Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's a typical politicians answer...

OK, it is no secret that I am not voting for Obama, however, just in case he does get elected I want to know where I stand. I generally e-mail candidates and ask them all the same set of questions. They involve the issues that I find most important. Things like the economy, illegal immigration, taxes, the war on terror and education. The "education" does include their opinion on home schooling.

Most candidates do respond, and a few actually answer the questions that I ask. I read each of their websites first, and then I ask more specific questions that are not addressed on their website. Most either regurgitate exactly what is on the site (pretty much copy and paste what's already there), or they send that as well as address my question.

Yesterday, after reading Obama's entire website I concentrated on his "education policy". I read it several times just to make sure I wasn't missing anything. I then e-mailed him one specific question. I said, "I have read your policy on education, but I have one question concerning education that you do not address; 'What is your opinion about Home Schooling?" That was it. I received the following e-mail last night:

Dear Friend,

Thank you for contacting me about the critical importance of reforming America’s schools. I appreciate hearing from you on this issue, and I agree that we must do more to ensure that every child has the opportunity to succeed.

Too often our leaders present this issue as an either-or debate, divided between giving our schools more funding and demanding more accountability. We should do both.

Our kids deserve a better chance at every level – from preschool and summer school, to high school and college. Last year, I introduced the Innovation Districts for School Improvement Act, which provides grants to school systems that draft detailed plans for broad reforms at the district level. In addition, I have introduced a bill to promote summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children, supported increased funding for the Head Start program to help provide preschoolers with critically important learning skills, and co-authored a bipartisan bill to help exceptional high school students enroll in college-level courses elsewhere if their school does not offer them.

We can’t stop there. The demands of the modern global economy have made higher education more necessary than ever, even as the costs of college continue to soar. To address this, my first proposal as a U.S. senator was a bill to make college more affordable by increasing the maximum Pell Grant to $5100. I also cosponsored the Student Debt Relief Act, which encourages colleges to participate in the Direct Loan program, increases need-based aid, and decreases fees and interest rates for student loans

Finally, the teacher is the most important factor in successfully educating our children, and we need to give our teachers everything they need to succeed. That means changing the certification process so that qualified applicants can avoid expensive additional coursework to become teachers; pairing up new recruits with master teachers; and giving proven teachers more control over what goes on in their classrooms. It also means paying teachers what they’re worth.

To learn more about my plans to revitalize education, please click here:

To read my recent speech on education, please click here:

I encourage you to share your own thoughts and policy ideas about education through the My Policy tool on the first web page linked above. Thank you again for contacting me about this important issue.

Barack Obama

Since this is pretty much EXACTLY what is on his website I don't think I am doing anything wrong by posting it here. Did any of you read the answer to my question in the above e-mail? No? Me neither. So, I sent a second e-mail to Mr. Obama. This said, "Thank you for your time, but you did not answer my question. Again, I did read your website before I e-mailed you, but the answer is not addressed there. What is your opinion concerning home schooling?" I have not received an answer as of yet, but I'll keep you posted.

Now, please do not think that I am foolish enough to believe that he actually answered this e-mail himself. I am sure he didn't. Most of the politicians I e-mail do not answer the e-mail themselves, but the person responding usually let's me know that they are "Joe Blow from So and So's office...." I have actually called politicians on the phone and questioned them personally. I'm not above this. I actually called a woman running for the Texas Supreme Court once, and she returned my phone call around 10:00 pm. She was pleasant. After speaking to her I knew I wouldn't vote for her, but we could go out for coffee some time. :-) I don't remember her name, but she didn't win anyway so it doesn't matter.

I know this is such a long post, and I apologize for that. I guess I am just frustrated, because I think this has been a real problem with this entire election. They aren't answering questions. Just pointing fingers and repeating the same few words. (Not so much with McCain and Huckabee, in my opinion, but definitely on the Democratic side) You can't just say "We want change, and not tell us how you plan to do that, and when I say "tell us" I mean specifically. Don't just tell me what you would like to see. Tell me specifically how you plan to get there.

This is not a problem just with Obama, so you don't think I am specifically bashing him, but with most of the candidates. Heck, at least he responded to my e-mail. Clinton didn't even do that. I already know McCain (emailed him the last time he ran) and Huckabee's opinion, so I didn't bother e-mailing them. And they did respond to my specific question.

