When my daughter was about 15 months old, my husband was holding her while we attended a church meeting. Jeff was about to go up the platform for a quick word so, naturally, he was just going to take her with him, and moved up two pews to stand in the very front while he was being introduced. I was very pregnant, and Jeff was only going to speak for a second so he thought it was polite to just carry the baby himself.
This is not how Adelle felt about the situation! As she noticed I stayed behind and was two rows back, her eyes grew wide with fear. She looked terrified and confused, “why would her mommy stay behind? Why would daddy leave her mommy?” She reached her arms out while the pastor spoke and her voice shook the first time she cried, “mommy.” Subsequent cries were louder and with more force. “Mommy! Mooooommmmmmyyyyy!”
Had she been angry, or a spoiled one year old playing favorites, my response may have differed, but she looked scared and very, very worried, and so it broke my heart.
My one year old couldn’t handle a separation between her parents of only two rows at church. Oh, how heartbroken would she be if ever one of her parents would move out of the house!
I thought about all the children of all ages that I’ve ever known to go through a parent’s divorce. I never understood their pain, I never really considered the depth of it. But just then, my heart understood a tiny bit of their pain and it broke for them.
How confusing it must be for them, how unexpected and painful of a transition. Parents belong together; children never consider otherwise.
This is not to condemn those who have been or are going through a divorce, I didn’t think about parents while contemplating the effects on children. I understand that they happen, but my thoughts here are only on the children. And I do understand that sometimes that is what is best for the children, but what a heartbreak for them regardless.
I believe in the sanctity of marriage, and I believe it should be preserved if at all possible. Divorcing my husband has never crossed my mind, especially not after only three years of marriage, but at at moment when I saw a terrified little girl, I knew it was never an option for me.
As a mother, I never wanted to see that pain in her again and if I wanted to preserve the relationship between her mommy and daddy, the journey starts now. I have to have a marriage worth keeping right now. The seeds of separation start much earlier than the final decision, and suddenly my marriage was even more important to me than before.
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup cooking oil or 1/2 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat your waffle maker
- Mix the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Mix the vanilla, eggs and melted butter in another medium bowl.
- Pour the wet mixture into the center of your flour mixture.
- Let sit 5 minutes while the baking powder does its magic.
- Bake according to your waffle maker. Or just fill it up, close it, and open it when the steam slows down. If your iron has a timer, know I am jealous of your technology ;)
This is just the base recipe, you can sub out some of the flour for cocoa powder and up the sugar for extra yumminess, or add nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips or bananas to the mixture for variety.
I spent the day doing all my bread prep for two weeks, and I thought I would share a bit about it. I cannot believe how fast time goes by, and how its been a week since I posted! I have been busy with traveling, meetings and then playing catch up when I got home. We missed a meeting so I could avoid any further traveling, and I will be home (or within two hours) until after my baby comes. I have had amazing first and second trimesters every pregnancy, but the last trimester has been difficult the last pregnancy and is getting more difficult this time. Still good; still healthy, but I have limits.
I don’t like limits, by the way, but I’ve learned to embrace them regardless :)
So, in my desire to eliminate as many artificial and unnamed ingredients as possible, I have been making my own breads. I have always made biscuits and cornbread from scratch, but I have upped it to making more waffles and breakfast breads (instead of having cereal), and even making sandwich bread myself.
I don’t make tortillas though. We use them a lot, but I refuse to make them without the tortilla press, and I am cheap. Very, very cheap ;) maybe I’ll find one at a yard sale one day…..
So I started the day by going to a neighbor friend’s house and picking up a dozen eggs. Honestly, I love the fresh eggs, I can’t taste a difference, but I don’t have to worry about my eggs being from sick chickens.
My next mission was to make some butter. I then proceeded to make waffles for breakfast, I made two batches with the help of my tiny army.
After we snacked on some waffles, I continued to bake the waffles and started on my batter breads. I made two pecan struesel, and two Strawberry Breads. I used the same recipe for the two, I just put struesel on top of one and omitted the strawberries.
Before making the struesel, I found I was out of brown sugar, so I made more brown sugar. I made a ton this time, I use it often enough.
I then made my biscuits. Biscuit recipes are all about the same, but since I cannot have vegetable oil, I used coconut oil instead. I was a bit worried since coconut oil melts at a lower temperature, but they turned out amazingly flaky and tasted great.
I also used this recipe to make three loaves of sandwich bread. I took my own suggestion and added half wheat flour. We ate some of the bread with dinner, its pretty amazing, but I still prefer it to be all white ;)
I used some of my awesome buttermilk, and fresh butter to make some cornbread muffins.
I spent a large part of my day with this project, but I let the kids help and took breaks to play and attend to their needs. I will have to see over the next few weeks if having these things pre-made and frozen is more convenient than trying to make them everyday.
I had the kitchen cleaned by dinner time, and made some yummy honey mustard/bacon/cheese covered chicken breast. My husband tried it (he doesn’t eat things with sauce, period). He even loved it! He is not a terribly picky eater, but I am happy with this step ;)
I learned some random things today:
1. I’m not good at being prepared!
2. I actually like wearing an apron. Its nice to not have to look for a place to wipe my hands, keeping my clothes clean is an added bonus.
