Friday, November 23, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Thank You Friend

Thank you friend for holding me up when I wanted to stay down
Thank you friend for always listening.
Thanks you friend for  laughter.
Thank you friend for being you.

This is linked up with Lisa-Jo Baker's blog.

Friday, October 12, 2012

5 Minute Friday: Race

Race... After reflecting on this word, I realized my life is a race.  This is a revelation to me, the poster child for introverts.

I grew up with an intense love for all things horses and the Kentucky Derby as well as the other horse races for the Triple Crown were event I never missed. 

I race to finish a good book AND

Daily we have a family marathon to get the kids and my cow man husband out the door in the morning.

Maybe the RACE is just as important as the destination.

I am linking this post to Lisa-Jo Bakers blog.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Infertility after Pregancy: My Story

In August 2005 my life joyfully changed forever with the birth of our daughter.  I had a non eventful pregnancy with no trouble and had our daughter via c section, which I recovered from easily.  Three months later, I started on a journey that has also changed my life forever.  Due to scar tissue build up (referred to as adhesions) I started having pain in my left side; this led to a hysterectomy (after the birth of our son), which I though would be the end of the complications.  Unfortunately, I now have nerve problems in the incision site, and this is painful.  So, a week ago I had a procedure done by a pain management specialist; I should know in about 6 weeks if the procedure worked.  I am keeping my fingers crossed because if it works I will be able to spend a lot more time chasing around my kids!

I will never regret the decision to have the c section because it led to a healthy birth.  However, I run into pregnant women all the time who want elective c sections or think it is easier than delivering normally and I hope my story gives them pause.

If you are struggling with any type of fertility issues, check out  This is also a great parenting blog.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Essence of Now

The past few weeks of August have given us our first soccer practice and our first day of first grade.

This post is being linked up with Mama Track and My Time as Mom as part of their photography based Essence of Now link up.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Shar Dimick Book Review

Gal in the Middle and I have recently figured out how to lend ebooks to each other. Needless to say we have been like kids in a candy store.

Gal came across a book by Shar Dimick, a great new romance writer.  The book, Take a Deep Breath, is a heartwarming story about a single mom who is reunited with her old friend, Cam.  The two characters embark upon a summer romance that leads to more.....

To learn more about Shar or to download the ebook click here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beyond the Job

Last week was the local county 4-H fair.  To most people, the 4-H fair is a fun filled,family time of   4-H, animals, rides and games.  As a 4-H youth educator, the 4-H fair is part of my job responsibilities.  This means very long hours away from my kids and husband and dealing with complaints.  And this year is it was lots of complaints.

Now, to try and forget how truly mean people can be about competition, I am trying to remember the most important part of my life is beyond the job with my kids, my husband and my awesome friends and co-workers.  Oh, and maybe I can get my new hydrangea bush to survive the drought.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Goin' Hog Wild

For 4th of July, we beat the heat at the National Junior Swine Show Spectacular in Louisville.  Our daughter has been showing pigs for a few years with her older cousins, aunt and uncle, who are great with her.

Rosalind and her pig, Lucy, got tenth place in their class.  And big smiles were had by all as we watched them have a great time together.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Some Summer Reading Picks

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult was released a few months ago and is an intense story of a family trying to make decisions about their father who is unconscious.  One of the main characters is a wolf researcher; so the book is chalked full of interesting tidbits about wolves.

The Fools Gold Series by Susan Mallery is a lighthearted, funny series about a town with a man shortage. 

Love You More by Lisa Gardener is a book I recently finished and it is wonderful.  It has complex characters and a mystery that keeps you turning the pages and burning the midnight oil.

Happy Reading!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Things I Will (most likely) Never Do

1. Give up diet coke.
2.  Like the Nicholas Sparks novel Dear John. The heroine drives me crazy! (And no I have not nor ever will see the movie).
3.  Become super mom.  How do you accessorize a cape anyway?
4.  Lose my "Catholic Guilt"  (If you are Catholic you KNOW what this means.)
5.  Stop reading the hard copy version of books.  I have read a couple of books on my IPAD.   But I don't have to worry about charging my hard copy of books or dropping them in the bath tub.

Pieces of Amy Link up

Friday, May 25, 2012

My Celebration of Opportunity

This week I had the opportunity to:
1. Rejoice as our daughter won the Kindergarten reading award.
2. Laugh with my friend Gal in the Middle.( I am visiting)
3. Imagine I had my hands over my ears ( as I sing na, na, na) while my husband is complaining.
4. Enjoy my husband using my old Blackberry because his phone is pink.
I am linking up today with Pieces of Amy and Gypsy Mama

Sunday, May 20, 2012

What Consumers Should Know About Beef

It seems animal and food production are constantly in the media these days.  Usually, to announce a food borne illness.  So, as a beef producer and consumer I thought I would share some tips to in regards to beef.

