Boys Will Eat Anything

I've got to say, I'm super thankful that my boys will eat just about anything. They are each allowed to choose one food that they don't have to eat, but if it is in something I prepare, they are responsible for just eating around it. Right now, the "one things" include leeks, onions, carrots and lima beans. For a long time, monkey brains were R8's "one thing" and then he realized I never serve those. . .

I'm thankful they are willing to try just about anything. One wasn't thrilled with the millet I've made a few times. I tried to convince them it was yummy by saying it was like a cross between rice and couscous. I forgot that rice had been his "one thing" for quite a while.

We had a light lunch the other day of veggies dipped in hummus and toasted pita bread. Hubby bought the hummus at the grocery store, and it reminded me of how much we all like it. It's pretty easy to make, too--and you can skip the tahini if you aren't a hummus purist.

Tonight we had deeeelicious Cuban Black Bean soup. We try to have a legume-based dinner once a week, and Black Bean soup is a fave. I forgot just how good Cuban Black Bean soup is when you're sure to season it with cumin and serve with fresh chopped onions and sour cream. Yummmm. We all had seconds.

Maybe it's the cooler weather, but I'm more inspired to cook and create in the kitchen these days. R8 is asking to make apple butter with me--I've hardly done any canning since Ukraine.


MYJAMS.JPG


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October 22, 2007  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Pancake Mixes

J11 is very handy in the kitchen. It took me years to be able to make good pancakes, and he's mastered it at age 11. Still, it's easiest to use a mix in the box, but when he's cooking and the other boys are eating. . . well. . . we can go through a lot of pancakes! So here are some make-your-own-mix recipes for us to try out.


Oatmeal Pancake Mix

4 cups quick cooking oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup non-fat dry milk
2 tablespoons cinnamon
5 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Makes about 8 cups.


To cook the pancakes, beat together:
2 eggs
1/3 c. of melted butter

Little by little mix in:
2 c. of pancake mix
1 c. of water

Perfect Pancake Mix


5 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Stir 1 1/2 cups of pancake mix, 2 eggs, and 1 1/4 cups of milk in a mixing bowl until smooth. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Cook the pancakes for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Enjoy with maple syrup.

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October 20, 2007  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Boys’ Step-By-Step Guide To Cleaning the House

In the past six months or so, we've gone from barely-keeping-up to staying-on-top of the daily messes and clutter. One of the biggest changes is how the boys are now at an age at which their daily activities don't result in a net-mess.

One of the tools we use is the below outline I wrote up and posted on the fridge. We don't do all of these every day, but it is the guide we follow when we do a weekly housecleaning or before we have guests. This list is primarily for the boys to do the basic cleaning, and I follow up taking care of details and things that I see that are overlooked by those who are only 4 feet high.

While the list looks long, we tackle each section at a time. Four boys can do a numbered section in less than 10 minutes when they are working together.


Boys’ Step-By-Step Guide

To Cleaning the House

1. Throw Away All Trash!

a. Empty trash cans in both bathrooms, kids’ bedroom, and kitchen.

b. Gather any and all trash from the floor—bedrooms, public areas, bathrooms, under furniture, in corners.

c. Take trash out to bins in garage—make sure trash gets put in the bin and the lid closed!

d. Sort the recycling in the garage.

2. Gather All Clothes!

a. Pick up all clothes and shoes from the floor—check bedrooms, public areas, bathrooms, and closets. Fold and put away clean ones.

b. Put dirty ones in the hamper (not on the laundry room floor!)

c. Check in and on the dryer. If you see your clothes, fold them and put them away!

d. Are all shoes put away neatly in the closet? Play shoes in one bin, church shoes in the other bin.

3. Books!

a. Gather all books from the floor, under beds and in bathrooms.

b. Mommy/Daddy books put on top of living room bookshelf.

c. Library books put in bin by the door.

d. School books go on the school shelf. Set them up neatly!

e. Kids’ books go on kids’ shelf or under-bed shelves. Set them neatly—like Daddy’s bookshelves.

4. Clean the Kitchen

a. Gather any food, plates, or utensils from anywhere they are in the house.

b. Empty dishwasher. If something still isn’t clean, use the scrub brush!

c. Load dishwasher.

d. If anything is on the counter tops, put it away where it belongs!

e. Squirt counter tops, stove top, and cupboards with vinegar. Wipe down!

f. Sweep kitchen and kitchen office.

