Sunday, April 29, 2012

Recipes for Bread and Guacamole

Whole Wheat Bread

4 cups warm water
2/3 cup honey
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. yeast
2 Tbs. salt
2 Tbs. ground flax
2 Tbs. vital wheat gluten
15-20 cups or more of whole wheat flour (I grind the wheat in my NutriMill)

Mix warm water, honey, applesauce, and 4 cups flour in Bosch blender on speed 1.  Add yeast and salt, and continue to mix.  Then set the timer for 10 minutes and add flour until the dough is not sticky and it pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Continue to let the dough mix until the 10 minutes is up.

Divide dough into fourths, and shape each part into a loaf.  Place in sprayed loaf pans.  You can also divide a section of dough into 8 hamburger buns or 16 dinner rolls.  Cover loaf pans or pans of rolls with a damp dishtowel and place in a warm area to rise for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350.

Bake the loaves of bread for 30 minutes.  The buns or rolls will take less time, just check them after about 15 minutes.


2 avocados
1/2 small Vidalia onion
1 jalapeno pepper
1 lime
1/2 tsp. salt
1 small tomato

Seed jalapeno, cut onion into small chunks, and chop both in a food processor.  Add salt, the juice of the lime and the tomato (cut in half).  Process again.  Cut avocados in half, remove seed, and then use a spoon to scoop it all out into the food processor.  Process until smooth.  If you like cilantro, you can add some.

I serve this with baked corn tortillas (just cut into eighths, sprinkle with salt, and bake until crisp), spread on wraps, or as a salad dressing.

Before refrigerating guacamole, press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the guacamole, covering the entire surface.  Then cover with the lid of your container.  This prevents it from discoloring.  I am not sure how long this will keep, because it never lasts more than 24 hours here at our house.  

Weekly Menu

I am slowly getting my house back in order after "resting and just doing enough to get by" for most of February, March, and April.  Weekly menu planning is one of those things that I have begun again.  I really, really like to buy groceries only once a week, and in order to do that, I have to make out a weekly menu.  I still have to stop by Kroger in between weekly trips for fresh produce, but having my meals planned out for the week is such a time saver.

I have been trying some new recipes, so I am going to post them if my family likes them.  It is easy for me to pull up my blog on my laptop when I am cooking.

Sunday:  leftovers, cereal, homemade bread
Monday: black beans and rice, salad
Tuesday:  polenta pizza, salad
Wednesday:  bean-oatmeal burgers, oven fries
Thursday:  black beans with mango salsa over rice, salad
Friday:  confetti salad

Our lunches this week will be leftovers, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or wraps, homemade guacamole and chips, salsa and chips, and raw veggies and hummus or salad dressing.

Snacks will include fruit, guacamole and salsa, popcorn, banana muffins, homemade chocolate chip cookies, brownies, homemade banana ice cream, and cereal.

Breakfasts will be oatmeal, peanut butter toast, pancakes, or cereal.

I am back to making homemade bread twice a week plus I am cooking almost everything that we are eating from scratch.  I am spending a lot of time in the kitchen (which is one reason why my computer time has been so limited), but I feel good knowing that after several weeks of just feeding my family "whatever" and relying on the kindness of my wonderful friends who have brought us such delicious dinners, I am now back in my kitchen!

Banana Muffins
makes 24 muffins

2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups oat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
6 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cup sugar or pure maple syrup or honey (I use organic sugar)
1 Tbs. Ener-G egg replacer mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups almond milk

Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin tins with paper cups.  Mix first five ingredients in large bowl.  Blend bananas with remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients and mix gently.  Spoon into muffin cups.  I use an ice cream scooper for this.  Bake for 16 minutes.

Please visit for more menu inspiration.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just Swamped

I have so many things I want to blog about, but I am simply swamped.  I cannot seem to find the time to sit down and blog.  We took lots of pictures in Boston, and I still haven't looked at  them!  I also took pictures of Olivia's birthday, and I have some interesting pictures of Clay's forge and his shop area to share.  I will get to it soon!

Right now, life is just busy with normal activities, but I don't seem to have a spare minute in the day.  I did finish my Bible in 90 Days this morning----it took me 113 days!  But, in keeping with my focus word for 2012, choose, I chose to keep on with the reading plan even though I got so behind in February and March when I had my two surgeries and recovery periods.  I am so happy that I finished reading the entire Bible for the 3rd time in 15 months.  Tomorrow I plan to begin studying some of the New Testament books, probably beginning with Galatians, Ephesians, or Colossians.

