Friday, May 30, 2008

Gluten Free Friday - Silly Over Smoothies

Cooper gave me a gift card to Barnes and Noble for Mother's Day, and so I was able to buy a Smoothies "cookbook" that I have had my eye on for a while. I've also recently been influenced by a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions (more on that in the future) and its exhortation to eat fermented foods and saturated fats. I have not eaten dairy in almost 8 years, but the last couple of weeks I've been trying to include a bit of yogurt or kefir in my diet to see if the good bacteria therein will help solve a few lingering digestion dilemmas. So far, so good. Here are two of the smoothies I've tried this week. (They are altered a bit from the original recipes.)

Banana Latte

1/2 cup plain yogurt (or kefir)
3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
2 bananas
4-6 ice cubes
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp peanut butter

Put all ingredients into blender and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes while blender is running until desired consistency is reached.

"Get Yourself a Date" Smoothie

1/2 cup plain yogurt (or kefir)
1/4 cup dates, pitted and chopped
2 bananas
2 Tbsp tahini
6-8 ice cubes

Combine yogurt or kefir in blender. Add dates bananas and tahini. Blend until smooth. With blender running, add ice cubes.

* For extra sweetener, I added a bit of maple syrup to each one.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Five Things (tagged by Jen!)

Jen tagged me for this "get to know you" game.

The Rules:

1. The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.

3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read the player’s blog.

4. Let the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer.

What were you doing 5 years ago?

-trying to figure out what was wrong with 6 year old Cooper's health, having blood tests run, and MRI, an endoscopy, an overnight hospital stay, and finally figuring out that it was a gluten intolerance and an IgA deficiency.

-celebrating the weddings of several former students: Kris and Misty, Mark and Megan, Richard and Vicky, Mike and Susan, and Kelly and Matt. (I wasn't at all of them, but Robert was at most!)

-realizing that playing spring soccer AND baseball with 2 boys is not a wise decision.

- celebrating 11 years of marriage.

-heading up the Ways and Means Committee of the Amherst Woman's Club and raising over $2000.00 through several fundraisers - a fashion show, an antiques appraisal, and a Bridge party.

What are five things to do on your to do list for the day?

-water, feed, and change chick litter.

-prepare a short lesson on William Shakespeare for homeschool group tomorrow

-send Karla's VERY late birthday card

-prepare to host a mission team from Oklahoma for dinner this evening

-pick up a Target gift card for friend Trish as a baby (#4) gift from our whole homeschool group

What are five snacks you enjoy?

-hummus with raw veggies or rice crackers

-California rolls with avocado from Whole Foods

-guacamole, chips & salsa

-almond butter(or peanut butter) on a rice cake

-trail mix - nuts, dried fruit

What five things would you do if you were a billionaire?

-buy a larger house with guest rooms, or a guest cottage

-hire help with housework(laundry, bathrooms, grocery shopping!) and homeschooling (tutoring, online courses, etc.)

-pay off mortgage on our church building

-give money away to those in need - especially to families who are trying to live on one income and raise children at home

-help my kids go to college, or trade school, or begin their own business - basically get started in life when the time comes

What are five of your bad habits?

-knuckle, back, and neck cracking and popping

-not recording debit purchases in the check register (the ATM balance is always correct, right?)

-Perfectionism, quick to judge others and myself

-high expectations = easily disappointed, angry

-Overly serious

(I think the last three go together - they could all fall into the perfectionism category. And if you're shocked by these bad habits/character flaws/sins of mine, it's because I am good about only revealing them to those closest to me - Robert and the kids. Sad but true.)

What are five jobs you have had?

-daycare teacher and lifeguard

-cookie decorator and salesperson @Great American Cookie Co. (now Mrs. Field's)

- Assistant Teacher in Special Education Class, Travis Heights Elementary, Austin, TX

-First Grade teacher, Palm Elementary, Austin, TX

-Mom and Home Educator (the most challenging job so far!)

What five people do you want to tag?

