Wednesday, August 29, 2012

You Cornball.... A post from the archives!

Are you ready to get your Fall on?!

    These candy corn cuties are just the thing to ease into the Fall season! Starting with a Styrofoam ball, paint it orange using acrylic paint. Once dried use hot glue to apply your candies.....

     These critters are quick easy and super cute! Cheap also...My total cost, paint and all for under ten dollars! Looking for easy Christmas ideas! Paint your Styrofoam red and apply Star lite peppermints!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Maisha Mazuri...

  100% of the proceeds from the sale of this single will go to the Forever Young Foundation in Ghana. Single available soon on iTunes

"Life is a gift receive it" Alex Boye'

    I learned a good while ago that my situation does not allow me to get too personal in the blog world, tender hearts deserve to be unprovoked. This actually turned out to be a blessing. My trials and my heartaches are not out there for the world...neither are my immense joys and glorious triumphs. So suffice it to say I do not often share personal details here in Blog land...

    This morning, this first day of school however I have been moved to express my heart and all the strange and new emotions I have been discovering as a mother in an awkward situation.

   If you know me or have been a follower for a while you know we have a Brady Bunch thing going on here! A literal Yours, Mine, and Ours. "They" say it takes seven years for the typical blended family to, well...Blend!  For the first time in what will be seven years in December since we became a part of each others lives... I feel as though we are functioning as a "normal" family. Standing by one another, rejoicing the joy and feeling sorrow for the pain. Supporting the positive connections our children have with all who love them.

    We are never ever without tribulations. It feels as though we get one situation under control as another prepares for it's debut. Thankfully these are the times we become stronger. Raising a child from a previous relationship is challenging in every way. It became apparent some months ago that my husband and I were left with no choice but to take drastic measures against my daughters natural father.

    Have you ever had to sit your most precious possession down and break her heart right in two. I have, and I remember when that little girl was me. Scuffed up sneakers and tears on the front porch waiting for a father who never came... By the end of September the adoption of my daughter by my husband should be finalized. 

    I was speaking with a friend about the goings on in the adoption when she casually said "It must be wonderful to know you have the power to keep her away from her father and his choices!" I could not respond for the lump in my throat. My sweet baby! The little girl that was by my side for many years as we faced the world alone just her and I. The precious little one who was comforting me, little fat hand patting me on the back and telling me "Mom, I OK!" after putting her bottom teeth through her lip. The sweetest gift I have ever received...

   It is not as gratifying as one may think to have this "power" it is in fact heartbreaking, because her father cannot make positive choices in his life, I have to be the bad guy. Since he refuses to look his child in the eye and without any doubts make his life a safe place for her...well, you get the picture. I do not want to take her father away from her. I do not want to replace him, nor does my husband, but it is up to us to protect her after all these years of disillusion. I want the world for all of my children  I bawled like a baby after my step daughter got on the bus this morning...turning around to wave with that quiet smile. This morning I felt my heart strings being tugged by the crooked smile of my toddler. Laughed as my new to the fourth grader nervously approached the school... my world

   Last week we learned that my daughters father had been sentenced to spend the next several years in prison. Can you imagine how that must feel to a wide eyed little girl who does not have the capacity to understand the gravity of the situations revolving around her, or why! Wondering if it is her fault. Could you find the words to explain to a child that they will not be seeing their parent any time in the near future all due to the choices he has chosen. How unfair to do this to her. What was he thinking! Does he have any clue what he will miss? Does he care? He was transferred from County jail to the State prison on her birthday....

   My angel has remained strong through this enduring process. We have done our best to protect her from the unnecessary details and focus on the positive aspects of the situation. She was all grins and giggles when we were able to register her for school with her new last name. The odd one out for years finally will have the same last name as her family. She is a shining example to me of how strong the heart can be, putting on her brave face and facing the day one step at a time.

    It is in times like these that we need a hero...

    My daughters love affair with Alex Boye' started immediately upon hearing Peponi She sat mesmerized watching as he sang his heart out atop the Red Rocks. More often than not we  listen to Peponi repeatedly in the car arriving at our destination feeling absolute peace. The man is truly gifted!

    My amazing sister Maggie had a symphonic fundraiser and through much hard work pulled off a night that will not soon be forgotten. Alex Boye' was the Emcee. My daughter was elated! However that Saturday morning was a disaster. We had to fight tooth and nail to get out the door in one piece and very nearly did not make it to any of the events planned for the day. You see our first stop of the day was to tour the newly built temple in my hometown, so of course it was a rather difficult morning. If the Lord works in mysterious ways you better bet his counter part does as well! For the first time in months my husband and I had been bickering endlessly!

