Sunday, January 29, 2012

Month End Favorites


With the month quickly drawing to a close I've found myself to be embarrassingly quiet on this blog of mine. I could list lots of reasons - couldn't we all. 

Instead I am devoting this post to a small collection of things I like, love or simply found to enhance this January. 

I hope you find a thing or two that you might enjoy as well.



IN THE KITCHEN:

My relationship with kale has taken a turn for the better thanks to Heidi and this recipe. My only suggestions would be to go light on the red pepper flakes if you plan on wooing your children with this one.

I've had Chia Seeds in my pantry for a few months now and would occasionally scoop some in our smoothies. My college roommate has since educated me on the countless ways to include them in my daily diet. 

They're now the centerpiece of my lunch wrap (whole wheat olive oil wrap, grated carrots, spinach, lettuce, goat cheese, a tablespoon or two of Chia seeds and Goddess dressing). Hailey is thrilled to eat polka dotted yogurt (yogurt with Chia seeds) and Hannah is game to eat these little wonders however they are served.

Baked Oatmeal
I was given a recipe for this last year. I wasn't sure how I felt about it (and so stuck it in my recipe book and never tried it) until this month. I now know how I feel (basically I'm in love). Zero mush. Incredibly filling and sustaining. Can't say enough really.

I've since tweaked the original a bit. I'm including my latest version here. Typically I make a batch on Sunday night. This lasts the ladies of the house four days. I serve it warm with a touch of Earth Balance and toasted almonds on top. 

1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup raw honey
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups of oats
2 teaspoons of aluminum-free baking powder
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of flax meal
1 cup of rice milk

Essentially you mix all of this together and put it in a oiled (coconut) baking dish. It works great to make it on Sunday evening and stick it in the fridge. Come Monday morning, bake it at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. 



ON THE SCREEN:

Phil and I love documentaries. This one was no exception. So worth the 84 minutes for all sorts of reasons.


We've also found ourselves captured by Downton Abbey. Our British friend turned us on to this Masterpiece Classic series last year. If you haven't yet tuned in, I'd encourage you to start at the beginning - you can watch them online for free or get them through Netflix. 


Truly, this is the best television has to offer (which I know isn't necessarily saying much). Quite possibly my favorite show ever.




IN THE MEDICINE CABINET:


I'm sure I don't have to tell you that kid sicknesses are in the air and on the shopping carts and just about everywhere else for that matter. In recent years we came upon this product and have had great success in using it. 

It holds both preventive qualities as well as immune boosting attributes that seem to lessen the severity when symptoms do set in. 

While I wouldn't go as far as saying it tastes great, I've found it to be a welcome addition when those viruses and colds hit.


Several years ago we stopped getting flu shots. Instead, we place our winter order for loads of this juice and drink it each day. Again, it boasts preventative qualities and in studies has proven to be an effective remedy when fighting the flu. 

We drink it daily in our house - simply mixing a tablespoon into regular or sparkling water at lunchtime.

ON THE BOOKSHELF:

This past month I read this book. 

In it, Canadian doctors Neufeld and Mate build a strong case for the need to form strong and lasting attachment with our children throughout their young lives. Why? In order that they go on to mature effectively and ultimately find themselves capable of forming their own healthy attachments as adults.

As a homeschooling mother I find myself in precarious territory advocating such a read. Nonetheless, I found this book to be compelling regardless of how we choose to educate our children. 

At times I felt like I was reading a textbook. As with any resource there were moments in which I respectfully disagreed with the direction they headed.

In the end, their research and conclusions challenged my perspective, answered questions I had pondered for years and confirmed decisions we've made in our own household.    


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Monday, January 16, 2012

The Paradox of Joy


I had the opportunity to write a post at Joy in the Small Things today. The author of this blog is an inspiration to me. She's one of those quietly amazing types of human beings. I'm honored to know her and even more honored that she asked me to share my take on joy in her corner of the virtual world.  

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Monday, January 2, 2012

Half Way Through Eight


I wrote a few weeks back about the halfs


My big girl just turned the corner of eight on New Year's Day. It is less dramatic than the infamous 3 1/2. Still, her fingers are wiggling and curling in all sorts of strange ways, she had fifths on dinner tonight, she is standing on her head more often that usual and tears seem to rest closer to the surface these days.




If I'm entirely honest, I've been ruminating on things other than my big girl's half. I fully embrace the reboot that New Year's offers and have a mental list a mile long of all that I'd like to revise and do differently in the coming year. 


Still, for the sake of documenting this sweet wiggly life before me I thought I'd try to sum Hannah up with eight short (I promise) thoughts. 




She is electric. 


Not hyper, electric. There's an energy she brings to every single situation that brightens the scene (and also zaps the introverted mother's wattage with its constancy at times).




She is maternal and nurturing. 


Hannah looks out for Hailey in big and small ways each day. She also takes great joy in rounding up any and all toddlers to be found for a spontaneous circle time. 



Hannah is an explorer with huge imagination.


Phil and I often say that this child was meant to live on a farm. I suppose that the Pacific Ocean and all its wonders will have to do. She gets lost in these spaces - they center her in incredible ways.




She is very inquisitive and looks to Phil for answers...and more problems to solve. On their Monday commute they cover topics like time zones and the outer atmosphere. Thankful they have each other.



Hannah is optimistic and incredibly loyal. She has a remarkable ability to see the best in people and in most situations (unless it involves the dentist's office). I believe she inherited the happy gene from Phil and for this I'm eternally grateful.


Happy half  HGS. You are indeed God's grace in my life.


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*One more shout out to Raya for the incredible pictures!