Friday, November 12, 2010

"I've got an oil for that..."

This very well may become my new mantra. Seriously, I believe I have uttered this phrase at least a thousand times over the last 3 days.

Ok, maybe not a thousand, but I have said it A LOT. And with good reason. ;-)

I have not mentioned it to many people, but I am now an Independent Distributor for Young Living.

Relax! There is no need to run and stop reading; this is not a sales pitch. However, for me, it is turning out to be a blessing in disguise. :-)

I believe I have mentioned SEVERAL times before that I lack heavily in the "health insurance" department. (i.e. I have none.) Hospitals and doctors kind of frown on that sort of thing. So, I have been looking for "alternative medicine" for quite some time now. A couple of my friends (THANK YOU "J" and "V") shared these oils with me.

Oh. My. Goodness! So much information. It took me several weeks of looking at the website and doing some research, but I finally decided this sounded like something that could help my situation, and it was natural. So, I ordered one of the starter kits and waited for the first opportunity to try it out.

It didn't take long. The first day was spent smelling the oils and reading about each one and how it could help us. That very day I used one on my sore ankle and within a minute or so my pain was gone. Mom was stuffy, so we used the peppermint oil and she has been breathing easy ever since. :-)

The nephew has slept through the night, treated warts and "been energized" with a few of the oils. When I was deciding whether or not to try them I asked myself: 1) Is it cost effective in the long run, and 2) Does it work. Answers: Yes, and Yes. So, I decided to give it a shot. AND, in the long run, it's cheaper than a doctor/hospital/pharmacy visit.

OH, and don't even get me started on the all natural cleaner. Heavens to Betsy!! It's a Godsend.

AND, did I mention, it's cheaper than going to the doctor?! :-)

Did this sound to much like a sales pitch? Sorry about that. I just got excited about the millions of ways these oils can help me. I'll have to see if there is one for chronic exaggeration. ;-)

Anyway, in the last 3 days anytime someone has mentioned any sort of physical ailment I immediately respond, "I've got an oil for that, " and I run to my trusty oils and the info book/catalog. :-) It kind of reminds me of the character in Holes that always says, "I can fix that." LOL... ;-)

Just thought I'd share.

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chance for $500 Visa gift card...

Melanie over at Big Mama is giving away a $500 Visa gift card, sponsored by Swanson's Broth. You may find all of the info HERE.


Monday, October 25, 2010

I believe I need an editor...

Even though today is our first day back at school I've been goofing off on the computer some this morning. I'm waiting for "Little Mark" to finish an assignment, so I decide to just check out some blogs.

I am so far behind on reading some of my "favorite" blogs that I think I'm just going to have to empty my Google Reader and start with a clean slate. The thought of doing that kills me. But, every time I open up GR and see that big 1000 + staring back at me I remind myself of what an awful person I am for not keeping up with my friends blogs, especially the ones who are MUCH better than I am blog every day.

So, really it would be best for my self-esteem to just clear it. I'm sure they will understand. :-)

The one thing that REALLY bothers me though is when I go back and read MY blog posts and I see all of the mistakes. You know the ones that are written late at night, or in haste, and I just want to get it typed out? Yeah. I go back and I see so many stupid mistakes, like using the wrong form of a word; putting an apostrophe in the wrong spot; or my constant overuse of commas...

I am positive I have driven away several faithful readers who just couldn't continue to forgive me for my grammar/punctuation mistakes.

And we're not even going to discuss run-on sentences...

So, I think the only thing to do is "hire" a proofreader/editor. I wonder if there are any who wouldn't mind being paid in cookies...

Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Skip Christmas??? NEVER! ;-)

Again, I am fully aware of what month it is, but tonight the family and I watched "Christmas With the Kranks", and I laughed myself silly. :-)

I have to admit that when I first saw this advertise a few years ago I had no desire to see it. It just didn't seem funny to me. Then, I got bored one day and watched it. I'm glad I did.

If you haven't seen it, yet, go ahead and set aside about 1 1/2 hours and enjoy it. You'll be glad you did. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Yep, it's a list... again.

First, let me thank all of you for still hanging around. I think its' pretty obvious by now that I stink as a blogger. ;-) There are some days I have ideas for wonderful blog fodder, and then no time to blog. Most other days... I got nothin'. And, I've forgotten the wonderful blog fodder I had intended to blog about.

Like now. I really don't have much of anything, but after almost 2 months I feel I should at least poke my head up and wave a little to those of you still here. :-)

So, here's a list of what I've been up to:

1. I learned to play Chess. Now, this may seem rather boring to some of you, but I've wanted to learn for years. I actually did learn once, about 20 years ago. My brother taught me, but refused to play with me the first time I beat him. ;-) Then, he forgot how to play as well. So, we looked at this really great book;

and inside it says that Chess is one game all boys should know how to play. After all, it teaches strategy, concentration, and they learn how to be good winners/losers. So, Cleggy, "Little Mark" and I learned how to play Chess, and we have loved it. "Little Mark" is surprisingly VERY good. :-)

2. 4-H is now back in full swing. We have had the first Photography workshop, and the food show/challenge will be in November. A LOT of new faces in many of the clubs this year. I am so excited. I never did 4-H growing up, but I wish I had. It is such an amazing organization and really teaches kids leadership skills, as well as many other life skills. I have seen so many kids "come out of their shell" over the last few years, and really build there self-esteem. But, more importantly, edifying one another and teaching others. If you haven't looked into 4-H, you should definitely take a closer look. :-) And, as I always tell new prospects, "It's NOT just showing animals." ;-)

3. My college homecoming is coming up after the first of the year and I've been busy planning our chapter luncheon. I like to plan WAY ahead on things, especially when I'm working on a budget. I've decided on spaghetti, garlic bread, salad, cake (which I'm making) and tea/water. That's budget friendly and easy for our youth to serve us. ;-)

4. I've started filling in for the lady who does the desserts for our supper at church on Wednesday nights. Last night was my first time. I think it went pretty well. :-) It's only for a couple of months, and doesn't take a lot of time from "Little Mark's" school work. He does most of it on his own this year anyway.

