Monday, July 30, 2012

Italian Bean Salad

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  (Psalm 119:105)

Italian Bean Salad
This salad is full of flavor, protein, easy to make and free of gluten. 


15 Ounces Garbanzo Beans (1 can)
15 Ounces Black Beans (1 can)
2 Cups Chopped Cherry Tomatoes
3-4 Green Onions Chopped
1 1/2 Cups Parsley, Finely Chopped
1 Large Lemon, Juiced
3 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2-4 Cloves Minced Garlic
2 Tablespoons Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste


Drain and rinse canned beans and place in large bowl.  Chop tomatoes, green onions, parsley and add to beans.  Salt and pepper bean mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese.  Whisk together and then add to beans and tomatoes to cover mixture completely.  Sprinkle a little extra parmesan cheese if desired.  Chill completely prior to serving.  Enjoy!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not About You

Recently while on a family hike, my youngest Emily looked to Bob and said “Dad, did you get us lost?”

“No, I know right where we are.” He confidently replied.

“Well, it is always about you then isn’t it Dad.”

While this was a bit of a snarky remark for a four year old and certainly caught us off guard, I was in fact hearing my words come out of her little mouth.  I have been known more than once to remind my children that this world and often the things we have to accomplish are not solely about them.  When I hear a whine following my request to get ready to go visit someone they don’t want or to help their sister or brother on a task they would rather not, I quickly reply with “this is not about you and your needs right now. “  And they sulk their way through the task to completion.

I am guilty of not always listening to my own advice, as I am sure we all are from time to time.  It is very easy to forget that this world and our existence on this spinning globe is not all about us.  We are here for a greater purpose and though we may not be aware of the purpose today, someday it will be clear.  Getting distracted with daily tasks and routines can leave us feeling selfishly needy and move our focus from where it ought to be.  When we lose focus, we miss opportunities to help others and serve the Lord.  The Lord is large, perfect and easy to focus on and He has provided us with the perfect life map to follow while we are small, flawed and lost in our own selfishness much of the time. 

Good and gracious God, I am grateful for Your guidance and patience with my sometimes lost focus.  It is not about me and I am thankful that You never let me stay lost.

Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. (1 Corinthians 10:24)

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gluten Free Banana Muffins (or Bread)

My children fight often, as all siblings do.  The summer months seem to bring out more of the bickering, which can often start as soon as they open their eyes to start the day.  While this can be an extremely frustrating time as a parent, I am trying to use this period as a learning experience for the children and myself.   Along with the opportunity to grow our patience, we are also given the chance to learn how to react kindly and respond softly.  When a fight erupts over who bumped into whom or who has the next turn on the trampoline, we are learning to listen rather than speak louder.  And then we bake muffins.

 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger...James 1:19

Gluten Free Banana Muffins (or Bread)

½ Cup Butter
1 Cup Sugar
2 Eggs
4 Ripe Bananas
½ Cup Sorghum Flour
½ Cup Buckwheat Flour
¼ Cup Oat Flour
¼ Cup Coconut Flour
½  tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla

Cream the butter and sugar together.  Mash the bananas and then add to butter and sugar mixture along with the eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flours, baking soda and salt.  Pour into prepared muffin tins or loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20min for muffins and 60min for bread or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.   

This recipe yields approximately 24-30 muffins or 1 loaf of bread.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chick and Louise a Love Story – Part 2

Today Chick is a bit cranky, wanting to talk with the person in charge about the quality of the food.  Another lunch of mashed potatoes and ground beef with gravy is not appealing to his spoiled pallet.  Louise has always cooked such delectable meals that this “slop” is getting on his last nerve.  Louise is equally disgusted with the meals that do not even come close to comparing to her lovingly prepared spreads; however she knows that no amount of squawking on Chick’s part will change the menu.  As Louise attempts to take him out of the cafeteria to relax, Chick slams his feet down in protest so that the wheel chair stops dead.   Eventually a nurse has to intervene and move Chick out of the door way, despite his protest so that the rest of the residents are able to exit the cafeteria.

Although it was a rough start to the couple’s visiting time together today, they quickly fall into relaxation mode with Chick resting in his chair and Louise gently holding his hand by his side.  While visiting, they reminisce a bit and remember a time shortly after they were married that Chick recorded a song onto a record.  The song, “Yours and Mine” first sung by Guy Lombardo quickly comes back to them:

Just a home with morning glories,
like you read about in stories;
And we’ll call it yours and mine.
Where the flowers extend their greetings,
Where the bluebirds hold their meetings;
We’ll call it yours and mine.

