Thanksgiving Memories and Traditions

This month at the Loft, we are focusing on Thanksgiving.

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations
Psalm 100

image
I have so many thoughts on thanksgiving, I have some weeks to cover them, but where to start?
Maybe with Thanksgiving Memories and Traditions.
I grew up in a big family. I mean, my mom was one of seven kids. Then there are their spouses. Then I am one of my grandparent’s 25 grandkids. I have lost count of how many great grandkids they have now. My kids are two of many more great-grandkids.
At Thanksgiving, my aunts, uncles, cousins and my family would all head to Grandma and Granddaddy’s house. For some it was a short drive. For others much longer.
We would have dinner after Granddaddy blessed the food with the blessing he always prays over meals. Lots of yummy dishes. Eating until we were stuffed. Turkey, sometimes ham, rolls, green beans, yams, collard greens, butter beans, corn, stuffing, gravy, and a whole host of desserts.
After dinner, the adults would sit and talk around the table, or put on the football game.
Us kids would go outside and build a big fire and catch sticks on fire in it…. really anytime we get together at Grandma’s we would build a fire weather permitting. It was really fun at Christmas because we would burn the wrapping paper and watch the flames dance in a rainbow of colors.
Granddaddy started it. He was always burning pine straw and leaves and such. I remember at 5 years old, he would start me a fire and go mow the lawn! He had taught me fire safety, but as a parent now I cringe at the thought of a five year old playing with fire while the grown up outside in in the front yard! But I am getting side tracked here.
We would draw names for Christmas gifts (because, with so many, it would cost a fortune to get everyone a gift). Cousins would draw from one pool and aunts and uncles from another.
We would set up and decorate grandma’s Christmas tree.
We used to do our gatherings the Saturday after Thanksgiving so the the actual day could be spent with in-laws and the other sides of the family.
Sighs.
Those were the good old days.
But people grow up. What was once a tight-knit bunch of cousins, is now a loosely woven family. Gone are the days of seeing everyone at the holidays. With such busy lives, family is not the priority it once was for most.
How I wish we still did all of that! I hate change.
But I am so thankful for those memories and my sister and I are trying out best to make sure our kids grow up close and we carry on what traditions we can.
For our family, we usually do two Thanksgivings. I make a meal for my husband and children either Thanksgiving day, or the Saturday after, whichever day we do not have the extended family get together. I make a turkey (Good Eats style), cranberry sauce (Good Eats style), green bean casserole (with real food ingredients), frog-eyed salad (sort of a watergate type salad), butter beans, sweet potato biscuits, stuffing (I want to make that real food this year) and collard greens (though, I am the only one who enjoys them)…sometimes I make other dishes, but with just the four of us, we do not need a lot. I also make pecan and pumpkin pies.
I really need to start planning it out and seeing what I can make ahead.
I want to do some sort of thanksgiving tree this year. With the kids so young, crafty things are a bit above their heads, but mayhap if we start this year, next year they will be more on board with it.
We also watch the Charlie Brown specials this time of year. Charlie Brown rocks.
After our little family Thanksgiving, we put up our Christmas tree while watching a Christmas movie. That is probably my favorite part. I love Christmas time!
What are some traditions you have? Do you do crafts? Have favorite recipes?

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the prompt. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly prompt.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single prompt. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s prompt. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

The Loft Link Up
November Prompts: The month of November will be all about Thanksgiving and being thankful. Any post, picture, poem, song about thankfulness is what we are linking up in November.
I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.
Now, it is time to link-up!!


What a Week

This Week’s Loft Prompt is this picture:
Serving Christ @godschicki #The Loft
Sometimes you just gotta take a break. If I thought it would help I’d sit under a blanket. It has been a rough few weeks here.
I just keep praying for God to pour out His love on me so that it overflows onto the Littles. To help me focus on the tasks at hand. To remind me that I am serving Him. To renew my strength.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. 
Colossians 3:23-24
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Galatians 6:9

This too shall pass. One day they will not come to me for milkies. One day there will not be toys to get around. There will be less laundry. I am just going to enjoy this season as much as I can.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28

Thanks for stopping by!

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

 

#TheLoft

 

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the prompt. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly prompt.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single prompt. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s prompt. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

 
 
The Loft Link Up
 
 
 
 
 
This Week’s Prompt: A Picture Prompt – take a look at the picture below and write a post about how it speaks to you.
 

October 28 - Picture Prompt at The Loft
October 28 – Picture Prompt at The Loft

 
 
 
November Prompts: The month of November will be all about Thanksgiving and being thankful. Any post, picture, poem, song about thankfulness is what we are linking up in November.
 