I've been very pleased with this years' schedule. :-)

5. I'm also learning the Metric System along with "Little Mark." I don't know where you went to school, but I barely remember learning a LITTLE bit about it, but not much. And that was in elementary school. So, I know NOTHING. I love the way Math-U-See handles it though. And, I've been very pleased with how quickly "Little Mark" has caught on. He definitely has the mind for math. :-)

And, I have found that I REALLY like Math!

I KNOW! I can't believe I just typed that either!! :-) I even sent my college Math teacher an e-mail telling her how much I like Math now. I found myself looking at a receipt a couple of weeks ago, and I mentally put the total in Exponential Notation FOR FUN.

I'm such a nerd... ;-)

6. The weather has turned cooler and I LOVE it!! Fall and spring are my favorite seasons.

7. I'm getting very excited for Christmas!! :-)

You knew that one was coming, didn't you?

8. I'm now one of the teacher's in my Singles Sunday School class, and I really like it. :-) Our class is growing, and we have even decided to have a float in the Christmas parade. WOO HOO!! Two of my favorite things put together. It's the equivalent of putting chocolate with caramel. ;-)

9. I am doing the Beth Moore Bible Study "Here and Now... There and Then". It's on the Book of Revelation. LOVE. IT. I highly recommend it.

10 I've been listening to a song the last couple of weeks that really touches me. I'll post the link below. It's such an awesome reminder that no matter what goes on in this world/our lives, the most important thing is whether or not we are leading others to Christ. Whether directly witnessing, or just living our lives as an example of Christ's love. I don't always do that, but I'm trying.

Well, guess I'll end the list with this. Guess I had more to say than I thought. LOL.. ;-) I will try to be a better blogger.

Enjoy the song/video.
Wendy Darling

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Some catching up...

Little Mark has been in Dallas for almost 2 weeks now. We FINALLY finished 7th so he has been on break. Which means I have been on break. :-)

We begin 8th grade on Monday, but until then I will enjoy the last few days I have to relax.

What have I been doing during all of that "free time"? Cleaning house, preparing for 8th grade, watching "North and South" books 1 and 2, playing Skip-Bo, eating stuffed jalapenos, baking, scrapbooking, cooking and playing on the computer.

I have also been listening to MANY people talk about how expensive school supplies/school clothes are and praising God we homeschool. I am so glad we don't have to deal with the hassle and expense of it all. One parent told me how much they spent on supplies and just a few school uniforms. I told them that was almost twice as much as I spent on all of Little Mark's curriculum for the whole year. They became very interested in homeschooling after that.

I seem to get a lot of phone calls around this time of year, and I have also been answering a lot of questions and advising several families about how to begin homeschooling. I have even turned down 2 offers to teach other children. I'm guiding the parents as they make the decision of whether or not they want to venture into the homeschooling world. I'm quick to tell them it isn't for everyone, but I am a huge advocate, and would definitely support their decision. and be happy to give any guidance/advice I can.

It is such a joy to see the smile on a parent's face who has a young one going into Pre-K or Kindergarten and say, you can homeschool this little one for FREE using the public library and what you already have at home. Save that private school tuition. It's a blessing. :-)

As you have probably figured out homeschooling is one of my passions. I could talk about it all day long, and have. :-)

Well, that's what going on with me. Tomorrow I plan to do a Home Blessing and watch a movie. We'll see after that. Things get back to "normal" on Monday, and I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a great year. :-)


Monday, July 26, 2010

It's a deep one guys ~ Get ready...

Those who know me know that I am influenced by music. Most of the people in my family are. I have said several times that I could put together a soundtrack of my life based on what was popular at the time. I hear songs now and I can remember where I was living/what was going on in my life at that time.

There are some songs that really speak to me though. Maybe it's just me, but I take the lyrics to heart.

Two of those songs have really been influencing me lately. One is an older song, but one I have loved since it came out in 1990. "Only Here for a Little While" by Billy Dean, and "These are the Words I Would Say" by Sidewalk Prophets.

While the genre/music style is different, the message is the same; "Tell people what they mean to you while you are here! Get your business taken care of daily." We've all had those people in our life that we wish we could have spoken to one last time before they passed on. We wish would could have told them how much they meant to us. OR, we wish they would have taught us something; told us more about themselves while they were here.

My Daddy died when I was 15. There are many things I wish I would have said to him. He was a great man, and taught me a lot, but I know there was more he would have taught me as I got older.

I don't have any children, but I do have family and friends. I have two nephews, and an "adopted niece" who I love very much. I try to be a positive influence on their lives and teach them something whenever we are together. Whether it's important to spend quality time with people while baking cookies, or how volcanoes work, or just letting them know how important they are and how much God loves them.

