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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A parable in the noodles

As I was rolling out, cutting on, placing on my chairs, and blogging about my noodles it came to me. All my noodles are made by my hands. I have cut each and every noodle. I know exactly what is in my noodles. I know approximately how much water it will take to boil my noodles, how much oil to add so they won't stick. I know how much rolling my dough can take before it will get holes, start cracking, or other problems. I attempt to be one with my dough. I can tell you the minute my dough comes off the dough hook if it will work or not. By feeling the dough I know if it's to dry or too moist. I can tell when my dough is an unleaven loaf or leaven. It's something you learn over time as you learn your doughs.

God is this way with his creation. He knows every person on this earth, in fact he knew us before we ever had a breath. He made every rock, he knows when a piece of rock is going to break away from a cliff or mountainside. God knows how much pressure it takes, how much moisture it takes, how much anything or any living thing needs. He knows how much mositure a farm field is going to need before a farmer knows it. God knows how much rolling I can take, he knows how much pressure can be applied to me before I crack or get holes. Some of my noodls are short, some are long, some are skinny, some are wide. But God's hands are perfect, he knows the perfect size, perfect shape of all of his creation. I am reminded as I look at my pasta and I am also relieved that God is the best at creating, the master artist, the one who is incontrol of how all things function. Because when he is incontrol I can rest at ease and let things fall into place as they will. When I rest in him it becomes ok if my pasta isn't perfect, it becomes ok that my husband isn't perfect. Praise the Lord there is one greater than I that is incontrol!

Homemade Spinach Spaghetti

 my kitchen chair made a wonderful drying rack.

I did actually put some noodles on an actual baking rack for lack of any more room on the chairs. 

Once my wooden chairs ran out of room on my wooden chairs I had to use my folding chair.

Today my adventure in cooking lead me to making my very own homemade spinach spaghetti! I do not have a pasta drying rack, so today my kitchen chairs did the drying for me. They are suppose to dry for two hours and then you can cook them. Accompanying the spinach pasta will be a homemade tomato sauce from tomato paste with homemade pork sausage, with pork I bought from the local grocery store. It honestly was super easy and I will have to say I would do this again and again and again. I think the only thing I will try next time is some kind of broth in place of the water, adding even more nutrients to my pasta.

Monday, February 21, 2011


I was feeling sluggish, depressed, weighed down, with not very much energy. The forementioned is not helpful when trying to get a household of stuff done. After emailing, pushing though anyways, it came to me that I had not drank much water today, nor had I put much food in my body that would encourage energy. How can I expect my body to funcion when I have not given it what it needs to be successful today. A good reminder to myself that neglecting my meals for the sake of my family only wears me down!  Silly Beanie!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

25 lbs of Graham Flour

I bought graham flour on purpose. However, I did not buy 25 lbs of graham flour on purpose. I'm not sure if I read the amount wrong, wrote in the wrong product number, it's hard to say. So far I have made pancakes, biscuits, two loaves of bread, crackers, and graham crackers. Did you know that most graham cracker recipes don't even call for graham flour. If they don't have graham flour are they techincally graham crackers? I immediately called Sarah who I knew would laugh her head off with me because I knew Mark wasn't going to laugh quite as hard with me. 25 lbs of flour is a lot of flour in a tiny apartment like we have. I did manage to find a contanier that will work for now! Someday I have a dream of my kitchen looking like a bulk foods store!

Friday, February 18, 2011

I needed a friend

I have the two bestest woman as my best friends that I could ever have! I have known them for what feels like forever. Sarah, who happens to be my cousin, has known me from birth. Laurie, who I have known from about ninth grade. I can call these ladies day or night, when we talk it's as if we never left the conversation from before. My heart leaps with joy and excitement each and every time I hear from them, speak to them, and I do a dance of joy when I get to hug them in person. These two ladies are irreplaceable in my life. I have had friends come and I have had friends go, but these two ladies are a constant figure in my life, for which I am grateful. These ladies have seen me at my worst and have seen me at my best. They have cried with me, sung with me, laughed with me, whacked me on the head when I've done or doing something dumb, they call me back to Jesus when I have strayed, and I will spend eternity in heaven with these ladies. The bummer is that these ladies literally live a total of two time zones from me! Sarah, lives in New Jersey. Laurie, lives in Washington state. I cannot call them up and have a park play date with them, I cannot have a fermenting day with Sarah. I cannot have a bike ride including down pouring rain, wind in our faces kind of  adventure with Laurie. So we blog, we call, we occasionally see each other, but occasionally is about once or twice a year.

