Showing posts from November, 2010

Problem Solved

Have a child who continually wakes you up at night because they're cold BECAUSE they won't keep their clothes on? Problem solved. Cut the feet off of their sleeper and put it on backwards. We know that from experience this also works great for children who take their diaper off and urinate wherever they please.

Peanut butter smoothie

Craving dessert tonight, I looked at what I had around the house and came up with the following:

1 cup dairy kefir
1 banana
1 tbsp organic peanut butter
1 tsp cacao powder
1 tsp raw honey
(I also added about 1/4 cup organic vanilla ice cream in there too!) Next time I'll probably just put a little more honey.

Blend it up!

I thoroughly enjoyed it and it satisfied my sweet tooth! Anything with peanut butter and chocolate has to be good right?

ETA: After posting this I realized that my husband accidentally threw out my dairy kefir grains while cleaning the kitchen. :( Mourning their loss right now.


To preface this post, I know nothing about growing living things, besides humans. I know that you use compost to help your garden, but I have yet to get my hands dirty. We mainly started composting about 2 years ago to cut down on the amount of trash we accumulate. Once we started cloth diapering, recycling and composting, we went from 2 full big blue trash cans a week down to 1/2 a trash can. This is the amount of compost we accumulate in one day. If I juice that day, I usually have another half a bowl.

This is the compost bin we have. We bought it at Sam's for under $30. You can make them too out of a garbage can if you're handy like that.

For more info on composting and how it helps with your personal garden, here is a great article from Mother Earth News. This is such a great magazine, so much info, I never throw mine away.

Soon I am going to have to learn how to garden! We're closing on our land and construction loan next week! :)

Local Water Kefir Grains

Water kefir is a yummy, fermented probiotic drink that is super easy to make and super good for you. It's a natural antibiotic and totally curbs my craving for unhealthy sugary drinks. My family of 5 drinks 2 quarts in 36 hours usually and we could totally drink more.

My water kefir grains are finally multiplying. I'm thinking that I can start sharing some once a week locally. If you're interested, please let me know and I'll start a list and you can come pick them up when they're ready. With shipping, I paid $20 for mine, so it would be a big help if you wouldn't mind paying $5 for them to help me recover my initial investment. Please bring a quart canning jar with you when you pick them up because I am out.  You should only need organic sugar and non-chlorinated water to start. Dried fruit really helps them multiply and makes the kefir taste better, but it's not essential. See my earlier post for more info on water kefir. Water Kefir Newbie I also recomme…


I am thankful for my Savior, who without Him I would have none of this. We have been blessed beyond measure this year.

I am thankful for...

my wonderful husband who supports me in all I do and provides for the family so that I can stay home with my babies.

my sweet Brighton who loves to learn and help me around the house.

my precious Maggie who constantly keeps me on my toes and can "wash" dishes for hours.

my baby boy, Owen, who has completed our family with his giant personality and dance moves.

our church that challenges us every week to become more like Christ and less like the world.

my mom, without her, I would feel lost.

my dad, who drives me crazy because we're just alike.

extended family and friends that bring love, support and excitement to my days.

my best friend who has provided us with some of the most beautiful photographs and memories from this year at no charge at all.

rekindled friendships this year with people I hadn't seen in well over 10 years.

a w…

Black Friday

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" - The Grinch

I've never been all about black Friday, even as a former shop-a-holic. I've never been one to lose sleep just to save a few bucks. This accumulation of things that has people obsessed has begun to boggle my mind. I'm curious as to how many purchases will be put on credit cards and the finance fees that will make up for the money they "saved" while shopping.

The past year at Christmas and on his birthday, the first words out of Brighton's mouth were "where are the rest of my presents?" We knew then that this sense of entitlement he had needed to change. Hence, the simplification we've done to the toys and parts of the house over the past few months. Christmas will focus on Jesus' birth. We don't do Santa Claus, never have. We feel it definitely takes away from the meaning of Christmas, alth…

When are you starting school?

I've had a lot of questions lately about starting homeschooling, state regulations regarding homeschooling and how I feel about becoming a "professional" teacher. lol I am actually not quite prepared to answer these questions. I know they're being asked out of genuine curiosity, but I haven't even looked into the details quite yet because when we had planned on putting our kids in public school, we were going to delay Brighton and Owen's entry into school by one year. So that would put Brighton starting Kindergarten in August of 2012. That's a ways off from now!
One of my favorite books, Why Gender Matters by Dr. Leonard Sax, discusses the role gender plays in learning and shows extensive research that most boys would greatly benefit from starting kindergarten a year later than girls if an all boys school is not an option. Just a few extremely interesting stats from the book:
Girls hear extremely better than boys, even as newborns. If you're a woman te…

Maggie Magic? What I'm reading right now...

