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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Being a Mother, by aebaby

Being a Mother

I didn’t understand real joy until I cuddled my sleeping newborn.

I didn’t understand hurt until I saw my child excluded.

I didn’t understand tired until I held my 2 month old and chased my 18 month old.

I didn’t understand true laughter until I tickled my children and heard their giggles.

I didn’t understand helpless until I couldn’t do anything to make my sick child better.

I didn’t understand patience until tantrums and rain and melting ice cream all met.

I didn’t understand fear until my son drove his big wheel in front of a car.

I didn’t understand true love until I had a child.

I love my mother but never really understood until I had my own. How do you explain to a child that the love you have is more than anything? When they worry if I will leave or if I still love them after a tantrum how do you convey the depth of love with words? I never understood what it meant to be a mom until I had my own, no one can. You cannot possibly imagine loving someone, even a spouse, the same way. As a mom you are their whole world. You help them make sense of it, guide them, care for them, nurture them and love them.

My mother never wrote a book or was given an award. She never went to Washington or starred in a movie. Never piloted a plane or made history. She is a woman who gave up a career to become a stay at home mom and be her children’s world, give her life to her family. She made sacrifices everyday, some small some big; to make sure her children had the best. My mother still puts her children and now her grandchildren first. And we share a bond of understanding that wasn’t there before because until you live it, you can’t understand a mother’s love.

My Mother, an inspiratoinal story by cozycabinmom

My Mom...definitely my inspiration in so many ways.

My Mom got pregnant and married at a very young age. She had a son. My Dad was in the military at the time. Then came me :) My Dad cheated on my Mom and finally they divorced & she re-married my step Dad when I was 4. She did not love my step dad and she told him that, but she knew he would be a good Dad to my brother and I and he was ok with that as he loved her that much. He was a very good Dad to us and took very good care of my mom, brother and I.

Along came my younger brother. My mom and step dad tried and tried to have a baby for several years and just when they quit trying....there he was lol.

My mom and dad both worked full time. Mom always fixed our meals and kept up with the housework. Then Dad decided to invest some of our $$ into a bar. Long story short, mom and Dad were working day and night and then got into the partying scene due to drinking at the bar. The fighting and cheating began and all of our money was lost...we pretty much lost everything due to my Dad's horrible business dealings and mom was fed up and left. (I was in high school by then...my senior year)

Mom moved on quickly to a guy who was a friend and an employee from the bar. I did not like him, nor did the rest of the family as we knew mom could do much better, but over time we learned to just accept him and tolerate him as my mom loved him and this is who she chose to be with. We loved her so much and didn't want to lose her or fight with her over him...so we all just put up with him lol....seriously. It was very hard to get to that point tho...but my mom loved him and we respected that and kept the peace for her sake.

My mom had a lot of friends. She was loved by so many people. She was fun and the life of the party. All my nieces and nephews were so close to her. She was either someones favorite auntie or Grandma. She was sooooooo good with all the kids!!! She was just a good good person. Her co-workers loved her. She touched so many lives in so many ways. I can't even describe to you what a great person she was. Perfect? no....but who is? lol.

Backing up a bit, after the divorce from my step dad and being in financial trouble for several years, Mom finally worked her butt off to afford a very nice home all on her own. She was so proud and had it fixed up so nice. Her and ding dong snuck off and got married too. Oy. But she was happy...and that is all that mattered. She bought herself a new car...calling it her Grammy car now that my brother had made her a Grandma x 2. She needed a nice new Grammy car.

Shortly after getting her new house and car, Mom, who was into fitness and walking, began to have shortness of breath. She kind of ignored it at first as it wasn't too bad, but I remember walking with her when I was down visiting and she was out of breath much sooner than I which was very rare and she was telling me her chest hurt off and on. We both didn't think much of it. Months passed and it was getting worse. She had gone to the doctor a few times for it but they couldn't find anything wrong. (Keep in mind she lived in a po-dunk little town) and was seeing doctors there). Mom was not feeling well and it was getting worse on a daily basis. They did find a growth on her lung but they told her it was no big deal and it was just a mass or growth that they could possibly remove. Mom became very very sick and finally went to a bigger town just an hour away to the doctor. Within a few hours, they were able to tell her she had lung cancer and was a stage 4. This was November, 2002.

She was in shock, we were in shock. We just couldn't believe it.

She began chemo. She never complained. I would go and visit her when I could and I can remember waling into her house and she had been lieing down and she came walking down the hallway....so thin...frail....and had aged considerably. I swallowed hard and just hugged her trying not to look as it I had just seen something that shocked the crap out of me....

