Saturday, December 31, 2011

I conquered an item on my "Too Hard" list

Do you have one of those?
A list of things that seem too hard to accomplish so you can't muster courage to even attempt them?

Well I do. And my husband frequently encourages me overcome and try.
On that list was something my family loves. Something reserved for a special treat because I found buying it expensive and not-so-very-healthy.

That something was crackers.

Notice I say was.
I tried making them. And you know what? they're not so hard after all. In fact, I liken them to making biscuits, and I do that all the time!
I tried a couple of recipes and tweaked them around until they met my criteria for food fit for my family to consume.
Consume them they do, it seems I can't keep enough of them on hand.

Without further ado, here's the recipes I use:

Wheat-Thin Like Crackers
3 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup butter
2 TBSP each: ground flax seed, oat bran, wheat germ
mix together well (I've heard a food processor works well, but I don't have one so I use my pastry blender).
Then add:
1 tsp honey
1/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
Mix with hands to make a stiff dough.
Allow to rest for about 15 minutes.
Roll out very thin, sprinkle with sea salt, roll lightly to adhere salt.
Transfer to a cookie sheet and cut into squares. Alternately, you can hand small cookie cutters to your children and let them go to town, allowing them to think you're the coolest mom ever.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown -watch closely toward the end, you want them crisp, but not burnt!

Cheddar Crackers
8 ounces sharp or old cheddar cheese
1/4 cup butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 TBSP each: ground flax seed, oat bran, wheat germ
3/4 tsp salt
Mix well with pastry blender, then add:
2 TBSP water (more if needed)
Mix with hands to form a stiff dough.
Wrap in plastic and chill for 20 minutes
Roll out thin, transfer to cookie sheet and cut into squares, or, you know, cookie cutters.
Sometimes these stick so I use parchment paper on the cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until crispy.

If you try these I'd love to know about it, I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does!

Look Who's Walking!

It may have taken him awhile, but at sixteen and a half months he figured it out, and now he's off to the races. Go Levi!

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Small Snapshot Of Our Christmas

First Christmas to be big enough to get in on the decorating action = delight!

Mom finally learning that she can just leave it the way the children decorate it = growth (or acceptance that it will all be rearranged tomorrow anyway so I may as well just leave it).
Little boy playing with new tractor Christmas morning = perfection
Want to know what elicited such an expression of delight?

Did you guess it yet?

Cleaning Supplies!

Yes, I got each of my children their own squirt bottle and cloths for their stockings and the past few days have seen them cleaning for hours. I don't think the lower three feet of my walls, windows and cabinets have ever been so clean.
"What could this be?"
"Help me out here, sis, it might be scary"
"Oh, it's a car, awesome!"
"Now we will all sit on the couch and wonder why Heidi looks like a horse."
I had great fun making a few new items for the dress-up box this year and the girls agreed that shared presents are sometimes the best.
We also had quite a bit of acting going on around here this year.
We continued our tradition (started last year) of a daily advent for the month of December and this year our readings took us though the lineage of Christ. Starting with Him as a part of the triune God and continuing with Adam and Eve, key people such as Abraham, Isaac, Rahab, Ruth, and David, and on to Joseph and Mary.
Heidi also played the part of a shepherd in our church's Christmas program and in the few practices seemed to memorize every line. (I'm glad it was almost entirely scripture).
Between these two things, she had a pretty good grasp of the how it came about that Christ came to earth, took on flesh and dwelt among us.
How thrilling to see both my girls rejoicing that our Savior loved us and came to die in our place.
How exciting to see them realize that the true joy in Christmas comes through knowing that we can have eternal life through Him who rose from the dead!
Thank you Lord for the gift of a Babe. The gift of Yourself!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My Dashing Young Man

Shh, Aunties, Don't tell the cousins.