 
 
I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.
 
Now, it is time to link-up!!

 
 
 

Finding a Mentor | A Loft Prompt

Finding A Mentor @godschicki
I am excited to be co-hosting at the Loft again this week. Our theme? Mentors.
I have chosen to talk about finding a mentor.
I like to learn. I mean, I really like to learn (except in math, that just makes my head hurt after a while). Cooking, gardening, crafting, drawing, painting, sewing, being a homemaker, a godly wife and mother. I enjoy reading and sharing and listening to these topics and more.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.  Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 

Titus 2:3-5

This is an area we, as a whole church, do not focus on much. We are not being intentional about teaching our women of faith to share with the next generations.
That makes it hard to find a mentor sometimes. Ideally, our mothers and her friends should be our first mentors, teaching us as we grow. Just because we are ‘adults’ does not mean we do not need mentors. As we travel through the seasons of life, we need to look for mentors who have been there and done that, and handled it in a godly manner.
A quick Google of Mentor brought up this definition from the Oregon National Guard Youth Challenge:

“A mentor is a person or friend who guides a less experienced person by building trust and modeling positive behaviors.”

Dictionary.com defines it as:

a wise and trusted counselor or teacher.
 I have been blessed with several wonderful mentors for various seasons of my life. My mom and her friends. Ladies from church. Ladies online or in print. Many ladies who have just come along side me in this race of the faith.
While this is not an exhaustive list of steps, and I cannot guarantee how fast it will work, these are things I have found helpful:
  • Pray

Ask God to send a mentor, to open your eyes to her when he does, to open your heart to His message sent through her.

  • Look for ladies at church or in Bible based groups.

Ask God to open your eyes to a possible mentor.
Someone who walks with the Lord daily and seeks Him earnestly.. Someone ahead of you in your season of life (Spiritually and homekeeping and child raising).
If you think “She is a woman I would like to become like.”  “She exhibits these godly qualities.” “She is sold out to the Lord and is honoring Him by____”, or “I admire the way she _______”, that’s a good candidate to prayerfully consider asking to mentor you.

  • Be humble and teachable

Ask. Ask about how they do what you admire about them (Say, handle a few small kids or how they keep their home or how they sew or how they study the Word). There is no shame in asking for advice, and it truly shows wisdom if you want to learn.
There is no point in any of this if you are not willing to weigh their counsel.
If you put up your walls and are unwilling to learn.
I will say, you do still need to hold them up to Scripture. If they are trying to teach you to do things the Bible condemns, ask them about it. Maybe they do not know or realize it is happening. If they continue though, find another mentor.

  • Make time

This is hard to do in our world of busily rushing around from one event/activity/ministry to another.
One of the biggest ways Satan is chipping away at our society is selling the lie that we need to be busy. Families and churches both suffer greatly.
This may be more on the side of your mentor to find time, but it’s a step. Perhaps you could offer to come over and help with laundry or something.

  • Think outside the box…

While in person mentoring is best, you can also be mentored by women of the faith in print or online.
My housekeeping mentors right now are both ladies I have never met, but God has brought their written word, advice and encouragement into my life.
Some of my marriage mentors are online.
My natural and gentle Christian mama mentors are online.
A note, this post is aimed at women. With the exception of maybe a married couple who mentors both you and your hubby, your mentor should be of the same sex.
Do you have mentors? How did that relationship come about? What do you do with them? Would you add anything to this list?

The Loft: A weekly Hangout and Link Up for Christian bloggers
Graphic by Kerry Messer

#TheLoft

To Participate:

1. Be creative. We provide the prompt. You feel free to use words, photos, video, audio, your family pet, whatever, to communicate on the weekly prompt.

2. Listen twice as much. If you leave one link, visit two.

3. Be a community. Include #TheLoft graphic and/or hashtag in your post and social media so we can find each other.

4. Write like Jesus would write. We are a Christian link-up. Offensive or inappropriate posts will be deleted. No questions asked.

5. Be pertinent. Our heart is to build community and intimacy, and our means to do that is to build each link-up around a single prompt. Please make sure your post is on topic.

6. Link-Up. Each Wednesday morning at 5am EST, the link goes live, and for 6 glorious days you can link up your post on that week’s prompt. The linky will close at 5pm EST on Monday.

