Monday, November 29, 2010

November SkyMom Gathering!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 at 7:00pm
Plano, Tx

Tamara Brock shares what M/D Means to her...

Mother Daughter is one of my favorite events we do at Sky Ranch. I love the relationships that are either made or deepened that weekend. It always spurs me to love my mom well and encourages me find opportunities to be intentional with her. I can't thank the mom's enough because they are such incredible examples to me...between carving out an entire weekend just to spend time with their daughter and dancing crazy or doing whatever it takes to bond with them is AWESOME! I know one day when I am a mom I will look back on this weekend and continue to learn from it. 
~Tamara Brock

For all those pairs that want to continue the Pinkapalooza dance party here are a few top hits from that night: 
- Cupid Shuffle by Cupid
- Hoedown Throwdown by Miley Cyrus
- Wavin' Flag by Knaan
- Joyful Noise by Flame
- Ain't No Mountain High Enough by PureNRG
- Baby by Justin Bieber
- Fanatics by 116 Clique

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving ~ 11/25/10

You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. 
You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, 
that I might sing praises to You and not be silent. 
O Lord my God, I will give YOU THANKS forever!
Psalm 30:11-12 

We are all blessed...Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve...means cooking and preparing :)

So, how have you spent the day before Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving Eve? Well, I have cooked, gone over to a dear friends and cooked together some more, been to the grocery store twice,  and am now just sitting down to gather my thoughts as to what time do I need to begin putting dishes in the oven to have everything ready at the same time!

This Year I am responsible for making :
A Yummy Salad (Baby Spinach, caramelized almonds, strawberries, green onions, avocado, and homemade raspberry  dressing)
III Forks Cream Corn (this is AMAZING! recipe that my friend Sandi taught me today!)
Green Bean Bundles (a family favorite)
Cinnamon Sugar Butter- for yummy rolls (a new addition to our Sister Schubert rolls)
Bacon, Onion, and Fontina Mini Quiches (another new recipe I learned today from Sandi!)

So what are the family dishes you are making?

Green Bean Bundles

Whole Green Beans-2 cans
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic salt

Put 12-14 green beans in a bundle. Wrap bundles with center cut  bacon.  Overlap bacon on bottom side and put into baking dish.

One can is 4-5 bundles.  Allow 2 bundles per person.

Melt butter, add brown sugar, and garlic salt and stir until completely smooth...this takes about 5 to 10 minutes.

Spoon sauce over each bundle (this amount of sauce is for 2 cans...when sauce is doubled just add a dash more of garlic salt).

For Thanksgiving Meal- I did this recipe x3!


Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude ~ Linda Paulk

As I sit here typing, the air is cool and crisp outside as autumn continues to reveal itself, and I am reminded of God’s greatness, providing us with the change of seasons…only something that could come from our creator.  I am so grateful!

I had the privilege of speaking to a group of ladies between the ages of 23 and 35 earlier this month.  The format was interview style. I was asked the question “if you could give one piece of advice to these ladies about success in their life whether it be career or family, what would it be?”

Almost 50 years of life and I will tell you that there is one thing that makes the difference every single day of my life.  It is having a heart and attitude of gratitude. What does this mean and how does one acquire it?

As Thanksgiving fast approaches, a time set aside where we focus on having a heart of gratitude, I ask the question...are we waiting for Thanksgiving, a one day occurrence or are we waking up each day with a grateful heart…approaching each day thanking God for all things?  I would like to challenge each one of us to condition ourselves to wake up and say “Thank you Lord for this beautiful day, thank you for my health, thank you for hot water, thank you for ice cubes, thank you for my children, my husband, thank you for the air that I breathe, thank you for the beauty of your creation, thank you for freedom…”  Sure, we all have challenges we are facing, but not one that God does not know about and is already taking care of and through each challenge comes growth.  God’s word tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to thank God in all circumstances.  It does not say “when everything is going good”, or “just when you feel like it”, or “only when things go your way”. In obedience to His command, it says in ALL situations.  I am 100% sure that if you do this, you will experience a change in your life and through your obedience, your joy will be full…you will soon see the difference in your life. Tough to do?  Yes, alone, but the word says “Commit your ways unto the Lord and all of your thoughts shall be established” Proverbs 16:3.  Tough to do in your own strength, but not when we lean on HIS!

