Friday, December 31, 2010

Nature's Alphabet~Our last nature walk, 2010

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Baby, it's cold outside!  It's 44 degrees but we didn't let that stop us from our very last nature walk of 2010! We bundled up with warm coats, gloves and  hats. When we first stepped out the door I commented to both Chris and Maggie that it didn't feel as cold as I thought it was.  By the end of our walk I changed my tune.  My nose was frozen, red and a little numb!  It was still a wonderful walk!  And, even though it was cold, the cool, crisp, clean air was amazing!  

The purpose of our walk was two-fold.  The first, and main reason was so we could get out as a family and enjoy doing something we love to do together.  Being outside enjoying the beautiful scenery and discovering nature together.  The second was to start a new project we want to work on.  We have decided that we want to start discovering the alphabet in nature.  How fun and challenging will that be?

The idea is to find the alphabet in two different ways.  The first way is to find the actual letter of the week somehow created by nature.  And the second is to find things that start with that letter.  We actually scored on both accounts.  I was pretty surprised!  I am betting it wont be so easy each week!

So, here is what we found!

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This is the "A" that Maggie found.  I was so proud of her!  We were walking through a pretty wooded area.  Lots of trees and twigs all over.  Maggie yelled out "There's an A"  And sure enough, there it is!  I was pretty proud of my girl!  I admit, I probably would have walked right by it without thinking twice!

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My "A" wasn't such an exciting find, but I was pretty happy I found one!  These are the leg frames of a picnic table!  

We also found acorns and an old apple tree that had a bunch of fallen apples on the ground.  Pictures courtesy of my sweet 6 year old budding photographer!

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We also found lowercase i, j and r!
I will save those pictures when we get to those letters!

I am excited that my good friend Gabby from The Work of Childhood is joining in on the fun with her son, Cheeky.  Today they searched for letters too!  Go check out what they found!

If anyone else wants to participate, I would love to see what you find!  Please leave a comment on this post with your link.  I would love to link up with you and see if we can get more people to play!

Wishing you and your family a safe, prosperous New Year! 
 May 2011 be a magical year for everyone!



Thursday, December 30, 2010

Making Ginger Beer!

Day 1



So, we are trying our hand at making ginger beer!  Not sure how it will turn out.  Not really entirely sure what it will taste like.  I assumed it was like ginger ale, but from my reading they are two different things.  I will be updating as we go through the steps, and if it turns out decent, I will post a "how to" so you can make it too!

For today I am making the culture.  I took a very clean jar, added 1 Tablespoon of powdered ginger (you can also use fresh, diced ginger) and 1 Tablespoon of sugar and added it to 1 cup of water, mix well with a very clean spoon.  Make sure you use rainwater, filtered water or tap water.  If you use tap water, let stand for 24 hours prior to using.  I am using water from our natural spring.   

I will let this set uncovered during the day, but cover it at night with a cloth.  

I will be back on Day 3 to update on the progress!





Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Maria N found a home!


For those of you who are on Facebook with me, you know that I frequent Reece's Rainbow at least once a day!  You have also seen me post pictures of little cuties who need a home.  You will probably also remember that I posted separate posts about Lillian (who I hope one day to bring home and call my daughter!), Danil, and Maria N.  Well guess what!!!  Maria (who we will call Charlotte from now on!) has found her forever home!!!!  I am so happy for her!  Her parents.  The family.

I am also excited to be able to watch their journey on becoming a family through their blog, Chasing Charlotte. When you fall for one of these kids you wonder how their life will change.  It's amazing how someone can impact your life just by one little picture and very minimal information.  One thing we know is Charlotte's life is going to change drastically, and for the better!

When you look at the sweet, innocent faces on Reece's Rainbow you can not help wonder what is going to happen to  these sweet babies/kids.  It's heartbreaking.  I have cried many times for these children.  I am so glad that Charlotte wont have to live the life of institution.  She is one of the lucky ones.

If you have room in your life for a child, please consider adoption through Reece's Rainbow.  If adopting a child isn't in your plan, consider donating to a child's adoption grant or sponsor a family to help them bring home their new family member.  If you can't help financially, gift the free gift of prayer by becoming a prayer warrior.

