Friday, December 3, 2010

100 Ways to Make the Holiday Season More Twinkly and Bright

1. Make a gingerbread house
2. Volunteer to serve dinner at a homeless shelter during the Christmas season
3. Go ahead, throw your first New Year’s Eve party
4. Along with a group of friends, adopt a family that needs help with clothing, blankets, gifts, dinner and a tree this season
5. Serve rose champagne rather than your normal wine at the holiday meal
6. Light dozens of candles
7. Put flowers in every room
8. String white twinkle lights on all the trees, both inside the house and outside in the garden/on the terrace
9. Make homemade marshmallows for your hot chocolate
10. Learn about another country’s, or religion’s, holiday tradition, and have a mini celebration in that style
11. Be certain that no friend or family member spends Christmas alone
12. Attend Midnight Mass
13. Attend the Fete Des Lumieres in Lyon, France
14. Make christmas candies, like divinity and fudge
15. Host a night of board games or cards, and serve coffee and dessert
16. Have friends over for a warm night of fondue and mulled wine
17. Go out for an evening of holiday light sightseeing in your favourite local neighbourhood
18. Invite friends to go caroling, and serve wassail and hot chocolate afterwards
19. Volunteer during the holidays at the local animal shelter, so that those that care for these lonely animals all year can have a break
20. Offer to babysit for friends, family or neighbours, so that young parents can have a holiday date night
21. Take the family away to a cabin in the snow for Christmas
22. Invite friends and family over for an old fashioned tree decorating party
23. Visit Harrod’s glorious food hall at Christmas time
24. Spend Christmas in New York City
25. Spend Christmas in Vienna
26. Spend Christmas at the Four Seasons Hotel in Budapest, and get bargain rates for a winter getaway
27. Spend Christmas in Paris
28. Play charades
29. Stay in, and have an intimate New Year’s Eve candlelit dinner for two
30. Take the children to a Christmas pantomime, or to the Nutcracker ballet
31. Host a Christmas Eve brunch for friends
32. Make black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck all year long
33. Offer to take an elderly neighbour who doesn’t drive out to do their holiday shopping
34. Set a holiday table to be proud of, including cloth napkins
35. Give the children a holiday budget, and help them learn how to manage money when buying gifts
36. Stick to your own budget this season, so there aren’t any credit card disasters in January
37. Host a whiskey tasting party (fudge is the perfect compliment!)
38. Put together a holiday music playlist, featuring all the family members favourite holiday songs
39. Visit family members that you haven’t seen in years
40. Have a family holiday film festival, with each member choosing their favourite holiday movie to host one evening
41. Have a white elephant gift party for close friends, and share a laugh
42. Finally learn how to properly wrap a Christmas gift
43. Take a scrapbooking class, and make your parents’ holiday gift with their vintage family photos
44. Shovel your neighbour’s walk
45. As a family, choose a volunteer project for the New Year
46. Roast chestnuts
47. Have your carpets cleaned before the guests arrive
48. Make sure there’s always a fire in the fireplace
49. Bundle up, and go for a walk in the city at night
50. Read “Twas the Night Before Christmas” to the children on Christmas Eve
51. Open just one gift on Christmas Eve
52. Wake up early on Christmas morning, make a cup of coffee, and just sit in the quiet with your twinkling tree
53. Make a pecan pie, just like Nonie used to make
54. Make a list in your journal of all the blessings you’ve received this year
55. Have a small dinner party on New Year’s Eve, and invite your guests to stay overnight
56. Put Christmas tree lights on the house, just for the kids
57. Make a special memory with each member of your family
58. Deliver Meals on Wheels on Christmas Day, to those that are alone and homebound
59. As part of their gift, start a college savings fund for the younger members of your family
60. Give yourself the gift of optimism for the New Year this holiday season
61. Take loads of photographs, and post them online for the whole family to see
62. Go ice skating
63. Have a karaoke party with friends (the local Koreatown or Japantown often have private rooms for parties)
64. Use another time zone’s midnight, and host a party to celebrate ringing in the New Year in that city’s style (Los Angeles, NYC, Paris, Rio de Janiero)
65. Go black tie on New Year’s Eve
66. Serve your holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, so that you can enjoy Christmas Day (and the leftovers) with the family
67. Play outside with the children on Christmas afternoon
68. Go for a walk on Christmas afternoon
69. Spend a girl’s weekend in the city in early December, and finish all your holiday shopping together
70. Hang crystal drops on existing lighting fixtures, and elsewhere around the house, to catch the candlelight
71. Watch a New Year’s Day cricket match in South Africa
72. Make homemade Christmas pudding, with brandy butter
73. Make your own Christmas crackers
74. Make homemade pesto or tapenade to give as gifts
75. Be very grateful and gracious about EVERY gift you receive
76. Make time to quietly enjoy the holidays with your partner
77. Call your parents if you can’t spend the holidays with them
78. Be available to loved ones that are struggling through the holidays
79. Stock up on small gifts, for anyone you might have accidentally overlooked (especially children)
80. Remember what the season is about, and be kind and considerate to others while holiday shopping
81. Give antique poetry books as gifts. Tie with a simple piece of ribbon.
82. Give the gift of fine stationary and note cards
83. Find the perfect stocking stuffer for him
84. Find the perfect stocking stuffer for her
85. Find the perfect stocking stuffer for kids
86. Use the china
87. Toast each person around the table individually, with a special message just for them
88. Give the gift of forgiveness
89. Vow to set aside differences, and have harmonious holidays (bite your tongue, if you must)
90. Don’t forget thoughtful holiday gifts for those that make a difference all year long (delivery people, house cleaners, pet walkers, babysitters)
91. Don’t forget a gift for anyone that hosts you this season
92. Be sure to have vegetarian and sugar free choices at dinner for guests with health concerns
93. Cut out paper snowflakes
94. No excuses, send holiday cards
95. Don’t procrastinate, it will only bring unnecessary stress to a wonderful season
96. Make, or buy, only thoughtful gifts that are within your budget
97. Be certain to teach your children what the season really means to your family
98. Plant your winter bulbs, like daffodil and tulips
99. Start a window herb garden to use in holiday meals, and all winter long
100. Make sure to take the time to relax, reflect and savour the moment

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Everyone....Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.....Enjoy all the good food....I know I will! Remember to give THANKS for all that you have. I know I will....because I had a son that left his mark of JOY just for being alive...and for him I am so Thankful! Anyway.......Enjoy your day with family and friends.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fun Sayings for simple gifts.....

Well, I've been thinking of making a few theme baskets for Christmas gifts this are some sayings I found....some are so cute!

1. Any sweet treat: "Wishing you a season filled with sweetness!"

2. A plate of cookies: "Wishing you a wonderful Christmas, from your
"crummy" neighbors.

3. Barq's Root Beer: "Have a wonderful Christmas, it shows you're
"barqing" up the right tree!"

4. Any soda: "We're "soda-lighted" to wish you a Merry Christmas!"

5. Popcorn: "We just "popped" in to wish you a Merry Christmas!"

6. Loaf of bread: "For being there when you were "kneaded", for
"rising" to the occasion, large or small. For never "loafing" on the job, for helping others "heel" with TLC. No matter how you "slice" it, you do a terrific job loving others."

7. Bananas: "If we could choose our friends, and we searched the
whole world through, we'd go "bananas" trying to find a better "bunch" than you!"

8. Bear Shaped Honey: "Hoping our "honey" of a friend has a "beary"
Merry Christmas".

9. Microwave Popcorn and 2-liter of soda: "Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh
what a good friend you is!"

10. Mug with Hot Chocolate Mix: "To our special friends so dear,
wishing you a cup of cheer."

11. Eggnog: "Have an "udderly moovalous" holiday!"

12. Ice Cream: "Have a cool Yule!"

13. Hershey's Kisses in a Wire Wisk: "We "whisk" you a Merry "Kiss"

14. Paper Towels: "Blot out your troubles, "absorb" the Christmas

15. Candle: "Hope your Christmas is full of light"

16. Pencil and notepad: "Hope your Christmas is something to write
home about!"

17. Matches: "To our matchless friends"

18. Bubble Gum or Bubble Bath: "May your holidays "bubble" over with

19. 7Up: "7 Up ideas for a wonderful holiday season" (include 7
uplifting thoughts/ideas)

20. Sprite: "May your Christmas be Merry and "Sprite"!"

21. Root Beer: "We're "rooting" for you to have a Happy Holiday

22. Any Pop: "We're "soda-lighted" to have you as our friends!"

23. Popcorn: "We're "popping" by with a holiday HI!"

24. Chocolate Covered Cherries: "Wishing you a very "cherry"

25. Mints: "We "mint" to wish you a Merry Christmas"

26. Snickers Candy Bar: "Don't "snicker" - just be glad you got

27. Cookie Dough - "Here's a little extra "dough" for Christmas"

28. Jar of Jam: "Hoping your Christmas is "jam" packed with cheer"

29. Veggies & Dip: "Dip into the holidays and a healthy New Year!"

30. Pasta: Have a "pasta-tively" happy holiday!"

31. Muffins or Muffin Mix: "You're gettin' "muffin" for Christmas!"

32. Grater & Cheese: "To a "grate" neighbor"

33. Seasoning Mix: "Seasoned with love - Happy Holidays!"

34. Any Sweet Treat: "Wishing you a season full of sweetness!"

35. Whisk Broom: "Take a break, From a Busy Day, and Sweep All Your
Cares Away!"

36. Basket of Bath Items: "When you feel like a basket case, take a
break... and slow your pace"

37. Basket of Rolls and Honey Bear: "Have a honey of a Christmas"

38. Hershey's Kisses: "Merry "Kiss"mas"

39. Bath oils, bubbles, salts: "The holidays can be a strain on our
body and brain, so when you feel stressed, a hot bath is best, it
truly will help keep you sane!"

