Friday, September 27, 2013

Today's Post: Foodie Friday at OkWB

Don't you wish you could scratch and sniff your computer screen sometimes? Today I am sharing a recipe for Foodie Friday at Oklahoma Women Bloggers- Betty's Heavenly Bundt Rolls. I think you will most definitely be wanting to make these "homemade rolls"! I have also included the recipe card here on my blog so you can right click print/save for future reference. Be sure to leave some comment love and let me know if you make them!

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thrift Shop Challenge: DIY Colored Christmas Platter

I have a love/hate relationship with my local Goodwill store. I love taking my stuff there. Especially if it really does give people jobs. I hate the idea that the owners are making more money than me on my donated good. I hate shopping there. Why? Because I rarely find a good bargain. When I think thrift store, I want things at garage sale prices. I mean really. Why do I want to pay $5 for a candlestick? Not the pair of candlesticks. A candlestick. I'm probably just not shopping the right thrift store. I find better bargains sometimes in the clearance aisle at Hobby Lobby to repurpose. Things that are not second hand.

This month's challenge at Oklahoma Women Bloggers was a $25 Thrift Shop Challenge. I had great aspirations. Really. I visited my Goodwill three times. NOTHING caught my eye. I am not paying $15 for a picture frame or $20 for a mirror. The clothes were horrendous. I don't need another holiday sweater. I'm pretty crafty so I went to my Pinterest boards. I guess its time to start planning for my annual A Very Pinteresting Christmas Linkup and think Christmas.

See those two glass Christmas serving platters on the bottom. One of these is going to be my thrift shop challenge. $3 baby. Should have been $1. With Christmas coming up, I love taking a dish that doubles as a hostess gift. This platter will be perfect. On Pinterest, I pinned this pin to color glass about a year ago that led nowhere. I just love when that happens. But I was determined to try it out. It called for glue. I like Mod Podge.

The Need List:

Food coloring 
Matte Mod Podge
Foam Brush
Clear Acrylic Gloss Coating (since Mod Podge is water base,  I figured you must use a seal.)

Place your glassware on the newspaper. Mix Mod Podge and food color into bowl. Doesn't take a lot. I have leftovers if anyone needs. Brush the mixture onto the glassware. I started out doing even strokes, but ended up dabbing. Since mine was a plate. I did the underside. Let dry completely then seal with the clear Acrylic Gloss Coating.

Look. It really is waterproof. 

Isn't this just lovely? I was really please with how well it turned out. It turned something very plain into something festive and fun. Quite Pinteresting and Thrifty!

Be sure to head over to OkWB and see how the others did on their challenge. 

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rufus and Ryan Go To Church! Book Review & Giveaway

Do you know a little one ages 2 to 5? Maybe even teach a group of kids this age at church? I have the perfect book for you. Rufus and Ryan Go To Church!  You can save it for Christmas, maybe even a birthday gift, or donate it to your church. This book is perfect for church nurseries and preschools!

It has even been a fun read for my 6 year old. She was able to read some of the book herself. She even got the idea that maybe she should take her American Girl Doll to church. ;-)

In Rufus and Ryan Go to Church!, four-year-old Ryan explains to his stuffed monkey, Rufus, what is happening as they attend church on Sunday morning. He lets Rufus know when it’s time to sing and to pray and to be quiet. Author Kathleen Bostrom brings a delightfully light touch to the text as she provides an introduction to an experience that most children are exposed to long before they understand why. And children everywhere will relate to the idea of explaining their surroundings to their favorite companions as they go about their daily activities.

This is just one of the first titles in a new series of inspirational books for preschoolers. Also available is Rufus and Ryan Say Their Prayers. 

Who wants their very own copy of this book? All you have to do is answer the one mandatory question in a Disqus comment below then put your entries on the Rafflecopter form. Bonus entries are available. This giveaway is open internationally!

Who will you share your copy of Rufus and Ryan Go To Church! with?

About the Rufus and Ryan
Rufus and Ryan is a new series of books for preschoolers, featuring Ryan, an energetic little boy, and his stuffed monkey Rufus. Basic Christian and church concepts serve as the foundation of the series, with an additional focus on character traits and development. The text is presented in young Ryan’s voice as he teaches Rufus about the concepts he is learning himself. Each story is about 150 words, using age-appropriate vocabulary and themes.

About the Author
Kathleen Long Bostrom is a published children’s author in both the Christian and trade markets. She has a Master’s in Christian Education and a Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching, and she has worked in children’s ministry for many years. Kathy and her husband, Greg, have three grown children and live in Illinois.

About the Illustrator
Rebecca Thornburgh began illustrating children’s books full-time in 1996 and today has almost 100 books to her name. Rebecca’s vibrant watercolors have been showcased in previous Ideals titles, including the new edition of The Story of Christmas. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and two daughters.

