Sunday, March 30, 2014

Good morning?

I am hoping that my body deciding to wake up at 5:40 a.m. Doesn't come back to bite me in the ass. See, I'm a sleeper. I looooove sleep! I normally wake up around 745-830 depending on how crappy of sleep I got the night before was. My king sized bed is no match for my nursing toddler, I haven't slept for more than 3 straight hours uninterrupted since I was 5 months pregnant with him....that was about June 2012...

So, I got up since I was wide awake for some stupid reason and tossed some wood on the fire, put a big ole scoop of coconut oil in my mouth and started the coffee pot. Of course once I hit 6 minutes in, Torrin woke up and wanted to nurse. Luckily for me, just as my gag reflex was kicking in, he popped off and went back to sleep. Now, I find myself with smooth teeth (freshly brushed of course), a cup of hot coffee...and a tablet. The coffee sucks, I got the coffee pot ready before bed last night...I was tired! I didn't make it strong enough. Might need extra...I know, I know...crunchy mamas don't drink coffee...we'll, this one does. As much as I'd love to give it up (which I have done) I actually LIKE coffee. I'm healthy and not jittery...I don't "need" it so much as I want it. I've cut so many things from my diet...it will be over my cold dead hands that someone takes this one thing away from me lol. Of all the things I've cut from my life (wheat, boxed crap, fake "food", fake "friends" ...) that was done out of necessity...there is no REAL reason for me to not enjoy a cup of coffee that I can find.

Anyway, hadn't meant to go on and on about coffee...gotta love my brain!

I've been meaning to post on here and the homeschool page for days and have been too busy with life!

Last Monday, we visited with another homeschool family, this family has helped me greatly in my journey to child led learning, and unschooling (more about that on the school page). While we were there, my girls fell in love with everything about their life, goats, cat, guinea pigs, free range chickens...you name it! I had actually been playing with the idea of the kids picking out a pet, just hadn't known what they would want. Didn't want to hop on craigslist and have them pick the first thing they saw ya know? Well, they wanted guinea pigs! Zarina "tamed" their less than nice piggy, and they just fell in love with them in general. On the way home they asked to go get books to learn about guinea pigs (I said we would wait). Wednesday, we checked out every guinea pig book the library had, on our way to pick up some guinea pigs. The girls didn't know we were going to get them, and it was not very well planned out.

I wasn't going to pay for guinea pigs, so many people get them and rehome them WITH A CAGE for free. I told the family that had them that the kids would pay them, but that their asking price was too much for young kids. They eventually said, to just take them. They did not have time to care for them any more. (A house full of kids and other pets...the novelty had worn off...) it was sad honestly, but I do feel as thought we were meant to find them. As much as I did not want THREE male guinea pigs...yes that was 3 MALE guinea pigs...(wth) I know we can make them happy. This house has lots of love to give.

Last night, after a long awesome day outside, Zarina was cleaning up the cage, giving them piggies their dinner, she mentioned to me that she didn't give them enough attention today. She saw them acting bad (like males tend to do in a smaller cage) and she truly felt bad. Now, this kid had the pigs out for a good 2+hours throughout the day??? I swear I'm under exaggerating here! Every time I turn around, she has one in her lap. Still, she noticed they missed out on burning some energy, and her heart strings pulled.

We already decided we have to build the piggies a bigger cage, the metal store bought one will not do. Unfortunately, we are under construction (always) and I'd like to find a way to "fit" a cage into the "design" . Guinea pigs NEEED to see their people, so it isn't like I can build a cage somewhere hidden away. They need to feel included in the day to day stuff. My home is organizationally challenged...we will figure it out!

So, Friday Nathan left for MN for a motorcycle show for work. My aunt (cousin...) and her daughters came to visit. Zariah and Maliyah stayed up until midnight! Zarina put herself to bed. I tried watching a movie, Ash fell asleep. Saturday, mom and baby brother (18 now holy shit!) came to visit.

We basically spent the day outside. Lots of trampoline time, scooping up dog mines (this job will seriously take weeks! Having a Saint Bernard in the winter is horrible for your lawn!)

At one point, Torrin wanted me to go on the trampoline with him. I get on thinking we are gonna play, and he wants to nurse. The poor kid was soooooo tired but didn't want to go inside! Luckily, a few minutes of milky bliss, and he was ready to go chill in the house.

 I, on the other hand, felt like I was on something! My need to move, clean and just DO was on overdrive! This started on Friday. I cleaned....like seriously cleaned my house! I haven't cleaned in ages! (I love my husband...and he cleans up after me haha). Torrin was actually letting me clean, while he walked around with frozen blueberries...messing everything up again.  I even brought in the "plant table" and turned my dining table the other way to accommodate my seed trays.

