Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Sunday Round-up.

 Olivia just loves to torture Lance.  Here she put some of her blankets on him.
 Snow baby .  When I tried to get her off of her sled and back in the house after we had spent a good amount of time in the winter wonderland....she pointed her finger at me and yelled:  No!  that got her a few more minutes, a few more times. 
 Here is a proud creation by Isabelle , Ben and a neighbor friend. 
 One of my recent paintings:  Rainbow Tree. 
 I was very inspired to paint this yesterday after watching Olivia play with a balloon that Ben brought home from a birthday party.  She giggled the whole time.  She told it to:  up up go up.... (she LOVES the painting, it is now hanging in her room. hehe)
 My winter bird viewing lately inspired this painting.  I have been seeing a lot of juncos and cardinals all merged together.  I call these: Poker Trio.
 We have been cooking so many new meals latley.  Changing things up a bit.  This is one Ive been cooking for a bit, it is part of the process of Shepherd's Pie (when I make this , there is none left).  This is potatoe-less.  Instead blended cauliflower is used...and it's awesome!
This (paleo) dish was amazing!  Coffee Rub Pot Roaast and Baked Bacon Brussells Sprouts.  I have been so proud of myself latley....the things I have been cooking.  Wow, you follow a recipe and it works!  Other things we have tried lately that are all successes for the most part:  Greek Meatballs, Ginger Beef with Mango, Scallops & Sauted Spinach,  Spaghetti Zucchini, crustless pizza.  This meal planning, big grocery shopping in the beginning of the week has been working really well for us.  This morning we plan this upcoming week.. (it is a flexible plan , depending on how things go).  Then Noah goes out and gets everything we need (meal ingredients, school lunches, snacks, basics) and we are pretty much set.    Painting - I have been enjoying a little painting time at the end of this week and I have a few I need to get done for custom requests.  I've got such wonderful support from friends, family and it has been amazing.  I feel so blessed to be able to paint when I can and when a painting touches someone...that is my favorite part.  I need to update my website (the link on the side of this blog), I haven't in a long while.  I've been trying to put some pics on here and some on my facebook artist's page...but I don't have everything organized and up I need to work on that.  Homefront news...We have decided it best to wait on the chickens til march.  hehe.  That's o.k., we have enough turkey's around here anyway.  School will be very busy this week.  It's catholic schools week and 100 day of school...lots of activities.  Also I will be planning the Valentine's Party for Ben's class.  I got so many wonderful volunteering parents to help with things...I just need to get my act together and organize, tasks and needs.  All the dishes in this kitchen are whispering to me as I type "I'm dirty, wash me, I'm not going away, you can't throw me away, I will wait here..put some soap in the sink...).  Ugh.   Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

birds, baking, books

Found this pic online (pinterest) and I absolutely LOVE it.  Brings joy straight to my heart. so funny.   I just love when our library system works for me!  Sometimes dragging the children into the library , upstairs (don't like to take the stroller in the elevator with the homeless people if I don't have to), and then having the youngin's not so patiently wait while I search for my one of the most torturous tasks on the when I can look something up online and put it on hold, be notified when its ready/in and then go pick it up at the front desk...that is a wonderful thing.  I wasn't even annoyed to pay my 80 cent fine today, that's how happy I was. I am So excited about some of the books that I picked up today!  Got to keep them away from Olivia so she doesn't add color (crayon drawings) to them.  Of course, one of the gross parts about library wonderful as the system is...the gross part is opening one up to find obvious food or something else type stains...and it totally grosses you out...makes you want to put surgical gloves on or just return it into the book drop and speed away.  Well, I noticed some kind of Cheetos stain on one of the books and all I can say is geez people!!!! do we really have to eat Cheetos as we read a library book?  seriously.  what the frick is going on in your head when you put that combination together?  anywho...I just baked the most awesome dessert/treat/snack and I can't wait for the kids to try it after school.  Not only is it super yum but its pretty darn good for you as well.  It is coconut milk custard.  I found the recipe on line and I am in love.  I have some funny pics of Olivia eating it.  So funny.  I must scoot, as I have to shovel my way out through toys and household items and such now laying in my pathway.  Olivia has been quite the busy girl today.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Random just because...I am.

 Olivia decided that she would fry up some chicken for dinner.
 Found this book under our kitchen table after dinner tonight...with cottage cheese all over it.  Quite appropriate. 
 Right after school today, Ben made me make him a viking hat.  It wasn't staying on so he tied his bandana on it as well.   Olivia always jumps into a picture any chance she gets.  She bats her eyes and sways.  Yesterday Ben was a ninja turtle.  I wonder what he will be tomorrow.
 Winter Woodland friends. ...squirrels have to eat too...I keep telling myself as they help themselves to the bird's grub.
Isabelle working on handwriting homework tonight as I prepared dinner.  (bunless hamburgers, cottage cheese and PeAs).

