My World Is Upside Down

This seems like the place to share all my feelings… being my blog and all… But I’m not ready. Instead I’m just going to give you this link. Please help if you can. Pray if you can’t.

http://www.youcaring.com/other/bring-our-kids-home/240996

Spring Treats

 

So a couple days ago I decided to make some “spa water.” I was chopping fruit for the dehydrator anyway. This is the flavor combination I came up with. Cucumber watermelon strawberry lime and mint. Decided we needed something without sugar  but less boring to drink around the house. I also decided to order some water kefir grains on Amazon. My SIL is in love with fermenting things and she suggested I try it after we talked about how I needed to get started with kombucha again. She’s mailing me another SCOBY, and last night I got a shipping notice for the kefir.

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Dehydrate all the things! Here’s my beautiful dehydrator full of apples, strawberries and watermelon. The apples are destined for other places (snack mix) but the watermelon is for eating plain like candy. The strawberries already ended up being eaten along with some yogurt, but I originally planned to use them for granola bars.

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And here’s the finished product:

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That’s all for the “pretty” stuff. Bright and early my MIL texted my husband that the goats (and she herself) have cryptospiridiosis. Ok, so not so bright, considering it was before sunrise, but definitely early. She’s VERY concerned. Although in a healthy person, a few weeks (up to a few months) of diarrhea is inconvenient, it’s not really something to be too worried about. And eventually the parasite is expelled on its own. In an immunocompromised person (such as someone with Celiac or Autoimmune Heptatitis) or someone taking corticosteriods or immunosuppressants, the parasite can be quite persistent. It can be impossible to get rid of, and will eventually deprive them of nutrients and hydration to the point of death. On the bright side… K doesn’t seem infected. Although M does. So all the kids are being secluded from each other today. We need to pick up hydrogen peroxide and wormwood. Thankfully, we have a WCV scheduled for M tomorrow. So we’ll get everyone checked out then. And perhaps they’ll say it’s nothing?

The week in review

 

 

 

 

I managed to remember to take a few pictures of my kitchen adventures this week. But since I did repeats of some of my favorites (and because my food photographer is sub par at best) I am just posting a couple. Below is some shrimp fried “rice.” Previously, when attempting to make cauliflower fried rice, I had to grate the cauliflower to rice size by hand. Now I have the great fortune of being able to toss it in my ninja for about 15 seconds.  Fried “rice” is great because you can substitute in or out any number of meat or vegetable options. Or even fruit. Like you see here, I added pineapple and fresh basil leaves. The original recipe is on nomnompaleo.com. I would love to get my hands on her cookbook and just work my way through.
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Also from Nom Nom Paleo this week I attempted Green Chicken, and Cracklin’ Chicken. Cracklin’ Chicken is a staple in my house. I absolutely love it. My husband, however, isn’t a huge fan. He just doesn’t seem to enjoy chicken thighs. Regardless of how I cook them.  The green chicken was, unsurprisingly, not my favorite. I dislike cilantro and the mint with meat thing… It was just too odd. But don’t let that discourage you from trying it. It seems to be a crowd pleaser, according to NomNomPaleo facebook comments.

I’ll probably be making some bone broth soon. While cutting the bones out of my chicken thighs, I remarked to myself “I’m running out of places to store bones…” And of course immediately realized how creepy that sounds out of context. Which I also verbalized. My husband had to agree, from his seat on the couch. I did explain that I was in the middle of preparing dinner and that I had 2 tupperware containers of bones already and just none left to use because they’re all busy (I ended up using a ziploc bag) but he still thought it was an odd thing to say out loud.

 

 

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Also this week I decided I needed to tackle some of the paleo snack recipes I’ve been collecting, and had picked up the ingredients for. I only actually got around to one. Easter weekend. We got busy with church and egg hunts and visiting family. But I did make time to try Popular Paleo’s Apple Pie Snack Mix. Best news? It’s Whole 30 compliant. No… wait… Best news is that it is DELICIOUS. Served warm or room temperature. I mananged to have the self control to feed most of it to my kids, but I had to have some. And it’s back on my to do list.

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It’s dried apples, walnuts, coconut oil, vanilla, toasted coconut flakes, and “pumpkin pie spice.” Super easy and fast to make. I put that last ingredient in quotes because I don’t ever have it on hand. Ever. It seems silly to me to buy something like that when I own all the ingredients separately and could just as easily use a dash from each of those bottles of spices.  I’m not going to post the recipe but believe me when I say you should head over to Popular Paleo and grab it. Yum.

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This picture is misleading… Yes, it looks great stored in a mason jar. But to be honest, it stayed there for about 30 seconds before we ate it. And in unrelated news… K milked a goat yesterday. Grandma and Grandpa have new baby goats. The kids were just too happy to head out back to see them. And my adventurous little farm girl tried her hand at milking.