   We drove separate cars so my husband could return early with Sweet Baby K. Thirty miles and over the hill. I had my daughter in my car, and I knew I needed to tenderly approach her about her father. I had been putting it off for days. The soft, sparkling tears rolling down her face said everything she could not...

    The night was going strong and the symphony was a success! My daughter had met Alex and was on cloud nine. Little did she know her favorite song would have a special dedication. "To a cute young girl" I scoured the crowd looking for her to be sure she heard Alex. I could not find her anywhere! Right before panic set in I spotted her front and center. Sitting on the grass cross legged and starry eyed...Stopping to pose for this picture and to autograph our CD's, Alex's performance was show stopping! He brought tears to our eyes with his rendition of "How Great Thou Art"

   We laughed till we cried when the local Boy Scouts got on stage! And since then have been known to bust out a "I'm a funky Weebalo!" while in Wal Mart... It was an amazing night that changed a little girl forever. Curious to know more we did a little research and found that the story of Alex Boye is an amazing one, littered with heartache, sacrifice and great triumph. To be in the presence of this man is to feel the Spirit so strong and true...

    Since last Saturday I have caught my heartbroken little girl smiling and humming softly to herself. Someone special took the time to make her feel special in her time of need and it shows in her every move. It has made me stop and think of how the "power" of kindness, generosity and genuine heart can change someones life. You may never even know that you made a difference, but those few kind words, that shared friendly smile, the encouraging pat on the back may change the perspective and heart of someone you had no idea was in need....

Thank you



Monday, August 6, 2012

Coconut Oil Onion Rings and a Winner!!

Congratulations Jodi T!

     Jodi has won a quart of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil! Thank you to everyone who entered my very first giveaway! Many more great opportunities on the horizon!

    There were so many wonderful suggestions on the use of Coconut oil! Some I had not heard of, some I would like to try, and some I already love!

    One of our new favorite summer time burgers was inspired by Coconut oil! Parmesan crusted, crunchy onion topped! Yum!

Crunchy Purple Onion toppers:

2 medium purple onions sliced into thin rings
2 cups flour seasoned with pepper and garlic salt
1 cup buttermilk
*no buttermilk? Prepare your own by adding four teaspoons of white vinegar to 1 cup of milk. Allow to sit for at least fifteen minutes*
2 t cornstarch
2 beaten eggs

Start by dredging your onions a batch at a time in the egg mixture. Next coat with flour.  If you did not know...the trick to truly crispy fries and onions is cornstarch! Mix the cornstarch into your buttermilk and dip your floured onions before finally frying in Coconut Oil until golden brown! Place on a paper towel lined plate and salt lightly! You are in for a treat!


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Ready! Set! Back to school with AstroBrights!

This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

      Are you ready? It is that time again! Back to school!  This year as we set out for all the latest fashions and needed class supplies one item on our list is Astrobrights Papers! Designed with over 23 vivid colors designed to make bright ideas stand out as the important projects that they are! AstroBrights can be used for a never ending list of great ideas! AstroBrights papers

*Class parties

*Teacher Appreciation

*School calenders

*Class reports and projects....and so much more!

    What would you create with AstroBrights? A chore chart? Scrapbooking pages? AstroBrights Papers want to see your creativity unleashed! Join the AstroBrights family friendly design challenge! "Make something AstroBright" is your chance to win free Astrobrights paper and other great prizes! Using hashtag #goastrobrights when submitting to Twitter and Pinterest upload your wonderful creativity by photo or video!
    Imagine the possibilities! I hate to mention it but...the Holidays are fast approaching!  Before we know it the time for Holiday crafts will be upon us! Picture your crafts in AstroBrights! Vivid greeting cards and colorful placemats! Letters to Santa and Christmas countdowns! OK! Focus! Back to School first!
     This year by entering the "Give a brighter year" sweepstakes you can support your local elementary school and win a cash prize and school supplies for the school of your choice! AstroBrights papers  What a potentially fantastic opportunity for your childs school!
    Share your ideas and get inspired today! Upload your creativity! Join the AstroBrights community on Facebook! Remember to use hashtag #goastrobrights when submitting to Pinterest, Twitter and other social media channels! Let your creativity lead the way as you add new and bright ideas to your projects!

Have fun!

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