Monday, March 25, 2013

Best Gluten Free Pizza Ever

I have been trying unsuccessfully to make gluten free pizza for months now. I've used recipes from other blogs that claimed to be the best pizza crust ever with terrible results. My husband would tell me that it tasted like strawberry shortcake with pizza toppings instead of strawberries. So, I decided to use a recipe that I had been using (successfully) for bread and turn it into a pizza crust. The above picture is what the crust looked like after I pre-baked it. It looked fantastic!
It was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside just like a pizza crust should be!

I am so thankful that my husband can once again enjoy pizza night! I've included the recipe and the process.
If you do try out this recipe, please let me know how it works out for you. Leave me a comment here on my blog or send me an email!

120 grams Tapioca Flour
119 grams Brown Rice Flour
48 grams Potato Starch (not flour)
2 tsp xanthum gum
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
3 egg whites
3/4 cup warm water
1 packet of yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

Use a scale to measure out the flours/starches. Mix all of the dry ingredients together.
In a small mixing bowl combine the warm water, honey, and oil. Add the yeast and allow time for the yeast to activate and become foamy. (about 5 minutes)
In the meantime, beat the egg whites in your mixer for about 1-2 minutes until peaks form. Once the yeast mixture is ready, add the wet and dry ingredients to the egg whites along with the apple cider vinegar and mix with the beater attachment for about 4 minutes scraping down the sides as you see fit.
Preheat oven to 170 degrees and then turn it off.
Divide the dough in half and spread the dough evenly on two pizza pans. (each pizza will be about 10-12 inches in diameter)
 Wet your hands with water so that the dough does not stick to your hands. Once both pizza doughs are spread out to about 1/2 inch thickness place both pans in the warmed oven for about 30 minutes.
Remove both pans from oven and make holes over the entire crust with a fork.
Put the crusts back in the oven, and then turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake the two crusts at the same time. Keep in the oven for 16-17 minutes. About half way through baking crusts switch the crusts to the opposite racks. (so each crust has equal amounts of time on the bottom rack as the top rack)

Once the crusts are done, you can top them with your choice of toppings.
Preheat oven to 475 degrees
Bake for 3 minutes and 30 seconds then push the pizza off the pan and directly onto the oven rack and bake for about 3 more minutes.

If you have any questions about the instructions please let me know and I'll be happy to answer them!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

More Fun with Friends

We met our dear friends, the McDaniel's(from our living on campus days) at Blue Jay Park last week. I am so thankful for this sweet family! Shannon will always be very special to me and I love her sweet children too! We spent many hours outside together watching our children, talking, and encouraging each other. She has always been a great encouragement to me and I always wish that I had more time to spend with her. She is a busy homeschooling mom, just like me, and she doesn't live a few houses down from me anymore. So, we have to carefully plan out time to get together.

These two have been BFFXL's since they were 2 years old!!
(Best Friends Forever Extra Large)

It was a chilly day at the park - but it was a great day of reconnecting with special friends. We'll have to do it again very soon!

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Play Date at the Farm

We have gotten to know a wonderful family not too far from us that run a very small family farm. They have 2 boys that are around the ages of Martin and Aaron and we love getting together with them especially when we can go to their farm and enjoy the farm life with them! They have several goats, a calf that was just born in December, a couple of dogs, and chickens. We finally got to meet their sweet little calf, Cinnamon, last week. Oh, how sweet she is!
She was a little timid at first, but she warmed up quickly and began to follow Rosalie around.

While Rosalie and I were getting acquainted with Cinnamon, the boys were setting up their bases for their war game. 

For awhile, Rosalie had no idea that Cinnamon was following her around ... she was surprised when she turned around and saw the calf right behind her!

We are so thankful to have these wonderful friends and are so thankful we get to roam among their chickens, goats, and calf while we are there. It's so much fun!

(I wish I had a picture to share of the boys ... but they scattered almost immediately upon arriving and stayed busy until we left)

Friday, March 15, 2013

Family Night by the Fire

It took awhile to get a good fire going - most of our wood was damp. We finally got a good fire going, though and we had a great night!

Some of our neighbors joined in on the fun too!

