Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A necessary fall event

Remember playing in leaves as a kid? I have this vivid memory of this HUGE pile of leaves my Dad raked up when I was a little girl. I remember jumping in them and burying myself in them---I was probably covered in bugs and dirt afterwards :)

Well, we don't have any big trees like that in our yard. The only trees on our property are pine trees, bushes, and little baby trees that will SOME day be good leaf-pile making trees :)

So for now.....the kids 'borrowed' some leaves from our friends yard --- I doubt they'll mind having less to rake ;)

The raking

The running

The jumping

The playing

Ahhh....... NOW it feels like fall!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My Sunday blog post....

Seems like Sunday afternoons are turning into my 'blogging time' for the week lately....

Before I begin with the real reason for this post, I wanted to share just a few of my favorite photos from a recent family photo shoot. I LOVE, love, love how they turned out!

Higher Focus Studios: Curtis Family  curtisfamily68

Higher Focus Studios: Curtis Family  curtisfamily12

Higher Focus Studios: Curtis Family  curtisfamily32Higher Focus Studios: Curtis Family  curtisfamily59

Okay, enough pictures of my lovely family ;) On to what is really on my mind today....

Chocolate. Haha. No, seriously, my main point is a little more sophisticated than just plain chocolate ;)  I have always had a terrible sweet tooth. I would be quite happy with a huge hot fudge sundae, decked out with whipped cream and cherries, after every single dinner. Obviously, this can't happen---'cause as much as I love chocolate, I also love feeding my family foods that are good for them :)

However....I DO enjoy having just a little something special to enjoy after meals....a way to 'unwind' after our day, or an excuse to linger a little longer at the table with my husband and a cup of tea.

I've been trying to find some 'healthier' alternatives lately that still add that 'something special' feel to the end of a meal, without an additional 30 grams of sugar or 400 calories :) These are the
'healthy' desserts we've tried lately that everybody has enjoyed:

Mudballs. Really easy to make, really yummy, and pretty 'healthy'. I didn't have wheat germ, so I substituted ground flax seed---worked just fine.

We seriously loved this single ingredient banana ice cream with just a dollop of whipped cream on top .

We enjoyed this cream cheese pastry for breakfast one morning, although it would also make a great dessert.

These baked apples with oatmeal streusel topping came together quickly. I cut down on the sugar a little in this recipe and it turned out fine.

My kids devoured these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. I used honey since I don't keep sucanat around. Also used olive oil instead of the butter. Yumminess!

And lastly, this is one recipe I haven't had a chance to try, but I think it sounds really yummy. I'd love to try this fruit salsa with whole wheat tortillas at some point.

And there you have it. My efforts to feed my family responsibly and still enjoy dessert :) Hope you find these recipes an encouragement in your own healthy eating :) 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The secret to conquering Monday

It's Sunday evening. I spent a half hour tonight 'getting ready' for Monday. I started the first load of laundry, I filled the dishwasher, I picked up the toys, I got the meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner tomorrow, I went over lesson plans, made sure I had all science materials......anything to make 'Monday' run more smoothly.

But, like it or's still Monday :) Things WILL go wrong....children WILL have melt-downs and temper tantrums, and I WILL misplace and loose at least a dozen things as the morning progresses.

Thankfully, I read very wise words from a fellow mom one time. I can't remember the blog, but I remember the thought. It went something like this:

 "Start your kids out in the Word, first thing in the morning. Saturate them with it, talk to them about it, memorize it, pray with them......and if the rest of your day goes klaplooie, at least you've done this one thing right."

(I don't think she actually said 'klaplooie', I just think it's fun to say ;)

I LOVE that thought! It's so liberating! If I start out my morning and manage to accomplish this ONE very important thing, the rest of my day can be a beast, and it's okay. If the laundry pile only grows instead of shrinking, if I step on a million legos, if my two year old cries the entire morning and I manage to burn the frozen pizza at dinner's okay, because I've accomplished this one, all important thing.

That's why, every night before I go to bed, I take the time to sit out these notebooks and a Bible for my older two kids. The Bible is open to the right passage, the notebooks are already set up with questions for them to think about and answer on the passage they just read. And then we discuss it together. And we pray together....for anything from Aunt Kristin visiting Pappy Shaun to our compassion child to the cut on Leanna's finger ;)

Yes, our morning will start out in the Word. No matter what else happens, I've filled my children with Truth. I'm armed and ready....Monday, bring it on!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

documenting life....

With a rare free fifteen minutes, I thought I'd drop in quickly to share some of my blessings on this beautiful fall day :)

Happy people and...some kind of roadway??

Another one of my children 'falls' for books....YES!! :)

Sleeping baby (He makes ME want to take a nap! ;)

A science experiment that may actually work!
(Are those crystals forming on that paper clip?!)

Pumpkin truffles, waiting to be dipped in white chocolate

Tuesday, October 02, 2012


I am enjoying this week-long exercise of documenting our days in pictures :) 

We were back to Egypt again....

.....complete with chicken-bouillon-cube step pyramid. (Yes,
of course it was supposed to be sugar cubes....we couldn't 
find any! Are there no more polite, tea drinking--sugar cube
dunking people left in the world?!) 

Cosette wanted to add the Nile River and a Reed boat to our 
pyramid display. 

Now, we don't celebrate Halloween----but we DO love
to dress up :) Going in Good Will this time of year is 
dangerous because there are tons of cute costumes 
hanging there for a dollar or two. I knew Noah would
LOVE this one as soon as I saw it :)

Reagan hardly ever naps in his car seat like this anymore. He
gave me a quiet 45 minutes today to make dinner while he slept.

Dishes. Lots of them. Need I say more? My hero of a husband
brought home the part to fix the dishwasher today---Yay!!

And that was our Tuesday, with the addition of my flu shot, some yummy pumpkin cake and the kids enjoying some Little House on the Prairie. It's a good life :)

Looking forward to getting family pictures taken tomorrow!!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Lunes (That's 'Monday', for all you people NOT studying Spanish with your fourth grader ;)

A Monday, in picture form and a few words :)

Love their bare little feet sticking out from underneath 
their jeans! 

Remember the fall porch picture I posted a while back,
and my hopes to get my own porch looking like that?
Well, obviously, that was a far-fetched dream, but I AM
quite pleased with my pretty mums :) The fact that they are
still alive is mostly due to the fact that Cosette remembers
to water them more than I do :)

Love a colorful pan of roasted veggies

I think this was a jumping contest!

Leanna's first night out of her high chair and sitting with 
us at the table. 

Look who took over the high chair :)  First solid food 
and pictures of the excitement will follow later this week ;) 
We'll see how little man likes mashed up banana!

I love this stuff! But I'm REALLY looking forward to the
Peppermint creamer later this winter.

We call class?! No, seriously, I think it 
was a game of tackle Dad, but Dad appears to be winning!

Reagan's turn


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