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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

4th Annual Poetry Party

Lots of new friends at this party, Heather wrote one last year on Neon Colors!
The kids enjoyed the sharing time

My poem was inspired by Chad!

Sharing a tender moment
Slow down, say hello
Stop, and go
Time seals the deal
Chemistry's course
Is deep, a warming light
Lovebirds' delight

Monday, February 24, 2014

A bigger pearl?

We started a new record of what we're thankful for as a family.  The notebook says "Wow" on the cover and it's sitting in the center of our dining room table.
It was a catalyst for our devotional time yesterday.

Chad read through a commentary that likened our struggles and their harvest to that of an irritant in a pearl -- the bigger the irritant, the more we will grow from it, and as the pearl grows larger from bigger rocks and intruders, so does our experience of God and His opportunity to shape us.

As we talked about the sifting in our lives to move us to the west side, we were grateful.  We filled a whole notebook page and at the end of it, I really wanted to add being thankful for meeting Sandy, which led me to my former and current job, as well as praying weekly with Amy, Sharon and Laura, which has blessed our children and family immensly.

80's Party

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Christmas 2013

Enjoyed dancing with Chad at the Icon Lounge in Sioux Falls.  It was a 20's theme & Kara helped me with my hair!
....time to mourn and a time to dance Ecc. 3:4

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cash for Christmas Shopping

If you're Christmas shopping online, here's a great option to earn cash back.  (well, a check!) is a great Web site that pays you cash back every time you shop online (up to 26% back!) Ebates works with 1,600 stores including Sephora, JCPenney, Kohl's, Home Depot,, Groupon, and Walmart, so you are sure to find your favorites. 

In addition to cash back, Ebates has thousands of great coupons, free shipping, and special offers from its stores, so you always get a great deal.

Membership at Ebates is free and there are no forms to fill in or points to redeem. You get paid cash back for shopping by check or Paypal. As an added bonus, we'll each get a $5 bonus from Ebates when you make your first purchase!

If you follow my link, I'll get a referral bonus!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Finally Baking

Wow - so after 4 months on GAPS I've finally baked something!  The puree on the left is red lentils (you soak them in slightly salty water for 30 minutes, then boil 20 or so minutes, then puree)

To this puree I added 1 t. honey, 1 t. cinnamon, 1/4 t. sea salt, 1/4 c. goji berries, 1/4 c. pecans & 1/4 c. walnuts

Then whipped up 3 egg whites with 1/4 t. sea salt until firm, added my puree until combined.  The finished treat is below!  

Plants are power-packed with nutrition and detoxifying capabilities, but contain certain hazards by design. These "hazards" are protective mechanisms to keep animals from eating them, and so are toxic to animals. Therefore humans can have difficulty with them as well. Among the most important of these anti-nutrients is phytic acid. Phytic acid works against our ability to absorb nutrients. Instead of having this occur, try soaking your nuts instead.
Place 4 c. raw nuts or seeds in a large bowl. Cover with room-temperature filtered water. Add 1 tbsp. sea salt and stir. Cover with a plate or towel and set on the counter for at least 7 hours. (Cashews should not be left for more than 6 hours)
The nuts or seeds can be dehydrated for use in recipes such as granola or other snack foods. Transform your oven into a dehydrator by setting it to its lowest temperature and opening the oven door partway. Place a fan in front of the oven to provide air circulation and lower the temperature. Enzymes are preserved when food is cooked at less than 116 degrees.

Gluten/grain free banana bars
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 
  • 1 tablespoon honey 
  • 1 c. almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
Instructions  Preheat oven to 350ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Pour cashews  into the bowl of a food processor. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides a few times to ensure all cashews are pureed. Add almond flour, coconut flour, gelatin, salt, baking soda, eggs, butter, honey and cider vinegar to the cashew mixture. Process until smooth. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the outer edges of the bread and then invert bread onto a cooling rack and remove from loaf pan. Serve.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chad Turns 40

Cut & paste the link to his Youtube video.
Golf tees in watermelon!