I really don't enjoy this part, but Kory, Romy, Campbells, Megan M. and Megan T. - if you find the time, I'd love to know some new things about you all!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kayla's Week to Shine

Kayla is ending her second grade year with several performances. She participated in a very small, but wonderful children's choir at First Baptist Church with her friends Hannah, Torie, and Mary this semester. It was led by two gifted musicians who took the time to teach the girls the basics of music and vocal performance.Last Thursday evening they performed several songs as a foursome, and later joined members from the adult choir for two final songs including the Doxology - which was beautiful.
She also ended her semester of dance with a recital. She has been taking 4 1/2 years now - just a few months short of getting her 5 year trophy. I thought she was up for the trophy until the teacher reminded me that I had opted out of the recital and spring semester when she was three. She'll have to do another year to get the coveted trophy!
The girls did a great job tap dancing to a rendition of "Dancing in the Streets." Kayla and I enjoyed staying late to watch the "big girls" do their dances at the dress rehearsal Friday night. Our favorite were the ones that included jump roping, tumbling and pogo sticks - sometimes all at the same time!
And she got to be with good friend Jayden - whom we don't see much anymore since we switched to a Wednesday afternoon class and Jayden stopped homeschooling to go to a private school. A fun treat for the girls to be together while waiting to dance!

One more performance to go - a piano recital, which will also include her brothers!

Menu Monday - A Week of Gluten Free Meals

Monday
Roast Beef
Wild Rice
Sauteed Onion, Squash & Zucchini

Tuesday
Broccoli Goat Cheese Quiche
GF Morning Glory Muffins
Fruit Plate

Wednesday
Leftover Quiche
Salad

Thursday
Sausage & Egg Scramble
Potatoes
Salad

Friday
Quesadillas
Chips & Salsa

Saturday
Hamburgers
Black Bean Dip
Fruit

Sunday
Warm Chicken Salad
Salad

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Gluten Free Friday

This is a crustless quiche recipe that was made up from an assortment of quiche and alternative crust ideas I've been reading about lately. We've eaten it twice now and everyone seems to like it well enough. This week I served it with Morning Glory Muffins and fruit - for dinner. Will be a good one to use the fresh eggs we'll hopefully be having this fall!

Broccoli Goat Cheese Crustless Quiche

4-5 medium potatoes, peeled
3 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
10 eggs
1/2 onion, sauteed in butter
1 cup milk (soy, rice OK)
2-3 ounces crumbled goat cheese
small head of broccoli, steamed
tomato, thinly sliced (optional)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees

For Crust:
Place butter in baking dish and put in preheated oven to melt. (I use a glass dish a bit smaller than a 13x11) Grate potatoes using food processor. Remove dish from oven and toss potatoes with melted butter in dish. Add salt and pepper, and smooth potatoes to form one level layer for crust. Return dish to oven and cook potatoes 15-20 minutes.

For Quiche:
Whisk together 10 eggs in mixing bowl. Stir in milk, sauteed onions, goat cheese, broccoli, and more salt and pepper. Pour this mixture over potato crust. Add tomato slices as a garnish on top of egg mixture. Bake 30-45 minutes until set.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Catch Up

There has been quite a bit of activity in the Krum household lately, so I thought I'd show you a bit of what we've been up to. And really, it only reflects only a small bit. (Hear the weariness.)A joyful baby shower for my friend Jen (in black) in Albany, NY. Kayla took this picture. She and I drove with our friends, Sarah and Michelle, to be a part of Jen's special day. I've know these girls since they were 18 and freshmen(or "first years" to be PC) at UMass! What fun to hang out with them as married women and soon-to-be-moms! (Feeling my age though.)
Base ball season is well underway with 2 and 3 games per week. Here's Coop taking a swing at a recent baseball game. Coop has made some incredible plays this year - last year to be on the same team as Kory.
Kory has gotten to try his hand at pitching this year, and has wanted to be a good leader on his team as he has finally achieved the seniority of his third year in Little League. He's a great pitcher, but of course he is Mr. Perfection, and gets very upset at his errors. (He needs to take some lessons from Mr. Relaxed.)
White Sox Coaching Staff - I think we may win the award for most coaches ever to coach one team. (They asked me if I had a wide angle lens.) It's a good problem to have, but only three are allowed on the field, so there is a lot of yelling form the fence. Lots of laughter and new friendships formed, though - really a fun group.
"Roto Robo" I like to call this one. Doesn't he look so rugged and handsome out there taming the wilds of our one acre yard so his becoming-more-crunchy-every-day-wife (who thought she could actually run that thing herself - HA!) can expand her veggie, herb, and flower garden???A visit from Grammie and Paw-Paw from Texas with lots of junking, antique-ing, coop building, and oh so yummy outdoor grilling!

