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Dawg Family Musings

Updated: 2018-03-17T08:36:32.616-04:00




IT WAS ALL WORTH ITThis is in memory of Grandpa Vaughn, the gifted poet. He died when Luke was 5 months old.When you spent quality time camping with Nana and Papa and quality time with your grandparents and great grandparents, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When we did field trips, trips to the park because you just couldn’t go any further, baseball, trip to Colorado, prom, dances, Koinonia, horse farms, homeschool art days, piano lessons, living history days, play days, days hanging out of a tree to finish school.  Days dressed as Robert E Lee or King Arthur, finishing school, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT. When Joshua taught you how to read at 4, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When you just cried not to do school and ALL you wanted to read and study about was horses, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When we spent a ton of money, hours and time at the ballfield, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When a lot of time was spent on editing photos, making Gatorade, hot chocolate, first aid baseball kit, unlimited tiger balm and all those homemade cookies for baseball, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT. When we were sneered and questioned, because we chose for our family a different path with homeschooling, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When I was asked unnecessary questions and grilled about test scores, socialization, curriculum and how much school we actually did, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When there were ups and downs with baseball and you weren’t sure if you wanted to keep going, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When you were so shy coming to Koinonia and now you have this group of Godly young men that you will be in contact with for a very long time, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When I got nervous because your facilitators wanted to talk to me about you.  Come to find out you had them in stitches and they had to take a break from class, because they were laughing so hard from something you said, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When we constantly carried around fresh carrots and apples “just in case” we saw horsies to give them treats, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When we took all those extra trips to the Oak Mtn State Park, just to visit the Horsies with all the giggles to feed them treats, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When you weren’t sure if you wanted to do classes and not only did you do them but you are graduating with honors, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When you BEGGED to do PHYSICS, so you could avoid Brit Lit and College Writing.  You not only did well but your teacher and we are so very proud of you, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When you came down the steps, shaking to tell me you wanted to accept Jesus and make him Lord of your life, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.When you weren’t sure if you wanted to tackle college classes at the same time and slaving from 7 am to midnight, and you were able to do that, do amazing and juggle baseball, IT WAS ALL WORTH IT.You see son.  Just like a scale for our weight, test scores, numbers and grades don’t define us. It doesn’t define the person that we know that you are.  It doesn’t define that we know your character. You are genuine, look for the best in people, loyal, dependable, funny, and discerning with a quiet and gentle spirit.  It doesn’t judge your walk with the Lord.  We are thankful that you have done well, not only pushed to graduate with honors but just remember your identity in Christ.  He is your rock.  He is your salvation. Stay focused. Stay grounded. Stay in the word and in prayer. Stay steadfast.We love you so very much and are so very proud of you.[...]

A 6 year olds dream part 5


If you have been following, I am doing a series on allowing your kids to follow their passions.  In part 1, I talked about Are you Cultivating, encouraging or Discouraging??      In part 2, I talked about our son's dream coming full circle!     In part 3, I continued my discussion on what he had done next and how his passions had expanded!     In part 4, I talked about His excitement for his display, making the local news and his continued work with the Titanic! Since it's the 105th anniversary of the Titanic and the 20th anniversary of the 1997 Titanic film by James Cameron, I thought I would give you an update of what's happened and how his life has come full circle! Not only is this HUGE but it's monumental!First of all, Joshua did do his display again at our local library.  It's better, more improved and has even different things added to it.  He put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into it.THEN, About a year and a half ago, Joshua heard about A Titanic Gathering in Belfast holding a convention in Belfast, Ireland in April 2017.  He asked if I wanted to go, which was so sweet of him.  I did consider it but decided it was best if I didn't for more than one reason.  He really pushed ahead to go and even met up with a friend that he's known for a while through his Titanic groups.  He got everything ready to go and left April 8th to fly into London, England UK.  He arrived early in the morning of the 9th in London, England, and began his Titanic tour.  He toured some of London and then he and a friend (a fellow Titaniac) took a train from London to Southampton, UK.  Southampton is the beginning point of the Titanic's voyage and the engineers and many of the crew were from there.  He will spend a couple of days there and then fly to Cobh, Southern Ireland (used to be Queenstown).  (The second stop was Cherborg, France but they were unable to fit that into their trip this time).  They will spend a couple of days in Cobh and then take a train, 7.5 hours up to Belfast, Northern Ireland/United Kingdom.  He will spend the remaining time there.  He will be with people he's met in person and people he's only met online.  He will be amongst about 150 survivor families and so many.  We are utterly shocked at how well known he is in the Titanic community.  He's one of THE leading upcoming young leaders in this field.  We encouraged him and told him that he might as well, while he's single, not tied down and is a little more flexible.  So, young mom's with little ones: I know you are going to get discouraged. TIRED of hearing about the same thing over and over and over.  You are going to WANT for them to MOVE on........please talk about something else.  You will be frustrated and worn out.  Let me encourage you.....Your children are only young for a blink.  It will go by in a flash.  I miss Joshua coming in, excited about his schooling and a new book or topic.  I MISS music in my home.  Eventhough it was SO hard to listen to the SAME songs for 6-8 hours a day on the piano, I MISS it.  He's grown now at 23.  He works fulltime, 3rd shift for a great company but we don't see him much anymore.  Sometimes I only see him for 5 minutes or so. This is THE first time I have missed any major thing dealing with the Titanic.  Not really feeling sorry for myself,  I just miss when he was younger and we had more time.  He's grown now and we are enjoying watching him flourish and blossom.  I am trying to enjoy all I can before a sweet young lady comes along and captures his heart one day.  (our family on April 8th getting our last hugs and goodbyes to Joshua before he left for his trip)Here's a photo of Joshua IN Thompson's Dry Dock in Belast, Ireland.  This is where the Titanic was built.  He's there on the 105th Anniversary of He[...]

