouri we should have a lovely fall. The last couple years between the drought and then ice storms it was not so good.

  14. I'll have to try that popcorn ball recipe. Thanks for posting it, I have been looking for a popcorn ball recipe. Now I have one :)

    Have a great day!

  15. All the food sounds great. And I will pray for your mother.

  16. I hope y'all are feeling better.
    I agree with the bobbing for apples... that occurred to me a few years ago and was disgusted it never occurred to me before. yuck!

    I would love to see some pics of autumn in your neck of the woods. Fall is my favorite season, though we don't get it as rich as we used to up North. Being on the coast still has some signs of fall, though. ;o)

    I will pray for your mom and for you. I can understand how it is hard to be so far away. We're a thousand miles from my parents (who both have serious health issues) and it has been a difficultly these years to be so far away (though you are much farther than we are).
    Praying for you!

    ~ Christina

  17. I love the fall colors...and the chicken and dumplings sounds wonderful..send me a big dish (my dumplings don't always turn out as good as I would like)
    thanks for the recipe for popcorn balls...

  18. Just popping over to say hi again, Tori...:)
    How fun to find out about the autumn colors in Croatia! :)

  19. I love fall, too. I think most women do, lol. It's so colorful and the cooler weather gives us another good excuse to snuggle with the hubby! :o)

    Mmmm, those cookies look yummy! If you need any more ideas, just go to my recipezaar page; I've rated/reviewed quite a few different sweets that you and your church family might like! (it's in my links under "sites to see" saying "my recipezaar page")


Hey thanks in advance for leaving a comment, sure do appreciate it!!

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