Goal Planning Monday – Week 66

Well, welcome to Goal Planning Monday in it’s new home! I’ll work on getting you all a new button and banner soon but I can’t promise you when. For now, I’d love for you to direct people here if you can.

If you are new here be sure to check out the guidelines and join in. We would love to have you! If you are returning, I hope you had a good week. Thank you for stopping in and sharing with us. Be sure to keep sharing with your friends as we all could use some accountability from time to time! I hope to see some new members this week. Keep spreading the word as we could all use some encouragement and support as we go about achieving our goals. If you have a moment get sure to hop over and see what others are doing.

Last week’s goals:

1. Blog more. DONE! Not quite as much as I hoped but not bad either.

2. Work in the yard on the days that it is sunny. DONE! It wasn’t sunny, though. So I didn’t do a lot of yard work. I did a little bit of planting yesterday and Mike tackled the wood pile for a couple house.

3. Try to get the baby to bed before 9pm every evening. Partial Done. I’d say at least half the week he was in bed before 9pm but certainly not every night.

4. Write an e-mail I’ve been putting off. Not done. Figure it might not be worth it.

5. Try out a new recipe that came to me last night. DONE! It was so good. Here is the recipe.

6. Organize to do some kind of weekly update on what’s been going on at our house for the blog. DONE! I didn’t do it for this week but I know how I’m going to organize it. I’ll be ready for next week.

This week’s goals:

1. Work in the yard and get through at least one large pile of branches. It should be sunnier this week so that should help.

2. Steam mop the kitchen. It is due.

3. Go through the kids’ clothing and maybe list some of the really good stuff for sale. Donate the rest without letting it sit in the van for weeks.  

4. Find a pattern to make with the wool I should be receiving early this week. Also start said pattern. It is the time of year when a light jacket is needed so I’d love to get it done in a timely manner.

5. Put some toys in storage. They are beginning to take over again and most are never touched.

6. Nag (no, loving request) that Mike fix up the banners/button for this meme.

 

 

What are your plans for the week?

It’s Time to Introduce the Clan

My family is my life, and since this is a blog about my life I’m sure you’ll be hearing lots about my little clan so it’s time that you get to know them just a little bit.

Liam

This is the (not so) wee boy that threw me into parenthood nearly nine years ago. The time has flown. He was born wise beyond his year, an old soul. He’s my little scientist and a math wiz. He’s the child that you don’t have to homeschool because he is too busy with his head in an encyclopedia to listen to you. He loved to create things with his building toys (symmetry is a must) and spends many hours now drawing and then creating platform games on the computer. He’s quiet and can be on the moody side but he is also funny and witty and a joy to have around.

Morgaine

Morgaine is my little free spirited child. She’s amazingly creative. She’s super social. She’s charismatic. She has no time for school. She’s too busy dancing, singing, drawing, day dreaming. She’s also dramatic and firery. She’s taught me a lot about patience. Times were challenging when she was young and there are times when it feels like we are still feeling each other out. I had a lot of unfair expectations of her when she was wee that were based on her older brother and it turns out that he wasn’t the typical child and we were expecting things that were way beyond her development. We’re healing and she’s growing into a lovely little helper and beautiful being.

Ruadhán

Ruadhán is our little sweetheart. He’s totally a Mama’s boy but that is alright. He is very much a mix between his two older siblings. Loves trains and buildings. He is smart and inquisitive. He is social and talks up a storm (very clearly, at that). He adores being outside and is in love with his older sister that he calls “Kid”. He very attached and at two he is still not letting me get much rest at night as he tends to get the majority of calories through breastmilk and is just too busy to nurse much during the day. The are only so very little once so I’m taking in and enjoying every moment.

These little ones make me laugh and make me cry. They challenge me every day. They make me smile. I love them to bits. They complete me and make me who I am.

Ooey, Gooey Mini Monkey Bread Recipe

A favorite in my family is monkey bread a la Chef at Home Michael Smith. After making this for the family on the weekend, I decided that the only thing that would make monkey bread even better was MORE cinnamon and MORE sugar. The best way of accomplishing that? Little, dacedent single serving money breads. More balls, more sugar. Yummy!

I’ve also modified the recipe ever so slightly so here’s my version of Ooey, Gooey, Mini Monkey Bread.

