Friday, November 30, 2007

Glass bottle yumminess

The new market was great! The girl who was working there was helpful and told me where all of the items came from, which towns, farms, etc. They had some of the creamline milk I wanted in, so I grabbed a half gallon, and a half gallon of chocolate milk for my kids and a quart for Emily. We also got some local raw honey, locally grown and milled cornmeal, and eggs. I placed an order for more creamline milk that we will pick up next week, and I will be heading up there every other week to keep us in milk. The kids were so excited to have the milk, it is smooth and creamy and sweet.

Finding a path

Today was a bad mental health day for me. Let's face it, it isn't easy being crazy, not for the family and not for the crazy person. Some days I can control the OCD really well in my own head, I can keep the plan going, adjust as needed and stay together. My life always needs just one thing I can count on or one place to go to get calm, one clean orderly perfect room or a simple plan of action, if I have one of those, I can survive. Today I had none, and I kept trying to roll with everything and deal with everything changing quickly, but I was tired and crabby and just couldn't get everything to sit right in my head. When this happens I just fall apart, it is like trying to put a puzzle together, and each time you find a piece that fits, someone takes ten away. I had a meltdown, cried a bit and finally Ryan came and gave me a plan. He can be difficult a lot of the time, but he knows that I try so hard to keep everything together, that when I break, I break hard. He gave me a plan to get dressed, take Gray (b/c he makes me smile) and go to the farm market (which also makes me smile) and then to get a few other items. I got dressed, got Gray in the car and off we went. Driving has always calmed me, and driving through the country really makes me happy, and I let my mind drift to when we finally get to move to some land....The radio was going, I was singing, Gray was happy and we found the new market with no trouble. I came home calmer and happier.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Milky goodness!

As I was searching for a Christmas tree farm nearby so we can go cut our tree this weekend, I came across one farm and saw that they had free range fresh eggs. I was excited that we could go there and stock up on eggs too and as I looked through the page I saw they had milk from a PA creamery, and it looks like they may have organic creamline milk! I will call and check tomorrow, but even if they don't stock it, I can probably order it since they get deliveries from the creamery. My family loves creamline, this is milk that is pasteurized but not homogenized so the cream rises to the top. We can use the cream to make whipped cream or shake it into butter. The milk is so fresh and delicious and it is better for the kids, free of hormones and antibiotics. Research has also shown that homogenized milk makes the fat worse for you than non homogenized milk, something to do with the way the process damages the fat globules. Oh I am sooooo excited, I have been searching for a local milk supplier!

Let the baking begin

I am usually not a baker. Oh I trudge through the cupcakes and cookies of life with kids, but I prefer to cook rather than bake except at Christmas. I LOVE Christmas cookie time. Every year I start right before December 1st and I bake and bake and bake. I always make at least six types of cookies (and dozens of each kind) and as I bake them, I pack them up and freeze them. Then the week before Christmas I start bringing the cookies out. We pack them up for friends, family and teachers. I put a plate out after dinner for the kids to snack on, etc. Usually the weekend before Christmas, I make a batch of hot chocolate, top it with marshmallows, and the kids, Ryan and I snuggle up in front of the fire and watch the Christmas specials.

Today I began the madness. I made a batch of fudge, but I am not sure if it came out right or not, time will tell. I also started the jam print cookies. As Haven cannot have nuts or any pit fruits (cherries, peaches, apricots, etc) we use seedless raspberry jam. The batch I made was wonderful, so Thursday I will use the rest of the dough and finish those off. Next in line are the shortbread cookies with chocolate, macaroons, cathedral fudge and meringues. I will make peanut butter chocolate chip cookies (havey's faves) and sugar cookies that the kids decorate. I also have a few more recipes to try, so I may make it to double digits this year :0

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Child's Winter Wonderland

We have always decorated the house very traditionally, with white lights and wreathes, etc. Now that the kids have grown up a bit, they want all the glitzy, spinning, blow up things. This year we totally indulged them...there is an area in front of the garage that is now a kid's fantasy. A blow up Santa in a plane, a blow up snowman, oversized light bulbs, a train and a reindeer. Along with this, they will have their own tree in the playroom with crazy colored lights and any ornaments they want.

