Back To School

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It’s another new school year. It’s a beginning of a new era for me. My littlest one is six and going to be in kindergarten now. I was feeling very anxious about being alone and feeling kind of lost as to what my purpose is still. It is now three weeks into the school year and I have adjusted quite well. I have been busy canning and so my days have been occupied.

The new school year always makes me a little sad as I see my kids getting older more then on their actual birthdays. But it’s also an exciting time of new beginnings and fresh goals to look forward to and not to mention watching and cheering my kids in their sports and activities which I love. It’s goings to be a great year!

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Love of Making Homemade Bread.

Therapy with wholesome bread It all began when my husband and I got married and we received a bread machine as a wedding gift. I was so excited! I had dreams of domesticated skills developing immediately. Little did my new husband understand the blessings he would reap from such a woman’s tool.  That bread machine sparked my first attempts at making homemade bread anytime I felt the “June Cleaver” in me wanting to make dinners an epic of expression at the dinner table. I only had a pocketful of recipes that I felt confident in preparing for my new spouse. Breadmaking was a new art, but I was confident that as a college graduate, I could follow directions. Alas, I made hundreds of loaves in that single breadmachine our first few years. As our family grew, my breadmaking became more doubled in effort. I realized we were out growing our machine. I had to make the break and start experimenting with new recipes in larger quantities. It was an awarding endeavor! Those fresh golden chunks of heaven brought smells of comfort and contentment in our home. Even if there was a frantic day of many struggles as being a mom or the day just not turning out the way I had thought; as long as I had made loaves of fresh, warm bread that we all drenched in honey or my homemade strawberry jam, life was just as it should. Everything WAS good!
I love making bread! I turn to this weekly therapy as a service to my family and friends. This is the kind of service I enjoy. It brings a little part of me to others needing something to fill their souls. It fills my soul! It’s soul food…comfort food.

Here is my favorite whole Wheat bread recipe which I hope you will learn to try.  If anyone is interested in a video tutorial…just holler and I’ll put one together if there is a lot of interest.  Hugs!

Honey Whole Wheat Bread

6 cups hot water (not boiling)
2 Tbl kosher salt
3/4 cups honey
Stir until dissolved

Add:
1 cup oil
3 Tbl heaping of yeast
1to 1-1/2 c rolled oats
1/2-1 cup bran
1/4 cup of flax seed or flax oil (2 tbl)
1 cup gluten flour (vital wheat gluten)
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 Tbl Dough enhancer
Let sit 10 min. Then stir together. Continue to add whole wheat flour and stir until dough becomes to stiff to stir. Then, on a floured surface knead in more flour until its not too sticky. About 8-9 cup approx. up to 13 cups. You don’t want it too stiff and kneed until dough is soft, smooth and stretches with out breaking immediately.
Set oven to 350 degrees and put dough in a large greased bowl. Cover with a dry towel and set bowl on top of the stove. Set timer for 30 min. Dough should be about double. Punch down and form into five medium sized loaves. Let rise until 1/2 inch over edge of pan (about 25 min). Bake in oven 30 min.
**Note: I grind my own wheat for the flour, but wheat from the store is fine. Just make sure it’s fresh.
**Dough enchancer can be made from home. It helps keep the bread moist. Add 1/4 cup potato flakes for every loaf of bread your recipe calls for. Also, use the same amount of vinegar as you use yeast.
**The original recipe was given to me by my dear friend Mary Ethington

june cleaver June Cleaver

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Pressure Jar Sealers Have Arrived!

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My FoodSaver Jar Sealers finally arrived in the mail and I got to test them out on some pantry items I wanted to put in long term food storage. It worked great! I was able to pressure seal prunes, raisens, nuts, granola, cereal, chow mein noodles, and homemade brownie mixes. Next up will be chocolate chips, more brownie mixes, candy, and rice mixes. It is almost limitless to what I can now put in my long term food storage for the year and not worry about it going bad or stale. It will be great to turn to my ready made mixes when I’m crunched for time. But the best thing of all is that I save money by making the mixes myself and not letting items go stale. I wanted to put more everyday food items that we eat regularly into our food storage and now I have found my answer!

