Saturday, December 12, 2009

food stuff

raw is a strange but interesting concept for me. i mean, i love raw veggies and fruits, nuts and the like, but i don't always understand why people wish to transform avocado and nuts into a mock chocolate pudding. but, i want to eat healthier, and a friend gave me a cookbook, so i decided to try some raw cooking.
what i made consisted of soaked cashews, maple syrup, dates, salt and water for the "cream" sauce. the chocolate pudding was avocado, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and dates. i just blended the ingredients together, and then layered the pudding and cream sauce into a beautiful parfait. it looked amazing, and the kids all rushed over to try it. their reaction did not give me much hope that jello pudding soon be replaced by raw avocado pudding. however, when i tasted it i thought it was creamy, smooth, and chocolaty. because it was unsweetened cocoa, it was slightly bitter, which i like, but i think the kids did not like it because of the bitterness. s0, maybe i will try again, and use more sweetener...

here is another cool place to look for inspiration; Destination Dinners. MomStart is having a giveaway for a deistnation dinner gift certificate! head on over to MomStart & enter to win! CLICK HERE to enter! (12/28)


the first light of advent
is the light of stones
stones that live in seashells
and crystals and in bones

the second light of advent
is the light of plants
plants that grow up to the sun
and in the breezes dance

the third light of advent
is the light of beasts
beasts that walk upon the earth
the greatest and the least

we have out advent candles out and have been placing appropriate things around it. things we have found on our nature walks, like rocks, crystals, even a crab shell we found on the beach in the summer. the wreath is the plant, representing the second week, and for the third week, we usually place wooden animals around the wreath. i would post a picture, but someone dropped the camera the the lens shattered! oh dear. maybe Santa will notice.

garden mama

there are some beautiful blogs i am into right now, i check them almost everyday for inspiration. here is one, garden mama, that is also offering a beautiful giveaway of rainbow gnomes.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

dear santa

dear Santa

i know you are busy, and may not have caught something my son, Elias said earlier this week. i just wanted to report him.

he was not behaving, and i reminded him that you were watching, and here is what he said;

me- Elias, you better be nice, Santa is watching!

E-i don't care, he's not even real

me- don't let him hear you say that

E- mom, he cant hear me, he doesn't care!

me- he just crossed you off his list!

E-mom, i was HORRIBLE last year, and i still got everything i wanted.

OK? did you get it? he was horrible, and you still brought him everything he wanted? no wonder he is doubting ( i say doubting, because he still wrote you a letter) this year, i think you should bring him coal. maybe then he would get the message and stop pouting and crying.


dear time,

i would like to ask you to stop moving so fast, especially when i am on holiday. i find it quite annoying and would like to know why, when i am trying so hard to work with you, you work against me.

in the morning, when i am trying to get out of the door on time, you move so fast, no matter how hard i try, i cannot catch you. and when i am at work, you drag on and on, as if you don't care at all about a working moms guilt.

yes guilt. and sadness. i would like to be home with my babies all day, but will settle for what i have, which as you know, is after school, nighttime, and weekends.

you can make those hours longer please.

thank you,


Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dear Santa

dear santa,

what i would really like for christmas this year is to watch my husband mop the whole house. first, he would have to vacuum every room, because that is what one does before they mop, and then i would like to see him mop the kitchen, hallway, and bathroom. and he has to get it really clean to count. all the pee has to be lifted from behind the toilet. all the stickiness has to be pulled off the kitchen floor. all the dogie footprints and dogie hair has to disappear. and i can sit in the bed and watch.

thank you,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


November walks

spinning wool

atticus is shooting a bow and arrow at the Waldorf school in Nashville.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Elves Fair

the two smaller boys and i went to the Elves Fair at the Waldorf school today. It is always a beautiful display, but this year was even more beautiful than before. it could be that this was the first year is did not have to work at the fair, since i am no longer an employee or parent at the school, or it could have been the perfect weather, or it could have really been better this year than before. in any case, the whole school was decorated with ribbons, painted silks, and banners. the outside was set up with yummy food, a jump rope making station, archery, jousting, Jacobs ladder, and at certain times, the children would preform dances they had been learning.

a teacher spins wool in the classroom, and later, she knits it.

face painting

good friends reunited

inside the school, there was candle making, wand weaving, paper making, and all kinds of other crafts for the children and parents to do. there was also a small store where local crafts were sold. it was really fun.


we celebrated Halloween at out house this year with a big bash. many of our good friends were there to walk in the woods, play games, eat good food, and sit by the bon-fire. it had been raining for two days before, and stopped for a beautiful sunny afternoon. however, the wet ground meant tracks of mud all through the house, and the neighbor having to come with his tractor to pull some cars out of the mud! it was all very exciting, and the mud was mopped up before the kids got up the next day. it is always more important to have good friends welcomed in to the home than it is to have clean floors...i think anyway.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall Activities

baking cookies in the shape of leaves... Enjoying the farmers markets

Playing with Fairy tears and acorns that were found in our yard.
Fall garden; lavender in bloom

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Summer Goodbye

"Summer good bye
summer good bye
you may no longer stay
autumn is on its way
summer good bye"

Change is in the air. Even though we are not paying attention, time is passing, and I am told king winter has started his long journey down from the north pole. It starts with a few brown leaves being blown by the Merry Little Breezes. Then the September rains fall

We play in the rain as much as we can.

