'member that time?

hey, 'member that time in high school a lesbian made me an ani difranco mix-tape and told me i could be a model, and i was like, wow she's super nice?  then 'member how later, out of the blue, she told me she liked me liked me and i was all shocked like, whoa i didn't see that coming?

thwr: more accurate than you might first think.

todd:  see you on the flipside, smoothie.

green smoothies

we've been making green smoothies for a couple of months now, and i love them!  they are a great way to get more raw foods into your diet, including all of the fiber and other good stuff that doesn't always come with drinking fruit or veggie juice - and, in our case, a it's great way to get our kid to eat vegetables he normally wouldn't touch.  (which, really, is any vegetable other than sweet potatoes and tomato sauce.)

there are a ton of different ways to do these, and it's pretty easy to just wing it with whatever you have on hand.  i'm AMAZED at the kind of things i've been able to sneak in these without anyone being the wiser - dried alfalfa grass and nettle leaves, cod liver oil, even walnuts!  i think i'm going to try ground flax seeds soon.  (i've never tried it, but you could probably even pull a rocky and get some raw egg yolks in there if you wanted.)  so get creative; there's no single way to do these.  that being said, however, here's how i most frequently make them (all measurements are EXTREMELY approximate):

3/4 c. frozen berries
1/2 c. orange juice
1 c. kefir or yogurt
2 good-sized handfuls of spinach
1-2 bananas
6 tsp cod liver oil
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tsp dried herbs/grasses/leaves

because our blender isn't anything spectacular, and because i have a relatively predictable gag reflex when it comes to un-massacred bits in my smoothies, i make sure to blend the berries and juice REALLY well before adding anything else. i add enough water to make this easy.  then i add the kefir and spinach and blend REALLY well again.  then i dump in the rest of the ingredients, blend until the bananas are dominated, and call it good.  this usually makes 2 full-sized smoothies and a halfie for atticus.

we drink these through a straw to further avoid any big clumps, and because i'm kind of obsessive about drinking most things through straws for dental reasons, but it's not necessary.

also, because we use mixed berries and yogurt, ours don't come out looking very green at all.  most mornings they look like normal berry smoothies, but maybe a little browner/greener.  not GREEN-green like in the picture.  so if the color throws you off, it can be remedied.

i will warn you with these - if your kid is still in diapers, watch your back.  these will do some serious detox on their system and, uh, just make sure you have plenty of wipes on hand in case stuff gets out of control.  i can only describe it as "intense."  that being said, it's not so bad that it deters me from making these most mornings out of the week - just a little disconcerting if you don't have the heads-up.

do you make green smoothies, or have any suggestions for other stuff i could throw in ours?

day in the life: kids' room and bathroom

okay, here we go with this week's installment of the guts of our household.

just a warning: if you are at all prone to motion sickness, maybe sit this one out.  i apparently got super hyped up with the prospect of filming my kids' beds and my camera work is pretty wonky.

also - if you're a heathen that stands outside our window, i apologize for not getting express written permission to talk about you on the internetz.

*note - i filmed this shortly after christmas, which is why the chalkboard hasn't been updated.  todd finally changed it from a christmas song to an actual bible two days ago.

hey there, believer. have a kick in the pants.

so, not to be a debbie downer, but there's something that's been bugging me lately.  you know that quote (i think it's by thomas aquinas) that's like, 'preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words'?  this quote isn't really the thing that bugs me, but really how it's used most of the time.  it seems like most people use this as an excuse to just be nice people but never actually share the gospel.

the gospel was an act, it is not an attitude.  yes, it has transforming power over your attitude, but the gospel itself is a STORY.  one that can't be gleaned without having been explicitly told.

because of our inherent nature, we all love and revere ourselves more than god and rebel against his law.  because of this, we are all born enemies of god.  but god does not delight in the punishment of the wicked (us), and desires to restore our relationship with him and to save us from the inevitable consequence of our sin (which is eternal separation from him, which is unspeakably horrendous, which is hell). so he sent his son, jesus christ, to live the perfect life we have to live to be restored - but are completely incapable of on our own.  to die the death we deserve to die.  to take the full wrath of god that is rightfully directed at us and to absorb it into himself.  to rise from the grave in victory over the power of sin to give us freedom to live in bondage to god rather bondage to our own selves.

and if we have faith and trust that we do deserve to die because of the weight of our rebellion, that jesus did take that weight onto himself and died in our place, that jesus is more powerful than the entire weight of human sin...and if we submit to his right to authority over our lives and his desire to establish an actual relationship with us...oh my, then we will be completely restored to him.  in love with him.  purchased from the grave.  hopeful.  growing into new and eternal life rather than decaying into eternal death. 

