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Apple Butter Recipe

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I had a few facebook requests for my apple butter recipe. My mother-in-law sent it to me and she originally got it from a customer at her place of employment. So, I wouldn’t say it is a family recipe or anything…but perhaps we will adopt it as one =)

Anyway, here it is.

All you need:
10 lbs tart apples ( cored and finely chopped – leave skins on!! just scrub apples really good first)
3  3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2-3 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground clove (+)
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1/2 cup apple cider   (not apple juice, need to use cider)

What to do:

  1. Fill crock pot with apples,  add sugars and spices.  Pour cider over top and stir well.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
  3. Turn crock pot to low for 6-8 hours.
  4. Puree in blender and return to crock pot.
  5. Turn back to high and cook 1 hour uncovered.
  6. Pour into warm jars ( taken from boiling water to make sure lids and seals and jars all disinfected).  Put seals on top and put lids on tight.  Place jar upside down  on a towel until jars are completely cooled.  ( usually overnight) Tip from Mom-In-Law: We use a ladle and a large mouth funnel to put the apple butter into the jars without making a mess!

This recipe makes approx 7  12 oz jars

Picture Tutorial of our Kozma Apple Butter Day:

NOTE: Matt and I halved the recipe. We used about 12 medium-large sized apples but we pretty much just filled our 5 QT crock pot with just enough room for the lid. So I don’t really know if we used 5 lbs of apples or not. We got 4 jars out of it and it is oh so yummy!

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Nursing Mom’s Guide to River Ridge Mall

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When 90 degree plus weather is upon us, it is sometimes fun to go shopping in the air conditioning with the kids.  For new nursing moms, like myself, it may feel a little awkward finding a nice private place to feed your wee one. I often nurse in the car when it isn’t so hot outside, but I decided to make it my goal to find great little spots to nurse indoors. I went to River Ridge Mall yesterday to check out their facilities and here are my findings/recommendations thus far:

  1. Family Restroom
    This is located in the food court. It looked clean, quiet and had lot’s of room for “stuff” you may be hauling around. It was a little stuffy back there but I’m not sure if it’s always like that.

    Nursing Mom's Room in River Ridge mall
    Nursing Room River Ridge Mall

  2. Macy’s Restroom
    This is located on the second floor and elevator accessible. It has a nice changing/rest area before you enter the main sink/restroom area. It is very quiet and comfy. The door does open to the chairs, so it is not as private as you might like, but it is by far the cleanest restroom in the mall for changing your baby and the only one that is nursing friendly.Macy's Rest Room and Chaning Area
  3. Dressing Rooms:
    These are pretty much anywhere you shop and usually have benches or chairs. Try on some clothes and then nurse your baby! =) When shopping during the day, dressing rooms are usually quiet and not crowded. In this case, I try to get the handicap dressing room. It is usually equipped with a bench and very large area for things like baby’s stroller or other kids. Non-handicapped dressing rooms are usually pretty big in most stores as well. Dressing rooms are private and you can quickly get back to shopping.
    Cautions:

    • Watch out for pins from clothing that may hurt baby or children.
    • Be mindful of other people waiting to try on clothes.

    Dressing Room

There is always the option of finding a bench or chair somewhere in the main walkways, but I like being a little bit more secluded. Well, that’s all I have for now. Feel free to leave other creative nursing ideas in the comments below.

Oh Yeah…I Have a Blog

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What a back burner this blog ended up on.  It’s funny that my last post was on January 9th. The next morning I went into labor and then no posts for 3 months. I guess a positive outlook in my case would be: Blog Fail = Baby Success. However, I applaud new moms who kept their blog presence active after their wee ones arrived. I feel I have missed out on sharing baby moments and mommy thoughts that I will soon forget. My goal is to blog randomly about some of those first new mom experiences and keep up with life from now on. Side note: I don’t have photoshop at the moment, so the graphic area of this blog will suffer a bit.  The End…for now.