We ran errands that weekend. I helped with the grocery shopping. We took her in to get her hair cut off as she was losing it anyways. We picked up paperwork needed in case of her death...we laid in her bed and cried and wondering...why her? She would hardly eat anything. She asked me to fix her a poached egg on toast one morning as she said her husband couldn't quite do it right...so I did and she sat and ate the whole darn thing and was bragging it up like no other. It was a weird weekend. It was like a dream. Like this wasn't real. My mom wasn't dieing. No way. I can't even describe the feeling....it wasn't real..but it was.

Mom lost her hair. She wore the cutest head band and looked so darn cute. You could tell she was embarrased, but after awhile...she didn't care. We almost lost her during a chemo treatment. The doctors had never seen someone with a reaction like that. Very scary day for her. I remember being down that weekend when she came home from the treatment. She walked thru the door and said..."I just about died today"....literally.

March 2003, I rushed down to be with Mom as she was in the hospital and not doing well. My other brother made it from Idaho and my other brother was there as he lived there. This was it.....she was really going to die...All of us still in shock and disbelief. We moved her to Hospice. What a wonderful wonderful place with such caring staff. They took good care of us and Mom. She was in hospice for a week. So tough sitting there and talking to her wondering if that was her last breath. The first few days in Hospice, Mom had us cracking up saying some silly things. I will try to attach a letter I wrote that goes into more detail about the things she was saying.

On Friday, my hubby came down. I had been staying the night at Hospice with my Mom and I was drained, exhausted, emotionally numb. I hadn't slept well and hubby told me I looked horrible and he was so worried. He was in a state of shock I guess from the condition I was in. He was very worried about me.....as I was 4 months pregnant with our first baby. We made the decision to go home as we were concerned about the baby with all the stress etc I had been under and the lack of sleep etc. It had taken it's toll but I didn't care. My focus was my Mom. She was still hanging on. The doctors had told me that when she goes...it could be peacefully or ...not...I was so afraid to see her struggle...it was something I could not bear to watch. I could also not bear to see her take her last breath. I was so afraid. I couldn't deal with it....I didn't want to see her be in distress and struggle. I had been there a week and a few days and finally decided I needed to go. It took me a long time to deal with that decision, but I was so afraid of harming the baby. To this day I struggle with the decision I made that day. I said goodbye to my momma and left for home. This was Friday afternoon. Sunday night at 7:30, the phone rang and it was my Aunt. "Your Mom passed away". I dropped the phone and........... lost it. My hero, my inspiration, my life, my mom....was gone at age 56.

Going back again a little bit, while in hospice with my Mom, when I couldn't sleep, I laid there thinking of baby names. My mom said she liked the name Ayla and she also told me I was having a girl. She was right....my little girl was born 6 months later. My mom's name was Tamara so we took the T from her name and added it to the name she liked Ayla....Welcome to the world...Baby Tiayla, September 10th, 2003.

So that is my story of my momma. Life will never ever be the same without her. I can't believe my little girl will be growing up without her Grandma here. My life and my heart have a HUGE void that cannot be described. I am still in shock and disbelief that she is gone. My mom will always be my inspiration, but I now have a new one...my daughter. She is my life and keeps me plugging along. I strive to be a good mommmy like my mom was. I have to keep "plugging" along for my daughter. My daughter coming into this world...saved my life. She helped fill a part of the void I feel for the loss of someone I loved sooooooooooooooooo much. I know without her...my life may have been a downward spiral with the death of my Mom.

This turned out way longer than I thought ....sorry....and wow...what an impact it made on me today...that was very unexpected...but it was good. A good cry is needed from time to time. Thanks for letting me share my story and I look forward to reading more from all of you. What a great post idea Kristie. Thank you :)

Here is the best mom in the world!
My momma.


Here is the beautiful rock my hubby surprised me with on Mother's Day. It sits right in front of the tree we planted.


Here is the tree we planted for Mom


I know this is extremely long.....but here is the letter I wrote, that my cousin read for me. They had a get together for my Mom that I did not attend. I had said goodbye to her once and couldn't do it again.......

THANK YOU ALL FOR COMING. I AM SORRY I AM UNABLE TO ATTEND. I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO SEE ALL OF YOU AND TO HEAR THE STORIES YOU HAVE TO TELL. PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS IS A GOOD TIME TO TELL A FUNNY STORY….OR A SPECIAL STORY….OR ANYTHING YOU WANT. IT’S OK TO LAUGH….AND IT’S OK TO CRY. JUST REMEMBER…MOM IS HERE WITH US….AND IS LISTENING….AND WATCHING….SO BE CAREFUL NOT TO TELL ANY FIBS….CUZ SHE WILL GET YA SOMEHOW!! HAHAHA!

AS YOU ALL KNOW…MY MOM WAS AN AWESOME AWESOME WOMAN!! SHE WAS A GOOD FRIEND, MOM, SISTER, DAUGHTER, WIFE, AUNT, AND GRANDMA! SHE WAS SO LOVED AND IS SO MISSED BY SO MANY.

