Savor the Season

I love homeschooling! I also love reading and listening to other homeschoolers stories, struggles and victories. I hope you will enjoy the homeschool stories I will be sharing from Guest Readers, as much as I do! Savor The Season Homeschooling … Continue reading

Wake Up Wednesday Linky Week 33

               Welcome to the 33rd week of  Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
 
24 Blogs  –  1 Party
 Giveaway
 
 
We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  376 awesome linkups!   
 
 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
 
 The hop is hosted and posted on these different blogs
 
 
 
 
Your link will appear on the blogs of
 
 
 
Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
 
 
 
This weeks 
Featured Bloggers
 

Peach Melba Ice Cream from Pink Recipe Box

Peach Melba Homemade Ice Cream Recipe | www.pinkrecipebox.com

 I’m currently suffering through the hottest month of the year when my desk fan becomes next to useless no matter how high I turn it up. Homemade ice cream recipes to the rescue!

Princess Anna Crochet Hat

Princess Anna inspired crochet hat with pattern»Over The Apple Tree
This Disney’s Frozen, Princess Anna inspired crochet hat is easy to make and is a great gift for the holidays or a Frozen birthday!

Joanna’s Andalusian Zucchini Tortilla

from What’s On The List

Spanish-tortilla

Are you curious like me where the zucchini is?

August 2014 Favorites!

August was pretty good product wise for me. I have a decent amount of favorites to share 
with you all, so here we go!
 
 

from Upstate Ramblings

Snickers Pretzel Mix #Chocolate4theWin #shop

Football season is just about underway!  Whether it is a club, college, high school or professional teams are practicing and getting ready for another exciting season.  My family loves to watch football. Of course football also means snacks, so to go along with our first game of the season I created this portable SNICKERS Pretzel Snack with cute little football bags.

Mommy Club

from Married Filing Jointly

Speaking of being a mommy…it is simply not a job you can understand until you are a mommy.
 
 

How to Make Elderberry Extract

from Little Owl Crunchy Momma

It’s incredibly easy, and super delicious. I use it to help make my elderberry syrup last longer (recipe coming soon). It’s also delicious to add to cider in the fall and winter. Mmmmm. Delicious.

Glittery Fall Leaf Earrings

Glittery Fall Leaf Earrings by Crafty Journal
Create a fun pair of glittery fall leaf earrings to dress up for autumn.
 

 

Bourbon Maple Sweet Potato Recipe

from  eat pray {read} love

These Bourbon Maple Sweet Potatoes are sure to be a hit at your next dinner! Creamy potatoes with a crunchy pecan topping and just the right amount of sweetness!

I had these delicious Bourbon-Maple sweet potatoes as one of my sides. Ben doesn’t normally like sweet potatoes (which is one reason I ordered them!- kidding!) but he inhaled these babies. I decided to try to recreate the sweet potato recipe for our Thanksgiving meal and they were pretty spot-on.

Blairsden Mansion Tour: Part 2

from Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

52-Room Mansion Tour: You've got to see this house to believe it! Ms.Toody Goo Shoes

In case you missed Part 1,  I’m taking you on the mother of all house tours…

at Blairsden Mansion, in Peapack-Gladstone NJ.which was the site of a

Designer Showhouse fundraiser, back in May.

 

 

Watermelon Slush

from  4 Sons ‘R’ Us

Watermelon Slush

This frosty treat makes a refreshing ending to any summer meal. Simply scoop the slushy mixture into bowls or tall glasses and enjoy a refreshing dessert, all while still getting that melon flavor fix, albeit without all the dripping. Add a splash of vodka for an even sweeter summer adult beverage.

 

Painted Furniture

How to Paint Furniture

Finally, we found a dresser that fit out needs. It wasn’t too over-scale, had 9 drawers, and was only $100.

