Sunday, December 9, 2012

Sweet Insanity

Well things here are crazy everyone, just crazy!  We tried to start the GAPS diet this past week  - boy is it tough!  So after a week of the intro diet we have decided to move on to the full diet.  If you have children, and you ever decide to try this diet be sure to do it in the summer when they are not in school.  It brings quite a lot of havoc into your life! 
So today we were wanting.....something. If you have ever tried a limited diet before you understand what "something" is.  Its something that doesn't contain anything you have been eating over and over the past week and it has.....taste. Well faint hearts never create tasty food and so dear friends I have a recipe for those of you who are limited.  In honer of the occasion I deem it....

This isn't my image - things are too nuts here for taking pictures!

(because life can be a little nuts)
Take a scoop of walnuts (like 1/2 cup maybe)
add about 1 TBS. butter
a generous squirt of honey
a shake of cinnamon
maybe 1tsp Vanilla
Put all this in a blender of some nature and blend to the consistency you like.  Our first batch was rather smooth but the second (well we had to for the sake of fine tuning the recipe you know) was quite chunky.  We decided that this would be tasty on a banana or on apple slices.
Have a nutsy week everyone!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Picture updates

Well I haven't posted any pictures of my little ones in a while so here they are!  Some are a little old, but cute none the less - at least from  my perspective!



Sunday, November 4, 2012

Art for the Sole

Well, its not a painting.....its a shoe actually.  However, the craftsmanship of this shoe is such that it can be considered art from a bygone era.  How wonderful that it isn't a lost art!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Flavors of Fall

It's raining here today and it's probably raining where you are too - if you live anywhere on the east coast.  Those of you who are suffering, or will soon suffer, from strong winds and heavy rain are in my prayers.  In our area, the cool rain is flowing down gently, the trees are turned, and the ground is coated with a thick patchwork of leaves and pine needles. I am snug and cozy in my nice warm house enjoying this lovely fall weather and a good cup of cinnamon milk.

all pictures from google images - I don't have time to take my own.

.Besides being tasty, cinnamon actually has some health benefits. There are actually two types of cinnamon; cinnamomum cassia is what you get in the grocery store and its relative cinnamomum zeylanicum  or ceylon cinnamon, which is considered true cinnamon in other parts of the world.  Ceylon is said to have a sweeter flavor, although having never tasted it, I cannot confirm that.

Cinnamon can act as a tonic to the entire body and can reportedly kill a host of bacteria  including e-coli, salmonella, staph and asian flu virus. Its medicinal value is mainly in the oil, which has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

The warming properties of this herb make it good for the cold days ahead. It has been traditionally used to stimulate circulation and as a remedy for digestive problems.  It can even be used for aching muscles and other symptoms that come with those winter colds.

So how can you use it?
Well there is that yummy cinnamon milk that I love to make. The simplicity of the recipe makes it a very attractive and enjoyable recipe that even children like.  All you need to do is heat some milk or milk alternative on the stove an put a cinnamon stick or two in the pot. Let it simmer for a while, add some honey and your good to go! (This recipe is from Kid's Herb Book, A: For Children of All Ages) .
According to the book Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: The Definitive Home Reference Guide to 550 Key Herbs with all their Uses as Remedies for Common Ailments,  20 drops of a tincture of cinnamon in water can be used up to 4 times a day for flatulence, an infusion (a.k.a tea) can be used for colds and flu 1/2 cup  2-3 times a day, the essential oil  can be applied to bee stings and 1/4 tsp. of the powder in water can be taken 2-3 times a day for weak digestion.  Even simpler, how about adding cinnamon bark to your bath water?
What ever way you use it be sure to take advantage of this wonderful herb - now go eat a cinnamon roll!

Hey - who said medicine can't be tasty.

