Thursday, February 28, 2013

Blueberry Orange Sweet Rolls


I first start with my basic sweet dough recipe that I use for cinnamon rolls. I put it in the bread machine and choose the dough cycle. Takes about 1 1/2 hours.


I also like to play with it to make it a bit more healthy. I use raw sugar or honey instead of white sugar, or I replace some of the white flour with some whole wheat pastry flour. I just don't want to compromise the taste or the texture.

For the filling I used:

1/4 cup of melted butter
3/4 cup raw sugar mixed with 2 TBS of orange zest (I peeled an orange and threw it in my food processor till it was "zested".

Roll out dough onto a flour surface. Make it into a nice thin rectangle. Spread melted butter, sugar mixture and then top evenly with frozen or fresh blueberries. Roll up lengthwise and pinch seam. Slice into 1 inch rolls and place in a greased pan. Bake for 23 minutes at 350 degrees.

While baked rolls are warm, drizzle with zesty orange glaze:

1 whole orange juiced,
2 TBS of orange zest
1 1/2-2 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 milk
a dash of salt


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Storms

 My in-laws blessed us with a vacation at the beach this last week. The beginning was a little scary though. We were about 25 miles into our trip when all of a sudden a terrible noise came from the back wheel. I looked in the mirror (as I was passing a semi-truck on a corner) and saw rubber flying off the back tire. I was so grateful it it didn't pop and I was able to to get it to the side of the road. We were within cell service and called the tire company. Two hours later and $469 poorer (had to replace both back tires), we started down the road again.
 
 When we arrived, I was astounded at the beauty of the beach house. I have never stayed in such a fancy place. We were really blessed. It was had very warm colors which was wonderful because outside was a severe storm.
 
 We were able to run to the beach twice when the rain stopped. Here is Jess on a piece of driftwood.

 The house was nestled against a wildlife refuge/wetland. The only thing that ventured out were a pair of mallard ducks. They were so brave! I wouldn't have wanted to get pelted with all that rain and wind! Here is Jacob on the back deck.
 
 
 Steve walking along the beach. There was a bit of sunshine this time!
 
 My in-laws took me to the beach in their car so that I could get a picture of the rough surf during the storm. It reminds you just how powerful water and wind are when they are combined. 
 
 Jacob, Lily and Jessica are my crazy kids! They stripped off their shoes and ran into that freezing cold water! We don't get to the beach much, so they didn't want to miss the opportunity to dip their feet in.
 
 





 Steve is the shoe carrier!
 
Even though it was stormy, we were still able to have a wonderful time. There is beauty in the storm. We hunker down and get into our shelter. I am reminded of this past year and thankful that Jesus was my shelter in the storm of life. I ran to shelter, I fled to Him, I praised Him and He gave me refuge and rest. The rains came down and the floods came up but our house still stood because we had planted ourselves on the Rock. Thank you Jesus for being our high place.
 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fun Way to Surround Your Family with Scripture

I was recently invited to my friend, Margaret's house for a visit. She just had a beautiful porch/mudroom added on and wanted to honor God with it. She asked if I would come write scripture on the backside of the siding. She and I spent a good half hour, looking up and writing scripture that pertained to parenting, the home, and teaching children about the Lord. It was so cool! She will know those scriptures are there, surrounding her and her family.

My favorite one I wrote that I thought was very fitting was  Deuteronomy 6:5-9,

 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bid them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."

Friday, February 15, 2013

Focaccia Bread For Bread Machine

I made the most amazingly fragrant bread the other day. I thought I would share it with you. I always use my dough cycle on my bread machine and then take the dough and put it in whatever shape or loaf pan that I want.


Ingredients:
1 cup of lukewarm water
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups of bread flour
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp any kind of sweetener ( I used evaporated cane juice)

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in bread pan, select dough cycle, press start

2. Remove dough from bread machine when cycle is complete. Pat dough into a 9x13 baking pan or a pizza pan. Brush with olive oil, add a bit more chopped rosemary and Parmesean cheese.

3. Let rise till doubled, (about 1/2 hour) in a warm place. I cover it to make it go faster.

4. Bake at 400 degrees, 20-25 minutes

The smell of this baking is absolute TORTURE!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Freedom From Fear

"Come to Me for rest and refreshment. The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone-weary. Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life.
Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. Start with where you are at this point in time and space accepting that this where I intend you to be.
You will get through today one step, one moment at a time. Your main responsibility is to remain attentive to Me, letting Me guide you through the many choices along your pathway." -Taken from the devotion, "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young


God, I pray you will continue to heal my heart. Help me to slow down enough to be attentive to the work you are doing in my life. You are taking away so much stress and worry from my day. It feels so strange to not be anxious all the time. I am afraid it won't last. I fear something bad will happen again. God, take away my fears and help me REST IN THE FACT you are blessing me with peace, joy, love, hope, and faith as you are teaching me how to live without the every-present fear of what might happen next.

"Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you'll worry over every dollar. Seek first the kingdom of health, and you'll sweat every blemish and bump. Seek first the kingdome of popularity, and you'll relive every conflict. Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you'll jump at every crack of the twig. But seek first His kingdom, and you will find it. On that, we can depend and never worry."- Max Lucado

You are good and what You do is good. Steady my heart. Make me into the person You want me to me.

Here is a link to the song I sang on Sunday called "Steady My Heart" by Kari Jobe.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hearts That Are Wise

Some of my favorite verses come to mind about parenting, when I look at these new pictures of our family. We were incredibly blessed to have our pastor come and take these pictures. He did it out of the kindness of his heart and didn't charge us a dime. Another amazing testimony of the provision of God. I barely took any pictures last year. It was too painful. These pictures show that God is piecing our lives back together again. All honor and glory belongs to Him!
 "My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad; my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right" -Proverbs 23:15-16
 "Listen my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path."- Proverbs 23:19
"Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old. Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him. May your father and mother be glad; may she who gave you birth rejoice!" -Proverbs 23:22-25

"My sons (and daughters) give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways..."-Proverbs 23:26

"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."-Proverbs 24:3-4

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Walk in It

 "Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice...
 Blessed are all who wait for Him!"
 "How gracious He will be when you cry for help! As soon as He hears, He will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them...
 "Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, 'This is the way; walk in it.'...
"The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of His people and heals the wounds He inflicted." -Isaiah 30:18, 19b-22, 26

Friday, February 1, 2013

"Ode to McDonald's" By Marcus




Going to McDonald's,
Is a big treat.
Their burgers may contain,
A little horse meat.

When you order fries,
They might have flies.
When you order pop,
You might want to stop.

Then you eat your nuggets,
Prepared by puppets.
When you order meat,
Your gut’s not in for a treat.

In the frying vat,
There’s a dead rat.
When you order salt,
It’s all your fault.

If you eat it fast,
It might give you gas.
If you’re on a date,
It won’t be so great.

Don’t take the bait,
Or you will gain weight.
The only reason it keeps,
Is because it’s cheap.

(Lily with her play dough, shake, burger and fries Marcus made for her.)

Marcus wrote this poem for his poetry project through the virtual academy. I thought it was pretty creative. He sure had fun coming up with  the content! One thing I like about the virtual academy is that they really focus on writing. I tended to avoid it because it was too much of a fight when I homeschooled him on my own. The benefit of the virtual academy is that he has a teacher that we both work with. It has been very good for this child who isn't very teachable sometimes. He needed to be accountable to someone other than his mom at this age. Now that we are getting the technological side down he is doing much better and is thriving. It has been such a good fit for him!
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