Saturday, November 29, 2008

Drive Thru History...

Have y'all watched this show on TBN? It is hosted by David Stots, and man is it great! :-) I happened upon it one night while flipping the channels, and I stopped to check it out. I thought maybe I could record it to use with "Little Mark." Somehow the DVR ate the recordings, so I bought two of them on DVD.

We have "Rome if you want to", and "Greece is the Word." I plan to purchase "Turkish Delight" and "East meets West" next. I fully intend to also buy the "Drive Thru America" Character Curriculum as well. :-)

I have enjoyed watching the DVDs a lot, and I have even watched them without "Little Mark" and it wasn't to prepare for a lesson. It was just for FUN.

David Stots is a great teacher, but more than that he is entertaining as he gives you the information. The way he told the story of Romulus and Remus was classic. ;-) Even "Little Mark" paid attention and learned something. :-) It actually proved to me that he is learning from all of his curriculums, because he is currently studying Greece and Rome in his History SOS, and of course Paul's journeys there in Bible SOS. This just helped to bring everything "full circle" for him. ;-)

Anyway, I strongly encourage you to take a look at these DVDs, and consider using them for your school. :-)

BTW... I am not in anyway being paid for this "plug", but if the great people at Drive Thru History would like to donate any of the above mentioned DVD sets to me I wouldn't say, "No." ;-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008 Highlights...

This year was a great Thanksgiving. We ate too much, and thanked God that we did have food to eat, and a home to gather in.

Everyone helped with something. "Little Mark" made homemade Southern Yeast Biscuits for us this year. Cleggy made the mashed sweet potatoes and regular mashed potatoes, and Mom and I made everything else. Sister J helped buy the food and clean up, so she did contribute. ;-)

And this year I DID remember to take off the brown paper before cooking the ham. :-) It was delicious. :-)

Cleggy took "Little Mark" to see "Bolt" this afternoon while Sister J went to see "Four Christmases." I chose to take a nap, because Cleggy and I stayed up last night watching "Hairspray." I was in the mood to see it, and sometimes a woman just has to appease her "sassy, fat girl" side. :-)

HOWEVER, the BEST part of Thanksgiving 2008 was THIS: :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, November 21, 2008

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap...

Happy Friday everyone :-) With the colder weather, and the holidays upon us, we all could use that little something "extra" on those cold mornings. So, today I am sharing a simple recipe for spice tea. I grew up drinking this tea. I have NO IDEA where the name came from, because there is not a single Russian ingredient in it, but it sure is good. :-)

Russian Tea Mix

1 C Tang
1/2 C instant tea with lemon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix well and store in an airtight container. To drink, just add two heaping teaspoons of the mix into a coffee cup and add hot water. Stir and enjoy. :-)

For more wonderful recipes please go to the Gayle's. She has a great recipe for making your own Windex! :-)


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Thanksgiving to Remember Part 2...

We all reached the bathroom and found a gut wrenching sight. Yes, my friends, the plumbing had backed up. The toilet was overflowing, “stuff” was backing up into the bathtub; it was a mess. My brother managed to get the toilet turned off, and we began throwing towels onto the floor, trying to get up all of the water. It took every towel under the sink and even the ones from the hamper to get all of the water. It was anarchy. Especially since there were so many of us trying to “help”, and only 2 people can fit in that bathroom, and not comfortably.

We, finally, got the floor cleaned up, mopped, bleached, and the towels in the washing machine. But, we still had one more problem; how do you get a plumber to your house on Thanksgiving morning, and HOW MUCH IS IT GOING TO COST?!

Answer: You don't, and you don’t want to know. We had to use the second bathroom instead, and the plumber came the next day, and the next, and the next…. and the next. They dug up the yard. It wasn’t pretty.