Servings: Approximately 8 ramequins

Ingredients:

1/4 cup warm water
1 tsp traditional yeast
1 tbs white sugar

1/4 milk
2 1/2 white flour

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbs cinnamon (or to taste)

Directions:

    1. Add yeast and white sugar to warm water. Stir and let sit for about 10 minutes until bubbly.
    2. Add milk and flour to yeast mixture and kneed for 5 minutes (you may need to add more milk or flour….I’ll be honest and admit that I eyeballed this instead of measured).

    1. Let rise in a warm placeuntil doubled (about 1 hour).

    1. Melt 1/4 butter in small bowl.
    2. In another bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon.
    3. Tear off small piece of bread and roll in into a marble sized ball.

    1. Dip into butter and then roll in cinnamon mixture.
    2. Place in small ramequin.

At this point, turn on some music and settle down to work. This process takes a while but is so worth it……repeat steps 6-8 something like 140-160 times (adding about 20 pieces of dough to each ramequin). Don’t quite fill to the top, these babies aren’t done rising.

9. Let rise for about 20 minutes.

10. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
11. Place ramequins on a cookie sheet and bake for about 25 minutes (again, I guesstimate…keep an eye on them).
12. When I took them out, I pushed the ones that were growing out of the ramequins back in as I wanted to be able to turn them over onto a plate.
13. Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes. The goal is that the balls will hold together but won’t cool down so much that they’ll adhere to the ramequin.
14. Run a knife along the edge and turn over onto a saucer.
15. Serve warm.

ENJOY!

Healthy Eating ~ Sourdough

In attempt to bring good health and balance into the family, I’ve started us on some interesting dietary changes based on the principles of Weston A. Price. We’ve always tried to eat relatively healthy and limit our consumption of processed foods but I knew that there was more that I could be doing and with support and information from friends I’m adding one or two new changes to our family at a time (it doesn’t make sense to change everything all at once and becoming overwhelmed or having the children (and husband) rebel). Since I love to bake one of the most exciting changes was to start using sourdough for baking as opposed to traditional yeast.

Yes, this germophobe decided that her first big change was going to be to let a water/flour mixture sit out on her counter indefinitely, the success of all future recipes at stake. I’ve had some successes…..

First attempt at sourdough bread using instructions from this video (the video is odd but the recipe is good!).

Rye bread that I came up with on my own as I couldn’t find a recipe that I liked. It tasted very authentic, but there was a line of dough that was not cooked in one of the loaves that bothered my husband. My oldest son said it was the best bread he ever had.

Homemade crackers based on this recipe. My starter was a rye/white mix and this last batch I only added white flour (they are just as good whole wheat). I needed at add more flour than the recipe called for but you’ll know when you’ve added enough. I also used bacon fat instead of lard. I added focaccia herbs and sunflower seed to this batch but you could add all kinds of goodness. The are soooooooooo good! Homemade crackers are totally worth it!

….and at least one failure and I meant to take a picture of it but it ended up here….

…..before I got the chance!

Overall, I couldn’t be more pleased with how things have turned out with sourdough. I was very much afraid that it would through off my baking. I will be attempting to modify some of my desert recipes over the next could weeks to see if we can be done with traditional yeast altogether. I’ll keep you posted.

Goal Planning Monday – Week 65

Well, welcome to Goal Planning Monday in it’s new home! I’ll work on getting you all a new button and banner soon but I can’t promise you when. For now, I’d love for you to direct people here if you can.

If you are new here be sure to check out the guidelines and join in. We would love to have you! If you are returning, I hope you had a good week. Thank you for stopping in and sharing with us. Be sure to keep sharing with your friends as we all could use some accountability from time to time! I hope to see some new members this week. Keep spreading the word as we could all use some encouragement and support as we go about achieving our goals. If you have a moment get sure to hop over and see what others are doing.

1. Continue fooling around with ProCreate, a drawing app Mike downloaded for iPad. Done! I’m not terribly good at it but it was fun.

2. Make a post about how we’ve been eating over the past little while. Not done.

3. Write a post about the kids. Not done. Can’t quite seem to get into writing.

4. Finish raking the yard. Done (but not done). We had an arborist come the day after I finished and cut down two huge trees. I have enough yard work to keep me busy for weeks now.

5. Plan out our garden a little bit. Done. Herbs, zuchini, strawberries, spinach, swiss chard, and Mike wants a patch of potatoes.

This week’s goals

1. Blog more. I’m doing the whole take pictures and plan posts thing again but not taking to time to write anything of value.

