Grandaddy's Cake

This is my Grandaddy. His 90th birthday was this past Monday (April 27th).

He had a big party given in his honor last Saturday (April 25th). Apparently, I volunteered to make a cake (though I don't remember doing so). I guess my memory is failing me.

They requested a cake with a garden and something church related, since Grandad is a preacher and he always had a garden. Someone else suggested fishing because he always enjoyed that, too.

In the end, my plan was to do 3 tiers with each tier dedicated to the 3 different themes. Of course, as always, time got away from me, so I narrowed it down to the garden, since I already had the vegetables made, and I was going to put a man in a boat on the top. This is the reason the top of the cake is blue.

I was going to make the man and the boat on the way to Grandad's (which is about 45 minutes from my house). My sister, Anna, held the cake while her husband drove. About 15 minutes down the road, I realize I didn't bring the right amount of fondant to make the boat, so I ended up just making the man. Then I decided to just put the man on the tractor and set the tractor on top.

When we were younger, Grandad had a dog just like this. Her name was Sister, and almost everywhere Grandad went, Sister went, too. The dog is the only thing I did not make myself and the only thing that could not be eaten (well, that and the toothpicks on the vegetable signs).

Someone asked why I put the little red heart on the side.

My answer? Simply because I love my Grandaddy!

I remember Grandad having chickens at some point when I was little. And corn, peas, tomatoes & cucumbers are some of the things I remember him raising in his garden.

You can't see it very well, but the brown square below Happy Birthday! is a Holy Bible, one of the main things that I associate with my Grandad.

I love my Grandad very much, and I hope my cake brought a little bit of joy to his special day!

Zac's Cake

Shawn's future brother-in-law, Zac, owns a martial arts school. For his birthday a few weeks ago, Shawn's sister, Amanda, asked me to make Zac a boxing ring cake. His boxing ring at his school is red and black.

This is his school's logo:

And this is the cake:

I was a little rushed, so the icing did not come out as smooth as I wanted it. It was also raining, and we had to travel about 40 miles through the rain with this cake. We made it, though, and got the cake there with no problems.

Zac & Amanda

My Favorite TV Show

This is Michael Westin. He used to be a spy until he got burned. When you're a spy and a Burn Notice is issued on you, it's kind of like getting fired, only worse. In Michael's case, he's dumped in his hometown of Miami, his accounts are frozen. He's left broke and with nothing (except for his spy skills). He's left with no job history and no contacts. The only people he can depend on are his Mom, Madeline, his ex-girlfriend, Fiona and his friend, Sam. So, he begins to use his spy training to help people who are in trouble, all the while trying to figure out who burned him and why.

Season 1 is available on DVD.
Season 2 will be available on DVD on June 16th.
Season 3 begins June 4, 2009 on USA.

Images via USA


This is my PawPaw Ceburn (my paternal grandfather). PawPaw passed away on my birthday in 2004. My Mom & my aunt asked me to write a poem to go in the funeral program. Believe me when I tell you that this was one of the hardest things I've ever written. Usually, when I write a poem in memory of someone, it's weeks, months, sometimes a year after they pass. With this one, though, it had to be done the next day. I finished it on time, and I was pleased with the result.


Today I thought of yesterday,
the laughter, joy and tears.
I thought about the times we've shared
and treasured through the years.

Life is unpredictable.
Some things we'll never know,
like when we'll laugh, love or smile,
or when we'll have to go.

And though things are uncertain
and life seems so unfair. . .
I thank you now for the memories.
Thanks for being there.

I know I'll always miss you,
from this day until the end.
I'm thankful that I knew you,
that I could call you friend.

Now, when I think of yesterday,
a day that's lost and gone,
although I'm hurting deep inside,
I'll do my best to carry on.

Copyright ©2008 Crystal DeAnn Freeman

YAY me!

I WON! I entered a giveaway on My Pretty Pink Blogette, and I won a custom made Mother's Day card from Swirly Girl's Card Shop. You should check out her store. Her cards are beautiful!

Image via Swirly Girl's Card Shop

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Anyone that knows me knows that I love movies & quotes. Sometimes I watch a movie, and every once in a while, I have to pause it to write a quote down. I can't help it. It's just the way I am.

