Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Life Lessons

The great thing about life is that it keeps moving along.  The bad thing about life is that sometimes it moves you to a place you would rather not be.

Life is full of hills and valleys.  Without those ups and downs we wouldn't grow as a person, as a family and certainly not closer to God.

Life is fragile and it is those moments that we realize how important it is to live in the moment.

Things are fine with my little family, but someone we care about is struggling.  We are loving, supporting and more importantly praying for this person.

My blog may be silent as my focus is elsewhere.  No worries though as my Creator gives me hope and refuge through the easy and hard moments.


Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Rainy Day Jelly

Okay, so that isn't the actual name of the jelly. :)  That is just the way I spent a rainy afternoon.  I really wanted to curl up with a book or watch some mindless television but I was productive instead.
Remember when we made applesauce?  There were all of those peels and cores left that didn't need to go to waste.  You know the saying "waste not, want not."
All that great stuff that most people just toss away went into a pot with some water.  It cooked down and made a wonderful liquid.
Then it was run through a sieve and all of that wonderful flavor was squeezed out of the peels and cores.
Many times, and I do mean many times the juice was squeezed through cheese cloth.  It is at this point that you can continue on to make jelly or save it for later.  After the work of making applesauce this goodie was saved for later.  You may can this, freeze this or just refrigerate if you plan to use it shortly.
Notice the difference shades of the juice?  The jar on the left was made from mostly peels.  The jar on the right was cores, peels and some really small apples that were cut up and tossed in.  Making your jelly this way won't result in a light, clear jelly, but it still taste great.  Knowing that you used things up is worth the darker jelly.

When you are ready to make jelly you measure out your juice into a stock pan.  ( I used 5 cups apple juice and 2 cups pear.) I always make sure that I have everything ready.  In this case my jars, lids, rings and sugar pre-measured.
Turn your burner on high and add the pectin.
Stir to disolve and bring to a rolling boil.  (Be sure that it is still a rolling boil when stirred.)  Then add the sugar.
Bring back to a rolling boil and boil for one minute.

Ladle into jars.
 Process in a water bath canner for five minutes.

Twelve beautiful jar of Apple-Pear Jelly.  You can find all of the information you need for making jelly and jam inside of the Sure Gel box.  

May you day be filled with joy and contentment!

Monday, October 06, 2014

Time Is Flying By

This morning Megan asked me if I wished it were Friday so we could have the weekend again.  My first thought was yes.  I do love having my family home and a relaxed schedule.  I ended up telling Megan no.  I don't want to wish my life away.  I want to cherish every moment because as all parents know the time goes way to fast!

The past week zoomed by!

We went on a fun field trip to a popcorn store.

I learned some new things and tasted flavors like dill pickle and biscuits and gravy.  I think I will stick with more traditional flavors. :)

As always there are things to be done at home.
I am trying hard for my kitchen to look like this all the time.  It is so easy for the counters and table to get cluttered with lunch boxes, mail and school papers.  It doesn't bring me pleasure when I have to clear clutter before I begin a task.
I have been working on menu planning.
 There is always laundry and something to clean.

We are spending as much time as possible outside.  The weather is changing fast!  We cut grass yesterday afternoon and the wind was quite chilly.
Monthly grocery shopping was completed.  After stopping at three stores I still have a little bit left in the grocery budget.  I was able to stock my pantry as there was a good sale on some canned goods and spaghetti sauce.  I will only need to purchase produce and milk the rest of the month.
 Cooler weather means more evenings indoors.  We love to play games!
I hear so many woman say they could never stay home because it is borning.  I always shake my head when I hear that.  I find that I never run out of things to do.   Actually I feel just the opposite.  I find there is rarely enough hours in the day to complete all the things I would like to do.  I love being home!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!


Friday, September 26, 2014

Joy in the Ordinary

Look around, really look around and you will find joy... joy in the everyday... joy in the ordinary things.
 I thrive on simplicity but it seems we are in a busy season.  I am trying hard not to become overwhelmed and stress out.  I keep reminding myself this is just a season and I should embrace the chaos and find the joyful moments.   
Abe came running into the house shouting that Megan needed my camera.  I sent it out and she took this shot of the squirrel.  Not bad. 
Little Ladies that have know each longer then we have known them.  The little girl with the fan lived in the same foster home as Megan.  The day we received the girls Megan reached out for Katie's hand while we were in the elevator.  Now the girls live less then ten miles from each other.  God's plans are nothing short of amazing!
Working on things for Sunday school.  Can you guess what we are teaching this week?
Daddy has been working late this week so Megan and I had a girls only outing one evening.  My sweet girl was a chatter box.  She shared all of her secrets and told me a few things I didn't know.  Like she and two classmates gather on the playground every Wednesday to pray for their teacher!  I didn't make a big deal about it, but my heart was rejoicing big time. 

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!   

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Syrup

I don't know about you but apples say fall to me. I had some apples that needed to be used. They were starting to get soft and have that wrinkly skin. The wheels were turning about what to do with these. I looked up a couple of ideas and then went into the kitchen to get busy.
Cinnamon Apple Syrup

Apples (peeled, cored and sliced)
3/4 cup white sugar
1 t cinnamon
1 t corn starch
2 T water
1 t vanilla

Place apples in a sauce pan.  Add sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Mix water with cornstarch and add to mixture.  Mix all ingredients together and then bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes; stirring constantly.  Reduce head to low and cook until syrup is thick and apples are tender.  
You may be looking at the picture above and thinking that is more then a teaspoon of cinnamon.  You would be correct.  I added a tablespoon and it was more cinnamon then I like so I would suggest only a teaspoon.  Live and learn! :)
After a little taste test. I placed these in a jar to be used this weekend.  

Here are a few ideas of how to use these:  over pancakes, waffles or french toast.  As a topping for ice cream or simmered over pork chops when they are just about done.  I might add some chopped pecans to the chops also!

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!  

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Gone Fishin'

We had plans to go to Papaw's (Chuck's dad) for a family dinner.  Megan keep telling us she was going to the pond to catch a fish.  She even went as far as to make her own fishing pole. :)  Once we were there and her cousins saw what she had they all wanted to go "fishing" also.  They piled in the barn with Papaw and they all came out with "fishing" poles.  The cute factor was off the charts!

So we all trecked through the woods to the little pond and watched imaginations soar.


No fish were caught! We did have plenty of good old fashioned fun, lots of laughs and of course precious memories were made.

May your day be filled with joy and contentment!