Homeschool History Group - A cast of characters from the Renaissance, Reformation, and Middle Ages: Mohammed I and II, William the Conqueror, St. Benedict, Otto the Great, King Henry VIII, Martin Luther, Justinian the Great, Pepin the Short, Marco Polo, and St. Francis of Assisi. Can you tell who is who?
Chick visitors....Sara and Dominick, and little baby brother in utero.
And....Sarah and Kiera, also with new baby brother in Mommy's tummy!
Renegade Chicks.
Yes, they learned to roost on the edge of their box and then jump down and explore my kitchen. They now have a new and larger luxury home in the mud room. Buddy finally got to meet them and seemed a bit reluctant to share his room.
Chicks nodding off.
(They look like they are drunk, and wobble in place until they drop!)
They are getting more plump each day with more feathers coming in rapidly. They look different to us every morning.
The girls snuggling up for a nap.
Chicks don't have much regard for personal space! They think nothing of piling up on each other or jumping on top of an already formed pile waking everyone for a few seconds. It's great entertainment, and quite a distraction from getting any schoolwork done!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hungering For Restoration...

...is the title of a chapter in a book that I've referred to before called Bold Love, by Dan Allender. It has helped me to better understand relationships , especially difficult ones. I want the "staggering feast."

A second key to biblical restoration is withholding forgiveness from an unrepentant person while pursuing reconciliation. Many will no doubt say, 'Forgiveness is absolutely unconditional; it does not depend on the response of the offender; it is a gift from the offended.' I agree. Forgiveness cancels the debt of the undeserving. But forgiveness is also passionately expectant. We cancel the debt in order to invite the offender to return from the pigpen and join us at the banquet table. A forgiving heart does not settle for a stain on beauty; it aches for the return of the offender to the house of God and the heart of the offended.

But entry is conditional. I may invite you to my home for dinner, but I will not let you in if you are wearing filthy shoes. The door is open and I desire for you to enter, but entry is not a given if you have not chosen to repent and take off your shoes. My part is to offer and hold firm to the principles of beauty in order to truly invite you to the freeing taste of repentance. When your head is lowered and your heart is broken over sin, I am privileged to invite you to a staggering feast.

Bold Love, p181

Menu Monday - A Week of Gluten Free Meals

Monday
Mexican Chicken Soup, Cornbread, Fruit

Tuesday
Grilled Salmon, Wild Rice, Salad

Wednesday
Steak, Home Fries, Grilled Veggies, Salad

Thursday
Taco Salad

Friday
Chicken Salad Sandwiches, Chips, Grapes

Saturday
Buffalo Burgers, Baked Beans, French Fries

Sunday
BBQ Chicken, Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans w/ Goat Cheese & Pecans

Friday, May 16, 2008

Moved to Tears

I've cried at a lot of movies, but only after two did I leave the theater in tears that were difficult to control. The first was Pearl Harbor, and through those tears I said to Robert, "I can't believe that really happened." History was coming alive to me for the first time.

The second was tonight's opening of Prince Caspian. If the Wardrobe was about Salvation, Sacrifice, and Redemption, Caspian is about Sanctification, Dependence, Trust and the Surrender of Self and Self-Sufficiency. Which is right where I live. Right where all Christians live.

When Peter charges into battle after "waiting long enough" for Aslan, I couldn't help but think of several verses from Scripture....

Unless the LORD builds the house,They labor in vain who build it;Unless the LORD guards the city,The watchman keeps awake in vain. t is vain for you to rise up early,
To retire late,
To eat the bread of painful labors;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
Psalm 127:1-2


Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Psalm 46:10-11

For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear,
Nor has the eye seen a God besides You,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
Isaiah 64:4

Peter has to call the Narnians to retreat twice when the enemy is overtaking them, and he still doesn't immediately think to consult Aslan. Life is lost over his choice, his hastiness. All efforts are not entirely fruitless-there are some battles won, but they don't bring about true victory. They were indeed, in vain.

Even in the last weeks, I've tried to think(stress, be consumed by) my way to a solution to a problem. How does human behavior work? Why do people do the things they do? What would be the best way to approach this difficulty? What class could I take? What book should I read? Maybe the internet has a good article on this particular subject. Surely there is a support group in town, or a message board full of wisdom. What friend can I call?

And I guess there's nothing wrong with those things inherently, but the real wisdom, the real change came when I got up early to pray specifically about this problem - when I sat in the quiet and prayed, read, and tried to listen. I say change, because I didn't get a specific answer -no specific directive from scripture, no 3 step formula, definitely not a "Here's what you should do next." But I knew the Lord was with me, that He was hearing me, and I had peace that it was in His hands. I can take a step in faith.

When Lucy stands next to Aslan, with her tiny dagger, and Good prevails I was overcome with the reminder of the words of another warrior...

