Born Today, 23 Years Ago…My New, Lil’ Tax Deduction

Today is the day my daughter was born, 23 years ago.

So please bear with me as I brag on her. 😉

This blogging is kind of like a life’s journal, right?

Anyway, I was scheduled to be induced as I was past my due date and had grown very, very LARGE.

And, as usual, (I had done this before. 😉 ).    I couldn’t sleep at all!!

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That morning was stormy and a tornado warning had just been issued. We joked about naming her Stormy. We had names swirling around in our head, but hadn’t chosen one, just yet. (Ha, I realized I used “swirling” around; that really was  coincidence.)

She was born at 5:35 on April 15th, and we named her Morgan.

Yep, she was our new, little, tax deduction. 😉

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Well, not so little.
She weighed 9lbs!!!! :/

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She was a joy from the minute she arrived; an easy baby.
AND SOOOO cute, I must say. 🙂

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Everyone always wanted to hold her. I got comments everywhere I took her.

As she grew, her eyes became so expressive. She had/has large, pretty eyes with super long eyelashes, just like her Daddy.

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She’s always been more quiet.  She’d just sit back and observe everything. So, at first, she seemed a little shy and rarely talked. (I used to be that way all through grade school…hard to believe now. ) But, she was also quiet due in part to her ACTIVE, TALKATIVE, big brother.

One day, she was caught talking to her little “boyfriend” (in first grade) and the teacher scolded her and said, “Morgan I always catch you talking to Quinn; do you ever stop talking?” And the teacher told me Morgan then put her little hands on her hips and emphatically exclaimed, “Well, I can’t get a word in edgewise at home because of my brother!”

Morgan never really gave us any trouble.

She used to be a cheerleader, violin player, volleyball and basketball player.

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She enjoyed helping in church by leading worship during the adult and teen services. She loves to sing and can sing harmony.

She’s always been quite the fashionista, since she was young. She would rather get jewelry and pretty shoes for her birthday presents, than toys. Every time we went shopping, I’d turn around to find her on the floor trying on shoes, even adult ladies’ shoes. HA

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Her kindergarten teacher told me Morgan would often notice what she was wearing and would even compliment her.

Later on, Morgan graduated early from high school (she couldn’t wait to get out of there) and sadly moved far away from us to Georgia. She had met a cute boy while visiting her cousins, through the years, and I think that was a big draw to leave Indiana.

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Plus, she said she always hated the overcast weather here in Indiana. I also think it was fun driving around on golf carts in that golf cart community down there.

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She attended college and graduated with a 4.0 then went on to be a dental assistant.
She married that wonderful guy, bought a house and now has become quite the carpenter and decorator after watching all these shows on HGTV where they flip homes. (We’ve even decided to start our own blog together detailing some of her, and my work. I’ll let you know when it’s up and running. 😉 )

One, neat memory we share was when I entered her in a SUBWAY restaurant contest hoping to win a 529K college scholarship for her. She was 11. She ended up winning, and was one of ten national winners. They featured kids hoping to promote healthy eating.

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Maybe some of you younger bloggers saw those commercials.

Does the phrase “Play Hard Eat Fresh” ring a bell? She was featured as the ice skater. She had been a figure skater competing since she was five, so her sport was spotlighted in the commercials.

She first won a trip to Dallas where she shot in front of a green screen and met some phenomenal kid athletes from around the country. Then, later we were asked if we would like to travel to Hawaii to shoot commercials with Bethany Hamilton. She was presently working with SUBWAY and they offered to fly us to her home in Kaua’i.

Anyhow, it was all a fabulous blessing for our whole family to vacation on the gorgeous island of Kaua’i.

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Well, we vacationed while Morgan worked AND ate a lot of SUBWAY sandwiches. 🙂

 

I’ll end by saying my Morgan is a caring, compassionate person who can read people well and is good at tuning into peoples’ feelings. (I hope I had a part in training her that way.)

But, it makes my heart soar to see her reaching out to all types of people, from all walks of life, and going out of her way to think about them and finding ways to meet their needs. That makes me more proud of her than anything else.

Throughout her life, when people would compliment her beauty, I would always be quick to point out to her (and them) that a “pretty heart” was so much more important. I just didn’t want all the compliments to make her vain, and I do now believe my daughter, although so beautiful on the outside, is just as beautiful on the inside.

And that makes my heart happy and proud. 🙂

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Daddy and I celebrate the person you’ve become today!
We love you Morgie.

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My Parents Married 55 Years Ago

The Wrong Place at the Right Time

My Dad entered the Marine Corps as a young kid from a small town in Indiana.

dad at bootcamp

Boot camp was in California.

He was one of three brothers who went into the Marine Corps.

