Friday, July 31, 2015

BOOKS I FINISHED - JULY 2015


To Destroy You is No Loss: The Odyssey of a Cambodian Family, written by JoAn D. Criddle
It took me a while to get through this book, but I think there is value in reading about people who have endured severe hardships because it's good for keeping one's own problems in perspective. The horrible details of a Cambodian genocide combined with one specific family's personal experience of death, life, bravery, and fear, this story took place during my first few years of life.


The Phantom Tollbooth, written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer
This is a classic that Silas read for school last year. He thought it was great, but I'd never read it. I pulled it off the shelf one day, opened it up, and loved every page. It's witty, creative, and made me chuckle multiple times. The main character, Milo, is bored with life and finds himself on an adventure to all sorts of places, meeting all sorts of people and creatures, and learning all sorts of things. It's an easy read that, despite being written for kids, I'd recommend to any adult who's never read it before.


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 


Thursday, July 30, 2015

MENU: 7/30/15 - 8/5/15

We tried a new recipe last week, a pasta salad I thought I'd love, but it was just ... blah. Not worth repeating. We'll be trying a couple of new ones this week and I'm hoping for better luck! I do have one new recipe to share, though.

* fig bread - We actually made this a couple weeks ago, but I didn't get it posted in time to share it with our last menu. It was my first time baking with fresh figs and everyone liked the bread.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* We'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like we do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
* lemon ricotta pancakes with blueberry sauce
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

DINNERS
* kale frittata (except we'll make it a scramble)/toast
* new recipe/rice/frozen corn
* red lentil & veggie soup/buttermilk biscuits with chives & black pepper
* new recipe/rice/carrots
* lentils & rice
* leftovers 
* tacos - seasoned meat from the freezer, crockpot beans, and some other toppings served in a tortilla or bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice

SNACKS & DESSERTS
* rhubarb crisp
* snickerdoodles (taking to an event)
* produce
* popcorn with seasoned salt (kernels from the WinCo bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

7/30/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful that this morning included Silas and Teebs making unplanned eggs and pancakes for breakfast and Devon offering to do the laundry.

What is one thing that you're thankful for?

Saturday, July 25, 2015

FUN RUN - 2015

This is the fifth year that our family has participated in the Fun Run. It also happens to be the first and last year that all four little Ws could participate. Needless to say, I insisted on a sibling picture once they got shirts and numbers. One smiling (the half-hearted smile is excused from the one who got woken up from sound sleep for this event after returning from a week of camp) ...


... one silly ...


... and one that Tim took of them on a giant inflatable chair.


It was also the first time we got rained on. After several years of spending hours in the hot sun at this event, I was thankful for an overcast day this time around. It was dry when Naomi ran and while we ate lunch, but the drizzle started as Teebs was warming up and continued until Silas and Devon, whose heats got combined because of the weather, were done. That's fine, though. Water dries. 

The rain didn't stop Teebs from enjoying his first run. In fact, he finished the 100 yards for his age group, got his medal, and then kept running. He didn't stop until he'd finished a whole lap around the track!  


I'm thankful for all the sponsors, donors, and volunteers who make this event possible each year!


Thursday, July 23, 2015

MENU: 7/23/15 - 7/29/15

We tried one new recipe last week that was disgusting, which is saying a lot for someone who's pretty easy to please with food, skipped a new recipe we had planned, and ate an unplanned blueberry pie that Naomi made. We're only trying one new recipe this week, so we'll see how it goes!

* blueberry pie - Naomi made this for us one afternoon and I have a sneaking suspicion we'll be using our stash of Gingerich Farm's frozen blueberries to make more down the road.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* We'll chop a ton of green onions and pop them in the freezer for future meals.
* We'll make peanut butter and crockpot beans, just like we do once or twice every week.

BREAKFASTS
blueberry oatmeal cakes (These got skipped in favor of banana poppyseed muffins last week, so we'll try again.)
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x4

DINNERS
* buffalo slaw/rice
* new recipe
lentils & rice
Silas' chicken/rice/apple cranberry salad with honey dijon balsamic vinaigrette
* Dutch babies/smoothies
* leftovers 
* tacos - seasoned meat from the freezer, crockpot beans, and some other toppings served in a tortilla or bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice

SNACKS & DESSERTS
s'mores bars (We were given a bunch of plums last week and ended up eating plum buckle with vanilla ice cream, so we'll make these bars this week.)
* produce
* popcorn with seasoned salt (kernels from the WinCo bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven, but you can see my thoughts on both the wonderful Dutch oven and the fantastic West Bend Stir Crazy in this post)


(This post contains affiliate and/or referral links, which means our family earns a little bit of money or credit for any purchase you make and/or search you do after clicking those links. Thank you to those who use them!) 

7/22/15 - THANKFUL THURSDAY

I'm thankful that Tim has had opportunities to work the last three summers. What is something that you're thankful for?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

ORDINARY MOMENTS

Here are a few recent pictures I've taken of the little Ws doing things that are just routine, seemingly no big deal, but which capture who they are and make me smile.

Devon is frequently found sitting outside with a book opened in front of him.


Naomi often pulls these two stuffed animals into bed with her, a rabbit handmade my one grandma and a teddy bear given to her other grandma as she was dying.


Silas is totally in his element when speaking to a large group.


Teebs once had to have a long-sleeved shirt tied around his waist while on a walk and loved it so much that he now frequently requests that I tie one as part of his completed look for the day.