About Me

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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A day in the life...

Big Warning!  
I've been seeing quite a few "day in the life" posts recently out there in blogland and thought I'd give it a whirl.  Now many of you will probably find this waaaay boring, I mean who really cares what we do each hour of a typical day?  But, there may be a few like me who are curious, so without further ado...

A typical day in our life!

4:30 a.m.--the alarm goes off.  Ugh.  Morning comes too early!  This is when both J and I do our quiet time and workout.  We switch off mornings.  Today is a 5:30 spin class for me--off to the gym!
6:30 a.m.--the Noodle has slept in today!  We hear a "Who's there?" and J goes to get her up.  She's all cuddly and warm.  Don't you just love kiddos when they've just woken up?
Everyone heads downstairs to do a quick read-through of the paper (are there any characters to be found in the circulars?!) and then I go in to the kitchen to start pulling together breakfast and assemble J's lunch (don't worry, I'm not too 1950's...many days he does it himself!).
Don't you love the Noodle's developing fashion sense?  Ha ha!
7:00 a.m.--we all head upstairs to start the showering/dressing routine (at least some of us).

7:30 a.m.--breakfast!  The Noodle has decided that this morning she wants cinnamon toast (no crusts, thank you very much), plain yogurt with crasins (which she doesn't end up eating-it gets saved for lunch or snack) and milk.
8:00 a.m.--J is out the door, off to work and I'm cleaning up the kitchen.  I go in to find the Noodle playing Legos and sit down to join her.  Somehow I manage to make both an airplane and a helicopter.  No small feat because I can never the pieces that match the idea book!
9:00 a.m.--we both head upstairs to finish getting ready and put some clothes on.

9:30 a.m.--let's head out the door!  Time to drop off a package at the post office, run to the bank and maybe hit a few garage sales.  It is looking like a beautiful day!

10:30--weekly shopping at our locally owned grocery store.  We always have to make a stop to look at all of the character cakes, no surprise!
11:15 a.m.--stop by our local health food store where we purchase our produce, bulk items and vitamins.  Today we're low on oatmeal, so it is always a challenge to let the Noodle "help" without oatmeal spilling over the entire floor!  Ha ha!!  Each week she also picks out fruit leather for us to eat at lunch.
12:00--time to race home to unload the food and fix lunch.  It was a typical lunch for the C.N.--hard boiled egg (whites only), crackers, pickles, hummus, some raw veg (grape tomatoes, red pepper and peapods) and milk.  She finished it off with the fruit leather and 2 small chocolate kisses. We ate outside because it was sooo gorgeous!  You can't beat upper '70s-low '80s with no humidity!  My ideal summer day :)
1:00 p.m.--read a few stories and then up for quiet time.  She read in her room (talking to herself the entire time) and I made a few phone calls, checked e-mail,and made a batch of 7 layer bars.  Doesn't she look thrilled to be having her picture taken...again?
2:30 p.m.--run to Tar-jay to pick up a few things.  It was suppose to be a quick in and quick out.  I should have known better.  Anytime, and I mean ANYTIME, she sees a character, she wants to look at that specific product.  Do you have any idea how many things in Tar-jay have characters on them?  Even the kleenex boxes.  Geesh!  Oh yeah, on the 8 min. drive that it takes to get there, guess who fell asleep?  Mm-hmmm
3:30 p.m.--we get home, put away our loot and decide to break out the play-doh.  I love playing with the stuff outside--that way when the little pieces and crumbles fall, it is no big deal; unlike when we we're inside and it gets ground into the dining room chair cushions.  Grrrr.  As an aside, the afternoon is usually when we do table time, working on the You Can Read activities and practice the violin.  We threw caution to the wind today and didn't.  Ha!
4:15 p.m.--the Noodle decides that she's happy to just skip around the backyard, explore the garden and pick up "treasures" for J.  I just enjoy watching her and soaking up the sun.
5:00 p.m.--time to go in and start getting dinner ready.  On the menu tonight is meatloaf (J will be thrilled that it is a meat day!), mashed sweet potatoes and sauteed kale.  The Noodle keeps herself busy by finding various small toys, putting them into different bags and generally "organizing".  Whatever floats your boat I say!
6:00 p.m.--J gets home and we sit down to eat.
6:30 p.m.--clean up from dinner, change clothes and go to the neighborhood school playground.

7:15 p.m.--bath, read books, read Bible/devotional and say prayers and then it is lights out!  J and I catch up about the day and then he heads up to finish up a little work while I work on this blog post.