Today was the kind of day I need my Bff's. I want so much to have a bff here in Albert Lea. I have my ladies who I can talk with, cry with, go through life with. I was thinking today I need a bff in town. I have Juana and I laugh at our similarties. Our husbands are both intraverts, love computers, have wives who are overvelous and sign them up for who knows what next or is praying they will want to sign up for who knows what. Our kids are around the same age and love playing together. I can call her up day or night and talk, we are real, we discipline our kids similar and we love the Lord. I need to remember that I can call and hang with her more than I do.

But, the other day, I needed my bff's. I needed my Laurie and my Sarah. The Lord whispered in my ear, you have one greater than Laurie and Sarah. Duh! How often I forget my very best bff, Jesus. How often I forget to communie with him, as if laundry or FB is more important. I was reminded of the hymn "What a friend I have in Jesus". I do indeed have a friend who can fill every hole in my heart, who can minister to me in a way no human ever could, the one who whispers the real truths of who I am. The friend who will never lie to me, but will demand all my attention and demand my obediance, but then this friend gave his life for me, and all to Him I owe.

I am thankful for my earthly bff's, but I am also very thankful for my Jesus! My very best bff!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Are my weaknesses, really weaknesses?

I think a lot, cooking and baking are times when I am able to ponder and God is able to talk to me. There is something theraputic when I am pounding cabbage into sauerkraut. For a whole ten mintues there is really nothing to do but pound and think. Today while prepping stir fry veggies for supper, I was thinking about weaknesses. Weaknesses both in myself and in others. I thought about how weaknesses are not really weaknesses. Weaknesses I think are things God has put in my life and in others lives that will make me need others. It would make me need to interact and be in the lives of others.

I have the ability to cook and bake, I'm good at it. God has given me a wisdom that blows even my mind away at what comes out of it. But he has not made me diligent, nor am I terrific at decorating my house. I am often disorganized and cluttered. My mom is an amazing organizer, she is compassionate, and a great listener. She can bake the best batch of cookies I have ever eatten. My sister Emily can decorate like nobodies business, she is a gifted kindergarten teacher, and has connected with my four year old Maddie in a way no one else has. The name Emily immediately brightens my daughters eyes. My sister Kelly is amazing at encouraging others, she has the abilty to confront people that I can only stand back in awe at. She is amazing at accepting people for where they are at and not expecting anything else, yet applauding when something is accomplished. You get the point. My sisters and mom, my dad and Mark have strengths that I can call upon and utilize.

However, when I have pinpointed a weakness in my life, this does not mean I am off the hook and do not have to work on my weaknesses, because it's anothers strength. Quite the opposite, I am to glean and learn from that person with the strength. I am to take in and consider how I can implement what they do so easily in a way I can manage in my own life. I am to learn from my mom how to organize, I am to learn from Emily how to teach Maddie and how to decorate my home, I am to learn from Kelly to lay off of others and love them anyways. I am to learn from Mark diligence (Maddie is potty trained because Mark stuck in there when I wanted to quite).

Because we all have weaknesses we need to love on another. We need not condemn one man/woman for a life style or something they do, but love them regardless. This DOES NOT MEAN being in an abusive or hurtful relationship. This does NOT mean allowing someone else to continue to do hurtful or abusive things. But it does mean seeing everyone as men and woman who have been born in to sin and need to be saved by Jesus Christ. This does mean we need to see our sin and weaknesses and use them for the glory of God. We are to as Hebrews 12:1 says,  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." So that we can say confidently of this," that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6.

1 Corinthians 12: 12- 27:
12 The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. 13 For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. 14 Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" And the head cannot say to the feet, "I don't need you!" 22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has combined the members of the body and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. 27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

We need each other, weaknesses and all.

What will I look like?

The death of my grandpa has me thinking a lot about our physical bodies and our souls. I was thinking about what my grandpa would look like now that he is in heaven. Would he look young, would he be the age he is now. I wondered how does God pick what we look like in heaven, but then I thought we don't take our bodies with us. Scripture says there will be a new heaven and a new earth when Christ comes back. What does this body look like, is it a real body, or is it something I can't comprehend because it's a God thing.  Will my spirit be a floating something going here and there. It really doesn't matter, I know that. I turst my God completely that whatever form I shall take will be the best. It is still fun to think, ponder, and contemplate, but it's also wonderful to trust God and be able to let go.