A 6 year old's dream, Part 4


If you have been following, I am doing a series on allowing your kids to follow their passions.  In part 1, I talked about Are you Cultivating, encouraging or Discouraging?? 
     In part 2, I talked about our son's dream coming full circle!
     In part 3, I continued my discussion on what he had done next and how his passions had expanded!
      Since it's the 104th anniversary of the Titanic, I thought I would give you an update of what's happened and how his life has come full circle!

     This year has been exciting already.  Joshua had called our local library and asked to put up his display at our local library for the month of April.  They were fantastically excited.  There's been a huge draw and an upswing in visitors.  He has been collecting items for about 10 years or so.  Some pieces he had.  Some were bought online.  Some were given to him by his friends.  Some he found along the way in antique stores.  We are so very proud of him.  He has 53 pieces there.

     He also was contacted by our local news station and interviewed him!  It went live and got so much traffic.  Our local newspaper is going to interview him soon and other libraries are planning on having the collection there as well.  So many exciting things ahead of him and we couldn't be prouder! 

                         You can continue to read the 5th part of this series in HERE!

A 6 year old's Dream Comes Full Circle pt 3


        If you have been following, I am doing a series on allowing your kids to follow their passions.  In part 1, I talked about Are you Cultivating, encouraging or Discouraging??      In part 2, I talked about our son's dream coming full circle!       Since it's the 104th anniversary of the Titanic, I thought I would give you an update of what's happened and how his life has come full circle!       In 2014, Joshua went to Talbotton, GA. Talbotton, GA was the home of the Strauss family and Isidor's father had a store down there.         In the Spring of 2015, I was honored that he asked me to go with him on a tour of Augusta, GA and the home of Major Archibald Butt, one of his heroes.  We had a great day and some mother & son bonding time.  It's so much fun to go on field trips with him still and see his passions light up.     In September of 2015, for Archie's 150th birthday, he did a presentation at the Georgia Archives.  The Georgia Archives house so many notebooks and artifacts from Archie himself!  He had a fantastic response!Some exciting news for him stay tuned for part 4 of this series :) [...]

A 6 year old's Dream Comes Full circle part 2


       Since I wrote the post on If you are Cultivating, Encouraging or Discouraging??, several exciting things have happened in Joshua's life around his passion with the Titanic.       In 2013, he did a presentation in an elementary school on the music that was played on the Titanic.  He performed pieces in Class for that time period and that was played on the ship.     He also tracked down & found the grave of one of the people on the Titanic that was buried in Birmingham, AL, our old hometown.       He also went and did a presentation at our local Library and had a great crowd that heard him speak and saw his artifacts and books. I will update part 3 coming stay tuned![...]

THM Shamrock shake (S)


Yes I said Shamrock shake..........that doesn't have a billion calories and NOT 93 tsp of Sugar........I used to LOVE them.........I would have a constant drip.  It was bad enough that I worked for that company for SIX long years.  4 states and multiple stores, ending up as a manager.  Now that we are trying to eat better, I decided to take some recipes and doctor them up, change up a bit.......and wow just wow! Enjoy and let me know what you think :)

1/2 c cottage cheese (I use Daisy 1% or 2%)
2 cups fresh spinach
2 c ice
1/4 c or 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 scoop collagen
2-3 drops food grade Lorann peppermint oil (Walmart)
1 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 tsp Gentle sweet
1 THM Girl Scout Thin mint cookie **

Put all into your blender until smooth!  :)

Top with:

Spray whipped cream
1 THM Girl Scout thin mint cookie**

**I have used the THM Baking blend (I make my own) with this and Like it MUCH better than the almond flour.  It really tastes like a REAL GS cookie and doesn't have that "grit" that almond flour has.  BUT let me warn you that the BB is DRIER than the almond flour so if you do use this option and use equal parts to the almond flour, you will need to add water or almond milk to help it form a dough.  Just keep drizzling as it mixes in your mixer until it forms a nice dough. I also added Gentle sweet to my chocolate and a little heavy whipping cream as hubby does NOT like dark chocolate and I don't either.......too much.  **

THM Pancake Syrup (FP)


I am not crazy about the syrup in the new book for THM so I adapted a former recipe that I made a long time ago.  We do order VT maple syrup by the gallon but I know it's not THM I let the kids have the real stuff and we make our own for hubby & I.  Depending on your serving size, this can be an FP.

