Friday, October 12, 2012

"Not So Sweet Sweets"

Yes, it is me and I'm actually blogging.  My how time gets away from us doesn't it?

This post is different than any I've ever posted before though, and I really want to share this with you, and encourage you to share it.  If you have a blog, tumblr, facebook, twitter... whatever; please share this with others. 

Many of you have WAY MORE followers/readers than I do, so I am asking you to please share this with them and ask them to share, and so on... (Does that sound like the Faberge commercial, yet?)  

Anyway, my friend, Rhonda, has recently been diagnosed with "Sweets Syndrome".   

You've never heard of "Sweets Syndrome?"  Neither had I.  

According to the Mayo Clinic:
"Sweet's syndrome — also known as acute febrile neutrophilic dermatosis — is a skin condition marked by fever and painful skin lesions that appear mainly on your arms, face and neck.
The exact cause of Sweet's syndrome isn't always known. In some people, it's triggered by an infection, illness or certain medications. Sweet's syndrome can also occur with some types of cancer.
Most often, Sweet's syndrome will clear on its own in a few months or once the underlying cause is resolved or eliminated. Healing is much more rapid with treatment."

 As the title of the post suggests, "Sweet's is not so Sweet."

It is a rare disease.  And I mean RARE.  As you can imagine those who suffer with sweets are very frustrated, mainly because there is so little known about it.  SO, they are trying to do all they can to get the word out about it.

My friend, Rhonda, started a blog to document her already LONG journey with it.  She also explains everything so much better than I could, so I am now going to refer you to her blog, "Not So Sweets."

Please, please read and share it.   And, pray.  Pray that a cure can be found, and help/relief can found quickly for those who suffer with it.

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Sidewalk Paint = FUN!!!!

Yes, I am actually blogging.  WOO HOO!!  :-)  

I have had trouble in the last few months actually making myself sit down and blog.  I WANT to blog.  I LIKE to blog.  But, I don't always have something to say.  Being on facebook I kind of feel like I am just repeating myself if I blog about it later.

Then, sometimes I have nothing to say "blog worthy."

Other times I have A LOT to say, but refuse to blog about it.  I don't want to use my blog to "rant", "complain", or have political debates... and lately it seems like that is what I would end up doing.
You know the old saying, "If you can't say something nice....."

OR, my favorite, " It is better to remain silent and have people think you're a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."  I will always remember my college Prof. Bro. Doug Wilson saying that.   I believe Abraham Lincoln actually said it, but I will always here it in Bro. Doug's voice, with his Mississippi accent.  :-)

Anyway, it's been a very busy, fun summer so far.   Little Mark has had a very successful year in 4-H, and I do intend to blog about that later.

But, for now I'll just go with a simple, fun activity that you can do with the kids.  :-)

"Angel" and "Little Mark" painted the driveway last week.  I made the Sidewalk paint that I saw on Kid Concoctions.

If you have not seen this book:   

Then you need to run to your bookstore, library, or computer to get it.   Kid Concoctions is AMAZING!!   

And, I should probably do a post about them some time.  (Note to self:  Do a post)  :-)

But, for now we'll just go with the this one.

If you've ever made goop, then you already know how to make the Sidewalk paint.   I don't measure exactly, but I'll tell you how I did it.


Food Coloring

I used an ice cube tray to mix the different colors in, but a muffin tin or egg carton also works great.  

I put in one tablespoon of cornstarch, about 5 or 6 drops of liquid food coloring, and a LITTLE bit of water at a time.  When I say little I mean LITTLE.  I probably ended up with a teaspoon or so before all was said and done.   I thinned mine just a little more than I would "goop".  The colors were nice and bright, and the paint had the consistency of acrylic paint.  It worked very well.

I gave the kids some sponge brushes and this was the result. 

 As you can see, they had a lot of fun. AND, it's inexpensive, non-toxic, and easy clean up.  

 I also thought this would be a great homeschooling lesson.  You could cover Science, Art, Math, and Handwriting all at once!!  :-)   I hope you and your family give it a try.

Wendy Darling

Sunday, April 08, 2012

PhotobucketJalapeno Cheese Spread

 It's no secret that I love Pioneer Woman's recipes.   It's no secret that I love to cook/bake and read cook books.  I also like to adapt a recipe to fit my families taste.  Such as with PW's Cinnamon Rolls that I posted about here:

One of my FAVORITE PW recipes is her Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos.  I love them!  But, I could never get the bacon to cook all the way through.  So, my VERY smart brother suggested using bacon pieces and adding them to the cheese mixture, rather than wrapping it in bacon.  We tried it and IT WORKED WONDERFULLY!!  :-)

So, a couple of weeks ago we wondered how the stuffed jalapenos would work as a cheese spread for crackers?   Today I gave it a try.  SUCCESS!   

I wish I could take the credit for it, but it all originated with Pioneer Woman's original recipe.  I just put it all together and slathered it on a cracker.  And boy am I glad we did!!

I have already decided this will be making an appearance at the next Singles Game Night.  :-)

Here's what I did to make it:

About 8 -10 jalapenos, cleaned, rinsed and cut in half
2 8ox blocks of cream cheese
3/4 C of grated cheddar cheese
1/4 C of green onions; chopped
1 bag of REAL bacon pieces
1/2 - 3/4 C of BBQ sauce

Preheat oven to 350 F.   Line a pan with aluminum foil and lay out the peppers.  Bake for 30 min.  Place all ingredients in a mixer and mix using the paddle attachment.  Just until it's mixed well.  Enjoy on crackers.  

