Avocado chocolate fondue

I know you are wishing you were here to try it! I borrowed a cookbook from a friend called "deceptively delicious". Written by Jerry Seinfelds wife, the idea of the book is tricking your kids into eating healthy by adding pureed vegies to all kinds of foods. I've tried quite a few of the recipes so far.

What has driven me to start making banana bread with pureed cauliflower? ( no joke, I tried it today it was good)

Before Silas was born I was proud of the fact that my two kids were super eaters....I may even have crossed the line into smugness. My first two kids will eat just about anything including foods that most kids don't like. Spinach, peppers, tomatoes, black and green olives, edamame, hummus etc. Romans favorite food is oysters from the can. Their typical snack would consist of trail mix made with whole raw walnuts, almonds , sunflower seeds and dried fruit. That all changed with Silas . He would act like I was trying to poison him when trying to feed him babyfood. Even at a year old he would spit out yogurt if it contained a piece of fruit. He prefers his food in liquid form. All this wouldn't have been so bad if he had been an average weight but by 12 months his height was 90th percentile and his weight had fallen off the bottom of the chart....he had been holding out at the 3rd percentile for several months before. I remember the public health nurse looking at me like I had been starving my child and referring me to see the nutritionist and dietition....gasp...me?

To complicate matters he also has sever food allergies (nuts and eggs) so between the foods he can't eat and the ones he won't there are very few options. Right now his diet consists of cheese (mozzarella not cheddar) apple sauce and yogurt. I now spike his yogurt and apple sauce with pureed carrot...so far he hasn't noticed. I have to be careful because if he detects a vegi its an instant eject.
Food deception isn't all that new in my home though. Our staple cookies have been "lentil chocolate chippers". I actually got the recipe from a nutritionist a few years ago. It is made with non-hydrogenated marg., wholewheat/ white flour, oats, choc chips, wheat germ and pureed red lentils. Sounds weird but they are surprisingly yummy and you would never know they had lentils in them. It makes a good lunch box snack with all that added nutrition and protein. Silas loves them....if he eats nothing but a couple cookies in a day at least I know they have some nutritional value.
So tonight I made the kids chocolate fondue for desert(contains pureed carrot and avocado...shhhh...) and they had a blast dipping their fruit into it. As you can see Silas scarfed it.
Other than the food aversion Silas is actually my most cheerful, good natured and sensitive child. I'm enjoying him so much! He's my super hugger....full body hug complete with back pat. When Aili or Roman are upset he gets very concerned and runs to hug them. It is still such a novelty to have a toddler that actually follows me while shopping and looks at me for approval before trying something new. Reprimanding him is also a breeze , just changing my tone of voice causes him to dissolve into a puddle of remorse. Again such a novelty after 2 intensely strong willed children. I had heard these pleasant, compliant children existed...and had even seen a couple of them (sitting quietly next to their parents in church while mine take turns on time out in the car, or doing gymnastics in the pew)...but I never dared to hope I would have one. Now its my turn to look like the "good parent" If Silas had been my first child I would have become smug in my ability to parent my compliant child and would have shook my head and rolled my eyes at the poor mom desperately trying to pull her two year old off the top of the shopping cart rows....totally happened and it actually involved a bag boy getting punched...another story for another day. Now I realize that kids are kind of like shopping carts, sometimes you get one that rolls along nicely and steers with one hand and sometimes you get one that squeaks and sticks and is determined to veer off to the side leaving you sweating and tense by the time you get to the checkout :)
Pop over for brussel sprout icecream tomorrow and turnip pie on Saturday......totally kidding :) Posted by Picasa


My new job

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Almost done harvest

We are finally nearing the end of harvest. Its a "rain day " today but once the weather dries up we only have a couple days left. This picture is of Roman helping wash the grain dust off the windows. He loves to come along with me and be one of the working men. Please don't report us to child labor....it was entirely voluntary. Today I am trying to catch up on stacks of laundry, baking and a really dirty house . Unfortunately the cleaning fairies didn't come while I was away and 2 weeks worth of house work is all still here waiting for me. I enjoy the solitude of operating the combine and being out in the field...just me and my satelitte radio ...singing along to spirit 66. No one asking me for snacks or hanging on my leg...its a nice change for a few weeks of the year. I am not a sedentary person though and this job requires sitting all day...literally. My body is rebelling against this forced sedation and I think I am starting to atrophy as my hips fuse into a sitting postition. I will be making a date with the chiropractor and massage therapist once this job is finished.

I am so glad my kids are getting to experience life on the same farm that I grew up on...and worked on every summer as a teenager.
I love the fact that my kids have a first hand knowledge of where their food comes from...whether its from the backyard garden or from the fields where Grandpa and Daddy work. My kids get to see what wheat looks like before it is made into flour, or what canola seeds look like before they are pressed into oil. They graze our back yard picking berries , apples and vegis....they realize that food isn't made in the supermarket.

We live in a "town" of 100 people...there are lots of young families. Which is totally unusual in rural sk. The kids run in packs as they freely explore the nature all around us. They have the chance to be kids who climb trees, get dirty , chase frogs and build forts. Another benifit of this rural life is that my kids get to attend a small two room school ....my kids are actually the fourth generation of my family to attend this small school. Again this is unusual since most of these pioneer schools have been shut down and the kids bussed to larger towns and cities. I love this school! My son's kindergarten class the largest class they have seen in years...a total of nine kids. It is such a large class that they had to convert part of the library into the kindergarten classroom....so I guess it is now a three room school. In case you were wondering what kind of an education they get in a tiny rural school, there are 9 kids for 1 teacher in the kindergarten class this year....and the teacher is wonderful. Aili is in a class that has 4 -1st graders, 8 -2nd graders and 1 -3rd grader. It is such a unique school experience in which they interact with kids of all different ages and no kid "slips through the cracks".....pretty hard to do when there are only 8 kids in your grade.

