Thursday, January 27, 2011

Healthy Living and Old Bread

I mentioned in an earlier post that we mill our wheat and make our own bread. Well, because this is fresh with no preservatives, the shelf life is only a couple to three days before it starts going bad.  Here are a couple of ideas for that old bread (that doesn't sound very appetizing, does it?) that you could use to turn into something yummy!

#1-French Toast

8 1/2 inch slices of whole wheat bread
1 1/2 cups of warmed milk
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons of sucanat or 1 1/2 teaspoons honey or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
maple syrup

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Toast the bread for about 16 minutes. Flip the bread half way through. This is a technique that I learned from America's Test Kitchen that will help out with cutting down on the sogginess of the final product.

Whisk the next seven ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Pour into a large rectangular pan for easing dipping. Dip the bread for about 20 seconds and transfer to heated skillet (medium low heat) with melted butter and cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown. You can place these in a 200 degree oven until you finish all of them and serve to your family warm and topped with a good organic pure maple syrup!

#2- Cheese Toast

Now I know I really don't have to tell you how to make cheese toast, but I will say that we lightly toast our bread on both sides and then add our cheese on top. Pop them back in the oven for 30 seconds or so until the cheese is good and melted. Make sure you pay attention!! Or you will slap yourself because you wasted all that good bread and cheese.  These go great along with a bowl of vegetable soup or chili. Your kids will thank you!

Maleah did!!

Enjoy, Nichole

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Day in the Life of the Boggs! Simple.

I thought we might share what a day in our life as a family of nine who cooks from scratch, homeschools through our daily life, and believes much of the children's schooling should be learning God's Word and living it out as well. We have a lot of learning and growing to do, but this is where we are right now. And this is what a pretty normal day would look like for us.

We stay home a good bit of the time. For several reasons and some of those are: it is easier to stay home, it is cheaper to eat at home, we get way more done when we stay at home, and our time together is more focused and intimate at home. Our day begins with the never-ending washing of dishes and preparing breakfast. Before this takes place, everyone has been encouraged, not forced, to take some of their own quiet time and spend it with the Lord in their devotion time with Him. Immediately after that, our worship time with Him continues.....

Oh, so many dishes to wash!

After breakfast, we all gather around for prayers, review our memory passages, focus on our new memory passages, and read aloud and discuss from the book we are in which happens to be Matthew. This takes 30 minutes and sometimes an hour.  
Any chores that need to be done at this time I will give each child specific instructions as to what they need to do.

The little ones, after chores, will go play and the older children will begin with lunch preparation (under my supervision) and will rotate watching Maleah.

Lunch is between 12:00 and 12:30. Keith usually comes home to eat with us.
This is the first complete meal that Madison and Morgan have prepared! Oven fried cubed steak, buttery herb potatoes, green beans, and corn from the freezer.

Dishes. Though not in pajamas.

Play time. Outside preferably.

While the three youngest lay down for a nap (1:30), the oldest four sit down for some math, spelling, reading, history,etc...       
At 4:00 we begin to straighten up the house, start supper, and some are playing. We try to eat by 5:30, so we have plenty of time for clean-up (which we all take part in) and games, reading, knitting, shooting the bb guns, shooting bow and arrows,  really just hanging out together until bedtime.

Our day ends with bedtime at 8:30 (no one is asleep at this point and it is a good hour before lights out). Keith will do a devotion and pray for everyone.

Hopefully, Keith and I will have some quiet time together and then try to get to sleep by 10:30. None of this is ever set in stone, but it is something we set out to do every day. We are very flexible and try to always be that way when different needs arise.

One thing we have learned over the years is that, "The Simple Life is the Full Life"!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Healthy Living and Pepper Jack Crackers!

Pepper Jack Crackers

This is one of the easiest snacks that a person could make. It is a great recipe to get the kids involved. Or, as we experienced last night, daddy got involved. We will keep the outcome of those crackers to ourself!! I will tell you that they were edible and we enjoyed them!

