Amber Alert

The Ultimate Blog Party - Let's Party

Welcome to All Things Cherished!

My Brief Introduction

I am: a single mother, a foster mother, a college graduate, a Master's of Education candidate, a feminist, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a heterosexual, a lover and owner of Chihuahuas, a lover and previous owner of Cocker Spaniels, eclectic, sassy, unique, allergic to milk, an Internet addict, a Christian, a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, a counselor, a teacher, a kid at heart, an adult, a woman, a female, a sexual assault survivor, someone working to prevent sexual assault, a chocoholic, a book lover, a scrapbook artist, a photographer, German, Welsh, American, 5'1", a blog junkie, a Christmas fanatic, an advocate for children, supporter of education, a crime show watcher, a hopeful writer . . . I am ME.

My Long Introduction

I'm Storm (my middle name) and I am a single Mother. I also have to earn some money to support my family so I am a Supervisor and Consultant for Usborne Books, Sales Consultant for Memory Works, Educational Advocate and Consultant, as well as the owner of two home businesses -- DawnLyn's Designs and Litz's Business Services.

I am a single mother to three wonderful children: (1.) Cameron, my son, 10 going on 11 in four weeks, is disabled (bipolar/ADHD/ODD/OCD/Sensory Integration Disorder/speech problems) and is very generous with his heart and very loyal to his family and friends. He's such a handsome young man. (2.) Cassandra, my daughter, 7, going-on-15, is gifted, beautiful, smart, and sassy. Cassandra has severe asthma and chronic bronchitis, and is learning French. (3.) Renee, 9, is my foster daughter, who is also disabled (FAE, borderline Mild Retardation; Adjustment Disorder; still doing testing & evaluations to determine disability), is shy, quiet, and sweet.

Champ, a Chihuahua, 1, is living with friends at the moment. Baby, a Chihuahua, approximately 2, is a stray and the newest member of the Litz family.

More About Me

I have always enjoyed writing as a creative outlet and hope to publish a novel some day of the antics of my life. I don't think I am artistic but do feel I am creative; hence, my love of scrapbooking and Christmas decorating.

I am passionate about health and safety issues as they relate to my family, especially concerning mental health issues and protecting children's rights -- which is why I am an Educational Advocate and Consultant.
In my past life I was a special education teacher, a elementary education teacher, a community college teacher, a drug & alcohol rehabilitation counselor, a vocational counselor, a pregnancy counselor, a therapist, an administrative specialist in the Army, an intelligence specialist in the Army, a TSS (therapeutic service specialist), a BSC (behavioral specialist consultant), and much more.

To learn more about my love of scrapbooking, go to 365 Days of Memories.
To learn more about my love of Christmas, go to 365 Days of Christmas.
To learn more about getting organized, go to 365 Days of Organization.

The Party

Welcome to my cherished life.

When I host a party, at home or online, I serve . . . pizza rolls with several types of sauces, various flavors of chips with dill dip, chocolate chip cookies, cocktail meatballs & wieners, and tortilla chips with taco dip.

Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2-1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter or margarine
1/2 c shortening
1 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 c granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 12-oz. package (2 c) chocolate chips -- I usually add more than this.

Stir together flour, soda, and salt. In a mixer bowl, beat butter and shortening on medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugars and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well. Add dry ingredients to beaten mixture, beating until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Drop from a teaspoon 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375* oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Makes about 60.

Cocktail Meatballs

1 lb ground beef/chuck
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/3 c finely chopped onions
1/4 c milk
1 Tbsp parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/8 tsp pepper
1 egg
1/4 c shortening

1 10-oz. ketchup
1 10-oz. grape jelly

Mix ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, milk, parsley, salt, Worcestershire sauce, pepper, and egg. Shape into 1” balls. Cook meatballs in shortening in 12” skillet until brown. Remove and drain excess fat. Heat 1-10 oz bottle ketchup and 1-10 oz jar grape jelly in skillet, stir constantly till jelly is melted. Add meatballs and stir until coated. At this point you can put into a crockpot on low. Simmer 30 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 5 dozen.


I have prizes to share each of the blogs (listed above).

