Save the Date! Save the Month!






Stay tuned, everyone!

The month of SEPTEMBER will be the BEST, yet! 

It's my BIRTHDAY month!

AAANNNDDDD...

Helen's Corner is turning ONE!!!!

Stay tuned!
You will NOT want to miss what I have in store for you this coming month!!

It all starts TOMORROW!!!

Apples!






About a week ago, my husband came home with a bag full of apples!  He was mowing someone's lawn who happened to have an apple tree FILLED with ripened apples!  Wow, what a gift, right?  Well... not what I thought initially.  I thought to myself, "Great, he picked the apples and now is expecting his lovely wife to do something with them... apple pie, apple bread, apple crisp, apple torte..." 

Well, my favorte apple-ish thing has always been apple butter.  I never knew why it was called "butter", but I knew if I had some at home, I would put it on anything and everything!  Right??  Anyway, so, after giving some of the apples to Joshua (he's learning to eat fresh apples... well, he walks around with them taking little bits and pieces of it... so cute!)...


video

... I decided to try an Apple Butter recipe I found on a Crafts 'n things magazine
(courtsey of Allrecipes.com)

All Day Apple Butter
(I made 1/2 the recipe)

Ingredients:

  • Apples (peeled, cored, finely chopped), 5 1/2 lbs.

  • Granulated sugar, 4 c.

  • Ground cinammon, 2 tsp.

  • Ground cloves, 1/4 tsp.

  • Salt, 1/4 tsp.
Instructions:





Place apples in slow cooker. 
In a medium bowl, mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt. 
Pour mixture over apples and mix well. 



 Cover and cook on high 1 hour. 



Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally until mixture is thickened and dark brown. 


Uncover and continue cooking on low 1 hour. 
Stir with a whisk, if desired, to increase smoothness. 

Spoon mixture into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate or freeze. 




Yield 4 pints.
(or 2 pints if making 1/2 recipe like me)

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 Then it was time to enjoy it! 
I chose to enjoy it on a yummy piece of Zucchini Bread
(a recipe from my dear friend Christine's cookbook.  Christine, YOU ROCK!).



Try it!  It's sweet... it's crispy apple-ish sour...  delish!

Tractor Weekend...




What is it with boys and their tractors??

 

Joshua's favorite toy is his tractor... 


 Joel's favorite "toys" are his tractors...

Well, this past weekend Joel took us to Indiana for a Steam Show. 



Have you ever been to car shows, antique shows, antique car shows, expos, etc?  Well... this was a "playground" for tractor lovers like my husband.  And he did not go into the show empty-handed... oh no... that wouldn't be my husband, would it?  He had a chance to show off a few of his babies (besides our precious Joshua, of course!).  Check them out!











But playing with tractors wasn't the only thing we got to do.  Joshua had a chance to play with cousin Maddie a bit.  They do try to play together.  Joshua chases Maddie...



Aren't they so cute??



...then Maddie chases him back!


But after a beautiful and sunny day... the rain came... and cooled us all down!



On our way back, we stopped by "Big Boy"...  (don't ask me why...) my first time. 
Joshua really liked the "Big Boy" outside. :)



The boys had fun! 
And for a mother/wife like me, sometimes that's what counts

What about you?  What did YOU do this past weekend??

Working Wednesday




Some of you have asked me "So... what is it that you DO when you go to work?" 

I have posted on a few different forums that I was "getting ready for work" or "have to work tonight", or "work was busy today".  I realized that not everyone actually knows what I used to do before I had my son Joshua. 

I have the privilege to work as an Adolescent Chemical Dependency Counselor, at a non-profit community health agency.  My primary job is to offer substance abuse treatment to youth who are referred by the juvenile courts, schools, mental health agencies, and other community social service agencies.  Right now, 100% of my clients are adolescent males, between the ages of 15 and 20.  I absolutely LOVE what I do!

