Friends


In my previous posts I have covered grain mill’s, whole grains, types of wheat, and where to buy whole grains, now we are going to talk about some easy ways to add these whole grains to your diet.

Now, before we go any farther, I want all of you to realize that I am not artisan bread maker, I am a lady that bought a grain mill approximately 6 weeks ago, that just wants to better her families diet. I asked friends for bread recipes, borrowed from the two best cooks I know (my mom and mother-in-law), and scoured the internet for intriguing appetizing ideas; all before I started writing this series. Sometimes this happened…

The best dinner rolls EVER… And, then sometimes this happened…

The hardest densest bread brick on the planet. I joked that, “Hey, cracker on the outside, little bit of bread on the inside”, you get two for one. Honestly though, I think I invented reusable bread bowls.

What I am saying is, don’t give up. Cooking is chemistry, so put on your lab coat and go experiment in your lab and enjoy it, have fun with it, and in case you do get discouraged, there are always books like this – No More Bricks.

Plus, like I was saying there are other ways then bread to add whole grains to your diet. For example…

  • Brown Rice (instead of white)
  • Try making your own whole wheat pasta (I might have to do a series on this one, what do you think?)
  • Add barley, wild rice, or bulgur wheat to soups or stir fries.
  • Make a whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth and spices.
  • Use a whole grain mixture in meatloaf instead of store bought bread crumbs.
  • Mill your grain course and use it as a breading on fish or chicken
  • Add it to salads
  • Add it to cereals
  • Many of them can be sprouted (check out this post on sprouting @Granola Mom ) then dehydrated and eaten as a crispy snack.
  • Last but not least, if you have an inkling, but just not sure it will work, Google it!

Now, my last post I promised cookies.  All I have to say is go ahead and brew you a pot of tea/coffee and get ready to eat a dozen.

Almond Tea Cookies

fresh milled flour, salt, butter, powdered sugar, crushed raw almonds, vanilla…

my little helpers were very excited about this recipe…

cream butter and sugar. Then add salt…

vanilla and almonds together, pretty sure I just started salivating on my keyboard…

lots of flour & a little almonds…

I am surprised I got this picture, little hands wouldn’t stay out of the dough.

quickly roll them, otherwise they will melt in your hands…

Please notice that four were already gone before I could snap a picture… (shhh, don’t tell)

Almond Tea Cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cup fresh milled flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts, etc) ground to granules
1 tsp vanilla

Directions

1. Crush nuts.
2. Cream butter and sugar
3. Add vanilla, flour, salt, and nuts; mix well.
4. Dough should be a little dry and grainy. Take up to 2 Tablespoons of batter at a time and form into quarter size balls.
5. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
7. Make pot of tea and eat one dozen by yourself. (try to leave some for everyone else)

Don’t forget to visit the other wonderful posts in this 5 day series of Mothering & Homemaking. There are 20 other writers in this series. Please click on the below picture for a line up of the writers and their topics.

So, hopefully after reading my posts, Quick & Easy, Cheap & Healthy blog posts, and Granola Mom’s blog post, you have decided that it might be good & tasty to add whole grains to your diet. If so, then you need to locate a good source for whole grains. Normally you can find them at health food stores, food co-ops, and online.

Health Food Stores

Whole Foods Market

Food Co-ops (in no particular order)

Grain Mix (Utah)
Bulk Natural Foods (Tennessee)
Miller’s Grain House (Western North Carolina)
Bread Beckers (Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia)
Frankferd Farms (Pennsylvania)
Quail Cove Farms (a good portion of the North East of the US)

Online

Bluebird Grain Farms
Pleasant Hill Grain
Bread Beckers
Wheat Montana

These are just a few of the options out there. Now, lets get to the good part… What you can do with that whole grain after you have bought it.

Whole Wheat Steamed Buns (with filling)

Oops, forgot the water…

Voila, dough. (While the dough rises for 45 minutes, you can make a filling. We did bean paste, not pictured)

Divide dough into two equal parts.