A friend of mine loaned me her copy of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events when it first came out. I honestly did not expect to like the movie. Jim Carrey seemed really creepy in the movie trailer, and the movie itself seemed really dark. I watched it though, and I really enjoyed it. This is a movie for younger audiences, and there were some parts that would probably make some of the younger ones cover their eyes (like my neice, McKenzie). It's not scary at all, just...a bit sinister.

The story revolves around Violet, Klaus & Sunny Baudelaire, a brother and two sisters. Each one is extraordinary in their own way, and they stick together through everything. The reason I brought all of this up is so I could share a quote from the movie. This is one of my favorite quotes because it not only applies to the events that take place in the movie, but it can also apply to real life.

At times the world can seem an unfriendly and sinister place, but believe us when we say there is much more good in it than bad. All you have to do is look hard enough. And what may seem to be a series of unfortunate events, may, in fact be the first steps of a journey. -Violet Baudelaire, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Image via All Movie Photo

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I made these peanut butter cups using this recipe I found by Pete Bakes. I admit I didn't even get to try one, but my nephew told me that taste just like Reese's. I will have to make more so I can give them a try.

The recipe is below, or you can go to Pete's blog for the recipe and to see the ones he made. He used dark chocolate; mine are milk chocolate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Makes 12-16 mini peanut butter cups

12 oz chocolate
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup crushed graham crackers

1. In a bowl, mix together the peanut butter, confectioners’ sugar and graham crackers. Set aside.

2. In a double boiler, carefully melt the chocolate (Set a metal bowl on top of a saucepan with boiling water). Alternatively, you can microwave the chocolate in short bursts.

3. Using a pastry brush or a clean paintbrush, brush the melted chocolate on the bottom and sides of mini cupcake liners. It’s helpful to stack some the liners together to give more support. When in doubt, add more chocolate, since this will be the base for your candy. Place the cupcake liners on a plate or in a cupcake tin and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the liners from the freezer, and place about one teaspoon of the peanut butter mixture in each cup. Press down a bit with a spoon to spread. Spoon more melted chocolate on top of each cup.

5. Place the peanut butter cups back in the freezer for another 15 minutes to set. eat cold or let warm to room temperature before serving.

*I found the mini brown cupcake liners at Hobby Lobby ($1.99/100).

Lemon Recipes

Lately I’ve been seeing an abundance of lemon recipes, perfect for this beautiful Spring weather. Here are a few of the ones I would like to make:

Lemon Lime Baby Cakes with Lemon Lime Drizzle from Stephanie’s Kitchen

Better Than Starbucks Lemon Pound Cake from Dozen Flours

Glazed Lemon Cakes from Taste & Tell Blog

Lemon Pound Cake with Warm Blueberry Sauce, Citrus Sables, & Lemon-Drenched Lemon Cake from Joy the Baker

Lemon Cheesecake Bars from Lolly Chops (guest recipe)

I've actually tried the Lemon Pound Cake (without the blueberry sauce) from Joy the Baker. It was delicious! I also found this simple recipe (I can't remember where) for a great Lemon Glaze:

Combine 1 cup powder sugar and 1 tbs. + 3 tsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice. Pour on top of a cake or cupcakes.

If you don't like things too tart, you might substitute milk for some of the lemon juice.

Image via here

Different Drummers, NPM

Different Drummers
Excerpted from Please Understand Me II
By: David Keirsey

If I do not want what you want, please try not to tell me that my want is wrong. Or if I believe other than you, at least pause before you correct my view.
Or if my emotion is less than yours, or more, given the same circumstances, try not to ask me to feel more strongly or weakly.
Or yet if I act, or fail to act, in the manner of your design for action, let me be.
I do not, for the moment at least, ask you to understand me. That will come only when you are willing to give up changing me into a copy of you.
I may be your spouse, your parent, your offspring, your friend, or your colleague. If you will allow me any of my own wants, or emotions, or beliefs, or actions, then you open yourself, so that some day these ways of mine might not seem so wrong, and might finally appear to you as right- for me. To put up with me is the first step to understanding me. Not that you embrace my ways as right for you, but that you are no longer irritated or disappointed with me for my seeming waywardness. And in understanding me you might come to prize my differences from you, and, far from seeking to change me, preserve and even nurture those differences.

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
-Henry David Thoreau

The Day is Done, NPM

This was Friday's poem of the day. I had it all ready to post, but I didn't have time because I was finishing a cake (which I will post about later). It's now or never, so, here it is...