1. Most food borne illness in regards to meats, such as beef, are caused by unsafe handling during preparation.  Consumers need to be certain their beef products are being cooked to the appropriate temperatures. Temperatures differ based upon what type of beef cut you are preparing.  Click here for a guideline.

2. Avoid cross contamination by washing hands in the kitchen and keeping cooked and uncooked products separate during preparation.

3. Grass Fed Vs. Grain Fed: This comes down to a personal choice.  Contrary to public perception, grain fed animals are not mistreated.  We use a combination of grain and pasture (grass) feeding for our beef.  There will be flavor differences between the two products.

4. Restaurants stating they serve "Black Angus beef"are practising false advertising.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with the beef these restaurants serve, but these restaurants are trying to confuse consumers.  There is a Certified Angus Beef (also known as CAB) program that has a rigorous flavor standards for products.  Beef products that are a part of the CAB program will be labeled as such.  Restaurants and groceries selling Certified Angus Beef also use the CAB logo on their menus and packaging.

For more information visit the USDA website.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Monday Book Mania: The Missing

Last month, I stumbled across a book by Shelley Shepard Gray.  The  book, entitled The Missing, is super!  It is an insightful combination of a mystery and Christian fiction with a little romance thrown in.  The only negative is that it is the first book of a trilogy and the next book does not come out until June.  For more information on Shelley Shepard Gray's novels click here.

Friday, May 4, 2012


I hate make- up and only wear it for work because it covers up some of my "face lines"
I love being a mommy.
I love my husband-especially when he makes sure I always have diet coke.
I have fed my kids cake for breakfast.
My BFF's have been with me through everything over the last 15 years, which is way cool.
If toys were land mines my house would have blown up 5 minutes ago.
My kids have barn shoes and non barn shoes.  (Occasionally I have to clean cow poop off the non barn shoes.)
I love romance novels but sometimes save them for the weekends so I don't stay up too late during the week.
Happy Friday!

For a few weeks now, I have been linking up with The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday's.  It is alot of fun to write about a random topic!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Preserving Memories

About 14 years ago, I fell in love with the hobby of scrapbooking.  During that time, I had been in several weddings and had pictures, wedding programs and other memorabilia I didn't  know what to do with.  So, my first scrapbook was born.  I still love scrapbooking today because I can make treasured books for my kids and remember special times in our lives. (Because I am always behind).

The page featured in this post was made with products from Creative Memories, but you can use supplies purchased from any vendor or store as long as the materials are acid free.  You can also look for products marked photo safe.

I am linking this post  up with Southern Wife and Mama and Pieces of Amy

Monday, April 16, 2012

What Every Parent Should Know

Did you know by Kindergarten children from low income families have been read to as little as 25 hours compared to the  1000 hours children from middle income families?  Did you know children that are read aloud to get a head start in language and literacy skills and start school better prepared?  Here are some things to try to help boost children's interest in reading.

1. Read aloud to your children as much as possible.

Sandra Boynton books are a great choice for kids 0-3

2. Let your children see you reading for fun. (This is my favorite one to practice!)

The "If you Give" Series is great for pre-school through 2nd grade

3. Practice the dialogic reading model with your kids.  This model encourages early readers to use the pictures to assist with words they may not be able to read yet.  And stresses that children don't have to know every word on the page. 

Fancy Nancy is wonderful!  Some of the words are very "fancy" so the series works well for several ages
4. Use programs at your local library to encourage your children to read.  We really like the summer reading program.  Also, a wonderful on-line resource is read

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goodbye on a Friday

When I was pregnant with my children, I got endless advice on what I should do as a parent.  Now our kids are 6 and 3 and I still get endless advice on being a parent.  I admit some of the parenting tips I get are very helpful others .....not so much.

No matter how much advice I have received over the last 7 years, nothing prepared me for what it is like to drop my babies off at daycare, say good bye  and head off to work. 

I think most mothers feel this way, but I have decided to look at the positives of my kids experiences in day care and school:

1. The teachers at day care have shown our kids love and children ALWAYS benefit from love.
2. Our kids have learned a ton of skills at daycare.  (sharing, cooperation, numbers, letters, etc)
3. I get to pick them up and the end of each day and say hello instead of goodbye.