Roll each portion out to approximate 12 inches by 2 inches wide.

Cut each strip into 12 pieces. Mine were approximately 12″squares.

flatten your square with the palm of your hand.

She thoroughly enjoyed smooshing the dough…

flattened, then…

flatten them more with a rolling pin.

brush dough with sesame seed oil, then add filling. (1 tablespoon of filling)

Pinch the edges together at the top, and let rise another 30 mins. (I recommend using squares of parchment paper underneath, makes for easier clean up)

Tightly cover and steam for 10 to 15 minutes…

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Steamed Buns

Ingredients

2 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
4 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour (*I recommend using a soft white, instead of the hard red that I used)
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (olive or coconut)
1/2 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
Filling for your buns – Sweet Azuki Bean Paste

Directions

1. Mix dried yeast, 1 cup of lukewarm water, and 1 cup of flour. Mix until dissolved. Cover with a cloth and place in a warm place for 20 minutes until bubbles appear.
2. Dissolve and stir together, 1/4 cup of sugar, 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, and 1/2 cup warm water.
3. Add the sugar mixture to the dough mixture, plus the 3 1/2 cups of flour. Mix well.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough into a large greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place back into the warm area (I used the top of my stove and set the oven for 170 degrees and cracked the door) for 45 minutes.
5. While your dough is rising you can prepare you bean paste or other filling for your buns.
6. When the dough is ready, divide it into 2 portions. Roll each portion into strips 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Cut each strip into 12 pieces.
7. Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand. Flatten them further with a rolling pin.
8. Brush with sesame oil.
9. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center and wrap sides of the dough over the filling. Pinch the edges together at the top.
10. Place each roll on a separate piece of foil or parchment paper. Cover the tray with a towel, let the buns rise until they are double in size, about 30 minutes.
11. Tightly cover and steam over briskly rolling/boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes.
12. Serve while hot.
*I made these using the hard red wheat, while they are still good and hardy, I think they would be lighter and fluffier if made with a soft white wheat.

I have so enjoyed this 5 day series so far. I hope that you will stop by tomorrow for the finish. We are going to experiment with making cookies… You must finish with dessert, right?

Just in case you missed any of the previous posts on the series…
Types of Flour Mills
Types of Whole Grains
Types of Wheat

Don’t forget to visit the other wonderful posts in this 5 day series of Mothering & Homemaking. There are 20 other bloggers in this series. Please click on the below picture for a line up of the bloggers and their topics.

There are several types of wheat available, and each one is best suited for a certain purpose. If you know which kind of wheat works best for the recipe you’d like to make, your yummies will turn out noticeably better than if you had used a less suitable variety.

Wheat for Bread Making

For bread making, it’s best to use a “hard” variety of wheat, such as hard red wheat or hard white wheat. Hard wheat is high in gluten, a protein that becomes stretchy when you knead it. This stretchy gluten captures the tiny gas bubbles that yeast produces within the dough, which is what makes yeast and sourdough breads rise.

Wheat for Biscuits, Pancakes, Pastries, Cakes, Crackers and Cookies

Soft wheat, such as soft red or soft white, is ideal for baked goods that are not kneaded, like cookies and pancakes, pie crusts and crackers. Soft wheat has a very low gluten content, which when used in baked goods that are not kneaded, results in a tender finished product.

Two ancient varieties of Wheat

Spelt and Kamut are two types of wheat that were grown in ancient times but only recently rediscovered. Both Spelt and Kamut have higher protein contents than wheat, and both are more easily digested than modern wheat. This means that some people who are intolerant to wheat are able to eat Spelt or Kamut, however both grains contain gluten, so they should not be eaten by people who are on a gluten-free diet.

As you may have noticed from my other posts, I have been using the Hard Red Wheat Berries, while they have worked for crackers and pancakes, there are other varieties that are more suited. The recipe for this post although is suited perfectly for Hard Red Wheat Flour.

