Friday, April 24, 2009

Show & Tell Friday -- Raw Milk & Baby Calves

I began a quest for eating healthier when our oldest was little and needed breathing treatments every month (very much like Baby Boy now). I have learned much in the past eight years but yet it is still hard to change old habits of what I "know" or grew-up with. At that time I leaned heavily toward dairy being a problem with asthma and I believe to some extent it still is. One thing we changed is the milk we drink.

When our twins we were babies I began drinking rice milk and avoiding dairy especially because my babies all seem to be colicky when I would have dairy so I found alternatives for at least 3 months.  I didn't care for that however and then I found out about goat's milk and how easy it is to digest and such. That was something I needed for myself as I have been lactose intolerant since early on in my marriage but some things affect me more than others.
We drank that for awhile (although my husband wouldn't as it tasted too "gamey") and then I found out about drinking raw milk from the cow and was able to find an organic farm that we could buy a share in (the "legal" way to buy it in our "dairy state") and then buy our milk from each week. The milk is thick and creamy and I never have problems digesting it. I also buy raw milk cheese in bulk from a co-op that works well for me too. It is about a 20 minute drive but then so is almost everything for us. I am not going to go into all the benefits of drinking raw milk but if it interests you you can read more HERE.

This week when we went to the milk farm we saw a calf that had just been born and was still wet. We were able to observe the care of newborn calf. We watched him get dried off, get his ear tag, get a shot of selenium (as I was told our area is deficient of that trace mineral). They attempted to give him colostrum from a bottle which he was too stubborn to take so ended up being intubated. I wasn't sure I wanted to watch that but found out that cows do not have a gag reflex and the tube goes down easily.

The calves on this farm are not secluded in little huts but progress from one pen to the next outdoors learning the ropes so to speak as they are pasture fed and roam the fields. We also watched 6 calves get moved from the barn to the outdoors and they were so giddy and skipping around it was fun to watch. There have been 88 calves born since the beginning of March so we see new ones each week. Unfortunately I did not bring my camera this time but here is a picture of them resting from a few weeks ago. I think the brown and white is so pretty!

For more Show & Tells visit Mary at Raising 4 Godly Men

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fun With Our Guests

Sunday we had the college students over for dinner after church. Each weekend they come down from Northland Baptist Bible College in an extension program to help out in any way they can at church from teaching Sunday School to ministering in music. They stay overnight in peoples homes on Saturday and we try to have them over when we can. The children's favorite time though is when we have them for Sunday dinner. I think they would choose to do this EVERY Sunday if it were possible. We had a nice time and the kids loved it as they always play games and hide and seek and such. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't as nice as it had been but they still did go out riding on our golf cart.

This was the end of the ride. Everyone was a little cold when they came back inside.

Missy Blue is quite taken with the two guys. They are her friends -- "Nakin and Jar"

Sunday, April 19, 2009

MMmmm Monday -- Pesto Cheese, and Chicken Meltdown

Pesto is one of my absolute FAVORITE toppings to put on pretty much anything -- stromboli, pasta dishes, hamburgers (along with pico de gallo) and pretty much any sandwich. The basic grilled cheese recipe is not one of our favorites but today's recipe is a tasty grilled cheese sandwich that I found a few years ago and we really enjoy.

Pesto Cheese,and Chicken Meltdown

Pesto Sauce -- my Mother-in-law gave me the tip to make it with spinach if I don't have enough basil and that is really good too.

process the following together in a food processor:

2 1/2 to 3 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves (or part spinach)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup pine nuts or walnuts (I have used sunflower seeds)
big pinch of salt
1/2 cup to 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


spread slices of bread with pesto sauce, top with a slice of provolone cheese and deli chicken. Make like a grilled cheese and top with a tomato.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Missionary Wax Museum

Our homeschool writing class put on a Missionary Wax Museum last night. This is the highlight of the class and the children all seem to enjoy it. This year the children each chose a missionary they wanted to portray. Since Pete and Re-Pete were part of the class this year I chose a group of men so they could all be together and boost each others confidence.

I summarized for the boys the book “God Planted Five Seeds” about five men from New Tribes Mission who were martyred while trying to reach the Ayore tribe of Bolivia in 1943. They then decided who they wanted to be. They were Cecil Dye (Pete), Bob Dye (George), and Dave Bacon (Re-Pete).

We also served food from our country and so my friend who grew up as an MK in Bolivia told me a common thing to eat would be fried plantains. I could not find those so used very green bananas. The thing that surprised me was that she said to salt them. I immediately think of banana chips here that are sweet. They were quite good though and tasted much like a potato chip, although I couldn't get them quite as crisp. It was also interesting to learn that they do not eat many sweets in Bolivia. I wish it were that way here!

We enjoyed learning about many missionaries, some of whom we hadn't heard and of course sampling food from each country is always fun too!

I am trying to upload a video right now but seem to have problems with that lately. Check back later to see the boys give their speech. (I am adding just a picture now as the video wouldn't upload with our internet connection at that time. If you would like to hear it let me know and I can email it to you).


Monday, April 13, 2009

My Jesus Is Alive!

We had a wonderful Resurrection Day yesterday! (I tried posting this last night but couldn't get my video uploaded).

We began our morning with a breakfast of caramel rolls (monkey bread) but used the Resurrection rolls concept and put a marshmallow in the center of each roll of dough which then melt and make an "empty tomb". The kids enjoyed that! Last year we tried the Resurrection cookies but no one was thrilled with those seeing as they were basically a meringue cookie with pecans.