I'm sure it would also be wonderful with veggies.  I'm even toying with the idea of placing it in a dish and pouring BBQ sauce on top and heating it in the oven for a hot dip/spread.  We'll have to wait for another day to try that though because I'm pretty sure there won't be any left tonight to try it later.  :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, March 30, 2012

PhotobucketGrocery Cart Challenger Recipe Swap

It's been quite awhile since I've participated in the recipe the recipe swap, so I felt I should dive right back in with something totally unhealthy that tastes amazing.  :-)  And Easter is coming up so perhaps you want a new recipe to take to your family/church gathering.  I have taken these cookies to Singles events, 4-H bake sales and to a church event.  Believe me when I tell you they were VERY well received.  :-)

If you'd like to see more recipes, or participate in the challenge, please go to Gayle's blog HERE:

I actually found this recipe on Pinterest thanks to my friend, Sunny.  :-)   (Side note:  Are y'all addicted to Pinterest yet?  HOLY MOLY there's so much there)   :-)   One of these years I'll make all of the recipes I've "pinned" to my board.  LOL.. :-)

Of course,  I  put my own twist on this recipe, and that is the one I'll be posting here.  I have noted where I made a change to the original.  I like to give credit where credit is due, so if you'd like to see the original recipe you may go HERE:

Nutella Chocolate Chip, Toffee Cookies 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla ( my change)
1/4 cup Nutella
1-1/2 bags chocolate chips ( my change)
1/2 bag of Toffee bits (My change)

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and prep baking sheets with silpats or parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, the sugar and the brown sugar. Add the eggs and the vanilla until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour until the mixture is combined.

5. Then mix Nutella. Finally add in the chocolate chips and Toffee Bits.

6. Use cookie scoop and drop on baking sheets and bake for 9-11 minutes.

Oh. My. Goodness!!!  If you think these sound sinful, you'd be right. Remember, moderation is the key.  And it will be hard to put into practice.  :-)    I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

PhotobucketBaking, Books, Business and Birthdays

 Mercy, it has been awhile since I've posted.  Well, for those who were waiting with baited breath, no we did not win the camera mentioned in the post below.  I know that relieves your mind.  :-)

 My business is doing pretty well, and if I may say it again, "I LOVE YOUNG LIVING OILS!!" That is all. ;-)

 Also, I have taken a part time/part time job.  I say part time twice because technically the hours don't even qualify as part time and of course there are no benefits.  However, I LOVE my job and the money is paying off some bills.  So, I thank God for it.   The best part is it's only 3 hours a day which still means I can homeschool Little Mark and tutor Angel.   

My job is really "on the job training."  I am an administrative assistant at the local Christian radio station.   I get the mail; keep the books; write the newsletter; answer the phones make the bank deposit; do the faxing (is that a real word?); vacuum, clean the bathrooms; record sound bites when asked.... you get the picture.  ;-) And, this job was a Godsend because I pretty much had no experience in the accounting department for this job.  But my boss?  She is AWESOME!!  And is teaching me all I need to know and more.  :-)

The family and I got away for a night this last weekend.  We went to a book signing by Joann Fluke.  If you never read any of the Hannah Swenson Mysteries you should check it out.  :-) Mrs. Fluke is very funny and the character of Hannah is a baker :-)   She's also a plus size beauty who has the two most eligible bachelors in town wanting to marry her.  ;-)  Our family loves the books, including Little Mark, such it was a treat to get away and meet Mrs. Fluke personally.

Little Mark turns 16 this summer.  I still can't believe it.  We began planning his party back in November.  He wants a murder mystery dinner for the party, so we have purchased the '57 Class Reunion game. 



It is written especially  for teenagers and youth groups, so it's one of the "clean" versions.  :-)

I have already begun purchasing things for the party and begun to make out the menu.  Little Mark's uncle has agreed to be the "soda jerk" and take care of the food.  We all have our "roles to play"; mine being the hired party planner/hostess.  So, I take all of the pictures and help keep the game moving.

It really seems like it will be fun.  The only thing Little Mark has seen are the invitations, so he doesn't accidentally see the clues/murderer.  He will be playing one of the detectives, so he needs to know just as much as the other guests at the beginning of the game.  Which is pretty much nothing.  :-)

If you can't tell, we are pretty psyched about the party.  :-)

I plan to make the birthday cake look like a 45 record.  We will have burgers and shakes as well as "party food" for during the game.  And, we are building a cardboard jukebox.  It will fit over a speaker with an iPod hooked up to it that will be playing "Golden Oldies", so it sounds like it's coming from the jukebox.

I have to tell you about one of "goals" for a party favor.  I say "goals" because it depends on if I can pull it off financially.  I'll need 10 -12 of them.  BUT, since I'm the photographer I plan to take photos and then the day after the party have "yearbooks" made from those digital scrapbooks you can do at Wal Mart or somewhere.  Just the inexpensive ones, but nice.   Then, have them mailed to each of the guests along with a thank you note from Little Mark.  Just a little something extra from the party.  It's something I would like if I attended a party like that.  :-)

This has also been a very busy year for 4-H.  Little Mark has done well.  His next competition is THIS WEEK.  YIKES!! He's still working on his presentation.  He's doing a power point about Gluten Free Living.  I think it's just unique enough to get him to state if he pulls it off right.  :-)

Well, that should be enough to catch  you up and relieve my guilt from not posting lately.  :-)


Wendy Darling