Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I am wondering if you gals know what the above pictures actually are.  In order, from left to right, they are a weed eater, a power blower and an edger.  That is all you want to know about these three items.  Period.

There is a thing that will happen with all men, if you aren't careful.  Whatever you learn to use, to operate or to handle, they will let you.  Unless you totally love yard work, I suggest you NEVER, EVER, EVER learn to even hold one of these things, let alone learn how to use one proficiently!  Men will have you out in the yard doing a man's job.  Tell your husband you are scared you will cut your foot off or any excuse not to use one of these guy things! 

When you are newly married, you want to try and impress your husband by learning to do everything to keep your house looking great.  DO NOT go there!  After the new wears off  and the honeymoon is over, you will be stuck with the yard work for the rest of your life.  I learned this 30 years ago (our 30th wedding anniversary is January 3rd).  I suggested that I could mow the yard.  Back then, it was a small yard with a push mower.  It was exercise and I really didn't mind helping out on occasion.  Well, 30 years later I am riding a Kubota tractor with a 6' mower and it takes me about 5 hours a week to get the "yard" mowed.  Fortunately, I realized after volunteering to mow, that I should NEVER, EVER, EVER learn to use anything else that was related to yard work!  If I did, he would have me using it from then on!

So, act like a lady, a sissy or whatever you must - but don't learn to use guy toys.  Leave that to the guys and you handle the inside of the house, the laundry, the kids, the cooking and all those other things a good wife would do! ha  Leave the outside to the hubby. 

Have a Blessed day (in the cool house)!

Monday, December 28, 2009

One Simple Act

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time.  Simple reading but profound advice.  It is a book that one chapter a day would be wonderful reading, but once you start reading it, you may not can put it down.  It only has 207 pages and would be a wonderful way to start your New Year.  If only everyone in our world could follow these concepts, life would be so much better.  To give you a feel for what is in store when you read, I am including the Ten Rules for Happier Living.  The author states that she wished she knew who penned these rules, but I will give her all the credit for them.  If you have never read her books, she writes about knitting groups and the things that go on in the groups lives.  Cute books and so enjoyable.  This book is different though and it helps you understand why her other books are so wholesome to read.  Here they are -

Ten Rules for Happier Living
1.    Give something away - no strings attached.
2.    Do a kindness - and forget it.
3.    Spend a few minutes with the aged - their experience is priceless guidance.
4.    Look intently into the face of a baby - and marvel.
5.    Laugh often - it's life's lubricant.
6.    Give thanks - a thousand times a day is not enough.
7.    Pray - or you will lose the way.
8.    Work - with vim and vigor.
9.    Plan as though you'll live forever - because you will.
10.  Live as though you'll die tomorrow - because you will, on some tomorrow.

You might want to post these on your refrigerator to remind you to do "One Simple Act" each day.
Love you, hope you have a wonderful New Year and a Blessed day!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

FYI - Fudge Recipe

I know that you all are aware that my favorite cookbook is "Keep Your Fork Cookbook" (could someone tell me how to underline something on here?) and that Whitney sells them in her store.  Well I have to warn you before you try this......the first candy recipe in the book is for fudge.  It doesn't call for any milk like the recipe on the marshmallow creme jar does.  Basically it is the same recipe with a few changes in amounts all except for the lack of milk.  So I have made many fudge recipes in my life, but that one turned out to be more like concrete and mortar!  It called to cook it twice as long as the one on the jar.  I think the combination of over cooking and I hope an ingredient missing from the recipe made for something that had to be thrown away!  ha  I am giving you fair warning......don't try it.  You won't be happy.  Fortunately for me, I was a little leary of this recipe to begin with so I didn't waste my pecans.  I think I will go back to my microwave recipe.  Very simple and yummy!

So the lesson learned matter if you have been cooking for 2 years or 40 years, they all don't turn out right.  I crossed that recipe off with a big X in the book so I would never make that mistake again.  Laugh about it and try another recipe for whatever it is that you thought might be good and wasn't.  One day you will land on a good one and you won't have to look any further. 

