Monday, October 29, 2007

Contagious Fever

It would be very safe to say that I never watch sports on TV. It would even be safe to say that Robert hardly watches them or any TV for that matter. But we recently caught a fever that made us do strange things like stay up past midnight watching the flickering screen, and allow our kids to do the same. Why we caught it this year and never before is a mystery as the virus strain is particularly potent in this state. Our immunities must have been down though, because we definitely succumbed to the fever.
Maybe it was because our boys are at the age of susceptibility and really enjoy watching the sports that they actually play. I don't know. But the really strange thing is that I also found myself anticipating the next game, hoping the outcome would be in our favor. Any other time a movie or sporting event has been on at our house, I usually seize the opportunity to do something creative - sewing, writing letters, cooking - anything but sit still and watch the screen. Not this time. I came down with the fever like everyone else.

I'm just glad we won four in a row. Now we can all go to bed and get the rest we really need after having the fever this long.

Congratulations Red Sox!

(Does this mean we have now completely assimilated to New England culture?)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Book Update

A very nice review of Bagels, Buddy, and Me was written here.
And I've received several emails from buyers explaining how the book has helped them explain Celiac to their child. This is answered prayer, and it makes my day each time!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Gluten Free Friday

Here is an easy souffle dish that makes a great side dish for a fall meal or even Thanksgiving Dinner. This is adapted from a recipe I found online several years ago. My kids love this dish!

Pumpkin Souffle

1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg (optional)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 deg. Place a baking dish with an inch or so of water in it in the oven to heat. The souffle will bake in this pan of water later.

Mix together pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, and salt. Beat egg whites until stiff. Add egg whites to pumpkin mixture, and gently but thoroughly combine. Pour into a 1 quart baking dish and set in the pan of hot water. Bake 30-40 minutes.

This recipe can be doubled, but I've tried tripling and it doesn't work very well. Better to use several 1 quart dishes if you're feeding a crowd. One recipe only serves 4-6 people.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Cape Cod Trip

It was warm enough to go to the beach! No bathing suits or swimming, but we played in the sand and climbed the rocks.
We visited a cranberry bog which I've been wanting to do since we moved here. Apple Cranberry Crisp coming soon!
This is the Pilgrim Monument located in Provincetown on the very tip of Cape Cod - where the Pilgrims first landed. From the top you can see the curve of the Cape and even Boston on a clear day.
At the top...Cooper is frowning because of the next photo. He was not happy about the method by which one reaches the top....
60 ramps and 116 steps was the count, I think.
View from the top looking West.
Sunday morning "church".... instead of finding a church to attend we all went for a walk and found something to represent what we treasure about God. Acorns...because he provides for us, a branch and a twig.....because we dry up if we detach ourselves from Him, different color leaves because He stays with us through all seasons, a shell because the ocean reminds us how big and powerful He is, a plant with roots because He gives us life.

We had a great time! A big thank you to Dan and Sarah for a delicious sending off dinner and Dan's parents who generously allowed us to stay in their Cape house for a long weekend.

Choosing a career (or more Coop quotes)

Riding in the van on the way to the farm from out of nowhere....

Coop: "Mom, I will have a job while I'm in college, but when I'm out I'm not going to have a job."

Me: "But Coop, how will you buy food or a house or a car?"

Coop: "Well, I'm just going to preach like Dad ---- because it's really easy."

Me: "It's not that easy."

Coop: "Really???"

Me: "No, you have to go to school, write papers, study a lot, learn Greek and Hebrew, write sermons, lead Bible studies, marry people, do funerals, clean the church bathroom, bail water out of the church basement, go to meetings, visit people in the hospital, mop floors, help people when they are having problems, talk with angry neighbors about the noise coming from your church, and the possibility that there is lead in the paint you're scraping off the building,and many, many other things." (OK, I didn't say all of that :) )

Coop: (downcast) "Oh, I thought it was easy."

So, I guess it's back to the career drawing board for poor Cooper.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Yesterday during family prayer after breakfast.....

"Dear God, Help us have a safe trip to Cape Cod this weekend.
And please let us have enough money for gas, souvenirs, and coffee.

Yep, that about sums up the priorities of this family on vacation!

So, we're off for a few days in an attempt at Sabbath - please feel free to pray along with the Coop-man!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Gluten Free Friday

We had this dish at the home of our friends Austin and Sara. Sara is a great cook, and I get so many of my favorite recipes from her! This one actually comes from The Joy of Cooking....

Warm Lentil and Potato Salad

12oz small red potatoes, halved or chopped and cooked till tender
41/2 cups warm cooked lentils (1 1/2 cups dried)
1/2 cup scallions
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Add all above ingredients into a bowl and mix.

