Coffee, Chaos and Christ

The misadventures of a Mother and business owner.


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New beginnings and lots of changes

So, there is change in the air. The twins have started middle school this year. They have also started on the year round school schedule for the first time. Lots of changes for them and me. We have one trying out band and one trying out theater and lots of others electives. Should be a very interesting year to say the least.

Y’all know my pet peeve with carpool. Such a simple yet misunderstood concept. It really isn’t rocket science people. Follow directions! Don’t fall asleep in carpool! Pull up when you are supposed to! Your kids can walk further than 10 feet to the door! They will not melt in the rain! You can stop in other spots than just the front spot! Don’t drop your kids off at the street! Also, whatever you need to do is not more important than what everyone else has to do, stop putting others in danger because you can’t be patient. New school, new carpool, lots to get used to for the kids and for me. This diagram pretty much sums up carpool right now!! People going in all directions all at once.

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Just a reminder of some carpool etiquette:

  • Follow the established traffic pattern, getting out of line to pass people is not going to make things faster or easier for anyone.
  • Keep your kids in their seats until they are ready to get out of the car.
  • Get off your cell phone, it is not that important.
  • Pay attention!! (This should be a no brainer when kids are involved)
  • If for any reason you need to park your car, park it in a designated space, not the carpool line. (Again, this should be a no brainer)
  • Finally, be patient and be polite. Treat others how you want to be treated. Common courtesy people! 

Ok, enough of that for now. I am sure I will revisit the subject at some point this school year, pet peeve for sure.

Also, do you know how ear-piercing it is when someone is trying to learn how to play trumpet? Goodness gracious, Lord knows I love my son, but he may just have to practice outside for a while. As far as he is concerned, the louder the better. I keep reminding myself that it is only the first week and it will get better, Lord willing!

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I hope everyone enjoys what they have left of your Summer vacations and everyone has a safe and happy school year. It will be an adventure for sure!

 

This I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23

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Lavender Jelly

Who doesn’t love lavender? The smell, the beautiful flowers and the benefits.

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We have a lavender plant that we bought from a farm in Virginia called White Oak Lavender Farm a couple of years ago and it is thriving. If you are ever nearby you should check it out. It is beautiful and everyone there was so nice and helpful. I hope to return next month while we are at Massanutten with family.

I recently started selling Young Living essential oils and lavender oil is very popular. Lavender has a scent that’s a wonderful blend of fresh, floral, clean, and calm. It’s this dynamic aroma that has made the flower a classic for perfumes, soaps, fresheners, and beauty products. Here are some of the many benefits of lavender:

  • Reduce anxiety and emotional stress
  • Protect against diabetes symptoms
  • Improve brain function
  • Help to heal burns and wounds
  • Improve sleep
  • Restore skin complexion and reduce acne
  • Slow aging with powerful antioxidants
  • Relieve pain
  • Alleviate headaches

It has always been a favorite scent of mine and I just love the flowers. My bees really like them as well. I use the oil on an almost daily basis because I love it so much.

I have used lavender in other jams and jellies in the past but decided to make it the star this year with its own jelly. It was really easy to make and the house smelled amazing for a couple of days. It only requires a couple very simple ingredients and does not require a lot of time, which makes it even better in my book. The recipe calls for dried flowers but I decided to use fresh flowers straight from my garden and it still worked really well.

The jelly turned out beautifully, it is always so rewarding to see the finished product. The lids popping to indicate that the jars are sealed is the best sound ever when you are canning. Very satisfying, we all listen for them once we remove the jars from the canner. Lavender Jelly Jar

 

This is the recipe that I used, I found it through Genius Kitchen and it is super easy to follow.

INGREDIENTS

3 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup dried edible lavender flowers

1 lemon, juice of

1 (1 3/4 ounce) boxes dry pectin or 1 (3 ounce) envelopes liquid pectin

4 cups sugar

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large saucepan over high heat bring water just to a boil.
  • Remove from heat and stir in dried lavender flowers. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a deep kettle or pot, discarding the lavender flowers.
  • Stir in lemon juice and pectin; continue stirring until the pectin is thoroughly dissolved.
  • Over high heat, bring the mixture to a hard rolling boil (a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down).
  • Add sugar. When the jelly solution returns to a hard rolling boil, let it boil for 2 to 4 minutes (see below), stirring occasionally.
  • Boil Times:.
  • 2 minutes – soft gel.
  • 4 minutes – medium gel.
  • Testing for “jell” (thickness – I keep a metal tablespoon sitting in a glass of ice water, then take a half spoonful of the mix and let it cool to room temperature on the spoon. If it thickens up to the consistency I like, then I know the jelly is ready. If not, I mix in a little more pectin (about 1 teaspoon to 1/2 of another package) and bring it to a boil again for 1 minute.
  • After boiling, transfer the jelly into hot sterilized jars. Fill them to within 1/4 inch of the top, wipe any spilled jam off the top, seat the lid and tighten the ring around them.
  • Process in a water bath for 10 minutes. Remove jars to wire rack and let cool before serving.
  • Makes five 1/2 pints

Recipe from Genius Kitchen, you can find the recipe here http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/lavender-jelly-412026

Would love to hear your comments if you decide to try this recipe. Hope you love it as much as I do.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard (lavender), very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.” (Gospel of John, 12:3)