Rufus and Ryan Go to Church!
Written by: Kathleen Long Bostrom
Illustrated by: Rebecca Thornburgh
Publisher: Ideals Books
Board book
Available at

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


Miss K had her second first day of First Grade yesterday. Yesterday was September 23, 2013, we started school August 22, 2013. Exactly one month after school started we decided it would be in her best interest to change her classroom. This was a first time experience for me. Never in my own primary education did I have to change classes or have I had to for my son who is in seventh grade.

My baby girl was fighting me every morning, coming up with some ailment to keep her at home. She had been to see the nurse personally at least five times, resulting in coming home twice in the first week early. She also loved taking kids to the nurse. She went for her six year well child visit on September 10 and straight out told Dr. Wan that she hated school. She was bored and ready to move on. She didn't want to do ABC's, colors and sounds that was pre-k work in her opinion. WOW. Just WOW.

What was going on? After several calls to the school and discussions with my daughter, I think I figured it out. TESTING. Now don't get me wrong, testing has to be done. For now. But my daughter went to school this year with one thing in mind, to hit the ground running. She wants to write, do math and above all else READ! The busy work given to them must have not been enough. The precedence set for her of first grade was setting her up for dropout status. I had to do something. A change for her little/big spirit needed to take place. She is the child that if you give her a little chocolate syrup, she will not stop until she has the whipped cream, sprinkles, gummy bears and cherry on top! She is a leader. Always has to be doing something.

Much like ME. I do apologize teachers. No, actually I do not. And never will. She is an individual. She WILL NOT be measured up to any other child. She may not be reading at a 3rd grade level yet, but her imagination and creativity is way beyond.

If I have learned anything about this situation it is in order to be an advocate for other children, I have to be an advocate for my own. I have to watch the signs and follow my Mommy-gut. But all the while not question my child and let her sense I think something is wrong. I do have to pat myself on the back for that one. She was very surprised when I told her the news of the new classroom Sunday night.

Parents, if I can leave you with anything from my lesson in the Mommyhood this past month. Pray. Give it to God. Document. Your child's education is so important and you do have a say. Get involved. Your children are your first priority.

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just Trying to Find My Way Like in Nemo

Lately, I feel just like Nemo. Out in a big ocean. Trying to find my way. Hitting every obstacle imaginable with my 7th grader and 1st grader. Only my obstacle is parenthood, so maybe I am really like Marlin, Nemo's Daddy, and my children are Nemo and Dory. Do I sink or do I swim? I must "just keep swimming", so that my babies also know to do the same. With a new school year comes many changes. Teachers, testing, new schools, and new rules. My opinion often times doesn't matter and cannot be changed. I must not allow my children to hear my frustrations or become a victim to them. However, I am my children's advocate and I will do what is best for them. Whether it be 3 minutes between classes in middle school, a no back pack rule, or the fact that your 6yr old daughter tells her pediatrician that she is bored and doesn't want to go to school because all they do is Kindergarten work. 

Funny how an animated movie can relate so much to life isn't it? I was asked by Connect Your Home to watch and review the Blu-Ray copy of Pixar's Finding Nemo in anticipation of the release of Finding Dory. Finding Dory is an upcoming 2015 computer-animated film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and the sequel to the 2003 Pixar film Finding Nemo. Andrew Stanton, who directed the original film, will return as director.The film is scheduled to be released on November 25, 2015. It has also been confirmed that characters from the first film will appear in the sequel, including Dory, Nemo, Marlin and the Tank Gang. My family cannot wait until this long anticipated film comes out.

Connect Your Home is an award winning, authorized retailer of the top home service organizations in the nation, including: DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, ADT, HughesNet, and many more. They are a privately owned company that aspires to keep every home across the country connected, and currently service 90,000 consumers and counting.
So, if I come to you and say:

"Would somebody please just give me directions?"
Don't mock me and say in return: "Would somebody please just give me directions?"
Because "I'm serious!"
I really don't need your "Blah-blah-blah, me-me-blah! Blah-blah, blah-blah, me-me-me!"

I really am a Mom trying to find my way, with the best interest of my children at heart.

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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Story I Will Tell My Daughter About 9/11/2001

"Mommy, why are the flags like that today?" my six year old daughter asked as I was dropping her off to school. That being like this.

At half staff. They really looked so sad. I didn't have time to explain to her. Of course we were at the head of the drop off line and the school bell would ring within five minutes signaling the 758 students of her elementary school that it is time for another day of learning. 758 children that were not even alive to experience the horrific events of that September day 12 years ago. I grabbed my phone quickly though and snapped a picture. Because this afternoon, we will sit and talk about it and I will once again show her these flags along with another flag I saw on the way home from the grocery store. A flag that was flying proudly and representing our recovered country.

