Homemade Applesauce

I had a sweet friend bring us dinner last year after Rebekah’s tubie was placed. She brought an impressive spread which included a chunky applesauce that was just divine. Ever since then, I’ve been on the hunt for fun and flavorful applesauce recipes.

The Pioneer Woman came through with this tasty recipe on her website. It’s a mountain of work, but the wonderful flavor and the beautiful end product is a sweet reward.

Peel, core, and slice six pounds of apples.


In a large pot, Add your apple slices, 1 cup of Apple Juice Or Apple Cider, the Juice Of 1 Lemon, 1/2 cup Brown Sugar (Packed), and 1 teaspoon Cinnamon.


Stir this all around so that the apples are coated with your brown sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Stir the pot occasionally. The mixture will become the most beautiful caramel color. When the apples are tender, you can remove from the heat.



At this point, you have options for your applesauce. I love to leave my chunky so that there is still a bite of apple to chew into. You could puree your mixture for traditional applesauce, can it, freeze it, use it as a yummy ingredient in another recipe (I’m thinking apple muffins!), or simply serve it on the side at dinner. I usually set aside some for Rebekah. I’ll puree hers and portion it out into freezer containers for her to be able to eat some at school throughout the week.

I’ll be thankful forever to my friend who showed me that homemade applesauce was incredibly yummy and worth my time and effort!

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The Dancing Princess

This girl mesmerizes me.  I don’t understand her all the time but I want to study her for the rest of my life.  She and I are so very much alike and so completely different.  She stretches me.  She makes me want to learn, explore, love, and grow.

She hears music all day long.  There is a beat, a thump, a tap, a rhythm that comes from her in each moment of every day.

She wants those around her to experience this music.  She deeply loves others by leading them to experience joy.

As I watch her grow, I see someone who engages even in tough situations.  Someone who does not back down from fear.  Her passions bubble over and drive her to include everyone around her.

Kayla, you are a gift.  My dancing princess.

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We Can Do Hard Things

My sweet friend Maria who is involved in our MOPS group as a mentor mom (read more from her at www.middleplaces.com) gave out these pretty magnets at our last meeting.  They have inspirational sayings on them and were distributed totally at random.

Aren’t they so trendy and cute?!  I love the chalk art and really like the short sweet motivation they offer!  I teased her for a bit though because this was the magnet I received:

I told her that I DID NOT WANT TO DO ANY MORE HARD THINGS! I had even considered trading mine with one left at an empty seat.  The problem was that I just couldn’t do that.  For some reason I hung on to it.  I even told the ladies at our MOPS meeting, while I was doing the announcements, that they really should keep the saying that they were given.  Who knows, it might just really be meant for them.  My friend and I exchanged a giggle and we went on our way.

Just yesterday we took our Bekah to a check up at the orthopedic doctor.  This was just for another check of her hips.  Bekah doesn’t walk, crawl, or sit unassisted.  Because of this she has some joint and muscle issues.  The X-ray that she had six months ago showed that her hips weren’t great and that the sockets were not quite holding the ball in place.  We agreed that we would do some exercises and wait and see what happened after six months.  Yesterday’s X-ray showed a big difference – and it wasn’t good.  The doctor told us that she would need surgery for sure.  Not only that, but that it needs to be soon.  Not only that, but it’s a surgery that is no fun for the patient and the recovery is very hard.  He totally dropped a bomb out of a blue sky on us.  We asked a few questions; he showed us some diagrams; we tried to stay calm in front of Kayla.  We were at this appointment for the better part of two hours.

