Closing one chapter for another

Most of the graduations for my area are now over. Another chapter has closed and a new one is just beginning.

For myself, I have officially closed the chapter in my life of homeschooling. My youngest child, Lindy, finished up her studies this month and is now ready for her next chapter in life as well.

As I sit here typing, I find a sense of accomplishment in this phase of my life closing, but I also feel a sense of loss. Homeschooling has been a part of my identity for the past twelve years. I was not just a mom, Girl Scout Leader, Little League Coach, but also the person who was responsible for making sure my children received the education that they deserved.

I am sure that somewhere along the way I messed up many times. I am sure that I left out material that many schools, or even other homeschool parents, felt was necessary for my child’s education. But see, I don’t think that way. I allowed my child to find courses that appealed them to them. Subjects that they felt was necessary for life. Some call it unschooling, but I call it preparing for the real world.

Society has pushed four-year universities so hard that now our generation is lacking skill-trade workers and many graduates of four-year universities cannot find a job in their field. Knowing this information led me to believe that my children needed to understand life skills just as much as Calculus and Chemistry.

By the time my son was ten years old, he was out early in the morning hunting squirrel and rabbit, where he would then bring it home skin it, clean it, and marinate it before ever starting his morning school work. At lunchtime, he would then prepare and cook what he had killed that morning.

With my daughter, I wanted her to know that she needed to be able to take care of herself. She needed to be independent enough not to have to rely on someone else. But I also wanted her to know that she had many talents that she could use to help others. Because of her heart and compassion for serving others, Lindy loves mission work and at the young age of 13 started traveling to Guatemala to work with Shadow of His Wings Orphanage.

I led my children to believe that finding your passion and having the skills to back it up is just as important as academics. My son is pursuing a degree in Parks and Recreation and Lindy is taking the summer to explore her options on where she wants her next chapter to begin.

For me, I will have the memories to last a lifetime. The days of laughter, the days of tears and the days where we decided that having a movie day on the couch with popcorn was more important than one more algebra problem.

When Mother’s Day isn’t Joyous

Mother’s Day is a day that many families celebrate to honor the special mother in their life. A day set aside for the women who have chosen a life of raising a family, sacrificing bits and pieces of themselves for a child. A day when little pattering feet are heard in the early morning hours and soon sweet little voices fill the room with Happy Mother’s Day, followed by homemade cards and sometimes seven breakfast in bed.

But Mother’s Day is also a day that many families mourn. It’s the day that the woman who desperately wants to hold the mother title but life has not enabled her that precious gift. Who has tried for so long and wants nothing more than to hold a sweet baby in her arms but realizes again on Mother’s Day that she may never have that opportunity. A day when she feels empty and realizes that she may never have the chance to fill the void.

It’s the day that the young mother wakes up and just like so many days before walks to the room that now remains empty of the child she once had but has lost due to illness or tragedy. For her Mother’s Day is a day of grief. A day when old wounds break open for the millionth time and she suddenly remembers that she no longer has the title of mother. That for her, that chapter is closed.

For me, it is a day of mixed emotions. It is a happy day where I have the privilege to wear the mother title while my children send me happy thoughts and well wishes followed with thank you’s for the sacrifices I have made and the opportunities I have supplied them with in life. It is also the day that I grieve for the loss of my own mother. A day that reminds me once again that I no longer have the privilege, that many take for granted, of picking up the phone and telling my mother that I love her. Or to tell her how grateful I am for the life that she provided me with.

But for me, like so many, it is not a day full of joy. It is a day when the sadness hits in waves and takes your breath away. It’s a day when you are amazingly thankful for being able to wear the title of mother, but it is also the day when you weep in private and you feel like someone has knocked the air out of you.

Mother’s Day will fill social media with smiling kids and frazzled mothers, but just know that somewhere a woman is grieving the child she will never have.  A mother is mourning the child that was taken too soon from her arms and a child, whether young or old, is relying on the memories to suffice enough to make it through one more Mother’s Day.

So on this Mother’s  Day I ask you to take one moment out of your happy day and send a prayer of peace and comfort for the ones whose day is filled with loss and grief.

