Tuesday, January 31, 2012

a good site, a bad site and some cookies

A beautiful site:

A not so beautiful site:

Somehow I overlooked a pen that was in Chris' pants and it exploded in our dryer.  I say "overlooked" but in actuality, I haven't been checking pants pockets...I guess I've gotten lazy.

I finished off Chris' bottle of Goof Off trying to remove the ink from the inside of the dryer drum.  It looked to be about 15 years old and it did a fair job at removing a lot of the ink...but not all.  I think I have to change my ways and start checking pants pockets again.

Another beautiful site:  oatmeal raisin cookies. 

I spent Nickel's naptime baking and speaking with a nice man from India about my Snapfish order.  I had ordered some home decor items and a they didn't quite turn out as I expected.  He was very helpful (even if it took 55 minutes) and I'm looking forward to hanging up some pictures of my cute boys.

A long phone call meant no time to make my soup that I was planning on making.  Nor did I have time to do my yoga class. 

My middle son is the one with the sickies now and I felt a little run down this morning.  I'm hoping I can fight it off with my ginger green tea and some immunity yoga...and a good night's sleep.

Until tomorrow...

Monday, January 30, 2012

quiet time and yoga

We had our second quiet weekend in a row.  We didn't go anywhere last weekend.  It was heaven.  This weekend, we stayed home all day Saturday and made one quick into town on Sunday.  Just enough to cure the cabin fever that was beginning to set in for me.

Today was a normal start to our week.  A bit of grocery shopping followed by a much needed haircut for all 3 boys.  I didn't take many pictures today, so I'll have to share their new do's with you later this week.


I've been doing yoga more regularly since the start of the year.  I've done yoga off and on, very irregularly for about 4 years, since training for my first half marathon.  I actually remember doing my first yoga pose during my aerobics class back in 1998...tree pose!  I've wanted to begin learning more about yoga and practice more on a regular basis and finally am doing that with the help of Melissa West.  She is a Thai Massage Thereapist and Yoga Instructor who lives in Canada.  She offers free weekly yoga classes that are available online at www.youtube.com.  You can go directly to her website to see other information as well as linking up with her free weekly yoga classes.  She is so sweet and genuine in her classes, I really love her as an instructor.  I also love that I can do them when I have time, whether that's at 5 am or while my youngest naps in the afternoon...while I have dinner cooking on the stove.

I have joined her member site which allows me access to lectures, DVDs, and a forum where other members and I can communicate about questions, progress, anything really.  I'm reading a book that was recommended, The Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi, and studying the yoga sutras.  I'm excited to learn and it's already opening my eyes to a way of living a life more in touch with my heart than with my head.

 Good night and Namaste.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

waffles, snow, and one lazy saturday

I found a vegan waffle recipe that everyone eats, even my toughest critic (my family members will know which boy I'm talking about).  And I can throw them together really fast, along with a blueberry or raspberry sauce that I can no longer live without.  My oldest prefers the blueberry version and I the raspberry.  My youngest will eat both, and did so today.


I awoke this morning to beautiful snow flakes adding to our carpet of snow already on the ground.  It was a welcome site since we hadn't gotten much all week.  And what snow we had melted and become my least favorite part of winter...dirty brown snow. Another 4 inches fell last night and this morning.

My oldest is a little under the weather.  He must have caught the bug that I heard was making it's way through school.  It's a lazy Saturday.   Time to take advantage of that myself.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

a new family member

A pyramid of piggies.

From the top:  Dar Dar (our new addition), Fur Ball, Darwin, and Fluff Ball.

Ever since my oldest son got a guinnea pig for his birthday last June, our middle son has developed a love for guinnea pigs.  And he hoped that the Tooth Fairy might bring him a guinnea pig last night.

And she did!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

bites, bugs and mushrooms

I'm a creature of habit, but I do try new things from time to time.  I got some new teas for Christmas.  We have a wonderful organic tea company not too far from our house.  I discovered them at our local Co-op and happened upon their farm and store one day.  They have a tasting room!  The cinnamon tea was lovely this morning.