I want the kids to feel that they are involved in what we do, and that their opinions matter to us. While I will have my traditional tree with the ornaments that have been handed down and the white lights in the living room, they will have their tree with the train on the bottom and paper chains and homemade snowflakes in the playroom. As they grow, I hope that they continue to decorate "their" tree and that it is something that always makes them happy to look back on. Once the rest of the house is decorated, I will take a picture and post :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Chilly Beach

We went to the beach when we were in NC. It was chilly, but the kids had fun. I love this picture :)

Winter night

Sundays are my favorite evening in the winter. Right now, it is just getting dark outside, my family room is warm with the fire that has been burning since 9 am. My kids are playing well, Ryan is sleeping before work tonight, and I have a toasty supper cooking away. For me, winter meals are hearty and warm, and they make you feel cozy. Tonight we are trying something new. I had some thin round steaks that I needed to cook, so I mixed up some feta, sundried tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper and spread it on each steak and rolled them. I then cooked up some sweet onions, added white wine, salt and tomatoes and made a sauce. I put some sauce in the bottom of a baking dish, added the rolled/stuffed steaks, and then covered with the rest of the sauce. It has been braising in the oven for a while and smells delicious! We will have it over rice with a big salad and some rolls. A nice hearty dinner, full of winter coziness.

As an aside, if everyone can keep their fingers crossed for us it would be great. Someone at Ryan's work is leaving, so Ry is going to try to move into that position. Pay should be better, but what is best is it is an AM shift position, 4 -10 hr days a week. For us, Ry would leave around 4:45 am and get home by 6 pm the four days, and the other three he would be here and on our schedule. He works the 4/10hrs now, but it is nights, so we lose a day off so he can sleep before work. I REALLY need him to be on our schedule, so please keep your fingers crossed!

Stress and Reminders

The stressors....

So I am battling some stressors today. My house is still in upheaval, the china cabinet is still in the Living Room, and it's contents are all over my desk. We need to solve the moulding issue in the Dining Room, put it in, and then we can move the cabinet back. This wouldn't be a huge issue, except that the cabinet is sitting right where the Christmas tree is supposed to go. The other thing causing me stress is the island I bought for the kitchen. Currently the island is sitting in a weird location in the kitchen, and I need to get shelves before I can move it. Again, this is something I need Ryan to help with, and with our schedule, I am not sure how we will get it done. The last thing causing me stress is my upcoming trip to Pittsburgh. I have to leave on December 11th and I come back the 15th. I HATE being away from home, especially right before the holidays. I have no choice and have to go, but I am dreading it. At least once I come back I will be off from both jobs and will have a few days to concentrate on Christmas. With the trip coming, I am feeling pressured to get the house decorated, the cookies started, etc.

These are things I have to try to remember everyday, no matter what all the chatter in my head says :)

1. The house is way cleaner than I think.
2. There is more time tomorrow, and some things can be put off.
3. Laundry will never get done, just stop trying.
4. Kids are loud, crazy, and messy...but they also make you smile the widest and laugh the hardest.
5. Husbands are annoying, slow and messy...but they hold you when you are stressed and offer to so things that wouldn't really help, but they don't know better
6. Best friends are a unique blessing, they are family that you actually like to hang out with.
7. It is all ok in the end.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Good days, bad days...

So the last post was about a bad day. To clear it up, Ryan was exhausted, he had been working late on top of the OT and started the week with laying the floor. He decided to come with us, we left that day and all was fine...with us at least. We ended up leaving my mom's early since putting my family, my sister's family and my parents in one place is enough to drive me batty. We got home late last night, did a few things today, started getting the Christmas decorations up, and are having Emily's crew over for game night. A nice fun night for the grownups and kids, good day :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's not as easy as it looks

I know that many people who know me, know my life, and know what I do day in and day out think that I do sooo much and am efficient and happy, etc. You know what, more days than not I feel like a giant screw up. I feel like I am being pulled in every direction possible, none of which are the ones that would be the "best" for me. There is immense pressure on me to make money, plus I want to be there for the kids and all that entails, plus school, which is the only way I can get out of the hell that is my life and two jobs. I don't feel successful, I don't feel like I do anything particularly well, and I feel most days like a walking fraud, as so many people I encounter are so "impressed" by my daily life.