Also, once you have stopped by Reece's Rainbow, click you way over to their blog!



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sparklehearts Bubbling Blooms Body Wash Review & Giveaway!

Have you ever heard of Sparklehearts?  Well, if you have, then you already know how awesome it is!  If you haven't, then you are in for a real treat!  We had the chance to try out the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash.  Talk about being impressed!

The first thing I noticed was how adorable the packaging is.  I admit it, I am a sucker for packaging.  If a product is visually pleasing to my eye, I am more apt to pick it up and try it.  So I knew if I thought it looked fun, Maggie would also!  If I had found Sparklehearts in the store, I would have picked up the bottle without a second thought!  CUTE, CUTE, CUTE!  I love that Sparklehearts uses 100% recycled packaging!

The second thing I noticed was the smell!  Oh man!  This smells do divine!  It smelled like a nice summer day on a cold rainy winter afternoon!  I could smell it all through the house while Maggie was taking a bath.  It has a very yummy, not perfum-y scent.  It's an all natural sweet fragrance. Which makes all the difference to me.

Third thing that I love, which is what caught my attention in the first place is this is a natural beauty product.  Maggie is very sensitive to body washes.  I mean very sensitive.  They can cause a lot of discomfort for her.  We are happy to report this did not bother her one bit!  We FINALLY found a product that we don't have to make and she can use and not suffer for later.  


This product is 99.6% organic, natural ingredients.  On top of that it is ALWAYS Paraben free, Phthlalate free, Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate free.  It's also cruelty free-no poor animal had to pay a price for this product to be made.  And, it's made in the U.S.A.

Besides the Bubbling Blooms Body Wash, they have 4 other products that I am dying to try! 
Shine Shampoo, Soft Conditioner, Peace Out No Knots Hair Detangler and Sparkly Body Lotion.  All made with the natural and organic products like the body wash!

As a mom who is concerned with what I put in and on my daughters body, Sparklehearts really stepped up to the plate and made a product I feel confident in using!  And confident in suggesting to you!

Would you like to win your own bottle of Sparklehearts Bubbling Blooms Body Wash?  Well, you are in luck!  Sparklehearts not only let me do a review on their product, they also agreed to give one of my lucky readers a bottle of Bubbling Blooms Body Wash!


I have made this pretty easy for you!  Here is what you need to do:

1.  Friend Sparklehearts on Facebook

2.  Friend me on Google Friend Connect (in my sidebar)--so this means if you are my friend through network blogs, please friend me on google :)

3.  Comment letting me know you did both of the above-2 separate entries

For an extra chance to win,
please post about this review/giveaway on your blog-leave a separate comment

See how easy this that?

And remember, it doesn't have to be just for little girls!
This grown up girl thinks it would be a nice, relaxing, smell-good bubble bath!



This giveaway will end on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011 12:00 pm PST.  I will do the drawing and post the winner the next day, Tuesday, Jan 4, 2011.  This contest is open to US residents only.  Remember leave a way for  me to be able to contact you!

Good Luck!!


Monday, December 20, 2010

Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments



This Christmas is going to be very different for us.  Normally we have a 7.5 ft+ Christmas tree, I have a huge Christmas village that I LOVE to put up, we are also usually the house that goes way overboard on the outside decorations and lights.  You know the house that everyone drives by.  But this year we aren't doing any of that.  This year is the year for simplicity.


Most of you know we are living in a tiny, temporary home.  To have a 7.5 ft tree would take up my entire living room.  Now, like I told Chris, if we didn't have a 6 year old running around playing, I wouldn't care.  :)  On top of the small living conditions, all of our Christmas decorations are in storage.  When we were moving stuff into storage we loaded all the Holiday decorations to the very back of our storage units.  We thought our stuff would only be there for a month.  Surprise, surprise!


So, because it has been raining and cold and I am just too darn lazy to go dig through storage, we are making our own ornaments!  We are also getting a tiny little tree.  Maybe 4ft?  Maybe smaller.    Normally this would just bug me!  I don't know why.  I guess I am pretty set in the way things are done.  I am not one who tolerates change well.  But for some reason I am kind of excited about this.  Who knows what this will mean for future Christmas'!



