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Journey to Perth


There was a worldwide outage of computer systems for Virgin Airline made our LA to Brisbane flight a hour late. I only had an hour and 45min layover to connect to my domestic flight to Perth scheduled for 8:45am. I was cleared through customs by 8:35am and there was no way I was going to make it.
Went to the transfers desk and they had organized a later flight (9 hours later) and a hotel for us to stay in and transport to and from. $50 of room service for us too.
We got to the hotel room in downtown Brisbane. Beautiful weather, sun shining. Gianna and I had a bath and I fed her and she fell asleep. I went down to the hotel cafe with Gianna in the Ergo and sat down with some people I’d met on the bus who were in the same situation as me.
We ordered an antipesto platter, fruit platter, calamari, wedges with sour cream and sweet chili sauce. Although I didn’t get to Perth in the timeframe I had planned, being able to bathe and eat felt great.
Gianna and I went back to our room and slept for two hours before getting back on the bus to get to our 5:30pm flight.
I’m now waiting at the gate for our flight.
Gianna stayed awake up until we got on the big international flight which was 2am Minneapolis time. Crazy!! She slept well in the bassinet that Virgin set up on the wall in front of me for about 4hrs. I was able eat dinner and get some rest in. The next 10 hours of the flight was a combination of napping, snacking, visits to the oversized disabled restroom other middle of the plane (never seen one that big on a plane before…. Made life a lot easier!) and walking laps around the plane, passing all the sleeping passengers 😉
Gianna is doing well now considering it’s the middle of the night on her body clock. Letting her sleep when she wants but not trying too hard to keep her asleep. It’ll be 9:25pm in Perth when we finish this journey.
Here’s a photo of Gianna asleep in the bassinet on the plane.



Once in a lifetime…


Sometimes there are conversations that I have with my girls that I know I want to remember forever. I hope that this space can be a place for me to take note of some of them. The talks about our bodies, about God, about what nutrients are in our food, about where potatoes comes from etc.
Today’s memorable banter came from our 4 year old in the back seat of our car….
Miss 4: Knock Knock
Me: Who’s there?

Miss 4:Poop
Dad interrupts: That’s not a funny word
Miss 4: I mean underweeeeaarrr!
Me: Underwear who?
Miss 4: Poop on my underwear I love you ahhahahaha

Both Peter and I are silent, holding our tongues, then silently giggling in the front seats of the car. Peter says “Miriam, those words don’t even go together” and at the same time Charlotte (our 5 year old) chimes in saying, “That’s KIND of funny…”, which had the two of us front seat passengers in STITCHES, we had to turn the radio up so the kids couldn’t hear our laughing. We didn’t want Miss 4 to know how funny her ‘potty words’ were to us, since we’re trying to get the kids off of the subject of poop and butt related things.
I even got the girls a “knock, knock” joke book from the library this week, hoping that they’d scrub up on their joke telling skills….. We still have some work to do folks but for some reason “poop in my underwear I love you” was funny enough for us tonight. 

Gianna is a-movin’


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.)

A week of recipes- Monday


On Friday, the girls and I went to the library. Charlotte picked out some readers in her enthusiasm of her new skill and a Charlie and Lola story. Miriam’s first pick was a book called ‘Strong Man’ and her second pick was a dinosaur book. lol. She loves to scare herself.
My picks were a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook, “Double Delicious” by Jessica Seinfield which involves making vegetable purees and hiding them in regular recipes. “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver, a book that I have brought home before, but reading a book in its entirety has been a challenge these days. I’m also yet to open another beauty called “Made from Scratch” by Jenna Woginrich which is all about discovering the pleasures of a handmade life. I can’t wait to explore that one.

On the weekend, I found time to plan out our meals for a week, and make the shopping list AND do the grocery shopping in solitary. Pure joy. Weird that I find this enjoyable but moments to yourself with three small children only come on occasion so I take whatever I can get.
So here’s the plan 9 recipes, $73.59 at the store. Some will be winners, some will flop. I know this because I’m already a third of the way through my list so far.

MondayItalian Stew with winter squash and chickpeas.