But, back to Thanksgiving Day; with that situation ‘handled’ we began working on dinner, again. The turkey, finally, finished cooking and I prepared the ham to be cooked. I cook my ham the way my Momma cooks ham, and the way my Nana cooked her ham. With pineapple slices, cherries, brown sugar and whole cloves. I noticed the cloves were a lot harder to put in the ham this time though. Peculiar…

I put the ham in the oven and set the timer for about an hour. The timer went off I took the ham out and tried to cut it. The knife would NOT go into the ham. What’s up with that?! Then, I looked at it. REALLY looked at it. It looked kind of funny. I touched it, again. It felt funny, and cold.

In frustration I stabbed the ham, and then I realized… yes, friends, I still had the brown paper wrapped around the ham.

Go ahead, laugh… I’ll give you a moment….

SO, I unwrapped the ham, and discovered it was still cold. That brown paper makes really good insulation. I put new cherries, pineapple, brown sugar, and whole cloves on it. The cloves went in MUCH easier this time; and put it in the oven for another hour.

For those of you keeping track, yes it IS after 12:00 pm. The already cooked pineapple and cherries made a good snack. I may, or may not have licked the brown sugar from the brown paper.

So, with everyone STARVING, and dinner not nearly ready we made sandwiches. After an hour the ham was FINALLY ready. We made the rest of the sides. Then, we carved the turkey…. And guess what I found inside….

Yep, a nicely cooked bag of giblets. Guess the turkey company remembered to put them in after all. But, you know what? By this time I didn’t care! I took them out with a pair of tongs, threw them in the trash and I served that darn bird anyway!

Yes, it was a challenging morning; dinner was late, and it was a long day. But, it ended well and no one got sick. I call that a successful Thanksgiving meal and one I will NEVER forget. ;-)

This year my family is serving turkey roasts. I'm still doing the ham though, minus the brown paper. :-)


Wendy Darling

Monday, November 17, 2008

A Thanksgiving to Remember...

We have all had those Thanksgiving Days where either something wonderful happened that we will never forget, or something bad happened. Perhaps you burned the turkey and your Thanksgiving meal ended up being spaghetti. We've all been there. Let me give you a chuckle by telling you about a Thanksgiving Day I will never forget.

I will "lovingly" refer to it as "Thanksgiving 2000." My brother and sister bought this home in May of 2000, so this was going to be our FIRST Thanksgiving in our new home. I was excited. :-)
Of course, I'm usually excited at the holidays anyway. I love all of the cooking, baking, decorating, ect. Go ahead, say it... I'm weird. ;-) I'm not exactly Martha Stewart, but I do like to entertain.

We eat Thanksgiving "dinner" at Noon in our house. We spend the afternoon playing games, or maybe go to a movie. We eat the leftover's at supper. So, I start cooking EARLY. This particular year I was doing a whole turkey as well as a ham.

I had purchased a frozen turkey, and I had put it in a pan in the refrigerator three days ahead to allow it to thaw. I got up at 4:00am to dress the turkey and put it in the oven. It was only going to need about 4 1/2 hours to cook, and then I could put in the ham. I figured I would have it in the oven by 4:15, 4:20 tops, and then I could go back to bed for another hour, get up and shower/dress and start my day. That's what I THOUGHT would happen.

I took the turkey out of the refrigerator and cut off all of the plastic. To my horror there was still ice on the neck and the "bottom" of the turkey. I couldn't believe it. I had followed the directions, I had given it plenty of thawing time, why was it still frozen? I couldn't wrap it again and put it in water on anything, because I had cut the plastic off of the turkey. It was already in the garbage.

What was I to do? I did the only thing I could think of, I grabbed an ice pick and a hammer and I began to chip away the ice. Yes, Ma'am I did. I stood in the kitchen, in my pajamas and slippers and hacked away at the turkey.
I first had to pry the legs apart, and that meant removing the wire clip. NOT easy an easy task to begin with, but it is almost impossible when the legs are frozen. I, finally managed to get the legs apart, only to find ice in the turkeys nether regions. So, I got a butcher knife and tried to get some of the ice out of the turkey. I do NOT like giblets, and I knew there was a little pouch of those things inside the turkey. They HAD to come out!

