Friday, June 29, 2012

7 Quick Takes

{1} This crazy heat is sapping all my energy and desire to do anything.  I've taken the kids to the pool a handful of times this week.  I'm thankful for my air conditioning.  I'm praying for the people fighting the Colorado fires and for all those affected by the fires.
{2} Despite my lack of energy and desire, I had fun taking my kiddos to our church's Little Angel program several mornings this week.  Little Angels is like VBS for the younger ages.  My friend who organized and led it this year did a FABULOUS job!  And, I got to meet some new moms and make some new friends :)
{3} I also got outside to water the garden a couple of times.  My efforts in the heat have been rewarded!  I harvested some lovely tomatoes :)  This is the first lemon cherry tomato we picked a week or so ago.

{4} So pretty!

{5}  The best breakfast (when making a smoothie will wake everyone up) when it's hotter than Hades
Toast with avocado smashed on top and sprinkled with salt and pepper.  Also, tomato slices on top makes it yummy too.
{6} Another fun baseball season has come to an end...thankful we don't have any games in this crazy heat!
{7} Watching this relationship grow has beautiful and frustrating at the same time.  He loves her to the moon and back...which means he wants to play with her ALL THE TIME (that means he likes to wake her up!), he wants to carry her around, he wants her to wrestle with him.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Building Challenge (#6)

Well, how did you enjoy last week's challenge?  My boys had great fun with the Breakfast challenge.  John Paul constructed an entire breakfast scene in a cafe!  His scene had people eating and a table with pancakes.   Pics to come when I get them off of the camera...hopefully soon!  Alexander decided to build a coffee mug and a box of cereal--but, they're not done yet because he spent more time constructing his robotic mini me complete with a remote control.  Ditto the picture info above.  Penelope just wanted to build planes.  And again, that's okay.
So, for this week's challenge...MUSIC.
Have fun with it and be creative.  Remember, build with whatever you have...Legos, blocks, stack cereal and tissue boxes, whatever you have, just get building! :)
UPDATED with Pictures

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Menu

I've missed this weekly menu posting.  Have you?  Well, in the hopes of greater organization and time management, I'm bringing it back :)  Though, for the summer, I'm not sure what day of the week it'll show up.  I have a harder time planning too far ahead because I like to see what all the fresh local foods are at the farmers' markets and Whole Foods.  Those of you who participate in CSA, do you know ahead of time what you'll get?  Do you make a menu after receiving your CSA?
Sunday--leftovers (because it's the hottest day yet this year and I have ZERO desire to cook) and salad
Monday--a spin on this recipe. I'll toss quinoa, ground beef, onion, green chilies, S&P, black beans, cilantro, tomatoes, enchilada sauce, and bell peppers (chopped) all together for what I'll dub Mexican Quinoa Salad
Tuesday--BBQ chicken pizzas--BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, red onions, cheddar cheese, jalapenos.  and a green salad
Wednesday--Prosciutto, Asparagus Pasta--adjusted to be dairy and gluten free. No cream or cheese added, will toss with some meyer lemon olive oil
Thursday--Sausage and Polenta casserole...I made this a few weeks ago and we all loved it!  It's one from the Everyday Food Magazine.
Friday--Grilled Pork chops with garlic honey mustard, Sweet potatoes, and a green salad
Just a note--I made this awesome pizza with our fresh picked blackberries last week when Grammy and Papi were here. You've GOT to try it! I made ours without the chicken and it was still super delicious!
Ugg, I can't figure out why the text is all highlighting. Do you know why???

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Pretty, Happy Funny, Real

We went black and blueberry picking this week with Grammy and Papi.  It was a great morning to go for blueberries. The plants were dripping with clusters of blueberries. We got a couple of pounds of sweet blackberries, but really had to work for them.

And I got this pretty cool shot too

Our garden is exploding. I'm so happy to be able to harvest food (soon) from our own garden.  I love that we can grow our own food.  So far this summer we've only had some various herbs from it, but we've got tomatoes, zucchini, acorn squash, butternut squash, okra, and a variety of peppers growing too.
Can you hear the squeal of excitement as Stella has for the most part mastered sitting up?

