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Friday, May 28, 2010

Shallots, Basil and Lettuce - Oh my!

Potted Indoor Basil

Potted Lettuce


Garden Magic
This is the garden's magic,
That through the sunny hours
The gardener who tends it, Himself outgrows his flowers.

He grows by gift of patience,
Since he who sows must know
That only in the Lord's good time
Does any seedling grow.

He learns from buds unfolding,
From each tight leaf unfurled,
That his own heart, expanding,
Is one with all the world.

He bares his head to sunshine,
His bending back a sign
Of grace, and ev'ry shower becomes
His sacramental wine.

And when at last his labors
Bring forth the very stuff
And substance of all beauty
This is reward enough.


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Self Consuming Lives

How self consumed have we become when someone shares resources, wealth or time; we are astonished? Is this really your world?

Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Psalm 119:36

Lyrics to the song by Caedmon's Call.
There's tarnish on the golden rule
And I wanna jump from this ship of fools
Show me a place where hope is young
And a people who are not afraid to love

This world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could wanted and nothing that I need

This world is making me drunk on the spirit of fear.
So when you say who will go, I am nowhere near.

'Cuz this world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could wanted and nothing that I need

But the least of these look like criminals to me
So I leave Christ on the street

This world has held my hand and has led me into intolerance
So now I'm breaking up, now I'm waking up
I'm making up for lost time

This world has nothing for me and this world has everything
All that I could want and nothing that I need (2x)

Family Christian Store Perks Items!

Here is the latest listing of Family CHristian Store perk items. They are $5 each with a membership. Best of all, memberships are absolutely free!

ESV New Testament Bible

The English Standard Version (ESV) Bible is a literal translation that combines word-for-word precision and accuracy with literary excellence, beauty, and readability.
The ESV Bible builds on the legacy created by hundreds of devout and godly scholars over the last 500 years. With this legacy as the starting point, a world-class team of Christian Bible scholars carefully compared the ESV text against the best Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.
The ESV Bible has been widely embraced by churches, ministries, denominations around the world and by millions of individuals who believe and know, as Jesus said, that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4
Includes topical guides
A reading plan
Font size: 7 point
No center-column reference system
Two Columns
Words of Christ in red
Not thumb indexed
Includes Psalms and Proverbs
Dimensions: 4.75” (L) X 3.50” (W) X .75” (D)
Release: 10/2002

Fireflies by Sarah Groves (DVD)

Sara Groves’ tenth album, Fireflies and Songs, finds her reteamed with noted producer Charlie Peacock to explore the universal issues of marriage, family, friendship and following Jesus in the midst of it all.

Ruges of Engagement by Cindy Tram

Because of the great demand for this author's self-published books with Strang, selling more than 150,000 units in the trade of just one book, we are releasing this new book by Cindy Trimm. It includes declarations for engaging the enemy armed with God's power and authority to defeat him and emerge a conqueror. It helps the reader to recognize the principalities and subordinate spirits that operate in the kingdom of darkness, and how to expose the weapons of warfare and be victorious.

Purpose Driven Life for Dads and Grads

What "level of living" are you reaching for? Survival, success or significance? Rick Warren believes God created you for a life of tremendous significance. One with a mission that fills you with energy, confidence, and satisfaction. A life with direction and impact for God's kingdom. A purpose-driven life. In The Purpose-Driven Life, the author of the phenomenally popular Purpose Driven Church uncovers seven essentials for understanding and fulfilling your God-given life mission.
This mass market hardcover is sold exclusively through Family Christian Stores.

Fly Wheel (DVD)
The Directors Cut features improved color, improved audio, directors commentary, additional languages, and updated cover art and an 8-part Bible study featuring clips from the film
Smooth-talking used car salesman Jay Austin hasn't done much with his life---except sell a lot of lemons! Now that his conscience has caught up with him, this lifetime con artist is trying to make amends. But how can he convince his wife, son, and community that he's "for real"? Flywheel shows that every man can have a turning point in his life. Inspiring, funny, and ideal for evangelism.

