Raw Vegan Pumpkin Pie

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Friends! I've said before that Fall is my most favorite time of year. I love when the weather starts to get cool. It means so many things to me. I get so excited about football, bonfires, hoodies and hot chocolate! This year has been a challenge.
On our search for health, we've been eating a lot of raw and vegan recipes. Pinterest, as most of you already know, is a wealth of information. We've tried lots of things. Some are amazing! Some were not worth the hype. Summer was easier because we already eat fruit and juice and salads. The Fall brings me into comfort foods. Hum ... Raw ... Vegan ... comfort food. Doesn't seem like they go together. Boy was I wrong!
I was planning a dinner at my home for eight friends. Dinner was easy but I wanted desert. I wanted something traditional. I wanted something good. I wanted something that said, no screamed, "IT"S FALL Y'ALL!" And boy did I find it!
I cant claim this recipe as my own. (Mostly because I'm not that smart) But here is the link to the orginal. Side Note: Her blog has been amazing. So many yummy things.
I've made Pumpkin Pie before, but never from scratch. And by scratch I mean from a real pumpkin. New information alert: What! Pumpkin puree doesn't just come from a can? Another Side note: neither does Cranberry Sauce. And I have a great story from the first Thanksgiving I spend with my husband. If you're lucky I'll blog about it closer to Thanksgiving.
Back to my pie. The recipe was easy (other than gutting a pumpkin) It's full of wonderful things and the end product was totally worth all the work. I will be making this again. And as you know, you cant have pumpkin pie without whipped cream. I made some from coconut milk and vanilla with a little honey. It didn't whip as well as I had hoped, but I'll prefect that I'm sure. It was kinda ugly so I didn't post a picture, but it did taste fantastic.
I also, at the request of my son, cleaned & dried the pumpkin seeds. We covered them in maple syrup, salt and EVOO. We roasted them for about 30 minutes and they turned out great! See, no waste. Thanksgiving here we come!
What's your favorite Fall Comfort Food?

The Conversation

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Hey Friends, I’m working on something. Starting this blog has been harder than I thought it would be. For starters, I've got to figure out what it is I want this blog to be about. To figure that out, I have to figure out who I am and what’s important to me, because if it’s not important to me, I’m not going to have enough passion to write about it … more than once. I want to share about my life and what’s happening in it. But I want to be honest and real. I don't want it to be a place that looks like a mom who's got it all together because I am far from it. I didn't start a blog because I have answers; I started because I have questions. A lot of them. I want this blog to be a conversation. 

Recently I've been perusing through old journals and prayers. And it has been amazing! I have learned more about myself reading about myself than I have just being myself. Make sense? We’ll talk more about that later I promise. For now, here’s what I can tell you, I do have a passion. If I’m going to share something with the world, the most important thing I've got is Jesus. He is every part of my life. He is in my marriage, my parenting, my family, my personal space, my yoga. He's the first person I ask questions to. He's the only answer I really care about. He is my Hope and My Salvation. He is the only reason that the rest of my life makes any sense at all.

So here’s what I've got. I've got a story. I've got one story of a girl who was wondering. She was alone in a crowded room and believed there was nothing that made her special. She tried to invent herself and only found herself standing knee deep in mud. She was just a little girl lost. Until the day she met Him. He entered her world and changed everything. Her life has never been the same! I want to share that story with you. And I’m not the only one.

I've started a conversation with some friends. We all have different stories. Some of us were saved at an early age and some of us have lived in the thick of it ... the yucky muck and have been saved knee deep from it. The one thing that makes our stories worth telling is Him. So that’s what we’re going to do.
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be writing about myself. About my life before I met Him, how I met Him, and how things are different and better with Him in it. I've asked some others to join me so you’ll also get to meet my friends. When you read their stories, you’ll understand why I love these women and why they mean so much to me.

So Friends, grab a cup of coffee a comfortable spot and whatever device you read my blog from. Come back and read. I hope you’ll keep visiting. I hope you’ll join the conversation. Do you know Him already? I’d love to hear your story too! 

Family Movie Night and Chasing the Light

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What a fun day!  We slept late which is a treat because the Martin kids NEVER sleep past 6:30. We went Christmas scouting. That just means we went to the toy store and set the kids free. We listen and pay close attention to what they play with and what they say. Santa’s always watching! We had lunch at Cheddars and came home for a quick nap.
After nap time, we made popcorn on the stove. Brewer loves watching the pot fill to the top! We pulled out the sofa bed in Daddy’s office and made a pallet of pillows and blankets and ordered a movie. Family Movie time with Stovetop Popcorn! What’s not to love, right?
So, the evening was a huge win. The movie, hum … let’s chat about it shall we.