Got to go back and make the microwave kind - only takes 5 minutes!  Got the Sunday School Class party tomorrow night at my house!

Here is the tried and true recipe for fudge:

3 cups milk chocolate morsels
1 - 14 oz can Eagle Brand milk
1/4 cup margarine, cut into pieces

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart glass bowl.  Microwave chocolate mixture at Medium power (50%) for 5 minutes stirring at 1 1/2 minute intervals.  Pour into greased 8 inch square dish.  Cover and chill 8 hours.  Cut into squares.  Store in refrigerator.

Merry Christmas and have a Blessed day!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Surprise Ending

Ok, I know my blog is suppose to be advice that you gal's might use in the future, but just a quick question. Am I doing something wrong? My favorite's list is not updating lately. That is SOOOOO aggravating! Any suggestions on what I might do to change that? I will come up with motherly advice later.

Christmas is really keeping me hopping. As usual, everyone wants a house drawn at Christmas time. I guess they think they need the house plan now in order to start the house in spring. Well, with that kind of logic, it makes me busy when I had rather be doing Christmas cooking, decorating, shopping, etc. Guess I shouldn't complain since it allows me to pay for all of the above things, but I am complaining anyway. And, to add to the stress a little, my "daughter-in-law" (by Whitney's marriage....ha) is about to have a baby! That means every Kelly in Carlisle will be going to Dallas when that happens so I volunteered to run Park Street Market while they are away. I have to keep my life in total organized order right now. Prioritze is the key word here. So, if you need something from Park Street Market, I will be coming back to t-town on the 23rd (night) and will be more than happy to have it wrapped and ready for Christmas Eve for you. Just let me or Whitney know.

And one other thing, Whitney is taking custom orders at this late date for frames and crosses. "Of course, mother can get that for you." I have nothing else to do! ha  This reminds me of middle school and high school phone calls. So and so forgot to bring cups for his project so I thought you could bring some to the school for him. Or, Katie left her homework at home, could you go get it for her. They always leave their front door open. Or, Megan is sick and needs a ride home. Could you come take her? Girls, do you remember those days? haha I wouldn't change one thing about them. I loved having a multitude of children. Mrs. Cook knew if anyone needed to go home during the day, just to call me. ha Love you girls!  That reminded me of this picture.  Have fun looking at how you have grown.  The big round eyes belong to my darling! hahahaha

I can't wait to see Mr. Baby Spingola! 
Have a Merry Christmas and a Blessed day!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keeping Up With You Girls!

Can't let you girls out do me on posting your Christmas decorating pictures!   Why do the pictures NEVER look as good as the real thing when it comes to Christmas decorations?  My fireplace looks the best it has ever looked but you can't tell it from the pictures.  I bought some new cedar garland last year on sale and it is absolutely gorgeous on the mantle.  The two outside houses were from Pottery Barn last year and the church in the middle is from Target.  You can't tell they weren't all meant to be together and there was certainly a cost difference. In case you can't tell, they have glittery rooftops, and then there are glittery swags draped in the garland and glitter reindeer and sleigh from Frontgate catalogue last year after they did their markdowns.  Sorry you can't get the real effect from this picture.  The picture below is a close up of my coffee table keeping the woodsy theme going.  Looks like I went out and collected berries for the season.  Wrong! ha

And the picture on the left is a larger view of the same coffee table with the tree in the background.  For those of you who have never been to my house, the tree is on a rolling base and we wheel it into a Christmas tree closet every year after the season is over - fully decorated.  Saves a lot of time each year, but I dread when the lights quite working.  All those ornaments are wired on tight for the 25' trip they take twice a year - once in and once out.  Below is another view of the living area.  This year I had the decorators put a few santas in the transoms. 

