Monday, June 30, 2008

The Birthday Trampoline is Here!

Oh yes, I have to admit, this thing is a LOT of fun.

It is quite the workout too! I got up there for about a half hour and got off and felt like I had run a mile. I can still feel it in my legs.

A funny thing happened while I was up there. The kids were inside, watching Anne Of Green Gables. I got up on the trampoline and didn't really do anything. I just stood there for a minute... being mature. You know... being a grown up. Then I started to jump. Then I started to giggle. Giggle uncontrollably, like I was 6 years old. I had to call the kids out, just so the neighbors thought I had some sort of excuse for all the giggling and jumping. They of course, came running, and we jumped until the sprinklers came on and sprayed us about a half an hour later. We all got of and scrambled about picking up shoes, socks, and random things from the trampoline set up, like my electric drill, and of course, the gigantic shipping boxes. "Save them from the sprinklers!!" Alex was screeching. The kids said it was the most fun they have EVER had. lol... my kids are dramatic... but I have been smiling ever since.

Whether I am sore tomorrow is yet to be told. I am counting on my friend Arnica and my other buddy Water to help me out in that dept. I don't know if walking 2.5 miles a day prepares ones body for trampoline jumping. ;)

The neighbor kids thought it was a blast as well. I am sure I will be seeing them bright and early tomorrow. :)


Sunday, June 29, 2008

My favorite local eatery, which also has a fair trade market attached to it, has this amazing salad. They serve it heaped with brown rice, on top of a bed of romaine lettuce and then tomato slices and cucumber to top it all off, and usually next to this amazing panini sandwich made with roast tomatoes and tons of provalone cheese! Yum!! The dressing they use, they gave me the recipe for years ago... but to make a gallon. lol... so I rarely bother figure it out. And because I make so much at one time, I never have written it down in smaller quantities.

I have been reading about food again. Seriously, it is beginning to be a real, full-on, life long, obsession. I have also been following my diet very closely, and documenting what is working for me and what is not with the nips and twitches that my picky body puts out. The book I am currently in is Sally Falon's Nourishing Traditions. Amazing book. Brings to life everything I have ever believed about food. Partially I love it because it backs up much of my instinct and knowledge, and partly I love it because the recipes are GOOD! And all real food, made with real fat, real ingredients, and really 'from scratch'. Many are even easy. She doesn't shun things like food processors, or crock pots, she just uses them as our ancestors would have... to make 'real' food. I found a recipe in it for a half quart of Tahini Salad Dressing, that reminds me so of the dressing from that eatery I love so much I am nearly sure that is where they got the idea. Theirs has more salt, and a bit more lemon juice and celery than she calls for... but adjusting for taste, it is the same thing. So here it is... This yummy dressing is great over cucumbers right out of the garden for those of you a few months ahead of us (my cuke plants are 2 inches tall) or even as a dip for cuke slices. It is also great as a dressing inside a wrap loaded with yummy veggies and perhaps some light cheese as well. Use your imagination... it could go with anything crisp and satisfying these dog days of summer.

Lemon Tahini Dressing

1 small onion
1 stalk celery
2 T soy sauce
fresh juice of 2 lemons
1/2 c Tahini
4 T olive oil
1/8 cup water

Chop onion and celery coarsely, and put in a food processor or blender until finely chopped. Add remaining ingredients and process until well blended. Thin with a little water to achieve desired consistency.

Oh, and I still adore my bowls. I love getting them out of the cupboard and using them, I love planning things to put in the serving bowl. All of it. I know, I am a dork, but I really really love them. :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer sweetness...

Today was HOT. It was 93* in the shade in my backyard. Which is not something we are used to here. We were all cranky and hot. So ice cream was necessary.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Long awaited dishware...

