How to, who to and why write a thank you card

How, Why and When to Write Thank You Cards for All Ages

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How to, who to and why write a thank you card

How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card

he proper ay to write a thank you note.

How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card for All Ages

What do you think about a handwritten card?

Is it worth the time and effort in this day of texts, emails, face-time chats and all the other technology offerings today?

Just recently I received a card in the mail, and it was handwritten by my friend Melinda.

Not long after, I received a handwritten card that was also hand made by my friend Natalie.

Imagine my delight in opening those two cards.

One that was special in that it was created just for me.  And the other containing kind words of encouragement and appreciation.

Those cards are beyond anything that money can buy.

WHY is a handwritten card so remarkable today with all that can be ordered, downloaded and delivered almost immediately?

WHY is a handwritten card so special when we can also receive emails, texts and calls; that are good, well-meaning and inspiring.

BECAUSE when a person takes a few minutes to write something to YOU, that takes the small and simple effort of writing a card or letter, you KNOW they are truly thinking of YOU.


In this area, I need to readily confess, my sister-in-law Ruthann is my example and guide in this area of writing Thank You notes.  She and her family write them regularly and often.

When my kids were young and growing up, I did much better at helping them get theirs off in the mail when a gift would arrive, or after a birthday or holiday.  I even did alright some years later delivering them to neighbors for kindnesses done and help given.  But the last years have taken their toll on my energy, time and drained me of focus on some important details – this being one of them.

So how about if we learn how to write cards together?

We can practice them often by following the steps below.

Then become a better person as we show and express gratitude to others.  I put out the challenge to write a thank you note once a week, and not to the same person in a six month time.  Let’s see how we can do:) 


I personally believe that when we sit down to write, we are unimpeded by electronic devices to interrupt our thoughts, or to quickly pull up a meme to ‘speak’ for us.  As we sit with a pen and paper, we can reach deep down, think about what we want to say and how we feel, then put it on paper and feel the sentiment and thankfulness to that person as we write.

It’s a connecting and emotional bond between you and the person you are writing to. 

1-It is a way to strengthen relationships as you write to them about what they did for you.  It shows that you are deliberate in how you thanking them.  It means a lot to all of us in this busy world we live in.  

2- They can physically hold and re-read your thoughtful note. Feel the emotion that would be a hand-shake, an embrace or a genuine smile as you express your gratitude.

3- As we write more thank you notes, we feel more appreciative, more in-tune with our many blessings, and that makes us more joyful.  We are present and mindful of what we feel, what we are grateful for and the handwritten note is more meaningful because of this act. 

4- A big condition to writing a thank you note is not to expect anything in return.  Remember, this is about them, and helping them feel better about what they did.  You may never, ever hear from the person you thanked, and that’s OK!  Keep in mind this process is making us better and bringing us happiness to pass on to those around us – what could be a greater reward than that!?!


Are you ready?

The polite and proper EASY way to write a thank you note

How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card for All Ages

Card to write a note of thank you and gratitude

The Purpose of How, Why and When to Write a Thank You Card for All Ages:

This is a really simple, but it’s important, it’s called KINDNESS.

We are going to write a THANK YOU CARD!

You know, to tell someone thanks for_______whatever________.

There are a billion reasons to say how grateful we are for a kindness and it’s never too late to express it!

Sometimes we may not always know what to say, or wonder where to start; so let’s get the how’s, why’s – and the WHEN is NOW.

How to easily serve others and show kindness

It’s So Simple with these 5 EASY Steps!

You only need TWO Supplies-

Paper and Pen, or whatever you prefer to write with.

  • I like a good pen that dries quickly, doesn’t skip and writes smooth.  THESE look to be a great fit. I like how many come in a package – mine always seem to ‘borrowed’ by my kids or grand kids. Having good pens set aside for this purpose is a really good idea so we don’t procrastinate.  
  • I have a free download Thank You card you can send HERE
  • A free download color-in Thank you card for your boys to send HERE
  • A free download color-in Thank you card for your girls to send HERE
  • My friend Natalie makes handmade cards that anyone would be proud to send and thrilled to receive.  You can find Natalie HERE 
  • Or if you’d prefer to order cards online, you might like THIS or THIS STYLE





  • Anyone of course!
  • Someone who helped you out
  • Anyone who could use cheering up
  • The mail carrier
  • A friend you haven’t seen in years
  • A neighbor who took in your garbage can for you
  • Someone who brought in a meal
  • Someone who shared a treat at work
  • Think of someone who made a difference in your life for good
  • Anyone who did anything positive!




