Friday, February 28, 2014

{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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Linking to Soule Mama

No early morning cartoons, just the sweet voice of a sister reading to a brother.
Cherish these sweet bonding moments.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Embracing a Grumpy Day

Waking up over tired, I was grumpy with a load full of deadlines due for work and not much energy with not sleeping well and little things seemed bigger than they should have all morning. I must have not been the only one with the grumpies, our daughter lounged, reading saying she was really tired and all she wanted to do was to lay on the couch and read for the day...our son normally exploding with energy was listless too asking if he could have the morning off. What would you like to do I asked him....make believe, play, think of stories and games- both idea's from both kids sounded wonderful. Telling both children to go for it...I went to embrace my grumpy feelings in the kitchen..a few lit candles, and a cup of hot tea while I starred at the craft/work/everything cupboard that was getting out of control...thoughts of organization and maybe some reorganization and moving about of furniture in the front room both seemed like great idea's. So for the day, I sipped tea, made everyone vegan gyro's with tzatziki sauce and fries for lunch then me and my boy went outside to play with the chickens- laugh at them and enjoy the breeze while our daughter regained some energy to bake herself and her brother an afternoon snack of brownies. Started on some cupboard cleaning, played a few hands of UNO in the evening and relaxed with a nice call with my parents and popcorn and snuggles with my kids....Sometimes we just have to embrace that we feel off, tired and go with it.

Tomorrow is a brand new day.

 We always half this recipe and we always have tons left!
Sandwiches, dip pita or chips or crackers into it..yum.

 Fluffy butts...
 Amusing to hear them have a conversation with each other.

 ...then baking..and tasting...

....and into Friday we come, tucked in their beds, sweet dreams in their heads. A bright new day awaits us.

Girl Garden, Flax Eggs- Vegan Cornbread & Chili

This week thus far there's been plenty of Snap Circuit play, reading more electricity and circuit books and an enormous amount of time spent outdoors- its been gorgeous! With the outdoor play, our daughter proposed that she get a section of the yard for 'her' garden, a girl garden- one she will design, weed and plant all on her own- and she has big idea's for a wooden deck with patio chair and table set. Hard to get her outside to do any weeding or yard work- we were excited about her proposition- of course we told her- so she's been working this week on researching plants and flowers, grass and plotting a plan as well as researching decks and materials- she even asked to take a trip to home depot so she could look and make a list. I love saying yes to these kids and see them fly with an idea and inspiration. Our son checked out multiple books on owls, a field guide and ones about specific species and has been working on coming up with his own 'make believe' game for him and his friends. He also took a big leap out of his comfort zone and we ventured to 'Lego Club' at the Library this week as well. He decided it wasn't for him but just the same I am incredibly proud that he suggested going to something new with children he didn't know.

 Usually using applesauce or banana for egg replacements this week we tried 'flax eggs'. Corn bread is one of those things I just haven't perfected with out the use of eggs, but this week, the corn bread recipe turned out fluffy, rose and tasted great- I will be testing these flax eggs in other recipes as well!
1 Egg = 1 Tbsp Flax, 3 Tbsp Water
 We modified this recipe for cornbread:   
Modified- We used 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
Also 1/4 cup melted Earth Balance (instead of Coconut oil)
it was slightly bland, so next time hubbie suggests a bit more syrup, but it tasted great with a dab of butter on top or our son put honey on top to sweeten it up!

 Made so much chili, we had a meal of chili and cornbread and later this week we'll have leftovers of chili over baked potatoes too.
Our stand by recipe for Vegan Chili:
2 cans dark red kidney beans (drained)
2 cans light red kidney beans (drained)
1 can black beans (rinsed/drained)
2 cans diced tomatoes in tomato juice (pour in juice and tomatoes)
1 can corn (pour in corn/and water)
2 bay leaves, 3 tbsp chili powder, 1 tbsp cumin, salt/pepper
Simmer for 1 hour
Enjoying a week of beautiful sun, light breeze and plenty of days outdoors.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Snap Circuits- they came!

We have an engineer in our home...a boy that constantly talks of robotic engineering, building things, plans, idea's, NASA and checks out books on electricity and circuits...Sister too has been studying circuits and electricity with us but was not nearly as excited when the snap circuits came as he was. Being sweet, giving him the first chance to work with the circuits on his own he was extremely happy and thankful towards her for this. She spent the morning updating her 4H expense reports for the last few months on all her projects then reading, learning a new song on the piano and researching some clay crafting she'd like to get materials for and do this week. And I assisted our little engineer with a few projects from his 300 projects book that came with the set.

We always think as parents that we're meant to inspire our children yet today, his enthusiasm, dedication, patience, wonder, interest inspired me greatly. Both my children amaze and inspire me. I'm so blessed to spend my days with these two.

 Momma loves to learn new skills too...
both kids are talking about looking at this book with me as well!

Incredibly inspiring, amazing beautiful day together.

Family Fishing

Sunday afternoon work for me seemed to quiet enough to allow us to take a few hours and head out to fish right before sun down into the eve and come back home just in time for bed. The entire family is thrilled in a few weeks I'll be going back to my old company, still working from home, yet will have weekends and evenings off and be more flexible. I will enjoy that as well- the consistency of going to church every Sunday instead of just when its not busy, our kids can enjoy having school friends over more frequently in the afternoons and weekends- its a good change that will give me even more control over my schedule and the flexibility we are looking forward to immensely. But this past weekend we were blessed to have spurts of quiet to allow us to get out of the house and wander around home depot, grab some lunch and sit outdoors together gazing at the river and head out on a quick fishing trip.

Blessings in the midst of weekend work.

Pretty sure this is where you will see us many of husband's days off from now & outdoors as the weather warms- beautiful.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

At home Saturday

Lazy Saturday...starting slowly with kids sleeping in, hubbie sleeping in, momma up early to get some work done...slowly moving into the day, feeding the animals, organizing bedrooms. Some time outdoors, gorgeous and sunny to rake out big boys chicken coop, measure the yard for fencing- laugh as we let little pup 'Ernie' run free- although such a good listener he stayed right by our side. Stumped as to why some of our indoor seedlings are taking a down hill turn for the worse, dad and son used a home water test kit to check it out. Hubbie cooked family dinner of Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash, so good. And into the evening to relax together, pups, kids and head to bed. A beautiful, relaxful, lazy Saturday indeed.

No Saturday morning cartoons....just reading on her Nook.

 Testing our well water...
 Recipe from All Recipes here:  Moroccan Stuffed Acorn Squash
Served with Naan bread and veggies.

May your Saturday have been blessed and relaxing as well!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Field Trip Friday....Grapevine Canyon, NV

Field Trip Friday...we headed out after breakfast, dressing and morning family work to head out on an adventure. Packing a picnic lunch, notebooks, pencils, travel microscope, binoculars, and camera we were ready for our day. After our hike we headed to the park to play tennis and to the library on the way home to pick up books that came in. Beautiful sunny day with a light breeze was perfect for our outdoor field trip Friday.

A wonderful adventure to bring us into the weekend....