Modern Handmade Child

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Points2Ponder By Alan P. Scaglione

Jett and his Nano Easter Weekend 2011
My two new favorite words may not make sense at first, but for those grandparents out there…they are priceless. They are uttered by a 21 month old cherubic little boy as he runs around in circles, not concerned that he is not going anywhere and that the circle keeps getting smaller each time he makes a lap around. No, this little boy is just so filled with the joy of playing with his cousin Mykai, he calls him Kai!, and with being almost caught each time he makes a lap. He is giggling, shrilling “Wee!”at the top of his lungs, looking back to make sure Kai has not caught him and looking forward to make sure he doesn’t get caught the other way!
And then he stops, mid-lap, mid-run-around-the-circle and says those words…”Nano… Huggies!” He lifts up his arms and waits for me to pick him up, he wraps his little arms around my neck, hugs me so tight, resting his head in the nape of my neck…and then releases and fidgets his way out of my arms, back to the floor, back to running from his cousin Kai, back to screaming “Wee!” each time he runs around the living room.
Rinse and Repeat!
POINTS2PONDER  Why do we look for “things” to entertain us, to hold our attention, to captivate us—paying a lot of money to be swept away when… it’s the “little” things that bring us the “greatest” joy!
I found out from our resident toddler interpreter, Jett’s mom Kim, Huggies means Hold Me! I didn’t care what the literal translation was, each time he would stop in his tracks, look up and say, “Nano…Huggies!” I got this sweet sense of perfect memory being made! And it didn’t matter that he did this about 20 times that night—each Huggie was as good as the last and as perfect as the first!
And you thought he was asking to have his diaper changed?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"I'm Just Sayin" by Alan P. Scaglione

Macie and her Nano coloring Easter eggs!
“I’m Just Sayin’”

by Alan P. Scaglione

Easter morning. Means so many things to so many people. It’s the one day many people get dressed up and go to church. Why? Because your Mother requires it! She wants to see her kids in Church on Easter as a family! That’s what she wants, and we all know, if Mama’s happy, we’re all happy!

But does it mean more than just making Mama happy? Is it more than just sitting on a pew? More than tolerating a church service? More than that obligatory family picnic? The Easter egg hunt with all the kids? The family feeling that comes from all of those you know and love coming together, at this time of year, and sharing a moment like this…Easter with the family!

But it is more than all of that! It’s the day we as Christians, this Christian country of ours, that is tolerant and respectful and embracing of others and their right to believe something else…

But it’s our day to celebrate the greatest gift anyone could receive. It’s the day when we as Christians stand up and give praise to our Lord and Savior who gave the greatest sacrifice—His Life! Jesus Christ came to this earth and always knew…He would be asked to give the ultimate sacrifice—His life! He knew why! We needed HIM! To make that ultimate sacrifice so He could provide us with the opportunity to accept His gift, so freely given, so we could be saved from our intended future and instead, accept the future with Heaven as our goal and peace and joy and love—all because we accept His gift—His life for ours! What a gift!

So…not politically correct…possibly offensive to some, but…if ever there is a time when Christians should stand up unapologetically and say, “He is Risen from the Dead! Christ our Savior is Alive forevermore!”

It is NOW!! Not a time when we need to water down the message, apologize for what we believe, asking others to understand it’s just how we believe, as if what we believe is not worth believing!

We still live in America, a God fearing, God serving, God loving CHRISTIAN COUNTRY where we Christians do not need to apologize for what we believe OR WHO we believe in! His Name is JESUS-King of Kings!

If ever there is a time when America needs to celebrate Easter, it is NOW! In times like these, We need a Savior! We need to recognize-- without our Lord and Savior, we are not a Christian country! BUT we ARE a Christian country! At least, we used to be!

It was His blood, His life, His body, hanging on a cross, between two thieves, the Son of God, the Lamb that takes away the sins of the World—had mercy on us and said,

“FATHER, Forgive them for they know not what they do!” And, He gave up the ghost, and… For you, for me… He died!

But the best part is…on the third day, with angels standing at the tomb to attest,”He who you seek is not here- He is Risen from the Dead!”

