Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Treat For The Skin!

My mom recently won an assortment of bath products from the Hick Chicks Soap Barn at a homeschooling mom's party, and I have to say I am silently thanking her for it! Mrs. Dalyn's soaps smell heavenly and are so smooth on your skin. Mmm mmm good.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Courtship Stories

If you're like me, you really like hearing about love stories that, well, "start" with a happy ending. Here are a few that I've enjoyed:

~Chris and Stephanie's Full Story, told by Chris's mom. To see their story up to the engagement, check it out on their blog.
~Abigail and Taylor's Story (Abigail's younger sister, Hannah, has been my pen pal for about 6 years!)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Way Back When...

In 1908 when my father, Sumner Peter Hailey, was 17, he and his two brothers, Cecil 19 years and Homer 14 years, traveled from their parent's farm near Guild, Missouri to purchase cattle. The three traveled 271 miles by horse back, to Kansas city, Missouri. About the time the Hailey boys arrived in Kansas City, a man was robbed and murdered. There was a witness to the crime who hid under a wooden raised sidewalk. From this hiding place he could only see the killer's boots. My dad was seen in town and arrested for the murder, because the boots he wore were the same color as the man's who commited the crime. The sheriff also thought that the money my father had to purchase cattle was the stolen money.

After the arrest, Cecil and Homer got on their horses and rode back home, to tell their parents what had happened to Sumner, and to get bail money. While they were gone, a sheriff of a small town near Kansas City arrested a man for a minor crime. It ended up that he had the same boots as the murderer and the stolen money on him. The man confessed to both crimes, and my father was set free to go home.

Later in his life, he served in World War 1 and was married to my mother, Pernella "Nellie" Mitchell Hailey, and they were married for 66 years. They had four children: my sisters Thelma and Ilene, and me and my twin brother. My father lived to the age of 94, and was never arrested again.

Story by:

My Great Grandfather Mitchell Dan Hailey, as told to my grandfather, Bud Buckles.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ways to Minister to the Elderly

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27

"Wisdom is with aged men, with long life is understanding" Job 12:12 (NASB)

"Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly." Leviticus 19:32

While working at the retirement center, I met many elderly men and women. I noticed that each and every one had stories to tell, advice to give and knowledge to share. And, each and every one were touched by the smallest kind gesture, word or act. I also noticed that other young people that worked there acted as if their job, whether handling the upkeep of the lawn and gardens, serving food or wheeling a wheelchair, was the most boring and terrible job one could have. There were no smiles, cheery hellos, conversation starters or signs of respect shown. Instead, there were eye rolls, sighs and statements spoken that sounded like they could have been directed to a child who wouldn't know a bird from a fish.

To be honest, I was shocked and saddened. Who do we teenagers think we are? Certainly not smarter than these other human beings who have lived fifty, sixty years more than us? ....I hope not. Out of all the generations living right now, we are the ones that, for the most part, know the least.

You and I, as young people who are aiming to serve the Lord, let's do something a little extra to reach out. It doesn't take much; just a little time and energy. And we, the young and unmarried, seem to have much of that. Wouldn't you agree? I know that many of your families probably already do something for the elderly, but I thought that I'd post a few things that us girls could do.

1. Befriend a sweet, lonely lady you meet (either at a retirement center, or the grocery store :) and become pen-pals. If you're like me, you probably have a good assortment of them already, so you know how letter writing works. The lady I helped loved getting mail, and frequently enjoyed sending out little encouragement cards to her friends as well. Think about how appreciative someone might be if you started writing to them, asking for cooking tips, old stories and childhood memories.

2. Drop off a dessert. If you personally know the person, make sure you know if they have any dietary restrictions. Not everyone does, however, and since many facilities accept donated treats, make a few dozen cookies to drop off (of course being sure to call first).

3. Many nursing homes and retirement centers have chapel times, offered by different churches around town. If you play an instrument, and your church or homeschool group doesn't do this, why not volunteer a little of your time and play (or sing!) for the residents? At the retirement center I was at, a lady would play the piano twice a week during breakfast. Everyone enjoyed it!

4. Offer to visit a lady's home once a week or so, and bring things for manicures, card making or something else she might enjoy doing with you. If you wanted, you could even go big time and volunteer to do it for all the ladies in a retirement or senior center.

5. Have a cards night, either at your house, an elderly person's or retirement home. Many elderly people love playing cards!
And one more idea: Offer to clean once or twice a week for someone. Being young and agile, we're a much better canadite for loading the dishwasher or scrubbing out the shower than a person who has a hard time just walking. One more way to practice our "homemaker" skills!

