Sunday, December 10, 2017

WONDER the Movie

Learn how one child makes a special difference in so many.


Auggie, Via, Jack Will, Julian, Justin, Miranda;
a few of the special names that impact others in this story, just by silent acts of kindness.

A movie that is a must see for every family.  With many classes reading this best selling novel and the #ChooseKind Campaign behind it, this is a story everyone can learn from.  So many great quotes from the movie that no doubt, we would all love to see posted in school classrooms and buildings.  Never underestimate the power of a kind, observant teacher or staff member, and the impact they make on our future generations to come.  It IS a village with the right people, the right hearts, and the acts of kindness, that lead the path of a loving community and child.

Its hard to put this movie into words, here a just a few of the gazillion impactful moments...

*No matter what a person looks like, we all face many similar challenges. 
I loved when Auggies sister, Via, talks through a "friend break up" that Auggie experiences.  "Right now, we ARE each others best friends."  These siblings stick together.

*The sun (son) is the center of the universe and they (the rest of the family) are other planets revolving around the sun (Auggie).  Nothing wrong with that. one getting all the attention, so much to learn from being a listener;  Sister Via stays quiet and kind and appreciates right where she is in the moment.  Via's kindness comes back around from a friend that distances herself from Via because of her own challenges.  Via has a moment to shine that all admire throughout the story.  

*Dreams & Wishes do come true.  Accept them in all ways and embrace it.  (You'll see...)

*A bully in the school gets expelled and instead of the parents taking action on their own child, they throw out the threat of how much money they put into the school and how many people they know on the school board; accepting of how cruel their son has treated others.  (oh if some parents could really see how much they hurt their very own child with these actions.)  The principal reacts and says... 
"Auggie can't change the way he looks, but we can change the way we see."

*Auggies friend, Jack, gets caught up in a conversation, saying very hurtful things.  He realizes what he has done and the hurtful impact he has made.   He then becomes a bigger friend after the fact by doing whats right as well as apologizing to whom he hurt the most.  

*The principal understands both sides of a situation even though one side is unsaid.  Consequences are made but doing the right thing is noticed.

*Another bully becomes the protector by finally not only saying whats right but by taking action and doing the right thing and being aware of difficult situations.   See something, say something. 

*Auggies mother, who has made him her entire universe, learns to let him out of the nest to grow and pursues her own dream, one that the family excitingly supports...

"Your heart is your map to where you are going and your face, your face shows where you've been." - Auggies Mother referring to her wrinkles and more.


If you haven't read the actual story yet, I hear, "its even better" from my Mia, 9yrs old.  Bring your child to see this movie.  As parents, we could learn just as much;  Our teen years with our kids are even more important as before and after.  Its not that they don't listen, maybe its that we stopped talking.  Respect, love and kindness all starts in our own home, at all seasons!

Here are some links to click on and learn more about our world of WONDER! Please do take the time to watch, read, and share!!




"Don't judge a book by its cover,  get to know the book and don't judge at all." 

- Julia Schneider, 8 yrs old.








Saturday, December 9, 2017

Amish Friendship Bread

Thnx busy & fun momma, Kim!!
Chain letters are not our thing, this is way better! Follow this delicious & simple recipe... to enjoy the yummy results with friends and family! This is one to be easy and passed on as far as our mouth watering taste buds can take us!  My friend Kim left me a cup of the "starter" batter, I followed directions and ten quick days later, we baked the most yummy, cinnamon sugary, cake (FYI there is nothing healthy about this recipe)!  This recipe makes 2 loafs so 1) me and my kids happily devoured and 2) we shared with Angie on her special "baby" day!  Thanks Kim for sharing this Amish Recipe Love!!  Below is a copy of the "starter" recipe & here's a link to make an original (Jen@ www.EatCakeForDinner.net.)  Please share your comments and photo fun of your starters to see how far this recipe has gone! (Nicole, Laura, Marie & Kelly to start!)

AMISH FRIENDSHIP BREAD (with starter)
Especially made and shared just for YOU! 

Important Preparations:
*Make 4 copies of this sheet before writing or taking notes on it.
*Do not use a metal spoon or bowl for mixing; keep batter in this Ziploc until 10th day.
*Do not refrigerate.
*If air gets in bag, let it out.
*It is normal for the batter to thicken, bubble and ferment.

DAY 1: You received this batter in a gallon Ziploc bag.  Do nothing and just put the bag on your kitchen counter.
DAY 2: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 3: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 4: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 5: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 6: Add 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Squeeze this bag several times.
DAY 7: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 8: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 9: Squeeze the bag several times.
DAY 10: In a large metallic bowl, combine the batter with 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar & 1 cup milk. Mix with a wooden spoon or plastic spoon. (This should yield approximately 5 cups of batter.) 
Pour four 1 cup starters into 1 gallon Ziploc bags (freezer type are best), write the date on it and give away to family and friends with a copy of these instructions.