So, the short ending to this VERY long post is: ANSWER THE QUESTION THAT IS ASKED OF YOU!! Sorry, just had to vent. :-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Because you should never stop learning.

I forgot to tell y'all that I learned a new cake decorating technique. It it new for me, but I have to say I LOVED doing it. It was so easy, y'all. Too easy, and so much fun. :-) And, God forgive me, I really did like all of the compliments I got on it. I tried to be humble, and not too prideful, but it did make me feel good every time someone would ask, "Did YOU make that?" Here it is:

This was done for our college homecoming. The picture in the middle is an actual photo scanned onto a sheet of fondant. It is done with edible ink. Now, I have purchased cakes from the store with this done, and paid a pretty penny for it; but this is the first time that I have taken the picture to them, purchased only the scanned photo on fondant and then put it on a cake myself. :-) It is fun, and easy y'all. I was very nervous doing it, but once I did, I swear I heard the angels singing "Hallelujah". I had a revelation! I can do this ;-) I then made the musical note, basketball, cross and star from fondant. The border really was purple, y'all, it just doesn't look it.
Anyway, I love learning new cake decorating techniques. Maybe one day I'll actually know enough to be able to make some serious money doing this. :-)
Wendy Darling

Monday, February 25, 2008

This will put me in a sugar coma...

Have y'all seen this new show, "Down Home with the Neelys?" Oh my word, y'all, they are too cute. I had seen them once on Paula's Party, but I caught their show yesterday on the Food Network. I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I really like Gina's sassy attitude. :-)The following is a direct quote from the Food Network site " Pat and Gina Neely and their family own and operate some of Tennessee's best - and devilishly delicious - barbecue restaurants. But when they are relaxing at home in Memphis, they love to create tasty dishes their whole family can enjoy. Now they're ready to share secrets from their famous restaurant dishes along with their tastiest family-friendly recipes."

One of the recipes they shared yesterday almost put me in sugar coma just seeing it on TV, so you know I can't wait to make it. :-) Here it is

Butter, for greasing pan

1 (21-ounce) box brownie mix

3 large eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

10 chocolate-caramel covered wafers ( she used TWIX bars, y'all)

Preheat oven at 350 degrees F.
Prepare brownies as directed on the box for "cake-like" brownies but add additional 3 eggs. Spread half the batter into an 8 by 8-inch prepared pan, top evenly with the pecans and chocolate caramel covered wafers.. Cover with remainder of batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the brownies are almost cooked through. Remove brownies from oven. Cool completely. Remove brownies from pan keeping square intact. Place on a baking sheet.

Top with ganache, whipped topping, raspberries, and chocolate shavings.


2 tablespoons light corn syrup

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped finely

1/2 cup heavy cream warmed

Mix together syrup and chocolate. Pour warm cream over syrup and chocolate. Stir until melted.

Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Now, does that sound like it would put you in a sugar coma or what?! Talk about something for "stress eating!" Next time I need to self-medicate with chocolate I am making this. :-) Of course, my family will have to pull me off the ceiling afterwards, but I think it will be worth it. ;-)


Wendy Darling

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I blame the NyQuil...

The last couple of days have been really bad for my sinuses. I have developed a cough, as has "Little Mark" and my Mom. My ears are stopped up and hurt, sinuses are draining, my eyes are hurting and I have a sinus headache. :-(

It all started Wednesday night with a "tickle" in my throat and "itchy" ears. That's how I know I have a sinus attack coming on. However, "Little Mark" had a 4-H competition on Thursday night, so there was no rest or heavy meds taken. You will be happy to know he received a blue ribbon and will be competing at the District level for the "Fashion Show/Buyers Division". That night also brought rain, wind and cold. NOT good for sinus/cough.

The heavy meds came out Thursday night and NyQuil came out last night. Have y'all ever had weird dreams from NyQuil? I can't even begin to describe most of my dreams, but the part I do remember was from my childhood. It is amazing that I can't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday, but I can remember most everything that happened 25-30 years ago.

I actually woke up this afternoon remembering the weekly television line up we watched when we were little. Seriously.