MY MOM AND I HAVE ALWAYS HAD A WONDERFUL RELATIONSHIP….FOR THAT….I AM SO THANKFUL , SO BLESSED…..AND I HAVE NO REGRETS AS FAR AS OUR RELATIONSHIP GOES. LOSING MY MOM HAS BEEN THE HARDEST THING IN THE WORLD FOR ME. I HAVE ONLY LOST MY GRANDPA…SO I HAVE BEEN FORTUNATE TO HAVE GOTTEN THIS FAR IN LIFE W/O LOSING TOO MANY LOVED ONES. LOSING MY MOM HAS BEEN QUITE THE SHOCK FOR ME AND I AM FINDING MYSELF STRUGGLING FROM TIME TO TIME….TRYING TO DEAL WITH SUCH A LOSS. I ALSO HAVE TO REMIND MYSELF ON A DAILY BASIS….THAT LIFE DOES GO ON…AS DIFFICULT AS IT IS SOMETIMES….AND THAT I AM GOING TO BE OK. TAKING ONE DAY AT A TIME…IS ALL I CAN DO. WHAT HELPS ME GET THROUGH THE DIFFICULT TIMES IS REMEMBERING WHAT A CHARACTER SHE WAS HER LAST FEW DAYS OF LIFE. I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE A FEW OF THE FUNNY THINGS MOM SAID/DID DURING HER SHORT STAY WITH HOSPICE.

MOM WAS HAVING A DIFFICULT TIME TALKING….SHE SAYS..”WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY VOICE?” “I SOUND LIKE A RETARD”….”THE OTHER SISTER”. (SHE GOT THAT FROM SOME MOVIE SHE HAD JUST SEEN).

ONE DAY MOM SAID SHE WAS AGAIN HAVING A HARD TIME TALKING…I TOLD HER NOT TO TALK….USE SIGN LANGUAGE…SO WHAT DOES MOM DO….YEP…FLIPPED ME OFF!!

ON HER FIRST DAY IN HOSPICE….THE COOK “COOKIE” TOLD MOM…ANYTHING SHE WANTED…JUST ASK…MOM OF COURSE….REQUESTED…STRAWBERRY MARGARITA’S…..2O MINUTES LATER….MOM WAS SIPPIN DOWN…NOT ONE…BUT TWO STRAWBERRY MARGARITAS!! SHE EVEN HELPED AUNT MIDGE WITH HERS!!

ANOTHER FUNNY THING THAT HAPPENED…..COOKIE BROUGHT A FEW OF US WHO HAD SPENT THE NIGHT…FRESH BAKED CINNAMON ROLLS AND MILK. MOM KIND OF OPENED HER EYES AND COOKIE ASKED HER IF SHE NEEDED ANYTHING……COOKIE THOUGHT MOM SAID NO…BUT MOM ACTUALLY SAID A COOKIE (SHE MUST HAVE THOUGHT WE WERE EATING COOKIES) SO COOKIE LEFT THE ROOM AND MOM KIND OF GOT MAD AND SAID….”WHERE IS SHE GOING”????? COOKIE CAME BACK IN THE ROOM AN HOUR OR SO LATER AND ASKED MOM IF SHE NEEDED ANYTHING….MOM POINTED TO OUR CINNAMON ROLLS. SO COOKIE WENT AND GOT MOM A NICE WARM BUTTERY CINNAMON ROLL AND COFFEE AND SET IT DOWN BY MY MOM….MOM TAKES A LOOK AROUND THE ROOM AT ALL OF US AND SAYS…. HA HA HA HA HA!!

SHE ALSO REQUESTED A BEER AND PIZZA ONE DAY….COOKIE SAID…”ALLS I HAVE IS MILLER”….MOM SAYS…”THAT’S OK…I’M NOT FUSSY”!!!

ONE OF THE FUNNIEST THINGS…ONE OF THE NURSES AT HOSPICE WAS A GAL THAT USED TO PLAY SOFTBALL AGAINST THE TEAM MY MOM AND AUNT MIDGE PLAYED FOR….SHE WAS THE PITCHER. AUNT MIDGE ASKED MOM…”DO YOU REMEMBER THIS GAL?? “SHE USED TO STRIKE US OUT ALL THE TIME….MOM SAYS….OH YA…I REMEMBER…..AND LOOKS OVER AT THE GAL…AND SAYS…..”THAT BITCH”!! WE LAUGHED SO HARD AT THAT ONE!!!!

THESE ARE JUST A FEW OF THE THINGS MOM HAD US LAUGHING ABOUT DURING HER STAY AT HOSPICE..THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SHARE THEM WITH YOU.