I, finally, got enough ice out that I could reach inside. A job I was NOT looking forward to. I reached inside the turkey and my hand was freezing! However, I could not find a bag of giblets. I then thought, maybe I should have gone through the neck? So, I began to use the butcher knife again. After several minutes I got the "flap" open, but not much. So, I put the flap back down, and decided to try the other side again. I could not feel a bag. Of course, I wasn't exactly "into" the task at hand, if you know what I mean.

I came to the conclusion that the company must have forgotten to put a bag in our turkey. So, I tried to put the legs back as best as I could, and I "dressed" my turkey. (By "dressed" I mean I rubbed oil all over it, threw on some seasonings, wrapped it in foil, and tossed that baby in the oven.) By this time it is around 5:30 am. The turkey is definitely late getting into the oven, and it is still partially frozen. It would require extra cooking time.

I cleaned up the kitchen, bleached the counters and headed to take a shower and get dressed. (So much for extra hour of sleep.) After I was dressed the rest of the family began to stir, shower, dress, etc. I went back to the kitchen and began to get other things started. I made the relish tray, and got it in the fridge, boiled eggs, set out the canned veggies and boxed stuffing, put the things for the green bean casserole out on the counter, and began to clean up.

That's when I heard it... The SCREAM for help from the hall bathroom.

continued tomorrow....

Wendy Darling

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Because not everyone will be home for the holidays...

I went to visit Big Mama's blog this morning. As you will see, I did steal the title from her as well.
She had an e-mail from a reader/Army Wife named Amanda. Amanda is trying to gather Christmas cards for the soldiers families stationed at Fort Sill. Here is the excerpt of Amanda's e-mail that Big Mama posted:

Our goal is to send an extra Christmas card to each family of a deployed soldier on our post. We are hoping to encourage those that are walking through a particularly difficult time of deployment.

We want each family to know that the sacrifice they have offered is cherished. We are hoping for a personal note in each card.

Please include words of gratitude as well as words of encouragement. We want Army families to know they are being thought of across this country; that their sacrifice is important, and that they are being covered in prayer.

Please pray for the family as you seal their envelope, knowing with certainty that God knows exactly which family will receive your card. Continue to pray for the families throughout the holiday season. Ask God to bring them to your mind throughout the festivities. You will bring blessings to these homes.

We are striving to get 2000 cards! In order to do this efficiently, we are unable to give out personal contact information for the Army Families. Once the cards are returned, we will be addressing the cards and will use our own return address.

Please include your hometown & state with your signature inside your card, this will ensure that Army Families know people across America are praying for them and thinking of them. You may include a return address inside the card as well, but this is not required. Thank you for joining us in such a big undertaking. One extra Christmas card combined with the love of Jesus, just might change a life.

A few reminders:

1. Write “Dear Army Family” in the greeting of the card

2. Please include a personal greeting inside each card. Include your hometown & state.

3. Please STAMP the envelopes! You may send all the stamped cards in one large envelope or box to save on shipping.

4. Please return cards by December 1, 2008.

5. Please mail the cards to the following address:

Dear Army Family
Fort Sill – PWOC Frontier Chapel
4121 Thomas Road
Fort Sill, OK 73503

Thank you,


“Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land.” Proverbs 25:25

For the full blog post please, go to Big Mama's blog . Let's help them reach their goal of 2000 cards. It's very important that we do not forget to thank not only our heroes, but the families that also make many sacrifices for us as well. :-)

Wendy Darling

Saturday, November 15, 2008

We Have A Winner!!! :-)

