God Cares About the Little Things

I have NEVER lost a library book. Ever. Until today. I was shocked to find a snake book missing from our return stack. We have an outing planned for today complete with a picnic, playground visit and a trip to the library. How could we possibly be missing one of the books that is due back?

We have a small house, so it’s pretty hard to lose things. We have spent all morning moving furniture and exploring every last nook and cranny. Could it really be lost? How does something dissappear? How could I be so irresponsible? Would they put me on some sort of library black list? Should I purchase the book plus another one to return to the library along with my sincere apologies?

I had to stop my quest to tend to my youngest’s nap time needs, yet my mind was still racing. Finally I admitted defeat, “Lord, I have no clue where this book is. I have looked everywhere. I can’t find it, but I know you see it. Please show us where it is.” As I continued to prayed and give my worries repeatedly to God (it’s amazing how often I never actually let go), he began working on my heart. I finally chose to believe that He would help us find it. Maybe not today, but soon.

All of a sudden it dawned on me. I looked behind Samuel’s dresser, but I didn’t look under it. I used to lose tons of things under that very dresser when I was little. Sure enough, there it was!

To think – my faith is so small that I was willing to let something as small as a lost library boom ruin our special family outing day, but that book mattered to God. It mattered to Him because it mattered to me. I must learn to trust Him first. Hopefully one day soon I will learn to trust Him first so he can take my worry from me.

March 2014

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I’m always so happy to see March. With it comes spring and tastes of warmer weather. We have been enjoying our many opportunities to be outside. Timothy especially enjoyed a wagon ride and creek splashing along the greenway. He stood up in the wagon proclaiming “Eeeee! Eeeee!” (his happy sound) all along our walk. He is beginning to communicate more in his own way. It is so fun to see him blossom!

Samuel has big news too! He is officially potty trained! He has done so well and had a quick transition. His current record is seven days with zero accidents! That is so good. He even stayed dry for our excursion to the zoo, which brings me to more fun in March.

Arlen’s aunt Phyllis was able to visit all the way from New Mexico. We enjoyed walks and chatting. The highlight of the visit was a trip to the zoo. Samuel doesn’t remember visiting the zoo when he was younger, thus he was excited when he saw all the stuffed animals in the gift shop. He thought THAT was the zoo. You can imagine his delight when I told him we were going to see real, live animals. For him the highlights of the trip were the carousel, watching the little zoo train, feeding the goats, the koi pond and the “bunny rabbits” (aka fennic foxes). Timothy enjoyed seeing all the people, crawling around when we would let him, and banging on some sitting blocks that were placed throughout the zoo.

Arlen started tilling the garden, which means the garden will soon be planted! I’m so excited! This year I’m focusing on making the garden fun for Samuel. We are going to have a bean pole teepee, a digging spot, butterfly feeder, toad house and all kinds of fun nooks and crannies. We even have a mushroom log so we can grow our own Shitakee mushrooms. Yum! One addition we will all love is the rainbow flower garden. :). This will be my first attempt at growing flowers other than pansies and merrigolds, so we’ll see what happens.

With the garden underway, we also signed up for this year’s CSA. I’m supper excited to see what fresh goodies we will have to accompany what our own little garden produces. I’m excited too as our weekly box will also contain fresh flowers and a home-baked loaf of gluten-free bread. Yum!

March has been a busy month. It’s hard to believe that April is already upon us, and along with it, Timothy’s first birthday. Where has the time gone?

December 2013: Transitions

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December, loaded with festivities and traditions, is usually quite crazy. This December was no exception. We started the month off we the addition of our Jesse tree. This is a fantastic tradition I’m eager to bust out every year as it truly helps turn our focus on what the season is all about.

We began the major transition as Arlen wrapped up his third and final year of work at the family business to open his business again and work from home. This has been quite the change as it has also been coupled with me doing much better physically. The only thing slowing me down is the 20 hours a week it takes me to pump milk for Timothy.

Timothy is cruising all over the place, babbling as he goes, and Samuel is growing up so fast. He is really becoming a HUGE help around the house, brushing his teeth, clearing the table, tidying his toys and helping in the kitchen. It’s fun watching him acquire so many new skills.

Christmas was big for us with all of Arlen’s siblings and their families present. Unfortunately, so many of us were sick, and even now, into January are still getting over our illnesses. It was good to have everyone together though.

We took advantage of having so many family members here to have Timothy’s dedication. It was a wonderful private service. We are so blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who are eager to support us as we strive to raise our boys in the love of our Lord.

