Monday, October 27, 2014

Bye Bye 30's...Helloooooo 40's! Happy #FortyFabulous Birthday to Me!

Today I say goodbye to my 30's. My 30's was my favorite decade so far. I kind of like to think of it as the decade when "our" story began.

A few weeks after turning 30 I met my soon to be husband. Before he proposed in February of 2005, B then age 4, asked if it was okay to call him Daddy. That probably was the turning point in our relationship as I look back. B even went with him to pick out the ring. I said yes of course, after finding it in the bottom of a Walmart sack and we were married in May of 2005. In January 2007, Miss K was born. I was 32. The 4-Crows were complete.

In my 30's I said goodbye to a ten year banking career to say hello to full-time wife and mommy duty. Yes, it has been full of sacrifices, but I know in my heart that I have made the right decision with the choices we have made.

I began writing again in my 30's, I opened this blog on September 5, 2008. For eight years now I have been writing stories of living, laughing, learning and loving from our nest. I also was a founder of the blog The RHOK, a regular contributor at Oklahoma Women Bloggers, and have guest posted at several other blogs.

In my 30's, I learned just how competitive I really am. I learned that I am a coach in and out of the bleachers. I am a dance mom. I am a football/basketball mom. I am a volunteer. I learned that I have a voice that can and will make a difference.

I found a confidence somewhere in my 30's that never existed before. A confidence to stand up for what I believe in. To speak up when I feel something is not right. Sure, I still get knocked down at times, and my insecurities of my earlier years reappear. That's life. When things like this happen I just have to remember the cross. My savior went through so much more than I ever even can imagine before, during, and on the day he died on that cross. He died for me, and life beyond my 30's, 40's, 50' going to be unimaginable.

Hello 40's. I am excited to meet you. I look forward to all you have to teach me. I can't wait to embrace your decade and bring what I learn to the world around me.

Happy #FortyFabulous to me!

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Caramel Apple Popcorn

Miss K's Nutcracker program has a bake sale this weekend. Do you know how long it has been since I have been able to participate in a bake sale? Too long. Now I make, bake, and take all the time, but it's usually for teachers, friends or family. Never for kids and never for sale. School policies have ruined me.

For about a year now I have been on a huge popcorn kick. Not so much making it, but buying the flavored and eating it. But lately, I've been pinning popcorn- I even have a board called All Things Popcorn. On it is this pin, the original for the idea that is going to the bake sale this weekend- Caramel Apple Popcorn. I will tell you though, hers is much prettier than mine. Mine kind of wants to stick to the bag making it a bit cloudy. And her pictures are amazing. My kitchen lighting hates me, I had to turn my picture black and white and then bring out the green (they really aren't that fluorescent).  Kudos to, and much thanks for the idea.

So what do you need to make these fun treats? This is how I made mine. Miss K helped. It's always fun to have her in the kitchen. 

What You Need:
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn
2 10oz bags Wilton Caramel Apple Candy Melts (Walmart)
3/4 pkg Kraft Caramel Bits
Wax Paper
Bakers Twine
Paper Straws

Pop popcorn according to your corn popper's directions. Empty into a huge bowl. Be sure to get rid of the kernels. Melt the candy melts according to package directions, I used my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl. Stir well, the melts will be thick and smooth. Then pour over the popcorn and mix well using a spatula. Once mixed pour on to wax paper and spread out to cool. Sprinkle about 3/4 bag of caramel bits on top and around. 

Once cool, I broke up and took approximately 1 cup and placed in a sandwich bag, inserted a straw, shaped like a ball and tied a bow around it with bakers twine. This made 12 Caramel Apple Popcorn Sticks, and I have leftovers for the kids me to much on.

Not sure how they will do at the bake sale, surely they are worth a $1 for cuteness alone....

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Manic Drive CD Review & #Giveaway

There is nothing like a loooooong road trip over Fall Break to finally be able to get some good music bonding done! A full tank of gas, cruise control, and a paved road just calls for good tunes don't you agree? That is exactly what the kids and I did last week. One of the the CD's I threw in the travel bag was the just released album by Manic Drive- VIP. Our favorite Christian radio station loses its signal after the last hill before the toll booth on the way to Oklahoma City, I just hate when I am singing and praising and all of a sudden the beat and words fizzle out. This surely doesn't just happen to me. Does it? Anyway, the kids and I really got to jamming along with this Christian boy band. I honestly had never heard of them, but their music is fun, catchy, and I even let the kids turn up the volume a little too loud!

This is definitely an album that I want on my kids iPods. My favorite song on the album is "I Hide You Seek." 

Check out this video out of their title track, VIP.

Manic Drive has been widely known as a Canadian band who always delivers a great show, but over the past few years and project releases, they have added to their extensive touring of Canadian and US markets multiple Billboard Top 10 & 20 singles on CHR & Christian Rock Radio. Manic Drive is clearly very intentional about reaching their generation and inspiring them to pursue a deeper walk with Christ and to get involved in changing the world they are inheriting. And they are uniquely equipped to do so. The band members, all in their early-mid twenties, have made sacrifices to pursue God’s call on their lives. Their life experience, spiritual maturity and ministry have opened doors to speak into the lives of their own generation and that is perhaps the most defining characteristic of this group of guys. 

