Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Isn't She Lovely....

16 years ago I laid eyes on the most beautiful creature I'd ever seen. I was already so in love with this little person before I'd seen her & when I finally did she took my breath away.

Last Saturday we celebrated the past 16 years we've been blessed with this wonderful princess. Let me tell you, it was no small event, it was quite a celebration!!
All the girls had lots of fun getting dolled up for the soiree...

My Princess wore a beautiful gown, tiara, & some homemade bling =) She was the star of the show & she looked amazing!!

The night's events started with our Pastor praying a blessing over our young lady & she then committed her purity to her father as he gave her a ring to signify that vow. My Princess then entered the hall with her court & they all performed a dance for us. Then her father & I exchanged her smaller tiara for a larger one & her slipper for a heeled shoe. Both of these traditions signify stepping into womanhood.

She then danced with her Daddy, was so beautiful, I felt like I was gonna just cry my heart out. I didn't of course because it was her day...their moment. But, here was my sweet little girl...all of a sudden this amazing woman & she was so happy & content in the arms of her Daddy.

It was beautiful.....
After all this it was time to party!
My little girl (not as little anymore) danced all night with all her friends & had a ball!!

We all stayed up til the wee hours of the night, well....some of us stayed up.....

We ate too much food, danced too silly, & laughed lots, it was a wonderful night!
One I know my Princess will remember for the rest of her life.
I love you, my Baby....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

History In The Making *UPDATE*

Tomorrow, I'm taking my kids & making a stand. Tomorrow, my children will witness firsthand a hearing in which Senate Bill 136 will be discussed. SB 136 may not ring any bells for you, but for us Illinois Homeschoolers it's the "hot topic"
Simply put, back in January Senator Edward Maloney filed a bill in reference to non-public private schools (homeschools are in this category) mandating registration. Now, what's the big deal with registering right?? Really, "if you have nothing to hide, why can't you register your children"

I'm making an angry face right now...

Well, let me 'splain a few things. Senator Maloney has stated that homeschoolers in Illinois should be registered with their local school districts and admitted that he doesn't understand why they are so opposed to his newly-introduced SB 136.

"We're not going for the private school students, we're going to change that [in the proposal]. What we want to know is where the homeschoolers are. It's as simple as that," Maloney said from his Springfield office.

Well, why?? Plain & simple...why??
Why does the state have any say so over where my children are? Why should Senator Maloney have any control over how a free private individual chooses to raise their child. This is not a police state, in fact we live in a country founded on liberty & freedom so again I ask...why??

Now, it doesn't just stop at registration, it appears that way but it's so much more. Background checks & fingerprints run on the teachers A.K.A. mommy, attendance records, teaching diversity....ummm, no.

And so on & so on. This really is just getting a foot in the door of our households & I honestly feel it's a money issue as well. Do you know how much money the state of Illinois spends per child???

A whopping $8, 000 bux! And that's just an average, it can range from $5,000 to $18,000. Oh! And by the way, the numbers I'm giving you are from back in '07.
So basically if we go with the low end here, $5,000 & it was 2007 then the state would be losing 10 grand a year from my family alone. Considering, I've been homeschooling 4 years, that's at the very least $40,000.

t has been more than well determined all across this nation that government run education programs have been deemed high-priced failures. How much money has been spent to date?? Yet there are countless studies, proposals, suggestions and plans all across the nation to improve public education, still the public school students in this country continue to fall behind their peers in other nations.

Now, can you could understand how I, who have stayed out of government run education might be opposed to that same government now attempting to insert itself into my own freely chosen and clear education methods.

Tomorrow, thousands of Illinois homeschoolers will make a stand for our God given freedom. Tomorrow, my children will see History in the Making...

* Unfortunately my family was unable to attend, things fell through at the last minute. However, the Capitol was flooded with 4,000 homeschoolers...

