Friday, June 29, 2012

Strawberry lemonade

My Dad made this last summer and I was immediately hooked.  Here's the recipe:

6 cups hulled strawberries. (I made my juice the same day I made my jam and accidentally used 6 cups pureed berries.  I now have strawberry juice with a hint of lemon.  Good but not what I was going for...)
4 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice or 16 lemons.  If you have a juicer the best thing to do is throw the lemon in peel and all.
6 cups sugar

Heat to 190 degrees to kill off the bacteria.  Do not boil or you'll have yourself some jelly.

Mix 1 part lemonade concentrate with 1 part Ginger ale, Sprite, bubbly water or just plan old tap water.

Sit back and enjoy Recipe yeilds about 3 quarts.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Strawberry sorbet

Since my boys can't have milk I decided to try my hand at making my own sorbet.  It went well and is incredibly simple.

First disolve 1/2 cup water with sugar to taste.  I used about 1/2 cup.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice.

Add in three cups of blended berries.  Taste to make sure you have the sweetness you want.  Remember that frozen berries become tart, so over sugaring just slightly will be perfect when frozen.

Put into freezer cups and freeze.  The recipe makes four cups.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's delicious

That's what Man of the woods has named this treat. 

Take the foam that will be a substitute for a strawberry mousse and set aside.

Next melt some chocolate and break graham crackers into halves or fourths depending on how big you want the serving to be. Have the littles dip the crackers in chocolate and begin to make boxes with the chocolate as the glue to hold everything together.  If you use quarters then it will be a two sided box.

Once the chocolate has set.  scoop in the foam left over from the jam.  Drizzle more chocolate (and white chocolate just for fun) over the top.  Refrigerate and enjoy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The secret to amazing jam...

Fresh berries.

A side from that I use the recipe that comes in the pectin package.  And I have no particular favorites between the gel formed pectin or the powdered pectin.  I usually choose by what is the most inexpensive.

But do save the foam off the jam.  There is a super yummy dessert that boys had a blast helping with....

Monday, June 25, 2012

What to do with 15 quarts of strawberries?

I shall tell you all week long.  =)

See the flower shaped berry?

But before we get to that a short tale of how I came about 15 quarts.  I have a wonderful aunt that gifted five quarts to me.  The rest I wish came from her fields, but alas I just couldn't make the three hour drive there and three hours back.  So I settled for the next best thing.  Grandpa B and my Man of the woods.

When I was the size Man of the woods is now.  My Dad took me strawberry picking for the first time.  I loved it.  Every year it was definitely one of my highlights.  Since they day I found out I was expecting my first boy, I began dreaming of berry picking with him.  So this year I got my wish.

The only proof Man of the woods came along.
Oh wait there's this one too.

In my minds eye the three of us would go and have a quiet restful time of berry picking.  Man of the woods would have a strawberry covered face, but be totally into picking for hours.  Ha!  he picked about twelve berries and then was ready to call it quits.  So we made him the official photographer, worm digger, and car watcher.  All in all it didn't take us very long to meet our quota.  And even though he asked about every five minutes if we could leave now as soon as we were in the car he said he can't wait to do it again next year!

What shall you do with all those berries? First things first I gave one quart away to dear friends.  Then I got to cooking.  I LOVE the smell of cooking berries.  More on that later.

Yummy recipes coming right up!

#s ??- #s??
~ cloudy days for berry picking
~ Grandpa to come all the way up just to pick berries with me.
~ Juicy berries.
~ Walking with Man of the woods for more flats.
~ flower shaped berry.
~ Man of the woods taking photos of Grandpa B's car so that he may never forget what it looks like.
~ A patient Grandpa.
~ Man of the woods looking forward to next year.
~ Laughter handling the fact that he's too little extremely well.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Swan lake, EFA 2.17

A different sort of family day for us.  With the warning of thunder showers we decided to avoid brooks with metal kid carrying back packs attached to us.  So we packed our beach stuff and headed to Swan lake state park.  It's about a 45 minute drive and has a pebble beach, but those two things aside it is perfect!