40. Soup mix: You're "souper" - Merry Christmas"

41. Wooden spoon w/ favorite drink or baking mix: "Not a creature
was "stirring".. ."

42. Oven Mitt filled w/ treats: "We have to ad-"mitt" you're a great

43. Frozen cookie dough w/ cookie cutters: "Bake up some Christmas

44. Apple Cider w/wassail mix: "Spice Up Your Christmas!"

45. Bag/Box of Whoppers: "Hope you have a "whopper" of a Christmas"

46. M&M's: Have a Merry and Most Wonderful Holiday Season!"

47. Frozen or Ready-To-Bake Pizza: "Warm up to a wonderful holiday
season "topped" with Christmas cheer!"

48. Apples and Hershey's Hugs: A teacher can't live by apples
alone... she needs hugs too!"

49. Popcorn Balls: "Hoping you have a "ball" this Christmas season"

50. Jolly Ranchers: "Have a holly "jolly" Christmas"

51. Chex Party Mix: "Remember Santa "chex" his list twice to see
who's been naughty or nice... so be good for goodness sake!"

52. Box of Hostess Ho-Ho's:" Hope a merry "Ho-Ho-Ho" fills your heart
the whole year through!"

53. Jar of Jelly: "Jelly is like love -- you can't spread it around
without getting some on yourself!"

54. Christmas Tray: "We "tray"sure your friendship!"

55. Bell: "With each chime of this festive bell, may a Christmas wish
come true, and bring you peace and happiness to last the whole year

56. Yule Log: "We send you warm greetings this Christmas seasoning"

57. Potpourri: "May this sweet scent bring back thoughts of warm
Christmases long ago!"

58. Cleaners: "You add sparkle and make our life brighter!"

59. Nuts: "We're nuts about you!"

60. Lifesavers: "You've been a life saver!"

61. Juice pitcher filled with candy canes: "We pitcher you raising a
little "cane" during the holidays"

62. Broom or Feather Duster: "You're "dust" the finest neighbors we

63. Measuring Cup or Spoons: "Wishing you a joy beyond "measure"!"

64. Star ornament: "Remember the reason for the season!"

65. Chocolate Mousse Mix: "Merry Christmousse to our "deer" friends!"

66. Wooden Spoon: "Whether stirring up cakes, cookies, soups or soufflés; You'll find this spoon useful in so many ways. But whatever it's use, it says, "Merry Christmas from us to you!"

67. Flower: "If friends were flowers, we'd pick you!"

68. Heart Ornament: "May the joy and love you give away, come back to
you on Christmas Day"

69. Cinnamon Sugar for toast: "May your Christmas be sprinkled with
laughter and love!"

70. Christmas music: "May the sweet song of Christmas make your heart

71. Filled Basket: "Wishing you a basket full of Christmas blessings"

72. Salsa: "Add a little spice to your holidays"

73. Stocking or Filled Jar: "Have a fun filled Christmas this year!"

74. Candle: "May your days be happy, your heart be light, your
Christmas merry and the New Year bright!!!"

75. Calendar: "Keep Christmas in your heart the whole year through!"

76. Sugar Cookies: "Rolling out a batch of Christmas cheer, for
someone we think is very dear!"

77. Cherry 7-Up: "Just a little Christmas cheer from Happy Hearts this time of year!"

78. Sparkling Cider: "Wising you a sparkling hoilday season!"

79. Warm casserole or bread: "Bundled up with warm wishes"

80. Eggbeater: "Have an "eggstra" special holiday!"

81. Pie: "Wishing you a scrupmtuous Christmas"

82. Oranges: " Orange" you glad we're Friends!?" Merry Christmas!!

83. Chocolate Orange: "Orange" you glad it's Christmas? Hope your
Christmas is a Sweet one!

84. Ice Cream Snowballs and Hot Fudge: "Here's some packaged "snowball" treats - Just
Drizzle Hot Fudge and its ready to eat!... Enjoy!!"

85. Box of Light Bulbs: "Have a bright and radiant Christmas"

86. Anything Santa: "Ho - Ho - Hoping your Christmas is Heavenly!"

87. Anything Angel: "Hoping you have a Heavenly Christmas!!"

88. Gingerbread House: "Nibble, Nibble like a mouse, We hope you'll
nibble at this house! Merry Christmas!"

89. Mugs with Hot Chocolate Mix: "To our special friends who are so
Dear, We wish you all a cup of Cheer!"

90. Cocoa Mix: "Wishing you a warm and wonderful Christmas!"

91. Gum: "By Gum, You're a great Neighbor!! "Have a Merry Christmas"

92.Christmas Shaped pasta: "Have a Pasta-tively Happy Holiday!"

93. Jar of Jam: "Hoping you have a Holiday "Jammed" packed with
fun!!"; "Have a "Berry" nice holiday season!!" Or "Hoping your Christmas is "Jam-packed with Christmas Cheer!"

94. Homemade Frozen Rolls - "Here's a little holiday treat. Rise and bake, it can't be beat! Warm fresh rolls just for you. Top with butter that's all you do! Warm Holiday
Greetings to you"

95. Brownie Mix (or other mix): "Whip up this mix for a wonderful
holiday fix! Wishing you a "rich" Holiday Season!!"(Attach the recipe!)

96. Homemade caramels: Hoping you have a "rich" and "wonderful"

97. Pie: "Just a "Holiday Hi" and a tasty Pie! Merry Christmas!"

98. Divinity: "May your Christmas be "Divine" and your Holidays so
Fine! Sweet Christmas Wishes!"

99. Rice Krispie Treats: "Snap, Crackle, Pop" We think You're really
Tops! "

100. Toffee or Brittle: "Any way you break it, We think you're the

101. Fudge: "Fudge" a little on the calories and enjoy the Holiday

102. Cheese Ball and Crackers: "We don't mean to sound "Cheesey", we
just hope you have a "Ball" this Holiday Season! Or "Spread a little
Christmas Cheer this Holiday Season!"

103. Apple Anything (pie, cobbler, crisp, muffins etc.): "Sending you a "Bushel" of love this holiday Season!!" Or " You are the apple of my eye, Teacher!"

104. Banana Bread: "Banana Bread just for you, because you have so much to do... We also love you a whole "Bunch" too! Merry Christmas!"

105. Cinnamon Rolls: "Here's a sweet treat "Rolled" up with warm Holiday Wishes! Merry Christmas!"

106. Homemade Chocolates: "You're so sweet...having you as neighbors is really a treat! Have a Heavenly Holiday Season!"

107. Cake or Cupcakes: "You take the "Cake" neighbor, We think you're
first rate! Happy Holidays to you!!"

108. Cornbread or Mix: "We're not trying to be "Corny" we just want
you to have Merry Christmas!"

109. Carrot Cake: " I Really "Carrot" alot about you!! Merry Christmas"

110. Spiced Drink Mixes: "Hoping your Holidays are "Spiced" just right!"

111. Recipe: "Just like you friend... it's tried and true, just for you! Happy Holiday Baking or Merry Christmas Cooking!"

112. Pizza - "Hope your Holiday has a touch of "Pizza - z!!" Merry Christmas!!"

113. Crayons and Coloring Book: Hope your Holidays are Colorful!

114. Plant: "The kindness you show makes our friendship grow and grow!
Hope you have a Happy Holiday!"

115. Stuffed animal: "Pawsing" to wish you a Merry Christmas!"

116. Donuts: "Donut" you know we love you??? Have a happy Holiday!"

117. Tree shaped pasta, tree shaped container or a small Christmas
tree: "Hope your Christmas is "tree-mendous" !"

118. Payday candy bar: "It's the "nutty" time of the year again, so please don't lose your cool! Relax, and much this little treat and have a happy Yule!"

119. Squeeze-It Juice drink & a Hershey's Kiss: "Here's a "squeeze
and a "kiss", to remind you you're loved all through the year!"

120. Salsa & Tortilla Chips: "Have a hot and spicy Christmas!"

121. Scouring pad/sponge: "I scoured the earth for a friend like you!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some Kitchen Tips...

Strawberry Tip: Wash freshly picked strawberries & then take a wide plastic straw and insert it at the bottom of a strawberry–then push the stem out.

Measuring Tip: Rinse measuring cup in hot water before using syrup, oil, etc. Will pour out clean and not stick to cup.

Sugar In Fruit Pies: When making pie, sprinkle the sugar under the fruit instead of on top. This prevents pie from boiling over.