Sunday night at 6:00 pm was "The Wonderful World of Disney" - this was when Walt, even though he had passed, still influenced the show and they actually showed FAMILY movies.

Monday - 6:00 pm was Sha Na Na and then "Little House on the Prairie" - my favorite episode is still the 2 parter on "Sylvia". I had the biggest crush on Matthew Laborteaux.

Tuesday - "Happy Days" followed by "Laverne and Shirley".

Wednesday - I don't really remember much on Wednesday, but we did attend Missionettes, so we didn't watch much that night.

Thursday - Daddy got paid on Thursdays, so we usually went out to eat and shopping.

Friday - The Donny and Marie Show is what I remember on Fridays. :-) I LOVED that show. I really wish they had a channel on satellite that played nothing but old variety shows. :-)

Saturday - Aside from a myriad of Saturday morning cartoon/shows like Scooby Doo and the Sid and Marty Kroft shows, Saturday night was, if I remember correctly, "Sonny and Cher" and "Hardy Boys Mysteries". I always thought Shaun Cassidy was so cute. :-)

Clearly, we watched WAY TOO MUCH television. "Little Mark" does come by it honestly. :-) Perhaps tonight the NyQuil will bring an original dream. Maybe "Sigmond the Sea Monster" goes to "Dallas" with the "Bugaloos".... I really need to lie down now....

Wendy Darling

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Get the tissues...

I have always been an advocate for adoption. Since, medically, I am not supposed to be able to able get pregnant I always thought I would adopt. I heard this song and knew I had to share it. :-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I was tagged by Julie to do this meme. Instructions: For each of the following, search Google Images and post your favorite pic.

1. Where I grew up:

2. Where I live now:

3. My name:

4. My Grandmother's name:

Yes, her name really ws Bilie Jean. She HATED this song. :-)

5. My favorite food:

6. My favorite drink:

7. My favorite smell:

It's buttercream y'all. I swear it smells so good I could eat it with a spoon. ;-)

OK, now I have to tag someone. I am tagging Princess Ladybug, Sarah, and Kwizgiver. :-)


Wendy Darling

Amazing Grace...

I have heard this so song on the radio so many times in the last few days. I bawl every time it comes on, so naturally I had to find it and share it with y'all. :-)

2 Corinthians 5:21 Him who knew no sin he made 'to be' sin on our behalf; that we might become the righteousness of God in him.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I believe the word she used was "Moxie"...

mox·ie /ˈmɒksi/ –noun Slang.
vigor; verve; pep.
courage and aggressiveness; nerve.
skill; know-how.

Growing up I was very shy. "Moxie" is definitely not a word someone would use to describe me. I was much happier behind the scenes. I didn't really "venture out of my shell" until the 6th grade. I tried out for the choir, and landed a role as "Spirit #3" in "A Christmas Carol". Of course, they couldn't hear me past the first row.

I didn't really begin to come out of shell until college. I attended a small, Christian Jr. College. I didn't know squat about college life, and didn't know what to expect. I didn't know a single soul there. I hadn't planned on going to college, but the Lord provided me with scholarships to cover my tuition and books, so my "journey into adulthood" began.

In the first couple of days at college I attempted to break out of my comfort zone. I purposely put myself in situations where I would have to talk to people; socialize. I attended the "get to know you" parties, orientation, and the first night Dorm Meeting helped a lot. Of course, my "big sister" was a lot of comfort and help. ;-) Seriously. She was a year older than me, pretty, VERY smart and she had a wonderful sense of humor. OH, and she was also blind. The first night that I met her was during our dorm meeting and we had to say one unique thing about ourselves. She stood up and proudly stated "I am the only one here who can read in the dark." I instantly knew I liked this girl. SHE had Moxie.

