Friday, May 29, 2009

Twins birthday

Yesterday was the twins actual birthday, well not until 10:36 and 10:38 p.m. respectively. I usually do dedication pages on my blog to commemorate my children's birthday and yesterday just slipped by. We ended up having an impromptu grill out last night with some friends - on top of an already crazy day. The time just slipped away. But when I was in bed I did my usual prayer time and thanked God for each and everyone of my blessings , a/k/a my children. I can not believe it has been 5 years since they burst into our lives, and that truly is the best way to describe the interruptions of our sedate life, and we have never looked back (no time to!).

Thier enthusiasm for life is so life afferming and makes ordinary events into a adventure. When you step back and look at them, you what that for yourself.

Each twin has their own style, they are their own person. This pic is so typical of my girl twin and really underscores her personality. She is so dramatic, but in a good princess diva way : ) She is larger than life and wants the spot light!
My boy twin, here with his big bro, is more quiet and intense. He has the temperment and concentration of a concert pianist. He is a very intens little man and takes most things to seriously. Not sure where he gets that from - LOL

Together they balance each other out to perfection! Think God planned it that way? Me too!
I love you E & E I also want to thank God for giving me a gift on this day five years ago that I didn't even know I wanted or needed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

You know you might be a redneck if . . .

. . . the socks your wearing might not be your own! Lets just say we have sock issues here and leave it at that!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Beans and NSV

Seems like I spend all my time in the kitchen lately. But some times things work out so well I enjoy sharing them. First, I buy all my beans dry and cook them - cheaper that way. Second, I cook them all at once and freeze what I am not using - time saving that way. Third, when I need beans I don't have the excuse, they are not cooked or ready - saves time and money that way : ) So yesterday was bean cooking day at our house, I had three crock pots going at one time - such a beautiful sight! Then I froze them in 1 1/2 cup servings, the same as a can of cooked beans at the store. Then today I made . . . beannaise! LOL
Last week I made my own blender mayonnaise, and was unimpressed. So I consulted my Uncheese cookbook for another option that had no corn syrup, msg or tofu (a common vegan cheese replacement). Turns out that many vegan dairy free recipes can swap out white beans for the tofu, what a cheap and healthy alternative! My son and I are affected by dairy and DS needs to avoid as much fermented food as possible, so no tofu and that leaves white beans. I am a total bean freak anyway. I have never met a bean I didn't like, ok lima's are pushing my good will, but sill . . . Well let me tell you, making the beannaise was easy - peasy and it tasted wonderful! The consistency was perfect, not thin like the home made blender mayonnaise. I am telling you to check out this book by Jo Stepaniak and see her others as well. She has a wide range of vegan and allergy free cooking ideas, options and info. My link isn't up yet for this book, but will get to it soon. In the mean time mosey over to and check it out.
NSV stands for a non scale victory in weight watchers world. I didn't make it to my meeting last week due to lack of transportation. DH is on his way as we blog to pick up a scrap car with his cars missing part. Hope that didn't confuse you to much, but the issue here is that I didn't need the meeting to make myself feel better. Here are just some of the NSV's I have noticed over the week: My bathrobe ties tighter around the middle, my underwear of all things is loser, the sleeves of a tight shirt are not tight now, some new shirts I bought were snug - not now and l can tie an apron string around my front again! Ok, the apron thing is like an inch, but I can still do it and I couldn't say 2 months ago! On top of all this, today I jumped into my jeans and ran out to the dentist at the but crack of dawn to get my crown and my DH asked me how much I had lost since I looked so good in my jeans : ) Now I remember why I married him xoxoxo LOL I just wanted to sum this up with something I heard my first week at WW: The leader said he was tired of asking us as we weighed in if we were having a good day and our reply being, "guess we'll find out as soon as I get on the scale". He said our days/lives being good or bad shouldn't depend on a number on the scale. Not being weighed last week but still seeing all these reminders of my good work really emphasized this for me. What wonderful affirmation. I sold another old curriculum today, so I should be able to pay for another 10 weeks of WW! It has worked for me in the past and it's working for me again as I enter a different point of my life path - an allergy/sugar free path - LOL
Blessings, Beth Ann

