Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sweet Potato Fries

I have been putting pureed sweet potatoes in everything lately.  We had homemade waffles tonight and I put half a cup of pureed sweet potatoes in them with cinnamon...yummy!  I even put some in a hot chocolate recipe.  That one wasn't too great.  I want to share with you one of the ways we like to eat sweet potatoes....

Sweet Potato Fries! 

Peel em, cut em up (however you like em), put em in a bag and season away!
Put olive oil in the Ziploc bag with the potatoes and add salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, turmeric, a little curry (because all those are really good for you!)  You could also add cinnamon or whatever else you like.

 Then mix them all up in the bag and spread them evenly on a baking sheet.

                              Bake at 450 until tender and enjoy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Raccoons and Roses

Things change when you get married and have kids.  More things change when you have three BOYS.  I went from fine china to chopping wood.  Now don't get me wrong, I love my boys and all things boyish.  I would choose to play ball over Barbies any day.  There are just some things, like raccoons, that I don't really care for.  

Awhile back when we lived in Georgia we had a small rack on the back of our Jeep Cherokee.  This was before my hubby bought a truck.  Well, he caught a raccoon in a trap and put it on the rack of the Jeep.  I found myself riding through the nice part of town with a raccoon on our car...and it was still alive!  I think I slouched down in the seat.  I just might be a redneck, a prissy one...

We commenced to drive to his families property (off roading in a 2 wheel drive) to a place to execute the raccoon.  Before marriage I had never done such a thing, or even thought about such a thing!  I got out of the Jeep and pretended I liked it.  My boys don't have to pretend, they love it!

A few nights ago some raccoons were trying to kill our chickens in the middle of the night.  My husband jumped out of bed, put on his housecoat, boots and gun and went and shot em.  Two of em.  We had a guest in our home who heard the gunshots and got worried....right when they opened the guest bedroom to say, "Were those gunshots?"  They saw my hubby standing in the hallway in his housecoat, boots and a big ole gun in hand.  I guess that answered the question.  

When you have a husband and 3 sons sometimes you get to do things you just normally would not do.  We had the opportunity to take all our boys to a monster truck show last week.  I told my hubby I would rather stay home with a book and a cup of hot tea with classical music playing.  But, I chose to go because I love my boys and I love seeing them happy and having fun.  They were so excited!  

                   It was loud, the couple behind us handed us these to cover his                            ears...there are blessings everywhere!

                                    He sat still the whole time, another blessing!
                             Why doesn't he sit still in church?
                                   My four year old came down with a fever while we were there but he did NOT want to leave...thank the Lord for my Young Living oils!!!  I rubbed some peppermint oil on him every 5-10 minutes and it brought the fever down.  I gave him Theives oil to boost his immune system.  It worked and he felt better by the end of the show.  These oils are amazing!  If we did not have them I think he would have gotten the flu.  Yesterday these oils (DiGize) prevented all of us from getting the stomach bug.  The only symptom we had was nausea and the oil stopped it in its tracks!  (See Member number 1288141)
 With three active boys and a hubby I would not go without my Young Living Oils!

So, the point of this blog?  Do things you may not like for the people you love if they love doing it.  

I ride around with raccoons but my hubby still buys me roses.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Does this make me a redneck?

Before I got married I didn't know much about hunting, raising chickens, or cooking deer meat.  Now I love watching our chickens roam the yard, and I love the fresh eggs.  I'm so used to eating deer meat that I forget to ask our guests if they mind eating it.  

It is getting more popular now to buy organic, free range or antibiotic free chicken, eggs and meat.  We know that they are healthier for our bodies.  It's one thing to buy an organic chicken from the store, it's another thing to watch your 4 and 6 year old cut the head off the chicken that was in your yard and then cook it and eat it.

    The other day my four year old came in crying and said the rooster had pecked him and it hurt.  My hubby commenced to pick up the rooster, sling it down to kill it and then cleaned it (or whatever you call it to get it ready to cook).  He put it in a bag in the fridge and I cooked it the next day.

Does that make me a redneck?  Or just a normal person?  People used to raise and butcher their own meat all the time.  I'm still getting used to it.  You should've seen the look on my Mom's face when I told her the story.  She is proper!  

The chicken was good, healthy, and antibiotic free!  Think about where your food comes from.  I recommend watching the movie Food, Inc.


Friday, February 15, 2013

Expectations & Communication

Yesterday was Valentine's Day.  Some people went all out and got all romantic, others did nothing.  You may have had high expectations of your spouse doing something nice for you...and when they didn't you were let down. 

I remember the first Christmas my husband and I celebrated as a married couple 8 years ago.  The weeks leading up to Christmas he would give me hints about what he bought me.  He was so excited and knew I would love it!  He said, "This gift fits your personality and you will want to wear it everyday.."  I thought it was going to be a beautiful ring! 

Well, on Christmas morning he hands me a huge wrapped present...hhhmmm.  It felt soft.  I knew it wasn't a ring.  I opened it.  A blue electric blanket.  I cried.

