Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade

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I decided to try this recipe because I wanted to get rid of some frozen strawberries and rhubarb I had been left over in my freezer from last summer. Turned out, it was a hit and everyone in the family loved it! The strawberries gave it a natural sweetness and the rhubarb was slightly tart so it was a nice combo. (We added a bit of honey at the end to taste). It was very simple and hardly took anytime to make. Here is the recipe, hope you enjoy it!

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen strawberries
2 cups frozen rhubarb
8 cups of water
1 lemon, sliced
Maple sugar or honey to sweeten

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Instructions:
In a large saucepan bring strawberries, rhubarb and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Strain the juice into a pitcher making sure that no chunks of strawberry or rhubarb get into the pitcher. Cut up the lemon and add to the pitcher, add honey or maple sugar to sweeten. Put in the fridge and chill for 4 hours. If it is too concentrated just add more water and if it is too bland use less water next time. Enjoy!!!

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Coconut Granola

Tried this again tonight with our homemade maple syrup, SO GOOD!!

Passion for Family

Here is another recipe that seems to satisfy my obession with coconut:) It is delicious, I eat it with rice milk for breakfast.

Ingredients:

1 cup almonds

1 cup walnut pieces

1 cup pecans

1 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup ground flax

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup currants, raisins, cranberries (assorted depending on what you like)

Directions:

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl except the currant/raisins and cranberries. spread out mixture on an ungreased baking sheet and bake at 300F for 30-40 minutes or until it has reached your desired “crunchiness”:) Be sure to stir a couple times to avoid burning. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then mix in the raisins. Store in an air tight container, it keep for about 2 weeks.

Enjoy!

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Cashew Almond Butter

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In the past, I have made almond butter which I enjoyed but sometimes found it rather dry and bland. I haven’t been able to stomach peanut butter lately because of my pregnancy but I have been craving toast with some kind of spread. So I decided to try something different this time, made almond butter with raw cashews! It was simple, quick and more cost effective than buying it in the store. It is amazing on homemade bread or toast, I actually could eat it by the spoonful;)

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Ingredients:
1 cup Raw Cashews
2 cups Raw Almonds
Water

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Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Lay out the cashews and almonds on a baking sheet.

3. Bake for 15 minutes. Be sure to stir once or twice so that they do not burn.

4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

5. Place in the food processor and blend for 6-8 minutes or until they turn into butter. If you want it to be more liquidy you could add some water.

6. Label and place in a mason jar and store in the fridge.

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Enjoy!!

a lesson in everything!

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Many of my readers have asked me how I know what to teach in homeschool? It’s a loaded question because truthfully I don’t know everything that I am going to teach. While I do have a weekly schdedule and have purchased materials and workbooks for language arts, reading and math I tend to leave social science, Bible and life lessons/skills up to the everyday opportunities that present themselves. Honestly, I pray that ask God for wisdom and direction and every week we tend to cover more material and topics that I would have had if I had planned for it:) For example, there was a science lesson that we gleaned this week from our maple syrup tapping and it was fun and interesting for the kids.

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The lesson was simple: We filled up two cups, both with 1/2 cup of water, then to one cup we added a tbsp of sugar. We labeled the sugar cup and put them both in the freezer. Every 15 minutes we would check to see which one was freezing the fastest. We concluded that the water with sugar freezes slower. We learned how this related to the sap in maple trees, how it acts as an antifreeze so that the maple trees dont freeze solid in the winter time!! It was cool and we all learned a little something.

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There are SO many little lessons that we can teach our kids every day, all we need to do is ask the Lord to give us the opportunities and when they present themselves be ok to steer away from the routine and have a little fun. The kids loved the project so much that they wanted to try to put other baking ingredients in water to see how long they would take to freeze:)…interesting how a little experiment can spark such interest and curiosity.

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I must admit that I never thought that I would be tapping my own maple trees and bottling syrup but somehow in the past week that is what I have found myself and my family doing. It has been an adventure. AND a learning process:)

We decided to try to tap 10 trees and see what we got, so far the outcome has exceeded our original expectations. After 5 days of collecting sap we have 3L of syrup meaning that we collected approx 120L of sap and boiled it down!! For those of you who dont know how much that it, its a lot!!!