We watched, The Croods. It’s a movie about the last remaining cave man and his family. They have survived while their friends perished; because the Dad has done everything he knows how to protect them. They have strict rules to live by. The family motto is, “never not be afraid.” They live in the darkness and fear the light. They fear anything new. The oldest daughter, as most teenagers do, feels stifled by her fathers’ rules and rebels against them. She ends up meeting a young man her own age and is swept off her feet by his new and modern ideas. He is a chaser of the light and believes the world is coming to an end. The only way to survive is to reach the sun/light and it will take him to a better place.

While the movie in itself was cute and funny with lots of action, at first I was kind of offended. Maybe I took it the wrong way, but I felt like it was another movie pushing kids to rebel against their parents old and outdated ideas. The daughter was very disrespectful and at times disobedient and in being so, influenced the rest of her family.
On a positive note, there was a “family first” theme. It was neat to see an imperfect family working together and staying together. There was a scene where Eap (the daughter) and Grug (the Dad) are arguing about finding another cave to hide in and she looks at him and says, “That wasn’t living, that just … wasn’t dying. There’s a difference!” That was a turning point for me. It kinda hung with me. That was a very profound statement for a cartoon. I mean really. Being alive and living are two different things.

As a follower of Christ, I believe that I have been rescued from a dark place. I believe that turning and giving my life to Christ means that I am asked to live a certain way. Part of that is not being afraid to follow where I am lead. To follow Christ whole heartedly, we’ve got to let go of fear of the unknown. We’ve got to trust and follow the light! This life, this world we live in right now, its ending at some point. The bible clearly tells us that. This way of life will pass and we are just passing through on our way to a better place; eternity with the Light, with Him. So, if I give my life to Christ, yet am afraid of the unknown and hide in my “cave” then I’m not living, I’m just not dying. And that my friend is not what Christ wants for us.

If we as Christians become afraid of everything around us and hide in our homes and churches, fearing anything new, how then will we reach people? How then can we love people? How then can we share the light if we hoard it under our own roofs? That’s not living Friends, that’s just not dying.
God has been working some things out in me this summer, specifically, working on my fear and my need for control. Friends, life is so much better in His hands than in mine. His will and His way is so much better than mine. Less of me and more of Him is what I crave! Not just for myself but for you as well. If you don’t know Him, I pray you’ll ask me because I would love to introduce you to my Jesus, my Savior, and my Friend. If you know Him and you’re hoarding him and living in fear, let it go! Stop just not dying. Start to really live.

So, is that deep enough for you from a kid’s movie?

Pumpkins for my Pumpkins

Monday, October 14, 2013

It’s interesting how family traditions become traditions. Some are carefully thought out and planned and some just happen to be something you did that your kid remembers. As my children get older it amazes me what they remember. Growing up, I never remember going to pick out a pumpkin. I just remember it showing up at the house. It was carved and sat on the front porch. But for Brewer, it’s become something bigger.

The first year we went to the Pumpkin Patch he was 3 and Eva was 1. I’m pretty sure I had nothing to do with it because I was in a fog and I don’t remember a lot of Eva’s first year. I was sleepy and someone was always calling my name. But that’s another blog post. That year, Jamie put a lot of effort into getting us out of the house. If he didn’t, I might have never got off the couch, you know, unless it was time to change a diaper. But really, that’s another story.

So off to the Pumpkin Patch we went. Brewer got to run around. Eva got to ride in a wagon. We picked out four pumpkins. Each family member got their own and it went according to size. So Daddy’s was the biggest, next was Mommy’s, Brewers was a small pumpkin and Eva’s was a tiny little thing. Afterwards we went by Starbucks and got some hot chocolate. It was a fun trip out. Once we got home, we collected the markers and stickers and went to town decorating. It was fun. And it was refreshing. And it was needed.

Fast forward three years later and it’s become a tradition. Not because Jamie or I decided, but because Brewer asks when we’re going to do it. We don’t carve the pumpkins. We decorate.  We use stickers and we use markers and we draw pictures. And each year they get better.

