Friday, November 23, 2012


We celebrated thanks giving day at home, our little family of four, dogs and a few fish within, cats, chickens, and lambs without.
Marshal celebrated with his babies by taking them out early, before the sun rose to line up for a Turkey Trot, a three mile run in the cool, overcast, damp but rain-free morning.  They ran strong, staying in the middle of the pack.  Lydia will admit that Dad helped her up a few hills, piggyback, which cost them some time.  Marshal probably ran his first run ever, paced just for fun!  He enjoyed it immensely and was proud of his kids, even though he and Gabe were fighting sore throat, head colds.  They felt well enough to tax their lungs though, overwhelmed with anticipation, and came home as energized as when they left.  They even humored Mom by asserting that the "super shakes" were the secret to their success.  I made sure they had had their 6 oz glass of whipped pudding before they left of kefir, avocado, coconut oil, eggs, fresh squeezed limes, and raw honey in the Vita-mix.  This morning Marshal is back to a full day of clinic.  Gabe and Lydia woke late with sore muscles and Gabe, a solid head cold.  I put the kids in a hot magnesium bath; they are dressed in cozy sweats and fleece; and rich turkey stock is simmering on the stove to boost their day.
This was my second Thanksgiving meal, GAPS style.  The way of eating has become as natural to my hand as the natural ingredients.  I had the special delight of meeting a local woman and her husband who opened up their farm and pumpkin patch to the public this fall, and I signed up for the possibility of one of her home-grown turkeys.  Mrs. Case called me up last week, and let me know she had a turkey with my name on it, if I wished, that would be ready for pick up on Tuesday afternoon before Thanksgiving.  So on Tuesday, Gabe, Lydia, and I picked up our 14 pound bird hanging from her back porch rafter.  It was my first fresh turkey, let alone home-grown, free range, free of GMOs and raised on garden produce.  I was so thrilled.  I came home with a couple bags of yellow and candy sweet onions, a banana squash, and a ziploc back of healthy turkey giblets to boot.  The day before Thanksgiving, I cooked up giblet stock with the neck, heart, and gizzard, celery, onion, sage leaves, and peppercorns.  I made a great liver paté from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook, minus the mushrooms.  I cooked up the turkey "stuffing" or dressing, following the Internal Bliss cookbook recipe that day as well.  (I'll disclose my secret; I simmer white wine into the sautéd onion and celery and herbs just like my mother taught me for her traditional bread stuffing.)  I didn't actually stuff the turkey.  Thanksgiving day, I reduced the rich turkey roasting pan drippings and stock into a gravy.  I put the GAPS stuffing into the roasting pan to reheat and stirred the minced giblets into it.  The flavors did not disappoint.  My Thanksgiving feast had all the nostalgic smells, flavors, and components that fulfilled the memories, the appetite, and the pleasure.
Local farm-raised 14 lb turkey - Beautiful to a... me.

Lydia's Americauna pullet, Chipper, laid her first egg, a lovely shade of green.  You might notice that our pullets have laid their first eggs on commemorative days.  Gabe and Lydia receive each one as a special gift from God.

All hands on deck.  My handsome, beautiful husband carving the bird.

Dressing, mashed cauliflower, and green beans staying hot.

Lydia's cranberry sauce made with fresh cranberries, fresh-squeezed orange juice, zest, and honey.

Pomegranate and persimmon salad with lemon and olive oil dressing.

Ready to say grace and express our thanks.  We are thankful for family.

Ending the evening, settled into the couch, cuddly and waiting for a family movie.

Actually the evening was complete with pumpkin pie!
Lydia wrote a poem as a result of a Family School (cooperative home-school families) project a week ago.
Deep red cranberry sauce bubbling on the stove and turkey roasting in the oven.
Family talking and dishes clinking everywhere we go.
Spices in the pumpkin pie like cinnamon and nutmeg.
Happy to be together and very, very hungry, but at the end you're stuffed.
Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for all God gives us.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mid-November Days

Wet and Green - Beauty of Coastal Pacific-Northwest Climate

Grandma came and took care of Gabe and Lydia for a weekend.  I came home to new pets, Lydia's birthday present from Grandma.  Lots of research on goldfish care was happening to insure these are happy fish, Goldie, Silver, and Opal, all precious.:-)

Gabe and Lydia got into scrabble, as Dad plays Words with Friends.  They were practicing one day to whip up on Dad that evening instead of curriculum lessons.  Gabe said, "This is school Mom.  We are spelling words and adding numbers." He pulled me in, and I"ll admit that they are learning valuable dictionary skills too!

