Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Made Pickles!

Not the kind one might use a canner for.


No heat involved.

These are RAW pickles.


We eat a lot of pickles in this house and now I know how to make pickles that are actually GOOD for you.

I've been thinking about making these for awhile.

But, I had know idea how long they kept or how to even do it.


Then Bountiful Baskets offered cucumbers... AND fresh dill!

I bought the the cucumbers (I didn't realize how many 50 lbs was!) and 2 bunches of dill.

A couple days passed as they sat in a crate in the middle of my kitchen.

Something had to be done with those cucumbers.

Finally, I got online to find a recipe for the same old way I've done it and seen it done, with a canner.

And stumbled upon this blog with a recipe for "Sour Pickles."

"Healthy"... "probiotics"... "retains vitamins" (because there is no cooking)... and no vinegar


These are good for a whole year, but, I would have to store them in my refrigerator.

Christmas is coming... I do need gifts. This could cover four of them right off the bat. (Less in fridge, not that we couldn't eat all those pickles in a year.)

A run down of the ingredients shows I have ALL that stuff! (Yeah! for saving the coriander seeds from my garden and Yeah! again for saving the dill seeds from my garden).

So, I got busy.

And by the time it came to pick up my kids from school, I had 3 crocks full of cucumbers and seasonings.

By evening, the crocks began to bubble.

The next day there was a faint pickling smell along with the bubbles.

I was so excited.

Then my husband said pretty much this:

fermenting = alcohol making


Not my intention. There seem to be a lot of Mormons out there for probiotics and fermenting stuff. (I've been thinking about making fermented ketchup... someday.)

So, I haven't dug through information on this subject well enough.

If you have opinions/facts on this I would appreciate it...

Surely, I'm not going to get drunk on pickle juice.

I just want to make sure that eating this will not be breaking the Word of Wisdom.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Celebrating Fall

So far we have

harvested our garden,

baked chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter M&Ms instead of chocolate chips (yummy!)

learned how to knit again

tried eating chili in a jar

picked 3 huge bags of apples off our neighbors tree and made 3 pie fillings, raw applesauce, and took apples for school treats twice

put a soccer ball in a Jack-O-Lantern costume

made more Halloween decorations

finished another soccer season

made Jack-O-Lanterns out of pizza

tried out costumes

and made caramel apples

Whew! And we still need to go trick-or-treating!

Thursday, October 18, 2012


If you're reading this, you've been tagged!
Rules to follow:
  •   you must post the rules
  •   answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
  •   create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged
  •   let them know you tagged them
  •   No tag-backs
1.  What do you wish people understood about you?
Even though I may come across as being very opinionated and stubborn, I think I am fairly open minded and love discussing different viewpoints on many different subjects. Unfortunately, I tend to make people feel bad when I share my opinion and I hate making anyone feel bad, so, I'd rather listen to the conversation than make it controversial.
2.  If you could go back in time and have a do-over for your life (all or just part), would you?
I would redo high school with the confidence I have now.
3.  Which superhero is the most crush-worthy?  Why? Or am I the only one who swoons just a bit over guys wearing capes?
4.  What’s the square footage of your dream house? (Let’s assume you can afford it, plus hire a housekeeper, gardener, etc. if necessary).  I really want to ask about your favorite architectural style, but that’s probably too nerdy.
If I had the money to hire a housekeeper, gardener, etc then a house about 4000 square feet should be plenty big, I wouldn't want to loose my kids in anything bigger.

As for architectural style, I don't know. I can love many different styles. I think I'd prefer a one-story with vaulted ceilings and big glass views out to my big beautiful garden (that I hope to one day grow) and a stream, or, better yet, while I'm dreaming, let's make that a view of a waterfall.

It would be a quality built home with features and style that would last over time. It would have a few fireplaces. I especially like the two-sided fireplaces so that two rooms can enjoy the same fire. There would be 3 large bedrooms with large closets. One for all the boys and one for all the girls (because some day I will have more children).

