I haven’t posted for weeks. I know this…it’s in the back of my mind. But life happened. We are re-decorating and painting our living room. Bits of school with three first graders. Homeschool Co-op began, in which I am heading up a cooking class. 

And the hundred kids are still here. Grocery gobbling. Growing. Needing direction. Love.

So there you have it.

Oh yeah, a husband too. 🙂 🙂 🙂 (I hear the blog posts screaming…he shouldn’t come last! Haha! He doesn’t.) 

And last weekend I was sick with a stomach virus a bunch of us caught after co-op. This weekend Craig landed in bed with the same thing. It was about as bad to have him sick as be sick myself. I really, really need the break he gives me on the weekend. So now I’m needing to lean on the Lord not to head into the week on E…


Life is actually good. 🙂 We are blessed to have a roofing job again! And Craig still has plenty of work doing social media shoots and video for Ulrich Barns. Talia keeps being the sweetest thing e-ver.


I was going to post a recipe I made the other day. I actually took it down as I made it. 🙂 

And I have a living room update post in my head.

But today grief struck. And I find myself frozen in space and time. 

My mom’s sister Mary has encephalitis and a few other complications and things, and long story short, in about a week’s time, has been moved to hospice. I wasn’t quite prepared for the grief that came in a wave today. Missing mom. So much. 

Mom and her three sisters had a special bond. Even after they were all moms with grown kids, they would still meet from four different states for a day together. The three sisters came to visit mom when she was in her last months. They are special.

Thanks for listening to my rambles tonight. 🙂

The week ahead is looking veeery full, so hopefully after the rush of the next few days I will be able to post some pictures and updates! 


The Heart of Him

What is the heart of our Father, God?

In the Old Testament, do we see His heart?

In the New Testament, do we see His heart?

Do we really know Him? His heart? 

Or do we see the Word as rules and “how you should live”?

I don’t believe that is the heart of the Father. 

Read the Word, crying out at the same time, to see and know His heart. 

Are we so intimately known by Him, and knowing Him that we follow Him…not something He said?

Today, God is saying…

Learn to know Me. As you read My Word, ask to see My heart. As you study it, find Me. Find My heart.



The Bread Story

I’ve had quite a history with bread. I learned from my amazing mom to make fresh ground, whole wheat bread that defied anything store bought. I lived close to my mother-in-law so I used her wheat grinder. And they grew wheat so I had free wheat. 🙂 

Then I got super crunchy. And moved to Texas. 

So the next chapter in the story was…sourdough! I caught my own wild yeasts of the air, developed it, and in time it made amazing bread. The flavor was incredible. Deep. The bread was moist. The crust was so crusty. Like, so crusty at times you nearly broke a tooth. Which means…well, all of this together means that the kids didn’t eat it. 🙂 And since I was not making bread for myself, I finally gave up and quit. Cuz I ended up eating too much bread!

After that I switched to sprouted wheat flour that I bought off of Amazon. It surprised me by making a very nice loaf of bread! And that’s what the kids ate for about a year or so. 

And now I have come full circle. We are back to simple whole wheat flour. I like to use white wheat flour for a lighter loaf. (The reason I quit with the sprouted wheat is that right now we are cutting our food budget in half! No sprouted, pastured, organic, or grassfed anything. And it literally cut it at least in half. Not that I keep track, I just know I am spending vastly less on groceries. This is temporary, and we are trusting God with our health.) 🙂 

But I am still a little too crunchy to put gluten, dough enhancer, or soy lecithin in my bread! So I researched and researched…surely someone has tried using sunflower lecithin instead of soy lecithin in bread! And surely they would have equivalents for me! No such luck. The closest anything came to “help” was one person saying that you can use sunflower lecithin in baked goods. And another site said that they are apples for apples. 

So I decided that hello–I just needed to try it!

Today I did. The result is amazing. The bread is oh-so-soft, and this is even after I put too much flour in the dough! It holds together beautifully! The kids were impressed. Now, I love a good crust on a bread, so I missed the crusty crust. But this bread, for my kids, is perfect. And healthy. Ish. Here is the recipe! Enjoy!

(I used half the amount of sunflower lecithin as the recipe asked for, as often soy lecithin comes in good-sized granules. And my sunflower lecithin, which I purchased from the THM store online, is a dense powder. I may try another half Tablespoon next time though, just cuz it’s soo healthy for you!)