If we begin each day with an attitude of gratitude, we will be setting an example for our children that will better equip them for success.

So let’s all commit to making every day Thanksgiving Day! 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Sky Ranch is grateful for each and every one of you!

- Linda Paulk

Sunday, November 21, 2010

M/D Experience by Debbie Snyder

Where do I begin? The entire weekend was full of surprises and adventures at every turn. Whether it was designing your daughters wedding dress out of toilet paper or making a beautiful cross out of mosaic tiles it was all so much fun.  One of our most memorable moments was our dinner together.  You walked into a candle lit room with a table all to yourselves. There were questions on the table, for you to ask each other. It was a special time I'll never forget. I wrote down everyone of my daughters answers.  The one that stuck out to me the most was the question, if you could change something about yourself, what would it be?  Waiting for Sarah to say something superficial she said mommy I would change that I would not be a sinner anymore. I have to tell you, it took all that I had to hold back my tears.
 The entire weekend will definitely go down as one of the most memorable times I had with my daughter. I can't wait to come back next year and make many more memories.
~Debbie & Sarah Snyder

Friday, November 19, 2010

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes by our Sky Ranch...Kelsey Brandon, Event Marketing Manager!

Well- look who we have here...our very own Kelsey and Dana!  I am blessed with getting the opportunity to work with these lovely ladies with the Sky Ranch SkyMoms Ministry.  Just a few weeks ago while taking our store bought desserts to the home of a Sky Gathering, Kelsey shared her love for baking... it did not take long to convince her to begin bringing her cupcakes to our evening events!  Now we are spoiled with her skills...last night's amazing cupcake creation was Snickerdoodle!
Don't you want to have Kelsey bake for your SkyMom Gathering?!?

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes
3 cups baker’s (superfine) sugar
3 eggs
3 egg whites
3 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 cup vegetable oil
3 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with baking cups.
In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs/whites together until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Add the flour mixture, milk, oil, and vanilla to the eggs. Add cinnamon to taste, up to 3 tablespoons.
Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely while preparing the frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
1 8oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 tablespoons cinnamon
Milk to thin, if needed

Mix everything together until smooth and creamy. Add milk (cream or half and half works too - whatever you have on hand) to thin it out if it is too thick - I start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed.

M/D Experience by Melissa Rutledge

You guys did a fabulous job last weekend with the Sky camp.  Rachel and I loved it!
~Melissa Rutledge

Thursday, November 18, 2010

M/D Experience by Amy Meece

One of the things I love MOST is ALL the work YOU put into it!!!!  :)  The Sky Ranch Mother Daughter retreat is special because it is so much fun and just for girls!  The counselors are out of this world and they make loving Jesus cool.  And I appreciate the spiritual wisdom from you ladies in charge.  The words shared are spoken right to my heart and you give me encouragement.  Most importantly, you continue to point me to Jesus!  Thank you just isn't enough, but THANK YOU, anyway!!!!!!!!!  
We LOVE this weekend!
~Amy Meece

Sky Ranch Staff- Jill Pfalser, response to M/D Weekend!

