Monday, June 27, 2011


Open my eyes so that I may see wonderful things in your law 

I guess right now I am just so thankful that God even still bothers with me. I am a sinner and often do not love Him the way I should or even give Him the time he deserves.

I am seriously crying right now. God is so good to me.

Today was another rainy day. Kate was in our room at 6 a.m. Being she was scared, we let her sleep with us and all she did was toss and turn so I went with her to her room and we fell asleep. Thank goodness she has a full-size bed. I slept until 8:30. Kate woke up at 9. I decided since it was raining I should keep introducing the potty to Maddy. Previously this week she had made a couple "dribbles" in the potty, which definitely was success in our books! So, we continued today -- she peed in her underwear once, and after that she kind of was pouting to not go on the potty. At that moment I remembered really to pray to God over her potty chair that Satan would flee, not causing fear or any anxiety, and wisdom for me to make the right decisions. We pretty much went the whole day peeing several times in the potty.  Wow, i am speechless. I am so thankful. We of course, made a huge deal about it and she got lots of candy. Most of the time it was her idea to go. She'd grab my hand and bring me to the potty that she had already went in, and she got a candy from the parade. I was so proud.

We went the whole day being fairly busy and really not stopping except to finally shower at 3:30. We found out we were having supper guests so I tried to hurry to make a rhubarb/strawberry coffee cake. Man, was that good!  I felt bad for Peter not being able to have it. I tried to only eat a small piece. Even Jed, his cousin, liked it, who told me right away he does not like rhubarb :)  When they all left, I could tell that Maddy had to go to the bathroom and Kate was bugging us in the bathroom so Maddy wanted to get out. She stopped, and had diarrhea all over the carpet in the dining room. I was already discouraged at this point but we didn't make a big deal about it and I used a cleaning product from Don Aslett that is a miracle potion! I am looking at it now and it is completely gone.

The girls went to bed and I really felt like God had something for me in my "To Live Is Christ" bible study book that I have been reading when I feel prompted. Sure enough, just what I needed to hear. The key reading was Philippians 4: 1-23. Beth talked about the 5 thieves of contentment: 1. Pettiness (how women tend to get their feelings hurt about petty things) 2. Anxiety ( using prayer in verse 6 to battle anxiety, with specific requests and details in our prayers) 3. Destructive Thoughts  (meditating on negative, destructive thoughts, and how Paul gave us a wonderful checklist on what thoughts we should be meditating on , vs 8) 4. Resistance to learn (how we learn to be content by the trials we face and how we should ask to have teachable hearts through these trials) 5. Independence (Relying on God to give us strength)  Before I started the study, I wrote in my journal just really asking God for strength and peace. I feel like a lot of times when I ask God for certain things, such as self control over food, the very next day it is extremely bad. I know it's because Satan (the thief) is there to tempt me.  I need to be asking God for STRENGTH!!!

So that is when I opened up my study and realized the exact thing I was going to be reading about was Philippians 4:4-7: "Let your gentleness be evident to all. The lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Yup. Just for me. Even though I have read that verse probably a hundred times. It was what I needed to hear tonight.  Now about strength: vs 19:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Again, a verse read multiple times. Just what I needed tonight. I need to really ask over and over and over for strength. No matter what I'm struggling with. All I have to do is ask.  So encouraging. And why is it that I am always so amazed that God speaks to me through bible studies and his Word at the exact time I need it?  I don't know, but I am thankful !

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Today has been a really good morning so far... and it's only 8:15. Peter woke me up because he had to get up for work and I've been really tired lately, so i was so happy he woke me up. Then we both got out of bed and as I went to the couch to start reading my bible, he plopped down beside me with his. I was thrilled. We both read our devotions and I went for a quick jog around south Stephen - though I think next time I might eat a little something before I go because I always get hungry and have side aches which prevent me from running the full 15-20 minutes I have.  It has been really interesting to me to see how God has transformed my 'motives' from getting up to basically exercise (though I would read first.... my motive for getting up was for sure so I could exercise)  and then when the kids would wake up pretty much right as I was getting done with  my devotions, I never did get to exercise. But, I would still get up... my thoughts are, if i have time to exercise, I will, but I for sure want to get up to read.  I probably never would have had the motivation to get up to read if it had not been for my determination to exercise, though it was a wrong motive to get up early. I should have been wanting to get up to read my bible, not to exercise. If that makes sense. ah!