Our friend Carolyn checks out the goods ;)

Kids could make sculptures with foam, golf tees and rubber bands.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sioux Falls Piano Tuner

This is not our piano tuner, but John Long is fascinating to watch.  It takes a little over an hour for our piano to be tuned.  If you're in Sioux Falls and need a piano tuner, John Long has done several church pianos and has various locations he's done.  He also has a great family!

Cost - around 85.00
Phone 605.582.2874 or 605.929.2855

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Summer 2013 Project

This summer the kids are going to study a different country every week.  I appreciated "Multicultural Games" by Lorraine Babarash to incorporate some games as well.  Below are a few ideas from a research standpoint for them to get started, although I'm limiting the research to "books" only.  Aren't I mean?
Compare and contrast your country to the US:
Where are areas of the US population similar?
What monuments or landforms could you visit?
What foods might be served at a meal?
Use the Greek alphabet to write a message to a friend.
Write a story with a landmark as part of the setting.
What is the unit of money?
What are the free time activities?
Triangle Game - From Russia, Draw a triangle and divide it into three sections.  Make the top one #3, middle 2, bottom 1.  Children get three colored stones and stand back 10 ft. and throw in their three.  They add the points.  When someone gets to 50, the game is over.  If stones are knocked out, they don't count.  Take turns going first, second, third.
Colombia - 2 people are it.  One of them leaves the room.  The rest of the kids figure out what colored ribbon they keep.  When they get it done, they say, "Angel, what colors do you wish?"  They respond, "I wish many colored ribbons."  They guess and go until they "miss."  They count the number they got right.  The other Angel comes in and does the same thing.  The Angel with the most stays, the lower number picks someone new to come in until all children have been the angel.
Nigeria - Pair individuals up and have them join at the shoulders.  The front person puts a cloth scrap or handkerchief in their pants or pocket.  At go, teams try to grab each others cloths.  If you get yours pulled, your team is out.  People should change front to back and get new partners.  You can do two colors for teams.
England - Round hopscotch.  Draw a shell like swirl and put "rest" in the middle of it.  One person hops on one foot to get to the center resting point.  If they do so, they pick a division and put their initials on it.  Then the next person goes.  If you step in a claimed box, you're out.  Go until there's a winner.
Russia - Use two ropes and duct tape them in the middle.  Tie knots at the ends.  They will form an X.  Divide people into 4 teams and have a cone about 2-3 yards from the bases of the rope ends.  Teams try to tug to grab the cone first.
Batik with oil crayons-  Indonesia       Toothpick dolls – Brazil           Paper Sea horse – Greece           
Gift Rolls – Russia                             Cheez It Tic Tac Toe Board – Italy   Art Easel – France      

Foil Form – Spain (stars, fans)            Dancing Form – Zimbabwe

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Observing National Day of Prayer in Sioux Falls

The upcoming 62nd annual National Day of Prayer, May 2, 2013, will have profound significance for our country.  We have an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.  To echo the words of Mary Washington, mother of our nation’s first president, we believe it is time to “Remember that God is our only sure trust.”
The theme for 2013 is Pray for America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.  To further highlight our theme,  Matthew 12:21 reads “In His name the nations will put their hope.
Below is a list of Prayer Requests and Verses for our National Day of Prayer.
Praise our Father, our Foundation
Praise - draws us to the God who is enthroned. He is The Creator of the heavens and earth; The Sovereign King - Nothing is too difficult for Him.
"When the foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?" Psalm 11:3
"Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm." Psalm 20:7
"The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" Pro 18:10
We cannot stand firm in our own strength and power. But through the word of God and prayer we can. I know of no greater work, no greater joy, no greater investment in the lives of my children than to stand united in prayer, partnering with God in crying out for the children. For Him to rain down His righteousness, salvation and protection.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up. Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecc. 4:10-13
We gather together united with the same passion - that our children love God and follow His ways. Desperate that God will protect them in the environments they face.
Against Persecution for Prayer: A year ago, a three-judge panel ruled the prayer observation (Nat'l Day of Prayer) caused no harm to the Freedom From Religion Foundation and that the Madison, Wisc.-based organization had no legal standing to sue.
Every year, children are orphaned or left with scarcely enough provision to survive when their fathers and mothers are imprisoned. Other children live in communities where they are forced to live as second and third class citizens because their families are Christian.
We are a nation divided, fragile and in dyer need of true hope.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12
Pray for one another: The Lord is ______'s strength and shield. (Equip) ______ (to) trust You with all her heart. You help her and her heart is filled with joy. She burst out in songs of thanksgiving (Psalm 28:7).
Summer Request:

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.” Psalm 42:8

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Looks Good!