Here's the real scoop...many, many days are spent with me ending the day a wreck, truly falling apart because I cannot do one more thing, I am exhausted, and have usually done what many people do in a week in a mere 12 hours. I am mostly hated by my husband, not sure why, but he seems to hate me a lot...I might be horrible to live with, and I am sure it is intense to be married to me. I have such high expectations that many people in my life assure me the rest of the world cannot meet these....even I can't meet my own expectations, so it is unreasonable to ask anyone else to I guess.

Right now I am sitting here with three papers hanging over my head, a few hours of work to do tonight, a husband who is MIA, kids who are expecting to go to my parent's house tomorrow, and me with a horrible choice. Husband claims he is not going, so do I stay home where I am not under pressure, don't waste 12 hours in the next 4 days driving and am in my element or do I load the kids up, drive to my parents where I wrangle three kids with no help (they really don't help, I am not sure why, but they don't), deal with the kids not sleeping, me not sleeping, try to cram the papers and work in on no sleep and no kid help, etc? Two really splendid choices, eh? The worse part is, I was really looking forward to this trip, with Ryan working so much overtime, I wanted us all to spend time together as a family. I have been running around the last few days doing everything I can to get ready to go, and now I have to choose between two options that just make me depressed. is nowhere near lollipops and rainbows here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Getting into the holiday week

Had a rough start this morning, I woke with a bad headache and three loud kids. Headache seems to be leaving, kids are upstairs playing and I have gotten a few chores done. I have to get everyone dressed in a bit, we had a small change of plans, we need to head out and buy the inflatable Santa in the plane.

We have long avoided the inflatable lawn decorations and always use simple classic decorations, especially since our house is a very classic colonial. The kids ask every year for some big, bright blow up thing, and this year we are letting them have an area to decorate. I figure each year, they can decorate that area as they see fit, and our house will be classically designed for me, and fun for them. I am also decorating the playroom for them this year. We are getting a tree from a friend and I am putting lights in there for them. They will be making a bunch of ornaments for their tree and we got them a train to run around the bottom, it should be the perfect children's Christmas room. No worries for me, we will have the fresh tree in the living room with our collection of decorations, a little something for everyone!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A much deserved day of fun

I had planned on taking the kiddos out today for an Ikea run, but it was chilly this morning and we were all snuggly, so we stayed home. They are having a good day, playing well and enjoying each other's company. The fire is blazing, the kids are eating their lunch and we have a special snack baking for later. Since we are heading to my mom's this week, I am not baking any bread, but wanted to make some snacks to bring with us. It always seems that trips mean tons of junk in the car, and more junk when we get there, so this year I am prepared. I just made some simple granola bars, these are maple, raisin and cinnamon. Tomorrow we will get some dried cranberries, apples and blueberries, along with wheat germ and flax seed to bring the protein level up. I use applesauce instead of oil and honey and maple syrup to sweeten, loads of good oats and fruits make them soft and filling. I will pack these up and take them with us, and of course I will bake a treat, probably peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, but will hide those at the bottom of the snack bag :)

I still have a ton of laundry to do, I promised the girls we could play a game, I have to make dinner and do some work. I need this relaxing day, it feels great to hang with the kids, play and joke with them, with no rush to do anything. Ryan requested a simple dinner, just hamburgers and the sides, so even that will be easy tonight. I have a few beautiful butternut and spaghetti squashes that I want to use before we go, so tomorrow I will make chicken with roasted butternut squash. We must head to Ikea tomorrow, I saw some great big glass jars that will work well for dried goods, and I need a shelf for the microwave. Tomorrow we will run, today we will relax and play.

