“Annie, Get Your Gun!”

Maybe I should say, “Annie, get your ammo!”, since it is getting more irritating and costly by the day to purchase.

Recently, our administration has taken aim, from the highest levels, at the 2nd Amendment.  Now, since the only worthwhile discussion is an informed one, let’s look.  Do you know what the 2nd Amendment actually says?  Constitutional amendments 1-10 are the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment, your right and mine, is stated as such:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”  (Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights Institute)

In other words, the people have a right to a well regulated militia, armed citizens – separate from an official, organized army (allowing them to be free from oppression and dictatorship by the state), and a right to own and possess their own firearms (a right that shall not be encroached on).

Did you catch that; the right of the people… shall not be infringed.

Infringe – to break apart (law or pact) — infringe on – to encroach on (the rights, etc. of others).  ~Webster’s New World Dictionary

What we are seeing in Washington D.C., Colorado and California is in direct conflict with the Constitution.  There are numerous legislative attempts to limit the firearm you can own, tell you where you can and cannot carry your weapon, require you to pay to exercise your right to own firearms, and to tax and severely limit the availability of ammunition for firearms.  If this is not the definition of encroachment I don’t know what is.

So my question goes to you.  To ponder.  To discuss. Why does our federal government feel it has this right?  The Bill of Rights was specifically put in place to limit the power of federal government over the people.  What have we, as a people, done to encourage this crossing of boundaries?  What can we do about it now?  What have you already done?

Final thought:

Here is a recent, ‘encouraging’, townhall discourse between Rep. Moran (D-Va) and a concerned, female citizen,  regarding a woman’s right to lawfully conceal carry, specifically, on-campus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=uPieiVBzacE

“Why aren’t you pro-choice when it comes to self defense for women?”

After no answer to her question, he avoids and moves on….

Rep. Moran (D-Va), “I’ll let this gentleman now speak.”

Your hard-earned dollars and elected officials at work…

4 Little Chefs

4chefs

Do you know what happens when kids take over the kitchen?  I do!

They fill your cookbooks with sticky tabs for recipes they want to try.  They get bummed when they find out their night to cook is waaaaay on down at the end of the week.  They pick flavors you would normally shy away from to avoid a mealtime full of groans.  They get excited!  They surprise you, encourage each other, complain less, and try things they wouldn’t have even looked at before.  They learn about flavor, color, timing, patience, appealing to your audience, taking chances and being flexible.  I love it!  (And so do they!)

This n’ That

White Sands National Park

A little bit of this, a little bit of that!  There are so many things that I have, over time, set aside, thinking I’m too busy.  Things that get my own creativity flowing and just make my heart sing.  Waaay back when, about 12 1/2 years ago, I took a photography class through Rocky Mountain School of Photography and LOVED it.  These people are great, by the way, and have workshops all over the country.  You should check them out!

Then life got busy, moves started happening, babies started arriving and there wasn’t time to brush my teeth not to mention spending the morning wandering the rural countryside snapping off rolls of film.  Yes, back then I was shooting with rolls of film.  Now, with everything digital, I’m not sure my kids would know what one looked like.  I still miss film.  I was also playing around with writing short stories and beginning quilting.  Busy.  Busy.  BUSY!  Well, no more!  Time to make time, for all those things set aside and the ‘I-wish-I-coulds.’  Photography, art, sewing, quilting, crafts, a little bit of this, a little bit of that… here it is!

Cornerstone

The School Bell Rings…

I suppose in our home it’s not so much a school bell that rings, though I know I just saw one here somewhere and it might actually come in handy.  It’s more along the lines of “All right everyone, let’s go!”, belted out by me.  This, in turn, is met with endless combinations of the following; thundering herd coming down the stairs to grab their books, total oblivion and continued play, sudden scampering and silence in hopes that mom will get distracted and forget to call us again, shouts of ‘Hooray!’ and much rejoicing.  Ok, so maybe not as much with the last one.  But, with 4 kiddos in the house you can bet that red pen of yours that we get most of these throughout the course of the day!

Come join us at Cornerstone Academy for the adventure, discovery, challenges, joys and satisfaction that all define homeschooling!

Inform Yourself!

This is where we get serious.   There are so many things in life that get people fired up.  Don’t just be fired up, though.  Do a little research, it doesn’t take much, really!  Inform yourself,  and those around you.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, things like politics, religion and other societal issues can be inspiring and beacons of hope in this unpredictable world.  They can also be messy, a headache and chock full of things we all disapprove of.  But, in this free country, every citizen has a responsibility to be informed, to understand the issues and know what is happening around them.  I would contend that applies both here and abroad.

