Mealtime Mama: Cranberry Relish

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We love finding new ideas for dinner (and great, natural products) on the Ozark Natural Foods website.

Below is a recipe for cranberry relish that would be beautiful on a holiday table.

Cranberry Relish

onf recipes2 cups fresh cranberries
2 granny smith apples, cored
1 large orange, peeled
1-1&1/2 cups turbinado sugar

Directions: Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, then blend together in a food processor. Use the lighter settings so it doesn’t look like mush but more of a coarse blend, chill and serve. Add more or less sugar depending on your taste preferences (I prefer tart flavors over sweet so I use less sugar). You can also substitute the sugar with dates or try adding other fruits like mangoes, pomegranate seeds, or even pineapple.

Recipe from Pauline Thiessen, Produce Manager

If you’d like to see more ONF healthy cooking recipes, click here. If you’re thinking about holiday gifts, they have gift cards available for purchase on the website. Click here to buy a gift card for the person who’s really hard to buy for, but loves all things fresh, natural and organic! They can also use the gift cards for lattes and lunch in the cafe :)

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Baby’s Room Black Friday Sale

If you’re pregnant or have a baby, you’ll definitely want to know about the Black Friday sale at The Baby’s Room in Rogers. (The store is located at the big_sale_tagShoppes at Pinnacle Hills, next to Dilly Dally’s toy store and close to Carrabba’s restaurant. The address is 3301 Market St. in Rogers.) This is the store’s biggest sales event of the year.

During the sale on Black Friday, you’ll be able to pop a balloon and get the savings amount contained inside, which could range anywhere from 10 to 50 percent off the total purchase. The Baby’s Room is known for high quality baby furniture, clothes, baby gear and more so check it out if you’re in the market. (I bought a glider for my baby’s nursery there 7 years ago and we are STILL snuggling up in it today. Love it!)

Click here to see their line of furniture and baby products featured on their website. And click HERE to get the latest updates from them on Facebook. Happy shopping!

babys room balloon sale

Devotion in Motion: When words aren’t enough

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.  Colossians 3:15 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash 

I have a first cousin who I dearly love. I think he’s getting close to 80 years old now. I guess you’re not supposed to have favorites among your cousins, but I’m pretty sure that he’s mine. I think my other cousins would be good with that—because I’m pretty certain he is their favorite cousin, too. He’s just a very special person. And he reminds me a lot of my Dad, who I miss very much.

My cousin is not a preacher, but he gets up at 4:30 every morning to study the Bible. One day he got out his Bible and dictionaries and concordances and sat bibledown to learn from God’s Holy Word. It was only then that he realized things weren’t making sense. He no longer knew how to read. He got his wife to drive him to the hospital, where he was diagnosed as having suffered a stroke.

Since then, he’s made a remarkable recovery and is back to the normal activities of life. But shortly after his stroke, he suffered from a condition known as aphasia. He knew exactly what he wanted to say, but he couldn’t pick the right words to express himself. Sometimes when I visited him, I would give him a package or a present. And when I left to go home, he always had the same reply. Being unable to say the name of the thing I had brought him, he would always say, “John, thank you. Thank you for this.” And then he would hold up his present, to indicate what the “this” referred to.

Well, in my book, that is one of the sweetest things on Earth. And it made me think: I’m pretty sure I have some sort of “spiritual aphasia.” Very often I find myself with blessings, and they are blessings that are so wonderful I can’t find words.

A true confession here: Whenever a baby is born to our country church, we ask the Lord’s blessing on the child before the congregation. And, historically, I http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-fall-thanksgiving-baby-cornucopia-image27771952have always dreaded that. Not because I don’t love babies, but quite the opposite. You see, God’s gift of a child is just so great. I just can’t find words to express what my heart feels as I try to verbally give thanks to God.

But, I don’t feel that way now. Because one time, just before I laid hands on the child I told the congregation what I just told you. “I’m sorry. My words won’t be enough. Because it’s just too great. I can’t find words.” Then the baby’s father looked me straight in the eye, and he nodded his head. He fully understood.

Well, that’s where I am this Thanksgiving. The Lord has given me so many things, and I am so grateful that I can’t find words to express what I feel. Sometimes the whole scene just sweeps over me.

So, for the people I love, for all the gifts and the bounty I have received, for all the beauty I see around, and for the joy I feel in my heart I can only say, “Thank you, God. Thank you God, for this.”

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the preacher and his wife are on their way to visit kinfolks.)  Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: Do you have this condition?

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

I have a condition many parents suffer from: Worst Case Scenario Syndrome or WCSS. It’s not in the official book of diseases because I just made it up but that doesn’t make it any less real. Make no mistake — it’s real, and I have the freshly sprouted gray hairs to prove it.