1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

Whisk in small saucepan over medium heat till warm.

Pour over lentil/potato mixture and serve.

So delicious! Thanks Sara!

Five Aspects of Woman

I am so excited to be leading a small group Bible study again at church. Here is a picture of most of our group. There are 18 of us all together, so we're missing a few here. We split into two groups for discussion. Cindy takes a group of 8 and I do the same. (Cindy has the guitar in the pic - she's our amazing worship leader as well)

We're studying The Five Aspects of Woman, which is a study that radically changed the way both Cindy and I view God, men, and ourselves as women. It is the best study I've ever done and have never really wanted to lead women through anything else since. This picture was from Wednesday, which was "life lesson" night. After studying each aspect in its created, fallen, and redeemed state - taking a week on each, the fourth week is designated for each woman to express what she's learned in a creative way. In the above picture you will see two collages, a guitar, and an ipod/speakers. These were all ways that each woman expressed what the aspect meant to her. It was so much fun to see and hear the projects and comments. The other option is to select a woman from history, literature, or film and explain how she illustrates the aspect. The aspects are: Mistress of the Domain, Helper-Completer, Lifegiver, Lady of Wisdom, Glory of Man. The author, Barbara Mouser, came up with these aspects after spending about 10 years studying the Bible chapter by chapter looking specifically at what it said about women.This is not Barbara Mouser. It's Phyllis Schlafly. Phyllis is the mother of six children, holds a masters degree from Harvard - 1950, and later a law degree. She wrote an analysis on the foreign policy of Henry Kissinger called Kissinger on the Couch as well as many other books. She put herself through undergrad school by working in a gunnery in Washington D.C. testing ammunition - sometimes 5000 rounds a night! Her husband coined the phrase "A woman's place is in the House and Senate" when she ran for Congress. I've posted her picture here, because as an optional field trip for our study two weeks ago, about 12 of us went to hear her speak at UMass. If you know anything about Phyllis, then you know it was an evening of controversy! This lady almost singlehandedly overturned the Equal Rights Amendment over 3 decades ago. After debating it on a college campus (she refused at first, thinking the feminists silly- she was much more interested in foreign policy), and becoming horrified by its future implications - abortion on demand, drafting of women into military service, stripping away of protective divorce laws for women- to name a few, her resulting columns and speeches led many states to withdraw ratification. Since then she has done much to educate women and families of the origins and dangers of feminism....

"Major social transformations are impossible without ferment among the women."
Karl Marx

"Unless millions of women are with us we cannot exercise the proletarian dictatorship, cannot construct on communist lines. We must find our way to them..."
Vladimir Lenin

"No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children. Society should be totally different. Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice, too many women will make that one."
Simone de Beauvoir

Our field trip was definitely eye-opening! There was much rage and anger in the room. College women wearing aprons and carrying mixing bowls wearing signs that asked, "Are you happy now???" Women with duct tape over their mouths. T-shirts flaunting lesbianism. The Q&A time was hateful and unproductive. I did make my way to the microphone since my heart was pounding, and that is usually a sign that I need to say something. I asked Mrs. Schlafly what her own parents had done to contribute to her being such a high achieving woman. I explained that I grew up writing essays about the ERA as a schoolgirl getting the impression that being a wife and mom was a lowly career choice. I told her that it was my faith in God, and recently her writings that gave me courage to reject that notion.

It is my hope that women today will know the value of investing in a marriage, a home and children being able to sift through the untruths being taught in their women's studies courses taking away only what lines up with God's design as seen in his word.

And even more that they will fall in love with the One who created them female.

She looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her; her husband also saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly, but you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:27-31

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

A New England Fall

The "Sugar Shack" has been one of our favorite hangouts ever since we moved to Amherst. We have enjoyed their maple syrup, homemade french fries, hamburgers, ice cream, and apple cider year in and year out. It is also almost always a stop with out-of-town guests.There are hundreds of mums - $3.00 each plant or 4 for $10.00!
Miniature pumpkins, gourds of all sorts, and Indian corn....

The kids still love a trip to the Sugar Shack!
This is tobacco. It grows all summer, gets chopped down, and hung to dry in huge red barns. We're told the tobacco from this area is used for cigar wrappers.

There is an animal yard where you can brush, pet, and chase goats, sheep, bunnies, chickens, and ducks. Kayla would stay in this area all day if she could!

Every kind of squash you can imagine - and all varieties of produce.

