Friday, June 19, 2009

Bailey's Blue Hair

Bailey got her blue streaks in her hair last night. She has been wanting them for a year and I told her she had to wait until school got out. These pictures don't show it real well but up close and personal they are great. Thanks to Tonya for making sure that Bailey looks like a rock star. We are so lucky that we found such a great person to do our hair and make us bueatiful!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Xilaration, 2009

Ice, Ice Baby

Witch Doctor

Witch Doctor

Can't touch this..

MC Miss Thing getting the party started!

Cha Cha slide with members of the other show She pulled up her brother

Mr Jay and his "jazz hands"

How low can you go?

Little Gansta girl....
Lots of fun and good music to be had!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

All Natural Egg Dyeing

This year the kids and I are going to try some different egg dyeing, using all natural herbs and spices. We have a free box at work where I can get damaged product and I have been grabbing something almost every time I walk by. I have hibiscus and safflower, chili powder, chai tea, spiralina and so forth. It will be fun to try the different ways and to test the different colors!

What you will need to get started
» Mordant -- Alum, cream of tartar, or white vinegar will help the colors penetrate the eggshell. (Mordants aren't necessary, but you'll get better results if you use one.)» Pots -- Enamel or glass pots (not aluminum) are best.» Water -- Use distilled water or water that is chlorine-filtered.» Eggs -- White eggs will display the subtle, natural colors better than brown or green eggs.» Dyestuff -- The more eggs you're dyeing, the more dyestuff you'll need. Have fun experimenting with herbs and spices to see what colors they impart, but here are some suggestions to get you started:

Reddish blue/lavender: Hibiscus flowersDeep gold: Turmeric root powderPale yellow: Safflower petalsPale orange: Curry powderReddish brown: Chili powderOrange: PaprikaSoft brown: Dill seedTannish yellow: Yarrow
Other natural products that make lovely dyes:Beet juice or beet powder, berries, coffee, juice, lemon and orange peels, red cabbage leaves, tea, onion skins.

Ingredients:Once you get the hang of dyeing naturally, you'll work in panfuls and handfuls, but here are some guidelines to get you started:

» 4 cups water» dyestuff (about 2-4 tbsps ground herbs and spices or 1 cup whole or cut and sifted)» 1 tablespoon mordant (see above)» 4 to 6 eggs, washed to remove any coating (Use raw for hot bath, hard-boiled for cold.)

Hot Bath Directions
Bring water, dyestuff, and mordant to a boil. Add eggs and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let sit another 15 minutes or more, until desired color. (The longer you leave the eggs in the dye, the deeper the color.) Remove eggs, gently rinse in lukewarm water, and let air dry.

Cold Bath Directions
Make a dyebath by bringing water, dyestuff, and mordant to a boil. Simmer the dyestuff until the water is deeply colored, anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours. (Put a lid on the pot to prevent evaporation.) Strain the liquid and cool. Add hard-boiled eggs to the dye, and let soak until desired color is reached (overnight, in the refrigerator, if you like).

Tips and Tricks
» Add sheen to your eggs by gently wiping the dry, dyed shell with vegetable oil.» Consider dyeing an egg in more than one color. (Let dry between dyeing.)» Experiment with fun techniques: Wrap an egg in rubber bands or apply masking tape in patterns before dyeing, for a batik effect. Or wrap an egg in leaves (hold them in place with a nylon stocking) before dyeing. For a stippled effect, pat an egg with a sponge while still wet. And to marbleize your egg, add a drop of oil to the dye liquid.» For a smoother look, dye eggs in strained liquid. For more texture, leave in the dyestuff.» Don't over stir the eggs while simmering, or overhandle them once you remove them from the dye. The outer shell, softened from the mordant, can rub off.

Ask the Experts
How can I tell which herbs will make good dye?
As you experiment with other herbs and spices, remember that you can't always tell which ones will make good dye. Trial and error is part of the fun. Sometimes an herb you expect great things from will leave the water clear (lavender, despite its name, scent, and beautiful flowers, delivers little if any color when boiled, for example). Other times, you'll be surprised by the burst of color when a plant hits the water. You can test natural ingredients before placing eggs in them (you can usually judge by the color of the water how well it will dye). And you can always re-dye an egg if you're disappointed in the initial results.

Can I eat the eggs I've colored with natural dye?
» If you plan to eat eggs that you've colored with natural dyes keep them in mind as food as you dye them. Use the cold bath method, or (if you're after richer color) start with the hot bath, but cook the eggs just until the desired doneness. Then remove them from the pan, strain and cool the liquid, and place them back in. Put the soaking egg in the refrigerator. (Eggs that are going to be eaten shouldn't be kept out of the refrigerator for extended periods.) Remove, rinse, and let air dry. Then put right back in the refrigerator until you're ready to crack it open to make that egg salad. (If the shell cracks during dyeing, make sure whatever dyestuff you've chosen is safe for human consumption, or discard the egg.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

--I just want to thank all of you for your educational e-mails over the past year. I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I no longer open a public bathroom door without using a paper towel.

I no longer have lemon slices in my ice water at a restaurant without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can't use the remote in a hotel room because I don't know what the last person was doing while flipping through the adult movie channels.

I can't sit down on the hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one's nose (although cell phone usage may be overtaking the number one spot).

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can't touch any woman's purse for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public bathroom.
I MUST SEND MY SPECIAL THANKS to whoever sent me the one about poop in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.
ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl (Penny Brown) who is about to die in the hospital for the 1,387,258th time.

I no longer have any money at all, but that will change once I receive the $15,000 that Bill Gates/Microsoft and AOL are sending me for participating in their special e-mail program.