5. Wash the walls.

a. Use a slightly damp, clean cloth to wipe walls. Look for fingerprints! Look for scuffs from toys!

b. Pay extra attention to doors and the walls around the doors.

c. Mommy or Daddy will use Magic Eraser.

6. Clean the bathroom.

a. Put away, where they belong, any items that don’t belong in the bathroom.

b. Put away in the cupboard any items that DO belong in the bathroom.

c. Use some dishwashing soap—just a little squirt—to fill the tub with bubble water. Let it soak.

d. Wipe down all surfaces. Use either a cleaning cloth that is wet and wrung out from the soapy water in the tub, or use Clorox wipes. Wipe down counter, cupboards, door, shower walls, and floor.

e. Wipe down toilet with Clorox wipe. Start with the cleanest areas, move to the dirtier areas. Be sure to wipe floor around the base of the toilet!

7. Clean the Floors!

a. Sweep the public areas.

b. Let Daddy or Mommy mop.

c. Inspect for vacuuming—office and bedrooms.

d. Vacuum. Be careful of money, legos, and rubber bands.

e. Put small attachment on and vacuum next to wall and hard to reach areas.

8. Clean Bedroom

a. Make beds—sheets on properly, blankets spread nicely, pillows on.

b. All trash, clothes, and books should already be picked up from earlier work. Double check.

c. Clean closet. Any toys in closet put away. Shoes organized.

d. Clear out everything under beds, under shelves. Put away properly.

e. Straighten shelves. Books neat!

f. Clean out your own dresser special-drawers.

g. Inspect for vacuuming.

9. Have Daddy or Mommy Check!

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November 18, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Obesity Interactive Map

Weird post name, I know, but you've got to see this map.

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July 27, 2006  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

International Midwives' Day

Today is a day set aside to honor and thank the women who have dedicated their lives to being with women during the amazing, transitional time of pregnancy and birth.

I'd like to give special thanks to those midwives who were with me during the births of my four boys:

Carol Wolfson and Cheryl Hollifield, Florida

Veronica Wagner, California

Alisa Voss, Texas

Tavish Brinton, South Carolina


(Via The Mommy Blawg. Who reminded me of it last year, too.)


Hey, Alisa! If you ever google your name and find this, please e-mail me! I hate that we've fallen out of touch, and I'ld love to catch up with you. . .

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May 05, 2006  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Bananas and Onions and Beets, Oh My!

We joined the local organic food co-op. While I still get most of my produce from the non-organic roadside market and the grocery store, now each week I'll be picking up a basketful of organic produce as well.

This week's goodies include organic bananas, beets, onions, sweet potatoes and more. I don't think I've ever eaten beets outside of Ukraine. It's weird to have experiences I associate with Ukraine within an American context.

Right now I have a onion frittata in the oven, with a side salad ready for dinner.

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May 01, 2006  |  Comments (12)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

I'm a Vermiculturist

I finally got my worms. I've been wanting to do worm kitchen composting for several years. While we had an ideal place for a worm bin in Ukraine, we were already weird Americans and I didn't want to further freak out my Ukrainian neighbors.

The past couple of months here in Florida, I've been looking into it again. Today I stopped at Mr. B's Bait Shop and asked if they had any red wigglers. They did! And Penny (who is the type of woman who obviously enjoys fishing) was very tolerant of my non-fishing request, and gave me a few pointers she'd picked up from other worm composters who had bought their red wigglers from her.

I already had a plastic bin that I had sized for under the sink. A couple of weeks ago I prepared bedding of corrogated cardboard squares and newspaper strips. But my plastic container wasn't quite ready. Worms need lots of oxygen--they breathe through their skin. And the compost needs it, too--otherwise it will start anaerobic and smelly decay. So, I stopped at Target and bought myself a small and girly hand-held drill. My first worms AND my first power tool! We are so not power tool people. I drilled bunches of holes in my container.