MOM WAS SUCH A TROOPER THESE PAST FEW MONTHS…..SHE NEVER COMPLAINED AND SHE FOUGHT HARD TRYING TO FIGHT OFF THE CANCER. I ADMIRE HER SO MUCH FOR BEING SO STRONG…AND GIVING IT HER ALL…FIGHTING TO THE END……AND NOT ONE COMPLAINT! SHE WAS SO STRONG…..AND OF COURSE….MORE WORRIED ABOUT ALL OF US THAN SHE WAS ABOUT HERSELF…..SHE WAS A REMARKABLE WOMAN..AND I WANT NOTHING MORE IN THIS WORLD…BUT TO BE LIKE HER!! I AM SO HONORED…SO BLESSED….TO BE HER DAUGHTER.

I JUST WANT TO SAY A FEW THINGS TO SOME PEOPLE…AND THEN I WILL LET SOMEONE ELSE HAVE A TURN…..

AUNTIE MIDGE…..THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HELPING MY MOM OUT WITH SO MANY THINGS….I KNOW THIS HAS BEEN SO HARD AND SO DIFFICULT FOR YOU…BUT YOU WERE THERE TIL THE END…IT MEANS SO MUCH TO ME TO KNOW THAT YOU WERE HOLDING HER HAND AND CREATING SUCH A PEACEFUL SCENE FOR HER AS SHE LEFT US. YOUR E-MAIL DESCRIBING THIS WAS ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL . THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR STAYING THE NIGHT WITH ME AT HOSPICE…IT MEANT SO MUCH TO HAVE YOU THERE WITH ME. YOU PROMISED MY MOM YOU WOULD TAKE CARE OF THINGS…AND THAT YOU WOULD BE THERE FOR HER…AND YOU KEPT YOUR WORD TIL THE END. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

DENNIS…..THANK YOU FOR TAKING SUCH GOOD CARE OF MOM WHILE SHE WAS SICK….I KNOW THIS HAS TAKEN ITS TOLL ON YOU AS IT HAS EVERYONE ELSE….BUT YOU TOOK SUCH GOOD CARE OF HER…AND IT TRULY SHOWED HOW MUCH YOU LOVED HER THESE PAST FEW MONTHS. I KNOW IT IS DIFFICULT TO MOVE ON…BUT JUST TAKE TIME TO SIT QUIETLY THINKING OF THE TALKS YOU AND MOM HAD ABOUT WHAT SHE WANTED….AND WHAT SHE HAD HOPED FOR AS FAR AS YOUR FUTURE….THINGS WILL GET EASIER WITH TIME…..AND MOM WOULD WANT YOU TO MOVE ON…AND MAKE THE MOST OF LIFE….I KNOW SHE DISCUSSED THIS WITH YOU….I THINK WHAT MIGHT HELP YOU TO “MOVE ON”…IS TO CHERISH THE MEMORIES YOU SHARED….AND TO MAKE HER PROUD…AND TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE WISHES, HOPES AND DREAMS SHE HAD FOR YOU. MOM WILL ALWAYS BE CLOSE TO YOUR HEART…AND WILL ALWAYS BE WITH YOU NO MATTER WHAT…WHEREVER YOU GO.

DARREL AND UNCLE COON…..THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PROVIDING MOM AND DENNIS WITH MEALS WHILE SHE WAS SICK AND ALSO FOR FEEDING THE FAMILY WHILE WE WERE AT THE HOSPITAL/HOSPICE. THAT HELPED OUT MORE THAN YOU KNOW AND WAS APPRECIATED BY ALL OF US!!!

SHIRLEY (MOM #2)…YOU ARE AND WILL ALWAYS BE A VERY SPECIAL PART OF THIS FAMILY….MOM CHERISHED YOUR FRIENDSHIP VERY MUCH. THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU HAVE DONE FOR HER. I KNOW YOU ARE GONNA MISS HER LIKE CRAZY…SO IF THERE IS EVER A TIME YOU NEED TO TALK…LAUGH…CRY…YOU CALL ME!!! AND PLEASE ALWAYS REMEMBER….MOM COMPLETELY UNDERSTOOD WHY YOU COULDN’T BE HERE WHEN SHE PASSED….DO NOT EVER FEEL GUILTY ABOUT THAT!!!

NANCY O AND EVERYONE AT PP&L …THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR EVERYTHING YOU DID FOR MY MOM….ESPECIALLY PUTTING IN THE SKYLIGHT IN HER HOUSE…YOU ALL PULLED TOGETHER AND MADE THAT HAPPEN WITHIN A MATTER OF A COUPLE HOURS. THAT MEANT A LOT TO MOM….AND WAS VERY MUCH APPRECIATED. YOU ARE ALL VERY SPECIAL TO MY MOM…THANK YOU FOR TAKING CARE OF HER….LOVING HER….BEING HER FRIENDS!!!!