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day menu plan

I want to remind everyone that we are doing the 4 day rotation diet, for allergy free and sugar free eating. We use the book by Mary Yoder. Since it is a 4 day rotation, we get almost two rotations in a week and they fall on odd days. For instance today is day two in the week 4 rotation and come Thursday we will start day 1, week 5 rotation. With that said, here is a look at what we are eating this week:
Week 4/day 2 - Monday: B~ Buckwheat Pancakes and fresh pineapple
L~ Lentil burgers and potato salad
D~ Crock pot sirloin and vegetable soup with cornbread
day 3 - Tuesday: B~ Puffed rice cereal and blue berries
L~ Chicken salad and watermelon with celery sticks and cashew butter
D~ Chicken stuffed zucchini w/baked potato and carob cake
day 4 - Wednesday: B~ Fried mush with fresh oranges
L~ Barley cabbage soup w/ millet cake
D~ Cabbage rice and beef casserole w/ salad and short bread cookies
Week 5/day 1 - Thursday: B~ Cooked amaranth porridge and mixed berries
L~ Bean patties and chili non-queso sauce w/tortilla chips (I make my own faux cheeze)
D~ Golden chicken with cucumber salad and pumpkin pie in an oatmeal crust
day 2 - Friday: B~ Cooked pollenta and whole grain toast
L~ spinach nuggets with sweet potato fries
D~ Pigs in a home made blanket with veggie sticks and baked donuts
day 3 - Saturday: B~ Blueberry muffins with fresh fruit juice
L~ Tuna potato casserole and fig bars
D~ Baked fish with pea soup and spelt crackers
day 4 - Sunday: B~ Cooked barley cereal with blackberries
L~ Grilled faux cheeze with baked fries
D~ Twins birthday party: Grilled turkey dogs and burgers, veggie tray with faux cheeze dip, baked beans, home made lemonade, cake & ice cream
If you have any questions about our menu, the rotation diet or making healthy dairy free cheeze products, just drop me a comment. For more great menu ideas visit
Here is the recipe I promised yesterday:
Home made rice milk
3 cups water
1 cup cooked rice (brown)
2 TBSP. olive oil
1/2 tsp. liquid stevia
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
1/4 tsp. salt
Place in blender or Vita-Mix and process until blended. Strain through a fine strainer. May save pulp for fiber in other recipes such as soups.
Carob Rice Milk
To 1 cup rice milk, add:
1 1/2 tsp. carob powder or to taste
1/4 tsp. stevia
Hope this helps : )
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Health food hopping

Yesterday went well in terms of learning more about the best location for purchasing healthier food, whole food per say : ) And of course time spent with my friend is always a huge blessing and gift in affirmation.

We started with a trip over to Whole Food, formerly Wild Oats. Have a hard time with that and keep interchanging their names - oops, sorry to all that confuses (besides me - LOL). Love getting there early when the store is almost empty. I was also pumped because I had scored a $5 off coupon from one of the frugal food blogs I read. It was good on meat, seafood or produce. Since their produce isn't a good deal usually and I can't afford much seafood, we headed straight for the meat counter. My friend clued me in that even this store had marked down meat - yea! So that was what I used my coupon on.

One of my main motivators for driving that far is that Whole Foods has a bulk section. I found it lacking and their were almost no bargains to be had there. I did get some raw/unsalted cashew pieces for making my own nut butter though, so that was good. I also found some vegan carob chips for baking, an imposable thing to find in my area. Wish I had bought more. I also checked the price of rice milk. There national brand rice milk was only thirty cents cheaper but . . . their own brand was two dollars cheaper! That got me a bit excited and I had to remind myself that I didn't need any since scoring that deal at Kroger two weeks ago. We don't drink milk anymore and only use the rice milk in some baking and in making faux cheeze, so a little goes a long way. There was also a better selection of gluten free/rice noodles. Other than that . . . not much else exciting. Oh, besides the coupon I saved ten cents on every canvas bag of my own that I brought in to bag my food.