On the right is a picture of my staircase.  Each year we do something different with it.  This year it had to have the stockings hang there since I went woodsy on the fireplace - all those red and green stockings did NOT fit in.  We did add the fruit to the garlands at the bottom of the stairs.  Another neat trick is all of the lights come on with remote controls on the stairs and on the mantle.  Below is the arrangement on the dining table - all kinds of things going on there - even Pottery Barn ornaments hanging from the branches.

And last but not least, our island with a collection of large to small nutcrackers.  Note the Christmas trees on top of the candle holders.  Now that was different! 

The fun thing about doing all of this is to put away your everyday things into a closet or maybe the storage containers that the Christmas things came out of.  When Christmas is over, they seem new again.  Hope you enjoy decorating your house as much as I do.
Merry Christmas and have a Blessed day!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Making Something Special Out of Something Not So Special

Well that picture turned out really small! ha  Oh well, consider the source and read on.  I hate gift cards.  They are so impersonal and seem to say you didn't want to take the time or effort it takes to buy a gift for that person.  Ok, I know that it is better to let the person get something they really want or need rather than have to return all those unwanted gifts and have them feeling guilty about returning the gift you selected for them, but still.....I hate them.  My sister always wants a gift card.  She doesn't have lots of disposable income and the gift card allows her to shop after Christmas and that is fun for her.  So......I tried to think of a way to make this interesting and special and I came up with what I think is a neat idea that you might want to use with your friends and family.

I found these gift card ornaments at Wal-Mart.  You insert the gift card in the ornament to make it a little more special.  But, I am taking it one step further.  There will be 8 people at the Christmas where I am using these.  I will be purchasing at one of the local banks 7 Visa gift cards valued at $25 and one at $50.  I chose to have all the ornaments alike so no one can accuse me of cheating.  I will insert the gift cards, hang them on the tree and on the night we open our gifts, each person there (including myself) will go to the tree and select the gift card ornament they want.  Of course, I will take the last remaining one so once again they can't say it was rigged in case I win!  We will take turns opening the ornament and the surprise will be which one of us will get the $50 gift card instead of the $25 one.  It will be like my own lottery! ha  Oops!  I guess Whitney is in on my secret now - so please don't let the cat out of the bag Whit!  I think this will liven the night up a little and make the gift cards just a little more special.
Moral of the story:  You can always take a bad thing to you and figure out a way to work with it and make it not so bad - maybe even make it something that you like and will become a family tradition! 
Merry Christmas and happy shopping!
Have a Blessed day.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Start Today or It Won't Ever Happen

Everyone has posted what they are thankful for and the picture above is one of my great thanks. If you haven't met this group of gals, you are missing out on a blessing. They have been friends since elementary school and upon graduation from high school, they made a vow to stay close. For those of you that have been out of school for a few years or more, you know how hard it is to stay close to those friends you had in school. Friends from school move, start new lives and new families and become busy and old friends seem to take second place. And, that is understandable, but this group, known as the Fab Five, have kept their vow and have stayed very close. I am thankful for that.
There is another reason I am so thankful for them and that is really what prompted this blog - they all lead successful lives. It has come to my attention in the past few months how lives can change and women can be left on their own to support themselves. My 81 year old mother who never worked outside the home, always taught me that you need to have a career to fall back on. You never know when your life's road may take a detour and you are left to make a living for yourself. Girl's.......get an education and/or a career that trains you in something where if you are left to support yourself, you can. I will never regret quitting my job to be a stay at home mom when Whitney was born and I think if you can afford to do that, it is a blessing, but after she got started in school, the Lord blessed me with a job where I could stay at home and work and earn a great living. It started slowly and blossomed into a career where I could support myself should I ever have to. Besides the money, it is rewarding to feel you have accomplished something in your life. So, if you are out there and lack direction in your life, think about what you love to do or would love to learn to do and take a baby step toward accomplishing that goal. Start maybe by taking a class in a local college. You can do it! I have faith in you and you should too! You don't have to accomplish this overnight, but if you don't start today working on it, you will never get there.
Thanks Fab Five for the inspiration you are to those of us who know you. I love you all.
Have a Blessed day!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spero's Dressing Recipe

