Last week our family was in Kansas City spending time with family. My husband comes from a large family and it is always so fun when we get together, the cousins and the busyiness of family life! Well, on this trip my son began to watch The Food Network. This is a huge treat for our family as we don’t have “cable” tv, just the plain old basics! Needless to say he watched WAY TOOOO much Food Network, so much so that my mother-in laws TV was stuck on the channel for two days until they got it fixed! I would find him downstairs, all by himself, watching Bobby Fley! LOL!
Well, the last night we were there my son, Matthew, who is 9 decided it would be great to have a BBQ! His menu was grilled steak, salmon, chicken, and shrimp with all the fixin’s! I loved his excitement and the light in his eyes as he shared his ideas with me. I told him we would talk about it and plan a “budget” and menu. When we got home we did just that. My hubby and I picked a date, Labor Day- great day for a BBQ. Matthew is preparing his menu, which we will scale down before our shopping trip. Our family is making a guest list and yesterday the boys (Matthew 9 and Michael 6) were busy cleaning grills and the yard! (I am liking this!)
Another things happened through this brithing of a new passion! Matthew has become very intereted in the “kitchen”, so last week he spent each morning in the kitchen learning how to make breakfast.
Thursday was omlettes with dad
Friday was omlettes made to order on his own
Saturday was pancakes
Sunday is a busy morning off to church so dad just made some oatmeal
Todayis eggless french toast! It is such a joy to see him come to life as he cooks. What a great life skill as well as FUN! This week he is going to learn to clean his MESS as well!!! I encourage you to search out each one of your childs passions and really pour into them. See how it brings them LIFE and JOY! There is nothing like it!
Left side is dairy free, right side has goat cheese!
STEP ONE: Make filling- I sautee an onion and pepper if I have one on hand, then toss in my meat of choice – 1 lb. (if chicken precook it and shred it), season with 2tsp. cumin, 1tsp (more if you want it spicy) chili powder, 2 tsp. oregano, and some garlic salt to taste. For beans and rice, I just pre cook my rice and then stir in my beans. I usually do not season them like the meat. When fully cooked…..
STEP TWO: Fill Tortillas. Grease up a 9 x13 pan with oil or line bottom of pan with parchment to prevent sticking. Then divide filling into 6-9 portions based on how many tortillas you have. Place filling at the end of the tortilla and roll, place seam side down in the pan. When all tortillas are rolled…..
STEP THREE: Dump salsa over the rolled tortillas. (Usually 1 large jar of salsa or 2 small ones- so it has a lot of sauce!)
STEP FOUR: Top with cheese of choice. Place in oven 350 for about 30-45 minutes until cheese is golden brown and bubbles!
Top with your favorite taco toppings: organic sour cream (or Tofutti dairy free sour cream), avocado, guac, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, etc…
When out shopping for school supplies I purchased a binder for myself to “get organized!” (LOL…are you always on the quest for organization, I am) Well, I opened up the binder and inside it had a quote, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart, ” (Confucius) Well, I have no idea who this Confucius is (probly should, but just being honest, never heard of the guy), he has a great point.
Last week I wrote about being a chicken! Well, the first step to becoming a chicken is to live IN the moment, not for the next. This quote really hit home with me when I saw it! I so need to give my whole heart to my kids right now, every moment I am with them I need them to have my whole heart! Not my distracted heart, not my just a minute heart, MY WHOLE HEART! This type of heart is my focused attention!
Have you ever noticed that you kids are talking to you and you are texting, throwing in laundry, making a meal, and when they walk away you do not even know what you just said, “YES.” to? I have found that happening time and time again lately. My kids run up, say something, I agree or acknowledge, just to have them dash off and I have no idea what they said because I was distracted!
Our lives are filled with distraction opportunities! Cell phones, ipods, internet, jobs, activities, etc… the list goes on and on. I think in all the hussle and bussle we are missing it! WE NEED to be engage with our kids hearts! THEY NEED our FULL attention! Our FULL attention when communicating with them shows them we CARE and LOVE them! It tells them that THEY are more important than what we are DOING!
Make note this week of how your intereactions are with your kids. Are you fully giving them your attention when they want to communicate or are you doing something else, nodding your head and missing what they just told you!
I have really been focused on when my kids come up to me to communicate something to me, I have them “wait” until I am done filling the washing machine or putting the burgers on the grill. I then “STOP”, LOOK at them, and LISTEN! I then find I hear and respond, we communicate and then a heart connection is made! I am also finding that I am getting more done because they are filled with having my attention when they need it and are not constantly trying to GET IT any way they can!