Here, at All Things Cherished, the prize is an awesome journal you share with your child. Pillow Talk is a creative way to communicate with your child. Got a secret to share, some admiration to express, or a word of thanks for a job well done? Why not put it in writing? On the pages of Pillow Talk, you'll find 100 relationship building questions for you and your child to answer. In today's world of virtual communication, give your kids the real deal. Something tangible they can see and touch and look at again and again, whenever they want to feel connected with you. The journal is an awesome way to bond with your child(ren) and I am so happy to be able to give one to a lucky winner.

If you are interested in Pillow Talk, please a comment as to why you are interested in receiving this prize.

At 365 Days of Memories, the prize is a four-pack of handmade cards. I love scrapbooking and paper-crafting. Recently, I have gotten some very nice compliments on my cards. I am excited to give one lucky winner a pack of four cards for various occasions and holidays.

At 365 Days of Christmas, the prize is a lovely, hardcover book titled The Heart & Home of Christmas by Karla Dornacher. Artist Karla Dornacher celebrates the Christmas season with her first holiday title. Page after cozy page features her signature artwork with its warm and home-style feel, along with her gentle words of inspiration. I love this book and am so excited to be able to share it with one lucky winner.

At 365 Days of Organization, the prize is a high-quality, full-color planner. You have a choice of one planner from primary age through high-school aged children or adults. The dates are from July 2009 through June 2010 so, of course, they are current calendars. There are quotes and other misc. information included. I am happy to be able to share two planners with two lucky winners.

Thanks for stopping by.

71 cherished words:

Brandi said...

I love your introduction! I am awed by your strength everytime I read your blog! Thanks for the chance at winning Pillow talk! The reason I would want to win this, is because I have 5 kids. And each child deserves his/her own special time with their parent(s). My daughter loves to read, and since the day she was born I have written a letter a year in her scrapbook. This would be an excellent way for me and her to get to know each other better (and then I'll have to purchase 4 more for the other kids!)

Trish said...

Wow, the UBP post isn't even up yet and I'm already finding great blogs, and bloggers! This journal would be a wonderful way to interact more deeply with my seven year old son, who has autism. Having something visual is such a help to encouraging communication.

The American Homemaker said...

Hi! I used to host Usborne book parties when my kids were younger just for the free books :) We loved them.

My hubby and stepkids have adhd and other issues, man it's tough to deal with!

Mum-me said...

Sounds like you have a very full life! Have a great blog party week.

The Surrendered Scribe said...

Wow, what a full plate you have! I really appreciate you taking the time to not just blog, but blog well. This site is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your story. Our youngest had severe asthma and hypothyroidism, the asthma stabilized. Not sure if you ever visited Slurping Life blog but she has bio and adopted children with various special needs.

Have a great party week!

Frances said...

What a fantastic post - and blog. Glad I came across it.

I will definitely be stopping by again.

Happy UBP!

Chanin said...

Nice to meet you! Chocolate chip cookies are my absolute favorite! Thanks for the yummy recipe!!!

HappyHermit said...

I love the quote about giving god the eraser !!

Have a Happy Party Day !!

Susie said...

Happy UBP!!! I am a professional blog hopper:-) Nice to meet you!

Jessica said...

Always love getting a new recipe! Nice blog!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Stopping in for the UBP - nice to meet you. I'm an asthmatic, adoptive momma, plus both my daughter and I have sensory processing disorder. (I'm an over-sensitive and she's a sensory-seeker. Which means I am convinced that God has a GREAT sense of humor. Ha ha. Really.)

StacieinAtlanta said...

I am stopping by from The Ultimate Blog Party to say hello and to check out your blog. I am looking forward to a fun week!! :)

Check out the LeapFrog Tag Reader giveaway over at my place!

The Divine Miss Mommy

Alene said...

Girl - you are a busy and interesting lady! Glad you invited me to your party. Hey - are the cookies ready yet?

Anonymous said...

You Go Mom! Prayers for all your business efforts! Party On!

Ashley said...

I'm partying UBP'09! Enjoyed looking around your site!

Brea's Mommy said...

I would love the pillow talk journal it sounds like a great way to bond with your child. Brea is a little young right now, but I would definitely use it!

Fiona said...

