For the love of Chai

>> Sunday, November 30, 2008

You all know that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Chai tea. Besides good ole' water, its been my drink of choice for quite some time. Then you will not be surprised by the cartwheels I was doing when I found this recipe on a blog ( Once this snow stops falling and the plows dig me out, I'm heading for the store to buy the ingredients. I can't wait! Oh, and don't be surprised if you get some for Christmas (Sarah, just act like you didn't know it was coming and it will make my holiday-ha).

All natural, healthy and soooo yummy! You will fall in love with Chai too!

2 cups caster sugar (vanilla sugar is best- if you can find it?!where can I find caster sugar?)

1 cup Typhoo QT instant white tea (See beneifits of herbal White Tea here:

1 cup non dairy creamer

1 cup dried skimmed milk powder

1 cup Coffee Mate 'Latte Creations' creamer (original or vanilla)

4 teaspoons ground ginger

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cloves

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 teaspoon white pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Process the mixture in a blender or food processor, 1 cup at a time, and store in airtight jars.To serve, put 2 tablespoons in a mug, top up with boiling water and wait a few minutes before drinking to allow the spices to settle at the bottom. Now drink up! Your life (and health) will never be the same again.


Thanksgiving Prayer

>> Wednesday, November 26, 2008

thanksgiving or turkey Pictures, Images and Photos
May your stuffing be tasty
May your turkey plump,
May your potatoes and gravy
Have never a lump.
May your yams be delicious
And your pies take the prize,
And may your Thanksgiving dinner
Stay off your thighs!

thanksgiving wish Pictures, Images and Photos

And to add a "What works for me" tip:

Thanksgiving is a day to reflect on all that you are thankful for. I recently read the "Mayflower" and it reminded me of all that the pilgrims sacrificed and went through during their first year on American soil and how important the famous feast of Thanksgiving was. It humbled me on all that I am grateful for. In honor of teaching my children the simplicity of holidays, I will be adding this lovely tree to my thanksgiving table. A Thankful tree is easy and you could pull it by tomorrow. Grab a branch, cut out some colorful leaves. Before you eat your feast, while everyone is sitting at the table, begin by filling out a leaf of gratitude and attaching it to the tree. Have fun and be thankful for all that you have!


I've got Twilight on my mind...

>> Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm a Esme! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!




>> Friday, November 21, 2008

A little glimpse at whats been going on at the Sirken house.
Let me introduce you to our new general contractor.....


Green Christmas Tips

>> Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The day after Thanksgiving is a big event in my house. It is the day I literally roll down the stairs from being stuffed the day before, pile my breakfast plate with a cold turkey sandwhich and turn on some bowl game football. Once I'm finished filling my face again, the waiting totes of Christmas decorations will make their debut.

This year in my goal to have a green Christmas, we will be "Decking The Halls" in all natural decorations. All the tree trimmings will be handmade.


I have LOTS of extra fabric laying around. I took some with matching colors and cut it into strips, then tied it to twine. Easy peasy puddin pie!


Cinnamon Ornaments: Some of you may remember these as I have made them in the past. They smell so yummy and its soooo easy to make. The hardest part is to wait for them to dry. I'm very excited to have these decorations smelling up my house.

Cinnamon Ornaments
1 Cup Cinnamon
1T Cloves
1T Nutmeg
3/4 C Applesauce
2T White glue
Combine cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg. Add applesauce & glue, stir to combine, work mixture with hands for 2-3 minutes. Divide into 4 parts. Roll each to 1/4" thickness. Use straw or toothpick for hole. Place on wire rack & allow to dry at room temp. Turn after a day. (takes about 2 days to dry).

Salt Dough Ornaments: What a great, all natural way to decorate a tree, not to mention what a great way to get the kids stretching their creative muscles. The kids can do whatever they want to these great ornaments. I'm pretty geeked about this little birdie. Look for upcoming post of our creations.

