Thursday, December 31, 2009
6 cups unbleached strong white bread flour
1 package Rapid Rise Highly Active Yeast
1 2/3 cup water (120-130 degrees)
1. Lightly grease two baking sheets. Sift the flour, salt and yeast together into a large bowl.
2. Pour water into dry ingredients, then mix to a firm dough.
3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about an hour.
4. Turn out on to a lightly floured surface and punch down. Knead for 2-3 minutes, then divide the dough into four or five parts and shape each piece into a ball. Place balls of dough on the prepared baking sheets. Cover with inverted bowls and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
5. Carefully press a hole down into the center of the top of the balls using your thumb. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap and leave to rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes.
6. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and place the bread on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a rich golden brown color. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
So, we have all heard the saying or seen one of the signed or photo frames, "All because two people fell in love". Right? That is the saying that popped into my head just a few minutes ago.
What made me think that? You are wondering, I am sure. Well, the baby was fussing. He was DONE eating, if you know what I mean. He was covered in goo. A big slobbery baby cookie and teething biscuit is what he was. Andrew (age 4) was screaming in the potty that he needed poopy medicine. He was gagging on his tears, slobber and snot. Screaming, really screaming. Our house is a pit. A real disaster. So, please don't come by (not that anyone is planning on coming to Texas). We were gonna go out to dinner, but my hubby had to work late and the kids were hungry. Not the evening I had planned.
So, just picture all of this going on. That is when the saying came to me. I was scrubbing last nights dinner dishes. Not the picture perfect evening, huh? I could think of a hundred better ways for the evening to go. But, in the words of Kate "It may be a crazy life, but its our life."
I really do love my life. I love my children and my husband. Sure, we all get tired and just plum worn out. However, the love that we share is precious. Not everyone is blessed enough to have experienced it.
All because two people fell in love...there is a house full of people that can laugh and cry together...there are children that will fulfill God's purpose for their lives...two families were brought together...one child who was motherless now has a mother...one child who fatherless now has a father...two lives were created...two hearts that were created to love have someone to spend the rest of their lives cherishing...all because two people fell in love.
*Footnote...we are very aware that we didn't just happen to fall in love. We were brought together by God for a divine purpose. Nothing just happens. Where there's God will, there is a way.
Here in Texas it seems that there are lots of people facing troubles. Almost every church that we have visited the pastors have addressed issues of the food banks being overwhelmed and families in the churches that have lost jobs and homes. There are lots of children without coats at school. The schools have done a coat drive to meet those needs. The resources that are available for people are just overwhelmed by the need. They simply can't keep up with the demand.
The Sunday school class that we visited last Sunday had just given gift cards to two families in the church that had lost their jobs and their homes. They had also adopted two other families that were on the angel tree and bought Christmas gifts for them. Someone brought up the fact that there were still families and children on the tree that no one had bought for.
Our hearts are breaking at the need. I know that times are tough for most people right now, even if you do have a job. Don't let that stop you from giving. Bless someone this season. If you can't give of a financial means then give of your time. The food banks are needing volunteers to organize the food that is brought and to pass it out. The elderly in the nursing homes are lonely. They just want to know that someone remembers them. There are so many physical and emotional needs. Try to meet at least one. My husband has decided not to receive a Christmas gift this year so that he can give the money to an area food bank. There isn't anything that he "needs", but there are people that need food and clothing. Go through your clothes and give away what you don't wear to a clothing closet. Take your suits to one of the organizations that help people get jobs. Those people can't afford even a Wal-Mart suit.
If God has blessed you, then you need to bless someone else. You never know when you might be the one in need. Do it for His glory and not your own.
Monday, December 14, 2009
1 ½ C. flour
¼ C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp apple pie spice
¼ C. unsalted butter, at room temp, diced
¼ C. sugar
1 egg yolk
For the decoration
5 oz milk chocolate
5 oz white chocolate
3 ¼ oz semisweet chocolate
Almonds or walnuts (optional)
Cocoa powder (optional)
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease baking sheets.
