Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Amazon Free E-book of the Day

Today's free Ebook is one you'll want to read, especially if you're a history buff.  Southern Seahawk :A Novel of the Civil War at Sea(Seahawk Trilogy) sounds like it will be a good read.
Southern Seahawk: A Novel of the Civil War at Sea (Seahawk Trilogy) Pin It Now!

Gluten Free Bread-Free Kindle Ebook

Go to Amazon today for this free ebook titled Gluten Free Bread :More than 100 Easy Gluten Free Desserts and Gluten Free Bread Recipes.  Looks like a good one to me!

Gluten Free Bread: More Than 100 Easy Gluten Free Desserts and Gluten Free Bread Recipe Pin It Now!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Matthew 6:34

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (NIV)

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.-KJV

I find that I am a worrier.  I worry about many different things.  Mostly things I have no control over.  I have to repeatedly remind myself that I don't need to worry.  I need to just hand my worry over to God.    Tomorrow will come and things will happen whether I spent today worrying about them or not, but today will still be gone and what will I have to show for it?  Let tomorrow worry for itself and let's live for today enjoying the moments as they pass us by.

One of my little blessings who helps me remember to live for today and let tomorrow be dealt with tomorrow.  Here she is being such a big girl and brushing her teeth. . . in the bathtub. . . with safety goggles and her night gown on. Pin It Now!

Red Velvet Cupcakes(gluten free and dairy free)

Ok so I am just now getting this recipe up.  I apologize.  I made these for Valentines' Day but have been so busy that they took a backseat.  I found this recipe at Gluten Free on a Shoestring but as is normal for me I did a few modifications.  I left the sugar out completely and made it dairy free.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
1-3/4 cup gluten free flour blend
1 tsp xanthan gum or guar gum
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
2 Tb unsweetened dark chocolate cocoa powder
6 Tb coconut oil
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cider vinegar
scant 1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup beets for the food coloring

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Line cupcake pan with 12 liners.
In a large bowl whisk all the dry ingredients together.
In separate bowl combine the wet ingredients, except for the milk.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well.  Batter will be lumpy.
Add the milk and mix well.
Divide the batter into the muffin tins(this made around 18 cupcakes for me).  Once you put the mix into the tins smack the tins around a bit to level out the dough.

Bake for 25 minutes.  Let cool in pan for a few minutes before removing to cooling rack.

  Let cool completely before decorating.

Shared on Whole Food Wednesdays. and Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons, Try a New Recipe Tuesdays, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Teach me Tuesdays, Menu Monday, Titus 2sdays, Wellness Wednesday, Wise Woman Linkup, Wednesday Linkup, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Homemaking Linkup, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Real Food Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Proverbs 31 Thursdays Linkup, Thrifty Thursdays, Friday Food Frenzy, Weighing In

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Playing Catch up

This week has been so busy for us.  Well the weekend too.  On Friday our youngest went to the Dr and was diagnosed with strep throat.  On Saturday I took the rest of the kids and we have 5 with strep throat(three also have ear infections), 1 sinus infection, 1 ear infection with an ear canal infection, and one who amazingly is not sick yet(this is our just had surgery boy).  That makes for 7 kids on antibiotics which is fun.  Thankfully they are starting to feel better.

I also had to catch up on laundry and dishes from when we were gone in the hospital with our son.  It's amazing how things pile up when you're not here.  I had never really been away from home before as I either always have the kids with me or am only gone for a few hours without them.  I actually had never been away from the kids for that long before. Before this hospital stay with Patrick, I had never spent the night away from Colin or Fionna.  I had left the older ones with my parents once when Sean and I went to a national reenactment together while I was pregnant with Colin. 

I think I am now caught up with dishes and laundry.  Now I have to start catching up on the cleaning.  I don't think I realized just how much I do in daily maintenance around the house until it went a few days without getting done.  I really do do a lot around here!

Today was a fun day for us.  We did our school and thankfully there weren't too many problems with that amonst the kids.  They were very stircrazy and wanted to play outside.  With them all being sick and it raining outside I decided that probably wasn't a good idea.  So after lunch we loaded up in the van and went for a drive through our local wildlife refuge.  The kids love driving through and seeing all of the birds.  I am not a bird person and can't tell you more than the very basics.  IE we saw some ducks, geese, and a few cardinals today!  We also saw a really neat hawk that I'm going to have to look up and see what he was.  He kept flying next to the van so the kids got a great view! 

I left the kids with my mom for a bit after our wildlife adventure so I could go help Daddy finish up an electrical job.  I am getting good at fixing up outlets. . . ok so maybe not but I can at least put the covers on straight!  Then off to pickup the kids and come home.  Kids are all now sleeping in their beds and I'm having a rest before tackling the rest of the dishes and programming the coffeepot.

