Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!

Whether you dress in costumes and beg for candy or not, I hope each of you will enjoy this beautiful Autumn day!

Eat a little candy and enjoy your families!

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Oh, One More Thing.....

Don't miss Ida Red's first ever Mom Link Round Up at Under the Golden Apple Tree!
Lots of great bloggers, lots of great posts.

Check it out! And look for posts from 'yours truly'.

Peace out.....

Short and Sweet!

I have a crazy, busy day ahead of me! My DSL connection is still messed up (grrrr), I have 4 loaves of Amish Friendship Bread to bake, I'm making a birthday cake and cupcakes for my, ahem, FIFTEEN year old...


Jack asked me last night when he can get his driving permit. *gulp* I'm SO not ready....

And for more big news......

I'm taking my daughter to complete her enrollment process at Paul Mitchell The School! She is SO excited and I am just thrilled for her. Talk about last minute.....she starts on Tuesday. Please pray for her today-she's a nervous wreck!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Afternoon Tea

Today's afternoon tea project is a fun one! When you see this, you will definitely want to go over to Ida Red's place and link up for tea.

I'm not much of a tea girl, so just know that I am enjoying a nice cup of coffee courtesy of my fancy new "Mr. Coffee" all digital, shiny and black coffee maker that my dear, dear husband brought home to me a couple of days ago. It was on the clearance aisle at Walmart for $7.00 ya'll! Regularly 59.00!!

I have been without a coffee pot for months and had resorted to the coffee that looks like tea bags?? Yeah, definitely NOT the real thing....

So, anyway, just know that I am enjoying a cup of coffee with some nice flavored creamer this dark and rainy afternoon!

Now, on to the fun....

Today, we are going to play a little game where we finish the following
five sentences. Try not to over explain or write a story. lol.

  • 1. Hearing a scratching noise, she dashes into the kitchen, opens the pantry and finds a not-so-small boy hiding out and eating
  • 2. It started out like a normal visit to the grocery store until she noticed
    a man standing by the frozen section holding an open bag
    vigorously chewing on frozen chicken nuggets.
  • 3. She answers the phone and to her shock it's the Prize
    Patrol asking for directions! It seems the GPS led them to the cow pasture
    across the way....
  • 4. As she walks into the bathroom to mop the floor she finds her 3 yr old in the shower, shaking his booty while saying, "Oh
    yeah...YEAH. Oh, yeah"!
  • 5. Peeking from behind her curtain, she secretly watches her neighbor's each and every move, just waiting for a little rural excitement
    in this too-quiet neighborhood!

Now....wasn't that fun?!?! Go to Ida Red's place and check out everyone's links to Thursday Afternoon Tea. (And join us!)


Just a note to let ya'll know that I am having seriously frustrating problems with my DSL connection. I am switching back and forth between DSL and dial up and I have NO words (good ones, that is) for the frustration this is causing today.

Please bear with me and my absence as we sort out this issue!

I did manage to post something for Thursday afternoon tea....

I hope to be back later today.

Have fun without me!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Enjoying the park on an a beautiful Autumn day....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Link-Ups!

I'm sharing my magical moment this week! Tami at Hearts Make Families has a Tuesday link-up called "Magical Moments for Tuesday".

I like this.

It makes you think back over your week and sort through everything that happened. It makes you focus on what was good and special about your week.

Very uplifting....

This week's magical moment was Cade's straight A report card. Last spring he was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. He was placed under an IEP and had modifications in every subject. In June he had some neurological testing and was given medication for seizure activity.

The change was amazing!

Cade ended the school year last year way below grade level in reading, spelling, and vocabulary.

This straight A report card has NO modifications, completely at grade level! And with this improvement, he was moved back into the regular classroom full time for the next quarter!

Now THAT'S a magical moment!

Go on over to Tami's place and link up YOUR magical moment.


Crazy Adventures in Parenting To-Do Tuesday

As I was thinking about the things that I need to do, I realized that I have a real mish-mash of list items this week. This list is chock-full of Halloween and birthdays! Here's my bare-bones list. I'm not adding the mundane, every day stuff, like daily laundry. That's a given in this house!

