Friday, June 25, 2010

We love peanut butter in this home. It is a breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert and sometimes even dinner staple favorite. Peanut butter is OH so yummy just as it is, but for a more well-rounded snack, I like to add to it. Homemade Nut butter is healthy, yummy, quick and convenient. It really is a very versatile concoction and you could experiment, add to, and take away from this recipe and it would still be just as yummy. Sometimes I just use whatever I can find in my cupboard... I'm such a do-it-myselfer, and a lover of all things organic and homemade, although I prefer to draw the line at growing my own peanuts, harvesting grain, keeping bees.... stuff like that, you know?
I thought I would share my tentative(as I usually just throw stuff randomly in to the food processor) recipe with you all!!

Semi-homemade Nut Butter:

2 cups raw almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup Molasses
1 cup raw honey
1 28 ounce jar of creamy organic peanut butter
2T Flax oil

Grind almonds, sunflower seeds and walnuts in processor until chopped well but not creamy or pasty. It's A-okay to have big pieces of nuts floating around still. Pour ground up nuts and the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and stir well! You can add more or less Flax oil to make the Nut butter just the right consistency for your taste. I have also added Nutella, cinnamon or salt to the Nut butter depending on what kind of mood I am in(or what I may have on hand). Put it in a jar, screw on the lid and put it on your pantry shelf ready to smear onto Flat bread, bread, tortillas, pitas or crackers at a moment's notice. It's great for dipping carrots, apples or celery into as well.
I've found that keeping many old lidded jars from peanut butter, pickles, you-name-it, and re-using them to store things like this Nut butter in is a thrifty and handy trick!
Enjoy, friends!

First Birthday Excitement!

My youngest little girlie is ONE!!
We celebrated her 1st birthday while on a family vacation to the West Coast. It was such a lovely lovely trip and you couldn't wish for a more beautiful, tranquil, relaxing place to celebrate my fifth blessing's 1st birthday and my husband's and my 10th wedding anniversary. Spending time together as a family just chilling. It's important.
We started off her special day with daddy's waffles, then headed to Sand Lake to swim, crab and feed the birds eat lunch.

We only caught one crab big enough to keep. We caught up to 20 more little guys who were fun to look at and examine before they were thrown back into the lake. We let this lonely scared little red rock crab go. Only because it wasn't worth it to boil one for our family of seven!

This lake was beautiful! It isn't actually a lake. It does have a tiny inlet from the ocean where the waves come in but are quickly stilled. The tide was out quite a ways this day which left tons of sand available for the kids to run and play on, dig up tiny clams and the water calm and "warm".

It may be too small to see, but a few of my kids are running across the water to the other side! The water was shallow enough they could do that, and they we're on cloud nine. Seriously!
Our children also befriended some fun kids who's families were camping there at the Sand Lake campground and we're out enjoying the beautiful weather.

My son enjoyed sticking to digging in the sand. After his little fall into the waves the first day we were on the beach, he stayed a fair distance from getting into any largeish body of water.

We found this adorable crab! I haven't looked up it's name but it was the size of a dime. A cute little thing!

Later on in the day, we brought out the magnificent birthday sugar cookie with a pink candle plopped right dab in the middle of it. She enjoyed the WHOLE celebration, I believe hanging on to every piece of attention thrown her way! She loved it!

We all enjoyed a bite of her yummy frosted treat. My fifth blessing had never gazed upon so much sugar before in her life and had never before feasted on such a sugary treat, so she was beyond elated.

Happy Birthday Darlin' girl!
Here are a couple of videos I'd like to label, "First comes birthday cookie" & "Then comes sugar high":

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Random Conscious Thoughts Thursday

