Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Social Media- What Works For Us

I really struggle with helping my older kids understand the Do's and Don'ts of social media because I am still learning them myself.  I am absolutely relieved that Facebook did not exist before I was in my late 30's - I know, I KNOW I would have made a mess of it.

I shared in the post Technology and Teens our rules for technology.  I realize we actually do try to impart some social media etiquette to our teens about how to steer clear of some of the drama that can break out.  I also want them to understand the perception they give people about who they are by the way they post.  I have boys at this age, and most of them rarely use Social Media but I'm kinda preachy sometimes (okay, most times) and they get to suffer the consequences of that (or benefit, depending on how you look at it).  I also am compiling this list of social media etiquette with thoughts towards what I will teach my daughter one day, I am certain she will enjoy this medium much more than her brothers ever thought about it. *but, maybe not my preaching*

Some of this is a very tongue in cheek way to influence them, but I like to use humor as a buffer, it helps us all enjoy the process of learning and creates a better environment for give and take - I want them to ask questions and understand WHY I feel that what I'm preaching to them is important.

*If you want everyone to perceive you as a narcissist, please be sure to post tons of selfies all over your Instagram and Facebook page.  I mean a potential employer may look you up and they will get to see you from every possible angle before they actually sit down and visit with you during the interview.

*Please share with the world you are high need by making sure you regularly post on facebook that you are testing to see who is your REAL friend and who just scrolls by your status updates and don't leave off the part about how they need to share this in their status as well.  Now, we are creating circles of high need people so we can all find each other.
 - In all seriousness, Facebook should never be used as a way to gauge your friends.  Actual interaction with that person is a true 'tell' if someone is your friend or not.  Never by how many likes or comments they leave.

*Keep it positive, keep it real.  There is nothing wrong with being corrected on facebook because you shared that article about beetle larvae being ground up and used in a favorite snack food only to have someone point out the Snopes article proclaiming this as false and then calling you a fear monger.  Thank them, I mean who wants to be a fear monger, LOL.

*Facebook can be used for positive and negative.  Let it be positive.  I like that it is my own personal news feed with articles from news agencies I trust and want to hear from.  There are so many potential groups and apostolates.  Chose wisely and leave one if you find that does not fit what you hoped it was.  On the keeping it positive note, do not publicly ridicule or be negative about a person or situation.  It is best to keep the negative private and deal with the situation in a non-public way.  There may be exceptions to this rule, but I cannot think of any at this time.  A good rule of thumb is to maintain  dignity and integrity for yourself and anyone else.

*Share 'real' news with family and close friends before making a Facebook announcement.

*Have a 'real' life, do not live through the lens of social media.

*Oops, almost forgot an important one that I really emphasize.  Entering into a debate on social media is like entering a room full of mass hysteria and trying to find a thread of sanity.  It rarely happens.  Most people use this as their own platform for their own agenda, they are not interested in hearing what you have to say as much as using what you said against you to further their own point. *exhale, that was a mouthful*  Occasionally, and VERY occasionally I've seen a true give and take among an online debate where there is sharing of information and an attempt to appreciate each point of view. It is easier to be misunderstood than it is to be understood, pray before you post. 

*Enjoy the ability to pray for others when they are hurting, celebrate when there is joy, and understand when compassion is warranted.  Pray to know the difference.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Liebster Award

1. Have you ever had something stolen from you?  Yes, we had a laptop stolen from our truck parked in front of our home.  It was pretty awful because so much of my husband's work was within the laptop.

2. Show us your favorite internet meme or cartoon.  Okay, I'm a die hard Gone With The Wind fan and those meme's are my favorite.  One has a bad word *I removed it, just couldn't have that on my blog*, and I probably shouldn't share it - but, if you knew me, you'd know that I do have a wry sense of humor and I don't actually talk that way in real life (but, it does tickle my funny bone)

                                                  My absolute most favorite!!!
I don't actually feel that way about anyone though.  I may love Scarlet, but over the years I'm more Melanie (although not quite such a saint) thank goodness for my family!

