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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Broken Heart, Mended


My mother told my daughter that we should listen to Hundred More Years by Francesca Battistelli, so we did with the new cd my mom picked up for Lyshie.  


The first part of the song is the way I feel about my Matt.  


"The future looks so beautiful and bright 
They can dance under the moonlight 
'Cause God is smiling down on them tonight
And she wants to stay right here
Make it last for a hundred more years"

Oh the memories of those first couple years before we got married and then afterwards.  
My knight protector
My comforter
My beloved...

The song goes on to talk about their baby girl and how she'll grow up, leave home...


STOP!
Wait a Moment!

My goal is to raise my children in the admonition of the Lord and to raise them
to be a good spouse to their future spouse if that's where God leads them.
All this time, all this love, all this work
and in a few years, she may be gone.
The bulk of her love will transfer from me to him, her future spouse
the one we've prayed for.


(borrowed pix)


(borrowed pix)

My heart ached,
tears welled up, 
I couldn't stop myself from crying
and I am already missing her.

While trying to simplify my life a bit in general
I was reading a bit more out of the book
Plain Wisdom by Cindy Woodsmall and Miriam Flaud.
What a precious gift I was given when reading the words 
in those pages tonight.

"My fingers ached with cold by the time
by the time I hung up the last shirt, 
grabbed the clothesbasket, and trudged inside.
As I stood by the wood-burning cookstove, 
warming my hands, 
I looked out the window and across the field.
In the distance I saw a white shirt hanging on a neighbor's clothesline, 
and it reminded me that my son's shirt wasn't missing.
It was simply on someone else's clothesline - 
his wife's.
All his hopes for his future and his family's future
hung in the same crisp November air.

I had not lost a son.
His life was no longer under my roof, 
but it is in the same place I'd put it
when he was born:
in the hands of God."

(borrowed pix)
What good it did my soul to read that.  
Praising God for the time I do have
with my precious daughter (and children).

My prayers for her will continue
so will those for her future spouse
my love for her will never cease
and I will enjoy the time I do have with her
right here, right now.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Day Leftovers

Here is a stockpot that has the turkey carcass, onions, celery, carrots, thyme and parsley.  I also poured in the juices from the turkey then added in water to cover the bones well.



Here's a bowl of soup we had made for tonight.  When the stock was done I poured everything through a sieve and just kept the broth.  I threw all the dark meat into the pot and some fresh chopped carrots.  In a separate pan I made some basmati rice.  I don't like making it in the soup pot because all the leftovers become mushy.  So what we did was put a spoon of rice in the bowl, a scoop of cooked sweet potato and some of the meat and carrots out of the soup pan.  I then drizzled the broth over the top. 

We ended up seasoning only with salt afterwards.  This was lovely!  Just one of many leftover ideas.  I have more ideas posted below.  Have fun!

Pot Pie

Bone Broth

Soup

Turkey Avocado Wrap

White Turkey Chili

Turkey Tacos

Turkey Escarole Soup
Turkey Barley Sweet Potato Soup - http://www.skinnykitchen.com/recipes/turkey-barley-and-sweet-potato-soup/

Turkey Hash - onions, peppers (lots of both) and salt to sweat out with a bit of oil.  also add in one diced jalapeno (seeded). very thin sliced potatoes in another pot with some diced garlic.  put diced turkey into veggies and cook.  put potatoes on one plate and put veggies on top.  sprinkle with paprika and drizzle with fresh lime juice.

Pumpkin Cheesecake With Natural Sweeteners!

Mmmm, Pumpkin Cheesecake with no guilt!

Baby loves it!

 Jon trying to make sure to eat it all quickly before brother asks for some.  lol!


I found a recipe online that was changed up from a regular pumpkin cheesecake recipe.  I did a little changing of my own as you'll soon see.  This recipe was fabulous!  I would definitely use less butter for the crust next time but that's the only thing I'd change up other than the changes I've already made that you see below.  I hope you enjoy this as much as we do.  It's fabulous!