2. Put the flour, cocoa powder, spice and butter into a food processor. Processes until the ingredients are thoroughly blended. Add the sugar, egg and egg yolk and mix to smooth dough. (I use my mixer to blend ingredients, use my hands to make sure it was thoroughly done. Add the other ingredients, mix. Then, I get the hook or kneader for the mixer and let that make smooth dough. It takes a bit.)
3. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and knead gently. Cut the dough in half and roll out each piece under the palms of your hands to form tow long logs, each around 13 inches long.
4. Cut each log into ½ inch slices. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet, spacing slightly apart and chill for at least 30 minutes.
5. Bake for 10 minutes until slightly risen. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
6. To decorate, melt the chocolates over simmering water. Dip cookies into them. Be creative on decorating! Top some with powered sugar, some with cocoa powder and some with almonds.
Friday, December 11, 2009
While she is holding a baby two months younger than my Gabriel with wires and iv's in him, my baby just wants me to play in our living room with him. There are parents who are in the hospital with their children right now. They don't know what the future holds. Their children might not see Christmas this year. Bryce's son should be celebrating his sixth Christmas here on earth, but he isn't doing that. Instead he is in his mother's arms and they celebrating with Christ himself in heaven.
My issues that I thought a minute ago were so big now seem really small. How easily we loose focus. We only look at ourselves and how things effect us. Last night Joel tried to get up the stairs before Andrew and Andrew got pushed out of the way. Bryce had Joel come down and told him that he needs to learn the phrase "I am second". He explained about putting others needs and sometimes wants in front of your own. Really, Christ is first, others are second, and we are third. We forget that so quickly.
So, I am going to get up and clean my house and play with my children with a happy heart and renewed spirit. My children are happy and healthy. I have a home, food and clothing for all of us. We have no real needs. I have a loving, giving husband that prayed over me this morning before he left for work. What a way to wake up! How blessed I am. How Christ loves all of us! I am chosen, I am redeemed, and I need to live like it. I need to thank God for the day. Say it with me "This is the day that the Lord has made..."
Monday, November 23, 2009
RaeAnne told me that she didn't want to go this morning. She wanted to be lazy and sleep in. I told her that she goes to school everyday and has made friends. I don't go to school and we don't have a church home yet, so I need to go to MOPS so that I can make friends. I don't have any yet.
We went to MOPS. The kids had fun. A mom asked me if I wanted to meet her at McDonald's. I wasn't planning on taking four kids out to eat, but I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to make a connection with another mom. We get there and sit together and RaeAnne leans over to me and said, "I thought you didn't have any friends." She is so funny! It made me laugh, and thought it make make you smile as well!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
1. Doing your usual Wal-Mart shopping takes twice as long. Same size Wal-Mart, twice as many people. It just takes forever to go down the isles. They should have guided way to go through it, a path, like Ikea does.
2. There are no tag agencies here. One place (downtown) for everyone to register and renew their vehicles, and two locations for you to get your drivers licence or renwew it. They like long lines I guess. Also, they mail you your license...so for a while you only have a piece of paper stating who you are and that you can drive. No photo ID (which you need to be able to do anything).
3. You do not register what party you are when you register to vote. They don't care. You can vote in any primary. Cool! I am still waiting to see if that means that we will get twice as many phone calls and mail around election time.
4. Doctors expect for you to be supermom. The expect yo to wait in a waiting room for an hour that has no toys for your children to play with and is only big enough for the chairs. Then they take you to an exam room that is the smallest exam room ever. Seriously. I have never seen one so tiny. There wasn't even room to put my purse or diaper bg on the floor. The doctor then expects you, as Super Mom, to pee in a cup while holding your baby and with your three year-old in the bathroom with you. I am serious. They just don't think through things very well.
And lastly...number 5. My dental hygenist informed me that Texas is cliquish. So, unless you were born here (which I was not) then you will never fit in. Don't expect to, and so don't expect your neighbors to wave or be real friendly. They can just tell that you weren't born here. And apparnetly she can tell that I'm a city kid...does Yukon count as a big city? It is the same size or smaller than Saginaw (where we live here in Texas).
