Wednesday, October 26, 2011


  Courage is something I will never truly understand, and often wish I had more of.  It's what you have when you are very afraid of doing something, but because it is necessary you do it any way.  When someone frightens you, and you don't run.  What it takes to stand up for someone in need, even if that will make you the laughingstock of the town.  And sometimes (ok, always!), it's what you have to have in order to say "I'm sorry" to someone else, and acknowledge your mistakes.
  A friend of mine gave me a little bag of tiny scrolls for my birthday.  Each scroll contained a helpful proverb, and I enjoyed reading one a day.  I thought today would be a good time to share this note of "Courage" with you.

        Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak;  it also is what it takes, on occasion, to sit down and listen.    

   I find it much easier to stand up and speak than I do to sit down and listen.  How about you?
                               Take courage, and have a great day!

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Bit of Beauty

  Nature, the gift that's always new.  And which is especially lovely in Autumn.  <3

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Lovely Day

  It's a lovely day in central MO.  The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, and leaves of all colors are dancing everywhere.  Inside the house, I bake bread while my sister mixes cake batter and measures it into muffin tins.  Winter clothes are being laundered in preparation for their use,  and the children are rollerblading on the back deck..  It's a lovely day!
  I was reminded again yesterday that I need to focus on all the good things that come into my life, and share those things with others.  So often I can get bogged down by all my little problems and worries, and lose sight of all I have to be thankful for.  When my siblings are whining, the washing machine is broken, and the living room looks as though it's been hit by a tornado,  it's so easy to focus on the bad in my life and get discouraged.  So...
   Today I'm focusing on the good, and sharing it with you.  Whatever the weather, no matter how hard life is right now, remember all the things you have to be thankful for, and be inspired.  Notice I say, "be" inspired.  Don't "wait to be" inspired, but find something to inspire you right now.  Maybe someone gave you a note a few weeks ago that made your day, and it's still taped up next to your desk.  Read it again, and be thankful for the person that gave it to you.  If you can hear your family or neighbors playing (or even fighting), be thankful that you are not all alone in the world, and life can get better!  If you're feeling utterly exhausted, for whatever reason, remember that God gave  us sleep and you're going to get some (even if it's not right now, and you'll have to push through a little longer).  Be thankful for every moment that you can think, breathe,smell, taste, feel, see and hear.  Even if you can't hear, can't walk, and can't even see right, be thankful for the things you can do!  I love to read, but it does sometimes give me a headache.  I don't always feel thankful for anything while I'm in the middle of a headache, or worse yet a migraine, but if I stop to count my blessings I realize that I'm grateful that I can see at all, glad that I have the ability and learning to read, and thankful that my book (usually) will be waiting for me to finish it the next day!
    Stay thankful, stay strong!
  P.S.- I'm posting my bread recipe in Sarah's Kitchen, just in case you feel inspired to make your own bread.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Of Super foods and Iodine