Pumpkin Cheesecake by Miss Lizzy
Ingredients
Crust:
1 3/4 cups ground almond and/or almond meal (I used almonds and pecans. I also added in some salt)
3 tablespoons honey (optional - I did not add this)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick melted salted butter

Filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 - 2 cups honey (I used 1 cup honey, 1/2 cup maple syrup and then a bit extra honey to taste)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (I used about 1/4 teaspoon ground (not fresh)
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For crust:
In medium bowl, combine almond meal, honey and cinnamon. Add melted butter. Mix well. (If the crust seems too dense, just add a little more almond meal). Press mixture down flat into a 9-inch springform pan**. Set aside. 
For filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, honey and the spices. If it needs more honey add more as needed. Add vanilla. Beat together until well combined. Note: The batter may seem sweet but it loses some sweetness in the baking. So better to add a little more honey to be safe.) 
Pour batter into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
Note: I had to bake my cheesecake for an extra 15 minutes or so, turning off the oven for the last 5 minutes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One Month to Live - Book Review



"Time once spent cannot be reclaimed.  Once an hour, minute or moment is over, it's gone forever.  However, we can redeem the remaining time we have."

The thing I've really been needing is true down time - time without the computer or making notes on what I can do/get done next.  True down time!  That will only happen if I make the decision to make it happen.  If you feel like you don't have enough time to have some down time - the reality is you can't afford not to. "A regular time of rest and recovery…" is essential according to this book.  

"…we're designed to require rest and to crave beauty."

Lately I've been in a season of my life where I feel like I need to purge so much of what we have in our home.  Most of what we have acquired has been free or very inexpensive.  I think that is one of main reasons why we have so much stuff.  Couple that with us being home educators with 3 kids and that also adds "stuff".  For months (even a couple years) I've felt the need to purge and simply our lives.  It's such a hard thing to do when there's so much we could join in our around us.  Co-ops, troops, art classes, sports, activities, etc…. Yes we're involved in some things but I like to keep it at a bear minimum.  If we add too much in our schedule, we run here and run there.  We end up being late everywhere and aren't able to even give 50% to one of those areas we're involved.  For that reason among others we're trying to simplify even more.  It's those times when we're in our home as a family learning and creating together that we have those special bonding moments.  I'm so thankful for that and pray we can simplify things even more.  This book suggests keeping a journal for a week and seeing what our time wasters are and then either cutting them out or cutting down on the time we do those things.  I already know my main time waster.  Now it's time to put things into action.

Matthew 11:28-29

" A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."  
~ William Shed

When I first read that quote, it really struck me. Kerry and Chris use this analogy to ask us what we are holding on to that we're not willing to trust God with.  They talk about how we cling to monkey bars not willing to let go and let God catch us in the different areas of our lives.  The question for you is, what is your monkey bar moment?  I believe that for most if not all of us, that problem is fear. Oh how Satan uses fear to make us feel trapped.

Another great point in this book is, if we were told we only had one month to live, how would that change things and our perspective?  Would we loosen up and do some more radical things for the Lord?  Would we put down those things that hinder us and our relationships and make the relationships more meaningful?  I believe we all would do those things when faced with the possibility of close death.  The sad thing is, why do we wait so long to take any action?  Why can't we all be living so much more fulfilled lives?  The answer is we can, we choose not to.

Things that stood out that I can do now are these:
1. If I only had a month to live, who would I spend time with and what would I do in order to make sure I had good time with them.

2. Unload on Him; write a letter to God and tell Him how others have deeply hurt me leading to bitterness.  Ask for his help because on my own, I cannot do it.  

3. Diagnose each relationship you have and determine what you need to do to make it healthier.

4. Write down 5 different gifts you know you have, then ask family members to tell you what gifts they think you have.  Compare lists then find a way to use those lists.  Start out by praying to God to see what He'd have you do with them.

5. Try to take time at least once per week being still and alone for an hour.  No books, email, phone calls, etc…  Just stare out the window, take a walk, or sit somewhere quietly.

6. Look for those around me in most need and help them.  

7. Figure out how much time I spend in God's word a week and then figure out how much time I want to spend in it, and do it!  This is the one thing in life that will produce fruit even after I'm gone.

8. Find 5 people (not family or co-workers) that share my convictions and commitment to godly character.  How often do we see each other?  How can I encourage them and get together with them more often?

9. Make a list of 1 to 5 things I desire and be honest with it.  Take them to God and ask what His perspective is regarding them.


Sayings that I really enjoyed in this book.
The only people with whom you should try and get even are those who have helped you.
~John E. Southard

There lives in each of us a hero awaiting the call to action.
~H. Jackson Brown Jr.

