Monday, August 26, 2013

Skyfort and Lego Rock Band

We finally finished the Skyfort!

It is tucked into the corner of our yard, but it does fit! We couldn't add the Monkey Bars, but otherwise, the set is complete. It has just enough room around all sides to give the children room to play. Except where it meets with our pumpkin patch/garden boxes to the right of the swing set. It's rather tight on that side. 

Speaking of which - look how green that garden is! The sunflowers can hardly hold themselves up, the pumpkins are growing over the entire trellis, down the other side, around the sides of the box. They definitely need more room next year.

Next I need to rip out more weeds (ugh, they are so prolific, I think some of it may be morning glories), then put down wood chips. That may be all I get done before the end of the year.

This weekend, the kids and I tried to have some 'chill at home' time. The kids wanted to play Lego Rock Band, which is fantastic.

 Do you like Chyler's outfit? Like a real Rock Star.

The boys singing together (while Princess Yvie looks on).

Q is doing pretty good at Medium level on the drums. Hard is WAY HARD - we tried it once, him on Drums and me on the Bass, and we gave up after one song.

If I can get the yard cleaned up (sigh), would you have any availability to come out for a visit in 2-4 weeks? The kids really want to show off their Skyfort.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

School and Garden

It's Morgan's first day back at school, and starting second grade.

Here we are enjoying our last day of freedom before school, at the park.

Updated, with Hank's first day of Preschool!

And now some garden fun. 

Here is the obligatory tomato salad. We eat these quite regularly during tomato season.
It consists of tomatoes, garlic sliced thin, basil, olive oil, and salt.

A cheesy chicken casserole I threw together. Several of the ingredients came from the garden:
tomatillos, big yellow tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, herbs (sage, thai basil, cilantro),
and also some mushrooms, chicken and cheese that came from the fridge. 
It was good, but the kids didn't care much for the veggies.

Big beautiful swiss chard

The smallish tomatoes that we picked yesterday

The bigger tomatoes that we picked. These will all go into making a roasted sauce, except for the yellow one and green stripey one. Those are best eaten straight up.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Conversation with my Jason earlier today (about our next door neighbor):

J: I think Matt bought a camper.
Me: Didn't he already have an RV?
J: No, the other neighbor.
Me: His name isn't Matt.
J: It isn't?
Me: (after a pause) Do you think all of our neighbors are named Matt?
Jason: (after another pause) Only the males.

Ok, so we don't really know our neighbors.

One of our cousins posted this link on FB. Love, love this poet.

The diet thing is going pretty well. I did not totally cheat and eat a Bacon Bacon breakfast sandwich at Carl's Jr yesterday. It was not utterly and completely delicious. Sigh.

But sometimes, I really do feel like this: 

I'm trying, I am. But I've had to choke down my morning eggs for weeks now. I'm being good and eating them, but this reminds me of Dr. Brewer's diet, which I followed while pregnant. Every day it was eggs. (and potatoes. and green stuff.)

Definitely going to try your recipes. And some chia pudding made with almond milk. Sounds yummy!

Off to work on the skyfort in the (light) rain. I'll post pics tomorrow, if it lets up enough to get good light.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ne me quitte pas by Jacques Brel

This song is so very different from the english version we have come to know and love. The meaning is somewhat similar, you get the same type of feelings, but other than that it is totally different.

Watch the whole video, his emotions are very intense. He is the original writer of the song. Just wanted to share. Be prepared to get a least a bit teary, I did.

SCD Banana Bread Recipe and Coconut Pudding Recipe

These recipes are very approximate. I don't always measure my ingredients, and they turn out a little different each time. They are both very moist, very dense, and very delicious.

Banana Bread

2-3 over ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/3 cup to honey
1/3 cup of date puree and 1 tbl honey
Dash of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp flavoring if desired (ie: vanilla, bergamot, ground or whole lavender flowers)
~3/4 cup nut flour (I personally use ½ almond ½ walnut, sometimes with coconut flour in a 2:2:1 ratio)
1 tsp chia seeds if desired (not SCD legal)

Peel the bananas and put into mixer, mash them up to a puree with the mixer. Add the dates if using, and mix until combined, add in eggs and honey, mix until thoroughly combined.
Add salt, flavoring, and baking soda. Mix well.
Add ½ cup of the nut flour and mix. Check the consistency. If it appears thickened as a normal banana bread batter, then you have enough. If it looks too loose, add the remaining nut flour. 
Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 30 to 40 mins. It will still be very moist when done, but nice and brown. Allow it to rest in the pan for at least an hour. If extracting entirely from the pan, go around the loaf several times with a knife to separate and you may even need to go underneath the loaf to separate, then very carefully dump it out. Otherwise, you may serve it directly from the pan.

Coconut Pudding

2 eggs
1 can coconut cream or milk, unsweetened
½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/3 cup honey or date puree (to taste)
1 tsp chia seeds (not SCD legal)
½ to ¾ cup nut flour (again, half almond half walnut, usually with some coconut mixed in)
Dash of salt

Combine all ingredients. 

