Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Pie Anyone?

It's that time of year again. Time for lots of yummy holiday sweets and goodies. And that, in turn, means time for lots of extra pounds! Well, for me, the holidays are especially tricky. I'm not so much worried about gaining extra weight, but I'm more worried about My Man's blood sugars.

Sure, I could just tell him, "No, you can't have that. You're diabetic, and it will make your blood sugar go way too high. Now where are your sisters, so I can cut them a piece?" Now what kind of mother would I be to do for all three of the girls and not My Man? A TERRIBLE ONE!

So instead of saying "no", I say, "Let's find a better alternative." And it's an alternative that can be used for the entire family, and not just my diabetic. No one needs all the sugar that we are so willing to eat this time of year, and yet we eat it anyways - and in LARGE quantities.

So what's my alternative? STEVIA! Stevia is a plant that has been used for centuries for its sweet taste. It has been used to sweeten many different foods in many different cultures. I won't make my case for stevia today. I'll save that blog for another time. But I will tell you that you'll find a WEALTH of information at and Go check out those web sites and see what a great natural sweetener this is!

But being that this is the holiday season, I wanted to share with you my chocolate pie recipe that I have made with stevia. It tastes every bit as delicious as a full sugar pie, but it is very low carb, and you don't have to worry about an insulin spike in your body. (Yes, even non-diabetics need to be careful, because, when eating too much sugar at one time, your body will cause an insulin spike to cover that sugar. Too much of that and you're playing around with insulin resistance.) I actually found this recipe somewhere online, but I cannot remember exactly where. But I can't take the credit for it. All I can say is that I make it, and it's GREAT! Here's the recipe.

Stevia Chocolate Pudding Pie

1/2 C cocoa powder
8 Tbsp cornstarch
3 slightly rounded scoops Stevia powder (found at a health food store or online at
2 C milk
1 C whipping cream
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp butter
2 egg yolks, tempered
cinnamon to taste

Combine the cocoa, stevia, and cornstarch in a saucepan. Whisk in the milk and cream, and cook on medium high until just boiling. Cook until you have it as thick as you want it. Add the vanilla and cinnamon. Remove from the heat. Temper the egg yolks. (To do this, you beat the egg yolks a little in a separate bowl. Then, slowly add about a spoonful of the hot pudding to the egg yolks while you're still stirring them. Then add another big spoonful. This helps to bring the eggs to the temperature of the pudding mix more slowly before adding it in.) Add the tempered eggs back to the pudding mixture and add the butter. Stir really well. Pour into a pre-baked pie shell. You can cover it with wax paper to prevent a "skin" from forming on the top. Or, if you like, make a meringue to go on top. You can even add a few scoops of the stevia to your meringue in place of the sugar. It does cook a little differently, but it still tastes wonderful! Another option is to top it with whipped topping.

If you cut this pie into 10 pieces, each piece will be 26 grams of carbohydrate. (I don't figure anything else, like calories or fat, because, with diabetes, this is all I really ever keep up with. If you want to figure more nutrition facts, visit

This makes a DELICIOUS chocolate pie! All my children LOVE this recipe, and especially my son, who knows this is on his "OK to eat" list. Quite honestly, I don't want any of my kids to think that it's OK to eat lots and lots of sweets, even if it IS the holidays. I want them to have good, healthy eating habits, and, instead of eating lots of sugar or artificially sweetened foods, to know how to make good alternative choices. Stevia is an herb that helps me to be able to make alternative choices. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. I PROMISE you will LOVE this recipe. And if you don't, I promise to take it off your hands!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Work = Money

There is a terrible state of mind in our country today that says, "I don't need to work. The government will take care of me." And people say this with good reason. Politicians everywhere are trying to give out more money to anyone and everyone with their hand out. Our country has welfare, food stamps, government funded bill paying, and the most recent, a soon to be government run "free" health care system. The money is flowing out and seems to have no end in sight.

But the Bible, God's Holy Word, tells us a lot of truth about money. One is that "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." (2 Thessalonians 3:10) Another verse says, "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever." (1 Timothy 5:8) So apparently, God believes in the "work for your money" idea.

In our homeschool, I put a lot of emphasis on teaching my children everything they need to know about money. This includes how to earn it, how to save it, good ways to spend it, and how not to waste it. My children do not earn an allowance. They never have and they never will. The jobs that most people pay an allowance for are things that my children are required to do simply because I allow them to live under my roof with nice clothes on their backs and warm food on their plates. They are required to help out with any of the chores that are needed to keep our household running smoothly. And I require a cheerful attitude in doing these things.