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Dining Room Floor

We have been busy the last few days. We purchased some cork flooring and installed it in the dining room. We have had really nasty carpet in there since we bought the house, but I never knew what to do in the room since it is bordered by tiles in the kitchen and peg wood in the foyer. We found this cork and fell in love, especially since it is supposed to be really durable! I also love that the cork is a renewable resource, a big bonus in my world :)

We took out the nasty carpet and the tack strips, fixed an uneven area of the concrete sub floor, repainted the lower portion of the walls, laid the vapor barrier and then the cork planks. We moved the new rug in, and put the table and chairs back a big relief since they were in the middle of my kitchen. I still need to paint the moulding and then we can install that and put the china cabinet back. Phew, a lot of work, but it looks great!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dreary day

It is Wednesday, and as my children were awful little devils yesterday, I was not able to finish my grading so I am sitting here at school. I really wanted to go home between classes, but oh well, as least grades are done for PT school. Now I have to get on and do some work for FT school, plus look at what is needed for my class. Even stretched as thin as I am now, I am considering taking a class on campus at PT school in the Spring. My doctorate is so business focused, and I have been taking things like "Leadership Studies" and "Global Economy" and blah blah blah. I want to take something I am interested in, and although I was planning to wait until I was in dissertation stage to take classes at PT school, I think I want to start now. They have a cool Grad certificate in Women's Studies that would help my research on gender and marketing. The certificate is only 5 classes, and I can take them for free here, so I really want to do it. The main problem is that I don't feel like I have any time to do anything, and having to leave my house at 6:30 on a Thursday to attend class may be too much. Maybe I will wait until Fall since Gray will be in preschool and I should have a bit more down time. Ah well, now back to the grind :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


If I thought it was bad last night when I was watching Sesame Street at 11:30 pm, man was I wrong. It rapidly went downhill from that point, lots of nasty gross things happened that don't need to be elaborated on, and I got 3 hours of sleep. If we average up the last two weeks, I have slept an average of 2 hours a night. Between the utter exhaustion, Britt being home from school sick, Grayson still sick and me not eating, we are not having a good time here. I finally broke down at 4:30, while trying to grade papers so I could make dinner and the kids just fighting, screaming, bugging me, etc. It is now 10:15, I have five more papers to grade in the morning, plus getting the kids out the door, cleaning up, getting ready for work and getting on a conference call. I planned to come home in between classes tomorrow, but am now thinking I will stay on campus, just to enjoy the peace and quiet. Fingers crossed I sleep tonight...hmmm, Haven has been feeling well, maybe she will go down tonight. Argh!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sesame 11 pm

We are still fighting this cold, and Gray has had it pretty bad. Added to that is the fact that he is three and the magical age when children begin having nightmares and waking up REALLY freaked out. He has had a rough night, up three times and it is only 11:23. Each time he was just screaming and crying, so upset and he couldn't tell me what was wrong. I thought maybe his leg had a cramp, or his tummy hurt, but I think he was just in a bad sleep cycle. This last time I brought him down so he wouldn't wake the girls and actually bribed him with a Hershey's kiss. Usually I try to get him to take a sip of water or juice and that helps break him out of the hysterics, but he refused so I went for the big guns. After he ate the kiss, he settled a bit and asked to watch something on my TV. I had Follow that Bird saved to the tivo so he is happily sitting on a blanket with just one leg covered (he said that was the only cold leg) and seems OK. In just a few minutes, I will head up to bed and get him settled and hopefully that will be the end of his bad night.

Full pantry

I needed to go to the store today to get the snack items for Haven's brownie troop. As I was going anyway, I figured I should do a stock up since we will be away next week and I don't want to have to come back to empty shelves. Now I am a giant freak about food, not only because of Haven, but also because I like having a very full pantry. I have an entire room, about 10 x 7 as my pantry. There are two big shelving units, a standing freezer and a full fridge w/ freezer. I am one of those people who adhere to the concept of stockpiling, that is I buy a lot of stuff when on sale and store it for later. It is one of the things I began doing when I stopped working after Grayson was born, and I have found that if I keep up with it, I rarely have a huge grocery bill. I just pick things up as needed, especially if I can get a good price.

