Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Love Chapter for Mothers

Last week, I picked up a book on my shelf called Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. I had gotten the book a few years ago, it was recommended by some of the ladies in our mission, but never read it.

After reading the first chapter, I have been humbled and inspired towards becoming the woman that God truly desires. I came across this adaptation of 1 Corinthans 13, written by Dianne Lorang, and thought it was worth sharing.

The Love Chapter for Mothers

If I talk to my children about what is right and what is wrong, but I have not love, I am like a ringing doorbell or pots banging in the kitchen. And though I know what stages they will go through, and understand their growing pains, and can answer all their questions about life, and believe myself to be a devoted mother, but I have not love, I have nothing.

If I give up the fulfillment of a career to make my children's lives better, and stay up all night sewing costumes or baking cookies at short notice, but grumble about lack of sleep, I have not love and accomplish nothing.

A loving mother is patient with her children's immaturity and kind even when they are not; a loving mother is not jealous of their youth nor does she hold it over their heads whenever she has sacrificed for them.

A loving mother believes in her children; she hopes in each one's individual ability to stand out as a light in a dark world; she endures every backache and heartache to accomplish that.

A loving mother never really dies. As for home-baked bread, it will be comsumed and forgotten: as for spotless floors, they will soon gather dust and heel marks. As for children, right now toys, friends and food are all-important to them. But when they grow up, it will be their mother's love that they will remember and pass on to others. In that way, she will live on.

So care, training and a loving mother reside in a home, these three, but the greatest of these is a loving mother.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gratituesday - Thankful for the Vacuum Salesman

Yesterday evening I was just about to get supper going when there was a knock on my door. It was a young woman, and she proceeded to tell me about their company. They were setting up a new business in the area, associated with the Kirby vacuum company, and that they were offering a free rug cleaning demonstration. All I heard was "free cleaning" and I said "Definitely!" :) She said they'd be back in about an hour and a half.

Three hours later (now it's almost 8 pm, kids are in bed....) she returned with the young man doing the demonstration. He was new to the business and was part of a contest so he could win a trip to New Orleans.... Anyway. He did his presentation, showing us how incredibly filthy our carpet really was. He cleaned one of our living room chairs, the area rug, and the ceiling fan. Then we went upstairs to our bedroom where he vacuumed our mattress. Totaly grossed us out with information on bedbugs and dead skin.... and the evening finally concluded (around 9 30 pm) with the shampooing of the carpet in our room.

They offered us an incredible 'deal' on the system, and if we had an extra $1,000 to spend, I just may have taken it, but we had to say "No, thanks."

It was a long evening, but in the end, part of my house is cleaner, my mattress doesn't have so many dust mites, and my carpet is squeaky clean. Oh, and it was FREE. :) This nesting pregnant woman is taking the day off from cleaning!

What are you thankful for today?

This post is linked to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gluten Free Streusel Topped Apple Pie

Today, I needed to bake something. Baking is my outlet. It relaxes me. I get to focus on creating something that will bring a smile to the faces of those I love. Today's masterpiece: Apple Pie. :)

Streusel Topped Apple Pie
adapted from eat me, delicious

For Crust
1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
1 egg, well beaten
1-2 tablespoons cold water

Mix together flour sugar and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork gently stir in the egg and one tablespoon of cold water. Add more water as necessary (one tablespoon at a time) until mixture can be pressed into a ball with your hands. One tablespoon of water was enough for me.

Roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Remove the top piece of plastic and use the bottom plastic to place the dough into a 9 inch pie plate. With the plastic still on, press the dough into the pie plate. Remove plastic and fix any cracks. Gently fold under any excess dough around the edge.

Gluten free pie dough is delicate, but it is easy to just pick up the extra pieces and press them into place! (We're going for functionability, not trying to win a pie beauty contest!) Now, set your pie crust in the refrigerator while you put together the filling.

For Filling
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 3/4 pounds apples, peeled, quartered, cored, thinly sliced (I used 5 good sized apples)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Toss all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and let it set while you make the topping.

For Streusel
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp (2.5 oz) coconut oil (or unsalted butter, chilled)

Mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Now it's time to put it all together!

Put the filling into the pie crust. Top the filling with the streusel. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes until crust is golden and apples are cooked through. Let it cool on a cooling rack. Gluten free pie crust holds up best when it is cool.

My house smelled amazing all day long! It was torture to wait until after supper to try it, but it was awesome! There was not one crumb or piece of crust left on anyone's plate! I had never made or even eaten a streusel apple pie until today. This recipe is just sweet enough and spiced just right, and will definitely show up on the table again for Thanksgiving! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One Day at a Time

Happy October! I think it's time for an update.... September was busy and full of challenges, but it's over, things seem to be slowing down for the moment, I have caught my breath, and am ready to start a new month!

I am now 32 weeks along in this fourth pregnancy! I cannot believe I only have 8ish weeks left! Nesting has taken over me, and I have been making progress on some things I wanted to get organized and done.

I got the kids summer clothing put away and got out 'new' clothes for Julianna (Emma's hand-me-downs). Emma and Ethan will be needing new fall/winter clothing as they don't have anyone to hand clothes down to them.

I was also able to tackle the disaster area that is my 'sewing room'. It had turned into more of a dumping ground of materials and odds and ends that I just didn't have a place for, or had plans for 'later'. The bureau that I was using for my odds and ends now belongs to Ethan, and the bureau he was using is for the new baby.

I went through a tub full of baby clothes that I was hanging onto, full of things the girls wore. It was fun to go through and see what I would be able to use for this little one. It brought back a lot of memories of when the girls were infants. I can't believe they were ever so small!

Our back entrance, which is part of the garage, had also become a disaster. Hubby has been cleaning out and rearranging his things in the garage, and that usually means that things get moved to inconvenient locations. We had gotten a lot of rain, and a couple of the ceiling tiles had gotten wet and fallen through, making a very large mess. Well, I started moving things to more convenient locations, vacuumed up the mess, did some rearranging, and now the back entrance is functional and neat again! for now anyway......

Our daily routine has also been interrupted by the fact that Ethan has given up his morning naps. :( I always did Emma's school and morning chores while he was down, but we have had to figure out a new routine. We're getting there. After breakfast cleanup, I put in a video for Ethan (he LOVES Signing Time!) and get school going with Emma. Julianna will sometimes join us, or she will watch a video with Ethan. Well, the video only lasts so long... sometimes we get everything done, usually not. Like I said, we're still figuring this all out. But, we did manage to complete a full week of school and finish the lesson this past week! I am really trying to stick with it until the baby comes, so that I can take a break when I will need it.

My last big project that I hope to accomplish this month is the closet in the office. We are putting shelves in it (that my hubby made!) so that I can have some more organizational space for school stuff and whatever else needs a home. I ran out of paint after the first coat, planning to get more in a couple weeks. But hopefully once everything is painted it will all come together quickly.

Phew. That is about it for now! I really hope to get back to blogging a little more frequently. Each day is different, energy levels are unpredictable, so we shall see what the future holds one day at a time... :)