Sunday, May 30, 2010

Kalli folds the laundry

The help of a two (almost three year old) is priceless. The other day she decided to help fold the laundry. This is how her little hands folded the socks. If you cannot tell by the picture, the are individually folded in a semi-straight line all the way across the couch. She is so organized.

Drinking Green

You have heard the saying, "you are what you eat." Well, we are not turning green nor are we growing mushy, but we are healthier. Many of you know a bit of our "food" journey, and for those of you who don't, I will give a short re-cap of the last couple years of our eating habits. We decided a few years back to really investigate and be more intentional about our food choices. We began eliminating anything that had high fructose corn syrup in it from our diet (which turned out to be in nearly everything pre-packaged or processed). The reason being that high fructose corn syrup is highly genetically modified and basically just chemicals. Not really giving our bodies any sufficient nutrients. We switched all of our favorite pre-packaged foods to organic which eliminated the high fructose corn syrup and MSGs. We then began switching everything else to locally, organically grown foods. We joined a farm share, planted our own small garden and bought meat from local farmers. We felt confident that our food choices were healthier and wiser. Yet, we were still purchasing pre-packaged foods (mostly organic). I began looking at the ingredients on the organic foods we were buying and found that many of them had organic cane sugar. So, now we are on the third phase of our food journey and that is phasing out nearly all pre-packaged goods organic or not. Two years ago we canned all our own pickles, relish, tomato sauces, and applesauce. Last year we were not as fortunate as the summer garden saw more rain and slugs than actual produce. We pray for a better year this year, but we are committed to supporting the local growers and find what we need through CSA (community supported agriculture). There are some things that we simply will never do cream being one of those. We are not vegetarians, we are not making any rules for ourselves. We are simply choosing to live more simply in this particular area. We still enjoy eating various "bad for us" foods. We just choose not to eat them on a regular basis. Birthday parties and holidays are certain exceptions to our everyday diet.
We believe that our bodies were not given to us to be abused or taken advantage of. The LORD dwells in us, thus we want to be very intentional in the way we take care of our bodies....spiritually and physically. We were talking to Kaylynn the other day, telling her that God wants us to do everything as unto Him, and this is just another way that we can do that. Food is given to us for energy and also to appreciate God's creation. There are so many natural (not modified in any way) foods that the LORD has given us, and we are thankful to enjoy them!

So, here is one of our new favorite treats: SMOOTHIES!!!! Who knew drinking veggies and fruit could be so fun? The color certainly makes it more exciting!!!!

All very happy kiddos drinking their very healthy breakfast!!!

The recipe is very can really add whatever you want. We especially love the spinach because that gives it the green color. You can use a basic blender too which is nice because that's all we have.

3 oranges (juiced or not)
1 lemon
Frozen blueberries to taste
Strawberries to taste
1 Frozen banana
Handful of flax seed
6 ounces of spinach
Plain yogurt (this is entirely optional....we make them with and without. The frozen banana gives it that frothy thickness so the yogurt is not necessary for that)
Try some Mango too or fresh pineapple or watermelon. YUM!

Look for bananas on sale (the really ripe ones work the best)....then buy a bunch, peel them, then stick them in the freezer.
These smoothies are a yummy treat and can be used in place of high sugar dessert. We also freeze them so the kids can have them as popsicles.
What do you put in your smoothies?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Here chick chick

So, we officially have our first "pets." Well, actually second (Jeremie got a fish for his birthday). But here are our little chicks. 6 Buff Orpingtons and 6 Golden Comets....they are so cute and so much fun to have around. We made our final decision last summer when we experienced an increase in the tick population just in our yard. Hopefully these little ladies will take care of that (and the slugs in my garden). Plus, we look forward to the free range eggs. They are super friendly and seem to manage the kids handling them and petting and loving on them.

They are so cute all snuggled up together.