Most of my pictures of my crazy energetic boy, John Paul, are looking like this
He's in constant motion! Whether it be on the soccer field, at the table, or just being--he's ALWAYS moving and usually making noise too!

round button chicken

Building Challenge (#5)

Well, better late than never :)  Last week's challenge was Aquarium.  Unfortunately my kids didn't get to it for a few reasons...the biggest one being Grammie and Papi have been in town!  Always a fun and special time.  Another reason was that Alexander received some new Legos for his birthday and spent most of his time building and rebuilding these new sets.  Anyway, the important part was that they spent some time being creative.
This week's challenge is theme is BREAKFAST.  This should be fun :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Almond Butter Strawberry Waffle Sandwich

Mmm, this sandwich is so yummy and perfectly filling.  It makes a great breakfast, snack, or dessert.
This sandwich came about out of my desire to finish off the waffles, a few spare strawberries, and a need for protein.  I liked it so much that I had to make it again...but I used up the last of the waffles.  I did, however, have some GF bread and GF cinnamon raisin bagels.  It still tasted fabulous!  So, you've just got to try it!  Breakfast is such an important meal and should be treated as such.  Eating protein (the almond butter) in the morning will help energize you as well as help you to feel full longer.  The strawberry provides some sweetness as well as a small amount of fiber.  This is sort of like a grown up PB&J...and kids love it too :)

waffle (can be dairy free and gluten free)
almond butter--1-2 tablespoons
2 strawberries, sliced
honey--a teaspoon or so, optional
Heat or toast waffle (or bread or bagel).  Spread the honey on the waffle then spread the almond butter over the honey.  Top the almond butter with the strawberry slices and sprinkle with cinnamon.  These are great open faced or topped with another waffle.
Serves 1

Monday, June 18, 2012

NINE Years old

Oh My Goodness!!! I have a NINE year old now! :)  Alexander is 9 today :)

Happy birthday big buddy!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Small Update to the Blog

Check it out...I figured out a little something to help update this can now sign up on the right hand side top of the column to have my posts sent directly to your inbox :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

7 Quick Takes

Pretty excited and proud of myself today.  I took another Psych test for my class and only missed one question.  Great start, still going :)
I appreciate my education, but wonder why when I was in the thick of it before that I didn't appreciate and enjoy it as much as I do now.  Maybe it's because I see where I'm going and have a true passion for it.  Not that I was missing that before, just that I have a greater passion now...and maturity.
Speaking of passion and maturity...check out this amazing 9 year old girl, Martha, and her enthusiasm for health and positive change--not just for herself and those close to her, but for others as well.  Here's a great article about her and some of what she's done.  Beautifully amazing!
A favorite breakfast, snack, and dessert this week:

more on this simple quick yummy almond butter strawberry waffle sandwich next week.  But in case you just can't wait because my awesome photography skills have you hooked, I think that by the name of it, you'll be able to just about recreate it. :)
We have been eating copious amounts of fresh fruit.  As much as I dislike the heat, I LOVE summer for all the delicious fresh fruit.
Looking forward to visiting one of the local u-pick farms this coming week.  Very excited for the fresh blackberries.
Fresh week Stella turns 6 months...might start sharing some food with her...first up, avocado...then sweet potatoes.

Check out other 7 Quick Takes and more here.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pretty Happy Funny Real

This week I thought I'd partake in the phfr linky party over at Like Mother, Like Daughter.  I've enjoyed reading the posts for phfr (as well as all the other posts) over at House Unseen {Life Unscripted}.  So....
Stella--such personality! She's teething and drooling, laughs and smiles, sparkling eyes and big girly head bands. 
This stuff is seriously good!  Like a gluten and dairy free CRUNCH bar but so much BETTER!!! 

Both boys have been writing notes to me and others.  This is a recent one that John Paul wanted to leave on his kindergarten teacher's desk for her to see on the first day of school.  The truly funny one I only have a phone picture of and it's one by Alexander who was having a rough day and said he'd be staying in the office closet (where all the Legos are stored) until his birthday and he demanded room service.  Ha! I couldn't contain my laughter.  He delivered it to me as a paper airplane flown across the room just before he went back up stairs to said office closet.
I tried to get a picture of all 4 kids the other day.  Well, you know how these things go! :)
Linked up to

round button chicken

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Building Challenge (#4)

I knew this week's theme would be a big hit with my kiddos since they love building all kinds of flying planes.  I was hoping to stretch them and I was somewhat successful. :)  Alexander has been building miniature things, here's an example
Pretty cool birdie, right?  Yesterday during a family game time spent playing Creationary, he built a mini police car. Oh how I wish I took a picture of it!
John Paul's fliers are coming along in sophistication.
And Penelope is following in her brothers' foot steps with her building.  You can only see the top of the Lego guy's white helmet in the picture.  She has the basic construction minus the blades on top for a helicopter.
Okay, this week I've got 2 challenges for you.  The first will be a standing challenge that Alexander came up with and one that I'd love to see at any time from all of you...Alexander calls it Mini Me.  I had to clarify with him what he meant...Self Portrait.  So, standing challenge is the Self Portrait.  And, this week's challenge is AQUARIUM.
Be creative and have fun! Remember you can build with anything...lately my kids have enjoyed Legos  :)
Linked here: Momnivore's Dilemma