The Word Proclaims in Luke 24:

1 Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.

2 And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.

3 And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.

4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

5 And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them,” Why seek ye the living among the dead?

6 He is not here, but HE is Risen!”

So today, on Easter…as a Christian country, One Nation Under God, boldly take my hand and proclaim,

“He is Risen! Jesus is Alive forevermore!”

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Bunny Cake Fun for the little ones to help make and decorate

Ahhh the annual Easter Bunny cake :) so easy to make and the kids just love it. I made this for my boys every year while they were growing up and Josh still expect to see it on the Easter table and I imagine he will see another one this year and be able to start the tradition with his sweet Isabella who will celebrate her first Easter this year.  Enjoy!

Borrowed from the internet however mine is decorated the same way.


1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix (carrot cake is really yummy here however, you can use whatever flavor you love)
3 3/4 cups flaked coconut
Gel food coloring to color you coconut
1- 2 (16 ounce) package vanilla frosting
30 small jellybeans
4 red licorice


Heat oven and prepare two 9 inch round baking pans as directed on cake box. Prepare cake batter with as directed on package. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake and cool cake as directed on package.

When cooled, place one whole 9 inch cake layer on serving tray, forming the bunny's head. Cut 2 convex shaped ears from each side of the second layer, place on each side of head to form ears. Use concave shaped piece for the bowtie, place about 1/2 inch below head.

Frost entire bunny covering top and sides of bunny. Pat remaining 3 1/4 cup coconut evenly over top and sides. Decorate the bunny face and bowtie with jellybeans and use the licorice to make whiskers. You can tint the coconut and use to decorate per the pic as well.
Start a new tradition at your home this year and make a memory!

Points2Ponder by Alan P. Scaglione

At first glance, he was someone I would cross the street on the other side as soon as I saw him coming my way. That typical thug look. Silver chains, hat sideways, pants down to a place that HAD to be uncomfortable, mouth full of gold teeth! That thug! At my pool! Did NOT expect that.

But I stayed, and I listened, then I opened my eyes, and I looked, then-my eyes really opened and, I saw!

Here he was, with his two little girls, about 3 and 5, a couple of flotation devices, on a beautiful April afternoon, 75 degrees, sun overhead, wind blowing.. Spring in full bloom.

And he was yelling "Go Tasha, you can do it, Daddy believes in you, you can swim…my baby is learning to swim… I am so proud of my Tasha, my baby girl is swimming! Stay close to the side but...move your arms, stay in the ring, but… you are swimming! My baby is swimming!!

She was elated! She said "Look Daddy, I'm swimming… you taught me! I can swim!!!"

And there it was-the look may be a whole lot different, but, the words, the same as when I taught MY daughters to swim! I was both proud and ashamed at the same time!

POINTS2PONDER: Why do we assume we know a person because of how they look, how they dress, how they walk? What if someone misjudged us? Wouldn't we want them to get to know us first BEFORE judging a book by its cover?

I watched, and I smiled and I reminisced. My baby girls are turning 29 in May...seems like yesterday.

I got my things, got up and started to leave- then I stopped, turned and spoke to Daddy:

"You're a good dad. They will never forget who taught them to swim. I taught my girls just like you did! You are a good dad!"

He was surprised and blushed as I spoke--guess he had misjudged me too?

Then I said, "Enjoy them right now! You will blink, and they will be turning 29, and you will wonder, where'd the time go? And you will be beating those boys with a stick to stay away from your baby girls!"

He laughed and then said, "I'll beat them with a BIG stick -- nobody will be good enough for my little girls! They'll have to come through me first!"
I laughed and thought...that's exactly what I used to say!

Just two dads teaching their girls to swim...twenty-five years apart! But…nothing's changed! Dads still think no one is good enough for little girl!

And I smiled all the way home...cause...some things haven't changed, have they?

