Monday, December 26, 2011

Family Christmas Traditions

Christmas Eve roast beef, horseradish sauce, re-stuffed potatoes, minted peas....

Dad shared with us Zechariah's prophecy of the Savior in Luke 1.


Cousins รก table.

Unwrapping pajamas in the dining room.


Jemuelle rising her head high after a long winter's nap.


Christmas morning before dawn.



Grandpa with his youngest grandchild, Jemma.




After Christmas morning's soft pink sunrise.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Gingerbread Houses

Lydia's

Lydia's

Gabe's

Gabe's

Gingerbread cookie house kits from Ikea had been on the upper shelf of the kitchen cabinet for over a year.  Saturday, I let the kids improvise with whatever we had, and I glued with melted brown sugar.  I thought them quite rustic and quaint.  Gabe has had double the excitement with his, as he pecked away at his own in small increments with a soft pellet gun (in sneaky assaults) throughout the afternoon and evening today.  It went through various stages of dilapidated mountain shack to full on demolition.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Morning Chores


I just thought she was too cute - Lydia readied for her chores this Sunday morning.  She has the overalls over her pjs and her bucket of chicken scraps.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December Days

Heavy laden tree.  Sheba ate two strands of popcorn and cranberries off the bottom though when we were out.  She thought the tree had more than its fair share.

Cozy and colorful room.

There was a Family School Christmas party and small gift exchange.  Lydia received a craft pack and went right to work on festive door knob hangers.

Gabe is totally into drawing jets these past few days, inspired from a friend whose dad flies them.

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Upon Us

Thanksgiving leftovers were better the second time around.  They always are!

Gabe put up the Christmas lights on the rail by December 1st.

On Saturday, Marshal climbed the ladder to hang snowflake and icicle lights, and I hung the wreath on the door.

Christian fellowship ladies made wreaths together on Saturday.  Lydia helped me, and we are delighted to show it off on our door.  The wreath making was such a great opportunity,  It was my first hand made wreath, and I was so pleased.  My success was due to the wonderful selection of fresh cut greens and ornaments provided to work with.  I also had some good table mates that gave me some tips.

This poinsettia is the deepest red that I've ever found.  Camera failed to capture it no matter how hard I tried, even close up.

I puttied nail holes this last week, all the trim.  I gave up on plastering touch ups, and put out my china on the hutch finally.  It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Everyday we add something new to the Christmas celebration season.  We picked out a little tree on Sunday and lit it up.  This tree was such a bonus; we received a military discount, and the proceeds from the sale went to displaced orphans.

Lydia enjoying the tree.  She and Gabe filled it full of ornaments today.  More photos to come.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day GAPS style

Gabe requested waffles this morning, so we experimented with baked sugar pie pumpkin, eggs, coconut oil, and almond butter batter in the waffle irons.

They turned out golden delicious.  I made them small in the irons, not sure if they'd stick or be too delicate to lift out easily.

A week ago, Gabe and I browsed an antique shop during Lydia's ballet lesson, and I found a Wagner 1892 waffle iron.  Bought it.  It's in beautiful condition.  Need some practice with it, but thrilled to have an alternative to flaking non-stick coating.  Here are a couple waffles, one with a dollop of home-made, pear butter.  We also ate them with honey and raw milk yogurt.

Rich beef borscht for lunch with a dollop of home made raw sour cream.

Lydia took my picture.

There's the bird!  It was a Shelton turkey, delivered frozen in a box at the Azure drop just last night.  I haven't yet sourced my local farmers for pastured poultry.  It cooked so fast, 15 lbs, in less than two hours in a convection oven rotating from breast up to breast down to breast up again, Alice Waters' style.

Lydia and I made stewed pumpkin (a historical recipe) and cranberry sauce yesterday.  I made a rich (non-thickened) gravy with the giblets, pan juices, and giblet stock this evening.

GAPS stuffing.  Sauteed in butter/ghee, onion, fresh sage, parsley, celery, grated cauliflower, chopped hazlenuts and pecans.  I did sneak in a little white wine and later a ladle of stock from my simmering giblets.  Recipe in GAPS cookbook, Internal Bliss.  Smells like the real deal, and tastes delicious.

Mashed turnip and butter with a dusting of fresh ground pepper.  The turnips were cut up and cooked in butter in a saucepan without water.  Alice Waters gave me the instruction in The Art of Simple Foods.  Oh how I love that book.  I then put them in the Vita-mix to make them fluffy, smooth.

Looks so simple!  How did I end up using every pot and pan in the house three times over!

Lydia says it is absolutely yummy.  Both kids vocalized many sounds of pleasure and delight over every mouthful.  About an hour before dinner was served, I was wondering why I was doing this, multi-dish Thanksgiving feast for four.  If I remember rightly, this wasn't the first time that I was ready to throw in the towel with the mess and chaos while I'm whisking pan drippings and juices for gravy and overcooking the green beans.  Marshal, Gabe and Lydia let me know all my pains were worth it to them.  I'm so thankful that they enjoy real food.  Their oohs and ahhs, expressions of appreciation and words of endearment towards me, made it definitely worth it for me too in the end.

This is not a deprivation diet!

Pumpkin pie with honeyed sour cream (creme freche).
So I did it!  I pulled off a Full GAPS Thanksgiving meal/ day.  We all had our fill of traditional fare.  And I managed to overeat; I'm still absolutely stuffed from the mutual decision to serve a second piece of pie all around and clean the plate.
If you are wondering what this GAPS thing is all about, find info here:  http://gaps.me/  I became a certified GAPS practitioner this fall, trained by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride herself.  Before I begin to consult, I thought I'd get a good dose of personal experience under my belt.  I guess I did literally tonight, might need to loosen that belt.
So I close the day thankful.  Thankful for salvation through Jesus.  Thankful that God is God in all His glory.  Thankful for today.  Thankful for my amazing husband.  Thankful for my precious children.  Thankful for my husband (yes again, my husband, dear Marshal) who labored alongside a first time mom for 40+ hours and coaxed her first born son into the world in the wee hours of this Thanksgiving morning.  I'm thankful for the reward and joy of a strong, healthy baby for them both.  (Marshal slept most of this Thanksgiving day, sleeping with thanksgiving.)  I am thankful for GAPS, thankful for good food, thankful for health, echoing Gabe's words earlier today.  I am thankful for all there is yet to learn and work towards.  I am thankful for all that is attained and all that we look forward to with hope.  I am thankful for all of you, beloved family, friends old and new who might read this post.  And most importantly, I am thankful, in everything, TO the Giver of all good gifts, our Heavenly Father, most awesome Creator, King of Kings, and Prince of Peace.  All thanks goes to Him, for He is most worthy of our thanks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Veteran's Day Weekend Trip East

One of many attempts to catch a spectacular moonrise over the Eastern Washington wheat fields en route.
First lit fire on the hearth made for a cozy home.

Woke up to a skiff of snow.  Wilted California Poppies beneath the wheel barrow still hanging on with a splash of color.

Fading and frostbit Calendulas.


The yellow of Tamaracks color the forested steeps and slopes of the area.  We oohed and awed at the contrasting colors of Tamaracks and Evergreens on our way up to check out the neighboring ski resort.


Warm sunshine this morning as we left.  Wouldn't imagine that Lydia was catching snowflakes on her tongue in the yard last night.

Mountain Ash filtering the sun.  Looks like the deer bed down in the field in the early morning hours.  We watched a doe and yearling saunter out of the field this morning before we let the dogs out.

Our future mailbox.