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Monthly Archives: November 2012


In the craziness of the holidays, when I’m running out the door and need a bite to eat, or a quick breakfast, this is what I grab. I imagine you can dip them in chocolate for a special holiday treat. I challenge one of you to do that for me and report back how it tastes. Since I’m not yet eating chocolate (except the time I cheated and had a kiss – OK 2 or 3… *Sigh*), I’ll just dream.


I saw several recipes for protein balls like these when I was searching for my KimBars recipe. Most of the recipes I found had LOTS of ingredients. After seeing those recipes, it took me awhile to experiment and make them. They are not-quite-paleo, but I can eat quinoa, so I gave them a try. I’ve made them many times, all using a different ingredient list. I found the fewer ingredients, the easier. Take my recipe and throw in whatever you think will work!


  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 overripe banana – smushed
  • 12 oz jar  almond butter (crunchy or smooth – I prefer crunchy)
  • 3 tbsp chia
  • 3 tbsp cacoa sweet nibs
  • Sweetner of choice
    • Mix all ingredients.
    • Form into balls.
    • Freeze.

***When it’s time to eat them, take how many you want out of the freezer and let them thaw a little.***

Eat them while they’re still partly frozen. If they thaw completely they become mushballs – ugh.

I guestimate that this recipe makes 40 balls. I didn’t count them. (Sorry! The kids made them into balls and put them in the freezer, then we ate them too fast for a specific count!) The nutritional breakdown per ball is: 96 calories   7 carbs   7g fat   3g protein

Other ingredients I’ve added: Crushed nuts, Hemp hearts, Dates.

Enjoy! IF you do cover them in chocolate, be sure to let me know how it tastes!!!

Mommy Time Out

**Note: as you can tell, this post is one I wrote the first week of November. I almost threw it out, but decided to go ahead and post it! Happy Reading!**

Right now I am in “Mommy Time Out” due to misbehavior. Normally I just call it having a bad day, but today I brought it all on myself. This week I haven’t felt so hot. I had an Eve and the apple moment, but I’ll tell you all about that later. What’s that? You want to hear it now? I guess I’ll tell you… So here’s what happened – at our church fall festival I was starving. Everywhere I turned there was food, and I couldn’t eat any of it. One car in the trunk or treat had apples. It was the LAST car on the farthest side. I just kept thinking about that apple. But not as much as I was thinking about the hot dogs. So I ate one… OK – two. And I was still hungry. I asked my daughter to walk over to the lady with the apples and get me one. On the way there she saw the bobbing for apples booth. Now, my skin crawls at those booths. Out of all of Halloween’s scariness, that is just plain skin crawling scary. My daughter just couldn’t resist. It probably looked appealing because for so many years she has heard NO! associated with that activity. Yes… she did it. She dunked for that apple. So very proudly she walked up to me and handed me the apple. Her entire head was SOAKED. I debated on eating it, but my hunger won out. My husband took it inside and washed it for me. I was enticed by the apple – a definite Eve moment! And that, my friends, is why I think I feel so cruddy this week.

In fact, I feel so cruddy I’ve slept in every morning. Some mornings I woke up at 7, one or two mornings I slept all the way until 8. Losing my early morning solitude translated into loosing my early morning time with the Word. I still kept up with my Bible study reading, but that’s just not the same as truly digging into the Word. And that, my friends is what lead me to my Time Out.

I’ve been grouchy. All day. I prayed, listened to Christian music on the radio, had alone time in the car, and now I’m here. Alone. In my room. Ahhhhhh. It’s just what I need. A good book and a nap without distractions sounds divine.

Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock.

Did I say without distractions?

Pause right here.

What would you do?

I want to ignore it, but the incessant knocking would continue louder each time. I want to yell for them to go away, but that usually ends up with whining and everything becoming an emergency. And tears. Lots of tears. Instead I sweetly ask, “What do you need? Momma’s resting.”  The truth is – I don’t always respond sweetly. Remember, I’m in time out – for good reason.

No matter what, one thing I know – Mommies don’t REALLY get a time out. (Unless Daddy is home.) But taking a Mommy Timeout is always a good thing. No matter how short it is. Truth is, if I had poured myself into the word all week, a Mommy Timeout wouldn’t be needed.