So, a big storm is brewing supposedly.  We shall see what tomorrow brings.  The kids are now waiting for me to read to them (after we get the baby to bed).  Last night we started LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  We are all really enjoying it.  Today I made a lapbook for us to go along with it.  A lapbook is a learning tool that is a fun interactive way to review and recall and discuss the item you are studying.  Ill take a pic of it later on in life when we get it all filled out.  Isabelle's horse folder is falling apart.  I should tape it.  Olivia likes to put Ben's batman underwear on.  I have set up the potty for her, now I have to properly introduce her to it instead of her putting the bath toys in it.  U2 is on my ipod.  The dog is barking. ugh.  Must go retrieve him.  Wish me luck.  I must lure him inward with a piece of bacon.  Well , the children are waiting.  Good Night & God Bless.

Monday, January 16, 2012

flakes and feathers

 Olivia and I had inklings of colds, so we watched the sledders from the window.
 I get so excited to watch the birds come eat during a snow storm!  It's amazing.   Nothing like a Cardinal in the snow.
 Seriously, this is one of my favorite winter past times.  Nature just becomes so alive out there and you can see it all. Neat to see the relationships and routines.
 Lance is loving the snow as well.  I think he would sit out there all day if I let him. 
Despite the fact that I and Olivia have colds and I strongly dislike feeling this way, I am enjoying being home this weekend, get a few projects done, reading with the kids, making some nice meals (homemade chicken soup for example and lots of tea).  I played Angry Birds for the first time ever.  I wanted to see what all the excitement was about.  It is kind of fun, flinging those birds.  I think we might start selling our honey coming up next season.  If so, I need to think of a cute little label/name...cuz that is the most important part (well besides the taste and content and all).  Noah and I planned a whole week or sos menu of meals this week.  It is flexible for the most part ingredients are bought and the days are mapped out.  Hopefully this will make things easier, I feel like Ive been in a meal idea rut lately.  Also trying to change up the kids school lunches a little bit.  I am praying for many situations and people this week.  I am especially thankful for a warm house and a healthy (for the most part despite the temp. colds) family.  Excited to see what this day has in store for us (no school, MLK day).  Just waiting for the sun to come up.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paintings on display

Hey local friends, some of my paintings are up on display through the art museum at FHN/Burchard until Feb. 24th.  Go check it out if you get a chance!  I'd love to hear what you think.  I need to get over there.  The kids are very excited to see them (and I am too).   Ugh, I just woke up feeling very dizzy and sick.  I drank some water and ate two cuties (the best little snack in the world - seedless, easy peel, sweet , mini oranges).  Hoping the combo of those things help.  I think it's dress up day at school today, I need to check into that.  I wonder if I have anything to make for lunches.  I hear that snow is supposed to come tomorrow.  The kids will be thrilled.   Better put gas in my car today and find my gloves.  hehe  I have a horrible wonderful new addiction...I have been visiting the used book store in town.  Problem:  Olivia.  She doesnt let me stay long and she is quite horrific the whole time we are there so I can barely think or look.  If she's in the stroller she screams (unsatisfied with snacks, drinks, looking at nearby books) - If I let her loose, she hightails it as far away from me as possible, giggling the whole time in which of course I cannot look at books, but need to chase her instead.  There's even coloring there, but she takes no part in it.  She does try to rearrange all of the shelves though.  It's kind of nightmarish to tell the truth...but I torture myself anyway, because I so desperately want to see what gems that I can find in this paper & word filled wonderland.  Speaking of Olivia, I was at Joann's getting paint the other day and while waiting in line, she decided to whip a bottle of paint that was in my cart.  It landed between the cashier and an elderly customer.  Gave us all quite a fright.  Luckily they laughed about it, probably because they were in shock or just so relieved because they were not injured by the projectile merchandise.  Oh, sweet little Olivia. 