Hermie and Friends: The Flo Show Creates a Buzz
Flo is back and she's got her own TV talk show! But does she ever have a lesson to learn!
When Flo gets her own TV talk show, she is positively thrilled! She has to think about what to say, what to wear, and who to invite as guests. What she isn't thinking about are other people's feelings. After insulting every guest on her show, she finally realizes that she needs to apologize for the means things she said. Flo learns that words are very powerful. In fact, the words "I'm sorry" can make all the difference. Children will learn that by saying you're sorry, you are asking foregiveness and fixing your friends with another person.
Recommended ages 4 - 7.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Insect Repellant - Make your own :)

I'm bad, there is a form of neem essential oil. I stand corrected :)

When making anything for the skin, make sure to always do a patch test first and wait at least an hour before apply it to the rest of your body.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Green Salve

I'll add more info later. I thought I'd get the video up asap for those needing to know how to make it. After all, it is mosquito season. We use this on bites and other skin issues.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Gardening Updates from May 2010

It was that time again that had come and gone for us to dig up our garden. Slowly but surely is how it happens here. Matt tried to till it but the tiller is not working for now. So, the kids and I got to work shoveling. As you can see, no one was there to take pictures of me. I promise though, I was working as well :)

Lyshie working hard!

Jon working hard with his own little shovel - yes it's real, not plastic!

Our gorgeous garden after we worked in garden soil, top soil and humus. There is the tiller that is not working :( Praise God we were still able to get things dug up well and we were able to mix things by hand. You wouldn't think a small 10x10 (or so) area would take so much work. That or we're not used to hard work. rofl!

Today as I'm posting this I already have more updates. Unfortunately, you'll have to wait a bit to see them :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Word Girl Online Competition!

Just recently my daughter was able to participate in the first ever World Girl Competition. Public, private and homeschools were able to get online and participate with their class. As you can see, Lyshie had lots of fun! Just another fun opportunity she has had without our family having to pack up and go somewhere. I love these online classes/events :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sourdough English Muffins

These were a very fun treat! The kids and I think they are much better than store bought. Dh even likes them. I used my homemade starter which you can find information for below.

Sourdough English Muffins
Makes about 12
1/2 C starter (mine is a 100% hydration white starter)
1 C milk
2-3/4 C AP flour
1 TBSP sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
Semolina or cornmeal, for dusting

1. Combine starter, 2 C of flour and milk in a large bowl. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and leave out for 8 hours or overnight.
2. After the overnight rest, add remaining flour (I didn't add any), sugar, salt and baking soda and mix well. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 4-5 minutes.
3. Roll out to 3/4" and cut with a biscuit cutter into rounds. You can reroll the scraps, but you may need to let the dough rest before cutting more muffins from them.

4. Place muffins on a piece of parchment dusted with semolina and let rest for 45 minutes.

Spray griddle or skillet lightly with spray oil. Heat to medium and cook muffins for about 6-8 minutes on each side, or until browned on the top and bottom and cooked through. These have great griddle spring and rise quite a bit during the "baking".

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Cookbook is Ready!

I'm very excited to announce that my cookbook is finally ready for viewing! You can find the link to it at the far right hand side of the screen. I hope it blesses you as much as it has us. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask. This is a free download. Please feel free to pass this along as you see fit. I hope to update this every year or 1/2 year with added recipes. Enjoy!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Soaked Pancakes with Videos

I just saw a new recipe online and thought we'd give it a try. It worked out lovely! I did add too much water this time so next time that's something to note. I also added in cinnamon and just halved the recipes. You can find the information in full here. There are many health benefits to soaking your grains overnight before cooking them. Here's just a few:

Digestion becomes easier and you get more nutrients from the grains because of it.
The antinutrients in grains are neutralized, which means goodbye to phytic acid content and enzyme inhibitors.
You get increased amounts of vitamins, minerals, and beneficial enzymes.

The main thing I have noticed is that anything whole grain I soak overnight is less dense and more moist than if I hadn't. In fact, the things I've soaked (whole wheat flour) has come out being very moist and fluffy. A far cry from whole wheat muffins and breads I've not soaked.