  • Make sure you have the spelling correct of the names.  It’s so easy with social media to look it up.  Call your mom or grandparents if you can’t find it. Also, use the proper title when appropriate such as –
  1. Hi Uncle______
  2. Hello Aunt______
  3. Dear Grandma______
  4. Etc.  It’s really nice to have some recognition, and a little formality in its proper place. 




Phrases like these are perfect, to make sure the person KNOWS what you are expressing gratitude or thanking them for in this note; that’s the point, right:) 

  • You really made my day when….
  • I want to say how much I appreciate…..
  • Thank you for…….
  • It meant so much to me……




  • Let the person know you miss them
  • Tell them what an inspiration they have been to you
  • Tell them what a difference _____ has made (for good here) in your life
  • Thank them for the time they took to teach you in school, to cook, to learn to change the oil in your car, to fix the chain on your bike, in a 4-H club or other youth organization.  Time is precious and that they gave it up for you is a treasure.
  • If they gave you a gift, let them know how you will use it
  • If you stayed with them, be sure to thank them for their hospitality 
  • Thank someone for listening to you, taking time from their day to be with you, for being a friend
  • This list could go on for pages, but this is a springboard to hopefully get you thinking




These closings are generally acceptable in most situations –

  • Sincerely 
  • Many thanks 
  • Kind Regards
  • Friends

Other closings to consider as appropriate –

  • Yours truly
  • Warmly
  • Love
  • Affectionately 
  • Friends Forever
How to easily serve others and show kindness

Card to write a note of thank you and gratitude

That’s it, 5 easy steps to make a huge impact on someone else’s life, and you will be amazed at the enjoyment it brings to yours along the way.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2019

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today


Sweets & Not Sweets to Trick on April Fools!

April Fools Fake Out Prank Food

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April Fools Fake Out Prank Food

Not ALL Sweets to Prank on April Fools


April Fools Fake Out Prank Food

Are you looking for the Best April Fools Fake Out Prank Foods that are not sweet but for a meal?

No worries because  I have FOUR recipe ideas that are all simple, and all fake-out, prank and are yummy and delicious too!

If you want a great way to prank your family or friends with creative food that will fool them, or maybe something a little sneaky or simply hilarious?  Well, these Not All Sweet April Fools Foods below will help you joke with good humor and yummy tastiness!


First lets talk about WHY play tricks at April Fools? 

Here’s my reason:) 

April Fools is a perfect time to tease your kids, family and friends, and imaginative food is a wonderful way to creative memories.

While the kids were at home, April Fools allowed for ‘practice’ time to play a good natured joke or two.  

My handsome hubby Stan and I felt it is an important life-skill for our kids to know how to take, and give, good-natured-teasing (never sarcastic or mean-spirited).  

They all learned this concept very well – too well, I think. In fact you can see how our oldest son, Derek pranked us…and how we got him back HERE

Anyway, a central aspect of gags and nice mischief is learning to be a good sport. It’s OK to laugh at yourself!  Actually it’s healthy!

It’s a lesson to learn at home so you know how to handle yourself when you’re outside ‘your comfort zone’.  People LIKE and RESPECT a person who can take a good tease. 

So, let’s get cooking and have some fun!

Best Funny Not All Sweet April Fools Food

There have many things over the years I have done to fool and tease my kids and family.

  • I have colored the milk with food coloring
  • I have made a meatloaf in cake pans, then covered it with masked potatoes and decorated it to look like a cake
  • Frozen cereal in the bowl and then put it out
  • I have made this candy HERE but I decorated it with spring colored or other type of sprinkles

And so many other things, but I wanted to share these FOUR with you that maybe you haven’t seen before

Free-For-All Spaghetti

Stuffed Pig

Swimmy The Fish

Sweet Grilled Cheese

 Free-For-All Spaghetti

Once everyone has their kitchen gadget, put the cooked and drained pasta in the center of the table. Pour the sauce over the pasta. Everyone pulls the amount they want towards them and all eat right from the table – this makes for many laughs as they struggle and watch the others try to eat spaghetti with their not so user friendly utensil too.