this is the gospel.  it SHOULD motivate us to have a better attitude, to be more loving to the checkout girl at walmart and more patient with the idiot driver.  but those attitudes in us are not enough to change the lives of others (although they can make others more receptive to the gospel) - the gospel itself is what transforms us.

so i guess what i'm saying is this:  out of love for and gratitude toward god, be a model christian.  love on the believers and unbelievers around you.  make this christian life look desirable and irresistable.  bind up the broken.  and share the gospel.  people will not know jesus christ unless you speak his name.  and god will bless you in this - it's his desire to draw us to himself, and he desires (and commands) us to be willing tools in this work.  and it's WONDERFUL work!

so...anyone in your life with whom you could explicitly share the gospel? if so, go do it.  if not, stop living in a bubble and make some new friends.  THEN go do it.

love you. 

and by the way, i'm the pot calling the kettle black.  BY NO MEANS am i awesome at this. so please don't feel like i'm being all holier-than-thou.  kicking my own self in the pants with this one as well.

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time i found an unopened stick of gum on the sidewalk and wanted to eat it but was all like, i bet it was poisoned, but then i was all like, but anyway it looks so delicious....and then i ate it? 

glad that turned out okay for me.

mary, mary, quite contrary, how does your kitchen grow...or cook stuff or whatever.

a while ago, karlee nodded to the oprah show by posting about her favorite things.  while oprah gives a bunch of stuff away, karlee (and subsequently i also have) decided to just list them.  so here's a list of my favorite things: kitchen edition.  these are the my-life-would-look-a-lot-different-without-these-things things.

my awesome cuisinart blender/food processor - this little baby is a work horse.  cui-nee (as i have just now decided to name her) is found running at least twice a day most days, mixing up formula for penelope and green smoothies for the rest of us.  sometimes i mix smoothies twice (once in the morning for me and atticus, and once when todd gets home), and that's not even counting the times i use the food processor attachment to make baby food, cut or grate carrots and onions, puree applesauce, etc.  apparently, though, i worked cui-nee a little too hard the other day trying to grind up whole frozen strawberries and she kind of blew a gasket.  so while she still spins, it's a sad, gimpy little spin and we may be needing to replace one of her parts.

aldi - uh, seriously, milk for $1.99 per gallon? yes please.  i try to buy a good majority of our locally-purchased groceries here - they have wild-caught seafood, raw nuts, dairy, juice and frozen veggies and berries for about the cost of dirt.  and has anyone been to the new trader joe's in dsm yet? i'm DYING to go - and guess what? OWNED BY THE SAME PEOPLE THAT OWN ALDI.  i like to think that if i were a grocery store, i would be an aldi.

azure standard - in the same vein as aldi, this company has CHEAP-O prices on bulk and natural food items.  the best part? it doesn't cost ANYTHING to be a part of their buying club!  they deliver once a month at various drop points all over the country. check it out - there might even be a drop near you.  (download the pdf copy of their schedule of deliveries.  there's a drop in the next town over, for those of you in the area.) this is a great place to get cheap baking supplies, grains, beans, etc. - and a lot of it is organic and comparable in price to fareway.  AND it's owned by christians who run it as a type of ministry! whuuuut.  (for more details about exactly how it works, go here.)

fat - so, not to get all sir-mixalot on you, but i love fat.  and while i mostly mean as an alternative to vegetable oils, i'm not going to lie to you - my favorite part of a steak (and pot roast and pork chop and bacon) is the gross fatty part.  while i draw the line at chicken fat (which, hypocritically, i find disgusting), animal fat definitely has a place in my kitchen.  80% of the oil i cook with is either butter or lard, 15% is unrefined coconut oil, and 5% is olive oil.  i don't use vegetable oils at all.  (OH - here's  tip: instead of PAM, do it up old school and keep the wrappers from your sticks of butter in the fridge.  when you need to grease a pan, just rub that baby all over the inside surface.  works like a charm.)

busy body book - i am a listlistlist person.  i have a monthly schedule and a weekly schedule and a daily schedule and to-do lists and shopping lists...and it all goes right inside this bad boy.  handy.  so...not really a kitchen item, but i keep it in my kitchen, so i say it counts.

pampered chef stoneware - i am trying to slowly but surely transition to a plastic- and aluminum-free kitchen.  and it's important to keep in mind that all stoneware is not created equal - many cheap-o versions contain lead, which i'm sorry, doesn't really sound much safer than using plastic or aluminum.  pampered chef is really reasonably priced, safe and high quality.  and GORGEOUS.  looking forward to pass this stuff on to my kids someday...if i can part with it then.  (interested in checking some out? allison potratz can hook you up.)