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On leave, one weekend, he and some other Marines went looking for a church service and ended up in the wrong church.

Wrong, because he was looking for The Church of God based out of Anderson, Indiana, and the church he visited that day was a totally different denomination, The Church of God out of Cleveland.

Now, you may not think that is a big deal, but those two denominations are WORLDS APART and you would quickly know upon entering the doors.

A person might even be a little overwhelmed by it all; especially, back in the 1960s.

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But, Dad saw a cute girl singing in the choir and ended up coming back. 😉

My Grandma then felt sorry for the young Marines (so far from home) and invited them over for lunch after church.

And, the story unfolds….

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Two Kids Got Married

They were married April 13, on a Friday.

They’ve always joked about it being Friday the 13th….the reference being bad luck. (for all my overseas friends/blog followers. 🙂 )

Mom wasn’t even finished with high school yet.

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Mom’s brother Donnie was the best man and her sister Mary, the Maid of honor.

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Mom’s colors were turquoise with yellow accents. And dad wore a sharp, white tux he had made, to perfect proportions, in Okinawa. (Interestingly, where my brother is now deployed as a Colonel with the Marine Corps.)

Dad said he had been paneling the reception area the day before the wedding. 🙂

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And another little tidbit Mom has always shared…her organ player got upset about being put behind some drapes and ruined the music on this day. HA

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Then they headed back to Indiana where my Mom met her in-laws. She would always relay the story of how she was so nervous; a timid, young girl meeting an entire family at the airport for the first time, and on her honeymoon none the less!

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Life Moves On

Dad was still in the Corps and Mom was now pregnant with me, the first child. She was carrying me while Dad was on board ship during the Cuban Crisis. Mom said she was so worried as she watched the news and heard talk of America possibly going to war with Russia. It was a very serious threat at the time.

Later, Dad returned to do some construction work and then became a policeman. He attended college, at night, majoring in criminal justice to earn an AA degree.

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Mom would go back to finish her GED and then become a stay at home mom. Later on, she attended night classes for secretarial work where she worked for a temporary agency from time to time. (I remember her taking notes, in shorthand, during church. Does anyone remember that? I always thought it looked so cool!)

Later, in 1966, my little brother would be born (the Col) and we would move back to Indiana in 1974 where dad had been raised. (He being the outdoorsman from a small town…yeah, he was SO OVER California by then.)

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There’s so much more to the story….

To be continued..

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to MOM AND DAD!

Make a Fudge Heart in 20 Minutes

I had some leftover milk chocolate and at the last-minute, like 10 PM last night, decided I wanted to make a fudge (for my hubby) for Valentine’s Day. So, I experimented with my Easy, Ten Minute Microwave Fudge Recipe and came up with a quick way to make a valentine heart in about 20 minutes! (including chilling it. 🙂 )

I was happy it tasted good and that it turned out looking so cute.

Not that he will care that it looks cute…but I DO!

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The easiness (and cuteness 😉 ) demanded I take some quick pics and share. (Hence, the dark, grainy photos. 😦 (sorry) and…

because you still have some time to make one, for your lovey.

It’s THAT FAST!!

Ingredients:

1/2 of a 12 oz. bag of milk chocolate morsels

1/4 Cup of a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk

A dash of salt

A dash of vanilla extract

*chopped nuts optional

And… you will need a cookie cutter OR just cut it out by hand with a knife.

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients and microwave till everything is melted well.

Pour into a liberally greased, small glass bowl.

Chill in the freezer until firm. It firms up quick, I tell ya!

Use a wet knife to cut around the edge to loosen the chocolate. You may have to carefully turn, then run warm water over the bottom of the bowl to loosen the chocolate, as well.

Place on a firm cutting service and cut out the chocolate.

Then, consume the extra chocolatey scraps. 🙂

20 minute fudge heart recipe for Valentine's Day

I decided to leave the fudge in the cookie cutter ’cause AGAIN, I thought it looked cute!

And, I found a few strawberries, so I garnished…I feel so professional, ha!

You also could write a note on your plate using dry erase marker or red icing.

Here’s some ideas: Twenty Creative Way to Leave Love Notes

So Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone out there in blog land!♥♥ 

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I know some of you just don’t like this holiday. I get it. BUT, you can still show some love to a family member, someone who’s been there for you, a dear neighbor or even a stranger…just think how it will make their day!! So, LOOK around.

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It might even be a divine appointment; be open to it!

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Tell me what your plans are below. And come back and comment if you’ve shared some love in a unique way or had a special encounter; I’m dying to hear!

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♥♥ Written In honor of my boo…whose always been there through all my health issues and MORE!

♥♥And my kids…my you’ve grown up way too fast!

Ho Ho Ho Bring on the Snow! OR Not!