So, today I took both of these songs to heart. I really thought about what I would want to say to each of them if I knew I would not be here tomorrow. I sat down, and I hand wrote each of them a letter. I let them know what a blessing they have been to me and gave them that bit of encouragement, love and advice I would give them if I were here.

They are sealed in envelopes in my drawer and will be given to them after I pass on. None of us are promised the next breath, and I won't stop encouraging, teaching and loving them as long as I am here. Hopefully, by the time they grow up the letters will be obsolete, because I will have said it all myself. But, just in case I want them to have that last bit from me.

I hope this doesn't come across as macabre. Sometimes it is really hard to translate the feelings/intentions I have in words.

Why am I posting all of this here, on a blog? Two reasons. 1) I want to let those family members who actually read this blog (both of you) know about it and know to give the young ones the letters. 2) To encourage you to tell your family and friends how much you love them. How important they are, and how much they have blessed you.

If you wish, here are the two songs that have inspired this post today. Listen to the lyrics, and tell your loved ones just how important they are to you.

Wendy Darling

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five and Ten - Round Two

Instructions, just in case you forgot:

(1) Turn on your MP3 player/iPod.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.

(3) Write down the first TEN songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please (even if letting the world know you listen to crap "Weekend in New England" will humiliate you).
(4) Choose FIVE people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you, since there should be new songs appearing with Shuffle every time.

Ok, I got tagged, again. Cleggy and Phineas tagged me for this meme this time, and since I have over 1000 songs on my player odds are I will get a different ten songs, right? We can only hope.

And odds are at least ONE Eric Dodge song will come up, right? We can hope. SO, without further ado let me turn on the player and lets get started.... :-)

1. The Coloring Song - Petra
2. The Real Thing - Bo Bice
3. Massachusetts - Bee Gees
4. Anymore - Travis Tritt
5. A Few Good Men - Gaither Vocal Band
6. I Can Love You Like That - John Michael Montgomery
7. When You're Smilin' - Louis Prima
8. I Am Changing - Jennifer Hutson
9. Love Me Tender - Elvis Presley
10. Sixteen Tons - Tennessee Ernie Ford

OK, Cleggy did not want to be outdone by Princess Ladybug, so he did a bonus 10. Well if he can then I can too. :-) Here is the bonus 10.

Isn't this fun?! :-)

11. Something to Talk About - Bonnie Rait
12. I Honestly Love You - Olivia Newton John
13. I'll Be True to You - The Oak Ridge Boys
14, Soul Man - Sam and Dave
15. Song of the South - Alabama
16. Country Club - Travis Tritt
17. Try a Little Tenderness - Otis Redding
18. Rocky Mountain High - John Denver
19. Let's Fall to Pieces Together - George Strait
20. God With Us - Mercy Me

Unbelievable!!! Not even one Eric Dodge song came up. Oh well, maybe next time. :-) OK, since everyone If would tag has already been tagged I'll just open this one up. I you would like to participate, please do. And then leave me a message letting me know you did so I can come and see your post. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Music Tag... Five and Ten

OK, I got tagged by Princess Ladybug over at Fly Away Home. Here's how it works:

(1) Turn on your MP3 player/iPod.
(2) Go to SHUFFLE songs mode.

(3) Write down the first TEN songs that come up--song title and artist--NO editing/cheating, please (even if letting the world know you listen to crap "Weekend in New England" will humiliate you).
(4) Choose FIVE people to be tagged. It is generally considered to be in good taste to tag the person who tagged you, since there should be new songs appearing with Shuffle every time.

1. Indescribable- Chris Tomlin
2. If I Know ME - George Strait
3. Daydream Believer - The Monkees
4. Through the Years - Kenny Rogers
5. If We are the Body - Casting Crowns
6. Sunglasses at Night - Cory Hart
7. California Dreamin' - The Mamas and the Papas
8. The Snowman - Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby
9. How Can I Keep from Singing - Chris Tomlin
10. Common Man - John Conlee

I can't believe not a single Eric Dodge song came up. SO, let me take this opportunity to let you know that you can download a FREE song from The song is called "Home of the Brave" and is off of his new CD "Home To Me." You will LOVE it. :-)

Don't you like how I plugged that? LOL... :-)

OK, now I have to tag 5 people. Princess Ladybug tagged some of the ones I would have tagged, so I'll pick 5 different ones.


Even if you don't normally do these things, come on along and play. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, July 08, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Ok, so it's not really, but I'm sure getting in the mood. :-) Don't worry, this will not be a Christmas post, nor is it to make you hyperventilate thinking you need to start getting the decorations out of the closet/garage/attic; and start making lists of the gifts you need to get this year.

I have begun that list because I drew my wonderful BIL's name and I'm poor, which means I have to save and buy early. :-) And, T, you can continue reading because I'm NOT going to put what I'm getting you on here. :-) Fact is I still don't know... but I'm in the mood to make something so anything is possible.

