Comfort Food

Do you see that stock? Look how thick with gelatin it is. My new goal is to ensure we all get some mineral rich, homemade stock at least 3 times a week. Daily would be best, but I might have to work up to that, it's about habit building. Baby steps you know.

There are so many good things about this homemade beef stock. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and other trace minerals. It is a very cheap source of good nutrition and the minerals are much more bio-available than if we were getting them in a pill or supplement. And all that gelatin will help our hair and nails grow longer and stronger, not to mention keep our joints healthier. Glucosamine and chondroiton? It's there in the broth, tasty and easily absorbed. I am hoping that regular, frequent servings of broth will help alleviate the heel and joint pain that Mike and Sierra suffer from. Another reason to work up to daily doses.

I like to keep my stock fairly neutral in taste and then season according to its use. I always cook it with onion and garlic, and usually celery and carrots, but not much else. Then I can make a quick soup, gravy, or sauce. I can use it as the cooking liquid for my rice, or just pour a cupful. I've been busy dehydrating all the bits and pieces of produce that don't get used up, and I look forward to throwing a handful of dehydrated veggies and seasonings in a cup of hot broth - cup a soup! Healthy and quick. You can bag the the veggies you like in your soup together in individual or family size portions. You can even run them through the blender or food processor and turn it into a powder if you don't like chunks. Some good ones are carrots, tomatoes, celery, onions, garlic, greens, and herbs of various sorts.

I make about 3 gallons at a time and keep some in the freezer and some in the fridge, where it will last a couple of weeks.



15? Are You Sure??

It was my turn to spend the day with Hailey in honor of her birthday. 15! How well I remember rocking her to sleep singing 70's music. I painted her nursery 2 shades of purple with a Precious Moments border. I remember balling up newspaper and making it crinkle loudly to try to convince her to crawl across the floor. Tiny little girl toddling across the floor with her wispy blonde hair and pretty yellow dress. Walking at 9 months!

I thought we would never make it through her 2's. And her 3's. And her 4's. :-) Filling her baby sisters mouth with change. Painting the walls I had painstakingly stenciled, along with the clothes she pulled out of her dresser. And the carpet. Finding her on top of the fridge. More than once :-)

She has always had her own ideas. Always been a bit fearless. And now she is my right arm. She has the magic touch with the babies, she can calm them when no one else can. She loves music, the piano, her siblings, and God. She is sarcastic and funny, a singer, an artist, a great letter writer, and a fabulous baker. It is such a joy to see her growing in knowledge and righteousness. To see her grow in her faith and develop her own convictions. I am so blessed to be her mother.

Nana and Papa, along with Aunt Alice and Angie were able to join us for dinner, so that was a special treat. Sierra made her that hat, and Nana made the afgan. Love it! The scarf from Aunt Alice went perfectly with the hat :-)

And this is Sophia. Isn't she beautiful. Last time we saw her she had just broken 5 pounds. :-)


Ethan's big brother gifted him with some face paint, so now he fiercely blends into his surroundings. He shared his gift with his other brothers and they all had a grand time looking like warriors.

I wouldn't want to meet them in the woods, would you? :-)


Beachy Birthdays

So, it's only been a month since my last post. Hailey says I need to post more. She says I should post about all the things I'm always telling them, things I read, learn, and think. It just takes time to formulate all that into an intelligible post. And the time that I would be able to do that is at night. Which is when the baby is usually screaming. Or I am about to drop from exhaustion. Or both. So....it's been a month since my last post.

So, what's been going on? Well, Ethan had a birthday. So did Hailey. Heck, so did I :-) We went to Point Mugu for a few days in honor of Ethans and my birthdays. (Wow, that was an awkward sentence!) But we did, and we had a lovely time. Even if it was kind of cold and windy. I guess that's the price for a beautiful beach all to yourselves. If so, I'll gladly pay it. We intended to camp in the rv, but the day before we left we discovered that the fuel pump had quit pumpin. Bummer. We were able to salvage the trip with a couple of motel rooms on base, and we still had a grand time. I'd really like to go back in the rv though.

We got to see a whale right off shore, and a lot of seals. Which solidified Hailey's determination to never swim in the ocean, but was really cool to see.

We ate a lot, built sand castles, drew in our nature journals, climbed rocks, had races, and just generally enjoyed each other. On the last day we went in to Ventura and had an amaaazing lunch in a micro brewery. Really yummy!