  • Pick up Halloween candy for the preschool party on Thursday.
  • Pick up more balloons for my little one's halloween costume.
  • Finish making Cade's costume. Need popcorn!
  • Make birthday plans for Jack. (15 on Friday!)
  • Do some more work on my blog layout.
  • Work on blog posts for my new gig at Deep South Moms!
  • I really want to work on the furniture re-d0s I've posted about in previous lists. *sigh* Maybe??

So, what does your list look like this week? Go visit Lisa at Crazy Adventures in Parenting and link up your list!


Blessed with Grace

What's better this time of year than a crockpot full of soup? Need an easy-peasy vegetable beef soup recipe?

(I'm all about shortcuts when it comes to cooking....think Sandra Lee's Semi Homemade on the Food Network!)

  • 1-2 pounds of beef stew meat chunks
  • 1 large can Spicy V-8 juice
  • 1 large can beef broth
  • 1 large onion, rough chopped
  • vegetables-your choice! You can use canned, frozen, or left-overs.

Lightly flour and season the beef. Sear in a little oil until nicely browned. Add onion.

Pour V-8 and beef broth into the crockpot. Add beef and onion. Add vegetables. I often use canned veggies: corn, carrots, sliced potatoes, green beans, pinto beans, mixed veggies. Use what you have on hand. (Great way to use up the left-overs in the fridge!)

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours, or until flavors are blended and beef is tender.

Eat with cornbread.


Want to find a LOT of great recipes in one place? Go (right now) to Blessed with Grace and see the links on today's Tempt my Tummy Tuesday post.

So.....did I find some great Tuesday link-ups or what!?!

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Conscious Ramblings......or...Catching Up!

Don't ya just love Fall?? The colors, the weather, the holidays......

I think Fall is the favorite season of nearly all of my kids. Mainly because they either have a birthday coming up or they love candy. Or both...


So, the postings around here lately have been a bit skimpy, wouldn't ya say? I think the illness that went around filled me with a case of the doldrums, or something. Three kids ended up with it, but I really doubt it was the dreaded H1N1. The symptoms were there, but it lacked the punch we expected. Plus, no one was tested, so no way to know for sure. I hope it was H1N1 and it really was that mild, but I'm not banking on it.

I felt completely worn out for days, but never had the fever that comes with the flu. It has taken me a while to get back to my normal self! Just in time to remember my oldest son's birthday. He would be 17 today....


But just imagine the birthday party he's having in Heaven today! Isn't that a glorious thought? That thought makes it all so much easier to bear.


Let's see....What has been happening in my neck of the woods.....

Well, my little one had his six month cardiology appointment last week. He is doing wonderfully! He is having good growth, his numbers are excellent, and his heart function looks great. What a blessing! He goes back in six months for another check up. That feels awesome and scary at the same time. But we aren't too far from his doctors if we need them.


My two public schooled boys got their first quarter report cards and both made the honor roll. One made the Principal's list with all A's and the other made the Silver honor roll with A's and B's. This makes me super proud!

My younger boy, Cade, received an award for his Principal's list report card. I attended the ceremony and was so proud of him and for him. Until.....dun, dun, DUNNNNN.....the special awards were given. He was so sure that he would be one of the five kids chosen for a special award: best behavior, most helpful, most improved, etc. He was so sure that, when his name was NOT called, he had a total breakdown. He wanted that bag! The award was a red and black book bag with the school mascot on it. (It was really cool.) I took a few pictures after the ceremony but he was so unhappy in them that I don't feel like sharing. He just kept saying, "But I never moved my clip. Not even once. Sniff, sniff."

Poor little guy.

And since he is on the Autism spectrum, this was a big deal that was not easily forgotten. I bet his teacher wishes she had chosen him after the day they had. Heh heh....

I have a heel bone spur. Ouch. That means I'm no longer walking. (And I was doing SO good, ya'll!) I cannot find an insert and shoe combination that works. I am super bummed because I am carrying some extra weight that absolutely HAS to go. I mean, I'm not getting any younger, ya know?