The Home School Legal Defense Association stated that this was the largest turn out they've witnessed, many came to peacefully demonstrate their opposition to the proposed bill. While waiting for the hearing to start, the crowd began to sing. Strains of "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America," "Amazing Grace," and "The Star-Spangled Banner" drifted into the committee room. I'm certain it was more than beautiful & no one present will ever forget the passionate crowd of parents, grandparents, & children singing, and the sense that their presence made a powerful statement in defense of liberty.

Those in favor of SB 136 began their testimonies, a truant officer stated that if our children were out of doors, they were considered "truant" & not in a teaching environment. He also stated that through registration he would have access to info to "check on us & offer his help"
When asked how would he knew whether or not a home school needed help he stated "the ones who are doing a great job won't let me go, they'll want me to come in. The ones who say we don't want you around, well then I need to take action"

Sir, I don't want you around....

Some senators worried about homeschoolers "falling through the cracks." The sad truth is that the public schools do not have the solution to "falling through the cracks!" Why have the least effective system of education supervise the most effective system?

I'd like to end this post with a quote from Scott Woodruff of HSLDA when testifying at Tuesday's hearing....

"You may have been surprised by the level of intensity & opposition to this bill. Many homeschoolers frankly, are content to focus on hearth & home. But, when their children are threatened, or their freedom is threatened, by a bill like 136. Ordinary folks are turned into political activists"

First, please..bring this before the Throne of God..ask for His blessing & favor.
If you haven't already...Please contact Sen. Maloney and ask him to withdraw--NOT AMEND--his bill.

Springfield Office:

Phone: (217) 782-5145

Fax: (217) 557-3930

Chicago Office:
Phone: (773) 881-4180
Fax: (773) 881-4243

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Book Review: In Constant Prayer

In Constant Prayer by Robert Benson is an installment in Thomas Nelsons "The Ancient Practices" series. This series explores the ancient traditions of the church, it includes subjects such as Fasting, Tithing, Communion, & of course Prayer. The author takes you into the "Daily Office"
The Daily Office of prayer requires praying certain prayers at certain times of the day. Example prayers were included at the end of the book and they were indeed useful for a personal reference on what was being discussed.
I believe if you are interested in observing "fixed-hour prayers" this book would be of a help to you. It could be quite resourceful. That said, it was difficult for me to continue with this read. I can't say keeping the "divine offices" is wrong nor bad. It's just not something I see myself doing. I do believe it's important to schedule time with God as the author himself points out. However, I felt this was more "schedule & check off my list"
For myself personally, the concept felt sterile. I would like to combine the ancient practice with a more personal approach, which would be to set specific time aside for God, an appointment if you will, & then get deep & personal with Him.

I received a copy of this book for free from Thomas Nelson's BookSneeze blogger review program. All opinions are solely my own

Monday, February 14, 2011

Meet Me On Monday...

Welcome to the 34th edition of
"Meet Me On Monday!"

Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?" I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so Java thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Here's this week questions...

1. Did you get any Valentine's Gifts?

Why yes I did! My girlies made cards for mama =) I love so much when they make things for me, I literally have a box full of cards & drawings, even some from Cow over 10 years ago! Also, my oh so awesome MIL brought me a box of chocolates...yummmmm. And The Hubby is taking me out for dinner tonight!

2. What is your favorite topping on something toasted?

Hands down, no doubt...peanut butter, bananas, & a drizzle of honey. Oh! This is *stupid good!! Trust me, give it a whirl. First, get yourself a nice thick slice of whole wheat toast. I suppose you could use white but it may give under the pressure of all the awesome toppings, so ya need a nice strong bread =) Second, toast it up & let it cool just a bit, slather (yes, SLATHER) on peanut butter & add some sliced 'nanners. Then drizzle on some honey. If you'd like to take it to another level of *stupid goodness sprinkle on some cinnamon.

3. Do you pick out your outfit the night before?

No...yes...ummm...well...hmpf. OK, the answer is no AND yes. Saturday nights I pick out what I'll be wearing to church Sunday morning. See, Sunday's are my day to dress up, the hair gets done, make up is applied, heels are rockin'. However, during the week..not so much. I'm typing in PJ's right now. Not sure what I'm gonna where today...probably clothes.

