Friday, February 29, 2008

Sneaky Nutrition - Peanut Butter

Since the early days of our marriage, we've had a certain plaque on our kitchen wall. It was on the wall of our kitchen in our first apartment, and remains a part of our family to this day:

Try Our Famous
Peanut Butter and Jelly

Yes, peanut butter is a huge staple in our house. I don't allow it to ever run out. We buy big jars at BJ's, making sure the reserve in the garage is large enough that we don't have to worry that the supply will run too low. Now, I'm not saying that this well-known food is necessarily a friend of dieters, but it sure is a friend of mothers. Unless you have a child with an allergy (which is not uncommon), it is my humble opinion that you would do well to find ways to use this product to help encourage your children's growth.

Every growing child needs protein. The reasons for this are obvious. Most of you probably realize that animal and milk products have all the essential amino acids that are required to provide complete proteins that kids need for use by their body's cells, etc. It presents somewhat of a difficulty, because some families are realizing the benefits of lower-meat diets. But even though plant foods may be incomplete--all you have to do is pair them up with certain other plant foods to make them whole! Sort of like marriage, wouldn't you say? Thus, the teamwork of peanut butter and whole grains, like whole wheat and oats, puts it all together for their bodies' use and you're doing them a good service, Momma. So, the above sandwich which we have diligently served at our house year after year, is giving needy children protein, fiber, niacin, magnesium, copper, zinc, and other good stuff. But don't tell them that!!!

Peanut butter is probably the favorite breakfast food for every member of this family. We have it on muffins (made with part whole wheat flour and/or oatmeal), biscuits, waffles, pancakes, graham crackers, cornbread, bagels, yeast rolls, soft pretzels, and, of course, toast. We try to have a fruit juice with Vitamin C to accompany breakfast, but milk goes best with peanut butter and anything.

Well, it's time for a recipe, as always. This time it's cookies. What else would we do for this post? I repeat my usual warning: DO NOT TELL YOUR CHILDREN THAT THESE COOKIES ARE GOOD FOR THEM. Even though that's true, you must not let them know. Remember, we are being sneaky. Something happens inside their hearts--must be sin--when you tell them something's good for them. This includes your teens. Just keep that part to yourself and they'll never be the wiser.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup honey

1/2 cup canola or sunflower oil

3/4 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter

2 eggs

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup unbleached flour

1/3 cup dry milk powder

1 Tbsp. baking powder (aluminum free best)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup quick oats

3/4 cup raisins (opt.)

In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat honey and corn oil until creamy. Beat in peanut butter. Add eggs; beat until smooth. Add flours, milk powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix until blended. Stir in oats and raisins.

For each cookie, spread two tablepoons batter on ungreased cookie sheet to 3 inch circle. Bake in 325 degree oven 15-18 minutes or until brown around edges. Let cool about two minutes. Run spatula under cookie to loosen. Remove and cool completely on wire rack. Store in tightly covered container. Yield: 2-3 dozen.

Note: One tablespoon of mixture will make a smaller cookie. Two T. makes a very large cookie.

Needless to say, using organic ingredients would be even healthier, if you could afford it. If you can't afford everything organic (like us) do the best you can, and say a prayer for God's protection while you are mixing your ingredients. We need to do that with almost everything we use nowadays, won't you agree?

Have fun eating your cookies. I made the big ones and the other day I had one for breakfast with yogurt, orange juice and coffee. Yummy. Hope your kids like them!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Be Still My Soul

I missed my Saturday evening hymn post, but it's never too late. Months ago, I posted a stanza of this old favorite. I'm sure it's one of your favorites too. I felt constrained to post it again. A dear friend needs it.

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as he has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice who ruled them while he dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know his love, his heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From his own fullness all he takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hast'ning on
When we shall be for ever with the Lord,
When disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
All safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

~Katharina A. Von Schlegel
Listen here

Friday, February 22, 2008

Finally, Snow!

It finally snowed around here and am I glad because Lena finally had a chance to play in it! Do you think she enjoyed it?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Two Awards and a Tag

In the past few days I was tagged and it was then that I realized I'd been remiss: Someone sweet gave me a sweet award called Blogging with a Purpose and I never acknowledged it. Sara is a nineteen year old friend whom I dearly love. She's a member of my church and a very close and precious friend to my younger daughter, Neesie. I think she is somewhat rare in this day because she is not peer-oriented. She doesn't mind counting older people, whether they be young marrieds or grandparents (like me), as her friends. She'll comment on my posts and write on my Facebook "wall" as much as she would those in her age group and she's not the least bit hesitant about doing so. But, on the other hand, I want to publicly say how much I have appreciated the friendship she's given to Neesie. The fact that she is four years older has not been an issue. She has given true friendship to my daughter, not a condescending one. This was true even when the two of them first started to become close, at the ages of 15 and 11. To tell you the truth, little did she know that she was an answer to prayer at that time. Neesie was particularly needy for reasons I won't go into, and the Lord sent Sara. So, thanks for the award, Sara, but thanks also for so much more. Also, thanks for being a diligent substitute Sunday school teacher. :-) I recommend that you go visit Sara at her blog "In Christ Alone."