To the remaining batter in the bowl, add:
2 cups flour            1 cup oil
1 cup sugar             ½ cup milk
½ tsp. baking soda   3 large eggs
1 tsp. salt               1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cinnamon       1 large box instant vanilla pudding

In a separate bowl, mix ¼ to ½ cup sugar with ½ to 1 tsp. cinnamon.
Sprinkle over 2 well-greased loaf pans before pouring batter into them.
Use any leftover cinnamon/sugar mixture to sprinkle on top of batter.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until done.

Variation:  Add fresh or frozen blueberries, apple chunks, bananas, raisins, chocolate chips, pecans, walnuts, or any combination you are willing to try!  Have fun with it!

(Want to make another delicious individual batter?  Learn more of a similar recipe without the starters.)
Share your fun & photos to see how far this recipe gets by going to
& thank you, again Kim M. for sharing this with our family!





GingerHomes, Ice Cream, and time together, Oh My!

If its one thing many of us don't do enough of, its enjoying our very own backyard.  Well, yes our home backyard of course, but our very own city life backyard.  If you are local and in the area, this is definitely worth putting on your holiday to do list (just try to be in the moment with me and not in the crazy hustle and bussel we are all in :) so trust me and add this on that long list!). 

With it being the last, beautiful- is it really winter-day outside, we decided to embrace the city life of downtown Milwaukee.  64 degree weather on a December 4th night was enough to hit the town itself!  The drive into the city skyline could light up any "bahumbug" spirit.  The trees on every downtown street lit up in holiday smiles.  The weather may not have said it but the beautiful holiday decorations on every corner definitely showed that the Christmas Season was here. 


We went downtown to the Market Place where there was a Gingerbread Display that college students created; their amazing talent took Gingerbread homes to a whole new level.  These homes were available to be bid on to raise money for their local community projects.  These were also Gingerbread homes that the best were voted on; this brought some serious viewing and fun into the beautiful display.  Take a look at the photos I couldn't resist sharing with you!  Never under estimate the talent of a Gingerbread Home Designer! It is also a great, simple and creative gift to give to a family or a gift that a special elf or traditional Holiday Saint (Nick) would want to share with the kids! I always love bringing the cousins together to do our own crazy gingerbread decorating! This display, however, was definitely crazy beautiful and well worth the trip to see. 

We also took the time to enjoy the Cathedral Square Christmas Display! In the summer this community square is filled with different activity.  So for the winter holiday season, it was filled with lights and different creative Themed Christmas Trees, displaying all the amazing organizations in our area and what they do just by what their tree looked like!  Our kids were proud to see their own school sponsored tree up as well!  It was all a beautiful sight and an area of how much a volunteer in the community can make a big difference as well as how many volunteers all working together a little bit can make the magic happen!

Of course we ended the night with a little ice cream treat, shopping local at "The Purple Door" with their own recipes of home made ice cream, Whiskey? Hody Toddy??  We each had a small sampling and lets just say a few of us stuck with our traditional chocolate or salted caramel flavors while the others got a little riskier and enjoyed it all!  Everything was delicious and definitely worth the stop. 

So from my family to yours, take a little bit of time out to be together and embrace the Holiday Spirit all around us.  It doesn't take anything too extravagant to be together and start your own family traditions that your kids will love and remember forever; big and small.  




One thing many of us all need more of is time.  Time is the only thing we all have the same amount of, or do we?  Spend it wisely, otherwise it can be very costly.  Happy Holidays sweet Mommas! 

Monday, December 4, 2017

Who IS Tiny Tim? December 8,9 &10, 2017



Such a familiar image and quote that we all remember when it comes time for Scrooge and the Holidays!  With Christmas Cheer here, our calendars are already filled with Holiday School Events, family & friend gatherings, shopping galore for gifts & baking like crazy for goodies to share, with much, much, much more, forgetting the true meaning of Christmas; preparing for Jesus, Himself. 



My kids, (and yours too!) are growing up so fast.  We slowly are falling short when it comes to time together, preparing for Jesus, as a family.  One tradition that I do love and enjoy, is embracing the amazing local talent in an annual Holiday Musical/Play.  It always puts me back in check to slow down and to keep the main thing, the main thing.   In this case, the main person, JESUS! (& I love when my parents join us for the occasion!)


Take the time and check it off your holiday list to see this free event, yes free.  A donation basket is passed around for a collection at intermission time, this is all done on donations (be generous :))!  Over 500 volunteers; adults & children; performing, ushering, singing, behind the scenes, costumes, musicians, greeting, directing, video recording, clipping mics, parking attendees, marketing flyers,  the list goes on of such giving hearts to share the love of Christmas to so many of us!!  Every job big and small is a job needed to make this production be as successful as it is each year!  This years production is one you don't want to miss (I say that every year and its true!) Don't miss this continuing story of Tiny Tim.  What happened after he said, "God bless us, everyone!"?