Edith’s One Hour Dinner Rolls
(these are dedicated to Geek Adonis’ mom, she has been making them for years, they are absolutely delicious and incredibly easy to make. The only thing I changed was making them with fresh whole grain flour.)

Basic ingredients…

Place your buttermilk and butter on low and let it warm up just enough to melt the butter. Do the pinky finger test… (and, yes that is an entire stick of butter)

While your letting your yeast bubble and butter melt, make a spiky silly putty caterpillar…

Mix your dry ingredients (sugar, salt, baking soda)

stir butter & buttermilk and add to dry ingredients (plus, add yeast and flour)…

Now let it rest for 10 minutes… (its already tasty, what? you don’t try your dough?)

Roll it out…

Cut it up…

And, oh Yeah! Add more butter… (I never said these were the best for you dinner rolls, but they just might be the best tasting)

Roll em up…

Fold em up… (whatever floats your boat)

Now watch them grow!

Or not. I went and horsed around with this cutie patootie.

They were risen, they were cooked, they were eaten. Amen.

Edith’s One Hour Dinner Rolls

Ingredients

1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 sticks of butter
2 tablespoons of yeast (active dry yeast)
1/4 cup of warm water + 1 tsp sugar (this is for the yeast to grow in)
3 1/2 cups of fresh milled flour

Directions

Mix sugar, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.
Warm buttermilk and 1 stick of butter on low on the stove. (not too hot, you should be able to stick you pinky finger in at all times comfortably to check it.)
Mix warm water and sugar (once again make sure water is warm to the touch, but not hot) Add yeast to the warm water and sugar, stir to dissolve yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes. It should bubble and double in size.
When the butter is melted into the buttermilk, mix together and pour into your sugar, salt, baking soda mixture. Stir.
Add 1 1/2 cups of your flour and fold it in. Now, add the yeast mixture and fold it in. Stir in remaining flour. Do not overmix. Let rest for 10 minutes.

Turn dough onto a clean surface and roll it out. I rolled mine out to an approximate 1/4 of an inch. Cut into circles with a biscuit cutter and fold a small pat of butter into each circle, then place into a greased pan.
Let them rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown on top.
Enjoy!

Thank you everyone for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed today’s post, if you missed the first two days of this five day series, please stop by and check them out:
Fresh Flour & Cheesy Crackers
Grain varieties & Camp Pancakes

Today is Day 3 of the series, “5 days of Mothering & Homemaking,” please visit some of the other 20 bloggers taking part.

Whole grains are cereal grains that contain cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm.

I am currently using a Hard Red wheat berry, but I cannot wait to eventually try some other whole grains. Here is a list of other whole grains you can mill, flake, or just munch as a snack. (and a little bit about each one)

Whole Grains

Amaranth – this whole grain contains more than three times the average amount of calcium than other whole grains, and is high in iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Plus, it is a protein powerhouse. It actually has a, “complete” protein in it. No more DGLS acronyms with this grain. (DGLS = Don’t Get Love Sick, which = Dairy+Grain+Legume+Seeds = when you combine any two of those together then you get a complete protein.) Last, but not least, its naturally gluten-free.

Barley – this grain has special health benefits that stem from high levels of soluble beta-glucan fiber. These beta-glucans reduce cholesterol, help control blood sugar, and improve immune system function. It is very high in fiber compared to other grains, but be careful when you look to buy barley, most varities in the US, are not true whole grains, try and look for hulled barley or hulless barley.

Buckwheat – is the only grain known to have high levels of an antioxidant called rutin, and studies show that it improves circulation and prevents LDL cholesterol from blocking blood vessels. This is also another naturally gluten-free grain. (Plus, who doesn’t like the, “The Little Rascals.”)

