Thursday, January 16, 2014

Success

"Heaven, not Harvard"

I just heard that phrase for the first time this past week and remembered that I haven't shared this. 

Back in the beginning of September our oldest accepted Christ into her heart.  We had read the Patricia St. John book, Treasures in the Snow, and Karrots surprised us by letting us know that she had prayed that Jesus would come into her heart.  She had grabbed onto the spiritual illustrations in the book, like how you don't chase darkness (sin) out of a room (your heart), but open the curtains and let the light (Jesus) in. 

I am SOOO glad she has Him as a best friend and that we'll get to spend eternity together, basking in Him love.



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Nut Butter

When we got married I kinda got adopted into a new way of thinking.  That is, a new way of dressing a morning food favorite...peanut butter.

That's right...peanut butter...on pancakes and waffles.

Now don't judge it until you try it.  Not only is it yummy, but it adds protein - a MAJOR bonus for all pregnant women, those balancing sugar, and workout junkies!

Then last year autumn came along with a craving for pumpkin and a need for more protein than sugar.  So I found this recipe for pumpkin pancakes.  AMAZING!  One can of pumpkin and 8 eggs with very little else.  Protein AND veggies!  Added bonus: the kids LOVE them! 

But, it just didn't taste perfect with peanut butter.  So, with a determination to find another use for our Vitamix (besides smoothies), I came up with a better autumn nut butter combination: 2 cups almonds, 2 cups pecans, and 1 cup walnuts.






It makes my Vitamix sound like it's breaking, but with the warranty and notes on such behavior in the recipe book, I'm convinced this machine was designed for this.

(One tip: eventually you can keep the tamper all the way in and it will help with a vortex to keep it all moving.)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Egg Nog Recipe

In leu of the coming holidays I've been craving egg nog.  I found a recipe online and "healthified" it to my liking and it's become my new addiction...not just because it has rum in it, but because I grew up loving egg nog and hate all the white sugar and processed junk in the stuff they sell in the store.


Egg Nog

4 raw pasture raised eggs
2 cups raw milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
1-2 ounces dark rum
1 tsp. nutmeg

First off, as this recipe has RAW eggs you can follow Alton Brown's safety suggestions in his recipe or, as Jordan Rubin suggests, just wash the shells with hot soapy water.  The shells supposedly where any bacteria dwell.  After washing them, separate the egg whites from the yolks.

Whip the egg whites.  I do this with our stand mixer in its smaller bowl.  While it's whipping, beat the yolks in a separate bowl then add the milk, cream, syrup, rum and nutmeg.  Beat until combined.  When the egg whites form stiff peaks add them into the egg/milk mixture with a whisk.  This makes it ubber frothy.  Add more syrup (and rum) to taste.

With just 1 ounce rum this egg nog tastes a lot like the stuff I remember growing up with that my mom bought off the shelf...but it's fresh and not processed!  Not much guilt and a rich, creamy delight I think I make have to make year round.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Godparents

When we first started having kids we didn't think much about the idea of godparents.  Neither Red nor I have godparents and, for me, it was more of a Catholic tradition.  Besides, the Spirit wasn't leading us to it.

Through the years we've attended the dedications for our friends' children and found they took the title differently.  Each child has a different godparent(s) whose job is to pray for them and be there for them throughout life.  It wasn't the traditional title of "we get the kids if the parents die".  This meaning made an impression on us.

With that, we (and by "we" I'm pretty sure I mostly mean "me") felt the need to find our kids someone(s) special to be spiritual role models in their lives and to give them some special individual attention.  Looking back on my life I see the importance of discipleship and having an older person to guide me down the right path.  I want our kids to have that EARLY so hopefully they'll have the accountability and make better choices from the start.

The choice in godparent(s) for the girls seemed somewhat obvious and Spirit led and we're still waiting for the right person/couple for Rusty.  With the girls' birthday party coming up it seemed the perfect time to make it official, without making Rusty feel left out. 

Karrots was named after a dear friend of mine that I had helped babysit when I was in college and had come to see her and her siblings as my brother and sisters.  I hang out with them just to hang out.  Birthdays, soccer games, graduations...I love being a part of their family.  Before Karrots was born this friend told us that if we had a girl with red hair and we named for after her that she would babysit for free.  So, out popped Karrots, girlie with red hair, and she took her name...but not only her name, but her curly hair and vibrant personality.



When I was pregnant with Melody I grew closer to one of the ladies in our church, Wendy.  She loves kids and I found out is believing for children in her own life.  During worship one Sunday I felt Melody moving in utero and felt led to sit by Wendy and have her experience our baby/pregnancy.  Then, when I was in labor Wendy made sure her fiance, Snoya, was praying for us.  After Melody was born Wendy was always our go-to baby holder during church service.  God was also tying Melody to Snoya, all the way in Africa.  One day Snoya messaged Wendy that he woke up in the middle of the night and God put it heavy on his heart to pray for me and the baby.