I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me.

I no longer eat KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers.

I no longer use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

THANKS TO ALL OF YOU I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

BECAUSE OF YOUR CONCERN, I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer can buy gasoline without taking someone along to watch the car so a serial killer won't crawl in my back seat when I'm pumping gas.

I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put 'Under God' on their cans.

I no longer use Saran Wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

AND THANKS FOR LETTING ME KNOW I can't boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face... disfiguring me for life.

I no longer check the coin return on pay phones because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS.

I no longer go to shopping malls because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me.

I no longer receive packages from UPS or Fed Ex since they are actually Al Qaeda in disguise.

I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don't support our American troops or the Salvation Army.

I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a phone bill with calls to Jamaica , Uganda , Singapore , and Uzbekistan .

I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe.

THANKS TO YOU I can't use anyone's toilet but mine because a big brown African spider is lurking under the seat to cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

AND THANKS TO YOUR GREAT ADVICE I can't ever pick up $5.00 dropped in the parking lot because it probably was placed there by a sex molester waiting underneath my car to grab my leg.

I can no longer drive my car because I can't buy gas from certain gas companies!

I can't do any gardening because I'm afraid I'll get bitten by the brown recluse and my hand will fall off.

If you don't send this e-mail to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon and the fleas from 12 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbor's ex-mother-in-law's second husband's cousin's beautician . .

Monday, December 29, 2008

Death in the Family

On Friday Morning my Great Grandmother passed away. She was an amazing woman. Both Joey and Bailey sleep with a quilt that she had made. They were both given to me as wedding presents. Please keep my family in your prayers as we lost a very vibrant member.

Crawford, Grace E.

HEDRICK — Grace E. Crawford, 92, formerly of the Hedrick and Farson area, died at 4:45 a.m. Dec. 26, 2008 at Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa.She was born Oct. 1, 1916 near Bladensburg, Iowa to Elmer and Bessie Carter Handy. She married Keith Crawford Sept. 8, 1934. He preceded her in death Aug. 14, 1961.She worked at the Ottumwa Hospital, owned and operated Peanut Farm and was a waitress at the Holiday Inn and Country Barn.She enjoyed spending time with her family, gardening, flowers and handcrafts. Surviving are two daughters, Elizabeth (Larry) Webb of Ottumwa and Alice (Larry) Coble of Hedrick; a son, Robert (Diane) Crawford of Hedrick; a daughter-in-law, Carolyn Crawford of Hedrick; 16 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren; and a sister, Dorothy Pearson of Clutier, Iowa.She was preceded in death by her son, Donald Crawford; five brothers, Orien, Clyde, Millard, infant Frankie and infant Joe Handy; two sisters, Mattie Bailey and infant Hazelle Handy.Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Reece Funeral Home with Rev. Bill Hornback officiating. Burial will be in Brooks Cemetery near Hedrick.Visitation will begin at 9 a.m. Monday with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at the funeral home. A memorial has been established to Good Samaritan Society-Ottumwa, Special Unit.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day

As usual Christmas was wonderful! I grumble every year when the kids wake me up at 5 AM. But I get up, grab my coffee (the kids set the timer the night before) and begin the ritual. Unlike previous years where I tried to by the kids everything on their list, this year we kept it low key. The kids each got a big present ( a nintendo DS for Bailey and a PSP for Joey), 2 games each for the new systems, a movie, a couple books, and a couple t-shirts for Joey and a pair of new jammies for Bailey.

When we decided we were going to focus more on others, I wasn't sure how the kids would like it. But as much as I complain about having spoiled kids, they are really pretty caring. We sponsored 3 different kids this holiday, 2 of which have parents in prison. The spending limit for the sponsors was $20 to $25. We had so much fun shopping that we almost doubled that.

As I was watching my kids open their gifts, I wondered how those other kids were reacting to their Christmas. I would have loved to see the look on one boys' face when he opened the battleship game and legos. Or the 8 year little girl that got the butterfly barbie and Hannah Montana microphone. I know I have complained about people's attitudes during the holidays but I am blessed and do not understand those that have so much anger.

This year I had more money to spend on Christmas this year than I ever have, however we decided to spend the money on others. We bought for more friends, we bought for stangers, we bought for members of our church who have touched us. We tried to spread the cheer to more people rather than spending more money on each person. Last night Joey said he forgot to get a present for one of his good friends. Rather than not getting his friend anything, he decided to give him part of his Christmas money.

That act made me think that maybe I am not doing such a bad job. I am teaching my kids what is really important. It isn't all about the material crap but about that look on someone's face when you have made a impact on them. In the Bible it talks about being judged by ones' works. I know I have a long way to go but it makes me feel good knowing that my kids and I are on the right path.

I am truly blessed this season...Are you?

Friday, December 19, 2008


Christmas is my favorite holiday. I love the lights, the snow and the anticipation. I love the look of presents under the tree and the the kids begging to open just one. I love everything about the season. However, I really do not understand the "Scrooge complex". Why is it that people get so angry and stressed? It is really simple, to keep the stress down...

1 - Focus on what the holiday really means. Are we really celebrating a fat man in a big red suit? No we are celebrating the birth of our savior. We need to be celebrating advent and anticipating the celebration of his birth.

2 - Don't worry about affording gifts. If you question if you can afford can't. It really isn't about the gifts anyway, it is about the worship, family, friends and fellowship.

3 - Smile and wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Go see the lights, go to a Christmas service.

The point is don't get all stressed out and take it out others. Your one little negative comment can ruin another persons day. If you smile and wish them a Merry Christmas it may just brighten the season for one more person.

Merry Christmas from Danielle