3. Can you show us a picture that tells us something about you (no words)?

4. What's one of your guilty pleasures?    Nacho Cheese Doritos - I love them, LOVE THEM!

5. Is there a hobby/sport you'd like to learn?   Crochet

6. How do you see yourself spending your retirement (or golden years, as it were!) I genuinely hope we can get an air-stream and travel the country some of the year, visiting all the National Parks and spending time with our children and grandchildren wherever they may be.  I also hope to have a big garden and actually cleaning the house and having it stay that way for longer than 3 mins. 

7. What was one of the most thoughtful gifts you've received?  My husband surprised me with a quilt rack one Christmas - it was such a surprise and so thoughtful of him, I'm still amazed that he thought of it and got it for me.  I still think about it to this day and that was many years ago.

Chocolates from Savannah Georgia, really good chocolates in a beautiful box with a pretty bag - so much elegance and thoughtfulness in a tiny precious gift of delicious.  A very dear friend gave them to me, but her friendship is probably actually the most thoughtful thing I've received.

8. What's your biggest pet peeve.  When I see someone driving recklessly through a parking lot, I actually have a physical reaction to it.  It tears me up and I ache for who they may hit as well as the person behind the wheel because I know their thoughtlessness will be something they regret deeply if they ever actually did injure someone.

9. Have you started your Christmas shopping or crafting?  Yes - and I'm having a lot of fun with it.

10. Blogger's Choice: Something rare about me is that I actually did once see a man who had been shot, possibly murdered.  We were driving home to Ore City and we came up on a car that was pulled to the side of the road and a man was hanging out of the backdoor with blood everywhere.  Another man was stumbling sort of dazed down the road holding a handgun.  My dad was a Deputy Sheriff with Greg County.  He turned the car around and went back to the scene to assist because no officers or paramedics had arrived.  It was very scary, I was young.  The family in the vehicle had a small baby and my Mom took care of the baby while everything was sorted out.  I remember that we had just gone shopping for clothes for my baby sister, Suzanne.  My mother gave the entire bag to this poor Mom when she came back to get her baby.  It was all very sad and frightening, I'll never forget it.

Gosh, that certainly ended this fun meme on a sad note.  I didn't mean to get so dark and depressing, but the older I get the  more I realize how rare it is that I've seen and experienced some very interesting things that others may not have.  This is one  of them and it taught me a lot about compassion and bravery, my parents both showed that on this day and I think more than anything that is what is etched into my memory.

I'll update later and tag some of my blogging friends - this was fun thank you Theresa, at Ordinary Lovely (I love that blog name) for tagging me.  

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Blue Ribbon Baking from a Redneck Kitchen

As soon as I saw the title to this book, I knew it was meant for my cookbook collection.  I received my review copy this week and I am so excited about all the fantastic baked goods I'm about to add to my recipe repertoire.  Francine Bryson does not disappoint with recipes for such decadence as 'Orange Creamsicle Cake' or 'Word-Famous Chocolate Bacon Peanut Butter Pie' - oh yes, this one I KNOW some of my older boys are going to want for their birthdays.  I have 11 birthdays in our family, lots of holidays and special occasions we celebrate and now I have a new best friend in the cookbook world to help me spoil my family with goodies...I cannot wait.  The book is really beautiful too, great photos of the baked goods and "Blue Ribbon Tips" to give each recipe that added punch to send it over the top into recipe greatness!  The layout is easy to follow too with sections for cookies & bars, pies, cakes like Granny made etc..etc..even a 'Sunday go-to Meeting' section.  I love it and each recipe appears very easy to follow with clear directions and tips.
 To explain why I wanted to review Francine's book, she is the winner of multiple baking competitions and was a finalist in the American Baking Competition which is highly competitive! I will be showing off some great baked goods from this book through out the coming Holiday season and there is a 'Purdy Peppermint Pie' calling me name.  To learn more about the author please see her bio here at Random House Books - Francine Bryson.  To check out the book see the page for it here - Blue Ribbon Baking From a Redneck Kitchen, my Daddy would be so proud!

