Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Ten P’s in a Pod: Book Review

A family on a mission: that describes the ten members of the Pent family in this humorous, but inspiring story. It was a mission that included traveling over a million miles, lots of faith, family unity, and consistent leadership. The rewards? A treasure laid up in heaven of many sons brought unto glory, and plenty of treasure left here on earth; including a book that will bless and encourage you as you build a vision for your family, present or future.

They were by no means your average American family from the 1950’s, in fact they named themselves “The World’s Most Unusually Family”. What made them so unusual? They were pioneers of home schooling (before the word was even in anyone’s vocabulary), they traveled singing and preaching the Gospel, and lived by faith not by bread alone but by the Word of God. Their father’s devotion to God’s word, not only for himself but for his family as well, was the sustaining force of their lives. He knew that the Scriptures were able to make his children, and all who heard them, wise unto salvation. As they traveled all those miles they had a great time and learned to love God and each other in a deep and meaningful way. Arnold and Persis Pent may have never been able to give their children much in the way the world’s wealth and success, but they gave them things much more meaningful. They trained them in the way of the Lord, the way that they should go, and gave them a life full of experiential faith and love.

When I started reading this book I was seeking to find a vision for my future family that would truly glorify God. I doubt I could have found a better book outside of God’s word to give me such a vision. I was challenged, encouraged and all around inspired to be more devoted to God and His Word. I hope that if I ever have a family of my own that we can live by the principles of God’s word as the Pent family did, but I hope as well, by God’s grace, to start living more fully by them now. This book was a real blessing to me and now ranks up there with my favorite books. I think that if you read it you will find it just as much a blessing.

To purchase this book visit this link to Vision Forum.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Apple Rice Pudding

Here is an easy, healthy, frugal and delicious recipe. I make it whenever I have leftover rice and my family loves it. I found it in Wholesome Sugarfree Cooking, an Amish cookbook that uses all natural sweeteners. It is one of my favorite cookbooks.

1/4-1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 apples, chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
2 cups milk
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup coconut, wheat germ, or sunflower seed, optional

In a medium saucepan, heat maple syrup, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and apples until hot and bubbly. Add the cooked rice, milk, and raisins. Heat until mixture begins to bubble, but has not reached a full boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until pudding thickens, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with topping and serve. This is also delicious without the toppings.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Beautifying Our Homes With Flowers

Flowers add a burst of beauty and color to ordinary spaces. Having a bouquet on the dining table, a small teacup with a large bloom resting in it on the bathroom sink, or a tall vase with a flowers or two poking out on a bookshelf add a sense of beauty and peace. Even though it is fall there are still plenty of opportunities to find flowers to brighten up your home. Wildflowers, seedums (which we have an abundance of right now), rose of Sharon, hostas, and hydrangeas are just a few which are in bloom where I live. Also I can still find plenty of greenery to add to my bouquets or, as in the picture above, golden grasses. Let your creativity flow. If you haven't done much in floral arranging before these three easy steps should get you started:
  1. GATHER flowers and foliage that complement one another in color, texture, and size.
  2. CONDITION flowers by snipping stems at a sharp angle. This creates more surface for water intake and prevents stems from sitting flat against the bottom of the container and forming a seal. Remove any leaves that will be submerged in water to avoid excess bacteria buildup. Place flowers immediately in water. Add floral food.
  3. ARRANGE flowers in vessels that coordinate with the design. 1
If you need more inspiration try Googling "flower arranging" to get some handy tips and beautiful examples (popular magazine websites are often the best).

Melissa Ozawa, "10 Things to Do with a Bucket of Flowers", Country Living, July 2008, 36