 Then I started thinking, that maybe it's that the body ages and it's the spirit of a man that grows with wisdom. That maybe the spirit does not grow old as our body does, it simply gets wiser, deeper in love with Jesus, and more wonderful. Our bodies may deterate, our minds may get cloudy and discombobulated on earth. But it is only the host for my spiritual body. Perhaps I have a spiritual body and a earthly body. I cannot regonize the spirit body because it will not be perfect and complete until Christ comes back or he comes to take me home.  I wonder if I will not regonize Grandpa by what he looks like, so much as I will know him by his spirit. By his caring manner, his firm handshake, and bubbly laughter. I will probably know him by his seriousness when approaching the Lord, as that was respectful way to approach God, according to Grandpa.

I struggle with cremation. I know I will be gone and it will not matter if someone uses my body for target practice and then cremates me. I won't feel it, I know it, but my earthly mind knows it and hates the thought. But if I can look at it as my spiritual body is perfect and complete, then perhaps I can look at my earthly body being burned with relief. Knowing I can no longer be hindered with crazy emotions I don't understand, relief that I will now only speak love and peace and can no longer hurt others in my humanness. Relief knowing I am safe in the clutches of Jesus and sin can no longer touch me. Relief that I am forever at peace and in relationship with my God!

A spirit body and a earthly...something to think about.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


My grandpa, Thomas Aman died last night. He died with his wife sitting beside him, every once in a while kissing his forehead and telling him that she loved him. The love I saw in this womans eyes was amazing. There laid her husband broken in body, yet she looked at him with the utmost love I have ever seen. All she saw was the man she loved, the man she spent 60 years with. Amazing! My grandma also I have learned brought my grandpa to the Lord. My grandpa grew up catholic and my grandma grew up baptist. After they were married they started going to a local baptist church in town. My grandma then started telling him about Jesus and salvation, shortly there after my grandpa excepted Jesus in to his heart.

My grandpa had been in a nursing home for 3 1/2 years. My grandma went out to the nursing home every afternoon to spend time with Grandpa. Even when his mind was no longer there and his body was giving up she stayed by his side. Till death do us part. How do you say goodbye to a man you spent 60 years of life together. There is joy in all this, he is now with Jesus. He is walking and leaping and praising God! He has risen up and is now walking with Jesus in heaven. As his body prepared to take it's last breath, the room was peaceful, even while he struggled to breath, it was peaceful.

I am so thankful for the many nights we spent playing cards with Grandpa, the many christmas's, and his legacy of salvation he helped to passon to us. My grandpa and grandma have given my family a tremendous gift of friendship and family.

Thank you grandpa and grandma for choosing to let us be apart of your life. Thank you for being an amazing example of what it means to love. I love you both more than I can ever say and I am so thankful I will see you in heaven! A love like Grandpa and Grandma's is one you have to experiance to see and know it's amazingness.

An example and legacy has been passed on to me and I will treasure it and think on it when Mark and I are struggling, when loving each other seems impossible. I will remember Grandpa and Grandma and I will remember the truth of scripture they lived out. I will remember they ran the race marked out for them and I will remember I too can run the race.

I love you Grandpa! I'm so thankful you are whole again and have again found your voice.

Monday, February 14, 2011

What is love?

Mark hates holidays. He honestly doesn't like any of them, he tolerates his birthday, but I don't think he'd mind if we really didn't celebrate it. It is not Easter, Christmas, Valentines day, Fourth of July he minds. He minds that people think on these things one day a year and then the rest of the year drop the subject. He hates the commercialism of the days. Spending money we really don't have multiple times a year.

Instead, he wants to make it a life long habit to live out these days each and everyday. I agree with him, I would rather he show me love year round, than give me flowers and chocolates and call it good. If he did that, those chocolates and flowers would be worth nothing. I would actually probably resent them. I would need to work closely with my Jesus on that one! The same goes for me, Mark would rather I love on him by having clean clothes in his drawers, delicious food on the table, making sex not only enjoyable for him but an adventure. Do I enjoy sex or tolerate it because it's my "duty". I was molested as a child and sex is something I struggle with, but something I also want to conjure! With prayer and Mark's patience it is slowly getting better. 