Almost forgot!  The best part of the week so far was that Zyera got her glasses on Monday.  She looks so cute in them and you can tell that she likes being able to see.  The first day with them she spent a half an hour just looking at her fingers as she moved them around.  It was so adorable.  She also only dropped three baked beans that night at supper which is a record because normally that's all she keeps on the spoon to get to her mouth!  Here's a peak at the cutie with the glasses.

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Gluten Free Giveaways

Don't forget these giveaways over at Simply Gluten Free.  They end on February 29th so make sure to go get your entries in today and tomorrow!

Awesome giveaways including:

Cuisinart 2 Lb bread maker
Kindle Fire
Gluten Free Flour and Cookbook
Justin's Nut Butter
Wholesome Sweeteners
and much more! Pin It Now!

Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes

I found this recipe for Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes and knew we had to try them.  Sorry that I didn't get a picture, but they were really good and they all got eaten.  In fact, the first batch was eaten by the kids and I had to make a second batch so the rest of us would have some!

I did make some changes to the original recipe so what you see below is what I did.

Fluffy Gluten Free Pancakes
2 eggs
4 Tb oil(coconut is what I used)
2 cups buttermilk(if you don't have buttermilk use regular milk with a Tb of vinegar)
2 cups brown rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch(or cornstarch or potato starch, etc)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp xanthan gum(or guar gum)

1.  Mix the eggs, oil, and buttermilk together.
2.  In separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
3.  Make a well in dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.
4.  Mix all ingredients together until just incorporated.
5.  Let sit or rest for 5 minutes.
6.  Stir again and place by the 1/4 cupful onto griddle.  I had to flatten mine out some because they were TOO fluffy for us(they don't spread at all).  Cook on each side until golden brown and serve warm with honey.

These were delicious and sorry for not getting a picture, but you'll just have to try them yourselves! Pin It Now!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What a Day

Today was one of those days where you want to crawl back under the covers and start over.  Whew.  It's over now though and tomorrow is a new day full of new exciting adventures.

I had to take my youngest to the doctor this morning as she woke up with a 101 degree temp.  I thought she must have gotten an ear infection, but instead she has strep throat.  This is the first time any of my little ones has gotten strep.  I'm not sure where we came in contact with it.  Must have been church because we really haven't gone very many places lately and it would not have been from the hospital already.  Poor baby though is not feeling well.  She took 3 naps today and it's normally like pulling teeth to get her to take one!

I got home with her and found out that three of the other kids were complaining of headaches/stomach pains/ sore throats.  So, figured I should take the to the Dr as well, but by the time I got to the walk in clinic they were closed(I was told they stayed open until 6 but guess not today).  The fun part was I got to drive through a blizzard to get to the doctor's office and on the way back.  Wow was that some snow.  I couldn't see more than 15 feet in front of me when it was a good view.  Very glad to have made it home safe.  I had to laugh though because the radio weather, while I was driving through the snow storm, said it was 46 degrees out and only a 20 percent chance of rain or snow.  Think they missed on this one.

So, now I have to run the kids up to the Dr for their half day Saturday clinic.  I'm beginning to wonder if the migraine I've had since Wednesday is more than a normal migraine.  My throat has been sore as well but I chalked that up to my normal sinus issues with not taking my allergy medicine while we were at the hospital.  My husband also thinks he's coming down with something.  This could be an interesting weekend. 

Big positive is that I had a baby goat born this evening.  Little buck kid.  Both he and mommy are doing great so what more could I ask for?!  We had twin ewe lambs born yesterday as well.  Unfortunately, the mommy decided that only one of them was hers so we are having to bottle feed one. 

Here is hoping for a good weekend for us and kids that start to feel better soon.  On a positive note, my aunt agreed to pick up Patrick's teddy that he accidently left at the hospital so that should come tomorrow and make him feel better.  Today his brother fell and smacked his incision site which caused a good deal of pain, but all in all he's doing wonderfully.  He only took his medicine once today before going to bed.  I'm super proud of that "little man".  "Little man" is a nickname that several of his favorite people call him and he really seems to like it!

Two of my little loves, Patrick and Fionna.
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Proverbs 16:32

He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. (Proverbs 16:32 KJV)

This tells me that we need to control ourselves to make the most impact on others.  And that probably makes no sense to you!   To me if I can keep my temper in check(yeap I have a pretty good temper being that I'm Irish) and take the time to think through things instead of just getting angry, it will make us a better person, better friend, better parent, better spouse, and most importantly a better example of Christ.

I struggle with my temper sometimes.  I tend to want to get angry and say what pops into my head instead of praying and thinking about things before speaking.  I'm working on this.  We need to have control over our tempers, our thoughts, and our spirits.  I don't know of anyway for us as simple human beings to do that as human nature tells us to do as we wish.  No, we cannot do this on our own.  We must ask God to help us to do these things or we will never conquer.