It must be the weather. I swear I have so much more energy when their in sunshine (duh, right?!) I am very dependent on Mr. Sun! It is just so crazy now, my baby is so big, he wants to run and play...and when he is outside he lets me get a little farther away. It is bitter sweet... On one hand, I do miss some of my freedom, I can't lie and say I enjoy being pinned to a couch all day. On the other hand, I am nowhere ready for him to push me away. I hope he doesn't stop nursing this summer...he will be 2 August 31st, and he still nurses a lot...more than "normal" ( normal...that shit is overrated) I know right now, he is not ready to wean..like not.at.all! I hope this summer, him gaining his independence, doesn't change that.

Oh, yesterday Torrin helped me plant some herbs! It was cute for like 2 minutes...then that clean house I spoke of...yea...not anymore! He really like the dirt. We have a sandbox, but I think I'm going to make him a small sensory bucket. I have a feeling he would love to play with rice and beads...with supervision of course. This kid still samples everything!

Well, one cup of coffee down...I think it is time to try a new donut recipe! I have been grain free for quite awhile now...but I want to treat the kiddos!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Real quickly...

My husband sent me a message saying he wished our home was paid for so we could be hermits. He wants to be home with us, being a part of raising our kids naturally. Making an honest income by (hopefully) selling produce, eggs and syrup (and later honey...we are dreamers, what can I say!?)

My reply is below. Now, before my reply...I want to say this again: I have felt very blessed the last few days. I have felt very grateful...and then I had someone attack me (my parenting and "teaching" of my children). I still feel very blessed. I have three beautiful, healthy children with whom I spend my days. We do silly things, we do fun things...we do normal boring stuff too. I posted on google the other day :

1 day ago
I am so lucky....you should smell and taste this..I'm pretty sure it is the best smelling and bestest tasting syrup ever!! It is not ready to "bottle" but my awesome hubs stayed up til 2am boiling down about 20 gallons of sap! Now, we are heading out as a family to collect more sap!!



Then, last night I poste this:
My life is soooo good right now!! How on earth did I go over a year gf and not know about coconut flour? I wasted so much time with rice flour! Going grain free was the best thing for me!! 

Next time, I will be skipping the chocolate chips (hubby and kids demanded them!) hubs agreed these pancakes taste more than sweet enough without them! 

Organic coconut flour, organic LOCAL (my hens) eggs, nitrate free bacon...fresh made pure maple syrup...yummmmmm

See? I was feeling grateful! Well...here is my reply to my husband about becoming hermits:

I don't want to be a hermit. 
I want to live a life worth living.
I want our kids to always be happy, to have experiences
I want us to do stuff as a family 
I want to make memories with our kids...and us as a couple. 
I don't want to be Lonely when our kids are grown...I want them to want to come home to see us...to keep us in their lives because they LIKE us as people, not out of obligation...or worse just walk away from us entirely....
I also want us to have enough awesome memories of our time spent with our kids (and together) that we never really feel alone. So we can walk through the woods in 30 years...and still hear our kids laughing and picture them taking in their surroundings...
I want our kids to sit down for pancakes (when they are adults) and think about collecting sap with their dad..and staying up late watching it boil down...I want them to see flowers or a vegetable garden and to think of sitting out in the dirt with me. I want to imprint myself so hard on their souls that they always feel connected. 

His reply was asking if I was trying to make him cry...in all honesty I almost cried typing it. It is the truth I feel in my soul...

So, right now...I am dancing around my kitchen (still in my pjs at 330...) baking with my kids. Learning with my kids. Loving every second spent with my kids. I am grateful. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

we dont do normal...dinners

In my house, my kids are not allowed to say negative things about what is served for dinner. I do not force them to eat more than they want, though I do ask them to take at least 2 bites of everything. If I make a BIG meal, they can take what they want. There are days that I don't know what to make though! Today was that day!! I hadn't planned anything really...I had planned on  making a mixture of everything. We are still cutting up the venison, so that was on the menu.

Tonight for dinner-I had planned (for myself) venison steak with avocado, sautéed onions, and MAYBE a runny egg on top...Zarina wanted an omelet(with onion and venison), Zariah *who is sick of eggs and smoothies ALREADY) wanted a smoothie.
I did have a few bites of my yummy onions-but they ended up in the fridge (maybe Nathan will want them??)
 ^^She had her omelet, and a smoothie-said she was SOOO full...and went on to have some frozen berries with nuts!^^


 ^^^She ONLY wanted a berry smoothie, but ended up eating half the house-just kidding...she had some more blueberries with applesauce and then a banana...^^


Crankipants woke up while I was fixing his sisters omelet...he was held until it was time to flip it, then to silence him quickly (he was sooo hungry and begging for food) I handed him some frozen berries-HE WAS SOLD!!
He did NOT want his omelet-but insisted on frozen blueberries. He polished off 1/2 cup of berries, and ended up eating all of his egg!!