Monday, January 09, 2012

4amish ramble

Pictured:  Miss O sneakily wearing Ben's cowboy boots.  I wish I could sleep but I can't.  I decided that I couldn't lay in bed anymore swimming in my head with all my thoughts that were going nowhere.  So, I got up at 4ish.  This weekend flew by like a migrating bird.  Where did it go?  Swoosh...gone!  What did we do?  not much.  hit the library and hung out at home mostly.  I've been reading a book that I quite enjoy:  Folks, this ain't normal by Joel Salatin.  It's about the food industry...and also about local farming.  How people need to get back to the basics...including homecooking and homesteading.   The weather has been so mild it hardly feels like winter.  In fact the kids had so much energy, I had them go outside yesterday in sweatshirts and run around the house , etc.  I think they came back in with even more energy. hehe.  Olivia's new favorite thing is to take off her clothes...and her diaper.  I think It might be time to see if I still have the "childrens" potty lurking in the basement.  She's been such a doll lately...well besides all her usual adventureness that leads her to trouble.  I tried a new recipe yesterday.  It's a healthy snack that I found online.  Isabelle, Noah and I love it.  Olivia, it's hard to tell since she threw hers on the floor, it could have been a mishap, it could have been intential, Ben did not like it, or so he says (since there are raisins in it).  It is a simple thing...3 ingredients:  almonds (1 cup), raisins (1 cup) and cinnamon (1 teaspoon).  rinse the a and r, put them in the blender with the c , make them into little balls.   I have renamed them:  Powerballs.  Yesterday, Ben got in trouble quite a few times.  Once for kicking Isabelle with his cowboy boot on, once for shooting her in the back with his nerf gun, once for shooting my lamp with his nerf gun...once for taking all his clothes off (wonder where Olivia gets that from) and climbing all the furniture like a monkey, several times for tooting and burping at meals (typical boy so instilled in this child), once for tying his lasso rope to my table and pulling it....and I am sure more things that my brain is choosing to ignore.  Like I said, way so much energy.  Ben is amazing me with his great drawing lately.  Santa got him a special sketchbook and he is filling it up with lots of wonderfulness.  Isabelle saw a great idea in he American Girl doll magazine, so we tried it this weekend and all her dreams came true.  She is so excited.  It is pink embroidery floss wrapped around a braid in her hair.  She loves the flare.  I kind of like it as well.  hey, I might even try it , it might hide some gray.  So, we are thinking about getting a few chickens...start them out as chicks in the basement...and then build them a nice little safe home outside a little later on.  I must say I'm kind of excited, we have wanted to do this for a long time and it would be a great way to get us started, just doing it on a very small scale.  Call me crazy, I don't is crazy.  I wish my glasses prescription was up to date, because when I wear them it seems I am hindered in my vision capabilities.  I am hoping to work on some thank you cards this week, for gifts that have been sent and given to the children.  This week, some of my paintings will be begin being displayed in a gallery of a local building through our arts center/museum.  I am excited but also somewhat disappointed with myself because I wanted to have more pieces made, more to choose from to display instead of just sending what I had left.  With the Christmas season, I gave away some as gifts, which I am thrilled to the moon, because the people I gave them to were meant to have then.  But, I never got around to making anything new.  But , that's o.k. and in the words of my mom:  it is what it is.  I pray that the display goes well and that my paintings might touch a few people with a smile in their hearts.  So, I guess I should go do something as it is nearly 5 am. he he  (come evening I will be spent).  Be good, be brave, and have a lovely day.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

small things great love

 Olivia's new best friend (from Aunt Elaine).
 One of my newest paintings.  It makes me feel happy. :)
So, I know I have a ton of updating to do and lots of photos to share but for now, for this very moment...I just want to say good morning.  I hope your new year is starting off on the right and left feet.  I have jumped into this new time frame with so many ideas, projects, expectations, goals, plans....but it is all good, it is all exciting.  Lots of wonderful things surrounding me these days.  Want to embrace it all.  One breath at a time.  I tell myself to breathe.  So, as I sip my coffee and everyone else in the house slumbers, I plan my day.  I think about how it is so amazing...the paths that God leads you on.  Places that you have never expected.  I think about how much I love this soft plum colored robe that my mom got me for Christmas.  I look out the window and hope I see a unicorn...or at least a cardinal or a bunny.  I think about how I will miss the Christmas tree once it is taken down, how I love looking at the lights at night, but how I look forward to the clutter of it all to be gone.  I wish I had more bookshelves.  There are never enough homes for these gems.  I wonder why I keep filling the bird feeders, when the squirrels just invade them immediately.  I guess I figure they must eat as well.  There must have been at least a hundred crows settled in the tops of the trees by our house the other day.  It was quite awesome to see.  Is there anything more exciting then filling out a new calendar for a fresh new year?  Well anything besides, splashing ideas and color on a blank white canvas?  Out with the old, in with the new...and that is my current goal.....organizing and decluttering the home front.  Way too much stuff is lingering around these days.  Stuff without purpose or place.  I am quite thankful that I have a purpose and a place.  Have a beautiful day.