Ryan and Grayson came with me today, and we did pretty well getting everything we needed. My big freezer is packed, I have at least 35 meat meals, probably closer to 45. The pantry is loaded, I have all of my staples put away and I shouldn't need to go to the store for anything except milk and fresh fruit and veg. for at least three weeks. It makes me so happy to know that the house is stock full of all the things we need to sustain ourselves.

A day off? Don't make me laugh!

Ryan took last night off, he has been working a lot of overtime and we have been sick. I have only been sleeping a few hours a night and have a ton of work I needed to do, so I was really excited. He came home yesterday morning, played a video game, went to bed at far, not much of a help. He got up at 5:30, I went and got dinner (now you know I am tired if I ordered out!) we ate, kids got baths and he passed out at 8:30 pm on the couch. I sent him upstairs since the snoring was distracting me from the paper I was writing, so he was in bed just after 8:30! I was really sick and when I tried to go to sleep the snoring was so bad, I couldn't sleep. I got up with the kids all night and ended up getting just two hours of sleep again!

Today he keeps telling me to go back to bed, but I don't have the time to do that. I have work to do and I need to go to the store to get the stuff for Haven's brownie troop. I cannot take time off in the middle of a day, I need to get some sleep at night.

No rest for the weary, I am now going to get dressed to go to the store. YAWN!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Hearty lunch

The kids and I have been fighting a cold, so everyone is a bit under the weather. Eating the way we are trying to is not always cheap, and I try to be as frugal as possible, so I am always excited when I can use leftovers to make something new. To keep us toasty today, I have a big pot of soup on the stove ready to be eaten with a hunk of yesterday's bread and a salad.

What I did was take the leftover chicken from yesterday and chop it up. I cooked a small onion until soft in a bit of olive oil, added three cloves of chopped garlic, the diced chicken, a cup of leftover green beans and two sprigs of rosemary. Once everything had cooked together for about 5 minutes, I added some leftover tomato basil soup I had in the fridge (about a half a cup), a large can of pear tomato strips with basil, two cups of chicken stock and a cup of water. Along with this, I tore up six large basil leaves, added sea salt and pepper. Everything cooked together for 10 minutes, I then added a cup of quinoa and a half a cup of pastini and a few shots of hot sauce and I will serve it with some Parmesan on top. A fantastic hot lunch, healthy and full of protein to fill bellies and warmth to soothe little throats.

The happy morning hum

On weekends or days off in the winter, we have a comforting morning routine. We get up and come downstairs, I give the kiddos breakfast, they feed the dog. While they are eating, I grab a sweatshirt and go out and haul a load of wood for the day (if Ryan is home, he will haul the wood) I then come in, start the fire, do the first vacuum of the day (always the family room and kitchen), start the coffee and clean up from breakfast while the kids head off to play. I am a sucker for a routine, the kids and I find it comforting to know what we are doing and in what order, there is no rushing or arguing, and we start our day off happy. It's the days we have to rush to leave that we do not to enjoy the slow start, the warmth of home and the calm ease into the day. I wish every winter morning could start like this.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sweet smells

I believe we may have the best smelling house on the block. The yeasty, doughy scent of fresh bread, rosemary from the bread and the chicken, roasted garlic, mmmm. I also have a skillet apple cobbler I made for dessert, now I just need to get Ryan to run and grab vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Kitchen changes

I have been going back and forth over what kind of island I want in the kitchen. I had planned to buy a butcher block topped unit, but being that I am making so much bread, I opted for a marble top. It should be here this week and I am so excited that I can pull it out and the girls and I can work together. When we start Christmas cookies (which should be next weekend) they will get a chance to really work with me, what a great learning experience!

As they love to cook, and we do a lot of it here, I purchased them each an apron for Christmas this year. Haven's has a tie-dye pattern (perfect for my little hippie) there is a pink retro butterfly pattern for Britt and a tractor pattern for Grayson. I am going to get them each a few little cooking items, measuring cups, spoons, etc, and they will be able to keep everything in their own basket in the kitchen. I cannot wait for Christmas!

