Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ain't No Little Potatoes - Contest!

Tasteful Selections is having a contest that is no little potato. (If you are from the South you know that this is a big deal contest!) I was asked to participate and since they are not full yet; you can get in on this too! Here are the details.

1 Grand Prize: $500 Williams-Sonoma® Gift Card
1 First Prize: $250 Williams-Sonoma® Gift Card
3 Runner Ups: $100 Williams-Sonoma® Gift Card, each

Williams-Sonoma® is a registered trademark of Williams-Sonoma, Inc.
All rights reserved. Williams-Sonoma is not a sponsor and does not endorse this promotion.

Respond via email to moments@tastefulselections.com and provide intent to
participate, contact information, name and address of blog along with number of
followers. Act now! Contest is Limited to the first 50 participants.

  • STEP 1: Respond now. Selected participants will be notified by e-mail.
  • STEP 2: Submit an original recipe using a sample of our Tasteful Selections small
  • potatoes (provided by us).
  • STEP 3: Become one of 10 finalists & prepare a video that will be voted on by fans.

Contest Details: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. Must be a legal resident of the U.S. and must be 18 years or older to enter, 1 entry per person. Finalists selected based on recipe criteria including a) 35% for taste, b) 10% for visual appeal, c) 20% for best use of Sponsor’s ingredient, d) 15% for originality, e) 10% inspiration, and f) 10% ease of preparation. Total prizes in the amount of $1050 will be awarded to 5 top vote getters. Final winners determined by August 18, 2010. Contest sponsored by RPE, PO Box 330, Bancroft, WI 54921. Employees and immediate family members of RPE are not eligible to win. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. For complete list of terms and conditions email
moments@tastefulselections.com. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.


Monday, June 28, 2010

The Taste Of A Breadstick

There was a time when bread sticks were a centerpiece on the family table. It was a time that my Nana was still alive and we would gather every Friday night for dinner. She made homemade bread sticks that were amazing. Crunchy on the outside and melt in your mouth insides; just the right amount of butter with a hint of salt.

Every dinner started with the bread sticks being put out before the main meal was served and the family would gather around each snatching a bread stick. Then time passed by us and in a sweep of the minute hand on life's clock, Nana was suffering from Alzheimer's, the family was in chaos and the bread sticks stopped. The recipe lost when we lost her, but no family member ever lost the memory of the bread stick.

In a feeble attempt the past couple of days, I have been trying to recreate the bread stick with the hopes of once again bringing it to the table. I first ended up with something similar to those salt dough ornaments, then pretzels, next fat rolls (which oddly turned out tasting like Olive Garden's famous bread sticks...don't worry, I saved that recipe) and then finally a bread stick that turned out in flavor and texture of the ones that Nana made.

It wasn't hers though.

It was at that moment when I was facing the feeling of failure, that I realized it wasn't about the bread sticks at all. It was about her and everything we lost when her earthly life ended. It was remembering the happy memories on the farm, coming in from chasing cows and exploring woods, sitting down with the whole family to enjoy a home cooked meal together and reaching for a bread stick that was lovingly made by her hands.

As I stood there and batch after batch kneaded the dough, I thought about all the times that she so looked forward to her family coming over that she kneaded the dough for the bread sticks. I found out it is very time consuming, so it makes that single act of bread sticks with every dinner even that more special. I worried and fretted each time a pan went in the oven. What if these don't taste like hers...will I have forgotten her and that memory?

I miss the taste of that bread stick that no recipe can ever duplicate.

Picniking again

Playing around again because ya'll told me too.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Monkey...excuse me...APE business

This past weekend The Scribblers had the chance to go to a Petting Farm that boasts domestic and exotic wildlife. They went with a group and had the chance to play on massive playsets, see and pet some horses...

Quote the book "Llama Llama Mad At Momma"...I still think they were alpacas or something...
,Belly became entranced with a zebra/mule mix and it was entranced right back at the little girl in a tutu.

And then...they brought this girl out.

Don't pay attention to the smiling faces in the background, don't get caught up in the cutesy diaper...this is a wild animal.

Anyone remember this story(graphic photos..no children please)or this one?

