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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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Early Bird Gets the Worm

The morning after spring break was over, ya know, the one where you have to start setting an alarm again? Yea, that morning. It was 6:00 a.m., and my goodness, was it a picturesque day. It was so bright out. I walked downstairs into our bathroom to get ready for the day and couldn’t help

The morning after spring break was over, ya know, the one where you have to start setting an alarm again? Yea, that morning. It was 6:00 a.m., and my goodness, was it a picturesque day. It was so bright out. I walked downstairs into our bathroom to get ready for the day and couldn’t help but notice the sun creeping up over the trees in our woods.

The sun beamed off the trees like it was some fairytale, and at any moment, a handsome prince on his white horse would crest over the line of the trees. Except my prince was brushing his teeth next to me in his boxers with his hair all crazy. I looked at him thinking, “How you doin’?” Mornin’, afternoon or night, that boy is finneeee all the time. *Insert big smile here*

As I put my toothbrush in my mouth, I cracked open the window in our bathroom. I could hear the birds outside and wanted to feel the morning air. I stood there brushing and listening to the music outside.

I stopped brushing as I listened; I could hear so many different birds. A woodpecker was off in the distance pecking away for his morning breakfast. Another bird that always sounds like an owl hooted back to others. The chickadees were saying chickadee-dee-dee! Robins were going crazy, and a crow squawked. A beautiful bright yellow bird kept flying back and forth with a bluebird. There was so much going out there on this bright sunny Thursday morning. The birds were just as happy as I was about the warmer temps and sunshine that the morning brought.

After I spit my toothpaste out, I said to my husband, “Do you hear all the different kinds of birds out there?! It’s incredible if you really listen; there are so many different ones this morning!”

Now, I am not a professional bird watcher or anything; I just appreciate God’s creation. Can you imagine not hearing birds? It would have been so quiet that morning. I feel like that’s why it is so quiet in the winter because there aren’t as many birds. You literally can hear the snowfall out here on a cold winter’s day.

I can’t imagine a world without birds. I could do without them crapping on our nice clean cars and sheets that I hang on the line. “How rude!” I guess when ya gotta go, ya gotta go? But it’s like they purposely aim for things like this. Like, they know you just washed that car and did it out of spite.

The other morning, I asked someone who lived with me to run out to the mailbox to see if a leather jacket I ordered for Kenzy to wear on the bikes came in time for our first big ride that I was rushing around getting ready for. I don’t want to say who it is to throw him under the bus, but it wasn’t Kenzy. He’s twelve years old and handsome, just like his dad. Yea, you guessed it! It was Ty. God bless him; his breath was kicking that morning. (Whose doesn’t, though!?) He hadn’t had a chance to brush them babies yet when I had asked him to go run out and check for me. When I got a whiff of his breath, I said, “Whoaaa, buddy! Listen, when you walk outside, whatever you do, DON’T breathe heavy!”
He was so serious and said, “Why?”

“Um, because you are going to walk down the driveway, and all of a sudden, all the birds are gonna start flopping dead out of the trees everywhere from your breath!”

He paused, then got a huge grin on his face. (He knows his momma is funny.)

My husband, who was in the bathroom, was like, “What did you just say to him!?”

I told him, and we all three just started cracking up.

As he walked out the door and started down the driveway, I yelled out the door, “DON’T BREATHE HEAVY, WHATEVER YOU DO!!”

Never a dull moment at the McElroy house. I keep things real. Haha!

Some morning when you wake up, take a minute and listen. How many birds can you hear? Can you imagine a world without them? And you know what they say, the early bird gets the worm. That’s why I thought this recipe for Dirt Cake was perfect for this week’s column. My cousin Erica Seyler makes this for family functions every now and then, and we all go crazy over it. I asked her for the recipe for my daughter Kenzy’s birthday back in January. Kenzy loves anything with Oreos and is obsessed with gummy worms, so honestly, this was the perfect dessert. Who doesn’t love a worm dipped in dirt!? Not just for birds. Enjoy!

Dirt Cake
Ingredients:
• 1 package of cream cheese (8 ounces, softened)
• 1/4 cup butter, softened
• 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
• 3-1/2 cups cold 2% milk
• 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
• 1 carton (12 ounces) frozen whipped topping
• 1 package (16.6 ounces) Oreo Cookies
Gummy worms, optional
Directions:

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth. In another large bowl, whisk milk and pudding mix for 2 minutes. Let sit for 2 minutes to soft set. Gradually stir in cream cheese mixture. Fold in whipped topping.

Spread 1-⅓ cups of crushed cookies into an ungreased bowl or 13 x 9-inch pan. Layer with half the pudding mixture, and half of the remaining cookies. (You may put some worms in these layers also.) Repeat layers. Top with gummy worms like they are coming out of the dirt and refrigerate for at least one hour. Yield: 20 servings.