Corn – Did you know that corn has the highest level of antioxidants of any grain or vegetable? It is almost twice the antioxidant activity of apples! Be careful when buying it to mill, avoid labels that say, “degerminated” when looking for whole-grain corn, and look for the words whole corn.

Millet – this is a gluten-free grain that is high in antioxidant activity, and also especially high in magnesium. Millet is mostly used as a snack, it can be popped like popcorn. It is a substitute flour, where you would only use approximately 30% millet flour in a recipe.

Oats – Early introduction of oats in children’s diets may help reduce their risk of asthma. Oats are higher in protein and healthy fats, and lower in carbohydrates than most other whole grains. They also have great antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-itching activity.

Quinoa – this grain is supposedly the more nutritious option for gluten free diets. This is yet another grain that has a complete protein. Quinoa is also the highest of all the whole grains in potassium, which helps control blood pressure. Oh, and its pronounced KEEN-wah. Who knew?

Rice – White rice is refined, Whole grain rice is usually brown – but can also be black, purple, and red. Rice is one of the most easily digested grains. This makes rice ideal for those on a restricted diet or who are gluten-intolerant.

Rye – Rye is unusual among grains for the high level of fiber in its endosperm. The type of fiber in rye promotes a rapid feeling of fullness, making rye a good choice for people trying to lose weight.

Sorghum – this grain is very versatile and very popular with those with celiac disease. It can be eaten like popcorn, cooked into porridge, and ground into flour for baked goods. Sorghum can be substituted for wheat flour in a variety of baked goods, but remember you need xanthum gum or cornstarch for a binder, since it does not contain gluten.

Teff – this grain has twice the iron of other grains, and three times the calcium. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C. Teff is a gluten free grain and has many uses. It can be ground into flour, eaten as a snack, or added to cereals.

Wheat – Wheat Montana Farms and Bakery made its way into the Guinness Book of World Records for cutting, milling, making and baking a loaf of bread in just 8 minutes and 13 seconds. Do you suppose it was edible? (Sorry, I went for a fun fact here, figured everyone knew everything about wheat already.)

Actually, tomorrow’s post is on what types of wheat there are and which wheat is best suited for a certain purpose. This week for all of the recipes, we are using a Hard Red Winter Wheat. The second recipe we tried with our wheat was one of our traditional weekend breakfasts. Camp Pancakes!

Camp Pancakes

I love watching the wheat berries descend into the mill…

Aaah, fresh flour!

quick tip, cover the opening of your hopper with a tea bag to discourage little bugs…

Now, make yummy pancake batter. (maple syrup, water, greek yogurt, fresh milled flour, baking powder, salt, free range eggs, and a hint of vanilla)

Put, Sugar Plum to work crushing almonds…

Add yummy ingredients to batter. (almonds, cacoa nibs, hemp hearts, banana, and frozen blueberries)

stir in the yummies… (do not over mix unless you enjoy smurf colored pancake batter)

pour on yon skillet/griddle…

Oh, they are that good!

See! Love a pancake.

Just Yum!

Camp Pancakes

Batter Ingredients

2 cups fresh milled whole wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 large eggs
1 cup greek yogurt
1 cup water
2 tsp vanilla

The Yummy Ingredients

1/2 cup crushed almonds
1/2 cup cacoa nibs
1/2 cup hemp hearts
1 chopped banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries

Directions

Mix all dry batter ingredients in a bowl. Mix all wet batter ingredients in a separate bowl. Add wet ingredients with a spoon until their are no more dry spots; don’t over mix.

Pour Yummy ingredients into batter and turn them into the batter.

Heat a large skillet/griddle to medium heat. Lightly spray or rub oil to coat. Pour 1/4 cup of pancake batter onto skillet. When the bubbles start to settle and the edges begin to set, flip the pancakes.

~thank you for tuning in. If you missed yesterday’s post it was on Fresh Flour & Cheesy Crackers. Tomorrow, I will be talking about, “Which Wheat for What?”