I want to thank all of you who signed up for the CD give-away. :-) This has been a really fun one to do. :-) If you did not win, please go over to and order yourself a copy. As you heard, the man has great talent, and I KNOW we will be hearing him on mainstream radio VERY soon. ;-) Don't forget about his blogtalkradio show on Tuesday nights, 8:00 pm CST. ;-)

The winner of the give-away is:

#36 Meddlingkidd over at

Congratulations! :-) You have 3 days to e-mail a physical mailing address to me, and I will get this out to you first thing Monday morning. :-) If I don't hear from "Meddlingkidd" by Tuesday I will draw another winner. But don't wait, head over to Eric's now and purchase one of his awesome CDs, or download it from

Wendy Darling
Drawing Reminder....

I will be using the random number generator at 6:00 this evening to choose the winner of Eric Dodge's Christmas CD, so if you haven't signed up, yet, now is your last chance. Tell your friends. :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, November 14, 2008


You want to know the difference in mindset between a 12 year old boy and a 35 year old man?

My brother was flipping around on the TV to find something to watch. He stops on the Food Network so we could watch a show about desserts. The second he sees the host he sits straight up and happily says, "ALL RIGHT, Giada!" The 12 year old sits straight up and happily says, "ALL RIGHT, CHOCOLATE CAKE!"

That's the difference. :-)

Wendy Darling

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap Friday....

Good morning. :-) I know I haven't updated the blog all week, and I have 2 good reasons. 1) I wanted to leave the give-away at the top of the post so that everyone has a chance to enter, and I don't know how to do that neat thing others do to keep a particular post at the top. 2) I've been busy.

Due to the fact that I am fighting an ear ache, coughing up a lung, and my throat feels like sandpaper, this mornings recipes will be short and easy. BUT, I did say "recipes", so you are getting two of them. :-)

When we have seafood we make our own cocktail sauce and tarter sauce around here. None of that store bought stuff. Ours tastes better, and is cheaper than buying it. :-) We don't usually measure, so I am going to guess at the measurements. Yours may need a little tweaking. ;-)

Cocktail Sauce

1 C ketchup
1 Tbl. horseradish
1 tsp. lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste.

Combine in a bowl, mix very well, cover and let stand in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The longer it sets the hotter (better) it tastes. :-)

Tarter Sauce

1/2 C mayonnaise (or Miracle Whip)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 T finely chopped onions
1 T dill pickle relish

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy with fish or shrimp.
For more great recipes head on over to Gayle's Grocery Cart Challenge. :-)

Wendy Darling

Saturday, November 08, 2008

GIVE-AWAY! :-) Just in time for the holidays! :-)

I am SO EXCITED!! :-)

I believe I have mentioned my love of all things Christmas, especially the music. What would the holidays be without Christmas music?!

My favorites are the simple, classic Christmas songs. The songs that make you think of family and friends sitting around enjoying one another's company; and just gives you the warm, fuzzy feeling of Christmas Spirit. The kind that just makes you want to curl up by the fire while drinking hot chocolate and watching the snow fall. (All of which I would totally do if it, you know, SNOWED in East Texas, and if I had a fireplace.) But, I digress...

I mentioned Eric Dodge's Christmas CD in this post. Eric's sound is smooth, melodic, and soulful. His heart belongs to country music, but he has a voice that could easily cross over to any genre of music. You do NOT have to be a lover of country music to enjoy this beautiful CD.

Eric has graciously donated one copy of his new Christmas CD, "A Christmas Wish" to be given away on this blog. THANK YOU, ERIC!! ;-) I'm serious, y'all; you definitely want this CD among your holiday music this year. The man outdid himself!

Now, I don't usually make y'all "jump through hoops" to sign up for my give-aways, but this one is SPECIAL. You only have to jump through one hoop. :-)

Go to and listen to the short snippets of Eric's CD. Come back here and tell me which song you liked best. That's it. Simple, right? :-)

I will close the drawing Saturday, November 15th, and I will draw the winner at 6:00 pm CST. :-) The winner will then have 3 days to contact me with a mailing address, or I will have to choose another winner. OH, and it is open to EVERY ONE!!! ;-)

Did I mention how excited I am about this drawing?! :-) If you just can't wait and you want to order your own you may go to cdbaby, or you can get it straight from Eric here.