1 1/2cups sweetener (I like a combination of xylitol, erythritol and stevia, powdered.  You might know it as Gentle Sweet)
3/4  c water
1 1/2 T black strap molasses
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
1 tsp butter flavoring
1 tsp maple flavoring

Mix together until dissolved...serve warm...mmmmmm!

THM S biscuit mix


I knew when I saw a keto biscuit recipe going around fb that if I liked it, that I would need it in bulk.  I first saw it on a Youtube video that I not only wanted to make it but If I liked it, I would need to make it in a bigger batch.

The original recipe as stands is:
1/3 c almond flour (or THM baking blend) My favorite homemade ones are HERE.
(For a "nut free baking blend" you can check HERE)
1/3 c + 2 tbsp Oat FIBER
1 tbsp sweetener (I do my own recipe)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg

Melt in microwave for 90 seconds:
1 c mozzerella cheese
2 oz cream cheese
3 tbsp butter

Mix with dry ingredients until dough forms.  I know the original recipe says 12 biscuits but I cut it into 9 sections, rolled and baked them in a muffin tin (with silicone liners) and used my slimberry (raspberry) jelly on it.  You bake them at 330 degrees for 12 minutes (depending on your stove.  Mine took more like 15).

Now, I wanted to make it in bulk for easier use.  I used an empty collagen container and did 6 batches.  Here's the breakdown:

For 3 batches (wide mouth quart jar):
1 c almond or baking blend (I did 1/2 and 1/2) (For a nut free baking blend, check HERE)
1 1/3 c +1 tbsp oat fiber
3 tbsp sweetener
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp salt

For 6 batches (collagen container):
2 c almond flour or baking blend (I did 1/2 and 1/2) (for a nut free baking blend, Check HERE)
2 3/4 c oat fiber
1/3 c + 1 tbsp sweetener
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp baking powder

To make ONE batch, you need 1 cup of mix and so on and so forth.  You can vary your wet ingredients by the number of batches.


THM Taco Bake (S)


I have adapted a family favorite for our family, using the THM principles. 


1 lb ground beef
approved THM taco seasoning (we use Jack & the Bean from To market)
THM seasoning blend
optional: kernel corn
2 c shredded cheese
THM approved tomato sauce (I can my own for less than $1)
2 eggs
1 c almond milk

Directions: Brown ground beef until done.  You can add the seasoning blend with it and brown it too but I did them separate.  Add the taco seasoning.  Place meat in pyrex dish.  Layer with onion if you haven't already added it.  Sprinkle a small amount of corn (I have left this out no problem).  Put Tomato sauce over the top. (I used about 8 oz).  Sprinkle with shredded cheese. 

Mix in a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of the THM bisquick mix, eggs & almond milk together.  Pour over the top of the pyrex, making sure all is covered. 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with sour cream, diced tomatoes or salsa, shredded cheese.


Traveling and THM


TRAVELING WITH THM:Those that know us fairly well, know that we've been off and on with THM for a few years.  This last August/Sept, we kicked things into gear and have pretty much stayed on plan since then.  We've traveled several times to DISNEY and to Colorado this last October.PREPARING TO TRAVEL WITH THM:If you are going to DISNEY, you can take your own food and cooler into the park.  They let you do that, so keep that in mind.  We stayed on plan, even in CO (and we flew on an airplane).  Here are some tips:1.  pack a separate suitcase, JUST for on plan meals2.  plan out EASY grab n go things3.  First stop when you land, a grocery store!4.  Take a LARGE cup, like you get at ballgames.  You will need it.5.  Pack a foldable cooler in your suitcase!!6.  We took a stroller eventhough our kids were bigger to hold our stuff!FLYING WITH THM: So when we flew, I took a backpack.  I filled it with easy things like:1.  an empty bottle (they don't allow liquids through security).2.  Your sweetener in individual packages (you might want to put them in ziplocs and think about getting Pyure or something with the name on it)  3.  Take your GGMS/SC concentrates with you in your backpack 4.  THM snacks for grab & go:      1. Trailmix  (lily's chips, unsweetened coconut, variety of nuts, sunflower seeds)      2.  Quest bars (or make your own)      3.  Nuts      4.  Individually wrapped cheese etc.      5.  Wasa crackers with LCC      6.  Superfood chews :)      7.  A THM sandwich.  Loving the sprouted bread we got at Aldi (and Target).  Make ahead a sandwich with lunchmeat, THIN cheese, lettuce, mayo etc. Put in a ziploc.      8.  IF you can't find the sprouted bread, we mixed our spices into our mayo before we left and used that as a spread.  We spread it on our Joseph's lavash and put spinach, Boars head lunch meat and sprinkled a tiny bit of low carb mozz over the top. Rolled it up, cut it in half, wrapped it in wax paper and put into a ziploc bag.      5.  Lily's bars** For longer trips, I took things like Joseph's pitas, already turned into chips and put them in a container.  A travel size of hummus (you can buy these in the airport, btw), apples, 000 yogurt** SUITCASE:Now for the suitcase.  It was a travel one and wasn't that big but I did plan ahead of time.  Here's what was in my suitcase:      1. Several Ziploc baggies with powder concentrate for protein shakes.  I wrote on them what they were (like Reeces, orange creamsicle, choc raspberry, etc)       2.  Ziploc with Baking blend!  My favorite one is RunAMok       3.  Bag of Pyure (so they didn't think it was something else ;)       4.  several ziploc baggies with MIMs, already divided, just need the liquids (IF you get eggs)       5.  MAGIC BULLET       6.  Joseph's pitas/lavash       7.  Lily's chips       8.  I took a THM bisquick mix but I knew I would have a kitchen later on in the week       9.  Measuring spoons/cups      10.  I didn't know about it then, but If I had it like I do now, I definitely would take a loaf of the approved sprouted bread.      11.  QUEST BARS  &nbs[...]