New Camera

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Matt’s been spoiling me lately. He got me a sewing machine for Christmas and then he totally surprised me with a 14  mega pixel Canon Powershot for our anniversary. I’d been telling him I wanted to invest in a little point and shoot that could take HD video as well. Being so far from family, I really wanted to be able to capture small vids of the little Kozma when she comes. I love my SLR, but it is only 8 mega pixels and doesn’t have video capabilities. It would be nice to upgrade that, but it is a little too costly. Also, it is bulky to take everywhere all the time. With all the baby stuff I will be hauling around, something like the Powershot is just perfect. Anyway, here’s a tour of Addyson’s room and a howdy to our friends and family! Love you guys.

A Chestnut Shower & The Greatest Gift of All

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Sunday, the ladies at Chestnut Hill Baptist Church threw us a baby shower! Yay! It was a lot of fun & they did a wonderful job. Addyson is so spoiled. Again, we are overwhelmed by God’s goodness and desire to shower us with blessings. I just can’t describe what an amazing church family that we have surrounding us here in VA. They are our family away from family & I don’t know how we can ever show our appreciation to them.

I will post a few photos here, but the majority of them can be found on my facebook album. Carla Barth served as the photographer for the shower and I took a few at home of all the presents. The WMU women were the brains behind the shower and if any of you are reading this…THANK YOU SO MUCH!

The Cake

A beautiful cake that matches my baby bedding!

Cutting the Cake

Betsy made baby Addyson a hand stitched quilt.

Betsy made baby Addyson a hand stitched quilt.

Present Pile

Present Pile

More Presents

More Presents came a little later. Aunt Kelly sent some of these for Christmas too. :)

Baby Stats: I am 36 weeks pregnant now and the doctor says, “Stay off your feet and don’t over do it for at least a week.” Otherwise, I might have a baby at Christmas too! LOL. Seriously though, signs that I won’t discuss here say she is a little anxious to get out ;) but I would rather have her cook for a little while longer. Babies do what they want! I think I might pack that hospital though.

Well, it’s Christmas Eve and I can’t help compare my own preparation for my child with that of Jesus’ birth. When it comes to possessions and favorable circumstances, it appears Addyson has so much and Jesus had so little. I can’t imagine not having technology in the hospital, things to care for baby, family/friends to support us, and a little nursery waiting for her arrival. All that is so comforting. However, I bet Mary and Joseph were so much more dependent on God for their little baby’s safe arrival. I’m not allowed to travel too far from the hospital, but Mary and Joesph had baby Jesus on the road. It seems they had nothing: no doctor, no real home with a cozy crib waiting for baby…. I could go on listing more things that it seems they are lacking. However, they were aware of the only thing they really needed: God. I know God is with us too and that He is all we need to bring this little baby into to world. However, I think if I didn’t have all this “stuff” prepared for Addyson, I would go crazy with worry and anxiety. It’s convicting and at the same time an eye-opener. It’s crazy to think about how much we rely on possessions and favorable circumstances to comfort us. Why has he provided so much more than what we need? I just pray that I can rely on Him only and praise Him for all those extra blessings. As I prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior, I will dwell on these things.

Thanks again to all our friends Chestnut Hill Baptist Church for a wonderful shower of gifts, thanks to Aunt Kelly and Uncle Tim for the Christmas presents, and thanks to God for the greatest gift of all: JESUS!

December Date Nights

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I love the cold weather and Christmas season. It’s so fun to bundle up and enjoy the crisp winter air. I feel like I can just breath in the festivities and excitement that comes with the celebration of Christ’s birth. Matt and I have been taking advantage of what I like to call “December date nights”. Sometimes we go out on the town and other times we stay in and watch a Christmas classic. Matt has a pretty sweet Netfix line up  coming to our mailbox every week.