This is a continuation of Uncle Scrooge and his legacy that starts off with Scrooges funeral and many of the hearts he shared his love with at the end.  The story goes on to tell how one person CAN make a change in others, how everyone does make a difference each day, whether they know it or not.  Its about forgiveness, love, betrayel, dedication, commitment and family.  Its about carrying on an amazing Legacy, changing lives while helping others.  Its how you believe you have a purpose for one direction but life gets interupted and God wants to slow us down to help others.  Its how when one person gathers many to make a change for the love of many to come.  

Don't miss this beautiful, entertaining, amazingly talented play that this community works so hard on every year to remind us the true meaning of what this holiday is really about! As my holiday bucket list continues to get checked off, this is one I can mark down in the books as one we all enjoyed! 

I'm not by any means a professional play critic nor will I criticize when I'm not the one on the stage doing the work!  Hundreds of hours dedicated to share the love of Jesus, who am I to do anything but share the word for others to come and enjoy!! 

Great job to all of this cast and thank you, for being a part of our family holiday tradition!

"This really shows how much Tiny Tim has grown and what wonderful things he will do in the future!" -Mia, 9 years old.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Apple Pie Made Easy!!!


My cuties and I have made this a few times already so we just had to share the love!! Thanks to The Morning Blend for introducing this tasty treat to us!  We followed this easy- peasy and delicious Apple Pie Recipe from Sendiks.com and had a ton of fun making it!  Quick & Simple with a little perfecting to make our own along the way!




1 Pkg of 2 Count Pie Crusts (optional for a 3rd & 4th crust to place or weave on top for overachiever)
1/2 c. Sugar
3 Tbsp. Flour
2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
8 Medium Sliced Apples (haha! don't forget to peal them, great with, but better without! I preferred the sweet Granny Apples.)

Streusel Topping
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. oats
1/4 c. cold butter chopped

1. Preheat over to 425
2. Roll both crusts on top of each other (17x12 or we used a small round pan)
3. Place crust in pan with crust hanging a little over outside edges.
4. Mix Sugar, Flour & Ground Cinnamon together in a bowl.
5. Stir in the Apples with the dry mix (shake in bag or covered bowl)
6. Spoon Apple Mixture into crusted pan.
7. Cut Butter into small squares/ little bits.
8. Spinkle butter bits over top of apple mixture and fold in the extra crust hanging over pan.
9 Bake 35-40 minutes and let cool for another 30 minutes!
10.  YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY!!! ENJOY!




*Use a 3rd pie crust, cooling rack & pizza cutter to make fun designs on the top or just leave it as is.*




  

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Blessings In A Backpack


Friday comes around quick in this household.  The kids toss their bags down, run to the fridge to grab a snack before they make a run back out the door to play.  "I'm starving Mom!"  as if they haven't eaten a thing all day. Before you know it they are back for more and ready for dinner time.  In between opening and closing the cabinet doors or the fridge, they grab a drink, a bite, or in some teenage cases, a full meal at least for the next 15 minutes until they are hungry again.    A typical day for most families right?  (Ok, we eat throughout the day for you organized scheduled meal time moms out there.) 
Go ahead, Google "Kids Hunger"; Hunger Task Force, Kids Count Data Book,  No Kid Hungry, Stop World Hunger.  and a gazillion more links you will find.  These are all titles that we hear platforms on but it doesn't click because we are able to feed our children and have our own daily struggles to worry about, right? Maybe we feel its too overwhelming and really how can just "I" make a difference? Well, what if that child is YOUR child's best friend that doesn't eat, and YOU have no clue because its not something that comes up at play time.  Its not something children will come out and say when they are truly starving in their heart and their stomachs ache of hunger pains. Do we really know how many students in our very own school districts go home without any food in their fridge or pantry?  Do we really know how far that one perishable item donated and last years local food drive made one family so happy regardless that they had to divide it to share?  No, we don't because most of us, don't even know who they are.  These very families could be sitting right next to us at our child's next spring or winter concert.  While many school districts provide reduced meal programs for the morning and afternoon lunches, that is all the child eats the entire day.  This includes weekends with no food to be distributed to them.
Blessings In A Backpack provides just that, a weekend of meals throughout the school year to satisfy their hunger, their well being, their hearts and just as importantly, their academic achievement.  How can you help? You want more information?  Above video is just a small glimpse of my personal experience.  Please research The Blessings In A Backpack Website with how you, one person can make a difference to so many families in our own neighborhoods.  Regina and Maureen and an amazing group of ladies began the Waukesha difference and I was truly honored to be such a small part of this growing and impact "fill" event. 

Thank you for taking the time to read and watch the above video and please research their website to learn more, how you can help, and make a difference in your community!