Little Mark has been home from camp for a week and he had a wonderful time. I also enjoyed my time off, and I did everything on my "to do" list except read my camera manual. I was way too busy watching movies and eating massive amounts of salsa. It was a fun time. :-)

Little Mark will be taking one last vacation for the summer in August. He'll be gone for two weeks and I have already begun my "to do" list for while he is away. So far on the list:

1. Watch "North and South" Book 1. Don't ask me why, but I've been in the mood to watch it.
2. Purchase part of BIL's Christmas present and make plans for the rest.
3. EAT LOTS OF SALSA. You knew that one was coming didn't you? :-)

That's the list so far. I would add "listen to Christmas music" to that list, but those of you who know me know I've already been doing that. :-) I just might have to visit a Michael's or Hobby Lobby this weekend to look at he decorations/craft supplies. I need a "Christmas fix."

Wendy Darling

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Plans for the week....

Little Mark leaves for camp tomorrow morning and I have been making plans of what I should do this week while he is away. After careful consideration I have decided on the following activities:

1) Get caught up on Scrapbooking at least one day
2) Watch movies via Netflix streaming/and on DVD, also via Netflix
3) Eat lots and lots of salsa
4) sleep
5) play Skip-Bo with my Mom
6) Eat lots and lots of salsa
7) Reread the manual to my digital camera and play around with it to see if I can learn to use it better, and I really should take some time to read more
8) Occasionally clean the house and cook a meal
9) Did I mention eat salsa?

That sounds like a full week of productivity to me. :-)

Wendy Darling

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yes, I'm still alive.... and a recipe

Wanted to stop in and let y'all know that I am still kickin'. :-) I am also pretty worn out from VBS today, so I'm not doing a whole post. I do have several "in the works" though, so I will be posting soon.

For some unknown reason I have REALLY been craving stuffed jalapenos and salsa lately. Don't ask me why, but I could literally live off the stuff. Thankfully, jalapenos are inexpensive, and the salsa takes less than 5 minutes to make. :-) SO, here is the recipes.

Homemade Salsa

1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 jalapeno (chop the top off)
about 1/2 of a medium Noonday onion (any onion will work, but Noonday is in season and they aren't hot)
2 cloves of garlic
2 tsp. sugar

Put everything in a blender until smooth.

That's it. It's all fresh ingredients, except the canned tomatoes, and it tastes great. For a milder salsa take the seeds out of the jalapeno first.

Wendy Darling

Monday, May 31, 2010


Obviously that whole "blog more" thing hasn't worked out. Sorry about that. Seems I have lacked motivation/time/blog fodder for a couple of weeks, at least.

Good news is, there are no pictures of snakes this time. :-) We did have one more battle with a snake, OUTSIDE, but that was my brother's battle, and he put up a brave fight. It was a rat snake, more commonly known as a chicken snake. We have a field just on the other side of our fence that the owners don't keep mowed very well, and we believe they are coming from there. It doesn't help that we don't rake regularly either. Oh well, enough of that.

I've been really nostalgic again lately. Perhaps it is because "Little Mark" will turn 14 in a couple of weeks. That seems so weird to type, much less say aloud. I can't believe it.

I've been thinking a lot about when my siblings and I were young. On weekends or holidays we would play board games for hours. It was nothing for a Monopoly marathon to last all weekend. When I was in high school we lived just outside of a small town. Since we lived so far out of town we spent many weekends at home, playing games. We would turn on the "oldies" station on the radio and listen for hours; they played requests. Or, we took turns playing our cassette tapes while we played Gin Rummy, or our favorite, 42. :-) I remember it like it was yesterday. Games, junk food, music, laughter and teasing... it was a great time.

Now, it's difficult for us to get together, and not everyone will play games when we do. We've all developed other interests, and it's a shame. I've tried to instill the love of board games/cards, etc. in "Little Mark", but it's an uphill battle. Kids today don't seem interested in those "simple" games anymore. Now, it has to be played on a computer, a Wii, or have a DVD involved to hold their attention.

Maybe that's just the way I see it.

We don't often get to take vacations, but the greatest one we could take ( in my opinion) would involve a whole Saturday at the kitchen table with the "simple" games of our youth lining the kitchen counter. Junk food in the fridge and music playing in the room. No responsibilities or places to go.

Just a leisurely day of fun... and me winning. ;-)

SO, what was your favorite game to play when you were young?

Wendy Darling

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Snake Incident

In my last post I mentioned that I had a snake incident. At the moment I am waiting for "Little Mark" to finish an assignment so I thought I would go ahead and write about it. I had so many people contact me I thought I would put your minds at ease.

OK, so NO ONE contacted me, but it gives me something to post and I'm trying to blog more. Bare with me.

A couple of weeks ago I was home alone. I had been enjoying a nice afternoon of catching up on Facebook, watching a movie on Netflix streaming and eating pizza. In other words, having a very productive day. :-) I went to the back of the house to use the restroom and noticed something on my bedroom floor. I stopped in the doorway, because I KNEW that nothing had been there a couple of hours ago.

I turned on the light only then watch a snake slither into the closet, under the door. The closet that holds a lot of clothes and bags. All of the "emergency bags" we keep packed just in case we have to leave quickly. (It's one of FlyLady's suggestions) The thought of that snake being in one of those bags freaked me out almost as much as witnessing it slither in there to begin with.

Now, I have to tell you that this thing was not very big around. It wasn't HUGE, or extremely long, but at that moment it looked like an Anaconda! It was a snake, that's all I needed to know.

Thankfully, I had my cell phone with me. So, I called my family, who was in a car 2 hours away. I know they wouldn't be much help, but I needed to tell someone, anyone that "THERE IS A SNAKE IN MY CLOSET!"

