Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Won an Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so excited!!!! I actually won an award for my blog!!! This AWESOME lady named Tracy who writes and AMAZING blog called, A Slice of Smith Life, enjoyed my blog and awarded me for it!!!! I get the opportunity now to give an award to others as a sort of "pay it forward" game!!!! So here is my list of 15 sites you MUST see, in no particular order!!!



  1. Ruth at http://underneathhiswrapping.blogspot.com/
  2. Liz at http://elizcross.blogspot.com/
  3. Benson & Kristin at http://lukesexton.blogspot.com/
  4. Jamie at http://www.sophistimom.com/
  5. Amy at http://amy-newnostalgia.blogspot.com/
  6. Liz at http://lovingmom2boys.blogspot.com/
  7. Kelli at http://the-wilson-world.blogspot.com/
  8. Michelle at http://www.shelookethwell.blogspot.com/
  9. Bradie at http://quiltcetera.wordpress.com/
  10. Rachel at http://www.psiquilt.com/
  11. Tiffany at http://www.naturemoms.com/blog/
  12. The large family at http://ladyofvirtue.blogspot.com/
  13. A wise woman at http://proverbs14verse1.blogspot.com/
  14. Emily Rose at http://www.simplyvintagegirl.com/blog/
  15. Theresa at http://jborolandlady.wordpress.com/

So here are the rules for accepting this award...


1. Accept the award. Post it on your blog with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers that you have newly discovered.

3. Contact those blog owners and let them know they've been chosen.


What a fun activity for all you bloggers out there!!! Thanks so much, Tracy, for including me :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Boy Who Changed the World

I was blessed with a wonderful opportunity to receive a book that I thought would be interesting from Booksneeze, a book review website, in exchange for an honest review.  I don't have to like the book or dislike the book I just have to be honest. I don't get paid if you buy the book or anything like that.  I just get a free copy for my own personal use!!!! You can't beat that!!!


 My Review:

By Andy Andrew

Published by Thomas Nelson


Book Description from Booksneeze

Did you know that what you do today can change the world forever?

The Boy Who Changed the World opens with a young Norman Borlaug playing in his family’s cornfields with his sisters. One day, Norman would grow up and use his knowledge of agriculture to save the lives of two billion people. Two billion! Norman changed the world! Or was it Henry Wallace who changed the world? Or maybe it was George Washington Carver?

This engaging story reveals the incredible truth that everything we do matters! Based on The Butterfly Effect, Andy’s timeless tale shows children that even the smallest of our actions can affect all of humanity. The book is beautifully illustrated and shares the stories of Nobel Laureate Norman Borlaug, Vice President Henry Wallace, Inventor George Washington Carver, and Farmer Moses Carver. Through the stories of each, a different butterfly will appear. The book will end with a flourish of butterflies and a charge to the child that they, too, can be the boy or girl who changes the world.


I really enjoyed reading, The Boy Who Changed the World, with my children. The book flows very well from start to finish and leaves you feeling like you have just journeyed through history. It is a great resource for a Charlotte Mason type class where you can make history come alive!!! When the book parallels the boys' stories with the butterfly effect my children went wild!! They found it so interesting that one butterfly flapping its wings can make such a difference. This gave them a little bit of science in a history class!!! We homeschool and so it is great to have an opportunity to get a little history, a little reading, and a little science all wrapped up in one book!!!! Oh, and the artwork was lovely throughout the entire book!! All in all, I would recommend, The Boy Who Changed the World, to anyone with kids or without!!! I, too, enjoyed learning about history through this children’s book!!!

One Con:
I am not a big fan of the use of artificial means (super seeds) to grow food for myself, but it was a big part of our history and it does have the potential to help many others who would die of starvation otherwise.


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thankful Thursday

I am thankful today for my freedom!!! I am thankful that I live in a country where I can choose to homeschool, go to church, read the Bible, go to the doctor I choose, etc... 



I find it very discouraging when I see how many rights the government is trying to take away from us and hope that we as citizens fight this to the end!!!




Think of our freedom today as you go through the pictures & read
The Pledge of Allegiance that we, as citizens, have all agreed to!!!!





I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,







 and to the republic for which it stands, one nation UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sacred Sunday - John 14


John 14


1 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.


2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.


3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.