Just popped in to say hello on my bloggy tour! Party on!

Nadine said...

What a great intro. I just self published my first novel and I think you should just go for it. You do have a nice flare for writing.

Have fun at all the parties and I hope you can stop by.

Holly said...

What a caring mommy! I love the idea of pillow talk. Hope you have a wonderful bloggy party!

auntrene said...

I have no children of my own, but I have a niece who is 7 who would love the Pillow Talk journal. You sound like the busiest person I have ever met.
I am new to blogging and this is my very first Blog Party, I am having a Blast.
I am Aunt Rene from
I am offering a door prize on my blog also so if you get the chance be sure to stop by. The prize is going to be a Surprise.
Have Fun!!
I am....

HerMedia said...

I have printed out your meatball recipie to give it a shot this week :)

I would also love to be entered to win the pillow talk journal. My children are going through a tough transition right now and this looks like a great way to get my little man talking :)

Happy Blog party -ing.

Manic Mother said...

Happy UBP day! Stop by and say hello.

valerie2350 said...

pillow talk sounds like fun!

The World's Dresser said...

Wow - so glad I stopped by! Great introduction, it was a joy to read about you and your family. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Tina @ Mummified Times Five said...

Happy UBP 09!! :)

kim d said...

Great to meet you, have a fun week! :)

sunnymama said...

Great party post! You sound like a very busy and creative person. Thanks for stopping at my blog :)

Robynn's Ravings said...

Sounds like you really have your hands full but are looking for the blessings and opportunities in everything.

Thanks for participating in the UBP09. Found you there.

I am a mom and humor blog writer. Drop by anytime. :)

Katherine said...

What a wonderful, refreshing and honest profile. :) Have you been tested for lyme disease? Just a thought, I have two close friends with it - very "fibro" kind of symptoms. Happy blog party!

Anonymous said...

Hello! Poppin' in from The Ultimate Blog Party...all the way from Queensland, Australia! G'Day! I hope you have time to visit my party soon.


Julie D said...

Nice to meet you!

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

It's my first time here and I can already sense your courage and strength! Thanks for the party and I invite you to mine, in Dubai!

~Sara said...

Nice to meet you. I love your organization blog! I will be looking into that further!

Have a great weekend and Happy blog hopping!

Super Fun Mama said...

Absolutely the best introduction I've come across. Love it!

Erin said...

Just stopping by to say hi and happy partying! Have a blessed day!

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

you do have a cherished life ! nice to know you - my son is OCD/Sensory Integration Disorder/speech problems as well - party hopping

Relishing Life said...

Wow, Storm! You have three wonderful blessings to fill your life with love! I am definitely going to come back and read more!

I love the idea behind Pillow Talk! Such a wonderful way of sharing between parent and child! And, how much better it is that you take the time to document such exchanges! I would love to share this with my children.

Melanie said...

What a great post of introduction... I'm so happy to meet you! I want to come back soon and get to know you better, so you should see me around sometime soon.

Enjoy the party!

Nicole said...

You are one busy and strong girl!!! I bow down to you :) Happy blogging and have a wonderful weekend!

Lolli said...

I love the fact that you're doing something unique at each of your blogs! Have fun partying this week!
Come stop by my place for a visit!
Life is Sweet

JamericanSpice said...

Nice to meet you!

Talk about a party!

I'm quite intrigued and am learning how to get around!

Just stopping by from 5minutes for moms blog party!

San said...

Hiya from UBP! I love this post! Very informative, AND with my fave - choc chip cookies! Looks delish! :)

Alicia @ The Soft Landing said...

Hi Storm - it's great to meet you! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! BTW, you're not lame for not being a part of Facebook or Twitter - it really can be addictive once you start - so you don't have to be in any hurry :)

janetfaye said...

Hi, happy to meet you!

I love Chocolate Chips cookies!!

blp3 said...

Nice to meet you. Thanks for the party.

Storm said...

Brandi, you are always so kind to me, and I so appreciate your kindness and comments.

I too write an annual letter to my children, Brandi.

Trish, you have my admiration in dealing with a young child who has autism.

I love the quality of Usborne Books. If you ever need any, Angie, please let me know.