To my credit, I was calm. I was still in the doorway, and my eyes never left the closet door. And I STILL needed to go the bathroom.

My family reminded me to call Animal Control, so I hung up with them and called the non-emergency police number to ask for Animal Control. They put me through.... to a voice mail. Did I mention this was a Saturday? Because that is important. Our animal control officer is OFF on the weekend, and apparently there isn't enough money in the budget to hire a "weekend guy."

I attempted to leave a message and forgot to leave my phone number, but did leave my address and name. I was very calm as I let them know that a snake was in my closet and I needed someone to call me back very soon, please.

10 minutes later I still had not heard from them. It was then that I realized I forgot to leave my number. SO, I called the police again, very calmly told them I had a snake in my closet and that I was so nervous I forgot to leave my phone number. I must have been TOO calm, because the lady officer connected me with the voice mail, again, without even questioning the fact I had just said "THERE IS A SNAKE IN MY CLOSET."

I again left a message and this time listened to all of the options, even pushing the button letting them know this was an emergency. That might be helpful.

20 minutes later, still no phone call. At this point I needed contact with the outside world. I was still standing in the doorway, and my eyes still never left the closet door. I still needed to go to the bathroom.

I backed all of the way down the hall, never taking my eyes off of the closet door and went into to my sisters room turning only long enough to grab her laptop which was just inside her door. I then went back to my room, mustered up enough nerve to sit on the edge of the bed and still watched the door. I got on Facebook and told everyone of my friends THERE IS A SNAKE IN MY CLOSET.

I then called "Angel's" Mom and Dad and asked them to come get the snake out because Animal Control STILL had not called back. I had already called the police 3 times and did not want to call them again. I still did not know what kind of snake it was, or where it was as this point. I only knew it was "somewhere" in the closet.

Withing 20 minutes "Angel" and her parents were at my front door. I ran to open it and led them to the closet. "Angel's" dad did find the snake coiled up in a corner and determined it was THIS:

A Ground Rattlesnake. Approximately a foot long. "Angel's" Dad then took it outside and let it loose in the neighboring field, but not before "Angel" had a chance to touch it while Daddy held the held. The girl has NO FEAR. I was just glad it was out of the house.

They stayed a few moments to visit and left. I, FINALLY went to the bathroom and the rest of the weekend was rather uneventful. And the Animal Control people? They finally called... at 8:30 Monday morning. I'm sure glad it wasn't an emergency situation or anything.

Wendy Darling

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap

Hello, again!! Well, I've been meaning to blog for several weeks and just haven't made it yet. I even have some blogging topics, such as "the snake", "some pictures to share", etc. But, I'll get to those. :-) I thought a recipe might be a good way to get me back into "the swing of things".

I'm doing some baking this week, to help out the youth of our church with their fundraiser. I decided to make some "Rice Krispie Cookies" because they are SO GOOD and they might bring in a little money. The fact that I doubled the recipe so we could have a few as well had absolutely nothing to do with my decision. :-)

I got the recipe from this cookbook:

If you ever get a chance to look at it please do; there are many recipes in the book, not just desserts. For you "healthy food" people out there they even have a bran muffin recipe. If you make it, please let me know how it tastes. :-)

After you leave here, please hop over to Gayle's and check out the other awesome recipes linked there. If you would like to join the recipe swap just post a recipe and follow the directions to Mr. Linky at Gayle's. :-)

Rice Krispie Cookies


1 C flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. baking powder

1/ 4 tsp. salt

1/2 C butter or margarine, softened

1/2 C granulated sugar

1/2 C firmly packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1 C Kellog's Rice Krispies

1 C quick-cooking oats

1/2 C shredded coconut

Preheat 350 degrees F

Lightly coat two large cookie sheets with nonstick cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add both sugars and cream together. Add the egg and vanilla, beating to incorporate. Stir in the reserved flour mixture. Combine well. Stir in the oatmeal, cereal and coconut.

Drop the mixture by level measuring tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake 12 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly browned. Cool completely and store in airtight container.

Enjoy!! :-)


Wendy Darling

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Been Busy... but, here's a pic of one of the things I've been up to. :-)

I made my first wedding cake. :-) I also made the groom's cake. The football is made from rice crispy treats, which is something new for me. I learned that one from "Ace of Cakes" and "Cake Boss". I'll be doing that more often in the future. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hello/Recommendation :-)

I know, it's been awhile. :-) Things are going well with me, but busy. I'll post later catching up with me, but I read something this morning that excited me so much I had to share. I'm doing my "Happy Dance." :-) Ree from the Pioneer Woman IS publishing her "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels" story AND there is a wonderful announcement in regards to that. But, I'll let her tell you. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

"Behold He comes riding on the clouds, shining like the sun at the trumpet call; lift your voice, it's the year of Jubilee, and out of Zion's hill salvation comes!!"

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I'm Home. :-)

If you remember THIS link, then you know that this weekend was the "night away" my family gifted to me. :-) I was so excited, and looked forward to getting away.

A couple of obstacles ALMOST ruined it for me, but it worked out after all. First, "Little Mark" got the flu. It was bad. He ended up in the ER and was dehydrated. They prescribed Tamiflu. I don't know if you have ever had to take Tamiflu, but apparently it causes HALF of it's users to vomit. (That is what doctor #2 told me when I took him BACK to the ER the next morning.) So, she prescribed a med for the nausea and we discontinued the Tamiflu. It worked.