Mark wants us a family to celebrate Easter each and everyday. He wants us to rejoice that we are no longer slaves to sin and hell, but we are free in Christ. He wants us to write on our walls that our house WILL serve the Lord! The fourth of July saddens Mark, because America is looking and sounding alot like the Romans did. The Romans were a powerful nation at one point, but they were also a very corrupt and sinful nation. They tolerated every nasty and evil thing. America is also heading that way. As we drift further from the word of God, as we drift further away from obeying God, we will suffer the consequences. It may be our physical heath deterating, it may be our nation gets invaded and we live under the rule of another nation (Americans don't think we are above such a thing, we are not!). Mark comes from a military family. A family who has fought for our nation and would have gladly died.

I am making a Valentines Day supper for our family. We will have lemon pepper salmon, garlic onion mashed potatos, aspagras, and cheddar biscuits, with a red velvet cake with raspberry chocolate cream cheese. The love we are celebrating is Jesus love. All week we have been memorizing love verses. To really love requires a Jesus kind of love, it is a committed, quick to forgive love. Mark and I love each other because we are commanded to, there are days when Mark and I genuinely love each other. We can gaze into each others eyes and enjoy the moment. But there are other more frequent moments when we have to remember the truth of scripture, throw our pride off, put on our humility and forgive each other and love each other because God has commanded us to love each other. To me that is real love. Mushy, gushy, oozy love is wonderful, but it's not lasting, it's a feeling, a wonderful feeling, but one that is dangerous to get hooked on. Be thankful for the mushy, gushy, ozzy love but cling to the everlasting love, the everlasting joy that is Christ and will never ever go away!

So I leave you with this....What is love?

Love is...
"Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."
--Paul in The Holy Bible
I Corinthians 13:4

Friday, February 11, 2011

Food for literal thought

When my stomach gargles, feels empty, I don't hesitate, well usually I don't hesitate, to go find something to eat. Protein, the source of energy for my body to continue to function and give out physcially. Veggies, the source of vitamins and minnerals, giving my body important fighting power to nasty bugs in my gut and system. Fruit giving my body sugars and more m inerals and vitamins to do some more fighting. Fermentation, aiding in my digestion and gut.

There is another source of food, it's one I forget more often than anything else. The one that is the most important, more important than food I chew with my teeth. This food is the word of God, breath of life, the word that God gave to man to us. The scripture that encourages me, whacks me, gives me energy and hope. The words that remind me who I am and what my future holds. The words that remind me and teach me to love others, the words who encourage me and ask me to respect my husband and to be consistant in my discipline of my children. The word that tells me my training of my children WILL pay off!

If I am crabby, self absorbed, struggling for energy, struggling to get out of bed, if I am looking to others for what I should be looking for in my relationship with God. You can be assured I have not been in the word. I have not been holding my relationship with Jesus first and foremost! The word of God is food for literal thought! When I am not in the word I am starving my soul and spirit. I am quenching the spirit.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and word was God.

2 Timothy 3:16 & 17, All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teachin or reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every goo work.

Ephesians 6:11 & 12; "Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be abl to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the owers, against the world foces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places."

Ephesians 6: 17; and take the helmet of salvation, and he sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

Choosing to believe the bible is a matter of faith. Some say the bible is a nice story, others say it's fiction. But I Robin Russell choose to believe it, I believe it is the word of God, I believe it is inspired by God for me. I believe he choose specific men to write it. I believe that by my not reading it I am depriving my body of nutrients more important than meat, veggies, or fruit. I believe to deprive my mind and spirit of the word of God is to give my spirit a poison worse than actual death.

With all that said, I struggle to be and stay in the word. I have scripture posted all over my house. It's on my kitchen cupboards, in my bathroom, on our homeschooling walls. There is a bible in my bathroom for two seconds of reading while I'm on the bathroom throne. I do believe God understands the busy mama. I believe somedays he is ok with my chewing on the scripture that is on my cupboards as I'm chopping onions for supper. It's ok to read two seconds of the word while pooping. But I do also know he wants more of my time than that when I can and must see to it that I fit it in. He craves time with me as I crave time with Mark. He is jealous for my attention, as I am jealous for Mark's attention. He wants me, all of me. I can go to him dripping of spit up, messed up hair, messed up heart and mind. I can go do him shuttering from the arrows of the world. I can go to him ragamuffin messed up and he turns me into a princess. He turns my sorrows into joy and my kyatic mind into peacefulliness.