DYLAN….”MEMAW” LOVED YOU SO VERY MUCH AND SHE WILL BE WITH YOU ALWAYS AS YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL. YOU BROUGHT SO MUCH JOY TO HER LIFE….HER FACE LIT UP EVERY TIME YOU CAME OVER AND WHEN SHE HAD TO FILL ME IN ON ALL THE SILLY LIL THINGS YOU DID. YOU WERE AND WILL ALWAYS BE….VERY SPECIAL TO HER!!!

MOM….I LOVE AND MISS YOU SO MUCH…..PLEASE KNOW I WILL BE OK…AND I WILL MAKE YOU SO PROUD OF ME. I ONLY WISH YOU COULD HAVE BEEN HERE IN SEPTEMBER FOR THE ARRIVAL OF YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER…OR GRANDSON. AND PLEASE DON’T WORRY…WE AREN’T GOING TO NAME HIM BRUCE IF IT’S A BOY!!! HA HA!!

I MADE A PROMISE TO YOU…THAT YOUR GRANDAUGHTER…..OR GRANDSON WILL KNOW GRANDMA TAMARA AS IF YOU WERE STILL HERE….AND IT’S A PROMISE I INTEND TO KEEP. I KNOW YOU WILL BE WITH ME THROUGH EVERYTHING….AND I KNOW YOU WILL BE A GUARDIAN ANGEL FOR MY SON…OR DAUGHTER….PLEASE GUIDE ME THROUGH MOTHERHOOD….AND LET ME KNOW…WHEN I MAKE A MISTAKE…OR WHEN I DO SOMETHING GOOD!! MY HOPE….MY DREAM…IS TO BE THE BEST MOM I CAN BE….JUST AS YOU WERE TO ME!! I HOPE TO BE JUST LIKE YOU IN EVERY WAY!! YOU TOUCHED SO MANY LIVES….IN SO MANY WAYS…MORE THAN YOU WILL EVER KNOW!! I LOVE YOU MOM!!

THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR GIVING ME THIS TIME TO SPEAK. I AM TRULY SORRY AGAIN FOR NOT BEING HERE. YOU ALL HOLD SUCH A SPECIAL PLACE IN MY HEART…FOR ALL THE LOVE AND SUPPORT YOU HAVE GIVEN MY MOM OVER THE YEARS…..AND ESPECIALLY WHILE SHE WAS SICK. WE ALL LOST SOMEONE SO SPECIAL…SO DEAR TO US…..NO ONE WILL EVER BE ABLE TO REPLACE SUCH A REMARKABLE PERSON.

A true Story of Inspiration by Rockerchic

A True Story of Inspiration, My Grandmother Ruth Lusk





This newspaper article is one of my most prized posessions! I know it's a little hard to read every word of the article but, i'm just lucky I still have it. It is the true account of a tragic event that happened to my Granny, and her first family.

My Granny married a man named Ira who just finished service in WWII. They built a small house in the Tennessee Mountains, and scraped together enough money to furnish it. They were very happy with their lives. Not long after their marriage they had a little girl, Gloria Udean Ward.

When Gloria was around 18 months, Ira was starting a fire the woodstove and the stove exploded. My Granny said he was putting kerosene on hot coals. Granny got Gloria out of the house first thing and went back in to save Ira. Which she was unable to do because, he was beyond saving. When she got back out she realized Gloria had followed her back in. She went back in and got Gloria out again.

My Granny was very, very badly burned, and Gloria had inhaled a lot of smoke. They were taken to a hospital in Virginia where Gloria died that night. My Granny had no reason to live, and had given up. She lost everything in one night. The bodies of Ira and Gloria are both buried together in the same casket in the mountains. And they share a headstone.
Granny did not get to go to their burial because of the extensive surgeries she was undergoing for her burns.

After months of skin-grafting surgeries, the doctors told her not to give up. They had discovered she was pregnant! Granny had no idea she was pregnant with my aunt Johnnie. (Named Johnnie because Ira wanted their next "son" named Johnnie) Now my Granny had something to live for.

Since Johnnie's birth, Granny married my Grandfather, Fred. They had four more children. Boy, 2 girls (one is my mom), and another boy. They had four grandchildren before his death in the early eighties. My Granpa Fred died the day my mom told him she was pregnant with Kelly. Since his death they have had an additional 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren with another due next year!

Granny is 81 years old now and full of life! She loves to watch Emma for me and loves to travel and see her family. My Granny has never remarried but has lived an extremely full life. She has so much family to love and that love her too!

Whenever I feel bad or I feel like life isn't fair, I think about my Granny. I'm sure she didn't feel like life was fair to her either by taking away everything she ever loved. But just look at the beautiful family given her in return.

I know that the she will always miss her first family and her beautiful baby Gloria and nothing will ever replace that. As you know, everything happens for a reason. We can't figure these things out when they happen but one day you realize why and that brings you peace. I am glad that my Granny has a happy life now and I love her so much!