We enjoy our savory foods a little on the spicy side, so we chose to use a spicy pepper jack cheese. You could choose any cheese that you like. We have also used cheddar in the past and then you could add a drop or two or three of hot sauce. Another option would be to throw some chopped chives in there for taste and color. I am just telling you (based on last night) these are very hard to mess up.

We have a wheat mill at our house. It is small and electric and will grind about 10 cups of flour for me at one time. Anytime a recipe calls for white flour, I substitute it for freshly ground whole wheat flour. The health benefits are great and we are consuming not only a yummy cracker, but some protein, fiber, vitamins A,C, and E. You can visit over at to find out more of the health benefits of milling your own wheat. Of course, until then, you can use regular white flour in this recipe as well.

They go great with soup and salads or just store them in an airtight container and save them for snack time. I hope you will try them for you and your family. Here is our healthy alternative for preservative-laden, who-knows what's in them crackers you get from the grocery store!

Pepper Jack Crackers

1/2 cup butter, softened
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
1 1/2 cup freshly milled flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 T. chopped chives (optional)

Cream butter and cheese until smooth. Combine flour, salt, and chives. Add to the creamed mixture and mix well. I use my hands during this process. Kids will love it!

Lay dough onto lightly floured surface and begin to work it into a rectangle that is about 1/8 inch thick. Make sure the back of the dough stays floured so it doesn't stick to the countertop. Take a knife or pizza cutter and cut whatever size square you would like. Prick several times on each cracker with a fork. Place crackers on ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 12-16 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Let them cool on a wire rack. Store in a tightly covered container. Enjoy!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Silly Woman!

Do you ever get the overwhelming sense that something is going on inside of you, initiated by the Holy Spirit, that you can't quite explain?

Over the last few years, periodically I will feel this way and be unable to communicate exactly what is going on. I feel that it is in these times that the Lord is doing a deeper work in my heart. He is revealing something to me. It is taking time and I don't quite understand or comprehend yet, but I know He is at work. I must stay aware and awake that He is up to something. I don't want to miss it.

And, I have missed it. So many times. Seeds have been planted. Truth has been spoken. My heart has been stirred. For a little while there is change. But, the temptations of life and the cares of the world snatch it away as I find myself going back to the same old way of living.

I found this out a few weeks ago when I was at my wit's end after a long day of dealing with some issues in our home. It seemed bickering and whining and selfishness was at its height with everyone and I thought to myself, "What in the world is going on and why is it going on?"

I made my way to where I keep all the books that have made a difference in my life and pulled down those parenting books that I knew were full of truth. After only reading a few pages, my heart was deeply convicted. I was not finding out what was wrong with my children's behavior, but what was wrong with mine.

After some tears were shed and I communicated with my husband the fact that I was at a loss about some things concerning child rearing, I knew I had been in this place before. Several times, in fact.


The next Sunday my husband reads aloud during his message to the church, "For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Tim. 3:6-7

Strong words, I know, but these words hit me square in the face and pierced deep into my heart. I realized that I have been a silly woman. I have allowed distractions, and lack of discipline, and shallowness of heart take the ever-learning truths away from me time and again. Madison is 11. Her window of influence in certain ways is just about over.

There were two fundamental truths that spoke to me while reading. . I believe with all my heart that they are KEY to successful parenting. I have committed to make it take deep root in my soul and become a part of who I am.

#1-"The first and the most important thing you will ever do as a mother in training your children is to  reverence your husband, love to obey him,  feel honored to be married to him, joy in his presence."

#2- "The first step in child training is to decide what you want your child to become and then become that very person yourself."

I hope to talk in more detail about these two statements that were taken out of  the "No Greater Joy" volume 1 book series over the next couple of weeks.

These are truly profound, yet so foundational and simple to understand. Will you let them take root in your heart as well? May we not be labeled as silly women again.