The utensils – gather one odd kitchen gadget per person. I have 2 fun options tossed in there also

 Put them in a brown paper bag and have each person choose one out with their eyes closed.


Write the name of each kitchen gadget on a small piece of paper, fold and put in a bowl. Have each person pick out a paper from the bowl for their assigned utensil for the dinner.

The Food

Disposable table cloth

Make your own, or use bottled spaghetti sauce.

Cook up pasta of your choice

April Fools Fake Out Prank Food




Stuff Pig Sandwich April Fools Fake Out Prank Food

My hubby Stan helped me with the pig creation – THANKS sweetie!

I originally found the idea for pig shaped bread in an old Cub Scout Pow Wow Book, in the “Rhodes Dough” section, and decided it would be a perfect thing to ‘stuff’ for April Fools Day.  It turned out so awesome looking and tasted just as good too!


Frozen bread dough, or you can make your own,

1 lb. loaf per pig

Parchment paper

1 Raisin

1 egg, beaten


thin sliced ham, cheese, spinach or lettuce, sliced tomatoes, any condiments or sandwich ingredients you prefer.  


Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Roll out the dough to a rectangle about 12″ x 8″

Make the pig right on parchment paper so it is ready to bake as you form it.April Fools FoodThis will make your pig turn out better, since it won’t have to be transferred.April Fools Food Pig Dough

Cut the front of the ‘face’ taking off about 3″ at the widest part. 

To make a flared snout, pinch the ‘nose’.April Fools Pig Dough 2Carefully move the lower part of the ‘jaw’ to form a mouth.April Fools Pig Dough 3Taking the slanted portion, divide into two large pieces and one small piece.April Fools Pig Dough 4

Roll, or pat, one large piece into a flat rectangle and cut into two triangles for ears.

Brush the entire rectangle (minus the cut off portion) with a beaten egg.

Attach short base of ears to head. On the ear in the back, fold tip over.

The front ear, fold if over.

Use a bit more of the beaten egg for glue.April Fools Pig Dough 4

Shape the other large piece into 4 tear drops and slice part way up.  

Two balls will be a bit larger than the other two, which will give some dimension for the position of the feet.April Fools Pig Dough 5Position the hoofs on the body.

Spread to resemble a hoof. 

Again, use the beaten egg to help attach the dough.April Fools Pig Dough 5


Roll the small piece of dough into a rope and curl for the tail and place in desired position.

Use the beaten egg to attach.April Fools Pig Dough 6With the tip of a sharp knife, make a slit in the dough and push the raisin in part way.

This will prevent it from popping out when it rises and bakes.

Brush the entire pig with the remaining beaten egg.April Fools Pig Dough 7

Allow to rise for 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the bread is done and cooked through.April Fools Pig Dough 8Cool completely.

Slice the pig horizontally from the hoof side up to about the ears, but not all the way through.

You want to keep the pig attached to itself towards the top.April Fools Pig Dough 9

Fill with sliced ham, cheese, sliced tomato, lettuce/spinach, whatever you desire.


Swimmy the FishApril Fools Fake Out Prank Food


JELLO Berry Blue Jello

Swedish Candy Fish

Ice Cubes

Clear cups


Make the blue jello according to the package directions for QUICK SET method.Jello & Fish1

A HUGE trick to making any flavor of jello: when you add the boiling water, STIR for a FULL THREE MINUTES.

Do not stop and no less than 3 minutes. This steps prevents that icky thick layer on the bottom.Jello & Fish2According to the quick set method add in the ice cubes until it thickens. Jello & Fish3Take out any remaining ice.Jello & Fish4

After removing the ice cubes, pour jello into clear cups.  

Insert a few Swedish fish, pushing them down into the jello.   Jello & Fish5Put in the refrigerator to chill and set up completely.Jello & Fish6 About 5-15 minutes before serving insert a fish part way in.

Do not do this step too early as it begins to dissolve the fish and does not appear appetizing.

These are best made and eaten same day.

April Fools Fake Out Prank Food


Sweet Grilled Cheese Sandwich

April Fools Fake Out Prank Food

I saw this idea on the internet somewhere, but I can’t remember where and couldn’t find it again, so I ‘winged it’ and I think it turned out great!  Can you tell this sandwich isn’t a grilled cheese it’s really a pound cake with frosting?


