Sunday, February 22, 2009

Gluten Free Banana Bread

As I write this, I am sitting at the airport awaiting my flight to Arizona! My parents have very generously offered to fly me out to visit them for 4 days! What fun! We will get to do some hiking (which I *love*) and just generally enjoy each other. I will try to post some pictures when I return next week.

I am putting the finishing touches on part 2 of my seed starting tutorial and plan to post that soon, but for now, I want to share with you a family favorite recipe.... banana (or zucchini, or carrot! LOL!) bread! As many of you know, we have two children who have Celiac Disease. Consequently, we cook almost everything GF (gluten-free). Thus, the gluten-free version that follows.

Recently I was able to get a large quantity of very ripe bananas at Aldi. Some banana bread was definitely in order!

You won't even know that this recipe is gluten free~ I promise!

Gluten Free Banana (or zucchini!) Bread

yield: 5 loaves
7 1/2 c. grated zucchini (or carrots or banana)

2 1/2 c. oil
2 1/2 c. honey

10 eggs

5 tsp. vanilla

5 c. brown rice flour
2 1/2 c. sorghum flour
4 tsp. guar gum

2 1/2 tsp. baking soda

2 1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 1/2 c. raisins and/or chopped nuts

Bake 350 for 45-60 min in sprayed or oiled pans. Cool in pans for 10 min before removing to cooling racks to finish cooling.
This freezes well, by the way~ if you don't devour it all!

Spring's Coming and a give-away too!

Look what we found in my front garden yesterday!


and daylillies too!

I do believe that spring will arrive eventually.... this winter has been very mild and dry here, but I really begin to crave color this time of year. I thought you might enjoy a little dose of green as much as I did!

Susan, at NotQuiteJuneCleaver, is giving away both one of her beautiful aprons, plus a copy of Apron*ology~ what a treat! To enter, go to her blog and find all of the instructions there... but hurry, she is drawing the winner tomorrow (Monday)!

Hope you have a wonderful Lord's Day, friends!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

Favorite photos...

Jessica Sprague is going to be giving away spots in her new class, Photo Editing, Good-to-Great workflow. If you go to her blog here, you too can enter!

Today she asks for a favorite photo....

Typical for me, I simply can't choose only one! As I was looking through my photos, I came across these photos taken of Daniel almost 3 years ago now~ he's still just as blond and just as cute. He still delights in helping.

I still delight in being his mother.... and that's just 1/12th of the fun here! : )

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An encouraging interview...

I found the following interview referenced on another blog (thanks Sherri!) and knew that I must share it here as well! The woman quoted here is a mother of 20 children, the youngest being 22 in 2002. I find my convictions about the blessings of a large family echoed in her joyful words.

As many of you know, we have been blessed with a dozen children, but please know my heart~ I do not believe that a large family is in any way virtuous. I do, however, want to encourage families to consider saying "yes" to the Lord and trust Him in this area. He has always been faithful to provide for all of our needs, and has given us a healthy dose of joy and laughter in the process!


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

His Word in my heart.... or not

I have been thinking about soldiers lately. As many of you know, our oldest son is now in the Army. He just finished basic training at Ft. Benning GA last week. He says that the one thing that he likes most about being in the military is the discipline. The discipline.

In a world where "anything goes," indeed, many things do go, the first of which is usually discipline.

2Ti 2:3 "Suffer hardship with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.
2Ti 2:4 No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier."

I struggle as I train my children, and tend to the dailiness of life~

I question.... "am I entangled? What am I choosing to invest in? "

I have never regretted investing in God's Word.


Writing His Word.... His truth in my heart.

I always come away changed. Convicted of sin. Encouraged when things are very dark. Made more like Him. Able to speak truth to my children and those around me.

When my now adult children were little, we memorized topically, and it was good. Later I was challenged to memorize larger portions of Scripture~ even whole books. Oh the richness of whole books!

Please know that I write this only to encourage. There have been too many times that I have not been faithful. Nonetheless, we have continued to strive and to begin again when I have become lax.

My desire is for you to be encouraged. If my family can do this, if I can do this.... certainly you can too! Even the younger children in our family can recite whole books of the Bible now.