I don't ever want to forget how little there hands were...

I feel the same about there toes.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Questions and answers

I think everything has its own season.  What was good for our family last summer may not be good for our family this summer.  I started this blog a little over a year ago, and have in the last few weeks even months begun the evaluation of why I write.  Here are some questions I've been mulling over:

1.  Why did I start this blog?
I started this blog shortly after a darkness began to take over my mind.  I didn't know then that I was dealing with Bi-polar.  I only knew that I needed to write the truths of my life down because truths were beginning to mix with lies and my thinking was becoming foggy.  I also wanted my three men, mainly my sons to know that even though I cried often and put myself in "time outs" I loved them, and that God was enough for any situation life might hand them just as He had been for me and all the generations that came before.

2.  Why go public if it was to my sons?
At first I was only allowing my close friends and family to read my blog.  Search engines couldn't find it; it was fairly well hidden.  Then those friends started telling me how encouraged they were by my transparency and my trust in God.  So I allowed it to go public.  Since then my friends from around the world have been able to stay up to date on the life of my family and I as well as being able hold me up in prayer more specifically.

3.  Is this blog meant to be a ministry?
No, it was never meant that way, although for a time I did begin to see it as that.  Honestly it's always just been a journal of how God has loved me and how I have fought to love Him back.  In many cases it has shown my sinfulness.  I know some see it as a ministry, but really I'm just working out my salvation not trying to teach my readers.  If others could be encouraged from my darkness and my journey then so be it.  In fact when readers write telling me that God taught them through my blog I am encouraged, but it is not why I write.

4.  Now that my Manic-depressive illness is under control should I continue recording my journey?
I don't know.  I'm still working that out.  I'm able to actually love my boys through words and action now, not just the hope that as men they will read my words and see that I loved them despite the darkness.  Once again my mind has grasped clarity.  Maybe the best thing is to keep it as an online scrapbook for them, only recording the big things God does in our lives and the epic family adventures (EFA) we have.  This way friends and family in far off lands can watch us grow...Everything has it's own season and every season comes to an end.  I don't know how this will change, but I think Shanbrosia will change as I do.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Light therapy

Meet my SAD light:

Sphere Gadget Technologies SP9882 Lightphoria Sad Light Therapy, 10,000 Lux

She's itty-bitty and is made for those who have seasonal affective disorder.  She also helps those of us who live with Manic-depressive disorder.  Her purpose is to produce serotonin something my brain doesn't naturally produce enough of.  That is why I spent nine months trying to find a medication that would make my brain produce this chemical without bad side effects.  In January, month 10, we finally found two medications that in combination balanced my brain chemicals out so I could live a life with the same degree of emotions that the rest of the world lives on.  The down side is that one of these medications cause me to gain crazy amounts of weight.  I now weigh as much as I did in my ninth moth of pregnancy.  Only this time I am not carrying a baby and put it on in less then 6 months.

As I am not a fan of medications, I have decided to give light therapy a chance.  So far so good!  My energy levels are well balanced on the days I sit with my light.  It's a pretty simple process, I sit with the light facing my chest for thirty minutes.  I'm not yet sure of the help it's balancing my moods, but my doctor has given me the okay to begin the weening process of the "fat pills".  Time will tell.

Any of my friends that fight manic depressive illness the SAD light doesn't cost much and I already love it.  I'll give it more time and a better review later, but even after a week I recommend at least looking into one.  Really the only requirement is that it's 10,000 LUX.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Char you are...

You are there hero, the one they dream to be some day.

An example I'm grateful they admire. A man of God.

Thank you, this is one of the many reasons I love you.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

A day of slowing, EFA 2.16

This week we packed a bag full of snacks, grabbed our picnic blanket, put on sun screen all to spend the day at a park three blocks away.  Some days we need to simply slow and enjoy.

Family day, an addicting drug that shots through my veins filling me with love.