This snow “man” (Santa), that I made several years ago,

looks like he might be thinking

you’ve been NAUGHTY!! HASanta face in the snow for Christmas.

Do you like the snow or not?

Do you have snow where you’re at right now?

Make A Flag Topper to Enhance a Simple Wedding Cake

make a simple flag bunting topper for wedding cake

Make a Flag Topper to Enhance a Simple Wedding Cake

Take a simple cake from a local store (ie SAMS, Costco or local grocery store) and make it unique by adding your own flags and some flowers and voila!!…a customized cake for cheap   that was less expensive!

My daughter liked the flag idea for the top of her cake. However, I could not find any pre-made flags the right size for patterns, to place on the cake nor any of the colors of her wedding.

So, I decided to make my own. It was super easy and fun!!

flag supplies

Supplies you’ll need:
A heavier weight or “stiffer” paper for making a pattern for your flags. We used scrapbook paper in multiple colors. We found individual sheets (which is much cheaper) esp. if you get them on sale to boot like we did at Hobby Lobby. So, they were just pennies… YAY me! You can also find them in book form with a common color scheme at most craft stores.

Some bakers twine , jute twine, or I used a two-toned silver/copper wire from Hobby Lobby. Just think about how you want the flags to hang. (Do you want the string taut or have a swag to it.)

Glue stick for paper flags and heavier glue to secure beads/wire to skewers.

Two, wooden dowel rods or skewers from Hobby Lobby. (You could paint these but I liked the bare look of the wood.)

Beads if you want a more finished look to the top of each skewer.

flags to top a cake

Directions:
First, decide the scale of each flag’s keeping the size of your cake tier in mind. (I mean, you don’t want too tiny of flags for a large cake or vis versa.)

Then, decide how long they should string across the cake. You want to make sure it’s not too long for the size of the cake layer you’ll be stringing the flags across. But not so short you only get 2 flags on your wire…that’d just look weird. 🙂

Lay out the way you want your design to look.

Cut out the flags by placing the pattern on the fold to make it easier to attach to your string or wire later.

pattern for cutting out flag topper

Decide the spacing between each flag as well as color and shape of each flag.

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Arrange on the wire and glue the paper together first by folding. BE CAREFUL on how much glue you use as it can bleed through the paper.

I thought it’d look more interesting to make different flag shapes, so I placed alternating flags on the wire. Also, try some “see thru” papers adding a color underneath as I did with this black and white designed paper. I liked how the pink paper showed through.

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I later tied wrapped and frayed the ends of the wire to make fancier “tassels” then  secured them to the skewers. Make sure they are tight or glued so they don’t slide down the stick.

Most importantly, make sure you think about how the wooden rods will angle once inserted into the cake.

This way you won’t keep poking holes in your cake. I kind of practiced after laying out a template of the diameter of my tier since I didn’t have the cake in front of me yet.

Now add some flowers and VOILA!…a unique design for your cake! (Wish I had a clearer picture! ugh)

I do think our topper of flags turned out really cute and with all the other added expenses for this wedding, we definitely saved on the cake!

Here’s the initial cake we ordered from SAMS. but we removed some of the designs to make it more simple.

(We had other desserts anyhow; this was just for the cake cutting ceremony anyhow.  😉

Need more ideas? More pictures from the wedding can be found here: http://wp.me/p5ntHO-aZ

To make an easy ring box look here: http://wp.me/p5ntHO-ae

Make flag topper bunting for wedding cake

Make a cake flag topper.

Have you tried something like this? Tell me what you designed?

Speaking of cakes check out my friends’ business. Her cakes are the most unbelievable work of art, EVER! https://www.facebook.com/thecakeryartisticbakery/?fref=ts

Fall Farm Wedding in Georgia

My daughter got married on a beautiful fall day on a picturesque farm in Georgia. She was wearing an Alvina Valenta gown made of lace with blush undertones. She purchased the dress at Fabulous Frocks in Georgia.

Alvina Valenta blush wedding dress

The back was just as pretty with buttons going all the way down the train!

Backless lace and blush wedding dress

lace wedding dress

Blush bridesmaids

The bridesmaids had dresses made in blush chiffon, and

the groomsmen wore charcoal gray.

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Alvina Valenta Blush and Lace Wedding Gown

Lace and blush backless wedding gown.

Morgan really wanted a flower crown and we asked our wedding designer/venue owner if she could design one. It was her first attempt ever, and it turned out just perfect! ♥

Romantic wedding, flower crown.

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More pictures of our venue and decor to come!!

Georgia Farm wedding

candlelight tree branches for wedding decor

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But for now, have fun watching our video of the wedding  here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JulFPewaiEw

Gold and plumb fall wedding decorations

our wedding pics

bride and groom on a farm

wedding table decor