Cyber Monday



Would you like to get PAID for shopping??????????????   So tomorrow Is Cyber Monday.  Not only do you get major savings on stuff, but you get money back in your pocket.  You just sign up an account at EBATES.COM.  Pick your store.  shop.  Pay.  Get money back. So GNC has 40% back tomorrow.  Get 10% BACK in your pocket for shopping and that's IT!  What an amazing deallllllllll.......and ALLLLLLLLLLLL from the living room of your home!!!!!!!!!  You get a check at the end of the season.  Can't beat it.!

Make sure you go HERE to sign up!!!!!!!!! Easy peazy!

THM adapted Chick Fil A chicken sandwich


THM adapted chick Fil A chicken sandwich (S)INGREDIENTS2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 8 oz each – or 4 4 oz chicken breasts)2 eggs1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk1 cup THM baking blend2 tbsp powdered THM Sweet blend or approved sweetener1 tsp paprika1 tsp salt1 tsp black pepper1/2 tsp garlic powder1/2 tsp celery salt1/2 tsp basil1 cup peanut oil for frying (you can use any oil that works for your family but this tastes the best)4 Approved S bread, Joseph's pitas etc....DIRECTIONSPlace chicken between 2 sheets of wax paper or in a freezer bag and pound gently with the flat side of a mallet until about 1/2″ thick.Cut each breast into 2 equal pieces.Beat together egg and milk in a bowl.Mix together the flour, sugar, and spices in another bowl.Heat the oil in a skillet to about 350.Dip each chicken piece into the egg, covering both sidesTransfer to the flour mixture and turn to completely coat.Fry each chicken piece for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked throughout.Place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil.[...]




Let it be known that I do not like cakey, thick muffins.  I want to taste the egg, cheese and sausage (or bacon).  So I just adapted a recipe from other sites.......I do like a little structure to the muffin as here it goes:

1/2 c baking blend (I make my own with coconut flour, oat flour, whey isolate, ground golden flax & xantham gum)
6 eggs (I do 3 eggs and 3 eggs worth of egg whites)
heavy whipping cream, or almond milk (just enough to thin)
1/2-1 c cheese (I use cheese from our co-op from Heini) Jalapeno pepper, or pepper jack is fantastic too.
1 lb cooked natural sausage (we buy from our butcher)
I mix all together and let sit a few minutes to thicken. I put them in silicone muffin liners with an ice cream scoop to 2/3 full. You will need to use the silicone liners for ease and for them to come clean! Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. (until tops are just browned) I tripled this recipe to have extras for the week and to grab.



Disclaimer:  In case I might get responses out of this:  I totally respect anyone who has made their choice to send their children to a public or private institution, just like you should respect ours for homeschooling our children.  It is A choice!  We are ALL responsible to the good Lord for how WE raise our children, just like you are responsible for how you raise yours.  I get that.  I respect that.  This is NOT written to put any "guilt trips" on anyone........this is MY feelings and how "I" was feeling today.  We are unabashedly a homeschooling family.  It is the choice WE made for OUR family.  If you feel like this will "offend" you, or you are feeling a little "guilt" this morning, this blog post will not be for you.  Even so, if you are a parent with kids in public/private school (I have attended both), it still might be a blessing to you.  I hope it is :)  This is MY blog and just like being in my home, please respect this as if you were in my Living room with grateful speech!  ThanksI had a moment today ya'll.........I was busy trying to spend a few minutes to get our oldest son off to his full time job, an hour away as everyone around are rejoicing sending their kids off to school.  I miss it........I crave it.  I only have two more years left of homeschooling and while I am looking forward to my future daughter in loves, grandbabies and what the future holds, people told me when my boys were little, to cherish it because it will go by in a flash........and I didn't listen. Our oldest, left at his K5 graduation in 2000 and today leaving for work today, Age 21.  I miss the scurry of my oldest and how he was SO in love with the new school year.  The excitement of new territory.  New books.  Learning.  Hands on crafts.  "Let's dissect a shark mom!".  Even the at one time dreaded 8 hours a day of non stop piano practice.  Or "Hey mom.  Guess what Titanic fact or book I found?" or "Mom, listen to this piano piece."  Today, my house is quiet.  I spent 5 MINUTES getting my oldest ready to go to his job and I took a photo.  He's 21 now and doing fantastic at his job.........but I had a longing in my heart to go back.  I MISS it.  I am in tears today. Many many tears.Our middle son.  Left, K5.  Right, the other day trying on a suit for his childhood bff's wedding in October.  Will be registering for college this week.  20 years old.I sit around and observe other moms.  I watch as I hear with great sadness "I don't miss it" or "how someone is excited to be getting rid of their young child for their entire day!!" or even more "how much they can't wait to get THEIR life back".  I am sorry.......when I became a mother, which has been my life long desire to become a wife AND a mother, when I got MARRIED, it was NO longer MY life.  It was OUR life/lives.  When I became a wife to Aaron, it was OUR life.  When we became parents, it was OUR family's life.  I will have PLENTY of time for MY time when our children grow up, move out, get married etc. Even today, It's a constant battle with balancing family life with work, jobs, friends, church to fight for family time.  Oh we do.......and sometimes I have to put my foot down but I don't regret it at all! Today, this morning, there wasn't any back to school photos of my 3.  I just have one now, and he's a junior this year.  He will be doing a couple of classes in our local homeschool co-op and the rest at home.  I spent about 5 ish minutes gathering stuff to help my oldest get out the door for his long day as he leav[...]