By Friday "Little Mark" was feeling much better and had been fever free for over 48 hours. So, I was back on. Or was I?

Thursday afternoon/evening brought East Texas something we don't see very often, snow flurries. Then, Friday morning we awoke to this:

I was stoked. :-) I haven't seen this much snow in over 10 years. Dallas got anywhere from 9"-14". We got around 6". We loved it, it was amazing. :-) Our street, however, looked like this.

Hmmm... I don't drive in snow. I didn't plan to leave until the early afternoon, so I was praying it would melt before then. The highways were pretty clear to drive on, so I loaded the car with my suitcase, plugged in my music, prayed and gave God the wheel. I was on my way.

I made one stop along the way and purchased a SMALL box of these.

My Valentine's gift to myself. :-) 4 little pieces of chocolate, and I was going to savor every bite.

All along the way I just was in awe of how beautiful the snow was. I lost count of how many snowmen I passed. I saw the tall pine trees I pass at least once a week, covered in white. I watched as the melting snow fell off the trees, revealing the green needles once again. I passed large fields that were still perfect, untouched by human feet or cattle. A Christmas song came up on the mp3 player, and for a moment I felt I was in another time and place, and I didn't want it to end.

I made it to my destination, entered a Mexican restaurant and requested a table in the corner. I wanted to read and people watch. It was a great way to spend and hour. :-) I checked into my hotel, purchased a coke from the vending machine and filled my ice bucket. I then settled into my room, unpacked and did my Bible Study homework for this weeks Bible Study.

My room came with a jacuzzi. NOT a jacuzzi tub. An actual jacuzzi. I had never used a jacuzzi before, but I was looking forward to using it. It should have come with instructions, because before I ever got in I was wiping down walls, floors, lamps, and the chair in the room. I did this TWICE before I figured out I had to get the water level above the jets before I could turn it on. :-) Once I figured that out though, it was all good. :-) I hopped out, showered, put on PJs and settled in for the night. It was about 5:30 pm. LOL... ;-)

I ordered dinner in, watched TV, listened to music, read, and then enjoyed my four little pieces of chocolate I treated myself to earlier. Best 99 cents I've spent in awhile. :-) The bed was very comfortable, and I was surprised at how well I slept considering I don't like to be in the house alone, much less a strange room.

I woke this morning, dressed and went to the breakfast room. I took my Bible Study with me to do a little more reading over breakfast, but I have to admit I "people watched" most of the time. :-)

I went back to the room, packed, watched a little TV, checked out and headed out for my day. Did a little shopping; bought 2 lip glosses, eye shadow, and some cake decorating stuff. I've been considering buying a new Bible for awhile, so I spent about an hour in LifeWay looking at different ones. I finally found one I really liked AND it was 50% off. :-) I also picked up this book:

I know I recommended the one for Children in my last post, but I thought maybe I should read this one as well. :-)

I also went to the local Art Museum. I hadn't been there since I took "Little Mark" to see the visiting Norman Rockwell exhibit. That's been about 8 years. I was able to take my time, read the information, sit and look at the paintings and photos. And I came to a conclusion; there are just some "artists" I'm never going to get. I think they were doing drugs when they came up with those paintings. I'm just sayin'.

I made a couple of more stops and decided at the last minute to ditch my plans to go see a movie and head on home. The Evergreens that had been covered with white just 24 before were now green again. Some remnants of the snow still lay on the ground where the shade protected it from the sun. I made it home, got some Chinese Food and finished my night watching a DVD; bringing an end to my "Me Time" away. I could not have asked for a better gift, and the fact that my family gave it to me without me ever saying anything about it let's me know they really are "looking out for me" and know what I need. :-)

It was so amazing, relaxing, and refreshing. I don't think a word exists to describe so I'm going to stop trying and just say, "THANK YOU, FAMILY!!"

Wendy Darling

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The Five Love Languages of Children.

I believe I have mentioned this book, written by Gary Chapman, before. It is a wonderful book, and I intend to read it again. :-)

Today Homeschool View had a wonderful article about "How to Speak Your Homeschooler's Love Language." I have copied it here. If you homeschool but do not subscribe to Homeschool View's blog, I highly recommend heading over and signing up for it. It is through Alpha Omega, so you might need to register there first. I'm not sure about that part.

Do your children feel loved? Do they sense your unconditional affection and support as they homeschool? Although we may think we're showing love to our children during the day, many times our homeschoolers fail to feel loved because we use the wrong love language. According to The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell, children sense love in five basic ways: words of affirmation, gift giving, quality time, acts of service, and physical touch. Do you know which of these love languages speaks loudest to your child's heart?

Determining your child's love language will enable you to achieve family closeness and provide a solid emotional foundation for your child while homeschooling with your curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications®. One simple test you can use to find your child's love language is to ask your child this question:

"If I was gone on vacation for several weeks, what would you like me to do when I returned home?"

• Tell you how much I missed you. (words of affirmation)
• Bring a gift back for you. (gift giving)
• Spend the day playing together. (quality time)
• Make your favorite meal for supper. (acts of service)
• Give you a big hug and kiss. (physical touch)

Although your child may say he would like you to do all of these, ask him to pick out the one action he thinks is most important. This will allow you to pinpoint his particular love language and enable you to communicate your love to him more effectively.