I know you are either too young to remember or never even heard of Spero's Restaurant in Texarkana, Ar, but they had a salad dressing to die for. Gary would go there just to put the dressing on Captain's Wafers and eat that until he ran out of crackers in the little plastic baskets. Who cared what food they served! He wanted the appetizer! ha Today I opened the Texarkana Gazette to see the Holiday Cookbook (a yearly thing they publish right before the holidays). The first recipe I see is for Spero's Dressing! That perked my day up! The restaurant has long closed so I guess now the recipe can be shared. It is very close to our favorite dressing at Park Place Restaurant. I thought I would share it with you. Beware tho - if you make it and start eating it with captain's wafer crackers, it is VERY addicting. Who cares about using it on a salad! That might be too nutritious! ha

Spero's Dressing

1 large jar of mayonnaise

1 small onion

2 boiled eggs

1 T paprika

1 T garlic powder

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree to desired consistency.

Now, does anyone have Park Place Restaurant's salad dressing recipe! ha
Have a Blessed day!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Popcorn and Christmas

Doesn't this popcorn look yummy! I can just smell it popping right now. I thought I would share something I did the first Christmas Gary and I were together, which means this Christmas will be 30 years ago that this happened. You see, Gary and I got married on January 3, 1980 so our first Christmas tree together was right before our wedding. We had bought our first house on Elizabeth Street in Texarkana, Texas and had moved in our things about a month before we got married. I remember sitting on our dark brown leather batchelor pad sofa and making a real mess that turned out to look like this.......

I sat there stringing popcorn for several nights. You use a strong thread...maybe a couple of strands doubled and knotted. The real hint is.......after Christmas is it in a ziploc bag in the freezer. It is still as white as 30 years ago!!! I must admit I haven't used it for 6 years...since I had my tree professionally decorated, but I still have the popcorn in the freezer. (For those of you that don't know me really well and haven't been to see my house, I have a Christmas closet. My tree is mounted on a frame with rollers and I roll my fully decorated tree in and out of the Christmas closet. No more stringing lights and hanging ornaments. People that know my house and show it to others at parties and showers always open that closet to show it off. :) This was a must when I designed our house.) Anyway, if you like the old fashion tree and thought stringing real popcorn takes too long to use for just one year, now you know. Go for it! Makes a great memory for years to come.
Have a Blessed day!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Random Bits of Advice

This blog will be random pieces of advice from "Mom". It is actually advice in reverse of what I was thinking about doing since the pictures loaded in reverse of how I wanted them. Oh well, just be glad I have some pictures - period! This first picture is something I think every bride should have and more importantly, every bride should use! I got mine for a wedding gift 29, almost 30, years ago. It was one of the most expensive gifts I received. I always loved baking desserts so I have used it so many times. I believe in having pretty things and using them. Don't store your beautiful serving pieces for special occasions. Use them in your normal, everyday life. And while I am on this picture - LEARN TO MAKE A THREE LAYER CAKE WITH ICING ALL OVER! Believe me, the first ones won't be beautiful and even today some of mine fall in the middle or look flat, but everyone loves a homemade cake served on a pedestal cake plate. You might surprise yourself and your hubby! Go for it!! The next picture is my new favorite storage container. It's for cereal and came from Bed, Bath and Beyond, but you can but them anywhere now. This one happens to be $9.99 and holds a large box of cereal. You can see through it so you know when you need to buy more and it has an idention for easy handling. The snap top lids are what I like the best. I have several sizes for storage. They really are easy to use.
This last picture is one I took while Whitney was returning some unused tile in Little Rock last weekend. I decided to wait in the car and saw this beautiful scene so I took a picture. I love fall and the beautiful colors that comes with it. The reason I am including this though is because November and February are the months that it is safe to prune your trees (if you have some.) That is when the sap is rising and falling. If you know me, you know I am not a big yard person, other than riding on the tractor to mow, but this is something I have heard all my life. So, if you have those low limbs that bother you when you mow, now is the time to do something about them.
Now those were some really random bits of knowledge! ha You never know where my brain might take you. Hope you can learn a little bit from each blog. It might not be something you use today, but maybe one day it will come in handy.
Have a Blessed day!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Value of Herbs

The following was taken from the Sprout's Juice Bar weekly newsletter. If you would like to receive this newsletter, you can email them at I thought the list of what herbs do for you was interesting.
Have a Blessed Day!