Pound cake, I used a Betty Crocker mix

Vanilla flavored frosting

Yellow & Red food coloring

Butter or Margarine


If using a pound cake mix, prepare according to box directions.

Sweet Grilled Cheese 1Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and coat well with spray release.Sweet Grilled Cheese 2

Spread out the batter as evenly as possible, then give it a few sharp taps (like you are dropping it, but only from 2-3 inches height) to cause the air bubbles to the top.Sweet Grilled Cheese 3

When the cake is baked, cool completely.

Slice the pound cake in thick slices, of approx. 2 inches.

Using a fry pan, heat the stove to medium.

Spread a bit of softened butter or margarine on one side of matching slices of pound cake – on the sides which will be the outside.Sweet Grilled Cheese 4Fry in the pan on ONE side – butter side down, just until nice and golden brown.Sweet Grilled Cheese 5

In a small bowl, spoon in desired amount of prepared frosting.

Add in drops of red and yellow as needed to create an orange ‘cheese’ appearance.Sweet Grilled Cheese 6Spread a bit of the frosting on one slice, with enough to squish out to look like melted cheese.Sweet Grilled Cheese 7Top with another slice of cake to form a sandwich.

Fry to toast really well and browned nicely so it resembles a grilled cheese sandwich!April Fools Fake Out Prank Food

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Asking and Answering to High School Dances

How To Make Going To A High School Dance Painless

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Asking and Answering to High School Dances

Help with knowing what to do for a High School Dance

Part 1

Does the thought of a high school dance cause a slight panic attack?

Dating asking and answering

Dating asking and answering

Does your head start to pound with questions like:

  • Who will I ask?
  • How will I ask?
  • What if they say no?
  • What if they say yes?
  • What will I wear?
  • Where do we go to eat?
  • What will I say?
  • How do I act at dinner?
  • What do we talk about?


I remember lying on the gym floor as my date asked me if he should take someone else to the dance…….




Yep, it really happened.

I’ve always had issues with my knees dislocating and giving me problems, BUT THIS!

Our gym classes were held in the armory where the National Guard held their drills on the weekends.  It also served our small high school with a large enough space for sporting events, assemblies, and as I mentioned the gym classes for both boys and girls; girls on one side of the gym and boys on the other.

Me being tall, I was designated to ‘Jump-for-the-Ball’.  As I came down I landed wrong, ending up in a total dyslocation of my knee cap.  I’ll spare you the ugly details, you can look it up.

As I lay there waiting for the ambulance, my prom date, who had asked several weeks in advance (yeah….. I was flattered, I’ll admit it) came over to see what was going on.

Surveying the rather unpleasant situation, realizing the prom was about a month away, he sat down beside me on the cold gym floor and asked:  So, do you think I should ask someone else, you know, just in case you won’t be able to go?


What happened?

Well, I was off crutches by the dance and we had a great time at the prom.

So back to the dance that YOU are thinking about going to, or are committed to since you’ve already asked someone, now…..

Dating asking and answering

Dating asking and answering


Back to our dance topic.

  1. If you are still deciding –
  2. Some say it’s not a big deal, they never went and were a better person for it—-hmmm, that’s ok and great!
  3. Some of my kids went to a few, and some went to dozens of them at several high schools all over the area.
  4. Either way, they met so many new people, gained new friends and still call on those people for opportunities for jobs, advice and look for ways to help them out too. 



Going to some dances myself, having five kids go through public schools and dozens and dozens of dances between them, I look back and I see only positives to going.

IF, now there are IF’s to this.

  • Here’s where I’ll give you some tips for success.  
  • Of course, there will be some that are really fun and memorable; meaning you will remember them with fondness.
  • And there will be some that might be a dud……but life is like that.
  • At a dance, you have experiences in a setting that is formal.  It provides the setting for the occasion to act and behave as you would in a very nice business atmosphere; there are other benefits come from this type of experience as you mature in your attitude. Again IF you are there with proper motives.
  • Make sure to carry out the dance, the activity, and everything AFFORDABLY!!! There’s no reason not to, just be creative! HERE are some ideas


  • Definitely ask someone who shares your same values and morals.  This keeps you safe in many ways. 
  • I wish I could help you understand that  what/who seems ‘popular’ now it really doesn’t matter a day after high school graduation.  Ask someone that is interesting, who has something going for them (meaning they are trying to better them self in some way) is kind and has values.  They can be popular and have these qualities no doubt, but don’t base your choice on what others think.  Ask your parents for their advice. 
  •  Look around and ask someone who may not have ever gone to a dance, or has never been asked to a girls/boys choice.  This can truly be life changing for the other person, letting them know they are valuable and wanted in a group. Then treat them as such, never as a ‘charity case’ became the only reflects badly on you. 