9:30 p.m.--we collapse into bed and turn out the lights!  Sweet dreams and thanks for following along on our day!

A little teary

The past few days I have been at a training for school.  My M-I-L watched the Noodle for the first full day and my mom watched her for the other 1/2 day.  As always the Noodle had a great time and was busy, busy, busy.

Today when the timer went off signaling that quiet time was over, the Noodle came bounding into the office so I could silence the noise.  Something in me snapped and the tears started rolling down my face...all of a sudden it became real that I would soon be going back to school and would miss the day to day goings on of my sweet, little girl!
She of course looked at me weirdly and said "You're crying!  Why?"  and I answered her that I was sad because I was going to miss her.  She reminded me very matter of a factly that she wasn't going anywhere and would be right here.  Then she went and got her stuffed panda, her lovie blanket which she spread across my lap and a Kleenex and proceeded to lovingly poke dab my eyes.  I gave her a big hug and a kiss, whimpered a little bit more and then realized I needed to get a grip--millions of women do this everyday and that I have been sooo blessed to have off the time that I have.

Up until this point I have been feeling calm and at peace, but I think with the 4th fast approaching (I always think of this as the halfway  mark of summer), reality is setting in!  I've just got to keep telling myself to take one day at a time and to enjoy EVERY SINGLE minute!
Yes, she wanted hot cocoa...in the middle of summer!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

CSA--week 3

So here we have our CSA bounty for the week (plus a little chewed up, green pea-pod in the Noodle's mouth--lovely, right?!).  The Groucho Marx mask was thanks to the library...she was the FIRST person to finish the summer reading challenge!!!  Whoo-Hooo!  As an aside, each week they had to "read" 5 books (or have 5 books read to them or for older kids, read for 5 hrs./wk).  This last week, she actually did read 5 books.  Heh heh...you go girl!

Anyhooooo, on tap for this week was:  garlic, onion, bok choy, maple syrup, mint, pea-pods, yellow squash, zucchini and a couple of pickles.  Anyone know what to do with those, since there are only like 2 and I have NO interest in learning how to can or pickle?  Can you use them just like regular cucumbers?  Do tell!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Just another day...

If it is not one project, it is another!  The carpet in the upstairs hallway/stairs has been needing an "intervention" for quite some time.  Today seemed like the day to do just that. 
Of course J had his assistant (notice her knee pads...just like Daddy's?) right by his side the whole time.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Girls Get-Away

As much as J loathes the term "stay-cation" that is exactly what Lollie, the Noodle and I did...went for a quick trip up to Lollie and Papa's summer place.  We were only gone 2 days (1 night), but the Noodle thought it was so fun that it was "girls only". 
The great thing about their little get-away spot is that it really feels like a throwback in time.  Everything moves slower and easier.  We did a lot of strolling, biking, gazing, reading, laughing and eating.  Ice-cream one time/day...okay!
When we got home, it was time for the Noodle and J to have their weekly date to the vegetable man (cue song Que Onda Guero by Beck).  The pickings were slim tonight...unfortunately one of the downsides of signing on with a CSA.  You're in it for the long haul, whether the harvest is a bounty or a bust.  Here's hoping more ripens for next week!
Yes, it may look like an empty bag, but there was produce in there...promise!  The stash this week included:  mint, garlic scapes, 1 head of garlic, green onions, red lettuce, and red popcorn kernels.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A new chapter

Well it is official...the Noodle is a reader!  She has been reading environmental print (words that are out and about in the world that she comes in contact with frequently, i.e. zoo, T*rget, Ch*erios, etc.) for quite a while now, but has been slowly adding sight words to her repertoire. 
Each week when we go to the library we take out 1-2 "red dot" books that she can read.  That is how our library designates early reader books.  We start by taking a picture walk through the book to talk about the story.  Then I will read it to her.  Throughout the week we then work on her reading the book. 
The struggle that I have is that different companies have different views of "early reading".  For most books she is at a level 1, but then I'll pull a book that I think would be good, open it up and realize that it is way too easy or too challenging.  It is a learning experience for me as well!!  I really like the "step into reading" series, which I feel is perfect for where she is right now. 
During table time we're incorporating some short/long vowel work, word families as well as continuing to build onto her sight word vocabulary.  While we've finished with the Raising Rock Star Preschool program that Carissa developed (letter/sound work), now we're tackling the You Can Read program.  So far it is progressing at the perfect speed for the Noodle.  Even though she is shy to read in front of others, you can tell she is so proud of herself.  We are too!