After seeing the kids enjoy their berry smoothies-I decided a banana/coconut/cinnamon smoothie was needed...it was SOOO good. My Vitamix sure gets used a lot! (I think today alone...I have made 4 DIFFERENT smoothies, plus used the nut container!)

My smoothie was not "thick" enough to count as a meal, I was still a bit hungry. SO-I blended up some sunflower seeds, pecans and almonds (with some cinnamon) and tossed some applesauce and frozen blueberries in. A sort of "parfait" it was so yummy-with extra cinnamon and honey!

Zariah wanted to try it...but she is NOT a fan of cinnamon so she made a bad face. I am not sure what happened to my taste buds-I always hated cinnamon, now it goes in EVERYTHING I make!

This is such a weird looking "dinner", but it is Nathan's late  night working, which means anything I would've fixed for him would've been ice cold by the time he got home. At LEAST once a week, I miss the boat on dinner plans. (by either not planning, not taking something out in time, letting the sleeping baby win over dinner prep, or just simply not wanting what was on the menu) I am not perfect...not by any means. My family is FED (healthy ORGANIC foods!!) and happy!! That is what it is all about anyway right??

So, no quick pizza in my oven. No food in a microwave (don't even own one) but instead, smoothies, fruits and eggs all around.

Does your family say to heck with normal?
What is your backup meal?
Do you cave and keep freezer meals that you know are unhealthy? Or instead opt for quick nutritious foods that don't LOOK like a "meal".

Mr. Rogers neighborhood & Sunflower cookie/biscuit

This posting was from Yesterday-3/17

Today, it is so cold! We only have the wood stove going, not the wood furnace. Everyone is huddled in the living room near the fire! Part of me wants to bake something, but all I have is oat and grain supplies and I really want to stick grain free. I could always make something just for the kids...I have a taste for coconut, but all of my ideas are cold.

Anyway, with us all hiding out in hour living room, I decided to look on amazon prime for something "educational" but fun. Unfortunately, the magic schoolhouse is not free, I'm quite upset by this! I got to thinking, and did a quick search for Mr. Rogers, what do ya know, free!

The girls were a bit confused and concerned, the first episode is in black and white. They asked me several times if it would turn to color. I'm not sure what the girls thought about watching this show, but I do think mr roger sends a few great messages.

Episode 1
I really liked hearing his song about liking people the way they are. How he wouldn't change a thing, but keep you just the way you are! What a great message!  They also talked about change. Sometimes change can be scary and not fun...but change can be good as well. Something's don't need to change, like the people we care about.

Episode 2
Funny thing, he starts with a song of course, and the girls kind of roll their eyes. Then he has them guess what is in the bag,,,THEY WERE GUESSING! My kids like guessing games, and they also like creating things from a recycled item. Mr. Rogers was trying to "repurpose" his burlap bag, and the kids actually had ideas.
In this episode, he is still talking about change. I am amazed by the lessons and learning opportunity in each episode that I missed as a kid! He explains what the headline of a newspaper, and defines words in normal conversation. He talks about how new toys are fun, but things we have had for awhile make us happy.

After the 2nd episode, Zariah says to me, "I like these, but they are weird, he sings a lot!"

Now, at this point, I am considering shutting it off, this is way more tv time than my kids generally get. However, it is still cold, and though it doesn't look educational in comparison to the documentary movies, they are learning about kindness and so much more! I'd rather have a kind, generous, loving child than a math know-it-all!

Episode 3
I had to smile at the "I'd like to be just like my mom" song. It was cute...I can only hope my kids would sing it!

Mr. Rogers asks,"Who washes the glasses in your house?" and of course Zariah says "daddy..." Yup, I'm a great "house-wife" haha!!

This wasn't a very well liked episode...they touched on the topic of trust, and how the king wasn't trusting anyone...

They wanted to continue watching a few episodes, so we shall!

I am not sure what the 4th or 5th episode are about. It sounded like more on the king being upset by change, and people wanting peace and love. Seems appropriate for the year they aired. 1967&1968 I believe. (Around my mothers birth)

Zariah stopped me to say that episode 6 is in color! Zarina thought it looked way different! Also, we just realized he has a fish!