I hope that reading this story will give you the strength to get through those rough times as it does me.

Ruth Ward and Ira Ward


Gloria Udean Ward (around 18 months old).


Ruth Ward and Fred Lusk pictured below (my grandfather)



Ruth Ward Lusk (Granny Boo) Summer of 2006

Sugar Cookies by LevityinBrevity

Caption: easter cream cheese sugar cookies. (just make a runnier frosting to make the designs)

Caption: before frosting

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter -- softened
3 ounces cream cheese -- softened
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

In a large bowl combine the sugar, butter or margarine, cream cheese, salt, almond extract, vanilla and egg yolk. Blend well. Stir in the flour and mix until well blended. Chill the dough overnight. This is very important the dough is too sticky to roll out unless well chilled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough 1/3 at a time to 1/8 inch thickness, refrigerating remaining dough until ready for it. Cut into desired shapes with lightly floured cookie cutters. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Leave cookies plain for frosting or brush with slightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with candy sprinkles or colored sugar. Bake at 375 degrees F for 7 to 10 minutes or until light and golden brown. Cool cookies completely before frosting.

Chocolate Crinkles by LevityinBrevity



Chocolate crinkles.
These delicious easy mix cookies taste like sugar coated brownie bites. makes 48

INGREDIENTS:

* 3 eggs
* 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
* 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 2 teaspoons vanilla
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* sifted confectioners' sugar

PREPARATION:
In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, chocolate, oil, baking powder, and vanilla until blended. Beat in as much of the flour with the mixer as possible, then stir in the remaining flour. Cover and chill the cookie dough for 2 hours.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sifted confectioners' sugar, coating well. Place balls of cookie dough about 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets and bake in a 375° oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until crackled in appearence. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool. Sprinkle with more confectioners' sugar if desired.
Makes about 48 cookies.

Perfect Popcorn by Pink Marshmallow

Perfect Popcorn

  • 3 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
  • 1 3-quart covered saucepan
  • 2 Tbsp or more (to taste) of butter
  • Salt to taste

How to:

Heat the oil in a 3-quart saucepan on medium high heat
Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan
When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds. (Count out loud; it's fun to do with kids.) This method first heats the oil to the right temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time.
Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl. With this technique, nearly all of the kernels pop (I counted 4 unpopped kernels in my last batch), and nothing burns. If you are adding butter, you can easily melt it by placing the butter in the now empty, but hot pan. Salt to taste.

Makes 2 quarts, a nice amount for two people, or for one hungry one.

Cozy Cabin Meatloaf

Cozy Cabin Meatloaf
(sorry I don't measure)

1 lb ground beef sirloin
1 egg
1/4-1/2 cup ketchup
worcestshire sauce about 1 tblsp
garlic, salt, pepper, ital seasoning
ital. bread crumbs
parm cheese (green can)
finely chopped onions
mix together

place in baking dish an dflatten out

put deli sliced ham and mozzarella cheese inside and then fold up into a lof, making sure no ham or cheese is exposed

bake at 350* for 45 mins- 1 hour

Top with one large can of tomato sauce, parsley flakes and more mozzarella cheese. Put back in oven until cheese it melted.

Cozy Cabin Parmigiana

Cozy Cabin Chicken Parmigiana


I TOOK TWO CHICKEN BREASTS AND CUT THEM IN HALF. SEASONED WITH SALT, PEPPER AND GARLIC POWDER.

I DIPPED THEM IN A MIXTURE OF FLOUR, ITALIAN BREADCRUMBS AND PARMESAN CHEESE

THEN EGG

THEN AGAIN IN THE FLOUR, ITALIAN BREADCRUMS AND PARMESAN CHEESE MIXTURE.

I FRIED IN OIL UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN ON EACH SIDE (DO NOT COOK AT THIS POINT..JUST BROWN THEM)

I TOOK A JAR OF 4 CHEESE SPAGHETTI SAUCE AND PUT SOME ON THE BOTTOM OF A BAKING DISH.

I PLACED THE CHICKEN BREASTS ON TOP OF THE SAUCE AND THEN COVERED THEM WITH THE REST OF THE SPAGHETTI SAUCE.

I COVERED THE BAKING DISH WITH FOIL AND BAKED TIL DONE...APPROX 30-40 MINUTES. 350*

I THEN TOPPED EACH CHICKEN BREASTS WITH MOZZARELLA, PARMESAN AND PROVOLONE CHEESE. (I THREW ON SOME LEFTOVER CHEDDAR AS WELL) AND THEN PLACED UNDER THE BROILER TIL CHEESE WAS BUBBLY MELTY YUMMY.

I SERVED WITH ANGEL HAIR PASTA AND A GREEN SALAD.


