Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Safety Pin Angel

Advent is the four weeks leading up to Christmas. Each week has special meaning and as a child each week a different family in the church lit a candle on the Advent wreath and read a scripture that would help us to prepare our hearts to celebrate the Lord's birth. Christmas is probably my favorite holiday, I think it is so special that we celebrate the birth of the one person whose death has allowed us to live!

I have decided that for the rest of the Advent season Wednesdays on Anna-Lisa Smile will be dedicated to some sort of craft, recipe or idea that reminds me of my childhood. I think that these timeless traditions are fun to revisit and are also great to pass down to others.

I was a 4-H nerd as were many of you, and turns out 4-H nerds stick together because my roommate and most of my friends were actively involved in 4-H as well! I strive to live the 4-H motto each day pledging "My head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service and health to better living." The great thing about 4-H is that not only did we learn a lot about livestock and agriculture, and gain immeasurable amounts of leadership and personal development opportunities, but through 4-H I was able to learn many life skills that will help me to be a better wife and mother.

One club that I was very involved in was the home arts, we did things like knitting, baking, sewing, floral arrangement, cooking you know girl kind of stuff. On Sunday night my roommate Amanda and I decorated our house for Christmas and went back in time to a 4-H type craft while we watched You've Got Mail... Classic! So I wanted to tell you about this little gem of a craft that you can do with your children or if you are single nerd like me you can make them with your roommate!

This is a very easy craft. All of the supplies come in a package that you can buy at WalMart for $1.87. There are even instructions included.

My advice to you is to separate the beads into piles according to size. You will appreciate this hint when you are trying to tell a 10 mm bead from a 12 mm bead. Follow the directions! It will be great!

Rumor has it you can even enter these little babies in the county and state fairs! Hope you enjoy! I'm looking forward to Food Friday this week!

Until We Meet Again,


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Harvest of Thanks!

Thanksgiving is here again and my goodness do we have a lot to be thankful for. As I reflect back to Thanksgiving as a little girl, tons of pumpkin pie, ravioli, beef and even turkey fill my food memories. Accompanied by dinner table memories are memories of chores, cutting wood with dad, or branding calves over the holiday. From a young age, my family instilled in us children the importance of working hard and returning thanks daily. Returning thanks for our blessings is an everyday occurrence for most ranching and farming families. I am thankful for the producers that produce the safe and delicious foods that I get to consume daily. Not only am I thankful for their hard work, but I am also thankful that my friends and family have the ability to earn a livelihood producing food to help feed a hungry world. Unlike many in the world I have never experienced real hunger. My family has been blessed to never be in a situation where we ever went without a snack. In fact I am not sure that I know very people personally who have ever experienced hunger. I am not referring to that feeling of, “my goodness I need to eat” after a long day branding calves or playing sports. I am referring to the many men, women and children who go to sleep at night with hungry bellies not knowing whether sustenance will come with the new day. Today there are thousands of people in America who don’t wonder what will be for supper as I do, but wonder instead whether there will be supper at all. American agriculture is helping to end hunger in our country and around the world. The men and women of American agriculture receive my food thanks this year. Because, even though we have different interests, produce different products and come from a variety of backgrounds, we have this one thing in common… Farmers & Ranchers care, we care about our land and animals, we care about helping to reduce global hunger, we care about YOU.

If you want to know more about what we do, just ask us! I encourage you to contact a local farm and ranch to arrange for a day trip to learn about what they do day in and day out. I encourage you to read more about agriculture from my friends listed in the left hand column. For more information about how American farm & ranch families are helping to aid world hunger check out www.farmersfeedingtheworld.com and tune in to AgDay on RFDTV Today, Thanksgiving Day, for a special episode about the farmers that feed us "A Harvest of Thanks".

I hope that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving! God Bless,

~ Anna-Lisa

Monday, November 8, 2010

I am Ag - Thankful

I am ag proud and certainly ag thankful! I was asked to write a post for the Agriculture Proud blog... Read about it! Also, be sure to read the other Ag-Thankful posts on Ryan's Blog!

Continuing with this month’s Ag-Thankful theme, Anna-Lisa Giannini share with us today why she is thankful for Agriculture. Anna-Lisa is Co-Founder of Beef on a Budget, AgBlogger, and a soon-to-be graduate of Oklahoma State University. She is very passionate about encouraging people to learn more about beef production by connecting with cooks in the kitchen through her “chef-on-a-shoestring” approach to cooking beef products. I hope you enjoy this California-raised Cattlewoman’s perspective of being Ag-Thankful this November.

America is the land of opportunity; Agriculture is the opportunity of the land. Every morning when my feet hit the floor I thank God for American Agriculture. For the men and women who work day in and day out to provide food and fiber for all Americans and peoples worldwide. I am thankful for their humble lives and hard working lifestyles that allow me to enjoy life to the fullest each and every day. These families, like my own, work hard day in and day out in service of others not because they have to, but because they choose to. I am proud of American agriculture and thankful that American farmers are helping to feed a hungry world; but even more than that, I am thankful for the person that I am today because of the opportunities American Agriculture has afforded my family.

My Daddy’s Grandfather came to America from Switzerland in the very late 1800s. In 1903 after spending some time milking cows around San Francisco, Grandpa Augustus bought the ranch that I was raised on. My family has clung to our roots and Swiss-Italian tradition is part of our daily lives and especially Holidays. Grandpa Gus was proud of becoming an American. An example of this is that he wouldn’t allow his children to speak Italian because they were not Swiss; they were Americans. He was also proud to be part of agriculture making his living ranching cattle in a similar manner that they did at home in the hills of Switzerland. A sense of pride in American Agriculture was instilled in Grandpa Gus’ children and has trickled down generations to my sister’s and my heart.

My Mamma’s family was involved in the agriculture industry too! As a young man, Grandpa Larry followed the fruit harvests in California and recalled the days of his childhood on the farms some of the happiest of his life. My grandfather went to work the family farm in Arkansas right after marrying my grandmother and that was where my mother was born. Some of my Grandpa Larry’s favorite memories were on the farms in Arkansas and Oklahoma. He was proud of his agriculture roots and was proud of his grandchildren’s involvement in agriculture. The agriculture industry certainly afforded my family opportunity.

Thanksgiving is the holiday most associated with thankful hearts. I personally love Thanksgiving for everything it stands for, from the little pilgrim statues that decorate the tables representing each grandchild, to the pumpkin pie and ravioli. Ya know, I don’t remember a Thanksgiving that didn’t include morning chores, feeding cows, burning brush, cutting wood, or maybe branding calves. This taught me the importance of working hard so that we have things to be thankful for. From a young age I realized that in order for food to be on the dinner table hard work must be done to produce that food. Thanksgivings are full of traditional foods, the tradition of each family member saying something they are thankful for, and the tradition of being together as one very large, very loud, very loving and very thankful family. This Thanksgiving when you sit down to eat the foods your family loves to enjoy on Thanksgiving, be thankful for the families that are working hard to produce the food on your table. We will be at our own tables giving thanks for the opportunity to work hard, live simply, and produce the food helping you to give thanks.

Want to hear more stories like this one? Tune in all this month for guest posts and more on the topic of being Ag-Thankful this November. Send me your ideas, thoughts, and comments on this page or by email (agricultureproud@hotmail.com)

Thank you for featuring me Ryan!

Happy Trails,


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Random Laughs

A random collection of laughs!