These new big hard things on the horizon haven’t even completely settled on me.  I am still talking things through with Chris, question after question keeps popping into my head.  The very first thing that I thought of when I heard the news of an impending surgery is the saying “God doesn’t give you more than you can handle”.  I had a little chuckle to myself.  You see, I hate that saying.  Years ago as we began to understand Rebekah and the diagnoses were rolling in, well meaning people would tell me – “Don’t worry, God NEVER gives you more than you can handle.”  I think they mostly just wanted to say something to try to comfort me and they had heard this saying floating around.  It’s a nice sounding saying – – but it simply isn’t true.  God tells me over and over in his scriptures that I must fully rely on Him as my strength.  That He gives strength to the weary (Is 40:29). That He is my stronghold (Ps 27:1). That He will give me strength and will hold me up (Is 41:10). That He has made plans for me and they are plans with a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). That I can come to Him for rest (Matt 11:28-29).  So many more examples of God’s strength and care for His people are just waiting to be claimed.  The verse I cling to is Psalms 76:23 “My heart and my flesh may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” These promises aren’t just for me; they’re for you too!

We have a couple of months to get ready for this surgery.  Bekah will be in a cast for four weeks.  FOUR WEEKS!  She will be in a body cast from her chest to her toes.  They will leave a hole for diapering (Wha??) and a hole for us to still be able to use the G-tube for her nutrition.  We’ll know a little more about our time line in a few weeks once we go through the scheduling process.  Head swimming.

As we pulled away from the doctor’s office, I jokingly told Chris that I was mad at my friend–  She said we could do hard things, and now we have to do this hard thing!  Another HARD thing!  After we laughed and cried a little more, Chris said that he was just thankful for the timely reminder that God is equipping us to do this work to further His kingdom through Bekah’s ministry to our family and those around us.

We would love to have your prayers on our daughter right now.  A couple of things to pray for:

  • We are coming up on the one year celebration of Bekah’s “tube-a-lation”.  The anniversary of becoming a tubie!  This has been such a great thing for our family.  Bekah is growing and doing well with her nutrition.
  • Please pray for the scheduling of this surgery, the protection of health and a recovery that is happy and steady.
  • Bekah will be in Kindergarten next year.  This is a big transition year for her from the pre-K program in school into the elementary program.  We begin meetings and evaluations in just a few months.

Thank you Lord for your strength and grace. Thank you for having a plan for our lives and offering hope and a future through that plan.  Thank you for offering us rest when we are weary and overwhelmed.  We are so thankful for friends and family that you have placed in our lives along this journey who continually lift us up in prayer and purposefully point us to You.  You are so good to us!  Amen.

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Mama’s Enchiladas

My mom has made these enchiladas for as long as I can remember.  I can picture the hot bubbly chili cooked to the edge of the willow blue and white plates piping hot out of the oven.

This is a total comfort food for me.  The dish is very heavy and needs to go along with a salad or some carrot sticks.

You’ll need:

Two cans of Hormel Chili – No Beans.  Warmed in a pan.


Corn Tortillas fried in oil in your skillet. (3-4 for each enchilada)



Cheese.  Lots and Lots of Cheese.  I use Colby Jack and some Sharp Cheddar.


Begin stacking your enchiladas.  If you have plates that can go into the oven, you can make everyone an individual enchilada.  I don’t have oven-safe dishes, so I make mine on a large cookie sheet.

Put a small amount of chili on the bottom to keep the stack from moving around the plate.  Then layer tortilla, chili, cheese.  Repeat.  I make ours three layers high.  You can also add chopped onions for a nice flavor.


Ready to bake!


Bake them in the oven until the cheese is gooey and melted.


Now the tricky part, transferring it to a plate.  If you are baking them on individual plates, be sure to caution everyone about how hot the plate can be.  Usually the hot pads need a good washing when this meal is all finished.


I Love Mama’s Enchiladas!


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Homemade Applesauce

I wanted to make some homemade applesauce the other day and so I went to check the Pioneer Woman’s website.  She delivered!  You can find her recipe here.

The basics:

  • 6 pounds Apples, Peeled, Cored, And Cut Into 8 Slices
  • 1 cup Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
  •  Juice Of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon, More Or Less To Taste
  •  Optional Ingredients: Nutmeg, Maple Syrup, Allspice, Butter

I cut up the apples I had at home.  Mixed variety and not six pounds.  I also had no apple juice in the house.  I used white grape juice. (Yummy!)  Also, no lemon.  I did have an orange though.  So I juiced the orange and added that.  My family loved the results.