  For the past several years, my family has been trying to find ways to naturally improve our overall health.  Most of my siblings are generally healthy, but my parents and myself have struggled for years with weak or over active immune systems, and stress.  You may understand why we are interested in finding natural, affordable ways to stay healthy if you too catch every cold that comes around, and find that it quickly settles in your chest and becomes pneumonia.  Or maybe you struggle with sinus infections half the year.  Or allergies.  Or.... the list goes on and on.
   We've been working on our diet, including more leafy greens and antioxidant rich foods, and cutting back on meats.  We've upped our consumption of nuts (especially raw almonds, our favorite!) and cut back on all processed sugars and carbohydrates (although you couldn't tell by my Sarah's Kitchen page, lol). 
  Saving the sugary stuff for special occasions is easy enough, and substituting whole grains in place of things made with white or heavily processed flours is  a breeze.  But just changing our diet didn't even begin to fix our problems, at least not that we could see.  I'm quite sure it will help in the long run, but for now, we need more.
   Mom has been researching iodine, and believe me, I'm going to go crazy over it soon, with all her research tabs spread across the browser and slowing the computer system.  But, truthfully, the stuff does help some things!  Many skin problems (small patches of skin cancer or precancerous spots in particular) can actually be cured by the daily application of iodine.  Go ahead, look it up online -iodine natural cancer cures-, just remember to bookmark the links you like and close your tabs when you're done researching, or your computer may become "clogged".  :-)
  Iodine can also be used as a natural supplement to normalize your thyroid if you suffer from hyper- or hypo-thyroidism.  You can try using an iodine supplement in tincture form that is intended for internal use, or if your condition is serious, a supplement is available in capsule form called iodoral.  Look up Iodine Fulfillment Therapy online to find complete instructions/dosages for the use of iodoral iodine supplement.  Note:  I am not a doctor.  This is for informational purposes only.  Use your own due diligence in researching this subject further.
  So, I have not yet told you how I got over the constant allergies, common colds, almost instant pneumonia every time I caught a cold, sinus infections, and year round viruses.  I've recently found my chronic skin condition Keratosis Pilaris and facial Rosacea improved as well.  No, it wasn't due to any iodine supplementation.  And, as far as I can tell, it wasn't because I'd bettered my diet.  But it was made better by a Super food, well, a Super Juice actually. 
   I've been taking a product called SABA.  It's basically a blend of antioxidant rich juices and herbal adaptogens that with time help your body to heal itself.  I've been on SABA for about 6 months now.  I haven't had a cold, or any chest congestion, sinus infections or even stomach virus in the last 4 months.  My stress level has gone down too, and I don't get riled up over all the little things I used to.  I'm really amazed by all the good changes my body has experienced since I started taking SABA.  You can find out more about this product, like all the scientific research that went into it, what the ingredients are, etc... @                            Yes, I promote SABA.  And with good reason!  SABA has helped me more than any other supplement I've tried (and believe me, I've tried a lot)!  I'm sharing this info with everyone I can, and I'm so excited to be seeing all the great results that have come to others from using SABA!
  Be healthy, and be happy!  Have a great day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Supper Time

  Today turned out to be one of those crazy Saturdays we all have once in a while.  Dad had to work, a couple of friends of ours came over to spend the day, and some of the rooms got a Fall cleaning.
  By evening time I was pretty tired.  And hungry.  So, on a whim, I made Crazy Cake (much better than it sounds!), Fruit soup, and whipped cream to top it off.  My family (most of my family) loved it. 
  I thought I'd share a picture with you today, and I hope to post the recipe for Crazy Cake in Sarah's Kitchen tomorrow.
   Something to remember;  Cherish every moment you spend with your family.  You never know when they may be taken from you. Even when they drive you crazy, turn their noses up at your cooking, or deliberately disregard what you've said to them, keep loving them and let them know you love them!
                                                                  Have a blessed night!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011


  Hellooo Monday.  Up and at 'em, everyone, there's work to be done!
  Today I'm repairing connections.  No, I'm not talking about family ties, damaged friendships, or any thing that has to do with other humans.  At least not directly.  Today I'm trying to fix the connection between my camera, printer, and computer, and connecting another laptop to our wireless network.
  As all of you know, good connections are very important.  The connection between my camera, printer, and computer has to be fixed so I can upload pictures to this blog (my siblings lost the camera cables, so I have to download directly from the SD card port in our printer).  And my laptop must be able to connect to the internet within 4 days, or I'll have to reinstall everything I've put onto it after wiping the hard drive and reinstalling the programs, since all the trial things I installed expire at that time. Note: I don't recommend completely erasing everything on your hard drive and installing all new programs unless absolutely necessary, or unless you are a total computer whiz.  I'm not a Geek-ette, I'm just hard headed and had to try this myself when my laptop crashed.  I think I've learned a lot from the whole experience.  :-)
  Good connections between humans are just as important as any other type.  Just as my laptop will have to be "redone" if I can't get the wireless connection fixed, a "connection", or  human relationship, may have to be completely rebuilt if left uncared for. And I do recommend this type of  "hard drive clean up", done as soon as possible!
   You may have started out well, erasing past mistakes with large amounts of repentance and forgiveness, and you might even have "installed" some new software through acts of kindness, gifts, and promise.  But if you don't have the right "drivers", such as trust, sincerity, and love (I'm talking brotherly love, not the romance type!), you won't get anywhere with your new relationship.  You may even experience some of the same problems you had before!  Sure, you thought you got all the "bugs ironed out" in one shot, but that's not how relationships work. 
   You'll have to establish new "wireless connections" with the world around you, if your change has really been sincere, since you are a changed person, and the world need to know the real you for smooth operation.  Yes, you'll still have issues to work through, but you can do it! 
   Don't forget about using a proper antivirus, and remember that it doesn't guarantee your computer won't "die of worms" unless you keep it updated!  I recommend using The Lord Jesus Christ, but it's your choice (The Lord Jesus Christ is FREE, but you must remember to continuously update for best results).
    Keep your connections "fixed", and have a great week! 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

To bean, or not to bean....?

