Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fire and Rain

Nate and I are headed out tonight to see James Taylor and Carol King in concert. The tickets were a gift for being in my best girlfriend's wedding. Nice gift, eh! The last time I saw James Taylor, I was 18 years old. I went with my other best friend, Mary. Hey Mary, can you believe that was 13 years ago!?! Oh how the time flies. There are still many days I forget that I am not 18! James Taylor was amazing back then, so I am anticipating another good performance. So excited! Enjoy your Memorial Weekend!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dining Outside

Here in the Midwest, we have really struggled to string together a few nice, hot days. Well, this week we seem to be nailing it! Last night we enjoyed our first dinner outside for the year. Our back deck could fry eggs the majority of the day, but by dinner time the entire table and chairs are nicely shaded. It was so relaxing to eat out in the fresh air. It may our boring weekday meal seem that much more special. Not to mention how much more comfortable our padded deck chairs are compared to our wood dining room chairs. I kept having to remind the kids to sit up and eat, because after a long day outside, they were sinking back into the cushions and looking off into space. We plan to eat outside the rest of the week! Hopefully the forecast holds true! Have you been dining outside yet?

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Grinch

Today Layla asked me to read How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I forgot how much I like that book. Well, the kids liked it a lot, too. We then had a nice little discussion about why we celebrate Christmas and how we should be like the Who's even if all our Christmas stuff was taken away from us, because no one can take away Christ's gift of salvation. That led to a few carols being sung and then the kids asked me to put on their favorite Christmas album. So around here on this very hot and humid May day, we are enjoying Jingle Bells, Away in a Manger and O Holy Night!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Few More Blooms

Not a blooming flower, but so sweet to see him snoozing in the middle of the day.
Yuck, my pack-n-play has seen better days!

Can't wait for these peonies to bloom.

I don't know what these weird flowers are called.

I love these irises! So beautiful!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rockin' Good Times

Layla was able to spend the afternoon with her cousin, Cara, and her great grandma, Caroline.
They spent their time together making clay sculptures, painting and combining
the two together. These were Layla's two projects.

Julius rockin' out.

Julius is loving his new big boy underwear!

Such a cool kid. He made it through today without any accidents!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Potty Training.....Resumes

So Friday's first day of potty training was awesome. Julius did so good, much better than I expected. But then on Saturday, he peed on the dining room chair during breakfast, and then it was time to drive over to our friends' new apartment and then head to my parent's house. Sunday was, of course, church and then a special dinner out to celebrate my dad becoming a lay minister at his church. So, Saturday and Sunday meant back to diapers, as our plans made a continuation of potty-training rather complicated. So, today is Monday, and we are back on task. Julius has gone potty twice. Yeah, Julius! Oh, I better get back to him, I think he just managed another successful potty trip!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Let the Games Begin

Potty training has officially started. Julius is parked on the little potty in the living room, with the travel DVD player right in front of him. I rolled up the rug in the living room and had Nate put it in the basement. We will keep you posted on any further......developments. Until then, send your prayers to heaven that all bodily functions will end up where they are suppose to.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Santa, Is That You?

Yesterday, Nathan dropped me off at the door of Kroger, so I could run in and grab a few things. He and the kids hung out in the parking lot while they waited for me. There was a man with a huge, long white beard sitting on a bench outside the store, waiting for the bus. Nate overheard Julius ask Layla, "Is that God?" Layla giggled and told him "No." He then asked "Is that Santa." Layla laughed and said, "No." Julius argued with her a bit, demanding that is was Santa, and she assured him it wasn't. Then he became upset and told Layla he didn't want to talk to her anymore. Isn't it funny that he first thought it was God?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

GAPS Diet Friendly Pizza and "Clever" Stuff

Grain-free crust, with tomato puree, seasonings,
caramelized onions, green peppers and garlic

Topped with sliced tomatoes and cheese

Next time I will be making the crust thinner
and baking it longer so it will be more crispy.

We enjoyed this GAPS diet friendly pizza last night. The crust was made with 2 1/2 cups of ground nuts, 1/4 cup of butter and 3 eggs. Spread the batter on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Top with your favorite sauce, meat, vegetables and cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes at 500 degrees and enjoy!

Gunnar has been gaining much independence at meal time. I can put a plate of food on his tray and give him a fork or spoon and he just happily eats. About half way through dinner time I have to start paying more attention to him, because as he gets full he tends to start putting his remaining food in his seat or just throws it on the floor. Thank goodness for wood floors!

Yesterday at lunch, Julius dropped his napkin on the floor. Layla picked it up with her feet and stated to Julius, "Aren't I clever! I picked up your napkin with my feet. I can do such clever things with my feet!" Too funny.....and clever!