Then we headed over to Trader Joe's, which ironically enough is housed in an old Wild Oat's store. I have never not seen that store busy, no matter what time you arrive. They open at nine and I have gotten there at eight-thirty, and there was already a line. Huh. Not sure of the attraction, half the size of Whole Foods and less organic choices. They do have some nice produce and produce prices. This store is truly the operating den of every individual who wants fancy food but doesn't want to make it themselves. It is a packaged, prepared food haven. That said, they also have wicked awesome recycled canvas store bags. These are the ones I buy to reuse. I reuse them at Whole Foods (they pretend not to notice) and other local area stores. They are great to keep in the side pocket of my door on my Durango. They can also double for library bags if one of ours is forgotten. You get the picture. To tell the truth I never gave the whole reusable bag thing much thought. Then I read a blog . . . her ambition is to have a matching set of reusable store bags . .. . . Now those of you who know me (and love me :P) and my OCD . . . You see whats coming right? I am trying to convince myself it doesn't matter, it's no big deal . . .

Anyway, got some great produce and ended up getting my brown rice noodles there. Used them today when I made faux mac & cheeze. By the way, K if your reading this - you were right, those smaller noodles were great. I also noticed that their brand rice milk was the same price as Whole Foods, that gives me two buying options but I believe my friend mentioned that if I bought a case at Whole Foods I would get a 10% discount. Since it is nonperishable this is the best way to go. I did however find a recipe in my allergy free book, for making my own, which I will share in a separate post. Not sure about grinding up my own cooked rice and worried about the consistency. I might just have to try one batch to see the price difference and see if I like it.

Headed home after that but stopped by Aldi's to pick up their 2lb. bag of lemons for 99cents. I bought two bags and will make lemon ade out of them. (also used another Trader Joe's bad there as well :P)

By the time I made it home I was whipped, still so hot here for this time of year. My wrists were feeling better (tendinitis issues when weather shifts) so I juiced my grapefruits and mixed in some pureed berries for breakfast today. I also made some into home made Popsicles, kids seem to like it better that way - tasted like sour patch kids! Guess I won't be buying grapefruit again in the near future.
Blessings, Beth Ann

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Been awhile . . .

Been awhile. Just been crazy. Between regular home chaos, summer vacation (children's friends), cooking 20+ hours at church for our roofers and being roped into taking on another special needs animal - thanks Doc Tate, you get the picture! I am sure I met myself coming and going couple times (we are still sharing a vehicle at my house). Oh, and speaking of Doc Tate (son's boss) - he gave said son a go cart that needed some work. So now son and hubby are working on this thing all hours of the day and night. We opened the pool, still a bit cold, but doesn't seem to stop the younger kids or their friends,

I know there are like a thousand other things I want to share, but it is 6 a.m. and I haven't had my life coffee. DH opens today at 7, I am droping him off and whisking away to M'boro to pick up a friend and head off to the Franklin Farmer's Market, Wild Oats and then Trader Joe's. Meanwhile another friend will be at my house babysitting and using my pool. Fair trade off right?

Only other real exciting news is 20 more days until I see my daughter and grand kids. I will try to get some pic's posted of our new family member - bubbles - and the Yerf Dog go=cart w/ roll bar! LOL : P

Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Retro . . .

Things are tough all over, I know we are not alone. I just wanted to share that we made the decision to get rid of our cable. We only had reg. basic, but it was still another bill. We also found we were watching almost nill and was disgusted by most of it. We were uncomfortable watching most shows with our kids and if we were honest, we wouldn't want to watch with God sitting next to us either. If you are to embarrassed to watch something with God, then you just don't need to see it. That's how we view it, or don't, any how. For about 3 years we have been subscribing to Netflix, and the package we get is half the price of our cable bill. I have found it a valuable tool for home school. We especially enjoyed the documentary on Mt. Vesuvius. But we have discovered another benefit , retro TV shows.