Favorite fruit or Key lime Cheesecake (S)


so......I got an ankering.....for some Key lime Pie...& was DETERMINED to make I can eat it, I made some adjustments here & there and still need to fool with it. But I think it turned out pretty well :) NOTE: I have also made this with fresh or frozen raspberries.  I just added 2 c raspberries to the mix.KEY LIME PIECrust1 1/2 cups almonds (ground)1/4 c vanilla protein shake (or jay robb)1/4 c butter (OR coconut oil...yes you can use it in place of butter & is yummy with this)grind almonds (I did in my Ninja)...add protein powder & butter/coconut into pan & bake @ 350 for 12-15 minsPie filling:(this is a low carb substitute for sweetened condensed milk)2 1/2 c heavy whipping cream6 egg yolks (or egg substitute)1 cup sweetener1 tbsp xanthum gum (thickener)Wisk all and put it on the stove to thicken....let cool1 pkg of KNOX unflavored gelatin1 cup hot water3 egg yolks or substitute1/2 c KEY LIME juice (this is VERY different from regular make sure it is KEY LIME)Dissolve Knox w/ hot water, set aside & let cool. Mix egg yolks, with Key lime juice then add cooled knox gelatin, and the mix from above for the sweetened condensed milk....blend in Ninja or a bowl(better to do a blender or Ninja so it will be smooth). Let chill in refrigerator & top with sugar free cool whip & fruit.FRUIT OR KEY LIME CHEESECAKECrust1 1/2 cups almonds (ground)1/4 c vanilla protein shake (or jay robb)1/4 c butter (OR coconut oil...yes you can use it in place of butter & is yummy with this)grind almonds (I did in my Ninja)...add protein powder & butter/coconut into pan & bake @ 350 for 12-15 minsCheesecake filling:16 oz cream cheese1/2 cup sweetener (or a little more)1/2 cup key lime juice (or 2 cups of your favorite fruit, like Raspberries)1 pkg knox unflavored gelatin1 cup boiling waterMix Knox gelatin & water together...let cool. Mix cream cheese, sweetener, key lime juice & cooled gelatin in a bowl. Pour into crust. with sugar free cool whip....[...]

Sugar Free York Peppermint Patty


I will admit I am a chocolate and Peppermint Patty snob.........and VERY picky.  I have made different recipes over time of different ones..........and was trying to find ones that I liked.......I have made soooooooo many over the years.  They were either too "gritty" or they would melt instantly.  I NEED to have stuff on hand to eat or I will grab the wrong stuff.  This is especially true during Easter/candy season ugh.

I have researched and researched.........I am sooo thrilled...........

First of all for the chocolate: you can either order chocoperfection bars made with Erythritol from
Netrition.  We order the European milk chocolate bars. or you can make your own candy bars.  I have actually combined both to make a nice melting chocolate.

The center layer:
I use refined coconut oil.  We go through a LOT of coconut oil.  I do use EVOO but do NOT like the taste of a strong coconut taste.  I actually order mine by the 6 gallon bucket from here (right now they are out of stock).

The next layer, is cocoa BUTTER!  Coconut butter can be melted and it does at a fairly high temp but it stays solid, even at room temp (which coconut oil does not).

I used THIS flavoring.  It's pure oil and it's from a company called Lorann Gourmet.  They are sold at Walmart.  I used the Creme de Menthe flavoring and flavored to taste.

I powdered xylitol to taste.

The recipe here:
1 c organic refined coconut oil
1 c raw cocoa butter
Creme de Menthe flavoring to taste
Xylitol (powdered) to taste

Melt your coconut oil and butter in a double boiler.  Remove from heat.  Add flavoring and slowly add the powdered xylitol little by little.  Pour into a mini silicone mold and freeze.  Meanwhile melt your chocolate coating in your double boiler.  Dip your center into the chocolate (do it quickly.  It will slide off if you don't be careful but don't let it sit in the hot chocolate, or the center will melt quickly.  You may have to dip it more than once).  Put in the freezer.........Good luck on not eating more than one in one sitting lol.  Enjoy!

Super uber duber thick, Moisterizing Lotion!!