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Studying and Discerning

This whole being a student thing is taking quite a bit of time and energy...and I LOVE it!  Okay, so I'm only about a week in to it and I'm currently only taking one class, but, wow, I'm really enjoying it.  And, well, I'm excited to get it all done too.  I can't say being a dietitian has been a life long dream, but it has become a dream and a goal.  I don't plan on being any run-a-the-mill dietitian who doesn't listen like the one we had to see last summer for John Paul.  I want to help teach people how to improve their lives via their diet and food choices.  Yep, that's a fairly general statement!  I'm still trying to discern the how of what I want to do.  Do I go for pediatrics, parents, families, type 2 diabetes, allergies? Do I want to be part of the hospital system, in an office, create my own practice, be a consultant?  I know I'm not cut out for geriatrics, hospital menus and patients, and nursing homes.  I do know that I want to educate people so that they can make healthy choices on their own and for their families. 
Is there anything particular you'd want from a dietitian? Want a dietitian to do?  Particular guidance?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Coconut Berry Smoothie

There's no doubt about it, summer's warm temps are here and here to stay.  The warm temps are great for getting out to the pool, playing in sprinklers and on the slip and slide, eating lots more salad and fresh fruits and veggies as well as more smoothies.  I LOVE smoothies and have been making more of a variety than my usual kind of frozen fruit, yogurt, OJ, and spinach.  I came up with this new one recently and was pleasantly surprised at how yummy and fresh it was.
It was super quick and easy to throw together with only 3 ingredients:
Frozen berries (couple of handfuls)
1 can coconut milk
honey (sweeten to taste)
Throw all of these in your blender or use an immersion blender like I do.  Mix it all up. Then enjoy!
Do you have a favorite smoothie?
Linked up at A Little Nosh

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Quiet Time Boxes

I mentioned Quiet Time boxes last week.  My kids have enjoyed these more than I thought they would!  And that makes me SO HAPPY!  I had to put in some rules for the boxes and had to put some kind of large motor activity in for John Paul (my very active one).
QT boxes are for after lunch
to get a treat/snack in the box, must have GREAT morning behavior and chores are done
during QT box time it must be (does this really have to be stated? yes, they are kids!) quiet (quiet does NOT mean silent though)
each child has his/her own box
QT box time lasts 30-45 minutes

BOX FILLINGS~just a start and by no means complete:
special treat/snack
grade appropriate workbooks
Think Fun games
Bananagrams letter tiles with sight words
crayons, pencils
Matchbox cars (just a couple)
small bumpy ball (and a bag of duplo blocks to be stacked and knocked down by rolling the ball)
water paints
pony beads and pipe cleaners
Legos (I don't put these in because they play with them ALL THE TIME)

I think it's important to put a mix of items in the boxes.  They may not get to it all, but there's plenty in there for them to do.  The mix helps to meet what the kids want/need to do.  I can create a desire to play with something by putting it in one child's box and then in another child's box on a different day.  Keeping toys in a rotation helps to keep them fresh/new and therefore exciting.  By limiting the QT box time, the kids don't wear out, they know that there will be an end to the time, the special activities in the box stay exciting.  I don't tell them ahead of time what they get in their boxes.  The mystery creates desire and excitement! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Building Challenge (#3)

Another week has gone by already.  Did you have fun creating some zoo inspired creations?  My kids did...and they are still working on them.  John Paul created an entire scene, but the roof came off of part of it and he wouldn't let me take a picture of any of it until it was fixed. Alexander created a zoo sign and something else, but said it wasn't ready yet.  So, I've got Penelope's picture of her cage that she made.
And because she wanted a picture of every side, here are a couple more....

This week's challenge is THINGS THAT FLY! Some ideas are birds, bugs, clouds, space ships, jets, and UFOs.
Have fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Marking the Passage of Time

Do you ever have the same events happen year after year (aside from birthdays) and look back and reflect on how life has changed?  I find myself constantly doing that especially now with kiddos.  And, oh my, what a difference a year makes this year right now!  Yesterday was the first day of VBS for the kids.  We had a great time!  The boys are with their grade levels, Penelope is in the nursery with other friends, and Stella is with me as I volunteer in the kitchen.  Last year at this time I had Stella with me as well...11 weeks pregnant with her.  I spent this time last year in the hospital.  And the several weeks prior as well as another 11 weeks after, throwing up so much that the kids practically didn't give it a second thought and took to imitating me.  I much prefer where and how I'm spending my time now :)


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