All that to say (hey, i'm Italian, I can't help but tell the ENTIRE story before getting to my point!), today we made Applesauce Cinnamon Ornaments.  The smell alone is enough to put me in a great mood!  Chris, Maggie and I teamed up and had a good time!  I made the dough, they rolled and cut.  Then we decorated with some glitter.  The ones that didn't get all glittered up will get painted.



All I did was take equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce, mixed together very well.  Made sure it wasn't too gooey-just a nice dough consistency.  Rolled out on a piece of wax paper.  Used cookie cutters to cut shapes, added glitter and baked at 170 for 1 hour on a cookie sheet.  Then took ornaments off the cookie sheet and put on cookie rack, baked another 1 1/2 hours.  Tie strings on them and then hang!  Super easy!

It was a nice family activity.  Everyone loves getting their hands gooey in dough and sprinkling glitter.  The Christmas music was going in the background, kitchen window shades open with a promise of snow!  Looking forward to hanging on our tree and having a "semi-homemade" Christmas!





Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sweet Olga



Look at this little face!  Isn't she about the cutest thing EVER?  Doesn't she look like she would be great to play tea party with?  Such a cutie!  Guess what???  Olga has OVER $11,000 towards her adoption fund!  

WOW!  

Olga was born January 2006.  Wouldn't it be awesome for her to know she has a family waiting to bring her home?  Knowing for her birthday that someone out there loves her and treasures her?

Here is what Reece's Rainbow has to say about Olga:


Eyes: Gray
Hair: Brown
Character: mobile, sometimes assertive
Olga is a beautiful, blonde haired, blue eyed little girl. She is very high functioning and healthy! No heart problem at all. She feed and dresses her self, is working on her potty training, and even has several words. She is confident and a leader in the group.

 If you can not adopt a child from Reece's Rainbow, please consider sending a gift of $35 to help sponsor a child.  Usually the only thing keeping these kids from finding their family is money.  Give the gift of family this holiday season! 

If you can't help financially, give the gift of prayer!  It's free!




Friday, December 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Maggie!

I can not believe my baby girl is 6!  


Little girls are made of daisies and butterflies and soft kitty cat purrs
And all the precious memories of times that once were.

Little girls are made of angel's wings and giggles and a firefly's glow
And all the happy feelings, deep inside, that we all know.

Little girls are made of cinnamon and bubbles and fancy white pearls
And snowflakes and rainbows and ballerina twirls.

Little girls are made of sunshine and cupcakes and fresh morning dew,
And these are the reasons, little one, why everyone loves you.
by: karen barnes






My life changed in ways I never could have imagines on December 17, 2004
There are no words to describe what this little girl means to me.
I feel like the luckiest person alive to have her.
I have been blessed beyond measure!


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Max needs a home....

Max



This sweet, sweet little boy has been moved from the baby home to an institution.  He needs to be rescued, NOW.  If you don't know anything about the institutions, well, let's just say horrible isn't a good enough word to describe his life now.  If you are interested in saving Max, please click on his name.  Save this little boy from a horrible life.  

Max has blonde hair, blue eyes.  He was born with a heart condition, and he also has a strabismus.  He was born July, 2005 and is said to be a quiet boy.  He has $207.50 towards the cost of his adoption.  He is in Russia Region 2 which means couples or single women can adopt him.  


Please visit Reece's Rainbow if you have room in your heart, family and home for Max.  If you are not in a position to adopt, please donate money toward his adoption so that another family may be able to save this sweet little boy.




Saturday, December 4, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment}

(click on picture to make larger)


__________________________________________________________

one image
  no words
 a moment in time from the week
         held close to my heart



Upcoming Giveaway!!

Hey Peeps!  Sometime next week I will be posting about another review/giveaway with Alexas Angels!  You don't want to miss out on this one!  I know I love, and get lots of compliments on my jewelry I have from them.  This would be a great opportunity to win something special for yourself or for a holiday gift!  



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Meet Lillian.............

