Monthly Archives: February 2013

Let’s do dinner! with REAL people

Standard

It overcomes me sometimes. The urge to entertain, host, give gifts. It must be one of my love languages. So my idea came on Thursday- we should have friends over for dinner.
I made the call and around midday Saturday it was arranged. Friends! Friends for all! since our chosen dinner companions for the evening have littlies the same age as our older two girls, this was going to be a fun-packed night with high-pitched squeals, dress-ups and dancing going on upstairs, good food, wine and great conversation. Actually the conversation was what left me feeling revived.
I know that we fit when our conversations include the following:

Benefits of bone broth

Psychology of a toddler in regards to sharing

Beards

Beer

Awesome Ikea cheese graters

How having a home birth has changed you

What were you doing on 9/11/01?

How hard it is to find a babysitter!

Yogurt cultures from Bulgaria

Intricacies of Baby Sleep

Oh the list goes on….

But I feel revived.
I woke up this morning feeling less than revived after a very rough night with little G. My chunk of sleep happened in between the hours of 6am-9am, interrupted twice and changing location once but still better than the previous 6 hours. A big pot of Irish Breakfast Tea was waiting for me downstairs and after a bagel and a shower I felt like I could face the day. Then I started thinking about the real people we have as friends. People who come in to our home and feel AT home. Open our cupboard doors to get themselves a drink and grab a couple of our books to read to the kids. You know… no awkward tip toeing, just real. Reflecting on this made me realize that I waste a lot of my time getting sucked in to other peoples not-so-real life in the form of Facebook personalities.
Let’s face it. We don’t have to be accountable for much online and there are many persona’s on Facebook that are less than real. So, today… I cleanse myself of some not-so-real relationships by thinning out my FB contacts. If I haven’t had any interaction with someone in the last 12 months, and they don’t call me or wouldn’t talk to me if we saw each other in public? Then we’re not being real.
We are in the thick of Lenten Season right now. Forgiveness, cleansing, focusing on what is truly real and important, getting ready for Easter, letting go of things in order to make more room for God in our lives. This is what I think of for Lent. Did you give up something for Lent? Why?……
I haven’t chosen something to fast from for a few years. The purpose of fasting, alms-giving and prayer is to help deepen your faith and commit to living the Gospel.

In 2011 Pope Benedict addressed an audience explaining the lenten season, noting that fasting is not just to deprive yourself but to lead a more moderate life. He asked everyone to give alms and do good deeds for others. For the pope, Lent is less about the observed laws and precepts and more about the person coming closer to Christ.
The idea of giving up chocolate, or soft drink, like I did for many years, had good intentions but served no purpose really. Did it bring me closer to God? Did I feel more connected? Not really. So I gave up all together on the idea of fasting from something petty, actually on fasting from anything. Prayer always picks up during lent for me, so that is one thing that I’ve got covered but I really wanted to make an effort this lent to DO something rather than GIVE UP something. My choice: to spend more time outside.
This may seem lame to some, but this Aussie girl was not built for below freezing weather day in and day out, so the thought of going outside just to enjoy being outside rather than scrambling from the car to the front door of our home, had to be a conscious decision. I’ve included my girls in on this lenten movement also. They, like me, could very easily spend most days sitting cozy warm inside, playing board games, baking, watching movies and doing their ‘school work’. We talked about God’s creation, how God made everything they see. The pretty and the not so pretty, all have purpose. It’s been fun having these conversations with the girls. It feels real and we are definitely looking forward to spring. To new life! to Easter!!
Today, I feel revived from good conversation with REAL people. For lenten ‘fasting’ that feels REAL to me. For surrounding myself with a little less purposelessness. Is that a word? My computer doesn’t put a redline under it, so it must be real. Ha! lol
So here’s to being REAL, friends. No tiptoeing. If you were Jesus, I’d open my front door and invite you in. Offer you a beer and a home cooked meal. Just like we did last night.

Gianna is a-movin’

Video

8 months. The same age as her sisters, Gianna has worked out how to get from A to B but I don’t think we can call it crawling just yet. Gianna LOVES paper and she is determined to get her hands on every last piece she finds. This led Charlotte to come up with the idea of using paper as G’s motivator and it worked! The slippery floors help too. This video is of her first success getting to where she wants to go. (sorry the sound doesn’t work. We are in need of a new camera, obviously.)

Muesli!….. but now I call it granola OR ‘just call me a hippie’

Standard

I make my own hummus. It’s yum and a superfood and my kids love it.
I choose to wash the diapers our baby wears rather than throw them away. Cloth diapers look so cute and come in fun patterns and colors now. They’re stupid easy to use too. (Maybe another post subject one day)
I don’t let my kids eat food that contains food dye. It’s bad for their developing brain.
As a family, we don’t eat much meat.
I often pay a visit to our local food co-op.
We don’t use bleach and you won’t find any product in this house that contains Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. Here’s why.
My kids have never had a dose of antibiotics (yet, at least. I know this may be unavoidable one day).
I’m already planning what we can garden in the spring.
Wanna give me a title? Stereo-type me?
Go ahead.
If you say hippie, I’d love it. My understanding of a ‘hippie’ is someone who makes intentional choices about their health and lifestyle, stands up for human rights and social justice issues and sees the good in others. This would be an honorable title for me to strive for. I still have far to go though.

Add to that list, ‘makes own granola’ now. I just made an irresistible recipe of granola. My favourite snack before bed, which helps me get through a night time full of breast feeding our babe, is granola mixed with plain or vanilla yoghurt and a little spoonful of my Mother-in-law’s fig preserve stirred in. SO. GOOD!

I can’t keep it to myself, so give it a try.

1/4 C oil (I used olive but I may try coconut next time for extra flavour. Here you’ll find a great oil comparison chart)
1/2 C maple syrup (or honey)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbs pure vanilla extract
2 C chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, hazelnuts)
6 C traditional rolled oats
1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tbs brown sesame seeds
Cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat the oil, maple syrup and salt. Sir in the vanilla.
Place the nuts, oats, coconut and seeds in a large bowl and mix. Sprinkle some cinnamon on the top.
Stir in the warm liquid ingredients and mix it up with your hands until the dry ingredients are evenly coated. Spread the granola on an un-oiled baking sheet or roasting pan. Bake for 30minutes in a preheated oven at 350F degrees stirring after 20minutes. Remove from the oven and stir often if you don’t want chunky granola bits. We love chunky granola bits so I just let it cool in the pan and then stir it up before I transfer it to an airtight container.

*recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant ‘Cooking for Health’ cookbook.

20130207-102433.jpg