Point is I need to make my time in the word and with God a priority. If nothing else gets done in the day, my time with God needs to get done! When I'm alligned with God, everything else gets alligned too. The bathroom gets cleaned, the laundry gets done, my husbands heart is full and so is his tummy, my kids are at peace...because I am at peace, because I have gone to the one who gives peace!

Don't be afraid to challenge me to be in the word. Please, ask me how my time in the word is going, if it's going at all. I need the word. My family needs to the word.

I need food for literal thought!

My heart revealed

I have been searching my heart for why I am having such a hard time loving and forgiving in some situations. I have a bible in the bathroom, believe it or not it's were I get the most reading done. Probably because it's the only place I literally have five seconds to myself. While reading the bible I was reading 1 John 3:18 and some in 1 John 4.

1 John 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

1 John 3:18: Little Children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.

1 John 3:19-20: We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things.
 does not know God, for God is love.

1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten son into the world so that we might live through Him.

I have been asking myself, what is love? How do I love when love seems impossible? The question I asked myself or the question the Holy Spirit asked is what am I trying to get from the love that seems impossible. Why am I frustrated that I am to love this person? The answer that was revealed is because I want something and it's not being given or I think it's not being given.

The answer scripture gave me was, I am to lay down my life. The real issue is I'm trying to have people give me what God should be giving me. Which means not only am I sinning by not getting what I need from God, but I am also putting that thing, person, or feeling above God. I am making it my idol. Anything that is put above God is an idol. I need to go before God, repent and seek forgiveness. Before I can restore any relationships I need to restore my relationship with God. I need to go back to my source of patience, my source of love, my source of self-worth which is really christ centered worth. Because the only worth I have is through Christ. I deserve hell and damnation, but because Christ saved me, I am free from hell and a life seperated from God.

The verse that gave me comfort was 1 John 3:20; God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Praise God! Praise God He knows my heart, why I react certain ways. Praise the Lord I am able to go before Jesus, ask his forgiveness and guidance, and he can set me straight. It's a journey and process to learn to go to God for what I need. Not Mark, not my mom, not my best friends, not to the tub of ice cream, but to Jesus. To the one who knows my thoughts, who knows how I function, the one who knows how to give me what I need deep down. The world or people do not hold what I need. Even though sometimes I expect them too or want them to.
The question now remains what does it look like to lay down my life for my friend. What does it mean to love with action and in deed? The answer I believe is different for every person God has put in my life. The quirks of Mark are not the quirks of Maddie. The quirks of my friends are not the same for each one. My quirks tend to clash with the quirks of others. Different situations are going to require me going before the saviour of this world, the God of creation, and the wisdom giver the Holy Spirit to ask for the guidance I need in every situation.

I do have a good jumping off point when I am struggling to love. Questions to ask myself. Why am I feeling frustrated loving this person? What am I trying to get that I'm not getting? What am I expecting of this person or someone else in this situation? Is what I am asking really their problem or am I making it their problem? Am  have a tantrum and need to get over it? Am I giving up my bitterness and malice? Am I trusting and seeking God for truth to change my heart? Do I need to ask forgiveness from anyone for the malice and bitterness I have been harboring? Do I need to ask forgiveness from anything else that I have done, thought, or acted out?

"But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began imploring him. But he answered and said to his father, Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a fattened goat, so that I might celbrate with my friends (I can imagine the sarcasim and anger in his voice, maybe even fighting tears); but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prosititues, you killed the fattened calf for him (more sarcasim inserted I'm sure). And he said to him, Son, you have always been with me, and all that I have is yours (compassionate father tone). But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found." -Luke 15:28-32-

Am I going to being angry and bitter or am I going to pray for my brother? Will I/am I praying for my brother to come back to the Lord. Perhaps I am so angry I don't care if they come back to the Lord. I pray that is never the course my heart takes! But I am thankful if/when it does God will whack me and help me realize, the same grace that can and will forgive my brother, also forgave me! Lord Jesus, let me not love with words and tongue, but with actions and in truth. Amen!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lo Mein and homemade Egg Rolls

Lo Mein made with fettucine noodles, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, gr. peppers, and onions.
All veggies I had on hand, all veggies were on sale.

 my egg roll filling is made up of homemade turkey sausage and homemade sauerkraut...Yummo!