Sometimes more work is accomplished in bridge building when taking a break.

One New Thing for the Holidays

Candies, cakes, pies, turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes topped with marshmallows or sugary pecans, fruit salad smothered with whipped cream, more pies, and cookies, oh my. My mouth is watering just thinking back over the week. This is probably the first time EVER that I did not gain weight during Thanksgiving week. I took my own advice and ate just one bite, not one serving. It was also the first time I did not sleep away Thanksgiving afternoon due to allergic reactions.

I also did One New Thing this year while travelling. I scoped out restaurants beforehand. It didn’t take much planning and my family graciously made decisions ahead of time. As soon as I knew where we were going, I checked menus on-line. Knowing my options beforehand made a huge difference. There were times we ate out and I didn’t have a chance to scope places, then I simply ordered a salad. Only one time did the waiter have to ask about substitutions with a manager. I’ve learned to ask for the chicken (or other proteins  to be cooked plain, or to ask for fries without extra seasoning salt. It’s just easier to phrase it that way instead of telling the waiter lists of allergies and asking them what they think. There are too many “hidden” allergens. Many places have meat that is pre-seasoned. I stay ask if they come that way and just order something else. The simple phrases “gluten-free” and “food allergies” capture people’s attention and just about everyone was gracious about helping us with menu items. Whether you are  concerned with food allergies, gluten, or calorie counting, don’t be afraid to just ask! Before you even have to ask, look on-line! With menus posted on-line, it’s easy to count calories or watch for troublesome foods before you even step foot into a restaurant!

While at my sisters, I encountered one tea room that went out of their way to accommodate my gluten-free daughter. They told me that if I call the day before, they will make sure some menu items (since it’s a small establishment without a set menu) are gluten-free or safe from whatever allergies we have. We will make sure to visit that restaurant the next time we are in town! It just takes one question to realize how accommodating establishments are. The gracious ones will receive my business. In the past, I didn’t want to make a fuss, or cause any trouble. Then I would end up sick. Not anymore.

My One New Thing for the Holidays is to scope out restaurants beforehand!

What are your favorite holiday tips?

One New Thing – One Bite Not One Serving

Traveling for the holidays can be daunting for dieters or those with food allergies. If you think about it, the Holidays are daunting. Food is everywhere. Yesterday, while out-of-town at my sister’s, the downtown shopping district of their small town kicked off Christmas with an open house in the stores and business that lined the downtown shopping area. Really… it was a street. Make that two blocks – of shops. (I said small town, didn’t I?) Well, every store we went into participated in this Christmas kick off with food. Cookies, dips, hot tea and cider, even a mimosa (I may be travelling, but I’m still in the South) tempted me everywhere I looked. So I had a cookie. Along with it came a headache. And I’m still paying for the sip (OK… two sips) of a mixed drink laced with ice cream. *sigh*

This is my first holiday season that I know about my long and strange list of food allergies. Most of my food allergies are low-level and I can tolerate a bite here and there. ***I am NOT advocating going against doctor’s orders! My doctor gave me permission last week to – on occasion – try a food I haven’t had in a while, if I think I can tolerate it.***

In previous years, when people slept off the Thanksgiving Turkey, I slept off allergic reactions. This year I want it to be different. This year my One New Thing is one bite, not one serving and to stay away from the foods I react to – and I’ve even talking calories here – my hips sure react to those! Now, there are somethings that are oh-so-hard to pass up during this time of year. My sister-in-law has some cookies that just proclaim Thanksgiving is HERE! And what is Thanksgiving without sweet potato casserole?  On a few of my all time favorites, I’ll just have one bite – not one serving. There are some things I will have to say goodbye to forever and those items will not even get one bite. See you later, cornbread dressing and (sniff, sniff) egg nog. I will not let you ruin my holiday no matter how tantalizing you are!

For those of you just visiting my page today – thanks for stopping! This post is in a series I do called One New Thing. Check a few of them out and be sure to come back regularly to see what my One New Thing is next!