Fallen leaves become boats to float in the puddle...Umbrellas become toadstools to hide under...

And we start lighting candles to brighten the evenings the sun after the sun has gone to bed. Which naturally leads to smores...the overlapping of summer into fall.

Monday, September 21, 2009


she is about the size of my thumb, and has only 7 legs. she was in my garden, and slowly, made her way to our back porch. we are still waiting for a message to be spelled out...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

organized to a point

An organized home can look like many things. Mine tends to look like open shelves with names labeled on them. The kids come home from school, and walk right to this spot. Here we can all take off shoes, put our lunch boxes on the shelve, our homework and other school items in the baskets, and sun hats and gardening tools on the top shelf in baskets. In winter, the top is where hats and mittens go.
the coat hooks are low so the kids can do it all themselves, and, although you cant see it, there are names above the hooks so coats and bags go in the right spot. This way, in the morning when we are trying to get out the door, we can usually find the pieces we need pretty easily.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Children and school

picking blueberries this summer, a favorite activity...

The new kids at school, not a favorite activity...

My three children have invisiable heart strings that connect them to me whereever they go. Most of the time, they feel it, and are confident to go about their day, with little worry about the connection they have with me. However, right now, my children all have their strings tied to their wrists like helium balloons from a birthday party; it is tied on, but they are constantly worried it will float away. Let me explain...

My darling children and I have all been in Montessori school for two weeks. Coming from Waldorf, I knew there would be some adjusting to do by all. However, I was totally not prepaired for my middle childs reaction. He crys every morning. He says he misses mommy, he misses his old school, his old friends, and that nothing about his new school is good.

My youngest cries too, which I was preapaired for, since this is his first expericene of school. And my oldest feels sad to see the other two cry, and has become more clingy.

I work at the new school. I have chosen not to homeschool, but insted to work and hopefully give my children a solid begining to their educational life. I am near them all day, get to see them during the day, as we pass in the hall, wave through windows, and blow kisses on the playground. However, I am working, comforting, rocking, other children. As I watch my own chilidren cry, I am holding another persons toddler who I am comforting. I love to comfort other children, to tell them; it is ok, you are safe here, I love you, mommy and daddy love you, and they will be back...

However, I feel guilty not being with my own kids as they go through this change and I am consumed with other peoples children. You can say, it is just an adjustment, they are fine, it is good for them...and I KNOW all of that. But, does that make it easier, or less of a guilt trip? NO NO NO!!! All I want to do is stay home with my kids and bake cookies. Which explains my recent string of blogs about cookies...

I feel I am helplessly watching my children grow up. I want to savor every moment of them being young, little, tiny. I want take in who they are now. I love this time of little ones in the house. Maybe that is because it is 5 in the morning, and they are still sleeping, but still...

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In battle of the cookies

Wade used the Joy of cooking recipe I have used a dozen times found here. I decided to do a shortbread cookie with a cream cheese frosting. I have been wanting to try this cookie ever since I read about it in Homemade Life here. I love her book and her web site too. The recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter total. Three in the cookie, and one in the frosting. Also, there is a whole package (8 oz.) or cream cheese in the frosting! To me, these cookies are almost perfect. I love savory shortbreads, and cream cheese frosting is my favorite. How could I go wrong?


Then, Wade busted out the perfect chocolate chip cookie. For some reason, when I followed the same recipe, my cookies came out puffy and good, but not great. Wades came out gooey in the middle, and crunchy on the outside. They were perfect. I cant figure out the difference. Maybe it is attitude. Maybe I have to be more of a shark in the kitchen.


The kids voted. Can you guess? Who can beat the perfect Chocolate chip cookie? Not miss shortbread over here. Forget it. Wade won. Two kids chose his over mine, one said it was a tie. Thanks Elias, but I know you just dont like cookies and dont want to break your mamas heart so you said it was a tie...

On another note, lookie what I brought in from the garden! a cantaloupe!

DSCN1295 DSCN1297

Then I made a yummy gazpacho with tons of fresh herbs, tomatoes, zucchini, and garlic. I put some in jars to save, and will eat the rest all week for lunch. I love summer!

