Friday, September 4, 2015

SQT September!

  1. Thank God it's Friday. I half-homeschooled this week, and I am so happy tomorrow is Saturday! We will be sharing our Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with my sweet niece Rose, so even with Hermione at school (8th grade!) I will have six children at home, four of them homeschooling. This week we had morning prayer and did Life of Fred. 
    Tea party/lunch on the deck
  2. I have been getting up and taking Hermione to 7:00 mass at St. Joe on the way to school. We chat, pray, laugh, eat a quick yogurt and a bar, and then I drop her off at Trinity School at Greenlawn by 0740. She likes to be nice and early to get a handle on her day. 
    Family photo taken after a Sunday mass
  3. I have been going to daily mass most of the summer, and I love it! I find the peace and focus so nourishing. I always feel I'm growing a lot in the seasons when I can attend daily mass. There are many when I cannot! Right now I miss our nice, cosy 0815 masses at Holy Cross Parish, right in my neighborhood. But it is still so good to hear the word of the Lord and receive grace for my life each day. 
    Madonna and Child in atrium of Smith Center at Holy Cross
  4. Eighth grade. Whew. There is going to be some drama this year, I know it. Good thing we are having our nice morning times together for talking it through.
    Sisters. And 8th grade tree project!
  5. Went to the beach twice this week! Hoorah! It's still summer until I say otherwise!

  6. FLL, i.e. First Lego League! Hermione is on the robotics team. Super fun and cool. They are designing the t shirt today, and then starting to assemble robots! 
  7. Our Doggie, Athena! 
  8. Bonus: Wolf park Howl Night happened. It was awesome.
      St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Scripture, and change of plans

Fyodor and I met with our wonderful realtor, Faith Fleming, about getting our house ready to sell. She sure knows her stuff, and it was so helpful hearing from her what we should make sure to do, and what not to bother about. Helpful, because I am attached to this house and I want certain things, for my own enjoyment or maybe my pride when people come after us. Anyway, after talking with Faith, things became clear and we decided not to move right now! We were both pretty surprised by this, but very sure, and very peaceful about it.
And this is confirmed by the goodness of the Lord and the scripture passage he drew my attention to the previous week:

“Thus says the Lordof hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. ..
10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfil to you my promise and bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile." (Jeremiah 29)

So, we have decided to go ahead and finish the projects we were working/planning on. We can enjoy them ourselves; and when it's time to actually sell, we will be in good shape! I am so, so happy about this. Happy to not be moving, and happy to enjoy all the improvements.

Here's one example of some of the work:

after shutters and porch trim painted. i trimmed the shrubs, but they already need it again!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Stream of Consciousness Post Because It has Been So Long Since I last Blogged

Just gotta get back on here. I last posted in January, and it is now the last week of June!

  • Second semester. Hermione did awesome at Trinity. I pushed through and Haldir finished fifth grade, Kitty finished third, and Luke finished kindergarten. 
  • Haldir has hit a growth spurt. He looks so different from a year ago! Tall and super trim now, his pants are all too big. Has to go back down to size twelve pants and shorts.
  • Baseball going on now. Haldir is doing awesome. Championship game tomorrow. 
  • ND Childrens choir has been a big hit this year. Kitty gets to see friends twice a week (and then another day at the farm!) and she and Hernione are learning about reading and singing many types of music.
  • Hermione went on the Chamber Choir tour last week, ending up in New York City! She had a great time. Had a solo. Spent time with kids she enjoys and got to see interesting places and sing good music in lots of great spaces. (link to NDCC blog)
  •  uh oh. running out of steam. the big news currently is we are working to get ready to put our house for sale. I have been getting overwhelmed. Got a wonderful scripture this morning from Jeremiah about living in the land, going on with life and not being anxious about the time when the Lord says to leave.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Milked a coconut! Coconut Milk made at Home

Wow, guys. Wow. Coconut is one of the best foods in the world. You can read all about how good it is for you, but I am talking about some delicious new ways I am finding to eat it.
Like this amazing deliciousness I came across at a certain big-name health food store. It was the only thing I found that is both on my super-restrictive autoimmune protocol paleo diet and affordable.
 I can hardly describe the delectableness. Wide crispy flakes of toasty, naturally oily, faintly sweet coconut. I recommend!
Here is my little Bilbo drinking one of our favorite new dairy-free smoothie recipes. Blueberry vanilla smoothie, made with a can of full-fat Thai coconut milk.

We also make pudding from a can of coconut milk, a couple avocados, and some cocoa powder and honey. Wow, so good. It's like chocolate mousse.

Anyway, we started using about a can a day of the coconut milk, and at $2.09 plus per can, it adds up!

Well, enter Sarah Ballantyne, author of The Paleo Approach and this diet I am on in search of energy, a clear brain, and overall physical and mental health. She blogs at and has a Facebook page, podcast and two awesome books. Changed my life.

I have this sense of certainty that this protocol is the key to my being and staying well, but I couldn't do it without my family's support. Especially my husband. I am feeling so much less tired! I can think and read! There are signs that my hormones are straightening out, too. So the restrictions I am living within are worth it!

Of course, one key to being successful on a restricted diet is exploring the things that are available, especially foods and drinks never tried, or never made a mainstream part of my diet. And hence my discovery of rutabagas, fried beef liver, fish and sweet potato fries made with coconut flour and bacon fat. And lots more yummy things made with coconut or bacon fat...

And my smart sister mentioned the other day the idea of making coconut milk at home. She makes hers from whole coconuts. She rocks. I discovered a few days ago that Sarah B. has a recipe for making coconut milk at home from dried, unsweetened coconut!

I ordered some online. Love amazon prime. Great price for a case of four 12oz bags.

I followed Sarah's recipe here. I doubled it:
1 1/2 c dried, shredded unsweetened coconut
2 1/2 c boiling water (or coconut water)
blend on high in a blender for five minutes.
Strain through a fine cloth or very fine mesh strainer. Squeeze!

We ended up with just over two cups of creamy, amazing tasting (and smelling) coconut milk and this pile of nut meat. Not super much flavor left, but i'm sure there is a use for it. The kids like it.

 Look how creamy! I was oddly delighted, while squeezing my flour-sack towel full of well blended, hot, foamy coconut milk, crying "I'm milking a coconut!"

 Here's the result. I'm storing it in an empty coconut oil jar.
It's quite well emulsified at this point. I think if I wait til tomorrow I will be able to skim some 'cream' off the top and whip it like cream for our favorite recipes. Try it!