We had time to do a little baking this morning.  Only to my surprise, the recipe I wanted to make didn't require any baking.  My favorite vegan cookbook author, Dreena Burton, just revealed this recipe on her blog for Lemon-Kissed Blondie Bites.  They don't have any added sugar, the don't have any added oil.  And, there's a gluten-free option.  They have a delicious hint of lemon that is so fresh and light.  Amazing. 

Someone was very interested in helping me.

And he couldn't help himself from having many tastes.


A project developed this afternoon.  My oldest son found a bug this morning and his paternal instinct kicked in.  After school he decided he needed to construct a habitat for it.  Everyone was involved and the other boys decided that they needed to construct houses for their stuffed animals.

Dewey in the middle...always.

But, tragedy struck.  While I was holding the lid closed so Daniel could tape up the openings, the bug accidentally was squished.  You could have heard a pin drop in my kitchen.  Everyone was devastated, especially me.  We thought he/she might come around, but we weren't so lucky.  His/her final resting place is out on our deck under a blanket of leaves.


On to something more positive...dinner.  Creamy mushroom fettuccine.  Creamy, delicious, and vegan.  Thank you Isa.

I didn't get that walk in this afternoon.  What I really want is a walk at twilight.  Hopefully tomorrow night after dinner.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

soup and busy tuesdays

Tuesdays are busy days for us.  Right after school I take the kids to my oldest son's piano lesson.  And once we get home it's dinner time.  So I need something I can make in the afternoon that can be ready when we walk in the door after piano lesson.  I usually make soup because I love soup, I can get it ready while my youngest is napping, and it'll be ready when we walk in the door.  Tonight I tried a new recipe.  It has a great name, One Wild Chick Soup!

Again, it's from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and Be Vegan cookbook.  It's like a vegetable soup with chickpeas and wild rice.  It is seasoned with thyme, marjoram, sage, and oregano.  It is really yummy.  And it made the house smell delicious!  I admit, I was hesitant to try a new vegetable soup recipe.  I have a one that is adapted from my Grandmother's chicken noodle soup recipe that I grew up on.  Just the smell of the onion and garlic cooking remind me of how much I love that soup.  I wasn't sure I would like the additional spices and the wild rice (only because it wasn't the same veggie soup that I know and love so well)  but it was different and it was good.  I'll definitely be making it again as my kids love chickpeas and wild rice. 


I'm a couple of days late going to the grocery store.  I usually go on Monday, but we had that freezing rain yesterday.  Today we had a playdate at a friend's house.  But tomorrow our co-op has their customer appreciation day.  I'm looking forward to 10% off my purchases, and my littlest one is looking forward to some new samples to try.  I'm also looking forward to filling up my fruit bowl with delicious organic fruits.  It's looking a little sad today.


Have I mentioned I love tea?  I'm not a coffee-drinker.  I love how it smells, I just don't like the way it tastes.  On the other hand...tea?  Love!  I always have one in the morning.  Lately it's been a nog spiced chai which I've been really loving.  But on those mornings that I feel like a cold may be coming on I'll brew up some green tea and put a healthy chunk of fresh ginger in to steep with the bag.  I sweeten with a little agave. 

Recently I've been making myself a second tea in the afternoon.  Today I had peppermint.  It was fabulous as we walked through the snowy campus where my son has his piano lesson. 

The next couple of days are lower-key in the afternoons.  I hope to take a walk in our woods tomorrow.

Monday, January 23, 2012

a lost tooth and a snow day

 Guess who lost his first tooth?  It was an exciting night.  He actually pushed it out with his tongue and he's so happy it's out.  The tooth fairy hasn't come yet.  He's forgotten to put it under his pillow.  Maybe he'll remember tomorrow and hopefully she remembers to come.  Our tooth fairy has a habit of forgetting to come.  I guess she's pretty busy.

 We had a mountain of broccoli for dinner the other night.  Just kidding.  It was actually part of a delicious Broccoli CashewTeriyaki Stir Fry from Dreena Burton's Eat, Drink and be Vegan.  It's a favorite in our house.