5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?


6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.


7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.


8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.


9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?


10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.


12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.


13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.


14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.


15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;


17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.


18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.


19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.


20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.


22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?

23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.


24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.


25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.


26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.


27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.


28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.


29 And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

30 Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.


31 But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do. Arise, let us go hence.





Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sacred Sunday - Psalm 139

 
Psalm 139


                                              For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.


2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.


3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.



4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether.


5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.


6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.


7 Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?


8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.


9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;


10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.


11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.


12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.



13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.


14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.


15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.


16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.


17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!


18 If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.


19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.


20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.


21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?


22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.


23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:


24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.





Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Counting My Birthday Blessings...

I had such a wonderful birthday!!! Like I said yesterday, I counted my blessings on this birthday!!!  I am sure that there are blessings I have received that have not made it into the count, but I really started realizing I am rich in blessings!!! Here they are in no particular order...


How I was blessed today:


1. My family & friends - I woke up this morning to a ton of emails from my family and friends wishing me a happy birthday.  It made me feel so special!!!


2. My husband & children - No one in my household remembered my birthday until my husband saw the emails and said, "Is it your birthday???" He said he couldn't believe he had written the 11th on so many papers the yesterday at work and it didn't register.  I found it hilarious!!! I am used to my husband being forgetful. When we first met, I asked him when his birthday was and he said April 3rd.  I have been known to have a pretty good memory and so later in our relationship I mentioned some famous people who were born on April 3rd and he proceeded to tell me, "My birthday is not April 3rd it's April 6th."  After this, I became thrilled if he remembered my name...just kidding :) Of course, my husband and children proceeded to shower me with love and then came my next blessing...


3. Lunch & Treat - After my husband's faux pas, he decided to go eat a special lunch.  We drove an hour to get to one of our favorite Cincinnati fast food places (my birthday meant naughty food...TeeHeeHee) Frishes Big Boy has always been a favorite place.  You see, I grew up in Cincinnati and miss the food since we live about 4 hours away.  Thankfully, some of our favorite Cincinnati restaurants are in Kentucky, hence the shorter drive. I know a lot of you would think special fast food lunch is an oxymoron, but you must understand that it was extremely hot and we have three children still in carseats so we do a lot of eating in the minivan :) After lunch, my husband bought me a very YUMMY peanut butter cup cupcake!!!


4. Special Visitor - When we got home I noticed a butterfly had attached itself to my shirt and came in the house.  What a cool experience!!!! We gave him some strawberries and watched as he drank the juice with his straw-like mouth.  It was neat to watch him coil it up, too.  I had to get some pictures, of course!!!

5. Mail - Remember as kids how much you desperately wanted mail, but it was only for you on your birthday? I felt like a kid again!!! I was so excited to see a card from my AMAZING grandparents and also one from my dad who I have not seen or talked to in a couple years.  We are not angry with one another we just write each other on certain occasions. My parents divorced when I was 7 yrs and he has never been consistent about seeing us. He had some issues he needed to fix and did not start to do that until recently. He got himself in some trouble some years back and is serving time for it. This was the first time in 31 years he remembered my birthday without anyone telling him and he even remembered how old I turned!!! I cried like a baby when I read his kind words.



6. My Lord & Savior - I have to end on perfect number seven with my perfect blessing.  I have had a personal relationship with Jesus for many years now, but I only in the past year and a half began to make a complete submission to Him in all areas of my life.  It has been a wonderful journey, though, it is not over yet!!! So my final blessing is that the Lord breathed life into my 31 yrs and 9 mos ago (I believe in life at conception) and He has blessed me ever since!!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

One Year Since Tragedy Struck...


This is my dear young cousin Carly.  She was beautiful and very sweet.  One year ago today she passed away.  I miss her very much and couldn't stop thinking about her all day today. She truly has been unforgetable.  My family had never experienced death outside of elderly family members.  Carly had just celebrated her 24th birthday the evening prior to her death and left behind two beautiful baby boys.  Aren't they precious?  I know that they will always be told about their mother, but it is heartbreaking to think of babies not having their mother to love and guide them through the years. 