The story I will tell her will be this: 

September 11, 2001.
A day that will be remembered forever. The day our nation came under attack. Twelve years ago today, it seems like only yesterday. I personally knew no one in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Flight 93, that was crashed into a field. 

My baby boy, Braden, your big brother, was one day away from being nine months old. I was living with my Moma and Daddy, your PaPa and Nana, in Wilson, OK. My Moma called me that morning and said turn on the TV. I just sat there holding Braden tight, tears streaming, asking God "who, what, why" is this being done. What kind of world is Braden and my future babies going to grow up in? How can terrorist hate us so much that they are willing to commit suicide in order to kill innocent people? That was the first time I saw gasoline prices soar, the pumps said $1.85-$2.00. It was considered price gouging. Of course today a gallon of gas costs $3.39. Crazy huh?

I will also remind her of this. These lyrics by Building 429.

This world has nothing for me
This life is not my own
I know You go before me and I am not alone
This mountain rises higher
The way seems so unclear
But I know that You go with me so I will never fear
I will trust in You

Whatever will come our way
Through fire or pouring rain
We won't be shaken
No we won't be shaken

Whatever tomorrow brings
Together we'll rise and sing
That we won't be shaken

I will tell her to not be afraid. To know that God is by her side always. I will reassure her that I love her and tell her also that I do not understand senseless acts. I will say a prayer with her for protection, a prayer to be with those who continue to be haunted with the acts of that dreadful September day. A day that we will never forget. 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Double Book Review & Giveaway: Grace Unplugged & Own It

Grace Unplugged
Written by: Melody Carlson
Publisher: B&H Books
Paperback: 304 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2013

Put yourself in this scenario. You are a Christian. A singer. All of a sudden you get the opportunity to do what every girl dreams of, to be a popstar. Do you compromise your faith while in the entertainment world, or do you own it? On the other hand, you are the parent of an upcoming talented Christian individual, and you want to help influence them to make the right decisions for their life.

About Grace Unplugged the Novel
"Grace Trey is an 18 year old singer as passionate about her Christian faith as she is her phenomenal, God-given musical talent. Both traits come from her father, one hit wonder Johnny Trey who found Jesus after losing his chart success two decades ago. When Grace encounters her own music break of a lifetime, the sudden dive into the "real world" puts her deeper beliefs to the test. Pop superstardom is just within reach but appears to require some spiritual compromise. Will Grace reject her faith, or will she own it?

Grace Unplugged is based on the motion picture of the same name starring AJ Michalka (Super 8) and Kevin Pollak (A Few Good Men) with performances by award-winning artists Chris Tomlin and Jamie Grace."

After you read this book, you will definitely want to to go see the movie which releases on October 4th. Take a look at the trailer. 

My friend was able to prescreen the movie, this is what she said,

 " All I want is to raise my children up to love the Lord with all their heart, to serve Him and to follow Him. This movie would make the perfect mommy/daughter date to open up a conversation with your teen about what their hopes and dreams are for their future and what your hopes and dreams are for their future."
- Jennifer, Just Wedeminute

Not only did I get to review the novel Grace Unplugged, but also the book Own It, which actually appears and is given to the character Grace in the movie Grace Unplugged.

Own It
Written by: Hayley and Michael DiMarco
Publisher: B&H Publishing
Paperback: 192 pages
Release Date: September 1, 2013
"Own It mirrors the film by asking what it means to really “own” your personal faith rather than just automatically following in the footsteps of parents, friends, or other influencers. Best-selling authors Hayley and Michael DiMarco help readers understand what to do when faith meets real world challenges.
Without solid beliefs, poor choices are likely to follow. You must take the time to really know who you are, who you are becoming, and who God made you to be. It's your personal faith . . . own it!"

One of  my blessed readers is going to receive their very own copy of BOTH books! How cool is that? All you have to do is enter on the easy Rafflecopter entry form. There is one mandatory entry. What did you dream of being when you grew up?  Extra entries are available.

About the Grace Unplugged Author
Melody Carlson has sold more than five million books. A professional writer for twenty years, she recently received the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. Melody has two grown sons and lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.

About the Own It Authors
Hayley DiMarco is the best-selling author of more than thirty books including Dateable, Marriable, Mean Girls, and The Woman of Mystery. She has been a featured speaker at Women of Faith, Precept National Women's Conference, and MOPS Intl. among others and has consulted on the creation and enhancement of some of the largest stadium events for teens and young women in North America.

Michael DiMarco is a skillled communicator and teacher who has authored more than a dozen bestselling books including the 2010 Christian Book of the Year for Youth, B4UD8 (Before You Date). He and his wife, author Hayley DiMarco, have one daughter and live in Nashville, Tennessee. 

I am in absolute awe at the timing of this book/movie. With current song/dance controversy, more than ever it is time for us to OWN IT!

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Monday, September 9, 2013

Today's Post... at EquityLock Solutions.