Salt Dough Ornaments
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Salt
12 oz Luke warm water
You mix the ingredients together adding just enough of the water to make a supple but not too sticky dough. Then you knead the mixture for 10 minutes. Roll out and use your imagination (or cookie cutters) to create your ornaments. Use a straw to punch a hole in it for hanging. Then the whole lot goes into the oven at 150 degrees c for a few hours until it makes a ringing sound like pottery when tapped. When it's cool you can paint it (preferably with acrylic paint) and with a couple of coats of varnish it can last for many, many years.

Paper Ornaments:

These are so cute and fun. I can't wait to go to Michaels and get some fun paper to use. The kids can even help with the cutting and fastening. Try it for yourself!

Paper Balls
12x12 scrapbook paper (cut into 1cmX40cm paper strips)
Hole punch
For each strip, punch a hole in the center and at each end. Take a fastener and lay it so the prongs are facing upward. Insert some strips of paper through the middle hole onto the fastener. Lay the strips evenly in a star shape. Close the fastener and lay it so that it is parallel with the last (uppermost) strip. Starting with the ends of the uppermost strip, gather both ends by overlapping them and matching the holes. Hold the 2nd brad facing down and insert it through the end holes of the strips. Continue this with the next strips and repeat until all of the strips are gathered. Once you have all of the pieces together, close the fastener off. Tie either a piece of string to the fastener or you can also hang it using wire.

The boys and I went for a nature walk and picked up as many pinecones as we could carry in our basket. I plan on just tying twine on them and hanging. I also picked up some scented pinecones at the store. They just smell soooo good!

I'm not sure what else I will come up with for our natural decorations, but this will get me started. Hope you find something that you and your little ones can do to have some Green Decorations.


Like Wild Geese

>> Monday, November 17, 2008

3 Geese Flying Pictures, Images and Photos

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours,
and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting
over and over announcing your place in the family of things.
Wild Geese by Mary Oliver


Countdown begins

>> Friday, November 14, 2008

movie poster Pictures, Images and Photos

Only 7 more days

11/21/08 will be a happy day!

TWILIGHT logo Pictures, Images and Photos

I know I'm acting like an obessed teenager and when I'm in the theatre the tween girls will laugh and whisper things about me being the oldest old lady in the theatre, but I don't care. I'm going to much my popcorn, sip my icee and be in la-la land.


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Christmas season is upon us. For us parents, its time to finish the llooonnnggg list of gifts to buy and start the shopping. I've decided to make this year a bit different. I've always made some kind of homemade gift for others, but this year I've got the Green Christmas means slowing down. Going back to basics and not only showing your love to the enviroment, but your true love to others. I have vowed to not buy anything plastic (ok, buying for hubby requires plastic- but thats it!). All homemade and all natural!

I will be changing my "What works for me" Wednesday posts to "Green Christmas" posts throughout the season. I want to share all the great, simple and easy ways to bring a natural Christmas back.

Some Green Christmas Tips of the day:

TIP #1: Do what I did and take the challenge and buy only Handmade!

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

TIP #2: Instead of hanging useless, energy wasting lights on a tree, decorate a tree for the birds - place seed bells, suet, pine cones with peanut butter and seed trays on any tree in your yard, preferably a tree in the open where cats can be seen easily by the birds. You can attract a wide variety of birds, use varied seed types such as black oil sunflower seed, wild bird mixed seed and nyger seed bells. This is a great activity for kids, and offers an important food source for birds during the winter. Find a neat article here for more information (

TIP #3: Speaking of lights.....The house with the most lights used to be the 'best'. Times have changed. The cost of electricity goes way beyond the utility bill. Electricity drains natural resources. Try to reduce the size of outdoor lighting displays - A smaller presentation of lights can still be attractive, and more appropriate in the 'season of giving'.• Use LED lights for house and Christmas tree lighting - LED (Light Emitting Diode) holiday lights use up to 95% less energy than larger, traditional holiday bulbs and last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors. LED holiday lights use .04 watts per bulb, 10 times less than mini bulbs and 100 times less than traditional holiday bulbs. Over a 30-day period, lighting 500 traditional holiday lights will cost you about $18.00 while the same number of LED lights costs only $0.19. As an added bonus, if one of the LED lights burns out the rest of the strand will stay lit. • Outdoor Mini-lights will also save energy. A 100-light string uses only 40 watts. If you're buying a new set of lights, compare based on equal 'lighted lengths'. Some higher priced brands have 100 mini-lights for only 8 1/2 feet of length, while some 100 mini-light strings cover up to 40 feet in length.• Turn tree lights and outdoor house decorative lighting at bedtime. It's simply a waste of energy to leave the holiday lights on at night after everyone's gone to sleep, besides no one is driving by your house at midnight in the freezing cold to look at your light display....come on'! Do the earth right!!!