My Baby Girls Ashley & Amanda

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

Aunt Ellen and Alan’s Girls: Amanda and Ashley
Loss…We’ve all experienced it; we’ve all dealt with it, some of us better than others. Losing someone you love has a profound effect on you- who you are, who you were, who you will be! That sudden loss of a loved one: that unexpected call in the middle of the night, that senseless accident that took a life too young. We can’t prepare for it, we just react to it all…the shock, the loss, the questions…why? Why now? Why so young? Why didn’t I tell them what I wanted them to know? If only….
But…there’s also the other loss…slow burner loss; they are leaving us, at some point in the future: next year, next Christmas, next birthday. Sometimes, loss comes on slowly, warns you that it’s coming, gives you that chance, that opportunity, that moment…to do, to say, to honor their life… and yet, we don’t!
Why is it so hard to just…accept they will be leaving soon? Why can’t we embrace the joy of their life, the indelible mark they have left on our heart and the unique blessing they are to those they know? Why do we ignore the obvious? It just leads to the worst emotion: regret. Why can’t we pause and say….talk to me about your life?
I have done this twice in my life. My best friend, the sister I never had, Ellen, left us when she was just 42, after her second bout of stomach cancer. She was going to be the Lance Armstrong of Stomach Cancer, until…she wasn’t.  She asked me to perform her funeral because she knew..I knew her best. Ellen asked me to share her life with those who would gather to honor her one last time. She asked me several times, “Is this going to be too hard for you? Should I get someone else?” I would say, “I will do this for you because I will honor you, then…I’ll go home and cry for a week—once it’s over!” and…I did.
So… during the last few months of her life, I interviewed her, determined NOT to assume: I knew her life, her accomplishments, her memories, her favorites—I needed her to tell me her memories!
Wow! The things I learned, the stories I didn’t know, the proud moments she had never shared before, the highlights-the fabric of her life-everything that created her tapestry!
Ten years later, I’m doing it again… with my Aunt Ciria. She’ll be 80 in July…I told her she will make it to that day, even if I have to drag her across the finish line! She laughed and said, “I hope so’”
Our family accepts that someday, she will not be here to tell her story, so…for that moment, she has asked me to tell it for her.
We have been talking, discussing, sharing…the fabric of her life…the stories that are uniquely hers, the memories that make her eyes glisten and the ones that make her eyes water.
 So much I didn’t know; I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, but most of all, I’m sobered that this life of 80 years, well lived and remarkable… soon, may be silent.
And I am the one who is blessed for having the courage to…ask those questions! You know which ones…the hard ones!
So? Who are you slowly losing? Don’t they deserve your attention?  Perhaps one story you may not have heard? Why not help them?  Tell their story!
It’s sad -- Our American society discards our elderly, hiding them away in nursing homes… our faithful forgotten! While other societies honor and cherish their elderly!
The Word says ”Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of one of His saints!” (Psalm 116:15)
Heaven celebrates their arrival; why don’t we celebrate their departure?
Here’s your challenge — Ask those questions—then Tell somebody! They deserve this! A life well lived, for them AND you!
Until next time,
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Points2Ponder by Alan P. Scaglione

We all notice it...anyone who looks different, acts different, talks different...from the norm! We as a society talk a lot about embracing the differences, encouraging diversity, respecting dynamics that make us all unique, until...we are too unique, we stick out, we cause attention to be drawn to us. Then it's not embraced, encouraged or respected--it's noticed!

Point2Ponder: When is different too different? Why do we tell our children to be who they are and then worry that they won't fit in? Why do we allow the world to fit us into their mold, even if there's just no way we can fit! Why do we want our children to be accepted by the IN crowd when the IN crowd is going NOWHERE!!

This is where bullying (verbal, visual and physical) come into play. We may not say it, show it or stress it, but we are just as guilty when we observe it and -- do nothing!

There's a saying that goes: All that is necessary for EVIL to continue is for good men to do nothing!

We say Dare2BDifrnt - but, all we really want belong, be accepted, to be part of the group.

But...The Word says...
We are in this world, but we are NOT of this world!
The Word calls us pilgrims in a strange country!
The old hymn says we are "looking for a city, where we'll never die!"

We should be the people who accept those who do not fit in with the world..
because we should not fit in either...if we do, isn't there a Bigger problem? time you see someone with a unicorn on their head...let them know...they can swim with you!