DANCES Ideas for asking and answering for High School Dances

  •  Ask with a puzzle. Put it together, flip it over and write on the back, then take it apart and put it back in the box with a note that a question or the answer is ‘in the box’. In chalk, on the driveway, draw and write a cross word puzzle to ask or answer. Write the asking or answering, cut it up and put each piece in a different balloon. Fill each balloon with helium or just blow up for the person being asked to pop.
  • Using trail reflectors, send the person on a ‘bear hunt’, with waypoints (can even have pictures of bears) for different clues that lead to the end question or answer.  Have cinnamon bears or a teddy grahams or a toy at the end or at way-points.
  • Make an excel spreadsheet. At each correctly answered test question, a letter will appear. The letters spell out the question of asking or the answering.
  • Bake a key in a brownie or cake. Give the person being asked, or answered, the brownie or cake and a locked box. The key opens the box with the answer or asking inside.
  • For a guy asking a gal, give (have it doorbell ditched or left in the home) a doll with the note: How about getting all DOLLED up and going to the dance with me?
  • A note with a stuffed bear/gummy bears /cinnamon bears: “I’d be BEARY happy to go to the dance with you.” Or ‘I’d be BEARY happy if you would go to the dance with me.”
  • With a treat of any kind: “It would be a TREAT to go to the dance with you”, or “It would be a TREAT if you would go to the dance with me.”Candy bar poster to ask or answer. Candy in place of certain words on a poster.
  • Send the person being asked or answered on a scavenger hunt going thru a neighborhood, the mall or to different homes (be polite and prearrange with the people who are kind enough to be involved), gathering clues along the way with a treat and message at the end.

I have FREE PRINTABLE TAGS to help you ask, answer, and even say no if needed!  

AND A Dating Cheat Sheet HERE to help you remember all these tips for a super smooth date 🙂 


Saying NO – You can’t go

  • If you must say no to someone who asks, I recommend you do it in a kind way.  I have a few printables for that also.  
  • When you are asked by someone and maybe it’s not the person you wanted to, it’s a only right to say YES to the FIRST person who asks you (unless there is a very, very good reason not to).  


Because it reflects on you and your character.  If you don’t, it would say to everyone that you are only interested in going out with popular people or being seen with a certain crowd.  This states loud and clear that you are shallow and immature.  While in fact you are limiting your circle of friends and possibly missing out on some amazing friendships that could last for years.  

I do have some tasteful and fun ways to say NO if you must, or if you have already been asked to the dance, in the download of printables.

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013, 2018

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay


Wondering what to do on the date?  How to act at dinner, and the dreaded….conversation… head on over to part 2, then 3!

Part 2:  It’s Time For The Dance And Anxiety Has Arrived!









Part 3:  Help Me! It’s Time For The Dance, Now What Do I Do?










More Teen Interests:







Second Sunday Dinner

June 2nd Sunday Dinner

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It was a wonderful 2nd Sunday with a great turn-out. We had approximately 60 people come join us!  Once a month Stan and I open our home to our neighborhood for dinner, socializing and making friends.  A HUGE THANKS to our kids who also help with preparations, cooking, cleaning and during the dinner.  Stan and I were lucky (thanks to Tawni for the heads up) to get corned beef on a killer sale after St. Patrick’s Day, so I wrapped it well and put it in the freezer.  I was so excited to have the opportunity to serve Reuben sandwiches for the main course – it’s one of my very favorites. Aspen Mills Bread Company has very affordable marbled rye bread that is so delicious; and it paired perfectly with my cooked corned beef, slaw and dressing. Yes, I know that Reuben’s are served with Sauerkraut, but I decided to tweek it and serve it with crunchy slaw that is my own recipe. I love it this way.  The slaw is not too saucy, nor overpowered with the dressing and when using the broccoli slaw mix, it stays crunchy and crisp. The homemade Thousand Island dressing is a perfect fit for this sandwich. The German Potato Salad is great for summer since it does not have mayo in the dressing. I love the fresh flavors of this dish. For a dessert I made the the most decadent Brownie Cupcakes. These are not too chocolatey and do not need frosting – believe me, they are moist and uuummmmm good.