I hope to be back to blogging very soon!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Birthday Olivia!

Today is Olivia's 17th birthday!  I became a mother seventeen short years ago.  Where has the time gone?  Olivia has grown to be such a lovely, godly, compassionate, and passionate young lady.  She is a blessing to her daddy and me, and also a blessing to anyone who knows her.

We just arrived home tonight from a week long vacation in Boston!  I have begun washing the mountain of laundry, and I have bought groceries.  We are celebrating Olivia's big day tomorrow, and I still have to put bows on her gifts (thankfully, Julie wrapped them), decorate our kitchen table, and make her cake.  Actually, since it is after 10:00 PM, I am going to make her cake in the morning.

I will blog about her birthday sometime tomorrow, and then I have lots to share about our trip.  We took many, many pictures, and we had a fabulous time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

11 Random Things

I was tagged at Nicki's Blog, and I am supposed to answer 11 random questions that she asked.  Ok, here goes!

1. What is the first thing that you do when you get up in the morning?
Drink a cup of coffee and read my Bible

2. What product could you NOT live without?
my contact lenses

3. What is your favorite book?
The Bible, and I really can't pick another one...there are several that I really like--Heidi, Johnny Tremain, Moccasain Trail, Carry On Mr. Bowditch, Across Five Aprils

4. In one sentence, what advice would you give to a new mom?
Hold them, rock them, and enjoy each day.

5. What room in your home do you spend the most time?
The kitchen

6. What is your favorite part of the day?
Bedtime!  No, really, homeschooling my children is my favorite job each day. A very close second or sometimes tied for first is running.

7. How many minutes do you spend reading to your children each day?
2-3 hours--not all at one time, but since we use Sonlight, and I am doing three cores that have read alouds, plus I read to Leah and Sam at bedtime, and I read the Bible aloud to all 5 children each morning....I am guessing that it is more like 3 hours total on most days.

8. What is the messiest room in your house?
Usually the schoolroom and my storage/crafting room.  But I try to tidy up both areas each day.

9. Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I am not sure what a guilty pleasure is??  I like to drink a Coke in the afternoon.  Real Coke in a red can.

10. What is your movie recommendation for families?
None!  Ha!  We have a huge selection of rated G movies...mostly Disney ones.  My children just watch the same ones over and over....mostly in the van on long rides.  We rarely watch movies at home, because there is just not enough time in our day.

11. If you had one more hour each day, how would you spend it?
I would like to think I would spend it in Bible reading and prayer, but truthfully, I would probably spend it cleaning!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jogging For the Jungle 5K

About two or three weeks ago (I can't remember now!), all five of my children ran in the Jogging For the Jungle race.  Olivia, Julie, and Clay ran the 5K, and Leah and Sam ran the 1 mile fun run.  I am not sure why I forgot to blog about this race.....but anyway, here it is.  This blog serves many purposes, and one of those purposes is to record family events.  In case I never get back to scrapbooking, I still have a place to look at pictures and remember fun times!

This was the first race of 2012 for our family.  Jimmy had to work, and I was still recovering, so just the children ran.  It was a small race, but everyone who participated seemed to have a fun time.

 Here is Clay, crossing the finish line!

 Clay, Olivia, and Julie

 Sam and Leah after their 1 mile race.  All participants of the 1 mile fun run received medals.  That makes the children so happy!

Sweet Brothers

The next race for my family is the Coke 10K in May.  Jimmy and the older children are also running the Gum Tree 10K in May.  Leah and Sam will run the 2K fun run that day.  I plan to be the family photographer for the Gum Tree. 

I also am going the walk the Kimberly C. Gee Race For Awareness 5K with some of my college sorority sisters later this month.  Kim was one of my college roommates, and a sorority sister too.  She died almost 6 years ago after a long battle with ovarian cancer.  Some of us girls are getting together to walk the 5K and spend part of the weekend together.  We used to have a reunion every year, but sadly, we have not all gotten together since Kim's funeral!  After my scare with breast cancer earlier this year, my friends decided that we HAD to get together and visit--very soon!  Not all members of our original group can make it to this reunion, but I am so looking forward to seeing my friends who will be there.  We graduated from college almost 21 years ago!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I Ran Today!