So....I'm trying to eat a little bit better. I am loving the Honey Crisp apples I picked up after a recommendation from Carmen at Mom to the Screaming Masses. They are so good. I must buy more....


A few more random thoughts....

If you forget to feed your Amish Friendship Bread starter, will it die? Is it like forgetting to water your plants? Because I did both and the plants are definitely not looking that great....


Do you have any idea how it feels to realize that your old musical favorites from highschool are now being played on the "Classic Rock" station?!?! Geeeshhh.....

I was taking my teen son, Jack, and his friends to the movies last Saturday. We were jammin' to some great tunes. ELO, Lover Boy, Cars, Def Leppard.... The kids were all "Oh, this is a great song!" and I was right in there with them. And then.....the DJ came on saying this is whatever station FM "Classic Rock".

OUCH....talk about a deflated ego.....


If you read here often, you know that I am very new to the product review and giveaway side of blogging. I am happy to report that there is a review and giveaway coming in the near future! If you have any interest in up-to-the-minute nursery decor, you will definitely want to come back for a chance to win a very fun item yet to be named. (It's a surprise! Don't ya just love surprises?!?!)


I've been really stagnant in my writing lately and I'm hoping this post will help loosen me up a bit. What do you do when you start drawing blanks? How do you kickstart your writing? I'd love to hear what works for you and I'm sure there are others out there who could use some tips for writer's block. Do tell!

Happy Fall, ya'll!

Medical Monday: Daily Blog Review

Today's blog review is a little different.

Last week I received a sample in the mail from Boiron. The box contained a bottle of children's cough syrup-Chestal, and samples of Oscillo and Coldcalm. These are all homeopathic medicines.

Umfortunately, my children were just recovering from a flu-like illness (no testing, so can't officially call it H1N1). If only the package had arrived a week earlier.....

We will be sure to put these products to the test at our next opportunity, and I hope that is no time soon! However, I feel comforted that I have these great products in my medicine cabinet, ready and waiting....just in case.

You can find information about these cold and flu medicines at Boiron USA.

This company also has a brand new blog, hence my posting this as Medical Monday's daily blog review. Boiron's blog gives information on the company as well as practical advice for the cold and flu season. Learn exactly what homeopathy is, as well as how the FDA is involved with homeopathic medicines.

Boiron was also a sponsor of Blogalicious earlier this month. You can read a little bit about it here.

Are you prepared for the cold and flu season? Request your free cold and flu fighting kit from Boiron Usa by clicking here.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Misc. Saturday: Daily Blog Review (And a request for prayer!)

I heard yesterday that a sweet little boy is very sick and in need of prayer. Noah Estes is a three-year-old who has an extensive medical history. Too extensive to even blog about! You can go straight to Noah's Story page here.

Noah's mother is Kate Estes, a fellow blogger and homeschooler. She blogs at Our Quiverfull. Kate is also the mother of seven other children and helps her husband run a home business called Hands and Hearts, a homeschool supply business.

Please pray for Noah and his family and he fights his current battle!

As a side note, but equally important....

Our heart buddy, Aiden Beers, passed away after open heart surgery yesterday. He was fifteen days old. Please pray for his parents as they struggle. It's hard to understand the loss of a child. It's just. Unnatural...

Their website is Baby Aiden's Journey.

Friday, October 23, 2009

It's Friday....Time for Chocolate!

Whew! I thought I was going to miss it. I've been out and about all day today and didn't have time to post anything before I left this morning. I went out thrift store shopping! I was looking specifically for a loaf pan and I found one for only two bucks! A nice Pyrex loaf pan.... And I found one of those new-fangled silicone cupcake pans for only....two bucks. I love deals like these. What would I do without those thrift stores? I would be really sad...

I needed a new loaf pan especially for this:

Doesn't it look delicious? It was. It is lonnnggg gone.....

Do you know what this is?