"Give and it will be given unto you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over..." Luke 6:38

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Young Maiden's Daybook - Entry Number 9

Today... is December 22, also known as Tuesday, which is also known as the day I need to catch up on school, sweep and mop the hallways and stairs, mail cards for my grandma and write a few thank you notes.
Outside my window... I see ice, ice, ice... and a little sun peeking out of the clouds.

I am thinking... about the big box of homemade cookies and chocolates my uncle brought over yesterday. So nice!

I am thankful for... a quiet, cozy morning.

I am wearing... a tan sweater an a long, princess cut skirt. (I love skirts and dresses in princess cut!)

I am reading... So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin. That book is a God-send.

I am creating... nothing at the moment. I just finished putting a new nine patch on a quilt where the other one had ripped for an elderly lady down the street yesterday. Once we get our sewing machine fixed, I'd like to make some headway on my own!

One of my favorite things... holiday tea in the morning to calm down that screaming throat.

For education this week... the usual is in store. I've got to practice extra hard for piano, though! Fur Elise, even the simplified version, is definitely a challenging for me. A E A, E E G#...

A keeper at home skill I am using/learning... how to have patience while sewing things by hand. Ugh!

A spiritual lesson I am learning... to be kind and respectful when someone is speaking harshly or is upset at you, even when it isn't your fault.

A godly character trait I plan to work on... kindness.

Scripture I am memorizing... I've backslid on that for a few months, so this week I am reviewing the verses I had previously memorized.

I am praying for... my cousin Kimmy.

For the rest of the week... I don't have much going on. No music lessons, appointments or places to go until Sunday - my weekly shopping/coffee date with a friend down the street.

A picture I'd like to share...

My brother when he opened his gift from me for Hanukkah - a camo bear. :)

Care to participate? Do so here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Was There Advanced Technology in Past Civilizations?

"Popular culture has led us to believe that ancient man was primitive - originating from primates and steadily improving through a process of time and chance. But does that agree with reality? What does the evidence left behind from past cultures tell us? Was ancient man simple and primitive as we have been taught, or did the level of science and technology existing thousands of years ago rival, or even surpass, the level of ours today in the 20th century? ~Donald E. Chittick in The Puzzle of Ancient Man

The above book has really strengthened my faith. I began reading it a couple of weeks ago as my history curriculum, and I've really enjoyed it.

One of the main points that Dr. Chittick makes is that men did not begin living in caves and beating on their chests. Our race began with God. He formed and made us and Adam learned from Him. A little ways down the line: "His brother's name was Jubal: he was the father of all who play the harp and flute. Zillah also had a son, Tubal-Cain, who forged all kinds of tools out of bronze and iron." Genesis 4:21 and 22.
Hmmm... if a couple of men in only the fourth chapter in the beginning are creating things from brass and iron, as well as writing music and inventing musical instruments, people had to have had a high form of intellect. We know that we were created the way we are we did not evolve to the level we are at today. In The Puzzle of Ancient Man, the author gives a very convincing argument toward this end. He sites many different ancient civilizations.

When describing several wonders of the world, things that have stumped people for centuries, he has a whole different view of how they came about. He quotes respected and knowledgeable authors, professionals in those fields of study, Christian and secular. When referring to the huge, mile upon mile sketches drawn on the Nazca desert, he quotes an author,

"Regarding the methods employed, the designs of Nazca prove that their creators possessed a highly developed degree of abstract thought. The task of transferring to a desert the figure of a bird, or any other animal, is one that cannot be carried out by a mere enthusiast. It demands rather complicated geometric methods which alone can explain the extraordinary regularity and symmetry of the drawings as well as the proper proportions among their elements. It is quiet certain that the figures of Nazca were not the result of simple visual ad-hoc method."

This is one of many places that others have seen the anomaly of ancient man exhibiting technology that we never thought possible coming from those times. The tower of Babel, Stonehenge, The Incas and Mayans, the great pyramids and many other things are explained in this book.

