Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Two Silent Readers

After their chores, the girls sometimes have a bit of free time before we start our school work. Today, I looked over and two out of three of them were using their free time to read silently!  My oldest has been doing this for years.  But my middle child is starting to check out easy reader books from the library and she's is taking a lot of pride in the fact that she can sit by herself and figure out what a book says.  It was sometimes uncomfortable for her to be learning to read in the same house, often in the same room, as a big sister who already knew how to read really well, but now she is growing in confidence and discovering the joy of sitting with a book.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Adele's First Dentist Appointment

All three kids had dentist appointments today. But it was Adele's first appointment ever.  Oh the cuteness! 

Oh, and they are say that Norah is ready for braces. How is it possible that I have a kid old enough for orthodontia?  

Basil Pesto

So this happened.

I've been creating lots of delicious meals using pesto.  Here's one with baked chicken, greens, red bell pepper, red onion, tomatoes, and kalamata olives. 

Here's another.


That's chopped spinach and Brussel sprouts sautéed in extra virgin olive oil with two scrambled eggs, pesto, and salt.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Weekend Update

I took the girls to the library then to an indoor pool Friday afternoon/ evening. We're planning a vacation later this year with extended family and the house we are renting has a pool right in the backyard, which is going to be be really fun, but that's also motivation for me to strengthen the girls' water skills between now and then.  We will do swim lessons and have a lot of practice in the summer, of course, but swimming more consistently throughout the winter won't hurt them at all.

We made it to the gym Saturday morning before it started to snow. Here's my post-workout breakfast.

After we got home from the gym, the snow really started coming down and the roads weren't being plowed, so we just stayed home in our warm pajamas, made a fire, cleaned, worked, read, played Carcassonne, etc. It was really chilly down in my office.  I couldn't get the space heater close enough to me, so I actually order a small heated seat cushion/ lap blanket/ shoulder throw to keep down there to use when I am in that space.

For dinner, I made a big pot of stew using my homemade beef bone broth and a combination of barley, herbs, and vegetables that I had on hand, including green cabbage. I don't really use recipes anymore. I'll refer to them, but I haven't actually measured ingredients in months.

The snow stuck to the windows and piled up on the window seals outside and I thought it looked pretty with the girls' snowflakes still on the windows inside. 

On Sunday morning, we had to dig out of the snow.  We made it to church and then after coming home for lunch, we went up to the hill to sled.  

Here's a short video of our family sledding. You will see me take Adele down the hill and then Norah and Avril go down after us.  When the fresh snow gets thrown up as we sled down, it came be shockingly cold and uncomfortable for a few minutes afterward since it sticks to your face, etc. Notice how much fresh powder gets thrown up as Norah and Avril go down the hill.  Poor Avril was very cold when she finished this particular sled run. 

A friend from church bought a house only four minutes away, so I visited her at her new home on Sunday evening then did some grocery shopping before making dinner.  Dwayne and I started listening The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson on audio book when we were driving while on vacation earlier this month. Now we are listening to a chapter or two before bed every night.  It's an epic story, so it's taking a while to hear the whole thing, but we are recommending it to all our friends. It's very good.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The Mother Bird

Sometimes I wonder if the mother bird flies back to the nest hoping to rest and keep that worm for herself after a busy morning flying around. I know how many times I've prepared something for myself only to give almost all of it away to my children. It's very difficult indeed to turn down a little one who asks for a taste of your tea and honey. The mother bird and I can't discuss it. How much of what we do is instinct? How much is our choice? But I believe I see a little of both when a mother bird lands on her nest and her chicks open their mouths wide to her. There's an overwhelming compulsion to meet their need, but there's also a measure of compassion shown as she gives up portions of her own strength to them. I also like to hope that our Maker gave that little mother a great capacity to take the small joys in her tiny generosities. #motherhood