Friday, November 28, 2008

Beautiful Ladies

Aren't these ladies just beautiful? These ladies are my husband's Grandmother and my husband's Mom - Great Grandma and Grandma to the girls. Great Grandma is 93.



Friday, November 21, 2008

Abigail's Big Tooth

I've been trying to get a good picture of my little toddler's big tooth. She has two teeth now, I guess. But, the second tooth that has come in is small, it's not a middle tooth, it's the next tooth over from her middle tooth, if you get what I'm saying. She has no bottom teeth. So, her grin is so cute! One big tooth. Here she is:



Also, my Rachel got in on the photo shoot, so here she is too, in all her cuteness:


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Huckleberry Scones


OK. So, I have wanted to try and figure out a recipe to match (or exceed) some local Gluten Free Scones we buy at a coffee shop here. The coffee shop owner had a sign up on the scones for the longest time stating, "Gluten Free Scones". They still are gluten free (I asked), but I noticed she took her sign down. I think the scones were more popular when people didn't know they were gluten free. So, here is a recipe of the same (or better) caliber. The ingredients are found in your health food aisle of your Fred Meyer or Whole Foods Market.

Note: the cream of the tartar is a substitution for baking powder, which has nasty (alzheimer's causing) aluminum in it. I've used the aluminum free baking powder from Fred Meyer as well, but the rising is unreliable, so I prefer Cream Of Tartar.

1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar + 1/4 tsp Baking Soda = 1 tsp Baking Powder



Cathy’s GF Huckleberry Scones

¾ cup potato starch (potato flour)
¾ cup white rice flour
¾ cup white sorghum flour
¼ cup tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 ½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ cup (8 Tb) cold butter
¾ cup buttermilk
1/3-1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (or sugar)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup huckleberries
1 Tb rice flour, for dusting
2 Tb milk, optional
1 Tb evaporated cane juice (or sugar), optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Thoroughly mix potato starch, rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, xanthan gum, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Cut in butter until mixture looks like a grainy paste. Form a well in the middle of the flour/butter mixture. Add sugar, egg, cranberries, orange peel, and orange juice to flour/butter mixture in the middle of the well. Mix with spoon until it starts to stick together (do not overmix). Push together the rest of the way with your hands and transfer to a flat surface coated with the 1 Tb rice flour. Form into a ball and flatten so that flattened ball is about 1-1 ½ inches thick and circle is about 8 or 9 inches. Cut into 8 wedges. Transfer to cookie sheet. Brush with milk and top with sugar if desired. Cook for 15-17 minutes, until just barely light brown.

We picked the Huckleberries. Huckleberries generally don't do well unless they are at a high enough elevation. When they do well and are ripe, they are delicious! There are different varieties of Huckleberries, some are red in color. But, the ones we pick would not be ripe if they were red. They should be plump, although still smallish, and purple. We went to Indian Heaven Wilderness to pick ours. They are more tedious to pick than blueberries as you have to pick them one by one and they are quite small. But, they taste like candy - like a really tender, extra sweet, a little more tart blueberry.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Playing and Working

We have been playing and working all week long.

For school we've plodded along with reading, copywork, math, violin, and art - with general study of things that interest Natalie and Rachel. Rachel has been making progress with Bob books and loves her math worksheets. Natalie was excited to be starting multiplication and fractions on her math worksheets - since she's had a lot of exposure to these topics in cooking and violin.

I made a couple of loaves of bread this week. One gluten free for Rachel and four whole wheat. I also made Pumpkin Bread, which I've been experimenting with recipes for this for the longest time. I was pretty happy with the bread, except it was a bit too big for my pan and thus didn't cook well in the middle. I'd also like it to be a bit spicier. I'm aiming at Starbuck's Pumpkin loaf - only of course, I'm sure that has all sorts of additives, and I want mine strictly homemade.

I can't really say what else I was doing this week. Jon worked late several evenings this week and he also took care of some car issues for us. My dh has been concerned for our business for a while. I've been getting back involved with the business on a small scale. On Thursday, I worked on a web project for work from home most of the day. Friday evening, Jon and I went into work. My duties at work revolve around website search engine optimization, monitoring pay per click advertising, doing website tweaks, and strategizing with my husband. It has been real stressful for me at times in the past to get too involved in work, while being a full time Mommy. The economy is really hitting us hard - I hope I can make a difference at our business - give it a boost without becoming too involved again. God will provide a way. I think Jon and I must be very prayerful - always of course, but especially right now with the times the way they are.

Today, we were hanging around the house. It rained liked the Dickens today. Jon and the older girls were out in it working on a fence. Here are a couple of pictures of things going on.

Natalie building a lego house.

Mariah building a lego mansion.

I take forever at sewing. I've been working on this dress for Mariah since summer.