Please remember there are so many wonderful ladies posting this week along with me on topics covering homemaking and mothering. You can visit my intro link here: 5 Day Series, or click on the picture below.

These past few years my husband and I have slowly worked on changing our diet to a organic, raw, whole grain diet. Our latest endeavor to this end was purchasing a grain mill. With this grain mill I am hoping to add whole grain flour, breads, cereals, and oats to our diet. As I did my research I have found that in my opinion (my opinion was formed through hours of watching videos, reading reviews, and speaking to owners of different mills), there are two hand mills and three electric mills worth owning. From there it is up to the consumer to determine aesthetics, size, preference to stone or metal grinders, and price.

In my experience and in learning from my elders, I have found it best to save up and buy the best tool available. 9 times out of 10, the saying, “you get what you pay for”, rings true. I hope to still be using my grinder in 30 or 40 years time, long long after I’ve forgotten whether it cost me $200 or $500. This doesn’t mean you need to buy it new; do your research, look on ebay, or craigslist, etc.

Hand Mills

The two hand mills that I recommend are the, “Wonder Junior Deluxe,” by Wondermill; and the, “Country Living Grain Mill,” by Country Living. These mills can be found on various online sites for sale.

For a more in depth review of the Wondermill, visit Grain Mill Comparison, it is a great site where an individual has had the opportunity to use various grain mills, seemingly with a unbiased view. For the Country Living Grain Mill, I have not heard as of yet a bad review, the only reason people have not bought it was because of the price.

Electric Mills

The three hand mills that I recommend are the, “Nutrimill,” “Wondermill,” and the, “Komo Mill (Tribest Wolfgang).” These mills can be found on various online sites for sale.

I very much enjoyed the video review of all three of these machines at, Breadtopia. I also highly recommend looking up each grain mill, the electric and hand mill’s on Amazon, whether you buy them or not on this site, just to read the reviews.

So, after much research, my husband and I decided on the Tribest Wolfgang, Fresh Flour Mill. One of the first recipes we tried was, (as my children call them) cheesy crackers. Beware: you and your family will be tempted to eat the entire batch shortly after they come out of the oven. I am accustomed now to quadrupling the recipe.

Cheesy Crackers

First, we filled our hopper with enough wheat berries to make one cup of flour. (we had flour left over, fresh flour will store up to two months sealed and in the refrigerator)

Then, we made beautiful flour. (I still love and am fascinated at this part)

The yummy simple ingredients. Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Butter, Fresh milled Wheat Flour, Salt, Cold Water.

Some of the best butter I have ever tasted! It is fromHatcher Family Dairy and is non-homogenized, with no preservatives.

The dough after being pulverized in a food processor. Resembles cheezy sand…

As the dough chills, you can try your hand at making your own cracker cutters.

My heart turned out well and made a great cutter, (others not posted for soddy workmanship) then we turned to icing tops, which worked great for the kiddos.

My Sugar Plum!

They had so much fun!

Pan is full, ready to be cooked.

Done! They lasted all of five minutes…

Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients

8 ounces Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
4 Tablespoons Butter, cut into pieces
1 Cup Flour
3/4 teaspoons Salt
2 Tablespoons Cold Water

Instructions

Pulse everything (except water) together in a food processor until the dough resembles coarse sand.
Pulse in water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Remove dough from the processor, wrap in plastic, and chill for 20 minutes.
Roll out the dough and cut into desired shapes.
Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 15 minutes, or until crispy.

(~recipe adapted from tastykitchen.com)

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post on types of grain and another happy tummy recipe.

Don’t forget to hop on over to the other 20 bloggers during this 5 day series of homemaking and mothering.

Join me and 21 other bloggers on June 4th through the 8th as we share our experiences and adventures.

Ladies & Gentlemen (yes men can read this), this is going to be one amazing series.  105 different blog posts! I recommend you bookmarking this blog post. You wouldn’t want to get lost amongst the blessings and not be able to find your way back to the jumping off point.