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This is my new dehydrator. Because my husband loves me.  And today I will be drying watermelon, strawberries, and apples. You can guess what the apples are for. The strawberries are for granola bars. And eating plain. And the watermelon is just going to be done in strips… like candy. Hope it all goes well.

 

Whole 30 Weekending

 

 

 

 

 

I occasionally enjoy reading other blogs. One of my favorites (although my husband doesn’t understand the appeal) is The Bloggess. And the other day I went into my kitchen to find this beautiful practical joke from my husband. I love that man.

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It’s been sunny here in Washington. We decided to make the most of our 3 day weekend. Friday we went to the dentist to get K’s cap put back on her tooth. Then we went up north to run a few errands and had lunch at Famous Dave’s. You can make this Whole30 by ordering what I did… The Cedar Plank Salmon (no sauce) with steamed broccoli and grilled pineapple. Just make sure not to get any bbq or honey. 😉 My middle son tore into his hunk of bone-in chicken like a real caveman.

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Picture above is Saturday’s “brunch.” Scrambled eggs with tarragon, smoked salmon and red onion. This was good. The kids really enjoyed it. Saturday we went out for a paleo picnic at the park. I brought more smoked salmon, mesquite smoked turkey, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, baby carrots, hummus, and the kids picked out their own drinks. VitaCoco (coconut water) in pineapple and lemonade flavors. Pictured below is an example of Whole30 stir-fry, in case you aren’t planning a picnic. Don’t use soy sauce. Because I haven’t dropped into Whole Foods for coconut aminos, I made this using thai fish sauce and balsamic vinegar. Sounds weird, but believe me. Top it with a little homemade chili garlic sauce and you wont even know the difference!

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After our picnic, we went to the mall and let the kids drive around on one of the “zoomers” that they rent out at a kiosk inside. They chose the dinosaur and had an absolute blast for the next 30 minutes. And we finished up the day by grocery shopping. And I’m pretty excited to make a few of the things I’ve got saved to my Pinterest boards. Strawberry banana granola bars, apple pie trail mix, fruit snacks… We didn’t pick up any processed goodies for the kids this month. I’m considering making the kids some paleo themed shirts. I’ve got some great ideas. I’ll post them up when I’m done, and of course, because I’m nice, I’ll be willing to make and ship some to anyone who is interested at cost. Because profit is lame. 😉

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Sunday morning we went to church. Which we do every week. It was Palm Sunday and our church was having baptisms. Pastor Kevin preached on The  Bystander Effect as part of his There Is More series. It was a good one. K decided to get baptised, and now I plan to sit down with her during our Bible lessons and make sure she truly understands the importance of her life decision. At only 7, it seems like a 50/50 chance she only did it because she knows Jesus did. After church, our goal was to have a relaxing day in. Our water heater, however, had other plans. And the stupid bottom rusted out at water shot out from anywhere it could possibly escape and has flooded my laundry room. I’m still waiting for a call from  the people who are supposed to replace it. Thankfully, this happened right after I had finished all my husband’s work laundry, and washed the dishes before dinner. The dinner dishes will just have to be done with boiled water (after I’m done with this post.) And I wanted to share one of the AMAZING paleo dinner discoveries I’ve had. Even my kids loved it. Bacon Beef Butternut Squash from The Civilized Caveman. I like this so much, I’m going to post the recipe right here with the modifications I made. DON’T use the cheap packaged bacon. It’ll be too greasy. Grab it from the butcher. Or a Applegate bacon will work. It’s usually reasonably priced at Fred Meyer.

Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Cut squash in half and scrape out the seeds
  3. Place face down in a pyrex dish with 1/2 inch of hot water and cook for 30 minutes
  4. While its in the oven, cook the bacon in a pan until crispy, set aside and leave the bacon fat in the pan
  5. Add 2 of the sliced onions and celery to the pan and then add the beef
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and your cinnamon
  7. Continue stirring until the beef is finished, remove from heat and place in a bowl
  8. Remove the squash from the oven, when you can handle it scrape out some of the guts, leaving ~1/4 inch of squash, add squash to bowl with meat
  9. Crumble your bacon and add that to the bowl as well
  10. Mix well and then stuff your squashes with the beef mixture and place back in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
  11. While your squash are baking, add your reserved onion to your sauté pan (drained, add 1 TBS olive oil… or keep just 1 TBS of animal fat) and cook them over low heat with your balsamic to caramelize them
  12. Remove squash from oven, top with caramelized onions and Enjoy!

Legos

We gave our kids a box of 600 legos at their birthday party. And went to see the Lego Movie the day after. I can’t get “Everything is awesome” out of my head. And my children have become lego addicts. Or “Master Builders.” We spend hours on the living room floor with legos. Making up stories, building houses, stores, people…. And me sneaking in quick lessons in math using blocks or stacks of legos.