Anyone else have thoughts on this?  I know I'm behind in posting passages and Bible readings, but I have still been reading.  This was from a bit ago and I just did not get it posted due to getting busy with the kids and then being in the hospital with my son.  Pin It Now!

Crockpot Orange Chicken

I made this dish on Monday.  I had it cooking in the crockpot and it smelled so good, I couldn't wait to try it.  And then, I didn't get to try it until tonight because we had to rush our son to the emergency room with an inguinal hernia.  He's doing great now and I have to say that this recipe is even wonderful warmed up for leftovers!

I found the recipe over at Real Food Allergy Free.  and knew I had to try it!  I'm so glad to have found it.  Sorry that I don't have a picture, but I'll have add that next time we make it.  I did change a few things and will note those.

Crockpot Orange Chicken
          This is the recipe for a single batch.  I used 2 pounds of chicken and doubled the whole recipe.
1-2 pounds chicken(recipe said bite sized pieces, but I did mine in strips)
1/2 cup biscuit or pancake mix(I used brown rice flour with some garlic and herb seasonings)
palm shortening(I used olive oil)
6 oz frozen orange juice concentrate, pulp free thawed(I was out of orange so I used pineapple)
                          because I didn't use orange concentrate I added about 4 Tb of orange juice
4 Tb sucanat or brown sugar(I used demerara and only 4 Tb for the entire double batch)
3 Tb ketchup(I used about 1/2 cup ketchup for my double batch)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar(I used apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger(I used 1 tsp fresh minced ginger)

Place flour in gallon ziploc and shake chicken until coated.  Bring oil or shortening to good heat in skillet and lightly brown both sides of the coated chicken(do not fully cook).  Place chicken in the bottom of the crockpot.

Combine the remaining ingredients well in a bowl. You may taste and add more sugar as needed(I added more ketchup not sugar).  Pour sauce over the chicken.

Cook on low for 6 hours or 3-4 hours on high.  Serve over rice(I used brown rice).

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Free Marley's Coffee

To receive a free sample of Marley's coffee like their facebook page by going here.  It will direct you to their website where you can sign up for their free sample.  In signing up for the sample you are also signing up for their newsletter but may unsubscribe at any time.

Marley Coffee
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K5 Learning

K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students. I've been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.

My kids are excited to get to use the computer for some of their school as we've not really let them use it much before.  I'm excited to get to try new ideas in teaching.  Stay tuned for our review to come!
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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

I'm Back

Sorry everyone that I haven't posted in  a few days.  I was in the hospital with my 5 year old son Patrick.  He had an hernia that needed surgical repair.  We rushed him to the ER Monday late afternoon and just got home a bit ago.  We're praying for a fast recovery and I will try to get back to a semblance of normal soon.  This week maybe a short week of posting while I try to get our house back in order and the kids back to normal(well as normal as they can be).
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Monday, February 20, 2012

Giveaway Ends Tonight

Hurry over to Gluten Free For Jen and enter into her two giveaways that end tonight. 

She's giving away Aunt Nee's Salsa which sounds delicious! 

As well as Homemad Expressions which is a goat milk soap and shampoo giveaway.  They sound like they would smell divine!

**Both pictures came from her review and giveaways pages.   Make sure to enter to win before they end tonight!  I am not responsible for choosing the winners. Pin It Now!

New Free Ebook!

Get THE SLOW COOKING CELIAC OVER 100 TASTY WHEAT & GLUTEN FREE RECIPES FOR THE SLOW COOKER PLUS HOB & OVEN METHODS for free by simply clicking on the above link.  This is supposed to be free all day, but may run out so if you're interested I'd go get my free copy now!

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#Awaken Book Tour-Win a $100 Amazon Gift Code plus Swag

Awaken (The Patronus)

Awaken (The Patronus) Lucy Donovan was supposed to have a weekend of fun in the sun, celebrating her upcoming graduation from college. In a split second, everything changed. A drunk driver ended Lucy’s mortal life. Lucy opens her eyes to a world she never imagined possible and a new destiny: as a Patronus, a guardian of spirits. Adjusting to her new role and abilities while negotiating this confusing realm will test her limits and push her further than she ever dreamed she would go. From wayward spirits who don’t want her help to soul stealing vampires, and even a stuck-up British royal, Lucy must brave them all to save one spirit she can’t bear to lose. Further complicating her confusing life is an inexplicable yet growing connection she feels to a member of her team, Max, whose mysterious behavior leaves her both confused and intrigued. Waking up dead was just the beginning of her problems. Lucy’s death is about to become the greatest adventure of her life.

Buy it - Kindle, Paperback, Nook, and Smashwords

Author Sarah M Ross is working with Promo​tional Book Tours to bring you an incredible Prize pack.