 

Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter // Budget Girl --- 13 Days of Pumpkin is back! This year, we're getting started with this decadent pumpkin butter recipe. Perfect on some toasted pumpkin yeast bread. :) #pumpkin #fall #autumn #butter #food #recipes #cooking

I was going to come up with a simple crock pot recipe, and then I found this decadent pumpkin butter recipe from I Bake, He Shoots. I tried it, loved it, and now…it’s the one I’m going to recommend. (Well, that’s an easy first day, isn’t it?)

Classic Cherry Pie

from Born to Bake Forever

cherry pie 2

Ever since I was five, my mother and I have always made this Classic Cherry Pie for special occasions or just dessert. I’ve never lost my taste for cherries…or dessert. This recipe has been a family favorite for years. A simple recipe easy to make for busy days. 

 

 

 

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Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

 

    • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.

     

    • Please Link to your family friendly post 

     

     

    • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional

     

     

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    • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

     

     

     

    Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

    This Momma’s Meandering Mondays Week #62

    Welcome one and all to This Momma’s Meandering Mondays #62 and I want to offer a great, big thank you in advance to all of you who link up with us! It has been a great honor and blessing to a a Guest Host this past month with Stacey from This Momma’s Ramblings. Thank you Stacey from the bottom of my heart, I have met so many new blogging friends, and I have learned so much that it is beyond amazing how I feel.

     

    Week #62 This Momma’s Meandering Mondays

    Now…let’s get the party started and come on in and join the fun by linking up your favorite posts! We had an absolutely awesome week last week! Share the fun and make some new friends, find a new yummy treat, or find a wonderful new craft idea to make. This is a great way to grow in your friendships! But before we start this party…Grab a badge!

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    Today, I would like to now give a warm Meandering Mondays welcome to our new co-host for the month of September…Victoria from Giveaways 4 Mom!

    Giveaways4momVictoria

    Victoria is the owner of Giveaways 4 Mom. She is a full time work at home mom of three young boys. She started Giveaways 4 Mom to show moms that they could indeed win online giveaways and over the years, it has evolved into so much more. In her free time, she loves taking her boys to events and amusement parks.

    This will be the last week for our co-host for the month of August, so be sure to stop by to read the wonderful guest post that she did, just click on the link below…Welcome Miranda from Grace and Gravy!

    blog profile pic Miranda

    Miranda is the author behind the blog GraceandGravy with a side of life! She is a Crunchy, Country Mama giving her look on a Homemade Life of Homeschool, Good Eats, (Mis) Adventures, and Living Grace-Filled Everyday! Miranda resides in Arkansas with her sweet husby William that she has been married to for 15 years and a homeschool mama to kiddos Keegan and Lindy. She loves her four-legged, fur babies and they make her life complete. Miranda is passionate about blogging, reading, crafting, cooking, planning/decorating, and learning to be a more self-suf​ficient Homesteader.

    Here is a wonderful guest post that she contributed to my site a couple of weeks ago, called, “Ten Things I Want My Children to Know About Me“! Such an amazing post from the heart!

    YourSiteTitle

    Now stop in and say howdy to my linky party partners in fun…

    The wonderful Jessica from The Wondering Brain and Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures.

    The Wondering Brain200

    Epic Mommy Adventures

    Grab a badge and join the party!

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    Now it is time to introduce our favorite This Momma’s Meanderer’s from last week, and boy oh boy it was a difficult choice! Don’t forget to grab your “I Was Featured” badge of honor! Congratulations to you all!

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    Miranda’s favorite post came from Ten at the Table with the post “Stromboli Step by Step!”
    Saying, ” I am such a bread lover and enjoy any type of pizza/sandwich style food. This recipe is so doable especially in a hurry!”
    pinnable-stroboli-image

    Natasha’s favorite post came from Jayhawk Mommy with the post “Teaching My Toddlers Manners!”
    Saying, “I am a stickler on manners with my son. It is very important to me that he is a mannerable young man – making sure he says Thank You, Yes please, You’re welcome, Bless you, etc. I definitely see that there is a lack of children being polite and mannerable, and growing up that was such an important factor with my grandparents and parents. Therefore, I want to encourage my son to do the same. Thanks for sharing this great post!”
    teaching-manners

    My favorite post came from Jayhawk Mommy with the post “Teaching My Toddlers Manners!”
    What a wonderful post! I see so many children that have long since passed the toddler stage, with absolutely no manners and no respect, and it saddens me greatly for the state of future generations. It makes me feel so wonderful, when my own children at 12, 14, & 21, still use the manners and respect that they have been taught since birth. Thank you so much for sharing!
    teaching-manners

    Congratulations to all of you amazing and wonderful linkers! Don’t forget to grab and display our “Featured” badge!