Wendy and Snoya got married this summer and are moving to Africa soon so the timing was perfect.  Snoya already had boys that call him father (and now call Wendy "mother").  Now that he has a wife they are looking forward to daughters in Christ, with Melody being their first.

After agreeing on the godparents, we asked each of them if they'd agree to BE their godparents and explained what they would be committing to.  They agreed and we wrote up a covenant for them to sign the day of the birthday party:



I, ________________, in taking on the title of godmother/godfather for ______________, hereby make a covenant with her, her parents, and God to:

  • keep her in my prayers, being her personal intercessor;
  • love her unconditionally;
  • hold her parents accountable to raising her for the Lord's purposes;
  • be a mentor and friend for her;
  • supply support for her during all times, pointing her to God during trials and praises;
  • do my best to set a godly example.

Somewhere in between cake and the pinata our friends read their goddaughter their covenant, signed the bottom of it, and then Melody's godparents prayed for her.




We gave the godparents a frame with their covenant and a picture of them with their goddaughter as a reminder.  I'm also planning on putting together the signed copy with a picture and framing it in the girls' room.

We're looking forward to finding the right person/people for Rusty.  I feel confident that the Lord will lead us as to who to choose for him.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Unleashed

The Sunday before last we had a guest from the Salem House of Prayer who had a word from the Lord for my dad.  He said that once my dad understands who he really is, he would be a DANGER to Satan's reign once he was UNLEASHED.  He also saw the color purple, royalty, over him.

How encouraging! 

Lord, UNLEASH my dad.  Give him the full understand of who he is in YOU that he might win souls!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Hummus with Roasted Veggies

This past weekend Red and I went on a double date with some friends.  Being that we got to the restaurant around 7:30, we were all a little post hungry, so we ordered a veggie appetizer.  Whether the pleasure was due to our growing appetite or not, it was delicious!! 

It was good enough to try recreating it...

 

I blended a bunch of garlic with garbanzo beans, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and lemon juice in the Vitamix and then stir-fried some red and yellow bell pepper, onion, garlic, and kalamata olives with a little salt and pepper in the cast iron skillet.  Spread the hummus on a plate with a spoon, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and paprika and served with toasted pita bread and veggies.  Good enough to serve as a meatless meal for me!

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Change of Seasons

We just had the pleasure of spending the last day with our dear friends, Cisco and Mindy, before their move to Iowa.  In fact, Red just got back from taking them to the airport.  They spent last night over here and hung our with us all day, mailing and blessing us with last minute belongings and playing with the kids.  These two have been a pretty big part of our lives as a couple and family and will be EXTREMELY missed.

A little history on our friendship:
  • Cisco is a big part of the beginning of our family.  He was running trips to an orphanage in Mexico, Casa Hogar, with his church and after Red moved down here he started going on the trips with him.  When I went down to the same orphanage with my college I met Cisco and started going down on these bimonthly trips, which is where I met Red.  In fact, both of us would go down with Cisco on food runs, where we'd leave in the evening to drive food down to Casa Hogar and return early in the morning.  On the trips, Cisco would take us separately and ask us what we were looking for in a mate and then would take us down together and ask the same questions, the whole time with our future spouse sitting next to us.
  • We met Mindy when she started going down on the trips.  I immediately warned her about Cisco stating, "the poor woman who marries that man."  Little did I know she had interest in him and would eventually marry him.  We knew her well enough to have her at our wedding.  Cisco helped throw Red a bachelor's party (going to the shooting range), but found some excuse not to attend our wedding.
  • A year after Karrots birthday they ended up getting married and the day after joined us for her big first birthday party, along with their family.
  • They both really want(ed) to have a baby together so I invited her to Rusty's birth.  Mindy got to see him come into the world at her first home birth.  They've both also been a big part of our kids' lives, practicing their parenting skills, attending birthdays and dedications, and spoiling them as often as possible.
  • They've been great go-to friends for last minute fellowship.  They'd come over for dinner and we'd hang around the fire pit.  Outdoor fires were a must with Cisco being a volunteer fireman.  Cisco even went camping last minute with Red and the kids in Big Bear.  Different tents, of course.  ;)  
  • It's been awesome seeing God work in their marriage!  The fact they're both moving is a testimony to God's goodness and faithfulness!  
Lord, thank you for blessing us with Cisco and Mindy as friends for so many years and for giving us their friendship through so many of life's ups and downs.  Bless them as they start this new chapter of their life.  Bless Cisco for his sacrifice in the move.  Bring healing to Mindy: body, mind and spirit.  Prepare a whole new community for them who will encourage them, support them, love them, and point them to You.  Continue to reveal to them what it means to be one and surround them with people who will hold them to their covenant with You.    Bless them, bless them, bless them!