In my year and a half long search for dishes I have gone through many phases. The only real consistent have been that I wanted dishes not 'made in china' and something very eclectic that didn't match, but went together ok. I realise that sounds odd... but I was willing to wait to find exactly what I wanted. Well, two days ago, I was at the Olympia Food Co-op of which I have been a member for as long as I can remember (and my mom before me) and I saw these beautiful blue and white bowls. They were set up in rows on the shelf, but were individually priced, so I picked up two of each pattern... making 10 total. The exact number I wanted. They were pricey, but I don't have to buy new plates yet (until I find the perfect ones) because my current plates are off white and navy... not perfect, but certainly don't look awful with them. And a bonus... they are completely fair trade. Not a deal breaker if they were not, but worth the extra little bit over the alternative!

I love them all. There is one I don't 'adore' because it looks like something I have seen in a restaurant (the one farthest back in the picture, I swore I have had egg drop soup in that bowl. lol!)... but 'love' is the word I would use for all of them.

Esp the little flower one... so I bought a coordinating serving bowl (above) in a pattern like that. Here it is with fresh local basil and tomatoes with fresh mozzerella. I couldn't wait to use it... I rinsed it and filled it within 15 minutes of getting home. :)

Aren't they pretty? Even the husband likes them. *Glee*

Sweet Summer

Our yard is bringing forth bounty once more. We have had endless salads of our spinach, chard and beet greens. The strawberries are producing and we are starting to get the years first few raspberries... which makes the kids so terribly happy! I LOVE watching my kids be proud to bring in eggs from our chickens, and to go out and pick chives and other herbs for dinner dishes, spinach for salad, and now strawberries and raspberries for fruit salads. There is something so comforting and fundamental about growing your own food. I feel blessed to be in a place where I can really share that joy (and mild obsession) with my children.

The children are starting to look like Palomino horses. The bronze skin with the sun bleached hair... beautiful. They spend 90% of their time outside. That is going to double when we get the trampoline this weekend. It is their birthday gift from us... a 14 footer... with safety net attached. It should be SO much fun. I am actually excited to get up on the thing and try it out.

Here is the promise of more bounty to come. I am pinching some of the flowers now for salads, along with Borage flowers, and some new cilantro leaves... but soon there will be peas, and then beets, and soon after sunflowers and blueberries. After that the tomatoes, basil, and... oh... my mouth just waters thinking about August and the beauty that will bring. Summer is such a beautiful thing.


Monday, June 23, 2008

The calm after the storm...

We have had a wonderfully eventful first few days of summer. Kids, tons of kids. Everywhere. :) And the start of summer birthday craziness... (there are 12 birthdays between June 1st and August 1st.)

This is my little friend Maia. She just turned 11 and as you can see, she got a baby kitty for her birthday. She is a wonderful kitty mama and this sweet kitty will be blessed to have her.

Here is her beautiful mama with the most stunning birthday cake ever! Now I don't know if I have ever brought this up on this blog, but I am not a fan of cake. This cake though, is light, yet feels like real food... not just white flour and sugar... I have gotten the recipe and will share it with you at the bottom of this post. It is truly wonderful and you will be STUNNED to know what is in it!

After cake, everyone went down to the river for a fun time in the water... and boy, was it a stunning day for it! It wasn't as hot as the first day of summer though, so as the sun started to set, the wind picked up and it got pretty cold pretty fast, but the beach time was fun while it lasted.

This is Cyan's beach fairy house. It was a beautiful day!

Chocolate Cake

Butter and flour a 9X13" pan and preheat the oven to 350*

3 cups cooked blended beets (cooled)

6 oz unsweetened chocolate (or cocoa powder)

6 eggs

2 1/4 cups sucanat

1 1/4 c grapeseed oil (I used peanut oil and it worked)

2 tsp vanilla

One at a time add the above together and beat in a large bowl.

Add together in another bowl:

3 1/2 cups spelt flour (all purpose works as well)

3 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt mix into wet mixture (hence LARGE bowl) just until blended.

Bake for 35 minutes and set on a rack to cool.

Isn't that an amazing recipe? Even if you don't like cake, you have to try this one. It is truly amazingly good.

For the last two days, we have been homebodies. I have trimmed all the bushes in the yard, cleaned out all the weeds out of the garden beds and started to get ready to mulch the raised beds. We are airating our grassy areas, and then putting down peat so our grass perks up and starting to get ready for my older kids birthdays (both the second week in July) and the party that always comes with that. For the most part, we have been calm. Just hanging out, and puttering around the house... After the last two weeks of travel, fun, and parties, we have needed that home time to come back to balance. My yard looks great and it feels good to catch up and just be able to relax a bit.