2. Work in the yard on the days that it is sunny. There won’t be many of those days this week, it seems.

3. Try to get the baby to bed before 9pm every evening. This will actually give me time to write.

4. Write an e-mail I’ve been putting off. Not that it will make any difference now because I put it off so long but maybe it will change something for another family.

5. Try out a new recipe that came to me last night. It will be so, so good (I think).

6. Organize to do some kind of weekly update on what’s been going on at our house for the blog. That way, if I don’t actually write big posts then my pictures and ideas will still end up somewhere. I had every intention of doing that this week but didn’t.

What are your plans for the week?

Today

Today, my family attended a vigil.

Today, I had to explain to my children that we were celebrating the life of a person who had died.

Today, I had to explain that he was killed.

Today, I had to explain that he was killed because of who he loved.

Today, I had to explain that he was killed because he was gay.

Tomorrow, I hope that the world will no longer feel the need to taunt, tease, beat or kill people because of who they LOVE.

Goal Planning Monday – Week 64

Well, welcome to Goal Planning Monday in it’s new home! I’ll work on getting you all a new button and banner soon but I can’t promise you when. For now, I’d love for you to direct people here if you can.

If you are new here be sure to check out the guidelines and join in. We would love to have you! If you are returning, I hope you had a good week. Thank you for stopping in and sharing with us. Be sure to keep sharing with your friends as we all could use some accountability from time to time! I hope to see some new members this week. Keep spreading the word as we could all use some encouragement and support as we go about achieving our goals. If you have a moment get sure to hop over and see what others are doing.

I’m sorry I wasn’t here earlier this morning. I’ve started on a new(ish) eating adventure and this morning was my first attempt at baking sourdough bread and I was all excited about it. Then I ate the bread and had an allergic reaction to it (or something else) so that kept me out of commission for a little while until the benadryl kicked in. I’m still a little itchy and tingly but I’m here!

1. Do the kitty litter at least once every day. Partially done. I’d say I did them 5 times this week.

2. Write out a list of what I would like Liam to finish for the month of April in “school”. DONE!  I verbally gave him said list but I think he can keep track of it. He has been getting up early in the morning to get things done.

3. Spent time with the kids. DONE! We spent a fair bit of time outside in the past week and that was nice.

4. Try to be happy and patient during the time of togetherness. Partially done. Could have been better. Could certainly have been worse.

5. Try to get us back on track with our cleaning/meal schedule. DONE! To a T. Every day.

6. Write a review of The 5 Love Languages of Children. DONE! Please enter if you haven’t!

Here are my goals for the coming week.

1. Continue fooling around with ProCreate, a drawing app Mike downloaded for iPad.

2. Make a post about how we’ve been eating over the past little while.

3. Write a post about the kids.

4. Finish raking the yard.

5. Plan out our garden a little bit. It will smaller this year. Mostly herbs, but I want to pick a couple vegetables that will grow well here.

What are your plans for the week?

The 5 Love Languages of Children – Review and Giveaway

Last week, on my old blog, I told you about the book The Perfect Pet for Peyton. It was the perfect introduction for children to Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages. Well, I also received The 5 Love Languages of Children and I highly recommend it for parents of children of all ages.

From the publishers:

To be their best, children need to feel loved. But if you and your child speak different love languages, your affection might get lost in translation, affecting the child’s attitude, behavior, and development. Dr. Gary Chapman’s groundbreaking Five Love Languages series has helped millions of couples communicate love more clearly, and Dr. Ross Campbell M.D. has applied the innovative system to children as well. The 5 Love Languages of Children gives practical suggestions for learning how your children interpret love and creating a sense of security in which they can thrive.

I love The 5 Love Langauages and this book about how to apply the 5 love languages to your children came at a good time. I’ve been working with my husband to convince him that some of the behavioural issues we are having with our older children is because they are not feeling our love. There were certain examples in the book that hit the nail on the head. Over the winter months, with my husband’s seasonal work and the various illnesses we’ve been plagued with, our son (who’s love language is quality time) has started to feel very left out. We love him but we haven’t tried hard enough to connect with him where he feels it most (because there just isn’t enough time). This book helped me see how vitally important it is to make the time and I hope to get my husband to head certain sections of the book as well.