Baking Fruit Pies: Cut four small slits into top pie crust and stand one piece of tubed pasta into each slit (choose pasta at least 2 or 3 inches long–cannelloni and cut ziti work well). The juices will bubble up the pasta ‘pipe’ and back down into the pie–instead of running all over your oven. Once pie has finished baking, remove pasta.

Neatly Cut Fudge: Use a pizza cutter to easily slice through flats of fudge and candy squares. Make sure the baking has been chilled or thoroughly set before cutting. The process is fast and easy and the result is nice, neat squares.

12.Mashed Potato Warmer: Is there ever enough stove top space when preparing large meals (like at Christmas or Thanksgiving)? Here’s a way to get the mashed potatoes done early and out of the way: Prepare your mashed potatoes an hour or two before serving the meal and store them in the slow cooker (on low heat). Serve with the rest of the meal and they’re still hot and tasty.

Fluff Up Mashed Potatoes: Try adding a healthy pinch of baking powder to the potatoes when mashing them. For fluffier mashed potatoes, use an electric mixer to whip air into them.

Slicing Meat Thin: If you need really thin sliced meat when cooking stir-fry recipes or other dishes, try partially freezing the meat before making your cuts. This will make the meat easier to slice very thin since it will hold firm while slicing, no more uneven cuts from the raw meat mushing underneath the knife blade.

Stop Meat Edges From Curling: When grilling steaks or frying up pork chops, sometimes the edges can curl and the meat no longer sits flat in the pan or on the grill. To help prevent that, just cut a slit in the fat along the edge of the meat every inch or so before cooking.

Baking Soda Test: Do you have an old box of baking soda in the pantry and you’re not sure whether or not it’s still good? Fill a small cup half full with vinegar and drop a teaspoon of baking soda in it. If things start fizzing, the baking soda is active.

Prevent Bacon Spatters: Bacon can be quite a messy item to prepare, try lightly dusting the bacon with flour before frying. This helps prevent the spatters and meat shrinkage.

Veggie Roasting Racks: Try roasting a chicken or roast on top of long slices of celery or carrot sticks. The vegetables act like a roasting rack plus add flavor to the meat. Not only do the veggies work well as a roasting rack, there’s one less item to wash.

Potato Flakes Thickener: Add dried instant potato flakes to homemade soups and sauces to thicken the consistency. This won’t change the flavor at all and is a sure trick when a dish sauce turns out too watery or thin.

How to Keep Cookies Soft: Keep cookies moist and chewy by throwing a few slices of apple in your cookie jar to keep cookies soft. Don’t do this if you like crispy or crunchy cookies.

Use A Pastry Brush To Butter Baking Pans: Use soft butter and a pastry brush to grease decorative cake pans, bundt pans and muffin tins. The brush makes it much easier to get into all the grooves.

Muffin Tin Use: After stuffing peppers and tomatoes, arrange in a muffin tin before sticking them in the oven. They’ll stay upright and keep their shape perfectly! You could also do this with baked apples or other round or stuffed items.

Fill Empty Muffin Tins With Water: If your muffin or cupcake recipe doesn’t fill all the spots in your muffin pan, fill the empty places 3/4 full with water. This will help protect those slots from darkening or getting scorched.

Separate Eggs With A Funnel: If you don’t have an egg separator and need just an egg white or yolk for a recipe, you can use a small kitchen funnel. Crack the egg gently then break into the funnel. The white of the egg will flow through the funnel leaving the yolk behind. No funnel? You could also clip a corner off a ziploc bag and use that as a funnel. Make sure to place the funnel inside a glass so the egg white is contained.

Reuse Nylon Mesh Bags: If you buy veggies that are bagged in nylon mesh, you can use that mesh for various cleaning jobs around the house and yard. Just wad up the bag and use it as a scrubber.

Extra Oven Rack: Take out the extra oven rack when baking and you can use it for the cooling rack. Works for cakes, cookies, hors douvres, whatever you like. If you’re baking smaller items that might fall through, simply cover the rack with tinfoil first (fold foil tightly over the edges). Works like a charm!

If two glasses are stuck together, fill the top glass with cold water and set the bottom glass in hot water. Try to carefully twist the two glasses apart after a minute.

Gravy thickening, sauces, etc., can be made smooth by using a small jar with a tight lid. Put the mixture of milk or water and flour into the jar and shake well until all lumps disappear.

Milk, in being boiled, frequently sticks to the pan. To prevent this, rinse the pan in hot water before using.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


This is something new that I'm starting on my blog that I thought would be neat to hear others thoughts on anything and everything. Each week I'm going to post a few words....I give you my give me yours and if anyone else wants to give me ideas...feel free. Otherwise just say a few words if you have any to say for the topic. Let's start today's..............


Love it! It's the first thing I NEED to start my day. Sometimes I drink it throughout the day up until the last thing I do to end my day. I am addicted to it and if I don't have it, I go through withdrawal......I can drink most but my favorite is Dunkin Donuts. I usually always have Dunkin Donuts brand but this week I'm trying the Eight 0' Clock Brand because I used a $2.00 coupon and it was buy 1 get 1 FREE at Giant this week. I bought the Original and a Mocha. The Mocha coffee is really good. I've been drinking a couple of cups a day. I also like lots of sugar and cream. Well I just can't LIVE without it in my life...........what? No COFFEE in Heaven!!!! NO WAY!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day of Remembrance Ceremony….at A.I. DuPont Hospital

On Sunday, October 24th , DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE had a ceremony of Remembrance to honor the children who passed away at that hospital. They send out invitations to the parents of children who passed away in the last 2 years each year. If families who attend find the service to be meaningful for them, then the families can fill out paperwork to be put on DuPont’s mailing list for their child to be included in the ceremony each year that this is done.
Last year DuPont invited us to join them in the ceremony, however, Eric and I just couldn’t bring ourselves to that hospital so soon after Jared passed. (He passed away about a month and a half before the ceremony.) Well, when we got the invitation this year, we were all about honoring our ANGEL BOY. We needed to be a part of it this year, so we went with a few members of our family and a dear nurse and lifelong friend of ours who took care of Jared with all of her heart. I am so glad she came. I was hoping another dear friend and nurse who will always be a part of our hearts could come…she was going to but her aunt passed away and she couldn’t make it. Jared knows her heart attended though.
I have to admit that going in to that hospital brought so much sadness of the last day we came through that door to kiss our ANGEL goodbye and then out those doors never to see our ANGEL again. This time, we made the trip to Dupont and we got to honor the LIFE of a child who brought so much awesome JOY in our lives and he was there with us in SPIRIT and we remembered his smiles each time we came up to DuPont to visit him and he would give to us the BIGGEST SMILES that would light up the room…. because they were smiles of the truest LOVE anyone could ever show physically. I am so GRATEFUL for the faculty and staff of A I DuPont Hospital for all the years of memories that are cherished now more than ever and always will be from the deepest part of my heart…..GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU WHO TOOK CARE OF JARED AND ALL THE OTHER ANGELS WHO ARE BLESSED EACH DAY THAT THEY’RE THERE.

Here are a few pictures:

This was the invitation to the ceremony:

This was the invitation and the memory book that DuPont made up of all the children who had passed away within the last 2 years:

This was Jared's memory page:

This was Jared's picture they hung up along the wall pinned to a clothesline of other pictures of children being honored and the papers are the program of service:

Here is his name circled in red:

This was a gift we received from DuPont as a token of their appreciation for allowing the staff to take care of each of our children (this was given when each family came up to the front when our child's name was called and we each placed a rose in the vase for our little ANGELS):

This was for the siblings (3 years or older)....they had their own little service upstairs with the Child Life Team doing activities with them and Logan made this dragonfly for Jared. When our service was near done, Child Life brought the children down to be a part of the adult service...each child got to hang their dragonfly they made for their loved one on a trellis up front and we got to take them down when the service was over to keep them:

Home Remedies from your Spice Rack:

Allspice: Relieves muscle aches and pains. First grind Allspice into a powder then add water to make a paste. Spread on a strip of clean muslin and apply to sore area.

Anise: Helps congestion from allergies, colds or flu, and settle upset stomach with gas. Make a tea by steeping 1 teaspoon of anise seeds in 1 cup of boiling water. Strain before drinking. Also chew a couple anise seeds as needed for bad breath.

Basil: For relief of cough, make a tea of dried basil (1 teaspoon) per 1 cup boiling water. Steep then strain, add a spoonful of honey then drink. Fresh basil leaves can also help with warts.

Bay Leaves: Helps with dandruff. Make a rinse by crushing a handful of bay leaves to one liter water (first brought to boiling then removed from heat). Cover and steep for 20 minutes. Strain and cool. Apply to hair and leave for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Rinse clean.

Black Ground Pepper: Stops bleeding, sprinkle a generous amount on a cut and voila! pain free

Caraway Seeds: Chew on a few seeds to help with flatulence. You can also make a tea by steeping 1 tsp seeds per cup of boiling water. Strain before drinking.

Cardamom: Digestive aid, brew a tea with 1 teaspoon cardamom and 1 cup boiling water. Steep. Drink tea with meals.