Bake in a preheated 350F oven. This can be made as a loaf, or as muffins (silicone cups work really well here). Bake for ~20 mins for muffins, ~40 mins for a loaf or cake pan. Allow to cool completely and it will be loose in the pan when done. May need to be refrigerated when done, and it is very very moist.

There is no rising factor in this recipe, except for the eggs, which is why I call it a pudding. It is extremely moist. I have kept it on the counter for a couple of days and it does keep, it also keeps well in the fridge, though it gets even more moist. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The amazing Morgan

Ok, I'm trying out posting from my phone.

Here is a picture of Morgan doing an upside down tuck at the monkey bars. This girl amazes and impresses me with her dedication and strength. I wish I could do the things she does with ease. Soon I will have to record her doing a performance and post it so you can see just how awesome she is.

David Tennant, why must you make me cry?

First, a confession:

My favorite Harry Potter movie is number 4: Order of the Phoenix. The long haired one, where Harry, Ron, and the twins have long hair. And where David Tennant plays Barty Crouch, Jr, (beautifully, I might add.)

David Tennant is my favorite Doctor, he is. As the Doctor, he was classy, believable, witty and funny.  He was the Doctor in our favorite episode, Don't Blink. He said goodbye to Rose, Martha, and Donna (oh, Donna!). He fought the Master (also played fantastically).

I like Matt Smith, I do. He surprised us with his version of the Doctor, funny and comical, but David is still my favorite.

So.. when they announced who would play the new Doctor - which I am excited to see, Peter Capaldi also played the Angel Islington in the original BBC broadcast of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, though Benedict Cumberbatch did an AMAZING job of the voice of the Angel Islington for the BBC radio production put out this year (Huge Benedictine/Cumberbitch here as well) - they also put out an ad for the new BBC show starring David Tennant called Broadchurch. I do like police TV dramas from time to time, and have enjoyed british police dramas, so I set it to record.

Last night, I watched Broadchurch while folding laundry. And, of course, first episode, and it's a child that is murdered (sorry, not really spoiling much, they give it away in the previews!). They then spend the next 45 minutes with a slightly-grizzly-intense-eyed David Tennant starting the investigation and the townspeople being affected by the untimely death.

It was, all in all, very good. But, seriously, I didn't need yet another show to make me cry. I cry easily enough already: Driving the car listening to NPR. Reading comments on the Bloggess. Looking at links fron Neil Gaiman's twitter feed. Damn hormones.

Yes, camping! When you want all of your stuff to smell like smoke and be covered in those little sticky seed things...

My favorite moments while we were camping:
  1. Miss Morgan showing Yvie and Chyler how to make origami stars, telling the story of the time she tried to make an origami swan and, "It ended in tears." 
  2. Hank explaining the smurf, smurfette, and flashing ring pop. His little mouth still cannot keep up with his words and stories.
  3. Sean's incredulousness at the conversation with my 7-year-old about Pewdiepie and Tobuscus. 
  4. Posing for pictures as we were walking around. Like this one, with my Jason taking off, Chyler looking like a bad guy, and Morgan laughing.

   5.  Posing the kids in front of the tree, resulting in these great shots:

Chyler's dubiousness:
 Yvie's supermodel pose:
 Morgan's great smile (and hat!)
 Hank's equally great smile and hat
 Oh, and the elusive 'cop glasses' Q caught on camera

   6. The way that Hank has his awesome smile always ready to go. That kid is super smart and photogenic.

    7. After two nights of sleeping on rocks in the cold (ok, we could have been better prepared), we were more than happy to pack everything up and load it back into the car. The little ones helped to fold up and put away the tent. Obligatory removal of the air in the tent (which is, really, just letting the kids roll around on the folded up tent to remove the air).

   8. My version of the kid photo at the end, without the abominable Q man. Such cute kids!

   9. And, of course, telling stories and talking about books, TV, movies, internet stuff, and happenings.

10. Oh, and the food! Bacon, sausage, chili, and salad. The biscuits you cooked in the coals, along with the SCD version that was really good. Your amazing banana bread. Those muffins I made that came out great (recipe here).

I love spending time with you guys, and I hope we can do it again soon!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Camping in Iron Mine

We went camping this weekend. Those involved were: Myself, Sean, Morgan, Hank, Lorraine, Jason, Quaylen, Chyler, and Yvie. It had been two years since going camping. The kids were really excited, and I'd say they enjoyed themselves very much.

We went on a little hike, avoided some cow patties and only got a little bit lost.

Hank was very proud of his light up ring pop.

We also got some really awesome poses

They all took their turns climbing trees

Then they found The Prettiest Place Ever (as they called it).

Hank demanded we take many pictures of him on this fallen tree.

The Prettiest Place Ever was a section of fallen trees stacked atop each other that they used as a jungle gym.

Hank is also very proud of his Smurf he got as a happy meal toy on the way to the camp site.

And of course there was obligatory hammock time.

Morgan's pants are forever stained from soot it would seem. She looks super cute here though.

As many cousins as would pose together at the end of our trip.

I think this trip was worth it, and it was a pretty location, though we didn't know anything about it before going up there. It just happened to be available to us at the time with very short notice. I think we would go here again, though I would personally rather we explore some other areas first.