christmas lights Pictures, Images and Photos


A very special day

>> Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brother"

I've had the great honor to be a military wife for 8 years. In those eight years, my honor was not my own, but in those soliders that I knew and grew to love. The soliders that hath no fear. The soliders that would die to protect all that we know. The soliders that return to US soil to anxiously await their return over seas to protect those that are in danger and need their protection. The soliders that tell stories that give you chills, but the same soliders that shed a tear at the young child they gave candy to.

I have been honored to love a solider of my own and proud of his dedication. I am also very proud of my brothers that are still serving and to them, happy Veterans day! You make me proud and you make America proud! [To: Tim, Tom, Wheeler, Stevens, Tibits and Steve- May God bless you and watch over you]

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my Church have you been true?"
The soldier squared his soldiers and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,
Lord,It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.

"There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgement of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell."


Its begining to look a lot like.....

>> Sunday, November 9, 2008

Snow Pictures, Images and Photos

This is what I was seeing outside my window tonight

Beautiful? Yes

Depressing? A little

Getting me in the mood for Christmas? Absolutely


My not so little one!

>> Friday, November 7, 2008

Time has gone too quickly!

It seems like yesterday you were smiling like this

Then you were getting bigger

and now smiling and having fun at preschool

Happy birthday my big 3 year old!
I love you like an Oak Tree
Strong and tall forever!


What Works for me Wednesday!

>> Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Am I over doing it? Probably so....but I don't care. To begin....upon moving, one of the first things I did was enroll the boys in a co-op montessori based preschool in our local town. It has been wonderful! The boys need the social and learning time while mommy needs the 2 1/2 hours of free time. They focus on a letter a week. Reading and writing skills, nature, animals and music and movement. Right up my alley. Since its a co-op, I am responsible to work in either of their classes about once every other month. Friday is Zaidens birthday, so I'm working in his class tomorrow. The parent helper, as us co-op moms are called, is in charge of snack and if its your childs birthday, you can bring in a treat. So in Tirzah fashion, I wanted to make something homemade and different. I didn't want cupcakes (too typical and too messy for a class of 3 year olds who would just eat the frosting) and I wanted something semi-healthy but yet yummy for a preschooler. I was browsing the food blogs- like usual- and found this great recipe. I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin related and this had me drooling. Check out this blog:

This is what all the little three year olds are getting tomorrow for Zaidens birthday treat. Along with Masa crackers, Cut up pears and cheese. I also made some pumpkin spice playdough, wrapped it up pretty and tied on a leaf cookie cutter.

Am I over doing it? Probably yes......but it works for me.

Does it work for you?

Doesn't it make you want to be three tomorrow?


Make History

>> Monday, November 3, 2008

It wasn't that long ago......
For me and all women.....

Innocent and defenseless but yet, strong and courageous women picketed the white house for the right to vote but then jailed for their brave act.

"...And by the end of the night, they were barely alive. Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of 'obstructing sidewalk traffic.' They beat Lucy Burns, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air" (Lucy Burns)

"...They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold. Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women." (Dora Lewis)

This would become known as the 'Night of Terror' on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote. For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.

"...When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press." (Alice Paul)

So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because- -why, exactly? We have carpool duties, preschool, grocery shopping, work? Our vote doesn't matter? The lines are too long? What would those women think of the way I use, or don't use, my right to vote? Do you take it for granted? We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote democratic, republican or independent party -

VOTE Pictures, Images and Photos


vote logo Pictures, Images and Photos


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