The children were told to sit in a circle and calmly let the ape sit in their laps, don't scream and don't push it back if it pushes you.

What? Seriously? These are children who have never held an ape are supposed to know that it is not going to scare them? If this ape flips out, is that little leash going to prevent those strong hands or large teeth from permanently disfiguring a child?

This ape wildly jumped from child to child. Sometimes pushing the child's chest and sometimes jumping on their head. My children did not sit in the circle. Call me "THAT" mom, but I was not comfortable with the situation at all.

There are a lot of situations that I am "THAT" mom, not just ones that include wild animals. I think about the possibilities or things that could go wrong and its just not worth taking a chance that it might go right. I don't seriously shelter my children, but as their mom I will prevent them from blindly stepping into harm's way or being placed in harm's way by someone who thinks the situation is no big deal...it's kinda my job.

The Scribblers had come home with a standard release form. I had to sign off that they could attend and be medically treated if necessary. It didn't say anything about allowing the children to play with wild animals. I had never been to this place and did not know what kind of animals were there. I had almost considered sending them and not going myself. I trusted the other adults to watch my kids pet a horse, look at cows or get spit on by a llama/alpaca/whatever. I am not sure the other adults knew there would be an ape on a leash, but I am glad I went. If my kids had come home telling me about being allowed to handle an ape, I would have gone bananas. At their ages....it wouldn't have happened and a release form was all it took to put them in harm's way. I will be asking questions from now on that The Scribblers attend anything. What may seem like innocent fun to some can go wrong in so many ways when dealing with a "domesticated" wild animal.

Let's not forget Siegfried and Roy...weren't they professionals for many years with animals they had bottle raised; wild animals. Wild animals should not be trusted, no matter how many years they have proved themselves to be "domesticated" Allowing this ape to mingle with very small children was irresponsible at best. The "what ifs" are just not worth it.

Yes, I am THAT mom...but its my job.

Would you have signed a release form without knowing what was going to go on? Would you have been upset if you found out your child was playing with an ape?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I Can't Stop...

Perhaps an editing intervention is needed...

These horses...I couldn't stop playing with the filters. I am not sure which I like better as the original is slightly washed out and grainy due to their movement.

Went on a Picnik

One of my readers invited me to go on a "Picnik". Friday's Macro entry was a typical SOOC (straight out of camera) shot. I have no editing software other than cropping, black/white or resizing. I mentioned wishing I could play with my photos a little more and she recommended using the free Picnik. I love it. Not only could I add rounded edges (love 'em) and that neat little black (vignette) bordering, but I could wash the color out, pump the color up, etc.

I wanted to show you some of my edits. Nothing beats pictures of the kids, but I am really liking the bee with some pumped up color and a little sharpening. The baby bird melts my heart. What do you think? What type of editing do you like best? What program do you use? Any tricks you can teach me?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Macro Friday

Last week I joined with Laura at Blogging From Bolivia for her Macro-Friday carnival. There were some of the coolest entries ever as everyone focused up close and personal with their subject. Click the button above if you want to enter a Macro Photo and to see everyone else's entry.

Here is mine...
I have got to get one of those cool programs that lets me play with my photos some. *sigh*

Edited: The ladybug was crawling across a hickory chair that we have outside. It is on one of the tops of the back that is a rough cut piece of wood lacquered.

5 Question Friday

Play 5 Question Friday with Mama M at My Little Life

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Outtake & Special Guest


Real Video

New Kids On The Block

I know you just saw that title and got all excited (although you don't want to admit NKOTB love) So for those of you who enjoy that little guilty pleasure....

Are you back or are you off to see a little "Please Don't Go Girl"? It's OK, I won't judge you.

Anyways, this isn't about the pop group, it's about being the "New Kid On The Block". It is not fun to be the new kid, even if you are a mid 30s woman who should be confident and immune to that jittery "not fitting in" feeling.

After moving, we have been pretty busy with unpacking and enjoying or new home; not getting out to really meet anyone. We were invited to attend Vacation Bible School (VBS) and I eagerly accepted because we need to find a church home and I thought the girls would enjoy it. Buzz was especially excited to "go to school and make new best friend". Belly was pretty unsure about the whole business and Bitsy...well, 5 month olds don't have an opinion about much of anything that doesn't pertain to a full belly or diaper.