I tend to read multiple books at a time and have a hard time making it to the last chapter. This is the second time I've read this book and it is so helpful if I can just remember to use the techniques they give! The title is Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood. I started reading this AGAIN because of my sweet, high maintenance Maggie. Seth and I are concerned that if she continues on this path of defiance and extreme independence, the teenage years are going to be very hard to handle. The following are the four principles of Love and Logic: (p. 23)
Build the Self-Concept. Everything kids learn and do affects how they see themselves, which, in turn, determines what they choose to do with their lives. Share the Control. Control is like love. The more we give away, the more we get in return. Offer Empathy, Then Consequences. Empathy allows children to learn from their mistakes instead of learning to resent adults.Share the Thinking. Give your kids a lifelong gift. Every time th…

Cloth diapering: doesn't have to be all or nothing

I recently bought some new cloth diapers for Owen. We had tried the GroVia brand until he was about 8 months old, but he was just too big for them. I LOVED them and hated to see them go. It had been our second attempt at cloth diapers for Owen, so I had pretty much hung up my dreams of cloth diapering again until we visited the awesome, local cloth diaper store, Green Bambino. She showed me what brands of diapers would fit my 33lb, 14 month old. We settled on FuzziBunz large diapers and as much as I love supporting local business, I had a coupon for Amazon and was able to get them at a really good deal from them. I ordered a total of 7 because with Owen being older, he won't require as many diaper changes and I don't mind washing every night to save on the initial investment cost. We also have never made the leap to cloth diapering overnight, so we just need them for daytime. I do know that there are cloth diapers, such as Thirsties, that do a great job at holding overnight p…

Wordless Wednesday


29 days has flown by!

Yesterday was the last day of my 29 gift challenge. It was an interesting experience that brought out feelings that I  hadn't expected. Not to pat myself on the back, but I really enjoying giving and I enjoy doing it without expecting things in return. I didn't really like feeling like I needed to give something to "keep the energy" going as the book suggested. I felt stressed if I couldn't think of something to write down on my giving calendar at the end of the day.

The challenge did help me to see how much I was receiving from others though. Over the last 29 days, I have received multiple gifts from friends and family, a $50 gift card, a notice that one of our utility bills had been paid for us, a computer program for the kids to help with homeschooling, a free buttermilk culture starter kit from, free haircuts for the family, beautiful family pictures, groceries paid many things. It was nice to actually write all this down every …

Easiest way to improve your health

I believe that soaking your grains is one of the easiest steps you can take to improve your health. Please don't let this overwhelm you. Try it for a week just to see how easy it is. This post will focus on oatmeal, but you can take the same steps with other grains, such as rice or quinoa. I am fairly new to soaking, so if I make any mistakes in instructions, please correct me.

Why you have to soak your grains:
(Paraphrased from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, pg 452-454.) Oatmeal, along with every other grain contains phytic acid in the outer layer. Untreated phytic acid combines with other minerals in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption. This can lead to serious mineral deficiencies, bone loss and irritable bowel syndrome. Soaking allows enzymes and other helpful organisms to break this down. Soaking as little as 7 hours in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. It VASTLY improves their nutritional benefits. It increase…

Deadly dryer sheets

With winter time arriving and the air becoming drier, I want to mention what I find most helpful for static cling besides dryer sheets. Dryer sheets are horrible for you, mainly because they are filled with chemicals that become extremely toxic when heated. Many of these chemicals found in dryer sheets, such as Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Alcohol, Chloroform and Linalool, are known carcinogens. Please consider trying one or more of the following to cut static cling instead of using dryer sheets. 

Dryer Balls - I didn't have much luck with these, but some people like them. 7th generation dryer sheets - I really liked these. They're non-toxic and compostable after use. I found them at Target last winter. Rag soaked in vinegar - My favorite (and cheapest) way of eliminating static cling. I had heard to put vinegar in the rinse cycle and I always forgot, so this seemed like a simple solution. I just pour a good amount of vinegar on a rag and throw it into the dryer with all the wet clot…

Laundry was fun today.

Impromptu life skills lesson today... Also learned how to sort and turn squares into rectangles and rectangles into smaller squares. :) Believe it or not, they were THRILLED to be folding clothes. There were no bribes or threats involved. lol I was a very happy and proud mama.

In my Vitacost cart right now...


Just another manic monday...



This is all the veggies/fruits we use for one day's worth of fresh juice for the fam. All 3 kids drink 4 oz each and Seth and I get about 6-7 oz each. My kids have grown accustomed to drinking it with no or very little apple, so I only use them when I'm lucky enough to find them cheap enough. They do sweeten the juice quite a bit, so if you're new to juicing and trying to get your kids to drink it, an apple is a must. My ingredients for juice for our family of 5:
7 ginormous organic carrots (I get a 5lb bag of organic carrots at Buy 4 Less on Expressway/Portland for $2.99, the highest they sell them for is $4.99 a bag and that is still a really good deal!) 4 big stalks of organic celery (Buy 4 Less, Supertarget and I just got some from the Azure coop.)1-2 organic apples (Buy 4 Less, Supertarget or Azure.) Drink up! Drink immediately when the nutritional content is at it's highest. Brighton, my pickiest eater started out just taking 1 sip at a time. I remembered reading…

My new favorite drink...

I've recently discovered a way to drink apple cider vinegar that is actually palatable and very good for you! Just google "apple cider vinegar and health benefits" and tons of stuff will come up. It has been used for centuries to treat common ailments and to fight off disease. I started drinking it about 2 weeks ago after looking online for a cure for chronic mononucleosis. Ever since having it at age 19, I have fought chronic fatigue and learned recently that there was a correlation between the two. I read that apple cider vinegar is supposed to give you an energy boost in addition to many other health benefits, including:

alleviating environmental allergiesclearing complexionboosting immunitystimulates metabolism thus aiding in weight lossrelieving joint pain (I need this too!)reversing agingtreating goutridding the body of candida (yeast)chronic fatigue I had some raw apple cider vinegar in my fridge so I thought I would try it. I noticed a difference in my energy  im…

Maggie's 3rd Birthday