   Thanks goes to my mother for this little pun.  But seriously, how many of us are using more dried beans in our diet, and less meat, in order to spend less $?
   There are 10 people in my house, and keeping us all fed while sticking to a strict budget is quite a task.  I was reminded today, by a story on Yahoo, that many people want to eat in a healthy manner while also lowering their grocery bill, but don't know how to do so.  Here are a few tips that I have learned over the years, as well as a few I learned today.
   1.  First, if you don't have one, create a set budget.  You may need to do a few weeks of shopping to get your budget figured out.  Buy only what you need, and not everything you want, to figure out how much you'll have to spend each week.  Stick to the rules below to lower the cost of your groceries, and write down the exact dollar amount you've spent at the end of the week.  Take the amount you've spent and round it up to the nearest ten dollars (i.e., you've spent $137, so round up to $140).  Now, and this is something that we've found really does help, get a good old fashioned cookie jar (any jar, really, with a lid) and put another $10 into it.  You've now got $140 in your grocery budget, and $10 in a jar.  In an emergency, and I repeat an emergency, get that $10 or however much you've collected in your jar over the weeks, and use it.  An emergency might be company coming for dinner, a road trip, or even some non food item you really need.  It could also just be rising prices at your local grocery store, unfortunately.  If, at the end of the week, you happen to have a little money left over out of that $140, put it into a secret stash, and when you have enough "loose change" collected get a little something for the whole family.  Feeling totally deprived of any goodies is a good way to totally blow your budget, so make sure you do get a little something once in a while.  Set budget: $150  (or whatever you've figured for your family's individual needs).
   2.  Make lists.  That's right, make a list.  Get a piece of paper and a pencil, and start writing down each needed grocery item.  Don't forget to take this list with you when you go shopping.   
If you make a weekly meal plan, and stick to it, you will know approximately what will need to go on your shopping list each week.  So plan ahead, and make lists!
   3.  Stick to your list.  Don't buy something just because it happens to be on sale today, or because it looks good to you at the moment (hungry shoppers in particular are often guilty of impulsive buying, so don't go shopping while hungry!).  An exception to the rule:  You're in Walmart, and you realize you need toilet paper and diapers.  They're not on the list.  Get them anyway! Trust me, these are two things you don't want to be without!
   4. Eat dried beans.  They're cheap, filling, and full of protein, so eat them!  If you don't know beans about cooking legumes,  try this;   Place 1 lb. dry beans of your choice into a large saucepan.  Rinse them well, and check them for any stones or other debris. Now, fill your pan almost to the top with water.  The beans should come no more than 1/3 of the way to the top of the water.  Place the pan on the back of the stove, and let the beans soak overnight, or for at least 8 hours.  If you start them soaking at breakfast time, they should be done in time for a 6:00 pm supper.  When they are done soaking, drain them, rinse them again, and fill the pot to the top with water.  Put them on the stove and bring them to a boil.  Once they're boiling, turn down the heat to med.-low.  This will help to keep them from boiling over and making a big mess on your stove, but do be sure to keep a good eye on them.  Boil the beans for 2-4 hours, or until tender.  Red beans and limas take longer to cook than great white northern beans and black beans.  You can add salt to the beans in the last 30 minutes of cooking, but I don't recommend adding it before then as it may make the beans take longer to cook.
If you're making red or black beans, you can add 1/2 tsp. of cumin, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and a dash of ginger to the beans when they begin to boil.  Adjust the spice to taste.  This is my family's favorite way of preparing beans.
Lentils and dried split peas are also legumes, but they don't have to be soaked.  Lentils take 45 minutes to an hour to cook, and split peas take 2-4 hours, depending on how soft you want them to be.
  5. Eat less meat.  Yep, you heard me.  Meat prices are rising, my friends, so cutting back on this particular luxury is a sure way to lower your grocery bill.  Try eating more beans, eggs, and complete proteins created by eating whole grains with your legumes (think brown rice with your black beans, or fresh whole wheat bread with your pea soup).  If you must have meat, try to stick to the cheaper cuts.  Our family often uses Chicken leg quarters when we're sharing a meal.  They're inexpensive (comparatively), and easy to divide and prepare.  I don't like drumsticks, and some of my siblings don't like chicken thighs, so it works out well all around.  Of course, there are some people that must have white meat, so buy what you must while keeping an eye on the pricing.
   6. Use frozen veggies.  We've been doing this for years, but I was reminded of this rule again today.  If your going to cook your veggies anyway, you may as well buy them frozen.  They're cheap(er), easy to prepare, and may even have some extra nutrients due to the fact that they've been flash frozen.  And they taste good!
   7.  Buy generic brands.  If you shop at Walmart, try buying the Great Value brand.  Wherever you go to shop, look for their store brand first.  But remember,  always compare the generic brand's pricing with the name brand stuff.  It isn't always cheaper.  And if the cost is the same, just get whichever you prefer. 
   8.  Buy in bulk.  If you can, joining a Co-op is one way to buy healthy foods in bulk and save money.  Otherwise, just buy in bulk when you can, and only after you've compared the bulk pricing to general prices.
    9.Buy foods that make you feel "full".  Sure, white rice will make you full, at least for a little while, but brown rice has a higher fiber content, will fill you up faster, and help you stay full longer.  The same goes for any whole grain.  They may cost more per pound than their white counterparts, but they're cheaper in the long run (especially if they help you stay healthy!).
    10.  Prepare your own foods.  This one is practically a no brainer, but there are a few people that feel they must buy prepared salads, pizzas, casseroles, pot pies, etc.  Be warned!  These prepared foods will destroy your budget!  Not only are they often bad for you (do you know what all that stuff is in the ingredients list?) but they're expensive!  You can prepare your own healthy versions of these foods, often for less than half the price.  You can even make "heat and eat" meals by freezing casseroles or even leftovers.  Even if the only prepared food you buy is pre-cut salad, you'll be spending more money than if you made your own, and it won't be as fresh.  So, invest a little time and effort into your food.  Your health and wallet will thank you!
     I know many of you already know all this stuff, or have your own way of doing things, but I hope this list will serve as an easy reminder for those of us that are "backsliding", or simply haven't learned to shop for nutritious food and maintain a healthy budget. 
         That's all for today folks.  Hasta Luego!