Cayenne Pepper: Sprinkle a pinch of Cayenne Pepper on meals to clear sinuses. A gargle made with water and cayenne pepper can help with sore throats. Also a natural appetite suppressant and increases metabolism. Sprinkle cayenne pepper on a toothbrush or add to a glass of water to gargle/rinse mouth–helps prevent gum disease and speeds up healing gingivitis. For toothaches, make a paste with cayenne pepper and water, apply to sore area.

Celery Seed: Relief from fluid retention: Make a diuretic tea by roughly crushing 1 1/2 teaspoons celery seed and steep in 1 cup boiling water (20 minutes). If you’re menstruating late, this infusion can be used to bring on menstruation. Also helps with high blood pressure and anxiety.

Cinnamon: Mix 1/2 tsp of cinnamon to coffee or tea to help raise good cholesterol levels. Arthritis pain: try 1/2 tsp cinnamon mixed with 1 tsp honey. To help with heavy menstruating, add a bit of cinnamon to tea, coffee or sprinkle on foods.

Cloves: Chew one clove for bad breath. For toothache pain, rest a clove against the sore area until pain goes away. You can also chew on a 3 or 4 cloves to relieve nausea. To relieve a sore throat, slowly chew on a few cloves.

Coriander: Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in 1 cup of water, drink. Helps with high cholesterol.

Cumin: Boil 1 cup of water with a teaspoon of cumin seeds, simmer for a few seconds. Strain and cool. Drink for cold relief.

Dill Seed: Try swallowing a teaspoon of dill seed to stop hiccups. For stomach cramp relief, you can brew a tea by steeping 1 teaspoon seeds per cup of boiling water. Strain before drinking. Crush seeds slightly when making tea and is good for flatulence.

Garlic Powder: Mosquito Repellent: Make a garlic powder and water paste. Apply to pulse points, behind knees, on shoes and ankles and a dab or two on your cheeks or somewhere on your face and neck–-keep out of eyes.

Ginger: Brew a tea with 1/2 teaspoon ginger per cup of boiling water. Strain before drinking. Helps with nausea. If you have fresh ginger on hand, chewing a bit is more effective than ginger tea. For headache relief, make a paste of ground ginger and water, apply to temple area. Can also help with heartburn.

Mustard Powder: To relieve congestion, mix 1 tablespoon of mustard powder with 1 liter of hot water then soak feet.

Mint (peppermint or spearmint): Brew a tea with 1 1/2 teaspoons dried mint per cup of boiling water. Strain before drinking. Helps with stomach aches and cramps.

Sage: Control hot flashes (caused by menopause) by drinking sage tea three times a day. Boil 1/2 teaspoon sage per 1 cup boiling water. Steep (10 minutes), strain and drink.

Salt: Canker sore remedy: Apply salt directly to the sore or rinse your mouth a couple times a day with a strong salt water solution–stings. For mosquito bite relief, make a salt and water paste then apply to bite area .

Thyme: Sooth a cough with thyme tea. Brew 1 tablespoon dried thyme in 1 cup boiling water. Strain then drink (for sore throats, gargle with this tea). Helps relieve gas and stomach cramps. Brew a tea with 1 tsp dried thyme per 1 cup boiling water. Strain before drinking.

Turmeric: Fever relief: Mix 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder with 1 cup of warmed milk, add a teaspoon of honey.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thank You to my Blogger friend......Mel

I wanted to make this post about my blogging friend….Mel. For those of you who read my blog, you may notice there’s always a comment from Mel….so Mel….Thank you for reading my blog and commenting on each post…I just wanted to let you know that I look forward to your comments and I appreciate them. You make me laugh and you give me reason to keep up blogging. Sometimes I just ignore it but then I think of you and I come back to write more of whatever it is I feel like blogging about that day. I just felt that it was about time for a thank you.

Since I never told you about the concert (so sorry) I wanted to tell you that I was so STARSTRUCK, I did what I thought I might…I let the moment pass me by…because there were so many people there for this meet and greet, you only had a few minutes to say hello and get your picture taken with the band and everyone was standing in line waiting their turn. It was so surreal. I said, to them, something like, “It’s really great to meet you guys” and shook each of their hands and I gave Johnny (my man!) a hug and then I moved away a bit(when I shoulda stayed closer!) and took my picture with the Dolls…..but I was so MAD that I didn’t say more or grab his a** or something because I wanted to so bad but didn’t because….I don’t know, I felt disrespectful and I just DID NOT….and then I had the nerve when I came back home and looked at the photo online and said to my hubby, “I don’t like it, well NEXT TIME, I’m gonna make sure I do something!” Hello Karen this was the chance of a lifetime and you blew it!….so what….I still have this pic of him standing beside me and he has a gorgeous smile on his face and a nice bod to look at now and then!
As for the concert….they put on a great show and I loved every minute of it. Johnny is an amazing singer and I’m so glad I get to hear all of his songs. His lyrics are words I love to read! GOO GOO DOLLS ROCK MY WORLD!! Thanks again Mel!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Glimpse of Heaven.....

For those of you reading my blog, I assume you must know that I am the mother of a special needs child, who I just lost a little over a year ago. If you would like to read about some of the details of his life, please visit his blog at
Our family just celebrated his life on the anniversary of his death on September 8th. Well, over the past few weeks before the 1 year anniversary, I was in a VERY dark place with myself, to the point of wanting to END the pain it was causing me and my body and friends and family and others seeing me this way. I have to say since Jared (my ANGEL) passed away, he has still made it known to me that he is still HERE. Although, I can’t see him, I can still feel him, and no matter how bad it gets to think about losing him, he always finds a way for me to find my way back to him. I call it soul to soul. Just like I believe there is a GOD and GOD does things in mysterious ways, I believe that so does the soul. In my latest VERY DARK day just recently I came across a book called The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven and I really believe that it was given to me from Jared because he knows his mom got LOST again along her path of FAITH and needed some comfort that Jared really did not just DISAPPEAR from her world……he’s STILL in it and I think that Jared knew I needed comfort from the pain and it was going to be this book that I’m reading now and a book that I recommend to those who have lost a loved one that was so precious to your heart. Its more a book on a family’s personal journey through a traumatic experience and less on details of what heaven was like. What I got from little Alex (the boy who went to heaven) was that GOD only allowed him to bring back little information and so that is the reason for the book only having so little information.
Well, the reason for my post today is to tell you of what I’m getting from reading some of this HEAVENLY material. Here’s what my HUMAN mind is getting of this thing called HEAVEN: Let me explain my theory: I think that HEAVEN is NOT a “place” because Alex explains it as “not a place….heaven is everywhere and nowhere” so that’s what my human mind is thinking because that’s all a human mind can see. You know how you can get this…..think of it like when you say something like, “AAAAAH, this is HEAVEN!” or “AAAAAH, this is paradise” or something like these words….you know it’s like you feel this HIGH, like there’s nothing like it in this world and if only you could have it like this forever……well, I really think that when your body dies and your soul goes to heaven, this feeling we all have of feeling the best EVER that you could feel here on Earth is what HEAVEN is……but ALL THE TIME (well there is no “time” in HEAVEN) I think Heaven is exactly this and since you’re not on Earth going through life experiences, you ONLY get that GOOD stuff, that feel good feeling you wish would stay FOREVER and NEVER go away… WON’T because your in that place called HEAVEN….and now you’ve earned your reward of passing all of GOD’s TESTS OF LIFE and you now deserve nothing but the BEST….I feel Jared is in a BETTER place and he really does DESERVE every bit of HEAVEN. He’s probably right beside me talking to an ANGEL about what his Mom has just realized. Well I hope that wasn’t what it took to get to HEAVEN…..because there is still so much I know I need to learn……especially LIFE! Thank you for reading and listening to my thoughts…..I had to get it out

Haven't posted in a while.....

Hi bloggers. I just wanted to say that I have not been here in a while because I've been so busy with everything else in my life. I've been working crazy hours and I'm always so tired and burned out that I forget about things like this blog for instance. I use the computer now for things like getting information on different topics and such. Well now I am trying to catch up on my online activities that I've been doing before I started working. I'm off tomorrow and Thursday so I will be posting about something tomorrow or check back with me then.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


OK here it goes again....I hit publish too soon....My keys have been getting stuck on my laptop! finish's WHY I'm excited....My birthday is on Saturday and my husband got us tickets for GOO GOO DOLLS which is my favorite band right now and I've been wanting to see them in concert for the longest time. When hubby told me that he can get concert tickets and that he won a backstage pass to see lead singer Johnny Rzeznik....I wanted to SCREAM becuse I just got this job at Giant and it was GRAND OPENING week and there was NO WAY I would be able to get out of working on a Saturday the first week that they're opened. It made me mad because I've been out of work for so long and I never wanted something so bad and now comes a chance to see my favorite band and meet my favorite singer and I can't because I just got a new job....but guess what everybody...I'm pissing my pants because the wonderful husband that I have was able to get me out of work on Saturday so I can go.....because he talked to my store manager...I guess being a manager himself at Giant worked wonders...thank you.....thank you....thank you Eric are ALWAYS the best!!! now I have to figure out what I'm going to say to Johnny Rzeznik (because something tells me I'm going to be SPEECHLESS if I don't think of something good to say....any suggestions anyone?...maybe I'll tell him that I love his music as well as the rest of his package! Well...I cant wait until Saturday.....I'm so EXCITED!