Tonight we went to a Christmas dinner hosted by one of the Sunday school classes at our church. The food was very yummy! Highlight for me was being able to a little 3 month old baby named Madaline for a while. Hehe! She was so cute! I should have taken my camera with us. I did make Matt take some pics of me when we got home because I wore a dress and coat that my mom bought for me online.

She sent me a few sweaters, two long sleeve T’s and a coat from Motherhood Maternity. They are all super cute and fit perfectly! I only have six weeks or so left of being pregnant, but if feels so nice to have new clothes that fit. Emotions are pretty high for me at the moment and a silly thing like feeling good about what I’m wearing really helps. :) Anyway. We had a nice evening.

The weekend before that was an even bigger date night. We actually stayed away from home. Our friends Brad and Lyndsey gave us a gift certificate to stay at the Craddock Terry hotel in downtown Lynchburg. We went to dinner at Robin Alexander and then went to Liberty University’s production of “A Christmas Carol”.  Then it was back to the huge room at the hotel. It was so nice to sleep in a king sized bed. LOL. I’m taking up a lot of room these days. Our little full sized bed barely holds me :) Poor Matt.

Here is a short picture blog of our evening. There are a few more on facebook.

You leave this shoebox outside of your door at night with your breakfast selection. They leave breadfast outside of your room at 7 a.m. Nom! That is awesome!

For us Kozmas, December is jam packed with date nights, weekly church activities, a hospital tour, a baby shower, & Christmas prep.  I know Christmas will be here in a blink of an eye. It is pretty neat to celebrate the season of the birth of our savior while really large with child myself. Perhaps I will expound on that thought in my next blog. For now, I will leave you with this pic.

Our Little Thanksgiving

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Well, Matt and I  had a great Thanksgiving day and are enjoying spending some good quality time together. We didn’t really do much but laze around the house, cook and eat food (nom!), but it was very enjoyable.

We got up, had a lite breakfast, listened to Christmas music, and I made an apple pie.

Apple Pie

Turns out Matt’s mom and dad did the exact same thing. LOL. I was just about to call them when I put the pie in the oven and Lisa called me. It was ironic. :)

Later, Matt watched the Patriots vs. Lions game…

Matt watching football

while I cooked the food! I totally forgot the stuffing but we were still stuffed.

Thanksgiving Meal

Then we ate the pie!

Apple pie

32 weeks pregnant

Me looking like the Turkey at 32 weeks :)

In between/after the baking and eating, we were able to call most of our family to say happy Thanksgiving! We even video chatted with Matt’s family. It was fun times!

There are soooo many things our little Kozma family is thankful for this year. I covered a lot of that in my last post, but Matt and I talked about many during the course of the day. We took a night drive around town and just talked about all the things God is doing in our lives and has provided for us. I’ll list a few:

  • Matt’s Job
  • Our church family who has loved us and supported us so much over the last year!  They were there for us during a really rough time and we will never forget that.
  • My job
  • Our wee Kozma on the way
  • God providing for all of our needs
  • Amazing friend and family

Praise God from whom all these blessing come!

Well, that brings us to today – Black Friday. We did venture out to Target – just for fun. I know, you’re probably thinking, “WHAT!” Fun shopping on Black Friday???”. I know, we’re crazy. Matt was a little stressed, but we did find some fun things for Mr. T (our nephew). He can’t read yet, so it won’t ruin the surprise. :)

After Target, we went to Kroger were Matt had spotted a tiny tree he planned to get us. We don’t have much room in our place this year since we are getting ready for Addy’s arrival. We had to move the desk out into the living room/dining room area and that is were we normally put the tree. So, Matt had the genius idea to buy a small real tree that could sit up on our little entry table. Yay!

Our Tree

After decorating the house, I wrapped presents and then we went out to Starbucks for a reading party. We then traveled back to the Kozma place to watch Christmas in Connecticut. I think it might be one of my favorite movies.

Now Matt is fast asleep on the couch and I am up hungry with heartburn(as usual). Tee Hee! I think I will go eat some cereal. I’m out for now! Thanks for enduring my ramblings.

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