Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CATS Testing

I know. It sounds like I'm having my little feline girl tested for some kind of illness. In the state of Kentucky, the accountability test that is administered every Spring is called CATS. For the life of me, I cannot remember what the letters stand for - it's late and I'm totally whipped at this point!

This is the second week of CATS testing at school. Tomorrow is the last day for testing – thank heavens! Nine days is very hard and stressful for 3rd, 4th and 5th grade students to test. I have monitored in classrooms for several days over the past two weeks. Teachers and monitors have to walk the room the whole time testing is in progress. It can last anywhere from 1-2 hours. My rear end has been dragging out the tracks of my chubby feet this week. Several days I came home absolutely exhausted. My couch was calling my name when I came in the front door. I can’t imagine how the students and teachers feel!

I remember when Justyn was in middle school. I would pick him after school. Normally he didn’t even want me to speak to him until after we left the parking lot. It wasn’t cool to have your Mother pick you up and act happy to see her at the same time. On testing days he was very different. He would get in the car and dramatically let his head fall back on the seat and say “Oh Mom! It was horrible! We had to sit quietly all day (probably two hours) and think!” Now for a teenager to sit quietly is a chore but to think at the same time is painful! Not to mention for long periods at a time. I think this convinced Justyn that he never wanted to be a priest or work in a funeral home! It was on these days that I would ask him if it was a Baskin-Robbins day. All he strength to do was to nod his head. As we sat eating our ice cream, I knew that these days would pass way too quickly. It was certainly not cool to be seen eating ice cream with your Mom but when she was treating you – it was OK!

Our local Baskin-Robbins has long since closed. Justyn is now 27 years old and testing is still just as stressful to all involved.

I think I may need to buy stock in Ben & Jerry’s. We have become very good friends over the past two weeks!


Wednesday - What's for Supper?

Actually, I fixed this for supper last night with Fried Chicken Strips.

I cut boneless chicken breast into 1 inch wide long strips. Dip them in buttermilk and roll in Bisquick and drop into the deep fryer. Oh my! My guys love these!

I also had baby lima beans, boiled potatoes with butter, and cornbread. I fixed enough last night so we would have leftovers tonight.


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday Snackin' Time

This is "THE" cheese ball recipe in my family. It was handed down from my cousin who is well known for her wonderful recipes. This cheese ball is at every family gathering we have. For years, we have referred to it as " Mary Helen's Cheese Ball"! I started making the wafers several years ago at Christmas. They go good with anything. My niece can make a meal out of nothing but the cheese ball and club crackers!


Monday, April 21, 2008

Monroe & Hattie

I took this picture Wednesday afternoon on the way to my sister’s house. This is the house that Monroe and Hattie used to live in many years ago. Monroe could holler louder than any man I ever knew. It was a laugh combined with a holler that rolled out of his mouth to amuse anyone who happened to be near by. That was his claim to fame in our area of the country. You could hear him for what seemed like miles around. Monroe worked for farmers in the area as a farm hand. Hattie took in washing and ironing. They never drove a car or had a telephone. There was never a need for these modern conveniences in their lives. I can still picture in my mind Monroe walking home from the little country store carrying his carton of Coca-Colas in one hand and waving with the other.

They raised a garden each year. Hattie canned vegetables for them to eat during the long winter months. I remember the smell of the coal burning in the old pot belly stove. To me, it was a smell of cozy comfort on a cold winter night.

They were simple plain people of yesterday. They were good God fearing people. They were people that helped their neighbors in times of need. They worked hard for everything that they had and were always willing share. They lived the simple life of days gone by. People like that are few and far between now days.

They both passed away many years ago and all that is left is the memory of Monroe’s yell and Hattie’s beautiful smile. I can picture him sitting on the front porch after a long day of work waiting for Hattie to join him to enjoy the cool breeze on the porch.

I thought of these precious people not so long ago when I caught the smell in the cold night air of coal burning.


Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday Snackin' Time

This is a different take on Tuna Salad. You could use canned chicken or turkey that has been well drained if you don't like tuna.

UPDATE: Diane over at Diane's Place adds more to her Tuna Ball.
I'm going to try this the next time I make it.

She adds:
1/4 cup grated onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. dry parsley flakes, or 4 tbsp. fresh
1/2 tsp. seasoning salt
1/2 tsp. sugar 2 tsp. paprika

Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thursday Thoughts

"What a wondrous time is spring,
When all the trees are budding
The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming;
That's how it is with God's love,
Once you've experienced it.
You want to sing, it's fresh like spring,
You want to pass it on."
Pass It On
Words and music by Kurt Kaiser

I recently took this picture on a Sunday afternoon. Since we live in an area with many Amish neighbors, it is not uncommon to see the Amish out and about on a daily basis. We had already passed several Amish buggies when we came upon this one. I'm sure he was on his way to see his true love! He had even tucked flowers around the head of the horse, harness, and ears.

This is another one of my purse cards that I made this afternoon. I need to mail it in the morning to a friend who recently had surgery that I've been keeping in my thoughts and prayers.

It's been a long week for me, so I'm really looking forward to the slower pace of living this weekend. Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wednesday - What's for supper?

This is one of my family's favorites. I will not fix this tonight since I'm going to eat at my sister's house with my two sweet nieces. You can also use canned chicken for the cooked chicken breast for a quick and easy meal. This will probably be supper tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Puzzle Time

When I was growing up, we gathered around the card table that was set up in the living room near the fireplace. All eyes were focused on the small pieces that would eventually form the pictures of old covered bridges, barns, or beautiful animals. On cold winter days, when we couldn’t play outside, we worked jigsaw puzzles. We would tell jokes, family stories, or just visit with the neighbors that stopped by on Sunday afternoons. While working puzzles and munching on homemade snacks, we would make memories that would last a lifetime. I remember us visiting with a family that had one of those fake cans of peanuts. When you opened the can, a springing cloth snake popped out. Somebody ALWAYS fell for the trick! Being the nut lover that I am, it was usually me! Those were the days of no cell phones, video games, and only two channels on the television – if you were lucky and it wasn’t raining! We entertained ourselves. Those truly were the days of better times.