The book that first challenged me and gave me an idea of how to memorize large portions of scripture effectively was His Word in my Heart, by Janet Pope.

Here's how we do this:
  • I write the verses to memorize on a spiral 3"x 5" deck of index cards.
  • Every day we work on these together as a family, and individually (my "old" brain needs extra practice!)
  • We usually think of motions to put with key words in the verses that we are working on. Sometimes these are actual ASL, but many times they are just motions that we make up. This helps tremendously.
I am currently memorizing Phillipians with the children, simply working on it each morning before we begin school work. We currently have the first chapter memorized very well, and are almost done with the second.

In addition, beginning in January of this year, Tom challenged us to begin a more strenuous scripture memory program. He found information on line which included a challenge to memorize the whole New Testament in 5 years! We are currently working on this program and are taking it a little slower than suggested, so we can take Sundays off for review/catching up. But still, amazingly, we have, since January memorized all of 1 Timothy and are more than half-way through 2 Timothy!

Tom and I and the five oldest children are working on this. Many times Caleb, who at 10 is the youngest of this group, is the one who has his verses down much better than any of the rest of us! I have not done as well as Tom or the children has at this. I make no excuses~ I simply need to strive to be more diligent.

This evening as I contemplated what really matters, the things I know I will not regret spending my time on, Scripture memory is at the top of my list.

I stand, head bowed, convicted of my lack of diligence, but ready to work harder, dependent on the Lord to strengthen and enable me to "please the one who enlisted me as a soldier."

"holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain." Phil 2:16

Running the race with you,

Here are some additional scripture memory resources for you:
  1. How to Memorize Verbatum text. A research-proven method of helping your brain remember.
  2. Ann Voskamp's excellent blog post on scripture memory.
  3. An Approach to Extended Memorization of Scripture.... download this highly recommended PDF file.
  4. Ann Kroeker's Mega Memory Month (MMM) post, including some helpful additional ideas for making scripture memory effective.
Hope this is helpful and encouraging... please leave me a comment.... I'd love to hear what you are memorizing and h0w the Lord is using His Word in your life!

(our chives doggedly blooming in my south-facing kitchen window)

"The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever." 1 Peter 1:24,25

Monday, February 16, 2009

~The Simple Woman's Daybook~ February 16 edition

Outside my window... Cool but sunny.... barely warm enough for my bike ride this afternoon!

I am thinking... about all of the projects to be worked on... seeds to start for the spring garden, spring wardrobe to plan, new laundry room to organize... fun, fun!

From the learning rooms... back to work after a week off~ it is good to be back "on schedule" again.

I am thankful for... our busy, happy household~ with ten children still at home!

From the kitchen... creating a menu plan for the week... not sure yet of specifics, but I do know that the overripe bananas will be transformed into banana bread and a great surplus of fresh eggs will be the basis for some yummy fresh egg salad! Mmmmmm....

I am wearing... new floral overall jumper~ I'm really happy with how this pattern turned out.

I am reading... some digital scrapbooking info plus a book to learn more about my Canon Rebel camera. As a family we are reading Romans today~ love that!

I am hoping... to work some on my new blog this week...joyfulmomofmany

I am creating... plans for a new quilt for Tom and I's bed. I have lots of idea books to look through.

I am hearing... the children finishing up lunch in the kitchen. They just discovered the 6 dozen eggs that I hard boiled earlier this morning for the aforementioned egg salad! (I told you that we have an overabundance of eggs right now!) "Hey Mom! Can I have a hard boiled egg?" "Yum!"

Around the house... filing of school papers from two weeks ago (oops!), laundry to stay caught up with, etc...

One of my favorite things... organizing. I don't mind if the house isn't totally clean, but I do love "everything in it's place." Clean is nice too. : )

A few plans for the rest of the week... school and daily faithfulness this week... looking forward to having some dear friends over to eat Saturday~ they leave to be missionaries to Fiji soon! I will miss them!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

A little finch that Hannah "rescued" from our overly maternal Great Pyrenees after it inadvertently flew into our window and sat in our yard, stunned. Happily, it later few away, unharmed. "His eye is on the sparrow, (ok, finch!) and I know He watches me."

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Our trip to Georgia....

