Homeschooling

More than JUST Vanilla French Toast!

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Believe it or not, I have struggled with cooking breakfast for years!! My journey to becoming Joyfully Submitted had its share of bumps and bruises, and breakfast was one of them!! I knew how to cook, but I did not find joy in it, and as a result, lacked creativity, as well as the desire to find new things, recipes, techniques and flavors. As long as we ate and it was good, I was great! Delicious was not necessarily a goal of mine, or so I thought. But I found myself becoming disappointed or having my ‘feelings hurt’ when I got less than the highest praise for meals that I had put together without much thought.  I put my heart into holiday meals, and meals that would be served to guests…(shaking my head in embarrassment). But my cooking lacked more than mouth-watering flavor! It lacked joy…it lacked heart! Nowhere was this more evident than in the morning…with breakfast. I am truly saddened as I look back and view in retrospect not just the food served, but the heart with which it was served.  I was not horrible, I just was not there…my heart was somewhere else for years!!! And if anyone cared to look, it was evident…in my cooking. Oh I could do your basics…eggs and bacon, cereal and toast, oatmeal from scratch (took some practice), and the meals were good. But the really good stuff (in my opinion…in my families opinion) like pancakes and french toast…I always fell short of, well, delicious! They took too much time! They involved too many ingredients!! Who had time??? Time was not the issue, nor was the number of ingredients in the recipes.  Who knew that a lack of submission to Christ and his plan for my life…for your life…for our lives…would reveal itself  in our approach to meal time…to cooking? The sharing of meals has always been an integral part in the lives of believers since before the church was born. We see our Lord serve the disciples and spend his last night on Earth eating with those closest to him.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” Matthew 25:26-28

We see that as the church was growing, food and the joyful sharing of meals was an integral part of that growth….

A deep sense of awe came over them all, and the apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders. And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.”Acts 2:43-47

But I had missed this, of course, because for years my silent, secret focus was on myself. I grieved for a long time and silently refused to let go of the life I planned for myself. I thought that if I looked like the submitted wife on the outside God would let me off of punishment and reward me with my dream life!!! My selfishness caused me to totally miss the glaringly obvious reality that I was living my dream life!! And this one came complete with surround sound and high-definition!!! But all was not lost….and breakfast has been rescued! On my journey I have discovered that as my heart was made new, so were my perspectives and the things I found joy in. And cooking everything, even breakfast from scratch, has become a source of great joy! The recipe below is so much more than JUST Vanilla French Toast! It is a symbol of another area in my heart that has been made new as evidence of my submitted heart. It’s not the vanilla that makes this french toast impossible to resist. It’s the depth of love and care and concern and joy that went into preparing it. It’s not looking at the recipe and thinking there are too many ingredients, but now investigating to find new ones that can be added… I pray that you enjoy making this for your family. Relax. Breath in deeply the aroma of the Vanilla and cinnamon blend. Slow down and taste all of the flavors mixing together in your mouth. Then teach your kids to do the same. You see, it was not just my heart that was filled with joy as I prepared this. It was witnessing that joy transfer to my children and my husband when they ate it…my change of heart positively impacted them! And with HUGE smiles they asked for more!

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4

This recipe from http://www.allrecipes.com has not only vindicated me in the kitchen, but has served of more evidence of a Joyfully Submitted heart! No longer are my husband and oldest son the only ones who can successfully prepare breakfast foods such as pancakes and french toast from scratch, and have us wanting for more. This recipe, posted in the pic below, is amazing!!! The kids actually had thirds!! Well, the boys did :D.  Just between you and me, I made a few modifications the last 2 times I made these. I added another 1/2 tsp of cinnamon as well as 1 tsp nutmeg (which the original recipe did not include). The results were amazing!! The recipe yields 12-18 slices of french toast! Enjoy preparing it!!! Enjoy serving it!!! Enjoy eating it!!!

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Making and Canning Apple Pie Filling!

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Ok, So I am taking a break from finishing my book in order to relax a little bit and catch you guys up on some goings on around here 😀 Today’s post will share a little bit about my first time canning apple pie filling!!! Let me just say that we (the girls and I) had a blast, and I am soooo glad they were here to help me. I was a little overwhelmed, but after completing this, we looked back and realized how simple it really was!! So, I hope you enjoy this look at the lighter side of things, and if you EVER wanted to do things like this, DO NOT WAIT!!! Tomorrow is NOT promised!!