I loved Just being able to see our campers in their world a little. Yes, it's Sky Ranch, but being with their moms makes them different... A little more silly and real. It was so wonderful to see moms who are intentional and who live with a purpose. I pray that one day I will be that kind of mom to my kids!
~Jill Pfalser

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

M/D Experience by Angela Deaton

The Mother Daughter weekend at Sky Ranch will be a sweet, precious memory to hold on to for years to come.  We will definitely make it an annual event for our family!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

M/D Experience by Stacey Black

Brooke and I had such an amazing time last weekend!  With this being our first Mother/Daughter retreat and with Brooke being at the youngest end of the age range, I wasn't sure how it would go.  We both loved every minute of it!  I was very thankful to spend the quality time with her and loved the many opportunities that were created for us to have such special bonding moments!  So glad that we came and already looking forward to coming back next year!  :)
Blessings to you!
Stacey Black

M/D Experience by Leslie Mida

The Sky Ranch Mother/Daughter weekend was such a blessing to both me and my nine year old daughter. Just having the chance to spend one-on-one time with her, affirming her, encouraging her and being encouraged myself as a was AMAZING! I love how the weekend provided so many intentional moments to nurture, love on and pray together with my daughter. We plan on making this a yearly tradition...something both my daughter and I will look forward to! Thank you to all the wonderful women who put this weekend together!
~Leslie Mida

M/D Experience by Tracy Wickstrom

Like most of you, our family's schedule is always hectic and never seems to slow down. When I saw the opportunity to get away with my beautiful daughter Hailey for some one-on-one time, I jumped at the opportunity. I cannot tell you all how happy I am that we did that! We had so much fun together hanging out, talking, laughing and just being together. The mother-daughter dinner meant the world to both of us and we barely ate because we were so engrossed in conversation! It was an unbelievable bonding experience for us both and a weekend neither of us will ever forget!!!
~Tracy Wickstrom

Monday, November 15, 2010

M/D Experience by Kim Wilson

This was Ashley and I's first Mother/Daughter Retreat and we LOVED it! Ashley is 9 and said she was having a blast from the moment we got there! We both loved the food, activities, speakers, crafts and games. Sky Ranch and the SkyMoms team thought of everything to make the weekend wonderful and special! I would definitely recommend the retreat to anyone! We hope to make it an annual getaway for the two of us! There is something special about time away with your sweet daughter.........a weekend to remember! 

~Kim and Ashley Wilson

M/D Experience by Brenda Bingham

My daughter turned 9 today and she requested a weekend away at Sky Ranch. So, Mattie and I just returned from our 2nd Mother/Daughter retreat just this YEAR! I wonder if that makes us a junkie:-) I love the time we can spend together. The weekend once again gave us a chance to play, talk and love on each other without the everyday life distractions. 
We had a fabulous weekend! 
Thank you Sky Ranch staff!
~Brenda Bingham
Happy Birthday Mattie~ We loved having you celebrate with us Pinkapalooza style :)!

M/D Experience by Tammy Stilling

What an amazing weekend!!!! This was our 4th Mom/Daughter and it has been bittersweet to see my daughter mature and grow through the lens of our Mom/Daughter weekends. Our 1st Mom/Daughter, Peyton was 7 and all about the activities, racing from one thing to another not wanting to stop and take time to "talk." This year, Peyton is just shy of 11, and our activity time was spent on a kayak sharing the whole afternoon about friends, boys, and our relationship and God. Thank you SkyMoms for creating a weekend of intentional moments for our girls. 
We love you! 
~Tammy and Peyton

M/D Experience by Sue Beddingfield

I loved all the 'role modeling' that went on -- Lisa & Chrissie are such terrific role models and advice-givers for moms.  We couldn't ask for better role models for our precious daughters than the fabulous team of Sky Ranch counselors.  Then, in saying goodbye to some of the counselors, they commented on how great it is for them to see us moms interacting with our girls -- and how we're role models for what they hope to become as moms.  
Sue Beddingfield

M/D Experience by Nancy Floyd

Mother/Daughter weekend at Sky Ranch was a wonderful opportunity to step
away from our busy lives and focus on our most precious possessions.  The
weekend was fun, exciting, relaxing, educational and most of all memorable!

Thank you for everything Tori Miller! 