I saw Carly last at another cousin's wedding and before that at her baby shower for her older son. At the wedding we kept talking about how we needed to get together, but that never happened.  (I live a few hours away from my hometown)  For the longest time I beat myself up over this, but ultimately this is what happens to us.  We never know whose funeral will be the next which we attend and it could even be our own. It's so important to tie up loose ends.  Say and do all that you feel you need to before you do not get the opportunity.  I am so grateful to have known and loved my dear cousin.  I wish that I hadn't taken her for granted.  I had so many opportunities to pop her an email and never did. Today is a wonderful opportunity to just pop a "hello" email to those loved ones that you always seem to put on the back burner.  You'll be happy that you did!!!
That's me & Carly when life was still so innocent!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Wonderful World of Coconuts

A couple weeks ago my husband had a "blonde" moment as he asked me, "What does a coconut look like?" I gave a brief description and later went shopping. While at the store, I decided to buy a coconut. I have always loved coconut so I knew we could find some use for this. We had done some research about coconuts and found out that the juice inside is water & not milk which I kept calling it. The water is very high in electrolytes and has been even known to be put in IVs for people needing fluids!!! Wow, God's Gatorade!!! We used a drill to get the water out & then a big scary knife to crack it open. Then we made coconut milk (in the Vitamix, of course)!!! What a fun experiment!!! There are some amazing sites out there with recipes for making your own coconut milk, but here is what I did.

       Coconut Milk
  • I took all of the coconut meat & peeled the brown stuff off. 
  • Then I chopped it into about 1 inch pieces & put them in the Vitamix. 
  • Next, I poured about two cups of warm water in & turned it on.
  • After everything was blended well, I took my juicer & put the mixture in it. 
I was able to use & reuse the coconut puree a few times & got about 1 liter of coconut milk!!! I did have to mix it with cow's milk to get the kids aquainted with it., but now they are enjoying coconut milk in their oatmeal every morning!!! Here is their morning recipe:

Coconut Raisin Oatmeal:
(sorry, but I didn't get around to taking a pic of the oats)
  • 1 packet instant regular oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 small box of raisins (or dried fruit of choice)
  1. Put the oatmeal in a bowl
  2. Pour in the milk
  3. Mix in the raisins
  4. Microwave for about 20-30 seconds (or more if you prefer it hotter)
  5. Enjoy!!!
The Diva enjoying some yummy coconut milk!!!

Coconut Oil
Another thing that we found out about coconuts is that the oil is AMAZING for you!!!! I have a genetic disorder called Carnitine Uptake Deficiency which basically makes it so that my fat is not burned for energy. Apparently, when you eat coconut oil, it bypasses the carnitine system and raises your metabolism!!! This is very cool for me!!!! I have started eating coconut oil (instead of butter) every morning on either Cinnamon Raisin Bread or whole grain waffles... YUMMY!!! Just make sure that you use a brand that has a smell of coconuts when you open it.  I am still looking for that, but since it is pricy I use the one I already have. Check out this site for all of the info on coconuts!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

More Vitamix Fun...

We did two more experiments over the weekend that were a ton of fun!!! We made cupcakes & apple-plum sauce/baby food!!!

Cupcakes
I was just curious what would happen if you mixed a box of cake mix in the Vitamix. So I did it. Would it change the flavor???? I was hoping to get some secret amazing flavor that could only come from blending it...



Doesn't it look like it has the glow of Heaven...LOL!!!




Pros:


  • It was extremely easy to pour the mix into the individual cups.
  • It did warm them as it blended them so I could eat the batter without fear of raw eggs.
  • The batter seemed fluffier.
  • The cleanup was super easy!!!! (Just a few drops of soap and a couple cups of water, turn on the Vitamix for a couple minutes & rinse. I think the cleanup is what is so great!!!)
  • Cupcakes seemed to need less time to cook!!!
  • They tasted great when they came out!!!
Cons:


  • They still tasted like cupcakes instead of some expensive French dessert :)
  • I only had one box!!!

