Breakfast of Champions??

Is it wrong to give your kids hot chocolate for breakfast? I mean, just hot chocolate??

Because it is quickly becoming their favorite breakfast.

What if you make it with raw milk, non-alkalized cocoa, sucanat, and raw, unsweetened whipped cream? And only use half the sucanat.

I know, better to start the day with NO sugary stuff. But it's soooo good :)

A Belated Birthday Post

In the hubbub of life Sierra's birthday flew by without garnering a post. It is finally time to remedy that and give sweet Sierra the shout-out she deserves :)

Sierra is 11 now, and just like when each of my children completes another trip around the sun, I can hardly believe it has gone so fast.

Sierra blesses us in so many ways. She loves the Lord and seeks to do His will. She loves her siblings and is always ready to read them a story or chase them around the backyard. She is happy to help wherever she is needed, and she is sensitive, thoughtful, and smart. She's a booklover like her mother and is always on the lookout for the next thing to read.

Isn't she pretty? We all spent the day in Bako. Went to breakfast and later had ice cream at Dewars. They make their own ice cream, but still only had 1 flavor that Ty could eat, strawberry. The strawberry at Coldstone is the only flavor without cornsyrup too. Hmmm.

Then that night she and I went back to Bako for a dinner theater show of The Sound of Music. We had a really fun time and Annaleise didn't give them too much trouble at home even though the show went a lot later than we thought it would.

Yep, she got pickles for her birthday. But not just any pickles, these pickles are amazing and much prized. They are called Fickle Pickles because they literally change flavors as you chew them.

Daddy, praying God blessings on our dear daughter.

And just to make you smile, here's Ty. Being Ty. :)
We love you Sierra and so thankful that God brought you to us!


Let Them Eat Cake

The girls have been taking a cake decorating class. It's been a lot of fun and they are learning a lot.

This is the first class. I can never seem to remember my camera amidst the diaper bag, spit-up rag, cakes, frosting, baby, etc. So I have relied on the forethought of others to get a few shots.

You can buy gluten free cake mixes now, which has been a real blessing for Sierra. We are nowhere near ready to make our own gf cake, we're still trying to master biscuits :)

The second class was cupcakes, but I didn't get any pictures. They were lovely though :)

These are the cakes from the third class. We are having trouble with our frosting. We use non-hydrogenated shortening, so it is a little soft. But ours has been really soft. We're trying a new recipe next time. It's sad for them to see their hard work turning to mush before we even get home.

This one is Sierra's. Her cake cracked and she and Hailey put tons of frosting on it to fix it. See how it melted down the sides? That's after I pulled about 1/2c off of where it ran down the sides.

They choose the design themselves and I love seeing how creative they can be. I love how she added the grapes.
This one is Hailey's. Isn't it pretty? She's getting really good at the flowers. It looks like she has spring on her mind :)


Louis Armstrong Sings Go Down Moses

Birthday! Birthday!

We got to take a little family trip for Mike's birthday this year. We went down to LA and spent the night in Burbank. The kids saw Hollywood for the first time, it's like Halloween 365 days a year. The real highlight was the Griffith Observatory.

We watched a great show about water and the solar system.

Weighed ourselves as if we were on each different planet in the solar system (I'm moving to Mars), jumped together really hard to make an earthquake on the seismograph, and touched the moon rocks.

A good day. Happy Birthday hunny, I love u so.


Hi All

I've been so bad about posting it's going to take several posts just to update you all on what we've been doing around here. I ordered some fruit trees and Mike gamely put them in the ground for me. Someday we may have apples, peaches, plums, and pluots. 10 trees in all.

We also planted blackberry, raspberry and boysenberry canes. But after a hard rain we realized that our ground prep wasn't extensive enough and we had big pools of standing water where the canes were planted.

So, we had to dig most of them out. And I mean WE in the congressional sense, which is to say, Not ME. My dear husband came home in the rain and dug up those plants. Now they are sitting in pots waiting for the grading guy to come level the plot. Their survival is tenuous I would imagine.

We got to have Cadence for a visit. So much fun to get her all to ourselves for a few days :)

And Annaleise gets bigger every day :)

Book Review: Nick of Time

Nick of Time by Ted Bell was one of those books that the kids begged for more of. You've got to check your reality meter at the door, but then you're in for a rip-roaring adventure tale wrapped up in a little bit of history. It's got time travel, pirates, battles, and heroism.

Initially set just before WWII, Nick McIver is living on a quiet little island where he doesn't think anything ever happens. Then he finds out his father is a spy for Winston Churchill and his ancestor sends him a time machine and asks for Nick to come to the past and help him. Intrigue and excitement follow for Nick and his sister, and for everyone reading along.

One of the things really enjoyed about the book was the relationship between Nick and his sister. Absent was the sarcasm, sibling rivalry, and me-first attitudes so prevalent in current novels featuring siblings. Nick is protective, chivalrous, and gentle with Kate. So, while the topic stretched the imagination, it also spoke to my kids about loyalty, bravery, true heroism, and caring for those who are weaker than you are.


Goodbye Freedom...I mean Healthcare

How will the Dems get a single payer system? It's easy, and was their clear and obvious intent from the start. This article is critical reading from someone who actually read the bill. Several states plan to challenge the Obamacare in court, but regardless of outcome, by the time it winds it's way through the system the private health insurance companies will likely be bankrupt. Then hmmm, what are we to do? Guess we need a...single payer system!

If you don't understand why there will be NO private insurance companies, you really need to read the article.


Buckwheat for Breakfast

Breakfast is the most difficult meal of the day for me. I need something quick, or something that at least requires little actual time in the kitchen. Something nourishing, filling, hearty enough that everyone isn't asking for snacks by 9:30, not too expensive, and it can't contain wheat, corn, or eggs.

Oatmeal is an obvious choice, but certified gluten free oats are hard to find in my neck of the woods (read: I haven't found any), and, well, I really hate oatmeal. Unless of course it comes in those little packages with lots of sugar and pieces of what claims to be fruit. And I guess I like it okay when I make the little packages myself. But I don't bother very often.

To that end, this morning we had buckwheat groats for breakfast. It was super easy, and fit all of the above criteria. Everyone liked it except Ethan, who threw it up. He's a texture guy, things without crunch make him puke :) I should have added some nuts for him to chew on. Next time I think I will add crispy walnuts, a 'la Nourishing Traditions. I think I'll also try sprouting and drying the buckwheat for Kasha. That might be crunchier.

But this morning most of us have been warmed and filled and I thought I'd share.

3c buckwheat groats
9c water
a bit of salt

I toasted the buckwheat in the pot until it was golden and aromatic. Dump out the buckwheat and bring the water and salt to a boil. Add buckwheat and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 15 min. That's it!

We topped ours with maple syrup, raw milk, sliced banana, and butter. But I think it would taste even better with some nuts, and dried fruit would work well also.

Oh, and I'm going to include our breakfast in the Pennywise Platter, so go check out the other links :)