Things are different here for sure. But God is still the same, even in Texas! Know that I don't really belive everything from number 5. I think she is crazy. God has a place for us in this community. My kids have been accepted with open arms, and I have at MOPS and Bible study. However, there are stereo types for a reason and they are usually true. She is the stereotypical non-including woman that thinks she is better because of where she was born. I know that I am special because I am a child of the King! So take that teeth cleaner!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I don't know what to say to them. I guess, yes I do. Before you get mad at someone for saying something ,find out if they really said it and where it was coming from. Chances are if something negative was said it came from hurt. Hurt people, hurt people. Everyone knows that. So, someone has to stop the cycle. Someone has to change the way they react. Someone has to be willing to forgive. Someone has to be willing to say they are sorry, even if it is for the sake of peace. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that person was you? If you could show your children or family members what it meant to be Chirst? He forgave. He gave a gentle answer to turn away wrath. We have the power to do the same. We all are human, and we all sin. What if Chirst went by our example and didn't forgive us because we were unwilling to forgive others? We are called to be like Chirst. See my blog from the other day. Be a peacemaker. Be a light in this dark world. You can do it! You can be the one to make a difference in your family!
Can't argue with that! He got lots of loves!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
This is a heart condition. I am afraid to say that we have one that suffers from it. So, what do you do? There isn't some operation that can fix this type of heart condition. This isn't something you can take them to a doctor for.
So, I pray, pray, pray. I have consequences for their actions. I talk about their "heart condition" to them. I am honestly concerned. If their heart and desires don't change now, what will they be like when they are a teenager? When they are an adult? When they are a parent? I want to help mold their heart till it is headed in the right direction; God's direction. I heard recently a pastor say that you don't want to just correct the behavior, but the heart. You want them to eventually self-correct. That is what I want for my children. I want them to come to a place that they can self-correct. They can see when they are going to make a bad choice, and then turn away from that choice and choose the right path. I've seen people that had to have God do a heart operation on them. It wasn't pretty. The "valley of the shadows of death" is where the operation is usually done when it gets to that point.
As parents we want better for our kids. I want to save mine from making the horrible decisions I did in my youth. I want them to desire holiness. BUT am I modeling that now for them? How selfish am I being? How is my heart condition? We all get in a funk from time to time. Our kids see that and they are watching for how we self correct. I believe in the MOPS motto: Better Moms Make a Better World. So, am making myself into a better mom? What does that look like? What am I showing my children? What am I making a priority? I can not just tell them to serve with gladness and have a happy heart if I don't.
My challenge for myself for the next week (and the rest of my life, really) is to serve my family with gladness. For them to see the joy that really is in my heart. To find contentment in my daily chores. For Christ to shine brighter than I do. I know that I won't be perfect, but I can try. Isn't that what we are called to do...be like Christ? He is the perfect parent, and one that I want to model myself after. To be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and self-controlled.
Friday, October 23, 2009
He is a very literal child. If you tell him to clean his room, he takes everything and puts it in his closet. Therefore his room IS clean. You have to make sure to tell him that he needs to clean his room and his closet.
I know that I need to make sure that I explain things better to him, but it just doesn't seem to happen that way. As parents, we are so busy making sure everything is done and giving orders that we often forget what each child needs. They all understand and process things differently. I am sure all my teacher friends are very aware of that. However, as a mom I find myself forgetting it. I need to find more creative ways to express to my children what their boundaries are, what we expect, AND how proud we are of them.
So, my challenge to myself and to you is to figure out what language your child speaks, and then practice speaking it to them.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
So you may be asking yourself what causes this disease. Well, they really don't know. They know that you can have genes that give you the predisposition to develop it. Usually something triggers it. For me it was having my first child. After having my daughter is when my symptoms started, although I did not realize it at the time. I was told by my OB-GYN that the symptoms that I was having was "just the way my body was". I was patted on my knee and told I was fine. After my pregnancy with Andrew is when it got extremely worse, and was later diagnosed. I thought that every mom was tired. By this time I had three kids to take care. Of course my body hurt, I was always toting something or someone. I had sores in my mouth because of stress...I have three kids. I have headaches because, you guessed it...I have three kids. They do make noise, you know. So, I went to my PCP for the ulcers in my mouth. He said it seemed like I had "some sort of autoimmune thing going on". Those were really his words! He sent me to a specialist who asked a bunch of questions, and asked me to tell him everything that bothers me, even if I don't think it is unique or important. He then decided that I probably have lupus. More blood work was done, I was put on medication. At first the meds really helped. I was able to walk up the stairs without having to nap afterwards. Most of the sores went away. What I thought was a heat rash didn't appear as often. He also told me of precautions to take to help myself not flare as bad. Those things are pretty much taking my meds on time twice a day, taking vitamins, staying out of the sun, and resting a lot.