OK's what's going on for me these days...........

First thing...I got a job and I'm so happy. I start tomorrow....Grand Opening at the new Giant in Springfield...cashier. toddler has reached a new stage....TERRIBLE TWO'S...he is constantly in and out of these TERRIBLE temper tantrums....(INSANITY!) When he first started, maybe about a week ago, I just yelled and screamed at him to knock it off. That does not work AT ALL I've learned...If anything hollering makes him now I bring out my inner actress and play along with him and act like HE is not bothering me at all. I tell him that I understand he needs attention and that it's okay that he feels he needs to SCREAM. Sometimes I just hug him and I don't say a word...(when I really want to throw him out the window!)Aaah...the life of a toddler!

Monday, July 26, 2010


As everyone can see, my last post did not have 99 things I love (because there are that many, if not MORE)....I hit the publish button too I will leave it at 27 for now...and do the rest as another post I guess. Goodnight Bloggers!

99 Things I love.....

1)My 3 children and my husband are the #1 love of my life.
2)Myself....If I didnt love myself, I would be incapable of loving anyone else or anything for that matter.
3)My I know it....this is the only LIFE I will ever HAVE...might as well be happy living and loving it while I am here...because I really want to see my son again someday....what a REWARD that will be!
4)The smell of coffee!
5)Accomplishing a new craft project.
6)Kindness and generosity.
7)A VERY HOT STEAMY shower....aaaah!! (It's like a MASSAGE for me)
8)Watching my toddler sleep at night....sometimes I just stand over him and Thank God that he is mine!
9)Being in the NOW....(because that's all there ever IS...see that moment? It's NOW. OK there it goes...that moment is in the past...My experience is that the NOW is ALWAYS fine for's the thought of what's to come and may never happen as you thought....that's where STRESS comes in.....before the NOW even happens. WATCH it sometime.)
10)Laughter....until my stomach hurts.
11)Movies that make me cry.
12)Finding a really good bargain.
14)Making a decision and sticking to it.
15)When someone is having a bad day and I'm able to put a smile on their face.
16)Reading a VERY GOOD that is hard to put down.
17)I cherish the gifts from my children....things that they made in that Jared (my son) is gone...I can look at them and remember him. (I'm making a memory box of his belongings and things of his life....that's actually going to be my next craft project...something that I could display in his room (the dining room now).
18)Taking the time to compliment someone.
19)Walking into a craft store....I'm like a child in a toy store...most of the time I am in there for more than a half hour unless I dont have the time to browse.
20)The solid trust that comes with true friendship.
21)Knowing that in the end everything will be okay.
22)Giving gifts to those I love.
23)Browsing in the book store.
24)Girl Scout Cookies.
26)Crossword puzzles and brainteasers
27)My laptop

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Time for Tips Tuesday.....

Bit of Jam or Jelly Left In a Jar?

Don't throw it out! Instead, pour in some milk, cover and shake. You will have a yummy fruity shake. Good to the last drop!

This tip is one I use every so often: I have this little pocket sized Composition book that I use for writing down ingredients (not directions)of different recipes that I find and I want to try or ingredients of foods that I like but don't make often. If I'm ever at the grocery store and I want the ingredients for that new recipe....I have it with me in my handbag! I also like to make menus....often, I will pull this composition book out to write the menus because I try to use similar ingredients for the week (or month)that I'm writing the menu for.

Here's an easy summer snack to make for the kids (and ADULTS as well!)YUM!!!!!


3.9 oz pkg chocolate instant pudding
2 cups cold milk
6 Oreo cookies
1/2 cup thawed Cool Whip whipped topping

Beat pudding mix and milk in bowl with whisk 2 min. Place cookies in plastic bag, seal bag, crush cookies. Add cookies and Cool Whip to pudding, stir until blended. Spoon into 9 small paper or plastic cups. Insert wooden pop stick or plastic spoon into each for handle. Freeze 5 hours or until firm. To remove from cup---Place bottom of cup in bowl of warm water 15 seconds. Press up on bottom of cup, then serve. MAKES 9 SERVINGS...

Well... as I said... I like to make similar recipes with the same ingredients so maybe at the end of the week, you can use the OREOS and the COOL WHIP for this dessert:


28 Oreo cookies
1 1/2 quart container mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
8 oz tub Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed
1 square semisweet chocolate, grated

Line 13x9" pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Crush 20 cookies, sprinkle crumbs onto bottom of pan. Spread ice cream over crumbs in pan, top with Cool Whip and chocolate. Freeze 3 hours. Remove from freezer 15 min. before serving. Let stand at room temp to soften slightly. Lift dessert from pan with foil handles, cut into 16 squares. Cut remaining cookies in half, place 1 on each square, then serve. MAKES 16 SERVINGS...
so.........all you have to buy is the mint ice cream and the semisweet chocolate.....TWO COOL SUMMER DESSERTS MAY SATISFY YOUR CHOCOLATE CRAVING AND COOL YOU DOWN FROM THIS SUMMER HEATWAVE!!!!!

Here's an AWESOME STEAK SANDWICH that I want to share with everyone (I should have made this a recipe post!) (NEW BLOG IDEA)


16 oz bag frozen gourmet onion rings
9.5 oz box frozen Five Cheese Texas Toast
1 pound 1" thick boneless sirloin steak + 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. 2 rimmed baking sheets lined with foil. Spread onion rings on 1 sheet. Texas toast cheese side up on the other. Bake onion rings 15 min. or until crisp. Heat a skillet. Sprinkle steak with salt and pepper, put in skillet and cook, turning once until desired doneness. Remove to a cutting board, let stand 5 min. Bake toast until cheese melts. Slice steak across grain. Arrange on toast, top with onion rings and serve. MAKES 6 SERVINGS OF STEAK SANDWICH.*


Instead of onion rings, top steak with sauteed sliced onions and peppers.

Add sliced tomato or roasted red peppers to the sandwich.

Use skinless boneless chicken breasts in place of steak, or portobello mushroom caps for a meatless version.


Use a muffin pan to create a make your own sundae serving station. Simply place an assortment of toppings---sprinkle s, cherries, chocolate chips, candy pieces, etc. in the pan's wells. Your guests can customize their ice cream instead of taking orders and racing back and forth from the kitchen.

To keep celery longer, wrap in aluminum foil.


Sprinkle a few drops of cooking oil over the garlic cloves. The oil coats the cloves so they slip off the knife easily and remain on the cutting board.


MAKE A CHANGING MAT---Tear open the side seams of a gallon size bag and lay flat for an emergency diaper changing area.

PACK ACCESSORIES- --Organize by category (jewelry, scarves, hosiery, etc.) so they are easier to find in your suitcase.

KNEAD DOUGH---Use 2 quart size bags as gloves to avoid getting your hands sticky. You can also use a bag to store extra dough.

CREATE A TEMPORARY FUNNEL---Improvise a funnel for anything from shampoo to childrens beads and glitter.

CLEAN A SHOWERHEAD-- -Pour a little white vinegar in a bag, rubber band it to showerhead and soak for a half hour..

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

New Uses for Old Things....

A Twister game mat makes a spot-on tablecloth for a child’s birthday party: Sticky spills and icing wash right off.

A toothbrush’s bristles lift away stray threads of silk from fresh ears of corn quickly and efficiently.

At a party, stash ice in a colander set on top of a bucket or a bowl. Water will drain out, and guests will get only the solid stuff.

Tuck a few needles, pins, and thread into a matchbox for an instant sewing kit.

Transform a six-pack holder into a condiment tote that’s ideal for summer picnics.

Have an old cassette case hanging around? (Oh, you know you do.) Coil iPod earphones and tuck them in to keep wires uncrossed.

Forget unruly plastic bags that seemingly regenerate under your sink. An empty tissue box keeps them neatly corralled and ready for use.

A hard plastic soap case is the perfect size to protect a camera stashed in a carry-on bag.

Save a countertop with an old mouse pad turned trivet. (Make sure it has a nonplastic coating.)

No more oops! moments when painting, if you cover doorknobs and hardware with aluminum foil.

That straightening iron works on more than rambunctious hair: Use it to press between buttons, where a regular iron won’t fit.

Rubber bands give little fingers a better grip on a chilly or slippery glass.

Convert a kitchen stool into a nightstand. If your feet have given your wooden step stool a beating, give it a paint job, then wrap and secure a tutu around the seat’s edge. It’s an encore performance for an outgrown costume, and an enchanting addition to a little girl’s room.

Repurpose wine glasses as candleholders. To cast romantic shadows at the dinner table, place a scented votive candle inside and anchor it in a bed of sand or small pebbles (it makes wax cleanup a snap). These make for nice hostess gifts as well.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Raeidng is Esay...

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are witren, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Home from vacation....