Also, this week there was another sweet award called Best Blogging Buddies. It came from Cathy at "Melodies and Hymnsongs", a really neat blog. I've never met Cathy, but she really does seem like a friend to me. She also likes to win prizes from me! She emails nice interesting articles to me because she has come to know the type of things I'm interested in. I think that's very thoughtful and I appreciate her heart. If you haven't been to see her, please do--you'll find it a pleasant place to visit, with beautiful pictures, poetry and hymns. Thanks, Cathy.

Now most of you know what I'm going to say: I don't like to name names in passing on awards. I made up my mind some time ago not to do it anymore. Besides, it would cause me to worry too much that I was slighting somebody, and I don't want any more worries! As before, I direct you to my post of July 30, 2007, "Reflecting on Blogs," as the same would apply now. I appreciate all of you who have become my bloggy friends!

Another friend, Monica at "A Day in the Life of Mommysmart" tagged me. I wrote and told her I probably wouldn't be able to find the time to do it, but I think I'll give a quick go at it. I have to say, I enjoy going to Monica's blog. I think she has a lot of unique posts there. She's a lot of fun. She is a wonderful support to her husband, a football coach, and to her children. Check her out when you can.

Well, in compliance with the tag, here are five quirks or unimportant things about myself. It wasn't difficult to think up quirky things, I have to admit:

1. I'm deathly afraid of caterpillars. The black fuzzy kind. In fact, I dread the coming of spring because of them. I know I've mentioned this before, but it's worth repeating. Yuck.

2. I like to give all my cups and glasses turns. I feel sorry for the ones that haven't been used in a while, so I'll reach all the way in the back to get one that I feel has been lonely.

3. When I buy something new, I don't like to wear it right away, because it won't be new anymore. I like to have things around for a while before I use them.

4. I'm afraid of doctors. Not altogether but sort of. I think I'm developing a phobia about medical tests too.

5. My toes overlap. All my life I've been ashamed of my toes and secretly envied people who paint their toes and wear open toe shoes.

I'm now tagging: Neesie, Sara, Bethany. Some others might like to pick up the tag. Feel free.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Not Till Then

When this passing world is done,
When has sunk yon glaring sun,
When we stand with Christ in glory,
Looking o'er life's finished story,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

When I hear the wicked call
On the rocks and hills to fall,
When I see them start and shrink
On the fiery deluge brink,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

When I stand before the throne,
Dressed in beauty not my own,
When I see thee as thou art,
Love thee with unsinning heart,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

When the praise of heav'n I hear,
Loud as thunders to the ear,
Loud as many waters' noise,
Sweet as harp's melodious voice,
Then, Lord, shall I fully know,
Not till then, how much I owe.

Chosen not for good in me,
Wakened up from wrath to flee,
Hidden in the Saviour's side,
By the Spirit sanctified,
Teach me, Lord, on earth to show,
By my love, how much I owe.
~Robert Murray McCheyne

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I Have THAT Guy

Today my husband colored and shined my favorite pair of comfortable shoes so that I can get some more time out of them. I'm counting that as a Valentine's gift. So he gets out of giving me diamonds this year. Oh, and he also gave this needy lady a dozen red roses. I think I'll keep him--next to the love of God, his is the best.

My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. I John 3:18

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Glory to His Name

This song is technically classified as a hymn, but I must say I wish you could hear it sung with meaning as I did in days gone by in our worship services. There, it was sung more like a gospel song. I remember the days when after the communion, someone would break out in joyful adoration and praise of the Savior and more often than not, the words "Down at the Cross..." would begin this all time favorite. I never hear it that I don't think of my sister-in-law, Lillian, who has for some time now been singing in Her Lord's very Presence, no doubt these same words that expressed her heart time and again. The night I found out that she had passed away, I walked all around my house, with tears flowing, singing this hymn in her honor. The tune is here at Cyber Hymnal, but as I said, I wish you could hear it sung with soul as it was by some of the folks I used to know.

Down at the cross where my Savior died,
Down where for cleansing from sin I cried,
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

I am so wondrously saved from sin,
Jesus so sweetly abides within;
There at the cross where He took me in;
Glory to His Name!

Oh, precious fountain that saves from sin,
I am so glad I have entered in;
There Jesus saves me and keeps me clean;
Glory to His Name!

Come to this fountain so rich and sweet,
Cast thy poor soul at the Savior’s feet;
Plunge in today, and be made complete;
Glory to His Name!


Glory to His Name, glory to His Name:
There to my heart was the blood applied;
Glory to His Name!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A Chicken Crossed A Road?