This year was so much fun. My kids are growing and so is their imagination. My kids are creative and insightful. They are caring and funny. They are protective of each other. They ran around taking turns in the wagon. They picked out the perfect pumpkin for each of us. We took pictures and made memories. We drank hot chocolate and we played eye spy for the 100th time this weekend. We decorated and made the front porch look pretty.

So what are your family traditions? What’s on your fall checklist? What makes the season special to you?

Something In The Air

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Well Friends, here is another post from days gone bye. Looking through some old stuff the other day, I really loved this. I wrote this when Brewer was a baby and I was starting to see life in a whole new light. My focus was changing from "how does it affect me" to "how does this affect him." It was a really sweet time in my life. I was so excited about seeing life from his eyes and reliving all the magic.  I love remembering sweet times with him.
So in honor of the first day that feels like Fall ... Here ya go!


September 26, 2008 at 11:46am


 a wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time

There is always something in the air at the changing of the seasons, something so tangible that I can not run from. It engulfs every one of my senses and before I notice I am suffocating in the sweet smell of days gone by. Childhood memories of fall festivals, my sister and I dressing for Halloween, thanksgiving football on my grandparents farm, hundreds of cousins I never believed I would have lost touch with, the smell of traditional Christmas baking, ... the cookies, the candies, the cakes... and of course, the "good stuff" (a family tradition no one will understand) With all those memories creeps in a sigh for lost loves and lost friends... Life changes so quickly before you even realize the hour has passed and another chapter has closed.

As a new chapter has opened in my life this year I am all aglow with the thought of new memories to make, new traditions to form, new smells twisting with the old ones creating a fragrance so strong I can almost taste it. While I love my life, my memories, my sad stories and happy endings... I am so thrilled to live life "again" through my child's eyes. A rebirth of all those emotions flood over my soul as I dream of all things that He could be. The people he will meet and the places he will go. What effect will he have on all of those.. what will his memories be?

This year as nostalgia hit me like a freight train and those memories engrossed my very being, I was surprised to see things from a different point of view. It's been odd looking back over my life and seeing things I had never seen before... from a parent's perspective. WOW... how hard it must have been for my parents. How do you watch your child make mistakes, moreover, how do you have the courage to let your children make mistakes? Hum.. something I am not excited to learn...

I look over at my son, almost 4 months old and sitting in his bouncy chair looking off into the distance with, I have no idea how, but his entire hand in his mouth I laugh out loud. His hands drop and a huge smile comes over his face as he realizes he has his mother's full attention. I have to go... I don't want to miss one more minute of his life.

The Other Side of Something: For Real This Time

Monday, October 7, 2013

I was looking through some old journals the other day and I found this. One of the reasons I love keeping a journal is to see where I've been. There are certain seasons of your life that you don't want to forget. You want to remember the details and you want to remember how you felt. There are certain seasons of your life you don't want to relearn, you want to get it right the first time. Because honestly, it's just really hard.
I also found it funny that I titled this "The Other Side of Something" because when I wrote it I was smack dab in the middle of it. I was hurting and broken. It was painful. Jamie and I were struggling inwardly but trying to hold it all together outwardly. This was written after our second miscarriage. For those of you who know, we had one more.
Another reason I love keeping a journal is to see how honest I am. I mean, this one is pretty real. Its honest in my words and thoughts. It is honest in my desires. But at the time I wrote it, it was something I was hoping in. You know what I mean, when you tell yourself you feel one way in the hopes that you really will. That's really, honestly, where I was. I know God to be good. I know Him to be Holy. I believed what I was writing, because it was something that I needed to be true.
Just a quick update: This was written in 2006. Brewer, our son, was born in 2008 and Eva, our daughter was born in 2010. I can not imagine my life without these two amazing people. They are growing and challenging me on a daily basis. Jamie and I have been married now for over 10 years and God has blessed our family. He has been faithful.
So join me as we step back in time: December 4, 2006:

The Other Side of Something

December 4, 2006

There is a great hymn that just gets to me every time I hear it. There are days when I lift my hands in praise and belt it out at the top of my lungs, and there are other days when I can't even raise my head from weeping before my God. For about the past year its been the hardest thing to hear. I was unable to sing a word of it. But lately its the hymn I crave the most.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.


Wow! What a mouth full! You try to sing "It is well" and see what God brings to your heart that is not well! I guess to understand where I am coming from you would have to understand what I've been going through lately. Jamie and I have just gone through our second miscarriage. It has been a struggle for us physically, mentally and spiritually.