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude.  Don't complain.
~Maya Angelou

Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.  We cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy.  
~Tim Hansel

Guard the secret theatre of your heart.  See nothing there that you do not want to see happen in reality.
~Roy H. Williams

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.  
~Edmund Burke

My children will not remember the words of wisdom I've passed along over the years, nor will yours remember the good advice you've given.  However, etched in their minds and planted in their hearts is a permanent picture of who you are and how you've lived before them.  
~Dorothy Kelley Patterson

Though no one can go back and make a brand-new start, anyone can start now and make a brand-new ending.
~Carl Bard

For someone who has never really thought about the possibility of possibly leaving this earth in a month…this book is a great eye opener.  I would recommend this to everyone I know.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gentle & Simple Ways to Detox

(Borrowed Picture)

Here's a few things that are easy to implement and can have more of an impact on your body than you might realize.  Especially if done more often than not.  There are many other things you could do but I tried to focus on things the average person can do without having to go out and buy a whole bunch of new foods and such.  

1. Drink lemon water.  Some people like to drink warm water with 1/2 fresh squeezed lemon.  I don't do well with this so I drink mine at other times during the day.

2. Drink chlorophyl water.  I get mint flavored from Nature's Sunshine.  It tastes pretty good and mild.  

3. Take detox baths.  This can be done by adding the following into your warm bath water.  Make sure to fill it up.  Make sure it's dissolved well.  Make sure to drink some water before, during and after to get the toxins moving out.  Soak from 20 - 40 minutes for the average person and rest for at least 1/2 hour afterwards.  Since I have adrenal issues, I use about half the recommended amount for about half the time.  I get sleepy afterwards but feel better the next day.
Detox Bath Ingredients:
1 cup epsom salt
1 cup baking soda

4. Clean up your diet!  Take one full week and eat only real food.  If you drink pop or coffee, cut way down or cut it out completely.  Make sure to get lots of fresh veggies raw and cooked.  Eat real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, meats (not processed) and fresh fruits.  This will give your body a chance to better filter out the toxins you've been putting in it from refined foods.  

5. Work on your lymphatic system by skin brushing or lymphasizing.

6. Go to bed earlier. 

7. Reduce stress.  Whether it's turning off your phone or computer at certain times, or simply taking the time to laugh, do something to reduce your daily stress. 

8. Spend some time in fresh air daily.

9. Drink plenty of water.

In case this seems impossible, here's a sample plan for a day.  I realize this may not work for everyone's schedule.  You can totally change this up to fit your plan.  


~ Wake up and drink warm water that has 1/2 lemon squeezed into it.

~ Eat breakfast within 1 hour of waking.  Start out with some raw soaked oatmeal (recipes online), eggs and toast or eggs and sausage on a bed of spinach drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with basil (Dr. Mercola).  

~ Drink some chlorophyl water and step outside.  Either sit out there in the fresh air soaking up some sun (vitamin d) or take a walk.

~ Get some yummy lunch.  Try eating a nice wrap of leftover chilled shredded chicken, greens, onions, peppers, sprouts and mayonnaise.  You could also make a yummy salad with the same items and your choice of dressing.

~ Do something you enjoy even if it's for only 15 minutes.  Read a book, watch a video, knit, crochet, etc…  Drink some water.

~ 2 hours after lunch, lymphasize if possible.  I start by getting up on my trampoline and slowly bouncing without my toes coming off the trampoline to start.  After I've warmed up for a bit, I move into some walking/fast walking.  Keep at a good pace and start out.  

~ Get yourself a nice snack of fruit and cheese, a fruit/veggie smoothie or a protein shake.  I like making a protein shake out of frozen bananas, water, nut butter and plain flavored whey protein powder.  Drink some water too.

~ Go ahead and take a nap if you've been extra worn out/stressed lately.  

~ Have a dinner of some kind of protein and fresh and cooked vegetables.  

~ 2 hours after dinner run a full bath of warm water and add in 1 cup epsom salt and 1 cup baking soda.  Soak in bath for 20 minutes or so.  Make sure to have some water on hand while bathing.  To kick it up a notch, play some soothing music and light some candles.  Lay back and relax.  Once you get out, get dressed in something warm and comfy and lay your head back on your pillow.  Rest for at least 1/2 hour afterwards.  This would be a great time to pull out a great comedy and laugh.  Laughter actually helps the body tremendously.

Now that didn't seem too bad did it?  Try doing this for a whole week and keep a diary on how you've done and how you feel.  Who knows, maybe you'll want to keep it up.  If you need help with Whole Food Recipes, check the right hand side of the screen for a free download of my cookbook.  

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Black Bean, Rice and Feta Salad





This is pretty yummy!  It tastes like the pasta salad we used to make in the summer only with rice.  And of course you have a rice instead of noodle texture.  That said, this is pretty yummy.  Next time I might use a bit less rice and more veggies.