There are some trade offs of not living in a city like not being able to order in pizza , pop over to the movie theatre or watch my kids get fat at McDonalds...actually its quite funny taking our kids to "the city" they point and stare wide eyed at every building over 3 stories high, every billboard and giant inflatable floating above the car dealerships....but after a day in "the city" I am relieved to return to our simple quiet life ...away from the rat race and materialism of our modern world.


Sleeping on the job


Silas couldn't resist the hypnotizing effect of the combine. Its a pretty bumpy place to sleep.
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Pelo loco and Harvest time

These are my two astonishingly brilliant looking children headed to school. It happens to be spirit week which translates into sending children to school looking strange everyday.

Aili looking groovy on Hippy Day

Silas has "helped" me out in the Combine the last couple days...I only last an hour or so before I call Grandma to come get him...but he loves it. He woke up at one in the morning last night asking to go in the 'bombine'

He can't fight sleep any longer.Posted by Picasa


Off to School

Romans first day of school! So far he loves it and actually is very disapointed that he only gets to go every other day. I had to include the middle picture....my kids are in the "special" class :) And yes, he just HAD to have a mohawk on his first day of school...nothing like a first impression. I celebrated my freedom by going on a date to the city with my husband ......to pick up tractor parts....hey thats kind of like a date...with a one year old in tow..... we did go out for lunch so it qualifies in my book. I'll take what I can get :)

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Aili is 7 !

Here are a couple pictures from Aili's seventh birthday party. I ran out of time to make a cake
so I pulled some cupcakes out of the freezer (had made them previously) whipped up some icing
ta-da...its an activity and a birthday cake! They had a blast decorating. Little Silas was a
big fan of them too. He's the one with the adorable shoulder dimples...he's going to hate them
someday but his mommy thinks they are cute!

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Off to a good start

When asked how his first day of school was Roman replied "GREAT!"....so I guess he liked it. I pressed for more details but he wasn't giving me much. I think we was exhausted. A full day of kindergarten wears a kid out. He and Aili have their first day of gymnastics this afternoon. I'm heading off to the dentist....grrr... and then out to the combine if the weather permits. Its been soggy and cold the past few days and we are hoping it dries up enough today and we can get some more crop off. Winter seems to be pressing on us way too quickly , I had to cover my tomatoes last night so they wouldn't freeze! I am so not ready for the cold!


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my life as a branch...

A what? Yes you read it correctly. What a way to start out my first post on my first blog! Hey check out this blog... this crazy woman thinks she's a tree! Bear with me.
Actually I'm still experimenting with my ability to figure out how to set up a blog. You see I only have dial up...which means a definate lack of highspeed internet....and I'm not exactly a computer whiz either. No, I don't live in some rural village in Mexico...we had highspeed there..and we don't live in Haiti ,I know its available there too. We live in rural Canada (the prairie part) and have been told by our phone company that we are not in the five year plan to get it in our town.....looks like we'll have to move back to Mexico. So, if there is a obvious lack of entertaining features like pictures and background music.....just picture Jessica Alba and hum your favorite tune while you read.

So back to the branch thing. As I was looking over the "who am I?" question in my profile...I started going over all the possible answers.

I am a daughter (a farmers to be specific)

I am a wife who has been married for 12 years (to a Seattle city boy turned farm boy)

I am a mother of three young children (beautiful , brilliant and perfectly well behaved children I might add...hey its my profile I can write whatever I want )

I am a foster mom (currently without a placement)

I am a caretaker of other peoples children (that sounds better than babysitter doesn't it?)

I am a friend
......actually I'm still learning what all these things mean and miss the mark of perfection on any one of these by a long shot!

I am a coffee enthusiast....a closet activist...a wanna-be missionary....

I am not an English professor as you can see by my grammer and spelling

I am a branch...there it is again. Why does that keep coming into my head? Honestly, as I ran through the list this is what stood out in my mind. Not exactly something to add to a resume.

Here is where the idea comes from......from something Jesus said to his followers.

"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. " John 15:5

So there it is...I am a branch, firmly attached to the vine. What is my job description as a branch? Well generally it doesn't do much other than what it was designed to do. It draws nourishment from the vine ...which I might add is planted next to a stream. So my job is to draw and recieve nourishment and life giving water . In order to do that I must stay clinging to the vine. A branch cut off from the tree isn't worth much unless you are looking to make a nice bon fire. So what is the natural outcome of remaining attached? It says I will bear fruit. Oh, and by the way, I don't get to pick what kind of fruit I get to make that was decided and programed into my dna a long time ago.....about the time I as grafted on. You see, I am an implant...a graft....lovingly and painstakinly attached and bound onto the tree. I am keenly aware of my new status as a "fruit bearer" and am determined to bear beautiful fruit to add to the glory of my tree. Unfortunately I keep forgetting what my job is and sometimes I start to become detached ... a bit of bark here , some leaking sap there...its not pretty....and sometimes I start focusing on trying to produce myself some fruit, maybe some showy blossoms. ....I hear there is a real need for peaches ... it is nice to feel needed, I met a star fruit once.....I think I'd like to make those. So there it is... I have now turned myself into a fruit analogy.

So who am I? well, I am still in the process of figuring that out and hopefully still being developed into the person I was made to be.
What I do know is I am known fully and deeply by the God of the universe....
and get this , I am loved anyway, even with my tendencies to forget who I am!
...and not merely just tolerated.... but loved in a way that is passionate and sacrificial....
thats a good place to start.