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    Thank you to all of you who joined us last week!

    join

    I am looking for October co-hosts for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays? If interested, please drop me a line at ssgannett@gmail.com. I would love to have you along for the ride! You can also check out my sponsor page for more info.

    Now let’s get this party started!

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    Remember everyone enjoys a little comment love!

    Feel free to “meander” by some fellow bloggers and find a new recipe to make for the family, a helpful blogging tip, a funny story to read, and best of all a new friend to make! There are really no rules to follow, only some suggestions to keep in mind…because we are all to enjoy the friendships that come along by doing these few simple and wonderful things…

    1. Link up your favorite post…a story, a recipe, a photo, or a helpful tip…As many as you want, that’s right as many as you want!!!!

    2. Please follow our Host’s

    3. Find some new friends to follow, friendships are what it’s all about!

    4. Be sure to leave some comment love, to get it in return.

    5. Grab our badge and display on your blog, sharing the love is what it’s all about.

    Meander through the links and make some new friends, find some amazing and useful tips, and maybe even a new treat to try!

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    Welcoming you to link up all of your favorite sites for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 62, for more opportunity to Meander around and share the love! So happy Linking everyone!

    Blog Link Up:

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    Wake up wednesday Linky #31

       
    Welcome to the 31th week of Wake Up Wednesday “Linky” 
     
    29 Blogs  –  1 Party
     Giveaway
    We are so excited to have you all party with us.
    Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
    Last week we had  395 awesome linkups!   
     Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
    We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!
     
     The hop is hosted and posted on these different blogs
    Your link will appear on the blogs of
      
     
    Interested in Co-Hosting Wake Up Wednesday?
    Fill out this form and Angel will be in touch with you?
    This weeks 
    Featured Bloggers

     

    adding nailhead trim to a wood table

    weston-crank-bistro-table
    When furnishing our garage turned family room, I knew I wanted a round table with some chairs in there.  This way the room could double as extra dining space as well, or as desk space.  I had my eye on the Weston Crank Bistro table from Arhaus furniture for a while.

    Painting Metal Chairs with Chalk Paint

    Chalk Painted Metal Chairs
    I am not sure where I got them, but they have been painted many colors…here, you see them blue, with little red peaking through, with just a touch of rust too..beauties I tell you, beauties in the rough!
    This idea for a poncho shirt has been swimming around in my brain for a while. I have a shirt from Charlotte Russe that is similar to these, but is not as long as I would like it to be. I looked at the basic construction of that shirt to come up with my plan for making these.  They are easy and fast to make, and oh-so versatile. I could see them with a cardigan over or a long sleeve under in the fall and winter. Enjoy!

    Slow Cooker: Beef and Broccoli Recipe

    This is hands down the best thing I have ever made in our married lives. I’m pretty sure my husband loved it more than anything else I have made. He is so sweet he will never say anything. But honestly try this out, it is delicious and super easy to make!!
    peas
    This is a picture of my sweet grand-daughter Emmaline after she experienced
     eating peas for the first time:
    photo(13)
    Remember this DIY Chain and Pearl Necklace I posted yesterday? Well, someone requested that I make her one. And I did. And it was awesome.
     
    DSC_0169 copy copy
    Today I’m sharing a fantastic flower box with you. On Saturday my niece Laura was married. Her wonderful reception was at a vineyard here in Connecticut.
    It was held outside under a tent, that was exquisitely decorated! The weather was perfect for the occasion. It felt like an early fall evening. Everything was beautiful, especially the bride!
    53ec17f878f16
    Natural Way Organics creates all-natural, organic products for hygiene and other purposes around the house. Not only can you safely wash your hair and entire body with Olive Oil Castile Soap.
    Waiting for him to ask for my number.