Dawn's Bread
Write a review
4807 calories
990 g
0 g
30 g
126 g
4 g
2390 g
2437 g
81 g
0 g
22 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 4807
Calories from Fat 262
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 30g
Saturated Fat 4g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 2437mg
Total Carbohydrates 990g
Dietary Fiber 34g
Sugars 81g
Protein 126g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 1/2 c. lukewarm water
  2. 2 T. yeast
  3. 1/4 c. honey
  4. *************************
  5. 1 T. salt
  6. 4 T. olive oil
  7. 2 T. molasses
  8. 1 T. vinegar
  9. 4 c. warm water
  10. 1 T. sunflower lecithin
  11. 9-10 c whole wheat flour (I used white wheat)
  1. Mix your first three ingredients and allow it to set for 10 minutes, until bubbly.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Allow to rise and then punch it down. Do this twice.
  4. Place into your pans and allow it to rise about double in size.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Walnut Crunch Ice Cream Pie


This is just a little…uh…funny.

I saw a recipe similar to this on one of the THM foodie blogs. So I decided to change it around and use my own ice cream recipe, my own sweetener, and exchange the pecans for walnuts. I was so excited, cuz it was going to be beautiful, and I love beautiful food! And I looove salted, caramelized, sweet walnuts in my ice cream.

I use walnuts because they are quite a bit less in price at Costco than pecans. And right now, we are the farthest thing from food snobs. No pastured, grass-fed, sprouted, or organic. Not for now. But that’s another story. One I have written up as a draft, but not posted…yet. 

Anyway! Back to the pie! I had so much fun. And with bated breath, I set it on the table after dinner.

Isn’t it absolutely gorgeous? And THM S! Yay! All that crunchy, salty, sweet, buttery crust with vanilla ice cream…

I mean, even the crust in itself is a thing of beauty.

“Have some pie, my love.”

I think, in the back of my mind, I knew I was tricking myself. 

Craig doesn’t like nuts in most desserts. At least not ice creamy desserts. And the kids? Not on your life.

Craig ate some of the entire dish. But for the most part, I was the only one who ate the nutty part with the ice cream. The others all eagerly devoured the ice cream…only.

Here is where, if I could, I would put in about 20 emoticons. Mostly the laughing and crying one. 

I told Craig that I forgive them. (Laugh…cry…)

But I’m putting this recipe on my blog. For those of you who, like me, love the salty with the sweet. The crunchy, buttery, caramely with the ice cream. Amen.

Walnut Crunch Ice Cream Pie
Write a review
3390 calories
53 g
1104 g
345 g
55 g
126 g
1102 g
2237 g
13 g
2 g
201 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 3390
Calories from Fat 2966
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 345g
Saturated Fat 126g
Trans Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 125g
Monounsaturated Fat 76g
Cholesterol 1104mg
Sodium 2237mg
Total Carbohydrates 53g
Dietary Fiber 17g
Sugars 13g
Protein 55g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 2 T butter
  2. 1/2 c. walnuts
  3. 1/4 tsp. salt
  4. 1 doonk stevia
  5. *****************
  6. 2 c. walnuts
  7. 1/2 t. stevia
  8. 1/2 t. salt
  9. 1/4 c. melted butter
  10. **********************
  11. 1-1/2 c. water
  12. 1-1/2 c. cream
  13. 3 egg yolks
  14. 1 T glycerin
  15. 1 T melted butter
  16. 1 tsp. vanilla
  17. 1/2 tsp. molassas
  18. 1 tsp. stevia
  19. 1/8 tsp. salt
  20. 1 tsp. gluccie
  1. Of the first four ingredients, melt the butter, add the remaining three ingredients, and brown in a pan.
  2. Of the next four ingredients, place all into a food processor and process until mixed well. Press into a deep dish pie pan and bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool.
  3. The remaining ingredients are your ice cream. Put everything into blender, adding the gluccie last as it tends to clump. Blend well. Pour into your ice cream maker and churn until ready.
  4. Empty ice cream into cooled pie crust. (If you cool your pie crust in the freezer, it won't melt the ice cream.)
  5. Arrange the caramelized pecans (first part of the recipe) on top to your liking.
  6. Enjoy!
  1. I always use Bolivan stevia, found on ebay. These are measured for that exact stevia. It is in crystals, and measures very differently from powdered or liquid stevia! If you have a different kind, always taste as you go. 🙂
Adapted from All Day I Dream About Food


I cannot describe to you what these cookies are like. 