This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the LORD'S and He will give you into our hands."
1 Samuel 17:46-48

I want this to be my prayer in these times of battle, in times of confusion, and when I'm feeling like acting in my own strength.....

You are my King, O God;
Command victories for Jacob.
Through You we will push back our adversaries;
Through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.
For I will not trust in my bow,
Nor will my sword save me.
But You have saved us from our adversaries,
And You have put to shame those who hate us.
In God we have boasted all day long,
And we will give thanks to Your name forever.
Psalm 44:4-8

May I cease engaging in vain and fruitless efforts which have not been asked of me. May I boast in my weakness and in my God.


Gluten Free Friday

I almost never buy bottled sauces anymore, because of the long lists of ingredients, and almost guaranteed use of gluten, corn syrup, MSG, and preservatives. But, we really enjoy teriyaki sauce, so I did a little research and experimenting last week and came up with this. It's easy and tasty - great with chicken and beef.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce

1/2 cup GF soy sauce (La Choy/San-J)
1 cup water
4 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ginger
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water
pressed garlic, optional

Heat soy sauce, first cup of water, ginger, brown sugar, and garlic over medium heat until sugar dissolves and liquid is simmering. In a separate container, whisk together corn starch and 1/4 cup water. Stir into simmering mixture until it thickens. Use for stir fry or grilling.

Monday, May 12, 2008

The Chicks Are Here!

Pure Cuteness!

The boys and Paw-Paw spent the morning building the coop - even though it won't be needed for a couple of months. We were able to get all scrap lumber, a feeder, and laying boxes from a antique/junk yard belonging to my friend Aimee's father.
A roomful of chicks at the Farmer's Supply Store .They spent the afternoon in the kitchen, and got LOTS of play time with Kayla.

I'm hungry!
Where's the food?
Are you my Mother?
Bedding down for the night in the basement.
4 Rhode Island Reds
3 Barred Plymouth Rocks
3 Aracaunas

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Rich and Wondrously Blest Mom

The Lord has stirred in me a thankfulness for my children this Mother's Day more than ever before. And I am so grateful, as this feeling and perspective is often lost in the day in and day out training, teaching, feeding, clothing, correcting, sympathizing, and all around sacrificial and selfless nurturing that parenting requires.

And this thankfulness was Katy's heart and perspective, one that ever since I read about, I've desired to possess. Katy is my favorite character in my all-time favorite book Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss(1869). Listen to what she writes in her journal upon the birth of her third child - an occasion of which her live-in, spinster, and all-around grumpy sister-in-law disapproved of entirely. . .

I celebrated my little Una's third birthday by presenting her with a new brother. Both the children welcomed him with delight that was of itself compensation enough for all it cost me to get up such a celebration. Martha takes a most prosaic view of this proceeding, in which she detects malice on my part. She says I shall now have one mouth the more to fill and two feet the more to shod, more disturbed nights, more laborious days, and less leisure or visiting, reading, music, and drawing.

Well! This is one side of the story, to be sure, but I look at the other. Here is a sweet fragrant mouth to kiss; here are two more feet to make music with their pattering around my nursery. Here is a soul to train for God; and the body in which it dwells is worthy all it will cost, since it is the abode of a kingly tenant. I may see less of friends, but I have gained one dearer than them all, to whom, while I minister in Christ's name, I make a willing sacrifice of what little leisure for my own recreation my other darlings had left me. Yes, my precious baby, you are welcome to your mother's heart, welcome to her time, her strength, her health, her tenderest cares, to her lifelong prayers! Oh, how rich I am, how truly, how wondrously blest!


My oldest will turn 13 next month and I can hardly believe it. If he leaves for college, that gives me a short 5 years left to nurture and train him "in the way he should go." It doesn't seem like enough, and yet I know he is on loan to me from a Heavenly Parent who is completely trustworthy and faithful. May my heart grow in thankfulness for these gifts that are my children. May I fully embrace this calling of "Mom" - right now. Other callings tempt me to satisfy myself in more instantly gratifying ways. May I persevere in love, patience, and a nurturing spirit while they are young and so near to me. May I, in the power of Christ, give myself away for the sake of Him and those with whom He has entrusted me.