I love how God shows his handiwork to reinforce our school lessons.  We were studying the account of Noah's Ark today.  And the Lord beautifully displayed his arc of promise.  Gabe and Lydia were frantically squealing for me to hurry and look, as the colors were the most vivid they'd seen as I raced to the window and then went for my camera... and the entire arc, from beginning to end.

Gabe is back into paper crafting gun models.

Oops.  Please excuse looking down the barrel.  The kids are looking cute.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Recent Read

I just finished reading Jane Kirkpatrick's latest, Where Lilacs Still Bloom.  Marshal's brother and sister-in-law were living in Woodland, Washington, during our short days of sweet engagement (engaged and married within the same spring), and invited us on a joint outing to the Hulda Klager Lilac Garden in bloom.  Hulda Klager's lilacs thus hold a connection to those especially memorable days.  Now, after reading Kirkpatrick's exceptional writing, portraying Hulda Klager's story in this piece of historical fiction, I want to return to the garden during Lilac Days and appreciate the blooms in a whole new way.  This book inspired me in many ways, not the least of which is to bring more flowers into my home and increase their role in my daily living and giving.  The back jacket quote explains it, which begins, "Beauty matters...."
I thought this poignant quote apropo for today, by Jane Kirkpatrick through her character, Hulda Klager, "Suffering, I decided, happened, and so did good things, and the issue of God's power was not so much in questioning why He didn't stop floods or death but in all the rest of the time when He showed us how to be hospitable, generous, and loving."   You'll understand better after reading of this life.
Hopefully I haven't breached copyright laws.  Thank you Jane Kirkpatrick for using your gift to tell powerful stories.

The 31st, The Day After

Aftermath of the Tea Party Birthday


Top View

Balloons, Wrappings, and Busy Hands

Tea Books

Cheery Gifts

Time for Friendship Bracelets

Gabe working with Crochet

Learning to Weave a Bracelet

Ingenious Invention - Safety goggles from dollar store packaging and duct tape.

He proudly wore these the rest of the day.  Dad thought they were cool and practical.

Lydia spared her extra pattern wheel and threads.  They worked diligently all afternoon and into the evening.

They listened to Rachel Yoder, an Amish story series character, audio book while they worked.  The CD collection was another birthday gift from a friend.
We have held a tradition of celebrating Lydia's birthday for two days.  It just worked out that way.  Marshal was often on call on the 30th in the early years.  Celebrating Lydia is a beautiful way to close the month of October.  The spiritual connotation to Lydia's name is "beautiful light" which helped me choose her name with hopeful expectancy that she would fulfill it with the light of Jesus all her days.  Her birth at 10:02pm on the 30th made no room for darkness in our lives on the day after.  :-)

Family Birthday

Opening the first card

Love from Grammy and Grandpa


Friendship Bracelet Kit - Just what she wanted!

Gabe selecting the next gift to open.

She lassoed something big with her trick rope!

Just Gabe!

Liddy Lu

The glow of nine candles

"Nine!  I'm nine!"

The loudest cap gun ever made happens to come from the dollar store.

Oh my!

"I blew out all but two candles, and I heard that means I'll have two children someday!"

First taste of the whipped cream.

Mmmmm.  Smells lemony.  Flavors have had time to meld and perfect in the fridge for a day.

Hey.  Look who's at the end of the table among the leftover tea cups!

Sweet Siblings.  Lydia, how can you leave that brother of yours out of your tea party?  She tells me he isn't so sweet, kind, and innocent ALL the time.  And sometimes it's no boys allowed!

Dad's finally cutting a piece.

Good enough to eat.  The fruit Lydia chose was Marshal's and my wedding combo - strawberries, kiwis, bananas, and peaches.  Marshal thought he had a memory attached to the flavor.  He also recognized the Massanet piece of music that was playing among the Adagios.  "Is that Caleb playing?"  Lydia's birthday was a sweet reminder of our own wedding day.

Pleased as punch.