These heart connections build bonds, trust, and love. Then when the big stuff comes, in those teenage years (we are just hitting those now). You have a strong foundation and they let you into their world. They talk about what is going on with them, friends, social drama, working things out in how life works. When you have a relationship where they know you will listen and they know you care then you can pour into them wisdom and help them manuever in the waters of figuring out life.
So, put down those cell phones and distrations in life and whenever you are with your children, be with them with ALL YOUR HEART!
About six years ago I went to listen to a women speak about being a mother, and her message changed my life. Her name was Hannah and she was from Africa. Hannah was this tiny little woman but her words were full of power! I had brought my Hannah, age eight at the time with me for the evening, she sat next to me listening intently as the stories Hannah was sharing were very entertaining.
Hannah then began to talk about being a mother and she used an analogy that has stuck with me to my core. It was a chicken and a duck. This is how she explained it…
She said a mother duck is on a mission. She stands up and is on her way. Her little ducklings line up in a row behind her an follow as not to be left behind. If on the way to where they are going a duckling is to drop off, sink in the pond, or get lost in the shuffle mama duck just keeps on going and baby duckling is on their own.
In her next breath she said and then there is the chicken. Her chicks are nestled up close around her, tucked under her wing. As she moves they move in a swarm around her. A chicken, who is unable to fly, will even attempt to fly to save her chicks. A mother chicken will attempt the impossible to keep her chicks safe, she will risk her own life.
Of course she went in to much greater detail, but this was the gist of her message. In my heart I was so convicted I had been a “duck” for years. I had my plan for the day and got so irritated if my kids interrupted it. There was laundry to do, meals to be cooked, and cleaning that just couldn’t wait. My heart was breaking at this realization, but then my daughter leaned over and whispered into my ear, “You are a duck!” I just wanted to break down in tears!
I then took a few minutes to repent for what I had done over the years as a mom. I asked God to help me to be a chicken, that is not my nature, I am very driven and love to feel like I have accomplished something in my day. And we all know as mom’s that very little is left to show accomplishment at the end of a day at home! I decided that day that I would become a chicken!
NOW, let me tell you this has been a journey! AND I am in no way perfect, I still struggle to put down what I am doing to “play” with my kids, however find my self doing it more and more. I have over the years really started to bring them into my world however, having them help me cook, clean, do yard work, plant and weed gardens, thus filling my need for accomplishment and their need for”ME”!
However, lately I have been feeling like that was just my way of saying I am a chicken when I am really still functioning as a duck. “Let’s work together “, just what kids want to do! So, once again I have decided to go to the next level and really engage with my kids. I find it is much easier to go “out”, away from the house to really be engaged, then the dirty dishes are not staring me in the face. And I am getting better about doing this at home now as well.
So,my question to you is: Are you a chicken or a duck? If you are a chicken I would love your words of wisdom and encouragement in the comment section below! If you are a duck, join me on the journey to true motherhood as a chicken! (LOL that sounds hilarious).
Last night I was unprepared for dinner as I got caught up in a bunch of home improvement projects! So, at 5:30 with complaints all around I began dinner…..
Hmmmmm, no meat thawed out and nothing much in the house other than fruits and veggies.
So, I sliced up a bunch of purple onion and caramelized them. Then add a bit of garlic, a sprinkle of thyme and oregano. When that was all tender I added broccoli, diced zucchini, and diced japanese egg plant. I let that cook until tender and then tossed it with some GF spaghetti noodles, fresh chopped tomatoes and basil, a drizzle of red wine vinegar and some olive oil. I topped it off with grated pecarino cheese and a few cranks black pepper! Our side was corn on the cob…it was a hit! Everyone loved it and it was sooooo easy. A great way to use up all those veggies in my fridge! The result a new great summer recipe. I hope you enjoy it!
There comes a time when you realize how much your life has become such a wonderful thing, but very different than you ever imagined it ever would. When I was in high school I was going to graduate, go to college, become a high powered business woman, marry some rich good looking guy, have 2 kids and call it life. I would NEVER drive a mini van or be a stay at home mom! My how things have turned out a bit differently….
I have did go to college and got a degree in education, elementary. I met an amazing man (yes he was a rich single man when I met him and very good looking- still is) we now have five kids, I ended up staying home and driving a mini van! And loving every moment of it (for the most part)!
