Monday, December 31, 2012

The End of One Year, the Beginning of Another

Looking back at the year seems to be a common way to end it. It somehow helps close the year to be able to categorize it. Was it a good year? A bad year?

It's hard to say what kind of year I had. It was both good and bad. It brought endings and beginnings. There was a lot of change, but it was mostly good change.  I've learned a lot, done a lot, been very busy.

We've now been at Door of Hope for a full year. What a blessing this church has been to our family! I am so thankful the Lord brought us here; even though the road to get here was difficult and even painful, it was worth it.

We moved (again) this year. Again, a blessing from the Lord. As our family grows, He provides the perfect home for us.

I had my third sock book published; and am almost done with a big book of patterns- stepping away from socks at last. (You can get the sock book here, if you're interested....)

But the biggest thing the Lord has brought into this year is healing.

Through much prayer from friends, family, and our amazing church; the Lord led us to the GAPS diet. (Well, it's more than a diet, really, it's a lifestyle- but the diet is our current focus. The rest is coming about.)  And from this diet, my body has drastically changed. I have energy again. I can eat without wondering if I have to go the ER this time. It's been so wonderful. A lot of hard work, but truly wonderful.   And my daughter is feeling better too. I think the boys are as well, but it's hard to tell with all the winter colds hitting us at the same time as they are going through the beginning stages of this. ;)

Now we're starting a New Year, and I'm excited about it. I'm looking forward to seeing with the Lord has in store for us this year. More endings, more beginnings, more change- because those are what life is made of. But I am excited. I have energy to face the year, and that makes it so much more fun to look ahead and anticipate.

I don't have any New Year's Resolutions, really. I'm just going into this year with a desire to learn, to grow, to do. And I think I've started already....

My loving husband worked 2 60 hour weeks and a few 12 hr weekends to get me my Christmas present this year.
And this is what he got me:
A 16cup Breville food processor.  (The king of food processors. Have I mentioned that my husband loves me? 'Cause he does.)

And I have been LOVING it. I am learning all kinds of new things!! In 4 days, I have taken this:
raw almonds
to this:
almond meal (flour)
to this:
almond butter (which looks awful, but it's good)

And raw coconuts (which I don't have a picture of, but you can figure it out) to this:
And then this:
homemade coconut milk from raw coconuts
And the remnant is currently in my dehydrator becoming coconut flour. 

That's just the stuff I have pictures of. I've made sauerkraut, grated ginger, pickles, hash browns from turnips, chopped my dried fruit to add to my new GAPS version of homemade granola:
One version with nuts and one without for my Daisy that can't have nuts.
(which I have to say is fantastically yummy and addicting, and I can't get enough of- and now I get to eat it with homemade coconut milk, which is just so incredibly good- you have no idea how jealous you should be. ;))

And all kinds of other things I've done with it already, and that food processor is making my kitchen time less, and my play time more, and I can actually look ahead at doing school and GAPS without dread anymore. So we enter the new year with excitement, ready to learn and do- and be healthy. 

Happy New Year!!! I hope your year is full of blessings and rich with evidence of the love of Jesus Christ our Lord! 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

What My Saturdays Look Like

This was after 6hrs in the kitchen with both Joel and all the kids helping. This doesn't show the box of apples waiting to be peeled, chopped and turned to applesauce, nor the 25lbs of carrots at the end of the counter, nor the pickling cucumbers and 'kraut cabbage- nor the 4 large pots on the stove full of broth and soups. Just to give you an idea....
One thing I have to say: today is my birthday, and I knew I was going to have to do this- I didn't know my family was going to jump into helping me so much so fast. What we did in these pictures would have taken me 2 days all by myself. :)
I have the best family ever. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


It seems like all I think about about, all I do, all I talk about, all my kids talk about anymore is food. I'm even dreaming of it. It's exhausting. I feel like I'm obsessed. Well, I am, in a way. I have to be. I wish I didn't.

We're about 10 days into the adventure of the GAPS diet with the whole family, and at the moment, our lives pretty much revolve around food. It's getting better- but it's still the main topic, the main job, the main thing we do.

It won't always be like this, but jumping in to a new dietary routine- especially one so specific- is going to take a lot of adjusting to. And there doesn't seem to be any time to adjust, as right now, we add something new to the routine daily. That's why it's called an "Intro" diet......because you are constantly "introducing" something new....

So for now, we have to eat almost every 2 hrs. (It sounds ridiculous, but it's mostly soup, so believe me, you want to eat every 2 hrs.)  The first 5 days with the kids on it were so hard! I only have one that ever really liked soup to begin with, and they missed all the yummy treats like bread and cereal and pancakes, and and and.... But they are awesome kids. 10 days into it, and my difficulty is not in getting them to eat- it's in making enough food to keep up with all their eating!

I'm not kidding. I have to get up at 5:30 with Joel because I'm the one that's done all the studying and knows the schedule and what we're adding today and what he needs to have in his lunch- plus I have to get up early enough to get breakfast ready for the kids- half of which typically get up around 6 anyway, and they are hungry!  So I cook, pack food, clean the dishes, cook more food, wash the pots and refill them, cook more food, chop veggies, make tea, grate ginger, and all that jazz from about 5:30 until it's done-ish. Which usually means I sit down long enough in the morning to eat and feed the 3 year old (who refuses to feed himself this odd food- he'll eat it, but his usual comment is "Ah, dang it!"), then work until the next time I need to feed the 3 year old; then repeat. This is not an exaggeration. I'm spending over 6hrs in the kitchen on any given day at this point- and Saturdays are twice as bad because Friday is grocery day.  On Saturday, I have to peel, chop, and freeze the mountain of vegetables I brought home so we have enough for the whole week.

Is it any wonder that I'm dreaming of cooking and of food?

But really, with all that, things are going pretty well. After all, I have the ability to BE spending this much time in the kitchen! Six weeks ago, I could not have done this. So, no matter how hard it is, I am thankful. Thankful that I am healthy enough to help my family get healthy. Thankful that I haven't had a major allergic reaction for over 5 weeks. Thankful that for the first time in 19 years, today, I ate a dairy product with no reaction. Yes, I had ghee. And I was/am fine.

As much as I dislike being so obsessed with food, it's temporary (I will get the hang of this, and after the intro is done, it won't be quite so much work)- and it's working. God is using this to heal us, and I am nothing but thankfulness, no matter how tired I might be.