4. What food item do you absolutely despise?

Oh come on...this is just nasty. Horseradish?? I mean, it's a horse & it's a radish....terrible images come to mind. I know it's really not but what ever it is it's just wrong. I absolutely hate the taste of it & The Hubby is always trying to get me to try it on a sandwich or in some oh so wonderful dip. Honestly, I just wanna run & hide under a rock when he comes at me with that stuff. Yuck!!

5. Righty or lefty?

The Blessed Supermom

*Stupid Good~Food that tastes so good you can't help but act stupid because your brain has ceased to function due to the sheer joy of the delectable goodie your eating

Friday, February 11, 2011

Snow "Ice Cream"

Wow, this was seriously fun! I've heard of snow ice cream before & I had this image in my mind of snow cones but this stuff is way better!!

It was super easy too! It simply calls for...
6 quarts of FRESH snow (fluffy, don't pack it)

1 tsp of vanilla
1 & 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar (to taste)
1 quart of Heavy whipping cream or half & half

We only had 3 & 1/2 cups cream & the remainder was half & half. It worked just fine. So all ya do is mix all ingredients minus the snow. Get it all good & swirly then start adding the snow 2 cups at a time, mixing as you go.

Now, this isn't standard ice cream, it's even creamier than soft serve but it's very good. You can adjust the sugar to your taste & I would imagine you can have all sorts of fun with toppings. The Monkey added some M&M's =)

We ate some up right away, & it received rave reviews!!

Even the Munchkin approved.

The rest went in the freezer til the next day. It froze up real nice & had a texture I was used to. Whether you have it right away or wait a day it's very good.

The Blessed Supermom

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Letter to My Daughter...Happy Birthday!!

Hi My Sweet Girl...

Today you are one year old!

Time has gone by so quickly, It feels as though just yesterday I saw your sweet face for the first time. You were so tiny & beautiful, absolutely perfect...

I was so very nervous about meeting you, I just didn't know what to expect. God had taken your big brother Isaac & your big sister Hannah to Heaven with Him, so I was anxious to hold you in my arms & kiss you. Daddy was so wonderful to me & prayed & helped me to stay calm. I remember looking at your beautiful little poofy face, you were so amazing. Daddy looked in your eyes & said "just a few hours ago these eyes were looking into the faces of Angels"

What an amazing thought!!
Now, here we year later.

My beautiful girl, you changed my life...God used you to give me Hope when I was so broken. You are a wonderful gift & I'm so thankful for you. I have loved every moment with you, all 525,949.2 of them =)
I'm happy with all the sleepless nights, all the pacing, bouncing, & fussiness. I'm thankful for all the smiles, giggles, squeals, & laughter.
I love you more & more everyday!!
Happy Birthday my Beautiful One!

The Blessed Supermom

Wordless Wednesday....

She makes my heart smile =)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Butter, Syrup, Whipped Cream...OH MY!!

Whew! Me & the girlies have some seriously sore arms & huge muscles now. We made butter!!
OK, it wasn't all too hard, but a lil more work than I thought. Probably cuz we made a whole cup of butter & another cup of whipped cream.

Yes...oh so yummy!!

So here's how we did it....
We started off with a simple carton of heavy whipping cream, here are my wonderfully gorgeous models showing it off. Aren't they beautiful!!

Then the Bear started whipping. Honestly we whipped the daylights out of this cream & we were getting a whole lot of NOTHING...

Poor baby. However, she wasn't upset, in fact she was tickled at the idea of making this yummy topping. After a while of getting nowhere we couldn't figure out what was wrong so I called my SuperSister who suggested we use a chilled metal bowl.

The Monkey gave it a whirl & lo & behold...NOTHING!!
Ha! Just kidding, it just wasn't happening fast enough for my girlies so Mama had to take over. Once it started to thicken up they naturally became interested again & promptly took over =)
We added some vanilla & sugar & ran a few taste tests. It passed!!

