Wednesday, June 12, 2013
After posting the article, Dear Parents with Young Children in Church, to my Facebook page, there was some discussion as to how to begin training your little ones to sit still during a worship service. There was also some discussion about children's church, and how that may be more age appropriate and beneficial for young ones.
There is not much more I can add to encourage parents to include their children in worship, as the author did a beautiful job explaining the importance of having your children in the worship service, and encouraging moms who are already doing this.
Read the full article, along with training tips, at His Rib.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Running is quite an amazing sport. All-encompassing in nature, it nourishes the body, mind, and soul. But as much as I love running, some days prove more difficult to overcome obstacles. Fatigue, time constraints, and our mental strength can derail our plans to achieve success in running.
As I've meditated on what helps me on a run and what hinders me on a run, I've come up with what I feel to be helpful tips to keep you hitting the pavement!
Read the full article over at The Marathon Mom or 42 Days to Fit.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
Our family has been going nuts over this easy Artisan bread. We make up batches regularly so that we can have quick bread for dinner. Sometimes we'll bake a couple loaves for lunch and make Artisan Grilled Cheese sandwiches. I'm telling you...DA BOMB!
We also made a boat load of these loaves when we were raising money for my daughter's mission trip to Africa. We even made specialty loaves; Rosemary, Asiago, and Chocolate Coconut. YUM!!Simply knead in whatever you'd like. Easy and delicious!
Basic Artisan Bread Recipe
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons sea salt (or kosher)
3 cups warm water
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
In a large bowl, or one of these handy dandy food storage buckets*, combine yeast, salt, and water. Add in all the flour and mix just until dough comes together. Loosely cover bowl with plastic, or place lid* on bucket, and set out on counter for two hours. Then place in fridge for up to two weeks. Easy, right? Takes all of 5 minutes to mix up the dough.
Turn a baking sheet upside down and place a piece of parchment paper over the top. If you don't have parchment, you can use foil, but spray a light layer of non-stick spay over it so your bread won't stick. (The original directions say to preheat a stone and use cornmeal, and some other steps that were just too high maintenance for me. So I pressed the easy button on this one, and got the same results. Or at least close, anyway. ; )
Grab about a third of the dough gently out of the bowl/bucket. You may need to dust a bit of flour over the portion you're grabbing. Once you have a nice blob, gently shape it into a round or an oval shape. I like an oval loaf. Cut two or three slits on top, and let rise for 40 minutes.
After about 20 minutes, preheat your oven to 450*. Place a pan of water on the bottom rack (it helps to keep the loaf moist). After the 40 minutes of rising*, place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Allow loaf to cool about 10 minutes and slice up! We slather ours with melted butter. Enjoy your easy homemade artisan bread!
Makes 3 loaves.
*I purchased my buckets from Sams Club in the restaurant section. But you can also find these at a restaurant supply store, or order them online from the link above.
*If you use the bucket and lid, you'll need to drill a few small holes in the top of the lid so the dough can breathe. I had my 11 yr old son drill two of my lids. But honestly, with my first lid, I just stabbed through it with a phillips screwdriver. It was a great tension reliever. ; )
*Don't worry if your bread didn't rise all that much. It doesn't.
*If you're kneading in a flavor, you'll want to do that as soon as you take your blob out of the bowl, and then shape loaf, and rise as normal. If you want your whole batch to be herbed, you can mix that in when you first make your dough.
*If you make bread on a regular basis, especially Artisan bread, I would recommend investing in one of these super awesome Danish Dough Whisks. They are perfect for mixing in flour. And it's long enough to mix right in the bucket when mixing up Artisan dough.
*If you find that you have a doughy center, add about five minutes to the cooking time. Remember, ovens vary. It's also important to allow cold dough to rest the full 40 minutes. That helps with the baking process. I've also found that the oval shape seems more foolproof. Sometimes the round loaf needs that extra baking time.
*This post contains affiliate links
Wednesday, May 08, 2013
You may remember when I went through the 42 Days to Fit program to help shed some of my post-partum weight. It was just what I needed to jump start my body again after having our tenth child. I ended up losing 10 pounds and a whole lotta inches by the end of the six weeks.
And since then, I've continued to stay "fit-minded", making healthy food choices (but still enjoying treats now and then) and exercising. I'm currently training for my 3rd Half Marathon.
42 Days to Fit is available on Kindle for just $4.99. And did you know that you can get Kindle on your PC? I didn't until a couple of months ago. So if you're like and don't own a Kindle, simply click on the above links or graphic, and install Kindle for Your PC. Takes like two seconds.
People spend hundreds of dollars buying gym memberships and fitness programs that promise great results. Well, we all know the success really comes from the commitment and effort WE put into it, so why not spend only $4.99 instead of the hundreds that others spend?
What makes this even better? There is now a 42 Days to Fit website where you can gain encouragement and great tips to help you stay on track.
If this mom of TEN can do it! So can you!
*This post contains affiliate links.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Today was a long, hard day. There is much work to be done here among the natives. Each day brings a little progress, but then some days, it feels like we’re getting nowhere.
I’m tired. And I’m trying not to grow weary in doing good. But the long, laborious days remind me that I can do none of this in my own strength. Things are messy here, and messes require cleaning up. And the cleaning up seems never-ending.
Read the rest of the letter over at The Marathon Mom.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Our family does not eat sugar or gluten free, but when I saw this recipe in a GMA recipe email, I was intrigued. Ever since completing 42 Days to Fit, I have been trying to make a conscientious effort to watch my sugar intake, and use more natural sweeteners for my family. I thought these looked absolutely delicious, and I saw that I had everything on hand except the coconut flour. (By the way, coconut flour is pricey. I paid like 6 bucks for one pound, but these are worth it. You can buy it cheaper online here, or in bulk here.)
These are SO GOOD! And anything that tastes this good and is full of healthy ingredients....
Sign. Me. Up!!!
You can find this recipe and other sugar, dairy, and gluten free recipes in this book.
Homemade Candy Bars
1 1/2 cups raw cashews (I had salted/roasted on hand)
1 1/2 cups dates, pitted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (60% or higher cocoa content)
1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil
Grind the cashews to a very fine meal in a food processor. Add the dates, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut, and almond extract and pulse until you have a sticky ball of dough.
Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper (I used foil) and press the cashew mixture into the pan. It helps if you put a drop of oil or water on your hands before doing this. *Refrigerate the mixture for 6 to 8 hours, until it's firm.
Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel or glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water (make sure the water doesn't touch the bowl). Stir the mixture until it's just melted, remove the bowl from the heat, and pour the chocolate mixture over the cold cashew mixture.
Return the bar to the fridge and let it cool until the chocolate coating is set, at least 1 hour. Using the parchment, lift the bar out of the pan and cut it into rectangles (or you can use cookie cutters to make fun shapes for kids!).
Serve at once, or store in an airtight container. Makes 18 bars.
*I did not wait 6-8 hours before adding chocolate. As soon as the melted chocolate was ready, I added it, then refrigerated for 6-8 (or 4) hours before cutting.
Friday, April 05, 2013
My kids thought I was pretty great when I pulled out the masking tape and began creating roads that led to all their Little Peoples play sets. We rummaged up all the cars we could find, made road lines on the tape, and created a little town.
I'm telling you, they played for HOURS! Even better, their creative juices were flowing full force. My basic infrastructure was not sophisticated enough, so they made more roads, added a CVS and Walgreens store out of paper, and drew up a "Welcome to" town sign (of course, after I put the camera away)! Even some of the older kids thought it was fun enough to join in.
And for you moms who struggle to get dinner going while you've got a toddler strapped to your leg, this should do the trick! ; )