Friday, June 25, 2010

Busy Week

Wow! It's been a busy week. From my husband working tons, having a coworker in town, and not working in his home office - to having a stager come and re-work our home, it has been quite the week! The staging involved some organizing, closet-cleaning, small (but fun!) purchases, and packing. All, of which, is done after sending the kids to bed. This resulted in some super late bedtimes for me, and with the kids getting up during the 5:00am hour, I've been a bit sleep-deprived. Thus the reason for not blogging.

We have an open house this Sunday. To add to the fun, my husband will be leaving early in the morning for work, so I get to prepare, with all kids in tow, by myself! Hopefully the weather will be accommodating so they can enjoy the summer morning while I become a cleaning tornado!

Regardless, we've had a nice week. The weather has been beautiful, which has enabled us to take our daily walks, the bigger boys have played in the water and the sand, and we took a trip to one of our favorite stores, The Mom and Pop Place.

I'm amazed at how ingenious my oldest son is. He has a plan and an idea for everything. Fireworks are fresh on his mind, with the pending Holiday. He's planning on having a firework company and giving us all free fireworks! Thanks honey!!

My middle boy is such the sweetheart. He is my most challenging (so far) but has really become affectionate. He's always asking if I need a sweet! He's also quite interested in death and dying asking, "Will I miss him if he died?" And saying, "I hope I don't die before it's my time." Whew, I'm not sure I can take these conversations much longer!

The baby is walking more. He's 16 months old now, and still not exclusively walking. That's okay, it'll come with time. He is, however, climbing up on anything (everything) he can: the coffee table, kitchen chairs, couches, beds, over-turned laundry baskets...he's my climber!

I hope next week brings a bit of a calmer feel. We'll be leaving for vacation soon, so that will bring a very calm and relaxing feel. We're excited and the boys are beginning to make their lists. Those journals are coming in handy!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010

{this moment}

In Soulemama's words:

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Go to to participate.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Projects

The kids are home from school and I'm looking for things to keep us busy and somewhat loosely scheduled. I bought Amanda Blake Soule's second book, Handmade Home, in hopes of sparking the creative bug in me. I'm not very creative so I need a lot of help! The projects in her book are terrific for me and the boys. A lot of them are suitable for little hands including this, our first project:

They made journals. The front and back covers are made from cereal boxes and the papers inside are lined notebook paper, construction paper, and drawing paper we had on hand. The boys loved decorating the covers. They loved the stamps and punches from my Stampin Up! supply that I have. I thought they turned out very cute. I'm hoping to encourage them to document our summer in addition to practicing their fine motor skills. A win-win if you ask me!

We took the journals to our local office supply store and they laminated the covers and bound them. And, they were so excited to pick them up today. They did their journal entry in the car on our way home. Success!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday's Dinner

I love soup.

I love making soup.

I love eating soup.

I especially love eating leftover homemade soup for lunch.

I still couldn't get the corn chowder out of my mind, so I made some this afternoon for our dinner. It's from my ever faithful Vegan Planet cookbook and is so delicious and super duper easy. It was even more easy because I had leftover, cooked corn on the cob from dinner the other night. I began making it before 2pm ('cause that's when the baby was napping and I have to take my opportunities when they are available!), but just left it on the stove and warmed it up right before dinner. I made myself another wrap too, like the one I had for lunch yesterday (shown in yesterday's post). Dinner was so satisfying and delicious!

Underneath that wonderful simmering broth was fresh sweet corn, russet potatoes (because I didn't have the yukon gold that the recipe called for), and celery. I know, I need to practice taking my food pictures.

Here's the recipe, again from Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson:

4 ears of corn
1 TBS olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced (as stated above, I used russets, 2 of them)
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 cup of non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk)
salt and pepper to taste
garnish (which I don't have time to do, but I should, because my pictures would look prettier):
1 red tomato finely chopped, 2 TBS minced fresh basil leaves

You can roast the corn in the oven. I find this really makes my kitchen stinky, so I boil mine as I would for serving the corn on the cob straight up. If you'd really like the roasted flavor, feel free to roast it in the oven, after removing the silk only, for about 30 min in a 450 degree oven. Cut the corn off the cob and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 min. Add the potato and stock and bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 25 min. or until the veggies are soft. Add the corn.

You can puree about 2 cups of the soup in a blender, or use a hand-held blender right in your soup pot. I forgot to do this today. It was still super yummy and the broth wasn't too runny, for me anyway. After pureeing some of the soup, add it back to the pot and add the non-dairy milk too. Season w/ salt and pepper to taste. Garnish if you so choose and enjoy!

The weather this past week has been cool and rainy and the soup really hit the spot. As I said above, I love soup! I make soup all year round, even during the dog days of summer. I hope you give it a try too.

Happy soup-making!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuesday's Lunch

The baby needed a morning nap today and the older boys were busy building a bunny trap. It was adorable. It was the typical box with a string attached (carrots as an incentive for the bunny were inside the box). So, while they were outside trying to catch the bunnies, I decided I had time to make some hummus and get my wrap ready for lunch.

I made Chipotle Lime Two-Bean Hummus and it was fantastic!! You can find the recipe here I love the combination of the chipotle sauce with the lime, and of course the cilantro. I love cilantro!!

Dreena's picture is much prettier than mine. In fact, my pictures aren't very clear, probably because I was holding my 15 month old. He was hungry and wanted to see what I was making.

I spread some of the hummus on a tortilla and added some chopped veggies: romaine, red bell pepper, carrot, and avacado.

