Tuesday, February 28, 2012

School lunch for tomorrow

OK, the pictures are not great so let me describe what you see. Annika helped me prepare her lunch and Evan's. We made peperoni wraps. They consisted of a slice of peperoni wrapped around cheese and dandelion leaves. In that same bag we put two slices of cucumber and a boiled egg. In the fruit bag we put blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. In another bag we put cashews and soy nuts. At the bottom of the picture there is a bag with 3 small homemade pumpkin muffins. To top it off we added some organic chocolate milk. I bet  no one will have a lunch like theirs....

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Homemade bird feeder

Earlier today Lyn and Eliot noticed a lot of birds in the back yard. They got out the bird seed and spread some around. After running some errands they were playing in the background with Evan. On the spur of the moment Lyn decided t make a homemade bird feeder. With no direction she designed it and put it together. It is amazing what cardboard, jute, and a pair of scissors can do.

Making fruit leather

So much healthier than fruit roll ups. I boiled fresh strawberries and blackberries for one batch and fresh apricots for the other batch. I drained them and put them in the blender. I added organic cane sugar and molasses. Eliot then helped me spread it out. I put them in the oven to dry. They are drying as I type. We will see how they turn out in a few hours.....

Saturday, February 25, 2012


My friend, Kate, began her journey to adopt her daughter a year ago. This month she brought her home. During the second leg of the trip she needed someone to help out with her son who is still breastfeeding. Her older children were at home with Dad but little Seamus still need his mom. We spent most of our time in Odessa and then moved on to Kiev the last few days. I missed my children but this was a once in lifetime opportunity to help out a friend and see a part of the world that is so different than my own. Check out Kate's blog to follow her continuing story......

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Now that's homeschooling

Making, homemade toothpaste, chocolate pie, and an hebal remedy for Daddy, now that is homeschooling.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Making Valentines for Alabama Midwives

OK, actually we made them for the senators and representatives responsible for sponsoring and voting for the bill that hopefully will allow Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) to practice legally in Alabama. Right now mothers who want to have home births in Alabama either have them without any professional birth attendants or with the assistance of a Midwife that practices illegal with threat of prosecution. Even if a mother wants a Midwife at her birth at a birth center (we don't have any here) that is not an option. A lot of moms drive over the state border to Tennessee where Midwives practice legally and are the norm. Because Midwives are not recognized here in Alabama health insurances will not pay for their care. That leaves the poor out of the picture. Even a family who can live within their easily would find it hard to shell out the thousands of dollars necessary to pay out of pocket for each birth in their family. Why does Alabama deny choices to their mothers. Hopefully all of that will change soon. Too many of the student Midwives that hold the future of births in this state in their hands are moving away to practice in other states. We can't let Alabama's resources slip through our fingers. Click on the blue lotus on my side bar to learn more about the Alabama Birth Coalition to help support Alabama's Midwives.

Eliot working away. Lyn, Annika, and Evan were also helping...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Homemade shampoo

This is my first attempt at making shampoo. I did not have any castile liquid soap and I was determined to use what I had in the house. It may turn out but it was fun to make. I started with the herbs I wanted to use. I used dried nettle, dried lavender, and fresh rosemary. I used my tiny mortar and pestle to grind the lavender and the rosemary to release some oils. I then put all the herbs into my loose herd tea pot to make a tea. I then got out my melt and pour soap. I melted it and added the tea. I then poured it all into the tall bottle shown above. When it cooled down I added rosemary essential oil and lavender essential oil. I had a lot of tea left over. I will use it for herbal baths and hair rinses.  

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Annika's plant hunt

The weather today was really nice. It is way too warm for February. Annika always need a little guidance to help her organize her time so I sent her on a plant hunt so she would have goal while spending some time outside. I gave her a guide to edible plants and sent her out to find 5 different plant. She took a pad and a pencil to take notes. She came back with dandelion, wild onion, holly, gill over the ground, and one plant she couldn't identify. We will need to look up some more information to find out what kind of berries they are. Annika did great....

Bubble and squeak (yes, it is a real recipe)

I was looking for a recipe using some of the vegetables I had on hand and I came across a recipe for bubble and squeak. The bubble part comes from the sound of the vegetables boiling and the squeak is from the sound of them frying. There are a lot of different recipes out there and I ended up coming up with my own. Here is a list of my ingredients.

can of diced potatoes (fresh works best but I didn't have any)
olive oil
coconut oil
black pepper
dried thyme (I was out of fresh)

Annika was my helper today for this recipe. She diced the onions and rinsed and tore apart the cabbage. I cut up the leek and the kale. Minus the potatoes all the veggies were boiled till they became soft but not too limp.I added some salt and olive oil to the water. If you use fresh potatoes you will need to boil them separately because they take longer to cook. I then drained the veggies and added them to an iron skillet (best way to get easy iron in your diet). Already in the skillet was the coconut oil. I didn't really measure any of the ingredients. Let common sense be your guide. As I pan fried the veggies I added the potatoes, pepper, thyme, and some more salt. There is no real set time to cook just heat through and fry for a bit. It turned out so yummy!!! Annika and I ate all of it. I guess I need to make a bigger batch next time. It is best eaten hot. It looses a lot if it cools and needs to be reheated. This recipe is chock full of vitamins and minerals especially vitamin K not to mention the benefits of coconut oil.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Another day at the park

It was great to be invited to a play date at a park today before the rains started. Ben, Eliot, and Lyn were my tag-a-longs. Everyone else was in school. Eliot met a whole bunch of other 4 year-olds to play with and Ben went up to every person his size and shared his crackers and started up whole "conversations". It is amazing how fast he is growing up. He is no longer my baby. He is such a toddler! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Elderberry juice on a sunny Winter day

 The weather today was way too warm for February. It made me in the mood to start making some Spring tonics even though Spring is way in the future. To balance out I made a more Winter related drink. I made an elderberry juice mix to help protect against viruses and because it just plain tastes good. I started with dried elderberries. (I just don't have a good source for fresh or frozen berries in my area.) I simmered the berries and then drained the liquid. I added the elderberry juice to hibiscus tea and added apple cider, water, and some organic cane sugar. It turned out GREAT! Elderberries are a great source of potassium and vitamin C. And talk about the antioxidant punch... watch out. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Now I remember the book.... it was a book about a Ukrainian princess

I have been learning about Ukraine lately and it occurred to me that I read a book a few years ago about a Ukrainian princess and a man who goes back in time to save her. It is a classic sleeping beauty story written by one of my favorite authors, Orson Scott Card. It deals a lot with the Old Slovonian language of western Ukraine. Now I really want to reread it as fast as I can.....