Monday, January 17, 2011

For Such A Time As This

Please read and meditate upon Revelation 1:1-3. 

Have you ever Googled driving directions, but when you tried following them you ended up totally lost because the map was wrong? The streets didn't really intersect like the map showed, or the directions said to turn right when you should have turned left, leaving you confused. A good map accurately represents the streets and makes true claims about the landscape. The same must be true for us as followers of Jesus Christ. The life that we live each day should send a clear message to the culture about the Light, Life, and Love of the Lord Jesus.

On January 9th of 2011, I began a series of messages entitled Cultural Confusion. I just finished preaching the second message on Sunday morning and God has really challenged me through the text in Revelation 1:1-3, particularly two phrases in verse 2... who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ. "Why?" You ask, keep reading...

Saturday our church hosted the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief training for volunteers from all over the sate that serve Christ in crisis with providing childcare, clean up and recovery, food services, communications, and chaplancy service during a crisis. We had around 150 people attend the training. Yet, the GPS system led people astray and we had calls from people who were lost, wanting to find our church. Yes, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church does have a physical location at 7136 Central Ave in Waycross, GA even though there were some who could not find it because of the confusing directions they were getting from Google, MapQuest, TomTom, Magellan, Garman, and many others.

Yesterday after our worship service, our family came home and gathered around our table (some say it looks like a Lord's Supper table) with our family for lunch. After saying the blessing and getting our food on our plates, I felt led to ask our children what the message was about. Mallory, our 8-year old, answered quickly... "Sending a confusing message!" As soon as I heard her answer, I thought, "She got it!"

I spend hours preparing to preach every week. Sometimes I preach three messages and I do not want to send any confusing message, thankfully someone got the thrust of what the Lord had placed within His Word and upon my heart to preach, for such a time as this.

Our lives must be freshly touched by the Lord Jesuse because if we are not careful the ideas and influences in our culture will invade our lives, families, and churches and impact our thinking and our beliefs, ultimately setting us on a path of woe. Oh, this does not happen quickly, it happens slowly. Over time what we once believed will have eroded and even though we say we are "Christian" how we live our lives sends a confusing message to those where we live, work, or play... ultimately covering the Light, Life, and Love of the Lord Jesus.

How does this happen? When you and I say with our lips that we are a Christian and then fail to live a life that bares witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ we send a confusing message to those in our homes, churces, and community... confusing the culture. And unfortunately, it seems that Christians are more affected by society than society is affected by Christians.

For far too long, we have been guilty of compartmentalizing our lives into the secular and the spiritual. Our lives are to reveal the Lord Jesus Christ. We are to live life in such a way that who Jesus is being unveiled, uncovered, disclosed to those in our culture. In other words, people all around ought to be able to find Jesus because He is being clearly unvieled (revealed) in all that we say and do!

Think with me for a moment... over the last several decades there has been an erosion taking place among the Christian Church and it is devastating... commitment has eroded to carnality, obedience is now an option, truth has been replaced with tolerance, and following Jesus is just a joke. For more research in particular concerning the erosion, visit The Barna Group and learn about the Six Megathemes that emerge from the Barna Research Group in 2010.

More than ever, Jesus must become clearly visible. He must be unveiled and uncovered for all to see. Jesus must be revealed in our personal lives, in our families, in our churches, in our communities. In all that we say and do, people should clearly see His Light, Life, and Love where we live, work, and play.

I would appreciate your thoughts and comments. How can you and I live lives that are crystal clear, ultimately leading others directly to the Lord Jesus? Could it be that the reason the culture is confused is because the church is confused? CS Lewis said, "Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of significant importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important."

Dear Lord Jesus: From time to time I live my life as if Christianity is of no importance or as if Christianity is moderately important and I confuse my wife, my children, my friends, this person and that person. God forgive me! To those I those I have led astray, may they please forgive me. God, help me to live a life that reveals the Light, Life, and Love of the Lord Jesus Christ. Make my life bare witness to the Word of God and to the testimonty of Jesus Christ and may He be crystal clear!