Then came the butter. OK, maybe we shouldn't of tried to make as much as we did. We started off with 2 cups of heavy whipping cream in a jar then shook the daylights out of it.

Honestly, this part was hysterical! Watching the girls shakin & shakin! Well, you can imagine that it didn't take all too long before they decided that I should do it! Well, I didn't let em' get off that easy & we all took turns, however~my turns were two to three times longer than theirs. Finally, we started rolling it across the floor to one another & VOILA! BUTTER!!!
So we got all excited & tasted it, then decided it was gross & added a wee bit of salt...PERFECT!

I was able to explain to the girls how the forced air from the mixer whipped the cream into a fluffy consistency. However, when we didn't add air by keeping the cream in a jar the consistency of the cream was different. The fat particles in the cream began to "stick" together making butter =)

With all this homemade yummy goodness we decided to make waffles for dinner! The Hubby cooked up some bacon & Monkey even helped make some vanilla syrup. It was an awesome time with my sweet girls & we all enjoyed breakfast for dinner =)

The Blessed Supermom

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meet Me On Monday.....

Welcome to the 34th edition of
"Meet Me On Monday!"

Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?" I know them...but yet I don't know them! I want to know who the person is behind all those words so Java thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Never Growing Old will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

Here's this week questions...

1. Did you watch the Superbowl?

Ummmm....yeup. And I ate too much, screamed A LOT, and was very VERY disappointed when The Steelers lost. Now lemme just point out I am not a huge Steelers fan, I am a Chicago BEARS fan. Two weeks ago the packers (no caps intended) beat The Bears in the playoffs. Now, if you're like me & you live in Chicago, you know a few things...we don't get intimidated by snow, we don't eat ketchup on our dogs, & we do not I repeat DO NOT root for the packers...nuff said.

2. What is the last book that you read?

In 2008 I said hello & goodbye to 2 of my children, Isaac & Hannah Joy. I was blessed to carry them for a time. It was the most difficult season of my life. I was sustained by God's goodness & grace & I will praise Him all my days.
The book I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief & Joy is beautiful & yet heart wrenching. If you have walked this path or know someone who is currently on it please take the time to open your heart to the Lord & read these tender words.

3. What is your favorite kind of cake?

Cheesecake! Without a doubt...I love it! So many varieties & oh so yummy! I used to be a simple girl who was satisfied with a slice of plain cheesecake with a little strawberry topping but then I was introduced to Turtle Cheesecake & my palette was intrigued. Was there more?? Could I be missing out??? Oh YES! I now I love 'em all...chocolate, raspberry swirl, lemon chiffon. MMmmmm...cheesecake. I know it's bad but it's so soo good.

4. Do you snore?

Absolutely not!!! I am waaaaay to ladylike for that...however The Hubby may disagree =)

5. Do you play an instrument?

Yes! As a matter of fact I's the worlds smallest violin! I tend to play it when there is some whining to accompany me =)

The Blessed Supermom

Saturday, February 5, 2011


So it's taken a few days to post but...HEY!!! We've been playin' in the snow!!
In case you haven't watched the news, read the papers, or possibly live under a rock. The great City of Chicago was pummeled with a deluge of snow & wind. I have never before seen anything like this...

Our back door

View from 2nd floor window

Our neighbors car covered in snow

Snow Covered Lawn

Not sure where the street is

The City just about shut down. Over 120,000 homes were without electricity, Lake Shore Drive (a major downtown street) was overwhelmed with vehicles unable to move because of white out conditions & car accidents. And when all was said & done Mother Nature poured out a jillion inches of powdery joy for the kiddies.
OK, it was actually Father GOD & somewhere in the range of 19 inches...
Anyway, The Hubby was told to stay home from work & the lil people took him out to play. Here's some pics of the fun...

Building their Fort

The Munchkins 1st Blizzard!

The finished product

Diving in the snow

Mama & Munchkin'

Our Snow Angels =)

The Blessed Supermom