Little ole me is sharing about, “Using, Exploring, Finding the right Grain Mill”.  Yeah, something like that… (I might even throw in a few recipes)

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Christy  will be sharing, “Fun Summer Planning”, with printables.  Don’t you just love printables…

Jodi  is going to be sharing great things about the “Vitamix.”  I love my Vitamix and am super excited…

Lauren is sharing about having a “Healthier pregnancy.”  I needed you two years ago…

Anne is sharing the wonderful things about “Whole wheat flour.”  Bring it Anne, I am so ready…

Sarah sharing “Summer activities for the chillins.”  Who doesn’t need this?  Seriously…

Amanda is sharing how to “Manage your home w/ technology”. How much to come set it up for me?

Jeri Lynn is sharing all about “Inspiration in your routine.”  I am quite intrigued.

Trilla is sharing the power of saying, “NO.”  I will be praying for you, (wink).

Kasey is sharing how to get, “Organized.” You and Amanda really need to come for vacation. Help me!

Leigh Ann is sharing about, “20 minute meals.”  Oh yeah! (Totally thought of Vector from, “Despicable Me”)

Chelsey is sharing about, “Essential Oils.”  I love essential oils.  They are God’s healing tinctures.

Eileen is sharing about, “Better Communication.” I cannot get, “Cool Hand Luke,” out of my head now. (What we have here is a failure to communicate!)

Kelli is sharing about, “Exploring God’s Creation.” He designed us all to enjoy it and learn from it.

Christin is sharing ways to, “Clean House and involve the kiddos.”  Does that mean I need to fire the maid? (Cause I fire myself all the time)

Mary is sharing about, “Essential Oils,” too!  Woot! I think we use them everyday at our house. (seriously!)

Honey is sharing about, “Organizing your Homeschool.”  Help! (Can you tell I am not organized?)

Kim is sharing about, “Husbandless Homemaking.”  God speaks through her heart, be ready!

Nicole is sharing about, “Virtue Training.”  I am truly excited to read this, you?

Laurie is sharing about, “Children’s Birthday Party Ideas.”  I so run out of ideas, thank you Laurie!

Stephanie is sharing about, “Blessings our Husbands.” YES! Sign me up!

 

Recap: Ladies & Gentlemen (yes men can read this), this is going to be one amazing series.  105 different blog posts! I recommend you bookmarking this blog post. You wouldn’t want to get lost amongst the blessings and not be able to find your way back to the jumping off point.


 

 

Do you make memories with your children and family? Memories that will last a life time that they will cherish when they have their own children. I was thinking this morning of a time when my Dad, was addicted to Waffle House coffee. On Saturday mornings he would yell out, “Who is coming to Waffle House with me”. Mind you this was at 4 am. Back then I remember thinking, “you have got to be kidding me”. Yet the times when I did go, I loved it. It was time with just me and my Dad and the other crazy 4 am coffee drinkers. Everyone that came into Waffle House knew his name. We would all chat and laugh and I would get a handful of quarters to play songs on the jukebox. It is a fond memory for me.

My Dad & Sugar Plum Fairy (Making Memories)

 

I was reading a blog recently about as a family they go out to eat once a week at the same restaurant. Actually here is the post, My Home Sweet Home. Just had to give you the link, she is a good read. The point I loved about this post was community. They are making memories with their family but they are also building lifetime friendships and bonds. So many times nowadays we get caught up with ways not to make friendships, (twitter, facebook, google+, tv, smartphones, blogs, email, texting, etc.) or build communities face to face. It almost feels like this generation is losing the art of communicating face to face, even with family.

Take the time to spend quality time with your family, friends, children, parents, strangers each week. People is where life is lived. Where bonds are formed and memories are forged. In fifty years, heck 10 years, are you going to remember that facebook status or are you going to remember that time with that guy and the thing that brings a smile to your face.