Have you ever heard of Amish Friendship Bread? You know, you get a baggie of bread starter and you mash it and feed it and mash it some more. Then on day 10, you separate it out into new starter bags and use the remainder to make your bread. If you do a Google search, you'll find tons of add-in recipes to make all kinds of bread from this starter. (Here's just one website that covers Amish Friendship Bread.)

Of course, I made chocolate. The only thing I added to the basic bread recipe is a large box of instant chocolate pudding and one cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.

The boys were a little weirded out by the puffy baggies of stinky stuff (their discription) that later became sweet bread. One even refused to taste it! The enthusiasm from everyone else finally won him over, though...

That's it for my Chocolate Friday. Go on over to Stop N Smell The Chocolates to see more Chocolate Friday posts!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Afternoon Tea


I saw this on Christine's blog and thought I'd join in! You can click on the photo above to see the rules and original poster's blog, Under the Golden Appletree.

Here is today's post:

This afteroon let's make it really simple. Let's have fun getting to know each
other with a questionaire.
Simply copy and paste then answer the questions!
Have fun!

1) What color is your toothbrush? Green and white

2) Name one person who made you smile today. My little one, Eli

3) What is your favorite candy bar? Milky Way

4) What is the last thing you said aloud? I'll be there in a minute! (lol)

5) What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Peanut butter fudge

6) Ever go camping? Yes! Heber Springs is our favorite!

7) Are you a cat person or a dog person? Dog

8) What was the last thing you ate? Chocolate chip cookie from Subway *blush*

9) How long have you been blogging? About 3 years, seriously for about 3 months

10) What or who is your inspiration for your blog? My crazy life!

Tasty Thursday: Daily Blog Review

As moms, we all try to concentrate our efforts on solid nutrition for our families, right? Please, hold your guffaws....I said try...

It isn't easy.

Americans love junk food. And as good as you try to be most of the time, admit it. You really do enjoy a little bit of the junk on occasion. So, today I decided to highlight a blog that is all about the junk food. Sound like fun??

Today's blog is called Phoood. The sub title says it all: Snack food, fast food, pizza, beer, and other delicacies. Yum. (Come on, you know you like this stuff. Don't put me out here all alone!)

Phoood is the creation of Jim Peoples from California. Jim blogs reviews of assorted junk food. (He also has several blog contributors, as well.) He has categories of junk foods like snack foods, breakfast cereals, and candy and candy bars.

Jim even has a rating scale and gives each review a rating to show how he feels about it. If you're thinking of trying a new snack or fast food restaurant, you might want to see what Jim thinks about it first.

Be sure to check out the other categories in the right side bar for beverages, fast food, desserts, and much more. And don't miss the Hall of Fame section for the best of the best.

Now you want to make a swing through Wendy's for a burger and Frosty, don'tcha! Sorry.....

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Do you know what this means?!?!

Now I have to do everything I've been puttin' off!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Medical Monday: Daily Blog Review

Well, it's a brand new day and a brand new week! Yep, sickness still abounds, and yet I find an overwhelming urging to get back to my blog.

So....here I am.

Did you miss me????

I recently saw a quote somewhere that said something like, "I love my computer. All of my friends live there." This is so close to truth for me. I thoroughly enjoy my online friendships and have been so blessed to gain new bloggy pals over the past few weeks. I've missed reading my favorite blogs and entering all of those great giveaways!

So, I'm getting back to my Google reader and Twitter today!

With that said, let's move on to Medical Monday. October is breast cancer awareness month, so I thought I'd highlight a breast cancer blog. I am so thankful to say that I do not have personal experience with breast cancer. No one in my family has had it and no close friends. I feel the need to just thank God right here and now that I am able to write those last two sentences! So many people are touched by this disease. So many people lose loved ones to this disease...

Today's blog is called My Breast Cancer Blog and is written by Jacki Donaldson. Jacki was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in November 2004. She has shared her five year journey on her blog to raise awareness and most likely, to create a journal for personal and emotional release.

Jacki chronicles her diagnosis, her treatment, and her kids. You'll also find stories of other women fighting breast cancer sprinkled in among her posts. You'll get a feel of the community that happens when women choose to fight-together and for each other.