 She is offering up For 25 entries in the contest sign up for her newsletter to learn about new books coming out and contests. Go HERE to sign up for the newsletter Fill out the form to enter to win

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

James 5:16

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

I think this verse if great.  I also think this verse was meant just for me.  Does anyone else ever feel this way about a verse?  I feel this all the time.  God has a way of leading me to the verses that I need to hear when I need to hear them. 

This verse to me says that we need to each have an accountability partner to share things with.  Someone to confide the things we're struggling with to and for them to keep us accountable and ask us how we are doing with things.  We should pray for our partner and their struggles just as they should pray for us and ours. 

Studies show that if you try to do something on your own you are less likely to succeed than if you have someone doing it with you or keeping track of how you are doing.  If someone is holding you accountable you are more likely to reach your goals.

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Corn Casserole-Gluten Free

I have always enjoyed making a corn casserole, but wasn't sure how to go about making our recipe switch to gluten free as I had been taught how to make it using a Jiffy corn bread mix.  I did a quick search before lunch and found this recipe which fit the bill perfectly!  You can find the original recipe here.

Corn Casserole
1 can(15-1/4 ounce) corn, drained
1 can(15-1/4 ounce) creamed corn-- I used a second can of corn because I didn't have creamed
2 eggs
1/2 cup water
1 cup sour cream(I used a heaping cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cornmeal(gluten free)
3/4 cup corn flour(gluten free)
1/2 teaspoon xantham gum(or guar gum)
1/3 cup sugar(I used only 1/4 cup and it was demerara)
1/2 cup grated swiss cheese(I used 1 cup mozzarella grated)

The recipe says to mix all except the cheese, but I've always mixed the cheese right in.  So, I mixed it all up together and placed it in a greased 9 by 13 cake pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Very yummy.  All the kids love it and ask for more!!

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Gluten Free/Dairy Free Waffles

I found the recipe for these waffles at Money Saving Mom.  I changed a few things so I'm just going to tell you what I did.  If you would like the original recipe please check it out here. 

3 cups almond milk
1 cup brown rice flour
2 cups gluten free oat flour
4 Tb coconut oil
4 eggs
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda

Combine the dry ingredients in bowl.  Mix well.  Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry mixing well.  Pour into hot greased waffle iron.  Let cook for about 4-5 minutes. 

These turned out well, but will still tweak it next time to try to get a fluffier thicker waffle.  The batter was thin.

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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gluten Free Bread Free Ebook

New free ebook up today!!  I just got my copy, go get your copy of Gluten Free Bread Recipes.  I really am so glad my cousin told me how to download the kindle app to my computer so I can download these free cookbooks!

Gluten Free Bread Recipes: Perfect Bread Every Time - Limited Discount Edition Pin It Now!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Weekend Blog Hop

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Eden Natural Giveaway

Growing Home Blog is doing a giveaway for Eden Natural Skincare and Cosmetics so make sure you hop on over and get your entries in.  It's for a cute giftbasket of skincare and make up items. 

Doesn't that just look gorgeous!?

I am not affiliated with this giveaway and am merely sharing it with ya'll.  Hope that one of us wins and happy entering.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Totally unrelated ramblings!

Does anyone else have a huge list of recipes they want to try and find it hard to squirrel away the time to try them?  I have a huge list of recipes that I want to try!  I am going to make it a point to try one new recipe a week that I have found online through some of the recipe link ups I participate in.  Now to decide which one I want to do first! 

On to a different ramble. . . . My entire morning was spent making phone calls.  I had to talk to several people with our Dr's office trying to find out why the two kids who are supposed to see specialists still don't have those appointments(they were supposed to call me with the appointments last week), trying to find out when we can pick up Zyera's new glasses, and with the bank.  The bank took the longest.  That's  not a good thing. . . not ever in my knowledge.  It was definitely not good today.  I was reviewing my online bank statement and saw that this month there was an unknown charge that neither my husband or I made, not just one though, 5 of them.  So I call the bank.  We figure out that this is some scam company taking money out of our account, but no idea how they have gotten our bank information.  So we're preparing to close out that account and start a new one once we get all our checks cleared.  Very frustrating.  Has this ever happened to anyone else?

Good news though!  The weather is going to be super gorgeous for the next week and I think I may see another trip to the zoo in my kids future.  We have a wonderful zoo about two hours from us that we like to go to.  It's the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE.  Very awesome zoo.  I can't compare it to other zoos though as it is the only one I've ever been to.  I remember lots of fun trips there when I was a child and have made it a goal for our little homeschool to go once a month if the weather allows.  So far we went once in December, January and now this will be February if we make it!  Can't wait!  I love watching my kids as they discover new things about the animals.

That being said, my kids spent most of the afternoon outside playing in the sunshine.  I think it helped as Fionna actually went to bed before 9 tonight which she does not often do. 
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True Beauty Comes From Within

"For beautiful eyes,
look for the good in others;
For beautiful lips,
... speak only words of kindness;
and for poise,
walk with the knowledge that
-Audrey Hepburn-

This quote reminded me of a saying I heard a lot growing up "True beauty comes from within."  "It doesn't matter what's on the outside, it's the inside that counts."