And we never miss buying a 50lb sack of potatoes for $9.00! Sometimes 2 sacks as we go through them so quickly! (Much better than $3.99 for 5lbs at the local grocery store!) And this weekend at church, the lunch will guessed it - a baked potato bar!

The boys have loved these John Deere tractors since they were 4 and 2 years old. Kory even had a birthday party here one year - his 7th, I think. They are getting a bit big for this now, and the racing is definitely more competitive.

There is just nothing like fall in New England. We're trying to enjoy every minute of it, as we know what the next 7 months hold. (Dread.)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Gluten Free Friday

Just thought it would be fun to post a gluten free recipe or two each here goes....Hamilton Orchard Apples + Brookfield Farm winter squash equals..........

Triple Squash and Apple Soup
(I made this one up after arriving home from the farm one day with LOTS of squash, but think I was inspired by a soup I had at Whole Foods recently!
This one is dairy free as well.)

4 delicata squash
2 acorn squash
1 can pumpkin
1 can coconut milk (I used Thai Kitchen)
1 can water
1 onion
2 apples
2 celery stalks
1/2 cup Earth Balance Spread (non-dairy margarine)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup agave nectar (maple syrup would work as well)

Cut each squash in half, scoop out seeds, place in greased baking dish cut side down, and bake at 350 deg. until tender- 30min-1hr. ( I also add a bit of water to the bottom of the pan.)

While squash bakes, saute celery and onion in 1/4 cup Earth Balance until tender. Pour into pot. Next, saute apples in 1/4 cup Earth Balance until tender - add to soup pot.

Scoop baked squash out of skins and into pot. Add canned pumpkin, coconut milk, one can water, nutmeg, cinnamon, and agave. Simmer 15 min.

In batches, blend in blender or food processor, until smooth. Return to pot, simmer, and serve.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
(We pretty much alternate these and the pumpkin version every Monday for breakfast. Unfortunately, the kids no longer think it's a muffin if it doesn't have chocolate chips in it! I try to compensate by decreasing the sugar significantly)

2 cups gluten free flour (I use a brown rice, tapioca, and potato mixture)
1/2 cup almond meal*
1/4 cup flax meal
1/3 -1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 - 2 mashed ripe bananas
3/4 - 1 cup milk (soy/rice/almond work great, too)
handful - 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix all dry ingredients. Add eggs, oil, bananas, milk and stir until blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into greased muffin tin and bake @ 350 deg. 15-20 minutes. Makes 1 dozen. Can be doubled easily.

(*Trader Joe's makes this very easy with their bags of almond meal on the baking aisle, but you could grind them yourself, or just leave this out, and add more of the GF mix. It does make them nice and moist, though)


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Garden Update

Last week we found two things in our garden that we just didn't expect to make it.....a cantaloupe.....

and broccoli!

Both have been gobbled up. Good thing we don't have to depend on this garden to feed us through the winter - we would starve, but we are thrilled with our humble beginnings!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

What a Kid!

I just have to brag....

Yesterday, as Robert and I made the trek to Vermont, the boys spent the day at the Baglow's house, and Kayla went to the Gould's. We picked Kayla up around 5p.m. I told Kory and Cooper they needed to walk home at 3p.m. and accomplish some chores before we arrived home.


When we arrived home at 5:45p.m, we were greeted with a smiling 12 year old, a set table (complete with tablecloth, cloth napkins, and filled water glasses), a chicken taco buffet (complete with grilled-in-a-skillet chicken, corn and flour tortillas, beans, cheese, guacamole, and salsa), and chocolate chip cookies (gluten free, of course) for dessert! It was amazing! Delicious! Everything was even at a perfect temperature! Such a blessing to this mom who forgot to put a whole chicken in the crock pot before we left for Vermont mid-morning! And to think, the whole way home I was pondering what we would have for dinner!

And I (silly me) assumed Kory had used a Gluten Free Pantry chocolate chip cookie boxed mix I recently bought, but no. He found my Gluten Free Baking cookbook by Rebecca Reilly, looked up the cookie recipe, and made them from scratch! Wow! And they were so good!
(Earlier in the week he made me a chocolate cake to celebrate the arrival of my book!)

What a kid! And what an encouragement after a week with some hopeless moments regarding parenting and homeschooling. OK, so relax, they are great kids, and the Lord is accomplishing much in their hearts and minds.
So thankful for the reassurance.....