 Pork egg roll with sauerkraut, sweet and sour sauce, and veggie Lo Mein,
with fair trade yummy ice tea.

 Egg rolls filled with homemade turkey sausage and homemade sauerkraut.
Lo Mein sauce has rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and a smitch of honey.

I'm sure wonton wrappers can be made from scratch, but in this case I bought them. Having three little ones I need to pick and choose what I make and what I will buy. This was a compromise I could handle.

The first step is to lay the wonton wrapper out and then fill with a tablespoon or two of your filling mixture.
Then make a mixture of egg white and dap of water, whisk till frothy and brush the edges of the egg roll wrapper.

The egg white mixture and egg roll wrapper directions. I used my pastry basting brush to rub the edges with the egg wash.

after you have brushed the edges, fold in the middle corner so it overlaps the meat/veggie mixture.

Then take the other two corners and fold them over first fold, then roll it like a burrito. The trick is to roll it tight enough so the stuff doesn't fall out but loose enough so it doesn't crack.

The final product! Yummy, crispy, healthy egg rolls. Oh yeah, I used lard to fry them in and man oh man was it amazing! High recommended!

This meal was amazingly very easy with little preparation. I put the spices in the ground turkey to make my sausage the night before. My sauerkraut had already been made weeks before and was in my refrigerator. Then the next day I fried my turkey sausage, drained the liquid from my sauerkraut and added it to the sausage in the pan, then put it in containers for later. During nap time I filled the egg roll wrappers, but them on a cookie sheet, and put the cookie sheet in the fridge until it was time to fry them. For lo mein I use any left over noodle I have. Spaghetti, linguine, fettucine work the best. sautee your veggies first, when they are done add your cooked posted to the veggies and whatever sauces you are going to use. Badaboo badabing you have lo mein and egg rolls! Yummo!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Coming back to the basics

As a wife and a mom of three kids  life gets hectic and crazy. A lazy day at home, with us all still in our jammies can still turn into an emotional crazy day. Whether it's the twins are both teething and fussy, nobody likes lunch, or the days when we are all an emotional crazy mess. Whew! Incorporating more traditional food into our diets has been stressful. For example, I am now making soaked pancakes and waffles. Real syrup is super duper expensive, but to put fake syrup on it seems wrong after all the nutrition in the soaked pancakes...I can't do it.  Another example is making homemade french fries but putting regular ole full of preservatives ketchup. I have had pep talks with my other fellow nutrition gurus and I have prayed about it, talked with Mark about it and have come to a source of peace. I also have centered myself in Christ and brought myself back to what is truth. It's funny that an area like food in my life can become something I need to go back to the heart of scripture. What is truth, what is important. I believe I have been shown how we are to eat, here on out, BUT it has to be a slow process. I need to remember and honor Mark's likes and dislikes. I need to incorporate what my kids are more apt to eat.

Planning meals has been stressful, buying groceries annoying. I stopped myself and tried to figure out why I was so stressed and how I could simplify this area of my life. I brought myself to the basics, what I usually do. I don't know why I don't stick to making a menu and planning out my meals. Every once in a while it happens that I go away from meal planning and that can cost a lot of money! In this case, I am certain I got distracted making yohgurt, whey, cream cheese, soaking grains. However, now that I have brought myself back, looked at what needed to change, I'm ready to adjust and change. I am back to planning and making my meal menus. I made a list of all the breakfeast foods we like and eat the most and I did the same with lunch and supper. This way I know what I need to buy, I am able to make meals out of what I already have, with only a few purchases. My goal is to evntually make a meal plan for the whole month and buy my groceries once a month. It will be a big cost short term, but money saving long term. I will also save money because I won't be tempted to buy things that are not on my list! I'm not there yet, BUT I will be!!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Double Blessings? Double Trouble!

 Titus is a happy guy and finds life hullarious. There is rarely a moment when he doesn't look like he's not about to get into trouble. It is next to impossible to keep him from climbing and crawling over everything.

 Naomi has a very serious personality. I think she is going to be my type A personality.

