Monday, December 13, 2010

Josiah's 1st Guitar Show

Warning: This video is 3-1/2 minutes long. It begins with Josiah's guitar teacher talking about the guitarist/composer Carruli and how his music was judged by the Parisians as too hard for the average player. He says that Josiah is about to prove them all wrong! Josiah was the youngest student in the show and the only student who had just began taking lessons this fall. As you can tell, I am very proud of him. Not only, for his guitar playing ability, but for him getting up on that stage all by himself and playing in front of all those people! When he first was given this waltz to learn, he would get frustrated just looking at the sheet music, but then he would pray and ask God to help him understand and learn it. This really helped him to keep a good attitude. At the end, his teacher compares his hands to those of Segovia, a famous classical guitarist, which is something to be highly desired!

Let me say, also, that all of the kids that performed did an AMAZING job! I wish I had the whole show on video. You would be blown away by some the kids who have only been taking lessons for 2-3 years. Our teacher, Dan Word, has done an incredible job in teaching his students! 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Just Do the Next Thing.

I have to admit that lately I have felt so overloaded! When I start to think about everything that I need to do, I get completely overwhelmed and find myself not able to get anything accomplished! Is anyone with me? Have you ever been here?

Then, I read a quote from a homeschooling, mother of 4, whose kids are about the same age as mine. She said  "don't think about all you have to do, just do the next thing!"

It sounds so simple, it just might work.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Eisley's Own Bed

Our poor sweet Eisley has not had a bed to call her own since we took down her baby bed. I thought it was a great idea to let Ashtyn share her full bed with Eisley. After all, I remember my Grandmother telling me stories of how she and her sisters had always shared a bed. What a great idea! It's cheaper and space saving!

Or maybe not...
Eisley has been going back and forth between sleeping with Ashtyn in "their" bed and sleeping on the the boy's trundle, under their bunk beds. She prefers to "sleep by Jo". However, at bedtime it is frequently discussed who "has to" sleep with Eisley. Poor Baby Girl! Then again, I guess she does tend to talk alot, get up and down frequently, take a long time to get still enough to fall asleep, and once she did give Ashtyn that black eye.

To add to the sad story, she randomly makes a pouty face and says "miss my baby bed." awwwww... I have never had a child miss their baby bed and tell people for no reason "my baby bed lost"

She really doesn't even think she has a room. She sleeps in the boys room and her stuff is in Ashy's room.

I have thought through all the possible options, and thanks to my sister's help on Saturday, I got EIsley her own toddler bed. And she loves it! As Brent was opening the box, to put it together, she said over and over again "dank you daddy. " She is a sweet girl and I love to see her so happy!

Thankfully I still had all her baby bedding!

Eisley's little bed matches Ashtyn's big bed

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time to Make the Bread

After feeding your starter flour and water for a week, it is finally fermented and ready to make bread.

Because it is fermented it actually breaks down those difficult to digest phytates. Phytates basically bind up the minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus and prevent your body from being able to absorb them. This is one of the healthiest bread you can make because you are actually able to absorb and use the nutrients that are released. But that is another story for another day.

To make the bread you need:
2 cups sourdough starter
1 tsp sea salt
3/4 cold filtered water
2-4 cups whole wheat flour

Step 1: take remaining starter and pour it into a clean jar, seal it with a lid and store it in the refridgerator until you are ready to use it again. *Remember to pull it out once a week, feed it, leave it out on the counter overnight, and then put it back in the fridge in order to maintain it.*

Step 2: mix the starter and the salt in a clean glass bowl.

Step 3: stir in water.

Step 4: mix in flour, 1-2 cups at a time (amount will vary depending on the consistency of your starter.

Step 5: knead your dough for 8-10 minutes (you can use a machine if you want to!)

put the dough back in your bowl

Step 6: Cover and let the natural yeast go to work to make the dough rise. In 3-4 hours my glass bowl was filled to the top. It could take much more. Remember this is the slow, old fashioned way. I had mentally prepared myself for it to take all day, so I was surprised at how fast it went.

Step 7: Knead the dough again for about 5 minutes.

Step 8: Cut your dough in half.

Step 9: Form to round balls and place in stone or glass pan.

Step 10: Allow the dough to rise in the pan on average 1-3 hours. (I had to leave my house in 2 hours, so  I only let mine rise for 1 hour)

Step 11: Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Not very pretty for my first try, but it tasted great! 

Be sure and let me know how yours turns out! And I'll start working on some more recipes for our sourdough starters!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Early to Bed

Ben Franklin once said "Early to Bed, Early to Rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise."

Can I tell you that this quote has been stuck in my head the last 3 days (and nights!). I told Brent that I think the Lord is really trying to impress this principle on me. I am known to go to bed exceedingly late and still wake up fairly early.

This morning, I was reading today's homeschool devotional that is emailed to me and the following verse jumped out at me:

"It is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even sleep"

Psalm 127:2

I always feel like there is so much that needs to be done, that I can't get done during the day.
So here is the question I had to ask myself "Am I trying to do more than God intended me to do?"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 7

I didn't take any pics today b/c it is basically the same thing. Once again, the top looked frothy. I mixed in 1/4 cup water and 1/2 cup flour. Mine is still very soupy even adding less water. So tomorrow is the big day! Just to give you a heads up you will need more water, flour and salt. I use Redmond's unrefined sea salt. Also, you will need glass or stone baking pans.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 6

It overflowed! I knew I might have put too much in there. That just goes to show flow your instincts! No problem though. I'll simply take some out. I am choosing to discard it, however if you are totally against wasting it you could stick it in the fridge to use later.

I took the lid off and was surprised at how much the smell had changed from yesterday. The fermentation is working b/c it smelled very strongly like alcohol.