Just make them.

Go take your special fund, hidden away in a shoe box in your closet, and buy a bag of Lily’s Chocolate Chips.

And make them. 

Use Bolivian stevia to taste. But make sure you make your unbaked batter a little sweeter than you want it, because it always bakes out a bit.

Make them.

You will never be the same. 

(Hahahaha! I’m cracking myself up.)

See, there’s a bit of a story here.

I had walnuts and part of a bag of Lily’s Chocolate Chips. And I saw this recipe in my FB feed. It looked perfect. But I didn’t have any coconut milk in my pantry! And…my phone refused to work to pin the recipe. I went on with life. Got some coconut milk when I went to the store. 

And could not, for the life of me, find the recipe. I scoured the internet. I checked out all the THM Foodie Blogs that bring so much joy to my life.

Not find.

I despaired. 

The next day I checked again. I knew I had seen this. It had to be somewhere! And I had these chocolate chips, and I didn’t want to just eat them plain! I wanted to do something really special with them! And this craving…ahhh…help!

Today I sat down with my chromebook again. I said, hey, God cares! So I prayed. Pretty much in the next minute, I found it. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 

I am not going to put this in my recipes. Because I hold it in far too much reverence to steal any bit of it. (Recipes are not copyrighted.) But still. 

I’m going to give you the link. I used Bolivian stevia. They are perfect. Crunch. Caramelized. Chocolate.

And no sugar.


Perfect in every way.



Five Minute Magic Cookies – Low Carb, Sugar Free, THM S

Hurricane Harvey and Texas

I have only, in the more recent years of my life, learned that I cannot carry the weight of the sorrow of the world on my shoulders. Or more accurately, in my heart. Having spent 6 of my young adult years living in Africa, it would have done me much good had I learned this quite a bit sooner. So many times there, I had no idea what to do with the pain I felt for those around me. The unfairness and gut-wrenching evil in the world. The cries of my close friends as they lost family members. No idea.

There are still times today when something hits me so hard that I can only spread my hands out to God, crying…with my heart laid out in front of Him. A broken heart He never despises. 

With all the talk of child abduction for sex slavery, and the instances that moms in grocery stores felt themselves stalked and their kids in danger…well, I’m never sure what to do with that. Fear is not from God. Ever. But taking caution and wisdom definitely can be! I rarely take my kids to the store. Not only for that reason…it’s just beyond crazy to haul 5 kids around and keep them all from wandering off and touching things and begging for things. 🙂 

But for some reason recently, this whole thing really hit me. The thought of my babies being taken and abused and destroyed…it defied anything I could imagine. Determined not to walk and live in fear, I took my screaming heart to God…crying out for the babies who are confused, broken, and dying inside. 

The pain nearly killed me. And I can’t imagine what it does to God’s heart. 

But I had to let it go. I need to survive on this earth. And God doesn’t create us to carry the weight of the sorrow in the world indefinitely.

Then Hurricane Harvey Hit.

I really want to put photos into this post, but I don’t want to steal them. So please take a minute to click on this page. It has a picture of life in South Texas that will stun you to the core.

Hurricane Harvery in Pictures

There are horrible events and weather conditions the world over. But this is in my back yard. These are my people. The devastation and peril is overwhelming. And it’s so easy to think, what are you guys doing in that place?!! Why did you not leave???!!! I know what we would have done. We would probably have driven to KS before it hit. We have family there. We would be taken care of. We have places to go. 

A lot of these people don’t have places to go. 

And the traffic and danger of a city driving off…can be a lot worse than anything we can imagine.

But even so, there is no judgement. Only sorrow. Pain. 

And lifting my hands to my Father…crying out for all the babies. For all the elderly, sitting in waist deep water, waiting for rescue. For everyone. 

God is going to take this horrible thing, and He is going to use it for good. He is not turning His back on Texas. Texas is about to see revival. 

I don’t believe God is punishing us. I don’t understand things. I just know God is moving and working powerfully. 

Not only Americans, but also those from other countries are pouring in hope and help. So cool.

Most of all, may we see and know Father God. 



Limited time Sale on Tiny Girl!

Sale until next Tuesday, August 5th! 

$11 per skirted bodysuit! (Plus shipping for non-locals.)

Check out Tiny Girl on facebook, or comment/email me to claim one for your very own!

These also make fantastic baby gifts. 🙂

Kid Fun!