This sanity-threatening condition reared its paranoid head just last week. When I sat down in my home office to begin the day’s work, I smelled a faint but distinctive smell of something burning. It smelled hot with a hint of a chemical scent, the way an overworked engine might smell just before bursting into flames.

I walked around the room, sniffing the printer, computer, lamp, computer modem and television, but I couldn’t determine the source of that ominous smell. I unplugged everything, just to be safe.

An hour later, the smell had intensified. That’s when my internal light bulb went off and I realized the problem might be overhead — in the light bulb. I looked up and eyed the ceiling-mounted light fixture suspiciously. What if some faulty electrical wiring was causing sinister sparks to ignite within the walls and ceiling where I couldn’t see?

So I did what I imagine any concerned woman would do. I climbed up onto my desk and sniffed as close to the light fixture as possible, and then I climbed back down and called my husband.

“Honey, there’s a bad smell in my office and I think it might be an electrical fire.”

“What? Do you see smoke?”

“Well, no, there’s no smoke but there’s a terrible smell — like a mix of chemicals burning. The weird thing is that I can only smell it in my office.”

“Did you check all the electrical outlets?”

electrical fire“Yes, and I unplugged everything in this room, but the smell is getting worse. I think it might be in the light fixture on the ceiling. I got as close to it as I could so I could sniff it.”

“You sniffed a light fixture? Did you use a ladder?”

“Well, no, I climbed up on the desk, but you’re missing the point. I’m not sure that’s where the smell is coming from, but I turned the light switch off, just in case.”

“Okay, well let’s see if the smell gets better now that the light is off.”

“But I’ve got to go run errands. What if the house catches on fire while I’m gone?”

“I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

“You don’t think we should call an electrician to come out here and check it?”

“We will if we need to, but let’s try to pinpoint what it is first.”

“Okay, but I’m telling you something is catching on fire in the ceiling.”

I wanted to go on record with my hunch so that if the house suddenly turned into a scene from the movie Backdraft, I could issue a stern “I told you so” as we sifted through the charred remains of our family memories.

After running errands, I returned home and walked into the office hoping the smell had dissipated – but it was even stronger. Charlie, our intrepid Beagle, trotted along beside me and went immediately to the trash can by my desk where he stopped and sniffed.

Following his lead, I leaned over and sniffed the trash can, too, and that’s when I saw it — a discarded bag of microwave popcorn with blackened kernels inside. Suddenly the memory of 7-year-old Kate bringing the burnt bag of popcorn to me the day before reentered my mind. I’d tossed it into the trash without a second thought.

And just so you know, burnt popcorn on Day 2 smells like an electrical fire. But before you have the fire trucks come screeching up to your house, you should probably empty the trash and open a window. Worst Case Scenario Syndrome can get pretty embarrassing.

gwen rockwoodGwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s new book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

Photo credit: Lisa Mac Photography

Baby Gear and Gadgets: Gift ideas for 1-year-olds

By Liz Emis, mama to Jack and another on the way

jack emis, big brother shirtJack just celebrated his first birthday! (And we announced baby #2!)

I can’t believe we made it through the first year. Moms you know: the first birthday is just as much a milestone and recognition of your accomplishments as it is a celebration of the toddler you’ve helped develop.

Our son got overloaded with love that day and also overloaded with presents. In light of holiday shopping coming up, here are a couple of gifts I highly recommend, especially if your child, like mine, enjoys figuring things out.

You can almost see the wheels turning in his head!

An Activity Cube:
We like vintage toys that teach in addition to entertain, and this gift has it all. It’s tall enough that your one-year-old can stand to play with it, its four sides have musical elements and abacus-like activities for learning colors, shapes and numbers, and it also has a matching game for animals. The top usually has a colorful winding wires that pass through a wooden town and allow your child to move cars and shapes through them. We bought ours at Once Upon A Child in Rogers for about $30, but you can find them brand new on Amazon between $40 and $100.

learning cube

Melissa & Doug:
farm puzzleThis is a toy brand you can easily find at Target, TJ Maxx, Tuesday Morning and Amazon. They promote classic toys from our childhood, and just like our family, believe more classic toys allow the child to use even greater imagination.

Jack received several puzzles by Melissa & Doug and they all teach new concepts. Each puzzle piece is either very thick or has a big knob on it, allowing your toddler to easily remove it. There is a picture of the puzzle piece underneath on the wooden board, so Jack could learn new concepts through matching the picture to the piece. They come in themes like colors, shapes, vehicles, animals and so on.

Jack’s favorite is the farm themed puzzle he received from a close friend of ours. These puzzles cost about $12 to $15 retail.

Melissa & Doug also offers “make your own sandwich” kits, clocks for learning to tell time and coloring books.

sandwich

I hope this helps in your holiday shopping plans. Enjoy the season!

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