We think we have come so far. And, really, the internet alone is an amazing thing. But, who is to say that people before us did not do equally amazing things? We have little of what was here before the flood. Imagine if today the flood happened. Everything was wiped away. Nothing was left but one family to go out and repopulate, reinvent and rebuilt. Yes, someone could have brought their lap top and ipod on board, but what if they weren't computer experts (Noah's family were carpenters, after all they spent their whole lives building an ark) and couldn't replicate them? These things would be lost. What they did have, they'd pass on to their children and their children's children, but each society would become experts at different things. "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun." Ecclesiastes 1:9

It's so easy to go with the flow and say, "Sure, I believe in Creationism." But, you need to able to defend why you believe what you do. This book is a surefire way to build your knowledge and understanding as well as increase your ability to back your stance. It's a good read.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm Back!

After a nice, long break from Mr. Time Sucker, I am happy to say that he is now sucking my time again. These last few months have been crazy busy for me, but thankfully things are slowly, but steadily, starting to slow down.

At the end of August we started back up in school, which was quickly followed by a few breaks due to the Feast of Tabernacles, among other things. In September I started taking voice and piano lessons, which have been rather challenging, but I am thankful for the opportunity to develop in the area of music. It's something I've wanted to do for a while!

For about the last two months I've been working for a lady at a retirement center down the street from our house, for about eight to ten hours a day. When she originally hired me she had recently fallen out of a van and seriously bruised herself, making it hard for her to get around. Thankfully she is now back up and going again, and doing well. While it was a struggle at first to get used to not being at home, I learned to manage the time that I had wisely to get things done when I was.
The whole "job" was rather a large blessing and answer to somewhat of an unspoken prayer. Just the week before my mom was called up about it, a friend and I were talking about how we were in a bit of a hard situation, because while we wanted to earn a little money, we didn't necessarily want to be fast food girls. I mentioned that it would be nice to learn something that I would be able to do close to my home, or if possible, right at home. Then, this temporary caregiver job was dropped in my lap, which in turn has given me the experience to possibly explore the job as one. While I don't think I would choose do a full time job like this, it is a great opportunity to be able to work for an elderly lady once or twice a week, either right down the street, or someplace else.

Something that also took place in November was an Operation Christmas Child party my mom and I put on. About ten girls came with an assortment of moms, and we surpassed our goal of twenty gift boxes by three. We were able to get a few stores to donate money to help with buying the supplies, and the rest were brought by the girls, myself and Grandma. :)

These first few weeks of December have mostly been spent getting back into the roll of things at home. Also, we are currently right in the middle of celebrating the Festival of Lights, which carries the joys of latke making, dreidle playing and gift giving. Yes, it's true. I'm glad to be back!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Comparing and Contrasting Pollyanna and Veruca Salt

Today while I was picking up the office I came across a little file of some papers I had written for school over the years. I thought you might get a kick out of this one. I remember I had just mentioned that I had finished both books when I was told I needed to have a paper about a character from each book in by lunch time. This just goes to show how spontaneous my mother is on writing assignments! ;)

Comparing and Contrasting Pollyanna and Veruca Salt

This is an essay comparing and contrasting Pollyanna, a character from Eleanor H. Porter's fiction novel Pollyana, and Veruca Salt, from the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory written by Roald Dahl.

Pollyanna Whittier is a fun-loving, orphaned, ten-year-old girl who lives with her strict aunt Polly. Pollyanna always tries to make the best of every situation and encourages others to do the same. She loves making new friends and taking in all sorts of creatures who don't have any place to stay, much to her dismay, into Aunt Polly's mansion.

Veruca Salt is a rich, spoiled brat who "needs a good spanking". She was the second winner of Mr. Willy Wonka's precious five golden tickets. And, as you can guess, got it purely from whining and screaming her father's ear off (just like she gets everything else).

Here are some of the similarities of Pollyanna and Veruca Salt. Veruca and Pollyanna both live in wealthy households; Pollyanna was adopted into the money and Veruca was simply born raking in the bucks. Bother girls have lovely, blond hair and are somewhat curious.

Though there are very few comparisons between Veruca and Pollyanna, there are many contrasts. First of all, Pollyanna is much more well behaved. In Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Veruca's "Daddy" tells the newspaper that Veruca "would lie for hours on the floor, kicking and yelling in the most disturbing way" when he would come home from work with no Golden Ticket. But when Pollyanna doesn't get something she wants, or has to do something she doesn't want to do, she doesn't throw a fit screaming and kicking on the floor. For instance, when Pollyanna found she didn't have any "looking glass" in her bedroom, she tried to make the best of things and figured that she can look at her freckles. Also, Veruca always wants everything she sees. Pollyanna is much better behaved than that. Thirdly, Pollyanna and Veruca each live in different time periods. You can tell because in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mike Teavee, another Golden Ticket finder, watches television. In the early 1900's, the setting of the book Pollyanna, there were no TVs invented yet.