Then I gently dumped my two styrofoam containers of worms onto the top of the damp bedding. At first I thought about half were already dead. Laying there still and wormie. But they were just in shock. After about a minute most of them had wiggled deep into their new home. A couple were still on top and still. But when I went to take them out, they all started wiggling. Not a dead worm in the bunch!

But then I committed vermicide. Unitentional worm slaughter. Well, maybe slaughter is too big a word, since I killed only about 10. I drilled air holes into my container below the bedding line (I thought I read it was okay) and several escaped and shrivelled up overnight. Hubby said he heard little wormy voices chanting "Attica, attica!" before they made their break. So, I taped up those holes, and checked and saw I still had live worms, and we'll go from here.

More resources on vermiculture:
The Burrow Presents. . .
Worm Digest
Worms Eat My Garbage
Composting with Red Wigglers
Worm Bins, Illustrated
Easy Worm Bin

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January 07, 2006  |  Comments (17)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

I'm a Vermiculturist

I finally got my worms. I've been wanting to do worm kitchen composting for several years. While we had an ideal place for a worm bin in Ukraine, we were already weird Americans and I didn't want to further freak out my Ukrainian neighbors.

The past couple of months here in Florida, I've been looking into it again. Today I stopped at Mr. B's Bait Shop and asked if they had any red wigglers. They did! And Penny (who is the type of woman who obviously enjoys fishing) was very tolerant of my non-fishing request, and gave me a few pointers she'd picked up from other worm composters who had bought their red wigglers from her.

I already had a plastic bin that I had sized for under the sink. A couple of weeks ago I prepared bedding of corrogated cardboard squares and newspaper strips. But my plastic container wasn't quite ready. Worms need lots of oxygen--they breathe through their skin. And the compost needs it, too--otherwise it will start anaerobic and smelly decay. So, I stopped at Target and bought myself a small and girly hand-held drill. My first worms AND my first power tool! We are so not power tool people. I drilled bunches of holes in my container.

Then I gently dumped my two styrofoam containers of worms onto the top of the damp bedding. At first I thought about half were already dead. Laying there still and wormie. But they were just in shock. After about a minute most of them had wiggled deep into their new home. A couple were still on top and still. But when I went to take them out, they all started wiggling. Not a dead worm in the bunch!

But then I committed vermicide. Unitentional worm slaughter. Well, maybe slaughter is too big a word, since I killed only about 10. I drilled air holes into my container below the bedding line (I thought I read it was okay) and several escaped and shrivelled up overnight. Hubby said he heard little wormy voices chanting "Attica, attica!" before they made their break. So, I taped up those holes, and checked and saw I still had live worms, and we'll go from here.

More resources on vermiculture:
The Burrow Presents. . .
Worm Digest
Worms Eat My Garbage
Composting with Red Wigglers
Worm Bins, Illustrated
Easy Worm Bin

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January 07, 2006  |  Comments (17)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

The I's Have It

About seven years ago I took the Myers-Briggs personality profile test. The official one. I answered the questions truthfully, but to be honest, I answered them in ways that reflected who I thought I was and who I thought I wanted to be.

I scored "E" for Extrovert--but not overly extroverted.

Several years ago, after living in Ukraine for awhile, I realized just how un-E I really am.

I enjoy having people in our home for dinner, for Bible study. I'm energized by public speaking. Teaching groups of people is fun for me. Things like this led me to think I was extroverted and energized by spending time with people.

Reality is, all of these people-oriented times are on my own terms. Dinner and groups of people in my home. Teaching? I'm directing the interaction. Public speaking and meeting groups of people--still on my terms. I enjoy these things, feel satisfied in how they are working towards a larger purpose. And then I go home and recover.

Interestingly, most of the missionaries I've met in training situations, conferences, and working on the field were introverts, too. Introverts renewed by alone time, fellowship with the Lord, studying. . . Energetic introverts willing to go into new situations, take risks meeting new people, willinging to invest themselves in other people. But introverts none the less.

KatieKind linked to a tongue-in-cheek, but insightful article from the Atlantic this week, "Caring for Your Introvert." It's worth reading if you or someone you love has wears the I badge.


(And if you've never taken the official Myers-Briggs profile test, the unofficial online versions here and here are pretty good, too.)

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November 19, 2005  |  Comments (8)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Tea. . . To Your Health!