We had quite a few apples that were getting pretty ripe in our refrigerator, so I said, “Why not?” I very rarely totally plan ahead…meaning I may have a thought that I want to do something on a certain day, but it’s not until that day comes that I decide whether or not I will…and sometimes that depends on if I even remember that I wanted to do it!!! Why did I share that? To give you hope!!!! I have wanted to can things for YEARS, but was always soooooo overwhelmed and felt like I had to be this EXTREMELY organized person to do it!!! I have realized that I don’t necessarily have to be organized, but I do have to have the basic tools on hand in case the urge hits me 😀 Anyway….here’s the Apple Pie Filling Recipe & Instructions for canning!

GATHER YOUR CANNING SUPPLIES

Water bath canner (or LARGE stock pot with lid)

Canning jars

Canning seals and rings (lids)

Jar Lifter

Canning Funnel

(ALL OF THE ABOVE WERE PURCHASED AT WALMART FOR VERY REASONABLE PRICES)

Large pot or blancher

Bowls

Large Spoons

Sharp Knife

Towels and dishcloths (it gets messy/to dry jars)

Ladle

INGREDIENTS

Apples (enough for 6-8 quarts)

5C. Sugar

1C Thickener (cornstarch, flour or clear gel)

1tsp. Cinnamon

1tsp. nutmeg

2tsp. salt

10C. water

3T lemon juice

THE INSTRUCTIONS FOR HOW TO MAKE WILL BE FOUND IN THE CAPTION FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS 😀

Before you begin, fill your stock pot and turn on high. The larger the post the onger it will take to boil the water. Start early! DO THIS FIRST :D
Before you begin, fill your stock pot and turn on high. The larger the post the onger it will take to boil the water. Start early! DO THIS FIRST 😀
I think everything neded is in this pic!!! If not it will be pictured later :D
Gather your supplies in advance! I think everything needed is in this pic!!! The stock pot and other pots are already on the stove. 😀

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I used an apple corer/slicer to cut and core the apple. Then I peeled each piece individually. Easier and quicker than it sounds.
I used an apple corer/slicer to cut and core the apple. Then I peeled each piece individually. Easier and quicker than it sounds. The remains can be used in compost for fertilizer 😀
AFTER CUTTING. CORING AND PEELING THE APPLES I SOAKED THEM IN A FRUIT/VEGGIE SOAK MADE OF 1/4C VINEGAR, 2TBLS SALT, AND A STAINLESS STEEL BOWL FILLED WITH WATER. AFTER REMOVING AND RINSING THE APPLES THE WATER WAS DISGUSTING!!!!!! THE VINEGAR AND WATER WORK TO CLEAN (vinegar) AND DRAW OUT ANY LITTLE BUGS, DIRT AND OTHER SMALL UNWANTED THINGS. Normally this is done with the skin on but the skin had been removed. This does NOT alter the taste of the fruit.
AFTER CUTTING. CORING AND PEELING THE APPLES I SOAKED THEM IN A FRUIT/VEGGIE SOAK MADE OF 1/4C VINEGAR, 2TBLS SALT, AND A STAINLESS STEEL BOWL FILLED WITH WATER. AFTER REMOVING AND RINSING THE APPLES THE WATER WAS DISGUSTING!!!!!! THE VINEGAR AND WATER WORK TO CLEAN (vinegar) AND DRAW OUT ANY LITTLE BUGS, DIRT AND OTHER SMALL UNWANTED THINGS. Normally this is done with the skin on but the skin had been removed. This does NOT alter the taste of the fruit.
While the apples are soaking in the rinse, put on a pot of water to bring to a boil.
While the apples are soaking in the rinse, put on a pot of water to bring to a boil.

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At this point you are going to combine 5C. Sugar, 1C Thickener (cornstarch, flour or clear gel), 1tsp. Cinnamon, 1tsp. nutmeg, 2tsp. salt, 10C. water. Stir as it thickens! Let simmer.
Rinse your apples and place them in the boiling water for about 1 minute. I suggest filling a jar with apples FIRST for the purpose of measuring. 1.5 quart jar of unboiled apples will equal 1 full quart of boiled apples. For best results, only put enough for 1 jar in at a time to prevent other apples from overcooking!
Rinse your apples and place them in the boiling water for about 1 minute.