The Day is Done
By: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is done, and the darkness
Falls from the wings of Night,
As a feather is wafted downward
From an eagle in his flight.
I see the lights of the village
Gleam through the rain and the mist,
And a feeling of sadness comes o'er me
That my soul cannot resist:
A feeling of sadness and longing,
That is not akin to pain,
And resembles sorrow only
As the mist resembles the rain.
Come, read to me some poem,
Some simple and heartfelt lay,
That shall soothe this restless feeling,
And banish the thoughts of day.
Not from the grand old masters,
Not from the bards sublime,
Whose distant footsteps echo
Through the corridors of Time.
For, like strains of martial music,
Their mighty thoughts suggest
Life's endless toil and endeavor;
And to-night I long for rest.
Read from some humbler poet,
Whose songs gushed from his heart,
As showers from the clouds of summer,
Or tears from the eyelids start;
Who, through long days of labor,
And nights devoid of ease,
Still heard in his soul the music
Of wonderful melodies.
Such songs have power to quiet
The restless pulse of care,
And come like the benediction
That follows after prayer.
Then read from the treasured volume
The poem of thy choice,
And lend to the rhyme of the poet
The beauty of thy voice.
And the night shall be filled with music
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.

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Easter Weekend

Easter has come and gone, and I know this is a little late, but I thought I'd share with you how I spent my Easter weekend.

I was director of our church Easter play this year. We've been practicing since the beginning of February. Friday night (the 10th) was our last practice, and Saturday and Sunday night (the 11th & 12th) was the actual play. We had a great time, and all of our hard work was evident in the cast's portrayal of the Easter story.

After the play Saturday night, a group of us went into town to eat (our church is "in the country" about 15 minutes from "town"). When we got home from eating, around 11:30 p.m., my sister Carol declares that she is going to dye Easter eggs.

So, me, Shawn, Carol & Ricky stay up until after 1 a.m. dying Easter eggs like a bunch of kids. We had a good time, though I didn't think any of us were going to get up for church that morning!

Easter Sunday morning we went to church. After church, the kid's had an egg hunt and candy rain. They long ago stopped letting us older "kids" hunt for Easter eggs and participate in the candy rain, but this year they had an overabundance of candy. So, they let us in on the candy rain. I got hit in the head a few times, but it was fun!

Later in the day, me, Shawn, Carol & Ricky went to visit my grandparents. My Grandaddy will will be 90 years old on the 27th. I never grow tired of visits with him. He can tell the same story over and over and over again, but they still bring a smile to my face.
That evening when Shawn and I were going to church, we saw this fellow:Shawn said it was a wild pig. When I got out of the car to take his picture, he looked up at me, then ran behind a tree before I could get a better picture.

That was my Easter weekend. All in all it was a great weekend!

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod, NPM

Two out of the three poems I have posted this week I first heard on a movie. That is also the case with today's poem. This is the poem that Mrs. Wilson recited to Dennis on the "Dennis the Menace" movie. I remember sitting in front of the TV and rewinding that part over and over until I got all of the words down. Then I memorized it, and sometimes when I couldn't fall asleep at night, I would recite it to myself. I've since discovered that there are two more verses that I have yet to learn.

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod
By: Wendy A. Lawson

Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod, one night sailed off in a wooden shoe;
Sailed off on a river of crystal light into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going and what do you wish?" the old moon asked the three.
"We've come to fish for the herring fish that live in this beautiful sea.
Nets of silver and gold have we," said Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song as they rocked in the wooden shoe.
And the wind that sped them all night long ruffled the waves of dew.
Now the little stars are the herring fish that live in that beautiful sea;
"Cast your nets wherever you wish never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three - Winkin', and Blinkin', and Nod.

So all night long their nets they threw to the stars in the twinkling foam.
'Til down from the skies came the wooden shoe bringing the fisherman home.
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed as if it could not be.
Some folks say 'twas a dream they dreamed of sailing that misty sea.
But I shall name you the fisherman three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

Now Winkin' and Blinkin' are two little eyes and Nod is a little head.
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies is a wee one's trundle bed.
So close your eyes while mother sings of the wonderful sights that be.
And you shall see those beautiful things as you sail on the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

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The Great Tollipop Giveaway (Closed)

If you have never been to this blog, you must go today. It’s one of my most favorites, one that I visit quite often. Kirsten is so talented, and her talent shines through her beautiful pictures & words.
Last year Kirsten launched a quest to create one hundred dresses and one hundred stories to go with them. You can read about it here.
Now, in celebration of the one year anniversary of her blog, she is having a wonderful giveaway! The winner will receive three (3!) original Tollipop paintings framed (in pretty blue frames) and ready to hang!
AND, there will also be three (3) additional prizes for three lucky winners: an adorable Tollipop locket (made by Polarity) plus a Tollipop print of each winner's choice. That makes four prizes in all!