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate
Psalm 127:3-5


(P.S. I have often said- jokingly - well sorta jokingly - that I can't be friends with someone who does not like the book Stepping Heavenward. Upon having the privilege to meet Elisabeth Eliott over lunch several years ago, I told her this, knowing that it is also one of her favorite books. She looked across the table at me with her steely blue eyes and replied, "Well then, you and I can be friends." Swoon.)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Three Days and Counting

The farm supply store called today to remind us to come and pick up our baby chicks on Monday - and be sure to bring a box. As if we could really forget that 10 baby chicks will soon be ours with a 7 year old girl in the house, this poster on her door, and a calendar hanging on her bulletin board marking of the days until May 12th! And every drawing created over the last four weeks has somehow included chickens.
This one, I think, may be an attempt at the life stages of the chicken. (Hopefully, there will be no rooster! It does happen 1% of the time. Verifying the gender of the chicken is a highly specialized field of a very few folks, I learned. Mistakes are still made though!)
And Kayla has also requested that these books be read during our afternoon read-aloud time - instead of our current reading of Beowulf. I did indulge her one day with a chapter on FAQ about chickens, where we learned that if you feed your chickens garlic or cabbage, you may not like the taste of your eggs!
Robert's parents are here for the next week, so we have enlisted their help in designing and building our coop. Stay tuned for chick photos and hopefully coop photos as well (although the chicks will be in the basement for a month or so) - three days and counting!

Gluten Free Friday

This is a recipe that I found in a Better Homes and Gardens Magazine - no need to alter - it was already gluten free. Just made these a few weeks ago and they disappeared very quickly!

Peanut Butter Macaroons

2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar
dash salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups chocolate crisp rice cereal (Koala Crisps/Cocoa Pebbles)
1/3 cup chopped peanuts

In mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold in peanut butter and then cereal. Drop batter by rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheet - lined with parchment if possible. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn off over and let cookies dry for 15 minutes with oven door closed. Cool cookies on a wire rack.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sunny California!

Just returned Tuesday from a wonderful trip to California to visit my brother, Stu, along with my two sisters - Melissa and Melinda. Yes, that's Mel, Mel, Mel and Stu. And he also could have been a "Mel" as our dad and grandfather are Melvins! I think he's happy with Stu.This was the first thing we saw as we got off the plane. (I happened to be on the same flight as my sisters out of Dallas!) Palm trees and mountains could be seen from this open air gate at the Palm Springs, CA airport! And it was probably 90 degrees! Hurray for warmth and scenery!
One of the first people we met was Trax - my brother's new black lab. We picked him up at the golf course where my brother works as Superintendent. (Actually, he has a WAY more fancy title than that, but I can't remember it at the moment.) What a cutie Trax is at 4 months old, and he went everywhere with us drawing quite a bit of attention, as you can probably imagine!
We stayed at the home of good friends of my brother's - the Rowells. They are a precious gem of a family - hospitable, sacrificial, warm and authentic, and loving my brother as their very own son. Theirs was a beautiful home on guess what....a golf course. The Palm Springs area has about 100 golf courses. You might be hard pressed to buy a home there that is NOT on a golf course. We had a wonderful evening of taco salad and card games on the patio. The next morning we girls sat on the patio in our pjs in the warm breeze and watched the sun rise over the beautiful course.......very luxurious indeed.
After our leisurely breakfast, we headed to Southwest Community Church where Stu attends and is very involved in the youth program. He leads a weekly small group Bible study for high school guys, chaperones skiing and camping trips, stars in crazy promotional videos for upcoming events, and even preaches/teaches in the large high school worship service on a regular basis. The kids love him, and I could not be more proud to have a brother who gives his life away like this. Here he is sacrificially playing Guitar Hero with one of the kids on Sunday morning before church - it's a tough job, really. Below is the music portion of the service - amazing time of worship and praise.
That afternoon we drove up a mountain to a town called Idyllwild. We just strolled around looking in shops, art galleries, and drinking coffee. Melissa opted for a Coke as the trip up the mountain (with NASCAR speed and precision - even around the curves) gave her a bit of motion sickness. Stu is really in to rock climbing, and actually climbed the peak you can see to the left of his right ear!
Monday, we headed for Los Angeles, Beverly Hills, and Santa Monica. In the Ralph Lauren store on Rodeo Drive, we were tempted to purchase this patent leather, royal blue jacket, but at $1998.00 we thought we might rather have new laptop computers, or plane tickets for another visit, or a month's mortgage payment, or maybe even a nice used car!
The Santa Monica beach was really beautiful, and we enjoyed walking down the pier in the perfect weather.
We finished off our day with an amazing dinner at the Tommy Bahama Cafe - halibut, tenderloin, New York strip steak, and shrimp and scallops.
I am so blessed to have siblings who love the Lord and each other - what sweet fellowship!
Miss you all already.
Thank you, Stu, for making it all possible.

And more pictures can be found here.