For starters, Talia Rain is beginning to think that food is fun.

In other news, we ladies are having meetings to plan and prepare for Community Life Family Co-op 2017 – 2018! I will be heading up a cooking class. This is all quite exciting! We have had a number of families join, and every year we work out more bugs and become more professional. 🙂

Our public library also has Homeschool Hour on Thursday mornings from 9:00 – 10:00. They keep the doors locked and so it’s peaceful, empty, and safe in there! 

(This was actually at home. You can check out boxes of themed items, and this one was on microscopes!)

Abby being very sweet and allowing Enzo to wear her headset. 🙂

We also had a lot of fun taking the kids to the Railroaders Baseball Game the other night! This is a perk of Craig’s Story Pro business. He does social media stories and videos for Ulrich Barns. They needed him there to take pictures of their giveaway, so we had a family’s worth of free tickets and food vouchers!

It was a gorgeous evening.

I’m grateful that color and corn syrup or whatever these are made of, won’t kill my kids. Cuz they saw them, longed for them, and I said…”okay”…

I mean seriously, how do you resist that?

Speaking of resisting…right now Enzo has this thing where he says, “Pleeease?” When he wants something. So sweetly. Oh my. The kid who I needed to stick back into bed this morning because he refused to eat oatmeal or egg in the nest. He wanted a pancake. The kid who took his turn whipping the butter and sugar for the cookies yesterday. He took my hands off the beater. Did it himself…with gusto. 

This kid.

I decided to try out a whole wheat chocolate chip cookie recipe. Using raw sugar. I’m preparing for my cooking class at co-op. And want to teach my kids some skills.

They turned out very dry. And the raw sugar crunchy. 🙁 🙂 But they had fun! 

Just to show you what our “new” and “improved” sectional looks like! I love the white in our living room. The coating is cold. And it doesn’t give much. But it’s still muuuch better than all those crumbles on my floor and the clothes of our unsuspecting visitors who would sit there! I’m thinking, for the winter, I may still want to cover them at least partially with cloth. Hodge podge. Strange. Who cares?!

I did have fun covering some extra bed pillows for the couches, as you really need something there to support your back. I used $1 per yd. fabric I had in my closet from Walmart. So soft! We love it! Our new wall color will be gray. 🙂 

The weather here is gorgeous. Cool. Sunny. We had lots of gentle rain. Last evening after Craig mowed the yard, we played baseball. I love playing baseball. Softball. Whatever. I did trip and go rolling. 🙂 I know. Graceful. But we had fun. 

Be blessed this week!


P.S. Please pray for Texas. Especially Houston area. We may have lovely weather here. But it is costing thousands of people. The flooding is unbelievable. I pray that people will look at the world, nature…and see that God is real. He is God. 

Picture Update

Here is a picture update! I’m just going to run down these and ramble away as we go…

Future computer expert. 🙂

Sweet morning faces!

As a child, I loved the black bottom cupcakes…especially if the cream cheese part had chocolate chips in it! So I tried to make a healthy version. I used the black bean cake recipe. We ended up with delicious cupcakes, but not right. The cream cheese fell to the bottom. By the way, there are plenty of recipes that don’t make it to the blog! It always makes me sad when I go to the work of measuring and recording recipes, and it doesn’t make the cut! I love cooking without a measuring cup! But so it is with the recipe blogger… 🙂 

Morning thoughts.

Ever since I taught at Meadowlark, I dreamed of using these children around the world in my own classroom, with my own kids! This was the day my dream came true!

See, we are doing some house changes. After racking our brains, Craig moved his office out of the small bedroom in our house. He built a wall in our storage shed and turned half of it into an office! Yay! He loves it, as it’s his mancave and he can make it just how he wants it. There is also quiet for his phone calls. 🙂 I love having the small bedroom back! Now it is a school room. 

My desk. I had a lot of fun about three years ago, painting it a distressed black and white. But it needed an update! So as we are trying to do all this without spending a penny (we did get an ac for the shed office!), Craig spray painted the desk (and a few other things–yay!) with left-over outdoor paint he had in the shop from one of his jobs. 🙂 I absolutely love the outcome. I spray painted the hardware with paint I had used for a cake stand for the auction. The result has given me so many happy feelings…

Just a snack in the meantime…

We plan to eventually paint the living room walls gray. So this sort of brushed nickel hardware will fit beautifully!