I know, I know, that was so rude of me.  I should have smiled and been thankful that he got me a gift.  (I'm still working on that part!)  I said, "How does this fit my personality honey?"  He said, "Cause you're always cold."  

He felt bad about that so a couple months later on Valentine's Day he gave me a beautiful ring in a pretty box!   

I have learned to have no expectations (or at least try not to).  That way when my husband gives me a card or a gift I am super excited!  Sometimes he asks what I want him to get me for whatever holiday is coming up.  I don't like to say, "Get me ______."  I like to be surprised.  But I don't like to be surprised with an electric blanket.  I am complicated.  That's probably why the first sentence of my Valentine card said, "A simple card for a complicated girl."  My husband wrote that.  Then he wrote sweet stuff:)

I keep a list of things I would like to buy for myself or the house that I simply cannot afford to buy whenever I want to.  And I don't have a credit card.  We live on a very small income and I'm a stay at home Mom.  If I told you how much we live on you would not believe me.  We do not have any debt at all and we own all of our vehicles, by God's grace.

Anyway, sometimes I tell my hubby to look at my list and get me something on it.  The other day we received a gift card to Lowes.  I thought he might buy a tool he needed.  He bought me a small convection oven for me instead.  He put me before himself, like he always does.  My husband has taught me by example how to be selfless and put others needs before his own.  He knew it was one of the things that had been on my list for a couple years.  He was thoughtful and was thinking of me.

So, he came home with the oven in his truck a few days before Valentine's Day.  He said, "I have your present for you a few days early, is that okay?"  I said yes.  He brought the oven in and I couldn't believe he spent the whole gift card on me.  

The day before Valentine's Day he said, "I don't have you a gift for tomorrow cause I got you the oven."  I said, "That's okay, just give me a card" :)  And he got me a card, pink tulips and a candle!"

 I have also learned that it is okay to communicate about gifts on holidays.  And to be honest in your communication.  For instance, one year I told my husband not to get me anything.  (But I didn't really mean that, I at least wanted a card...)  So he didn't get me anything that year because I told him not to.  He is so sweet and I am so spoiled and complicated!  I am glad he loves me and is patient with me.  That is why I give him help by saying, "A card would be nice."  

If you tend to be disappointed year after year then think about giving your husband a little heads up and help before the holidays.  Remind him that tomorrow is your birthday, Christmas, Valentine's Day, etc.  Tell him you would love to go on a date with him this Friday or Saturday. 

Instead of focusing on what he does or does not get you think of what to do for him to make him feel loved.  I cooked my hubby his favorite supper and we ate together as a family.  (If you can't afford a nice date do one at home.)  I also set up candles and music in our bedroom that night.  I could not afford to buy him a nice present so I tried to make the day special at home.  

I decorated the table at breakfast and supper with hearts and little Valentine cards.  My sister helped me do a chocolate fondue to dip strawberries and bananas in but I found out that's more of a girl thing.  My husband didn't eat any and my boys ate the fruit plain.  That left a ton of chocolate for me and my sis to eat!  The boys did have fun with the pitchfork looking things...

                                                             My sister and Benjamin

                                   I put hearts on their cups and napkins, they thought it was cool!

                                   Benjamin said the water tasted better cause it had a heart on it:)
                                                  Having fun cutting strawberries for dessert! 
                                                         Elijah is always wanting to help...
                                      And he is rewarded with a strawberry dripping with chocolate!
                                                    We ate all the strawberries and bananas
                                            Even the 2 year old loved it.  He goes in for the stab...
                                                     He got the fruit and not his fingers, whew!
                                                                     It's going in...
                                                                 Oh yea, he did it!

Back to expectations...I expected my hubby to love the chocolate strawberries but the boys loved stabbing the berries instead.   

When you have expectations life never seems to meet them.  So let's love selflessly without expecting anything in return and lovingly communicate when it is needed.




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Greater Love

Valentine's Day can be a sad and depressing day for a lot of folks...those who have lost loved ones, those who are single, those who feel alone in a marriage.  They may not realize it but they DO have a lover. 

His name is Jesus

"Greater love hath no man than this, that He lay down His life for His friends."

Think about that for a minute.  There is no greater love anyone can ever show you than what Jesus has already shown you by dying on the cross for your sins!

We tend to forget His great act of love and sacrifice because it was so long ago.  We must constantly remind ourselves of what Jesus has done for us. 

Remember.  The crowd shouting "Crucify him!".  The whipping.  The Crown of thorns.  The Cross.  The nails.  The blood.  It is finished.  Wow, I never get over it.  Passion.  Love.  True, real, abiding love.  Everlasting love from our Heavenly Father above.  Demonstrated love.  We love Him because He first loved us.

Don't let the devil lie to you and tell you that no one loves you.  Jesus loves you and that's all that matters.  He is enough.  He satisfies.  Go to His well of living water and you will never thirst.  Go to Him everyday and be filled so you can pour out to others the love that He pours in you!