After church we went out to eat for our traditional Chinese meal with my Grandpa, parents and sister's family. Not sure how that tradition got started but it kind of reminds us of the movie "Christmas Story" (my least favorite movie but husband's favorite) where they ate Chinese for Christmas dinner.

Our family picture. I couldn't find anything green to match. I found the boy's vests from TCP on clearance last year for $2 each! Missy's dress I found to match on eBay as it was from the same line.

We spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing at my parents house after the children had gone on a scavenger hunt to find their Easter baskets. At home we hid eggs around outside that contained clues to find a special gift. We then finished up reading "Benjamin's Box" using the Resurrection eggs from Family Life. Last year I had made my own but parts of them are missing (what's new?) and so I did buy the eggs already made and must say it was well worth it!  Later in the evening we watched the first half of "The Ten Commandments"

I highly recommend "Passion Hymns for a Kids Heart" which we have used for two years now. I love that series in general as the children learn great hymns of the faith and the story behind them and it also helps them to sing out more at church.

The following is a short video of Missy Blue. She had been eating a snack and started singing over and over the song the childrens choir had sang that morning. "Sing Hallelujah, Sing Hallelujah, My Jesus is alive." (she started to say "ever more" but I cut her off.)

I hope you had a blessed Easter!

Monday, April 6, 2009

MMmmm Monday -- Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake

I really enjoy baking and seeing as we had company overnight Saturday made this for part of our Sunday morning breakfast. Typically Sunday morning breakfast is just cereal unless I get my act together and bake muffins or something like that on Saturday night; so this was a treat. Raspberries are one of my favorite fruits and this is a very yummy coffee cake. Enjoy!

Raspberry Streusel Coffee Cake
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1/2 whole-wheat 1/2 white)
3/4 cup sugar (I decrease it to 1/2 cup and use evaporated cane juice)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries

White Chocolate Streusel
1/2 cup brown sugar (I use sucanat)
1/2 cup white baking chips
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup white baking chips (I just melt the chips w/ a bit of water and drizzle)
2 T. light corn syrup
1 1/2 tsp. water

- Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour angel food cake pan. Make White Chocolate Streusel; set aside.
-  Beat flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, milk and egg on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
-  Spread 2/3 batter in pan. Top with raspberries. Carefully spread remaining batter over raspberries. Sprinkle streusel over batter.
-  Bake 55 - 65 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean and top is golden brown. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Drizzle glaze over.

I would have taken a picture except didn't take it out of the pan until the next morning and it broke on me. :(  It still was very tasty though!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Free Blog Backgrounds

**Update -- If words are running into the sidebar or pictures looked jammed to one side on your screen please let me know by commenting. It looks normal on our screen but it doesn't look the same when I look at it on my parents computer.

**This is not as easy as with blogspot where you insert a gadget and paste in the code. I know enough about the html to figure out some things (not much though). To put in the background I copied the code from Simply Blog It and pasted it under the "body" section near the beginning of the template code. I modified the sidebar more toward the bottom where it says "Begin Sidebar" and played around with the width until it looked right -- on my screen anyway.

A few people have asked where I got my new background. It is very similar to what I have found on Cutest Blog on the Block but I found my current background on Simply Blog It Backgrounds. I think they were created to use on blogspot. In playing around awhile I was able to use the code and put it in as a fixed background and just changed the size of my columns and moved them a bit to make it work somewhat. There are headers to use as well but I am working on customizing my own to match. She used a digital scrapbook kit to create the background I have and I downloaded the same kit free from Summertime Designs so soon I will have a new header to MATCH.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Show & Tell Friday -- Diaper Cake

It has been awhile since I did a Show & Tell. Why is it so hard to come up with something?

Anyway, this week my Mom and I made a diaper cake for a baby shower we are going to tomorrow. A friend called while we were making it and she asked if it was going to taste good. I told her "no, it is made out of actual diapers". When I told the children what we were making they were confused as well seeing as the only cake they have seen is one to eat. Since it is pink Missy thought it must be her birthday cake. :) In searching for ideas Mom found quite a few on my favorite website for birthday cake ideas (see sidebar). It was easier to make than we anticipated. The hardest part was deciding how we wanted to decorate it. It turned out cute though and is very usable, although quite pricey considering all of the diapers you need to buy (we added baby shoes too).

 For more Show & Tells visit Mary aka Canadagirl at Raising 4 Godly Men.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Photo Shoot for Missy

In February an area photographer was testing out new backgrounds and training a new photographer to help her and so had a special of a free 10 minute sitting and free 8X10 for one child. Typically I take all of our photos and enjoy it, although would like it much more with a better camera. Anyway, we decided it was a good deal and that Missy would enjoy a photo shoot. And I must say, she seemed to be in her element even in just a 10 minute time frame. Getting ready for it was another story.

Missy is rather particular and so after I put curlers in her hair she was very upset with how tight the curls were. They tame down after awhile but she did NOT like her hair at that moment. I ended up watering them down a bit to make them relax faster. I also made the mistake of letting her pick between two dresses and so she had one on and decided she didn't like it so changed. Then the cowgirl boots that I had put out the night before were suddenly missing. I searched for at least an hour before they turned up buried in a wash basket. Thankfully she put on her sweetness for having her pictures taken!

We are still waiting for the photos we selected which are gorgeous but I was able to get a photo for my blog and so am sharing that here.

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