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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Midwinter break...

What do you do when you've got a house full of busy, hungry kids??? Pop up some of Miss Alysia's famous crunchy caramel corn... yummy!

1 cup brown sugar
½ cup butter
¼ cup white corn syrup
½ tsp. salt
4 qts. popped corn*
½ tsp. baking soda

Combine all except corn and baking soda. Cook in microwave on high for 3½ minutes. Remove. Stir in baking soda. Place popcorn in large paper bag. Pour syrup over corn. Close bag and shake. In bag, microwave on high 1½ minutes. Shake bag and cook an additional 1½ minutes. Remove from microwave and shake again. Allow to cool.

*If using microwave popcorn, use natural flavor. If using butter flavor, do not add the salt. 4 quarts= 2 bags.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Getting ready for guests!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

New Beginnings....

Yesterday, I could NOT stop smiling. I wasn't allowed to tell anyone why... and I now have permission to shout it from the rooftops!!!!!! My baby brother is going to be a daddy. I can hardly wait to watch this journey unfold for him. My dad once told me that your children can make you the happiest person on earth, and also bring you the biggest heartache, all in the same day. And he's right. Sometimes you can feel all of it within the same hour!
To Nick, Jen, and Lauryn: Congratulations!!!! I love you guys. What a blessing you have received!
To my sweet husband: I'm going to apologize in advance because the shopping has already begun and this little baby's gonna be spoiled rotten by Auntie Amy!!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Marlee's Heart

Anyone who knows Marlee could tell you she is no ordinary 8 year old girl. Instead of dress up, you can find her in the front yard shooting hoops. Instead of ballet class, she is more comfortable on a dirty softball field. This is a girl who thrives on schedules, challenges, and homework. Sometimes I wonder where she got all that. As a scattered mother, I am learning how to create an environment that helps her feel secure and loved.

One thing you need to know about Marlee is that she is a total pack rat (yet another thing that she does NOT get from me. ) Anytime I try to throw out even the oldest, dirtiest toys long forgotten in the basement, she will cry for hours in mourning. I can't even be caught throwing away old math homework because it will break her heart; parting with anything is unusually hard for her.

Last week at church, her children's pastor challenged the children to be collecting money that can be sent to Haiti specifically to supply water in a time of great need. On Friday, Marlee was given 21 dollars for high grades on her report card and she decided without hesitation to donate every dollar she got to the people in Haiti. She stated this on her way into Target. I smiled and wondered if her decision would stay the same as we shopped through her favorite store. She never wavered... Her decision was made. My heart just aches with pride as I see my daughter understand what it means to give sacrificially to those who need it more than her. For those of you who want to give me credit... I don't believe its mine to accept. I believe that Marlee and her brothers are a product of much prayer and being surrounded by amazing people who challenge them. Thank you to the Gerrild family and all of you who have input in my children's life.

Monday, February 1, 2010

the month of LOVE!

I'm so excited to start this new month, I decided to celebrate. After lots of online searching, I came up with a cute idea for my kids Valentine's Day gifts for their classmates. I bundled Carter up and headed out to gather supplies that I would need. One of my last stops was to Meijer where I got to pick out the sweet treats that would be included in the bags. As I was waiting at the cash register, an elderly woman was struggling out of her motorized cart to finish her purchase. She quietly asked what the total would be, and the clerk said "Twenty-two fifty one". The woman said "Thats okay, I don't need to get the grapes, dear." The clerk set them on the cash register to restock later. Carefully, the woman pulled out her cash and counted her coins into the clerks hand. As she did, my heart began to pound and I knew that God had given me an opportunity to help bless this woman. After she completed her sale and before she walked away, I asked the clerk to please ring the grapes on my bill. The elderly woman turned and smiled, commenting on how yummy they looked, thinking I was buying them for myself. I handed her the bag and said "here, these are for you". She looked at me and tears started to fill her eyes and she told me no one had ever done anything like that for her before. Tears filled my eyes as I mumbled something about how I would hope that someone would do the same for my grandmother in the same situation.

The moral of the story? ITS SO EASY to make someones day. This opportunity couldn't have been easier to see. It cost me $1.86 to bless this woman and it was worth every penny. I'd like to challenge you to look for opportunities to love on the people around you. Pay attention. Put down your cell phone and watch. What better month to start than the one dedicated to LOVE??