Monday, August 29, 2011

Little Girls

I consider myself to be an expert on little girls!

Of course, I was one, once upon a time, AND I am

raising 5 of my own.

(Ammorae 5 years old)

They want to be a "Big Girl" from the moment go! They want to dress up and wear their

mama's shoes.

(Aydan in my wedding shoes)

They want to wear make-up and get their nails done!

(Ava in my special sparkly heels daddy gave me)

They want to pretend like they are getting married and taking

care of their babies.

(Addy in my RED brighton's)

They want to wear apron's and learn to cook and pretend to

vacuum and mop the floors.

In becoming an expert on anything you have to experience a lot of something.

Experience is a present tense word.

Presently, I am BLESSED with being able to daily experience

the most amazing job and life that God could have ever given me.

Just like a friend of mine describes my family, I LOVE my

Little Women!

God be with today, tomorrow, and forever bringing up these little women.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Changing the Law in AR

At summer's beginning I was hot on a mission! If you are not aware, there is NO law in the state of Arkansas, nor many others for that matter, that specifies what we must teach our children in school about sex education. I know that MANY of you are gasping right now, not about that truth ,but that I am talking about this. Admit it!

Some parents that I talk to say that it's their job to teach their children about sex, not the school. MOST parents that I talk to want others such as church and school to reiterate and assist them in hitting home the truths about what happens when you make these decisions.

Here are a FEW statistics that are current. 1 out of every 3 women have or will have an abortion this year. 1 out of every 6 people have herpes, this is an STD that lives with you for the rest of your life. This also means that 20% of all Americans age 12 and older are infected with it. In the U.S. 34% of young women are pregnant at least once before the age of 20. Trichamonas causes MORE new infections than any other STD, with the exception of HPV, and I bet you've never even heard of it. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) who we go to for all of our health information reports that 19 MILLION NEW cases of STD's occurred last year and 50% (half) of those happened to people who were the ages of 15-24.

Here are MORE specific truths about Arkansas in particular. We are #4 in the country for teen pregnancy. We are #7 in the country for STD's. The health department has release information from surveys stating that most 8th graders have admitted to being pressured to have sex, that is 12, 13, and 14 year olds. It also showed that 10th graders admitted that 50% of them have already been part of multiple sexual relationships. (that's only 2 yrs difference) By 12th grade it's 63% and only 59% of those reported using any kind of protection.

I could go on and on (and I am going to) but this tells me and experts that we are NOT doing our job and mandates and laws should be made to regulate this issue. We need to combine sex education with the truth of abstinence so they know what happens if they choose not to comply. The facts are that very young people are having sex and they don't have any idea about the facts and it's altering their lives. It's also altering our lives. Some of you think it doesn't affect you, and you are SADLY mistaken. With the facts I gave you earlier, it means that we have young and old that are hurting and are broken. If you get herpes as a youth, you HAVE herpes as an elder. If you had an abortion as a youth, you carry that with you as an elder. If you have a baby as a youth, it changes you and your whole family's lives forever. People are hurting and going through SO much all around you everyday and it affects ALL of US!!! You can not assume that people in your circle are not dealing with these issues, because statistics PROVE that they are. If you are a parent, a grandparent, a sister, a brother, and aunt, or an uncle you have been affected.

I started my crusade by talking to parents, pastors, teachers, and law officials. I've not really gotten anywhere yet, but they need to know that God has laid this upon my heart and I'm just getting started. Is this important to you? Will you join me? I NEED to see your comments!!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Somethings You Might Not Know About Me

The year I graduated from high school I packed up my brand new Ford Contour and moved to Colorado to attend Culinary School.

I lived with one of my older sisters and was her nanny, while going to school.

My Grandma Amy was the one who inspired me at a young age to want to cook and entertain. By watching my mother cook for such a large family, I learned the basics. I took every Home Ec class I could in high school, one year I was in two or three. I was cooking dinner for my family at the age of 12.

So when my mom and sister encouraged me to go to Culinary School it seemed natural and obvious. (the other career I was leaning toward was Journalism)

I attended the Colorado Institute of Arts Culinary School in Denver. My 1st semester was all preparation for the BIG stuff. I took a Dietary Course, Safety & Sanitation, and basic skills in the kitchen. Basic skills sounds easy, yeah right...everything BUT!!! I had to be in a kitchen six days a week for seven hours a day. The rules were STRICT. If you missed 3 or more classes a semester you had to start the course over again.

Almost all of the lingo was French and there was so much about "cooking" that I had no idea. Classmates of mine had worked as line and soux chef's in 3,4,and 5 star restaurants, and were finishing up with their accrediation. It was very intimidating in the begginning.