I have been using this lotion and tweaking it for sometime.........but to be honest when a very very dear and close friend of almost 20 years, asks you for help in making lotion for him to help his skin through a secondary cancer. you DO IT!  Chemo will suck out any and all moisture from your skin and is uber drying!   On top of that, their daughter is having skin issues due to stress and eczema. She was bathing in it. (UPDATE: since this was posted, tests have come back that their precious, 23 year old beautiful daughter is fighting the same type of Hodgkins Lymphoma that her dad was diagnosed 20 years ago.  She will begin chemo soon.  Please pray for them!  We love them so much.  The itching is a side effect of that disease!) (ANOTHER UPDATE:  Both The father and the daughter have been declared cancer free!  We are thankful for the Lord's healing and blessings!!)  Well not quite, but it helped her tremendously! THEN for's winter and my skin is so so dry like everyone else' a digging I went......and searching!After making this several times with several are some "tweaks" to the original recipe........The original is here but I will ** my comments, additions etc. I put mine in a jar like this one from Walmart.  I doubled this recipe!Ingredients½ cup almond or olive oil (**I used olive oil.  It's what I had on hand)¼ cup coconut oil (**I get my EVCCO from Sam's club)¼ cup beeswax (**I used fresh, local)1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil (**I definitely added this. Probably a little more than this!)2 tablespoons Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, Mango (**I DID ALL THREE of these to make an uber creamy, THICK lotion.)essential oils: because of what we are dealing with, healthwise of my dear friend, we chose lavender and Frankincense.  I did about 10 or so drops of each.1 tbsp or a little more of aloe vera gel (**my addition, super healing)** another addition: 1-2 droppers of candeula infused oilInstructions**dedicate a set of dishes etc to using with beeswax because anything that comes in contact with it, you cannot use it for food!I melt my butters and beeswax in an old coffee can, on about 300-325.  While I am doing that, I put everything else in a plastic, throw away container.  Once the wax/butters have melted and cooled a bit, add them to the others.  Put outside (if it's winter) or in a fridge for a little while until it's partially hardened/solid.  Whip it up with a hand mixer (I have a handmixer, and the beaters are SOLELY for my lotions, beeswax etc).  You may have to put it in the fridge again until it's a whipped butter almost.  It should look like whipped cream!  Then transfer to the jar and enjoy!  Warning......a LITTLE bit goes a looooooooong long use sparingly.......but it's just a lot amazing![...]

Pumpkin Pie in a Mug THM (S)


Pumpkin pie in a mug (for all you THM'ers.........this is an S :)

All I can say is that we WILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL be having this for Thanksgiving. This leaves people begging for more. 

**People that love lattes, love it 1/2 with coffee and say it's better than the pumpkin spiced latte at Starbucks! **

6 c raw milk OR
3 c half/half & 3 c milk
3/4 c sweetner of your choice (sugar, sucanat, xylitol etc) 
2 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp vanilla (I made my own so it's pure)
1 c pumpkin

Add to crockpot and serve warm. Serve with heavy whipped cream and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice!

Peanut butter chocolate chip muffins


I guess my main base for my muffins is this.  Then you can add your substitutions as needed (for fruit, nuts etc).

2 cups hard white flour (you can mix soft white with hard white to add more gluten or "lift" to the muffins or just do all purpose)
1/2 cup Sucanat (Organic Sugar is what I use or sugar)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup non fat greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 c milk with a small amount of vinegar added (or 1/4 c buttermilk)
1/2 stick butter

For Peanut butter chocolate chip:
add 1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 c mini or regular chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Spray muffin pan

For muffins: Combine flour, sucanat, baking powder, soda, salt, chocolate chips in large bowl.

Beat together yogurt, eggs, butter, peanut butter in small bowl.  You may have to use a small hand mixer to blend them well.

Add to flour mixture; stir just until dry ingredients are moistened.

If batter is too thick, add a little bit of buttermilk until it's smooth (about 1/4 c).  You do NOT want a cake batter. You want a very thick batter but not a paste.

Spoon batter into muffin tins all the way to the top.

Bake at 425 for 5 minutes.  While muffins are in the oven, change tempt o 375 and bake 15 more minutes or until golden brown.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes.

Basic bread Recipe


I use this bread recipe as my "basic recipe".  It's a 7 grain recipe and I learned much from my friend De'Etta's blog.  The basic 7 grain is what I use for our regular daily bread.    Then I add oats, flax, millet, sunflower & sesame seeds for 5 more grains to make it a 12 grain.  Then you can add Italian seasoning & garlic for Italian bread and cinnamon, sucanat and raisins (walnuts optional) for Cinnamon raisin bread.  I will share with you my basic recipe and then the additions at the end.  I have a grain mill, yes.  I can grind any grains, except any oil based seeds like flax.


6 c hard red wheat
2 c soft white wheat
2 c 7 grain
(You will need about 15-16 cups flour)

5 cups warm water
1 cup raw honey
1 c olive oil
1/2 c vital wheat gluten
5 tsp salt
1 egg
2 1/2 tbsp yeast
15-16 cups 7 grain flour

Mix all except 1/2 flour & yeast........mix well and add yeast and rest of flour.  Add until the sides of the bowl are clean and pull away.  Let rise for 1 hour, covered.  Put into bread loaf pans and let rise another hour. Bake at 350 for 29 minutes.