*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

French Country Salad (hack)

I love the French Country Salad at Cheesecake Factory.  We are not traveling back and forth to the airport anymore now that Pete is working in this area, so our trips to Cheesecake Factory are few and far between.  I decided to try and figure out how to make this salad to enjoy at home.
 It is really an easy salad to put together, just assemble the ingredients and then pile them on.  I overcooked the asparagus *sometimes I roast them, sometimes I steam them*, we like it to still have a crisp bite, but it was still delicious.  The beets at our local Albertsons are softball size so roasting that took quite a while.  I just set the beet on foil, coat it with olive oil and wrap up tightly in the foil.  Roast at 350 for about an hour to an hour and a half depending on the size of the beet, you should be able to scrub the foil around the beet and the skin will come right off. Sometimes I use pecans and sometimes walnuts.  I toss them with melted butter (about 2 TBS) and 1 Tbs maple syrup then toast them at 375 for about 5 mins.
We happen to love Goat cheese and feel it is an important element to this salad, but you can leave it out

Cheesecake Factory just uses field greens, no cucumbers or carrots, but I wanted to bulk up the salad because this was our main course last night while the kids had this as a side and enjoyed hot dogs.

French Country Salad (hack)

1 large beet or several small
2 carrots
3 mini cucumbers or 1 regular cucumber (I prefer hot house)
goat cheese
candied pecans or walnuts *see above*
Asparagus *trim woody ends*
Field Greens
Champagne Dressing *I purchase this at the store*

Toss field greens with dressing, plate your salad and then add which ingredients you would like. I then put a little dressing over top.  We put dabs of goat cheese on the plate for easy sampling as we enjoy the salad.  Absolutely fantastic!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Homemade Bread

I love fresh baked bread.  Slathered with real butter, there is nothing better!
I realized I''ve not shared a recipe in quite some time and never homemade bread.  I have several recipes that I love, but this is one I utilize often substituting different ingredients depending on what is in my pantry.
*recipe at bottom of post*
I usually bake this with honey, but I was out today so I used real Maple Syrup.  I will substitute with Maple Syrup again, so delicious!

I wish these loaves of bread would last us a few days but by this time tomorrow, they'll be all gobbled up.  

I will save at least one of them for sandwiches tomorrow and one for toast in the morning.  Bread slices best when it is a day old.  Fresh, right out of the oven bread doesn't slice well at all.  It doesn't stop us from slicing it though, warm bread is divine!

Homemade Bread
4 cups warm water (if it is too hot it will kill the yeast, but I use VERY hot tap water with fantastic results)
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup real maple syrup or honey
1 egg *optional, if you use egg then you will have a lighter loaf, without egg a denser loaf* 
3 Tbs. yeast
3 tsp. salt
1/2 cup coconut oil (or vegetable, or canola, or whatever you have on hand - just not olive)
5 cups white flour
1 cup hemp meal *substitute with just plain flour, or any other whole grain item*
1/2 cup wheat germ *see above substitute instructions*
1/2 cup flax seeds *optional*
2 cups whole wheat flour
*flour amounts will vary and I usually stop at 4 cups white flour and then add as needed while I knead the dough*
1 stick butter
3 Tbs. maple syrup or honey
Dissolve sugar and yeast in warm water.  Add all other ingredients paying attention to 4 cups white flour and adding rest as needed *see note*.  Turn dough into oiled bowl and cover with towel.  Allow to rise 1 hour.  Punch down and knead.  Divide into 4 greased bread pans and cover to allow to rise again - about 30 mins. Melt 1 stick butter and mix with 3 Tbs maple syrup or honey and brush top of loaves before placing them in the oven. Bake at 375 for 25-35 mins.  Place on wire rack to cool and brush hot loaves with remaining melted butter/maple syrup mixture.  Allow to cool and enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

{Pretty, Happy, Funny Real}

~Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life~

~Every Thursday, at Like Mother Like Daughter~

It isn't the best photo but the rainbows were very pretty.  It was fun to receive texts from friends and family to not miss the beautiful double rainbow that was proudly on display one early morning.  We rushed outside and couldn't believe how gorgeous it was.  Of course thanks to the video below my boys kept proclaiming "What does it mean, it's so intense"...and on and on.  A great way to start the day, lots of beauty as well as laughs!