Well if you've been following my blog, I guess you know that we were on vacation and that's why there has been a delay in posts. Now, it's time to get back into the swing of things. We had a good time on vacation. We were in Bethany Beach Delaware. We were right in the middle of Ocean City, Maryland and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Some days we went down the street to Ocean City (miniature golf, dining)and other days we went down the street to Rehoboth Beach (Boardwalk)Most of the time, though, we stayed right where we were at....our own private beach! We even got to RELAX...we could even drink on the beach. I think I drank too much one day and got sick the next...(didn't hydrate myself with water, just kept drinking wine coolers)I woke up with chills and achiness last Tuesday, so we skipped the beach that day. Aidan and Logan both had a good time. Aidan didn't like being in the water so he played in the sand most days. He did like that. Logan got blasted with a big wave and started yelling at the ocean. It was so funny. Our friends that we went with have 2 girls, Olivia and Alana, and the older one, Olivia kept teasing Logan because he was afraid of the waves. Those 2 (Logan and Olivia) got along when we first got down there but at the end of the week, they both needed a break from each other. Alana was so cute...she loved having Aidan around to play with...she's older than him, I'm thinking she is 6 or almost 6. She and Olivia both liked picking him up and playing with him. Eric and I just enjoyed being on our first real family vacation...with taking care of Jared, it was so hard to ever get away. I love him more than anything, but it was really nice to be able to do this. We did take him with us, in our hearts and I know he knows that. A few times I was there, I just sat by his picture and thought about him. Most of the nights when the kids went to bed, Eric and I and our friends, Joe & Nicole, would sit out on the deck and just take it all in. We would just talk and drink or play a game. It was just so enjoyable. Thanks for the good time, Joe and Nicole. We love ya's. Here's a few pics that we took while we were there.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Who Are You?.....

•An Optimist thinks the glass is half full.
•A Pessimist thinks the glass is half empty.
•A Realist thinks the glass is half filled.
•An Alcoholic thinks the glass is filled with vodka.
•A Critic thinks the glass is ugly.
•A Cleptomaniac thinks the glass can fit in his pocket.
•A teenager doesn’t give a fuck about the glass.
•A Blonde thinks the glass is like used for like drinking.
•An American thinks the water needs more sugar in it.
•Jesus thinks the water can be turned into wine.
•A Nerd knows the liquid is H20.
•A pothead thinks the food is missing.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

50 Random Things About Me:

1) I was born on August 7, 1971.
2) I have 1 sister and 3 brothers.
3)I was raised by my father since I was 12.
4) My mother left the family when my youngest brother was 2. She wanted “her life” back.
5) I have lived in Pennsylvania, Georgia, Florida and in Canada.
6) The schools I attended through the years were: Nether Providence Elementary School in Wallingford, PA, Strath Haven Middle School in Wallingford, PA, James Weldon Johnson Middle School in Jacksonville, FL, and Clay High School in Green Cove Springs, FL.
7)I quit school in the 12th grade…..(yeah, I know….DUMB, huh?)
8)I had a very messed up childhood….however I don’t regret any of it because I wouldn’t be in the place I’m at now with my life (I used to regret….but that was before I realized that this life experience was supposed to happen to me.)
9)I have been thin all of my life.
10)I love the 80’s
11) I am a very independent person…..I LOVE to be by myself!
12)I don’t smoke…..I can’t stand smoke… makes me gag. (However… I used to smoke Capri’s back when I thought it was COOL to smoke... no more cancer sticks for me thank you!)
13) I drink on occasion…..although I can’t stand beer….it has absolutely NO TASTE!
14)I have abused drugs like vicodin’s quite often….but now they get to my stomach…(probably because I’ve done so much of them)
15)I’m a crafter at heart.
16)My favorite color s are red and black.
17)My favorite Muppet is Miss Piggy.
18)My favorite singer is Madonna and my favorite groups are Def Leppard and Goo Goo Dolls.
19)I have a really bad memory…I’m blaming it on AGE….because it used to be GOOD…yet, I’m really good with people’s names and phone #’s.
20)I can’t swim…but I LOVE the water.
21)I’m scared of heights.
22)I got my driver’s license at the age of 33.…I failed the driving test 2 times, although the first time I failed the test was because the examiner was flirting with me…first he asked me for a stick of gum and then he kept smiling at me and THEN he said he wanted to pass me but he couldn’t because I did too many reverses while trying to parallel park….the second time was because I was nervous and I turned at a STOP sign without looking…..I WAS NERVOUS BECAUSE THE EXAMINER WAS ANOTHER GOOD LOOKING GUY….(NO, I didn’t learn the first time, okay)……but, didn’t I feel like an ass when he told me why I failed….I was young and naïve then. I passed the last time I took it (at 33) because I KNEW that I could!
23)I used to own a black cat named Midnight and a white dog named Snowball.
24)I LOVE to take a STEAMING HOT shower…I think it’s like a good MASSAGE.
25)I love comedians…I have 2 favorites… Louis CK and Mitch Hedberg.
26) My favorite shows when I was young were Dallas and Fantasy Island.
27)I think I trust people more than I should.
28)My nationality is half German and half American Indian.
29)I’ve had a lot of nicknames from people in my family growing up….my favorites have got to be horse jaws and string bean!
30)My first kiss was with my mother’s brother…he is about the same age as me…..we were ‘discovering’ ourselves…probably around the age of 11 or 12.
31)I get chills when someone rubs tissue paper, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. togther…it’s like taking your fingernails and scratching them on a chalkboard…THAT, I can take, but not the tissue thing.
32)I’ve never understood addiction, until I started drinking coffee…I drink too much!
33)I had 1 major surgery in my life and that was to remove a benign glomus tumor near my carotid artery…the tumor destroyed my hearing and my vocal cords…after surgery, I lost my hearing completely in my right ear and I lost the use of my vocal cords…so I now have a little diaphram pushing up my vocal cord to allow me to speak…although my voice is very low, therefore I cannot YELL…and sometimes it’s a b**ch!
34)I am not a morning person, ..I prefer late nights.
35)My favorite subjects in school were Math and English…and I loved spelling….always got 100% on spelling bees.
36)My worst subjects in school were science and social studies.
37)I’m not too big on sports, but if I ever had to play one, I would go for basketball because I love shooting hoops.
38)My mind wonders a lot.
39)I love to fold my laundry.
40)I love to do my dishes…however, I can’t stand when dirty dishes sit out all night….yuck… I do dishes as they get dirty.
41)I’m a camera happy person…I love to take pictures, although, not as much as I used to.
42)I often think about several things at once.
43)I love to give compliments to people to make them feel good…everyone deserves to know that they are special!
44)My favorite thriller used to be Amityville Horror until the day I saw the actual house…now, for some reason, I can’t watch that movie….it scares me.
45)It only takes me 4 hours of sleep to get all the rest that I need.
46)I don’t like to watch a lot of TV…I’d rather be doing something else….like crafting, reading or using my computer…like NOW…hubby’s watching television and I’m on my laptop…although, I do like to watch a show or movie with my hubby.
47)My favorite magazines are Real Simple and any kind of craft magazine.
48)I do like to watch one soap opera and that is All My Children…because I love Cameron Mathison and Rebecca Budig (also known as Ryan & Greenlee).
49)My hubby tells me that I look like Winona Ryder.
50)I like to read song lyrics and see how they match one of my life experiences…most of the time, they do!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Simplify Me with Tips on Sunday...


Place room temp watermelon in the fridge for 30 min. before slicing. This quick chill causes the melons cells to constrict, so the sweet juice stays in the slices instead of running out onto the cutting board..


To keep odors at bay, pop a few pieces of chalk into a plastic bag and leave it unsealed. Then place the bag at the bottom of the hamper. The chalk absorbs excess moisture in the laundry bin, preventing the buildup of mildew and offensive odors. (Replace the chalk once a month)..



While the grates are still hot, slice an onion in half and place it cut side down on a flat surface. Insert a metal fork for a handle and use to remove the burnt on grit. Once the grates have cooled, wipe with a damp paper towel. Finish by brushing with a thin coating of vegetable oil so your next cookout cleanup will be a breeze..


Halve a onion and let it simmer on the stovetop in 1 cup of water for 2 hours. After the liquid has cooled, dip a lint free cloth in the solution and use it to buff the brass. Then simply wipe clean with a damp cloth to reveal spotless shine..


Chop a fresh onion and place in a clean thin cotton sock. Secure with a twist tie or rubber band and leave on your nightstand overnight. Repeat nightly until your symptoms subside. You will be breathing and feeling better in no time.


Rub an onion slice on the mosquito bite spot. The detoxifying sulfur compounds in the bulb neutralize the insect's venom, quickly reducing inflammation and the urge to scratch.


Can't find your candleholders. For an in a pinch replacement, take an old scratched up CD or DVD and place it shiny side up on your table. Then position a candle in the center of the CD or DVD. The disk will catch drips from the burning candle to protect your table. BONUS: It's mirror like surface will reflect light.


Fold a small piece of foil several times to form a square. Open the battery compartment and place the foil between the spring and the battery's flat end. This tightens connections, enabling the power to circulate more efficiently.


Season the chicken and place it upright over the tube of a Bundt pan set inside a roasting pan. Much like a rotisserie, the Bundt pan allows heat to circulate around the bird, searing the skin and locking in the juices..

Friday, June 4, 2010

Dance Party USA....

My sister and I used to love watching this show together. We always watched it whenever it came on. I missed it when it went off the air. Remember Kelly Ripa was one of the regulars on the show. Can you find her here in the crowd? I think this is where she first started her career.
Man, how I miss the 80's.....those were the days!

Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's Go Flyers.....

Here's all I have for of Aidan showing some team support...LET'S GO FLYERS!!!!!!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Logan's upcoming summer break and our vacation...

So Logan is getting out of school soon for summer break. He can't wait. I can't either because he just hates school this year. There's a kid, some troublemaker, who's been bullying him all year, so he will be so glad to get away from him. I'm gonna make sure they're not in the same class next year. Logan is so happy that we are taking him out of school a week early.
Friends of ours asked us to go on vacation with them this year so we're taking them up on it. They always go around the beginning of June but they have a hard time finding people to go with them because it's so early in the year...a lot of people don't want to take their kids out of school but it's fine with us. We don't mind taking Logan out of school a little early. They have a place they rent from friends of theirs right on the's a condo and private beach...on Dewey Beach in Delaware. We're looking forward to it. We were never really able to take a family vacation because with Jared, it would have been too much. Although, we did take a family vacation in April of 2008..that was Jared's Make A Wish trip to Disney. I'm so glad he got to go before he died. That was a trip of a lifetime. Jared had a hard time flying up and back but he had such a good time while there. We stayed at Give Kids the World Village designed especially for special needs kids and their families.
We did get to vacation with our friends a year or two after Jared came home from the hospital, because we were able to get nursing coverage for 3 Eric and I got to go to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with them. It was a short vacation but it didn't matter then...anything to get away. It's been so HOT lately, so I can't wait!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Raising a Special Needs Child

If you asked me the thoughts I had about raising a special needs child back when I first began this journey I was on...I would have said these things: I can't do it, I want my life back. Why did this happen to ME? Why God? Why me? My mom left me when I was a kid...what if I make the same mistake she did? He deserves someone who'll take care of him and never leave him. I'M NOT STRONG ENOUGH FOR THAT. Why does everyone else get to have a 'normal' child and I don't? What did I do WRONG to deserve this? Please God...give me a miracle when I wake up and let him be okay. I can't stand watching him in pain. He doesn't deserve this. He didn't do anything wrong, he just started his life here. Please God...please let my baby live. I feel so sorry for him. What if he wonders why he's different? How can I tell him without hurting him when he's older? I have nurses in my home now all the time. I don't have any privacy. They're always in my business. I need to go to sleep but she's always calling out....Wow, now that I think about it, there are so MANY.
Well, if you asked me my thoughts now about raising a special needs child, I would like to say these things: It's the very BEST thing that ever happened to me. I wouldn't change it for the world. I am so GLAD that GOD chose me to take care of him while he lived his life here. He has taught me so much about life. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have known the people that I met through him...and I'm so glad that I made some really wonderful friends along the way. He loved life and I'm glad I have that memory for the rest of MY life and I think he knows now why he was put here. When he died, I asked "Why him, God?" I now know why he didn't take him from me years ago at birth....because he had a job here...and his job was finally done, so now it was time for him to go....he made ME who I am today and I will be grateful for the rest of my life. Yes I will miss him very much and yes sometimes I get selfish and want him back to give me more JOY but I realize that's all it is....selfishness...wanting more of him, but knowing he had a hard life (yet a HAPPY one)and he was suffering in the now is my time to let go of losing him. He is telling me that because that's what I feel when I start thinking of him. Death of a loved one is not easy, especially when that someone was as joyful as Jared was...but you will have strength to live again. I do because of him. Thank you for reading. I'm glad I got that out now.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Some of My Scrapbook Pages....

Life B4 Children
Reading and Falling Asleep
Dance Recital: I loved dancing and still do. I went to Joan's Dance Studio in Upland, PA.
Little things I Love page(of course there are a lot more since i've done this)
Some of my favorite quotes page

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Some Miscellaneous Hints and Tips

Foggy Windshield?
Hate foggy windshields? Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the
glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser!
Works better than a cloth!

Get Rid of Ants
Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take
it "home," & can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or
so, esp. if it rains, but it works & you don't have the worry about
pets or small children being harmed!

Take baby powder to the beach
Keep a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. When
you're ready to leave the beach sprinkle yourself and kids with the
powder and the sand will slide right off your skin.

Measuring Cups
Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill it with
hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry the cup. Next, add
your ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it comes
right out.

Broken Glass
Use a dry cotton ball to pick up little broken glass pieces of glass-
the fibers catch ones you can't see!

Flexible vacuum
To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an
empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can
be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

Plug pointer
If your bath plug's chain is broken, hook a key ring through the eye
of the plug so that you can pull it out easily.

Colorful Dip Dishes
If you are serving several dips on a platter, use edible containers!
Buy red, green or yellow bell peppers; slice off the tops and scoop out seeds and membranes inside. Then pour dips into them.

Stir 1 tsp of cornstarch into your favorite marinade before adding the meat. Cornstarch helps the marinade cling to the meat, creating a protective layer that slows the rapid rise in internal temperature that causes dryness.

Fill a spray bottle with saltwater solution and use to spritz the windshield at night. The salt coating lowers the freezing point of water, which will prevent snow and condensation from sticking to the glass and crystallizing into ice. Reapply every night, the frequent use of windshield wipers throughout the day will remove the salty layer...

Even after a shake in a colander, washed lettuce still ends up sitting in a pool of water. Ensure a non soggy salad by placing a saucer upside down in a bowl before filling with the greens. Any excess water will run off the leaves and collect underneath the saucer...

Place a few damp tea bags on the sore spots and leave on for 15 min. The tannins in the tea act as a mild astringent, diminishing tenderness and painful swelling...

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Montage 5/23/10 at

A farewell to the most remarkable boy in my life. Jared has his own blog follow his blog to hear his story.

The Voice Inside My Head

I don't like the voice inside my head today. It's taking me to a very dark place, that I don't usually go to. My heart is telling me to stop...and I will listen to it.
The voice inside my head wants to attack the nurse who let my baby die. It's saying that the mistake is unforgivable. She should have known what to do as a professional. She should not have panicked. As I write's also attacking me because I was here that day. It's telling me I should have been more careful because she was an LPN and not an RN. LPN's were never that good for Jared...nowhere near as good as an RN. It's telling me I should have fought harder for Jared's life. The voice inside my head is not as strong as my I will continue to fight this feeling for the rest of my life. If time really does heal all wounds...then it just cannot come fast enough. It's been 8 months too long, and it still feels like a knife went through my heart.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My Stamps miss me...

I have been ignoring my stamps for way too long. I've been working on jewelry and not my cards. I really need to get back into cardmaking. I think I'm going to do cardmaking (or) scrapbooking this week. It's just that I work with my craft at my dining room table, instead of upstairs in my craftroom (where all my supplies are kept). My jewelry supplies are easier to move from room to room....the cardmaking supplies are not, unless I have a card or scrapbook design in mind. Usually, I get my ideas just by looking at my stamp collection, I don't know why, I just do. Maybe I oughta go upstairs for a bit and sit by them and THINK. Yeah right.... until the baby either follows me upstairs or is into something downstairs while I'm up there.
I don't care...that's it....I'm going to start tomorrow...I LOVE THEM TOO stamps and I are a good pair and they're calling my name!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Journal Jar

Hi everyone. I thought it was time for another question from the old journal jar, so here it is:

What was your favorite job and your least favorite?

Well, in my whole life, I've had few jobs. The one that stands as my favorite would have to be in Griffin, Georgia. ( in my last name....Griffin) Anyway, I worked for Precise Packaging. We packaged utensils and plastic cups...both separately. It was an assembly line..everyone had their own thing to put the salt, pepper, fork, knife, spoon, and the napkin. The plastic cups were packaged at a different machine, in its own wrapper. This job was a lot of fun. I worked the overnight shift. I got the job with my friend at the time who was my ex-fiancee's sister. I was living with her because my boyfriend/fiancee cheated on me and I needed a place to stay, because I ran away from my dad, and she let me stay with her for awhile until I thought things through. I had just turned 18, and I didnt know what I wanted then. Thanks to Michelle and Bo Briscoe...they helped me out. (Just in case they may come upon this blog)I finally went back home to my dad in Florida because I realized he was my father...the only father I'll ever have and the relationship was worth saving. (I was wrong by calling the cops on him because he wouldn't let me stay with Jonathan, my ex)Oh yeah, this is supposed to be about my favorite job, isn't it. I can't help it, that job brings with it a lot of memories.
I'll have to say my least favorite job has to be when I was working at McDonald's in Green Cove Springs, Florida. It was my very first job while in high school and it sucked. It just wasn't for me...I didnt like working in the "kitchen" or the front end at the counter (and drive-through). I didn't stay there too long. After that job, I think a little later is when I moved to Georgia .
Well that's that. Come again for another journal jar question.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dear Jared...the END.........