Food is one of nature's most powerful medicines and herbs and spices provide many healing and nutritional benefits. The following is a list of common kitchen herbs that most of us have on our shelves and the health benefits they provide.

Basil - Calms the nerves, helps coughs, colds, flu and allergies.

Black Pepper - Helps stomach-aches, nausea and constipation, stimulates circulation and digestion.

Cardamom - Reduces gas and bloating, relieves headaches caused by indigestion.

Cayenne - Antibacterial, rids colds and flu, dissolves mucus and congestion.

Cinnamon - Antibacterial, strengthens digestion, increases warmth and circulation.

Coriander - Relieves intestinal cramps and spasms, helps with anxiety and nervous tension.

Cumin - Relieves coughs, supports digestion, helps with insomnia.

Dill - Relives cramps and gas, calms an upset stomach.

Fennel - Stimulates digestion, calms the nerves, stimulates flow of breastmilk.

Ginger - Helps with colds, flu, coughs, relieves nausea.

Parsley - Rich source of Vitamins A & C, antioxidant, reduces premenstral bloating.

Peppermint - Rids colds and flu, promotes digestion, cooling for hot days.

Rosemary - Promotes circulation, headache relief, calming to the nervous system.

Sage - Helps with coughs and sore throats, rich in calcium.

Thyme - Heals sinus & throat infections, antiviral, antibacterial.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kitty Litter Cake

This recipe came to me through a recipe exchange from one of Gary's mother's cousins. She is a lot of fun and an excellent cook. I am wondering who will be brave and be the first one to make this. If you do, please send a report on your blog or to me at least and let us know what kind of fun you had with it!

Kitty Litter Cake

1 box spice or German chocolate cake mix
1 box of white cake mix
1 package white sandwich cookies
1 large package vanilla instant pudding mix
A few drops green food coloring
12 small Tootsie Rolls or equivalent

1 NEW cat-litter box
1 NEW cat-litter box liner
1 NEW pooper scooper

1) Prepare and bake cake mixes, according to directions, in any size pan. Prepare pudding and chill. Crumble cookies in small batches in blender or food processor. Add a few drops of green food coloring to 1 cup of cookie crumbs. Mix with a fork or shake in a jar. Set aside.

2) When cakes are at room temperature, crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with half of the remaining cookie crumbs and enough pudding to make the mixture moist but not soggy. Place liner in litter box and pour in mixture.

3) Unwrap 3 Tootsie Rolls and heat in a microwave until soft and pliable. Shapethe blunt ends into slightly curved points. Repeat with three more rolls. Bury the rolls decoratively in the cake mixture. Sprinkle remaining white cookie crumbs over the mixture, then scatter green crumbs lightly over top.

4) Heat 5 more Tootsie Rolls until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle with crumbs from the litter box. Heat the remaining Tootsie Roll until pliable and hang it over the edge of the box. Place box on a sheet of newspaper and serve with scooper. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Don't Live in Your House Forever!

Ok, I promised to tell you why you don't want to live in your house for 30 years until you have it paid for. First of all, think about the house you live in now. What will it be like in 30 years? What will your family be like in 30 years? What will the neighborhood be like in 30 years? Those are probably 3 good reasons to not live in your house for 30 years right there, but I have another reason.

