Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Closets don't get Cancer

One afternoon last May I received a phone call from my Mom that literally brought me to my knees-my younger sister had been diagnosed with Kidney Cancer! You know, the kind that doesn't get diagnosed until it has found it's way into everything and it's too late to do anything about it...that kind of Kidney Cancer! By the grace of God, and some very persistant doctors, hers had been caught early. A total fluke, her symptons had nothing to do with the golf ball sized tumor in her kidney but while looking at an ultrasound they saw the little bugger. Thank you, GOD! After a very long and invasive surgery a week later she was CANCER FREE! She is a Cancer survivor and I couldn't be prouder of her!

Needless to say, our family has spent the summer celebrating life and realizing that each and every day is a gift. It's been an amazing summer! So many laughs and good times shared. After returning home from our Annual Fourth of July trip to The Farm, I was readjusting to reality and getting ready for the Back to School craziness. My parents had taken the kids for the weekend and I was using the opportunity to clean out some closets and get organized. My sisters called and suggested I come for the weekend and continue the summer of fun. I told them I couldn't that I HAD to get the closets cleaned before the kids came back...that's when she said it..."Kate, closets don't get Cancer, they can wait." Yep, closets don't get Cancer, what a reminder to live each day. We constantly need this ...life is to be lived, so get out there and live it to the fullest! (the messy closets will still be there when you get back!)


Monday, July 26, 2010

Every year for as long as I can remember we have spent summer time fun on "The Farm". "The Farm" is a well earned, dream come true for two of my favorite people, Pop and Gigi (my grandparents). Eighty acres of the most beautiful part of the country, the Bluegrass! Yeah, I'm an Alabama girl when it comes to football, but my heart lives in Kentucky! The kids, my sisters, my Mom and I go for as long as life (and our husbands) let us go, usually about a month. It's like a time capsule-we don't hook up the cable (yes, on purpose), no tv, no video games, just old fashioned fun! Lots of board games, cards, reading, crafts, some of the best fishing around, lots of laughs, tons of SCRABBLE and best of all, fun in the kitchen!

One afternoon after devouring the newest edition of a cooking magazine, I took a challenge that the magazine offered and turned it into our afternoon activity (and snack!) Bacon! The challenge: to create a recipe using BACON as a secret ingredient! And the afternoon activity began...my sister and I sat on the porch and threw out ideas using some of our favorite dessert, yes, dessert recipes using bacon in them. Needless to say there may have been some wine involved in this process that brought up lots of child-like laughter. I threw out "S'mores", which is a staple on The Farm, and our eyes got big and bright. It wasn't minutes before the bacon was in the oven and all 5 kids were gathering the graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows (that were the size of my head, by the way. We had to cut those in half.) Any way, we cooked the bacon half way through and then wrapped the graham crackers with it and finished baking it in the oven. When the timer went off we topped it with a chocolate square and marshmallow and popped it back in the oven to brown the top! Minutes later we were enjoying what was quite possibly the best "S'more" ever! Bacon S'more's...I know it won't replace the traditonal and most of you think I'm crazy but...it was so indulgent and yummy! Bacon really does make everything better! Those of you who know me, know that I live by this belief! So I never entered the recipe contest but...it sure was a fun (and delicious) afternoon on The Farm!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Make it Personal

We all love to share our home-made goodies with friends, neighbors, teachers, etc. so why not make it personal with some labels that say where they came from? We love these personalized labels "From the Kitchen of...", they come in oodles of fun designs from whimsical to classic. You can not only use them for your baked goods but why not use them for books ("From the Library of...") or wine ("From the wine cellar of..."). Great gift idea for some one who is always giving out goodies!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Time to Get Organized!

Shhh...don't tell the kids, but school is just a few short weeks away! I hate to see summer go so quickly but I quess that means we're having fun! I love these few weeks before a new school year though...it's a time of reinventing myself. Summer time inspires me to get organized and implement new routines, dig through and organize closets and cabinets and try to bring a little bit of summer attitude into the whole year! One of my favorite things to help us stay organized year round is a personalized calendar by Robin Maguire...it lives on my refrigerator and everyone in the family knows to check it before making plans. It gives each one of us our schedules for the week, what's for dinner and I have put a section on it for "prayer requests" so we know who needs our prayers each week. I love it!

If you're interested in one of these great calendars you can find them at http://www.shopconfetti.com/!

Happy Summer Organizing!