    Waiting for him to use it.

    Waiting for him to ask me out on a date.

    Waiting for him to confirm said date.

    Waiting for him to pick me up for said date.

    Lemon Brownies 7
    I love getting a bag of lemons given to me, our wee tree is getting there but only have 3 lemons from it so far! The next decision is what to make with them. A few months ago Pinterest was full of Lemon Brownie recipes, I was intrigued – I am a little slow on the uptake but I finally made them today and they are delicious! Lovely lemony smell filling the house and a lovely fresh alternative to our decadent chocolate brownie you will find elsewhere on my blog.
    Years ago I found this awesome wood caddy at an antique store. It was stained a dark wood & I refinished it in burgundy to go in my guest bathroom to hold magazines. 
    Summer Makeup Favorites | My Life Well Loved
    Alabama heat is no joke! It has felt like spring for most of the summer, but now that the true to
     form humidity and soaring temperatures are coming to fruition, it’s the perfect time to 
    showcase my Favorite Summer Makeup. These products have been my saving grace this summer for some color and to cover any unwanted blemishes.
    Hello my lovely friends, today lets climb one more step on sewing ladder and make a Tote bag with faux leather base. Are you as excited as I am? Then, lets do it!!! This post looks too lengthy because of explanation, but trust me its super simple to sew it.
    You go one morning to check the garden for any ripe produce. There’s a zucchini there that is still a bit puny, but should be ready by the next day. You forget to check in the morning, but remember and look after dinner. It has gone from the size of a hot-dog to the size of your arm in less than 2 days! Yikes! What are you going to do with all that zucchini?!
     
     
    Plum Tart
    I had peaches on my shopping list, because it is peach season. However, the ones I found did not look fresh or ripe, and had no smell to them. I am not sure what that is all about, but like a store-bought tomatoes there was no flavor. So what to do? I went through the market sniffing fruit. The plums I could smell and looked inviting so I brought home enough make a plum tart.
    The Best Homemade Café Frappé Recipe – Low-Sugar, Rich & Creamy! | Roxy's Kitchen With five minutes and five ingredients you can make your own! #summer #drinks #icedcoffee #lowsugar
    I’ve said this before, I’m not a big fan of coffee – with one exception though, frappes! They were very popular during my high school years back home in Romania (15 years ago!), especially during the summer time. This is when I pretty much fell in love with this delicious iced coffee drink. 

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    Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments — anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.


    Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..

     

    • Please leave me a comment , I love to hear from you.

     

    • Please Link to your family friendly post 

     

     

    • I’d love for you to grab my party button for your blog party site but it’s totally optional

     

     

    • Please No adult content blogs

     

     

    • Please do not add links to shops or selling websites (they will be deleted from the party)

     

     

    • Giveaways are always welcome.. Add your giveaways to Sew Crafty Angel’s Pinterest Community Giveaway Board too.  

     

     

     

    Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

     

    This Momma’s Meandering Monday’s #60

    Welcome one and all to This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 60 and I want to offer a great, big thank you in advance to all of you who link up with us!

    Now…let’s get the party started and come on in and join the fun by linking up your favorite posts! We had an absolutely awesome week last week! Share the fun and make some new friends, find a new yummy treat, or find a wonderful new craft idea to make. This is a great way to grow in your friendships! But before we start this party…Grab a badge!

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    blog profile pic Miranda

    Please join me in welcoming our new co-host for the month of August…Miranda from Grace and Gravy!

    Miranda is the author behind the blog GraceandGravy with a side of life! She is a Crunchy, Country Mama giving her look on a Homemade Life of Homeschool, Good Eats, (Mis) Adventures, and Living Grace-Filled Everyday! Miranda resides in Arkansas with her sweet husby William that she has been married to for 15 years and a homeschool mama to kiddos Keegan and Lindy. She loves her four-legged, fur babies and they make her life complete. Miranda is passionate about blogging, reading, crafting, cooking, planning/decorating, and learning to be a more self-suf​ficient Homesteader.