I have a rule: kids stay away from my desk! And I am a mean mom about it. 🙂 It’s my very, very special place. Beautiful. Clean. Quiet. (haha! Not quiet very often, but…)

So grateful for peppers from our garden!

Aldi had spring mix greens for a great price, so we ate salads every day sometimes twice a day!

Just some more JOY… 🙂

Uh oh! <3

Talia is starting to beg to taste everything I eat! When she can tell I’m eating, she smacks her lips. It is the darlingest thing! She also loves to crawl around under the table eating crumbs…

We were needing more soap for our daily lives, and as making unscented, uncolored soap is boring, I had fun using up a bit of charcoal!! Can’t wait to use it!

I also loved whoopie pies as a kid! But my try here was a complete fail. Still yummy, but a solid fail. 🙂

When I think I got up early enough to have some time alone… 😉

So! Here is another recent project! Our sectional has been crumbling for years. Finally, so weary of vacuuming couch off the floor, I decided to try and recover it with donated fabric. Hodge podge? Don’t care. Just anything. 🙂 Then, as I was researching, I realized that people paint leather couches! So Craig jumped on board, took them down to the barn, and gave them a layer of Conklin coating. 🙂 I tried including a picture of the finished product, but somehow it refuses to load. So come visit us. 🙂 

The crumbling couch…

Craig’s helper with the couch spraying job!

For a bit, our living room was quite empty!

This guy is a joy. He eats so well. 🙂

And he’s terribly cute. 

My special, bright pink, chevron dress I made out of a t-shirt (and a white tank top) in my closet and a huge skirt from Goodwill. P.S. I am not a bright pink, chevrony person, but I do like it!


The kids are still doing And I am supplementing by practicing reading and dictating writing with them. Recently again, I freaked out that I’m being a terribly mom and not providing proper education for them. Then God said, “This is good.” So I chilled out. 🙂

My last batch of bread. I used up every bit of brown and white flour I had in the house, and added quite a bit of left-over cooked oatmeal. And after rising and kneading, it was so soft I poured it into the bread pans! Many misgivings later, I tried a piece. I had made a fantastic bread completely by accident! (The fantastic part being the accident.) It was chewy and moist inside, with a crust that defied everything American and took you straight to Europe. 

Not everything about that was good, however. As I was slicing it, the knife slipped on the super hard crust and cut my finger…the same finger I had tried cutting the end off several years ago. It was not a superficial cut, as evidenced by the crazy bleeding and the deep pain that still dogs me if I use it too hard. Sigh. Me and knives…

Those shiny, dark eyes…

A mirror? Oh no. Twins.

Brothers will be brothers. 

Dressing up Baby Doll. 🙂

And that is the update for now! Have a blessed weekend!


How Do We Receive?

Paul minces no words…

You foolish Galatians! Who has cast a spell on you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified?

I only want to learn this from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by believing what you heard

After beginning by the Spirit, are you now finishing by the flesh? Did you experience so much for nothing–if in fact it was for nothing? 

So then, does God give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law? Or is it by believing what you heard–just like Abraham who believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness?

(Then it speaks of how Jesus came to redeem us from needing to try to follow the law.)

The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles by Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promised Spirit through faith.

Why did I never see this before? I always just ran quickly over the verses that talk about the Holy Spirit. He was something vague and un-understandable in my mind. 

But receiving the Holy Spirit is a big deal! And it’s not an automatic thing that just happens to us at the new birth. It’s a separate experience. And it’s ongoing. And it changes your life. 

A really good read is The Helper by Catherine Marshall. This is an old book…not something new and weird. And it brings to me so much truth about how our lives change when we receive this power. 

(Nothing against new books. Some are amazing! Just…for those of you who may be screaming inside, that this is all new age stuff, etc.)

Another amazing, old book is How to Live Like a King’s Kid by Harold Hill. 

How do we receive?

Often in the New Testament, it happened when someone laid hands on you for you to receive the Holy Spirit. But not always. And today, it’s the same way. 

Some of us, especially those of us who have long believed that this kind of thing is not for today, and is bogus, and is scary…it can be a process to believe. It can be a series of slow steps. It can actually be really hard. 

But here in Galatians, God showed me so clearly this morning that we don’t receive this gift by anything we “do”. No works brings us to this place. It’s by “believing what you have heard”. It’s through faith. 

And God does the giving. He is the Giver. We receive. 

And our lives are changed.