Head on over there before Friday, April 17th and enter this grand giveaway.

Slow Fade

This is one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite groups. The song is Slow Fade by Casting Crowns.

Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
For the Father up above is looking down in love.
Oh be careful little eyes what you see.
We used to sing this little song in Sunday school when I was a little girl. I like how this group took a simple children's song and used it to tell us what we (should) already know, that things don't just happen in an instant or overnight. The things we do every day, no matter how small, will eventually lead to something bigger. It's up to each of us individually to control every thought, every word and every action. We must think about how our thoughts, words and actions may affect others and ourselves. We may think that what we do now has no impact on anything else, but as the song says: People never crumble in a day.

Think about it...

Our Deepest Fear, NPM

One of my favorite poems is actually an excerpt from "A Return To Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles" by Marianne Williamson. These words are so true. We should remember these words each day.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.
We are all meant to shine, as children do.
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson, Return to Love

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I Carry Your Heart- NPM

This is another one of my favorite poems. This poem became popular after it was used on the movie In Her Shoes (a wonderful movie starring Cameron Diaz & Toni Collette). I admit, I had never read or heard this poem until watching this movie, but since then, it has been a favorite of mine. I read it not long ago at a friend's wedding. It's a nice poem for a wedding or just to give to someone you love.

I Carry Your Heart
by E. E. Cummings

I carry your heart with me.
I carry it in my heart.
I am never without it.
Anywhere I go, you go, my dear.
And whatever is done by only me...
is your doing, my darling.
I fear no fate... for you are my fate, my sweet.
I want no world, for, beautiful...
you are my world, my true.
Here is the deepest secret no one knows.
Here is the root of the root... and the bud of the bud...
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life...
which grows higher than the soul can hope... or mind can hide.
It is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.
I carry your heart. I carry it in my heart.

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National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month (NPM). According to

National Poetry Month is a month-long, national celebration of poetry established by the Academy of American Poets. The concept is to widen the attention of individuals and the media—to the art of poetry, to living poets, to our complex poetic heritage, and to poetry books and journals of wide aesthetic range and concern. We hope to increase the visibility and availability of poetry in popular culture while acknowledging and celebrating poetry’s ability to sustain itself in the many places where it is practiced and appreciated.

Go visit this site to find out more about NPM. You will also find FAQ's, how you can support NPM, how you can become more involved and much more.

Since poetry is one of my favorite things, each day this week I'm going to post one of my favorite poems. Today's poem is one of my favorites and has been for some time:

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and IC
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

In Another Time

Sometimes I wish I would’ve
been born in a different time.
I absolutely love the clothes they wore on TV shows like
I Love Lucy and movies like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,
Sabrina & My Fair Lady (those hats…I loved them!).
I would like to have lived
in the time when hats were
part of a woman’s everyday wardrobe.
These fashions from the 50’s—
the fitted tops and flowing skirts or dresses,
the fitted tops and straight skirts, hats & gloves—are so beautiful.
These ladies have plenty of style.
These styles are so feminine.
Why can't we dress like this today?
Images via

My Favorite Actress

This beautiful lady is my favorite actress. From 1929 to 1993, Audrey Hepburn was the epitome of true beauty. Part of her beauty came from the outside, as she was a very beautiful woman. Even more so amazing was the type of person she was. In 1988 she became a UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador. She considered this the most important role in her life. This is a woman who had it, fortune, fame (she made over 25 movies)...yet she believed that helping others was the most important thing.

We can all take a lesson from this beautiful lady. We should always consider the less fortunate and help those in need. As Audrey once said,

"I feel so strongly that's where it all starts, with kindness. What a different world this could be if everyone lived by that."

Audrey was also an an amazing actress. In 1953 she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as Princess Anne in Roman Holiday. For more about Audrey: Marta over at this blog has a special section dedicated to Audrey Hepburn labeled Audrey Says, or Audrey words. Each post has a picture of the actress and a quote by her. Go check it out, and don't forget to show a little kindness to the next person you meet. It just might make their day!