  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, rinsed and coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the pan.
  2. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in artichoke hearts, Parmesan, oregano, salt, pepper and the bell pepper mixture.
  3. Set a rack about 4 inches from the heat source; preheat the broiler.
  4. Brush the pan with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil; heat over medium heat. Pour in the egg mixture and tilt to distribute evenly. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the bottom is light golden, lifting the edges to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath, 3 to 4 minutes. Place the pan under the broiler and cook until the top is set, 1½ to 2½ minutes. Slide the frittata onto a platter and cut into wedges.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Kombucha - Sioux Falls

I've very happy with my first batch of kombucha.  It's a lot easier than I thought it would be!  If you're interested in making it, and live in or around Sioux Falls...I can help answer questions.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New Fave Smoothie & Book

Look - the smoothie and the book cover are the same color!  This week I'm excited to share my new fave smoothie creation as well as "God Still Meets Needs" by Mark Littleton.  A story I wrote last year is included in the compilation.  I appreciate the practicality in answered prayers and think the stories would be appropriate for pastors in looking to share testimony to God's work in individual lives.

For the smoothie, blend ingredients as follows:
1 pear Greek yogurt
1/4 c. papaya
1/4 c. almonds
8 ice cubes
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. water

Personally, I think it's sweet enough, but you can always add what you want for add't sweetness

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

The Kids' World

Jumping into Dr. Seuss books, I found a recipe collection inspired by his stories.  I'll likely make this cheesy, spicy popcorn concoction for the fam.  Andrew has been laughing at home with his own silly behaviors (see below), and Sierra was wanting to show off her ice cream swirling talents.  She says she got them from me!  Oh for cute.

Monday, February 25, 2013

8-yr-old son is a fan!

"Little Dog Lost" is my 8-yr-old son's new favorite non-fiction title.  It's a rescue story - so it provides rising action, conflict and resolution all in real life events.  We love it at my house when that happens!

On a cold winter day, a curious dog wandered onto a frozen river, and before he knew it he was traveling fast on a sheet of ice. Many people tried to help, but the dog could not be reached. Finally, after two nights and seventy-five miles, the little dog was saved by a ship out in the Baltic Sea.

The gallant rescue of the little dog nicknamed Baltic made international news. Mônica Carnesi's simple text and charming watercolor illustrations convey all the drama of Baltic's journey. His story, with its happy ending, will warm readers' hearts. An author's note includes more of the actual account, including the sentence, "Using a grappling iron, he was able to get close enough to the ice floe to pull the dog to safety."  We didn't know what a grappling iron was, but thankfully, an internet search engine could pull it up for us in less than 5 seconds!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Whose Hands?

Today I revised this poem to convey the same message it reflected a few years ago when I first read it.  I'm unaware of the author.

Whose hands?

A baseball in my hands is worth about $5.
A baseball in Alex Rodriguez' is worth 30 million.
It depends on whose hands it's in...
A basketball in my hands is worth about $50.
A basketball in Kobe Bryant's is worth about 52 million.
It depends on whose hands it's in...
A rod in my hands could keep away a wild animal.
A rod in Moses' hands will part the sea. (see Exodus 14)
A sling shot in my hands is a toy.
A slingshot in David's hands is a mighty weapon. (see 1 Samuel 17)
It depends on whose hands it's in...
Two fish and five loaves in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches.
Two fish and five loaves in Jesus' hands will feed thousands. (Luke 9)
Nails in my hands might produce a bird house.
Nails in Christ Jesus' hands will produce salvation for the entire world. (Mark 15)
It depends on whose hands they're in...
So put your concerns, your worries, your fears, your hopes, your dreams, your families and your relationships in God's hands, because it depends on whose hands theyre in.