His love is shed abroad in our hearts.  Now may your heart overflow with joy and love and kindness toward others on Valentine's Day and everyday!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Are You Burdened?

A few days ago I was really burdened.  I don't know all of the reasons why, but I felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to be still, listen, and pray.  

At the time I was all mothers of small children.  God was asking me to be still and listen when all around me was chaos; 3 active boys running around the house, dishes to be put away, bath water to let out, etc.

I was praying in the bathroom as I was picking up towels.  I said "God I don't know why I am so burdened but whatever it is I take it to you."

My husband had shared with me the story of the little boy who was kidnapped on the school bus.  He was taken underground for 5 days with a man.  He was only about 5 years old.  I thought about my son who is 6.  I thought about his parents fears and heartache.  He was found unharmed but I bet he will carry emotional scars from that week.  I prayed for them. 

I think about our soldiers who are fighting as we speak.  I think about the danger, pain, heartache and suffering they WILLINGLY go through to protect our country.  I think about how young some of them are.  I think about my sons.  Will they grow up to do that?  So I pray for the parents, spouses and children of our military. 

I think about the Prisoners of War who are suffering alone...tortured in dark and lonely places.  Is anyone interceding for them?

I think about Christians in other countries who are imprisoned for the gospel's sake.  I think about their wives and children who miss them.  I think about the churches who have no Pastor because he was killed for being a Christian.  We need to pray for them.

I think about those precious children who have cancer.  I think about their Mommy's and Daddy's who love them so much and don't know what to do.  They need us to pray for them.

I think of the starving kids in other countries.  I see their bloated brown bellies and boney arms.  Does anyone hear the Spirits call to pray?

My friend might go to Haiti on a mission trip.  She said the hardest part would be leaving all the babies crying in their cribs with no one to pick them up.  Oh, my heart aches for them.  What can I do?  I can pray.

I think about the over 50% of divorced marriages and the children involved.  I think about the devastation and insecurity it brings to children of all ages.  So I pray for them.

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in television, movies, face book, internet, cooking and cleaning, singing in church...that we forget to be still and pray.

"Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."  Psalm 46:10-11   

God will be exalted...The Lord is with us.

I think of Joseph.  He was thrown in a pit, sold as a slave, put in prison, treated unjustly...but the Bible says that God was with him through it all.

When you are burdened, pray for those people on your heart, that God will be with them. 


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Yummy Healthy Cupcakes

I admit that I love to eat dessert, but I don't eat it everyday the unhealthy way.  Over the years I have found different ways of tweaking recipes to make them healthy and tasty.  There were times in the past when some things did not turn out so good and I would be the only one who ate it.  This doesn't happen very often now.

I found this cupcake recipe in a Kentucky Living magazine.  (Wow, I can't believe I live in Kentucky and not Georgia!  I like it though:)

I made these Sweet Potato Cupcakes when we had company over last week and they liked them...she even asked for the recipe!  And they had organic sweet potatoes in them and sucanat instead of white sugar!  I made the icing from scratch in two batches, one dairy free batch for me.

You have got to try these!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes
1C all-purpose flour       (I used freshly ground whole wheat)             
1 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon Pinch salt
1/2 C butter, softened 
3/4 csucanat
2 medium eggs
1C cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Extra ground cinnamon (for frosting)
Preheat oven to 350°. In mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and set aside, Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes; add eggs one at a time, beating on low after each addi­tion, then add sweet potato and vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until combined. Spoon batter into baking cups. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool before frosting. Recipe doubles easily. Makes 12 cupcakes.

robert and cindy bradley are Licking Valley Rural Electric Co-op members who live and farm on 275 acres in Morgan County not far from the devastation of last spring's tornado. Like many in eastern Kentucky, they grow tobacco, along with beef cattle and large gardens, because Cindy, shown, does "a of canning."
Several years ago, the Bradleys joined the East Kentucky Sweet Potato Growers' Association to
experiment with a crop that could augment their income without requiring expen­sive startup equipment or lots of labor. Kentucky studies show that farmers can earn up to $7,000 an acre growing sweet potatoes.
This year the Bradleys planted 10,000 sweet potato plants, digging them out in mid-August, a month earlier than usual. Cindy says they'll probably plant more next year. "They are really easy" to grow.
Shelf stability was an advantage that appealed to transitioning tobacco growers in the sweet potato project. Once sweet potatoes are cured, they can be stored fo
or sweet corn.
The Bradleys haven't experienced the long-storage qualities, however. Cindy says their potatoes sell out in a month or less.

But Cindy holds some back for holiday baking for herself and others. She bakes "cakes, pies, muffins, cookies, anything sweet," she says. She also makes cas­seroles, and twice-baked sweet potatoes (mixing the flesh with brown sugar, butter, coconut, and topping with marshmallows).
Her cupcakes are moist and addictive.

SARAH FRITSCHNER coordinates Louisville Farm to Table, a program bringing more Kentucky-grown food into local homes, restaurants, and institutions.
See "Cooking Tips" online at www. See page 6 for how to submit your recipe. Win $25 if published.