Julius is getting ready to start the potty training process this Friday. Please pray for us, lol! Potty training is one of my least favorite parenting tasks. I am grateful that Nate is very patient with the process. But, as much as I dislike potty training, I more dislike changing foul diapers. I am also looking forward to having to buy half as many diapers and wipes each month, too. We will keep you posted on Julius progress! Go Julius!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Comfy Cozy

I have been enjoying my new slippers and socks that I received for Mother's Day. Thanks Nate, Layla, Julius and Gunnar for my gifts. They were really needed seeing that I had worn holes in my old ones. Nate says they look like grandma slippers. Hey, maybe, but who needs a fashion show when sporting slippers? I just look for the most cozy, cushy comfort for these tired momma feet!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Ready For Tomorrow

I must confess, that in preparation for Mother's Day tomorrow, I baked something for breakfast, vacuumed my main floor, and scrubbed my kitchen and back room floor. Why, do you ask? Because that way I can relax and enjoy tomorrow. Oh sure, Nate would willingly make breakfast, but this way I can just sit with him on the couch and we can sip our coffee together. And the floors? Well, with three kids, my floors rarely stay clean. But this way I can enjoy at least half the day with them looking good. What can I say, clean floors make me happy! Sick, I know.

Mom, Happy Mother's Day! I love you. You have always been such a wonderful and caring mother. Thanks for being such a good example for me.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Puddle Jumping

Splashing in muddy water is just the sort of activity that my melancholy nature wants to prohibit, but I am trying to let loose a bit more these days and let the kids, be kids, even if that means more mud and dirty laundry.

Layla and Julius playing with a huge slug and her little slug babies.
I don't really mind since they tend to destroy my hostas.

Gunnar's looks seem to be changing, as he thins out a bit
and looks more like a little boy, and less like a baby.

Some leftover dirt from our "root viewer" kit.
The kids will be able to see what onions, radishes and carrots
look like underground. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Layla poses for a picture next to our
ready-to-bloom irises.

These wild geraniums came from the woods at my parent's house.
They seem to do well under the shade of the lilac bush.

This "Sweet William" has spread nicely. I love to see all
the bare spots in the garden fill up. Less weeding!

We had a nice amount of rain this morning and the kids are thoroughly enjoying the puddles and slugs. I am happy it is Friday. The weekends home with Nate are always so refreshing. I better get back to my mountain of laundry so I can relax with my hubby this weekend.
Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Gentle Breezes and a GAPS Friendly Puffed Oven Pancake

Yesterday, I was so pleased as I entered my bedroom to see the breeze blowing my curtains around and even ruffling the bed skirt on my bed. I love when I can finally open up the windows and leave them open all day and all night. But, I shouldn't get too excited because I have been told that Saturday it is only suppose to be in the mid 40's. Oh the ups and downs of Midwest weather!

This weekend we had the pleasure of enjoying Nate's brother and sister-in-law's company. The kids are so excited when Jeremy and Tonya come to visit. The boys loved their morning cuddles with their uncle and Layla greatly appreciated the special readings from Charlotte's Web. Jeremy and Tonya even graciously ate our special diet food the whole weekend! I bet they never expected to give up grains and sugars for weekend! We also had the pleasure of our good friend Chad joining us for dinner Sunday evening.

The GAPS diet has been going well, though we have not been following the introduction diet completely. For the sake of sanity and the ease of pleasing everyone's palate, I have been introducing some foods from the full GAPS diet list of approved foods. We are trying to introduce foods as slowly as possible and make sure everyone is handling them well. In general, we all are continuing to feel better and have more energy. If you want to know more about the GAPS diet, head to this site for a bit more info, or just do a little "Googling" on the subject.

One of our best breakfast recipes yet, that everyone has enjoyed, has been a revamped version of the Better Homes and Gardens Puffed Oven Pancake. I just switched a few ingredients to make it GAPS friendly and thought it was good enough to share. This recipe is grain-free, too, so for anyone with gluten issues, it would be a good choice. If you have any lactose issues, just substitute the dairy/water amount for coconut or almond milk and maybe use coconut oil as a substitute for the butter/ghee.

GAPS Friendly Puffed Oven Pancake

1/4 cup butter or ghee
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup plain yogurt or kefir
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
few dashes of salt
few dashes of cinnamon
3 or 4 apples, cored, sliced and cooked in a small amount of water
Cinnamon and honey to coat apples

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butter in a 9 X 13 pan and place in oven to melt butter. Mix together beaten eggs, flour, yogurt/kefir, water, honey and salt. Add a few generous shakes of cinnamon. Retrieve pan from oven once butter has melted and spread the melted butter to coat the bottom of the pan. Place cooked apple slices in the pan. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and drizzle with honey. Poor batter over apples and cook for 25 minutes or until slightly browned. Cut into squares and enjoy! We liked ours drizzled with yogurt and honey.