Have you heard those sayings before?  If you want others to think you are beautiful you need to show them that you are beautiful by your actions, not by having the perfect made up face.  You can be flawlessly beautiful on the outside, but if you are eaten up with hate within people are not going to think of you when they think of beauty.  They are going to think of the nice person who stopped to help them when everyone else teased, the boy who helped them when they were pushed down.

I'm not sure why, but when a friend posted this on her facebook wall today I knew I had to share it.  I hope somebody gets something out of this quote.  I truly believe that if we improve ourselves within our outward presence will reflect this.  If you are beautiful within it will radiate from you. Pin It Now!

Parents Direction

Psalm 103:8 “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”

This verse tells us that God is merciful and gracious.  He extends His great mercy to us and forgives us without holding a grudge.  He is gracious and loving towards us.  He is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

I'm thinking that this verse could be said for an ideal parent.  After all, God is our Father.  Isn't that what Psalm 23 says?  Our Father who are in heaven. . .

So, shouldn't we as parents of children also strive to be like this verse.  This to me is a parents direction or guideline for being towards their children.  This is my goal.  Of course, without God there is no way that I can ever even think of being this kind of parent.  But because I try to remember this verse when I am dealing with my children.  I am wanting to make a sampler(embroider) to hang on the wall with this verse so that I will see it throughout the day and be reminded of this verse and how it pertains to parents and their children.

This is one way that we as parents can show the love of God to our children while they are young.

My youngest son decided to wear his sisters tights while I was gone.  Forgive the mess in the background, not sure what they did while I was gone but they had fun.  Pin It Now!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Psalm 103:1

“Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.”

I love all the praise songs that have come out of the Psalms.  This one really for some reason just fills me with peace when I hear it. 

I can remember being confused by this verse as a child.  It says we are to bless the Lord.  I thought the Lord blessed us for obeying him, but here they were saying we should bless the Lord?  Why?  What was going on here?  Imagine my confusion as a young Christian and young child.  I finally came to the conclusion that by blessing the Lord and singing of Him and praising Him we were also sharing Him.  We didn't have to shout from the rooftops who He was/is and what He had done for us, but by living for Him daily and blessing Him for what He does in our life we are showing others who He is.

With all that I am, I shall never cease to worship Him.  With all that is within me, I shall forever praise his Holy name.  He is worthy of all that we give Him. Pin It Now!

1 John 4:10

“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Love-what is love?  I decided to look this up in a dictionary.  I used Merriam Webster on line and came up with several definitions.  The one that made the most sense in this setting was definition
          #4: a: unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another: as (1): the fatherly 
                     concern of God for humankind (2): brotherly concern for others
Okay, so now we know that love is unselfish and benevolent.  I can hear people now asking what benevolent is(I've been teaching kids today so lots of questions).  So I again turned to Merriam Webster online for a definition.
          1a: marked by or disposed to doing good b: organized for the purpose

                of doing good
So, God loves us in such a way that he is loyal to us and concerned about us and wants to do good by us.  So, can we say that God only wants the best for us?  I think so.  Can we also say that God has our best interests at heart when He allows things to happen?  Maybe He allowed something to go wrong with our vehicle so we could miss being in an accident.

I love God.  I love that He came to earth as Jesus and died for my sins so that I would not have to spend eternity in hell.  It is hard to express the deep emotions that are stirred up by the thought of all that God has done for me and continues to do for me in my daily life.

Photo taken on a trip to the zoo this January. 
I love these colorful birds.
Look at how fast his wings were moving in flight.
God created those wings and knew just how to make them, how to shape each feather to help him achieve that flight.  How great a  God we serve!

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Lucky Clover Blog Giveaway Hop

We're getting ready to give away some awesome prizes!  Join up with Lucky Clover if you have a blog and would want to host a giveaway.  Hurry though as spaces are limited!  You can also contact Trista at or Courtney at for more information!


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Whole Foods Wednesday link up

Whole Food Wednesdays!  Make sure to check out this link for some great whole foods recipes.  It's an every Wednesday deal, but no button yet so keep checking back weekly to see what's going on!

My additions:
Beets for Food Coloring
GF/DF Broccoli Cheese Soup
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Galatians 5:22-23

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galations 5:22-23

This verse is wonderful.  This verse deserves a spot on the wall in every house.  Goodness guess I'm going to have to buy more embroidery floss.  Really though, we should all strive to remember these "fruits" and grow them in our own lives.

This verse was perfect for me today.  I was shown these today from a "stranger"--in a small town no one is really a stranger, but this person was someone I really am not acquainted with more than knowing who they are.  Now allow me to tell you that story to maybe help you understand why my evening reading really struck home to me.