    Here is a wonderful guest post that she contributed to my site last week called, “Ten Things I Want My Children to Know About Me“! Such an amazing post from the heart!

    YourSiteTitle

    Now stop in and say howdy to my linky party partners in fun…

    The wonderful Jessica from The Wondering Brain and Natasha from Epic Mommy Adventures.

    The Wondering Brain200

    Epic Mommy Adventures

    Grab a badge and join the party!

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    Now it is time to introduce our favorite This Momma’s Meanderer’s from last week, and boy oh boy it was a difficult choice! Don’t forget to grab your “I Was Featured” badge of honor! Congratulations to you all!

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    Miranda’s favorite post came from Life As I Know It with the post “Weekending!”
    Saying, “I like this post because I love getting away for the weekend. I love family time and relaxation. Those are the best vacations or staycations.”
    weekending

    Jessica’s favorite post came from Giveaways 4 Mom with the post “5 Reasons Age Three is Worse Than Age 2!”
    Saying, “As a mom who has a 3 year old, I wholeheartedly agree! The most definite agreement is demanding. Now that my son is talking more his favorite words are “I want” and if he doesn’t get what he wants the terror screams happen! Boy oh boy! LOL!”
    Giveaways4mom

    Natasha’s favorite post came from Just A Touch of Crazy with the post “5 Tips for Reading with A Kid Who Hates to Read!”
    Saying, “I have been very fortunate to have a child that loves to read. However, if he didn’t enjoy reading, I would probably take advantage of these tips. Great post!”
    kid who hates to read

    My favorite post came from Organized Chaos with the post “What Makes Women Feel Beautiful!”
    Such a beautiful post! Because of a great deal of negativity towards me, during my growing up years, it took me a long while to realize that I was beautiful on the inside, where it counts the most! I also realized that it is my husband and my kids who make me feel the most beautiful. When my kids tell me that I am the best mommy ever or when they come and tell me those things that have likely added to my gray hairs, I truly feel beautiful, because I know that they have complete trust in me.
    womenbeautiful

    Congratulations to all of you amazing and wonderful linkers! Don’t forget to grab and display our “Featured” badge!

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    Thank you to all of you who joined us last week!

    join

    I am looking for September co-hosts for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays? If interested, please drop me a line at ssgannett@gmail.com. I would love to have you along for the ride! You can also check out my sponsor page for more info.

    Now let’s get this party started!

    party

    Remember everyone enjoys a little comment love!

    Feel free to “meander” by some fellow bloggers and find a new recipe to make for the family, a helpful blogging tip, a funny story to read, and best of all a new friend to make! There are really no rules to follow, only some suggestions to keep in mind…because we are all to enjoy the friendships that come along by doing these few simple and wonderful things…

    1. Link up your favorite post…a story, a recipe, a photo, or a helpful tip…As many as you want, that’s right as many as you want!!!!

    2. Please follow our Host’s

    3. Find some new friends to follow, friendships are what it’s all about!

    4. Be sure to leave some comment love, to get it in return.

    5. Grab our badge and display on your blog, sharing the love is what it’s all about.

    Meander through the links and make some new friends, find some amazing and useful tips, and maybe even a new treat to try!

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    <a href=”http://thismommasramblings.com/&#8221; target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i1308.photobucket.com/albums/s608/ssgannett/ThisMommasMeanderingMondays_zps5366bef9.jpg&#8221; border=”0″ alt=” photo ThisMommasMeanderingMondays_zps5366bef9.jpg”/></a>

    Welcoming you to link up all of your favorite sites for This Momma’s Meandering Mondays 60, for more opportunity to Meander around and share the love! So happy Linking everyone!