And with that, we say goodbye to 2013 and hello to 2014. I’m eager to see what the new year holds. :)

Making Memories Monday 02

Samuel: 3 years
Timothy: 7 months

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Making Memories Monday 01

I decided I am going to start posting the best pictures from every week. I may include a video as well. The point of all this is to help me take more pictures and videos of the boys, and to give me an easy place to chronicle it all. :)

So, welcome to all our memories from this week. :)

Samuel: 3 years
Timothy: 7 months

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Transitions

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Yesterday I was looking back over blog posts and YouTube videos and I miss it. I miss the community and the conversations, but most of all, I miss the memories. The reality is that without a medium to share, I’m just not taking as many pictures or videos as I used to. Between that and a lost memory card, we just don’t have a lot of Timothy’s first six months. This is quite sad to me.

It’s hard, as we go through some major changes again, to find balance in my life. There are simply more things to do in a 24 hour period than there is time for. It’s all good and “important” though, so it’s hard to decide what to put on hold and what to persue. What’s even more of a challenge is that I will be joining my husband as he moves to re-starting his business and working from home. This time I’m joining him as marketing content writer and social media manager. I think it will be a LOT of fun and overall it will give us more time together as a family, but it will be a HUGE adjustment for me.

The next few months will be interesting and I guess we will see what will unfold.

Allergy Free Drop Biscuits

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I’m so happy to finally be sharing some recipes with you! I thought this drop biscuit recipe would be a great place to start because it is so versatile and super easy to make. We use it for biscuits and gravy, pizza crust, pot pie crust and more. With some slight modifications it even makes great shortcake for strawberry shortcake – yummy!!

Ingredients
2 cups rice flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 TB sugar
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup rice milk
1/3 cup oil
1/8 cup apple sauce

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees f.
2. Mix dry ingredients in medium size mixing bowl.
3. Emulsify wet ingredients together using a fork.
4. Mix wet ingredients into dry. You will have a very sticky dough.
5. Using a spoon or ice cream scooper, spoon biscuits onto ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden on top.

Cooking Tip
Check your oven temperature. We bought an oven thermometer and discovered our oven averages about 20 degrees lower than it reads! Yikes! Fortunately, it’s easy to adjust for and our food comes out like it should.

Substitutes and Modifications
This particular recipe can have a lot of adaptations and modifications, so here we go!

Flour:
Originally this recipe called for whole wheat flour. I have found that you can substitute pretty much any flour in this recipe – white rice, brown rice, mung bean, garbanzo etc. It lends a great opportunity to experiment. I have found that it’s better to split really flavorful flours with something more mild like 1 cup rice flour and 1 cup garbanzo flour.

Sugar
As per usual with sugar, you can substitute honey, stevia, agave nectar or even dates (although I would only use maybe 1/3 to 1/2 pitted date for this recipe). By adding 3-4 TB sugar instead of 1/2 TB, you can make an excellent sweet biscuit for all sorts of yummy desserts.

Rice Milk
Milks are generally pretty interchangeable. Rice milk does tend to be sweeter, so if you use rice milk make sure it is unsweetened with no sugar added. You could also use regular cow’s milk. I really think almond milk would be best for this recipe, but we are a nut-free family.

Oil
The oil is in place of any butter or margarine. If you want to avoid oils, you could try one of those. Try using a fork or pastry cutter to cut the butter into the dry mixture before adding wet ingredients or add melted butter in with the wet.

If you want to avoid fat all together, you could try using 1/3 cup applesauce and using another method listed below as an egg replacer. In that case, your wet ingredients would be 2/3 C milk, 1/3 C applesauce and egg replacer equivalent for one egg. If you use the applesauce, I would leave out the sugar.

Apple Sauce
In this recipe, the apple sauce serves as an egg replacer. You could just use one egg. There are also other options for egg replacers. There are egg replacer mixes like EnerG egg replacer. I haven’t used them much because they are so expensive. Another option would be mixing 1 TB of ground flax seed with 3 TB water per egg. Let it sit for five minutes before adding to your wet ingredients.

Storage and Prep Simplification
These are already really easy to make, but if you are super short on time, you can make several single-batch ziplock bags ahead with all of the dry ingredients measured out (do at least 5 at a time while you have all your ingredients out anyway). Then, when you are ready to go, just dump the bag into the bowl, add your wet ingredients, pop ‘em in the oven and you are done. If you’re feeling particularly thrifty or green, you can save the bags and do it over again. :)

These biscuits are best eaten fresh and do not store well. You can store them for two days in a sealed container in a cool place or longer in the fridge, but their texture becomes less desirable with time.

What is your favorite biscuit recipe? Have you tried this one? Did you modify it? How did it turn out? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!