As for me right now, I am in constant pain, have constant sores in my mouth, am always tired, have a light molar rash on my face (can be covered by makeup), headaches, and am extremely sensitive to the sun and to heat. All that said, my lupus is controlled right now by medication. It is not getting worse, as in it is not attacking my liver or kidneys. I know I am blessed by that.
Lupus has no cure. They have medication that can help control its symptoms. They said mine was caught early, and so if I stay on my medication I should be able to avoid my organs being damaged by it. Let me restate this...I know that I am blessed. I could have a form of lupus that made it completely impossible for me to take care of my family. God gives me the strength I need. He understands my pain like no one else can. He catches each one of my tears (Psalm 56:8). He has a plan that is not to harm me, but to give me hope (Jer. 29:11). I hold true what the Psalmist said in chapter 147: He will heal my broken heart over this and bind up my wounds (v3), He is mighty in power (v5a), His understanding has no limits (v5b), He grants peace (v14).
Some days are harder than others. It seems that I am having more hard days since moving to Texas, and leaving my family and support group three hours away. I appreciate their prayers, and know that God is still God. He is God over lupus, and every other disease. He cares, and He will give me what I need, when I need it. I serve an awesome God. He is my Lord, and what I choose to put my hope and trust in.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Another lesson learned along with this for Andrew was that if you yell and kick at your momma because you want to be fed now (and I mean immediately after said Jumperoo incident) that you get sent to your room. Then, if you continue to yell and scream and stomp on the floor that you get into more trouble, and for some reason lunch does not get made at that moment. It is always better to ask nicely for something, and to do what your momma says...when she says it. And yes, I do realize that this lesson will have to be learned again by my darling three year-old!
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I have also started the Devotion to End All Devotions. It is a 36 week journey to study the Bible on your own. I know that the most important relationship I have is the one with my Redeemer. Next is my husband. My relationship with all others will be better if I am striving to be where I need to be with Christ and then my husband. My kids need to see where my priorities are. The world shows them to focus on themselves, that they are all that matters. The show that are out focus on how to manipulate situations to make them what you want, and then there are no real consequences. I want my kids to focus on Christ. Focus on His love and acceptance. Focus on following Him instead of their so-called friends at school. Life is a journey and I want them going on the right path...therefore I need to strive to be on the right path too, and be a more godly wife and mother.
Pray for me as I am on this journey. I know that Satan hates the family. He hates marriage. I know that I will be attacked. Your prayers are greatly appreciated.
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On the way to Ikea Andrew saw a golf course and said, "They have golf courts in Texas mom! Do they have more than one?" Little kids make me laugh. Everything is "Look! They have ____ in Texas!" Anything you can think of or pass on the road, I have heard in that sentence. Not just by the three year-old, but by the older two also!
Now to make dinner. We have been spending more time together as a family. We have been sitting down at the dinner table together. I didn't realize how much we weren't eating dinner at the table together, or how important it is to the children. They feel like they are a priority. It has fostered great conversation. It really doesn't take more work to go into the dinning room at this house. In Oklahoma it was a lot easier to put the kids at the breakfast bar and for the adults to eat in the living room. I love this house. It is a great house for our family. I know that God has a plan in us being here. He has never failed us yet!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
T minus 8 days and counting...we are picking up our lives and dropping it down in Fort Worth. Leaving all that is familiar and comfortable, all family and friends, our schools and our church. God has a great plan for the Puckett family, of that I am sure. I don't know the reason yet, but he is calling us to relocate. I know it will be a good move for us. God has never left us yet! I keep having the Steven Curtis Chapman song, Great Adventure, playing over and over in my head. It is going to be a great adventure. It already is.