The Loft Link Up
We are going to provide a months worth of prompts each week so that you can be thinking and planning for the coming weeks.
This Week’s Prompt: Mentors
October 21 Prompt: Autumn
October 28 Prompt: A Picture Prompt – take a look at the picture below and write a post about how it speaks to you.
October 28 - Picture Prompt at The Loft October 28 – Picture Prompt at The Loft
November Prompts: The month of November will be all about Thanksgiving and being thankful. Any post, picture, poem, song about thankfulness is what we are linking up this month.  
I hope you will plan to join us each week at The Loft Link-Up.
Now, it is time to link-up!!



 

Just A Note

image
Can you please do me a favor?
Grab a pen and some paper (or a note card) and jot a missive to someone.
Someone you do not see often enough.
Someone you have not seen in a while. Someone you miss.
Someone that you know is going through a rough time.
Someone you are praying for.
Someone you appreciate. Someone you look up to.
Someone you love.
Just take a minute to stay connected without using social media or your phone.
A little note saying you care and are thinking about them or praying for them goes a long way. Taking the time to write a note and mail it brightens anyone’s day.

Giveaway

Now through July 25th, 2016 you can enter to win my big Christmas in July Homeblessing Giveaway! Please take a minute to check it out. I am giving away a lot of items that I have found useful as a Christ following, natural minded, homemaker.

His Grace is Enough

Just some rainy day ramblings of an over tired mama….
His Grace Is Enough @godschicki
It has been raining for more than a week now. Yucky, yucky weather. On top of the rain we have already gotten, we are expecting at least some rain from hurricane Joaquin. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
The children have been teething and had sinus issues for the last couple of weeks. I have gotten no measurable sleep in the past four nights. They want to comfort nurse. Which is okay. One day they will not come to me for “milkies”. The children cannot seem to coordinate napping at the same time, so I am dragging.
My prayer life is pretty strong because I use that time to pray. So it has been quite a lot this week, and indeed many nights over the course of the (short) lives of my children.
Something about me: I need about 9 hours of sleep to function well. I am having a hard time focusing, due to lack of sleep. I take 20 times longer to get stuff done because I have slowed down. The house is a wreck. I finally started feeling like I was getting a handle on it. My goal for today is to keep the children alive and well.
Cleaning is also so much easier when it’s sunny (or snowy) out. When it is yucky out my motivation is zip. That coupled with lack of sleep is a recipe for a rough week.
But God is good. Dirty dishes means we have food to eat. A messy house means the children are playing and having fun. Dirty Laundry means we have clothes to wear. Nursing all night means I have two sweet babies who want to cuddle.

[This post may contain affiliate links. This means that while the price that you pay does not change, I get a small commission when you make a purchase through my links.]

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.

James 1:2-8

While these trials are trivial compared to some, they are still trials. A frustrated, angry mama is not very likely to reflect the light and love of Jesus to her children. God is using this to refine me.
“Consider” is a verb meaning:

  • think carefully about (something), typically before making a decision.
  • think about and be drawn toward (a course of action).
  • believe; think.
  • take (something) into account when making an assessment or judgment.
Joy is a choice. Putting on the garment of praise and love are intentional. Preparing for the enemy attack is essential.

We can choose to look at our situations, every little bad thing that happens (today I burnt bacon, which is pretty sad on a good day, today it nearly had me in tears). Some days it just seems like nothing is going right.

 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,  and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,”they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,”he said, “why did you doubt?”

And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down.  Matthew 14:22-32

I can choose to focus on those things, the wind and waves, or I can focus on Christ, who is all I need. I can allow things to eclipse Christ in my life, or I can focus on Him.
[Another interesting thing about the above Scripture account. Go back and read verse 22. Jesus sent His disciples into the storm.]
His grace IS enough.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10

In my weakness, my human failings, I have to rely on Him to be my strength. My rest. I cannot boast that I have done anything. Everything I do is through Him. Only when I rely on Him can I get through it.

The chorus of Matt Maher’s song, Your Grace is Enough, has been my theme song for the past several weeks.

If His grace really is enough, it does not matter what is going on in my life. He is God. He is Good.

So, on this yucky, rainy, dismal day, I need to stop and remember that it is still the day that the Lord has made. I can choose the rejoice and be glad despite the rain or I can let it dampen my day.

I am going to pray for God to supernaturally multiply whatever sleep I got last night, put on some mascara, my string of pearls, my apron and throw my un-brushed hair into a rather unattractive bun and see what memories I can make with the children today.