Lots of sticky fingers after peeling all those apples!

Quartered and ready to cook.

The magic ingredients.

All cooked down.  The Pioneer Woman runs hers through the food processor at this point.  If you want this as a side dish for dinner, I’d leave it chunky.  If you want sauce to put into recipes and to feed your little ones, puree away!


This night we were having kielbasa and sauerkraut.  A dish that requires chunky applesauce by it’s side!  By the way, I LOVE my new Dutch oven that Chris bought for me.  Find one here.

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Throwback Thursday

Look at this little doodle.  She still does that belly laugh when you give her kisses in her neck.  Love this one so much!

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Not a Great Day


I have to admit it. Yesterday was not a great day. My little Bekah is sick and the weather reminded me of those blustery days in the Winnie the Pooh books. The wind was blowing and the sky was gloomy. The clouds kept rolling and it was just cool enough to need a light jacket.  It reminded me of the days we spent with our little one feeling sick last December.  We were cooped up in the house for weeks and Rebekah was struggling.  It was hard to watch.  I just wanted to take the infections from her little body and make it all better.  I clearly remember those weeks flowing with conversations between me and God containing questions, tears, prayers, bargains, more prayers, comments of disbelief, soul aching, more tears, and more prayers.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon together on the couch in a snuggle.  This was so good for my mama heart.  My little sleeping one resting on my chest makes my pulse slow and my my mind pause.  When I feel her body relax, mine follows suit.  What a gift a snuggle can be!  Instead of questions and tears, my conversation yesterday was one of praise to God for His hand on our family and His reassurance in my heart.


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Snicker Worthy

I was scrolling through Instagram late last night and found these. I think they are hilarious!



As always, when you google something, you must use caution. But when you google “hybrid animals” these (and many more) pop up.

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Gatlinburg Aquarium

We had a fabulous family vacation in the fall of 2013.  One of the highlights was the day we spent at the aquarium in Gatlinburg.

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A Land Before Time

We had a sweet day at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville. Our Aunt Jan and Uncle Herb spent three hours with us exploring every nook and cranny.  There was so much information specific to Georgia in the Rock and Mineral Exhibit that we will have to go back and really learn what is beneath our feet.

Kayla had a high time.


We were amazed by how tiny you feel standing under this cast of a skeleton.


I think Kayla only started to realize that these weren’t just creatures from cartoons.


What did Uncle Herb and Kayla discover?


A large exhibit about motion.  I wonder who used this bicycle to zoom around town!


A quick trip to space.


Kayla wasn’t sure she want to go with me.


First trip to the moon!


A beautiful time with beautiful people.


This was to  demonstrate how thick the layers of the Earth are in relation to each other.  Aunt Jan was disappointed to find out that there wasn’t a ball of duck tape at the center of the Earth’s core holding everything together.


So much beauty.


This piece of amethyst was as long as Bekah. (But probably weighed a whole lot more!)


Geological regions of our state.



I wish I had caught the name of this.  It looks drawn, almost like cotton candy.


I snapped this picture simply because I liked the color and shape.  I did some research and found out that arsenic can be extracted from Orpiment.


This was one of the neatest things.  Something to go back for.  The Periodic Table of Elements laid out with recognizable objects that contain or require those elements.  This would have helped me so much in high school!


Seeing if we can make another Kayla on the heat sensing pad.


Kayla and Uncle Herb took on the challenge to see if they could complete the circuit and make the light bulb glow.




Aunt Jan and Kayla matched their faces.


It was funny to see Kayla wearing Aunt Jan’s glasses.


Hall of Mirrors.


We brought home a geode so Daddy could enjoy the day too.


He crouched it with one blow.


 Kayla said we picked just the right one because it has DIAMONDS inside!


Thank you so much Aunt Jan and Uncle Herb for the exciting time together.  We enjoy your company and love it when you visit!

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