The funny thing is that “never, say never” thing! My husband and I have always wanted out house to be the “hang out” place for our kids and their friends! We have found as our family has grown it has gotten trickier to keep this vision alive when we can’t even fit everyones friends in the car with us. So, we are now on the search for a van, but not a mini van (ours died) but a 15 passenger van! Yes, the Schulte’s are going to invest in a “party” van in which we can cart kids and their friends all over as well as travel comfortably on road trips. The dream to become the “hang out” place is going to move a head full force!
I now find my self excited for this new season of life! A friend once said to me: “I looked at my life, 4 generations living together, diapering grandpa and the baby, teenagers running around, and saying to myself, ‘this is my new normal’.” That resinated with me, and still does. There have been so many time in our crazy journey where I felt like I was loosing my mind, when I should have just adjusted my mind set to, “This is my new normal”. Our “normals” all look differently, they shift from season to season in our lives, and they are all good, if we look at them as opportunity instead of a death sentence! Victory is ours if we just keep pressing in! Take a look at your life, what is you “normal”? Learn to live in that “normal” and choose joy, enjoying the ride!
Today as I was driving to my favorite coffee shop for my Saturday morning out, I was admiring a perfect line that was dividing the clouds. On one side was a beautiful bright sunny blue sky, the other a dark thick layer of rain clouds. I then noticed a plane flying from the sunny sky into the ugly looking storm clouds. Then within moments the plane disappeared into those dark clouds and I knew that in moments that plane would pop up above the clouds into an endless sunny sky! Have you ever had that experience on an airplane, where you go through the clouds only to discover that a sunny sky prevails above and is only hidden by the temporary storm!
Wow, isn’t this true with life as well? Storms come and storms go. Let me tell you we have had our share! The one thing I have learned over the years is that storms ARE temporary, they come and they go. The truth is however, that even when a storm is upon us the SUN really is still shining,we just can’t see it. So, how cool would it be if in the midst of the storm we were able to act, feel, and live as if we were in the sun? Is that possible?
Does a storm have to be turbulent, tossing our emotions, moods, and attitudes all over the place? Do the storms in our life really have the power to control and disrupt our lives, distroying precious relationships? The lessons I have been learning over the years is NO! We actually have a choice in the matter! We can choose to not allow the storm to steal our lives away, we can choose to remember that the TRUTH is the SUN is still SHINING, even when we can only see the storm. Hard? Yes! Impossible? No!
A storm only has as much power as you give it, how you choose to walk through a storm determines how much power it has over your life. If you make different choices than the “norm” in the strom you will find that not only is the storm less daunting it is also no longer CONTROLLING YOU or distroying those precious relationships.
It boils down to CHOICE and FAITH and TRUST!
You can choose to remember that in the midst of the storm the SUN is SHINING and you can choose to walk in that, which means you choose to deal with life as if the storm was not present. Now, I do not mean you ignore the storm. I mean you address the storm from a position of JOY ! You handle the things that come up in the storm as if it were a sunny day. For example: (small storm example) my husband was traveling and on the 4th day I was in need of a break and a storm began to rumble inside of me. I was frusterated with the kids, sick of doing”everything”- starting my own little pitty party, then kids started getting hurt with little things like bike scrapes, falling down, etc… I found my response to be “REALLY”! Then I realized that I had a choice. I could take this “storm” less than perfect situation and begin to make different choices that would allow the atmopshere in and around me to change. So, I did just that. I actaully said out loud, “NO I am going to make different choices.” I sat down with my crying little guy, I stopped, looked in his eyes, and had him tell me what happened. All my frusteration left, compassion filled me, my attiditude began to change and our day made a turn around, slowly…choice by choice! Soon the strom that was trying to invade was chased away by my choice to start choosing joy and responding in love!
FAITH and TRUST
Some storms are a bit larger than the everyday trials. IN those situations we must choose JOY as well. For example: ( a bigger storm) For a season I was taking my daughter to 7 different doctors a week , hauling 3 kids (under 5) in and our of doctors offices and getting nowhere. I many times felt defeated and beat down! However, I learned that my attitude changed everything. The doctors appointments went much better when I chose an attitude of JOY. I also LEARNED to walk in FAITH and just trust that God was going to lead me on the path that would bring my daughter healing! I was weak and wobbly often, struggled with keeping my joy. However, now 8 years later I find it much easier (key word easier, in no way perfect) to keep my joy in very stressful, turbulent times!