    Blog Link Up:

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    Fresh, Fried Okra & Fresh, Fun Photos

    okra1redo

     

    You might remember a TBT I posted a while back titled “Children of the Okra”.  It was an old post that I re-shared about an awful experience in the Okra Jungle, helping my dad.  I get chills just thinking about that day.  I swore, Yes I swore, I would never eat okra again, but somewhere between then and now the thoughts from that day became less frightening and Fried Okra starting sounding appealing again!

    A few weeks ago my dad brought over a few bags of okra that had finally decided to produce.  Well, I certainly couldn’t pass it up so I decided to conquer my fear of okra and fry up some for dinner.  My family was extremely pleased that my fear of okra was gone, because they had been missing my Southern Fried Okra for sometime now!

    I got to work right away cutting it up, bagging most for the freezer and saving a bowl for dinner.

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    My okra batter is pretty basic.  But it sure is good ole southern amazing!

    What you need:

    1 cup corn meal

    1/2 flour

    1 tsp pepper

    1 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

    1 cup buttermilk

    (0r 1 cup milk and 1 tbsp on vinegar, let set for appx 3 mins)

    2 eggs

    2 cups of cut okra

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    What you do:

    Get your pan of oil hot and ready.  (I use a cast iron Dutch Oven Skillet)

    Slightly whisk your cornmeal, flour, salt, and peppers together in bowl.

    In a separate bowl mix your milk and eggs together.

    Add appx 10 pieces of okra into egg/milk.

    Using a metal spoon with holes, scoop up okra and let mixture drain for a second before adding to the dry mixture.

    Completely cover in the dry mixture and add to hot oil.

    Fry until golden brown and crispy!

    Continue until all okra is fried.

    You will LOVE this okra!  And to make it extra amazing, dip it in some good ole ranch!  Yummo!

    Don’t get much better than this here is the South!

     

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    This week it’s all been about Freshness, including Fresh Photos!

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    My daughter Lindy Photo taken by Carosello Fete Photography

     

    So to go along with my Fresh, Fried Okra, I wanted to share with you some Fresh, Fun Photos taken by my friend and amazing photographer Erin Wilson.

    Erin Pic

    Erin, from Carosello Blog is a handmade business owner, wife, mom and word mispronouncer.  She  blogs about her favorite things, cooking, business life, decor, DIY and personal style. She just moved from Oklahoma to Boston-ish and then back down to Arkansas. She has been a big city gal most of her life and now living in a quaint little small town. She just bought a new house and are deep into renovating madness. Erin always love a good cardigan, pink pedicures, liquid eyeliner, hot tea and exploring all things local.

    This past week, Erin captured some amazing shoots of my daughter Lindy.

    I think I will cry now.

    She looks way to grown up in this pictures!

     

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    I can’t believe this shots!

    My baby isn’t a baby anymore ):

    You can also find Erin on Facebook.  Head over and show her some Bloggy Love!

    Hope everyone enjoys the Freshness this week!

    When Love Is Not Enough: The Story of Cowboy Hank JR

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    A couple months ago, I wrote a short story titled “The Life of Lola”.  It was about my fur-baby who has been my companion for eight years.  It was a story of love, hope, and healing.  As I finished up the story, I decided I wanted to write about each of my babies.  I wanted to write them all the story of their life and then find the perfect time to publish them as a way for me to hold on to each of them forever.

    Little did I know life had other plans.

    Let me back up five years.

    February 15, 2009, my sister asked if me and husby would take her  to look at a litter of Shorky’s (shih tzu/yorkie). See her fur-baby had just passed away and my brother in law worked out of state, and she was lonely.  She was looking for a new companion.

    At that time, we had Lola.  She was my dog, my protector.  We really wasn’t looking for another fur-baby.  Our life was busy, we were constantly on the go with kid activities.

    Once we were there,  this cute little ball of fur kept climbing in my lap.  He was absolutely adorable.  And he had eyes that would make you melt.  I looked at my husby and he knew. That ball of fur was coming home.

    Home is where he came.  Where he slept in a basket in my room, where Lola treated him like her long lost son, where he soon stole the hearts of each one of us.  And his name became Cowboy Hank JR.