Dare2BDifrnt See this Unicorn Fish? His Mama’s Proud of Him! That’s Her BOY!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mondays Recipe....Breakfast Pizza

This recipe is for a pizza I put together the other night for Joshua and he just loved it so I thought I would share with all of you. It is great for breakfast as the name implies or wonderful for brunch or dinner as well. Serves 4 very hungry people or six not so hungry folks.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degree
Ingredients needed:
1 Pillsbury pizza crust (or yu can make your own if you like)
2 1/2 cups fresh or left over sausage gravy
1 cup chopped crispy fried bacon
2 cups Mozzarella cheese shredded
6 eggs scrambled and cooked

Place pizza dough on large baking sheet and use a fork to poke little holes all over it then pre-bake for 5 minutes and remove from oven.

Layer ingredients onto the pizza dough in the following order:
Sausage gravy
scrambled eggs
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for an additional 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown. Remove and let cool slightly for cheese to set then cut into squares and serve. This would also be wonderful with fresh tomatoes on top and onion and green peppers cooked with the eggs for a bit of a different taste.

This will be a family favorite and is so easy to throw together especially if you have left over breakfast gravy.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

I'm Just Sayin by Alan P. Scaglione

 Aww..the perfect day! Picture it: St.Augustine, March 19th, spring time weather, 70 degrees, full sun, breeze in the air, just walking through the old city district, me and my best girl. Just Perfect! Walking down the main drag of the city, we pass a side street; and I stop dead in my tracks! What did I just see? I back up…Bella, my girl,  keeps walking. Note to reader: I am forever stopping to catch a second look, my lovely wife, not so much! So…I back up and….there it is! My pot of gold at the end of the rainbow…and wouldn’t you know it? There he is…my full grown, very tall, slightly overweight Leprechaun!! And…he’s singing!! In the middle of the side street!I guess I DID see what I thought I saw! I found my Lucky Charm!
So what do I do next? Wait for it…if you know me personally, you know what I did! I followed the singing!
Walked right up to that full grown, slightly overweight, wearing his very own lucky charm Kelly green uniform—my very own Leprechaun! And he’s still singing… O Danny Boy!!
Apparently, my Lucky Charm is singing for donations, and..get this! That pot-o-gold… is where we put the donations!
That’s not fair! I found the leprechaun—that’s MY pot-o-gold!
And--he’s taking requests! Now this is my kinda leprechaun!
He’s still singing O Danny Boy as I walk toward him…”O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling!” – note to self- this leprechaun can sing!
A young couple asks him to sing Amazing Grace! Without missing a beat, he starts singing….
So? What do I do?? Come on…you know Brother “A” by now…not a spectator, stand on the side line kinda guy…not me!
I walk right up, put my arm around my Leprechaun…and join him, singing as loud as I always sing, in the middle of St. Augustine, on a pristine spring day “Amazing Grace, How Sweet the Sound…!”
And Lucky Charms? Doesn’t skip a beat- he smiles real big, puts his arm around me and belts…”that saved a wretch like me!”
Here I am, arm in arm, singing Amazing Grace with a leprechaun! You just had to be there! Well? I could have shown you a picture, but…my perfect wife—not a picture taker!
She was at the end of the street--cracking up laughing, shaking her head with that look that says: “my husband! always gonna Make A joyful Noise, No matter where he is OR who he’s with—even a leprechaun!”
And she’s right!
Psalm 100 says … “Make a joyful noise, unto the Lord, all ye lands! Come before His presence with Singing!”
That’s what it says, right? I gotta obey the Word, right? RRRiiigggghhhhttttt….every time!
When’s the last time YOU Made a Joyful Noise Unto the Lord???? Doesn’t He deserve your praise? Even on a cobblestone side street in St. Augustine, arm in arm...with a Leprechaun???
And the answer will always be...YES!!! He deserves my Praise Wherever I am…even standing next to a funny guy collecting donations in a Kelly green suit, belting out O Danny Boy!
Just so you know…I passed by that street again last weekend…thinking maybe just maybe, my lucky charm would be there; but alas, he was gone!
Did I dream this all up? Nah…I’ve got the picture to prove it!
Until next time,
I’m Just Sayin’…
Brother “A”