For Such A Time As This,

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

We're...just a little kooky!

Kooky is how we feel once finished with all the pictures Papa takes!

My side of the family got together this past weekend to celebrate Christmas together. We have had back to back weekend celebrations. This time we didn't have to travel but a few miles down the road. My brother, Jason and his family, came in Thursday. My other brother, Randy and his family came in on Friday. We got together Thursday, Friday, and Saturday to eat and just spend time together talking, laughing, playing games, and chasing children.

I know that I can speak for both of my brothers and say that we never thought that we would be where we are at this point in our life.

All three of us are blessed. Blessed beyond what we deserve. Blessed in different ways.

God has been gracious to us all and so very merciful. He has pulled us out of the miry clay and set our feet upon the Rock. He has given us a hope and a future. He proves His love to us. His strength is perfect in our great weaknesses.

I find myself clinging to Him more and more as I see how desperate I really am. He is the Wind that carries us through. He has helped us fly when we thought we were doing it ourself. He has let us fly by ourself, only to experience defeat.

We had a good childhood together, but I will be honest with you and tell you that I regret a lot of my actions toward them growing up. I was selfish and self-centered and they were my beating toys. I wish I could go back and treat them differently. I had an opportunity to influence them for the glory of Christ, but chose my own way. What does our example really matter if we can't be a godly example for those closest to us? That is when true character is tested.

This is what we talk about in our home. Girls and boys, what everyone says about you out there doesn't amount to a whole lot if you can't do the same things for those God has placed right before you day in and day out. And then, I think about myself. Things are so much easier said than done.

Nichole, what everyone says about you out there doesn't amount to a whole lot if you can't be love, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control with those placed right at your feet.

My prayer is that I will make my adult home life better than what I  made my childhood home life. We learn and we grow. God gives us another opportunity. My brothers and I know this. We are blessed.

And so, here are some pictures of our great time together and all the little ones.

A FANTASTIC Granna and Papa

Me and My Family

Jason, Emily, Adalee, and Brantley

Randy, Jodi, and Devin

Lady behind the scenes, our sweet cousin, Lee

Just some random pictures....

the wind really was blowing hard!

look at that sweet little thing in the middle!

looking for me?!

catch me if you can!!

I am not in the mood for pictures!

Blessings on your week! Enjoy every moment with those you love.



Monday, January 10, 2011

Get a GRIP!

The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
Psalm 29:4

If the verse quoted above is true, I better get a grip... a better grip on Scripture that is! I will never move forward if I don’t first move backward. You say back to where??? Back to the Word of God. God help me to Get a GRIP! That is what I intend to do over the next several weeks. I look forward to surveying God's Word, all 66 chapters, covering 1,189 chapters, 31,175 verses, 810,697 words, 3,566,480 letters--all of which are inerrant, infallible, and inspired. I have never surveyed the Bible before so I look forward to the journey.

The Bible is the only book that you will ever read that reads you. Sometimes the Bible exhorts you and you say, AMEN! Sometimes the Bible examines you and you say, OH ME! Sometimes the Bible exposes you and you say, OH NO! Sometimes the Bible encourages you and you say, OH YES! As I begin to take the Bible apart, I know that it will take me apart. As I seek to get a better a grip on God's Word, I submit to the God of the Bible Who will grip me. May my experience be as Jeremiah's when he testified of God's Word and said, "Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart;" (Jeremiah 15:16)

Adrian Rogers once made a simple statement about the Bible, "It will give you a check up from the neck up, help you avoid stinkin’ thinkin’ and totally eliminate hardening of the attitude." Another favorite writer of mine is Warren Wiersbe and he said, "The Bible reveals God’s mind so we should learn it. The Bible reveals God’s heart, so we should love it. The Bible reveals God’s will, so we should live it."