I had to run some errands in town today and took all the monkeys with me(yes definitely they were monkeys today).  Our first stop was at the post office.  I managed to get my packages sent without losing any children, though Patrick did get in a bit of trouble for being too much of a boy, he thought he might want to try to climb the window blinds as if they were ropes.  We then proceeded to walk to the store a few blocks away(I had the double stroller for the babies).  It was so nice out this seemed like a good day for our errands.

So we arrived at the store and went through picking up a few things, some apples and grapes and a few things out of the discount bin(gluten free betty crocker cake mixes for $2.50-I got all 4!!, and some marshmallows to use in our fruit salad for $.75).  We went to the checkout and the one of the women working the front came over and was commenting on the kids.  She was very sweet and loved that we were parenting 8 children(she had raised 5 kids in her blended family).  Her enthusiasm and kindness was wonderful and lifted my spirits.  As I finished putting my groceries back in the double stroller she came over and gave me a sack with two packages of Reese's peanut butter cups just because.  The kids thought this was great as I don't allow too many sweet treats(they get expensive with this many little ones).  After thanking her we went outside and crossed the street to walk the five or so blocks to our next stop(the library).  We had to stop as Mariah lost a shoe and that's when I noticed that our sweet woman had come out of the store and was coming towards us.  She then presented me with a pretty bouquest of roses as a gift for being such a good person as she put it. 

Sitting here typing this my eyes are feeling full of tears at this wonderful person and how nice and caring she was to someone she really doesn't know.  I had been having a bad day and she showed me that there still are wonderful people out there who believe that a smile and a little kindness go a long way.  What she gave us materially was more than a smile but what I will remember about her is not the flowers or the candy but her kind spirit and the fruits that she displayed.  I hope that someday I can brighten someones day as she did mine.


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Homemaking Link up

I've linked up with these guys and would love for you to go and check out some of the great posts. 

Some I read and liked were:

Bath time Bible Verse such a cute idea!
Wearing Skirts in Winter loved the article and new follower of this great blog! Pin It Now!

A Good Ingredient Article

I really liked reading Growing Home's post today about reading labels.  I'm a label reader for many reasons. 

#1: We're a gluten free household and letting gluten into our house would make myself and several children sick.
#2: We have three of us in the house who can't have lactose so milk should never be a top ingredient for us.
#3:  I hate processed things.  I wish we all still used raw unpasturized unprocessed real foods.
#4: I don't use MSG.
#5: I don't use any artificial sweeteners.(I consider stevia a real sugar since it's platn based so its ok)
#6: I don't allow high fructose corn syrup in the house either.  I don't think it's good and I really don't think we need it in our foods.

These are just a few of the reasons I read labels.  I also have an unwritten rule that if there is something on the list that is not easily pronounced, we don't buy it.  If the list is longer than 10 ingredients we don't get it.  Ideally I would love to only buy things with REAL food ingredients, but am not totally there yet.

Make sure to go and read this article for a great look at ingredients. Pin It Now!

Debbie Does Coupons Celebration Giveaway

Debbie Does Coupons along with several other blogs are having a 25K fan appreciation giveaway!  Enter to win one of three prizes.

Prize #1:  Keurig Mini Brewer
Prize #2:  $50 paypal cash
Prize #3:  $35 paypal cash

All of these prizes are wonderful and I'd love to win one of them.

I am not associated with this giveaway or the blogs in the giveaway.  I merely found this great giveaway and entered to win myself and thought I'd share with you guys so we all would have a chance to win!
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Bubbles and Bedtime

Today was Tuesday(is still Tuesday too).  Tuesdays are the day I mop my basement floor so that means that Tuesdays are the day that we have a messy activity in the basement playroom during the winter.  Today we blew bubbles.  The kids all had a blast and loved it!  I loved watching them blow their bubbles and try to catch the big ones on their wands.  Watching the babies pop the bubbles was also pretty precious.

This afternoon we went for a trip to the chiropractors to have Fionna's ears adjusted.  Next, we picked up some parts at the electrical store so that Grandpa Slocum can do some of Daddy's jobs this weekend.  (In case you're wondering my husband is an electrician who works full time for someone and also has his own business on the side.)  And lastly we stopped at Hy-Vee to get some groceries.  We normally go to Hy-Vee for groceries when I have all the kids because they have these great carts that have vehicles on the front and are two seaters on top so I  can fit 4 kids in the cart!  Yeap wish all stores had those.  Today I was especially pleased with our shopping trip, not because of how well the kids behaved, but because several of the employees stopped to tell me how much they love it when I bring all the kids into the store.  This means a lot to me because normally I'm bombarded by people coming up to me and asking such things as "Are they all yours?"  "Please tell me you're just babysitting!" and you get the picture.