For those of you with food allergies, this is my first major travelling trip and it’s getting harder and harder to find safe foods the farther I travel from home. I would really appreciate your tips for travelling during the Holidays! When we went shopping, if I had known there would be food at every turn, a bag of snacks sure would’ve helped! So when am I going to learn to keep a bag on hand anyway? Well, I think I just learned that lesson!

For those of my regular readers, I may or may not post again this week. I have no idea if I will have access to internet or not. Enjoy this holiday season and know that I am truly thankful for each of you. Every time I receive a click on a page it feels like a “howdy-do” from a friend and comments are like hugs. I write because I love to, and I put it out there on this blog because I want to help people connect. For whatever reason, a few of you keep coming back week after week. I am so very thankful for you.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Stay a Little Longer – FMF

This is my weekly Five Minute Friday post! Lisa-Jo Baker over at Tales from a Gypsy Mama invites any blogger to participate. Check it out!


As I leave her room, a small voice whispers “Stay mama” but I am too busy, and too annoyed. I whip around, grit my teeth and push the words out, “Not right now, but I’ll be back in five minutes and we’ll see.” She controlls the sniffles, and I can tell she’s trying hard not to cry. My heart begins to soften, but I’m too busy to notice. I close the door and walk quickly down the hall, bumping into my teenager. Looking up into her eyes – when did she get so tall?- I compliment her on her hair and throw in “Where ya goin?” She turns from me and mumbles something. Words just popped out of my mouth, “Stay a little longer.” My heart completely melts, being busy doesn’t matter, and I’m the one fighting back tears. The little doesn’t last. They grow taller than us and are busier than we are. She smiles and walks off. I turn around and walk back into the little one’s room. I’m not too busy to stay, I decide as I hold her for just a little longer.

When Plans Change

The meeting time’s an hour and fifteen minutes from now. My husband’s not home. The kids have try outs in fifteen minutes and its ten minutes away. If I take them, I’ll miss my meeting. If I wait for my husband, they’ll be late.

I have two choices: panic or pray.

I pray.

It hits me. The topic of the meeting is about the hearts of our children.

How can I touch the hearts of my children if I leave them stranded?

Do I spend more time going to meetings, attending workshops, reading books, participating in Bible studies than I do just being with my kids? What is that telling their hearts? (another blog for another day!)

When my plans change I have two choices: fit or foster.

Normally when my plans change unexpectedly I have a Mommy Fit. I pout and stomp and whine. Maybe not on the outside, but inside I sure am! I’ve been known to snap at my kids a little faster and give glaring looks. Oh you know what I’m talking about! And when my husband is behind the change of plans, whether intentionally or not, the cold shoulder works well too – even if it’s simply withholding a smile.

This time I thought about my children’s hearts. Their hearts are mine to foster. I happily changed my plans. We talked about try outs on the way there. I smiled and encouraged them, rejoicing that traffic held my husband back and I was able to participate. When he arrived, I waited until they discovered his presence and allowed it to be a surprise.

Changing my heart allowed me to nurture theirs.

Building Bridges – when your plans change do you panic or pray? Panic sways the bridge, prayer strengthens it.

*If you made it to the meeting, can someone please give me a set of notes? Thanks!*

One New Thing – What I Want to Do… What I WILL Do

Last week I took the week off. I cancelled things and we took a few half days with schoolwork. I rested. The kids rested.

This week I have to re-enter the fast pace of this society.

I don’t want to. Not everyone is back to complete health.

But I have to.

What I want to do is take a week off of schoolwork. What I will do –  keep our schedule.

What I want to do is cancel more appointments. What I will do – evaluate each event and see if we really can make it.

What I want to do is sleep in. What I will do – get up at my regular time and start my day with prayer.

What I want to do is skip my Bible studies I’m not prepared for. What I will do – become prepared and when I’m not, just be honest about it.

I feel the anxiety clinging to me like early morning fog. I missed so many things last week. How will I ever catch up? It’s the week before a holiday and filled with doctors, orthodontist, family events, as well as the normal everyday activities. There. Is. So. Much. To. Do. Normally, I get overwhelmed. I yell at the kids. I skip on my daily Bible reading in order to have more time for catching up on other things. I cause stress in my household. Part of it is due to the fact that next week is a holiday. I am known for freaking out before holidays. During them too.