As of closing, my favorite book was probably Charlie and the Chocolate factory; I think it was more exciting. But my favorite character was NOT Veruca Salt, it was Pollyanna! I love all of her Innocent, hilarious ideas. :)


Okay, so I realize I wasn't the greatest thirteen year old writer on the planet, but it was fun to look back on and remember my ideas on those two books... for the love of reading.

Friday, August 21, 2009

How To Make Your Own Herbal Tea

I love tea. I could go through the boxed tea section at the store for at least a quarter of an hour looking at this tea and that tea, matching up kinds that would taste good together, noticing one I know one of my pen-pals would love... But although I love the convenience of popping a tea bag or two into a mug with a drip of honey for an easy and soothing drink, I still have wondered what it would be like to make my own tea. I never looked into it because I thought it would be too hard and complicated, but this lady makes it look easy, showing you step by step what to do.

If you'd like to see how to make yogurt, start at the beginning of this video. If you would rather just watch the tea tutorial, skip to 8:55.

Tea making part two.

Anybody up for some pineapple coconut tea? Yum!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Got a Cold? Try Some Natural Ways To Fight It!

Sadly enough I have become one of the many people that've come down with a common cold this summer. It's kind of funny, because it seems like a lot of friends I've been emailing and chatting with on the Internet have a cold too. Guess I caught the bug off he web. (HAHAHA ahahaha...ha ha.....ahem.)

Anyway, I decided to look up some ways I can help my body fight this thing off, and here's what I found in an article off of Associated Content. It recommended all the things I've heard to do and backed them up with reasonable, well, reasons. And yes, they do work (I know from personal experience).

1. Sleep! Your body right now is in overdrive fighting off the cold and you will need extra rest. More so than normal. That extra added rest will give you a quicker recovery time. You'll be tired anyway from the cold so why not sleep?

2. Drink plenty of fluids. These fluids can include soup, water, juice (for that vitamin c we all need) or tea. No dairy here like milk. This can increase the thickness of your mucus and you do not want that. Keep glass of water always next to your bed. You will need to replenish those fluids that are lost and keep your body constantly hydrated.

3. Eat foods that are spicy! This is my personal favorite and I don't need a cold as an excuse to eat them. What does this do? This forces out the mucus which is a good thing.

4. Now this falls under the fluids category but in particular you should drink ginger tea. I'm not a big fan of it but it does work. It will calm that itchy and scratchy throat that has you up at all hours of the night which can be a nightmare to deal with. It will also help to clear out your nose. Ah relief! You can actually breathe, maybe not smell yet but that will come back in due time, I promise.

5. Eat garlic. Chop up a couple of cloves and put it in your food. If you don't like garlic, you can always take a capsule. It helps to clear things up, gets rid of fluids and is antiviral along with antibacterial. Not bad huh?


I know we have garlic and spices (which I'll put into tonight's dinner), and I think we have some ginger tea waaaay back on our tea shelf, so it looks like I'm well on my way to getting better. Sleep is of course a welcome thing too! And besides, whoever said that DayQuil was the only thing that could help ya feel better?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Wanted: Ideas For Encouraging Our Sisters In Christ

When many parents think of Girl Scouts, they imagine young girls in uniform
selling Thin Mints and Tagalong cookies – not learning about stone labyrinths,
world peace, global warming, yoga, avatars, smudging incense, Zen gardens and
feminist, communist and lesbian role models.
But that's exactly what many of
2.7 million Girl Scouts will learn about with a new curriculum called "Journeys"
released last year.
Read the rest of the article here.

How sad that this huge program with 10 million girls and adults globally is putting out this sort of propaganda! How many parents enroll their daughters in Girl Scouts, thinking that they will be learning good, wholesome life skills, then, most likely, unknowingly expose their daughters to these things?

Okay, so we realize that there is a problem. Not only with Girl Scouts, but with many worldly programs put out for girls. Let's think of some ways that we as young ladies can encourage other ladies in doing godly things, lifting each other up in the Lord, and looking to the role-models He has given us.

Here are a couple of my ideas. If you would like to comment with yours, I'd love to post them here!

- Start up a pen-palship with your friend, sending back and forth a few paragraphs on different inspirational godly ladies each month, focusing in on one godly character trait for a long period of time. Honestly tell how your last few months have been, and keep each other accountable.