Effective Natural Weed Killer

A cheap, natural weed killer that you probably already have in your house.... #earthday #banroundup #weeds #gardening @godschicki
Being a country girl at heart, going barefoot in my yard is something I love to do. “Earthing” as it is sometimes called today is something I do not even think about. Walking to the car to grab something, hanging clothes on the line,  and playing with the children, it just does not register in my brain to put on shoes. This has gotten me into trouble. I once had to were a pair of high heels (the only pair of shoes in my car at the time) home after taking my hubby to work because I did not put on shoes, and I couldn’t drive home barefoot (I’m pretty sure it is illegal here). But for the most part it’s not been bad.
I do not really care about weeds much (I love to use dandelion plants for various things), but recently these horrid little weeds began springing up in our yard. They have these very pretty little white flowers. They also have some nasty thorns. They have been everywhere. Not good for bare feet. Not my rather callused ones or my sweet children’s soft ones.
Not wanting to use the chemicals frequently used today for weed control (Monsanto’s Roundup has polluted a good portion-some reports say up to 75%- of rain water, and has even been found in breastmilk as a result, but this is another issue for another day!), I set out to find a natural alternative.
The answer was simple, and cheap. Salt. Yes. Less than $.50 a pound at the grocery. It keeps the roots of the plants from absorbing the nutrients it needs to grow as well as dehydrating the roots.
When applied to the base of the plant I have found it kill very effectively (water the plant when you apply the salt to carry it to the roots). In a few days your plant will be brown and dead. You can also mix it with water and pour on plants. In either case you may want to use a funnel or a piece of paper taped into a funnel to try to keep to the plant in question since salt will kill whatever plant it is put on.
We have had a couple of very small dead spots in out yard, but the weeds are gone (the spots didn’t last long, but the nasty weeds are still gone)! I will not be using this on the weeds in my garden since salt can stay in the soil for a while, preventing growth.
For the garden weeds I will just weed them out a little each day when we garden. One note about weeding-you have to get the roots out or the pesky weed will be right back.
Pouring salt out on weeds brought to mind some spiritual truths.
Spiritual truths from weeds and salt.... #weed #salt #saltandlight #biblestudy #jesus #christian #sin #community @godschicki
If we think of weeds as sin, think of salt as the fellowship with Christ-followers.
In Matthew 5:13, Jesus tells his disciples “You are the salt of the earth.”

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

James 5:16

Being honest and open with each other as Christians is crucial to helping keep sin out of our lives. Will we slip up? Yes. But if there is something we struggle with continually, having an accountability partner (of the same sex) is vital to keeping that sin out of our lives.

Just like the salt keeps the roots of the weed from absorbing nutrients dehydrates them, the ‘salt’ of fellowship keeps the weeds of sin from absorbing nutrients from the soil of our hearts and helps spur us on wards towards the prize, helping us focus not on things of this world, but on Christ, essentially dehydrating sinful desires.

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:12-13

 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

Colossians 3:16

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left…

Hebrews 10:23-26

These are all from the NIV, but I would like to point out that several other translations say “For if we keep sinning…”.  I once heard a preacher say if there’s a ‘therefore’ or a ‘for’ you need to backtrack to see what it’s “there for”. Following a verse on fellowship and encouraging each other I would say that the two things are related, would you not?

I shared a little about this in Lesson From the Garden, but here are some other thoughts on weeding:

If your hand causes you to stumble,cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell.

Mark 9:43-45

Weeding is something that must been done to keep a garden growing. The roots of weeds will quickly choke our the plants your are trying to grow, tangling them hopelessly with their own. They steal vital nutrients from the soil. When you weed, you must not only get the leaves, or sprout, but the root as well. If you don’t take the root of the weeds, they will grown right back.
We need to pray daily and ask God to reveal the weeds of sin in our lives. To help us discover the roots of those sins. We have to keep on top of it. Weeds grow out of control quickly. If you see a weed and think “It’s just a small one, so I’ll leave it for another day.”, you have messed up big time. They, just like sin, grow exponentially.
Does a TV show or book cause you to dwell on lustful thoughts (as an example)? Stop watching or reading it.
Friends influence you to sin? Stop spending so much time with them. Surround yourself with godly friends who will encourage you to pursue God and hold your accountable. Find a mentor. Feed your soul. Watch what you feed your mind.
I love how everyday life can illustrate Spiritual truths.
 

"Cooking" & "Faith" {Strong Family Challenges Weeks 4 & 5}

Life has been crazy, as it is want to do, so I did not get to post about the last couple of weeks of the challenge.
These two I feel like, as with most of the challenges thus far, we didn’t have to do anything too out of the ordinary. I hope this means we are building s pretty strong family already!
Strong Family Challenge Weeks 4 & 5 @godschicki #strongfamilyproject

Week 4: Creating or cooking

Create a masterpiece in the kitchen or a family project.  You’ll love feeling accomplished together!