Recently, my husband has started working jigsaw puzzles. Since November, he has done 15 – 1000 piece puzzles. He says that they help him to relax after a long day of work. He likes the puzzles that are pictures of old tractors. I’m not the picky. I just enjoy the challenge of completing the picture!

I enjoy the jigsaw puzzles that are on Jig Zone. I created a puzzle tonight of a picture that I took this afternoon. I know you can complete the puzzle faster than I did.

Go get a snack. Sit back. Relax. Enjoy working the puzzle!

"The Dandy Lion" by Lesa

Click to Mix and Solve


Sunday, April 13, 2008

Old Homes

"This world is not my home, I'm just passing through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore."
This World is Not My Home
Words and Music by Albert E. Brumley
© 1965 - Albert E. Brumley & Sons All Rights Reserved

I recently took pictures of an old house that was in the process of being torn down. It was a beautiful Spring afternoon and the sun was setting. As I stood in the living room of the house looking out the front window, I couldn’t help but think of the people that had lived there in the past. I could just imagine the pride that a young couple must have felt starting their new life in this house many years ago. The beautiful oak floor showed the scratches of several generations that had lived there over the years. The rafters may have been sawed at the sawmill that used to be next to the house. Such love and care went into the building of this house to make it a home.
The front door was left open by the person that was demolishing the house and it was swinging in the breeze. I felt like I should latch the screen door to keep something out although the back of the house was already gone and gaping open. Maybe I needed to keep the memories in of those special family moments. Could it have been the ghost of Christmas past? Was it a cry announcing the arrival of a sweet baby? Maybe it was the passing of a soul. I left the door like I found it. I thought maybe the memories needed to drift out and find their way to the setting sun.

When I was leaving, I looked back at the front door and saw the worn metal door knob. I saw the sun shining into the doorway. Then I knew, the souls that had once lived there were already home.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Saturday Snackin' Time

This is my favorite Peanut Butter Cookie recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Purse Card

I made another set of purse cards today. I have really started using alot of pink and black lately. Email me if you want the pattern, I will be glad to share. The purse fits in a regular invitation size envelope.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday - What's for Supper?

Every Wednesday & Saturday I want to feature one of my favorite recipes. I have made several recipe books that are 6x6, so I will post the pages. These books have made great gifts for my family and friends.

This is one of my family’s favorites. It’s also quick and easy which is right up my alley when I get home from work. I like to serve this with a skillet of cornbread, grilled cheese sandwiches, or BLT sandwiches.

Hope you enjoy this!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Imaginary Friends

Now that I have entered the world of blogging, I feel like I have imaginary friends that my family does not know or see. This reminds me of my son, Justyn, when he was about 4 years old and had an imaginary friend named Doo-Dah.

Doo-Dah lived in California and worked at a car wash. His father was a mechanic and repaired cars. He changed colors with his moods. He would be red on the days that he was mad and rainbow colors when he was happy. One time he ran a red light and had to go to jail. In my son’s little innocent world that was probably the worse crime he could think of someone committing. He was as real to us as he was to my son. We even stopped the car one day on the side of the road to let him in the back seat after Justyn insisted that he was standing there and needed a ride. I couldn’t help but look in the rear view mirror to see if someone was really there! Doo-Dah eventually left us when Justyn started to school. Being a young mother, I worried that Justyn had mental or emotional problems with him having such a vivid imaginary friend! I asked the pediatrician and he assured me that it was a sign high intelligence. I guess he was right. Justyn graduated from college with a degree in Computer Science.

I wonder what ever happened to Doo Dah. I bet he is still standing somewhere on the road side, waiting for some other little boy to come along and give him a ride.


Monday, April 7, 2008

I'm a Winner!

I cannot believe it! This must be my lucky day. I won a CD over at Barb’s place! I can’t wait to listen to the Steven Curtis Chapman CD. Thanks Barb for hosting this giveaway! Thanks Daisy for letting me know that I had won. Maybe I need to go buy a lottery ticket. No - I had better not push my luck!

I’m off from work this week (Spring Break) so I thought I would make a few card sets as thank you gifts for friends that have really helped me out lately. Since I have this whole week to play, I hope to get several sets done. One of the ladies is a Mary Kay consultant and loves pink and black. I made a set of 6 purse shaped cards for her. I’m going to try to post a picture on here if I can figure out what I’m doing……

(Hopefully a picture will be posted between here and the next paragraph…)

(It took me half the day to figure how to put my picture where I want it!)

I’m keeping my sweet little niece today and again on Thursday. She is 7 months old and at the age of wanting to sit up, lie down, jump on my lap, and be held all at the same moment! It’s been 27 years since I had a baby at this age. So I’m really feeling my age today! Her grandmother is going to keep her tomorrow and my sister is off from work on Wednesday. I’m going to keep her again on Thursday, so I have to two days to recover before she stays with me again!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh my - What am I doing?

I've been thinking about blogging for awhile now and decided to test the waters! I'm not sure how to do this so bear with me as I try. I can't spell "kat" sometimes so my spelling will be bad and I think faster than I type so words may be missing.
One of the reasons I wanted to start blogging is to share my love for crafts, photography, and cooking. So hang in here with me and maybe I'll post something eventually of interest!