Anyway, it is a beautiful day out today, yesterday I got to clean the house in the morning while peter was home (we both kind of took turns) and we had a good family night last night, just trying to be together, spending time together. I said to peter, can you give baths so I can clean up the kitchen? and he said, 'lets both give baths... i want to spend time together'. his attitude the whole night was that, they are so young... we have to enjoy them. Then he asked if he could put them to bed... maddy cried when I wasn't going to read to her, so as a family we piled into kate's bed and all read a book.  I also felt really good yesterday because during nap time i got to edit some photos and then lift some weights (tone) and i felt like i got a really good workout. I was sweating, and today my muscles hurt. I just feel good.  The last few days (like sunday, monday, & tuesday) I really haven't been eating the best. Just the mentality that I don't have to be so strict, etc.  I am not saying that I should lose more weight, but I want to keep up  my healthy eating for the most part and toning. Anyway.

Today as I read through 1 Peter, I underlined lots of things, but these verses stuck out to me: "Therefore, be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray."   then, "Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling"... recently I declined a playdate at my house because I was overwhelmed with housework.  I feel like god was telling me that I shouldn't have done that!!  Well i better go, it's time to play.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Kate's Ice Cream Social Birthday Party

It's over! Her 4th birthday party is over. I knew I was doing an ice cream themed party about a year ago... so I have collected ideas throughout the year and it was so fun to plan and see them fall into place. The invitations, though, I had no idea up until a week before I sent them in the mail. I am pleased with how they turned out. Everything else was prepped fairly well except the last minute cleaning and unexpected busyness of the weekend...there were so many things going on I hardly had time to blink. The pictures are pretty self explanatory... for now I just wanted to get them published, maybe later I can explain what I did.

After the party, was a wedding we all went to. Love this picture!

Saturday, June 18, 2011


just a quick post today.  Last night I totally blew up at Peter and had a huge meltdown. I think he thought I was crazy.... I certainly was acting like it. Anyway, I went to bed late after trying to clean up all the dishes I had dirtied and stuff around the house.. I thought for sure I would be extremely tired. God woke me up at 6 a.m.with not an ounce of tiredness in me. I thought it was probably 7, but when I saw it was 6 I decided I should just get up. So I did.  And I got my shoes on, and I went for a run.  And it felt SO good! It was perfect outside. I took Peter's phone because my Ipod was dead, and I ran for 15 or so minutes, and then went on my bike for another 15. And the whole time I was listening to praise & worship music, just really in awe of how God can restore my mind and body the way He does. How he can refresh me through nature, music, and just the sunlight. After that, I even had time to do my devotions before the kids got up.  So thankful this morning. One thing that God spoke to me through his word was this:
"Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 2 Thessalonians 1:12 
So thankful this morning that God reminded me after what happened last night.. I allowed Satan to get me wound up. I wasn't joyful, I wasn't in prayer the whole time asking God to help Satan flee from me (James 4:7) and I wasn't giving thanks.  Lord, help me to do this more often!

Happy Birthday, Kate

Yesterday was Kate's birthday. I can't believe she is FOUR! I really don't even have the words to describe how I feel right now.. sometimes I just need moments like this where I can be reminded of how precious life is and how I stress about the smallest, dumbest things. Here's a few pictures just so I can make a post (it's been so busy the last week, I have hardly even had time on the computer) Here are some pictures of her birthday... her party is tomorrow, and it's midnight. I think I am done prepping for the night so hopefully the morning doesn't come too quickly. It was late bedtimes for all of us, so I am anticipating that the girls will be up extra early tomorrow. I guess that's okay... I have lots to do.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

big week ahead

 This weekend was pretty fun, I'd say. Friday Peter came home from work at a decent time.. I was thrilled I could make him pizza (that he actually really liked) and supper was a roasted chicken with potatoes- I later, again, used the remains to roast in the crock pot for chicken stock. Right now I am trying to make this weeks menu plans... it's getting harder by the week! You'd think it'd be easier with all the meals I've tried, but truthfully, he's getting sick of all of them. Yesterday for breakfast, I did make Apple Cinnamon GF muffins. He liked those. Today we tried a GF, Dairy Free Quiche... since he can have eggs, this was possible. That was good, too. I also tried GF blueberry muffins and he enjoyed those as well. Here are some other things I tried this week:

Both buns and bread were made from the same recipe. Instead of typing it all out, you can find the recipe here. It's kind of a longer process, but I think it's worth it. It really did seem less 'sticky' than the other previous breads I've made. Though I've noticed that turning my oven on 200 and shutting it off right away made my yeast dough rise too quickly with the other bread doughs... with this one I didn't do it, and it hardly rose. I took it out and preheated the oven to 200 and shut it off, and it started rising more quickly. You have to be careful for it not to rise too fast otherwise it will fall during baking because it doesn't have enough gluten to support the dough.  You dont' really have to worry about this recipe , though.  It made nice buns. I had to broil for a minute though to get it a little  brown. I also forgot, I made some changes to the recipe. Instead of the nonfat milk powder, I added an additional 1/4 cup of tapioca starch, and I didn't have millet flour so I added more sorghum to replace that, I also added mostly heated milk (where it calls for 1 1/4 cup, about 3/4 milk and the rest water )   in place of the brown sugar to proof the yeast, I added cane sugar instead. Still turned out!