A “Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health” recipe. Every ingredient in this stew is full of nutrients. My girls called it a ‘rainbow stew’. They didn’t need to know that it was full of potassium, iron, lycopene, beta-carotene, calcium, protein, folic acid and vitamins A and C. Perfect timing with all of these flu virus bugs passing around the area.

This was a winner and fed us for two nights. So here is the recipe.

  • 3 cups chopped Onions
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 6 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground Coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried Thyme
  • 1/4 ground Black Pepper
  • 2 C water
  • 2 C diced peeled Butternut Squash
  • 1 15oz can Chickpeas, drained
  • 1 28oz can diced Tomatoes
  • 1 C diced Carrots
  • 1/2 C diced Bell Peppers (optional)
  • 5 C chopped Kale
  • 1 Tbs chopped fresh Basil
  • 2 tsps Red Wine Vinegar






In a soup pot on medium-high heat, cook the onions and salt in the oil, stirring often, until very soft and beginning to caramalize, 12 to 15 minutes.








Add the garlic, coriander, thyme and black pepper and stir for a minute. Stir in the water, squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, carrots, and bell peppers. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.






Stir in the kale, cover, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, until the greens are tender but still bright green. Stir in the basil and vinegar. 


That’s it. Most of the work was in the prep. Charlotte helped peel the carrots and peel and mince the garlic, stir the pot and dump the ingredients in. It made about 8 cups in total.

My kids scrunch their nose up at anything that has much spinach or anything similar, so the kale didn’t really fly with the 3 and 5 year old but they ate the rest of the stew. 
Next post is a recipe from the Jessica Seinfield book, ‘Double Delicious’, Sesame Beef with Broccoli (another green that takes some convincing for the ankle biters).







Five years of Charlotte


Wow. Five years have passed since the day we first met Charlotte. A little bundle of 7lbs 12oz (most of that weight being in her cheeks) arrived after a long and anything but peaceful labor and birth. Charlotte’s presence changed us from being a married couple to being a family and it was a learning curve but a fun one.
I stayed up late last night, after kissing Charlotte goodnight and reminding her that this was her last night of being a four year old, and I went through all the photos we’ve taken of the kids in the last five years (yes, it got late). So I put together a few pictures to share how that little baby bundle of cheeks has blossomed.ImageImageImageImageImage

I am so proud of this little girl.

She loves to tell jokes and make people laugh.

She loves to dance and make music.

She loves to cook and bake and paint and draw.

When she grows up she says she wants to be a Mum.

She has an empathetic heart and a cautious nature.

And we love her to infinity and beyond.

Aussie Trip #6~ Perth


Half way through this adventure our setting changes. We say goodbye to the vines across the street from Mums house and head for Perth where the weather is typically beautiful, the ground is sandy and it faces the Indian Ocean. My Dad and his family were at the airport waiting for us. This is Dad’s first time meeting little lady #2 & #3!
The flight took a little over three hours and I was on my own with all the kids as my Sister-in-law went over by train across the Nullabor Plains (desert). We all did ok staying occupied with my overflowing bag of snacks, coloring books and games and as we landed, the passengers around me were extremely helpful and complimented the girls on how they handled the flight. It’s always nice to feel tightly knit with complete strangers through a shared experience like a flight.
Perth kept us busy, that’s for sure. The girls had many fun days….


I love the photo of the girls trying an egg salad sandwich for the first time, as I converse with Lis, my stepmum (but that word sounds so harsh) completely unaware of what the girls are doing. What would a vacation be without visiting the local mall, having coffee and buying toys!


We gave my family a Thanksgiving Day experience. Just a few months early but there was a Turkey and Americans so it is assumed that that means we know how to put on a good turkey dinner. It ended up beautiful, sitting around the table full of tradition food. Turkey, sweet potato bake, a mountain of mashed potato, gravy, green beans and of course, pumpkin pie. P
We had to work off that dinner and spent the next few days seeing the local attractions.
The Western Australian Aquarium.


The Perth Zoo. Even our mode of travel was exciting that day. Car then train then ferry. What a fun day!


The kids had many new experiences. Eating Milo flavored ice cream, riding on a ferry, seeing Australian sea life, writing their name in the beach sand, swimming in a backyard pool. Hopefully they’ll remember some of this.