I have always said I was born in the wrong time period, I much prefer the 50's - early 60's and I own all the Green Acres DVDs (got to love that song stuck in your head); just to give you a glimpse into how my head works - LOL Anyway, you can watch these shows with your kids. No nudity, swearing, violence, and so forth. We also love reliving our youth with some great 80's shows that we enjoyed. To our delight, our children love them too! My son's faves are McGyver, Knight Rider and Northern Exposure. My daugther enjoys Knight Rider as well and Perfect Strangers, not to mention Little house and all their spin offs. I am sure you get the point.

There are many, many more new and old friends to see. I am just thankful this service is available. They also have all the new release movies, with reviews from critics and fans. That is a valuable tool for a parent when their child wants to see something you have never heard of before. They also have Christian movies that never make to big screen and I might never have heard of if not for them. I could go on and on, but I won't. I just wanted to let other parents know there is a great tool out there for controlling your family enviorment at a budget price. They make it safe for family viewing and movie nights again. So get a good family movie, I recommend a recent pick of ours - The cat from outer space (circa 1967), grab the kids, hubby and some popcorn. Have fun being a family again!

Blessings, Beth Ann

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday findings

Another wet day here in middle TN. Not to mention that the humidity is up as well. Today is a pay day, and DH said he is going to get pool chemicals this week-end and open the pool - yeah! Twin daughter has been talking about the pool non-stop. She has recently learned how to put her head under water and wants to try it out. She also said she would help her twin brother by holding his head under for him. Note, she made no mention as to letting him back up. . .
Our air conditioner for the downstairs gave out last fall (a huge ancient behemoth). My loving DH said we can't afford a new one if we run the pool this year. So I am going to stand in the middle of our pool all summer, up to my eyeballs, like the hippos on the Nile do. Will let you know if this helps.

Yesterday was my week 7 weigh in at WW, and I was down .6. I feel that is a miracle after all the goodies I ate over Mothers day week-end. That brings my total loss to 13.2 pounds (have no idea why they do the digi thing). For those of you keeping track (and you know who you are) that is 13 boxes of butter quarters. Not bad I guess.

Well this is day four of our first week eating allergy free, and I feel it went real well. I even baked blackberry muffins for breakfast today, using brown rice flour. We are not feeling deprived. We are eating 3 square meals a day, together as a family (blessing that DH comes home on lunch). The kids are eating all kinds of new veggies and grains. Cool. Went and did my Krogering today, twin DD loves that store, they have little shopping carts just her size (to cute). Got a screaming deal on Rice Dreams Milk, 2/$5 (reg. $3.59@) They also had a $1 off coupon if you bought 3. I bought four and the cashier mad a mistake and gave me $1 off each box. Guess that is my big news for the day.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rotation Diet Menu

So this is the first full week of us following a rotation diet, mostly for DS. Also hoping for residual benefit's for the rest of as well. For some reason I have had some dairy issues ever since having the twins. The point is that this should clear up anything in the rest of us that we didn't know was an issue yet. In a nut shell the theory is that if you eat to much of something it will build up inside of you and you become allergic to it. Think antibiotics and how your body can become immune to any benefits from it if you take it all the time. Same with say wheat or peanuts. Eat it all the time and it stops being a healthy food. So, once every four to eight weeks is better. Example: today is beef, banana, and amaranth (grain) day. Again, check out the book in my Amazon recommendations. Here is a look at our menu for the first four days:

Day 1 -
Breakfast: Cooked Amaranth (porridge) and banana
Lunch: Pepper and beef sandwich with carrot sticks
Dinner: Spaghetti squash and beef casserole with cucumber salad (oil & vinegar) and banana cake (stevia is only sweetener used and fruit is always used in baking in place of butter)

Day 2 -
Breakfast: Buckwheat pancakes and apple
Lunch: Creamed chicken sandwich with spinach apple salad
Dinner: Parsley breaded Fish, sauteed spinach, broccoli cauliflower salad (apple pie - optional, but we are skipping this)

Day 3 -
Breakfast: Cooked quinoa cereal w/ blueberries
Lunch: Blackeye Pea soup w/home made wheat thin crackers (made this before and kids love them!) and kiwi
Dinner: Chicken potato casserole, sauteed eggplant, tossed salad (carob chip bars - optional, we are skipping this. I need to find some carob chips first! LOL)

