Saturday, April 28, 2012

Shakespeare Goes to Gravel Gulch

Last night our 3 older boys were in a drama production at Credo (the homeschool academy they take extra classes at).  It was a great night, and the boys and their friends did a super job, if I do say so myself. The play was a mello-drama, complete with appropriate piano music, clapping, yay's, aww's, and plenty of boo's for the bad guy (Joey). Great work, guys!!
                                              Danny, aka Johnny Lasso- the Hero
                                  Sammy (in yellow and burgundy), aka Mayor Gibson
                               Danny and Joey, aka Noble Hart- the Evil Swindler

Good For Your Gut Porridge

With our western diets, our digestive tract often gets overworked and underpaid.
Here is one of our family's favorite breakfast recipes.  It is easy to prepare (yay!), fast in the morning (double yay!), and really tasty.  The warm water helps the good bacteria in the yogurt work through the oats.  And soaking the grains before you cook them greatly improves their nutritional benefit.  In fact, before fast food was popular, the oats boxes had soaking instructions on them.
When I make this, I experiment with different fruits added in, but always come back to dried cranberries.  Mmmm...

  • 1 cup oats (not quick oats, but rolled or steel cut)
  • 1 cup warm water, in the evening
  • 2 T yogurt or kefir 
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (optional) 
  • 1 cup water, in the morning
  • Flax seeds, optional
  • Dash cinnamon or nutmeg


Mix the oats with warm water, yogurt, and optional dried fruit in your cooking pot; cover and leave in a warm place (not the fridge) for at least 7 hours and as long as 24 hours [overnight is perfect]. In the morning, bring the additional cup of water to a boil.  Add to the soaked oats, cover and simmer several minutes. Remove from heat, stir in optional flax seeds and spice and let stand for a few minutes. Serve with a little sweetener and milk.
You can double this easily, and leftovers stay nice for a few days.  I always end up making too much, but my little girls are so happy to help eat it up later in the week!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Clean Carpet!!

Our carpet arrived in the warehouse a few days early, and we made the decision to go for it.  If you've ever had your flooring replaced, you know it's a lot like moving out and then moving back in again.  We had 1 day to get just about everything out of our home.  What didn't fit in the garage went into the dining room. My mom always laughs at how I use the word 'throw'.  Throw the kids in the tub.  Throw some veggies in the pot.  Throw the baby in the van.  Throw a load in the washer.  She surely would have enjoyed all the throwing we did this night!
So, the carpet man came and we went to the zoo, and a number of other places in order to stay out of the house while the carpet was being installed. And we came home tired, dusty, and a bit fussy. However, when we walked into the house and saw the transformation, we got awfully giddy.  The old carpet was gray, and way past it's prime.  I mean WAY.  It had been impossible to clean for a few years.  But, although we needed new carpet, things like braces and pulling 7 gi-normous trees down and paying off our 2nd mortgage (HOORAY) took precedence.  But not this year.  This year we got our carpet. It's clean and warm and new.  Here are the before and after pictures.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chicken Pepper Soup!

After Michael was born, a woman from church brought over this soup.  It is so good!  I am giving 2 ways to make it, but we like both.

2 cartons of Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup*
2 Red Peppers, Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
2 Cans Diced Tomatoes
3-4 Cups Chicken, Cooked and Chopped
Put all in your slow-cooker and cook on High for 4 hours.  Season to taste.

You can also pour the carton of soup and the veggies into a blender and puree that, then just heat it with the chicken.  Either way, it's yummy.

*We buy this at Costco, but our grocery stores carry it as well.  It's just a lot cheaper at Costco.

You Do the Math

Last night our 4 year old had this conversation with me...
Sarah: Mommy, when I am a Mom, guess how many children I am going to have.
Me: Hmmm, I don't know.
Sarah: I am going to have FORTY TWO CHILDREN!
Me: Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun.
Sarah: Yes, and all of them are going to have triple bunks.
Me: I see.
Sarah: Yes, and my husband and me won't have triple bunks.  We'll just have regular bunk beds.
Me, biting my lip: Uh Huh, I see.
I guess Sarah and her husband won't be having THIS triple bunk!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

It's a Zoo Out There!

Hooray!  Our carpet came!  Out with the old, in with the new...
And while we had to be out of the house, Kenny had the 3 older boys at their Credo classes, and I took the younger seven to the Zoo.  What a wonderful day we had.
The animals were so beautiful (and smelly, says Natty).  And my children were so fun to be with. Sarah and Tommy got to feed the giraffes.
This zoo is on the base of a mountain, and overlooks the city down below. Tommy and Emma are standing on an overlook area here.
Hannah was amazing. She helped out a lot with the younger ones, so I let her and Emma run around with the camera for a while at the end of our trip. She got a lot of really nice shots of the animals.

Tommy, Nat, and Sarah taking a break from 'all that walking uphill'.
Sarah and Nat pose by the zebras.
And what's a fun day without GUMMIES?!
Our wonderful Creator has surely blessed us with the ability to enjoy His design.
And when we all returned from our day out...(Stay tuned!)

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Boys

I must admit- I love my boys.  They don't think like women, act like women, or smell like women.  Sometimes I find myself just standing there, scratching my head, going, 'Hmmm...' after they've said something.  Sometimes they make me cry.  Sometimes I cringe at their words.  Everything is a weapon.  Or a new way to use my old things.  Or a springboard for a new idea. Or a battle to be won.  They make weird noises.  They eat all the meat out of the stew before the rest of us can get there (kind of like leaving all the peanuts -yuck- at the bottom of the trail mix bag). They don't care if their beds are made.  Ever. They like to hit each other. They are like roosters in my barnyard, messing with my ways.  They are like steam engines barging through the house, letting us all know they are comin' through. They get grumpy and hibernate, then emerge later like nothing happened. And yet, my boys are some of the most interesting, thoughtful, teachable, creative people I know.  They have a strength and a raw honesty that can be refreshing.  They look to the future and wonder what they can do to make it better.  They pray for people who need something from God.  They know He is real, and they walk with Him.  They get over (most) things much better than us GIRLS! And best of all, they think I'm a great Mom. So long as they have hot food and fresh laundry and I don't make them clean too much.  
Yep, I love my boys.  And that includes you, dear husband.
                                              Sammy, with his buddies.  
                                               Danny, King of the Grill
                                  Joey, canoeing at Cherry Creek Reservoir
                                         Thomas being goofy with his food.
                                             Yummy Baby Michael Jude
                                    Natty, eating one of MANY sugar cookies.

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions-they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

My favorite hymn.  This world is tough- it is ever-changing, ignoring the Truth, living for the moment.  It's hard to think of my children living as adults 'out there'.  
And yet...There really is a God, and He is a GOOD God.  And He is alive and well, and He does not change.  What a privilege to get to walk with Him this side of Heaven, to show Him to my family and friends, to anticipate the meeting face-to-face of the Faithful God.