Sunday, January 15, 2012

A week in our life...

Annabelle, our 3, almost 4 year old, is home with me all day throughout the week and I love having her with me.

Wow, it's been over a week since I posted! Really?! I honestly thought I just posted the other day. I guess time flies when you're busy and having fun. I have been unusually busy this week. I'm normally busy when the kids are awake and home, basically from 7am-8pm, with an hour break for myself(okay not really completely for myself because usually Char and Annabelle need help with things, but it's more for myself because I allow myself the liberty to blog or read etc) during the day when Jane naps the others have quiet time, but this week, even my hour break and my time after 8pm was full of things that needed to be done. Those things are(in bold): my blog book. This takes hours and hours to complete. Editing, moving pictures, etc. and my book is 280 pages, so my goal is to complete 20 pages a day so that it'll be done in about 2 weeks. Hopefully. But getting through 20 pages a day on the booksmart program takes a long time because it's not very fast. I usually have to spend about an hour and a half to get through those 20 pages.

I was also asked to teach a class with our bishop's wife about family home evening ideas and traditions. The class is next month and is for our stake relief society(we'll be teaching this 1/2 hour class three times in an evening) and so this week I really started pulling things together and got together with this other lady and have been spending a lot of time reading, gathering, praying, etc trying to get inspiration on how we can do this well. While I was with Amy(the lady I'm doing the class with), we got off track for a few minutes and she asked me about kefir. I told her I had some water kefir grains that I hadn't done much with and then she proceeded to show me her milk kefir and asked if I wanted some of the grains. How could I pass that up? If you know me and my crazed interest in health and nutrition, this opened up a huge arena of questions I had and we talked awhile longer, I brought my new milk kefir grains home and went straight to the internet to do some research. Well, that research has turned into hours over days again. But it's paid off! This week I started doing more with my water kefir grains, learned how to make a smoothie, yogurt and experimented with pancakes using the milk kefir. Anyway, lots of questions, lots of reading and I'm learning a lot and still have a ton to learn and still have a ton of questions. If any of you use kefir grains, please leave a comment and let me know so that I can send you an email and perhaps pick your brain a little.

milk kefir grains
water kefir grains brewing on the left, milk kefir grains brewing on the right.

Blending up some fruit and agave with my kefir to make a fruity yogurt to add to my granola. Making kefir is so much easier than making yogurt. Pretty soon I'll have enough grains to share so if any of you locals are interested, let me know and I'll get you some.
kefir pancakes(I just substituted half of the milk with kefir)

I'm also reading a book that is very large and just yesterday decided I need to skim it because even though it was highly recommended, it's really not my style, far too many intricate details on things that are not important to me at all. Some things are a little sketchy too. And it's HUGE. But I've spent hours reading it. And then my normal stuff like scripture reading, personal/spiritual journal writing(not everyday, but I've been trying to do it a little more often than once or twice a month too and have done it a couple of times this week) and reading my book club book all of which I do during my free time which is limited already :). Busy, busy, busy.

Even though I didn't post anything this week, I did take some pictures of what our family was doing this week(that's not listed above) so I can remember the day-to-day stuff we do together. Here are some of the other things we've been up to this week.

We made bread(I've been borrowing Maren's, my neighbors, Bosch to make my bread as of late. I love it and I think If I stick with my bread making for awhile and we use it often, then maybe some day in the near future we'll purchase a Bosch.). My family LOVES this wheat bread recipe and they even love it as their sandwich bread which makes me very happy because at least three of us and many times all of us, eat sandwiches daily. I do my food preparations and baking during the day and usually have helpers.
I made four loaves and froze one of them. We finished three loaves in four days so this is probably the amount I'll need to make each week for now; and when the kids get older, it may be even more. Luckily, the Bosch makes life easy for making four loaves at one time.

I helped Charlie with his animal poster project. The children were asked to pick an animal to write a report on. They're kindergarteners so they just had to put a picture on a poster board and write three facts about this particular animal. But it was all, or mostly all to be done by the child. As one of Charlie's gifts for his birthday, he got a book and matching dvd on animals from Granny and Grandpa which he loves and now can tell you lots of interesting facts about all different kinds of animals. For his school project, Charles choose the Texas Horned Lizard. Why did he choose that? Because it shoots blood out of it's eyes, of course :).
Usually Friday or Saturday night we'll either have a game or movie night. So Friday night we had a game night. Charles and Dad played Stratego and Elisabeth and I played chess. Annabelle 'helped' dad play a little, but then she found a piece of rope and sat on the table with us and played with that. Jane sat with us in her high chair and colored and then got out and brought her babies in the kitchen to play with. Annabelle isn't old enough to play very many games on her own yet, though she does really like Uno, Hungry Hippos, Pictureka and Sorry, so we play those a lot as well.

We also have pizza night either Friday or Saturday. We've been doing this for years, and making home made pizza since we were married almost 9 years ago. Our recipe has changed over the years but we've finally found one we all love, that is all whole wheat(well and spelt) and is so yummy and soft and delicious. We bake it on our pizza stone which makes a perfect crust. The kids helped me make the crust. This week we also made lots of other foods including our typical pot of beans and mexican rice, though we've recently started 'refrying' the beans but not really because we don't use any oil, we just mash them up in their water. And I've also started cooking them in a crock pot(thanks for the tip Robin) which I love to do now.

tomato, onion and pesto pizza for the adults

cheese pizza for the kids
cooking my whole pinto beans in it's juice and then I will mash it up so they look like refried beans.

One morning this week was particularly busy. I was trying to get kids off to school when Annabelle woke up and started crying. Annabelle, our 3 year old, is completely potty trained. Apparently Elisabeth closed the door before coming out of her room that morning(they share a room), Annabelle couldn't get it opened and had to go to the bathroom really bad. She accidentally made a mess. Not just pee either. It was nasty and she needed a bath. So I threw both little girls in the bath, but the kids needed to be off to school in a few minutes. I asked Elisabeth to run downstairs and get a change of clothes for Annabelle which she did immediately without any complaints(which she has been known to do as of late) and then when she came back up and I had just pulled Jane out of the bath, she offered to get her diaper on, oiled up(we put coconut oil on after baths/showers to help with dry skin/eczema etc) and dressed. I was so grateful for her help that morning so I wrote her a thank you note and placed it on her bed which I also made up for her since she didn't get to it that morning. Seriously, I'm so grateful for her help sometimes, and Charlie too.

I apologize for the length of this post. Usually I'll split them up over the week. I'll try again for next week.

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