A remarkable night largely due to the wonderful Sister Missionaries –  Awesome friends seated on the couch too!

Second Sunday Dinner

Second Sunday Dinner

My sister Jody who is an incredible help every month with our dinner. DSC_1629Both of these men are in the Air Force and serve our country to keep our freedoms. THANK YOU to them and their courageous wife’s.

Left: The Daubs     On the right: The Coon’sDSC_1633The Forbush’s, the couple standing, are a huge support of our dinner’s.

The Corbett family (sitting at the table) are moving soon.  They will be greatly missed by the neighborhood but we wish them well and happiness in their new home. Second Sunday Dinner

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The menu this month:

Reuben Sandwiches on Rye bread* Homemade Thousand Island Dressing* Homemade Broccoli Slaw* German Potato Salad* Doritos Chips Red Grapes Dill Pickle Spears

Reuben Sandwich

Reuben Sandwich


Dessert – Decadent Brownie Cupcakes* Raspberry Shortbread Bars Chocolate Chip Cookies

Brownie Cupcake

Brownie Cupcake

 *Recipe on blog Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2013

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Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

2nd Sunday 1

2nd Sunday

2nd Sunday 1 This 2nd Sunday was uniquely wonderful. WHY?    My daughter, Delsi spoke in our church meeting; then family and friends came to our house after the service to eat and visit.    We also celebrated Mother’s Day with  wonderful women in our life.    Later that afternoon was our 2nd Sunday Dinner.  Between the two events that day, I had a count of slightly over 100 people that came to eat with us sometime during the day.   Luckily I had angels help me prep to get it all together on Saturday (yes hairnets are a requirement for 2nd Sunday cooking) while Stan worked in the yard.

Long time neighbors and friends, Jessica and Michal came over to assist in putting together the tortilla roll-up’s, made biscuits and gravy  – basically saving me hours and hours of work. THANKS gals.2nd Sunday 3Delsi made the Lasagna Roll’s. She wondered if they would ever end….2nd Sunday 4

Stan put in our garden, then had to go back and cover the new tender plants from the extreme cold we are having here in our area.2nd Sunday 5

2nd Sunday 6I am so frustrated with myself! Instead of copying pictures to attach for the post today, I accidentally deleted them! I apologize to those who were so kind to pose for the camera and give permission for me to use your picture. 

Next month, I’ll try to get them again.   Luckily, I do have some that my son took.

MENU: Brunch for those who came after the church service –

Yogurt Parfaits

Tortilla Roll-Ups (in my cookbook)

Sausage Gravy & Biscuits (in my cookbook)

Veggies & Dip Cut Up Fruit Muffins

Thank you so much to family and friends who brought food for the morning event! 

Notice the bottle of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the food? If you have people over for a group activity or event, small or large, it is a good idea to provide this to your company. 2nd Sunday7

2nd Sunday 8

A few of the very special women in our family.

My sister Jody with one of my granddaughters.JodyMy mom Connie2nd Sunday MayMy mother-in-law MeredithMom and Delsi2nd Sunday Dinner Menu:

Lasagna Rolls Rolls & Butter Green Salad & Dressing Desserts of Cinnamon Rolls, Cream Cheese Brownies with Chocolate Frosting and Neimen Marcus Bars   

Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow,  2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

2nd Sunday Dinner Open House

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It was 2nd Sunday and we had one of our largest crowds ever, which made Stan and me so happy.  Neighbors brought people to meet new friends, and it was really a wonderful time.

I have been asked many times how & why we do this dinner every month, here’s a few of the reasons

  1. We feel very strongly that we are to host this dinner.
  2. Miracles happen every month.
  3. The people that come are wonderful and become friends

Here are a few of the latest miracles:

When our grand daughter was born a few days before 2nd Sunday, and struggled with life for several days, we had the energy and strength to help with the other grand kids, keep up my blog responsibilities & Stan his work, deep clean, cook, prepare and still hold the dinner.