As an odd aside, my mom expressed total support for the changes we are making here at home. With all of Haven's health issues, most of which relate to food and digestion, she thinks it is great that we are trying so hard to create an environment where Haven is getting the purest foods possible. It is a slow process, and we are just starting this journey, but I really believe that this is the best thing for her and that we may be able to help keep her from developing other food issues in the future.

Our glorious home...

Today I seem to have shaken off the funk I have been carrying. We slept well, and woke up late at 8 am. As part of the new food plan, I am really trying to get the kids to eat a hot breakfast each morning (less unknown ingredients than the cold cereal they love). Grayson always opts for eggs and today the girls took english muffins. We had an easy morning, made a nice warm fire, got some cleaning done and the kids played. For lunch they wanted pizza so I made some pizza dough for them (the one quick rise was great as they were hungry) and Haven wanted a calzone. The girls helped, Britt shaped the pizza and Haven the calzone. We used our fresh basil in the calzone and on top of the pizza and the kids loved their lunches!

As it is Saturday, I am baking some bread. The two loaves I make each weekend tend to make it through the week, and any leftovers or stale bits get crushed into breadcrumbs and thrown in the freezer to be brought back to life in meatballs, meatloaf, chicken cutlets, etc. One of the loaves I make today will be a rosemary bread to go with the rosemary roast chicken we are having for dinner :)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Calmer evening

I am feeling much better, amazing what a good cry (or a few) and a talk with a great friend can do to calm you. I cleaned the house, picked up Haven from school (with a sick Gray and Britt in their PJs), came home and made dinner (Sicilian Meatloaf, baked sweet potatoes, green beans and breadsticks) and ran some errands. While the family ate, I went out to a favorite shop of my girls and bought them each a sweatshirt, purse and a bunch of stocking stuffers for Christmas (shhh don't tell them!) While out I just made the time frame for the free coffee at Wawa :) Got home, husband and kids had cleaned up from dinner, talked to my neighbor for awhile about kids and activities, did some work and finally got to relax. It may be 10 pm, but I still have a fire going, a few minutes to myself and a calmer soul.

PS..thanks em, i know you have had a shitty few weeks, it was amazing of you to take care of me today and listen to me sob, you are the best!


A good friend blogged the other day that she and I were in her car with our six kids and she asked me if I knew how we got here. I explained that no, I didn't and that this was not the life I had planned at all. Ten years ago I would never have thought I was living in Virginia with three kids, a professor working to complete a doctorate and married to Ryan. I love my kids and most of the time my job. I love my husband most of the time, but just like all marriages there are good and bad days. We have been having a rough two days here, lots of fighting, lots of angry nastiness. Times like these make me feel like I made a mistake in choosing him as my husband and the father of my children, but deep down inside I know that these are just two days of many that are wonderful. Where I am happy that we laugh and play and enjoy each other. I really think a lot of the last few days has to do with all of the overtime he has been working, it has worn me down and worn him down, I haven't been feeling well, the kids have been sick, so all around, we are just done. I just wish that when we were mad we weren't so mean, I know that some of the things I say stick with him for a long time, and some things he says just bruise my heart. I do love him, and just hope that we can mend the fence and head back to the fun days.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Busy little bee

I have been busy, really busy, so much so that I feel like my head is going to fall off if things don't slow down. As it is Wednesday, and anyone who reads this should know, I am sitting at the library of an undisclosed university killing time between classes. I have been here for an hour, and have two more to go, but no one should worry since I have about 10 hours of work to do!

So far I have had a conference call with FT teaching gig, taught a class for PT teaching gig, sat here and graded assignments for FT teaching gig, pulled some research for paper #1 I need to write today. I still need to complete grading for FT teaching gig, grade 100 exams (all essay!!) for PT teaching gig, teach a 3 hour class for PT teaching gig and write two papers for doctoral program. Whew, that was a lot to write, let alone do-and it is 5:00 now!