Usually on Sundays I do a {this moment} post.  A picture with no words.  Something that captures my heart during the week. Well, this Sunday will be a bit different.  This week I am posting a picture of Lillian.  She is a beautiful child who needs a loving home.  Her picture is so adorable it doesn't need words, but words need to be spoken for her.


Lillian is in an orphanage.  She is in an orphanage because she was born with Down Syndrome.  Lillian deserves to have a home filled with love and laughter.  If not adopted she will be placed in an institution where she will likely die.  She needs to be rescued.  I can not imagine this sweet little person being left to rot away in an institution.  The thought kills me, makes me cry.  I would love to bring her into our family, but we just can't financially do it at this time.  I am hoping to change that and if Lillian hasn't found a family by that time, we would love to bring her into our family.
Lillian was born November 2007, so this little sweetie just had her 3rd birthday! 
Here is what a Reece's Rainbow coordinator has said about Lillian:

Character: sociable
What a stunning little girl!    From our coordinator:  "She was in the heart clinic not long ago and her diagnosis from there is that she has no heart problems. She has weight defficiency. She has good developmental dynamics, she is active, she likes to observe people doing something and tries to repeat, she likes lessons, her attention span is short, she can operate with easy puzzles, mosaics, can arrange blocks, understands speech and fulfills easy instructions, she pronounces easy words and syllables, she can walk up and down stairs. She walks and runs."



If you would like to know about how to adopt Lillian, please visit Reece's Rainbow.  There are so many deserving children waiting to bring you love, joy and happiness into your home.  Check out this link to find out the requirements to adopt internationally through Reece's Rainbow.

Don't know much about Down Syndrome?  Check out these books.  Or email me at snoodledoodles@gmail.com.  I would love to talk about the blessing of down syndrome.

If you are not in the position to adopt, please consider donating to her grant fund to help someone else bring her home.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Friday Night Snackin'

This is the kinda stuff we do on a Friday night when are bored.  Watch Buddy the Elf and make chocolate covered pretzels!


Tis the season for yummy snacks!



Sunday, November 21, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

{gathering}

Gathering items for an upcoming project............


       ........stay tuned!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

{this moment}


           {this moment}
                          

 one image
  no words
 a moment in time from the week
         held close to my heart

















                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   









Sunday, October 31, 2010

Vanilla Cupcakes

I love getting things in the mail.  Don't you?  Especially when it's a big package full of fun things like cookbooks and other baking items.  This past week my mom sent me 2 nice cookbooks, some coconut flour, coconut crystals (a good sugar replacement) and some other goodies.  Well, I didn't want to waste any time in using my new box of goodies!

One of the cookbooks she sent me was "Cooking with Coconut Flour" by Bruce Fife, N.D.  I absolutely love anything written by Bruce Fife, I have maybe 2 or 3 other books he has written about Coconut.  If you haven't read anything by him, do a quick search on the internet.  He is easy to read and knows his stuff about coconut!



So, to get back on the subject......I flipped through the book and found some yummy and unbelievably simple Vanilla Cupcakes.  Out came my favorite power-tool of the kitchen, my Kitchen Aide and my favorite helper,  Maggie and I started to whip up a batch of cupcakes.  The thing that I really liked about this recipe, besides the fact that it was super easy is that it makes 6 cupcakes!  I love cake, but I don't eat a lot.  Chris and Maggie don't like cake much, but can appreciate it in small doses, so this was perfect!

Yes, I know I said the recipe makes 6 and there are only 4 in the picture.  The two missing were the casualties of Chris and I, we couldn't wait to taste test!  I will definitely be making these again.  No doubt!  In fact, I may me making the chocolate version tomorrow.  I have already gotten the request!  So, if you want to make these yummy treats for your family, follow the recipe below!