***Sorry for the poor photos...the lighting wasn't the best!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

A father's love is so important.  It has a huge influence on how we view our Father in heaven--a loving, caring protector, distant and aloof, or angry and vengeful.  For girls, it forever impacts the kind of man that we are drawn towards--respectful, unconditionally loving, honest, trustworthy or inconsistently present, volatile, damaging.  As little boys grow, they see how their father acts and believe that that is how they should act--for better or worse.  While a mother's love is fierce, a father's love leaves an indelible mark.
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers, grandfathers, soon-to-be fathers, fathers who have have left this earth and any man who has been like a father to you at some point in time. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

An annual tradition

Each year, J's dad's train club has a Father's Day meet/run.  It is always a lot of fun and the Noodle was really looking forward to it this year.  Lollie was able to join us to "ride the rails" too.  Unfortunately Papa, who came last year, wasn't able to come since he was feverishly getting ready for some out-of-the-country visitors--we missed you!
It is such a nice way to celebrate the Father's Day weekend!  Hope you're having a wonderful one with those you love!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

CSA--week 2

Hi there!  Here's a little snapshot of the veggies/fruit/herbs we'll be eating this week...
Mint, garlic scapes, bok choy, romaine lettuce, strawberries,
maple syrup, green onions and radishes.

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Strawberry picking time

The berries were plentiful, the weather was perfect and the company was great!
I give the Noodle credit for self-control--not a berry was sampled until the end of our time picking, when our baskets were full.  Once I gave her the go ahead, though, she went to town!
There is a great frozen custard stand close by to where we pick (both strawberries and blueberries).  It has become a bit of a tradition for us to go there after a morning combing the plants. 
Yep, life is berry good!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A little bit of green, leafy delish!

A few weeks ago I picked up The Kind Diet from the library.  Now don't get me wrong, I'm not making the switch to vegan...as of now.  Heck, I'm not even vegetarian, but I definitely find myself continuing to move more to that end of the spectrum, if ya know what I mean.  While I still love a good burger or buffalo chicken wrap, I'm finding myself more and more intrigued at how I can incorporate a (mainly) plant based diet, rich with whole grains and beans/legumes into our family lifestyle.

At the beginning of the new year I made a goal of trying to eat organic whenever possible, beef up the amount of veggies we were eating, and to try and increase the number of times each week when we had fish/seafood or a meatless meal.  This coincided with the fact that I felt in a rut with my typical meal rota and also wanted to get a better handle on menu prep a week at a time--since going back to teaching was fast approaching!

Quite honestly, some weeks are easier than others.  I'm slowly beginning to develop a wider range of menu options, and while some are definitely winners, others are MAJOR misses!  Thankfully J is a good sport and willing to go along with my ideas...most of the time!  It also is a big help that the Noodle digs a variety of types of beans, usually can be bribed talked into trying something new and is relatively willing to eat veggies.

All that being said, I tried a recipe from The Kind Diet and all 3 of us gobbled it up:  Sicilian Collards with raisins and pinenuts.  Instead of the greens, I used kale and it tasted great...next time I'm going to try it with the collards.

Here's the recipe...give it a try!  You won't be disappointed :)

a bunch of greens (collards, kale, swiss chard?, spinach?)
minced garlic
balsamic vinegar
Prep time:  maybe 10 minutes

Saute garlic in EVOO
Wash and pat dry kale (collards) and rip leaves away from stem.  Often the stem can be tough, but extra roughage is never a bad thing...
 Saute the greens in the garlic and EVOO until nice and bright green (only a minute or 2).
Throw in the pinenuts and raisins and cook for about 2 more minutes.  Splash on some balsamic vinegar and give one or two more stirs.  Quite honestly, I think that the recipe said to do something fancy with the pinenuts like roast them or something...but I just threw them in.  Let's be real.  Tummies are hungry.
We had ours tonight with some warm, homemade whole wheat bread (from our CSA flour) and some mahi mahi that was sprinkled with some seasonings and then grilled.  Some major delish!!
The only thing the Noodle wasn't crazy about were the pinenuts, but at least she tried and tasted one before refusing to eat them.  I told her to just eat around them and she was a happy camper.

If you give the recipe a try, I'd love to hear what you think of it.  You just may look at greens in a whole new way!