Just remember please, I am not a doctor and I don't even play one on TV .  Be sure to check with your doctor before taking anything in medicinal quantities.  Also cinnamon is contra-indicated during pregnancy and should be avoided in extremely large doses.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Life in a Nutshell

The Great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's "own" or "real" life.  The truth is of course that what one calls the inturruptions are precisely on's real life - the life God is sending one day by day: what one calls one's "real life" is a phantom of one's own imagination."
- C.S. Lewis

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Year of Grace


We all got up bright and early this morning to begin that daily ritual that comes with this time of year -- school.  Yes, here it is again folks, let's see if we can get it right this time, shall we! Maybe, however, you don't have a problem "getting it right," in which case I commend you and bid you adieu, because what follows is not for you!

This year we have 6 students in this house. Mrs. Tittlemouse is pretty much doing her own thing, as she is starting her senior year with Seton. (yes I said SENIOR year - what happened to that itty bitty baby girl - anyway let's not talk about that because I'll start crying). Last year was....let's just say less than picture perfect.  Moving and babies tend to interrupt the best laid plains and mine were..... well....  not in the best laid category to begin with. So with a firm resolve I spent countless hours trying to find a way to get everyone in this house to do their work simultaneously at the same time and still keep my sanity.  (Oh, do I still have that?) What, you ask, did my search turn up?  Tapestry of Grace
 We needed to pick up history at the renaissance so I bought the written and digital combo for year 2.  This program keeps all your students on the same topic with material that is appropriate for their level.  Some books are read to everyone, and their are projects that everyone can participate in as well. History is not the only thing covered - art, geography, literature and writing are all included. I am glad that I have both online and print versions.  I like to be able to physically hold the schedule, but there are so many components and the online version makes sure you know what resources you can use for each unit.  There is so much to this thing it would take forever to explain it all.  The best thing is that all the assignments are written out for you and there is  a section that teaches mom the material that is covered that week.  This is wonderful to me, I can't read every book for every level so this serves as my "cheat sheet" for the week. The only down side is that it isn't Catholic, so there are areas that need to be revamped,  that will add some work for us.  Using this program for the first time today went very smoothly even though it seemed overwhelming at first. With a little bit of discipline and lots of prayer I think we can make this year work!
Other than Tapestry we are using Write at Home for Mr. Tortoise.  He is starting high school this year and I don't want to be responsible for teaching his writing!  The neat thing about Write at Home is that they have a pay-per-paper so if you have just one thing you need looked over they will check it for you.
The younger set also has R.E.A.L Science Odyssey Chemistry.  This looks really cool - but it was back ordered so we haven't started it yet. We will also be using Simply Grammar: An Illustrated Primer for grammar and the new readers will use All About Reading.  We used this last year and  we all loved the little zebra puppet that comes in the set. Everyone is using Saxon math.
So that is a glimpse into what lies ahead in our school year. We'll read some books, do some math, eat some snacks and pray that everyone gets educated!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Saintly Thoughts to Ponder

Well I have spent the last 2 weeks engaged in home school websites and catalogs - I'm sure many of you can relate! I almost have our upcoming school year all figured out, and when I do I will be sure to reveal my plans to you!
In the meantime I wanted to post these two quotes that I read in my favorite book A Year with the Saints .  If you feel that I may be directing this to someone in particular, you would be right.  The person in question, however, would be me! Maybe if I put it here in writing, I will remember it better.

"Endeavor not to appear singular, but to be so.  This is done by leading, in all respects, the common life, doing all things that are enjoined, but with exactness in the time, place, and manner prescribed.   We must do common things not in a common matter, but in a manner more sublime and perfect than that in which they are commonly done.  This is to appear externally like all the rest and to be interiorly singular, which is a greater virtue and a treasure of merit."

-St. Bernard

St, Bernard of Clairvoux
Feast day Aug. 20

"Be not of those who think perfection consists in undertaking many things, but of those who place it in doing well what little they do.  For it is much better to do little and do it well, than to undertake much and do it ill.  Yes little and good , this is the best.  Therefore, if we wish to advance, or when we wish to give some special honor to Our Lord, we have to redouble not our exercises, but the perfection with which we perform them.