3. Adelle gags at fried squash, even though she eats is raw all the time…
4. I have never made too many fresh green beans, I LOVE having good eaters. It wasn’t easy to get them that way, but I intend on keeping it that way.
5. My children could eat butter by itself, but no, I don’t let them :)
6. My husband loves me enough to eat something he was so sure he would hate!
7. I only partially like it when my husband folds laundry, I may not ask that favor again to save room for more helpful favors. Am I the only wife who thinks like this????
8. Better Homes and Garden magazine is mostly ads, and its not worth the subscription most of the time.
9. I CAN make bacon. I thought I couldn’t, but learned that I just didn’t do it long enough in the past. If its crispy enough, I’ll even eat it, I didn’t start liking bacon until this pregnancy.
10. I even went all day without burning myself, I may be less clumsy than I used to be, or I may now have what my husband calls “Kitchen Hands.”
11. Hearing, “I help you,” “I want to help you,” and “Yay! I did it!” from my one year old is one of the best feelings on the planet.
12. I can grow tomatoes without killing them! At least so far. I’ve barely had to water them though since it won’t stop raining in FL.
13. Moccasins may be cute and comfy with my skirts, but are a hazard in the rain. I had to change my shoes after three near collisions with the ground. Blame the rain, pregnancy or shoes…
Last night was our last night at home for a bit, and I was a little bummed that I had not sewed at all, so my husband insisted I get some sewing done. I had other chores, but those could be done tomorrow he said. I made and cut out my pattern and got to work. Honestly, I had a great time sewing and though it was a little tough on my back (I drafted and cut my pattern on the floor and I’m 6 months pregnant :), it was very relaxing!
As I was at the ironing board, again, to fold iron and fold and iron again, I just thought about how relaxing it is. I thought about how beautiful Adelle will look in the material. I admitted that it felt redundant to do all that ironing, but that it did feel nice to know how professional the dress will look.
And it hit me. God gave me a gift.
I always assumed it would be arrogant to admit that God gave me a gift, as if I were something special. As if I had some special talent.
But I didn’t think of it like that anymore, God allows me to create beautiful things. It has nothing to do with what others can or cannot do (though if I can do it you could to!). God allowed me the ability and materials to make whatever I desire with fabric. I love the opportunity. I love the time spent sewing, and I adore my daughter in homemade dresses.
That is a gift from God.
That is something I enjoy, and something I can thank God for and I do every time I make something. Sewing is one of my many gifts from God. I’m not ashamed to say that anymore.
Here is a link on how to make the headband here. The dress I formed from altering a pattern I already had, but you can find a million peasant dress patterns on Pinterest :)
I was reading recipes on Pintrest and saw one call for buttermilk. I couldn’t help but think of how amazing it would be to use real buttermilk, no powder, no vinegar and no lemon juice. So I did it, I made butter!
All it took was heavy whipping cream and a Tupperware with a good seal. I poured a pint of heavy whipping cream in the Tupperware, closed it and shook it for about ten minutes. After a few minutes it became whipped cream and I kept shaking it until it separated again. After it separated, the cream formed a little ball and I shaped it into sticks, squeezing out the extra milk.
The small container of whipping cream made two sticks of butter and one cup of buttermilk.
I was so excited that I made cornbread to use the buttermilk and fresh butter.
“Mommy, more kale please!!” Now who wouldn’t want to hear their one year old say that?! I’m not joking, he REALLY wanted more kale! I had a slightly lower iron level than my midwife would have desired at my last appointment, so I’ve upped my kale and pumpkin seed intake, and finally got around to trying these chips that have been recommended for weeks by several different people.
Fresh kale, whole leaves or shredded, about 5 whole leaves worth
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Drizzles olive oil on kale
Sprinkle seasoning salt
Bake at 350 for 10-15 mins
I now use a ziplock bag to coat the oil evenly. The first time I made it I drizzled it and there was a bit much oil, it tasted amazing, but I’m learning to be moderate so I adjusted :) The seasoning salt also goes a long way, so you don’t have to add much and not worry about sodium intake. This makes a great substitute for chips. Or so I’m told, I don’t eat chips unless I make them myself anyway (I should share that tortilla chip recipe, its amazing!).
Do you have any healthy snack alternatives to share? I’m no longer hesitant to try new things :)
We were to be home for about 5 days this trip, and I went to the farmer’s market and bought a whole flat of strawberries. I did not need them all, but hey, I have a freezer :) I sliced several cups and placed them in sugar. While I contemplated between angel food cake and pound cake, I decided to make strawberry bread. And, Wow! You HAVE to try it. It takes about 10 mins to prepare and 55 ish mins to bake.
Here is the recipe:
2 cups fresh strawberries
3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups melted butter
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup chopped pecans
* Preheat the oven to 350
* Slice strawberries and coat in a little sugar
* Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and soda in a large bowl
* Mix butter and eggs with strawberries and then add this to the dry ingredients. Mix until moistened. (does not resemble a typical batter bread)
* Add chopped pecans
* Bake in TWO 9×5 in pans for 50-60 mins.
*********Try not to eat all the batter*********
I could eat this every morning, and every tea time and never tire of it!