Yes, having children with mental health issues, Angie, is a lot of work but it is what God has chosen for me so I try to graciously accept my position.

Yes, Mum-me, I do have a full, eventful life.

Julie, thanks for the kind words about my writing and my blog. Yes, I used to visit Slurping Life regularly but since have had lots of problems with connecting to that site. Bummer.

Frances, thanks for the kind words and look forward to you coming back for another visit.

God has great plans for you and your daughter, Tonggu Momma. You are right God does have a great sense of humor. : )

Alene, thanks for the compliment. Yes, the cookies are ready. Yummo!

Thanks to so many for the kind words about my blog and about me. I hope you all come back to visit again.

I appreciate the encouragement, Nadine. Maybe one of these days I will get the novel completed.

Karrine, you will love the Cocktail Meatballs. Let me know how you like them after you make them.

Yes, Robynn, I do look for the blessings in everything.

I was tested for Lyme Disease. Thanks for the heads up, though, Katherine.

I love that women from all around world have joined the party.

Grace, your kind words are truly appreciated.

Sara, thanks for the kind words about 365 Days of Organization.

The best intro, Candice?! Thanks a bunch!

I sure hope, Katherine and Melanie, you do come back and we get to know each other better.

Nicole, please no bowing. Lol. Thanks for the laugh.

No point in having four blogs (soon to be 5 as I coordinate with another scrapper) having the same topics and themes. I hope you check them all out, Lolli.

Chocolate chip cookies are one of my favorite snacks. Let me know if you try my recipe, San.

Alicia, thanks for letting me know I am not totally lame in not being a part of Twitter or Facebook. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Your introduction was just perfect. I feel like I've just had a crash course on who you are! It's great to "meet" you :)

Melanieshea said...

Love your introduction. Have a great party week.

Tiff said...

Hello there!! Nice to meet you! Thanks for a look inside your life! I really enjoyed reading your introduction!

Storm said...

Alexandra, thanks for the compliments. I'm glad you stopped by.

Thanks, Melanie.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Wow, what a talent for writing! So great to make your acquaintance! I hope you're enjoying the party, I know I am! :)

Cassie said...

stopping by from the UBP...Nice to meet you...

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

So very nice to 'meet' you, Storm! Your introduction spoke volumes on what a wonderful person and great mom you are... ;) I'm looking forward to reading further into your blog... Have a great UBP '09 week! :)

Lisa ~ TheScrapPrincess said...

Hi Storm!
I think I let a comment on one of your other blogs but wanted to stop by here too and shout out a helloooooooo!
Are you enjoying UBP '09 this year? I am - wow there are SO many more blogs to visit.....
I hope you are doing well :) and I hope you win a great prize this year!
TTYS, Lisa

Shelly said...

Hi there! Stopping by on the blog party trail. Hope you're having a good week!

The Dreamer said...

Just mingling at the party and wanted to say hello! I love your writing style and I wish my name was as cool as Storm!

Mrs. Nichole J. said...

Love your blog!
Came in off UBP09!

Keep it up!

Denise said...


I stopped by from the Blog Party. I would LOVE to use the Pillow Talk book with my preteens, I think they would enjoy it too.

Kathy said...

Happy UBP 09!

Natalie said...

Hi, Storm! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and wishing me a happy birthday. It's lovely to meet you! I am in awe of all of the things you have done in your life and continue to do. I got tired (and a complex) just reading about you!

I would love to win Pillow Talk for my son Alec. Although I have 4 children, I think he is the one who would enjoy it most. He is very bright and loves to read. My older son would probably rather talk about motor bikes and the other two are still probably too little. Thank you for the chance to win!

Cascia said...

Just stopping from the UBP and thought I'd say hello! I hope you visit my party post!

Bloggymommy said...

Holy cow we have a lot in common! I have 3 children all with SPD. My oldest has ADD/ADHD and asthma. We also have a Chihuahua that looks very similar to yours. Her name is Princess Chalupa! (Can you tell my daughter named her? lol)

I just wanted to stop by and say hello for the UBP!

Also with your children's sensory issues please know that I have another blog called the SPD Life ( Hope you'll check it out!

