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Monthly Archives: November 2012

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


This has been a week of resourcefulness.
When dishes piled up due to no dishwasher detergent, I mixed together a little of this and a little of that and Viola! Dishwasher detergent!

When I ran out of milk, coconut milk, AND realized the almond milk was past its prime, I mixed some water into the solid mass of canned coconut milk (what I use for cream) and Viola! enough  milkish liquid to complete the recipe! (which I will post on Friday!) Breakfast saved!

When my daughter changed her mind for a costume the morning of the party, she found the right color fabric in an old bin upstairs and 4 hours later – Viola! A new costume. No… I will not be posting a picture.

When I didn’t want to buy super expensive coconut butter – actually, I didn’t even know what it was – I found a recipe and Viola! helped my daughter make some, saving lots of money!

When I decided $4 a can was too much for tomato sauce or paste allergy free for me, I decided to make it from scratch! Viola! A  new way to do things!

When I realized I wouldn’t have run out of dishwasher detergent, or milk and wouldn’t be sewing all day if I just planned ahead. Wow! What a realization!

Then I had another realization. Diligence  I remember a time when I would’ve given up. I wouldn’t try to find a new way. Instead, the dishes would pile up until I could make it to the store, breakfast plans would just be thrown out the window, no new costume would be created, and the can of tomato sauce would’ve made an appearance in my shopping cart. Diligence. Ahhhh… it feels so good!

Why do I do those things? For my family. To keep the house running smoothly. Sensitivity for those with, well, sensitivities. Out of love.

Sometimes, building bridges takes resourcefulness and diligence! (ok… and probably a bit of planning too!)

*If you want one of my recipes, just ask!*

The Eagle will Still Soar

Normally, on Mondays, I send out a One New Thing post. Instead of a post about that, I thought one about Tuesday would be appropriate!

I spent the weekend at a lodge where we frequently vacation. Sunday morning I woke up bright and early to go fishing. As I drank a quick cup of coffee the thought lingered in my mind for a bit that this was the last Sunday before the big Presidential Election and there would most-definitely be some great news programs today. Ready to get on the river, I skipped the programs and set off down the river. (technically we went up the river… and technically the kids took over the TV before I had a chance to watch the news.)

My mind drifted from fishing to the election and I prayed a quick prayer for our country. I tried to imagine what the news programs were discussing. After a few casts, I decided that I was better off reeling in a fish than letting my mind reel with what the sides were saying and doing. I pushed the thoughts of the election to the side and focused on the fish. (technically the lack of fish.)

The fishing was pretty lousy. We moved to several different locations and ventured farther downriver (OK – technically UPriver) than I had ever been while fishing. Then I saw it. A large bird preening himself majestically high in a tree. The white of his tail and head made him easy to spot. There is only one bird like that I know – the Eagle.

The boat slowed down as I fumbled my phone trying to take a picture. We turned around and doubled back ready to get more pictures. He flew off – soaring gracefully above us to the other side of the river. We followed and tried to get more pictures, but he was too high. Turning back on our original path, we kept going, but my thoughts were with the Eagle.

I’ve seen hundreds of birds on the river. One year we discovered some baby birds, took lots of photos, gave tours to our kids, and even named a tree after the baby birds we found nestled in the branches. (technically we didn’t discover them, it just felt that way!) This trip we noticed birds quite a bit because it’s dove hunting season and the river is an attraction for hunters as well as fishers. In all the birds I’ve seen, none come even close to the majesty of the Eagle.

The Eagle commands respect. He’s so large and powerful. The orange talons stand out against the white feathers. The Eagle perches on the branch as if he owns the branch, it was created to be a safe landing – just for him. The wing span is large yet graceful as he soars in strength so effortlessly. Watchful and careful, he stands guard against any foe.

What a beautiful picture of America.

All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. Before him all the nations are as nothing they are regarded by him as worthless and less than nothing.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Isaiah 40: 6b – 8, 15, 17, 28 – 31

The symbol of the Eagle will continue. No matter what the vote is for Tuesday, the Creator will be. He will not change. His word stands forever. He is our strength. If we trust in Him, we will soar.

I apologize for how small this picture is. If you study it (technically – grab a magnifying glass) under the words Take Off is an Eagle with his wings spread leaving his perch high in the tree.

Our fishing trip ended without a single fish on our hooks. The real catch was watching this magnificent creature soar. As it soared overhead, a peacefulness settled over me. We live in a great country. The Eagle is our reminder. May we keep him free so he can still soar.

Teaching Your Children’s Hearts

The following is an article I wrote for the ICARE homeschool newsletter.  Enjoy!

I woke up this morning at five am. No, I am not a morning person and don’t normally do this. The heaviness of my heart woke me up with a need to pray for my children. After praying one of those groggy – am I even making any sense prayers – I looked at the clock. The red 5:05 was staring at me with a warning of how grumpy I’ll be if I don’t get more sleep. Although I still felt an urgency to pray, I rolled over and tried to sleep. Sleep eluded me. The hearts of my children weigh heavy on me.

That’s why you find me here, on my computer – coffee in hand – when the windows show darkness and the house is quiet. I’ve prayed until my words feel empty. Empty because they are just words and it’s my faith that is struggling. My words mean little if I don’t back them with faith. It’s time to hand it to Jesus and trust Him. For some reason today, I’m finding it extra hard to just hand it over, stop worrying, and start trusting.

It’s not my trust in Jesus that’s the problem. I know he can handle anything – with just a word he can create the world – with just a touch he can heal. The problem is me. When I started homeschooling, there was so much I didn’t understand about my children. My parenting was in survival mode. When I thought about my kids’ hearts, it was about blood flow and beats, instead of Jesus’ blood in them and if they beat for Him.

In my blog ( ) on the anniversary of Hurricane Ike, I shared how that day changed my parenting. What I didn’t share is that my parenting skills consisted mostly of yelling at the kids and just trying to survive. The patterns of behavior I had then still come up to haunt me. Patterns are hard to break. Teaching your children’s hearts – not just their minds – is hard.
I still carry guilt about the early years. I’ll admit it: I carry guilt over the mistakes I make every day. That brings me back to trusting Jesus. It’s not HIM I have trouble trusting… it’s me. The one lesson I’ve learned… I am ineffective in teaching my children’s hearts if mine is not flowing with the blood of Christ, beating strongly for Him, and deeply in love with my Savior. I lean on the verses from Joel 2. Verses 12 and 13 remind me what I need to do:

Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

Verses 25 – 27 give me hope and a promise:

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten… You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.

If your heart is heavy for the hearts of your children, do not be dismayed! We have a special speaker …info about meeting here…

Five Minute Friday: ROOTS

I am participating in a blog link-up, called Five Minute Friday over at Lisa-Jo’s site Lisa-Jo Baker – tales from a gypsy mama. There are a couple of rules, but basically you just write (no edits! *gulp*) about a specific topic for five full minutes and link back to her.


We load the car with presents, clothes and winter coats, set the alarm for way-too-early and drive. And drive. And drive. Finally arriving at our destination to see people we cherish and try to pick up where we left off last year.
The kids are pros at this. They can hug their cousins and run off to play in seconds. The teens take a bit longer. I can see the girls sizing each other up = eyeballing each other with shy smiles. They are so different how will they ever find common ground? But they always do.
I am not a pro. I was not born into this family and communications can be hard. I often feel left out. Some years I don’t have the energy to try very hard. But’s it my husbands roots, his heritage, so this year, I’m going to try as hard as I can to connect – with his roots.

That’s my Five Minute Friday! Hop on over and see what others are writing about. Or better yet, if you blog – join in!

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