Your house will lose value if you stay there for 30 years (unless you are in some district like Highland Park in Dallas where the values go up no matter what and we don't have that district in Texarkana!) We have dealt with couples that 30 years ago lived in Texarkana's finest neighborhoods. They stayed in their houses until they were paid off, then they realized that the neighborhood was not what it used to be, the house was way smaller than most people live in now and should a spouse die, they wouldn't want the other one left in that older house in a run down neighborhood. So, they went out looking to buy a new home. Those people had to pay from $250,000 to $350,000 to get a home they would be happy with. Both couples sold their existing houses for about $70,000 - barely enough for a good down payment on the new home and they now owe for 30 more years on a house and they are in their 60's! NOT where I want to be in my 60's!!!

Gary and I, on the other hand, being in the building profession and loving new homes, bought and sold. Depending on the economy, we did this every 3 - 9 years. We sold the home when the neighborhood was in it's prime - not on the downhill slide. We would make a little each time on our investment due to rising housing cost and the fact that we kept our home well maintained. We always reinvested all of the equity and profit we got out of our house back into the new home and we would always finance the new home for the same amount of years that we owed on the old home. We never pocketed any money from the sell of the house and we never added years to paying off a home. The idea behind this is that you should be able to afford a little more on the monthly payments by the time you decide to sell the home and move up and you have a larger down payment each time. We are in our 50's and living in a house that is paid for and worth more than $70,000. (And, remember from the last post about money, we paid an extra $100 a month on the principal to get this debt down quicker.) Now which scenario would you rather have for your life - the two couples I told you about, or the one that Gary and I lived?

That is why I say you don't even want to consider living in the same house for 30 years. We made a commitment soon after we were married to never finance anything that did not go up in value. We saved our money and bought what we needed when we could afford it - even cars! I do NOT like paying interest to someone to use their money. There have been times we have financed small amounts on cars when there was 0% interest, but monthly payments are no fun. They take the joy out of life. I will talk more about that in another blogging time.

Hope this helps you down the road in life. Make wise decisions. Seek advice if you need it or even if you don't think you need it. There is always something that we can learn.

Love you and have a Blessed rainy day!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I have a new pasta recipe that I thought I would share today. I love pasta dishes! If some of you have macho husbands that like to have meat with every meal, I will tell you I added two grilled chicken breasts left over from the night before to this dish. I chopped them up and stirred them in. If your man likes to SEE the meat, then I suggest you slice that chicken and lay it across the top! ha

2 (12 oz) pkgs of vermicelli
4T canola oil
4T fresh lemon juice
1T Accent
1Cup minced celery
1/2 C onions, minced fine
1 bell pepper , minced fine
1 can ripe olives, minced fine
1 big jar chopped pimento, drained
1 pt. mayo
salt and pepper to taste
Cook, rinse and drain pasta. Add oil, lemon juice, and accent; refrigerate overnight. Next day, add
remaining ingredients. Chill and serve.
(I only made 1/2 half the recipe. This makes a very large amount. Great to serve a crowd! I really don't know why you would have to cook the pasta the day before. I think it would work fine as long as it got cool before you proceeded. One other thing, be sure to mince all the veggies. I used my food processor. The idea is not to crunch down on any bite size pieces. All the flavors mix better if they are small pieces.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Time to Add One New Thing to Your Home!

Fall always makes me want to update my house! And what better way than adding some new accessories! We build lots of very nice houses, but unless the person accessorizes the house, it is just a house with no personality. Here are a few ways to give your house an updated look. The three frames hanging on the wall to the right are in my bedroom. Gary made these frames and I painted them. They are for sale at Park Street Market exclusively.

The two pictures below are of the smaller frames that I paint. They hold a 3.5 x 3.5 picture. I am not sure which ones Whitney has left in her store, but if there is one you are dying for and she has sold out, I can make it for you. I can also make them in any color you like. This is just a side kick for me. Gives me something to do in my spare time! ha The smaller ones sell for $25. The larger frames above are around $70.

Contact Whitney at or go to her website and shop at

Have a Blessed day and enjoy sprucing up your home!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Money Lessons

Ok, time to hit a financial issue with you girls. My mind is loaded with these especially when related to housing issues. I wonder why? ha This weeks hint is how to pay your house off sooner, or at least build up more equity sooner.