We have so much to be happy about!
We celebrated Grandpa's birthday!

Almost the whole family here, these people make me very, very happy!

We finally got the tonsils out!  She has NO SYMPTOMS when it comes to Strep, and without symptoms an infection reaches Scarlet Fever status too many times - which is scary.  I'm so glad we can put that behind us, and now she is finally over the hump of recovering, but oh boy what an ordeal.  I'm so happy she will be Strep free!
Last trip to the Splash pad at Summer's end.

*our going away breakfast*
Our oldest has left on a new adventure.  He got a wonderful internship at a theater and is over joyed with all that he gets to take part in and learn this coming year.  It is VERY hard to see him go, but when he called me last night and shared with excitement in his voice all about what he will be doing and learning it made me so proud and happy for him!

*See also video under happy*
This conversation has taken place in our home multiple times.  Boys are the best and I love how they can raz one another and laugh at themselves!  This meme reminded me of Noah and Jonah (my two oldest) a lot!

Tobias is helping out backstage for The Secret Garden.  Doesn't he look REAL handsome in this tux!  

Our homeschool year is in full swing and we are rolling along just fine.  I've tweaked some things here and there and will continue to, but we are finding our rhythm and loving this year already.

I must read Farmer Boy (Little House) *affiliate link* every year just for myself (I love it) and every few years I read it again to my kids (lucky me, they love it too).  We love all the projects and opportunities to learn that spring forth from this book.  One idea yesterday was to have Faith draw a picture of what she envisions Mother Wilder's dress to look like.  Today we are going to look up fashions from that time so that she can see the difference.  I also love to see what imaginative play comes from this book as well.

This is a tractor and plow they came up with a few years ago, when we last read Farmer Boy.

Please visit LMLD for Rosie's {P,H,F,R} today!  Also, did you read about St. Gregory's Pockets?  We've set up one for the North Texas area on facebook!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Family Movie Ideas With Young Children In Mind

Haley over at Carrots for Michaelmas wrote a post on FB yesterday regarding family movie ideas for the six and under crowd.  I realized I never put together that movie post for the very young.  Talk about ideas getting away from you!
So here it is, movie night with young children in mind.
*affiliate links are in this post*

Peter Pan
When creating a movie night for my little ones, I LOVE to go the extra mile sometimes.  One of our favorite things to do is pair Hello Cupcake (below) with a movie.  Peter Pan is an all time favorite in this house and we love to make the crocodile cupcakes below to go along with this movie.  "Never smile at a crocodile..."

If you flip through this book (and I highly recommend it) there are tons of great ideas.  They have panda cupcakes which would pair with...Kung Fu Panda or Penguins you could make with Madagascar or  The Pebble and the Penguin  even the Mary Poppins 50th Anniversary Edition!  I could go on and on there are so many ideas in this book!  Oh, one last idea - there are alien cucpakes - now with my older boys we watched X-Files, made flying saucer pizza's and I did the alien cupcakes from this book.  You could always watch Lilo & Stitch and create the same menu for the very young in the family!

*Image credit goes to Cafe Central* because I cannot seem to locate the crocodile I created for our movie night!  Such great memories, I hope I find it!

Okay, I've never been a big fan of anime and honestly if my oldest son had not insisted, I never would have found the delights of Hayao Miyazaki. I'm the Mom in the 90's who would not let her kids participate in or watch Pokeman.  Having said that, I love this movie and even my youngest kids find it entertaining.  There are a few other studio Ghibli films we enjoy as a family.  As a Mom shared in the comments on Haley's facebook page, not all of the Studio Ghibli films are appropriate for the very young, use your own discretion.


 Some Disney of course!

My Dad used to watch these with us, and Pete and still enjoy watching them with our family!

back to Disney (and there are more)

I think I could sit here all day listing movies - Alice in Wonderland provides so many fun opportunities for a party like atmosphere.  I am going to end with this one for now, but hope to update soon with more.  I want to also share some of our family favorite movies that reflect our faith.


We genuinely love movies and I'm short on time to continue but I hope to update.  I want to poll my children about what some of their favorite movies as kids were.  I'll share those soon!
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