What ways do you spend quality time with your family? How do you build community? Me and my bunch have a day of the week that we have family night. As for community, that is something I want to start. I would love to begin a weekly or bimonthly time where we meet in the same place at the same time and with friends and family where we bond, share, and play.

I am writing this post as much for me as I am for you. I write this thinking do I have the time? And, then I think in my wee little brain. What does God say? Time is like the mist. It is fleeting. With that fleeting time I need to spend it wisely. Other than God, people are the most important thing on this planet. Telling them about God, showing God’s love and compassion to them. If we do not take and make time for the people in our lives and the strangers on this planet how can we ever be called children of God ourselves. My mission and only mission as His child is to love and obey Him. Part of obeying Him is reaching out to others. Reaching out is not preaching to them. It is showing them His love. Being a friend in need, a hand to help, a smile, a hug, an ear. By building a community where I can spend time with others can also lead me to be there when people need God’s love. I would love to start a community that may start with friends and family but where those friends and family can and will feel comfortable to bring their friends and family and that community grows.

So, for the next 30 days, I am going to pray and write about ways to make time in my life for others. I am hoping that with God’s help I can start building that community.

This small family has a very huge heart and they are currently being blessedly used by Christ. They have been given the opportunity to be His hands and feet in a small area of the Dominican Republic. I have wanted to share them with you for sometime now and God really laid it on my heart this morning that I write this post.

I have known the Fernandez family for nigh on 20 years. I have seen Kelly & Shawn grow into these amazing harvesters for God. I am blessed to know them. I would love for you to get to know them as well and what God is doing in their lives and the lives of those around them. Let God inspire you today through them. Please also pray for them and their work in the Dominican Republic.

Go visit them on their …

Facebook page.
Three Sixteen Missions Blog
or
Three Sixteen Missions Website

Is everyone watching the last NASA launch? I so wish I was there. I have friends and family there and many other fellow bloggers. I like many of you will be watching vicariously through others.

My Dad is one of the very lucky few that will be up close and personal. He got the opportunity of going in with a TV crew to watch and document the launch.

Isn’t he just the dashing giant? (Like my Genius brother pointed out, he is and will always be a giant to me.)

Speaking of Mr. Genius, he led me to a website that you might want to check out quickly, today is the last day – you can have your picture possibly sent up with others on today’s launch. The site is through NASA and its the Face in Space Program.

Jenn over at Daze of Adventure, just posted a quick video of her at the NASA tweetup site. She shows some background pictures of the area where she is.

I will hopefully be posting some more pictures soon (through my Dad) of the launch.

Happy Watching! Launch time is 11:26 am EDT – eastern standard time.

~If you want to watch the launch, NASA casts it live at NASA.gov

This is my first year to attend the Ultimate Blog Party. I started with hashtag tweeting last night before the official Party started, thanks to Meghan who tweeted about it. I had meant to go to bed last night at a normal hour, especially since I have a cold/flu, but I was having way too much fun. I think I finally got to sleep sometime after midnight.

Okay, now a little about me.

I would describe myself as a christian, homeschooling mom of 3 beautiful kiddos, Gardener, Crafting Sewy Type of Crazy Person, and Learning Chemist in the Kitchen. I love to blog about homeschooling, cooking, crafts, frugal finds, and my family. I live in a small town most people have never heard of in TN on 18 acres that we want to hopefully fill up one day with flora & fauna of all shapes and sizes.

You can find me online at these locales:
1. Twitter
2. Facebook – I just recently started my facebook page, so I am not up to 25 Like’s yet (without 25 Like’s you do not get your own URL). So, please search facebook for LadyoftheBarn and feel free to like me.

I am really really excited about meeting new people and getting to know a bunch of other bloggers. Please leave a comment for me, so I can get to know you. Let me know where I can find you, what some of your likes are, and if your willing to give up your health to blog/party.

Ultimate Blog Party 2011 Come join us!

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