Jeremie is 5

Jeremie enjoyed his 5th birthday celebrating with friends and family. The weather was perfect for an outside party....about 80 degrees. All his little friends dressed up in their favorite costumes but shed them quickly as they ran around the yard and got much too hot. We all had fun playing in the kiddie pool, enjoying a very intense sword fight...complete with daddy participation, the limbo, tug-0-war, see how high you can jump over the rope, and we ended the party with a water fight.....where we all ended up completely soaked. He requested a hockey cake so I did my best, and he was pleased. He also has been asking for a skateboard so we got him one, and he is actually quite good at riding it. We are so thankful for our little man!

Grandma Lynn comes to visit!!!!

We were so blessed to have my mom come for a week long visit in April. The timing was absolutely perfect. The kids monopolized her time which she loved. I did get some one on one with her one afternoon which was priceless. We allowed her to see some of our daily activities and also took her to some of our favorite Maine spots.

Here the kids are acting hair stylists.
I think she was picking feathers out of her hair even hours later.

A trip to one of the lighthouses and forts...the kids showed her around.

Cami's first trip to the Ocean. She enjoyed snuggling as
Grandma tried to keep her protected from the sun.

Thanks mom for the wonderful visit and all the help! We cannot wait until we can see you again. Kalli even asked the whole week after you left if you were going to come to our house.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Cami Smiles

Cami has grown so much the last few weeks. She is cooing and smiling like crazy. She is a very content little girl and very tolerant of her older sibling's poking, holding, pulling, and moving her in every direction imaginable. Everything seems to take longer....I cannot ever seem to get out of the house any earlier than 10:00 no matter what time we get up....then once we get to our destination we either have a slew of strangers coming to admire my lovely 4 children or we seem to have a poopy blow out diaper happen simultaneously with a 2 year needing to go pee and a 5 year old falling in a mud puddle...all the while a 7 year old is singing at the top of her lungs. It makes me laugh to think about it right now! I love my life and my wonderful little blessings.

She looks just like big brother.

Kalli helps in the kitchen

Kalli loves to help in any way she can. Here she is cutting artichokes for our weekly homemade pizza night!!!

New Cyclist

Jeremie is officially training-wheel less (is that a word)? He rides so well and so FAST!!! Once he got it figured out, there was no stopping him. He said, "I almost forgot I didn't have training wheels...I'm such a pro!"

Saturday Night Fever

Friday night was DISCO night at the teen center. Jon Travolta and even the Bee Gees showed up! We were thoroughly entertained!!!!

Daddy dancing with one of his princesses.

Alan was the MC, and he really played it up!!!
He certainly looked the part and acted the part.

Our best disco impersonations!

Crazy Hair

Kalli's fly-away hair always looks amazing at the end of the day. That coupled with her messy face makes this such a cute picture~

The Beauty of a Tree

This is one of Kaylynn's new favorite places to read. I catch her up her at least once a day (when the sun is shining) reading.....always a different book. She is quite the reader now. Last night, she stayed up and read 50 pages of Little House on the Prairie!!! Very dedicated little girl.

Jeremie the Gymnast

Jeremie has been participating in gymnastics this year, and he loves it!!! It is right up his alley...running, jumping, climbing on things! He loves his teacher, Miss Donna and even invited her to his birthday party this year. He is so cute and thoughtful. He cannot leave class until he gives her a goodbye hug. One evening I went to pick him up and as we were walking out the door, he says, "MOM!!! I forgot to give Miss Donna a hug!" He wheels around and runs to the other side of the building and throws his arms around her (almost knocking her over). I love my little man!

Kalli sets the Table

Since Cami came home, the kids have been so helpful...and we have also changed how we do things in our home. We are trying to teach shared responsibility so we now have the kids help plan, prepare, and clean up with each meal. The rule is that no one leaves the kitchen until everything is cleaned up (unless of course they need to go "potty"). They have come up with some great healthy meal options and also LOVE working together to prepare the food and clean up. Kaylynn feels so proud that she is old enough to use real knives to slice veggies, and Jeremie feels proud to be working his way up to that. He gets a kick out of stirring the dinner on the stove (fully assisted by mommy or daddy of course). Kalli also helps out....using butter knives to slice easy things like olives and setting the table. Kalli was very excited to set the table one evening, and this is the cup that Alan wound up with. One from Kaylynn's toy tea set. He used it like a trooper and thanked Kalli for setting the table!