3 Tablespoons butter, melted 
3 eggs 
1/3 cup sugar 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
1/4 cup sifted coconut flour 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder 
Blend together butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Combine coconut flour with baking powder and whisk into batter until there are no lumps.  Pour batter into greased muffin cups.  Bake at 400 degrees F (205 C) for 15 minutes.  Top with frosting of your choice.  Makes 6 cupcakes.  Spiders optional.  :) 


Monday, October 18, 2010

Focusing on what you DO have

The last couple of months since we moved out of our house have been very hard.  I had high hopes, was full of excitement, plans and dreams.  But since we aren't in the new house yet, and not knowing when it's going to happen, it's really hard to be so positive.  Especially when you are in a place you don't want to be.  Don't get me wrong, I am thankful to have a roof over our heads, but it's not comfortable.  It's not "home".  Despite how we try to make it home, we all feel it.  It's just not. 

I have found myself being very negative lately.  It's so easy to focus on what you don't have.  It's easy to be bitter and angry.  I wish it wasn't so easy.  Even having these thoughts brings me down.  Don't get me wrong, I am not having these feeling just because we aren't in our house yet.  There are so many things right now that are going wrong.  It seems like we are a snowball rolling down a hill.  And the problems escalate and just get bigger and bigger.    Eventually that snowball has to get down the hill and when it does it will break open and things will get better.  It has to!

So, I have decided to try to turn my thinking around and think about the positive.  Think about what we DO have.  Every time a negative thought pops into my mind I have made a commitment to follow it up with two positive thoughts.  I figure eventually it's got to turn around, right?  See....it's already happening....that was pretty positive, right?  :)


I know I can't be the only person who goes through this. What do you do to turn around your thoughts when you get in a funk?  Do you purposely do something to change your thoughts or do you just ride it out?  I would love to hear what other people do to get through hard times.



Sunday, October 17, 2010

And then they were gone.......

As you know, Maggie started school on Aug. 30th.  Something we never thought we would do in a million years!  I have to admit that I am so happy about our decision.  She has just blossomed and grown so much in the short few weeks she has been there.  But, I am not really posting about school.  Something big happened for Maggie and I wanted to share with you all!

On Maggie's third day of school we realized she had a loose bottom tooth.  Exciting times!  About 2 days after that we noticed the one next to it was wiggling as well.  Well, for those of you who know Maggie, then you already know that Maggie does things when she is ready.......and not a minute before!  We waited over 1 month for her to pull those teeth out.  I begged her to let me try, she did let me try twice, but the little buggers were too slippery.  After that she said no way, she was keeping them til she was ready to be done with them.  Every day I checked them.  Every day I tried to convince her, every day had the same answer as the day before.  Yep, you guessed it, she flat out said No. 
Then came the ONE day neither Chris or I checked.  In fact, at one point in the afternoon after picking her up from school I could have sworn I noticed them missing, but then didn't take a second look because of course when your child pulls a tooth they tell you.  Right?  Wrong.

A couple hours after being home, a little after dinner Maggie came to me and told me she had pulled out her teeth at school.  My jaw must have dropped to the floor.  Both Chris and I were so excited that these wiggly things were FINALLY out.  Chris was WAY happier than I was because, well, he has a weak stomach for things like loose teeth.  I think Maggie was partly keeping them in so she could do her "look dad, I can push my teeth with my tongue.  She enjoyed the look of horror on his face.  Admittedly, I did too.  :)  Kinda funny to see. 
Anyway.......the story of her pulling her teeth was different than any I have ever heard from a kid.  It really kind of melted my heart a bit.  I will tell it exactly as she told me.

"It was just after lunch and I was tired of them being in my mouth.  They were moving all over when I was trying to eat.  It was annoying.  So I went to the front yard and sat under the big tree.  I pulled out my teeth and then I buried them under the tree in a spot where there was good shade so the sun wouldn't make them too hot, and so the fox would come poop on them."

Everything made sense to us except the part about the fox.  Not sure where she got that from, there is no fox.  But I thought it was so sweet that she had this private little moment with herself.  She had a little ceremony of sorts for her baby teeth.  I was sad I missed it.

The next morning we were getting ready for school and she decided she would like to dig them up and bring them home.  Well, if this had all happened about 2 weeks before it would have been no problem.  See, the school had just had white/yellow crushed granite poured in that spot, and well, you guessed it, it ALL looks like little tiny baby teeth.  LOL 

So we don't have any baby tooth keepsakes, but we have a story that will forever be with me.  My baby girl is growing up. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I'm still around!