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It has been fun to find a natural resource and literally tap into it. I am thankful for this wonderful land the Lord has given us.

Ideally, I would love to live on the land completely, to grow and sustain ourselves is a dream of mine, however we are not quite there yet. Our climate up here in Northern Ontario definitely makes it more difficult! (But we are trying to come up with creative ideas to be self sustaining)

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My favorite part of this past week has been watching our kids help us out and get really excited about this new adventure. Judah loves to go out to the trees and collect the sap with us and Mercy is my “most excited” taste tester when we are boiling down the sap:) My husband has been amazing at setting things up, carrying heavy buckets and enjoying the journey with us.

I am convinced that not matter what venture you set out to do as a family that enjoying it TOGETHER is the BEST part!!

May you experience the unity and communion that comes from doing things together as a family!!

we’re far from perfect (guest post)

hi friends, i’m allison (or al) & i blog over at www.afterhissmile.com. i’ve been so blessed by emma’s friendship & wisdom. she recently guest posted on my blog here & i’m honored to do the same on her blog. 🙂

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so these are our 3 boys… jude, sammy & amos. what a joy they are & what a tool of sanctification! 😉 as mommies we often look at others’ lives & honestly believe that they “have it all together”. we think, “how cute their kids are” or “how well behaved”. we only see the seemingly good. we just assume that somehow they are perfect & not swayed by sin & emotion. 
we need to change our view of others… not that we look down on them by knowing they struggle with sin & we for sure don’t rejoice in it, but we find comfort in the fact that there are other mommies that are walking this journey of joys & sorrows, ups & downs, laughter & tears. we have fellowship in this truth with the body of Christ. & we should not just sit in our sin together, we should be spurring one another on to repentance & sanctification. 
i challenge you to surround yourself with a community of mommies that realize their need for the Savior & point you to Him as well!
thanks again emma!
al

Mango Freezing!

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Around this time of year, mangos are on sale and rather than buying a box and trying to eat them before they go bad here is another idea…

Mangos are among the most popular fruits to add to smoothies. They add amazing flavour and texture. I bought a huge box this year and cut them up and froze them. It was cost effective, didn’t take much time and now we have frozen mangos for the next couple months to add to our smoothies. Personally I prefer yellow mangos (they are sweetest) but they are all sorts of mangos available these days.

Hopefully to enjoy them as much as we do!

If you need instruction on how to cut a mango to maximize the amount of fruit you get, watch this little youtube:

Here is my favorite mango breakfast smoothie recipe:
1 handful of frozen mango pieces
1 banana, peeled
1/2 cup frozen peaches or 1/2 cup cut up pineapple
1 cup of coconut milk or coconut water
tsp flax seeds
3 ice cubes

Blend for 1 minute and drink immediately!!

Have a blessed day!

Rested and Refreshed!

Our family has been truly blessed this past month! We were away in Florida for just over 2 weeks and it was a wonderful time of refreshing and fun adventures together! I am reminded, everytime I go away with my family, that they truly are the most important thing in my life.
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It is so easy to get caught up in the daily routine of life and allow the simple joy of being together to be lost. As parents we need to remember that our FAMILY IS our FIRST priority. There will always be people wantings your time, others in crisis, problems that need to be solved, events that beg for your time and a to-do list that runs on forever. BUT your children won’t always live under the same roof as you, they won’t always want to snuggle or play or have time for you. Be sure to take advantage of the precious moments everyday and if you are able to getaway – DO IT!
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What a treat it was to experience the wonders of Disney world together and share all the memories that brought us. Also to play in the sand, the pools and have no agenda other than to be together!! I am thankful that the Lord reminds me of this often. I need to be ALWAYS thankful for my amazing husband and beautiful children. And on that thankful note…We ALSO came back from this trip with an exciting announcement. We are going to have another baby!!! I am currently 16 weeks along and looking forward to having this new little one join us in September!
May you experience a refreshing dose of the JOY that family and new life brings!!
All of our beautiful Kids Swimming in Naples
This is a picture of ALL of our children swimming in Florida:)