AT THIS POINT LET ME POINT OUT THAT I HAVE JARS THAT ARE FILLED WITH BOILED WATER WAITING, AS WELL AS A BOWL OF BOILED WATER WITH THE SEALS AND RINGS SITTING IN THEM WAITING. EACH JAR WILL BE EMPTIED OF THE WATER INDIVIDUALLY AND PROMPTLY FILLED WITH APPLES AS THEY ARE READY.

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I suggest filling a jar with apples FIRST for the purpose of measuring. 1.5 quart jar of unboiled apples will equal 1 full quart of boiled apples. For best results, only put enough for 1 jar in at a time to prevent other apples from overcooking!
Using a slotted spoon, begin to remove the apples from the boiling water after 1 minute. Using your funnel (this is SUCH A BIG HELP!!!)  carefully place HOT apples into jar. Place more apples into water and quickly move to next step.
Using a slotted spoon, begin to remove the apples from the boiling water after 1 minute. Using your funnel (this is SUCH A BIG HELP!!!) carefully place HOT apples into jar. Place more apples into water and quickly move to next step.

THE RIMS OF EACH JAR ARE WIPED CLEAN BEFORE THE LIDS ARE REMOVED FROM THE HOT WATER, DRIED AND PUT IN PLACE 😀

Repeat process until all of your jars are filled.
Repeat process until all of your jars are filled.
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Place jars and canning rack in stock pot ALREADY filled with boiling water. Cover with the lids and let boil for 30 minutes.
Let sit in water for 5 minutes then remove CAREFULLY! Let cool on countertop for approximately 2 hours until jars are room temperature.
Let sit in water for 5 minutes then remove CAREFULLY! Let cool on countertop for approximately 2 hours until jars are room temperature.

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This is the syrup that was left over. Use for something else...applesauce, oatmeal, or pancakes maybe???
This is the syrup that was left over. Use for something else…applesauce, oatmeal, or pancakes maybe???

STORE IN A COOL PLACE! USE WHEN YOU WISH AS YOU WISH!! ENJOY 😀

This is how we chose to enjoy it!!! Twice so far :D
This is how we chose to enjoy it!!! Twice so far 😀

 

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Homemade crust and hoomemade crumb topping added 😀
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Baked on 375 for 45-50 minutes 😀

Simple and Delicious Homemade Butter!

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A I delve deeper and deeper into the joys of serving at home, I continue to discover more and more things that “I have always wanted to do,” but just didn’t know it!!!! One of those things just happened to be making butter!!! Can you believe it??? As I prepare to turn 40 exactly one month from today, I am simply amazed at the transformation of heart The Lord has done in me, and for some reason, making butter for the first time today, as simple as it was, brought a few tears to my eyes…and a sense of satisfaction and contentment to my heart.

The first time that I can recall having a thought or a desire to make butter was 2 years ago when my youngest daughter was reading Little House on The Prairie. When she got to the end of the book, she discovered a recipe for homemade butter and in her excitement, she ran and shared it with me. And the desire was born! But like so many other things that “I have always wanted to do,” I never made the time to do it! Until now, that is. Today was the day! And I have to say, it was worth the wait!

The simple recipe that I actually followed:
1 pint of heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
Blend in food processor for 10 minutes or until butter separates from liquid
Spoon into dish or bowl with slotted spoon and refrigerate

The recipe below is the recipe that my daughter Leah found in her book. I wanted to share the exact one since she was soooo excited to share it with me and I was soooooo excited to make it!!! The pictures are from today and the simple recipe above, and I hope you enjoy them and decide to try this yourself, if you have not already!

The Little House on the Prairie Butter Recipe

You will need: 1 pint of heavy cream, slotted spoon, quart-size jar with tight lid, tea towel

1. Pour the cream into the jar. Screw on the lid.

2. Shake the jar until the cream thickens and starts to form a ball of butter. This may take a while, so keep shaking!

3. Scoop the butter out of the jar with the slotted spoon, and drain it on a tea towel.

4. Squeeze the butter inside the towel to get e remaining liquid out.

5. Form the butter ball into a pretty shape, put it on a plate, and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready yo use it.