I need a check up so that I can learn, love and live the Bible like never before.

Want to join me in getting a grip? Let's commit to be in many church services as we can in a row so that we can be under the Word, desiring to do the following with the Word:
  1. Hear the Word - Acts 13:44, Romans 10:17
  2. Read the Word - Col. 4:16, 1 Tim. 4:13, Rev. 1:3
  3. Study the Word - Ezra 7:10, Acts 17:11, 2 Tim. 2:15
  4. Memorize the Word - Psalm 119:9-11, Prov. 22:17-21
  5. Meditate on the Word - Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:1-3
  6. Apply the Word - James 1:22, John 10:27; 13:17
Desiring to get a grip on all Scripture,

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Healthy Living and Granola!


Chewy Granola Bars

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

We love granola! We love to eat granola plain and also with milk (like cereal). We also love to eat granola as a granola bar. The two granola bars above look very similar, but have a very different taste. It is great to make up a big batch of these and use them for breakfast and snacks through the week. From what I have read, oats may be tough on the digestive systems of some people. So, it may be trial and error for you and your little ones. After eating a granola bar or two, how does your stomach feel. Crampy? Then , you may want to back off and only use this as an "every now and then" snack. So far, no complaining around here and I love to have these on hand for those moments you just want a little something to get you through until the next meal and this is a great healthy alternative.

Keith is a big Reese's peanut butter cup fan and the peanut butter granola bar has worked beautifully as an alternative. I keep them in the fridge and he will grab one as a snack before bed.  We do have one child, Stephen, who is allergic to peanuts. I have used almond butter or sunbutter as a substitute for the peanut butter for him.

The ingredients in all three of these include coconut oil and raw honey. I love these ingredients because they are so good for you. There is only a low heat used on these (only in the bar recipes) to get them in liquid form, so the nutrients are pretty much still in their very raw form when you eat the bar. Coconut oil may sound weird to you, but it really doesn't affect the flavor too much. A good friend of mine who detests coconut tried one and could taste a hint of coconut, but said she really liked them. She went home to make some that night.  I hope to post about the health benefits of coconut oil another time. You could use butter or half butter and half coconut oil. Also, honey is a wonderful substitute for white sugar and I use it in the most raw and pure state that I can find it. It would be best to use local honey. I love to use ingredients that I read about in the Bible. Honey is one of those. The almonds, walnuts, and flax seed are also very nutritious. And you know you could leave off the chocolate, but somehow it just wouldn't be as appetizing??? Use a good quality dark chocolate and you put yourself right back in the healthy category. I hope you will try them out for your family and let me know what you think.

Also, I am not an "original" creator of anything that I cook. Mostly a copycat. I usually end up tweaking most of what we try so that it will be something most of us like. Which may make it my own. Sort of. These recipes apply.

I won't list everything as organic, but we do try to use as many organic ingredients as possible.


1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of  sea salt
4 cups rolled oats (I like to use quick oats)
1/2 cup or so of finely chopped almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc..
Chocolate chips (mini works best), raisins, cranberries, coconut flakes,etc..

Melt butter and honey. Add vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Add nuts. Pour over oats. Bake at 375 degree for 10 minutes. Give it a good stir and cook for another 10 minutes. Let it cool for a few minutes and this is when I add the chocolate chips so it doesn't become one gooey chocolate mess. Give a very gentle stir and let cool completely or put it back into the oven (make sure it has been turned off).  Let the granola sit in the oven for 15 minutes or so to ensure a good crunchiness.

I bake mine in a stainless steel shallow rectangular pan. I will continually go back and gently lift the granola off the pan while it is cooling to make sure it doesn't stick. Just something I have learned over the years of making this great stuff.

Store in an airtight container.