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

You folks know how much I like riddles; this one has been around for a long time (since before the 1890's, according to Wikipedia), and all the variations of answers have given us chuckles over the years. My daughter Neesie forwarded to me an email with a few I hadn't heard, which gave me a few laughs on this day after Super Tuesday. That's part of the reason I needed it. I selected a few of the answers in the hopes this post might lighten the day for a few other folks:

DR. PHIL : " The problem we have here is that this chicken won't realize that he must first deal with the problem on 'THIS' side of the road before it goes after the problem on the 'OTHER SIDE' of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he's acting by not taking on his 'CURRENT' problems before adding 'NEW' problems ".

COLIN POWELL: " Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the road..." .

ANDERSON COOPER - CNN: "We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the other side of the road."

JOHN KERRY: "Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken's intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it."

MARTHA STEWART: "No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer's Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information."

DR SEUSS: "Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I've not been told."

ERNEST HEMINGWAY: " To die on the road. Alone."

GRANDPA: "In my day we didn't ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough."

BARBARA WALTERS: "Isn't that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life long dream of crossing the road."

JOHN LENNON: "Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace."

ARISTOTLE: " It is the nature of chickens to cross the road."

BILL GATES: "I have just released eChicken2007, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of eChicken.

ALBERT EINSTEIN: "Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken "

BILL CLINTON: " I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken "

AL GORE: " I invented the chicken!"

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: "I have a dream that one day chickens will be able to cross roads without having their motives called into question."

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY: "We can neither confirm nor deny any involvement in the chicken-road-crossing incident."

COLONEL SANDERS: "Did I miss one?"

MAXINE: Aww, the poor little chicken--having been made fun of all these years.

Monday, February 04, 2008

They Did It!

They really did it! I can't believe it! Super Bowl XLII belongs to the Giants! In my last post, I said it doesn't really matter who wins these things, and that's true, but I am so excited! I've been an ardent fan of this team since my teenage years, so this is very, very special.

I had a WONDERFUL Lord's Day yesterday (see last post), and after coming home last night I found out they won! What a fantastic surprise! We have a videotape of the game and are going to have our Super Bowl Sunday on Monday. These are the times I'm thankful for modern technology. We're going to cozy up in our living room and have a lot of fun watching it all unfold. I can't wait!! I'm sooo excited! Did I say that already?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

O Day of Rest and Gladness

O day of rest and gladness,
O day of joy and light,
O balm of care and sadness,
Most beautiful, most bright;
On thee the high and lowly,
Through ages joined in tune,
Sing Holy, Holy, Holy,
To the great God Triune,

On thee, at the creation,
The light first had its birth;
On thee, for our salvation,
Christ rose from depths of earth;
On thee our Lord, victorious,
The Spirit sent from heav'n;
And thus on thee, most glorious,
A triple light was giv'n.

Thou art a port protected
From storms that round us rise;
A garden intersected
With streams of Paradise;
Thou art a cooling fountain
In life's dry, dreary sand;
From thee, like Pisgah's mountain,
We view the promised land.

Today on weary nations
The heav'nly manna falls;
To holy convocations
The silver trumpet calls,
Where gospel light is glowing
With pure and radiant beams,
And living water flowing
With soul-refreshing streams.

New graces ever gaining
From this our day of rest,
We reach the rest remaining
To spirits of the blest.
To Holy Ghost be praises,
To Father and to Son;
The church her voice upraises
To thee, blest Three in One.

~Christopher Wordsworth

We have come to another Saturday evening, dear friends, and you know what that means. We are on the brink of another Lord's Day. Do you look forward to this day of rest and gladness? I have no doubt in my mind that our God would have this day to be a day of joy and a day of rest for us. We have so much to rejoice in. What can be better than to be able to have a day set aside that we can worship our Lord with His people and keep the day holy unto Him? This sweet hymn is a reminder to us. I meditated on it a bit tonight, especially the second stanza. It's not often that we think about the fact that light was "born" on the first day of creation. That, along with the resurrection and Pentecost, is an exciting thought--a triple light given as the song says.

What a blessing this day is to us, fellow saints. I am so thankful for it. The Israelites' Sabbath day was on the seventh day of the week. But for the church, it's right and fitting that our Sabbath is on Sunday. God was so gracious to give us this blessed day.

Most of you know that I like sports, even though I'm not as fanatical about it as I once was. Many of you know, also, that I am quite a fan of the New York Giants. And you probably know that tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and "all the world" will be watching the Giants and the Patriots on this biggest football game of the year. "Not I," says the lady whose family doesn't do TV on the Lord's Day. And it's alright. During the week, if I look at the video we'll be taping I'll enjoy it so much better--win or lose. And what does it matter anyway, right? Tomorrow, you and I will be gaining "new graces" from our Sunday, no matter which city gets to have the big parade next week. For you and me, it will be a time of refreshment at a "cooling fountain in life's dry, dreary sand."

Have a blessed and Christ-filled day of gladness!