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It’s all about attention. Period. 

If you live in Iowa or the midwest for that matter and have been on social media at all your newsfeed has probably been filled with memes, posts, and pictures of Carson King who decided to donate money that was given to him after holding the below pictured sign at the the Iowa vs. Iowa State Game to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Photo from Washington Post

Unfortunately, Tuesday night those memes, posts, and pictures took a drastic turn in response to a beer company cutting ties with Carson and a newspaper digging up old social media posts that Carson had shared as a 16-year-old.

The newspaper reporter probably did it to “get the dirt” or drum up attention for their newspaper.  Unfortunately, I think that may have backfired as social media is now flooded with the reporter's tweets and posts that he may not be too proud of himself.

The beer made the move to jump on board and match what Carson had received in donations.  Hello, what a great business move, again attention?  Then the pictures of cans with Carson’s face, etc. They would have made numerous extra sales even in Iowa where their beer is known to be king.  Unfortunately, they decided to cut ties over the social media posts from when Carson was 16 and now much of Iowa is saying they will be boycotting their beverage.

If we take out the newspaper, take out the beer company, and even take Carson out of the equation for a moment we are left with the children’s hospital.  IT IS ABOUT THE KIDS AND GIVING ATTENTION TO THEIR NEEDS. PERIOD. In recent years the hospital and kids have gotten such positive attention from the WAVE.  For many kids and families at the hospital, it is a bright spot in their day and a bright spot for those attending the Iowa game on that particular day. Hawkeye fans or not, everyone that experiences the wave feels a bit warmer inside on game day.

So here is my challenge to all of you. Give attention to the kids!  If you have shared a funny meme, called the register, retweeted the reporter's inappropriate tweets, then do the same with sharing this post with this information. For each time you shared one of those posts consider sending a buck (or more) to the kids.

Financial gifts can be made online or mailed to:

University of Iowa Center for Advancement  

c/o UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital Fund

PO Box 4550

Iowa City, IA 52244-4550

Regardless of Carson’s teenage social media posts, regardless of what the beer company does, regardless of what Venmo does (at the time I am writing this I have heard no different on their donation) and regardless of what beverage we all choose to drink-it is about the KIDS. 

For what it's worth, I think the grown-up big kid Carson King did an amazing thing by choosing to donate to the kids.  Let’s be more like the big kid holding that sign and doing our part to bring attention to the kids and don’t mess with Iowa nice because, in the end, we will support our kids (big and small).

Photo courtesy of @themascotcy

From the gravel road, 


I absolutely love to preserve foods! Do I love them mess? No, but it is so worth it in the dead of winter when the temperatures are below zero. I stayed home with our girls for a few years when they were little and I did a ton of canning during that season of life. I remember timing things out perfectly so that I could handle the blazing hot jars during nap time so that I didn't have to worry about them getting burnt.

My mom taught me how to can, as a first-year 4-H'er in 4th grade I took strawberry jam to the fair. 🙂 Ellie and I talked her into helping with almond peach jam and peaches this year. This was mainly because Ellie did not believe me that Grandma knew how to can and definitely didn't believe that she taught me everything I know. (While canning peaches that day my mom said she quit canning when she experienced a year when every jar didn't seal. She had gotten a bad batch of seals and even wrote the company about her frustration. It sounded like many people had the same experience that year. ) I can't imagine putting all of that hard work into your bounty to find that nothing sealed. I now realize why she threw in the towel. 🙂

I love making almond peach jam as it is a favorite with many of our family members and friends! It is adapted from the Sure-Jell recipe insert. I bought a lug of peaches from our local Mennonite store and then ended up buying another box at Fareway. It's very simple to make and is a great recipe to gather your kids to help with since there are lots of steps with the peeling, etc. I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as we do!

Almond Peach Jam

I absolutely love making this sweet jam. I tend to give it away to family and friends at Christmas! This recipe is adapted from the surejell box insert.
Servings: 7 jelly jars


  • Hot water canner
  • Jars, seals, rings


  • 4 cups Chopped Peaches
  • 1 box Sure-jell
  • 5 ½ cups Sugar
  • Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Almond flavoring


  • Use a pot of boiling water to blanch peaches. Blanching is dipping the peaches into the boiling water for about 30 seconds then transfer to cold water. This will make the peaches very easy to peel.
  • Bring boiling-water canner, half-full with water, to simmer. Wash jars and screw bands in hot soapy water; rinse with warm water. Pour boiling water over flat lids in saucepan off the heat. Let stand in hot water until ready to use. Drain well before filling.

  • Peel and pit peaches. Sprinkle with lemon juice while cutting to prevent browning. Finely chop fruit. Measure exactly 4 cups prepared fruit into 6- or 8-quart saucepot. Stir in box of sure jell. Add butter to reduce foaming. Bring to full rolling boil (a boil that doesn't stop bubbling when stirred) on high heat, stirring constantly.

  • Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon. Add almond flavoring and stir.

  • Ladle immediately into prepared jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Screw bands tightly. Place jars in canner. (Water must cover jars by 1 to 2 inches. Add boiling water, if necessary.) Cover; bring water to gentle boil. Process 10 minutes. Remove jars and place upright on towel to cool completely. After jars cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. (If lid springs back, lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.)

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