The 3rd large bedroom would be my master suite with 2 large walk-in closets, a fireplace between the bathroom and bedroom and a small sitting area. One well-lighted vanity area should be enough and it will be surrounded with walnut or mahogany woodwork (maybe cabinets --- I just don't want too much room for clutter to accumulate). A walk-in shower with no door or curtain. Water that comes out warm when turned on and a heat lamp above (because I enjoy a hot shower). Build in alcoves for my favorite shampoo and conditioner. A skylight would be nice in the bathroom too, as well as a deep jacuzzi tub next to the fireplace.

1 or 2 smaller rooms for guests.

All the floors would be dark hardwood and porcelain tile heated from beneath with radiant heat. Most rooms would be covered with beautiful thick rugs.

We would have a small office space which would also be the library. The walls would be high with tall windows, maybe stained glass if it's not too fancy, between the bookcases to let sunlight in. It would also include a fireplace and a door to the outside. 

We'd have a movie room for Eli and the guests and a playroom for the kids.

My kitchen would have a full-size pantry in which my freezer would fit, a seamless stovetop, part of a lower wall would be painted with chalkboard paint for the kids. Quartz countertop that continues down the sides (waterfall style) to the floor, because I hear quartz is the easiest of all to maintain. One large deep sink, again, seemless. A big island that the kids can fit around for baking with me and doing homework at. A fridge that has the 2 doors on top and the large freezer drawer you can pull out the bottom. Off to the side would be the breakfast nook/dinning area surrounded on 3 sides by big beautiful windows, maybe some being French doors (if that's the style that works).

Easy to keep clean would be my biggest priority. 
5.  Approximately how many pairs of shoes do you own?
About a dozen.
6.  What’s the one name you really wish you could have used for a child, but never had the chance.
Sarah and Joshua. However, I really wanted to name my son Ezekiel.
7.  Which Disney Princess do you most identify with?  Why, or do you eschew all things Disney? Do you ever use the word “eschew?”
Maybe The Little Mermaid, because I use to pretend I was a mermaid before the movie ever came out. And, no, I don't use the word eschew. Maybe I should try it out.
8.  If forced to get a tattoo (or another one, if you are already thus decorated,) what would it be and where?
I eschew tattoos. I once dated a boy that got one and I cried for him. And, no, I did not marry him. If forced to get a tattoo I don't believe I would get to choose where it went or what is was.
9.  ROAD TRIP! Okay, what popped into your head as a destination? Can I go with you? I love road trips.
Ohio. When I was a child, my family took a road trip to my grandparents every other summer and we stay just over a week. We'd stop along the way at different sites. My dad would honk his horn whenever we went through a tunnel or crossed through a time zone or over a state line. We would eat cold cereal or sandwiches on cement picnic tables at rest stops along the way.
We would always stop and get pictures at the Mississippi river, go to Geauga Lake (amusement park) with my cousins and Sea World which was just across the Geauga Lake from the park. (I guess both parks are gone now.) My grandma was a missionary for the church at some of the church history sites. This is where my testimony of Joseph Smith began.

The summer nights were warm and my cousins had dogs, lucky them! We caught lighting bugs and put 'em in jars. These are the coolest insect ever! My brothers, sisters and I would sleep in one big room wall papered from top to bottom with pink roses and on the dresser, Nana had a bowl and pitcher. (That's where I hid my candy wrappers.) At night, Nana would set up her blue oscillating fan in front of an open window to help cool it down and you could hear crickets chirping all night long.

And, yes, if I ever make it out that way again, I'd love to have you along!!!
10.  Do you buy your own birthday/Christmas presents?
Yes and yes, but it took me a while to appreciate doing it.
11.  Buy a tent and go camping, or stay in a nice hotel at night and hike a nearby national park during the day?  This is a totally selfish question because Mr. Man and I are trying to figure that out.
My choice would be a tent. I love cooking by at a campfire and eating s'mores. I love the fresh cool air and the night sounds. But, if the bears are out, a nice hotel sounds divine.