Dear readers, fellow bloggers and anyone else not covered in those two categories,
At the moment, I'm enjoying a nice steamy cup of echinacea tea, sprawled out in my bed, blogging {obviously}. I heart the convenience of laptops that I can lay down anywhere and enjoy the convenience of wireless internet.
I love the health benefits of drinking herbal tea.
I am also slightly irritated at the moment. 'Horror'mones are quite possibly to blame for this although I always have a truckload of other things percolating in my head:
Why are there so many pompous people who are so completely self-absorbed?
Must write that check out for my gorgeous deep red bridesmaid dress.
Beyond excited for and proud of my grandparents who celebrate 50 years of marriage this month. WOW! They are truly inspirational.
Talking, texting and blogging(at the same time)-OH, MY! Just thankful I'm not dumb enough to add driving to the equation.
Haha, my spellcheck on blogger doesn't even have texting in it's vocabulary, so it thinks it is spelled wrong... no, convenient all knowing spellcheck thingy, I do not mean, jesting.
AHHHHH, SO many activities, out-of-town family in town and "must do's" for this weekend and not enough time slots to fit it all into!! In fact a few are overlapping--what to do, what to do...
My "husband's" fireworks are being delivered at 10:45 pm tonight. Not the most convenient time as he has to be there(at the empty parking lot) to help unload them but it's all part of being head coach for a high school soccer team. He loves it(coaching). His team has this firework stand fundraiser every year and it is mega time consuming, in fact, not forgetting to mention scheduling, phone calls, and keeping track of sales and money, he also has to spend the night there at the stand to act as security quite a few nights these next two weeks. Love the guy though because instead of looking at the situation as annoying, he is planning to take some of our *MSC with him and make it a fun camp out adventure in his dad's trailer. Adore my husband's contentment and sometimes wishing it was contagious.
I do my best to support my husband's enjoyment and involvement in anything and everything to do with soccer. He's been keeping up on the World Cup in online news because we don't have Cable. Which is AWESOME, but at times like this, it just about kills a guy. {wink-wink}
Running tomorrow with in turns with Jenn. Ran 5.2andsomeodddistance on Tuesday with a split time of 8 min. and 48 sec. a mile. SUPER EXCITING! Jenn and I can't even begin to explain how encouraging it is to look back at our running journey over the past 6 months and see how far we have come physically. We have gone from 1 minute of running being intense, moving onto 1 mile being almost brutal, to mastering a 5k, and now making it through 45 minutes straight of running. Amazing, how our bodies respond positively to hard work and repetition. I always wear my MP3 when I run. In fact I really think I run better with it, along with freshly chapsticked lips and a handy dandy headband to keep my bangs from annoying the bejeebers out of me.
9 loads of laundry today... and counting.
Trimmed all 5 of my kiddos finger and toe nails today.
Dusted horribly dusty shelves.
Cuddled my fourth born for quite a while this afternoon while he was still sleepy from naptime.
My heart breaks for families going through sickness and death like Ellie Potivin's dear family has been. It's encouraging and comforting to know she is now in no more pain and is in the arms of her savior. Many families, all around the world each and everyday are going through much of the same trial. It makes me overwhelmingly thankful for the health my family is resting in today and makes trivial daily annoyances, just that. Silly annoyances that are far outweighed by many many huge blessings.
Read in Job and John. Came across one of my journal entries from December 2000, written a few months after I got married:

Genesis 4:7 says that sin's desire is for me, to consume me, but I should rule over it. Father, cover me with your wings and surround my heart with a hedge of supernatural protection. You are my only strength against the Evil one. In You, I find rest in the midst of a storm.

Loving that I can hear the clink and clank of dishes being rinsed and placed in the dishwasher as my thoughtful husband has taken them on tonight before he runs (literally. Running. This guy never ceases to amaze me) over to unload the the truck.
Need to stop by the Aquatics Center tomorrow and sign my kids up for swimming lessons. The oldest three anyway. This will be their first time taking lessons, besides the quick mommy or daddy tips over the years.
My baby girl's toddling is A-DOR-A-BLE!
Going to see my Aunt and nephews who are visiting from Texas tomorrow! YAY! YAY! YAY!
I made Chicken Quinoa soup for dinner. It was very yummy. Then the kids and I whipped up some chocolate chip cookie dough and ate half of the bowl before we decided it was a good idea to make some cookies as well. Alls I can say is it's a good thing I'm running tomorrow!!
It's late. Sleep well, or not. Goodnight(or morning as it may be).

lots of love-mommy

*Many Small Children

Wordless (almost) Wednesday

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

One of my fave breakfasts!
It's a filling meal and will "stick to your ribs" as they say for half of the day! Keeping you feeling full, energetic and not the least bit hungry. I swear my brain feels quite alert and clearer as well after I've eaten a bowl of oats, but I don't know... if that's scientifically proven and such.
I do know it's loaded with vitamin B, iron, fiber, vitamin A and calcium. Even more importantly though is what it doesn't have in it; fat(minimal amounts) and cholesterol (NONE!).
Another great fact about oatmeal is that it is CHEAP! It's practically non-perishable, good for your heart, gets rid of bad cholesterol and is one of the most beneficial foods to feed growing children.
One of my favorite ways to make my oatmeal is as follows:

Mommy's oatmeal

One serving cooked oatmeal
fresh milk
baked coconut
real vanilla
Mix one t. of molasses, 2 t of honey, 1/8 cup coconut(or more if you are a coconut lover), 1/4 t. vanilla, 2 dashes of cinnamon and salt into oatmeal. Add milk to desired consistency and tada! You have a healthy, yet delicious, nutritious breakfast of champions!
If you are in the mood for a healthy "dessert", try chocolate chips instead of coconut.... mhhhmm, oh my, it's like a freshly made warm chocolate chip cookie.
Happy eating!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Beautiful Childhood

There is a bond,
between a child and the outdoors.
Magical and beautiful is the scene that transpires,
when you mix green grass, sunshine and a warm breeze with a child.
Quite dull each would be,
if separated from the other.
Imagine the sadness of the deserted swing,
longing sticks and stilled water.
To deny a child union with nature,
is to deny them of life itself.
Like a confined forgotten toy,
placed up high on a dusty shelf.
And when as a mother,
I join in the beautiful fun,
it overwhelmingly blesses my heart,
to witness their untamed freedom run!

Thank you, Lord for rosy cheeks and bright smiles,
a shady backyard and the imagination of a child.