My favorite class was my 2nd semester, Baking and Pastry. Do you have any idea what it takes to make a croissant? Butter is laminated into the dough several times and it has to rest each time, it's an amazing process. There isn't one' that I bite into that I don't stop and think about the intensity that is put into it. In high school my favorite class was Cake Decorating, so it's not surprise that I was over the moon during this chapter. There were days that I personally made 8 cakes and loaves and loaves of bread. After bringing them home to my family ( I also had extended family in the area) I quickly realized that I had to find somewhere to share my sweet treats. I started driving them to the homeless shelter.

There were several other phenomenal classes. Garde Mange, it's all that foo foo stuff you see with food garnishings and fancy schmancy carvings of fruits and veggies. Wines & Spirits is a world of it's own. International Foods was another favorite.

Hotel and Restaurant Management has been a desire of mine. I love catering and more than anything cooking for my family and teaching my girls what they need to know to successfully navigate around a kitchen and properly entertain.

There are more classes that I need and want to take. This industry is an amazing one and continues to thrive. With the explosion of the Food Network and shows featuring hard core Chefs like Gordon Ramsey it gives us every day folks a look into their world. There are literally 1,000's of blogs about people like you and me who love to cook and want to share their recipes with the world. What an exciting age to live in.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The BAT Cave

Our family met right outside of Freedom OK

to visit the Alabaster Caverns!

Zac brought his girlfriend Reagan and Brent

from OKC and met us there.

Every single business in Freedom has an old fashioned

1800's store front. Such a neat place to take pictures.

This is my nephew Brent trekking through the cave

on our tour.

Papa was teaching the youngsters a piece of history

and talked a lot about his past.

Amanda is posing next to a lit up piece of Alabaster.

Mom was trying to wrangle ornery Ava and

make it through the cave without slipping, it was wet and

very slippery!

The entrance to the cave and 3/4 mile walk.

Abigail enjoyed her 1st journey through a dark damp cave

she chauffeured her daddy.

Here is the whole crew, minus the photographer (me) of course.

Afterwards, we grabbed a bite at this rustic cowboy cafe

outside of the park's entrance.

We had lots of laughs and FUN!

Of course, Brent has to make a silly face.

Silly head shot, Aydan.

Dalton is never far behind.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Gramma & Papa took us to Cowtown in Wichita. It is

the BEST "Old Town" I have ever been to. Here are all the

grandkids that were together.

My dad has been wanting a Chuckwagon for quite sometime.

I want to learn how to do chuckwagon cooking.

Someday we'll get our stuff together!!!

This is my nephew Dalton from Connecticut

trying out a bow and arrow.

The girls were pretty mesmerized!

Here is my mom showing the kids how to use some

"old fashioned" toys! Pretty good hu!

Here is Papa showing Addy how to plunk out a tune on the old

piano! Love hearing him chord those tunes! Reminds

me of Grandma Frances.

Here we are in the church getting a good word from Pastor Ammorae.

This is the one room school house. The kids got to hear Papa

give them the low-down. He went to one when he was a little boy.

We all AGREE, he was probably in trouble a lot!

Jeff was trying out a pair of old stilts.

We got a good deal 3 for 1! Trying out an old wooden coffin!

An intense game of checkers. I think when they weren't

looking Gramma stacked the board!!!

Papa & Aydan on the boardwalk infront

of the General Store! SWEET!

In the Bank, Brent was on the other side trying to hold it up!

The Saloon Girls were off that day, so we improvised!

Great looking Can-Can line!

Amanda & Brent working hard on the railroad!

Brent on the stagecoach! What an amazing place.

I fell in love with the actual homes that were set-up

just like they used to be. I think that's the era that

I would have liked to visited!

Thank you mom and dad for taking on this trip

through history! We LOVED it!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Monkeying Around

We went to KS last week and had soooo

much FUN!!!

We celebrated Ava's 3rd bday.

Since she is our monkey we had a Monkey Bday Party!

While we were there Amanda & Dalton spent the week with us!

They are my niece and nephew from Connecticut

We had 21 ppl out to the Plum Thickett, our favorite

hometown restaurant, also our 2nd home.

This is our ORNERY little birthday monkey.

She had her own banana cake and all!

Everyone played jungle bingo and several other

monkey games. We had lots of winners and entertainment.

We even got the girls' Papa Cecil & Mammo

to play with us! (great grandparents)

We LoVe going home!

Thank you Papa & Gramma (mom & dad)

for hosting such a lovely & fun week at your house.