13 November 2013

Autumn: Give Thanks

There are many wonderful ways to record the blessings in our lives. We get to take note, remember, study, and proclaim the works of the Lord and share them with those around us and future generations.

One way we have enjoyed writing down and displaying reminders of God’s mercies toward us has been through “The Thankful Tree.” A vase of branches becomes home to a record of many of the blessings we are thankful for. We’ve used pretty paper for the “leaves,” and even wooden chalk tags.

We still have last year’s “Thankful Tree” set up in our kitchen, ready for another Thanksgiving.

The Original Thankful Tree

The Thankful Tree (with Chalk)

Another beautiful reminder to count it all joy and give thanks in all things is the “Give Thanks” embroidery pattern (or kit) from Clementine Pattern Co.

Give Thanks Embroidery Pattern and Kit by Clementine Patterns

“Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
—1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.”
—Psalm 111:2

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24 September 2013

Harvest Time - Fresh Baked Pear Pie

It’s the third day of Autumn. The temperatures are dropping, the sun takes its rest in golden skies, and the fields are being harvested. We’re surrounded by reminders that this beautiful season is upon us.

Apples and pears are being picked, friends and neighbors are getting out their scarves and boots, raspberries are ripe, the grape jelly has been put up from this year’s harvest, the trees are well on their way to a full bloom of what is fondly called Autumn colors.

Just as there is a time to plant there is a time to pluck up what is planted. “For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)

There’s something peaceful and exciting about each new season – as one goes, another comes.

We look back at what God has taught us and brought us through and look forward to what He has in store for the future. We see His merciful hand at work every step of the way, knowing that His works are good and His ways are righteous.

Harvest Time - Picking Raspberries

Indiana Landscape - Harvested Field

Harvest Time - Concord Grapes

Harvest Time - Grain-Free Pear Pie

With each new season – and each new day – comes a reminder of the faithfulness of the Lord. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:21-23)

His promises never fail.


8 August 2013

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

With zucchini in full harvest, now’s the perfect time to whip up a batch of zucchini bread! Mum recently created a scrumptious gluten- and grain-free version of our favorite traditional zucchini bread recipe – you’ll find it below.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

To enjoy this treat year-round: simply shred fresh zucchini and freeze it in two cup portions, that way you can thaw and toss in the shreds (already measured!) when you’re ready to bake a batch of bread.

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread

Gluten-Free Zucchini Bread
GLUTEN-Free, GRAIN-Free, DAIRY-Free

3 eggs
1 ¼ cups coconut sugar
2 cups zucchini, shredded
1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup coconut oil, melted
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ cup coconut flour, sifted
1 tablespoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Beat eggs until light and fluffy; add coconut sugar, zucchini, vanilla. Continue mixing while slowly adding coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients together and add to the egg mixture. Mix until well blended; add nuts.

Pour into two greased loaf pans or line pans with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. Let cool in pan and then transfer to serving plate.

(It’s awfully delicious while still warm, though… I have to admit that I was rather distracted mid-photoshoot by making a snack out of the subject.)

Gluten Free Zucchini Bread

Enjoy!

(Looking for the traditional, gluten-filled version? Find it here.)


13 June 2013

Picking Strawberries

Strawberry Patch

Strawberries

Strawberry Picking

Strawberry Harvest

We’ve enjoyed picking these juicy red beauties from our strawberry patch this week. God has blessed us with an abundant and oh-so-delicious harvest!

P.S. There’s a give-away of Breezy’s “Teach Them Diligently” chalkboard art print and an opportunity to help a family in need!


21 May 2013

Chives

The sliced potatoes frying in the skillet looked in need of some fresh chive. I quickly slipped outside to the edge of the garden and cut some of the green beauty that was blowing in the strong Indiana wind.

Chives & Fried Potatoes

After a quick rinse and a few chops of the knife, the chives were tossed into the skillet to join the potatoes! It made for a delicious side dish at dinner last evening.

“Better is a little with the fear of the Lord than great treasure and trouble with it.
Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”

—Proverbs 15:16-17


20 May 2013

Mr. & Mrs. Muela

Praising God for this new family!

It was a delight to stand and rejoice with this dear couple as they covenanted before God and man to be husband and wife. Looking forward to all that the Lord has in store for this family as they seek Him in all their ways!

“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
—Ephesians 5:28-34


6 April 2013

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scone Recipe

Years ago I enjoyed my first scone at a local tearoom. My grandmother had taken me there as a surprise for my birthday – at the table we had a lovely array of tea, sandwiches, and cranberry scones with lemon curd. At that first bite, scones became a favorite.

We’ve tried a few delicious scone recipes and these blueberry scones are right up there at the top (competing with lemon scones for first place). Since finding this recipe, I’ve lost count of how many batches we’ve made.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scone Recipe

Blueberry Scones
GLUTEN-Free, GRAIN-Free, DAIRY-Free
(Based on this recipe from Nourishing Flourishing – thanks, Katie!)

2½ cups blanched almond flour (we use Honeyville)
2 Tb. arrowroot powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
1 farm-fresh egg
¼ cup honey
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tb. vanilla
¾ cup frozen blueberries

Mix dry ingredients. Mix wet ingredients. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Fold blueberries into the well-mixed batter.

Divide dough into eight equal portions on a parchment-lined baking sheet. With wet hands, shape dough into triangles about ¾″ thick, leaving space between each for baking.

Place in 350°F oven for about 15-18 minutes, removing when edges and tops start to brown. Best served while still warm from the oven.

Gluten-Free Blueberry Scone Recipe

Whether accompanied with tea (or coffee) or as a Saturday morning breakfast, these blueberry scones make for a perfect treat! Enjoy!


26 March 2013

Behind-the-Scenes

Great joy comes with working together as a family. With businesses born and run in our home, we’ve learned what a blessing it can be to manage cottage industries.

Each part of the family contributes a different skill, giving the rest of us even more appreciation for the various talents God gives people. We’re all working alongside each other towards the same goal, growing in our relationships with one another and in our walks with the Lord. We love it! Whether it’s illustrating a new art print, or writing a note to be shipped off with an embroidery kit, we take pleasure in the work God has given us.

Although it wasn’t necessarily a dream of ours to own businesses, we are thankful that the Lord has directed our steps and laid in our laps many projects and opportunities over the past few years.

We’re certainly not business experts, but a lot has been learned along the way (more than we ever imagined!). There is much, much more to learn and we always find it a great opportunity when we can gain wisdom from wise and experienced entrepreneurs.

Preparing-Embroidery-Kits

We’ve listened to the audio from a couple previous Family Economics Conferences, which has been a source of encouragement as we work together as a family and, Lord willing, grow our businesses.

The great news is that Generations with Vision is hosting yet another conference this year! The 2013 Family Economics and Discipleship Mega-Conference has a full panel of wonderful speakers including Joel Salatin, The Botkin Family, R.C. Sproul Jr., Scott Brown, and more!

This May, in St. Louis, Missouri, you can spend four days learning about economics, meeting and enjoying fellowship with other families, soaking up sound biblical wisdom, being encouraged in family discipleship – the list could go on and on!

You can find out more about this great opportunity here:

Family Economics Conference

The early bird discount ends March 31st, so if you plan to register,
make sure to do so by the end of the month!

P.S. Our businesses will be represented at a booth in the vendor hall – whoever is there would be glad to have you drop by and say hello!


28 February 2013

Tree in Winter

“He only can be esteemed really and permanently happy,
who enjoys peace of mind in the favor of God.”

—Noah Webster

Sunset Tree