Archive for 2009

A little knitting goodness

I knit up this hat today! It was supposed to be for Xander but I don’t think I used heavy enough yarn and it turned out more Simon size.

That’s right, I never do a gauge check and it’s often a problem. Maybe I should learn from my laziness? hehe

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In Defense of Food

Finally finished this absolute gem of a book after five weeks of library loan (it’s tough to read with a two year old these days!).

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We had already weaned ourselves off eating out several times a week and have been cooking meals at home regularly. But this book has been just what I needed to move to the next level of healthy eating.

Maybe you’ve heard the opening line of this book, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

So that has been our motto around here now and we ask ourselves is this “real food” or “pretend food.” hehe!

And it is a LOT harder than one would think. I fill up my grocery cart with 100% real food but not without a couple of close calls along the way. Certain things have become so natural in our shopping we forget they are not natural. Bottled lemon juice is one example. I nearly put it in my cart and checked the label quickly to find the preservatives….I felt so silly. Duh! Lemon juice comes from lemons not a bottle. How could I forget this??

And the silliest part is why do I need a bottle in my fridge so I can have it year round when its so easy to grab a couple lemons when I need it.

We have switched to homemade bread. I still need to buy some proper bread pans but in the meantime a single loaf in the bread maker, started first thing in the morning works well.

The only thing that has been really difficult to phase out, since forever ago when we realized hydrogenated oils were no good, has been tortillas.

Xander loves quesadillas and we all love warm, soft burritos on occasion. I tried to make my own and they turned out like pancakes….THICK.

So a proper recipe is in order I think. I’ll keep trying!

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My sister Omi and her husbands four babies. It’s practically as crazy at her house as it is at mine.

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stolen images

yay! snagged these from my sister in law’s facebook.

These are my brother Casey and his wife’s two babies:) Purdy cute, aren’t they?

Jason’s sister gave birth to a second son today so we look forward to seeing pics of him soon.

Oakley

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more playdough

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Xander’s Pig

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Homemade playdough

We finally gave a homemade playdough recipe a try and it is so easy!

The dough feels nice in your hands and a few drops of extract makes it smell nice too.

We made a blue with vanilla scent and an orange with, yep…orange scent. I threw some cookie cutters, rolling pin, pizza cutter and real knives (gasp!) onto the table and the kids are having a ball with it.

Supposedly this dough can last a couple months in a sealed container.

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Green smoothie

A friend asked me if I had any recipes to share for a raw food diet she was going to try for a month. I have never done this myself but a quick Google search brought up this guy’s blog who not only did the same 30 day raw food challenge but blogged his meals daily, in detail, with photos. I linked his archives and you have to scroll down to January 2008 entries to see the posts.

I was amazed by the simplicity. They aren’t really recipes but a big ol’ pile of fruits and veggies.

I love my warm soups and sauteed veggies too much to go raw but I was intrigued by the few recipes he did have listed for smoothies and a salad dressing.

Today I tried the green smoothie:

3 bananas

100g baby spinach (by weight)

1 cup water

It tastes pretty good, in fact simon gobbled it up. But I think it will be better with frozen bananas so I broke up thee bananas and tossed them into the freezer in a ziplock for next time.

The nice thing is the simplicity of changing out ingredients. After the foundation of bananas and 1 cup of water, anything can be tossed in from kale to celery to berries to mango.

I guess I’m just blown away that a smoothie does not have to include some kind of dairy or sugars. yep…slow learner;)

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I’m looking forward to trying the salad dressing:

1/2 red bell (or grape tomatoes)

raw tahini 46g (I have roasted)

Fresh lemon juice 24g

1/4 cup water

“I do it”

Simon is still very much in the “I do it” phase. As you can see from the photo, Simon’s zucchini peeling method is to start on one side and keep peeling until he reaches the other side. 😀

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The first cup of Ovaltine went so well. I left him drinking it and apparently he decided to go for a second cup.

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That is a LOT of Ovaltine.

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In the “computer room”

They really know how to work the web…

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update on The Summer Life

Maybe I should start calling our choices for our children’s schooling “The Summer Life” since that’s really what it is; a summer vacation that never ends. Yes! I like it.

The unschooling label has been on my mind a lot lately. It was so foreign to us when we first discovered its philosophies. It gave us some guidelines to use as a jumping off point. It helped us figure out what was in the way of the gentle parenting style we have always been striving for.

but, BUT…once I subscribed to the label unschooler I started to notice all the things I don’t like about religions…err I mean labels. Unschooling magazines filled with articles about how much better unschooled kids are than schooled kids. Conversations amongst parents about who is purely unschooling and who is not. Forums filled with parents looking for support and getting lambasted for not unschooling “the right way.”

I don’t like rules and we certainly don’t follow any set parenting guidelines. We have found our groove and absolutely love our “summer life.” After a while I guess I get bored with talking about unschooling, who’s doing it “the right way” or why these kids are better than those kids. But, the truth is, its probably more about me questioning some of the “rules” and deciding just maybe I don’t like some of them:P

So how is our “Summer Life” going?

GREAT!!!!

Isaac experienced some traditional school work and reading and writing assignments through the online charter kindergarten but Xander is nearly six and our first child to never experience learning that was not on his own terms.

I have not sat him down and gone though the ABCs or numbers at all. It has been completely up to him to figure things out and let us know if he needs anything.

Recently he has been asking us to spell stuff for him a lot. I mean A LOT. He sees words all over and asks what “____” spells. Whatever he asks I answer and leave it at that.

and he is learning to read!!!! He is also writing. Isaac is reading really well now and the kids all teach each other little things all day too. It is so amazing to hear them discussing things together.

They create games and act out imaginary scenarios together, build upon their understanding of math through casual conversation and continue to ask many questions all the time. We love Google! hehe

Whew! much more wordy than I usually get for this blog. Don’t worry, that’s more than enough and no post is complete without a photo so here is me and my guys.

I love these guys so much!

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