 

Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful Easy As ”Pie” Pumpkin Pie

Friendsgiving Harvest Takes 5

Well, you did it! You made it to Turkey Day!

Congrats for making it to the day without indulging in too much of the bourbon from the Sweet-Glazed Carrots! Of course, the day is still young and there is always time for a couple swigs later on!

If you’re anything like me, you are hiding out in the kitchen, pretending to be busy while the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is blaring in the other room. Except I’m just stirring the hot water while surfing Facebook and sneaking a sip of my carrots main ingredient every now and then! Hey, us southerners do what we have to do to get through the day with a house full of family all trying to talk over one another.

Did I mention I’m an introvert?

Y’all I am so an introvert, so a house full of life people all day long is really not my cup of tea. That is why I’m having a cup of bourbon!

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to give you a very simple, Easy as ”Pie” Pumpkin Pie recipe. It’s so easy in fact, you probably have all the ingredients on hand!

Yay, no last minute trips to Wal-Mart! (remember we have been sneaking bourbon)

This pie will literally take you less than five minutes to mix up and only takes 15-20 minutes to bake. That’s right, in less than 30 minutes you will have a delish Homemade Pumpin Pie to show off!!

Easy As ”Pie” Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 15 ounce can of pumpkin 
  • 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon spice 
  • 1 teaspoon of gingerbread spice 
  • 1 homemade crust or store-bought crust 

How to make:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine your pumpkin, sweetned condensed milk, eggs and spices.
  2. Mix well, with whisk or mixer. 
  3. Pour mixture into crust. 
  4. Bake at 425 degrees for 15-20 until pie cust is golden brown and pie mixture has formed.
  5. Let cool, top with cool whip (if you prefer) and enjoy! 

*No time to make a homemade pie crust, but want everyone to think you have? In a small bowl melt butter and add in 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon and brush on your pie crust before you pour in your mixture. It will give it a more homemade taste!

Super, super easy as “pie”!

Hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving!

Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful Sweet-Glazed Carrots

Friendsgiving Post 1

Welcome back to Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful Part 4!

Well, we have almost made it to Thanksgiving day, and if you are anything like me you have been in the kitchen half the day preparing dishes and running to the store for last minute items.

But wait!!!

I have one more dish that is an absolute must, my all-time favorite Sweet-Glazed Carrots.

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You might be asking what is so special about another carrot dish, and I will be glad to answer that question. See, I am not your traditional Thanksgiving dish kinda gal. That’s right, I am Southern to the core, but I am not one to enjoy sweet potatoes with marshmallows, green bean casserole with all the goop, nor will you catch me eating turkey and dressing.

Haha, that’s right folks, I am so not traditional, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy preparing dishes for my family that I do enjoy! In fact, my Sweet-Glazed Carrots are the perfect Thanksgiving dish because I add a little something extra to mine. (shhhh, it’s a secret) (come a little closer) Okay, now I can tell you as I whisper, Bourbon.

Yes, you heard me correctly, my secret ingredient is bourbon, and here is the good part,  depending on whether or not you enjoy the company you are spending Thanksgiving with can be the deciding factor on how much you add! If you need an extra swig or maybe even two, three? to get you through the day, that’s okay! Go for it! Hey, it might mellow out the rowdy ones at the dinner table as well!

Okay, guys so I have kept you long enough on this Thanksgiving Eve so I will leave the recipe down below! And by the way, Happy Thanksgiving!

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Miranda’s Extra Special Sweet-Glazed Carrots

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of carrots (I prefer the cute little miniature-sized carrots)
  • 3 tablespoons butter (real butter, ya’ll don’t skimp)
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 cup of bourbon (or a little extra)

How to make:

  • Wash the miniature carrots, pat dry and arrange them in an oven-safe casserole dish
  • In a small saucepan, melt your butter with your brown sugar, water, and bourbon
  • Bring the mixture to a low boil over medium heat
  • Once your mixture has a slightly thick consistency, remove from heat but continue to stir
  • Pour your mixture over the carrots in the dish
  • Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and rosemary on top of the carrots and sauce
  •  Place the carrots in the oven and cook on 375 degrees until your carrots are tender

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Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful (November Cash Giveaway)

Friendsgiving Harvest: Part 3

As promised I have more giveaway opportunities! This time to celebrate “Friendsgiving”, I have teamed up with “The Kids Did I”‘ and “The Mommy Island”, along with numerous amazing bloggers to once again offer the “Hello November” $250 Cash Giveaway! We could all use a little extra cash in our pockets Christmas shopping, right? Then scroll on down, read the rules, and enter away! Good Luck!