Here's my pizza!

For the pizza : Since peter cannot have tomato based products, I had to find a recipe that he could have pizza with because I think he was really missing it.  I marinated the chicken the same way we did for the fajitas, and sauteed them. In a saucepan I did 2-3 T of non-dairy butter (found at health food store) and 1`/4 cup or so of coconut creamer. I mixed in about 2 T of rice flour. I let that boil a little bit and added nutritional yeast, about 3-4 T or so.... that gets it nice and thick. I took it off the heat and spread it on half of the crust (or whole crust if you're doing the whole pizza this way).  I added the chicken, and some non-dairy cheese, some onions, broccoli, and any other veggie you want. I also threw in some sauteed Italian chicken sausage too, found at Target.

For the Taco.. I took a half a can of Black beans, 2 T (or more) of chicken/turkey stock, cumin, garlic powder, a little chili powder, and ground it in my food processor. It makes a thick paste which is spread on the crust.  For the topping I used my browned hamburger with the homemade taco seasoning and put that on top of the paste. Onions, and other veggies can be added.

Other meals I made this week, without pictures:

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham -- I think I kind of went between the two of Betty Crockers and this website -- but basically I think I did 1/4 cup nondairy butter, mixed with 3-4 T of rice flour, with salt and pepper.... then I added 2-3 cups of coconut milk (half almond milk) -- when this got bubbly I added some garlic powder, onion powder, and 4 or so T of nutritional yeast. I cut up the potatoes and frozen ham and layered this in probably dish smaller than 8x8.. it served about 3-4 people.

Fudge Brownies (has eggs)

Tilapia-- all I did for this was put some olive oil, lemon juice, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, and a little chili powder and roast in a packet in the oven for about 20 minutes I'd say at 375. It was SUPER good and even the girls loved it! 

These are really good, Apple Cinnamon Muffins. They don't taste gluten free at all... I think it's a really good mix. But be careful - they become dry fast- watch them in the oven! The first time I made them they were so moist and good. The second time the batter seemed a bit dry, and I set the timer wrong... I would set it to about 15 minutes and go from there.  I used 1/4 cup cane sugar and 1/4-1/2 cup agave. In place of apple juice, i used coconut milk.  I also put blueberries in half the batter and apples in the other half. The blueberry ones were really moist, too.  Yummmmmm! I think that's all for now. More later!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


oh nuts. It's already 10pm. Honestly where does the time go? I went for a run when Peter got home at 9, and then showered after that, unloaded half of the dishwasher and came to the computer for a 'break' (feel like i've been doing dishes in all my spare time) and it's already 10. A lot got accomplished today, though, so that I am grateful for. We are finally done planting, praise God! The kids and I went to the park with some friends and I rushed back to make lunch and then after a while, put them to bed. Did more dishes, made some gluten free brownies (photos sometime this week) then made some gluten free bread, two buns out of the extra dough, more and more dishes, and then started my exercise dvd and half-way through, Kate woke up. It was a really productive nap time.

For supper me and the kids had tilapia in little packets in the oven, with some white rice boiled in some homemade turkey stock I made last week. I took my leftover Turkey that I had already made and because I don't have a large enough crockpot, I used two- anyway, I put in some carrots, celery, bay leaf, fresh thyme and parsley (in that order) and enough water to cover the turkey. I let it slow-cook on low for about 20 hours. My turkey still had some meat on it, so when it was done, the meat fell off the bones and I was able to salvage more meat! It made about 6 cups of turkey stock and I froze in 2 cup increments in a quart-size freezer bag. Today I used two cups for my white rice... though it seemed a bit thick, so I used about 1/4-1/2 cup water.  Also, before you freeze the stock, make sure it comes to room temperature so you can remove the fat that floats to the top.

The next day we had chicken quasadillas... the whole family! This one is mine, but peter made his with rice tortillas in the frozen section at Hugos. We sliced up regular chicken breast, marinated it for about 20 minutes in salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, little cayenne, honey and enough lemon juice to kind of coat the whole thing, about a table spoon for the amount of chicken we had. (for him it was enough for one queasadilla, we used other fajita meat from Schwanns). Saute your veggies, -  I used green pepper, red pepper, and onion. At this point if you're using fresh chicken, you'd want to saute the chicken in your browned pan to get the chicken 'dirty'.  I put avocado, little bit of cilantro, tiny bit of cheese, tomato and cut in half and sauteed in the pan until crispy. You could also put black beans in there. I used my homemade tomato sauce for a topping.  YUM!!