When the sun gets up, then we’ll get up;
 and I’ll help you cook.
Then when you sit down, I’ll sit down 
in our breakfast nook.
Then between your chair and my chair
 maybe there will be a high chair;
And we’ll call it yours and mine.

As they recall the song and the time back when, they laugh together.  Sixty-five years of marriage yields many fond memories that can easily remove the frustration of poorly prepared lunches.  The silence that followed the laughter was full of warmth from their smiles as they held hands just knowing they are together at this moment and for now that is good enough.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 ESV)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Forecation - Part 3 - The Surf

No trip to the shore is complete with out water and waves.  There is something exhaustively wonderful about getting beat up by mother ocean.  Nothing says complete vacation like sand in your trunks and salt in your eyes and nose.

While our house was on the bay and we had tons of fun in the wave free waters, we did venture out to the beaches with waves a couple of times.  You can run...but you can't hide!

As I learned this year, there is a fine art to catching the right wave.  There are also better locations for wave breaks then others.  We researched the best wave beaches in the area and found that it is indeed less painful when the waves break away from the beach and not right on the sand.

Each day we were at the waves, the kids (big kids included) entered the water as soon as we got there and did not leave the water until we left 6 hours later.  The young kids crashed on the car ride home and the older kids had VERY sore muscles the next day.

And while the waves were a lot of fun, there was a lot of great splashing to be had in the bay as well.  Emily preferred the the calmness of the bay and no one else seemed to mind the relaxing swim either.  Though, it was easier to feel the sea life on your toes when the water was still.

What a wonderful blessing to enjoy the beauty of God's creation with lovely family and friends.  Thank you Lord for blessing us with the time, opportunity and people to enjoy this vacation with.  Amen.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Forecation - Part 2 - The Sand

Along with the wonderful crabbing experiences, we also spent hours in the sun and sand this past vacation.  While we did not build one of our traditional sand sculptures, there was a large wall built to block the wind one day, bocce to play and hours of digging holes and covering toes.

While the seagulls are not nearly as bothersome on this beach as they are at the more popular and boardwalk beaches, they are still there.  Frequently arriving in the evening, the seagulls provided a fun option for entertainment for some.  Feeding (never near the people so that there are no "accidents") and chasing seagulls are always good for a giggle.


At one point, the older girls convinced Emily that if she stood a certain way the birds were more likely to come right to her.  She tried a couple of days in a row with no success.


No Foreman trip to anywhere is complete with out some loving competition.  Jon, the soon to be Foreman, fit right in with his race challenge to Bethann.

And use the pay phone?  The kids thought this was the most curious and hilarious item we saw all week.

And of course there is always time to just explore and enjoy the sand with an after dinner walk.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Forecation - Part 1 - The Crabs

This week of family vacation was filled with sunshine, family time, crabbing, boogie boarding, games, fishing and just plain fun.  One of the coolest things about the house we rented was the dock out back from which we could crab on a daily basis.  Not only did we catch the crabs, but we caught enough for a a mini meal for us all.  

Ben and Brad also found this as an opportunity to scan for minnows to use for future fishing needs.  They caught so many minnows that Ben was thinking of starting a part time business selling them to fishermen at the point.



At low tide the mud was very thick and black near the dock.  The first day, Brad dared his girlfriend Shyla to jump in, tricking her with how thick it was.  As you can see, you cannot stand on the mud and it gets quite deep.  She was not impressed.

Eventually the crabs started rolling in and the crew was reeling them in, lifting them out and measuring them for keeping status.  There was also a little bit of fun to be had with the punchy, hard shelled sea creatures.

Don't mess with a crab on the loose, they are not trying to hold your hand out of love and that is not a new dance move.  Though, perhaps it should be.  Raise your arms and snap your hands around.  Now stomp to the left and dive in the water....Do the Crab!

He's a keeper...sorry buddy but you will taste lovely with Old Bay and melted butter tonight.

 This one might be a bit small, what do you think?  Time to throw the net out for more dinner! 

Everyone takes turns checking the nets and sometimes they even lose the nets in the mud.  Not naming any names...but give you one guess who lost the most nets.  She is not pictured here and her name starts with and "L"....

Time for dinner and to enjoy our catch today.  A lot of work, but delicious reward.

As the sun sets on this crab filled day, we rest comfortably with our bellies full and our traps ready for tomorrow.