6. Enjoy!!

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A Celebration of Black History Month; 5 Phenomenal Profiles

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Hey Everyone! This is Isaiah, and today (this evening) I will be sharing a brief look at five African-American men who left their marks on history.  Please take the little bit of information I share and look into the lives of these men even deeper.  You will be blessed by what you learn!

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Rev. Henry Highland Garnet

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Henry Highland Garnet was a leading member of a generation of black people who led the abolition

movement. Born in 1815 and Died In 1882, Was a former slave but now the pastor

of the fifteenth street Presbyterian church in Washington D.C. On February 12, 1865,

Henry Garnett became the first Black man to give a sermon at the capital building.

Its was delivered on Sunday February 12, 1865 just days within the congress’s

adoption of the 13th Amendment banning slavery.

~~~

Rev. Richard Allen

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Re. Richard Allen was the founder of Americas first black Denomination.

Born a slave on February 14 in 1760 and died March 26, 1831. He was an educator, and the founder of The African Methodist Episcopal Church (A.M.E) In 1816. The first independent black denomination in the U.S.

~~~

John Roy Lynch

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John Roy Lynch was Born September 10th 1847 and died November 2nd 1939.

He was an American politician, Attorney, writer, military general, husband and father.

He was elected as the first African-American speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives in 1873. He was among the first generation of African-Americans

Elected to the U.S House of Representatives during the reconstruction period in the U.S after the civil war.

~~~

Joseph Hayne Rainey

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Born into slavery on June 21st 1832 and died August 1st 1887. His father purchased his freedom in the 1840s, and also purchased the freedom of the rest of his family … He was the first black man to serve in the United States House of Representatives, the second black person to serve in the U.S congress ( U.S senator Hiram Revels was the first), The first African-American to be directly elected to congress, And the black presiding officer of the United States Congress.

~~~

Frederick Douglass

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Frederick Douglass was born a slave in 1818 and died February 20th 1893.

Between speaking fees, investments and income from presidential appointments, Frederick Douglass was able to mass $300,000 dollars in savings, An equivalence of $25 million dollars today.

He was a writer, and incredible public speaker, and a statesman. After he escaped slavery he became a leader of the abolitionist movement. He proved all slave owners wrong in saying “ slaves did not have the intellectual capacity to act and functions as American Citizens independently”. He was also the first African-American to be appointed to office in four different presidential Administrations.

I hope these profiles have encouraged you to research these great men who impacted the history of black people in America. Talk to you soon!

A few points on Black History; Giving Accurate Historical Perspective Deserving Further Study

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Hey guys! This is Jordan again, son #2. I want to share a few points with you about Black History that will give you a more historically accurate perspective on topics that deserve further study.  I hope you read the information, and choose to go and investigate deeper. A good starting point in http://www.wallbuilders.com.

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Most people don’t know that blacks were involved with the founding of America under the Constitution as well as America under the Articles of Confederation, nor do they know about how the end of slavery came about, or that blacks were involved in the Revolutionary War, playing very instrumental roles in victories.

James Armistead
James Armistead

People such as James Armistead, who served as a spy, and in a way a “double agent”, giving accurate information to Marquis de Lafayette (a frenchman fighting for America) and false information to Benedict Arnold, the American trader who was fighting for the British, were crucial to the fight. There was also Peter Salem, who was instrumental in the Battle of Bunker Hill on the Charleston Peninsula across the Boston Harbor.

