Easy Biscuits

What do you do when you are almost 6 months behind blogging your summer?

That’s right the new and improved Heidi is blogging about biscuits instead 🙂

Improved because my normal perfectionist self would HAVE to blog them all in order, so you would get this blog probably in December if hurried up with all my others. But I am gonna do it all out of order, as a deliberate step towards change.

So I have been making my own Bisquick mix for a couple years now. Its so easy, and cheaper and I know what’s in it. I make our Sunday pancakes from it and tonight I made some whole wheat biscuits to go along with some yummy split pea soup.

I was in a cooking mood today. Maybe it’s the cold weather has arrived and I recently have been reminded that If I start at lunch time there are quite a few things I can “throw in a pot” and have lots of dishes at the end. And a lot of dishes too 🙂

First I made refried beans that I FB’d about awhile ago. SO EASY!:

Healthy refried beans:

put uncooked pinto beans and water in a pressure cooker bring to boil with NO LID, then turn burner off and let sit for an hour (this is a quick soak), pour water out and fill above beans with new water, then cut the top off a bulb of garlic and onion and throw whole thing in, no chopping. put the lid on and pressure cook for about 8-10 whistles. maybe 30 minutes?

Then blend beans with the liquid in a blender , make sure to get that bulb of garlic and onion in there! towards end of blending add garlic salt to taste. YUMMO! BAM refried beans, no oil, no frying, SO easy!

 

I puree half of that batch and save the rest of the beans for eggs and burritos, and soup. Then with the liquid left over from the beans I literally threw together “Magic Mineral Broth”. With some more water and a bunch of veggies out comes the most nourishing and hydrating drink or soup base you have ever had!

With the veggies in that broth I scoop them into the blender and make a puree that I think I may try to use in the filling for chicken pot pie, well see.

Speaking of chicken pot pie, I tossed a package of frozen chicken in some water with an onion and garlic. Wala! chicken broth and cooked chicken.

Then i used some of that broth for the split pea soup. FIRST Time ever making it!

I saw split peas in the general store calling out my name in competition with the little son that was on my back. I dreamed of soup that night. I found this recipe and added chicken broth and some already cooked brown rice I had in the fridge. YUMMO! Kids even went back for more.

Then when our friends dropped by to drop something off I called them in to share with us. And she was able to tutor me in the art of biscuit making since I am a complete novice and she is a PRO. Biscuits were a great addition 🙂

Bisquick Recipe:

6 cups whole wheat flour (I used multigrain)

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

3 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp salt

2 Tbsp sugar

Mix and seal in a container.

Heat oven to 400F . For biscuits squeeze 2/3 C butter into 2 1/4 C bisquick until all flour is stuck to butter. should be crumbly, slowly add milk , about 1/4 to 1/2 C. till all dough is stuck in one ball. Then pinch off balls, roll and flatten with palm and place on a sheet. You can place them all close to eachother. Cook for 14- 20 minutes depending on your oven. If you touch one the middle shouldn’t cave in, should feel solid.

Optional, take a piece of butter and rub on hot tops of biscuits before serving.

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Because Life is short.


So with the departure of my husband to a faraway land (Switzerland) I am here marveling at how God is bringing all whispers together in my heart to move me to action.

I have been failing for a few years at fighting this “no yelling” battle. Many nights of tears, repentence, guilt, and fears beating down my door. “These beautiful children that God has given me, I am gonna screw them up.” the loudest voice in my heart when these things happen.

I have cried out to God so many times. How do I stop? Whether it’s the times I was yelled at as a child or my own triggers from my past that send me into a rage, I don’t know. Or maybe its simply my own sin, my selfishness, as I started contemplating after reading this blog post. It doesn’t really matter. I don’t need to get at the root of why as much as I need to get to the root of how it happens and how its going to stop. Cause its got to stop.

Cause Tonight even as my heart was reflecting on all these things. I yelled. At my 1 year old. Completely insane, I know. I was trying to get his pants on and had 3 other things going on an he decided after getting one leg through to go limp. After telling him several times to stand up, which he understands, I yelled at him to do it. And he started crying. Which broke my heart 1 cause he did nothing wrong, he was just tired and letting me know and 2 completely confused about why I treated him that way and confused about if I am a safe person for him (not safe, his own mom.) 3 cause it’s not like I haven’t been mulling over this issue all day and I here I am doing it to the youngest and least deviant in the household (all in the same day). I prayed that he understood me when I apologized before putting him to bed.

Why is J in Switzerland? Cause he is about to attend a memorial service for his God-daughter that was kidnapped and murdered last week. She was 4 when He met her and became her Godfather. She had just turned 19 and is now gone.