Be inspired, be spurred to action, be disgusted, be sick of the ‘politics’, BE passionate, and CARE!  The decisions and agendas that are at play now are the policies and cultural shifts that will impact my children and grandchildren and yours. For me, I would be negligent in my responsibility as their parent to put on blinders and tune out.

So, get the facts and join the discussion – passionately but respectfully!

Let them eat….. BREAD!

Our first successful loaf of gf bread!

Our first successful loaf of gf bread!

I love bread.  I love to bake.  Having the time and energy to make all I’d like to is a whole different matter, we won’t go there.  But, I really love the process, the art, the patience and magic of baking bread; getting your hands in it, the mixing, kneading, rising, waiting, rising again and….. OH, the heavenly aroma of a nearly done loaf in the oven!  It slowly floats into every room of the house and draws you to it.  Can you smell it?

Now, with four kids in the house we eat a lot of sandwiches and go through a ton of bread.  Really, a ton!  So, when we began switching to gluten-free, nearly a year ago, bread was one of the first things on our list.  Let’s just say that was a slow process.  I’ll be the first to admit that finding a gf loaf that compares to our lovely, soft, tasty wheat loaf was a challenge.  It wasn’t until we moved in May and I had a golden opportunity to clear the pantry of everything wheat and start us fresh with gf-everything that we really got serious and quit ‘giving in’ with the bread.

Where we live now is a high altitude desert.  I can’t even count the number of failed loaves and muffins I made in the first month or two here.  Truly, I nearly gave up but decided to try a box mix to get us through until I could tweak a loaf from scratch and get it right.  Enter, Gluten Free Pantry’s Favorite Sandwich Bread mix.  No changes for high altitude and that lovely loaf bakes perfect every time; perfect density, soft, holds up, flavor.  Up here this one does take longer than stated to rise but you’ll hear no complaints from me.  There are also no complaints from the kids.  This is a beautiful thing!  I don’t get to dig my hands in and knead but there is that captivating, salivation inducing aroma of freshly baked bread in the house.  Makes me smile every time!

Why gluten-free?

Gluten-free, you say?  Why?  Are you celiac?  Well, I’ll tell ya.  For starters, no, we are not celiac.  Though, there is a bit of family history for it.  We personally have made the decision for multiple reasons:  family history, an intolerance in our oldest child when he was younger, and overall health.  Step on in to Gluten-Free Deliciosity, see how good gf can really be and I’ll gladly bend your ear a little more!

Let’s lay a bit of foundation here…

While choosing to go gluten-free is not as unheard of as it used to be and gf options are more common than they were ten years ago, there is still not enough information and education, in this writer’s opinion, about the problems that ‘modern’ wheat and other related grains cause.  The wheat we use today has very little, besides its name, in common with wheat grown fifty years ago.  Those four-foot tall, ‘amber waves of grain’ we sing about are now a rare find.  What you find instead is a plant that has been engineered to grow closer together, faster, and withstand various growing conditions and complications, increasing harvesting and processing efficiency and yield.  Oh, and sprayed with a boat-load of chemicals.  There are a number of places where you can read up on it yourself (Wheat Belly Blog, Celiac.com, and Celiac Disease Foundation to name a few.)

To make a long-story short, what this means for you and I is that the wheat we find in most of our products at the grocery store is not processed by our bodies the way wheat of yesterday was by our grandparents.  Today’s wheat increases blood-sugar more than table sugar, contributing to the obesity epidemic our nation is now enjoying.  Dr. William Davis is one of a number of authors that gives a clear and thorough discussion of all this.  You’ll find the link for his book, Wheat Belly, above.  This genetically modified wheat also contains more genes for gluten proteins related to celiac disease than its forefather.  Celiac disease currently affects 1:133 people and 95% of those go undiagnosed.  (see Celiac Disease Foundation above)  It presents differently in different people and is difficult to diagnose.  Symptoms vary from bloating, GI issues, bone/joint pain and fatigue to failure to thrive (in infants), anemia, thyroid disease, IBS and eczema.  There are more but this should give you an idea.

If you want to learn more, start digging, reading and researching and make the decision you feel is best for you and your family.  There are many resources these days and while it can be challenging to avoid wheat, it is not impossible!  The options available now are greater and tastier than they were when our son was young.  Thank goodness!

My hope here is to share delicious gf recipes that we have either come across, replicated and loved or successfully tweaked to make gluten-free.  So, put on a pot of water, grab a bread pan, a fork or whatever floats your boat today and enjoy a little gluten-free deliciosity!