Have a great evening! Nice to meet you!

blp3 said...

my grandsons have an appreciation at their young ages, 10 and 8, for journals as well as computers and I know they would enjoy this. They are talented at writing their feelings into a book

Karen@faithfamilyfibro said...

Hi, I am a brand new blogger and really enjoying the party I stumble upon. I was captivated by your story. I am so impressed with your strenth and I know I will receive inspiration from you. I am a mom of 2 kids, a 7yo princess and a 3yo superhero. I was just diagnosed with fibro after 2 years of ongoing medical tests etc. I would love a copy of the journal for my 7 yo. She is a writer. In fact, she just finished a 23 page story for her class and her teacher had to call me and tell me that it was wonderful and it made sense for a first grader. She always needs a little mommy time since I have been sick since her brother was born and it has been so hard to give her the time she needs since it was first the new baby brother and then rght away, my sickness. I know she would be absolutely grateful and excited to receive a journal that we can do together. She would cherish it. Thank you for sharing your story and I am not a follower. Although I am not single and do not have a disabled child, I know I can learn so much for you and be more thankful for what we have. Thank you so much and God bless your family.

Karen@faithfamilyfibro said...

Hi again. I just visited all of your blogs and became a follower of all of them. I am brand new to this and you are such an inspiration to do what you do at home and find the time to do these blogs. Boy, can I learn from you. I was trying to see how to comment on all of them but couldn't figure it out. Yep, I am new. For your giveaways, I already commented on the pillow talk journal but the other gifts are so awesome to. I am a scrapbook wanna be and the cards you made are beautiful and I know anyone would love them when I gave them to them. The calendar is a favorite too. I need help organizing. The worst room seems to be the kitchen. Even though I try to keep rooms organized, it seems that everything gets to the kitchen......the toys, the piles of mail, the counters get so full and now that I can't get down the steps so easy, the kitchen has become mommy central so the computer, anything I do is here. It is driving my hubby crazy. A close second is my 7yo princess' room. There is a cyclone every day in that room and I am at my wit's end trying to figure out how to keep it organized for her so it is easy for her to keep it clean because she has so much stuff and that is her getaway spot. My kids seem to not use the toy room. My daughter wants everything in her room and my son who is 3yo old wants everything at the kitchen table so he can play where mama is. I love your sites and not only can have you as an inspiration but also as a teacher for all the same things I love, my family, scrapbooking for memories, and trying to keep my house organized since I am sick and it would be so much easier for my wonderful husband as he is my housecleaner right now. I am sorry for the lengthy comment but I just have found your blogs to be ones that I love. Thank you so much.

T n' W said...

Just stopping in to say HI from the UBP. Nice intro. I should have done something like that:) I'm new to these blog parties.

mysapce layouts said...

I enjoyed your page. Have fun with the party!

Betty C said...

I'm late to the party as usual, but better late than never. I enjoy your blog and I'll be back when I have more time.

Storm said...

Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

Tiff, thanks for enjoying the look inside my life. : )

Lisa, I appreciate your kind words about my writing.

How sweet of you, Stacy. I look forward to seeing you around the blog.

Hi, Lisa. It's always good to "see" you.

Thanks for the compliment about my name, Dreamer. I think it is pretty cool too. : )

Oh, please, Natalie, no need for a complex. Lol. Thanks for the sweet words.

Yes, Bloggymommy, we do have a lot in common.

Karen, thanks for taking the time to introduce yourself. I am sorry to hear you have fibromyalgia but do know, dear, that it is a livable disease and that you can overcome it. Thank you for becoming a follower of all of my blogs. I appreciate the encouragement. Thank you for your kind words. No apologies are necessary for long comments. I am sorry you had trouble commenting at my other sites. I look forward to getting to know you better.

Betty, no apologies necessary... as you say, better late than never. : )

Anonymous said...

Blog Party Woohoo! Talk about fashionably late, right, sorry. I have been sick which left me in a fog all last week, so I am still trying tomake my rounds. Better late than never I figured. Anyway, hope you had a great week at the UBP. Hope to see you again sometime!

Storm said...

Hi, Mrs. Marine. Better late than never, I say. Welcome to All Things Cherished. I hope you come to visit again soon.

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