Friday, October 7, 2011


  It's the last day of the work week, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow!  On Saturdays, Dad makes breakfast, everyone sleeps in, and we're all together for a day.  Lovely.
  There's a little quote that goes like this;  "Be pretty if you can, and witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you", (thanks to idesirefashion for sharing this!).  I've found it a very helpful rule to remember, especially as the week is drawing to an end and I am feeling frazzled.  It's also a good saying for Mondays :^D . 
  And, here's a photo which I took in Bolivia a few years ago.  I find it very soothing, and hope you do too!

       Que Dios les bendiga!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Getting Started

  It's October.  Fall is finally here, the leaves are changing color and the temperatures are cooler.  It's also Breast Cancer Awareness month, with people everywhere wearing pink to show their support of cancer research and hope for a cure. 
  Pink isn't just showing up in clothing.  Many baked goods are being "done up" with pink this month as well.  I thought I should share my own pink recipe with you today.  Made with beets, a fall specialty, this Pink Salad is as pretty as it is delicious!
  Pink Harvest Salad:
3 raw Beets, peeled and diced into 1/3 in. cubes
6 Red Potatoes, scrubbed and diced into 1/2 in cubes (make sure the potato cubes are bigger than the beet cubes, measurements don't have to be exact)
3 Carrots, scrubbed and diced into 1/3 in. cubes.

    Place all veggie cubes into a large saucepan.  Cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt.  Boil on medium heat for 20-30 minutes or until all veggies are done to a tender crisp state (time will depend on the heat of your stove and the size of your veggie cubes). Don't let them get too soft!  Drain well.
   Pour the salad cubes into a bowl and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours, or until cold. 
   Mix into chilled salad 1/4 cup of Mayonnaise, more or less to taste.  You can skip the Mayo if you like and just use a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar, but I like the creamy pink sauce that comes from mixing the Mayo into this salad.  So pretty!  Garnish with parsley or anything that suits your fancy and serve. 
  Note:  All measurements in this recipe are approximate.  I almost never use written recipes, and actually learned to make this Pink Harvest Salad in Bolivia at a friend's house.  You really can't flop with this recipe, just get started and it will be sure to taste good and please everyone (I know, 'cause I used to HATE beets!)
   Enjoy, and have a wonderful Autumn!