Other great things that I've found out this week!
1.  I'm getting some cool baking products in the mail soon to review!
2.  I found out today that I won a giveaway for a coupon binder full of coupons!
3.  I won on the Kinnikinnik toss your toaster giveaway and can't wait to get my prize package to try and of course do a review on just for fun!
4.  I will be participating in the Avoiding April Showers Giveaway Hop and can't wait for that to roll around! Pin It Now!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

Our society as a whole has really turned February 14th into a big day.  Everywhere you look you see little red boxes of candy, flower bouquest, cards saying how much you love each other.

 My question is this-If we're celebrating a day about love where is the real authority on love being shown?  Where are the balloons saying "for God so loved the world" or "love as God loves us"? 

Really think about it.  We celebrate one day a year to show those around us how much we love them.  God shows us how much He loves us EVERYDAY!  Shouldn't we be giving some attention to Him on this day?  Isn't he really the authority on love?  He made us.  He made the entire world!  He showed us how to love by showing His love for us by sending His son to die on a cross for our sins.

I don't have a specific verse to meditate on today or to share really besides the age old verse of John 3:16.  Really today my devotion time made me think of this.  How can we celebrate a day about love without Christ?  How can we love others without first being shown how to love?

I'm not a big fan of Valentine's day because I don't think we need one certain day singled out as the "day of love".  Everyday should be a day of love.  Everyday I tell my husband I love him.  Everyday I tell my kids that I love them.  I didn't tell them anymore today that I loved them than I did yesterday or anymore than I will tomorrow.

So, todays devotional is different than the others, but I hope I've made you think.  What new routine can you incorporate into your life to show your family how much you love them?  My answer to this is to start leaving notes around the house for my kids.  I am a homeschooling mommy so this also provides me with teaching lessons on reading for those who can't read.  One of the first things I am doing was today I stuck notes on all the mirrors in the house that said "You are beautiful" and "God made you perfectly in His image". Pin It Now!

Blog News

Few things to update about the blog.  As you can see my friend over at Blue and Grey:Confessions of a Reenactor has finished adding buttons for all my pages at the top of the blog!  So excited that now you can click the links and get where you need to be.

Also, I'm sure you've noticed my new button for Allergy Free Wednesdays.  I had had that on my blog hop/list page for a few weeks now, but they asked that I go ahead and put it on my home page in a more prominant location so there it is!
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Beets for Food Coloring

I'm not a fan of using food coloring.  I really don't like all the artificial dyes, so I've started trying to find natural dyes.  A great dye for red is beets.

First you will need some fresh beets.  Cut off the tops(you can use those for other things) and the tails; then peel the beets.

Place the beets in a baking dish lined with aluminum foil. 

Cover the beets with the aluminum foil so that it is all sealed.

Bake for 60 minutes and uncover to see the lovely cooked beets.

Let cool, then puree.  You can use a food processor if you have one or a blender.  You can  even use a potato masher!

And voila you have instand food coloring.  I have used it in some Valentine's treats.
Valentine Sugar Cookies
Red Velvet Cupcakes
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Valentine's Sugar Cookies

I have an old recipe that I love to use for fall cookies that is called an Orange Sugar Cookie.  I took this recipe and converted it to make a very yummy Valentine's Sugar cookie. 

Go here for the original recipe.

Here is what I did changes will be in italics and noted.

4 cups flour(all purpose or a gluten free blend)-if gluten free make sure to add 1 tsp xantham or guar
            gum-I used Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free blend for these as I was in a bit of a rush
2 tsp baking powder-I wanted to make sure these rose so I used 3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb orange rind-omitted
1 cup butter
1-3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup concentrated frozen orange juice(thawed)-omitted

As you can see I omitted the orange juice and orange rind.  Instead I used 1/2 cup beets(cooked and pureed) to get the red coloring I wanted.  I also added 1/4 cup of warm water to give it the liquid it would need.

Sift together flour, b. powder, and salt.

Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs.

Stir in beets and water.

Add flour mixture and chill 3 to 4 hours or overnight.
Dough will be soft.
On floured surface roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut(I prefer a thicker cookie of about 1/2 to 3/4 inch) with choice of cookie cutter.

Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Cool on wire rack.  You can eat like this or decorate.  I made some powdered sugar icing to use on mine.

And now enjoy the yummy cookies with some icing!

Linking up with Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday. Try a New Recipe Tuesday, Domestically Divine Tuesdays, Teach me Tuesdays, Menu Monday, Titus 2sdays, Wellness Wednesday, Wise Woman Linkup, Wednesday Linkup, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, Homemaking linkup, Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Real Food Wednesdays, Wisdom Wednesdays, Gluten Free Fridays, Proverbs 31 Thursdays Linkup, Thrifty Thursdays, Friday Food Frenzy, Weighing In

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Orange Sugar Cookies

4 cups flour(all purpose or a gluten free blend)-if gluten free make sure to add 1 tsp xantham or guar    
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tb orange rind
1 cup butter
1-3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup concentrated frozen orange juice(thawed)

Sift together flour, b. powder, and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar, beat in eggs. Stir in orange juice and grated orange rind. Add flour mixture and chill 3 to 4 hours or overnight. Dough will be soft.
On floured surface roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut(I prefer a thicker cookie of about 1/2 to 3/4 inch) with choice of cookie cutter. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 375 degrees for 10 minutes. Pin It Now!