Almond Danish Swirls by CozyCabinMom

Almond Danish Swirls


Ingredients:
  • 6 ounce cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, chopped fine
  • 2 8-ounce cans refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon water
Directions:

Glaze:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, almond extract, and sugar until fluffy. Fold half of the chopped almonds into the cream cheese mixture. Separate 1 can of dough and assemble into 4 rectangles. Firmly press the perforations to seal. Press or roll each piece of dough to form a 7-by-4-inch rectangle, and spread each with about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese filling to within 1/4 inch of the edges. Starting at the short end, roll each rectangle tightly into a cylinder. Repeat with the other can of dough and remaining filling.

Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while the rolls are chilling.

Remove from the refrigerator and cut each roll into 4 slices. Place 1/2 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets. In a small bowl, combine the egg white with 1 teaspoon water. Brush over the swirls. Sprinkle with the remaining chopped almonds. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until light brown.

While the swirls are baking, combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Cool the swirls for 3 minutes on wire racks placed over a sheet of waxed paper. Drizzle the icing over the warm swirls.

Yields: 32 swirls
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Inactive prep time: 33 minutes
Cook time: 18-20 minutes
Ease of preparation: moderate

How to make a Korker Bow

Basic Supplies:
-Ribbon 3/8 inch
-Wire (or 1/8 inch ribbon)
-Wire nippers
-Needle nose Pliers
-Lighter, wood burning tool, or fray check
-Barrette
-Oven
-Dowel rods (1/4 inch diameter)
-Mini clothes pins (I got mine at Hobby Lobby in the wood section for around $2.00)

1. Before you begin, preheat your oven to 250 degrees. I don't have convection, so I don't know if that makes any difference LOL!

2. I like to curl 1 yard at a time. Only 3/8 inch ribbon should be used, it gives the best look. If you only curl one yard at a time cut your dowel rods into 18 inch long pieces, that length will hold one yard PERFECTLY!

3. Be sure to wrap the dowels tightly or otherwise your ribbon won't be tightly curled. And some ribbon will naturally hold a looser curl. The pink/brown ribbon used in this Tutorial is an example, in the oven the same amount of time, just a little looser curl. And that's ok because it adds uniqueness to your korker!

4. Bake for 15-30 minutes. Keep checking on them because they may be finished before 30 minutes is up. I haven't noticed a difference in the tightness of the curl if it's kept in longer.

Tips and Tricks:
-When you've finished cutting your korker ribbon into your desired lengths, go through and seal all the ends now. It takes too much time to do each piece individually as they're cut.
-To get the stickers off your dowel rod, just bake for 10-15 minutes. When you take them out of the oven, the sticker will come right off!
-Let the ribbon cool before taking it off the dowel. You won't burn your fingers, and you won't loosen the curl.
-If you are using red, keep one dowel aside just for red. If you use it later on a lighter color, the inside of those lighter colors will have a red tint.
-Try not to use ribbon or string to tie these. It's INCREDIBLY difficult and will result in much frustration. The wire is MUCH easier to handle and control.
-Light colored ribbon has the potential to turn brown if baked too long so keep an eye on it. If this happens, just wash it and start over.
-If the dowels seem scratchy when you take the ribbon off, just take a fine grit sand paper and run it down the dowel. It may be necessary to do this after the first few bakes.

Now for the pics!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fruit! toocutebabyslings

Congrats to toocutebabyslings for winning our fruit contest. With her entry: Pear Top that she made for her daughter, but is available for special order:



How Cute!

Here are some things that you can find in her shop!



Trendy Boxy Handbag




Amy Butler Hobo Bag

Stop by and take a look at toocutebabyslings.etsy, and don't foget to click on the links over there of the other shops too!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Easy Cream Cheese Danish by Cozy Cabin Mom

Easy Cream Cheese Danish

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, diced
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons sour cream
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. Line bottom of baking pan with 1 can of crescent rolls. Pinch all seams together to seal.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, white sugar, lemon juice, vanilla extract and sour cream. Spread filling on top of rolls. Place second can of rolls on top of filling.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar, milk and butter. After Danish has cooled, drizzle with icing.

No Sew Tutu Tutorial by The Creative Princess!

First you need to decide two things:


1. Decide how full and how long you want your tutu. Depending on the size you will need anywhere from 2 yards up to 100 lol
2. Decide if you want the base to be ribbon or elastic.
Now, on we go
You will need to decide how long you want your tutu (when doing this remember that the tulle MUST be folded in half so you end up with a double layer effect and the way we knot them will affect the length if you only cut for a single layer)
~The tulle should be folded in half already, now fold in half again, and again until it looks like this


You should basically have one long skinny piece of tulle.
~Now we cut. You want the pieces to be 3-6 inches long, then just keep going down the long piece until there is no more tulle left to cut

~If you are using ribbon you will need to make two knots (I was able to measure Madison and where the ribbon met, that is where I tied it off. If you do not have a live model you will need their waist measurements. Find the mid point, say their waist is 20 inches, the mid point would be 10 so you would tie the ribbon off at five inches from each side of the mid point.) You do this so the tulle stays in place.

