I have written and re-written this blog post a hundred times in my head and it never sounds right. Bo Johnson, the 13 year old boy that taught a community to love, ended his battle with cancer on Friday as he passed from this life into the next. If anyone had a right complain, and draw into himself out of misery, it was Bo. But he didn't do that. He rallied his town, and his county, and people from all over the world together in a mission for kindness and goodness. He said, " “Love each other, help each other, have your neighbor's back. If you see someone in need — even a stranger — reach out and help. This world can be a better place if we care and help each other.” A fund was set up for Bo's family to help cover the soaring medical costs of his cancer treatment. As his battle drew to a close, he asked that the funds be used to help others. Among other small, but thoughtful acts, he wanted to take food to the nurses in the hospital where he had stayed, to purch

The Artist and The Canvas -- Jill Wettstein (GO BO!)

Cookies are more than just butter and sugar (and obviously eggs and flour.)  It's the way they are put together.  A beautiful card is more than the paper and ink used to create it.  Cakes and breads and crafts and homes and even people are more than the things that make them up. They are art. WE are art. And if I remember anything from 4th grade art appreciation (besides the unhappy outcome of mixing slanted desks, an open jar of paint, and a brand new dress) it is that art should be ENJOYED. And it should be appreciated and explored and apparently it should also serve as material for pop quizzes. I don't know about you all, but where cookies are concerned, I'm super good at the ENJOYING THEM part. I love making them and eating them and giving them away and looking at them and talking about them and thinking about them and drawing them and dreaming about them. I'm also especially skilled at the APPRECIATING THEM part. I have selflessly given up many h

Pumpkin Cutter Cherries

Is there a subtle way to tell people that you are overly obsessed with making cookies and spend all hours of the day and night baking and decorating and dreaming of cookies? I kind of feel like maybe I need to come with a warning label. You know, like, "Warning -- will speak in cookie." or "Don't talk to me while I am telling you how adorable your baby is because secretly I'm trying to memorize that FANTASTIC pattern on their tiny little shirt so I can recreate it in sugar form later this week."  Let's be honest. Cookies are a big part of my life. I buy the "big sugar" and enough flour to bake a two-story play fort for my children out of gingerbread....on a weekly basis. I panic when I have less than 2 bags of powdered sugar. We got a package in the mail today. My son asked if it was cookie cutters. (It was.) He said he knew that it was because *I* was holding it. Apparently, the only packages I get are cookie cutters. My s

No Icing Jack-O-Lantern Cookies

  On this exact day last year, I had already posted ELEVEN Halloween cookie posts (and 3 general Fall-ish type posts.) I was making Halloween cookies in August . I'm trying to hold back this year. Mostly because I'm superficial and I care what other people think and I really, really, really don't want to be the weird kid on the playground that nobody wants to play with because they are trying to convince all the other kids that they are The Master Dreamer and that everyone else is just a pawn of their imagination. And by that I mean....IS there such a thing as too many Halloween cookie posts? Because, I'm gonna tell you right now that I LOVE HALLOWEEN COOKIES!! They are by far my most favorite kind of cookies to make. I could make them year round. I *might* have made them year round already. I do not know why I like Halloween so much. Its kind of a scary holiday. Its like an unwritten Halloween rule that you're supposed to scare someone. But not little k

Easy Outline Pumpkins

I think I have a defective "dress gene." I hate wearing dresses. There. I said it out loud. It is true and I am no longer ashamed to admit it.  My daughter will choose to wear a dress every time she is given the chance. She even chooses dresses instead of pajamas if we give her the choice. We don't give her that choice anymore. She likes to dance and spin around and watch her dress get all flowy and girly and spinny-outy around her. She is two. And she chooses dresses. It's like she's a grown-up. She's not, by the way. Weren't you listening? I just told you she is two.   My neighbors really are grown ups though. Actual lawn mowing, car driving, house painting, and going to the bank type grown-ups. And they are not defective. They wear dresses all the time. ALL. THE. TIME. It's quite amazing really, to watch them work a dress into every occasion. Grocery shopping? Check. Going to lunch? Check. Phone plan-re charging and hair cut getting? Ch

Stitched Pumpkins (SHOW ME Your Photo Set-Up)

Since I moved off the 5th floor and into a real-live ground floor house, I have had to make some adjustments in my daily life. First, I had to stop thinking that people were flying every time they moved past my front windows. Second, I have accepted the fact that my children can jump on-to and off-of every single piece of furniture we own and our neighbors still can't hear them. I have successfully  become accustomed to turning the water on in the kitchen sink with my hand, like a barbarian, instead of stepping on the floor sensor.  I have yet to come up with a fantastic photo "studio" arrangement though.   Right now, I take pictures in my back yard. Right next to a moldy ol' shed. (Can we talk about this? My shed is METAL. How does that grow mold? Also, during the typhoon, my fence started growing mushrooms. Sideways. And they were neon orange. Please tell me they won't kill me just by looking at them.) So, seriously, a moldy ol' shed, a weathered ol&#

Ghost Cauldron -- Cookies and Cards

I've been keeping a secret squished up inside of me for about 29 hours now. Its about to come tumbling out, and I can't stop it. Okay, look -- promise me that you won't tell my son I told you. At least, promise me that you won't go searching out my son when he's 14 years old and tell him that I told you this. Because if he doesn't think I'm "un-cool" by that age, then this complete violation of mother-son trust would definitely do it. As my stressed out ramblings from earlier in the week indicated, my oldest son started kindergarten this week. As soon as he comes home each day, I basically force him to tell me about every second of his day since he left my sight. I've already had him describe the bus route, the hallways, the lunchroom, gym class, his teachers, the kids at the playground and the bulletin board outside the classroom. The first day he came home he told me that he tried broccoli at lunch and that he liked it . The second d