We also had Sunny Pineapple Yogurt Cake with Orange Glaze.  It is also from the same cookbook.  It is so moist and delicious and citrus-y...my kind of dessert.  The best part is it only has three tablespoons of oil in the entire cake.  Honestly!


We had a snow day today.  Actually I should call it an inclement weather day since they cancelled school because of the freezing rain.  My boys were very excited, they weren't expecting a day off.  While they were very busy upstairs I threw together some scones.  These raspberry chocolate chip scones have become a favorite with most of us.  I can't quite convince my middle son to try them.  He did ask what kind of "cookies" these were.  Once I said "scone" he turned and walked away.  If only he'd try them...

I couldn't get a good picture of the snow melting and dripping off of the roof of our house, but in this one you can see the grass is showing in our backyard.

My husband clears a path for the dog...he's a Lhasa Apso and his belly is probably only 6 inches off of the ground.

Our high temperature today was a balmy 43.  I wonder if that is a record.  It really did feel warm compared to our single-digit temperatures we had last week.

Snow started to fall around the dinner hour and it hasn't stopped yet.  We shall see if there is school tomorrow.

Good night all.

Friday, January 20, 2012

{this moment}

{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.   -Amanda Soule  www.soulemama.com

Thursday, January 19, 2012

more snow and a very loose tooth

We got some more snow overnight.  I'd say about 6 more inches.  I didn't snow blow this morning because I didn't have time.  My boys kept asking me if I was sure school wasn't cancelled.  Did I check my email?  Did I check their website?  Did I check the news source directly?  Yes, yes, yes...you still have school today.  They were very disappointed.

I've been drinking a lot of green tea with ginger lately.  I've been feeling as if I were on the verge of getting a cold.  Yesterday I put a very large piece of ginger in...and left it in my thermos.  I usually take it out after letting it steep a bit with the tea bag.  However, I wanted to nip this nagging sore throat in the bud.  And it worked!

My littlest boy enjoyed his oranges this morning.  All lined up in a row.  I love it!

And, my middle son is very, very close to loosing a tooth.  It's his first loose tooth.  He told me today that he does not like having a loose tooth.  He's not fond of change.  In fact, I bought him a new shirt not too long ago.  He did not want to wear it.  It was a nice Ohskosh B'Gosh athletic shirt that had a cool Olympian-style torch on the front.  He's a creature of habit...as am I, so I get it.  But, he does not like change of any kind.  And guess what?   After a conversation about the Olympics and what a torch is and how it's carried from person to person around the world only to end up at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games...I convinced him to wear the shirt today.  Victory!  I take what I can get. 

So, that's about all.  I cleared off the driveway again since my husband is still gone.  Not a problem.  My oldest starts it up for me and away I go.  It took about 40 minutes to clear about 7 or 8 inches.  Even though I love the snow, I'm hoping to have a little break.  However, my husband is coming home tomorrow night

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

fun in the snow, blue sky and a dance party

 This past week has been pretty chilly here in Northern Michigan.  Our winter started out very mild, with not much snow.  But that has changed. 





I feel a bit like Mr. Rogers now.  I take off my coat when I come inside my house and promptly put on my warm sweater.  I don't have any inside shoes, though.  And I don't sing the song.  But, maybe I will tomorrow...


Today we spent our afternoon in the backyard.  Daniel is working on building a snow fort.  He's calling it a quinzie  and I'm not really sure how to spell it and what makes it different from a snow fort.  This is what the Boy Scouts slept in last weekend...outside...in January.

He had some helpers.   (I'm using that term loosely)


Or maybe I should say supervisors.

This one enjoyed the challenge of walking in the deep snow.




He'd fall...


...but then get right back up.


Such a proud boy!

The squirrel nests are no longer hidden this time of year.


This big boy showed me his talents at making a snow angel. 

 As of this evening they have made progress with the quinzie.





I saw blue sky today.  We don't see that much of it around here, this time of year.  It was something to take in - and appreciate.


We finished up the day with a dance party.  The oldest boy had his turn first and was letting the younger two have a go at it.

 My middle one can really bust a move!

We did it!  We're over the hump and on our way down the hill.  Daddy will be home in a couple of days and then it will be the weekend.  A nice, relaxing weekend.