This book also had me dealing with some of my own “issues”. I’ve always have an issue with gifts (and even words of affirmation) because to me it seems like you are trying to bribe your child to behave so I had to really open myself to hearing more about these two ways of showing love. This was also important for my family as my daughter very much feels love through gift giving and receiving. She constantly crafting for others, is thrilled about other people’s gifts at parties, and has a collection of little trinkets she was given in her room. It’s hard for me to love in this way but this book has given me practical suggestions on how to.

I recommend this book to all families with children so I hope that you will take a look and find out more about Gary Chapman and his 5 Love Languages.

The 5 Love Languages: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/

There’s more good news! I’ve been offered a copy of The 5 Love Languages for Children to giveaway to one lucky reader. For your chance to win all you need to do is leave me a comment telling me you would like to win (there’s issues with commenting on my blog. You may have to click the comment with facebook icon if you have an account there). 

 “Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Goal Planning Monday in Its New Home (Week 63)

Well, welcome to Goal Planning Monday in it’s new home! I’ll work on getting you all a new button and banner soon but I can’t promise you when. For now, I’d love for you to direct people here if you can.

If you are new here be sure to check out the guidelines and join in. We would love to have you! If you are returning, I hope you had a good week. Thank you for stopping in and sharing with us. Be sure to keep sharing with your friends as we all could use some accountability from time to time! I hope to see some new members this week. Keep spreading the word as we could all use some encouragement and support as we go about achieving our goals. If you have a moment get sure to hop over and see what others are doing.

I didn’t post at all last week because, guess what? We were sick and I actually took my oldest into urgent care on Monday morning, spent the day with him, and then- not getting any concrete answers- continued to worry about him for the next two days as his temperature rose to 105.5 repeatedly. The kidlet was finally diagnosed with pneumonia on Wednesday evening and is doing MUCH better. Hopefully, this will be the end of it for us this winter/spring.

My one goal, two weeks ago, was to keep my family healthy and I actually did for the most part that week. Liam started getting ill on Friday but managed get out to a birthday party on Saturday (despite being a little weepy). I guess it doesn’t really count as the sweet boy did end up sick again. Anyways, NOW we are healthy so on to this week’s goals!

1. Do the kitty litter at least once every day. Someone mentioned that she thought her family might be getting sick because of exposure to ammonia in cat urine. While I normally do a good job with the litter, I’ll admit that it’s sometimes been left for a few days when the children have been in the midst of their illnesses.

2. Write out a list of what I would like Liam to finish for the month of April in “school”. I don’t usually plan out what they need to do but he picked certain things an got sidetracked by all the germies so he probably needs a little help getting back into it so that he can move on to other things.

3. Spent time with the kids. Just doing stuff. I think we are all a little bit stressed and could use some time of togetherness.

4.  Try to be happy and patient during the time of togetherness. This will be a challenge. I am getting very little sleep, feel slightly depressed and unmotivated because of it, and the kids are dysregulated (how’s that for a word?) and seem to know exactly how to push my buttons. It will take some work to get us back on track.

5. Try to get us back on track with our cleaning/meal schedule. Liam depends on these things and has been struggling with how we’ve been unable to keep up with our normal stuff (leading to lots of tears as we try to get organized again). It’s hard because they aren’t tears over having to get organized but tears over the things we’ve missed in earlier weeks that we can’t change now.

6. Write a review of The 5 Love Languages of Children.

What are your plans for the week?

(Ah, yes, now I remember why I moved to self hosted wordpress….you’ll have to click to add your link…and please check back to see who else has linked up, too)


 

 

Trying Something Eggstrodinary

Well, if you are like me, you are probably on Pinterest (or at least facebook) and you’ve probably seen these beautifully coloured boiled eggs that retain their colour after they are peeled (I’d share a picture but you know, copyrights and all…oh, wait, I’m a genius (or something) here’s my google search). I was given the instructions to boil eggs, then crack the shells, add food colouring to the water, and boil again.

So that is what we did yesterday afternoon.They didn’t pack quite the punch I was expecting considering the vibrant colours of the water they were cooked in.

The red one wasn’t so bad but the amount of dye I was used was ridiculous and I sort of let it boil for an extra long time because I was nursing the two year old FOREVER.

Thank you, Baby!

If you want to make beautifully vibrant boiled eggs that you can eat in all their splendor, do not follow my instructions but feel free to visit Barefoot Kitchen Witch and find out how she makes her eggs, instead!

(Or you could throw them into a boiling pot of dye and forget about them, I suppose.)