This is broccoli from our garden on November 8th, if you can believe it. Broccoli is a wonderfully long season vegetable. It keeps going for the most part if you just faithfully trim it. Also, you can put up a number of rotations of Broccoli and have Broccoli even past the first freeze. Jon did tell me that this would be the last of our Broccoli and that I would have to buy some now. Alas, I wish I could eat homegrown produce all year round. Maybe one day...

Monday, November 3, 2008

What I've Been Thinking & Doing

Well, I just feel like I'd like to write something about what I've been doing without really knowing what I want to write. This was a good weekend. Mariah was with us.

Dressing Up

On Friday, the kids dressed up in costumes, we made chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, and Dad carved a pumpkin with the three older girls. I also learned on Friday, that October 31, is also Reformation Day. I told my kids so! They kept getting it confused and saying things like, "what was it called today, Mom, Reservation Day?"  We didn't go to a party this year and we didn't go trick or treating. And, since we live out in the country, since we stayed home, we didn't have much to do with Halloween (no one comes to our door). I read on My God Given Mission Field about the origins of Halloween, and not that I didn't know most of what she writes anyhow, but she makes it clear, this is not some neutral holiday, it has some pretty icky origins.

It is my feeling that Halloween is kind of like the meat offered to idols thing. If it doesn't affect you, and you aren't participating in any of the worship or warding off of spirits, then it isn't sin to you. However, there are so many things that aren't good with Halloween. There are the death warmed over displays everwhere that freak our kids out. The lit Jack O Lanterns were originally to ward evil spirits away. The candy is just plain bad for kids (and for moms). And, my husband, even though he felt guilty like, "Hey, this is fun for kids, so we have to go do something," was ALWAYS so grumpy with going out on Halloween, with the meaning behind it and everything. So, I was much happier staying home and just doing our own fun that evening.

Birthday Party For Two

The next day, I went out with my seven year old to finish shopping. We went to Target pretty much, then Wilco (farm store), then Fred Meyer. Can I say how surprised I am how expensive Target is becoming? It doesn't seem cheaper on most things than Fred Meyer to me anymore at any rate. They do have a better selection on some things, however.

We came home and I set to making a cake and making dinner and wrapping presents. Yes, I don't get things done ahead of time. I figure I am doing very well to just get it all done. Mariah wanted Kung Pao Chicken and since the baby (the 2nd birthday girl) can't vote, Mariah got Kung Pao Chicken. Yumm. Yumm. My younger kids don't appreciate it. But, Mariah and my husband love it and says I make it better than anyone else ever could. I also made a carrot cake. The cake stuck to the pan - so it was a little lopsided. But it was good. Homemade cream cheese frosting too. I also tried to make ice cream with my automatic ice cream maker, but I got the canister out of the O degree freezer a little early and then the ice cream never froze properly.

It was fun. Nothing fancy. No big one year old birthday for Abigail. Just a combination one and ten year old birthday with the family. We had more practical presents than we have in the past. But the kids loved it. Favorite books for Mariah and a Breyer horse and some dolls clothes. Some clothes and books and a baby for the baby. So, once again Mariah said this is the "best Birthday ever". She is always so sweet and enthusiastic. And, the baby, Abigail, well, she loved Carrot Cake. Yumm. Yumm. She was laughing. She is really a joyful little thing.

Yes, the 5 and the 6 on the cake are there because I forgot to get a couple 1's and a 0. So, the girls are 1 and 10 respectively, which totals 11. Well, 5 plus 6 total 11, so there you go. Yes, these are the goofy things that happen at our house all the time!


Today we went to church, then we came home for lunch. We had Quesadillas. Rachel got them on corn tortillas since we are trying the gluten free thing with her. Then I made whole wheat bread for most of the family and gluten free bread for Rachel. No pics this time, but I'll put them up in the future.

My Thoughts About Prayer

Like most of you, I've been thinking a lot about our nation and actually the world. In church today, the flier they gave us was talking about European missions and the need for God to move on this generation. Oh, this stirs me. It stirs me that I need to learn to pray. Do you know in Europe today that it is estimated that less than 1% claims Jesus as their personal savior? The gospel started in Europe. Revivals happened in Europe. Additionally, Europe has negative growth (they have less than 2 kids per couple) and a large influx of Muslims. I don't remember the figure, but it was estimated that given the current trend, Europe would have a majority Muslim population in the not too distant future. And, I've also been reading on Kimmie's blog (Over The Moon With Joy) about how country after country are shutting themselves off from allowing adoptions (presumably to Americans, particularly to larger families). Then, of course, most of you are familiar with political threats we have today that nip at our personal freedoms as Christians, as parents, as homeschoolers, as Americans. But, maybe God is using this to draw a generation of Christians to their knees.