- Of course every girl needs a pick-me-up now and then. Put together a small box of treats, whether treats to eat or treats for the feet, it will be sure to put a smile on her face! Tuck in a little appropriately decorated note telling them how special they are. Here is a list of encouraging Bible verses you could add in.

- Start up a group for younger girls, taking advantage of the way they look up to you, directing them to the Lord's way of life. (A great program to use is Bright Lights, which I have used successfully in the past and am currently looking into using for a group for girls I will be starting.)

- Start a Keeper's At Home Group. ~Mrs. Carrie

- "If you know any Missionaries, I really suggest starting to write them...they really enjoy that and it can be an encouragement to them when they are so far from home...we have made SO MANY NEW FRIENDS by doing that." ~Mrs. Carrie

- "reach out to neighbor girls...with the permission of your parents of course." ~Mrs. Carrie

Anyone else have thoughts they'd like to share?


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

"Enemies List" Denied

"The white house is asking to be informed about people who are speaking out about health care. Guess we don't dare disagree with the government now? Casual conversation even? This is straight from the White House blog:

"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to"

Go here to view the article." Thank you to Mother Dear for her post I borrowed. :)

Now, go here to check out the White House's response. Very interesting, I must say. Whatever happened to answering questions directly?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Promise

I really love this song by Jaci Velasquez, put out when she was sixteen years old on her album "Heavenly Place". Last night I was listening to it as I was falling asleep, and I felt such a peace knowing that God has my life in His hands, that all I have to do is trust in Him and follow His Word, and HIS wonderful plan will unfold.

~ Lord, You know my heart
And all my desires
And the secret things I'll never tell
Lord, You know them well

Though I may be young
I see and understand
That at times like sheep we go astray
And things get out of hand

So I promise to be true to You
To live my life in purity
As unto You
Waiting for the day
When I hear You say
Here is the one I have created
Just for you

Until then, O Lord
I will be content
Knowing that true love
Will come someday
It will only come from You

‘Cause I have seen the suffering
That loneliness can cause
When we choose to give our love away
Without a righteous cause

So I promise to be true to you
To live my life in purity
As unto You
Waiting for the day
When I hear You say
Here is the one I have created
Just for you ~

Monday, August 10, 2009

Alive, Well And Goin' Goin' Goin'

Busy, gotta go. Bye!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Easy Homemade Hamburger Patties

There is just something about a homemade burger, wouldn't you say? My full-to-bursting stomach definitely agrees. Tonight my whole family raved about the hamburgers for dinner, so of course I'm looking forward to using this recipe again.
2 lbs. hamburger
2 tsp. seasoning salt
2 tsp. Worshtishire sauce
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 eggs
Mix all together, mold into about 10 patty shapes and grill. Don't forget adding your fresh-from-the-garden veggies, and even, if you want to go really far, your delicious homemade buns.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Books I Recommend

Many books being put out right now that are geared towards older children and young adults alike are filled with magic, dating, the "parents are stupid" mentality, animal-human morphism (evolution, anyone?), bad language... shall I go on?

It is for this reason that my mother has searched high and low for wholesome and moral books, and even has made one of our storage rooms into a library to hold them all. To make sure the things she's bringing in are consistent with our family values, every book or series that she isn't familiar with, or isn't sure about, is first quickly run by Dad. If he thinks it might be good, it is then given to me. I read it, tell Mom my opinion, and it either goes into it's correct place in our library, or off to some needy person on Paperback Swap. This system seems to work for us, and has resulted in about six full-to-the-brim book cases of good books!

We have recommended books and gleaned from other's searches with about every family with children we have gotten to know. It's been a large blessing, and of course it's always fun to discuss a book you've read with someone else who has read it too. So, I've decided to share with you our favorites for all different ages. I've put them in categories according to approximate ages I think they're good for, for reading on your own, but play around with it a little. Many of the preteen/teen books are great as read alouds.


The Boxcar Children Series by Gertrude Chalendar Warner. About the adventures of a sibling group of four.

The Cam Jansen Series by David A. Alder. All mysteries in which a girl with a photographic memory ("Cam") solves.

The Dear America series put out by Scholastic. Fictional "diaries" of young girls in different times in America's history.

Her Magesty, Grace Jones by Jane Langton. I read this one out loud to Creative Genius who thought it was absolutely hilarious.

Clancy's Cabin by Margaret Mahy. About some siblings who get to "live" in a cabin on their own for a bit.