Soaked Pancakes
1 cup kefir, yogurt or buttermilk
1 cup whole wheat flour, kamut, spelt or oats
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon melted butter
cinnamon (optional)

1. Stir together the kefir and flour together. Cover and let sit overnight 12-24 hours.
2. When you get up in the morning, mix in the rest of the ingredients. Add in water just till desired consistency.
3. Warm up a griddle and butter or put coconut oil on it. Cook off pancakes. I cooked them at 350 degrees.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day!

I hope your Mother's Day was a wonderful as mine. I felt so much love from my family yesterday. I don't want you to think that I don't every day; however, yesterday they made sure to do all the things that make me feel extra special.

Matt stayed up very late the night before to make me some very yummy cheesecake. He was up till almost 3am! When we got up he made me a breakfast of farm fresh sausage and (store bought) eggs. Unfortunately, my egg was spoiled. We didn't know that till I took my 3rd bite and realized it just was not right. I told him people will ask what I got for Mother's Day and I'll say "food poisoning", rofl! In the midst of there somewhere, Jon had given me his gifts. It was 2 cookie sheets! I have needed these for so long! My only cookie sheet had gotten ruined. What a huge blessing! What a perfect gift coming from our little cook.

We headed off to church, everyone exhausted, but we made it. :) Good service and nice friends. God is good.

On the way home we planned on having Matt grill but he was too exhausted. We ended up going to the Mongolian BBQ. It's so fun making your own special food creations and watching people cook it in front of you. Very fun!

We got home and had some fabulous cheesecake. It was then that Lyshie gave me the card she made me and told me what she was going to make me with daddy's help - a wind chime! I LOVE wind chimes! I can't wait to see it done! I was also told by Matt that he is going to make me a greenhouse! It will be about 6x8 feet. I'm so excited!

Last but def. not least, here is what was in the card I got from my fabulous daughter yesterday. I cried at more than one place.

she made it herself and here is what it said page by page (minus the cover page).

page 1:
Mother's Day
The air is sweet
and filled with flowers
I hope that May
will give us showers.
But there is just no time to play
for tomorrow's name is Mother's Day!

page 2:
This page was a ton of coupons she made for me.
Free special dessert
Free cleaning of your room
Free mopping, dusting and cleaning toilets.
Free book reading (I will read out loud to you)
Free piece of artwork (on whatever topic you want.)
Free bunch of flowers
Free picnic
Double movie pick (have your pick of two movies in a row)
Free girls night (Joshua can come)
Free special time alone with dad
Work free meals (good for only one day).

page 3:
Weather picture for you....
she drew a picture of a tornado (she's really into them right now), then me flying up to save people with a flower on my shirt and the name of Wonder Mom.

page 4:
If there was one thing I would change about my mom, it would be, NOTHING (I really cried here).

page 5:
A picture for you (it was a baby foal)

page 6:
A picture of our family that she drew.

page 7:
I love my mom because...
she's kind
she cares about me
she helps us kids
she teaches us important things
she makes sure we stick with our promise and duties
Makes our food without complaining
and helps when people get hurt.

page 8:
I also love my mom because,
She helps us keep the house clean so no one steps on toys or trips on them.
She helps us with our school.
She always makes up with dad after a fight.
She makes us try to have fun.
And best of all, she loves us.

page 9:
she made me a word search on this page :)

page 10:
Happy Mother's Day (we love you!). It then has a picture of a cake, flowers, a heart and balloon.

page 11:
The end.

I can't think God enough for my children and my husband. They are so dear to me. I hope you all had as fabulous of a Mother's Day as I did. It's so good knowing I'm loved.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Kefir Making Part 1

Notes of things I forgot to mention:
1. You can also find Kefir grains on or other online sites.
2. The longer you let your kefir sit on the counter, the more sour and thick it will get.

1. Contact me here or

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Turtlebee Farm Visit

We started our Farm Share program today with the Bennett family. It was so exciting visiting the Bennett's at their farm. They are such a joy to be around. They are also a fellow Christian homeschooling family. This makes purchasing from them even better. Some things we picked up today were raw milk, raw milk cheese, sausage, country bacon and honey sticks. We have been purchasing honey from them for several years now and then meat starting a couple years ago. We love to see that they are able to expand not only their options for us but their farm as well. While the drive is 50 minutes one way, we really enjoy taking the time to take a drive out in the country. I for one feel very refreshed when I come back home from visiting the Bennett's.