Then came registration day. We did that in two days, and I got to register on day one. I was totally lost, but other students were very helpful. On day two my suite mates had to register. I went down with them, since I was now a "pro" at registration, and the cutest guy was sitting in the hallway as we all walked in. Each of my suite mates collectively swooned. Yes, he was cute. He looked up at us, smiled and said "How ya doin'?" I still remember it. :-)

A few minutes later I could see he getting frustrated, and he began looking around the floor for something. I took a deep breath, walked right up to him, stuck out my hand and said, "Hi, I'm Wendy. Do you need some help with registration?" He shook my hand, smiled, and said, "I'm Michael, and yes, I seemed to have lost one the cards I need for registration." We determined which one it was, I said "I'll be right back." I walked into the room, took the card off of the table, brought it back and helped him fill it out. My suite mates were in shock, and to be honest I thought I was having an out of body experience, because I did not recognize this girl who so easily was talking to a strange guy. (Even if he was cute.) :-)

I was standing in line with my suite mates as he walked out and thanked me. Then, one of suite mates said, "Girl, you got Moxie." I admit, I had to look it up, because I had never heard the word before, but once I knew what it meant I liked it. I liked it, because it totally was not me, but I wanted it to be. :-)

I have discovered over the years since then that I have shown courage when needed, most of the time. Totally because of God though, not on my own power. The "Stepping UP" Bible Study by Beth Moore has revealed this to me.

At times, I am still like a child who would rather hide in a corner than do what her "Father" asks her to do, or worse "commands." But, I try to stand up straight, and pray "God, give me some moxie". I want to be that kind of person. :-)

All of this came to me today when I ran into one of my proffesors from time at Jr. College. A lot of the things I had forgotten came back to me today. Then, it blended with what I am learning now, and God showed me just how much I have changed since those "shy days" of my youth. For me to grow like that is totally "a God thing." He is good. :-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, February 18, 2008

It's official...

I have turned into my PaPa. (For you non-Texans out there that is pronounced "Paw Paw". It means Grandfather.) :-)

My PaPa would wake up around 4:30 am EVERYDAY. I don't get up until 5:15 am, but by my book that is EARLY. I start off with my Bible Study and then go on about my day. Since I no longer babysit "Angel" my nap time is gone forever. So, I stay busy all day. Unless I fall asleep during the news or Wheel Of Fortune, which PaPa did a lot.

He was usually in bed very early. For the last several weeks I have made it to bed before 10:00 pm. What's worse is I look forward to it. The earlier the better. For me, one who used to stay up until at least midnight (and later most of the time) that is extremely early.

I don't know if this shows that I am getting wiser or older. Both maybe? :-) If I was truly wise I would also be planting a garden for this summer. Unfortunately the only thing I remember PaPa teaching me about gardening is "plant in the evening and always use Miracle Grow." Why, oh why didn't I listen better as a child?

Well, it's 5:00 pm. I better go and eat my dinner so I can fall asleep in front of the TV and get to bed early. Maybe I'll go to bed 8:00 pm this time!! WHEW, I don't know if I can handle all of the excitement! :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is much more important...

I know that I have not posted in a few days, and I promise I will be back soon. I do have things to talk about, recipes, my Beth Moore Bible Study, "Little Mark", "Angel's" visit on Valentine's Day, etc. But THIS and THIS are much more important. Please, check them out.

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Eye Opener...

For those of you who are not following Shannon's and Sophie,s trip to Uganda with Compassion International, please visit their blogs and read them. I can't even begin to describe it, so I won't even try.

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Wait is OVER!! :-)

Guess what comes on tonight? :-)

OH, Yes Ma'am!! And I plan to have my butt firmly planted on the sofa to watch it. :-)
Wendy Darling
"You Can't Keep a Good Man Down..."

I heard this song on the radio yesterday, for the first time. I LOVE this song. I don't really care for the video of it, but I wanted so much to share this song with you that I am posting it anyway. :-) It is by NewSong.

Wendy Darling

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A Tribute...

I decided to do a tribute to one of my favorite things today. :-) For MANY years (more than I care to count) I have LOVED the "Family Circus" cartoon. It is one of the only comics that I still read each day, and it is the first one that I read.

Sometimes they are very humorous, sometimes they make you think and sometimes they are just very touching. Yes, I have actually shed a tear or two just from the picture and one line caption of a "Family Circus" cartoon. :-)

Bil Keane and his wonderful family (Thel, Billy, Dolly, Jeffy and PJ) are like part of our family. I can remember going to the public library and checking out EVERY "Family Circus" book that they had, and reading all of them in a days time. Some of them still make me laugh remembering them. Like the one of "Mom" chasing a naked PJ around the house while Billy asks why she doesn't go jogging with Daddy to get her exercise. :-) I especially the ones like this one:

Just hits home doesn't it? :-)

I love Bil Keane's style of cartoon art as well as his sense of humor. His depictions are definitely of everyday people living everyday life. And, why shouldn't it, since it is based on his on family? :-) I recently discovered his earlier work such as "Silly Philly" and "Channel Chuckles."