Friday, October 5, 2007

Old Friends

What a treat!
Today I got to visit with one of my best friends from high school - Kerry. Her husband had to travel to Vermont for a business conference, so we made plans to meet in Bennington, VT which was on their way to Albany to catch a flight back to California.Kerry and I met our freshman year of high school, were cheerleaders together, had classes together, hundreds of sleepovers and hours in the gym working on our tumbling skills. Kerry made much better grades than I, but I think I had the edge in gymnastics. (Hee Hee, only kidding - that one's for Pat, our coach, who pitted us against each other for the sake of bettering our individual performances!) Kerry was and is one of the friendliest, most positive and encouraging people I've ever known. Her sweet notes from the 1980's until today have been a continual source of blessing to me. She was voted homecoming queen and "Best All-Around" our senior year - 1988 - so I definitely was not the only recipient of this kindness. She was loved by all.

And here we are on an outing to a quaint Texas town - Fredericksburg. I don't remember the exact year. I'm guessing '87 or '88?
Kerry and her family were a huge blessing to me during my high school years. Her mother would bring us iced Crystal Light lemonade in covered Tupperware cups when she picked us up from gymnastics. And once she bought a half gallon of Blue Bell coffee ice cream and delivered it to me after school wrapped in two paper sacks. She did this simply to bless me after I had dinner with her family and raved about the dessert - Blue Bell coffee ice cream! I learned a great deal about family by watching theirs - a great deal about motherhood by watching hers.
Now, Kerry is a busy Mom of three adorable boys, and will run her first half marathon in a couple of weeks!
Best wishes! Love you and miss you lots! 1 and a half hours was not enough!

(*Sat. Oct. 6 - edit - upon further investigation of hairstyles :) , I now believe the above pic was from 1986 - we were both 16!)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Of Knights and Fair Ladies

On Monday, our homeschool history group took a field trip to the
Connecticut Renaissance Faire. We are studying the Renaissance and Middle Ages this year, so it was perfect for our group! It was "school day" on Monday with cut rate tickets and back to back shows. We were there from 9a.m. through 2p.m. and still didn't get to see everything.

So, we are studying this era in an official way this year, but Kory and Cooper have been "in" to castles, knights, swords, dragons, catapults, and jousts for years. Cooper commented (very earnestly) at one point during the day, "It's just so disappointing that all of these people here don't know us and what awesome sword fighters we are!"

These men did a performance/teaching time called "The Duelists." They were great - funny and extremely knowledgeable about both Middle Ages weapons and Renaissance weapons. It was during this presentation that we learned the term "swashbuckler" has nothing to do with pirates!
We also saw a real live joust. The female peasant won. And we saw a tournament in which different pairs fought using different weapons. If a woman was fighting, she won. Even King Arthur was challenged to a duel by a woman and was beaten. I began to wonder if this was truly accurate. Did women really joust, and really fight with swords, daggers, and rapiers? And if they did, did they usually beat their male opponents? Or were we at the Politically Correct Connecticut Renaissance Faire?
This was a marionette puppet show about Gibbly Gobbly Dragon and Dan making stinky soup for their friends. Even "Souper Fairy" made an appearance - with a pink "S" on her chest!

The kids with the bishop. He was a huge man! There were a few monks wandering around as well.
And the boys were in their element - every booth seemed to have swords of all sorts, bows and arrows, shields, animal skins, leather pouches - you name it. Kory bought a real metal sword with sheath - the perfect way to spend the rest of his birthday money! There was jealousy to be sure, but he had the money, what could I do? I think we're up to 8 swords in the Krumrey collection now.
And Kayla's purchase of the day was a purple hair net like all the other "ladies" were wearing. (I'm sure this thing has a real scientific name, but I don't know it.)
It was a great day - no one can wait until next year!
Fare thee well...

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Apple Picking (and other types of picking)

On Saturday, we enjoyed a favorite New England tradition - apple picking!

Upon finding a really good apple.....

Cooper: "This is the grandest apple in the whole orchard!" (Say with British accent)

Kory: "You mean - This apple is the apple of my eye." (Say with corrective older brother tone)

This may seem like a silly interchange, but honestly we are having quite a bit of sibling rivalry which always seems to begin as inocently as this. Sigh.

It was a BEAUTIFUL day, so after returning home we hopped on our bikes and rode down the Norwottuck Rail Trail. There is access to the trail just across the street from our house. We rode as far as a local shopping area, stopped there for iced coffee and frozen lemonade, then returned home in time to get Kory off to his football game

Monday, Kayla used the always entertaining apple peeler/corer/ slicer to make sauteed apples in brown sugar and cinnamon for dessert. yummy.

"Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings."
Psalm 17:8

Asking for this in the draining work of child training.

"Like apples of gold in settings of silver, is a word spoken in right circumstances."
Proverbs 25:11

Praying for gentle, encouraging words form mom to kids, mom to dad, and kid to kid. It's been that kind of day....