About 4 hours before VBS started I got to meet "Paranoid Spastic Crayon Wrangler". I didn't really know she existed in me until then. I started worrying about my late talker. Was she going to have a lot of difficulty, would someone understand her, would other kids make fun of her? I didn't worry so much about Belly because she is my fearless-open-for-anything girl. But Buzz...she is cautious, reserved and emotionally fragile.

I dropped them off and paced outside by the van, waiting for my cell to ring telling me to come back and get them, I called my mom and sister and aired my fear/concern, called my husband and may or may not have teared up about being apart from my girls. Then it was time to pick them up.

I asked Buzz's teacher, "How did she do?" and then I cringed and braced myself.

Buzz's teacher said, "She did wonderful, she is such a chatterbox!"


Then Buzz proceeded to tell me at high volume and high speed all the things she did for the next 3 hours and then all the next day and while I type this she is still talking....

So the kids are having a blast and I decided yesterday to go ahead and attend the adult classes. As I pulled up the the church that familiar feeling crept in. You know...that feeling at the start of every school year or when you moved when you found yourself looking at new faces...that one. I tried to tell myself that they were more afraid of me than I was of them, but I think that only works with snakes. The insecurity got worse and worse, I called my Mommy. She reassured me that I was wonderful and people would like me, then told me to eat my veggies and wash behind my ears.

As I slow walked across the parking lot, each step filled with dread; I remembered I hadn't had any veggies today and I was unsure of the "behind the ear" status. "Great...this could ruin everything! Then an amazing thing happened...

The most talkative, friendly girl EVER happened to be in the parking lot and spied me. She confirmed I was going to the adult class and escorted me the rest of the way. Perhaps she noticed the "I am going to bolt" look in my eyes? I turned out GREAT and I am so happy that we have gone this week. I am still going to have a V8 before I go to class again tonight...just in case.

I want to encourage you, if you have a new kid or woman show up at your neighborhood, church, school or feeding trough...go make them feel welcome. Chances are they are more afraid of you than you are of them (I still think that is for snakes) but it's hard being the "New Kids On The Block"

Until next time, my friends....I'll be "Hangin' Tough"

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dad Life - Video

Dad Life from Church on the Move on Vimeo.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Lesson Learned - Childhood

Kids have no empathy...

  1. Infants don't understand beauty sleep and that every 2 hour wake-ups are effective for making mom haggard.
  2. Toddlers don't understand that when mom is up with infant all night long, she must have 3 cups of coffee before being approached.
  3. Kids who have to take oral antibiotics don't care that they make mom do a 100 yd sprint and wrestle an alligator just to spill the required dosage and start over.
  4. Kids will slow poke everywhere except parking lots, crowded stores and across streets giving mom a heart attack.
  5. Kids will especially pull the slow walk when mom has to go to the restroom is a public place and is across the store from the needed facilities.
  6. Kids will not eat a meal that took 3 hours to prepare, but will demand a hot dog nuked in the microwave.
  7. Kids don't care that you don't have a hot dog in the house.
  8. Kids can scream for 5 hrs 27 min and 42 seconds about the no hot dog issue.
  9. After a mad dash to the grocery store for hot dogs, kids will fall asleep on the car ride home and when woken declare that they aren't hungry.
  10. Kids can not be force fed a hot dog.
What lessons have you learned about childhood?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Baby Bird Update

Momma Bird is hard at work feeding hungry mouths (Boy, do I know that feeling!)

Sadly, right after these picture was taken; Daddy Bird removed the 4th unhatched egg from the nest. I've been intently watching and photographing this family, but I was surprised to see the dynamics between Dad & Mom. While Dad removed the egg from the nest, Mom fluttered around angrily. Once it was complete, Dad and Mom flew back to the nest together and took turns sitting on the nest. When Mom wasn't on the nest, she would fly to where Dad had taken the egg and perch over the spot. It was like she hadn't given up yet. Dad would then chirp loudly and Mom would fly back and take over the nest.

Can't wait to peek on the little guys later this week!