I am sharing one of my family's favorite weeknight go to recipes- Frozen Burrito Casserole. My friend Aubree originally shared this recipe with me at The RHOK and I have added my own twist. Just right click on the following card and save/print. Enjoy!

You might remember me blogging EquityLock Solutions  for them a few months back. I featured a giveaway that helps ensure your success in the kitchen by safeguarding your 6 major appliances, including your refrigerator, built-in microwave, oven, dishwasher, washer, and dryer with maintenance repair or replacement using EquityLock Protector. For information on how this product can preserve your home equity and appliances, visit

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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Happy 5th Blogoversary to The 4-Crow's Blog!

Blogoversary- The yearly anniversary of someones web-log (blog).

The 4-Crow’s blog began September 5, 2008 when I began sharing stories and photos of my family, I wanted a place to write and document the happenings of my nest for my children, future grandchildren and my family that lives out of town. The 4-Crow's is the blog that tells the day to day operations of the Crow's Nest and the 4 Crow's that live/fly in and out of it constantly. Very fitting for the flittering about in 100 jillion directions during the week! Sports, volunteering, dance, work, social functions, blogging activities, and church are just a few of the many things we participate in. I hope you enjoy the stories of living, laughing, learning and loving from my nest.

The 4-Crow’s has grown steadily as an influential resource for its readers and continues to reach new followers each month. I love sharing recipes, crafts, photo love and of course many stories of life, laughter, learning, and love. I also offer reviews/giveaways of items such as books, movies, clothing and products that my family personally uses and that I recommend to our friends and audience. I absolutely love family and love introducing family friendly brands to my readers.

Random Facts: 
628 blog posts in 5 years. Wow!
Facebook Page Fans: 566
Twitter Followers @The4Crows: 1329
Pinterest Followers: 756
Google + Followers: 145
Instagram Followers: 230
Bloglovin Followers: 65
Alexa Rank: 2,804,806  Traffic Rank in US: 545,231
Monthly Page Views (Blogger): 8,741
Unique Monthly Visitors (Google Analytics): 549
Google PR: 2

I hope you enjoy reading about us and everything we do and offer! Be sure to join in on the fun happenings we do such as giveaways, Elf on the Shelf linkups and A Very Pinteresting Christmas linkups. You will want to make sure you follow us on all of our sites to stay posted and up to date!

Thank you all for making my blog what it is today!

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

My Pickup Lane Woes

One time. Just one time. I would like to have a friendly police officer ride shotgun with me during my afternoon pickup kid duty. He/she would be very helpful I think. Not only would they be able to answer my phone when it rings, return my text messages, check my three email accounts, two Facebook accounts, Twitter, but I think they could even possibly retrieve the pacifier that Baby Blue has somehow managed to wedge in between his car seat and the seat of car and then stick it back into his mouth. While doing all this for me, I am sure they would also like to observe the inappropriate drivers who are also in the pickup lane who do not have a police officer next to them who insist on doing all of the above activities themselves from the driver’s seat, in addition to cussing, screaming, flying fingers and causing near head on collisions because of their impatience to wait in a backed up school zone for 20 minutes.

Seriously. I would not ask the police officer to do anything but observe the other pickup lane drivers, oh and maybe retrieve that pacifier.

This is what I see day in and day out.  According to the police it is legal. You can pass a stopped car in a non passing zone if it is safe to proceed. Evidently even in a school zone. The cars who are at a stop on a two lane road are at fault and are the ones who can be ticketed. Even though we cannot go anywhere. Obviously our city/county road in front of the school needs to be widened and possible signs put at the end of each mile section that warn motorist that there will be slow downs between 3:20-4:10 pm each day.
Last week while in the pick up lane I had this happen and posted this on my Facebook when I got home.  “Just a big #blessyourheart to the lady behind me who couldn't wait to get to Dollar General. She was so mad at me because I refused to block their drive and a cross street to allow her to turn in. So mad that she cut across the grass.” I really don’t think she needed to buy toilet paper, but rather turn around and go the opposite direction.  By the way, it is illegal for a car to blog a private drive and cross street. I was just following what I learned in drivers ed.

I have friends, other parents,  who are constantly talking about these issues. One was almost hit in the school parking lot by another parent and warned by a teacher that the driver was mad. The other wrote this “Nothing makes my blood BOIL more than the selfish jerks that speed down the WRONG SIDE OF THE STREET in a SCHOOL ZONE because they can't be bothered to be patient. I know getting stuck behind a carpool line sucks, I get it. But Lord help me if you mow down a kid in your haste.” T.W.

I am told that I am an activist for children. However I am not going to feel like an activist when a child is injured or killed in this area or even involved in a vehicle accident. Yes, we know that the police are aware of the congestion problems. But where do we and when do we take action? Would an officer like to take that ride with me one afternoon?

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