More later, for now here's some pictures.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


I am a baking and cooking machine.  but i love it.  I don't, however, love the dishes and clean-up. and cost. That is really what's keeping me behind. I am usually spending most of nap time to prepare for supper or trying to clean up the mess I've made during lunch. It is tough being healthy.  The big week-break, though, really helped my body get back into swing. I suppose my body just got used to eating really healthy and exercising the same muscles, for several months, so when I stopped exercising (not completely) it went into a shock and now I am off the 'plateau' (for now) and finally have a little more time to concentrate on that since Peter can eat turkey, fish and chicken.  This last week has been successful--seeing results. Here are a few pictures and recipes I've tried this week:

Chocolate Muffin
I couldn't find the perfect recipe so I adapted from a few different ones I saw and added my own things:

3/4 Gluten Free flour blend (I used Pamelas)
1/4 cup GF oats
1/3 cup cane sugar
about 3 T of cocoa powder
1 tsp b. soda
1 tsp b. powder
1/4 tsp salt
Mix and in a 2 cup measuring cup, mix:
1 1/2 oz coconut milk (or other non dairy milk)
1 1/2 oz coconut yogurt (or you could do all 3 oz of yogurt, I just didn't have enough)
1/2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/4 cup water
1 egg replacer
3 or so T of oil
Pour half of the wet into the dry mixture and then stir in the rest. These made about 7 muffins.. that's all we needed so I had split everything in half. You can obviously double, but recommend freezing the rest after a day or two. They were really good! I made it for Peter to enjoy at a birthday party where everyone got cake. They were fluffy and just, good. Even better with frosting, if he could have it.

Salt & Vinegar Chips
  • Enough vinegar to cover potatoes (about 2 cups)
  • for a small batch, 1-2 russet potatoes
  • 1-1.5 tsp coarse sea salt
  • Very small sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp Extra virgin olive oil 
I washed and cut into rounds... then I put into a medium size pot and I suppose it was at least 2 or so cups of white vinegar. I let it boil for 5 minutes, turned it off, and set aside for 30 minutes. I then placed them on a greased, aluminum foil wrapped baking sheet and baked for 30 minutes, turned them over, and baked another 15 or so. I had to watch carefully and remove the ones that were done... you really need to be by the oven to keep watching. I let them get a little burned so that it would be crispy, like chips. These are only good for a day or so.

 Oven fried french fries
I cut up my russet potato into thin strips, and put them into a zip-lock bag and added 2 tsp of oil, salt, garlic salt, onion powder... really you could put anything and I might have put other seasonings but can't remember right now. 4252 for about 20 or so minutes. I used my pizza stone. I think we also broiled it to get them more crispy. I've also heard that soaking them before is a key to good oven baked french fries-- I'll have to try that next time.

Not Gluten free-- but Healthy Oatmeal Rhubarb-Strawberry Muffins

I can say that I made this into my own after rushing to find a suitable muffin that was healthy to my standards.. here's what I did:
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup sugar (could do honey, but more cals I think)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup rhubarb/strawberries (2-3 strawberries)
  • 1 1/2 egg replacer + 2 T water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4-6 T coconut milk
122 Calories, Bake at 325 for 16-20 minutes. Made 11.
Chocolate-drop Cookies

 1/2 cup Sorghum Flour
1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 tsp baking soda (not a typo, that's what i used)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp guar gum
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In a sep. bowl:
1/4 cup + 2 T Spectrum Shortening (non butter)
1/4 cup cane sugar, 1/4 cup honey/agave
1 Ener-G Egg replacer with 2 T water

Add dry ingredients and mix well.

I added a handful or two of gluten free oats. We don't have any dairy-free chocolate chips, so I took cocoa powder , (3 T plus 1 T oil = 1 oz) so three oz. of that, mixed with probably 2-3 T coconut cream, and a little more oil..I wanted it to get hard in the fridge so I could make chocolate chips, but did not work. So instead I got a dough-type texture and I rolled it into balls and put the mixed cookie dough over the chocolate balls. I baked them for about 10-12 minutes at 350 on a parchment lined baking sheet. When done, let stand for 4 minutes before removing... caution: crumbly, but really good. I would  freeze after a day because gluten free things tend to go bad. Also, I made a half batch of this, so if you wanted more you could double. I think it made at least 10 cookies.

Also made rice noodle stirfry -- the changes I made- I didn't use rice, just rice noodles and I thought it was supppppppppppper good, but peter didn't like the sweetness to it.  Oh well, can't win them all!  More photos later... tried two more recipes... photos to come.  I plan to make peach sorbet within a couple days and possible mango-coconut roasted chicken. Peter's appointment is on Tuesday so we'll see what else he can or cannot eat.  Off to bed!