 Sunflower cookies/biscuits

While the kids were watching the shows, my urge to bake got the best of me. Unfortunately for me, my baking supplies (from vitacost) will not be here until later in the week! One thing I bought a bunch of when I did my bulk buying a few weeks ago was sunflower seeds.

I try to soak and dehydrate all of my nuts and seeds after I purchase them so that they are ready to use in recipes or to snack on. (It is important to properly soak and dry your raw nuts and seeds!)

So, since my "fun" baking supplies are not here from vitacost yet, I decided to throw some stuff in the vitamix and see what happened! Raw, organic sunflower seeds are pretty cheap, makes me think it would be great if this recipe is a success!

This recipe is the result if me being low on baking supplies, and not wanting to cave by using "grains". Now, I think this is probably a good "tea" cookie for adults. It is not a sweet treat that all kids would devour. My kids are eating them, and enjoy them...but they are not used to eating sugar or super sweets any longer!

To start, I took 2 cups of raw/organic (properly soaked and dried) sunflower seeds and put them in my vitamix (blender) and made a "powder" or flour. It is a little gritty yet, but I'm hoping it is something we enjoy. I don't want a cookie that is like all the other cookies I have tried. I wanted something new! Now, this recipe is not perfected just yet. It is not a "sweet" treat..I think had I had chocolate chunks in the recipe, it may have been a touch better. I actually ALMOST made these cookies with 1/4 cup of craisins in it...but decided against at the last second. It is something I will try next time!

Once you have the sunflower "flour" add it to the mixer bowl. Next, I took my chocolate bar and added it to the blender and make a powder of it.  (If you have nibs or small chunks, use them...and add them straight to the mixer, but do not pulverize!)

Put all ingredients in mixer.

Bake for 15-18 minutes at 350degrees.

Ingredients
2 cups sunflower seeds (for a smoother cookie, try sunflower butter)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup honey (mine could have been a bit sweeter...)
1/3 cup shredded coconut flakes
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 oz dark chocolate bar (if you have chips or chunks, use those)

These are good "biscuit" cookies. I do plan to play with the recipe a bit more, maybe tossing in some dates or leaving out the chocolate and adding dried fruit...I am new to totally plucking a recipe out of the air! Normally, I find one online and tweak it to suit my needs. Finding a grain free sunflower cookie recipe proved impossible though!

Do you have a surplus of sunflower seeds?
Do you have any grain free, sugar free, dairy free recipes to share? I'd love to try out some!
this is what my pulverized sunflower seeds look like

this is what 1oz of dark chocolate looks like

                                                        Pulverized dark chocolate...
this recipe will make 15 cookies
I put them in rounded tablespoons and "balled" them
 


 
They were pretty good-but there is room for improvement

Monday, March 17, 2014

a real gift...time

I have not been doing a very good job of keeping up with posting my recipes or just the general upkeep of this blog. It has been very cold here in Wisconsin, and today I find myself sitting on the couch curled up with a sweater and a blanket. I told my kids that they should either curl up by the fire and read all day, or we could watch an educational movie that they picked out at the library, or they could crafter build at their leisure. One child decided to set herself up out in the mud room, which is quite cold, so she can build with Legos. The other is curled up next to the wood stove reading!

We got a teaser of spring weather, where we collected about 20 gallons of sap, and then it got super cold again! My floor was painted with muddy foot prints, and I was truly happy to see it!

Mud...lovely mud, how I have miss you!

Now, if only it would get warm enough for the kids to play outside!

I need to take a moment to say how truly thankful I am for my neighbors! Not only do we share a driveway, that they keep cleaned of snow, but we share our woodsplitter, and their 4 wheeler (which is trying at times...we need our own 4 wheeler badly...)  but they also look out for us! Our neighbor knows everyone it seems, when we needed wood, he had a hookup for us, when someone he knows has AG tags, and doesn't need the meat, he got us 2 deer! I was down to the last packs of venison, and last night I was able to grind up more than 30#s of fresh venison for the freezer! The girls we're so excited to have steak and eggs for breakfast! Tonight, after Nathan collects sap, he is going to cut up the smaller of the deer and I will grind up that one too!

Gifting:
So, I mentioned last week that I had been working on a gift for our nephew. Now, this gift was not "Eco friendly" or "healthy" or anything like that...it was a lot of work to put together, and I hope it was or will be enjoyed! It was a box of experiments!

Also, my husband thinks I went a tad overboard. I am not always given the option to be the aunt I know I can be...and I really just wanted to gift a fun gift to a kid who still knows how to be a kid! kids nowadays are so consumed with tv and video games...it is nice to think they could use their imaginations and PLAY!

Please NOTE: this original idea was NOT mine, but I did have HOURS into this project. I looked at the original idea and had a lot of things to change (and retype).