So, what are some practical ways of meeting your homeschooled child's need for love? Depending on your child's particular love language you might do the following:

Words of Affirmation - Mean what you say. No flattery allowed.
• Write encouraging comments like "great job" on daily papers.
• Offer sincere compliments when he demonstrates positive character qualities with siblings.
• Be polite and use "please" and "thank you" liberally.
• Praise him verbally as often as you can for both his efforts and successes in school.
• Pray aloud with him daily and ask for God's blessing on his life.

Gift Giving - It doesn't need to be expensive, just thoughtful and age appropriate.
• Purchase items (favorite candy bar, coloring book, etc.) from dollar-value stores to use as daily rewards on schoolwork.
• Choose a gift or plan an activity he has been wanting and give it as a reward for a successful school year.
• Create a surprise love bucket. Each week, fill the bucket with educational items like art supplies, an educational computer game, a new reference book, a new notebook, or other study items.
• Make homemade gifts. These gifts may even spark an interest in carpentry, sewing, photography, gardening, and other life skills.

Quality Time - Undivided attention required. No multi-tasking allowed.
• Cherish learning together. Don't hurry through school lessons.
• Take all the time necessary to work through questions he doesn't understand.
• Plan an individual homeschool field trip covering one of his subjects.
• Skip school and plan a regular date once a month to do something fun.
• Watch a movie, play a board game, or read a book together.
• Play a seasonal sport activity together for physical education class.
• Work together on a hobby he enjoys.

Acts of Service - Be creative. Go beyond the normal duties.
• Help him paint and redecorate his room.
• Plan a special party or activity for his homeschool friends.
• Wash and wax his car.
• Volunteer to help in his Sunday school class or youth group at church.

Physical Touch - Warning! This love language is not for young children only!
• Give kisses and hugs without measure!
• Cuddle in a chair while you share a book.
• Give a back rub while he is studying at the computer or the table.
• Give a pedicure or manicure as you study lessons on health.

Most importantly, don't assume you are communicating love effectively simply because you homeschool. Just as children learn academics in a variety of ways, they also feel love from their parents differently. If you want your children to remember their homeschooling days as ones filled with love, monitor their hearts through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, apply large amounts of God's agape love, and communicate in the love language they understand best!

Wendy Darling

Friday, January 29, 2010

All By Myself...

At times, those are very sweet words. Sometimes, as adults, we want to be alone; all by ourselves, AWAY from others and reminders of responsibilities. So much so that we could scream.

Or is that just me? :-)

As children, we all want to do things ourselves. Whether it be doing something without outside help, or just be left alone.

Alone, that's not something some of are very often. It's one of those things that most of look forward to, even if only for a few moments. We take that time to just breathe, listen to the silence, pray, or just sit and not have to think about anything for just a few moments.

I have to admit that I am one of those people who long for time alone. I don't get it very often. Sometimes the rest of the family goes somewhere and I get some time alone, but I am home and always think of something that needs to be done, someone I need to contact about something or other... it's just not as enjoyable/restful as it should be.

Then there are the times I am alone in the car, but I'm on my way to DO something, so I'm generally thinking about what I am on my way to do.

But, in just a couple of weeks I will be able to enjoy the greatest gift my family has ever given me.

Greater than any expensive jewelry, money, diamonds, or even.... chocolate.

That's right, better than chocolate.

They have given me TIME ALONE. Not just alone, but alone away from home!! I have been gifted a night and almost 2 days in another city, a hotel room with a jacuzzi, and a little spending money.

I get to go out to eat ANYWHERE I WANT, and eat by myself. I can go shopping, see a movie, or do nothing. I can listen to any music I want, sleep as long as I want, and just relax. I am not taking anything with me except clothes and a Bible.

I'm not even taking my cell phone. :-)

I don't think I have ever looked forward to a gift like this. Not even when I got my digital camera. :-)

I remember reading Lisa Whelchel talk about a "sabbatical" she took once. She spent a weekend in a friend's cabin by herself and did nothing but enjoy nature and God's Word. I remember being so jealous of that.

Not that I don't love being with my family. I do, truly. But, I also believe that everyone needs time alone at some point.

SO, I just want to publicly thank my family for this gift of love. You have NO IDEA how much I appreciate it and look forward to it.

Wendy Darling

Thursday, January 28, 2010

20 reasons to Homeschool.
I stole this from Julie at Elisharose. Thank you, Julie. :-)
*** If you have a hard time viewing it, go to Julie's site and click the picture. It will show up larger.

Wendy Darling

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday Recipe Swap

It is Friday, and that means it's time for a recipe swap hosted by Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge. :-) Once you leave here, please head on over and see all of the wonderful recipes linked there. If you would like to participate just be sure to link back to Gayle's site. Gayle has a good recipe today for homemade daily shower spray.

I'm going to be a little lazy today. OK, a LOT lazy. It's been a busy week, so I'm pulling out an old recipe. I originally shared this one back in August of '08, but I think it is a good one to share again. :-)

Homemade Hair Detangler - click the link to see the original post.

Wendy Darling

Friday, January 15, 2010

Book Review

My sister "J" and "Little Mark" have become avid fans of Hannah Swenson Mysteries by Joanne Fluke. I had never heard of this series or author until they mentioned them. Hannah Swenson is the owner/operator of the Cookie Jar Bakery, and she solves murder mysteries. What a combination!