I have to be honest with you though. This one was easier than the first. Why? I have no idea. I guess its because I have a firm foundation of faith.

When Jamie and I got married 3 1/2 years ago I prayed that God would not allow us to have a child until it was His will. I asked that God would not give us a child no matter how hard we selfishly begged, until His timing. I do not want a King Saul. I want a King David. I trust that God has a plan for our lives. I have turned my life over to Him. No, I'm not perfect. No, I do not always make the right choices, but I do believe that God has a better way than I do. I also know that God does not do anything to hurt his children for the sake of hurting his children. He wanted to teach Jamie and I something that we could not have learned any other way. Here is what I have learned so far:

1. God is God and I am not. Trust Him! Submit to him completely. That is a good thing.

2. My sin affects more than myself. There is no sin so small that it can only affect me alone. It will always affect my husband, family, friends and church.

3. Even if God chooses not to give Jamie and I a physical legacy, it is not only my responsibility but my privilege to leave a spiritual legacy.

That last one has affected me the most out of all three. It was not something that I recently learned, but that I really needed to be reminded of. God is preparing me for something. He is building a burning passion inside of me that will not be extinguished. I praise him for it!

While I know that He is not finished with this lesson. The ink on the pages is still wet, I just wanted to share with you a little of where I am right now. What God is doing in my life. And the things I am learning, and will continue to learn about Him everyday.

I pray that if you don't already know him intimately, you will seek Him. Deuteronomy 4:29 says "...you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul." Seek Him...

