Friday, September 25, 2009

Autumn Weather, Rustic Oat Bran Bread, and a Blog Award

"You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever."

Psalm 16:11

I feel so blessed this week and have experienced the JOY of the Lord's Presence in an incredible way. We just returned from an amazing weekend in North Carolina and West Virginia celebrating my brother’s marriage to his beautiful bride, Heather. The time with family filled my heart with memories and joy, and the cooler temperatures and beautiful beginnings of Fall Foliage on the trees brought a sense of awe and thankfulness to my heart. When we returned to the usually HOT Rio Grande Valley in TX, I was pleasantly surprised with the much-needed rain and taste of Fall-like temperatures. One day this week it didn’t even get out of the low 60s. Now, that makes me happy! I am praising God for so many reasons but must of all, I thank Him for giving me the Fall that I love!

I love to make and eat homemade bread, and Fall is the perfect season to enjoy delicious, hot-from-the-oven, melt-in-your-mouth bread. Because of the cooler weather that God gave us this week, we ate lots of soup, chili and this Homemade Rustic Oat Bran Bread. It is Super Healthy, Fairly Easy to make, and VERY Yummy. Enjoy!

Rustic Oat Bran Bread

2-1/4 to 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup oat bran or wheat bran
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons honey plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Crushed Pecans or Walnuts (about 2 Tablespoons)

In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, oat bran, yeast and salt. In a small saucepan, heat water and honey to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough (dough will be sticky). Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Shape into a round loaf or 12 small balls to make rolls. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or a 12 cup muffin tin coated with cooking spray if you wish to make rolls and sprinkled with cornmeal. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. With a sharp knife, make three diagonal slashes across top of loaf. Gently press crushed pecans on the top of the loaf or rolls. Drizzle with honey. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (12 wedges) or 12 rolls.

Yet another reason to be thankful is that my Dear Friend, Teri Lynne at the awesome and inspiring Pleasing to You blog has given me this "HONEST SCRAP" award.

Thank you, friend of my heart! So, here's what I am supposed to do:

1.) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award. ~ Thanks, my amazing, uplifting, beautiful (inside and out) southern friend!

2.) Share "10 Honest Things" about myself.

3.) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design or those who have encouraged me.

4.) Tell those 7 people they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving.

Here's my 10 things ...

· I am SO not a morning person. I would sleep till Noon if the demands of life allowed.

· I desperately desire to have more children; it is my heart’s desire to be a Mommy to many children (biologically and hopefully through adoption one day).

· I have been told that I am High Maintenance, and it is probably an accurate description at times. I like to be spoiled and I love to be loved.

· I RARELY buy anything at the store without a coupon. If I forget my coupon organizer, I simply turn around and go home. I love to save money and often come home with bags full of “free” or “almost free” stuff.

· I dream about moving back to North Carolina-my family, the mountains, the Beach, the trees, and so many memories. It is my prayer that God moves us one day.

· I have a “gift” room in my house. This room is full of gifts and gift decorating material. I LOVE to give gifts and have the most fun finding the perfect gifts for my friends and family.

· It makes me ill to leave the house with dirty dishes in the sink-that is my BIGGEST pet peeve. The dishes must be put in the dishwasher or washed or I will not have a Peaceful Heart-pretty obsessive, right?

So, there are a few little honest things about me. As for seven blogs that inspire and encourage me, here goes.

1. My dear friend, Teri Lynne (mentioned before) ... she inspires me, encourages me, prays for me, and reminds me that God has a sense of humor (one day I will explain how we “met” and you will laugh). Visit her at "Pleasing to You" and you will see her honest heart and her passion for loving God and others!

2. Teri Lynne’s sister-in-law, Beth, has a wonderful blog, "SEW ANYHOW”. Beth is extremely talented, is a mother to seven children, home schools, and loves God! She is a great example of the Proverbs 31 woman.

3. I admire and love spending time with Lana at" I Love My Five Kids" I met Lana through MOPS and she is truly one of the most genuine, wise, sweet, and loving women I have ever met. Check her out at:

4. "The White House" written by my friend, Tyne, is such a joy to read. Tyne has a beautiful wit and her posts will leave you laughing while send you seeking more intimacy with the Heavenly Father who loves you! She uses real life stories of her four “under four” to show our Father’s heart of love toward us.

5. One of my Mentors and the Women’s Ministy Leader at our church, Gail, just started a blog at “Flowers in the Window” where she encourages others to “bloom where they are planted". Gail has a passion for living, and her smile brings joy to so many. She loves the Lord, and has a Heart for Sharing God’s love with Women.

6. "Intentionally Katie” is a blog that I have followed for about six months now. I appreciate Katie’s honesty in the challenges of parenting and love her tips for home organization, her menu plans, her recipes, and her passion for being a Godly wife and mother.

7. InCourage is a new website that has AMAZING, real, honest, uplifting writings from several Christian women bloggers who desire to share God’s love through the Internet. I love that they encourage you to submit your prayer requests. They have recently been talking about “HOPE”-the Hope we have in Christ despite our circumstances and trials that we face daily. You will truly be blessed after visiting

I encourage you to visit these blogs and tell them that I referred you. You will love them just as much as I do-I promise!


  1. Beautiful post and I cannot wait to try out that recipe!! I love you so, my dear soul-friend.

  2. Thanks soooo much Christina, you are so thoughtful and I appreciate the little write-up you did. I will try my best to follow the rules of this reward, but if I don't get to it, please don't see that as a lack of appreciation!

  3. You are an encouragement young lady! I can't wait to try that bread...I'm on a Bread rampage right now. I'm really liking Artisan Bread.

    Thanks so much for the award! Too cute!!!

    (I need special tutoring with the coupon...not my fave thing to do.) :)

  4. Thank you, thank you, Christina!!! I humbly accept and would like to thank the Academy, my husband, my agent, my mom for always encouraging me to be honest...


  5. You just made my day!!! I just love your sweet, precious ,encouraging heart.
    I can still remember when I met you! I was immediately drawn to you and just really wanted to know you!!! I am so very thankful that God put you and of course Jaythan in my life.
    I know that God has amazing things in store for you...and it is my joy and honor to be a small part of it.
    lov u sweet girl!