I will never forget the day you left us….just to even think about it hurts just as much as the day it happened. Hopefully, as time goes by, it’ll be less painful.
It all started because we brought a new nursing agency into our home. Bayada always provided you with the best qualified nurses. The reason that we brought Southeastern Healthcare here was because you had 2 primary nurses, 1 of which moved away to Canada and the other nurse took over covering most of the days. Well it was now time for this nurse to go on her vacation leave for 3 weeks, which she does every year, but there usually is always another nurse here to cover her shifts while this nurse was away. This time, we were told by Bayada that your nurse was moving within a year and they didn’t have another nurse to cover your case. They suggested that we look into getting another nursing agency to cover the days while they covered the nights. One of your night nurses worked for Keystone Mercy also, so we decided to get her recommendation on what nursing agencies to look into. We had 2 or 3 nursing agency supervisors come out to the house to meet you and go over your chart. Well it came down to 2, either Maxim or Southeastern. We chose Southeastern because we didn’t want to go with Maxim because they just ended a lawsuit or something.
We called Southeastern to let them know that we had chosen them. They told us that they had a nurse who really wanted to work with you fulltime during the week. They said she was a really good nurse who was trach and ventilator experienced. They said she could start right away if we could just orient her to the case because Bayada wouldn’t do it because of liability issues if something happened.
Well, the night before the nurse was going to orient, I ended up going to the hospital, so Daddy had to orient her to the case. He went over a few things with her and she told him she’d be alright until he got back from the hospital. Over the next few days and 2 ½ months she got to know you, she even took you to summer school.
Okay Jared, now I’m going to fight myself to talk about what happened on Wednesday, September 2nd.
I just want you to know that I was NEVER good with any of your “emergency situations.” I had always tended to “shut down” before thinking straight. Most of the time, when your trach came out, we (I or Daddy or the nurses) popped it right back in and you were fine, just like it was nothing.
Well, anyway, I came downstairs with your brothers that day somewhere around 11am. I came into your room to say good morning. The nurse was working with you at your bedside. She had your wheelchair pulled up next to your bed, because she was getting ready to take you out into the living room. I went into the kitchen to make breakfast for your brothers and myself. While I was making breakfast, I turned around and looked over at you and you were fussing a little and I just thought it was because she was messing with you. A few minutes later, she got you in your wheelchair and then I heard her say, “Jared, you better not be doing what I think you’re doing.” She told me she thought he might have had a bowel movement. She pulled you forward and looked in your pants and said, “No, he didn’t, I guess he passed gas.” She, then, took you into the living room while I continued getting done in the kitchen. I’m not sure when I came into the living room, whether it was 5, 10 or 15 minutes later, but I came in and sat down at the table with my breakfast (I remember picking a piece of bacon up and putting it in my mouth) and I looked over at you and I screamed “Karen, he’s blue!” but you were past that, you were actually white as a ghost staring straight ahead, your eyes not moving. You go from looking blue to pale white pretty quickly. She was standing behind your wheelchair messing with the power cords or something. She then, threw down what she was doing, reached around you and said, “Oh shit Karen, he’s decannulated” (meaning your trach was out), and then she said, “Alright I got it…it’s in.”
Then a few seconds later said, “Wait a minute, it’s not in…it’s still out. Go get another trach, Karen.” At this time I was freaking out because I had no idea how long you were decannulated. I couldn’t see a pulse-ox to see how far gone you were. I grabbed a trach from your room and ran back in with it and she again said, “Okay, I think I got it in” and I screamed,
“No Karen, he needs oxygen, we have to get him back to his bed.” She started grabbing for the portable one on your wheelchair but we couldn’t get to the ambu bag because the wires were all tangled up. At that time, (even before) one of us should have picked you up out of your wheelchair and put you back in your bed) but we didn’t because for one, your wheelchair was wedged between the wall and the recliner and two, there were Legos and toys that the baby was playing with all over the floor and I was kicking them out of the way to move your chair. By the time we got you into your room to get to the oxygen tank, the nurse yelled “Call 911.” I called 911 and then I called Daddy to come home quickly (All I said was it was you and he sped home.) I ran back to your room and she was pumping oxygen into you but it wasn’t doing anything for you, you needed help. A minute or two later Daddy walked in and threw you in your bed and started CPR (Daddy got your heart started back up) and then the ambulance team arrived and they gave you some kind of medicine to keep your heart going or something like that. A cop came in and saw me and Logan crying and he told me to go upstairs with the boys. Well you left us that day, but they brought you back to life, however you were out of oxygen for a long time. They took you to the hospital (Fitzgerald Mercy Hospital) and later you were transferred to Dupont, but you never did pull through, you ended up brain dead. A week later your body started shutting down and we had to let you go. We did the most PAINFUL thing ever in our lives….we pulled your lifeline. I had to walk out of the room and Daddy held you in his arms and he watched you slowly slip away…..he watched you DIE……and then you were gone….FOREVER. We walked out of that hospital for the first time knowing it was the last day of your life. Goodbye Jared……………………………….

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Some Scrapbook Pages of Jared

FUTURE MOST WANTED PAGE: This was an idea from Jared's very first homecare nurse, Pat. She was wonderful with him. Jared always loved having her around. She took very good care of him in a professional and personal way...with lots of tender loving care. Thanks Pat...for giving my boy so much joy!

THE GRIFFIN FAMILY PAGE: This page was done when we were just a family of 3...hubby, myself and Jared. These were the days when I was telling myself that I didn't want any more kids because Jared was a handful....which wasn't what life had in store for me. Jared needed 2 more children came along...Logan & Aidan.

HEAVEN SENT PAGE: This page was made while Jared was in Thomas Jefferson University the NICU. This was back when he still had an endotracheal tube. He got a tracheostomy and gastrostomy tube, I believe at 4 months old. He was in the hospital for 8 months before we brought him home. He really was heaven sent as I discovered over the years....he couldn't have come from no other place other than heaven. Dear God...Thank you for sending him my way.

SCHOOLDAYS PAGE: This page was done after Jared's first year of going to school. He went to Easter Seals School in Media, PA. He loved going to school. He loved circle time and music therapy. Those were his happier times while at school. Later, he developed an attitude because he had to do things he didnt the physical and occupational therapies. He went to school with his nurse, which in this pic was Bernadette. She did a lot with Jared at school...she made him WORK, and Jared didn't like that, so sometimes he would give her the attitude. Oh, what a riot he was! Thanks Bern, for all your hard work and determination with him. As you used to say, "Go, Jared, Go!"

These are just a few of the MANY scrapbook pages I have of him......which are cherished now more than ever before. Well, thanks for looking and until next time...goodnight and God Bless.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Household Hints

-COOL WHIP will condition your hair in 15 minutes.
-PAM cooking spray will dry finger nail polish.
-ELMER'S GLUE-paint on your face, allow it to dry, peel off and see the dead skin and
blackheads if any.
-MAYONNAISE will kill lice, and it will also condition your hair.
-For shiny hair, use brewed LIPTON TEA.
-For sunburn, empty a large jar of NESTEA into your bath water.
-For a minor burn, use COLGATE or CREST toothpaste
-Burn your tongue? Put sugar on it.
-Arthritis? WD-40 Spray and rub in....kills insect stings too
-For bee stings, use meat tenderizer.
-For puffy eyes, use PREPARATION H.
-For Athlete's feet, use cornstarch.
-Use KOOL AID to clean dishwasher pipes. Just put in the detergent section and run a
cycle. It will also clean a toilet.
-Use KOOL AID in plain yogurt as a finger paint. Your kids will love it and it won't
hurt them if they eat it!
-PEANUT BUTTER will get scratches out of CD's. Wipe off with a COFFEE FILTER paper.
-For a sticking bicycle chain, use PAM no-stick cooking spray.
-PAM will also remove paint and grease from your hands. Keep a can in your garage
for hubby.
-PEANUT BUTTER will remove ink from the face of dolls.
-When doll clothes are hard to put on, sprinkle with cornstarch and watch them slide
-For heavy dandruff, pour on the vinegar.
-For body paint, use CRISCO mixed with food coloring. Heat CRISCO in microwave, pour
into an empty film container and mix with the food color of your choice.
-For a tie-dye T-shirt, mix a solution of KOOL AID in a container, tie a rubber band
around a section of the T-shirt and soak.
-For preserving a newspaper clipping, use a large bottle of club soda and a cup of
MILK OF MAGNESIA, soak for 20 minutes and let dry. It will last for many years!
-For fungus on toe or fingernails, use VICKS VAPOR RUB.
-A slinky will hold CD's.
-To keep goggles and glasses from fogging, coat with COLGATE toothpaste.
-For wine stains, pour on MORTON SALT and watch it absorb into the salt.
-To remove wax, take a paper towel and iron it over the wax stain, it will absorb
into the towel.
-To remove labels off glassware, etc., rub with PEANUT BUTTER.
-For baked on food, fill a container with water, get a BOUNCE paper softener and the
static from the BOUNCE towel will cause the baked on food to adhere to it. Soak
-For baked on food, you can also use 2 EFFERDENT TABLETS and soak overnight.
-For crayon markings on the wall, use COLGATE toothpaste and brush it.
-For dirty grout, use LISTERINE.
-For stains on clothes, use COLGATE.
-For grass stains, use KARO SYRUP.
-For grease stains, use COCA COLA. It will also remove grease stains from the drive-
way overnight.
-For fleas in your carpet, use 20 MULE TEAM BORAX, sprinkle and let stand for 24
-To keep fresh flowers longer, add a little Clorox, or 2 BAYER ASPIRIN, or just use
7-UP instead of water.
-BUDWEISER BEER conditions the hair.