Now a rant...I just have no patience left for people who are soooooo busy and can't do anything but work. Really, you can't or you have something better to do? I have somehow managed to birth 3 kids in four years, work, get a masters and now be working towards a doctorate, play housewife, etc. Come on, now I know work can be a lot for people, but it can't be all that bad, and if you REALLY wanted to do something else like go back to school, volunteer, etc. you could do it. Come on now, if we all get together and work hard, think of how much can be done in a day!!!

OK, now I have to go write paper #1....go do something good!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Sex toys and brownie leaders

Last night I went to a "Slumber Party" at my neighbor's house. Becky is about the best kind of neighbor I could ever want, she is brass and curses, she doesn't bother me for stupid things or stop by randomly, and she is fun to be around. I can always count on her if I need something, I trust her with my allergy kid and she is also Haven's brownie leader. Over the last year, we have talked more and gotten to know each other a bit better, which is a big deal for me since I tend to stick with the usual suspects (really suspect!) and am really too busy to have to put a lot into being friends with someone.

Anyway, I went to the party last night at her house, and there were a lot of the other brownie moms there, the other leader, and one of the second grade teachers (not Havens!) and the aide from Brittan's class (that was funny). If you have ever been to one of these, they are really fun and if the group of ladies are into it, you can really have a good time. I am so glad I went, even though I had to leave a bit early because Ryan had to work, and I liked getting to know the mom's a bit more. I hope over the next year, I will get to know everyone better and maybe host something at my house :)

**Oh, and I did make a few purchases, but I am not telling

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Today in pictures

We baked our first bread of the season today and the kids were so excited. They love watching the process of kneading the dough and waiting for it to rise. The girls and I discussed how yeast works, they thought it was a little gross that the yeast gas makes the bread rise :) While the bread baked, the kids roasted marshmallows in the fire, I made a pot of BBQ beef for dinner and baked a tray of brownies. Overall, a good, fun day!

Educating the Children

As I have posted, we are dedicating the next year to moving our eating to locally produced, organic and whole foods. With three little kids, there will be days we order a pizza, eat out or buy fast food, but my goal is that all other times they eat healthy homemade meals. As we were making our bread today, my girls were asking why some peope don't cook like this and that they would make homemade food when they are grownups. I explained that I hope they make choices that they feel best suit their families, and that I have made the choices I have because I feel it is best for them. I know how crazy busy we get, and I do sometimes have to get take out and order in, I am human and don't beat myself up for needing to rely on outside food sources. All I want to acheive is to have the majority of our food be homemade and locally grown organic. This should equate to about 65-75% of our total intake, although in summer we may do better due to all of the fresh veggies. I have now finalized the CSA for spring, and I will also be getting eggs from them each week until I can convince Ryan to let me get chickens. The farm owner also told me about a raw milk cow share, but I cannot get Ryan in board with that, he will do non-homogenized, but not raw, so the search is on for a new supplier. Lastly, I am looking for a beef supplier and will be trying to locate a local farm where I can purchase our beef directly. This is a lot of work, but I know it is right for us.

Warmth and joy

We slept in today, the girls and I snuggled up in my bed, Grayson slept warm and toasty in his. As crazy as it makes me that my girls still come in to my room and sleep on the floor or in my bed the nights Ryan is at work, some mornings it is sweet to wake up next to two little blond heads resting peacefully. Grayson has always been a good sleeper, when he was a baby it used to make sad that he didn't want to be in bed with us like the girls did, that he wanted to be in his crib alone in his room. Now I am thankful that he is a good sleeper and that he can go to his bed and settle for the night, and he does come in every morning, climb into bed with us and snuggle up.

Today we slept really late, until after 8 which is a big deal here. We came down all rested and happy and I made the kids french toast and sausage for breakfast. I switched the laundry, gathered wood for the fire, started the fire and started our day. We have a wood delivery coming today, and the week ahead looks perfectly chilly, so our fireplace will be going strong. My girls have been asking for bread, so I will be baking a few loaves today for them, but it will have to be french bread since I am out of wheat flour :(

These are the days I love, a fire in the fire place, a warm home filled with the kids playing (Haven and Grayson are playing together and Brittan is working hard at reading a book) What a nice, warm morning.