~Starting at one knot we will now tie the pieces on to the ribbon. You are going to do a basic loop knot so you should have one side of the tulle open

And the other side should be connected at the fold

You can either place the tulle on top or under the ribbon, I did this one under

~Place your hand through the loop part of the tulle and grab the remaining tulle and pull through

~Pull to tighten into a knot, but don't pull too hard or you will tear the tulle

~Scrunch the tulle pieces together as tight as you would like, the tighter you scrunch them the fuller the skirt

Just keep tying the tulle on until you reach the other knot. At that point if it is scrunched enough for you then you are done, if not scrunch the pieces together more and keep tying. I like to scrunch them just a little bit, that way as the girl grows the mom can undo on of the ribbon knots and unscrunch the tulle so it can grow with her.
Your finished product should look something like this


You can add to this whatever you want.

If using elastic you will need to make it a few inches smaller than the actual waste size and just sew the ends together then start applying the tulle.

*Please ignore my gnarly finger nails! lol

Pumpkin Pancake or Waffle Recipe by rockerchic.etsy!

BTW, These are the bomb with organic blueberry syrup! I'll include a recipe for orange syrup to put on them too!

Makes 10 waffles or 15 pancakes.

What you need:

2 cups all-purpose flour (or whole wheat flour)

2 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspon salt

1/2 teaspoon pumpkn pie spice (or more)

1 1/2 cups fat-free milk (or soy milk)

1 cup canned pumpkin (actually 1/2 the can)

1/2 cup refigerated or frozen egg product, thawed (I used 2 organic eggs)

2 tablespoons cooking oil (or pam)

1 recipe orange syrup (optional)

1 orange, peeled, sectioned (optional)

What you do:

Mix all the ingredients together (except oranges, and syrup). Stir well. Make sure batter is correct consistency. If you want waffles batter should be thick enough. If you want pancakes add liquid (milk, or water) to make thinner. Then cook like regular pancakes or waffles.

I made the pancake version (b/c I don't have a waffle-maker), and they turned out really good! Even the baby ate them.

Orange syrup:

In a small saucepan stir together 1 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir for 2 minutes more. Serve warm. Makes about 1 cup.

I didn't make the orange syrup so lemme know if you guys like them!

Cantonese BBQPork by busylittleelf.etsy!



Cantonese BBQ Pork

1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup dark soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dry sherry
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon ginger paste

1/2 teaspoon five spice powder

4 pound pork tenderloin

For Honey Glaze:
3 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


In a small saucepan, combine the light and dark soy sauces, honey, sugar, salt, sherry, hoisin sauce, ginger, and the five-spice powder. Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Cut the pork into strips about 2 inches wide, 7 inches long and 1 1/2 inches thick. Place in a lock-top plastic bag, add the marinade and seal closed. Massage to coat the meat fully with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days( I always marinate for the full 3 days). Bring to room temperature before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Pour boiling water into a roasting pan to a depth of 1/2 inch. Rest a cooling rack slightly larger than the pan on top of it. Drain the pork and set the strips across the rack. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the strips over and roast until browned and firm to the touch, about 15 minutes longer.( as long as your strips are 2x7x1 1/2, it really only takes this long)

FOR HONEY GLAZE: In a small bowl, mix together the honey, soy sauce and sesame oil, stirring well. Brush the strips with the glaze and roast until the edges begin to char, about 1 minute longer. Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 15 minutes, then cut the strips across the grain into thin slices. Serve warm or cold.

The Fruitiest Fruit, is a Marshmallow!! A PINK marshmallow!

Congrats to PinkMarshmallow for winning our "Fruit" Contest with her entry of the Cherry Applique Lounge Set:


Here is an applique lounge set complete with tiny coordinating mary janes :)






I mean what an adorable outfit, and idea for that matter! What expecting mother wouldn't love this as a shower gift? And what little punk princess wouldn't love wearing it??

Here are some other things that are fantastic from Pink's Etsy Shop!



Sk8er Boi and Nascar Fan Checkered Shoes


How Adorable!!! Little Lace up shoes for your little one to race off in!!!




Custom Sassy Momma Gauzey Lounge Set

These are the first of these I've seen on Etsy, and I really hope they do well for miss Pink!

Thanks for taking a look at our weekly featured artist!!!

Be sure that as you click the artists on the right of our blog, you'll be amazed at every shop you see!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

This weeks featured artist is: Jenfer78 for her entry in our PURPLE theme. This adorable outfit is perfect for that new baby girl in your life. It's a size 0-3 month with an appliqu├ęd flower. The skirt and shoes match. The purple fabric is extra soft, it feels almost like a faux suede.