I am linking this post up with The Gypsy Mama's 5 Minute Fridays.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pieces of Me

Today, I am linking up with the Just for Fun Fridays Link up Party hosted by Pieces of Amy.  For fun, I wanted to share the best pieces of my week.

1. I decided to start The Hunger Games trilogy. My husband, the "cow man", is reading them with me.  Well....actually he got ahead of me and finished the third book today.  The books are really, really good.

2. For work this week, we had over 700 third grade students participate in Ag. Days, an agricultural awareness program.  I helped with a booth about healthy eating.  (Remember research shows family that eat meals together have better health!)

3. Today, I am doing one of my favorite things with the kids.  Decorating eggs for Easter.

Have a Happy Easter.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scrapbook Organization

I use part of our dining room table for my scrapbooking area.  This is not ideal for when we need the dining room table for company, but it gives me a place to work while watching the kids play.  I am currently working on 3 projects; so the area is getting really messy.  Today, I reorganized!


Recently, I read a post by On the Banks of Squaw Creek that gave some tips on hiding things in plain site.  So, I used her tips and brought up (or rather my husband brought up) an empty cabinet from the basement ...AND TADA it is my new scrapbooking cabinet and now resides in the corner of our dining room.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Welcome to the Bunny Trail

At the Blissdom 12 conference, Hershey's asked bloggers to write about their favorite Easter traditions as part of their 2012 Bunny Trail across the country. 

So I have been thinking about what my favorite Easter traditions are.  I loves Easter mass, Easter chocolate, the spring flowers that we begin to see as Easter approaches, but my favorite tradition is dyeing eggs.  I know this may not seem very unique, but decorating eggs is what I remember most about Easter as a child.  My mom let us decorate eggs on Good Friday, and that tradition remains one of my treasured memories from my childhood.  So, I was so excited when our daughter was old enough to decorate eggs.

Where are the eggs, Mommy?

In addition to decorating eggs, we started a family egg hunt.  (My "cow man" husband plays Easter Bunny and hides the eggs.)

I hope our kids will treasure our Easter traditions as much as I have.  Happy Easter!

Friday, March 23, 2012

King Cake

This month, I joined the Iron Chef Red Star Yeast Challenge hosted by a Latte' with Ott, A.  I have always loved to bake, but I have been afraid to do much with yeast.  So, I was happy to give this a try as a learning experience.

I made King Cake, which some countries make as part of Epiphany celebrations and is also made in celebration of Madi Gras.  A King Cake often has a toy baby (to symbolize baby Jesus) or other trinket hidden somewhere.  Whoever is the first to find the trinket gets special privileges.  To make your own King Cake here is the recipe and some tips that I would suggest.

1. Combine 4 tablespoons butter and 1/2 cup of milk in a small bowl.  Microwave the mixture until the butter is melted.  (You may want to stop the microwave after 1 minute to stir and then restart it if the butter still needs to melt more.)  Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract to the melted butter and milk mixture and let cool.

2. In another small bowl, add 1 packet of Red Star Yeast and 1/2 cup of warm water.  Let the yeast mixture rest for 5 minutes.

3.In a (very) large bowl combine 5 1/4 cups of sugar with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar.  Use a whisk to combine.  Make a "well" or hole in the middle of the sugar and flour mixture and slowly add the yeast mixture into the hole.  Use a wooden spoon to fold the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients.  Add the butter/milk mixture folding again with the wooden spoon.  Lastly, you will add 3 large, beaten eggs and combine them as well.  Finally, you have your dough!

4. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 8 minutes.  (You may need to add more flour to the surface and your hands so that your dough does not become difficult to knead)  After 8 minutes, transfer to a large bowl that is well oiled.  You will cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours.  (Your dough will double in size over the 2 hours.)

See what I mean about needing a large bowl!

5. While your dough is rising, I would start on the filing for the bread.  To do this, mix 6 tablespoons of unsalted soft butter with 1 cup of dark packed brown sugar and 1 and 1/4 tablespoons of ground cinnamon.  Use a fork to blend.

6.  After your dough has risen for 2 hours, transfer it to a lightly floured surface and roll it to a rectangle that is 10 by 16 inches.  Spread the filing over the dough leaving a 1 inch strip uncovered at one of the long ends.  Beginning at the opposite end (opposite the 1 inch uncovered strip), roll jelly roll style.  Pinch the seams closed with your fingers.

7. Place the roll on a 13 by 16 inch baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Seal the ends of the ring together using water or flour.  With a knife, cut 1/2 inch slashes along the top of the ring.  Cover the roll and let it continue to rise for 45 minutes.