I learned a lot about breast cancer when I found Jacki's blog. It's important to be educated.

And this is why I wanted to share it with ya'll.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I'm Baaccckkkk! (Sorta)

Just a note to say that I am busy working behind the scenes,

making some layout adjustments. My little one is much, much better. PTL!!

However, I'm a bit under the weather and hoping it doesn't get worse.

In the meantime, I'm trying my hand at a little html.

Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Interrupt This Stagnating Blog....

Need I say more????

Unconfirmed, but the little one has consistent symptoms and a wonky heart,
so he gets Tamiflu as a precaution.

I get Lysol and Germ-X and Children's Motrin.

And hopefully we'll be back to normal soon.

Please pray that I am really good at sanitizing!

I should also mention that the little one and I shared a Snack Pack chocolate pudding Sunday night. And a spoon....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Taking a Much Needed....Bloggy Break

My writing projects are completed;

It's raining (again);

And it's the last two days of Fall Break.


I'm gonna spend the weekend with my family!

Move over, Dawg. You're in my spot....

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 9, 2009

October Equals Autumn Equals Halloween Equals...


(Chocolate Friday!)

It's true! At least that's the way my mind works. And from my experiences in blog hopping, that's exactly the way a LOT of blogger's minds work! Seriously.

I have a bit of a dilemma today. I have to choose between the Daily Blog Review or Chocolate Friday. And I guess you know which one I chose. Obviously.

Chocolate is always gonna be top choice....

I thought I'd share a simple chocolate recipe with you today. It's simple, but tricky. Maybe that's why I associate it with Halloween. No, that's not the reason.

This recipe is called Boiled Cookies. It's all chocolate and peanut buttery goodness.
In one word? YUM.
I could eat these cookies until the point of illness. I mean, just sick from sugar and chocolaty richness. That's how good they are, ya'll. And I'm not the only one who thinks so! I can make these for a potluck or a bake sale or just because, and people go crazy. My daughter makes these for her friends and their parents are all There is NO way YOU made these!!!

I have seen this recipe all over the Internet and everyone has their own version. Some people leave the cocoa out and just do the peanut butter. (THE HORROR!) but I have never, ever done that, nor have I tasted anyone else's plain version. Maybe someday....not.

This recipe came from my Grandma. She made these as Halloween treats back in the day when you could actually get away with passing out homemade goodies to strangers. I wish I had a picture of a heaping plate of these, and even better, I wish I had a picture of my Grandma holding a heaping plate of these! THAT would be wonderful. Alas, I'll have to settle with just talking about both. *sigh*

My Grandma was a wonderful cook who didn't always measure ingredients or use written recipes, so I had to do a lot of guessing and adapting to come up with just the right mix. I've continued to adjust this recipe over the years, so you're getting the measurements that WE like the best. And now that I've started writing about these cookies, my daughter is frantically digging through a friend's pantry for cocoa! I may have pictures to add to this post after all!

Here's the recipe:

  1. 2 cups sugar
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  4. 1/4 cup cocoa
  5. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  6. 2 cups oats
  7. dash of vanilla, if you have time
Add the first 4 ingredients into a pan over med-high heat, stirring continuously. Once it comes to a rolling boil, set the timer for 2 to 2.5 minutes. (Or you could use a candy thermometer, but I don't have one, never used one, wouldn't know what to tell you about that...)

This is the hardest part about these cookies. (Probably because of the candy thermometer issue...) I have found that most stoves are different, pans are different, and you just can't always get the right consistency by timing the boil. You really have to look at the mixture. When it loses it's shine, it's ready!

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter. Stir quickly! Add the dash of vanilla and the oats. You may want to add the oats a little at a time, and you may want more than 2 cups. More oats means more chew. We like more chocolate-less chew, kinda fudgy.

Once the oats are mixed in, drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto wax paper or oil-sprayed foil. Or, you can do like we do and just pour the whole pan out on the foil in a huge blob. I'm serious. You have to work fast to get this out of the pan before it starts to set.