OK now for my 11 questions (that I stole from here because these are great!)

Out of 50 questions posted, these are 11 I chose:
  1. If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
  2. You’re having lunch with three people you respect and admire.  They all start criticizing a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend.  The criticism is distasteful and unjustified.  What do you do?
  3. What’s something you know you do differently than most people?
  4. What one thing have you not done that you really want to do?  What’s holding you back?
  5. Do you push the elevator button more than once?  Do you really believe it makes the elevator faster?
  6. Which is worse, when a good friend moves away, or losing touch with a good friend who lives right near you?
  7. Has your greatest fear ever come true?
  8. Do you remember that time 5 years ago when you were extremely upset?  Does it really matter now?
  9. If you just won a million dollars, would you quit your job?
  10. When was the last time you marched into the dark with only the soft glow of an idea you strongly believed in?
  11. What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Halloween Is Coming! Oh, What FUN!

School paper was on the floor. I was going to throw it away, but, then I turned one over. This is what I saw. And, I smiled.
by Alyssa
The wart, the chin hair and her legs up like she is sitting in a chair (instead of flying a broom) was just too cute. So, I snapped a picture.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

How Can You Know That It's All the Way True?

Alyssa invited her sweet little school friend to church today.  She was so excited and I have to admit, I am quite proud of her. After dinner she told us about the churches some of her other friends go to. She wondered if maybe our church "might not be all the way true." I reminded her about Joseph Smith and that he wondered the same thing. He really wanted to know which church was all the way true.

"Do you remember that he prayed about it?" I asked.

She nodded and I asked, "Who came to him to answer that question?"

I reminded her that he was visited by both Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ.

"Do you remember that they told Joseph Smith that none of the churches were true and that is why our church" (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) "was restored back to the earth through him."

"But how can you know that it's all the way true?"

"You can pray for yourself to know that the church is true. You need to know for yourself."

She tries again. "But what if it's not all the way true?"

"Well, Jesus told Joseph Smith what needed to be in His true church. You don't think Jesus made up stuff that's not true for Joseph Smith to teach, do you?" (I know, that was a lame statement, I was getting frustrated trying to say what I knew.) "Jesus chose Joseph Smith because he knew he would teach others what he told him too, what was true. Jesus told Joseph everything that makes up His church; it was restored how Jesus wanted it to be."

I feel like I answered the question ok but that I didn't really connect with her --- that she doesn't fully understand. I want her to get it, to give her my testimony. She is only 7. She has time for her understanding to grow. But, then again, she will be 8 is less than a year. She will then have the opportunity to be baptized. I want it to be solely her choice, yet, it seems such a big choice for a child so small. I know I can influence her decision, but I want to be careful to not push her too fast.

Daddy is downstairs showing her and Payton a clip about the restoration right now. Maybe that will answer her question better. Still, I want her to know that I know, that I have felt the Spirit confirm the story of the restoration in my heart and mind. I want her to have that same burning testimony. But when I was 8 years old I simply believed what I was taught.

I am grateful for the few opportunities I had, when I was very young, to visit my grandma who lived in Ohio (and at one point was a missionary for some of the church historical sites around there). I heard this story over and over until finally one time it became personal and I began to look forward to hearing this story because of the special feeling of reverence and love that comes with it. It wasn't until junior high or maybe high school that I truly developed my own testimony of the restoration of the gospel for myself. It started out small and, over time, it has grown strong.

I remember wondering if it was "all the way true." Today I wonder when and what it was that made me stop wondering. I now know for myself that this church is the true church, complete with the fullness of the gospel. I pray she will know for herself someday too.

Since this is the year to prepare my children for baptism, I wonder what you have done or would do to prepare your child(ren) for their big day.