Hannah wanted to make a little ladybug for herself, her sister and each of her cousins today. I had her help me cut some felt, then climb on my lap to help me as I sewed. As we worked, we decided they would make nice "boo-boo buddies" so we filled them with rice to be placed in the freezer and pulled out when those little owies come along.
We also decided that Levi couldn't be left out, but he needed a turtle, not a ladybug.
Great idea Hannah, I'm sure your cousins will love their surprise!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Spoon People

This was one of those crafts where I struggled to let go of the "right" way to do things and let the girls' creativity come through. In the end, I was happy I did. I was especially pleased with Hannah's adorable mouths and her insistence on "a skirt over the skirt" on the little girl.
Meet Hannah's Daddy and Little Girl, and Heidi's Momma and Grandmother.

What happens when I say "yes" to face paint... and forget I did so.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Snowman-able Snow!

It rarely appears here, yet right after Thanksgiving it did. We received snow we could make into snowmen!
Heidi worked hard rolling balls all over the yard and only required help to stack them together.
And thoroughly enjoyed the fruits of her labor for the rest of the day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

We made a Daddy trap...

Now he CAN'T get out of bed!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My New Art Gallery

Long have I bemoaned the fact that I had no "reasonable" space to display my children's artwork. My fridge front doesn't work for magnets. I've tried string and clothespins, but it always gets so stretched out. The girls love to tape things to the walls, but I don't like my paint getting peeled off too. Frames with clips sounded fun, but too expensive. Finally, I thought of something! Then I had to wait a couple months to go to a town with a dollar store. I purchased six clip boards, brought them home and painted them the color of an adjacent wall. I impressed myself by thinking of using twist ties to keep the clips open while painting so I could paint the whole thing. Karl suggested putting all the boards together and painting random shapes so you could see where they connected when separated, I liked the concept, but couldn't do it. I couldn't get the image of a branch out of my head, so that's what ended up on the boards. Not that it matters much anyway, they're here to display the work of much more important artists:

Monday, October 10, 2011

"Take A Picture For Grandpa Root"

"We made a bench all by ourselves."
"Heidi banged it with a hammer."
"And Hannah held it securely so it wouldn't wiggle"
"It wary strong."
"And very stable, we can even stand on it!"
"We're wood bangers just like Grandpa Root!"

His first real word was "cat"

We're discovering that Levi is an animal guy. He loves the chickens, the cat and he share a mutual adoration (this one is named Suckers, loves to ride on the stroller with him and has lasted three months, a record around here) and he's fascinated by the calves.
His favorite being this poor fellow who got his leg broken in the process of coming into the world. I think it's that he doesn't run when Levi comes near. Heidi calls him Gianni (said Johnny). The others are Tyrell, Zachary, River and Treehouse, and the big boys are Robinhood and Little John. I think the only thing more fun than naming things is allowing my children to do it for me.
I'm hoping this means lots of willing help with the farm chores in the future!

The Turkey Fairy

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving from the Turkey Fairy!
If you look closely,you'll see that there are indeed turkeys behind her.
Wild turkeys.
Wild turkeys who hang with my chickens, eat their food, and join them in making a mess of our front steps.
Wild turkeys that we can't eat unless we buy a license that costs more than buying a turkey all ready to eat in the store.
Humph! But I'll move on.
My turkey fairy loved making her own hat, as did her sister,
and I had to agree, it complimented her wings quite well.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beach Day... In October?

We found this delightful little sandbar while out walking the other day, the girls were quickly enamored and hopeful for a day of swimming there.
I wasn't too confident that would be happening in Canada in October, but God provided a wonderful bit of Indian summer and we're working on enjoying it to the fullest.
I do believe it was warmer yesterday than it has been all summer in some of the years I've lived here. Warm, and windy.
Perfect weather for wading, digging and discovering treasures.

Levi was thrilled with the outing as well. Just don't tell him he's wearing a pink hat. It was the only one I could find on the way out the door and when I tried to remove it for pictures to save him future embarrassment, he cried.
Thank you, Lord, for a beautiful day!