 They look so much alike. They are truly the feminine and masculine of each other.

Titus and Naomi have discovered graham crackers and love them.

The twins are almost 13 months, which is kind of werid because technically it's their real birthday. So even though they are 13 months they are only really 12 months, closer to 11 1/2 months. I am amazed everyday at how much they are learning and how they are able to get into so much trouble. Titus is an explorer and wants to know how everything works. He makes noises with his mouth, my girls will only hope to do someday. He loves watching the snowplows out in the parking lot and teasing his sisters. Naomi is the talker of the two and does not have an inside voice. She is a terrific eatter and will eat anything in front of her...for the most part. She is content to sit and cuddle and talk and snuggle. She is learning to give back to Titus what he gives to her. We have found her sitting on him bouncing up and down. They are wonderful playmates and we can hear them talking in their cribs when they are suppose to be sleeping. They are a lot of work, I have cried many tears, but they are also truly amazing.

Bagels, Bagels, who wants a Bagel!?

After soaking the dough for about 24 hours, then letting it rise most of the afternoon. I am pleased to present to you, not perfect, but not a complete flop, plain bagels! After soaking, the recipe said to knead in the yeast and salt. I thought to myself, the yeast is going to go all over, well I didn't listen to myself and tried to knead in the yeast and salt. Yeah, it did what I thought, the yeast went all over. So I quickly put it into my kitchen aid mixing bowl and got as much dough and what was left of the yeast back in the bowl. Praise the Lord for my kitchen aid, it's the work horse of my kitchen. My mixed than completed the mixing and kneading of the bagel dough. The bagels were not as puffy as they should have been, perhaps because of the run away yeast. But considering they are still edible not completely flat, I should say it wasn't a total lose! And be asured I will try again and master the skill of bagel making! Yummo!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Julie & Julia, "Mastering the art of French Cooking"

I was inspired today after watching Julie & Julia. There is a bit of swearing in it, so if that bothers you, you probably shouldn't watch it. However, I totally connected with the character who attempts all of Julia Child's recipes. I also connected with the love of cooking and baking that both Julie's embraced. Those around them were the guinea pigs, much like my family are lucky to be my guinea pigs. ;) 

I am excited because Julia child made things like chicken broth from chicken bones, veggies, and lots of other yummy stuff. She took the sometimes long, needed route to make a delicous meal. Her meals required planning, preparation, and fresh ingredients. All three of which I am attempting to do these days. Julia Child's cookbook has been republished 40 times! I don't know anything about publishing, but 40 times seems like a big number to me. I am now on a quest to seek out Julia Child's cook book, "Mastering the art of French Cooking". Along with another book called, "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom". It seems to me if anyone has kitchen wisdom, perhaps she does! I shall take my family on taste of France tour, through me, with the coaching and mentoring of Julia Child.

Soaking grains and fermenting veggies and fruits

I am learning SO much from Nourishing Traditions. It is a piece of a puzzle I was looking for but couldn't put my finger on. For the most part it takes us back to when we had no fast food, no corn syrup, hormones were only something women dealt with monthy. Back to the days when women had a day for everything baking bread, washing, etc. I am very greatful for technology, but with technology comes some not so great things. Like nitrates, corn syrup, gentcially altering things that were not meant to be altered. This takes you back to fermenting foods, raw milk from which you can make cream cheese with a by product of whey. Whey is wonderful for fermenting. Raw milk also gives you the abilty to make amazing whip cream and amazing butter. It teaches you how to prepare your food so that your body can properly break it down. Mark has had horrible stomach issues and painful joint pait. Both are something I have been looking for a solution to. Since he has started eatting sauerkraut and a diet using butter and olive oil for our main oils he has not complained of painful stomach cramps. His joint pain is still there but I have learned broths for that too. I am hoping and praying that by soaking my grains will allow Mark's body to be able to break them down easier and better.  Soaking my grains is actually quite easy and divides the process. For muffins in the morning I simply soak the flour in yohgurt, buttermilk, or keifer. Then add he rest of the ingredients in the morning when we are ready. Same with bread. Yes this takes organization and preparation. But life should take preparing. Life should not be viewed as a fast food, right now society. As a mom with three kids 4 and under I can tell you about limited time. Yet, I find it important to be organized and up on things as much as possible. It allows me to be in the kitchen as little as possible. If there are too many steps or takes to long count me out! Nourishing traditions is about fresh, which means better flavor, which means you will enjoy eatting it. It is also frugale and budget friendly because you are making it from scratch. It's a journey and one I'm excited to venture out on. Come along with me! Ask me questions, dialog with me, I'd love to share the rich tradition of good ole fashion homemade yummy food!