I even remember the sweet holiday cartoons that used to come on television. I liked them just as much as the Peanuts holiday cartoons. ;-) I have tried so hard to find a video clip to include here for you, but I am afraid there is none be found. :-(

Perhaps Mr. Keane will read this and see fit to put together a DVD set that we can purchase. :-)


Wendy Darling

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The post that almost wasn't...

Each time I visit my blog I am painfully aware that it has been a few days since I have made an entry. I fully intended to blog each day, but "life" happens.

I have actually sat down in front of the computer several times today, and I have typed out the beginnings of blog entries. Then, I promptly deleted every bit of it, because it was drivel. DRIVEL! Let's face it, I have millions of people who read my blog everyday, and you are used to very high quality writing, and these posts were just not up to the high standards you expect. I refuse to give you anything less.

OK, let's be realistic. I have, maybe, 10 people who read my blog a day, and you already know I have very low standards, so I guess I will just trudge on. If you are kind enough to visit me then I should at least have something for you to read. :-)

I had a plethera of possible topics to talk about (nice 50 cent word for you there. See, there are those high standards) I was going to talk about how my nephew's District competition went, but after saying "They didn't place in the top 5" that would have pretty much ended there.

I was going to talk about our fun time in trying to rent a car this last week, but that would have been too boring.

I was going to talk about how my nephew is now taller than I am, and his voice is in the EARLY stages of beginning to change. It is funny when it "squeaks/cracks". It has only happened twice, but it's happening. Did I mention he is only 11?

I was going to talk about "stress eating", but why depress everyone with that.

I was also going to talk about "Writer's Block", because apparently I have that, since I am having trouble coming up with a blog topic.

HOWEVER, God intervened this evening. :-) This is actually going to be an EDUCATIONAL post. :-) It happened while watching the Food Network, and my brother making the comment "I just saw the homeschool teacher light go on..." Oh, yes Ma'am it did. :-) Let me tell you about it.

Tonight, I was watching the show "Unwrapped". It was all about gum. They were talking about this all natural gum called "GLEE Gum". I had never heard of it, but it sounded wonderful. It is all natural, made from the tree gum in the rainforest of Central America. Anyway, they also have a make your own gum kit! It's only $13, and it makes 50 pieces. Yes, my "homeschool light bulb" went off. What a NEAT Science project. :-) WOO HOO! I am excited. :-) If any of you are still with me, and you have chewed this gum, or used the kit, please comment and let me know your opinion on it. :-) They also have a make your own chocolate, and make your own gummie candy kits.

Then, in the same episode they talked about "Quench" gum. Athletes use it to help stop "cotton mouth". My immediate thought went to my dear soldier. I found out, after sending him a WHOLE BUNCH of bubble gum, that they don't chew it a lot because it makes them thirsty. This would be great for the soldiers! :-) It is expensive, so I will probably have to split a jar of it with someone, but what a wonderful idea!!

I feel a whole days Science/Social Studies lesson coming on just from the GLEE gum. A lesson on the Rainforest, the different animals there, the weather patterns, the people... the science of how gum is made, the hands on lesson making it ourselves... Do you think a field trip to the rainforest would be overdoing it? :-)

Wendy Darling

Sunday, February 03, 2008


We have a winner!! The drawing for the peanut brittle is complete. I used the Free Random Number Generator on the internet to choose. I cannot believe I had so many people sign up to win peanut brittle. It is amazing, and the peanut brittle is very good y'all. :-)

The winner is:
#82 - Deborah at "What If"

I have e-mailed Deborah, so as soon as she sends me her mailing address I will purchase it fresh and get it out to you. :-)

Thank you all so much for signing up for the drawing. It has been a lot of fun. :-) Perhaps I will do it again next time. :-)

Wendy Darling