Grace & Mercy

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It finally happened. It’s a moment, rite of passage, that you know is coming and you have to figure out how you’re going to handle it when it does.
So, yesterday Eva and I made our weekly trip to the grocery store. Nothing out of the ordinary happening. You know the drill: walk in, find the cart with the blue car on the front, and stop by the conveniently located in-store Starbucks to get the kid a cake-pop to appease her while I shop. Yesterday was no different. With cake pop in hand, we ventured into the fresh produce section. For about the next 30 minutes we checked things off our list, said no to about 100 requests for all things junk food, and chatted sweetly with the old Ladies who told me not to blink because it goes by too quickly. I’m always surprised when they turn down my offer to let her help them with the duration of their shopping trip. I do feel like they chuckle as they walk away thinking, “Not a chance young Lady, I did my time!” (Insert maniacal laugh here.)
Let me tell you a little about Eva. She is spunky. She is fierce and she gets what she wants. She can talk her older brother into just about anything, especially if she knows he’ll get in trouble for it and not her. She is not afraid of anything and parenting her can be a challenge. I look into her beautiful three year old eyes and have such hope for her future. I know that God has big plans for this child. You don’t have a personality this big for small things. We are doing our best to teach her how to use this power for good. Use the force Eva, but baby, use it to bring glory to the Father!
So, back to our little story. We finish our list, make a quick mental sweep of anything else we may need and head to the checkout. Pretty uneventful there, this should have been my first clue something was amiss. We head out to the car and as I turn to get her that’s when I notice it. Since entering the store her leg has grown a 4 inch tumor. Very calmly I ask her, “Eva, what is that?” She slowly places her hand over the tumor and replies, “What Mommy?” That’s when I knew. This tumor was not a toy I’d forgotten she had but something she stole!
CRAP! My child is a thief. Not only is she a thief, but now she’s a liar too.  “Eva, take that out of your pants and give it to me right now.” She places the candy in my hand and looks me dead in the eye. Not even ashamed!  What? She’s a bold lying thief. This moment should not have surprised me but it did. I asked her where it came from and she told me. I asked her if she paid for it. She quenched up her little nose, threw her hands in the air and replied, “Do you see my piggy bank anywhere?” (Do not laugh, this is a serious teaching moment and cannot be funny. Do not laugh. Do not laugh.) I sat her down and told her not to move. We were going back into the store to return it and she better start praying for forgiveness and that the manager does not call the police. I placed the groceries into the car and then pushed the cart back to the store. We marched ourselves up to the customer service desk and asked for a manager.
As we waited, I explain to Eva what’s about to happen. “Eva, you have taken something that does not belong to you. You know that you have to pay for things before we leave the store. You know what you did was wrong. You are going to tell the Manager what you’ve done, return this candy and tell them you’re sorry.” That’s when she started to get antsy.  It was the first sign of remorse. I stood there with my daughter and just prayed for God to make this a memorable and teachable moment for her.
When the Manager arrived as a sweet grandmotherly lady, I was a little disappointed. I wanted a big intimidating man, but instead I get a sweet grandmother who really didn’t want to hurt my daughter’s feelings. (God is in charge, Annie, He knows what she needs. Ok, back to the task at hand.) I knelt down to Eva’s level. I looked her in the eye and said it was time. “Eva, tell the Manager what you’ve done.” She threw her arms around me and tucked her head into my neck. My heart sank. I pulled her off and stood her in front of the manager again. “Eva, tell her what you’ve done.” Again, she jumps into my lap and curls up, this time she started to cry. All the while, the sweet Manager is just standing there. Again, I pull her off of me, stand her up straight and look her in the eye boldly. “Eva, if you are brave enough to steal from someone, you are brave enough to tell them and ask for forgiveness. Now tell her.” She put her head down and cried. I gently put my finger under chin and lifted her head. “Eva, you have to do this by yourself. You have to own your bad choice. I love you enough to no let you get away with this. But Mommy is right here.” I turned her to face the Manager. She looked at her and then looked back at me. She bowed her head and just stood there. “Eva, we are not leaving until you tell her.” She raised her head, looked the manager in the eye and said with the smallest voice, “I took this and I’m sorry.”
I was heartbroken. My fierce child, my bold little girl, the one who’s not afraid of anything was starting to break. It’s one of those moments in life where you as a parent want to hold your child and protect them. I wanted to make some excuse as to why she did it. It had to be in some part because of my bad parenting. She’s a good girl. Don’t hurt her; I’ll take all the blame and all the punishment. But you know that’s not true. My parenting had nothing to do with this. I can’t cover for her if I want her to learn from her mistakes. I have to; no matter how hard it is, let her suffer. I have to let her feel the weight of her sin. And my prayer is that it does weigh heavy on her. I pray that she feels that weight the next time she’s faced with this temptation.
So the sweet Manager stood towering over Eva and talked to her about stealing and how it’s wrong and how it affects not just her but the store. She spoke firmly but sweetly. Eva stood there and listened and nodded yes and no at the appropriate times. Then the Manager did what I wanted her to do. She explained to Eva that when someone steals from her store, she calls the police and has them taken to jail. She paused briefly to let that sink in with Eva. She stood up straight, crossed her arms and looked at me, “Mama, do you promise to talk to her about this more when you get home?” “Yes, Ma’am I do.” “Ok then,” she stooped to Eva’s level, “since this is your first offence, I’m going to let you go home with your Mama today. But next time, I will call the police. Do you understand?” Eva nodded and jumped in my arms. With her arms wrapped tightly around my neck and legs around my waist, I stood up. The sweet Manager winked at me and walked away.
As we left the store the world felt a little different. It didn’t feel as safe anymore. I felt a little sadder and a little stronger. It was the first time that someone else knew my child wasn’t perfect. It was the first time that some else had control over my child’s fate. It was the first time my child had to publicly admit to her own failure. But in the end, I was proud of her. It was hard but she did it. And I was proud of myself. It was hard but I did it too.
So in the end, this is a story about Grace and a story about Mercy. How many times do we sin boldly and proclaim, "I have every right to do this!" Does it matter? Sin is sin. When we sin we deserve punishment. Most of the time we are not remorseful until we are confronted. Then we hide and turn away and make excuses. But that's not what God wants. That's not what He's interested in. And He's not just going to cover it up and walk away. That's not how grace works. That's not mercy. We don't receive it without owning it first. We must admit to our sin, repent and turn away from sin. That's where grace and mercy are found. We still suffer the consequences of our actions, but in Christ we will never suffer the full wrath of them.
I am thankful for a loving Father who never leaves my side. I am thankful for a God who loves me enough not to let me get away with it. I'm thankful for grace: getting something I don't deserve. I'm thankful for mercy: not getting something that I deserve.
Grace and Mercy: sweeter than the candy she stole.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Passionately following Christ in all things. 
I was made by God and for God ... nothing else matters. 

Come back to see how my faith affects every area of my life.  


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

These two. You'll get to know them and know them well. 
By the Grace of God we are all here ... today. And keep in mind that we are not promised tomorrow!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Looking forward to sharing with you the things we're making and eating. 

Come back and see what's on the table.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Come back and see whats happening on and off the mat. 

Its one of my most favorite places to be!
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