Day 4 -
Breakfast: Blackberry muffins and grapefruit
Lunch: Salmon puffs, salad and corn cakes
Dinner: Cabbage rolls, corn bread and strawberries

Hope this gives ya all a better idea what we are eating and how we are working towards an allergy free/sugar free diet. Any questions, just ask.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

Wishing all a warm and wonderful mother's day, if your a mother or not. I will say mine was one of the best ever. My day started with my oldest calling from MI, bright and early! Only four more weeks until her visit! I am sooo excited to see her and the grand kids. I just walked around all morning with a big grin on my face. My DH and other four kids made me breakfast and we all ate together before heading off to church. It was a wonderful service with an awesome surprise at the end. A gentleman who had been attending regularly for the past few years gave himself to Christ! He had a great testimony to share and the joy was palatable and contagious! Again, I couldn't stop smiling. After church it was an extremely quiet day, the twins even took a nap. Ok, they actually fell asleep watching a video in the early afternoon, but still . . . LOL DH and kids finished getting our starter plants transplanted from the peat pots we started them in, into the garden and we called Grandma S in Las Vegas. It was the next best thing since I can't reach my own mom. Miss the Vegas due so much . . .

Well they are going to start putting the roof on our church tomorrow and one of the lady who runs the church kitchen approached me about helping to cook for the crew. It was a sign and a blessing. We are struggling with medical bills/school tuition and curriculum and I had recently been praying on if I should try to watch children again to help our income. I really don't like kids and feel that not only do I have enough of my own but with cooking special meals for my son - three times a day; well a bit over whelming to say the least. So being asked to cook, which I guess the insurance company will pay for (or something like that) seemed ideal. I love, love, love cooking and I love, love, love my church family! Just another reminder of how God provides and will show you his will. Just be patient and listen.

Blessings, Beth Ann

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

menus and more

No, we're not eating turkey this week - I wish! LOL But we are making more menu/eating changes here. After reading about a zillion books on CFS and other chronic illnesses, throw in a million on allergies as well, and we have decided on our course of action. In an effort to help my oldest son with chronic pain, that as best we can figure is residual from the Bar Epstein Virus (which compromised his immune system and caused the mono), we are going to try a four day rotation diet. It should be much healthier for all of us. More simple whole food. Check out my link above. Will post a full menu next week although it will be a bit disjointed as we are camping over the week-end, which entails our designated "camping" food.
Speaking of healthy . . . I forgot to mention that at my W.W. last week I was down another pound, a grand total of 11 in five weeks. Was hoping for bigger numbers but will be content with the down word trend. Remember, that is almost 3 bags of sugar and 11 boxes of butter sticks! LOL That coupled with my potassium supplements and I am feeling like my old self again, if not more energetic!
Burppee delivered my starter plants yesterday, so if it ever dries out down here I can transplant my tomato's and peppers. The pumpkins and gourds we started here at home are starting to sprout and should be ready for the garden soon. Now that the rain has dissipated a bit I will have to discern what is a bean or cucumber plant vs. a week! :) Guess that is it for garden news for now.
Not much else here except I am also putting in many eyeball hours researching a new curriculum for the kids come fall. I fell in love with "My Fathers World" for the twins and kindergarten. Am now seeing if it might be a good match for the older two as well. I showed it to middle DD, and she seemed enthusiastic over their many hands on activities. Will have to go over DS high school credits and see what he still needs. I know Spanish for sure as that got put on the back burner when he fell ill. You can check out the new curriculum at and our old curriculum at
Blessings, Beth Ann

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Just checking in

Sorry I haven't been posting much. Not much new and exciting around here, I will choose to count that as a blessing! It has rained almost nonstop for three days now. We needed the rain, but now it is getting ridiculous. We put most our garden in last week, and now are worried for the little seeds. Sigh, guess we will just have to wait and see since it doesn't even stop long enough for me to go out there with my blow dryer to try and help. Speaking of help and rain .. . remember our church lost it's roof in that Good Friday tornadoes? Yea, you can only imagine. Hopefully they can start the rebuilding processes next week - unless they are busy on an ark.

Blessings, Beth Ann