WOW!  Our moving experience has been one wild ride......and unfortunately we are still on it!  No, we have not gotten into the house yet.    We are patiently waiting though and hoping to be in between now and the next 6 months. 

We moved to a lovely area, but unfortunately I can only get dial up for now.  I am having problems getting hooked up because my computer is too new and doesn't want to use dial up, but I think we have it figured out now!

Maggie started school in August and couldn't be happier.  Neither could I.  She has broken out her shell and has blossomed far more than I could have hoped for.  Last night we had a potluck at school and
Back to School night.  She got up with her classmates and sung the sweetest song, The Magic Penny.  Another parent took video so I am hoping to get a copy and share it with all of you.

The school is big on gardening and being outdoors, which is right up my alley.  We are starting a Garden to Table program.  I am on the Garden Committee and am excited about all the things planned.  I will share more when I get my computer up at home.

I just wanted to pop in real quick, I hope I haven't lost all my readers!  I should be back in full swing by next week!  YIPPEEE!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Good things are a comin'!

It's amazing how you can think you have something figured out only to have things change overnight, unexpectedly!.  That's what happened to us!  Thankfully it's a good change!

Remember my post about getting accepted for the house we really liked?  Well, we LOVE the house.  It's beautiful.  And exactly what I have been wanting.  Except it's in a town I don't really like.  But, we were going to sacrifice.  We had made plans and given notice here at the old house to move out on the 16th.  Sign our 1 year lease and hand over a big wad of cash on the 16th for the new house.  Well, Sunday Chris went to work on a boat on some property that we always say we wish we had something like it to live at.  Well, the owner was there started to talk to Chris and asked if we would want to move in there.  Um, YES!  YES we do!

So, the owner gave the tenants notice (they haven't paid rent since last year!!).  We are HOPING they will do a quick move and not prolong it.  We have to be out of this house next week, which means.....no place to live!  LOL  How on earth did we get into this pickle???!!  Well, we found a short term living option which we would be able to use until about the first week of October.  HOPEFULLY we wont need it that long.  It's a very SMALL 2 bedroom cabin.  Teeny, tiny.  But  hey, it's a roof over our heads!  Normally the owners rent the cabin out to vacationers for $600/wk, but since we are local people who are not vacationing, they are giving us a screaming deal! 

So back to the cool "new" house.  It's on an organic pear orchard which is 22 acres.  We are going to be care-taking a bit for the owner since he lives out of town.  He cleared out a bunch of trees and plans on putting in an organic garden and is hoping to have an organic fruit/veg stand.  His long term idea is to turn it into a CSA.  Chris and I are going to be heavily involved with the project.  I can't wait!
Chris is excited because we finally get to have bees.  I am excited because we get to have goats!  Our chickens will be happy!
The house is a cute little ranch house.  Kind of reminds me of the house I grew up in.  I'm excited to get in and make it our home!

There is so much more to get into, but I will leave that for future posts.  I can say that everything we have wanted for a long time can be achieved by living here.  We didn't have the land or the money to make our dream come true, and the owner of the land needed someone with the same goals/dream as his to make his dream work.  I think it's the perfect marriage!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Baked Oatmeal

I have been wanting to bake something yummy for days now. I just haven't had the time to look for something OR to make it! So over the weekend I took a few minutes to poke my head around the 'net. One of my first stops was at Nourished Kitchen. I just KNEW I would find something there that fit along with what I was wanting to feed my family. Yummy AND healthy! I was right. Within a few seconds of being there I stumbled upon a recipe for baked oatmeal. Besides yummy and healthy I needed it to fit into two other categories: breakfast and snack food.


The smell while it was baking was fantastic. Let me say that it is warm enough to have the windows open already this morning, but I kept them closed because the smell was so delish that I wanted to trap it as long as possible! lol

I'm excited for Maggie to get up this morning! We both enjoy a nice steaming hot bowl of oatmeal in the morning, I think we are going to really enjoy this!


Delicious!