My first bra arrived yesterday. I took some pictures of it. I’m holding off on a review until I’ve got the other one as well. Since having a comparison of Polish brands is nice.

I’ve been perusing the Freya website to look at their SS14 collection of swimwear. They have a few cute things. But I kinda hate swimsuit shopping. Everything is always expensive, and it’s incredibly rare that I find something in my size. Enough whining for the day…

I’m Back

I’m back. Probably. For now. I knew this would happen. I’m the least reliable blogger. I’ve been meaning to update since Christmas pretty much and just have NOT made the time. Since it is pump day, I should at least mention that I did get some awesome pumps for Christmas. Although I haven’t worn them out of the house yet for obvious reasons. My husband bought me Christian Louboutins. The Bianca. And since I live in the great wet PNW, I haven’t let them venture past my front door. I don’t want to get into a big update-y post. But I think there are a few things to note… K has gotten significantly better at reading. M is a math whiz with great hand writing. And A is picking up on some math and sight words along with his siblings. He’s still mostly interested in coloring and singing, but what can you expect? We are considering sending the older two to a Christian school next year.

Everyone had birthdays over the last month. We’re having a party Sunday at our house. It’s set up to be quite some fun for the kids. Though I don’t have anything in mind for entertaining the parents… Oh well. We’ll pick up some snacks and just hang out.

For Valentine’s Day, I entered a contest by my favorite bra maker… and won. Which was a bit of a surprise for me… Giveaways are not usually my thing. I enter them but I have the creative capacity of a teaspoon generally speaking so I wasn’t expecting to win a contest. I got my shipping notification the other day. And in a week or two, I will have a new bra. For free. Awesome, IMHO. I also decided to try a second Polish bra company, just based on options for variety and great reviews. This I’m less sure will end up being a good fit. New company, new style (plunge instead of my favored half cup) and European sizing… Let’s call this a little adventure. That shipped yesterday. If there’s any interest, I can review both bras (although I’m not one of the people you’re going to see on the internet in her bra) after they get here. Actually, considering I don’t have a consistent readership as far as I know… I shouldn’t probably ask for interest. I’ll just review them and maybe people will stumble across the post and it’ll be helpful…

And ending my post with prayer requests…

The brakes on our car went out. We need a solution for that. A speedy one, I mean.

My husband just had a job interview… I’d like them to offer it to him with a nice salary.

And K’s numbers were up after her last labs… Let’s hope for the increase in her cellcept to bring them back down. And for remissions, while we’re at it. Her next appt is complete with an ultrasound. Hopefully things look good. That’s not until May, but I’ll keep you all posted.

Week One

We didn’t do a full week of homeschool this week. Instead opting to copy our school district and start on Wednesday. So far, the children seem to be really enjoying themselves. I allow the boys to come and go from the table as they please (as long as nobody is sneaking crayons, glue or scissors away when they go) and keep K focused on her activities through the morning.

Day one was a little nerve wracking, to be honest. But we got up at 7am, as per usual, and started school at 9am. After coffee, breakfast and meds were had by all. Which is not to say everyone got coffee and medicine. I got coffee. K got the mmf, prednisone, ursodiol and bactrim. Everyone had breakfast. We started school with Chinese. I’ve found that doing the two short “Follow Jade” lessons on YouTube yields quick results. We also listen to a few songs. Day one I taught the words to Ni Wa Wa. And did some Living Room vocab. After Chinese was Bible Study. I introduced the story of Moses so we had some context for learning the 10 Commandments. This included coloring pages. Then we read alphabet soup, did a puzzle with upper and lowercase letters, and K wrote her name a few times. The boys just did the first letters of their names.  For math we counted to 100 (the boys stop at 20) and then the counting by 10s song. The boys wandered off after that, and K and I moved on to her addition and subtraction workbooks. For science, we covered the 5 senses. The boys came back. We did cut and paste from a magazine for examples of each sense. And then a fun little blind taste test. There may have been sriracha. We did lunch (the kids watch Magic School Bus while I cook) and then it was nap time for the boys so I let K play on Starfall on the computer in my room.

Day 2 was more impromptu. I followed the same basic schedule. But after a stormy night, decided to focus more of the lessons on that. I taught the kids about rain, thunder, lightning and the water cycle. Our new Chinese words were cloudy, cloud and rain. We made pictures of rain clouds with construction paper. Our bible story was Noah’s Ark. And so on.

Day 3- The children were less enthusiastic about starting today. So we stayed in our pajamas. We did our Chinese. We kept on with Ni Wa Wa but also learned the Two Tigers song. I had to look it up because my littlest had seemingly picked it up from Kai-Lan and I wanted to know what he was singing. We worked on the 3rd Commandment. Learned about seasons. And made a (fall) tree out of construction paper cut outs of our hands. K did her workbooks. And there were a lot of puzzles. Lazy day.

And so concludes our first week. Tomorrow, I’ll blog about health stuff.