Chewy Granola Bars

4 cups oats
1 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal (unsweetened)
1 cup crushed nuts
1/2 cup of raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, etc...
1 cup of sucanat
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil
4 tsp. vanilla

Chocolate topping:
1/2 cup semi-sweet choc. chips
1 tsp. coconut oil

Spread oats on baking sheet and toast in a 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Stir every few minutes. Pour oats, nuts, cereal into a big bowl. Add the melted oil, honey, sucanat, and vanilla. Pour onto parchment paper lined sheet ( I use the same one that I roasted the oats in). Press mixture down firmly and after melting the chocolate and coconut oil on stove top, gently spread it on top. Refrigerate until solid and cut into squares. You can wrap these in saran wrap and store in airtight container in the pantry or refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars

2/3 cup honey
1/2 coconut oil
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups oats
1 cup dried fruit, mini choc. chips, sesame seeds, coconut flakes, etc...

In medium saucepan melt the coconut oil on very low heat. Take off burner and add the honey and peanut butter. Mix well. Add oats and mix well. You can proceed to add fruit, seeds, or coconut, but I would wait until it was completely room temperature before adding chocolate chips to keep them from melting.

Pour the mixture into a parchment paper lined dish. Press it down firmly. Refrigerate until solid and cut into squares.

I melt about 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips on stove top and spread it gently over the top instead of adding mini chocolate chips to the mixture. It gives it sort of a "candy bar" look and taste that we all like.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's A New Year!

Happy Birthday to a New Year!!!!!!!

This was the pretty little cake that we ate as we celebrated the MANY birthdays that fell in December, January, and February for the Boggs side of the family this past weekend. Do you see the little indentions on the lower left corner of the cake? This were not intentional by the creator of this yummy cake. This was the product of an impatient two year old that belonged to one of those Boggs men. Keith Boggs, I think.....

We always go from a Christmas feast where we open presents afterwards to a birthday celebration with cake and ice cream as our dessert.

We  get to see Keith's dad and siblings about 2-3 times a year, so all of us being together is extra special. There are 14 grandchildren and one on the way. Keith has two brothers (one of those a twin) and a sister. His mother passed away when he was 19 years old and now his dad has a wonderful wife who loves all of the grandchildren as if they were her own.

There is a strong bond with his family and a very sweet spirit when we get together. Praise the Lord, everyone is a believer in Christ and all are actively involved in church. What honor the Lord must receive when we can all celebrate special times together with Him always at the center of it.
All of us being together those days made me really reflect on the last 10 years or so. I thought of  one of the grandchildren , who was the only grandson for a long while, has grown from being a little toddler to a young man. One granddaughter was missing because she was in another state with her new husband. Another granddaughter, still living with mom and dad, was no longer the little flower girl in our wedding, but a beautiful young woman I was made very aware that in just a few short years I will be saying this about our oldest children. Wow......

So, a New Year's Resolution has been birthed. I will purposely connect in a deeper way with my children and husband this year. I am not sure what all this entails, but I do know that I will listen more, love better, speak kinder, laugh longer, and sing louder. We will dance and draw and paint and create and cook and run and play. We will work together to accomplish small tasks that will lead to bigger tasks and celebrate in the victory together. We may find ourselves crying together, hurting together, grieving together. We will read together, pray together, memorize together, search together, and find together. Most of all, I want our lives to worship together. Worship our Creator and the One who made all of these things possible. 

Here are some pictures of those special loved ones who got me to thinkin'.....

Keith's brother, Larry
Leah and Maleah

Joshua and Blake

Joshua and Kenneth's daughter, Alicia

Gene's wife, MarthaAnn

Wanda (Keith's sister) and Rhonda (Larry's wife)

Steve (Wanda's husband) and Maleah

Steve (Wanda's husband) and Meghan

Anna, Madison, Leah, Maleah, Morgan, and Mallory

Christine and Kenneth (the newlyweds) and Gene (Keith's dad)

Keith and the children singing and awaiting cake and ice cream!