~Nancy Floyd

Mother Daughter Pinkapalooza Weekend ~ November!


Mother/Daughter Weekend Pinkapalooza

 ~ November 12-14, 2010 ~

We had an amazing time with SkyMoms and their daughters this weekend at Sky Ranch!

Follow the Blog and read the upcoming reviews from the Moms that attended the weekend with us!

Start planning for joining us next is a weekend that you will cherish forever!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Lisa Life Lesson : To clean or not to clean…

First things first, please don’t judge MY cleanliness. Messy Teenage Girl’s (MTG) room does not reflect the rest of my house. We keep things nice and tidy. However, MTG’s room is another story. Secondly, MTG did give me permission to use this photo and blog about her…”issue.” In fact, she actually thought I “enhanced” the photo. I did not touch a thing. I solemnly swear.

The dirty room question comes up at every SkyMoms event I attend. What do we do about it? Is it a reflection of their character? Is it defiance? What if they never learn to clean? What kind of roommate will they be? And so on…

I have learned through the years that a dirty room is just that, a dirty room. It is not a picture into the future and is not a character flaw. It’s just evidence of a preteen and teen’s chaotic, crazy lifestyle. School, extra-curricular, church, friends, sports, etc. They get busy and the room takes a back seat to all of the above.

Am I excusing MTG’s lack of motivation to clean her room? No. But I get it. Here’s how we handle it at our house:

1.  Once a week I ask her to clean it “Mommy Clean.” That means, clean it like I would clean it. Really good.

2. Through the week, when I ask her to bring down her laundry, I expect her to bring down her laundry. When it’s clean, I expect her to put it up properly. It is demoralizing to find fresh, clean clothes on the floor. Been there?

3. I try to call the upstairs her “apartment.” She’s the only one who lives up there so it kind of is. It makes it “cool” and “hip” to clean her very own apartment.

4. My now 21 year old daughter is immaculate. Her room once looked like MTG’s.

5. Lastly, I try to keep things in perspective. In a few short years, (1 ½ to be exact), I can clean to my heart’s desire and no one will be around to mess it up again. Sigh. Cry.

~ Lisa Clark

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thanksgiving Family Favorite Recipes!

Here are a couple of my family favorites that we have every Thanksgiving...what are your recipes that your family requests each year?

Cream corn:
1 stick of butter
1 8 oz cream cheese
1/4 cup of milk
2 cans of shoe peg corn
Jalapenos to taste
350 for 30 minutes

I always double the recipe - so yummy!

Green Bean Bundles:
Del monte whole green beans
Bacon slices cut in half
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp garlic salt

Put 12 to 14 green beans in a bundle. Wrap bundles in bacon. Overlap bacon on bottom side and put into baking dish.
One can is 4-5 bundles. Allow 2 bundles per person.
Melt butter. Add brown sugar and garlic salt and stir until completely smooth- this takes about 5 to 7 minutes.
Spoon sauce over each individual bundle. This amount of sauce is for 2 cans. ( I always make 6 cans os green bean bundles for out thanksgiving crowd!)

Bake uncovered 350 for 30- 40 minutes.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Save the Date!!

Please Oh Please save the date for this amazing event!!  

Since 1955, Sky Ranch has been a Christian organization that has provided nationally recognized summer camps, retreats, and conferences in Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado; Champions Rodeo camps; as well as mission camps in Africa, France and Russia.  These programs have enabled youth and families to enjoy a positive and exciting camping experience combined with the truths of God’s Word, making a lasting impact on future generations.

Cowboys & Cowboys is an annual event with the specific purpose of raising the necessary funds for Sky Ranch to continue to focus on programs that develop character and leadership growth.  Specific areas of ministry that benefit from the proceeds of the event include:
  • Summer Camp,Family Camp,Champions Rodeo Camps,Angel Tree Camp (kids of incarcerated parents),Leadership Camps,Wilderness Camps, Retreats & Conferences, and so much more!! 
To find out more click here!  

