Corn & Bean Salad

One area of this website that is still quite neglected is the recipes. I love to cook and usually do so for a good-sized crowd. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at food photography. So you’ll have to trust me a little.

salad

This salad is delicious. Crisp, spicy, a bit sweet and so fresh. It is perfect with barbecued meat and so easy to toss together. It’s vegan and gluten free as well! This corn & bean salad makes enough to generously feed my family of six with leftovers. I don’t have step-by-step photos but there aren’t many steps! Here they are:

Corn & Bean Salad

9 ears of corn, shucked and lightly brushed with olive oil

3 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

the juice of 2 large limes and 1 lemon

5 teaspoons chili powder

3-5 teaspoons cumin (all depends how smoky you want your salad!)

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

a hearty handful of each cilantro and parsley, chopped

— Char the corn just until there are some grill marks. You can do this outside on the grill, on a griddle inside or even in a skillet.

— Mix the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl while the corn is cooling.

— Remove the corn from the corn cobs by standing them on end and lightly running a knife down it. Add the corn to the salad and mix very well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

— Refrigerate for about an hour before serving.

I think this salad would be great with some chopped avocado tossed in. Someone also suggested adding mango. Yum!

What’s your favorite summer salad?

Five Things Friday. Finally.

Read More

I’ve missed a couple of Fridays lately. Sorry. We’ve been a bit swamped.

On My Heart: Teaching my daughters to do things well, not to just do things. This is mainly focusing on chores right now but I’m praying that the lessons sink in deep. There is a testimony at work when we do things well, with a good attitude and with joy. It may not seem like it matters to make your bed when no one is coming over and you’re just going to get in it again anyway. But it matters.  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,  knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. (Col. 3:23-24) Peace is also on my heart. Living at peace.  If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. (Romans 12:18) I don’t think this means I have to be best friends with everyone I meet. But I need to have a peaceful relationship. And if that means to keep my heart peaceful, I keep my distance, … maybe that’s okay. I’m still chewing on that one.

On My Mind: I don’t even want to say it. Health. Exercise. Ugh. Can anyone else ugh with me? It’s hard to be disciplined in what we eat and do. I’m slowly working healthier carbs into our diet. I’m also painfully sore this morning after doing a new workout. We aren’t going totally gluten-free for several reasons, but we are working on healthier options. It’s hard, people. That’s what’s on my mind. As I go through my day, it’s on my mind. Thinking if I’m making a good choice. How will this choice I’m making impact my calorie totals at the end of the day. It’s a lot of thinking and choosing, rather than just grabbing and going. Being intentional about anything takes work, right?

On My iPod: We have an edit here…. drum roll ….. I got an iPhone. Prior to this I was using either an ipod Nano that is seriously older than half my kids or a cracked, barely working iPod touch. I should clean up the Nano and save it because it might be a collector’s item in a few years. Due to some new responsibilities I have, it was necessary that I was easy to get ahold of. My little $15 Tracfone was not reliable. So an upgrade was necessary. Right now on my phone, I’m learning how to use Siri, how to talk my texts and playing with different ringtones. But the newest music on my phone is some old music. It’s a CD that was given to us when Lael and Alyssa were little called Sing the Word. They listened to it so much, it wore out! So we bought it again for Lauren and Addie. They listen to it when they go to sleep and through the day. Thankfully digital files don’t wear out!

On My DVR: Hmm… that’s a good question. Let me check, hang on. Okay. Treehouse Masters and Building Wild are two shows that my Hubs got me into. The guys on these shows build the coolest things! We are totally into When Calls The Heart now. Elizabeth and Jack are so cute. If you haven’t caught it yet, I would highly recommend it. One thing that isn’t yet on my DVR is Dancing With The Stars. I haven’t really watched it in the past, but one of my favorite celebrities is going to be on this season. Candace Cameron Bure (DJ from Full House) has become popular again, for writing books and sharing some pretty good thoughts on submission while on national television. She’s outspoken about her Christianity and I appreciate that. I’m just not sure how she’s going to balance some level of modesty while dancing.

On My Schedule: We have a birthday coming up (Lauren will be 7!!), that’s always hard to schedule because trade show season is also starting. My husband is the sales manager for a local HVAC company. So when all those spring home shows start, he works at them. It makes for a busy March and April for us. We have lots we want to do and people we want to have over. But work comes first and that means trade shows.

To Wake Or Not To Wake

Read More

That is the question.

I took a photo this morning of my open planner, but no kids at the table, and put it up on my Instagram, asking if homeschool parents prefer to wake their children or let them sleep on school days. After a few comments, I saw very clearly that there are two distinct options to this topic.