Perfect Pancake Mix (6)Making shelf stable breakfast

Today I have been browsing Pinterest in order to find some Shelf Stable Breakfast options. I found this Blog-MyFoodStorageCookBook.com. I am anxious to test the recipe, and will try to this week. I’ll keep you posted! Thank you Megan for sharing! I am new to this blogging community and hope to give full credit to the things I discover on the web.

My Food Storage Cookbook

Print the recipe card!  perfect pancake mix

It’s tough to find a boxed pancake mix that doesn’t turn out pancakes that are heavy and dense and bordering on flavorless.  This recipe is one you can mix yourself from shelf stable ingredients, has a “made from scratch” taste and makes a lighter pancake.  The flavor boosting “secret” ingredient is malted milk, not something you’d think to add into your pancake mix, but believe me you’ll like it!

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My Adventures in Family Preparedness

Motherhood Reality

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…”I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee…. (Isaiah 41:10).

I find my self turning to these words which give me strength. I know I have inner strength of character, but when things are difficult I know I can’t do things on my own. I turn to my Heavenly Father. Being a mom is one of the hardest things I have ever done, but the most rewarding and fulfilling at the same time. How is that possible?

Mothering is a tough job and I just can’t do it without His help. I find my failings difficult to let go, as I constantly compare myself to other mothers who I think are doing a better job than me. Maybe I should deactivate my Facebook account? I know in reality our lives can not be looked at through rose colored glasses all the time. That’s what we get to do when we post things on Facebook. We only post things we are proud of, or find funny or doing something cool and fun. I feel like my rose colored lenses get cracked at least once a week. Well, maybe two…ok, three times a week as I fail in some way or another. It’s times when I lose my patience with one of my kids and think “What planet did you come from?” Or maybe it’s when I don’t finish my 15 loads of laundry by Saturday that I’ve had all week to do. Or the many, many times my family eats waffles for dinner because I haven’t gone grocery shopping. I’ll be honest and admit I sometimes don’t cook dinner because I’m flat out tired of doing it all the time and sick of my own cooking. My rose colored glasses are cracked when I am just too tired to walk my five year old to the park. Or the many times I would rather have alone time in my room than watch TV with the rest of the family.

I wish more mothers would have the courage to reach out and share their shortcomings and failures so the rest of us can feel exonerated from our daily struggles to qualify for The Mother of the Year Award we secretly make up in our heads. Maybe they aren’t shortcomings at all? Maybe I am normal and average and imperfect and that is OK because every Mom is just like me! I think reading postings of other people’s blogs, Facebook and Instagram blips is painting an unrealistic picture of how dailiness really is for moms.

My husband counsels me regularly about my unrealistic perfectionism to do everything and BE everything and then at the end of the day feel deflated over something. He is right you know. I need to listen to his words and “Let it Go!” (Disney really maybe onto something!)

So I find myself turning to God more to help me overcome my feelings of failure because I know He doesn’t want me to feel that way. But I can’t do it on my own; it’s just not that easy. It’s easier to compare myself to others and point out what I’m NOT doing than to give myself a pat on the back. I think this is the Adversary’s greatest and latest tool of the 21st Century. Crush the mother’s self esteem in her important role and the family will suffer.

I didn’t know this could happen as I became a mother, so I find myself searching for a way out of this mental prison I’ve made for myself. Is there anyone else out there that has the same issues as I, or am I just the only crazy one?

Saving Worms

Saving Worms

Being five years old and saving the world one worm at a time. I am so glad that I can be inspired by my five year old every day. It reminds me that I need to slow down and look around me to see what kind of difference I can make in the world today. Even if it is just within the walls of my home.