But, I DO offer my children numerous opportunities to go outside of our regular chores and work to earn money. There are a few odd jobs around our house that I don't always have time to do (or just don't feel like doing), so I offer these to the kids as a way to build up their savings. (My favorite pay job is weeding my garden! It's a hard job that I don't always have time to do, so I am willing to pay them to do it for me!)

So for the last several weeks, Britches and I have been busy at work making all sorts of crafts and preserves. There was a craft sale that was to be held at my mom's church, and Britches saw a chance to make a little extra money, so she wanted to go. We made strawberry fig preserves, pinecone ornaments, and pinecone wreaths. I added to the booth with some homemade banana nut bread and a few crafts I had sewn myself. Along with what my mom brought, we had enough for a good booth!

Today was the big day. We got up early, and headed to the church to set up our table. Britches helped with setting everything out, talking to the customers, and taking the money due for the purchased items. (She did spend quite a bit of the day browsing around at everyone else's booth and buying a few Christmas presents - with her own money.) She worked hard! And when the craft sale ended, she kept going and helped to load up all the items that didn't sell. For a nine year old, she was a real trooper! And by the time we made it home, she was worn out! Lesson learned!!

In order to have things you want, you need money. In order to have money, you work. Work is hard. Sometimes it's fun, sometimes it's not so fun. But at the end of the day, when you're worn out and tired, you can sit back and count your earnings and know that it was worth it.

I do need to add something else to my story at this point. In helping Britches to learn this lesson, I actually came out in the hole on this craft sale. I bought her ingredients and any supplies she needed, and I contributed the bread without taking any of the profits. But the thing that I remind myself is this. She is nine. You cannot teach ALL lessons at once. We start out simply learning that work equals money. Later on, we'll add to that lesson a new lesson that says you have to set aside enough money for product. And even later, we'll learn about paying in your taxes on what you sell. (You don't have to pay taxes on the little bit of money made at small craft sales, unless you work a lot of craft sales and are actually making a living off of that!)

So I ask you this. Are you teaching your children that it's OK to sit on their rear ends and hold out their hands so that someone can drop something in it every time they go by? Or are you teaching your kids the God given truth, which is "Work = Money!"? Think about it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A New Adventure

This past month has been absolutely crazy and STRESSFUL! There has hardly been a day to go by that wasn't filled with kinks! Babies, homeschooling, diabetes - you name it, it has happened! So with everything going on at our house, I have hardly had a moment to myself with which to put two good thoughts together to form what resembled a blog post! BUT, this last week has been so much better, and I can finally see a light at the end of this LONG, very LONG, tunnel.

So today, I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about something VERY exciting that's in the works! And YEAH HOORAY, Chelita announced it today on her blog (, so that means I have the go-ahead to tell on my blog! This has actually been in the thought process all month, but with no time to devote to it, it has been pushed to the back burner. But no more! My sweet friend, Chelita, and I are putting together a lapbook all about Gypsies, and when finished, we will be offering it for sale. Gypsies are a group of people that fascinate us! But there are no lessons that teach about this unique culture. In fact, there are very few books that even talk about them.

That made us think. Hmmmm... How many people have wonderful ideas they would like to teach to their kids, only to find out there is no planned lesson to go by. So, our idea is to make lapbooks of "out-of-the-ordinary" lessons for those people who don't know how, have the time, or have the desire to make their own.

If you have an idea that you would like to see turned into a lapbook, please let us know. There are many places that you can buy lapbooks of all shapes and sizes. But if you find that you simply can't find what you are looking for, let us know.

Since we are both homeschooling moms, we, of course, will be using these first with our own kiddos. And since I am also working on "baby time", it will take a little while to get it all polished up and ready to be offered for sale. But I assure you, it will be worth the wait.

Chelita and I are SOOOO excited about this new adventure. We homeschooling moms just love a challenge! And even if this is a big FLOP, this is great fun just putting this first lapbook together with her! And after the last month of stressfulness, I have been in need of some GREAT FUN!

So soon and very soon, look for our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT that our first lapbook is finished, and get ready to go on a GREAT ADVENTURE as you teach your kids about the amazing story of The Gypsies.

“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.” ~Dr. Suess