And besides a million other things swirling through my mind and heart concerning this injustice, God is surfacing this desire of mine to stop yelling and start loving more.  Because life is short, and childhood shorter. And I want to be a safe haven not something they fear or tune out and close off to. Because each day that I have with them is a gift and it’s time to start living like that, believing it, and making them believe it by how I love them.

I came across this challenge last week. And although it resonated with me, I didn’t jump on board. Why?

Because I am afraid of failing. I am afraid of publicaly saying ” I need help. I need accountability, I need you.” And then having to come and tell you that after 1 week or 1 month, I failed and had to start at ground zero again.

And because  I am afraid that deep down I cant do it. This will be yet another thing that I didn’t succeed at, or follow through on.

But in light of my emotions and revelations tonight, fear is nothing compared to the thought of not having the chance to start again each day with one of my little ones.

So raise your glass friends (cause I can’t, but could sure use one) Here is to change, growth, and starting new. And here is another to transparancy, and helping eachother as we walk run and crawl through this journey together.

Only by God’s grace I am becoming a Orange Rhino tonight.

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America in pictures

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When our friend Matt D picked us up from the airport he apologized for the bumper to bumper traffic. I said ” oh this is relaxing! its so quiet and everyone is staying in there lanes and all the red  lights are relaxing!”

Taron on the other hand didn’t like being in a car seat for the first time. Check out this short video of him.





One of the first stops is OC California. And of course we gotta take advantage of the best parks ever! Taron was perfecting his walking, but he did not hold back in adventure!

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20121109_10480020121109_10264620121109_102236Next we hit up our friends, the Doane’s. One of Arwyn’s best friends from our church in LA Lily are pen pals and through meeting the family we realized that 3 of our kids are same gender close in age and love eachother, including parents! That is always extra fun! So we walked from thier house a neighborhood park, which turned out to be one of our favs to visit when we would go see Josiah’s grandpa in an assisted living home. Then we walked to there addiction “the Habit”, which I have heard that they put some sort of addictive component in there food just like Tim Horton’s. It was quite good!

Vange below with Taron’s buddy, Seth. Fun Fact: Marie is a nurse and she performed my first 3 ultrasounds when I was pregnant with T back in March of 2011, and she was also pregnant with Seth.

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Next we were off to Josiah’s parent’s for 2 weeks over Thanksgiving in Arizona. I put a great pic up here about the highlight of our road trip.

I posted about Thanksgiving Here.

No visit to Nana and Papa’s would be complete without piano time with Papa. This time was Taron’s first:)

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Meeting uncle Joel for the first time.

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Naps out in the dessert are so peaceful. But she wasn’t tired so she just read a book instead. 20121126_142940Another thing we love about Nana’s house is  hikes in the area which I blogged about here. Nana’s great food, kids playing in the cactus filled backyard, Even when getting poked, pictured here.

Then to Mexico for Josiah’s sister, Jessica’s wedding. Josiah performed the wedding I was a bridsmaid and the kids were all flower girls and ring bearers, needless to say very busy week. Beautiful location. Welcome Marcos to the Watters family!20121127_131408521384_10151474564090867_1285020111_n483459_10101240590952615_1172459893_n385840_10151481174590867_1437430163_n

After we crossed the border again, we passed off our 4 kiddos to Nana and Papa and we had an empty car, for a week! Josiah and I celebrated 10 year anniversary back in September last year and we had a week in OC to visit beaches, eat at yummy restaraunts, go see movies, we even worked out all week. It was great! Could have been 2 weeks…

One favorite pastime of ours is tidepooling so we went straight to a great spot and PLAYED!

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20121205_142612You can never get enough beach so when Nana and Papa and kids came back we fit one more trip in with them Here.20121109_163449

20121127_112054After Nana and Papa brought us back our kids and we headed to Sac-Town! 

First things first on Grandma and Papa’s big wide clean street we worked on Arwyn and Malachi learning to ride there bikes without training wheels.

Sometimes we needed a little break!

20121212_112626 No Christmas season is complete without heading up to Apple Hill and cutting down our christmas tree. So I bundled up T in my Snuggli vest that slips over the baby carrier and off we tromped through the trees. 

The kids picked out there fave and then they all  took turns cutting it down.

Then we needed some apple cider and apple fritters to restore us 🙂

20121213_132456 20121213_13333220121213_132356 20121213_133609 20121213_13401220121213_143748 20121213_151619 Time at Grandma and Papa’s was complete with walks to the dog park, gingerbread house competition, and children hanging over the fence.20121224_15410420121224_153336 20121224_15444620121224_15362720121224_15484620121212_122806 20121224_17152820121224_17354220121224_173602Here is Taron meeting a little Christmas puppy while we were hanging at our friends Matt and Alanda. (I don’t know how I didn’t end up with any pics of the kids with friends).