Wendy Darling

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap...

It is Friday and that means it's time for another wonderful recipe! :-) If you would like to participate in the challenge please post your recipe on your blog and then head over to Gayle's at Grocery Cart Challenge and link up to Mr. Linky. :-)

With the cooler weather we have had (though it has been in "spurts") I am really in the mood for different kinds of soups. :-) I did make a big ol' batch of vegetable soup a couple of weeks ago, and there is still some in the freezer for a quick meal another day. ;-)

I am really in the mood to make this Potato Soup. It is EASY, CHEAP and tastes GREAT! Did I mention it is cheap? :-) Enjoy! :-)

Potato Soup

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
8 cups chicken broth
2 large baking potatoes (about 2 lbs.), peeled and diced
1/4 cup heavy cream

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the onions, celery, and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
Pour the chicken broth in a large pot and add the potatoes. Boil until the potatoes are fork tender. Add the celery and onions, salt and pepper. At this point you want to puree your soup. You can do this with an immersion blender, but I just put mine in a regular blender. You will have to do this in 2-3 steps to get it all if you do it in a blender. Once it is blended put it all back in the pot. Stir in the heavy cream and season to taste. If it is too thick for you just add some more chicken broth and heat a little longer.

I love to serve this with a salad and a good crusty bread. (I know, you're thinking it's too many carbs with the potatoes. But, I love it.) ;-)

For more fantastic recipes go on over Gayle's.

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A United House...

I was going to post today about how we need to pray for President elect-Obama, and pray that God will grant him wisdom. Whether you voted for him, or not, he has been placed in authority, and for whatever reason God allowed him to be placed there.

But, Beth beat me to it, and said it so much more eloquently than I ever could; so once again I am sending you there.

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Inspiring Word

Beth Moore posted a very inspiring, encouraging blog post this evening. Check it out.

Wendy Darling


"Little Mark" and I just finished the study on our election process. I have to say, I am very proud of all that he has learned. And, I find it fitting that we finished the study on election day.

The last question of the study was "Does one vote really count?" I was so proud of him when he verbalized, as well as wrote, "YES!" :-)

So, be sure that you get out today and VOTE. Remember those who died to give you this privilege.

Wendy Darling

Saturday, November 01, 2008

And the WINNER is.....

Thank you to all of you who signed up to win the cook book. :-) I was very excited about this give-away, and I was hoping many people would enter. You didn't fail me. :-)

If this was your first time here, please come back and visit.

Also, please let me take this opportunity to thank the many of you who said that you are Veteran's, and those who have husbands, brothers, sisters, fathers, etc. who are either currently serving, or have served. It is because of them/you that we are in a free country. :-)

I also want to thank YOU, the family, who willingly sacrifice time with these heroes, so that they may serve. I wish I was financially able to give you ALL a cook book. God bless you ALL.

Now, if you are not the winner, please go to Soldiers' Angels and order one for yourself, or as a gift for the ones you were thinking of. It truly is a wonderful gift, and you will be supporting our military and their families. :-) Also, if you feel led, you may visit their homepage, and consider adopting a soldier. A letter a week, and a care package a month means SO MUCH to our heroes far from home.

OK, on with the winner.... ;-) I used the random number generator and it gave me :

#105 (I tried to "snag it" and post a pic of the generator, but our new computer doesn't have "snag it" on it yet. Sorry.)

#105 is..... Reeva - from "The Wicked Life of Meeeee....."

Congratulations, Reeva. I will e-mail Reeva, and you have 4 days to contact me and claim your prize. :-)

Again, thank you to everyone!! :-)

Wendy Darling