Peter Salem
Peter Salem

Soon after these times the North West Ordinance was passed in 1787 by the Confederation Congress, which prohibited the territories north west of the Ohio River from coming into the Union as slave states. Because of this, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin came into the Union as free states. The Constitution was ratified the same year and went into effect in 1789. The Constitution was, at one time, considered to be a document in favor of slavery, with many believing that the three-fifths compromise concerned the worth of a slave, but in actuality it was a compromise agreed upon to limit southern states Congressional representation, which would dramatically increase their power in Congress and perpetuate slavery indefinitely. Congress also abolished the slave trade in 1808 taking another step to stop the growth of slavery in America

The Democratic Party was formed in 1792 by Thomas Jefferson, according to the DNC website, and it soon became the majority party. By the 1820’s most of the founding fathers were deceased and the Democratic Party members were making large changes. The party passed the Missouri Compromise that reversed the North West Ordinance allowing slavery in almost half of the federal territories. In 1850 they passed the Fugitive Slave Law, which in actual practice  allowed the kidnapping of free men, runaway slaves, and any black person in sight, and their return or transportation to plantations. In 1854 they passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act which allowed slavery into areas where slavery had been forbidden. As we can see the Democrats were on a path that was increasing the growth and power of slavery.

This was well observed by anti-slavery Democrats, Whigs, Free Soil Advocates, and Emancipationists, so they came together to form the Republican Party. Most people don’t know that the Republican Party was originally started with it’s main goal to prohibit slavery’s expansion, to give black American’s civil rights, and to end slavery all together. And as history shows us the goal they set out to do was accomplished, and in the effort to sustain the long sought and fought for liberty that was being celebrated by black people, it should come as no surprise that many of the first black legislators were apart of the Republican Party. Not only the first black legislators, but almost 100% of black people, in the northern and southern states.

I figure this is needed information not only because it is History and God’s Providence is actively seen in history, but because in recent times there have been attempts to blotch up the history, character, and intentions of the people who we hold responsible for the ultimate downfall of slavery. I will speak in more depth of the actual characters involved in the downfall of slavery in later articles. I also don’t advocate the Republican Party, I advocate justice, and in these times that’s what they stood for. I hope this article has struck some interest of which I hope you will act on and look deeper into these things.

See you soon!

Celebrating Black History Month: Olaudah Equiano

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Celebrate-Black-History-MonHello, again! It’s Kayla! I’m so glad to hear that so many of you have been enjoying what me and my brothers have posted so far. Who I chose to write about this week is Olaudah Equiano. He has fascinated me ever since I heard of him a few years ago. I was happy to find out while researching that he was a believer 🙂 I hope what I wrote encourages you to read more about him!

olaudah-equiano-1Olaudah Equiano, also known as Gustavus Vassa, was born around 1745. He was an abolitionist, author, poet, father, husband and Christian. But before he was all of those things he was just a young boy living with his family in a village in Nigeria. Around the age of eleven, he was kidnapped and sold to white slave traders. Equiano was taken to the New World and was then bought by Michael Pascal, a Royal Navy officer who lived in Virginia. Pascal was said to be cruel and even changed his name to Gustavus Vassa, as a joke to intentionally mock slavery. Gustavus Vassa was a Swedish man who during his life helped free hundreds of thousands of slaves.

Being the slave of a Navy officer, Equiano lived the naval life. He was exposed to many different cultures and shores which was very rare for plantation slaves of his time. Pascal thought it’d look good for Olaudah to get a proper education as well as tutoring, so his master sent him to London. He received some education and in 1766, he bought his freedom. While there, he became involved in the political and legal efforts to outlaw slavery and the British slave trade. He fought to help enslaved Africans get resettled back in Africa.

Olaudah Equiano, while on a voyage in Spain, really embraced Christianity. He had questioned his faith for a long time and he finally felt like he knew what choice to make. In his own words, he felt as if God was giving him a second chance. He truly believed that God created all men equal and we know that because he dedicated his life to the abolishment of slavery.

olaudah equianoIn 1789, he published his autobiography, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano. He knew that one of his most powerful arguments against slavery was his own life. His book became very important and was a major contribution to the abolitionist cause. His book changed the hearts of people towards those enslaved and even inspired others to join him and many others in the fight for the abolishment of slavery. Equiano died in March of 1797. The Slave Trade in Britain didn’t end until nearly a decade later. It would be forty years later that slavery itself was abolished in the British Colonies.

Olaudah Equiano is one to remember. He may not be well known but the work he did made a large impact on those around him and it even influenced the enactment of the Slave Trade Act of 1807. The Slave Trade Act of 1807 prohibited the trading of Africans into slavery in the West Indies. It was one of the most momentous laws ever passed by the British parliament.

He was also portrayed in the movie Amazing Grace along the character of William Wilberforce.