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Braided Sabbath Bread


  • 2 ½ TBLS dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 4 tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten (reserve a small amount for brushing)
  • 7 ½ cups white flour
  • optional:  sesame or poppy seeds

3-braided loaf

6-braided round Challah {usually made for special occasions / Rosh Hashanah}


In a large bowl combine warm water, yeast, and sugar.  Once yeast is active (bubbly), add in oil & salt.  Blend in the eggs (reserving 1 TBLS for brushing).  Add 3 cups of flour and mix well to avoid lumps.  Let rest for about 5 minutes.  Gradually add the rest of the flour (4 ½ cups).  On a floured surface, use your hands and knead the dough for about 10 minutes.  Put into an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled.  Braid into 2 loaves and place on greased cookie sheets.  Let rise again.  Brush with the reserved egg mixture.  Top with optional sesame or poppy seeds.  Preheat oven to 350°F and bake for 30-40 minutes.

I've really, really missed bread baking.  Between my health, moving around, and the summer heat, much of my bread baking was sadly put aside.   This week I felt like I met up with an old friend in the kitchen.  I made 3 loaves.  Two traditional oval shaped loaves and one round loaf usually reserved for the Holy Days or special occasions.  I took the round loaf to my daughter's Bridal Shower.

The warmth of the yeast, as I kneaded the bread, was slowing and needed.  I was having a hard day when I started to pull the recipe together.  The rhythm of kneading, and the whispered prayers, brought a quiet over my heart.    . . . so grateful for the change of heart.

Part of my personal slowing plan is to start baking beautiful breads on Friday morning to set the tone as I enter into Sabbath rest.   It's a time to slow and pray.  It's a time to give thanks.  It's a time of reflection.


52 lists {11} - Your essentials

List #11 - List Your Essentials

Besides the obvious essential needs {food, shelter, clothing & a means to pay for essentials} ... this list goes a little stretch more and shares what each of us consider really needed in our lives.  There are so many ways this could be broadened - so I'm going to topically try to share what I would call essential in my life to the point that if I had to extremely minimalize that I would want to have every day.

  • my worn Bible - the one I've read through several times that is falling apart.  It speaks to me in the trials of life and offers great comfort and promise.
  • running water
  • electricity
  • love & grace and my loved ones around me
  • laptop, cell phone & internet connection - to stay connected, pay that electrical bill, & be able to manage banking & capture memories.
  • a bed, blankets & pillows
  • car
  • books
  • my faith to keep me compassionate, empathetic, and hopeful
  • pen/paper
  • toiletries
  • shoes
  • washer & dryer
  • a few essential oils for health purposes
  • glasses to see

This list is so deeply humbling, because I could list more and more.  I know for me, I have far too much cluttering my life.  Things that I like to have, but it's just that -- cluttering.  I am daily, going through "things" in my home to rid my life of the excess that I thought was needed for either pleasure, decoration, useful, "just in case" and so forth.

19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.    ~Matthew 6:19-21 

... this list is something I am praying about and working on in my life. 

CHALLENGE:  Take a deeper look on "things" around you.  Ask yourself if they are truly essential or could you do without. 

I hope that you will join me!
  • Write your list (must be family friendly)
  • Grab the graphic
  • Publish your post and copy the direct link
  • Come back here and link up each week on Monday!
  • Please try to visit other 52 list friends and encourage one another.

 Next week's topic: list the things that feel like home

USA Passport Activity Booklet {FREE Printable}

Back by request, is a printable I made to enhance a study of the 50 States.  

Our learning adventure has had us learning about the roots of America and we plan to continue on traveling through the United States.  We've been having a lot of fun and I'm excited to share a cute little USA Passport Activity Booklet (FREEBIE) that will keep us packing our bags (in pretend play) and touring through each of the 50 states.

My daughter has had a lot fun! Very simple activities -- coloring in the state name and writing the state abbreviation.   Each state page has a map of the state and some cute little facts pertinent to that state. There is a place to date stamp a record of your learning, too!   I printed the pages, cut them out and had them comb-bound.

We are using this to add a very simple state study to our learning time with Beyond Little Hearts for His Glory (Unit 8 is a great starting point - doing 2 states per week).