-St. Francis de Sales

St. Francis de Sales
Feast day Jan. 24

Excellent thoughts while planning our school year!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Meatless (and cheap!) Meals

I decided to write a post now and then on meatless meals.  I'm doing this so I can make myself think that I have great knowledge on what to cook on Fridays for people who have a variety of allergies in their house and have that one day a week that is meatless! After all, coming up with things that don't include wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, soy, fish AND meat can be a little challenging!
I'm sorry I don't have a picture for this, but I didn't think about posting it until after the fact. So without further adieu, my first meatless Friday recipe!

Pasta with Beans and Greens

-gluten free pasta of your choice ( I used Ancient Harvest Quinoa/Corn blend)
- sliced mushrooms
-package of fresh spinach
-white beans of your choice
-white wine
-vegetable stock
-vegetable bouillon

Now I have to tell you right now - every measurement is to taste in this recipe. Also if it wasn't Friday I would use Chicken stock and bouillon. 
 So my pithy directions:  While your pasta is cooking in one pot, fry onions and garlic in a frying pan. After it has cooked some add the mushrooms and when they are nearly cooked, add the spinach and drained beans.  When the spinach is cooked to your liking, add the wine, broth and a scoop of bouillon .(I use Better Than Bouillon, it comes in a jar)  Than just taste it and adjust it as you like.  Oh, I also added salt, pepper, and basil.  Really its the garlic and wine that make it, so go heavy on those, just don't use a sweet wine - yuck. Now just throw it in your pasta and your good to go!  Quick, healthy, cheap - what more do you want!

I had to have some kind of picture - it was killing me!!

Looking for more allergy friendly recipes?  Check out Allergy Friendly Friday at Cybele Pascal's website!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

(coffee) BREAKING NEWS....

Everyone knows food coloring is bad for your, right?  But sometimes you use it anyway, correct? They do make "natural" food coloring you know....if you don't mind spending a zillion dollars to color a cookie. So what is a sugerholic to do if you what a little pizazz on your cupcake or cookie?
According to the Babycakes Cookbook you can color your frosting with natural ingredients! Some were obvious, but others were not!

 pink/red:  use cherry, raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate or beet juice

purple: blueberry juice

Green:  liquid chlorophyll ( you can get this in Whole Foods)

Yellow: a pinch of turmeric powder

I think I'm going to have to do some baking!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Picking Peaches

Last week we went peach picking for the first time ever.  We have picked apples and strawberries before, but never peaches.  Some advice if you ever do it - they weigh more than you think!

This was the "front yard" of the farm.

I think we spent as much time admiring the view as we did picking peaches!

Full buckets! (43lbs. full actually)

Well that's about all the pictures I got, sorry!  My hands were full of baby and buckets, so it was a little difficult to juggle everything.  Hopefully I'll get more when we go back for blueberries!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012


The Major is no longer Major!  He is now Lieutenant Colonel!  The promotion ceremony was very nice and everyone treated us so kindly.

The reading of the promotion orders.

Pinning on the new rank

Renewing the oath

Sealed with a kiss!

The whole clan

Time to celebrate!

Ummm Cake! Daddy should get promoted more often!

Tomorrow, peach picking!

Friday, July 13, 2012


Our little one  was baptised a week after her birth.  Unfortunately her Godparents couldn't be there. We were fortunate, however, to have some wonderful new friends stand in for them.

We are so happy that our little one now has a squeaky clean soul..............oh to be a baby!
Tomorrow.......promotion pictures!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm still alive!

I know it's been forever - but I've been so  busy.  Having a baby is time consuming! I have lots to share but lets start with the baby pictures shall we!

Here is the little princess on her birthday.

Notice the hair!

Look how wide eyed at only a few days old! Obviously an intelligent baby!

Well there's a glimpse of the new one.  I haven't found her blog name yet, sorry.  Tomorrow I will show you her baptism!