What is the composition of your tea? Is tea really a cancer preventative? Which teas are highest in antioxidents? How can I best brew my tea? What exactly are the differences among black, green, and white teas?

Tea Times is the new blog of the Portsmouth Tea Company. Whether you are are tea connoisseur or simply want to be, Portsmouth Tea provides great information and a superior product.

I was privileged to sample three of the Portsmouth Teas this spring, courtesy of Marshall Malone. Of them, the Avalanche Rooibus was my favorite, though the Coconut Creme made a fabulous iced tea and the Earl Grey La Creme was very distinctive.


For a very limited time (deadline is Wednesday!) the PortsmouthTeaGuy will send a large cannister of tea to bloggers who link to the Portsmouth Tea Company.


Go ahead--it's worth it!

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November 14, 2005  |  Comments (6)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Tension Tamers

I mentioned massaging C4's legs because he had growing pains, and my sis asked me for the essential oil recipe I use for my favorite massage oil. Besides for growing pains, I use this as a tool for helping my boys relax when they are out of sorts. I'll have them lie down on my bed, and I'll rub their backs with a little oil, sometimes praying silently and sometimes singing quietly.


Tension Tamer Massage Oil

7 drops Rosemary
7 drops Lemon
7 drops Lavendar

In a small, dark bottle combine the above essential oils. Fill bottle with olive oil. Gently roll bottle to mix oils.


Tension Tamer Spritzer

7 drops Rosemary
7 drops Lemon
7 drops Lavendar

In a small spritzer bottle combine the above essential oils. Fill bottle 3/4 full with bottled water and 1/4 full with vodka. Shake and spritz in the air.



(Oh, and I bet you're not suprised that one of my favorite drinks is Tension Tamer iced tea!)

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October 03, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Coke Haiku

Aluminum can
Packed, 39 sugar grams
Nectar, Love, Cruelty

(Via Slush Turtle)

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August 28, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Diet of Worms

The following foods work in support of an OTC or prescription vermicide. This information is gleaned from a variety of sources, but I encourage you to do your own research.


Roasted, Salted Pumpkin Seeds
Whole, uncracked, presoaked kasha (w/ shredded coconut, a plus)
Granola
Pineapple chunks—once a day
Pineapple juice—every day. (Opt. 2 cups each person.)
Pumpkin Tea (Fresh seeds, crushed, one oz/pint, steep 15 minutes.)
Senna and Peppermint Tea (½ and ½)
Castor oil? ½ tsp day after breakfast
Plenty of water
Garlic Tabs Every Day
Apricot Juice
Prunes
Grated Carrot Salad
Papaya
Hazelnut Oil 1 tbsp/day

(Note: This post is not about this Diet of Worms or the Diet of Bookworms.)

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August 11, 2005  |  Comments (4)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Aromatherapy Recipes

Tension Tamer Blend

1 oz carrier oil
5 drops lavender
5 drops lemon
5 drops rosemary
Directions: Mix oils well in a clean, dark-colored glass container. Use during times of stress. Especially good for back rubs to help calm upset children.


Moon Massage Mix

1 ounce carrier oil such as sweet almond
15 drops Peppermint
10 drops Cypress
5 drops Lavender
Directions: Mix oils well in a clean, dark-colored glass container. Gently message a small amount into the abdominal area during your menstrual period.

I used both of these aromatherapy massage oils regularly. Sometimes instead of a massage, I add them to epsom salts for the bath. Recipes gleaned from information found at AromaWeb.

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June 10, 2005  |  Comments (2)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Safe, Effective Disinfectants

Vinegar and hydrogen peroxide work synergistically as disinfectants.

In tests run at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, pairing the two mists killed virtually all Salmonella, Shigella, or E. coli bacteria on heavily contaminated food and surfaces when used in this fashion, making this spray combination more effective at killing these potentially lethal bacteria than chlorine bleach or any commercially available kitchen cleaner.

The best results came from using one mist right after the other - it is 10 times more effective than using either spray by itself and more effective than mixing the vinegar and hydrogen peroxide in one sprayer.


(Via GCM thread on Natural Cleaning Recipes.)