Be sure to check Manic Drive out on all their sites. This is definitely a band to follow!!

Official Website
YouTube Channel
Official Twitter
Official FB

One of my blessed readers is going to get their very own copy of this CD, who wants it? All you have to do is tell me who you will listen to this CD with. Bonus entries are available.

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Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.

Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Filling the Bus

The annual school sit and cheese pics have been brought home. The bus collages that hang in my hallway have had another picture added to it, leaving one less space to fill as my babies move up in their school years. I have been very, very vocal about how much I detest these particular pictures. This year they aren't so bad. These particular ones serve their purpose. They fill the bus windows.

This year though it hit me. 

Did you count the blank spaces left in the above picture? Go ahead. Count. FOUR left! He hasn't changed that much. Just lost his baby cheeks, added glasses for two years, and has now found contacts. His style hasn't changed much either. Hair or clothes. His face is longer, shoulders broader. And his height, that can't even be recognized in such pictures as these. He now towers over me by almost 4 inches at 6'1". He is in his first year of school ball- basketball! Obviously I am the mother of a rapidly growing man child. 

Miss K became a mini me in the past year. I blinked. Her hair isn't so curly anymore, with the help of product we can still make it pretty wavy. She is sassy and crafty. The girl can scream and throw drama like nobody's business. No one will ever mess with her. She always has to be busy. Her imagination is infinite. She is still dancing and even has a part in the upcoming South Tulsa Children's Ballet's Nutcracker performance.  I still have ten spaces to fill in her bus. I have a feeling I will earn my head of gray while filling these seats.

Like I said above, this year filling the bus seats hit me, hit me hard. The school day memories that have been made and will be made are memories to treasure forever. The education they receive now will prepare them for adulthood and for their future careers.

Education, a lot of prayer, and a solid faith in Christ our Savior.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Pumpkin Book Character Project: Birthday Elf on the Shelf

It's October and pumpkins are EVERYWHERE!!

Miss K's school decided they needed to bring pumpkins into their classroom for some reading fun. At parent/teachers conference last Tuesday I was given a sheet with the following instructions:

  • Select a book and read it together.
  • Focus your discussion on the characters in the story.
  • Pick one character and create them on a small pie size pumpkin. (the student had to be able to carry it to school)
  • Decorate it, paint it, glue things on to it, and just get creative! (Please don't carve it though.)
  • Complete the attached book report.
The pumpkin, book report, and book was all due by October 22. The students will read their stories and talk about their pumpkins October 29-31. 

We knew immediately we had to get to work, we were leaving town for Fall Break and wouldn't be back until the evening of the 19th. Our school/activity/homework schedule gets kind of crazy during the week so, with only two school days before the project was due, we knew she needed to bring it to school on the 20th. 

So what book did she choose? The Elf on the Shelf®: A Birthday Tradition. My girl is crazy about her Elf on the Shelf, and loves that she gets to pay birthday visits other than just at Christmas time. She has a special request in to Santa for Malia Peppermint Pattie to visit for ALL of our birthdays. 

Items used:
1 pie pumpkin
1 piece of red felt (arms)
2 pieces of white foam (hands and collar)
Acrylic Paints, foam brushes and cotton swabs
Pencil for drawing on details
1 piece of white card stock
1 piece of yellow scrapbook paper, cut into strips and accordion folded for hat.
Hat template
Hot Glue

As you can tell from the pictures, Miss K had very little help from me on the project. I was just the hot glue, paint corrector/mixer, and direction giver. 

Hmmm...I wonder if I will have a visitor on my 40th birthday? Only one more week!

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Friday, October 10, 2014

A Souper Recipe and PINK Hair!

Hi y'all! Yes, it's been a while since I wrote here, but no worries, I am still around. Be sure you are following me on all my other social media sites (click on the icons to the right folks) to see the snippets of what is going on in and around my nest. It's CRAZY, I tell ya. Today I have a boy with pink hair.

YES, I said PINK!!! But before I get into that story, I'm sending you all over to Oklahoma Women Bloggers. Today I am posting the following recipe. Everyone needs to make this recipe this weekend. It's Souper Comfort Food for the rainy, chilly Fall weekend we have ahead of us. Yay for Fall!!!

Now the Pink hair story.

It's #PinkOut day here in Broken Arrow. His middle school is going all out. I even heard that his National Junior Honor Society was doing some kind of contest. This is just plain awesome to raise awareness for breast cancer and any type of cancer for that matter.

I am so proud of this boy. He always has had such a fighting and supportive spirit toward any type of cancer. Today he wears a medal that he received in a 5K for a recent loved one who passed away from esophageal cancer, he even stepped out of his comfort zone and dyed his hair pink. I never thought my son would raid my closet for all of my pink gear. He did it for 5 family members in 5 years, one being his own grandfather. At 13, he gets it.

Do you Pink Out where you live? 

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