More Monday Moments

I forgot to add the best part from my Monday-the day before Valentine's Day. 

My husband brought me beets! 

and a small miniature rose bush!  Ok, so I asked him to pick me up some fresh organic beets to make my Valentine's treats for the kids with, but he actually bought me two bunches of beets(even though he told me he wouldn't eat them) and the rose.  I love roses!  That actually is probably an understatement.  Wait until spring and summer and you'll be seeing so many pictures of my rose bushes and blooms that you'll understand.

Anyway just had to share those last things from why my Monday was a Monday of Memorable Moments!  You can't guess what we talked about in school today can you?! Pin It Now!

Free Kindle Ebook

Right now if you hurry you can get Gluten Free Cupcake Recipes ebook for free on Amazon!!  I just got my copy.  Even if you don't have a Kindle you can download an application to your computer that is a Kindle ebook reader.  This is what I have done and I'm enjoying all the free cookbooks I have been able to find as well as some really good books.

Gluten Free Cupcake Recipes: 24 Easy And Delicious Treats For The Whole Family Pin It Now!

Monday Moments

Had a great day today with my little monkeys.  School went well considering the fact that it had snowed overnight and they were all eager to get outside and play in the snow.
Once the kids finished their school I let them go outside to play.  Patrick and Bridgett decided that they wanted to build  a snowman.  You can see they're working very hard at it, and yes those are pink gloves that Patrick is wearing.  That's what comes of having big sisters to hand things down.
They played out in the cold snow for two hours before I made them come in for some lunch.  I had warmed up some macaroni and cheese casserole and made some delicious hot cocoa for us.  The kids enjoyed their treats and were ready to go back out once they were done eating. 
Daddy came home early.  He's fighting off a cold/sinus infection that I think has turned into bronchitis(sending him to the Dr-Happy Valentine's Day dear I've made your appt)!  So with Daddy coming home around 2 they came in for a sit down and watched some Little House on the Prairie movies(we're reading the books) all snuggled up together on the couch with Daddy.  Sorry I didn't get a picture of that as I was nursing the baby to sleep rocking in my rocking chair thinking how wonderfully blest I am! Pin It Now!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Daily Giveaways

Better Recipes is giving away prizes daily.  Make sure to check in daily to see what great prizes they have offered and enter to win.

Today they're giving away a slicer.  Tomorrow is a bamboo chopping block!

I am not responsible for choosing the winner for these prizes.  I am merely a blogger who enteres these giveaways and shares with you guys because I like you and want you to win free stuff too! Pin It Now!

Tuesday Tiptoe Blog Hop

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Gluten Free/Dairy Free Broccoli Cheese Soup

This soup is simply scrumptious!  I personally love broccoli soup and have adapted a recipe I loved to create this allergy free recipe.

Here is what you will need:

3 bunches broccoli, cup up(Note here I use the WHOLE thing, stems leaves and all)
2 Tb olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion diced
16 ounces sour cream or dairy free equivalent-go here for a great dairy free sour cream recipe.
18 ounces plain yoghurt( you can use regular or dairy free)
8-12 ounces of cream cheese-go here for a great dairy free recipe
1/2 gallon almond milk(you can use regular milk if you can have it)
1 pound cheese(I used sharp cheddar-raw unpastuerized and undyed goat cheese) you are welcome to use whatever brand, flavor you like--shredded

optional add ins:
bacon bits

1. cut up the broccoli into bite sized pieces
2. saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil
3. add the cream cheese to the onion mixture and stir constantly until melted
4. place the onion, cream cheese mixture into a stock pot and pour in the almond milk, yoghurt, and sour cream
5. using a whisk mix this all up really well
6.  turn the pot on to to a medium heat and add the broccoli to the broth
7.  cook until the broccoli is tender
8. add the cheese and stir until melted

Place in bowls and serve!  We like to add bacon bits to our soup right before serving and then eat with croutons.  The croutons soak up the  yummy broth and add a few spices to the mix.  Here are the gluten and dairy free croutons I have found that we like.

This recipe is also super easy to fix and put in the crockpot and forget about until time to eat.  I really like it.  Kids were so so.  Some liked it but a few didn't, so I'll be freezing the leftovers in small portions so that I can eat it when the kids are having a more kid friendly meal in our future.

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Gluten-Free Wednesdays button

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