20121222_183510No trip to Sac would be complete without our favorite Ice cream place, Leatherby’s.

Below Vange is with our good friends daughter Ava. We marveled at how they looked like twins when they were younger. They loved playing dress up together. We think of her everytime Vange puts her Cinderella p.j.s on.:) They have the same crazy energy running non-stop through the house.

Also below is me sitting at the tip of a kids boat at a park that is special to us. Josiah first told me he loves me there, and held my hand. Sweet , I know. And we also have a lil grave spot there for Jasmine there in the back of the trees.

Taron got to enjoy big bath tubs at Grandma and Papa’s, too and he LOVED them!

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My cousin Shawn sent us overnight to Tahoe to play in the snow and refresh in the woods. Taron loved it! He would lay face down and lick it. We got to go sledding and even took the older 3 ice skating for the first time. We told them how horrible it would be, they would fall and it would be cold and hard. We figured that they wouldn’t be dissapointed about how hard ice skating is. It worked like a charm.

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California wouldn’t be complete without some time in the woods. Josiah and Malachi headed  to SF for a visa run and had some Man time. Out in Nature, no place better.

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Then they headed to the aquarium. I love this shot below.

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When Josiah asked me if I knew who that statue was I answered: Yoda? Whoops.

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Nothing like some good ol fashioned Man time to put your soul at peace, look at that face.

Then we headed to LA again for one more week before we headed home. and what was in store? More  Man time. The Great Park was huge and awesome and complete with a hot air balloon ride.

Funny Story: When The people were asking Malachi for his hand so he could get it stamped for the ride, the next thing they knew he was gone.

Josiah looked down and he was doing a head stand. Apparently he thought that “hand stamp” was “head stand”, so he went all out to get his admission.

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Some nice friends that attend our church in LA gave us 3 free tickets to DisneyLand, so me and Arwyn and Malachi got to spend the day before we left PLAYING! 

Our first ride was TheTower of Terror in CA adventure. And from the look on there faces we didn’t go again. Arwyn thought she was going to die, poor girl. Malachi loved the adrenaline rush.
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20130206_105118 20130206_121657 The Man that gave us these tickets has a liftetime membership because he built the rock wall in the Scout’s obstacle course place. It was fun watching them rock it!

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This was the kids FAV thing: Talking to Crush. We did it 3 times so that Crush actually picked Malachi, who has squirt at home in his bed. It was a BIG deal! The video is 13 minutes but its FUNNY! We had just gone the time before and Crush talked to Arwyn , and this time around he also talked to her and remembered her…

20130206_202858It wouldn’t be complete without a late night treat before we head home! It was a great time!

Time to pack, this is all our luggage in the garage: 21 pieces in all 😉 and say goodbyes 😦 Uncle Issac below.

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One more goodbye: the backyard swing.

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All our bags in the airport. Malachi always finds a little hole to fit in.

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Back home to India… via Sri Lanka 🙂

Thankfullness

When we were in the states we talked with a Pastor friend of ours and out of that time came 3 things we wanted to ask the Lord for this year to help my experience of being here. 1 of them was a new house that was more condusive to all of us getting outside without having to brave the crowded parks, and a little more room.

I knew this was a big prayer request, basically requiring a miracle, cause houses are so difficult to find available, especially if you have requirements in the home. And now that we have been here a month I have begun to feel like it may take us all year before we find something.

God has given me reminders here and there to trust him. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I take it back up and stress or get frustrated about it.

But today I read this in “Jesus Calling” and it was perfect for today. Just like Yesterdays was perfect for yesterday.

“I am God of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance. When you entrust the details of your life to Me, you are surprised you are surprised by how thoroughly I answer your petitions. I take pleasure in hearing our prayers, so feel free to bring me all your requests. The more you pray, the more answers you can receive. Best of all your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely I respond to your specific prayers.

Because I am infinite in all My ways, you need not fear that I will run out of resources. Abundance is at the very heart of who I AM. Come to Me in joyful expectation of receiving all you need- and sometimes much more! I delight in showering blessings on my beloved children. Come to Me with open hands and heart, ready to receive all I have for you.”

There is a time for everything

I found myself on a down side today. Was it that I haven’t quite caught up on sleep? Maybe. I yelled alot. Loud. I wondered a few times if the neighbors heard me. And while I cringed inside I also fumed. By dinner I knew that an apology was in order before bedtime. They were still infurating me while I was trying to calm down and get dinner on the table. So I put T in his crib, and the other 3 in front of the TV. How do you like that for parent of the year?

Then I locked myself in my kitchen, yes I can do that. I dipped chicken in batter and I questioned God. Why am I so angry? Is it really the buttons that they are pushing? The disrespect they are showing? I resent that I have become a tape recorder on a playback loop?