8. After your roll has had an additional 45 minutes to rise, bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  (To keep your ring from closing during baking, place an oven safe bowl in the center of the ring).  After 30 minutes, remove ring from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes you can insert the toy baby or trinket.  Cool the cake for another 30 minutes.

9.  The last step is to make the icing by whisking 1 cup cofectioners' sugar and  2 tablespoons of milk.  Ice the cake while it is still warm and top the cake with colored sugars.  We used purple and green because my daughter helped color the sugar.  (The purpose of the color is to hide the baby toy and color choices vary depending on if the cake is made for Madi Gras or for an Epiphany celebration).

This has been breakfast some days this week-Yummy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Another Cleaning Adventure

To motivate myself, I joined the Spring Cleaning Challenge being hosted this month by a group of bloggers.  Today, I cleaned and organized my son's room.  This was a challenge for me because he has a pup tent that he loves to play in, but there is not enough space in his bedroom for the tent to be up all the time. SO, his room has been an obstacle course of toy and tent.  I accomplished the organizing of his room by:
1. I put some of his toy boxes in his tent.  He helped select what toys he wanted in his tent. Now he has space for the tent and still has toys in his room.

2. We went through the toys in his room and are donating the toys he is no longer playing with.  This left me with an empty basket that I put the kids barn/outside shoes in which makes me sooo happy because these shoes have been piled together next to the washer and dryer.

Do you have any spring cleaning plans?

Friday, March 16, 2012

Just for Fun Fridays

Greetings Blog Hoppers from Just or Fun Fridays!  To view my favorite post click here.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Our Potty Chart

Our 6 year old daughter has had problems with her colon since she was an infant making potty training difficult especially when you combined the medical problems with stubbornness, that she of course gets from her father.  (Laugh, laugh)  We tried everything to get her potty trained.  We used one piece of candy, two pieces of candy, a potty that played music, reading books on the potty, using a timer so she would try to potty every time it went off, and so on......

I searched article after article for ideas on potty training and I finally came upon the potty chart idea and it worked well for our daughter.  So, when our little man quit using the potty for us we made him a potty chart.  Today, he filled up his first chart!

To make a chart all you need is a small sheet of poster board, a marker, and stickers.  We give him a sticker if he actually goes to the potty because we know he has a good understanding of the concept.  For younger kids, I would suggest giving stickers if they try to use the potty and work up to giving them stickers only when they go in the potty.  Maybe this idea will help other potty stressed moms!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Spring Cleaning Challenge: My Closet

We only have a few closets in our home and my husband is really anal about his closets.  So, all the "extra stuff" has ended up in my closet.  Kids clothes that are still too big, books, and items that need to go to the dry cleaner are all stacked on top of my shoes, which were miss matched and sperad all over the floor of my closet.  Today as part of the Spring Cleaning Challenge, I cleaned and organized my closet floor.  YIPPEE.

Here is my after picture.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Cleaning Challenge

I am going to be adventurous and join the Spring Cleaning Challenge.
We will see where this adventure takes me. Maybe it will take me to at least one clean closet!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday Book Mania: The Swan Thieves!

This past fall I picked up a great book by Elizabeth Kostova. It was her first book and is titled The Historian. Upon completing this book, I quickly purchased The Swan Thieves Kostova's second and most recent book.
The Swan Thieves is an awesome book that has something for everyone: Star Crossed lovers, mental illness, art, an intense look at family life and a journey across a span of several hundred years. Happy reading!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blogging...What I have learned

Yesterday I returned from BlissDom, a blogging and social networking conference. (I attended the meeting because we have blog we are doing for our office.) I had a great time at the Gaylord Opryland hotel and the conference also had LOTS of great entertainment. Most importantly,I learned many important things about maintaining and building a blog. Things I learned:
1. There are many, many lovely women who are choosing to share ideas on writing, decorating, frugal living, being a mom and several other topics.
2. Twitter should not be used for just updates on Blake Shelton and The Twilight Saga.
3. I will grow as a person if I spend more time blogging.

So, to fully benefit from the days I spent in Nashville I need to:
1. Post 1 to 2 times each week.
2. Start a Facebook page for my blog. Which I did before I wrote this post!
3. I will comment on other people's posts.
Wish me luck.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BlissDom Conference

Today I have started on a new adventure with GalintheMiddle and Going Jane. I am at the BlissDom Conference for bloggers at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. I am looking forward to learning lots of new things!