Baking Bread!

This fococia recipe is one of my favorite because it seriously does not take hardly any time!
Maybe 20 minutes for prep and about 15 mins. for baking. Super Easy! 

My lovely loaves of Focaccia bread! Yummo!! 

Honey Mustard Oatmeal Bread! This is a loaf my family requests.

The grains for these loaves were not soaked, BUT I will get there.
Once I get the main feel down how to soak grains in recipes that all ready walk you through it, I will try with adjusting my old favorites and see how they do. It's a slow journey, one I have to remind myself that God is still in control even when I eat white all purpose flour that hasn't been soaked!

Making bread is one of the things that is huge stress reliever for me. There is something wonderful about putting ingredients together, smelling the aromatic spices, feeling the warmth of the oven, and having the satisfaction of tasting it at the end. Be advised though, because I have had plenty of flops at the beginning and I still have flops now. There are still times when my bread isn't completely done in the middle or it gets over done, there are still times when something doesn't rise, the dough is too stiff, or something I have no idea what I did. Cooking and baking is an art form and something that takes time to get the knack down. Once you get steps down and find short cuts that work for you, bread making takes no time at all.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

God knows Mommy's need a break!

The last couple of days have been rough. I'm tired and weary. Being a stay at home mommy doesn't leave much time for thinking of myself. However, I am learning more and more that putting myself before my husband and my kids is not selfish. If anything it's far from it when taking care of myself means I can love them, serve them, and keep going day after day. More often than not I need to keep going whether I have had a break or not. I also need to keep going with joy and a good attitude, because my attitude affects the rest of my family. When mama ain't happy, nobody's happy, and it freaks the kids out. God hears a weary moms heart and the Holy Spirit whispers in friends and families ears. In this case the ear is the best friend of my sister and her husband, Heather and Adam Leach. Heather out of the blue emailed to see how we were doing and if we needed a break from the twins. A couple days before she called I had thought to myself without sharing it with anyone, I need a break. I need to be able to sleep and rest so I can get back in the game. At the moment I had no idea someone would approach me and WANT to take my kids for me for a while! A HUGE GIGANTIC BLESSING! Thank you Jesus for knowing a weary, tired mom. Thank you Jesus for giving Mark and I time alone, for giving us one on one time with Maddie. Lord you indeed know exactly how much we can take, how much we can bare!

Thank you Heather and Adam you are a huge blessing to our family! We love you and appreciate you!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Something to chew on.

Supper tonight was marinated steak with a sweet, carrot, and cabbage veggie. 

I am so blessed to have such a great eatter! 
She is a great sport with all the different food I attempt to get her to eat.

The rule of thumb at our house is unless it's too spicy or for some reason my kids can't eat what we are,
they are to eat what we eat or they can go without until the next snack or meal. We have found this nips the picky eatter habits REALLY quick! 

Our good friend Katrina has brought to our table, the clean plate club and anything Miss Katrina says must be a good idea. :)  The clean plate club Maddie has found can get her dessert, a game of buck hunter pro with mommy and daddy after babes go to bed, or it can get her a bubble bath.  

 Apparently the steak was hard to poke because Maddie took both her hands like she has now and put them behind her back and was about to swing with all her might to poke a piece of steak. Luckily Mark got her in mid swing so we didn't end up with a whole in her plate and our table. But it was hullarious!

Our veggie consisting of sweet potatos, carrots, and cabbage with a sauce made from rice vinegar, soy sauce, maple syrup, and brown sugar. I was hoping it would tie the cabbage and sweet potatoes together.

What our supper table sounds like these days.

Supper was one of those nights were Mark was tired.. Getting Maddie to eat was like pulling teeth. The twins were fussing and ready for a bottle and their bed. We let Maddie finish eatting and Mark and I started to clear the table and wash dishes. At this point Maddie started singing, Naomi started making funny noises with her mouth, and Titus sat watching his sisters with an amused look on his face. Mark and I started laughing at what supper has begun to look like with our kids...these are the days of our lives.