Father's Day - Mr. Wonderful

For more contest entries and to enter your own visit My Little Life

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Birth In The Neighborhood

One of our neighbors has been expecting quadruplets for a little while and we have been anxiously awaiting their birth, hoping to get the first glimpses of the tiny babies.

*This post has been edited to show pictures of the proud momma. Pardon the quality of the pictures, but they were taken at night and the glass on the bird feeder is dirty...
Yes, Momma took up housekeeping in a bird feeder. That's how I am able to get very close to the eggs/babies without fear of disturbing them. At the time the photos of momma bird were taken, egg 4 still had not hatched but appears to have some small pressure marks on it. I will check again tomorrow to see if our 4th baby is here.Thanks for all the comments ya'll. I agree with the comments about "adorable ugliness" I just try to remember when looking at their ugly faces and scrawny bodies that one day they are going to soar. Their bright blue feathers will match the sky and their song will be heard across the field.

Three of the four emerged moments before this picture was taken and the fourth is appearing to take its sweet time. Can't wait to check in on them in a few more days to document their development.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Five Question Friday & Follow Friday

Five Question Friday can be found at My Little Life

Friday Follow can be found HERE


TT 125

Dairy Farm and Homemade Butter

We had so much fun visiting with them today and getting to sample all the cheeses. I personally can't wait to go back again!!

Macro Friday

Blogging from Bolivia has a great little photo prompt on Fridays. Macro Fridays which means you get to get up close and personal with your subject. So here is my entry...

This froggy-feeling fella might seem like a actor in Giant Mutant Frogs, but he really was tee-tiney. He is balanced on the rim of my watering bucket and wasn't too "hoppy" about me taking his picture. I "toadily" didn't care and snapped his portrait anyways.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Going To Town

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Vlogging - How To and Why

Monday, June 14, 2010

Anyone Got A Map?

My dearest Readers,

First I want to thank all of you for following along with me over the past 4 years of blogging. From my very first (and most loyal) reader, Knitter; to the hundreds of others who have joined up and laughed along with me.

Since day 1, this blog has been a way for me to journal about our kids, pregnancies, frustration with late talking children, marriage, friendships and everything in-between. I have never really had a direction in my writing, just whatever was on my heart that day. In bloggy terms this is called a "niche". A niche is a place where you belong and other than just being another "mommy blogger", I never really had a niche.

Now that our move to Crayon Ranch is complete, we (you & I) are going to be moving in a new direction and we might need a map. I have always been fascinated by farm life, homesteading and the like, but it never made much sense to do it when we lived in the city with a postage stamp sized yard. We are in wide open spaces now, my friends. A space where you have to journey into town for "provisions".

We are not going to have to buy a buckboard wagon and a team of mules, but we are going to follow the dirt road of our farming hearts. As we move into a new niche of blogging, I will still be writing about our kids, discussing late talking issues, taking care of elderly parents, doing sing-alongs and all the stuff that you are familiar with. Here are some things on the way that you and I will be doing:
  • moving into more of a vlog format
  • learning to can things (butter, veggies, fruits)
  • making our own soap and candles
  • starting a garden
  • raising a farm animal (this will be held off until fencing is in place)
  • food blogging more traditional/home cooked meals
  • and much much more
I am excited to take this journey with you and share what I am learning on my way to becoming the Ultimate Farm Woman (not to be mistaken for Pioneer Woman whose shoes are way too big for me to fill...not saying she has big feet or anything...ah...never mind!) Some of these projects will be things you can do in your own house and many of them I will be vlogging so you can watch my mistakes and learn with me.

Also during this time, because I have vowed to be open and clear with you; I will be enriching my knowledge of social media and blogging through attending conferences and working really hard to make a paycheck with my blogging. I do promise that as we transition together, that I will be no different than I was 4 years ago when I started. I will always deliver you honesty and laughter in all things.

Once again, thank you so much for coming with me in this direction. I am always open to your suggestions of things that you would like to see, get more information on, etc.

Now....BIG HUG....

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Snapshots

I've been taking so many pictures lately that I decided to throw them all in a day of the week. (If this is actually someone's carnival...I apologize and just let me know)

Anyways, enjoy the Saturday Snapshots of things we find on Crayon Ranch


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