If you have a 30 year mortgage and the mortgage company will allow you to make payments twice a month (1/2 when the payment is due and 1/2 in the middle of the billing cycle), depending on your interest rate, you can have that 30 year mortgage paid off in 18 to 21 years. Think of the interest that has saved you! By making 1/2 payments twice a month, it is equivalent to making an extra payment per year. If your mortgage company won't allow you to pay that way, send in extra money with the one payment. For instance, if you can send in an extra $100 a month with your payment (and be sure to write on the check that the extra is to be applied to the principle, i.e. $100 extra principle) that would be paying an extra $1200 a year down on your principle. I know I did this on our last house and when we sold it, I had saved 6 years of payments and had that much more equity in the house than I normally would have had if I had only paid the normal payment. Be sure to keep good records of the extra you pay and each year when you get your statement from the mortgage company showing what you owe that the amount has been applied.

Always when you take out a mortgage, make sure there will not be a prepayment penalty should you decide to pay if off sooner than the length of time on the original loan. Also note, making an extra payment per year does NOT allow you to skip a payment! And, last, I know you could put that extra $100 a month in savings and use it to pay off your house later, but honestly, how many are that disciplined to do that. A hundred dollars sent to a mortgage company is a savings that you can't cheat and take it out and it is earning you the interest rate that you are paying on your house since you are saving that much interest a year.

Next Money Lesson will be to explain why you should never buy a house and live in it 30 years to pay it off.

Have a wonderful and Blessed weekend!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Kid Notes

I hope I am not posting too often. If I am, let me know. I am new to this, ha, but something has come to my mind that I think you could benefit from.

Some of you are starting to have families and some of you are teaching and dealing with God's precious little angels on a daily basis. And that is the point I want to stress. We are all God's precious little angels, even though we may not act like it. So, I want you to love the precious little angel but not their bad actions. It is easy to love the child that acts wonderful, but what about the one that can never shut their mouth, or stay in their seat, or doesn't seem to want to cooperate? You have to find a way to let that child know you love them even when they are bad or disappoint you, AND, you have to discipline them also. When Whitney was a baby, I read all of the James Dobson books on child rearing and a couple of facts stuck in my mind all these years. One was never to spank a child with your hand. They relate this to your "person" being mean. Always use another object should you feel the need to spat the hand or the bottom. I used the wooden spoon! ha (I know some of you won't believe I ever did that, but I did.) The child will relate the hurt to the inanimate object rather than the parent.

The other piece of advice I remember was to always count to ten before you lash out punishment. This allows you to take a deep breath and think. Punishment should not be something that punishes the entire family or classroom, only the child that needs to be punished. Hopefully, it will allow you to step back and look at the situation clearly and keep your tone of voice cool and under control. A screaming parent raises kids that scream. Yelling tells the child you have lost control and lets them know they have raised your dander. It lets them think you are on their level and not in control. Stay calm. Remember you are the one who has authority (under God) so act God like. I just never remember a time that God has screamed at me! ha And, I do remember times that He maybe should have!

I love you gals! Have a Blessed day.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I Am Second

I wasn't going to post a new blog today. I didn't really have anything great to post until now. I got one of the best websites sent to me that I have ever gotten and I wanted to share it with you. Go to: There are pictures of lots of people rolling across the screen. Place your cursor on each picture to see who that person is and a brief description of them. After you see them all, click on the bottom of the screen on the word Seconds. I suggest you start with Bailee Madison and just go from there. Jason Castro even mentions David Crowder in his talk. For those of you that don't know David, he was born and raised in Texarkana and went to FBC and now has several CD's out and is well known in the Praise and Worship world. I told Whitney that it was all because he was in my 4-year old choir at church that he has become what he has. ha Hope you enjoy this site as much as I do. It appears to add new people daily so the site will always be something you will enjoy going to. Enjoy and have a Blessed day!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bacon - Tomato Cups

