Monday, January 30, 2012

A Garden Poem

"A Garden Poem"
by Katherine Craddock

Oh! How I long for heaven!

Deep breaths of holly blossoms

And crushed mint under bare toes.

Children laughing, chasing butterflies down

Ordered gravel pathways among quiet waving ferns.


But today, I do battle against the weeds.

The thorns and vines and thistles and mud choke

Disordered bouquets with tears and chaos,

Stains and prickles smothered by the stench of

Wet, damp decay.


Oh, how I long for heaven.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sulphite/Salicylate-Free Apple Quick Bread

I'm mostly just posting these recipes so that I can find them quickly! But if you have weirdo sulphite/salicylate food allergies (intolerances?) like me and are looking for some decent tasting (emphasis on decent), healthy alternatives, enjoy!

Sulphite/Salicylate-Free Apple Quick Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄2 cups milk
1 cup agave
1 Mashed Banana
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups peeled and finely diced tart apples

Heat oven to 350°F.

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together milk, agave, mashed banana and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients until just blended. Stir in apples.

Divide batter between two greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out and cool completely on wire rack. Serve with butter if desired. Yields 2 loaves.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kryptonite and the Cross

“Excuse me, Mommy.”

“Yes, Katie.” I nuzzled my three-year-old’s soft blond hair as cuddled her to sleep.

“Is Clark Kent-Superman like Jesus?” My drowsy eyes popped open. Where does she get these ideas?

(Um, I don’t know. Probably from all of the Smallville marathons we have subjected her to since birth. Tom Welling, if you are out there, Chris and I think that we would make great best friends for you and your wife. But I digress ...)

“Yes!” I exclaimed, much louder than a whisper. “You’re right! Clark Kent Superman is just like Jesus! He’s strong and powerful and brave – and even though he had all of those powers, he came down to earth …”

“To save us from the bad guys?”

“That’s right,” I said, pulling her tight. “Jesus came to the earth to save us. Just like Clark Kent-Superman.”

Tonight, as you tuck your own babies to sleep, ask Jesus to reveal Himself to you and your children – and don’t be surprised when He does!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sulphite/Salicylate-Free Oatmeal Carob Cookies

Yessssssssssssssss. Finally a cookie recipe that I can eat! (And it passed the 3 little chef taste test). For all those of you with weirdo allergies/intolerance or just looking for a healthy sweet, here it is:

YoungLifeHouse Oatmeal Carob Cookies


- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled gluten-free oats (just put that part in there if you have gluten issues)
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup organic can sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup agave syrup
- ½ cup safflower/vegetable/olive oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ cup carob chips

- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the agave, oil and vanilla extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. Fold in the dried fruit.
- Using your hands, roll tablespoon-size scoops of dough into balls. Place the balls onto the prepared baking sheet and press down slightly on the balls to flatten the tops. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a baking rack to cool completely.
- If you don't have weirdo allergies like me, you can substitute in real chocolate chips or add 1 tsp. of cinnamon.
Hey, they're not toll house Chocolate Chip cookies, but these are still pretty delicious (and you can eat the batter straight from the bowl without salmonella fears). YUM!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Most Epic Mess Ever!

It was a rookie mistake. For 15 minutes, I actually closed my bathroom door and TOOK A SHOWER. My three children (at the time) were all older then … what could possibly happen in 15 minutes?

A rice parade, that’s what.

“Mooooommmm!” my oldest daughter bellowed. “Christian exploded a bag of rice!” That’s fine, I thought to myself. How bad could it be? We’ll just vacuum it up.
“Get the vacuum!” I bellowed back, drying my hair. Half dressed, I opened the bathroom door and peered into my bedroom. Thousands of grains of rice were scattered all over the hardwood floor.

I heard the vacuum, but it was coming from down the hall. Hmm. That’s funny.

Or not …

Rice in my bedroom. Rice in my sitting room. Rice on the landing. Rice down the hall. I finally reached the noise of the busy vacuum, sucking up hundreds of grains of rice a second. Rice in the nursery. The children were clustered around, doing their best to vacuum the carpet. “But wait, Mom!” my daughter shook her head. “There’s more!”

Christian had dumped rice down the stairs and into the lobby. At this point, I knew I had to take pictures of the chaos – so I tiptoed downstairs to get my camera. Surely the carnage must have ended in the lobby! Nope. Rice in the library. Rice in the kitchen. Rice in the dining room. FOURTEEN ROOMS of my not-small-house covered in rice.

Needless to say, any plans for the day were out the door. I spent the entire rest of the day (and several days after), painstakingly vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping up rice.

So now, three years later, what was the amazing lesson I learned from the rice parade?

I guess it is that no matter how hard you try to control and schedule your life, everyone needs to take a break sometimes. I mean, we all need showers! (Some more than others). And sometimes, because we can’t be on guard 24/7, bad crazy things just happen. (Well, A LOT of times, if you have wild, fun little kids in your life).

The important thing is to face the reality of the situation, and that it is your job to clean up the mess. And it might be long, and hard, and frustrating, and sad. And it might derail your current plans for the day. Or days. Or months. Or years. But in the end, inexplicably, (hopefully!) you are left not with the memory of hours spent vacuuming up tiny grains of rice, but rather the memory of the survival of a significant life challenge. And then – at long last – you smile.

(At least, that’s what I think I learned ... to be honest, I mostly just wanted to post this story so you could commiserate with me over the amazingness that was this epic disaster. Ha!)