Actually, I have to give credit to "J" for introducing the books to Little Mark and a particularly long road trip. "J" had the first book on an audio book, and wanted to hear the last hour or so in the car. Little Mark happened to be in the back seat, and even though he didn't hear the beginning of the book HE WAS HOOKED.

I have to say that I have not read any of the books, and have only heard an hour or so of one of the audio books that Little Mark was playing, so I relied on "J" to say whether or not it was appropriate. She equated it with "an episode of Murder She Wrote, only the heroine is a baker instead of an author."

Baker? This could be interesting. :-)

What Little Mark and I both find very interesting is that the books also contain the recipes for the dishes she makes in that particular book. :-) Most of them are desserts (my kind of lady) ;-) but there are recipes of all kinds. All of the titles are named after a food. :-)

Little Mark has always loved a good mystery, and even though it may sound kind of weird that he would pick up on a book about a woman baker who solves murders, it has him READING!! :-) Not only that, the boy has spent HIS OWN MONEY buying the books. He looks for them now when we go to bookstores.

He has actually made one of the recipes for "Cinnamon Crisps", and they were amazing. He did them all by himself. He pretty much memorized the recipe, wrote a shopping list, followed the directions to the letter, and did it all himself. ;-) He has even asked if he could do a "Home Ec." project by creating a cook book from the recipes in the book, and then make dinner one night using only recipes from the book.

Did you catch that? The boy just gave himself a school project, and volunteered to cook!

I think I like this "Hannah Swensen"... :-)

He was also VERY excited to learn that Joanne Fluke is currently working on a cook book using all of the recipes in the book. It's due out October 2011. Future Christmas gift? I think so.

I am all for whatever gets a child to love reading, as long as it is appropriate, and this seems to be the one that Little Mark hooked. It his based on his recommendation, and request, that I give you this book review. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Friday Recipe Swap

You may remember that I linked to THIS cinnamon roll recipe from Ree at Pioneer Woman Cooks. Well, I tried them, and they are YUMMY. My family missed the brown sugar in the cinnamon rolls that I usually make, though. SO, I "tweaked" Ree's recipe just a tad. I only made two changes, and let me tell you I am glad I did. :-)

I still LOVE Ree's recipe as well, and if you would like to look at the recipe with all the REALLY nice pictures she has, then please hop on over and see it. You'll be glad you did. :-)

OK, here is the recipe I used, with the TWO changes I made.


1 C whole milk
1 C vegetable oil
1 C sugar
2 packages (4 1/2 tsp.) active dry yeast
9 C all purpose flour
1 heaping tsp. baking powder
1 scant tsp. baking soda
1 Tbl. salt


2 C butter, melted
1 C brown sugar
1 C sugar
2 T cinnamon

For the dough, beat the milk, oil and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Set aside and cool to lukewarm.

Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on top of the milk for 1 minute.

Add 8 C of flour, stir until just combined. Cover with a clean towel and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.

Remove the towel and add the baking powder, baking soda, salt and the remaining 1 cup of flour. Stir thoroughly to combine.

Place dough on floured surface and divide into two parts. Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 X 10 inches.

Pour melted butter on dough and spread evenly. Cover with half of the sugar/cinnamon mixture and spread evenly. Roll the dough tightly and pinch to seal. Cut in 1 1/2 inch slices and place on buttered pan. Cover and let rise at least 20 minutes. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.


2 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 C whole milk
6 Tbl. butter, melted
1/4 C strongly brewed coffee
Dash of salt
1 Tbl. maple flavoring or maple extract (I used Maple syrup)

The only thing I changed is the sugar types and amount. Ree uses 2 cups of white sugar, but I divided it between brown and white. Crushed pecans may be added on top, or inside the dough before rolling, if desired.

To see other great recipes, please go over to Gayle's at Grocery Cart Challenge. :-) If you would like to participate, be sure to link to Gayle's blog. :-)

Come back tomorrow for a book recommendation. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, January 07, 2010

God Must be Laughing....

I was going to post about the weather and the whole Global Warming sca... uh... "thing." But, my friend Julie at "Thoughts I Thunk" said it much better than I would have, and I agree with her 100%, so I'm just sending you over there. :-) And I stole the title from her too. ;-)

Stay warm everybody. :-)

Wendy Darling

Saturday, January 02, 2010

I got the "Beautiful Blogger Award" from Kwizgiver at "What if this is as Good as it Gets." Thank you, Kwizgiver. I am humbled and grateful.

The award does come with the some responsibilities.

1. I must thank the person who bestowed this honor upon me.

2. Copy the award and place it on my blog.

3. Link to the bestowers’ site.

4. Enumerate seven interesting things about myself. Here they are:

1) I love to bake.
2) I like decorating cakes.
3) My favorite ice cream is Chocolate Fudge Brownie with nuts.

4) My favorite colors are pink and purple (but not together)
5) I took Wado Kai (karate) in college, and was a yellow belt when I stopped.
6) I like to crochet.
7) When I was about 7 years old I road an elephant at the Houston Zoo.

5. Nominate seven bloggers that I find beautiful. Here are my nominees: Princess Ladybug, Elisharose, Pioneer Woman, Daes of our Lives, Grocery Cart Challenge, My Listening Heart, and Leighton Heart.

Wendy Darling