Today I am feeding it with less water. 1/4 c water and 1/2 c flour. Stir it well. Then put it in a clean jar. Tomorrow the exact same thing and then Friday...we get to make the bread!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Day 5

Sorry, I'm slow to post Day 5 instructions, but I'm sure by now you know what to do!

Today mine had this frothy layer on the top and kind of a strange smell. It is hard to describe. Not necessarily a bad smell, but not that yummy yeasty smell either. Does that make sense? But we will get there! Keep going.

So this is mine after I finished with it today. It hasn't appeared to be rising very much so I went ahead and added todays mixture (1/2 c whole wheat flour and 1/2c filtered water) into my quart jar without removing any. Tomorrow I will have to take some out. I have heard that when you have to remove some it is okay to go ahead and use it in some recipes? I'll try to research this a little more before the next post!

*On a side note, the soupier your starter is, the more sour it will taste. My family likes our not quite so sour, so tomorrow I will begin to thicken it up a little by feeding it 1/2 c flour and only 1/4 c water.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Day 4

This is what mine looked like this morning...

Feed your starter again and pour it into a clean jar. Be sure and mix it well. Mine is smelling sour. How about yours? Mine is also getting close to the top of my jar. If it gets too full, you can either move it to a larger glass container or bowl. Or you can simply take some of it out, like say 1/2 cup out and replace with your new mixture.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 3


This is what my starter looked like this morning. It had a little bit of yellowish liquid on top that is commonly called "hooch". You can choose whether to mix it back in or pour it off. I chose to pour most of it off the top. Did you smell it today? It is starting to smell a little sour! This is just the beginning.

Then, the same as yesterday, feed your starter by mixing 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup water. Don't forget to pour it into a clean jar.
Cover and set aside. That is it! See how simple this is? We will be doing this for a total of 7 days. Then on the 8th day we will make our bread! I can't wait!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Sourdough: Day 2

This is what my starter looked like this morning.

Today's task is easy...
mix 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 water together, then add it to the first jar. mix it to aerate it well. then pour it in a clean jar. That's it! Cover it back up with the cheesecloth and set it back on your counter until tomorrow. (If you look closely you can see that mine is starting to get bubbly. )

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Sourdough Journey: Day 1

The next step on my journey of feeding my family whole/real foods is sourdough. Not only for bread loaves, but also for pizza dough, pancakes and whatever else I can discover along the way.

So why don't you join me in my first attempt (hopefully there won't be a need for a second) at making a homemade sourdough starter? I will be making it with simply flour and water and will be completely dependent on naturally occurring or "wild" yeast and bacteria.

Day 1 is quick and easy.

Here is what I am using...

*1 quart glass jar
*1 cup whole wheat, organic flour
*1 cup filtered water
*1 piece of cheesecloth (I bought mine at Williams Sonoma, but supposedly you can find it at Walmart and hardware stores in the paint department. Apparently, more people use it to strain their paint than to make cheese?)

Step 1
Pour flour in jar.

Step 2
Pour in filtered water.

Step 3
Mix with wooden spoon or whisk until free from clumps.

Step 4
Cover with cheesecloth and allow it to sit on your counter overnight or up to one day.

That is it for Day 1. Check back tomorrow for Day 2 instructions.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Blueberry Jam

I am on a quest of cleaning out all food products with ingredient that aren't natural and that I can't pronounce. My goal is to post about some of the new recipes that I try that turn out good. So here is the first of hopefully many to come.

Blueberry Jam - very simple, but takes a while

First I washed the berries and crushed about 9 cups full.
Add 6 cups of sugar.
Slowly bring to a boil.
Cook rapidly to gelling point.
(I cooked it at least 45 minutes)
Using a ladle I filled the hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace.
Place on hot lids.
Then screw on bands.
Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.

With this recipe I made 6 half-pint jar and 1 pint size jar.
It was a hit, even my picky children loved it.

Bye Bye Baby

Once again, it is time to say goodbye to the baby bed. It seems like we have been through this before. This time, it is just a little bit harder on mommy. There was still lots of baby things in the girls room. So this summer I am committing to cleaning it all out and (insert: sniff, sniff) getting rid of most of it. Of course, I have to save a few things. The problem is my "few things" has turned into a large pile! I'm working on it, it's definitely a process.

Gotta Love the Zoo

I love going to the Fort Worth Zoo. Of course, it is even more fun because the kids know that daddy worked on design of the new MOLA, Museum of Living Art. So, if you haven't checked it out... you need to.
I do have to admit that it is not as good as going to the New Orleans Zoo and Aquarium, but it will have to do. Maybe next time we visit Grandad and Bebe we can go there.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Children are a blessing...really.

Do you ever get comments when you walk in a store with your children?

Here are a few I have gotten:
"you sure do have your hands full"
"are all these yours?"
"you know what causes that don't you?"
I actually had one lady (that I didn't know) tell me "4 is enough, don't have anymore"

Well, if you have ever gotten any of these read this article
(I got this off my friend Candi's blog, but I had to repost it.)

what Eisley has been up to

Eisley is a very busy girl, which makes for a very busy mommy. that is just trying to keep her out of everything she shouldn't get into! She is certainly full of joy and energy. She can always bring a smile to my face and I love the way she talks!

Eisley after getting into mommy's eyeliner. She loves my makeup. At least she knew where to put it, unlike this week when she colored all over my bathroom floor with my lipstick and "painted" her toes with my eye shadow!

catching a ride to her room

Eisley found some winter things (that didn't belong to her, which are by far more fun than her own)

Sharing with "other bubba." She has started calling Josiah-Bubby and Isaiah-udda bubba. It is so funny!

Eisley's bad hair day :)

she wanted to help decorate the sugar cookies. while I was turned around she dumped the whole container of yellow sugar an one cookie! And she was so proud!