 {NOTE:  This is a large file.}

Little Bits About Me - March

  1. Eyelash Curler - Not usually.  I'm just not fond of messing with my eyes too much.
  2. Favorite Nail Shade - It's called Wood Lake - a gel and regular polish.  We have an LED gel lamp that cures the nail polish to do our own gel nails. I love this color and that I get to match my toenails, but I generally only have my toes done and only paint my finger nails for special occasions. 
  3. Favorite Lipstick Shade - Trendy Mauve by Lancome.
  4. Blow Dry or Air Hair - Both depending on my mood and plans for the day.  In the winter, I usually choose to blow dry because it's too cold!
  5. Artificial Nails - Not really, but I will for a special moment - like a daughter's wedding.
  6. Foundations - When I wear make-up, yes, but 6 out of 7 days, I enjoy no make-up.
  7. Hair up or Hair down - Both!  If I am working around the house or cooking - it's up, but if I am going out somewhere, I'll have it down.  I always keep a clip with me to pull it up if I get hot, too!
  8. Bar soap or Body wash - Both!  I primarily use Dr. Woods Raw Black Soap in liquid form, but I do like goats milk based oatmeal soap bars.
  9. Bath or Shower - Shower!  Even though we have a jacuzzi tub, it doesn't feel deep enough and I get too cold.  I'd rather take a really quick hot shower and relax after with a warm blanket.
  10. Favorite Body Lotion - I haven't really found a favorite, even though I buy lots of it.  I keep looking for a natural lotion that smells nice but doesn't leave me greasy - and doesn't cost a fortune. -- any suggestions??  I received a gift of Bath & Body Works aromatherapy lotion and really love the feel and smell, but I'm not sure how I feel about the ingredients.
  11. Perfume - If essential oils counts as perfume, then yes!  I like Stress Away by Young Living.
  12. Shave legs every day - Every other day!  I use a 5 blade razor my husband introduced to me and I use his sensitive skin shaving cream, too! 
  13. Favorite lip balm - Lypsyl - it's a necessity for my continual chapped lips.  It's so dry up on the mountain, so I carry one around in my pocket!
  14. How old was I when I first started wearing make-up? - I'm thinking I was around 13 years old when my mama let me wear lip gloss and pressed powder, but was 16 when she expanded the rules.  House rule was that we were to look natural and not made-up or it was no make-up.  I've pretty much carried the rule into our house now with raising 5 girls, and I'm really happy that in our little mountain town that my girls are comfortable without wearing much make-up.  Often times, we are all without make-up.

*Linking up with:  TBB Asks
I always try to return visits.  If your site has Disqus or Google+, I may not be able to leave a comment because I'm not a "registered member".  If you allow guest comments, then I'll happily let you know that I've been by your welcome mat.

52 lists {10} - ways you can cleanse for spring

List #10 - List the ways you can cleanse for Spring

I'm not really ready for Spring and yet it is rapidly approaching!  I'm seriously dreading the time change happening in a week -- ACK!  I love my winter hours and overall slower pace.  Because of this, I've decided that I wanted to change some things up and try something a little different - specifically in areas that take up so much of our time - like school.  Usually come February, things are feeling a bit draining and "cleaning up" makes it feel a little brighter!

{target date to complete by in brackets}

Homeschooling: {goal to complete all by mid-April}
  • Each late Winter or early Spring, we will be cleaning up our "program guide" part of school and moving into something new - leaving only Math & Language Arts the same until we change in the next school year. ✓
  • Organize school supplies/books in school room
  • Order books ✓- only need math for 1 child
  • Sell books
Home-Sweet-Home: (needs interior {by Fall} & exterior paint {unsure})
  • Girls bedroom - needs new carpet {by Summer}
  • Kitchen - clean out cupboards and donate dishes/bowls and such not being used {3/31}
  • Dining room - clean learning corner ✓ and China hutch {3/31}
  • Family Room - go through movie cabinet & purge {4/15}
  • Piano/Library area - get rid of some furniture to open up the room {4/30}
  • Write our favorite Bible verses on the new posts of porch before we paint {3/10}
  • Master bedroom - thrift clothing from dressers and closet {3/31}
  • Change out batteries in smoke alarms & carbon monoxide detectors {3/25}
  • Exterior/Property - need to work on list with husband {unknown - need better weather}
  • Hall Closets - purge out coats that are too small & organize blankets, sheets, etc. {5/15}
  • Burn papers/purge files {ongoing each day we have a wood burning fire}
  • Back-up posts and template ✓
  • Move recipes & FREE printables to this blog
My Favorite Cleaning Products:
  • Thieves Household Cleaner
  • Mrs. Meyers Spray (Radish scented- yes!)
  • Hard Water cleansers - BonAmi & The Works - I despise that I HAVE to use these harsh chemicals, but they are the only thing that is keeping us from replacing toilets & faucets.
  • All-Free & Clear Laundry
  • Seventh Generation Dryer Sheets & Wool Dryer Balls
  • Kirkland Environmentally Responsible Dish Soap - seems good with our septic
  • Grove Collaborative Glass Cleaner Concentrate

CHALLENGE:  Complete 1 task during the first week of Spring!

I hope that you will join me!
  • Write your list (must be family friendly)
  • Grab the graphic
  • Publish your post and copy the direct link
  • Come back here and link up each week on Monday!
  • Please try to visit other 52 list friends and encourage one another.

Next week's topic: list your essentials
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