    I’m not sure why dogs hold such a special place in my heart.  Often times I feel they understand the over- emotional person that I am better than a human.  They sense a deep connection I feel for them and they feel for me.  I look into their eyes and I see their soul, their heart, their purpose.

    Yes, I do believe each dog has a purpose.  They are each here for a companion.  They are meant to help a lost soul find their way, whatever that may be.

    Cowboy arrived into my life right as a storm was headed my way.  My family was getting ready to experience rough waters that we had never experienced before.  Cowboy, you could say, was my lifeline.

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    See, when we are experiencing tough times, it is human nature to let it consume us.  But if we have something or someone to focus on, it takes some of the struggle of our life away. We look away from the negativity on our own life to find positive purpose in something else. Cowboy was my purpose. A way to redirect my pain away from me and turn it into a positive experience.

    Just like Lola, Cowboy became my protector.  He loved me in a way that he loved no one else.  I guess he knew I would always take care of him, just the same as he took care of me.

    Cowboy loved Lola with a passion.  As he got a little bigger he would not leave her side.  He followed her around, he had to sleep in the same kennel with her at night, and no way was he letting her leave anywhere without him.  They were best friends til the end.

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    Cowboy loved to come to my room with me and lay beside me on the bed, or crawl under the bed and sleep.  He had such a sweet heart, but he also had such an ornery side.  He hated cats, and it was his life goal to chase everyone of them away.  He also made sure everyone knew he controlled the food bowl. (:  No one ate until Cowboy approved it!

    And oh how he loved to snuggle.  And his sweet, sweet kisses.

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    My love for Cowboy ran deep.  Maybe it was because he was only five weeks old when we brought him home, or maybe it was because he picked me to be his companion, I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s because his love help pull me out of dark depression on days when No one else could reach me. All I know is he held a special place in my heart that will last a lifetime.

    Earlier this year, Cowboy got sick.  I took him to the vet and was told he had bronchitis.  After a round of treatment, he seemed to be better. But a month later and he was sick again.  Back to Dr Shane we went. This time we tried a new treatment but they didn’t seem to work much. A few weeks later, we were back in the office, but this time the medications didn’t affect Cowboy at all.

    I knew that morning, last Wednesday, when I got up that his time was ending soon.

    I called the vet one more time and they told me to bring him right in.  I told my kiddos to tell him bye, that at his was probably not going to end the way we wanted.  I made sure Cowboy told Lola bye, little did Lola know she would never see him again.

    Dr Shane wanted to run tests.  He called me later to explain that Cowboy’s heart was enlarged and he prayed he would respond to the medication.  He wanted to keep him over night, I think more for my benefit so Cowboy wouldn’t die at home.  The next morning I got the call I most dreaded.  He didn’t make it.  

    I knew.  

    I had awoke in the night and knew right away he was gone.  So I sat in the dark and prayed.  Prayed for peace. Prayed for understanding.  Prayed for reassurance that Cowboy was in no more pain.

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    I made the decision to have him cremated.  I needed my baby to be home.  I couldn’t bear the thought of never having him close to me again. He was always with me through every laugh and every tear and I needed him to remain beside me. I owed Cowboy that much.

    Arrangements were made, and then it was time to tell the kids.  They took it better than I expected. Maybe because I had prepared them, but mainly I think they knew they had to be strong for me.  They knew I would take it extremely hard, which I did.

    I sat alone in my room for several hours, as tears streamed down my face.  There was nothing left for me to do. And even though I knew I needed to hug my other fur-babies a little tighter that day, I couldn’t seem to pull myself out of my pain, out of the darkness.

    My husby called me from work to see how I was doing. He told me to take the kids to the water park, to relax, to let the sun shine on my face, to not think for a few hours.

    I sat at the waterpark that afternoon and cried.  I cried for me, I cried for Cowboy, I cried for Lola.  As I looked up I saw a cloud that was shaped as a fluffy dog with a curly tail and I cried even harder knowing he was telling me he was okay.  

