Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple Pie, Coupons, and Travel Planning

I've been ignoring my little here are a few things I've been up to lately:
Yesterday I canned some delicious looking apple pie filling.  Yum!  Here's the recipe I got from my mom.

Apple Pie Filling  (makes 6 quarts)
4 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup corn starch
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
Combine ingredients in a large pot and stir in 10 cups of water. Cook on stovetop until thick. Add 3 Tblsp. lemon juice.
Raw pack apples in jars. Fill with syrup, leaving 1/2 inch of space at top.
Can in water bath for 20 minutes.

Then, when you're ready to make a pie, you bake it at 400 degrees for 50 minutes.

I also made this using peaches instead of apples.  I can't wait to eat those pies!  Meanwhile, they look very pretty on my pantry shelves. 

Here's something else that's been keeping me busy:

Yep, you guessed it - I've started couponing ("couponing" is a verb now, right?).  I'm not getting extreme like some of the people on those TV shows, but on my last trip to Walmart the checker said, "Wow, you saved like $9.00!"  She was impressed.  And like my husband said, "$9.00 is $9.00!"  I'm also doing pretty good at Rite-Aid and Walgreens getting good deals, and even some stuff for free.  So, I'm slowly building up a little "stockpile" of things that I know my family will use.  I made myself this little clutch organizer to keep my coupons in:

It has a little elastic band and a button, and the flap will wrap back around and attach to the grocery cart.  So far it has worked great, and holds lots of coupons.

Also consuming a lot of my time lately: planning our family trip to Israel!  We leave in just 14 days!!! We are SO excited.  I've been busy trying to get all the little details taken care of and a tentative itinerary planned out. We are very independent travelers.  We don't do tour groups. I do all of the research and planning myself (that's half the fun!).  I can't believe our departure date is coming up so soon!  I still have so much to do.......   

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why I Love Yom Kippur

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  This day is the holiest day of the year.  A few years ago, (okay, quite a few years ago) before I was a mom, I was a legal secretary, and my boss, Norm, was Jewish.  This was before I knew anything about the Biblical Holidays, but one thing I remember is that Norm did NOT like Yom Kippur.  He dreaded it.  He never did really explain to me why, but I'm guessing it had something to do with the fasting, or the confessing of sins, or maybe the day-long prayer services.  Since those days when I worked for Norm, I have learned more about Yom Kippur. I have celebrated it a few times now, and I have learned that I love it!  There is so much symbolism and meaning in this beautiful holiday, that I couldn't begin to describe it to you in this blog post, but here is just a little bit about the Day and why I love it:

Yom Kippur is the final day of the Days of Awe, which begin at Rosh Hoshanah.  These are days of repentance.  On Yom Kippur, a person fasts and prays, and stands before God to confess their sins and ask for forgiveness and atonement, hoping for their name be inscribed in the Book of Life.  This reminds me that we ALL have sinned.  Yesterday we attended a Yom Kippur service, and together as a congregation we read a prayer and confessed that we have sinned.   All of us.  We solemnly asked for forgiveness and atonement for breaking every command God has given us.  The good news?  Forgiveness is available to anyone who asks!  God accepts us as we are, and we can know positively that our names are inscribed in the Book of Life.

Back in the Bible days, on Yom Kippur, the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies.  This was the part of the Temple where the Presence of God dwelt.  Only once a year, he would go in and ask for atonement for the sins of his people.  The high priest was the only one who could do this, and it was a very long process involving many sacrifices and rituals.  Well...there is more good news!  Yeshua the Messiah is our high priest and has fulfilled the sacrifice requirement for our atonement!  Through this ultimate sacrifice, He has made it possible for anyone to come before the throne of God!  This is an amazing gift, and shows absolute love and mercy to such undeserving and sinful people!

So, to me, Yom Kippur is both solemn and joyful at the same time.  I remember how sinful and how far from perfect I am, and yet God loves me so much that he made a way for me to be forgiven and close to Him forever. I can't think of anything better.

This is a video and song that I think is fitting for Yom Kippur.  He knows my name, and guess what? He has inscribed it in the Book of Life!