I had been working full-time for 2 years at this agency, when I left for my maternity leave.  After Joshua was born I didn't think I would return to work, BUT, the Lord allowed me to continue practicing my counseling skills at the part-time capacity and I couldn't ask for a better schedule.  So now I put in my 10 hours a week and it still gives me the joy to work with those youth, and the focus to stay at home with my son.  Did I say I absolutely LOVE what I do??

So, what's my typical day at work looks like? 
I juggle many tasks at once... phone calls, collateral contacts with parole/probation officers, case managers, counselors, and parents.  I see individual clients and lead a weekly guys' group (after-care group for males who completed the Intensive Outpatient program).  ALL OF THAT IN 10 HOURS A WEEK?  YES!!  And I LOVE it!

Who is my typical client? 
Adolescent male who just left the juvenile detention or prison, alcoholic or addicted to marijuana.  Some are fathers.  Most are fatherless.  Some are violent, some are fearless.  Gang affiliated.  Intelligent but uneducated.  Polite and respectful to me, but unafraid to assault community authorities.  Victims of trauma, losses, and/or abuse.  And MOST OF ALL... LOVED by GOD!

I absolutely LOVE what I do because it keeps me humbled and dependent on my Creator God.  He has gifted me and blessed me with an unconditional love for these kids, and I can't thank HIM enough for allowing me to be a part of what He's doing in this world through people like you and me.  Although I am unable to blatantly share about my faith at this agency, I am able to share about the source of my HOPE for them... And if they bring up their own faith in Christ, I GO WITH IT! 

So... there... that's what I do on my working days.  I'm not sure how long the Lord will allow me to continue "serving" there, but as long as He wills it, I'll do it dilligently, passionately, and unconditionally. 

Now I need to get ready for work! 

Helen G., MA, LCDC-III

Purples... Lavender... Deep Blues... Browns...




A quick preview of what's coming to
Helen's Corner on Etsy...

These are just a few of the things I've been working on this past week. 

 I haven't listed all of them on my shop, yet, but I promise... they'll be added soon.

Can you tell I've been on a Purple - Deep Blue - Lavender kick??? 
They might be seen as Winter colors, but I think they'll be HOT for this coming FALL!




No Regrets




For the past 8 weeks, a group of mothers from my church met together on Tuesday mornings for a book discussion.  It wasn't your normal ladies' Bible study.  It was purely a time for us-mothers to talk about what we were reading.  I guess you can call it a book study. 



We went over the principles discussed in the book "The Power of a Positive Mom" by Karol Ladd.  It's been a joy to be able to spend some time with other moms, as well as be able to connect, meet, and share ideas with some moms I wouldn't have had the opportunity to interact before.  The Lord orchestrated these gatherings so perfectly, and I praise Him for showing Himself real to me through these last few weeks.

I could share many many MANY good things about this book (which, by the way... I confess I wouldn't have "normally" picked up myself... but I'm so glad I did).  However, I am simply going to share the somewhat summary included on its last chapter. 

Whatever your circumstances, you can continue onward and upward by applying these seven power-packed principles of a positive mom:
1.  Seize every opportunity to give encouragement.
2.  Stay in prayer.
3.  Stop whining and keep a positive attitude.
4.  Strengthen your relationships with family, friends, and mentors.
5.  Set a good example.
6.  Seek God's standards in life.
7.  Send a message of love and forgiveness.

I think I might go back and re-read some of the chapters... it was well worth the time on Tuesday mornings. 

I am also very excited that we will start reading "The Power of a Positive Woman" by Karol Ladd this coming Fall.  I already started reading (yes, I'm "cheating") and I already like it a lot.  Stay tuned!!!



Yummyness




Hi guys!

It's time for another Random Facts edition of Helen's Corner!  I remember compiling my 50 Random Facts post and having a fun time coming up with each item.  So, this time, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the favorite YUMMYNESS in my world...



In no particular order...

1.  Dark chocolate

2.  Fresh flowers

3.  Warm bread

4.  Flowy skirts

5.  Pretty fabric

6.  Clean laundry

7.  My baby’s laughter

8.  Warm apple pie (a la mode)

9.  Raindrops on a hot Summer day

10.  Wearing new underwear (oops… did I just type that?)


What's on YOUR list??