HELLO NOVEMBER! Wow! I can not believe we’re nearing the end of another year. It’s the season for love and giving but also stress. Let us knock some of that weight off of your shoulders by giving you a chance to win BIG during our Hello November $250 Cash Giveaway! You have the option of choosing between $250 PayPal Cash OR a Gift Card of choice! This event was organized by The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island and sponsored by fabulous bloggers, authors, and Etsy shop owners! Pull up a chair and carve your way through the daily entries!

Giveaway for cash

Giveaway Details:
ONE entrant will be selected from the entry form to win $250 PayPal cash OR a $250 gift card of choice. Open for entry WW, 18 years and older from 11/01/18 at 12:01 a.m. ET thru 11/30/18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. A winner will be chosen after/around December 1, 2018. The winner will have 24 hours to respond to notification email to claim their prize or a new winner will be selected. See Rafflecopter for official rules. The Kids Did It & The Mommy Island ARE responsible for sending the winner their prize via PayPal or e-gift card. The winner has the option of choosing between PayPal and an e-gift card of choice. Prize may be less than $250 if you choose a gift card with fees. Any fees associated with PayPal are the responsibility of the winner and will be deducted from the total prize amount.

A huge THANK YOU to these fabulous bloggers, without which, this giveaway would not be possible. Please note the first entry is to show them love on one of their posts below and is NOT optional. All entries are verified.

Follow The Kids Did It on Facebook and Twitter then enter for a chance to win!

Twitter profiles with no profile picture and dummy accounts are ineligible for entry and will be blocked. Authentic accounts only are eligible to win.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful (Gracious Giveaway Hop)

Gracious-Giveaway-Hop

**You can read my full disclosure here.

Welcome back to the second part of our “Friendsgiving Harvest”! I am so excited you decided to join me again because today I have a special treat!

That’s right!

Who wants to win some prizes??

If The Glasses Fit has teamed up with Dede @ Savings in Seconds and many more amazing blogs for the Gracious Giveaway Hop. Sooo many amazing prizes are being given away during this giveaway hop, including tickets to Cirque Dreams Holidaze by Says Me Says Mom and an Incredibles 2 DVD Giveaway hosted by NannytoMommy.

If The Glasses Fit is giving away a $10 Starbucks E-card and a $5 Barnes and Nobles E-card just in time for a little after Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving relaxing!

Enter to Win aStarbucks Giveaway (1)

So scroll on down, click on Entry-Form to enter my giveaway (starts at 8pm CST November 12 and ends 11:59 pm CST November 17) and don’t forget to HOP on over to enter all the other amazing giveaways!

Disclaimer: Host and participating bloggers are not responsible for prizes that sponsors don’t deliver.

 

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Friendsgiving Harvest: Grateful, Joyful, Thankful

Friendsgiving Post 1.png

Autumn is in the air, the leaves are falling into magical piles of colorful fun, and the wiff of spice is on my nose.

Sigh…

I have to admit, I love this season as much as I love the holidays that accompy Autumn, and that is why I have an amazing ongoing Thanksgiving post.

That’s right! You weren’t reading that wrong! I have some amazing Thanksgiving table decor ideas to share with you, along with recipes that you will defintely need to make, followed by some amazing contests!

Win-win right?

Ummmm YES!

Over the next two weeks, I am going to be cramming in as much Friendsgiving related posts as I possibly can!

So hang on because it is going to be a whirlwind of a ride!

Okay, okay, I’m going but I am going to leave you with some table decor ideas. Whether you plan to host your feast inside or out, this simple table decor is sure to impress!

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