Or is it something more.

Am I angry that I came back to India with hope that some fundamental circumstance would change and so far they haven’t? Is it that I am feeling stuck, trapped? Angry that I was convinced this wouldn’t happen? And now here I am, right were I was when I left.

You know, even after the one success of the day, that dinner was actually good. I still had things to yell about.

Then before bed I gathered them up and told them what I love about them. That today was hard because they didn’t listen, or show respect, but that I shouldn’t have yelled. I asked for forgiveness. I cried and still had things to say.

M was giggling and making jokes.

I looked at him seriously ” There is a time for laughing, and this is not it.”

And you know, my 6 year was lauging at me and mocking me all the while. I didn’t know what else to do. I buried my face in my hands and sobbed.

One asked “is she laughing or crying?”, another said, “crying.”

I lifted my head and quietly told them to get in bed. For the first time today, they obeyed right away.

I put my head back down and bawled, even harder. When I finally looked up the 3 year old was peeking around the corner. I told her again to get in bed and I locked the door. I turned on this new song my love sent my way and just cried and cried.

Halfway through the song I heard knocking. But I just couldn’t. For two minutes I could hear the knocking in the distance as the words to the song penetrated my heart. Then the knocking got louder. I could tell it was Malachi and I could tell he was crying and the spirit inside me took me to the door to hear him.

A bawling boy, “Mom can I cuddle with you?” I knew he was sorry, and this was his way.

Tears slipped past my cheeks, ” you know what I want more than your cuddles?”

” My obedience.” He answered.

“Yes”. I knelt down and hugged him. He sobbed into my shoulder and squeezed so tight.I joined him.

” I am sorry for disobeying and mocking you mom.”

” I forgive you.”

I reassured him of my forgiveness. Calmed him down and sent him back to bed.

I came in later to help V find her blankie and He was still sobbing in his bed.

He couldn’t shake the sight of me curled up in my bed crying because of him. I told him I was ok. That I forgave him and I  thought he needed to forgive himself. He asked me to pray for him. I did. Then he prayed, which I wasn’t expecting.

Through his sobs I heard “God help me to obey mom, and respect her. Help me to stop mocking her and making her sad.”

We took some deep breaths together and he asked if he woke up in the middle of the night if he could come sleep with me. (Dad is out of town).

Then just like this, He needed one more kiss, and one more hug.

I found myself back in my room, needing to cry some more. because there is a time for everything. And I am horrible at waiting.

Things I love about being here…

So many nice and refreshing things about being in America. I never payed much attention to or fully appreciated until leaving it.

Getting good chocolate anywhere, everywhere.

Breathing nice clean air, even in LA.

Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, in LA, cars remain in there lanes, no honking, all is quiet and serene.

Visiting friends and walking to parks together.

Buying anything my heart desires at ONE grocery store.

Driving to the grocery store.

Taking all 4 kids and having a good time, in the grocery store.

Beautiful trees.

Clean streets.

AWESOME beaches.

Mexican restaraunts.

Hearing any conversation around me and understanding it all without having to think about it.

Seeing LOTS of people on a daily basis that not only KNOW me but CARE about me.

Thrift stores, bargains, and GOODWILL in the OC.

Crockpot meals.

Kids screaming and playing in a yard with falling trees.

Wearing jeans, EVERDAY.

Actually being motivated to do my hair and make up cause it will show for all to see.

Central Heating.

Music in the car.

Not needing to dust and sweep everyday.

Going out at night, as a woman, with whomever I want, or nobody if I want.

Going out on dates with J. To fun places and not worrying about the kids.

Christmas music out in the world, not just my home.

Electricity all day and all night.

Taking hot showers and not freezing when I get out.

The hum of the dishwasher.

The wonderful feeling of slipping into clothes just fresh from the dryer.

Renting a movie from Redbox and it not being in a foriegn language or skipping all the way through.

Getting text love more often.

Getting more fruits and veggies.

Not having to soak them for an hour before I eat them.

Salad.

Getting real live hugs from friends and family.

I could probably go on and on. And as difficult as this last year has been I find myself having hope for the years ahead to only get better in India. True some things need to change and others need to fall into place for that to happen. But I believe it can. And when I looked at some photos tonight of  “home” the thought that came to mind was ” Wow! We are sure living an adventure!”

… and I like that.

Buying other supplies

Shopping at the lil store across the street with my helper.

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Homeschool moment.

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A neighbors doorway, I hope to go in someday. (this is the doorway I mentioned in the alley with the smiling lady.)

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In the lift, love those dimples.

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Playing music in our living room

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Going to visit a friend 2 stories down.

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A view from our Balcony, just after monsoon ends.

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M skateboarding in our courtyard below.