Have a Blessed day!  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


“We are wise to force ourselves to keep differentiating between simple inconveniences and authentic tribulations."  ~ Beth Moore

A few weeks ago, we had a “mini tribulation” in the Widner Home.  I call it that because it mainly involved a teenage boy, and if you have such a creature, you know that pretty much everything they experience is, indeed, a tribulation of some sort.  After talking to and praying with our boy, we felt certain that our boy was under attack, and the Enemy was using very specific and very clever methods to derail any self-confidence he had (which, as an 8th grade boy, isn’t very much).  I knew that our boy never once questioned God, but he absolutely DID question why God would have him in a position to feel so rotten and worthless in the eyes of man.  That is a very difficult concept to grasp, even as a mature Christian.  We took him to stories of David and Job, and finally to the story of the ultimate “outcast”, Jesus Himself.  We reminded him that Jesus understood exactly what he was thinking and feeling.  And, the boy said something profound.  “Mom, I know God hears me and understands me.  Why can’t I hear Him?”

That is when I thought of Sky Ranch.  We emailed Sky Ranch CEO and President, Linda Paulk and the MORPH leaders from last summer.  We let them know what we were experiencing, and asked them to pray with us for our boy, and also to email or text some encouragement to our son.  And they did.  God absolutely provided His “voice” through this mini-tribulation.  He used the staff and counselors at Sky Ranch to meet our boy’s needs in a very tangible way.

Do YOU have a need right now?  Take a minute and email your Sky Ranch family.  They consider it an honor to pray for and with you.  Sky Ranch is all about relationships that last well beyond the summer – they want to hear from you.  You will be so blessed and encouraged if you just reach out!

Kate Widner

Thank you Widner family for letting the Sky Ranch family love on you all! Kate, you are right...we are here in every capacity to encourage the family from the SkyMom Ministry to the incredible staff we have that continues to keep contact with their campers throughout the year. To accomplish staying connected with Sky Ranch you can visit and join our varios Sky Ranch fan pages on facebook, subscribe to the different Sky Ranch blogs, and be on the lookout for even a personal note from your counselors in the mail from time to time! :)

Sky Ranch loves kids and Sky Ranch loves moms,
Tori Miller- Sky Ranch SkyMom Ministry Director

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Spaghetti and a Really Good Salad

Chicken Spaghetti

4-8 chicken breasts
1 stick butter
1 large green pepper, chopped
1-2 ribs celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
16 oz thin spaghetti
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 1/2 lbs Velveeta cheese, cubed
Salt & pepper to taste

Boil chicken in plenty of salted water.  Remove from broth to cool.  Cut into bit size pieces.
Saute onion, green pepper, celery in butter.
Cook spaghetti in broth and do not drain the water after cooking.
(I usually let the pasta sit and absorb as much water as possible.  Then if necessary, drain the broth down to just barely below the surface of the pasta.)
While spaghetti is still hot stir in cheese, vegetables, Rotel, and chicken.  Pepper and salt if needed.
Mixture should be lumpy without being too runny.
Pour into casserole dish and bake 350 for 30-45 minutes.

Really Good Salad

lettuce or spinach, washed and bite size
2-3 green onion tops chopped
1-2 cans Mandarin oranges
1-2 cups of berries: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc.
1 avocado peeled and sliced
1 kiwi fruit peeled and sliced
1/4 sugar
1 cup sliced almonds

Combine almonds and sugar in saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until sugar melts and is browned.  Turn almonds out onto a cookie sheet to cool.  Toss ingredients together.

Raspberry Dressing
1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup seedless raspberry jam
1 cup vegetable oil
1 T. poppy seeds
Combine jam and vinegar in electric blender, process 20 seconds.  With blender on high, gradually add vegetable oil in a slow steady stream.  Stir in poppy seeds.