Hi There!

Here I am on Blogger now, reporting in on Tom and I's fabulous little three day get-away to Georgia! My very gracious (and brave) parents stayed with our children so Tom and I could go see our oldest son Nate graduate from basic training in the Army at Fort Benning. Tom and I have actually never flown anywhere together in our 23 years of marriage, if you can believe that!

We stayed in Columbus, GA where they have done a fabulous job of revitalizing the downtown area, including a delightful river walk area by the Chattahoochee River.

Tom and I enjoyed walking there several times alone....

and also with Nate after his "turning blue" ceremony.

The "turning blue" ceremony was a "right of passage" for all infantry in the army after training when they receive the infantry blue cord which goes on their right shoulder of their dress uniform. Tom was able to put the cord on Nate after the ceremony.

The next day Tom and I were able to attend Nate's official graduation. The weather was perfect!

We loved this ceremony! Tanks, colored "smoke" from grenades, and even the Army marching band were there!

Of course, the highlight for us was when Nate marched right by us in his platoon! He's in the row directly behind the drill sergeant, second from the right.

Tom and Nate after graduation...

We had a wonderful time together, Tom and I, but were also very encouraged to see how mature our son has become. He desires to serve our country and make an impact for Christ among his fellow soldiers and that makes me very, very happy.

Monday, February 9, 2009

A Daybook Entry

For Today...

Outside my window... gray sky.... sprinkles. We need the rain... it has been very dry here!

I am thinking... of all that needs to be done in the next days to prepare for a little trip that Tom and I are making to GA to see Nate graduate from basic training in the Army! We have never flown anywhere together in our married life... 23 years! I don't really mind that we haven't... we have had great fun simply taking little "dates" as we have opportunity, even if it is just running an errand together.

From the learning rooms.. no school this week!

I am thankful for... my parents' willingness to be with the children so Tom and I can make our little trip. Thanks so much, Mom and Dad!

From the kitchen... cooking in preparation for Tom and I's trip. Meatballs and some other meals to help make it easier for all when we are on our trip.

I am wearing... favorite floral overalls, white tennis shoes~ I'm so predictable!

I am reading... God's Word~ we are memorizing 1 Timothy chapter 2 right now, so I am spending lots of time there, plus "browsing" some other books on cottage gardens, decorating (loving cottage-style!), a neat book on creativity Taking Flight and a new manual that I am working through for my Canon Rebel camera.

I am hoping... to accomplish lots of things today and tomorrow!

I am creating... our tax return (!!), does that count? : )

I am hearing... the children making plans for their day.

Around the house... lots of laundry, some extra cleaning too~ those ceiling fans need a good dusting!

One of my favorite things... the smell of rain.

A few plans for the rest of the week... our trip... and Tom will be preaching at a church in Independence next Sunday. That will be nice~ he always does such a good job.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...
look really close and you can see raindrops in the puddle on the stone path to my herb garden... I will have to experiment some more to capture the raindrops, but you get the idea!


Each week, as I have opportunity, I plan to take part in the Simple Woman's Daybook. Look here to take part or to read others posts as well.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The last few weeks here have been full in many ways. In addition to the hard drive on my computer being totally and inexplicably erased, there have also been other much deeper concerns on my heart of late.


I am grateful for an external hard drive ~ I only lost about a week-and-a-half's worth of photos and links to some blogs that I followed. Please comment here or email me links to your blogs, friends!.

I am even more grateful for the Lord, my unchanging Savior. He never changes. It is so good to be able to run to the Lord in times of trial, isn't it?

We have been having fabulous family devotion times together~ currently reading aloud through the New Testament each month and memorizing 1 Timothy. We are finished with chapter one and almost done with chapter 2! Honestly, the children do a much better job at the memorization than I do, but I continue to work on it.

We are continuing to live life fully and rejoice in all we have been given~ I am so blessed!


Have a joyful week friends~ full of His peace which passes all understanding~ not affected by circumstances.

Oh! Please note an new link on my sidebar... my daughter Hannah has begun her own blog. Check out Teacups in Winter and leave her an encouraging comment too!


photos: ~ our winter yard
~ Daniel laughing at my antics... gotta' keep that camera handy!