All books by Beverley Cleary. I used to looove these! Funny books mostly about a few different children all in the same neighborhood.

Childhood of Famous Americans published by Aladdin Books. A series about, well, famous Americans.

The Moody Family Series by Sarah Maxwell. Very encouraging books about a conservative family's every day life. Great for the whole family!


The American Adventure Series published by Barbour. Many different Christian mini series about different families "way back when".

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff. About a young girl living in the US during WW2 who learns to look at her life in a different way.

The Reel Kids Adventures by Dave Gusaveson. A series about a few missionary kids who travel around the world making videos.

The Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene and the Hardy Boy Mysteries by Franklin W. Dixon. These are ones that I've often found myself still reading at midnight! Warning: Nancy and the Hardy Boys do go on occasional dates with friends, but they are usually with other couples and there is never any infatuation talked about whatsoever, kissing, etc.

The Mandie Books by Lois Gladys Leppard. All about a Christian girl in the early 1900's.

The Cooper Kids Adventure Series by Frank Peretti. Christian mysteries that are always very interesting!

The historical character books put out by American Girl. This is a large series consisting of books about girls in the seventeen to nineteen hundreds. However, since American Girl was bought by Disney, they have put out a couple of new series which you might have to read over before putting them up for free taking (be on the lookout for feminism, etc.)

The Sugar Creek Gang series by Paul Hutchens. About a group of boys and their adventures. My eleven year old brother loves these.

Follow My Leader by James B. Garfield. A book about a boy and his transition to life not being able to see, after being blinded by a firework.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. I read this book a few months ago and found it very interesting. About a girl who gets left behind on an island by herself.

Christian Heroes: Then and Now put out by Youth With a Mission. A large series about the lives of "heroes" of our faith.

Wait For Me, Watch for Me, Eula Bee by Patricia Beatty. I cried at this book when I read it a while back! About a boy and his sister who are captured by Indians.

The Royal Diary Series published by Scholastic. You've got to kind of filter through these, as some are a bit inappropriate, but are mostly good fictional diaries "written by" young ladies who were all royal in some way or another. I really enjoyed these for a long time. I've read all the ones I could find!

Now, as you can see I'm a bit starved on high reading level, but also appropriate books. I need some thoughts on this! Anyone have any good book recommendations for young adults? I'd love to hear them! Hopefully the books I've shared will help your family. :)

Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Sixteen!

Yes, it's true. AND I was given the most thoughtful gift ever for it! For the last few weeks Mother Dear has been working on some "secret project"...
...which turned out to be a quilt with squares from special ladies I have known throughout my entire life. Pen pals, aunts, friends, my kindergarten teacher...

I feel so blessed! Thank you to all who took the time to contribute to it, and especially to my extremely creative and hard-working mother.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The weeds were taking over. No longer!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Gentlemen Are Rare...Can We Not Recognize One?

Last night my parents decided to go out for dinner. They pulled up to the restaurant they were going to eat at and my dad hopped out and opened the door for my mom. She got out, and as they started to go into the front door, a lady who worked there (apparently on her break) standing by asked them, "Was the door broken from the inside or something?" My parents had no idea what she was referring to, so they just kind of looked at her for a minute. "Oh!" she said, "You were opening the door for her! That is the sweetest thing!"
It just so happened that later that evening she was their waitress, and throughout the night doted on their every "need"; making sure their drinks were always full, giving the free bread sticks and even somehow getting their bill to an extremely low amount for what they had purchased.

All because my dad was a gentleman to his wife.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Best Chip Dip on the Planet

Last night I made this extremely delicious dip to go with our practically-free-because-of-a-deal lime corn chips. The recipe doesn't take much, but it always turns out yummy - no matter how many substitutions you have to put in!

Fiesta Dip

1 cup sour cream
1 can refried beans
1 can green chillies
1 envelope fiesta ranch dressing mix
2 cups Mexican blend (or plain cheddar) cheese
olives,tomatoes, lettuce, green onions chopped
tortilla chips

In a shallow microwave-safe dish, combine the sour cream, beans, chilies, and dip mix, along with 1 pound cooked, warm ground beef if using for a main dish.

Stir in 1 cup of cheese. Cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes and stir. Keep cooking in 2 minute intervals, stirring in between, until warm.

Stir until blended.

Sprinkle with remaining cheese and top with olives, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce if desired.

Serve with tortilla chips. Makes approximately 6-7 cups.