(Atticus took this picture for me)


Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe With Picture -

Marathon Cookies Recipe - 101 Cookbooks

I did not think this morning when I woke up that I would be challenged to a competition.  I hate competitions. Especially against my husband. He will kill to win.  We had to stop playing checkers years ago because of how aggressive he would get while we were playing.  there is no fun in the game for him.  It is all about winning.  I like to play to pass time, to laugh, to be a good sport. He is out for blood.

In an effort to expand enjoyment, I have started baking a lot of cookies.  My family loves my new found attempts to spread joy, even though I have yet to create the "perfect" cookie.  My husband blames my want to use whole wheat flour and unrefined sweeteners.   I blame the overly-fluffy batter I am getting from the traditional recipes.  I prefer a flat, non fluffy cookie.  One with some crunch.  So today, when I announced I was making peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, wade announced he too would be making some cookies.  A bake-off you could say.  The kids would be the judge.  That last part will be my doom.  Kids like sugar, white flour, frosting...I would love a cookie like the one from 101 cookbooks (check out the link here).  That, however, would not make me the winner.  And the winner is what I want to be.  I don't want to be left alone holding my tray of healthy cookies while the kids crowd around Wade devouring his sweet, crispy cookies. 

So, do I throw out honey for sugar and whole wheat for white in an effort to win? Is winning more important than what is really nourishing?  And, my third and not final question is; what are the criteria the kids will rate these cookies on...can health play a role in the points accrued? Or should cookies be bad for you? Is a healthy cookie an oxymoron? Should I focus on health in the main meal, and let cookies be bad bad bad? Oh the dilemmas this challenge brought up for me! 

Marathon Cookies Recipe - 101 Cookbooks

Saturday, August 22, 2009

chocolate chocolate chip cookies

Little cookie monsters love these cookies. I try to make foods without sugar and with whole wheat flour. Often the boys and husband wont eat anything that has the tell-tell darkness of whole wheat flour...biscuits, cookies, and pancakes have to be "white and fluffy" for the boys to eat them, meaning, unbleached, un-enriched white flour. When I can hide the color in cocoa, no one seems to mind. My next trial cookie; peanut butter. I'll let you know how that goes.

Ingredients -Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
2 1/4 cups Whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups honey
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups chocolate chips,

Instructions - Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a bowl, stir together flour, salt, and baking powder.
3. In another large bowl. stir together butter, honey, eggs, vanilla and cocoa.
4. Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix until combined.
5. Stir in chocolate chips until they are evenly distributed.
6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto greased baking sheets.
7. Bake about 10 minutes.
8. Cool on a baking rack.
Enjoy these Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies with a big glass of ice-cold milk.

Monday, August 17, 2009

School Daze

I dread mornings during the school year. I find myself wishing I home schooled or had a job where I left before everyone got up, just to avoided an hour in the morning. Because I work at the school they attend, I have to get all 3 boys ready to leave very early, and drive them to school, and try to get my classroom ready while they run around me like Tasmanian devils. Then I send them out my door and welcome in tiny little tots who are crying and need clean diapers. I get no quiet, break time.

So, you can see why I am a grump in the morning. I have spent a lot of time wondering what job I could get to avoid this mess.

This year, rather than change my job, I am going to try changing my attitude.

(Corney. I know. I don't like affirmations like "change your attitude, change your life". Those make me even more grumpy. Every morning when I am grumpy, the thought trying to get un- grumpy makes me more grumpy.

OK, so we are clear, I tend to be grumpy in the morning. )

I had not even voiced my feelings of despair for the upcoming school-year-of-mornings, when darling husband said, "Can I take them tomorrow?"

I fell to the floor in shock and awe. This is the best present he has ever given me. One morning when I can drive without hearing crying and while the boys hit the shit out of each other. One morning when I can sip coffee and listen to NPR on the way, instead of listening to them singing" jingle bells batman smells" over and over. One morning when I can walk from my car to my classroom at a brisk pace, without lugging lunch boxes and extra socks and whatever else I am constantly carrying for them. One morning I don't have to be in charge of anyone but me. What an absolute luxury!!!

So, this morning, I got to go, by myself. Wade brought the kids to school 40 minutes later, and walked them to class, kissed them, and gave them their lunches, then drove, by himself, to work.

And I felt endlessly guilty...oy vey.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


The garden grew in size this year, and is now overgrown. The sunflowers are 12 feet high, and the lemon cucumbers are using the tomato cages to climb on and over. It is wonderful to go out and pick and let that decide what we will be having for dinner. Pumpkins are ready, a few zucchini, carrots were picked yesterday, and of course, hundreds of tomatoes and cucumbers. Wade made yummy salsa, tomato sauce, and tuna salad today. I made tomato paste for home made ketchup that ferments for three days.

I also made some fermented pickles, out of lemon cucumbers and green cucumbers. Grape leaves are added to keep them crispy.