One of my favorite taste testers!!!
Overall, the Vitamix made some yummy cupcakes, but I am sure that you could do well with another appliance. For our family, I will continue to use the Vitamix for cake mixing until I get a Kitchenaid Stand Up Mixer (my dream appliance)



Apple-Plum Sauce/Baby Food
video

I am very pleased to see that making baby food for My little JuJuBee will be simple in the Vitamix!!! I had a few granny smith apples & two plums so I made a wonderful apple-plum sauce!!!
 I cored the apples & de-pitted the plums, threw them in the blender with a little water & voila!!!! I threw in a little cinnamon & maple syrup for sweetness. It smelled AWESOME!!! The kids enjoyed it, but I am used to too much sugar in my apple sauce. I really am trying to break my sugar addiction, but it is easier said than done!!! I put two small containers in the freezer for when the baby gets old enough to eat them. I have to say that this was the easiest way to make applesauce & when my sugar addiction is over I can see myself eating this often!!!


 Apple-Plum Sauce:
4 small Granny Smith Apples
2 Black Plums
3oz water
Dash of Cinnamon
Maple Syrup or other sweetener as desired




-Core the apples with an apple corer

-De-pit the Plums & cut plum in quarters

-Pour 3oz water & then layer fruit
-Throw in a dash of Cinnamon & sweetener

-Blend to the desired consistency

-Put in fridge to cool or eat warm!!!




Thursday, July 29, 2010

Yum or Yuk?!?!?!

!In my quest for better health and weight loss, I have decided to take small steps toward big results. My DH had an amazing idea several months ago to buy a Vita-Mix 5200 Blender. These blenders have a 7 year warranty and people continuously sing their praises about them. Unfortunately, my DH & I have only used it a few times after spending a small fortune (roughly $400) on it, but I decided to change that. I will be trying new (hopefully healthy)recipes!!!



In the past we have made great snow cones & slushies, milkshakes, & some protein shakes & smoothies. It really is powerful (2 horsepower motor) and did great on the few things that we tried, but my DH was becoming discouraged that we had paid so much for a "snow cone machine". I searched for more recipes (although, the blender did come with a wonderful hardbound cookbook), but I wanted to watch people in action. I found several videos of people making various things and got excited!!! Now, I am going to try to make something every day in the Vitamix!!! Yesterday, I cut up two large lemons (with peel still intact) and blend them with water for some lemonade!!! The verdict was not great at first because I forgot about sugar!!! (Insert sour face here...LOL) After adding the sugar and a couple strawberries it was much better!!! I had so much leftover that I decided to make whole fruit popsicles!!!! We will be trying them tonight!!!
videoThis morning I used my Vitamix to make SCRAMBLED EGGS!!!!!!!!!!! I was so curious about this recipe so I did it!!!
                                              

                                                Vitamix Scrambled Eggs
Ingredients:
6 Whole Eggs
1/4 C. Water
1/4 C. Milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
Cooking Spray
Shredded Cheese to garnish (optional)

Spray Blade with Cooking Spray. Start on Variable 1 & turn it to variable 10 quickly then on High. Let Blend for 8 minutes (steam will come out of the vented lid). Scrape out with Spatula, Garnish & Enjoy!!!


Steam Escaping from the lid!!!


The Result:
It was a ton of fun, but it was not my new favorite way to cook eggs. My kids, on the other hand, went crazy over them! They were a lot softer than your typical scrambled eggs which made it appealing for future baby food for Julia, but the older kids liked it, too! It was kind of messy (as you can see in the picture to the right) and we will probably stick to eggs on the stovetop, but the experience was worth it!!!

Kid approved!!!
I am not affiliated with Vita-Mix nor do I receive compensation from them.

I have not been trained as a doctor and the posts here are simply ideas that I am trying to implement in my own life. If you would like to use the advice here that is awesome, but please, please, please make sure you know your limitations so that you do not get hurt or die from taking my advice!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Tiny Visitor...

Tonight we had pretty rough weather and as a result this little guy wandered into our living room.


As I sat on the couch this evening, I saw this little guy hopping across the living room floor! Thankfully our kitty cat did not see him or he would not be alive today. He is also lucky that we did not step on him because he was so tiny!!! You could actually see through his skin! Of course, the kids went crazy and begged to keep him, but Daddy said no (and I agreed)  The poor thing would be much happier outside and so after a quick photo shoot & some laughter from the kids he went to the wilderness outside our front door!!!

We have been getting blessed with tree frog visitors that hang on our window to eat the bugs, but this was an extra special treat!!!




That is a real quarter next to him!!! Isn't he cute?!?!




"It's not easy being green!" -Kermit the Frog