Friday, June 20, 2008


The first day of summer, the first hot day of the year for us. We had not hit 90* before today. We sit at a perfect 89* and the kids are swimming in the pool in the backyard. I have had tons of kids here all day and it has been beautiful to watch them play and play in the backyard without a whisper of a whine of 'being cold'. I pulled out the fans, and finally put away the down comforters. Even the garden plants feel it. The kids keep picking half ripe strawberries (grrrr...), just because they are actually ripening this year! After this terribly long, cold, wet, winter.... summer is finally here.

Strange, I may even need to water this weekend. LOL!
And just to top off the hot day... for the last two days, this has been my life: *(warning, it is Eddie Murphy, in the 80's. Which means he uses lots of profanity)*

Sunday, June 15, 2008

So good...

Laughter, abundance, beauty, friendship, security, safety, love, honor, and passion..... Life is good. And I see it... and say "I will not take these things for granted."

I feel amazing... and amazingly tired. I have had about 3 hours of sleep since yesterday at 7:30am. I got in near 4 am. But wow... this retreat was just absolutely blissful.

I have never had such wonderful and beautiful friends in my entire life. I feel blessed by my existence on this planet... to be so blessed with a wonderful husband, amazing friends and beautiful children in this way. I got to say, I am near so happy I could burst.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Rainbows and smiles

There are few things that are more beautiful than a rainbow.

Usually here it is too overcast when it rains to really see one... but here there are actually two. The second one I didn't see until I was uploading the photos. It is in the top left corner. It wasn't a full double rainbow... we get those too, but these were just bright enough for us to all go outside in the rain with awe.

Even Logan saw it and was excited.

Look at these beautiful brown eyes on this baby. Gosh... he looks like his dad. Arn't those eyes beautiful? And this smile... that is just filling out with 4 new teeth (he now has the last of 16 that have come in in since Nov) looks more like Don's every day. This laugh, this smile. It is one of the first things I fell in love with. I am sure you can see why. I have to admit to really enjoying having a child that looks like the man I love. I have two children who look like me. This is a treat.

And here is my spunky daughter. What is she doing you ask? She is taking my picture. On her phone. And they say homeschoolers are out of touch with social reality. (Just for the record, I don't take pictures with my phone. Ever. And we don't even have cable tv. lol!)


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Andrew White - Traces of Silver

I am a big classic guitar lover... but with his voice... well, it just melts me. Beautiful!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pizza Friday and the end of the year

Basil, fresh motzerella, and cherry tomatoes for tonight... and oh so good! Next time I will make a Italian Herb crust to go with it.

The school year is over. Cyan's primer is finished, so is her english book, and her math book. We have been doing quite a bit of art in the last weeks as well as a bunch of nature study and garden projects. Cyan has been drawing up a storm. We have been enjoying a couple of new web sites:

This is my favorite of hers so far.

Tomorrow, we go get a banana split in celebration for her finally getting through her Dick and Jane primer. She diserves it. And I can finally say:

I taught my daughter to read!

I have no idea how long I will homeschool. I know that I plan to teach both of them next year and we will see where it all goes from there, but in this second, the momentum could keep me going forever. She is reading. And quickly too. It is like a light switch when it turns on. Just a week ago, she was still sounding out 75% of the words letter by letter... and today, she read through four Dick and Jane stories (two she had never even seen before in her new primer) and and half of Go Dog, Go without barely a hitch. It is just amazing!


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sandbox fun...

It's the little things that can make me very happy this time of year. The rain the day I am planning on watering, bees coming to my raspberries before I worry about it, or the little weed/flowers that have decided to make the sandbox and paths that I laid out last year look just beautiful!

This is what it looked like when I first made it and when it was being built.

Now it looks all weathered and beautifully established. It's the little things. The kids have fun in it every day the sun is out... and that is something too... but for me, today, it is the little things.

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