Friday, April 24, 2015

A Beginning

Tonight marks the end of an enormously hectic week.
  It was hectic for all the right reasons, though. 
Lollipop Pop will receive the Sacrament of Confirmation this evening.
 While the ceremony physically marks the end to a busy week, this Sacrament marks a new beginning in her life. 
I recently came across an article that explained this special Sacrament with words I had not put together in my own mind but they ring so true.
It is short and explains a lot.
 My emotions have been close to the surface recently and I am certain they will spill out in tears as I watch our amazing daughter tonight.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Look Back

Let's see, since last Saturday we have attended the 4-H fair, is which Sugar Plum Fairy's photos brought home 3 blue ribbons and 2 Champion Awards...
Lollipop Pop turned 18....
We helped design and began putting together this year's banner for the local fair...
(did you know that hot glue UNDER the finger nail hurts like the dickens?) 
It does.
 Still.
Riding lessons, parent meetings and a celebration dinner in a French Bistro.
And it is only Thursday!
Let's take a peak at what was happening in years past.

April 23, 2009
I have repeatedly admitted that I am NOT a baker.  THIS 12th birthday cake is what finally convinced me.
 It did NOT look like this inspiration one.
http://www.bakerella.com/fourteen-for-the-fourteenth/


April 23, 2010
This truth is still, well, the truth. 

April 23, 2011






OR














April 23, 2012
I can hardly believe that this game  was three years ago. 
Tyler's death has had such an impact on so many young men.
He will always be remembered and missed.
 
April 23, 2013
This hanging candle thingamajig is not just the new nesting spot  it was 2 years ago, but an annual location. 
And a party next weekend will require a new sign, my youngest announced to me.
 
April 23, 2014
Something as simple as hugs can make the world of difference in someone's life. 
Try it.
 
Happy Thursday!
 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Field Trip

Sugar Plum Fairy's class had a field trip several weeks ago and I was able to tag along.
What a fun day it was. 
 We visited a planetarium that our county education office runs.
 I had been their with another kidnick's class years ago, but had forgotten all about it. 
The kids loved it and asked great questions.
 After lunch with the ducks under the oak trees, 
 
we entered the museum at Mooney's Grove and learned about the native Indian's lives.
How they gathered food and lived day to day. 
There is quite a large collection of mortar and pestles as well as baskets.  
 

  A new museum has been built since my last visit here paying tribute to Farm Labor
 and Agriculture. 

 After a short video and questions and answers, we roamed this building. 
It honors each of the nationalities and cultures that came to this valley and turned it into the farming powerhouse it is today.


There is antique equipment and an old car piled high with everything a family owned in the world travelling to California to begin again.
 




I find it interesting that that is happening in the reverse now.














 
 
 
 There were even some familiar names and places represented.
The kidnicks broke into small groups and we given a scavenger hunt list of questions to complete. They searched each building for the answers and I wandered along taking pictures and answering questions as the need arose.






It was a gorgeous day to be outside and I am grateful that I go to tag along with some fantastic kidnicks.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

18? Already? Must be a Mistake.

This girl came into the world on her own terms.
Strong, stubborn and with a mind of her own.
I have come to recognize that those are enviable qualities...especially in a daughter.
She was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
And she was ours to raise and guide.
Her values and morals are as true as they come.
 
Once she has her mind set on something, she figures out a way to make it happen. 
That quality has only grown as she has
 
.
 
She has always been a Daddy's girl but kind of  likes her Mama too.









 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                                                           Today, this girl turns 18.
The emotions that flow through me as I admit that are powerful.
 I am in awe of what she has done thus far in her life.
I wait in anticipation to see what she does next.
 I am so very proud of the young woman she has become and so very grateful that God loaned her to use to raise.
 She is ready to take flight and soar from this here humble nest.
Happy birthday, my sweet girl.





Monday, April 20, 2015

Books

Books have been a part of my life as far back as I can remember. 
Our girls are the same way and I am so pleased for them.
 Books can transport you to a happy place in the times of sorrow. 
They can offer an ugly cry when your soul needs cleansing. 
They can teach history in a way you will remember past the school test on Friday.
They can offer insight that you did not know you needed. 
 I remember when I was 7 or 8 living in a teeny, tiny town in which my sister and I rode the school bus.
I would get up early and catch the bus as it went past my house on the way UP the hill to pick up most of the students.
Normal people (like my sister) caught the bus on the way DOWN the hill so they didn't have to be ready so early. 
I remember the bus driver's name was Shar...I think... and I plunked myself down on the empty bus and read. 
 I read the Little House books...I don't remember the kids getting on...I remember reading. 
 I told you I am not the normal sister.
Anyway, not much has changed except I now get car sick reading in a moving vehicle.
 I read before bed...I read waiting to pick kidnicks up from school. 
I read whenever the time allows and am always on the lookout for good books.
Michelle always has something good on her Kindle or other suggestions of some sort.
I just found these lists complied by professors as well as students for National Library Week. 
I can't wait to make some requests at my library.
 I will try to use restraint so this doesn't happen again...or this.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Truism

Eighteen
 
Independence
Is what you're striving for;
You are spreading your wings,
Ready to soar.
 
Attending college
Away from home
Gives you space
To fly alone.
 
You make new friends ~
You keep the old;
Your weekend visits
Furnish laundry to fold.
 
Challenged to decide
What you want to be
Begins to fill you
With anxiety.
 
Enjoy every day;
Life's not a race;
This is your time;
Go at your own pace.
 
Use your talents;
Reach for the stars;
Just keep moving forward,
And you will go far.
 
~I Liked You at Ten...I'll Like You Again
P. Taylor Copeland


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Easy, Fast, Easy Dinner...Easy Too!

There are certain times of year that the last thing I want to think about is "what's for dinner".
There is just no extra time in the day. 
This is one of those times for me and I want to share a recipe with you that simply gets thrown into the crock pot, turned on and forgotten. 
 
 
The results?
Your house will smell like you have been slaving over the stove all day. 
 Dinner will be delicious and if you are lucky, there may be a couple drumsticks left over for the kidnick's lunches the following day!
The recipe came from my new best blogger buddy,  Gina at Skinnytaste.
Her photos are gorgeous so look at hers and not mine.
  BUT here you go.
 
I double the recipe (which are the measurements I show below) for my family and gently layer the 16 drumsticks in two alternating directions. 
 (To remove the skin, hold a paper towel in one hand and the drumstick in the other.
With the paper towel, grab the skin, pull  back toward the skinny end and voila!)
Season the drumsticks with garlic salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix together:

1/2 cup pure Maple syrup
4 TBL balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
Fresh cracked pepper

Pour this over top and cook on HIGH for 4-6 hours. 
 When I made it the first time without doubling it, 4 hours was perfect. 
 Because I am layering the chicken and creating more density in the crockpot, I put this in at noon for dinner by 6pm. 
Works perfectly. 
The sauce is terrific over rice or quinoa as well.
Let me know if you try this and what you think.