Jon and Allysha had a fabulous time with the sweet, lovely daughter Hosannah. To add to that fun, Jon was able to hold and feed a baby lamb. He loved it! He even cried when we had to leave.

If you're interested in purchasing from Turtlebee Farms or have any questions, please feel free to visit their website to find their contact information. For us, not only do we get better quality food for our family, but we're supporting a wonderful Christian family as well.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Making Kefir and a Kefir, Banana and Strawberry Smoothie

Yeah! We were able to drink our first batch of kefir from these particular grains. So yummy! Dom is the biggest kefir guru out there. Check the below link to see how to make your own kefir. It is very, very easy! The health benefits are so amazing, why not?

On to the kefir smoothie. We ended up making a very yummy kefir smoothie today. You can find the recipe below. Before I get to that, here are some health benefits of making your own (and drinking) kefir.

"The benefits of consuming kefir regularly in the diet
Easily digested, it cleanses the intestines, provides beneficial bacteria and yeast, vitamins and minerals, and complete proteins. Because kefir is such a balanced and nourishing food, it contributes to a healthy immune system and has been used to help patients suffering from AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, herpes, and cancer. Its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system has benefited many who suffer from sleep disorders, depression, and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

The regular use of kefir can help relieve all intestinal disorders, promote bowel movement, reduce flatulence and create a healthier digestive system. In addition, its cleansing effect on the whole body helps to establish a balanced inner ecosystem for optimum health and longevity.

Kefir can also help eliminate unhealthy food cravings by making the body more nourished and balanced. Its excellent nutritional content offers healing and health-maintenance benefits to people in every type of condition."

The above article was taken from here.

And yet some more health benefits.

"The Healing Benefits of Kefir
Kefir is full of beneficial bacteria and thus can be labelled as a probiotic, which is to say that it contributes, enhances, and stabilizes the micro-organisms of the intestines. Since kefir is cultured mainly using live, active grains in a medium that is thick and coating, and because of the variety of ‘friendly bacteria’ found within, kefir seems to be a much better probiotic than many of the commercially available dried capsule products. These microbes are part of an essential team of around 400 types of bacteria found in the intestines that assist digestion, extracting various elements that are necessary to maintain human life.

It has also been found that kefir is an effective immune stimulant and antimicrobial against a wide variety of harmful gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. Kefir has been used to treat metabolic disorders, atherosclerosis, allergic disease, tuberculosis, cancer and other gastrointestinal disorders. It has also been associated with longevity in the peoples of Caucasus where it is thought to have originated.

Kefir also has an abundance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and enzymes. Some of the more prominent of these are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin B2, and B12, vitamin K, A and D. An essential amino acid found in kefir called tryptophan has been found to have a relaxing effect on the nervous system.

Kefir for the Future
This nourishing, disease-fighting substance has a long following in peoples across the world. This drink provides the same probiotic benefits of many commercially available products, but costs much less and has the added satisfaction of creating something in your own kitchen. As new batches of kefir are produced, the grains grow and can be passed on to others so that they too may share in the benefits of this exciting tonic."

You can find the above article here.

Finally, here is the recipe we made up today that we just loved! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Strawberry, Banana Kefir Smoothie
1 1/2 cups chilled kefir
5-6 halved strawberries
1/2 banana
1/16th teaspoon stevia extract

1. Blend all together and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Sourdough Bread Using Our Own Wild Yeast Sourdough

My husband is usually the one to make bread. Go figure right? I saw online how to make wild yeast sourdough starter. I thought "hey, I might as well try it." So, here's the pix. Tell me what you think :)

The first few days I didn't see anything going on, but here it is on day 4.

Here is the dough after only 4 cups of flour put in and rising for a few hours.

Here is the kneaded, shaped and scored dough :)

Here is a picture of the baked bread with a small piece cut out.

This was such a fun experience. I really think the only reason why I was able to successfully make this is because it took the pineapple juice that inhibited bad bacteria growth. Here is the link to the sourdough starter.

I've been told it will taste more sour as your sourdough ages. Yeah!