Now when I get a report that my daughters blood pressure is 74/42 I don’t jump off the deep end! I KNOW God will figure it out. I KNOW that she will be healed. I KNOW the doctors He has lead us to will figure out what is going on. I love her, follow protocols, pray, and watch God work. I stay in joy, peace, and let the SUN shine. IN the past I would have been a wreck, running around from doctor to doctor, not sleeping, trying to heal her myself, making everyone one around me unimportant, usually taking my anger and frusteration out on those closest to me. NO LONGER! Storms NO LONGER control me, I look that storm in the face and say bring it, my God can handle anything. Then PEACE, JOY, and LIFE abound!
I now have such a deep FAITH and TRUST that God will do what He says He is going to do that I do not need to worry about so many things I use to worry about, and I can respond in JOY!
I don’t worry about our health, because God says He is our healer (and wow HE’s done a TON of that in our family).
I don’t worry about money, food, clothes, etc… because he says “He is our provider” (and another WOW He’s done a TON of that in our family as well).
I desire to be more like Jesus, when the storm came upon the disciples in the boat, He was sleeping! He was filled with peace and confidence that His Daddy (God) had it! He did not need to worry. I find myself in that place. After the journey we have been on and continue to go on, I find it is much harder (not impossible) for me to be moved by the storms around me. I keep my focus on the “sunny blue sky above”: then I choose joy, putting my faith and trust in God. Wow, peace is a great place to live!
If you are in the midst of the storm I am here to tell you I have lived through it! It has been crazy and I have been crazy right along with it. But the more I have journeyed the more I have learned that the SUN really is shinging even if there is a temporary storm upon me. That perspective helps me to make better choices and live in joy and peace even in the storm!
I love taking favorites from my childhood and making them healthier as well as edible for our special diet needs! When it tastes the same I am elated! Well, I am spending a few days at my parents house with the kids. I have been really wanting to make a lemon meringue pie, but lacking time at home to do it. So, today I found some extra moments to play in my mom’s kitchen! This pie is a bit time consuming but worth every minute! It lends itself nicely to helpers! And is just like the one I remember from when I was a kid!
SO, how is this healthier than mom’s? Well, the crust contains coconut oil and almonds which are both packed with nutrients and great fats to nourish your body. The filling has organic lemons which are packed with detox properties as well as vitamins, raw honey to sweeten this has health benefits as well. The meringue is made with organic egg whites, lending protein and coconut sugar which won’t spike your blood sugar! NOTE- this still is a TREAT, but it is better than most!
Step 1: Make Pie Crust: Lilli my 11 year old did this all her self, and amazing job she did.
¼ c. grass fed butter, cold, cut into pieces or coconut oil
1 T. arrowroot powder
¼ t. baking soda
⅛ t. sea salt
2 T. raw honey
¼ t. pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the almond flour, butter pieces, arrowroot powder, baking soda and salt into the bowl of a food processor and pulse 6-8 times. Then add the honey and vanilla and pulse until it starts to form a dough ball.
Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough and place into an pie pan.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pie pan.
Bake crust for 8-10 minutes, until puffy, but not browned. Allow to cool before filling.
Step 2: Make home made lemon pie filling- YES, with real ORGANIC lemons as you will be using the zest! Lil also helped with this.
½ cup butter, cold, cut into pieces or coconut oil
In a double boiler, or in a heat-safe glass bowl resting above a pot of gently simmering (not boiling) water, whisk together the egg yolks, honey, lemon juice, water, lemon zest and vanilla until well blended.
Slowly add the butter, 2-3 pieces at a time, while constantly whisking. Add more pieces as the previous ones melt.
After all of the butter pieces are melted and incorporated, cook for an additional 15-18 minutes, stirring just occasionally, until it thickens like a thin pudding. Then, place the lemon curd in the refrigerator to cool.
Once cool to touch (not cold), add the lemon curd to the cooled crust, using a spreader to smooth it out evenly.
Step 3: Make the Meringue: Mikey got in the action by whipping and whipping and whipping!
Whip room temperature egg whites in a glass bowl- smaller is better. When whites get frothy add cream of tater, slowly add coconut sugar, whip until stiff peaks form. Smear over cooked pie and bake 15 minutes until golden brown on 325 degrees!
Step 4: Eat and ENJOY!
Hope you enjoy this family favorite of mine gone healthy! Blessings on your day,