I thought it was time to share a new recipe with you girls. With football season upon us, you might need a new appetizer to make for a gathering and this one was wonderful. It comes out of my favorite cookbook - Keep Your Fork Cookbook. You can buy it at my favorite gift shop in Carlisle, Ar - Park Street Market. I think you can even get it online by going to This cookbook is as close to having the same recipes as my personal hand written cookbook as I have found. It has turned Whitney into a wonderful cook since she lives in a town with only a couple of places to eat out. So here is the recipe:

Bacon - Tomato Cups

8 slices of bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon basil
1 (7 1/2 oz) tube refrigerated biscuits

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine bacon, tomato, onion, cheese, mayonnaise and basil. Divide each biscuit into thirds (I used my kitchen scissors and cut them into three equal triangles), placing each one in greased muffin pans. (I rolled mine out with a rolling pin and laid them in the muffin pan. You kind of have to work with it to keep it stretched out to add the other ingredients.) Place a small amount of mixture into each biscuit. Bake 15 to 18 minutes. Yields 30 servings. I used a small amount of PAM in each muffin tin to make sure they would come out.

These were a hit to our party a few weeks ago. There were no leftovers for 22 people. They would be good for any party whether it is an early brunch or an evening party. Very easy mini quiche. Never took a picture since I wasn't even a blogger then! Sorry. I will try to do better in the future.
Have a Blessed Day!

Friday, October 9, 2009


I went to the doctor last week and found out that my cholesterol is high. Not good and even worse is that he told me I probably needed to get on medication due to my age. Great. That got me to thinking about eating a little more healthy and I remembered a newsletter I got from Sprouts, a juice bar here in t-town, that was talking about celery and how it was one of the best foods you can eat. They said, "Celery is the number one medicinal food for lowering blood pressure. It also helps control appetite and lowers stress hormones. Celery is a great source of silicon which is very benefical for joints, bones and connective tissue." Now I don't care if you are young or old....we all could use celery for one of those items! ha

So here is what I ate last night for dinner (since I ate TaMolly's for lunch with Nacho Club). I took a piece of Flat Out Light Original (from Super One Foods back close to the deli - kind of like a tortilla but better) and layered it with spicey brown mustard, 98% Fat free turkey, imitation mozzarella cheese (they have really improved on these imitation cheeses over the years) and a stalk of celery the width of the Flat Out bread. I rolled this all up and it was sure yummy and so healthy! The only item that had any cholesterol was the turkey. This would be great to take in a lunch to work since there is nothing to get soggy in it and you get the celery for green, crunchy feel and nutrition to lower those stress hormones! ha

Advice for you young gals: Keep your weight off now!! Don't get to where I am. It is easier to lose 5 -10 pounds than 40 - 50 lbs for sure! Exercise even when you are dead tired. It will make you feel better. Then why do I have such a hard time doing something I know will make me feel better? Go figure.

Have a Blessed day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Welcome to my world

For those of you that may not be aware, I have a hobby of making barbed wire crosses and picture frames. I call this little hobby "Cathryn & Co." so that is where the name for the blog comes from. The hobby started about a year ago when Whitney opened her gift shop. I decided I could make her a few things to fill in the empty spaces and voila! it has snowballed on me! So on occasion, I will share pictures of things I have made and would like to sell, but this will not be my primary reason for blogging.
My plan with the blog is to share little tidbits of knowledge that I have gained over the years that may help you at some point in your life - kind of like giving motherly advice. I imagine the ones that read this would practically consider me their second mom anyway, so they are used to me giving advice. ha There will be random thoughts on a wide spectrum of issues. Hopefully, at one time or another, something will be useful to you.

Todays thought will be something I read online today and actually prodded me into starting the blog so I could share this with you:
"Don't tell God how big your storm is. Tell the storm how big your God is." You know we probably all pray over the big storms in life, but we have real comfort when we pray over all the little things in life too. When you are young and starting new lives with spouses and then on to starting families, we don't always seem to find the time to talk to God about the little things in life. If you can learn to do that now, life will be much easier and a lot more peaceful.
Have a Blessed day!