Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Unseasonably warm

 E-yi-ya has gotten into the bike craze too.
Bbbbbb-bbbbbb-bbbbb (this is a motor-tricycle)

 Puddle-stomping on a sunny morning --
The boys are outside before breakfast most days.

 Examining the interesting swirls and patterns in the drying mud.

Posing with their spears --
I can't get boots on Diego to save my life. 

 Truen, the threatening monster.

Eliah dipping his finger in the mud and sampling it like melted chocolate.
They were waiting for Blaine to come home at the tree-line on our driveway.
They often wait for him to come home,clambering into his vehicle and asking, "Any treats??"

Sunday, March 15, 2015

He did it!

Truen decided it was time. This spring. Seven years old.
Time to learn to ride a bike.

 And by golly, he did it.  It took him two days --
First he rode down the front walk, learning how to balance and steer.
After awhile he added pedaling and voilĂ ! He did it.
He has been riding so much since that his little buns hurt.

He named his bike "Bird Wheel" and rides for hours every day.
It is a another dumpster-diving treasure I dug out the summer of 2007,
a few months before he was even born.
And now he's riding it.

Monday, March 09, 2015

My few favorite instances from this morning


Mama: "Where's the ball?"
Eliah: "Dere ball!!"

~ A first for Yi-ya, putting two words together.


"Mama, the geese are coming back!  I heard their voices."

~ Diego, after opening up the back door to a warm 40 degree F morning.


"Look!  There's a MANIA of pine cones up there!!"

~ Jamie, pointing up into a big black spruce in the front yard

And finally . . . Truen's determination to start riding a bike this year.  He's serious.  I think he's going to make it happen this year.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Meatloaf Monday

I am regularly looking for ways to streamline our life, to put the structure in place so I don't have to think as much and put myself into decision fatigue.  It makes life so much easier.

I've been doing just that with the chore routine for the boys.  After a bit of practice for all of us, it becomes the new normal. The older two boys are doing cat litters three times a week, emptying the dishwasher every morning, cleaning the bathroom sink and mirror every Friday, folding / putting away their own laundry, doing regular clean-ups throughout the day, getting the table ready to eat, after-meal clean-up and now after-breakfast chores: Diego clears and wipes the table, then puts the dishes into the dishwasher while Truen sweeps.

After just a few days, it absorbed into their system.  I generally don't even have to remind them and they almost 'whistle while they work'.  It is an especially sweet outcome for me, since both boys turned into dark clouds after I made the initial announcement of their new after-breakfast chores, and then accused by an angst-filled Diego who wailed, "Why are you ruining our lives??"

Right.  I had to turn my face aside and chuckle over that one.  It was so preposterous it wasn't even worth getting mad about.  And that same morning, both of them followed-up with a "That wasn't so bad" and "I actually like putting dishes in the dishwasher / sweeping".  Seriously.

But this post isn't about chores, it is about meatloaf.  Scrumptious, mouth-watering meatloaf.

I lahv meatloaf.

New at our house is "Meatloaf Monday".  It is so simple and such a great kick-off for the week.  I never have to wonder what I'm going to make that night or what I should pull out of the freezer that weekend.  It is already scripted into my weekly routine.

In addition, I've hit the sweet-spot where I don't even need to look at a recipe.  I've got it down pat.  It's my own creation too, grain-free and loaded with vegetables.

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 large onion
  • 1-2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 4-5 mushrooms
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 cups cooked squash
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • parsley, sage
  • pepper
  • home-rendered tallow

:: Preheat oven to 350
:: Chop the vegetables and saute them in beef fat, adding the garlic toward the end
:: Put the cooked squash and egg into a large bowl, then beat the egg
:: Once the vegetables are soft and sweet and slightly brown, add it to the bowl along with the meat
:: Add salt, pepper, parsley, sage
:: Mix well, then put back into the 12" cast-iron skillet
:: Bake for 40 minutes

Oooo-la-la, it is amazing.

I love it with baked sweet potatoes, cabbage salad, and a pickle on the side.