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Points2Ponder by Alan P. Scaglione

Well....It's About Time
The Best News--All 3 in Reasonable Range!
I had my nuclear stress test today. It's the big picture to tell how my heart is really recovering from the heart attack almost 2 years ago. I had to have chemicals placed in my IV and for four minutes...WOW! my head felt like it was 3 times its size, like I was a hydrosyphallic; my throat closed up tight; I became lightheaded; I got a little numb; I was suddenly fatigued and hot! The longest 4 minutes of my life! But, it was worth it! Once it was over...within a minute, I was back to my old self...what a ride! almost as good as the roller coasters I can't ride anymore!

Point2Ponder: Why do we dread the work to get to the result we want so much? It may be a 4 minute chemically induced roller coaster ride...just to hear...good news!

I came back an hour later, and spent 12 minutes 50 seconds in an MRI while they took pics of my heart!

Then...I waited...

You know...I have always established a rapport with my nurse and techs...they are the backbone of the medical industry and will give you info if they like you...Paula, the tech, liked me..

She checked the 3 sections of the test and said, "The Doctor will give you the official word, but in the 3 areas that we check for, you are in reasonable range in all three!! It all looks good!"

That 4 minute chemical roller coaster...worth the trip...the pay off was just exceptional!!

Thanks be to God...the healer of my heart!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I'm Just Sayin! By Alan P. Scaglione

                                                          Alan's Kids..His Greatest Joys!

“I’m Just Sayin’”

by Alan P. Scaglione

Disappointments. We’ve all had them. Just live a few years, and something is bound to disappoint you. You have expectations for a certain outcome, you get your hopes up that it will turn out your way, you make plans depending on it unfolding like you want, and BAM! It does NOT! And, you’re disappointed… in the outcome, in the result, in others, in yourself. Just disappointed with life.

It’s not having disappointments that change your life; it’s HOW you handle the disappointments! That’s the game changer!

Some of them are as easy as work situations. Job is not turning out like you hoped? No problem, just find another job! Problem solved. Well, not so much in today’s economy…any job is better than no job, so…you may just need to suck it up and deal with it. We don’t want to lose our jobs.

Then there are the other disappointments. The ones involving our loved ones. They used to say, “you only hurt the ones you love!” That’s because… you expect the most out of the ones you love…and therefore, you are most vulnerable for them to disappoint you. Only they know what you really want, and… sometimes, they are the ones who deprive you of that one thing. Consequently, it leads to disappointment.

But…does disappointment have to lead to disillusionment? That depends totally on you!

How you choose to deal with disappointment will determine what comes next: do you control the situation or does the situation control you?

Consider what you can really do about someone else’s actions? Not much. They choose their actions, just like you choose yours.

And…you choose your RE-action!

And our children can bring us the biggest disappointments along with the greatest joys!

I was recently disappointed in the actions of one of my children. Their actions were not bringing me any joy. I had to make a choice. How would I RE-act?

I remembered this scripture that helped my decision: “For we know that all things work together for good, to them that love God!” Romans 8:28a

And I reset my RE-action with the recognition that…It’s all in God’s hands and…in the end, it will work out for the good! Because I love the Lord!

Think about the things that have disappointed you? Have you reminded yourself that…”all things work together love God!”

See… it’s not the absence of disappointment that indicates a successful life…it’s HOW we deal with the disappointment! That decides success!

Whether it’s a small disappointment or a big one, how you choose to respond…to RE-act…

Your decision will determine if your disappointment leads to disillusion and controls you instead of…you controlling it!

And remember…when we love God…no one promised us a life spared of disappointment, but a God who will love us through the disappointment.

And He will turn it all for Good…because, that’s what He does for those He loves…

I wonder how many times we’ve disappointed Him? And yet, He still loves us.

Guess that’s the great example for us when we get disappointed …we love in spite, we love because… God loves us!

Until next time,

I’m Just Sayin’…

Brother “A”