You'll know right away whether you boiled it long enough. If the mixture is shiny, it will not set up and you'll have to eat it with a spoon. But it isn't really good like that.

And don't forget to call dibs on the pan. (Do NOT let that goodness go to waste!)

These cookies can be made with crunchy or creamy peanut butter, or you can add other nuts.
And you can even make it with instant oatmeal packets. If you're desperate.

Well, it looks like we'll be making some of these cookies later, so I'll come back and add some pictures. The blob isn't particularly pretty, but it's oh.so.delicious.
Okay, it's later and I'm back with pictures. So....is chocolate fail really possible?? My first batch was undercooked. It looked really undercooked so I adjusted the time for the second batch. But it was only slightly undercooked. Which means, you guessed it, the second batch was overcooked. Rats... Major disappointment. But, we're eating it, so technically that isn't failure, right? And it's good. Because it's chocolate. It's not great, but it's good.

Here's a photo of the first batch. Note the shine? That's how you tell it isn't done. It was so close! I could *almost* cut it into squares.

And here's a photo of the second batch. Notice the neat squares? When you pour it into a blob, you can cut squares and not have to rush through the whole spoon dropping. Also, notice the lighter brown color and dullness? Well, it's lighter because I didn't measure the cocoa and obviously shortchanged the mixture. But the dullness means you boiled a little bit too long. It should be a rich brown with a slight gloss finish....perfect. Oh, well. Maybe next time.

Until I can get back with pictures, why don't you visit Lisa at Stop & Smell the Chocolates? You can check out all of the other Chocolate Friday posts, and maybe even add one of your own!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Tasty Thursday: Daily Blog Review

I guess it's quite obvious that I have a raging sweet tooth. Looking back, I think nearly every Tasty Thursday has been dessert-related. Oh, well. Why stop now?!

Today's blog is a yummy, double yummy blog that is all about cakes and chocolate and stuff like that. Bakerella bills her blog as a place of sweet inspiration and fun baking ideas. The cake pops are a big hit (are they not amazing?!?!) and so are the cupcakes. Oh, and the cheesecake. And the pie. Heaven help us all.....

Bakerella is the place to go if you're looking for fresh new dessert ideas. Of if you're just jonesing for some chocolate. Either way, Bakerella will have just what you're looking for!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Am I a Good Mood Blogger??


Am I?

I want to be an official Good Mood Blogger, and I need YOUR help!

Please vote for me here, and tell your friends to vote for me...

And so on,

And so on,

(Remember that old shampoo commercial??)

And so on...

(Do NOT comment to tell me that you don't remember that old shampoo commercial!)

Seriously, ya'll.

I want this job.

Voting ends on October 30th and you can vote once a day.

Hint, hint.

Homeschool Wednesday: Daily Blog Review

Today's subject is one that is near and dear to my heart: homeschooling Autism. I know it can be done and I also know that often, homeschooling is the very best choice for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder. So much so that I spend a good bit of my valuable time questioning why my boys are going to school. *sigh*

I know that, for this season, public school is the answer. Three years ago, if you had asked me about sending my kids to school, I would have never believed it would happen. As long time homeschoolers, we were quite content with our family-oriented lifestyle. But then along came Autism and everything changed.

I can't complain, my boys are doing very well. I believe they are thriving on the schedules and routines that are required by public institutions. Or maybe I'm just trying to make myself feel better. My heart will always remain open to the idea of homeschooling. You just never know what God has planned for your future.

And with that thought in mind, I continue to read about how others homeschool their children with Autism. Today's blog, Our Homeschool 2 is the personal story of Anne Basso. Anne blogs about many things that are relevant in the life of a mother, but the highlight for me is the homeschool post list. Anne covers hot button homeschool topics like motivation and socialization, as well as several posts recorded as Spectrum Saturdays.

If you have children on the Autism spectrum (like me!), or are just interested in learning more about Autism, visit Anne's blog to get a feel for the life of a mom of children with Autism.

Wordless Wednesday

Future plumber??

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