    Later that day, as I cried some more, a little butterfly decided to land on my hand and sit there.  It didn’t move, it just watched me.  Again I know that was Cowboy’s way of letting me know it was okay to let go.  

    I watched as the little butterfly flew off my hand, only to come back once more, as to say, “Are you sure you will be okay?”, then it was gone again.

    This past week has been so hard. I have experienced so many emotions. Sadness that I would not see him again in this life, grateful for being his human, angry for him leaving me, guilt for not doing more to help him and happiness knowing he is running free at the a Rainbow Bridge waiting for me. Many tears have been shed, many prayers have been prayed, many memories have replayed in my mind.

    Some might say, he was just a dog.  I would say  no, he was family.  He knew me and my moods better than my closet family or friends.  He knew when I needed a kiss, or a snuggle or just company as I lay in my room.

    See, when you have the love of a dog like I do, you experience a pure and innocent love.  There is no judgment, no grudges just plain love and adoration.  And that is exactly what I received with Cowboy,  and for that I will forever be grateful he chose me.

    I told Dr Shane, the day Cowboy left me, all I wanted was to bring my Cowboy home. When my love was not enough to keep him with me here on this Earth,I just needed to bring him home with me forever.

    And today he came home to stay.

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    Last Night

    I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.

    I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

    I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,

    “It’s me, I haven’t left you, I’m well, I’m fine, I’m here.”

    I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,

    You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

    I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.

    I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

    I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.

    I want to re-assure you, that I’m not lying there.

    I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.

    I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said ” it’s me.”

    You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.

    I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

    It’s possible for me, to be so near you everyday.

    To say to you with certainty, “I never went away.”

    You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew…

    In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

    The day is over… I smile and watch you yawning

    and say “good-night, God bless, I’ll see you in the morning.”

    And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,

    I’ll rush across to greet you and we’ll stand, side by side.

    I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.

    Be patient, live your journey out…then come home to be with me.

    Author Unknown

    *Please Adopt, Don’t Shop and donate to your local rescues and shelters

    Splash Math Review and Giveaway

    splashmath

     

    Can you believe it, it’s that time of year again.

    The time that children dread and parents celebrate.

    Yes, thats right!  A New School Year is here.

    From some, that time has already begun.  For others, like myself, as a homeschool parent, I am still planning and preparing to begin soon.

    I enjoy putting lessons together, finding the perfect curriculum that fits my children’s  learning style.  One thing I have learned over the years of homeschooling, is that every child is different.  Just because one style fits one child, doesn’t mean it will fit the next child.  Math always seem to be a subject where I have to try several methods of learning before I find a good fit.

    I came across Splash Math, and I instantly fell in love.

    Splash Math is Interactive Math Lessons for Elementary School Students Grades K-5 at every Skill Level. The Interactive games and rewards, motivate children to learn, practice and improve their math scores. Splash Math is available at home on the computer, on the iPad, on Chromebooks, and in a Classroom Edition for Teachers.

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    I love how visual the lessons are, how the audio helps explain the instructions clearly.

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    But I also love how, as a parent, I receive a weekly report via email on the progress of my child.  It explains what lessons have been completed on each level and the score for each.

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    And Splash Math even offers A Summer Program ,an 8-week review program to halt the Summer Slide (students lose 2-3 months of math competency during the summer break if they don’t practice regularly).

    Splash Math is perfect as a Full Curriculum or as  Supplemental Lessons.  Even though my children are past Grade 5, I was so interested for my tutoring students.  It fits perfectly for their needs.

    I highly recommend this program for everyone.  But children who need more visual learning will excel with Splash Math.

    I am so excited that Splash Math has teamed up with GraceandGravy for a giveaway.  One lucky reader will win a free Splash Math Program!  How Awesome is that!

    Click on the Rafflecopter Giveaway Link to Enter!  And Good Luck!

    *Winner will be notified on 8-16

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

     

    *Review is solely based on my own thoughts and opinions.  I was not paid to offer my review.