We roasted hot dogs - and had a our meal outside. It was so much fun! I usually make hot dog buns, but the decision to roast hot dogs was too last minute of a decision for me to make them ... and then I forgot to put them on the list. But it just so happened that I had made fresh flour tortillas that day - so we improvised and used those instead! And they LOVED it that way. They liked it much better than using hot dog buns! We had so much fun eating outside and enjoying the spring-like weather! The children had already spent the entire day playing outside - so this was a great way to end the day!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cloth Diapers for the Baby Dolls

I promised a while ago and just didn't have the time to do it, but I finally did it! I made cloth diapers for Rosalie's baby dolls. I made about 9 of them. It only took about an hour. They were super easy to throw together and I had lots of scrap materials and supplies left over from my real cloth diaper making days.

Now she can get plenty of practice changing diapers!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Preparing for 6th grade

I can hardly believe the title of this post! How is it possible that I could be preparing for Martin to be a 6th grader? I almost feel like a seasoned homeschooling Mom! Those of you who have been doing this a lot longer than me probably got a kick out of the previous line. One thing is certain - each child that you add to your homeschool is like adding a brand new puzzle that you have to work very hard to figure out.
I love gathering books and preparing for the following school year. I usually start in February. It's almost half way through March and I am just starting the process this year. Thankfully, I use Heart of Dakota and I already know what books that I need. For 6th Grade, Martin will be doing Hearts for Him Through Time: Resurrection To Reformation.

This school year has really been outstanding! We've had our ups and downs just like everyone else - but we've had a really good flow for the most part. Martin has had an outstanding attitude all year long in getting his work done. A complaint seldom comes out of his mouth! I am so thankful!

Every year I have doubted my math choices and every year I've looked into other curriculum choices thinking that maybe I ought to switch and every year my wise husband has urged me to stick with what I am doing. I am so thankful that he encouraged me to stick with it because I have always loved Singapore Math (which is what Martin has been doing since 1st grade) and this has been a really good year for Martin. It seems like we've crossed some sort of threshold of understanding. He just gets it. Not only does he get it - but Singapore is so strong in teaching mental math - that most of the time he's able to figure it out before I can get it all written down to check and see if he's right. Good things are happening in Math!

I loved Preparing Hearts for His Glory that I used for Martin's 4th grade year - I loved the fantastic overview of world history from the ancient to the present. The read a-louds that went along with the history study were excellent. I found it hard to imagine topping that year, but Creation to Christ has been fantastic and I've enjoyed it just as much as I did his 4th grade year. I am super excited that I get to do Preparing Hearts again next school year with Aaron.
Jonathan will be doing Little Hearts for His Glory for 1st grade. Rosalie will be tagging along with Jonathan a little bit, but I will not require any written work from her.(although, she's going to want to do it)
One of the many reasons that I love using Heart of Dakota is because of the thorough study of history.  I love that the younger years give a gentle introduction to history that causes my children to love history without all of the complicated details of ancient history, the lofty topics of mythology, and the violence of all the war.
My children love history as much and maybe even more than I do!
We are about 2/3 of the way through the school year and will be finishing this school year around mid-June. We have our annual testing coming up this week. I take them in March each year instead of waiting until the end of the school year. I prefer to take them in March, so that I can get a good look at their strengths and weaknesses and then adjust the final 1/3 of the school year in a way that will help meet any needs that they may have.
My blog has been terribly neglected, but for good reason.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

It's Baseball Time Again!

Aaron starts baseball practice TODAY! He is so excited to start another season of baseball. I am excited for him. He's been practicing and he is ready to go!
He had baseball assessments a week and a half ago and he did really well! He hit every ball that they threw to him except for 1 ... and they were really good hits!
He is going to be on the Rangers team this year and he can't wait.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rosalie's Birthday

Better late than never - here is Rosalie's 4th birthday post about a month and a half late.
Can you believe she's 4?

She had a very special day and got presents from all of 5 of us, plus her grandparents too!!

I made chocolate cupcakes with pink frosting, a few polka dots, and some minnie mouse fun pix to go in each cupcake.

She got this keepsake treasure box that she was able to paint and decorate. She LOVED this! She had so much fun painting and decorating it!
I am so enormously grateful for this sweet girl of mine. She is so full of joy and has brought so much crazy girl drama into our family. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Point of View Broadcast

Rich was invited to speak about the History of the 2nd Amendment on the nationally broadcasted Christian Radio show called Point of View. The discussion was this past Wednesday! The older two boys and I listened on my computer while the interview was going on! It was so much fun to listen to it.
If you'd like to hear the discussion with Dr. Rich Holland on Point of View then click here:

He has so much more he wanted to say about the 2nd amendment - but there just wasn't time. Maybe next time they have him on the show he can cover even more important points about the vital 2nd amendment!