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June 04, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Nutrition Data and Minutiae

Ever wondered how much Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, and Leucine is found in zucchini? Or whether corn meal is a good source for folic acid? Or how much fat is in an Eskimo Bar? (No, don't look!)

NutritionData.Com has more nutrition details available than I ever thought to research. It also provides complete explanations of the terms used, and cool Caloric Ratio Pyramids™.

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May 31, 2005  |  Comments (0)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Not-Quite-Vegan Lunch

I thought of VeganMomma as I made lunch today--sliced portabella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with a sprinkling of mtnmama's special seasonings, on bread with a little mayo. (Okay, so lunch wasn't completely vegan. . .) On the side I served a field greens salad with flax seeds and olive oil and vinegar dressing.

It looked very appetizing, and I wanted to take a photo to share here, as VeganMomma does with her recipes. But, the camera was in the car and the family was hungry. . . Another time.

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May 16, 2005  |  Comments (5)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Thank a Midwife!

Today is International Midwives' Day.

I've had great midwives through the years, and want to thank them here.


Carol Wolfson and Cheryl Hollifield, Florida

Veronica Wagner, California

Alisa Voss, Texas

Tavish Brinton, South Carolina


Many thanks to you, and may you and your families continue to be blessed as you serve and nurture mamas.


(Via The Mommy Blawg.)

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May 05, 2005  |  Comments (3)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Exclusive Breastfeeding and HIV

A Zimbabwean study finds HIV-positive mothers are less likely to transmit AIDS to their infants if they breast feed exclusively.

. . .

They found that babies fed a mixed diet including animal milk and solids were three times more likely to die of AIDS than those fed nothing but breast milk. Babies where breastfeeding was predominant were less likely to die.

. . .

"Our findings indicate that for these mothers, delaying introduction of all non-breast milk foods will substantially reduce the risk of HIV and death for their infants," Humphrey said.

From UPI / Washington Times.
More details on the study.

We discussed this a year ago, when similar results were released.

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April 29, 2005  |  Comments (1)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 

Notes on Healthy Immunization

These are notes from my friend Penny on giving immunizations in a way that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the risks. I'm posting them as a reference point, as we get our boys caught up on the immunizations. As with all health care concerns, I encourage you to do your own research and make the best decision for your family.


On Immunization
Presented by Stephanie Cave, M.D. under the topic of "Chelating Heavy Metals". Dr. Cave's special interests are in autism, ADHD, allergy, environmental health issues and nutritional medicine. She is in practice w/ Dr. Amy Holmes and has been instrumental in developing the proper chelation procedure for heavy metals in spectrum children.

She practices in Baton Rouge, LA.

HERE'S WHAT SHE SAYS:
*Use thimerosal free vaccines. (no mercury)
*Do not vaccinate ill children.
*Space vaccines where possible. Do not try to cover 9 organisms in 1 day.
*Give Vitamin C before and after (150 mg to babies, 300 mgs to older children)
*Use DTaP consistently
*Monitor children and report problems
*No live vaccines to immunodeficient children
*No vaccines if child is allergic to one of the components (yeast-Hep B) (eggs-MMR) (neomyacin-MMR or varicella)
*Give natural form of Vitam A and keep at a safe level for age (cod liver oil)
*Separate MMR into 3 components
*Delay HepB until 4 yrs of age if not in daycare
*Delay Varicella until 4 or 5 if not immune
*Give vaccine titres before boosters @4 or 5 years of age and only vaccinate for the ones needed. (Don't give MMR to a child who only needs measles vaccine.)
*Keep children on nutrient rich diets
*Limit environmental exposure as much as possible

VACCINE SCHEDULE (all thimerisol free)
4 MONTHS - Hib IPV
5 MONTHS - DTap
6 MONTHS - Hib IPV
7 MONTHS - DTaP
8 MONTHS - Hib
9 MONTHS - DTap
15 MONTHS - measles
17 MONTHS - Hib IPV
21 MONTHS - Mumps
27 MONTHS - Rubella
4-5 years - Varicella
4-5 years - Hep B
4-5 years - DTaP IPV booster
4-5 years - Test titres for MMR and do not give unless immune. Immunize only for vaccines found to be negative.

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April 15, 2005  |  Comments (7)  |  TrackBack (0)  |  Permalink

 

 


 
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