I was cleared by my doctor to begin running tomorrow, which is 5 weeks post BMX (bilateral mastectomy--I have learned some new lingo!), but today was such a beautiful day, and when I headed outside to begin my walk, I just decided that today, tomorrow--what's the difference--and I ran a little bit!

I felt fantastic!

Here is actually what the workout consisted of:
4 minutes:  walk
2 minutes:  run (slowly, very slowly at first!)
2 minutes:  walk (I repeated this 2 and 2 a few times.)
4 minutes:  run
2 minutes:  walk (I repeated this cycle a few times as well.)
6 minutes:  run
2 minutes:  walk (I did this twice).

Total time:  51:25
Total distance:  4 miles

I was surprised by how short of breath I was while running.  I am really out of shape!  But, now I know that I can run, and I plan to increase my minutes running each day.  My overall plan is to slowly increase my walking/running mileage to 30 miles a week this summer.  I want to hold at 30/week until my next surgery.  After I rest and recover from that (another 4-6 weeks of no running), I hope to pick up my mileage fairly quickly back to the 30/week.  If I can get to 30/per week by October 8, I will be in good shape to begin my next marathon training!  Lynn and I signed up today for the Disney World Marathon, which is in January, 2013.  I know we both said that we would not be doing another marathon for a while, and certainly not one that required training in the fall.....but here we go again!  I really want to prove to myself that I can bounce back completely from breast cancer!  What better way to do that than to run a marathon!  But, unlike my husband and two other dear friends, Heather and Esther, Lynn and I are not Goofy!  Jimmy, Heather, and Esther all signed up for the Goofy Challenge--which is running the Half Marathon on one day, and then running the Full Marathon the next day!  Fun!  Fun!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord,for He is good!  His mercy endures forever!"
1 Chronicles 16:34

Friday, April 6, 2012

Celebrating the 100th Day of School

Last week, we finally reached the milestone of The 100th Day of Kindergarten for Sam!  Since we do school usually only four days a week, and also since we took a few weeks off last month while I was recuperating, it has taken us this long to reach day 100.  I used my plans from when we celebrated the 100th day of school with Leah.  You can click here to read the complete plan that I posted at The Homeschool Classroom almost two years ago.  

Everything at our house has been pretty low key the last several weeks, and celebrating the 100th day of school was no exception.  Sam and I did not do nearly as many activities as I did with Leah, but I still think he had a fun day!

 counting 100 cheerios for breakfast

 ten groups of ten cheerios

 Sam counted these 100 sweet gum balls while I walked up and down our driveway.

 doing 100 seconds of exercise
Sam and Leah did ten exercises for ten seconds each.

 snack time--counting out 100 M&Ms

 sorting the 100 M&Ms by color

lining up 100 dominoes and then knocking them down.

And that is all we did!  Of course, we also counted our numbers 1-100 that we had been putting up on the wall in our schoolroom each day.  I failed to take a picture of the wall.  This year, instead of writing the numbers on index cards and taping them to the wall, I used star shaped sticky notes.  They were smaller, and it was easier to just stick them on the wall.  I used one color for all of the numbers except the multiples on ten, and for those numbers, I used a different color.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Update 10

I plan for this to be my last post breast cancer diagnosis /surgery /recovery update for a while.  Tomorrow marks four weeks since my surgery, and I am almost back to normal!  Almost!  I have resumed full days of homeschool, and about half of my housework.  I still cannot completely use my arms (especially my right arm where the lymph nodes were removed), and staying on my feet too long still causes aches, but for the most part I feel like my old self!  I plan to walk 10 miles this week, and I have already planned my next marathon: the Disney World Marathon in January, 2013.

I had an excellent visit with my oncologist yesterday.  He determined that since all of my cancer was removed with the surgery, that since the cancer was not invasive, and that since my lymph nodes were negative,  I do not have to take tamoxifen!  That was the very best news for me!  I was not looking forward to taking that medication if it had been prescribed.  I am so grateful!

I get stronger every day, and I fully expect to be 100% very, very soon!  Other than a few visits and procedures with the plastic surgeon over the next couple of months, and then one more surgery in the late summer or early fall, I am done!  I am almost over this bump and completely on the other side.  Praise God!

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!  For His mercy endures forever."
1 Chronicles 16:34