Frugal

Milk!

We have been enjoying milk from our family cow (Buttercup) for just about a month now… What a blessing to have a nice supply in our refrigerator of fresh, raw jersey milk! We have even enjoyed homemade yogurt (I will post the recipe later this month), butter, & ice cream!

It was not necessarily an easy journey getting to this point, but I will say that I am very grateful to all the hands that helped us get here. First of all, my Father-in-Law, Jerry… he designed a beautiful Milking Shed for us to build while visiting here in July. Without his precise plans, who knows where we would be milking Buttercup!? Secondly, to my Mom, Betty… she helped build the milking shed, sweating and working diligently, looking ahead to the days when she could get her hands “milky!” At this point, she is the primary milker… very thankful for her confidence and motivation to have our own family cow. And lastly, to my sweet husband, Ian. He worked hard building the milk shed, on top of farming responsibilities, his daily telecommute to his FL job, and being a husband and Daddy! He persevered and did a magnificent job… Thank you honey!


So, for all of those who poured forth so much to help us enjoy the fresh milk we daily receive, we wish to dedicate a poem that Evelyn has loved for years:

The Cow
By Robert Louis Stevenson

The friendly cow all red and white,
I love with all my heart:
She gives me cream with all her might,
To eat with apple-tart.

She wanders lowing here and there,
And yet she cannot stray,
All in the pleasant open air,
The pleasant light of day;

And blown by all the winds that pass
And wet with all the showers,
She walks among the meadow grass
And eats the meadow flowers.

Grrrrrrrrrranola

Okie doke. Here’s the deal. I’ve had many different people over the last year ask for our granola recipe. We’ve taken it with us on family trips, camping, and usually have it as a staple in our house (whether for breakfast or an afternoon snack with plain yogurt). So here it is!

Our Crunchy Granola Recipe
Preheat oven to 350 ̊
Ingredients
4 cups of oats
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup almond slices
¼ cup ground flax seeds
¼ cup sesame seeds
1/3 cup coconut oil (can use melted butter)
½ cup honey
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup raisins
½ cup craisins
¼ cup currants
½ cup of chocolate chips (that’s right, chocolate!)

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in coconut oil (or butter), then honey, molasses and vanilla extract. Stir well until all oats are moist. Spread out the oat mixture evenly onto a baking sheet (preferably one with edges). Drizzle some honey across the top and place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and stir the oats, being sure to scrape away from the edges mixing thoroughly. Evenly spread the oat mixture again, place in oven for another 10 minutes. Repeat this step one more time… While the oats are on their third bake session, I usually get the dried fruits and chocolate ready (and snack on a few while waiting). Once you remove the pan for the 3rd time, stir in the dried fruit and spread evenly. Then let the chocolate chips fall randomly all across the top. Place in the oven for a final 10 minutes of baking. Remove and let cool on a rack. I always like to have a bowl of warm granola with cold milk once its cooled a little. Enjoy!

Now, if you’re like me, you can play around with the ingredients. I’ve added different nuts and left out some if I don’t have them on hand. Don’t use the chocolate if you don’t want to… but who doesn’t want chocolate for breakfast?? Most of all… just have fun making up your own granola mixture… be brave!

The Story of Bottled Water


The Story of Bottled Water

We can make a difference… Just say NO to plastic whenever you can!

Ocala MOPS

Last Thursday my Mom and I had the privilege of speaking at the Ocala MOPS group about Creation Care. It was a joy to see so many other moms, joining together to encourage, pray and learn together. I was blessed in being able to share a little about our family’s journey towards “greening” our lives, but even more importantly, how seeking and serving God first, leads us to better care for His world. And in our journey, I have found that when we’ve taken steps to honor His creation, that it seems easier to connect with God. It’s almost as if He removes a layer of this world from our soul when we sacrifice something that we think (or have been taught) we need… There is a freedom in realizing that anything I own is truly not mine at all. Of course, I have my days and moments of wanting whatever is the latest and greatest… but I’m learning to ask myself, “Why? Would this bring honor or glory to God in any way?” May we strive to honor and glorify God in all that we do, including our care for His Creation.

The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it,
the world, and those who live in it…

Psalm 24:1

twothousandnine

2009 was truly a year of growth for our family. Not just physically, with the birth of our fourth baby, Joy Elizabeth, but also we each have grown spiritually. Over the course of the year, God has slowly given us a clearer vision of what He is leading us towards as a family… and now in 2010, things are coming more and more into focus everyday! We are celebrating and overflowing with joy in looking back at the last year, and even the years prior, and seeing how God has slowly, specifically, and lovingly (always lovingly!) been preparing us for what is to come and the dream that has been planted within Ian and I both.

Psalm 128
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion. May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
May you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!

We will be sure to keep you updated as our dream becomes more of a reality! May God bless you greatly in two thousand ten!

Salsa Recipe

I realized several people have asked me for our salsa recipe and I decided to post it here… it is easy to make and can be modified to be taken up a notch… after all, “some like it hot!”

Ingredients should go in the blender in this order:

1 28 oz can of whole tomatoes
1 can of green chiles (I think they are usually 4 oz)
1/2 jalapeño w/ seeds (could put the whole thing in!)
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
1/2 large onion (quartered)
2 Tablespoons of lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of salt
Then I usually add in a couple shakes of chili powder, red pepper flakes & cayenne pepper and even some Tabasco sauce
Last put in as much fresh cilantro as you’d like (we like a lot!)

Pulse in blender 5-10 times or until mixed

Everyone Should Watch This Movie

We watched I.O.U.S.A. tonight and I highly encourage everyone to watch it! I’ve included the movie trailer below.