Friday, April 18, 2014

Biscuit Mix

Here is yet another mix I want to share with you.  I am positive once you make this mix you will never purchase the box mix again! 

Can you see my new little beauty in the background?  My delightful hubby got me a lime green 5 quart stand mixer.  I had the smallest one they made, I think it was a 3 quart one.  It was about 20 years old.  I was sad to see it go it was like my little kitchen companion all these years.  I was able to bless a family with my old one.  So I know it will be cherished as they use it.  OK enough blabbing onto the recipe.

Biscuit Mix

8 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3 Tablespoons baking powder
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups instant powdered milk (I used 1/2 cup of powdered buttermilk)
2 1/4 cups shortening

In a large bowl, sift together all dry ingredients.  Blend well.  With pastry blender, cut in shortening until it resembles pea-like mixture.

Put this into an airtight container and use within 10 weeks.  Honestly it never lasts around here that long.  You can use this to make biscuits, coffeecakes, muffins and even cornbread.

Then you take these same delicious biscuits and make chicken n biscuits....

I use to think making things from scratch were a lot of hassle.  Now I know they are not.  In the time it takes me to get in the car, go to the store, check-out and come back home, I can make this mix up. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Amazing Spiderman 2 Family Discussion Guide {Review}

Sometimes a review comes into my email I cannot reply yes fast enough to.  This one was one of those reviews. 

Coming to theaters in May is The Amazing Spiderman 2.  Oddly enough some of the movie was filmed right in our little city.  It was pretty neat seeing a chase scene unfold right on the same streets we had walked on many times. 

One of the first movies my husband and I saw together while dating was the original Spiderman.  I am personally not a big marvel comic movie type.  But I do enjoy the Spiderman movies.  Our daughter Hannah loves Spiderman. 

I was sent the Spiderman 2 Family Discussion guide to review.  Since Hannah is a child with some developmental disabilities she can relate a lot to these kind of "super hero" movies.  As we were reading through the discussion guide one of the questions asked if we had ever felt like a nobody.  I know everyone has.  This discussion guide is only 5 pages long.  But do not let that fool you!!  This discussion guide focuses on Scripture that can pertain to the movie.  The guide helped us open up the line of communication with our children regarding being different, personal choices, your destiny, living the life you are meant to and more. 

The guide focuses on 6 different passages of Scripture that can be tied into the movie.  I am looking forward to seeing the movie and going through the guide with my family.  It's a great after dinner conversation starter. 

More information about the movie can be found by clicking on the following links.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 movie website
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Facebook page
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Twitter page

But wait there is more!!  I have been given a prize pack to give to one of my lucky readers (Sorry only US/Canada readers can win).  The prize pack includes:

- AMAZING SPIDERMAN 2 Prize Pack (t-shirt, paper mask and phone case)
- Special edition: The Amazing Spiderman 2 Family Discussion Guide (electronic)
- A chance to win a 4 pack of tickets to the movie opening weekend.
TO ENTER: Just leave me a comment telling me who your favorite Biblical Hero is.  Please make sure you give me a way to get in touch with you.
This give a way will be open until April 24.  At that time I will chose a winner.  Good luck to you!!
"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising): Many thanks to Propeller, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification."

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Hardest Job I've Ever Loved!

One of the hardest things I've had to do is raise children with developmental disabilities.  I have spent many moments alone just crying out asking why me?  I honestly do not feel qualified to raise them.  I've endured a lot of criticism over the years from family because of things they do not understand.  It wasn't until I gave my life to Christ did I switch my focus regarding my daughters. Do not misunderstand me, I love my daughters with everything that is in me.  But I would be lying if I said I didn't wish things were different.  I've often cried out to the Lord asking why He gave me daughters with disabilities?!! 

April is Autism awareness month.  My prayer is that everyone out there would learn more about this.  I pray you become aware of what its like having a child that isn't like everyone else.  When you head to the store and see a child screaming do not assume they are spoiled or the parents just need to discipline more. 

When we started homeschooling 8 years ago I jumped in not really knowing what to do next.  I knew it was the best thing for my children.  Even my son who doesn't have any disabilities.  We did not have a definite diagnosis for our daughters.  Getting a diagnosis on paper was going to prove to be the longest and toughest battle I had ever fought.  Every time we reached out to professionals regarding a diagnosis we were always met with a brick wall.  It wasn't until last spring everything started falling into place after a horrible event.  God does use EVERYTHING for His purpose.  It was this event that really got the ball moving. 

My sister use to work for an organization called Easter Seals.  She had mentioned previously that I should take the girls there.  For whatever reason I had not done so.  But now that the girls are getting older I needed something on paper so they could start getting the services they needed.  So we began the process.  There is a ton of paperwork involved with getting a diagnosis.  I filled out the paperwork and then waited....and waited some more.  After about 9 moths we finally had the appointments for the testing.  It was 3 days worth of tests she had to go through.  Then there was more waiting.  In January we finally got the official diagnosis on paper. 

I remember opening up the report of findings.  I started reading and one phrase jumped off the page "Autism".  Then as I continued to read I saw another phrase that knocked the wind out of me, "Intellectual Disability".  It is the new term for mental retardation.  It was all so overwhelming to me.  You would have thought I would feel relief while reading it.  But I started to feel the tears streaming down my face.  I couldn't stop them.  I wasn't sure if it was because of the diagnosis or a relief that we finally had one.  It was most likely a combination of the two.  For 16 years I had fought doctors and medical professionals.  I suppose I had just come to terms with the fact we may never have an official diagnosis.  I highly recommend Easter Seals to anyone in a situation like ours.

Now we are in the next steps of obtaining services for our daughter.  We are working closely with our local ARC office.  They have been wonderful!!  I can see God's hand in everything we are doing.  Paperwork has been approved in weeks instead of the months we had been told it would take.  It really hasn't hit me we are ending this road of trying to get these services for her.  We are also starting the same journey with our oldest daughter. 

Tonight on Facebook someone posted a song called "We'll Get By (the autism song)".  I sat here in the quiet of my living room once again with the warm tears streaming down my face.  It is hard for me to put into words all of what I'm feeling.  No parent wants to admit there is something "wrong" with your child.  But it is reality for us.  We know that God does not make mistakes.  He knew what He was doing when He was forming her in my womb.  I have to admit the WHY is still there.  Have listen to the song...but keep the tissues handy.

Oatmeal Cookie Mix {Recipe}

In our quest to make our lives a little more self-sufficient I have been making our own homemade convenience products.  I decided to share these with you from time to time.  We joined a food co-op in February.  We were able to purchase large quantities of oats, sugar, flour, cheese and a few other items.  We love oatmeal cookies here.  I love the convenience of this mix without all the additives in the prepackaged mixes.

As you can see this recipe will give you many premade mixes.  It actually gives you 8 mixes but I made a batch right after I finished.

 Make sure you use a VERY large bowl.  This will also give your arms a great workout.  I eventually had to get my hands in to finish the mixing.

Oatmeal Cookie Mix

3 cups white sugar
3 cups brown sugar
6 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 cups shortening
12 cups rolled oats

Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, baking soda and baking powder together.  Cut in the shortening until it is well mixed. 

Place 4 cups of the mix into Ziploc bags.  There you have premade cookie mixes for your convenience. 

To make oatmeal cookies:

Combine in a bowl 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 4 cups of the cookie mix. Mix all the ingredients well.  Drop onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for about 12 minutes. 

You can add anything you like to the cookies.  I personally like raisins or cranraisins or chocolate chips.