I have a small budget set aside for this event and, without fail, miracles happen, for example –

One month I really wanted to make my Asian BBQ Chicken, but the meat alone would bust my budget. As the day came closer I felt impressed to go to a local store. Of course I did, and found they had exactly what I wanted at marked down prices!

This month I wanted to make the Beef Bourguignon I posted, but that particular cut of meat would be much more than a few months of my set-aside-funds for the dinner. Again, I felt to go to a certain store, and found the butcher was marking the meat down to about the cost of hamburger due to the upcoming marked date!

It is not an easy task to pull off every month, but it is so worth it and we relish in the feeling in our home as we get ready for and have the dinner.


Now for this month’s menu:

  • Beef Bourguignon over Chunky Masked Potatoes (click HERE for the recipe)
  • Strawberry Mousse   (I am so sorry my neighbors who I said I would have this recipe up – I forgot to take pics and write down what I did! I’ll make it again next month and put it up then)
  • Rolls & Butter
  • Green Salad & Dressing
  • Sugar Bars with Cookie Butter & Chocolate (recipe coming)
  • Stuffed Angel Food Cake (recipe follows)
  • Chocolate Cookies
  • Carrot Sheet Cake















DSC_0663Copyright Carrie Groneman, A Mother’s Shadow, 2014

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today.

Thankful Thursday: 2nd Sunday Dinner

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Neighborhood Dinner!!!

Hey All, So after the blog conference we were experimenting with the camera and didn’t quite get it back to proper settings for ‘normal’ shots. I apologize for the blurriness, but I’ve included a few pics anyway.


  • Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
  • New Orleans Red Beans & Rice (my recipe on site)
  • Rolls and butter
  • Best Fudge Cake (my recipe on site)
  • Valentine White Chocolate Bark (my recipe on site)
  • Sweetheart Palmiers (my recipe on site)
  • Valentines Muddy Buddy’s (my recipe on site)

Pictured:   The center is the chicken noodle soup. Did you know that if you add oil to your pasta cooking water it will not absorb the liquid as readily? So depending on what your purpose is for the pasta, that determines whether you add oil or not. I did not want the noodles in the soup to take in extra broth causing them to be limp, so I added the oil to the cooking water. However, when I want pasta for a sauce, I do not add the oil do it will soak up the wonderful flavors.

This tip and tons more are in my new cookbook, “Carrie’s Cooking For Keeps”

Also, in my cookbook I teach you how to make perfect white or brown rice on the stove that will not fail you.

Thanks to all who came and to all of you out there who send love and warm wishes for our 2nd Sunday dinner, though distance makes it impossible for you to join us. Carrie













2nd Sunday Open House Dinner

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Second Sunday!

It was another great Sunday dinner with terrific friends and neighbors.  Once a month, Stan and I open our home to those in our neighborhood for dinner as an opportunity for people to meet. become friends and unify our community.

If you come to my house while I’m cooking and preparing for 2nd Sunday you will find me in my lovely and very fashionable hair net (heehee) because I dread the thought of someone getting someone unexpected in their food – my hair.

Do you like my apron?   This and the one I wear on the picture on my cookbook were both provided by Flirty Aprons (click HERE for information). Dec 2013 Second Sunday   Hair nets available on Amazon – hahaha

Stan is always a help, and as my sous chef, I had him toasting the marshmallows on the chocolate cookies.  He was able to play with fire, what’s better to a guy then that!

Dec 2013 Second Sunday 1

This month the menu consisted of:

Taco Soup (recipe in my new cookbook “Carrie’s Cooking for Keeps”),

served with sour cream and cheese as condiments

Cream of Vegetable Soup

Rolls and butter


Pumpkin Trifle

Pumpkin Trifle

Pumpkin Bread Trifle – recipe follows

Toasted Marshmallow Hot Cocoa Cookies with peppermint bits

Cranberry Cream Cheese Bars

Recognize a blessing and be a blessing today

Dec 2013 Second Sunday 2

Dec 2013 Second Sunday 3

Dec 2013 Second Sunday 4

May I challenge you during the month to do something to serve your neighbors, which in turn, strengthens your own family.   Bake cookies and deliver to a few families, sing carols, anything your family can do to show love to others, which is a gift that lives on.