Bean, Rice and Feta Salad
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup leftover, cold rice
1 - 15oz can black beans drained and rinsed
1/2 small sweet onion, chopped finely
1/3 pepper (color of choice), chopped 
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup italian dressing
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:
1. Mix together all ingredients and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Taco Soup with Leftover Taco Meat!



I was trying to figure out a recipe to use up almost a pound of already cooked and seasoned ground beef.  The taco meat had hot seasoning so I didn't season the soup at all.  If you use a more mild seasoning, you may want to season more.  Here's to leftovers!

Ingredients:
1 lb precooked taco meat
1 diced onion
2 cans beans - pinto, black, kidney or a combination, drained but not rinsed
1 can corn - do not drain!
1 can diced tomatoes

Directions:
1. Add taco meat and onions in a pan and heat through on medium heat.
2. Add rest of ingredients in the pan, stir and put the lid on.  Simmer on medium/low for about 20 minutes or till everything is cooked through.
3. Serve topped with sour cream and cheddar cheese.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Feta and Cream Cheese Spread



I saw the idea for this online and it sounded divine!  I pulled some bean burgers I had frozen out of the freezer and warmed them up.  I had mine in an ezekiel wrap with the spread, toasted.  It was great!  My daughter had hers by itself and loved it as well.  This has so many different uses.  If you need to use up a lot of feta, here's one recipe you'll want to try.

Ingredients:
1/2 crumbled Feta cheese
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon basil

Directions
1. Mix all together well and serve on sandwiches, in eggs, as a dip, etc...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Potato, Ham, Feta and Gruyere Skillet



I threw this together tonight and am so glad I did.  This will definitely be on our family favorite list from now on.  It was so fast, simple and yummy.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium cooked and chilled potatoes, sliced - we used leftovers from dinner last night (crockpot potatoes)
1 medium onion very thinly sliced
6-8 slices thinly sliced smoked ham, chopped
Feta cheese
Gruyere cheese
thyme
pepper

Directions:
1. Melt butter in pan and sprinkle onions evenly over bottom of pan.  Turn on medium heat.
2. Add in potatoes in a single layer, then ham on top of that.  Sprinkle thyme lightly over the top and pepper.  Let fry well until potatoes are cooked through.
3. While potatoes and onion are cooking, top well with crumbled Feta and Gruyere cheese.  Put lid on top and let cheese melt.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Money Lessons for Kids Part 2



As you may have seen in a post last year, we started giving my 11 year old daughter necessity money.  A couple things have been added to that list now that she's growing up and her budget has been accounted for  those things.  Here's the post in case you missed it.

She is now 12 years old and in 7th grade.  Her math book has her going over budgets, writing checks, interest rates, etc... I'm very glad they go over this but I wanted to take it a step further.  We are making up a budget for Allysha as if she's 18 years old and working at a regular job - McDonalds, Walmart, etc... right out of high school.

Step 1:
I told her how much money she'd probably be bringing home and we figured that'd be $800 per month.

Step 2:
I asked her if she wanted to live at home or on her own at that point.  She chose at home.

Step 3:
She figured out what she wanted to have and what she thought was necessary.

Step 4:
We then looked into the things she wanted/needed like a car, cell phone, etc... I showed her real car ads, real phone plans, etc...

Step 5:
We figured out a plan that she is comfortable with and the cell phone was just not in the budget.

Step 6:
We're going to play a game kind of like the game of life.  I'll tell her which month we're on and she'll pull a paper out of a hat.  It may have something like "you just got into a car accident, pay $500 deductable", "Your friend asked you to be a bridesmaid in her wedding.  You need to pay $300 for your dress and alterations", etc...  Each time something like this happens, she is going to have to figure out a way to adjust her budget to compensate for the catastrophes.

Step 7:
We're going to move on into the age of 24 and her getting married.  How getting married and working/not working impacts her budget.  And of course we'll throw a pregnancy in there along with other things that life throws our way.  (please don't think I think babies are a burden - they are a blessing indeed!).  We will see if a realtor is willing to work with us and take us to a few houses in the area that are within her "budget".

I'm hoping this will give her a much better idea of what life is like - at least as close as she can get without actually living it.  I'm hoping this will cause her to think more as she gets older.  But, if she does make mistakes, she will still have this to look back on and remember.

Do you do something similar to this?

Oh and in case you were wondering, she picked a 1999 Pontiac Grand Prix that just had a new transmission put in and with warranty.  It has 170,000 miles on it and is in great running condition.  It is local and is listed at $2,800.  The actual picture from the ad is above.