{First, let me say that I am not judging either side. We are homeschool parents. In our home. Where we are in charge. So every person is going to have a different set of rules and standards. That’s how it should be! No Mommy Wars here.}

The option in favor of waking has some great points:
– teaches diligence
– the Bible speaks of waking early
– more geared toward preparing for real life, job, college, etc.

The option in favor of letting children sleep until they’re ready to wake also has interesting points:
– children can follow their body’s natural sleep cycle
– a recent study shows that homeschool children are more well rested because of this
– children are more prepared to learn because they are well rested

Interesting points, right?  So how do I handle the wake or not wake question?

I am a No Waker. Here’s why:

1) We aren’t on anyone’s schedule. We are on my schedule. And honestly? I don’t like alarms. So I don’t use them. That’s not to say that we always sleep in. I’m terrible at sleeping late. Some mornings I’m wide awake at 5am, just staying in bed so as to not wake anyone else. My three-year old, six-year-old and I are both usually up by 7am at the latest. But my ten and twelve-year-old daughters? They can sleep! And for us, that’s okay! They don’t sleep in late every day. On a normal day, we’re all up and moving by 8. But when they need to sleep, they can. Many studies have shown that tweens and teens do not get enough sleep. Lack of sleep leads to all kinds of ick like trouble thinking, health issues and self control problems. We all know it’s true – when you’re tired, it’s just harder to function. While I’m able, I like having the freedom to let my older girls sleep as much as they need. They feel better, they listen and react better, I get some time with my little girls in the morning. Win, win.

2) I don’t cook breakfast. I don’t really like breakfast. I’m a ‘toast with peanut butter and a cup of coffee’ kinda gal. That’s not changing any time soon. So the undesirable task of making breakfast more that once just doesn’t apply to me. Everyone makes their own breakfast when they’re ready to eat. Usually, I’ll make the younger girls their breakfast but sometimes the older girls chip in to help. Our choices haven’t changed in years – toast, oatmeal or cereal. You can feel bad for my daughters now.

3) In my opinion, letting an older child set their own wake time teaches personal responsibility. My older daughters know what they have to get done each day before they’re free to play or call friends. Their chores are laid out and their school work is listed in my planner. It is no surprise to them when I tell them at noon that they still have work to do, even if they act shocked. I’ve tried to stop hovering and start allowing them to create their own schedule. If they want to wake early and get school done, they can. I don’t allow them to play all day and do school at night, however. They have to complete that day’s assignments and chores. But if they’re bored and want to work ahead? That’s totally allowed.

What’s your take To Wake Or Not To Wake? Do you let your children sleep? Or do you enjoy the routine of a set morning wake up time?

wonderings continued…

I borrowed this book from the library to continue my research. The author breaks down each vaccine, explaining the disease, its risks, the vaccine and its risks. Very easy to read and understand.

What struck me as I was reading through the diseases we vaccinate against is that these were not terrible, life-threatening diseases. They (for the most part) were childhood illnesses, requiring care and rest. (Except for Hepatitis B which is basically an STD. Why this is on the vaccine schedule for low-risk babies I do not understand.) Many of the diseases have declined greatly as sanitation and personal hygiene has improved. The common denominator in many of these diseases? Time. They all take time to recover from, some take a lot of time. If both parents are working outside the home, this would put a strain on the family, the place of employment and it would trickle on from there. An outbreak of the measles, like the ones seen in our grandparents generation, would shut down our society. Who would care for all those sick children? Their mothers are no longer home each day to care for them. I can remember as a school-age child (I’m not that old, we’re talking mid-80’s) when there was a flu outbreak, school attendance would drop off so dramatically school would sometimes be cancelled because so many teachers and children were sick. Would such a thing be possible now? Where would all those kids go? A majority of them have mothers who work outside the home.

I guess the conspiracy theorist in me wonders if these vaccines have been heavily pushed on parents for more selfish reasons than we know. With the Varicella (Chicken Pox) vaccine, the CDC admits that the main reason behind pushing the vaccine is the amount of time a parent misses work to care for the child. There are very few severe reactions from chicken pox. This vaccine was created so that parents would miss less days of work. Are they looking out for the health of the child? Obviously not, since chicken pox is hardly life-threatening when contracted as a child.

If I had to work outside the home, would I vaccinate my children? Yes I would. Day care or public school situations create more challenges than I, as a stay at home homeschooling mother, have to deal with. Would I be vaccinating out of concern for my kids or out of concern for the potential sick days? I don’t know.

I do know that I am more thankful today than ever for a husband who works hard so that I can stay home.

wondering

Previous post deleted. It was long and disorganized. My thoughts organized:

I’m wondering why we vaccinate and if it has anything to do with the increase of women working outside the home.

According to this, the amount of vaccines did increase dramatically during the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. This was the time when many women started to work outside the home. I wonder if there is a correlation.

I need to finish organizing my thoughts. More tomorrow.