We do a lot of projects, and I have a bunch of other crafty things planned for once I get the house in hand. We cook about 98% of our food from scratch, and I try to ‘talk’ the kids through it. Simply narrating what I am doing and why.  For this week we made popcorn on the stove (something I have never had much success at!). We planned to watch a movie, so of course we needed popcorn!
The kids loved helping to dump the oil and kernels into the pot. Once they are older they can help shake the pot.
I am trying to make memories in the kitchen, and hopefully they will learn to cook as well! I want to start having them help more in the kitchen. We can use our table to mix things up and they can help measure and pour. They already like to play with a spare pot and spoon while I am cooking supper.

Week 5: Faith

Building a strong spiritual foundation in your child is a beautiful legacy, so this week be intentional about guiding your children spiritually.

This is something I have been passionate about for a long time. Since before kids. Before marriage actually!

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Some of the things we do:
Pray, a lot (you can read more about that in this post).
Read Scriptures together daily. I try to talk about it with them, at 1 and 2 years old it’s a bit rough sometimes, but the important thing is trying.
Make the most of every opportunity. There are so many teachable moments with kids. I daily pray that God would open my eyes to them and give me the words to say to make the most of them.
I plan to write more on Faith at Home in the future.
So, that is all on the challenges for now.
I am really enjoying the Good Morning Girls Study of Proverbs. I want to try to post about that this week, and there are a few other posts I have planned for this week, but we’ll see how it goes. I have a lot I need to do around the house, so I’ll only be writing on breaks and in bits of downtime.
Not directly related to the Strong Family Challenge, but Independence Day was lots of fun. We went to a local fireworks show. There is a mount we sit on, and Daddy tried to teach the kids to roll down the hill. They still preferred to run up and down it! The fireworks were great. there was a storm coming in, so the last bit of the show was sped up, we thought it was the finally, but they had just sped everything up because the finally was sped up as well, and quite over the top. I love fireworks.
I also want to pass along a sense of patriotism to our kids.
That’s just about it for now, I need to get diapers changed and breakfast done.

Red Sauce Recipe

A wonderful, versatile sauce. This does make a lot of sauce, so if you are planning to make it, either plan for a lot of sauce based recipes in the week after you make it, or can or freeze it.  Since it’s fairly easy to double or triple, why not make as big a batch as your pot can hold and freeze what you don’t use? A great staple to have on hand for busy days.
Thanks to Jyn for teaching me how to make the basic recipe. This has been tweaked and scaled down a bit from the original.
Veggie Loaded Red Sauce @godschicki

RED SAUCE

1 #10 (bulk size) can of tomato sauce
2 tablespoons butter or bacon grease
1 large sweet onion
1/4-1/2 large head of garlic
1 4oz can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
Optional:
2-3 carrots, chopped
2-3 zucchini, chopped
1 large or 2 small eggplants, chopped
2-3 large beets, quartered (you will want to wear gloves when chopping!)
Mince onions as finely as you like them (if you don’t want to find evidence of them in the sauce do it very fine). Brown in a large pot with the butter or bacon grease (you will need to get the whole can of sauce in there), stirring frequently. While the onion browns, peel and finely mince about 1/4- 1/2 head of garlic (I use my mini food processor and get it very fine). 1/2 a head of garlic will give your sauce a bit of a bite, which if you like spicy foods is nice.
When the onions are nearly brown add garlic and cook until soft and the onions are browned.
Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil for just a minute or two. Bring down to a simmer for at least 30 minutes, or until the veggies are soft (but I usually do mine for 2-3 hours), stirring every 15 minutes or so. This gives me a nice, thick sauce and takes out a lot of moisture from it. We like our sauce thicker.
For pasta with meat sauce simply brown some hamburger (drain if not very lean meat) and add sauce.
I personally like adding a lot of veggies when I can. Sometimes I put in a few carrots, some eggplant and zucchini while it it simmering and then use my stick blender or blender to whiz it up. I like it chunky, but hubby isn’t keen on that, so saucy it is. I’ve also added kale, but it made the sauce somewhat green, so just be careful. It is a great way to sneak some more vegetables into your family’s diet, though it’s not super authentic red sauce then.
I love this sauce. It can be used in so many different ways. Spaghetti, Chicken Parmesan, Lasagna, Baked Ziti, Baked Stuffed Shells, Pizza and soups are a few of the ways I have used it.