I need to practice wrapping my wraps, because lots fell out. But, it was delicious.

I was thinking about making roasted corn chowder with the leftover corn on the cob from dinner last night, but I ran out of time...such is life. Hopefully I'll be able to make some tomorrow and enjoy corn chowder with another wrap.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vegan Recipes

I have begun the journey of vegan cooking. I'm loving it, and so is my family (most of them anyway, I have that one picky eater, my 4 1/2 year old). There are many reasons why I love cooking vegan. It's so good for you! And, it's so very tasty. But, I understand. Choosing to eat vegan can be daunting, overwhelming, and downright scary. But, if I can do it, anyone can.

My 3 young boys (now 8 years, 4 1/2 years, and 15 months) are now home with me for the summer, and I couldn't be happier! I'm trying to get into the swing of things again with a new routine, and that's making dinner preparations challenging sometimes. It's more of a timing issue, trying to make sure everything's done in time for our dinner hour, 5pm. That means I'm sometimes cooking at 2pm in the afternoon, or even earlier. That's what happened the other night when I made this delicious dish from my Vegan Planet cookbook.

Red Bean and Sweet Potato Curry

1 TBS safflower oil (or any light oil of your choosing)
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 TBS curry powder (I used a sweet curry because I'm new to the world of curry)
1 tsp ground coriander
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne (I omitted this because of the kids)
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped (any color bell pepper will do)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS fresh ginger (I used 1/4 tsp ground ginger)
1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
1 14/5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained (I used crushed tomatoes, because that's what I had)
1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 15-oz can dark red kidney beans, drained
2 med. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil on medium heat in a large pan on the stove. Add the onion and cook until soft. Stir in the spices (curry, coriander, cumin, tumeric, and cayenne - if using). Add the bell pepper, garlic, and ginger and cook for 30 seconds. Add the stock and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and add the beans and sweet potatoes. Season w/ salt and pepper to taste and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 min.

If you want, you can puree some of the mixture to make the sauce a little thicker.

Serve w/ brown basmati rice and a lettuce salad.


Friday, June 11, 2010

{this moment}

In Soulemama's words:

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


These are strawberries I picked from our garden last year. We've been getting berries this year, but not enough to make it into the house. In fact, the boys have been eating fresh strawberries from our garden every day for about 2 weeks now and today was the first day that I was able to eat one myself.

I'm not much of a gardener, but I'm learning. I should be researching and reading, but right now I'm just puttering and learning through trial and error. That's fine for now. Because our strawberries do so well, I don't need to do much other than let the boys pick and eat them.

We do cover the plants with a netting, to keep the birds from eating our delicious berries. I don't mind sharing, but they can be a little greedy! They're persistent too. The net doesn't always stop them. We've rescued 3 birds so far this season. We check throughout the day, just in case anyone is stuck and needs help getting out.

I usually make strawberry jam every year. Not with our berries though, because they don't last long enough. I'll go pick from a local farm and make jam from their berries. There isn't much better than eating homemade strawberry jam. I don't use a fancy recipe, just the one on the pectin box. When I made jam last year, I forgot to let them sit upside down, so a few didn't seal right. Oh well.

Later this month, after birthday celebrations and the end of the school year we'll return to our local strawberry farm and pick more berries for jam. Then, I'll spend a weekend afternoon - with 2 boys looking on, helping as much as they can - making more jam for the coming year.

What could be better?

Monday, June 7, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Another week and another Not Me! Monday post. In McMama’s words:

"Not Me! Monday was born out of my desire to admit some of my imperfections and reveal a few moments I’d rather forget. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!"

So, our baby continues to wake up early. “What’s early?” you may ask. Well, 5:15am or maybe 5:30. Yesterday morning however, he was up before 5am. He did play quietly in his crib. I thought (or maybe “hoped” is the correct word) he would fall back asleep. But, no such luck. So, I got him out and he played with bath toys while I took my shower. Normally, my husband would tend to the baby on the weekend mornings, but he had worked at his annual fire department picnic all day Saturday. All day meaning from 7am until 12 midnight. So, I thought he needed to sleep in.

The baby played nicely with the bath toys, enjoyed peeking in at me while I was in the shower, and pretty much kept himself busy. Well, after my shower, while I was continuing to get ready, there’s no way I would let him go downstairs by himself. Nope, not me! He has gotten very good at sliding down the stairs. He already had a cup of milk out and my middle son was downstairs already. Sigh… There’s no way I didn’t think that I should check on him, just maybe, because it was very quiet. And, all you Mom’s know what that means when the kids are quiet!

And, I didn’t come downstairs to find this:

Yikes! My baby did not empty almost the entire box of cake flour on the floor. Nope! And, he didn’t crawl through it, spreading it over the kitchen floor, onto the living room carpet where I saw random white spots. Nope, not my baby!

Oh well, a little cake flour never hurt anyone, right??

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Welcome June

We welcome June! The weather has been beautiful, summer-like, and keeping us outside in the water.

The babies that have been nesting in the middle pine tree in our yard, left on Monday.

We watched the parents build the nest and take food back to the babies. Now, we see the babies following the Mommy across our yard.

Our strawberry patch in our garden is starting to give us ripe, juicy, red strawberries.

Okay, maybe this one wasn't so ripe and red, but Matthew just couldn't wait!

My irises that my Mom gave me are blooming and are beautiful.

My husband and I just celebrated our wedding anniversary and our oldest son will be celebrating his birthday next week. It's been a great start to the new month.

Welcome June!