12 grain:  Mix 1 c of each ingredients: oats, flax, millet, sunflower & sesame seeds and mix in a bowl.  For each batch of bread, add 1 cup of grain to the flour.  After the first initial rising, roll the dough on both sides in the 5 grains and let rise a second time.

Italian: add 1/2 c Italian seasoning and 2 tsp garlic powder

Cinnamon raisin walnut:  2 tsp cinnamon (or more), 1/4 sucanat, 1/2 c raisins.  opt 1/2 c chopped Walnuts

Sweet Potato bread with Whipped cinnamon butter


EVERY single time I put up a photo of this bread, people drool over it.  Even after they get the recipe, they love to cut down on the times I have to type this recipe out, I am going to put it here :)
I double this recipe by the way.

1 3/4 warm water (or the water from the cooked sweet potatoes)
1 1/3 c mashed sweet potatoes
6 tbsp butter
1/2 c sucanat or brown sugar

2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
7 c  (or more) hard white wheat or soft white or flour of your choice
1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1/4 c vital wheat gluten

Mix all ingredients BUT the yeast and 1/2 the flour.  Add yeast and the rest of the flour.  Mix until smooth.  Add flour until pulled away from the bowl..  This is a soft dough and if it's too soft it will fall (ask me how I know.) . I add more so it's not so soft and comes clean from the sides.  Mix for 6-8 minutes.  Let sit in bowl for one hour with towel over it.  Divide into loaves (should be about 2 per batch).  Let rise on warm oven for 1 hour.  Bake at 350 for 29 minutes.

Whipped Cinnamon butter

1 c butter, soft
1/3 c sweetened condensed milk, chilled
1/2 tsp corn syrup or light agave
3/4-1 tsp cinnamon to taste (I like a little more but it's up to you)

Homeschooling: What are your options?


I am dusting off this blog to write an in depth post on the options of homeschooling.  Several friends, including my cousin's wife are thinking of this possible option for educating their kids.  For those that don't know us, our boys are 20, 18 and 14. (they are now 22, 21 and 17) All have been educated at home.  We started 14 years ago (now 18) and it was by far the best decision we made.Many that are new to the option of homeschooling may not know what their options are and what it involves, so I will go over those options for you and help you shed some light on it. There are many different educational models that you can look into.  Here are some of the options:1.  Texbooks2.  Living Learning books (Charlotte Mason etc)3.  Classical4.  Hodge podgeAlso you will find that your child may NOT fit into a typical model or it may not be a "one size fits all" model.  Some children learn differently.  An INVALUABLE book that I read many years ago was "The Way They Learn" by Cynthia Tobias. You may not know this, but ONLY 25% of children and adults learn by Textbook method.  What about the other 75%?  Oh those are usually labeled "special needs" or people with "learning disabilities".  I always thought I was SO dumb & stupid..........I HATED school but I have LOVED teaching our boys.  Why?  Because they love it. I have watched them thrive.  Love learning.  Because we were able to custom build their education FOR WHO THEY ARE, instead of turning them into a "cookie cutter model" like everyone else.  Once I figured out what my learning styles were, I realized why I didn't do well in school & realized it was NOT my fault.......Here are some of the ways that people/children learn:1.  Hands on2.  Auditory3.  Visual4.  TexbookOR a combo of either one of thoseI realized that I am a hands on/Visual learner.......NOT a texbook yeah.....there you have it.There are MANY options when it comes to school choice for homeschooling: 1.  School at home option.  There are MANY options within this one:     A. Pick & choose:  this is where you can pick and choose their curriculum and they do everything at home.     B.  Video school:  You can pick and choose all or some of the subjects, but some or all of the classes are watched through a video and they do the rest of their classwork at home      C.  One Size fits all: This is where you just buy all of your curriculum from one company and do all of what they suggest.  Many people start this way.......2.  Co-op (classrooms)     A.  Pick and choose:  There's not many of these around but basically you pick and choose 1 to all of your classes.  You know what curriculum they are using and they kids are taught by someone else usually 1-2 days a week and they do the rest of their work at home.  Different co-ops offer different things.  Ours offers all of the aspects of a public/private school when it comes to fellowships, dances, extracurricular, social stuff, etc.     B.  Classical:  This is usually done according to the classical model and is usually under the names Veritas or Classical Conversations.  The kids go to school one day a week and do the work that week for their class.All of this maybe overwhelming to you but I am trying to help you g[...]



