Strawberry Filled Vanilla Cake


Today the boy of the house had a hockey game.  The tween queen decided to skip it as she was tired.  She was bored and decided to bake this wonderful cake.  This is her first filled cake she made as a surprise for us all.  I wondered why she kept calling to see when we would be home.

It was a real treat and “proud mommy moment” coming home and seeing the smile and pride on her face knowing she made this all from scratch and cleaned up the kitchen so not ONE dish was in the sink!  She could not wait for us to try it.

It is a nice light and moist cake.


You can find the links she used to create this beauty on my facebook page here:  Strawberry Filled Vanilla Cake

Drama…no thanks


“If you can’t say it to someone’s face, don’t say it to anyone else. If you are upset, angry, or unhappy with a situation, face it head on, don’t be a “behind the scenes” person stirring the pot hoping someone else will join your battle.”  Told to me by my father in my teen years.  One of the wisest bits of advice he shared with me.  He was a very wise man.

I have always been a person who does not like drama.  I will avoid people and situations I know create or thrive on it.  Everyone has some drama in their lives but school age girls are the worst. I had/have many acquaintances that I consider friends but not close friends as I do not like the drama they drag around.  In school most of my friends were boys or other “cowgirls” as we had no time for drama in the barn focusing on riding our horses.

I have shared this information with my children over the years.  My 12 year old daughter is now dealing with the typical girl drama and is showing she has learned by example of walking away and avoiding the drama creators in her class stating “shallow girls are not worth my time”.  That makes me one happy mother!!

Yes I am this morning


Well it’s 40 degrees outside and wet, damp and yucky but the animals have been fed and now it’s time for the 11 year olds (but only for today as tomorrow she turns 12!!) softball game outside in the cold wet field.  I can’t find the zippity anywhere this morning!!


Love this!!


This is something I printed, framed and hung in my daughters room as a daily reminder happiness is a choice and she is responsible for how she feels no matter what the world throws at her!!!  I also made one to hang in my sons room. 

Farm girl + Pageant girl = Confidence

chase 4 wheeler gardeningprincess

Pageants are a hot topic these days with parents…some people love them while others think they are horrible and damaging.  But not all pageants are what you see on TV.  I can only share our experience with them and the positives they have highlighted for my daughter.

I was raised on a small farm….we live the small farm life so when my daughter told me she wanted to try a pageant a few years ago I could not grasp the idea in my head.  WHY???  What purpose is this for.  She was 8 and her response was, I want to wear beautiful dresses and get a crown like the girl on the Disney show.  So that explained how she knew what one was.  It was on an iCarly episode.

This was a child who still hid behind me shyly when people spoke to her.  She was a “wall flower” in a group opting to stay in the shadows rather than be in the spotlight.  Her Pre-K teacher told us she was not social in groups rather opting to play with one child or by herself.  For this reason we sent our children to a private Catholic school as the smaller environment was a better choice for her. Now she thinks she can get on a stage in front of people?? What would this do to her self esteem if she didn’t win a crown? How much is this going to cost us? How do you even find pageants?  Maybe if I ignore this it will go away.  But over the next 5 months it did not,  She kept asking and asking to find one.

I did a google search, was led to a facebook page, was connected with a pageant system 8 hours from us and directed to a contact in our local area who held pageants.  My first question was how does a beauty pageant work?  The answer was brilliant…these are not beauty pageants, these are confidence building workshops.  HUH????

The woman explained to me every child receives a crown, every child has to speak and introduce themselves, every child makes friends, every child cheers for the other children, parents are expected to cheer for every child.  Yes, there are titles and higher titles but this system acknowledges every child for their participation and they are given a sheet from the judges highlighting their outstanding qualities with a few suggestions to move up in the next pageant.  There is no makeup, fake anything, or thousand dollar dresses.   This is your child getting on the stage in a store bought dress, speaking, being asked a question, modeling their attire and showing their confidence.  There is even a talent entry to showcase their talent if they so choose.

Fast forward 3 years and approximately 12 pageants completed (the last one was this past Saturday, April 5th). My daughters room is filled with all different style crowns, trophies, prizes and sashes. (this is less than 1/2 of what she has not including the slip & slide toy, stuffed animals, oversized pillows, karaoke machine and many other prizes).

Image Mini Supreme 2014 winnings

Yesterday my daughter was awarded best oral presentation for her class.  She is confident speaking in public, reading at a Mass, and even singing in a crowded mall a solo Christmas performance.  This is all due to her pageant experience.  Quite a few of her friends from school now participate in the pageants with us and it’s so heartwarming to hear them yell for each other and hug after a pageant congratulating eachother.  We then head home where she changes into her barn clothes and heads out to play in the mud.

Image personal best graduation

Chase has met many girls from all over our area as well as Canada.  She is a pen-pal with a girl she met in February who lives 4 hours north of us in Canada.  They are looking forward to seeing eachother in May at their next pageant.

For my daughter this has been a truly positive experience.  After a few pageants teachers at school and friends commented on how “out of her shell” she had become.  She strives to be better at each pageant and really loves to cheer for her friends.  She has so much more confidence now than she did.  She is center for her schools basketball team, joined the softball team this year, has performed solo’s for her talent at pageants, for Christmas concerts in nursing homes and for fundraisers for the Make A Wish Foundation.  She does around 3 pageants a year and looks forward to them.

I chose this topic due to someone asking me to do something this past Saturday.  When I said I could not as my daughter was in a pageant, this persons face said it all before she stated  “how degrading..that’s horrible to put your child in a pageant”.   I just laughed and said it’s been a true blessing for my child!!