Ingredients:

■1 pound steel cut oats
■1 cup walnuts, or other nuts
■2 tablespoons yogurt, kefir, whey or buttermilk for soaking
■dash unrefined sea salt
■6 pastured eggs
■2 cups whole, fresh milk
■up to ¼ cup maples syrup (optional)
■½ cup raisins or dried cranberries
■½ cup dried unsulfured apricots, diced
■2 tablespoons cinnamon
■¼ cup coconut oil, plus extra for greasing baking dish

Method:

1.Pour the steel cut oats and nuts into a ceramic container or mixing bowl.
2.Add enough filtered water to completely submerge your oats and nuts. Add a dash of salt and a two tablespoons of fresh yogurt, whey, kefir or buttermilk.
3.Allow the oats and nuts to soak, covered, overnight in a warm place in your kitchen – about eight to twelve hours.
4.After the mixture of oats and nuts has soaked overnight, dump them into a colander to drain and place the mixture back into the ceramic container or mixing bowl.
5.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 13 x 9-inch rectangular baking pan with coconut oil or another wholesome fat of your choosing.
6.Meanwhile beat together eggs, milk, maple syrup (if you’re using it), until well-combined and frothy.
7.Pour the mixture of eggs, milk and maple syrup over the soaked oats and nuts, stirring well to combine into a porridge-like mixture.
8.Gently fold dried fruit, cinnamon and coconut oil into the porridge-like mixture.
9.Pour the mixture into a greased baking pan and smooth it out with a rubber spatula to ensure even baking and a good appearance.
10.Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for forty to forty-five minutes or until the oatmeal achieves a pleasing golden-brown color on top, a knife inserted into its center comes out clean and free from liquid and the fragrance of baked oats, dried fruit and cinnamon perfumes your kitchen.
11.If you can bear the wait, allow the baked oatmeal to cool for five to ten minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

YIELD: 12 to 16 servings

TIME: 10 minutes (preparation), 8 to 12 hours (soaking), 40 to 45 minutes (baking)



Saturday, August 7, 2010

More goodbyes and a hello!

Sad day at our house today.  We got rid of Mrs. Pteranodon, Aunt Bea, Gloria, Binky, Zoe and Joker.  It's always hard to say goodbye to pets, especially ones you really, really enjoy and love.  Because of the move we decided to lighten our load of animals and downsize.  Our new yard is great, but not nearly as big as what we have now.  So we had to be fair to the animals and let them go. 

I placed an ad on Freecycle about the chickens and got a response from a woman who was interested.  As we started talking I also mentioned the rabbits.  She wanted them all.  Of course I was happy about her wanting everyone, but was even happier to find out they are a homeschooling family, they like to grow their own foods, etc.  Sounds a lot like we are.  I knew they were the perfect ones to take the chickens and rabbits.

We still have our original 6 girls.  We kept the Giselle and Peter Rabbit.  I just couldn't totally get rid of rabbits! 

One thing we did do this week that was TOTALLY NOT in the plan was getting a new puppy!  I have wanted a Yorkie for a good 6 years now.  But having spent a lot of money on our English Bulldogs I said I would never spend a lot of money on a dog again.  Not that they aren't worth it, but because, well.....I would rather get a shelter dog!  Anyway......I happened to check out Freecycle (yes, I LOVE Freecycle!) and an ad was placed just minutes before.  A lady had 4 Yorkie puppies-purebred.  For Free.  I called Chris IMMEDIATELY, knowing in my heart he would be sensible and say no.  Well, he said yes.  So we are now the proud owners of a little puppy dog named Triton.  This guy is little and full of ATTITUDE!   If you looked up Little Dog Syndrome in the dictionary you would see a picture of Triton!

Here is a picture of my new sweetie-it's almost impossible to get a picture of him.  He doesn't slow down long enough to get a good face pic!

And of course you can tell that even though he is suppose to be MY dog, somebody else has taken him over.  In fact, between Maggie and Chris, I am wondering where I fall into this who ownership thing!  LOL

We have 9 more days until we move.  I haven't done a whole lot to prepare so my posting may be hit and miss for a little bit!  I have lots to do.  I am finally getting in the frame of mind though, so it will be a breeze from here on out!  I am so looking forward to our new home!

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