I have been sickened today by many things.  THIS article is one of them that has just given me deep thoughts.  This family mentioned wins $50 MILLION dollars because they say if they were told that their little boy had a genetic defect, they would have aborted him. So they are going to raise their child knowing that he wasn't wanted??  They were willing to just "throw him away?"Why did this touch me so?  Because of this:This is our son Joseph.  He was born from a difficult pregnancy.  I was sick the WHOLE nine months.  I threw up, had phenegran and at the time of delivery, I gained 3 pounds TOTAL.  They took him, SAYING he was 38 weeks.  They used words like "growth retardation" and other scary words. They had us convinced that there was something wrong with our baby.  But we were willing to accept whatever the Lord gave us and blessed us with.  He was wanted.  He was named after my favorite uncle and my great grandfather, to fulfill a wish/promise to my Mammaw, who died a year before.  He was born and he was obviously premature.  He was PERFECT but little.  VERY little. Absolutely perfect....what was wrong?  The doctors had completely skewed my dates, and he was born at 34 1/2 weeks instead!  He was still 5 lbs 10 oz but he was perfect.Today he's 18.  If we would have chosen the route that the doctors would have suggested, we would have missed out on the funniest, smartest and loving young man.  We would have missed out on such a tremendous blessing of a wonderful young man.  Now we are pro-life, so that wouldn't have been in consideration, but I can't imagine our lives without him.From a spiritual side, I am thankful for a Jesus who loved us enough to come down and die for our sins.  I am thankful for a Jesus that loves me regardless of my issues.  I am thankful for a Jesus who loves me regardless of my defects.  I am thankful for a Jesus who doesn't just "throw me away" because I was born with a sinful nature & have "issues".  I am thankful for a Jesus, who takes me back into His arms when I screw up, when I fall and when I make mistakes. I am thankful for a God and my parents, who gave me life & breathed life into me.  I am thankful for that unconditional love.What these parents don't realize is that NONE of us are perfect.  No one is....we ALL have our issues and the only perfect man was Jesus himself.  Regardless of what our issues are, we all have them.  I just wished they would see their baby as a blessing instead of a burden.......because you know what?  I am thankful that Jesus sees me as a blessing and His child and not a burden and that is the way he sees them & their baby too![...]

Are you Cultivating? Encouraging? or Discouraging?


When our Joshua was 6, We were attending a precious church in Alabaster, AL when our sweet Pastor mentioned the Titanic in his message.  It peaked Joshua's interest and he had lots of questions about it.  From there, we went to a local Alabama (where we lived at the time) Library to find age appropriate information at his level and he came upon the Magic Tree house book "Tonight on the Titanic".  He read that more than once, got the resource guide and wanted to know more.  Over a short period of time, he eventually got ALL Titanic related books in the county, then in the state in regards to that subject.  So we began to have so many overdue fines at the library (LOL) and running out of resources that we started to purchase him books from Amazon and other resources on the Titanic and other ships (like her sisters, Olympic & Britannic).  We also started to record documentaries on the subject from TV and found the videos from other sources.  His passion, now turned obsession was growing.You know that feeling where EVERYTHING in his life was consumed by this subject?  His playing, his drawings, his conversations to the point of ad nauseum, his birthday party themes.  Pretty much every inch of his life was consumed by this!His lego models.........and all other models were ALL ship/Titanic related................                                                                             Age 12And his Living history reports (as Charles "Herbert" Lightoller).............And our field Trips.....................and his Fall festival costumes......................... and so were his drawings.I had NO idea how long this passion turned obsession would last.  We went to every exhibit available in regards to the Titanic (as of date, it's about 6-7 of them!).I did get kind of weary after a couple of years because quite frankly I was getting sick of it, I was overwhelmed by it, and didn't understand it.  Then I listened to a long-time homeschool friend & mentor, Cindy Rushton.  We watched her 2 kids grow up before our eyes and her son Matthew's passion for the Civil War was similar to Joshua's and the Titanic. Matthew had written books and was doing different things with it.  She encouraged me (long ago) to keep encouraging him and NOT TO DISCOURAGE HIM!  I could have EASILY done what so many other parents/teachers have done, and said "I am sick of it, let's move on" OR "okay, it's time to talk about something else".  I DID have my moments, but then there's that moment (with the encouragement of Cindy) of  "what IF this was something that would be part of his future?  What IF this spawns something else?"  We ALL have our obsessions/passions in one time of our life and this was his.  We DID get other subjects done by the way but in his spare time, it was ALL about sunken ships, anything history, but mainly the Titanic.So when he was 15 and he had sooooooo much knowledge that would continue to flow out, he wanted to write a unit study book on the Titanic to help others that might want to dig deeper into the subject.  He found other Titanic unit studies on the subject to be SEVERELY lacking or inaccurate, so I encou[...]

Homemade Granola Bars


I love it when I get to meet online friends IRL (In real life).  In 2009, I had the privelege of meeting my friend De'Etta in person (and her family).  I visit her blog quite often but I love (am obsessed) with her recipe list!  My most recent favorite is the homemade Granola Bars!  I love how flexible it is and I can add whatever additions I want (raisins, chocolate chips, dried fruit etc).  Enjoy!Homemade/No bake Granola Bars6 tablespoons butter1/3 cup brown sugar¼ cup + 2 tablespoons honey3 cups granola, ( I used homemade granola)1 ½ cups rice crispy cereal ( I used gf brown rice cereal, rice crispies, cocoa rice)raisins, crasins, and/or chocolate chips (optional)In a pan heat the butter, brown sugar, and honey. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.Remove from heat and stir in granola and cereal until well combined.Stir in raisins, crasins, or chocolate chips if adding. We also like these on their own with no additions. By changing around what I add in, I can vary these a little and make everyone in my family happy.Press mixture in to a 9×13 pan. Let mixture set for several hours or overnight before serving.Cut into bars and serve. I also cut, put into saran wrap and put into ziplocs.[...]