Not this year. Come on Sun (SON) and lift this fog of anxiety!

What I want to do is stress out and freak. What I will do is stay calm and pray.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

That’s my One New Thing. What’s yours?

FMF What I Learned from the Quiet Lady


She was quiet. Her slippered feet wheeled her around in her throne (wheelchair) as she stared at me with eyes full of words. She opened her mouth, then closed it. Again. and again. She looked like she had something to say. Her eyes were full of words that would not leave her mouth. I was  warned it would be this way. “Don’t give up on her.” My sister instructed me. “Sit and give her a chance to find the words. They will come… in time.” So I sat with her. And smiled, or tried to. She made lots of motions with her hands. But I focused on her eyes. They were so full of unspoken words.

After what seemed like forever but was really just a few moments, she made some noises. The quiet was broken as she tried to speak. Her hands moved twice as fast as her mouth. I hear what I thought was “Sis-ter”

“Sister? Did your sister call you? Is everything ok?” The words tumbled out of my mouth quickly as if they needed to fill the quiet and the space.

“sis-ter. Call.”

She missed her sister. Oh how I can relate to that one.

But how would this quiet lady, who’s words were so hard to come talk on the phone?

I realized…. the bond between sisters doesn’t need words. Sometimes the quiet and just being there is enough.

I first wrote about the Quiet Lady, Hazel, after visiting her with my sister. You can read about her HERE. Her sister, Bessie, did move back next door and I often think about those two and picture them sitting together on the porch in sweet silence.

FMF is a blog carnival that Lisa-Jo Baker does over at Tales from a Gypsy Mama. Hop on over there and check them out!

Pumpkin or Banana Pancakes- dairy free, wheat free, egg free, corn free

This recipe has become our Saturday morning tradition. We make it in two versions, banana or pumpkin. You could probably do pumpkin and banana combo… but that’s one we haven’t tried! This is the recipe I recently made and had to be extra-resourceful. I ran out of milk and the only think I had left was the thick part of the canned coconut milk that I use for my coffee. I just added water to it until it was more of a milkish consistency! Modify this recipe as needed!

Combine all wet ingredients

  • 3 eggs (or egg replacement – see note below the recipe)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (One can of all natural pumpkin) OR 3/4 cup mashed banana (2 bananas or less)
  • 1 cup milk – (I use coconut or almond, but you can use any milk or milk substitute)

Add dry ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups Oat flour (I use a coffee grinder and grind steel cut oats into a flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder (***I substitute with a corn free version of my own – see below***)
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Optional: Stevia or sweetner of choice

Mix until combined.

Lightly oil griddle (coconut oil is my favorite!)

Over medium heat (I prefer 325) cook 1/4 cup or less of batter – smoothing out each pancake so it is not too thick.

When they look halfway dry, I flip. The pumpkin ones seem to have a sticky consistency inside. That could very possibly be error on my part!

We love to top the banana ones with a nut butter while Maple syrup works nicely on the pumpkin!

Egg replacements

  • 1 tbsp ground white chia seeds and 3 tbsp water – stir quickly and let sit for 5 – 10 mins until it thickens.
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp water – stir quickly for a minute until it thickens
  • Commercial egg replacement – follow directions on box

Egg replacements work for up to three eggs. If I need more, I make separate batches.

Baking Powder – Corn free

  • 2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

I make small batches to keep on hand as a replacement.

One New Thing – November 8th

I thought about not doing a One New Thing post this week. The truth is, last week and the week before ended up not being sucessful. The only reason I exercised three days the first week and two last week was because of you, my readers. So, thank you for just being there – it was an encouragement!!! Ok, a little truth and reality – 0ver the weekend the sniffles turned against me into a full blown cold. That little cold spread through my family. I didn’t wake up early. I didn’t exercise. I didn’t even leave the house on most days. I thought, there is NO way I can post a One New Thing.

Then it hit me, instead of feeling like I had failed to do One New Thing, I can look at it positively. I choose to take care of my cold. I let my body sleep. I did not stress my body out by leaving the house and becoming exhausted. I used lots of essential oils and gargled. When I needed to rest, I did. So this week, my One New Thing is – Rest.

Come to me… and I will give you REST. Matthew 11:28

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