Saturday Song: God Incarnate, Jesus Came

I’ve been thinking more lately about the Trinity – especially the incarnation. Tonight I read Exodus 24:1-11. The glory of God is described… and also that the elders of Israel ate in his presence and were not consumed. This in itself is remarkable. How remarkable is it also that God would come again, thousands of years later, as a man, to eat with, teach, and die for enemies he had every right to destroy from a distance. Including me. 

Truely he gave us peace and hope instead. 

God incarnate, Jesus came,

Sinful mankind to reclaim;

Born to save us from our sin, 

Born to give us life within.
God incarnate, Jesus died,

On the cross was crucified;

Paid the sin-debt so that we

Could be pardoned full and free.
God incarnate, Christ arose,

Conquered death and all our foes;

Banished all our fear and dread,

Gave us peace and hope instead.
-George Sweeting and John Peterson

Saturday Song: The Lord is my Salvation

Blessed be the LORD!

for he has heard the voice of my plea for mercy.

The LORD is my strength and my shield;

in him my heart trusts, and I am helped;

my heart exults,

and with my song I give thanks to him.

Psalm 28:6-7

Today’s song is one that has been in my mind and heart much over the past week. To think, as Scripture teaches and this song celebrates, God’s grace reached for me when I was beyond hope. More than that, he saved when I was underserving of hope or help. Who is like the LORD our God?


5 Ingredient Chocolate Banana Frozen Mousse

I call ths the alternative to my alternative ice cream. It’s like ice cream, but definitely more mousse- like texture. I started making this as an alternative to corn-syruppy ice cream alternative. Gluten, dairy, egg, and soy free. (But not nut free, sorry.) 

Simple ingredients, simply delicious! 

1 1/2- 2 frozen bananas (peel and freeze chopped in a ziploc)

2 Tablespoons almond milk

1 Tablespoon almond butter

1 heaping Tablespoon cocoa powder

1 teaspoon gluten-free vanilla

I softened my banana in the microwave… maybe 30 seconds. I used a 2-cup Ninja food processor to blend ingredients for about 20-30 seconds. Easy, no mess, quick, relatively healthy summertime snack. 

*I used very large organic bananas, but if regular sized, I’d recommend using 2 bananas. Adjust milk and cocoa powder to taste. Next up, I’ll try adding coffee to the mix! 

In the Beginning…

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth… And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  Genesis 1:1, 3

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

It all starts with God, who created the universe.  Being Creator, He is necessarily Ruler. Being His creations, we must obey Him.

But what happens when the creation sins? What happens when the created look to their Creator and believe that He is a liar, that His laws are unfair, and that He can be defied?

But you, you are to be feared!

Who can stand before you

when once your anger is roused?

From the heavens you uttered judgment;

the earth feared and was still Psalm 76:7-8

Death. Separation. Enmity. For “you shall surely die.”

It all starts with God, and His nature.  His justice, His mercy, His love, His vengeance, His forgiveness are all parts of His perfect incomprehensible character.

And so our Creator made a way that we, the rebellious creation, could be reconciled and forgiven.

Because our Creator made himself known. He took on created flesh without diminishing His divinity. He took on our sin and our punishment to bring us peace.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11




(Not Another) Pancake Post

Yesterday, I tweaked my recipe for dairy-gluten-egg-soy free pancakes. I’ve had trouble with egg-free pancakes.  They taste fine, but it’s hard to add nuts and fruit to them, they crumble easily, are held together by coconut oil and a prayer, and have a wet texture, even when fully cooked.  Well… yesterday’s tweaking gave me the best pancakes yet, so I wanted to add the updated recipe here. The biggest change is in the flour choice, no applesauce… and I forgot to add oil.  (Note: for my other “free” pancakes, click here and here (with eggs))


2 cups Brown Rice Flour

1 cup Bob’s Mill general purpose gluten-free flour

4 Tablespoons honey

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoons-ish salt (I use my hand, what can I say?)

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla

3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

about 3 Tablespoons reconstituted milled flax seed

2 1/2 cups almond milk

To cook, melt coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Cooked covered with a lid.  This will help them rise, and make deliciously cakey and crispy pancakes. If they are not covered, they will not rise as well.

Note: the batter is very thick, it should glop and not run. I make the pancakes about 5 inches in diameter. This recipe will make 15-18 5 inch pancakes.

Note 2: to make these nut-free, you can use coconut milk, they just won’t rise as well.



Kindness Elves

It’s hard to believe that less than three weeks remain in this semester.  Granted, I’ve been listening to Christmas music since about July. Just ask my roommate.  And the students who have wandered in my room to say hi when their bus arrives in the morning.

“Ms. Watson… you listening to Christmas music?”

Starting on Thursday, I can officially welcome the Kindness Elves to the classroom for the second year… because it will be December.

Last year, I came across the idea of Kindness Elves as I was desperately searching for positive classroom management and character education ideas for my 4th grade class. I don’t remember where I got the idea, but this website has some good ideas for Kindness Elves at home.

I found these elves on Amazon.  The kids like them — even the “big” kids. Ana and Paulie write a letter to the class about twice a week. This decision was just a realistic expectation that I couldn’t write a letter with a different idea and have time to read it with my classes every day. I hope to expand it to three times a week.  In addition to being a character lesson not ‘from Ms. Watson… again’, it was a fun way incorporate the vocabulary into our study of character traits and see how the characters in our stories displayed the traits and actions in the elves’ letters. About a week into receiving the letters, the students figured out I was the one writing them. They still wanted to practice their letter writing to the elves, though, and enjoyed the brief (but personal) responses back.  They also watched carefully to see if they could catch me putting the letter in our mailbox, which kept me on my toes!

Here are editable versions of the 7 Kindness Letters from last year. I hope they bring classroom cheer and honest discussions about the importance of a child’s kindness and character.