potatoes - since i've been eating grain free, potatoes are kind of the only thing i eat.  not really, but they play a BIG part in our menu.  since i went grain-free four weeks ago, we've gone through between 20 and 30 pounds.  (um...that's kind of gross to see written out.  moving on...) they are awesome baked or fried or mashed (why do i feel like bubba from forest gump?), they make AWESOME pancakes, they thicken sauces.  now, if anyone has a good chocolate chip-potato cookie recipe, i think i'm set.

ball canning jars - i LOVE these things! i got a ton of the pretty antique blue ones from my mother in law and use them for EVERYTHING - storing, mixing, even attaching to the blender. (did you know the collar on most blenders perfectly fits a canning jar? so you can mix stuff right in the jar. fun fact.)  i also use them to decorate the kitchen and living room, and have even seen hand soap dispensers and an AWESOME chandelier made from them! (maybe someday?)

crock pot - i have been using this thing a TON lately - a lot of crock pot recipes are grain-free, plus everything comes out tasting so stinking good.  and to top it off? crock pot leftovers frequently taste BETTER the next day.  i also make yogurt in here a couple times a week.  easy peasy.

cod liver oil - while i get that this isn't really a 'thing' for the kitchen, i love having this stuff around.  and while the taste is kind of reminiscent of what i think the ocean will smell like during armageddon, it's easily and completely hidden in green smoothies.  it gives you a ton of vitamin A (skin and vision support) and vitamin D (EVERYTHING support). a good majority of cells need vitamin D to even function, so a deficiency can lead to illness, cancer, skin issues, and depression and anxiety. super important, especially during winter when you're not getting much vitamin D from the sun.  so this stuff is like pure health in a small, greasy, smelly package.

toys for atticus - i have a cupboard above the microwave where i keep puzzles, crayons and bubbles to help with that horrible hour while i'm making dinner and we're tired and hungry and todd hasn't come home yet.  REALLY helps.

nourishing traditions cookbook - oh my word, between this cookbook, the book 'nutrition and physical degeneration' by weston a. price, and the weston a. price foundation, my knowledge about and passion for properly prepared, real, GOOD food has grown by leaps and bounds.  this is both a cookbook and a text book, with both recipes and TONS of nutrition and food research.  i HIGHLY recommend this.

jeez, i really could go on and on.  i spend a LARGE LARGE LARGE majority of my time in the kitchen, so most of my must-haves are in here.  i think if i were to list must-haves that reside somewhere in my house other than the kitchen, the list would be two things long: undies and toothbrush.  oh, and all 10 seasons of friends.  so three things outside my kitchen (or twelve, depending on how you want to mathematize it.  just made a word.)

any kitchen must-haves make your list that aren't on here?

not sure if he was trying to be sweet or if it was kind of a dis.

(anyone else think we should bring back 'dis'?)

the other day, atticus figured out how to say 'pretty mama.'  it was SO SWEET.  but then later that day, we put on his spider man jammy pants and he called spider man 'pretty man.'  so one of two things is happening:

1. he actually called me spider mama.  which isn't altogether untrue.

2. he really did call spider man 'pretty man,' in which case his standards of beauty are a little sketchy and i don't really think being called pretty by that kid really means all that much.

a day in the life of our house: day 2

welcome to our living room.  we used to have a shrine to ourselves in here, so there's that.

i cried the ugly cry today, with mouth all warbly and stretched thin and mascara running and then the migraine.  and i  don't really even know why i'm crying, and this ugly, but something is lost and i can't find it and i don't even know where to look.

and all about babies.  i'm not a baby-girl by nature.  sure, i like them; who hates a baby?  but now there are my babies, and all babies are different because.  and there is so much to weep and pray over my babies - and one day i will wake up and they will be gone.  no more diapers, no more fighting for (in)dependence, no more garage sale spit-up stains and drudgery drudgery drudgery.  and all the self-doubt that comes like breathing will be gone - am i good at this? will they remember this? why are my boobs saggier, my eyes darker, my lips all cracked and sandy and gross? when is it my turn to have someone clean me and feed me and pour into me?

but no more 'hup mama' and no more 'pay mama' and no more tiny hands in prayer.  no more noise and mess and things to fear.  no more cuddles and kisses and awe.  no blind love and they don't see my perfectionism or my skin or my gimpy attempts at this christian life.

and i miss it already, which scares me because i've only just started all this to be afraid of the end so soon.

and then, not to even mention those babies.  the ones i see in pictures and read about...  the ones i see coming home on airplanes to people i know.  the ones whom god loves and i want to love but don't have and i miss them.  and i'm afraid of them because how can i even take care of my own babies half the time and how can i miss their milestones and how can i help bind up the wounds of loss that i've never even known myself?  and how can i ever be an adequate replacement for what they've lost when they've lost so much and i am so inadequate?

and you know those times when all you can say is, 'god, i don't know.  i don't know.'  i don't know why i cry or what i miss or if i've really lost anything to begin with or if i'm just being paranoid.  but today i miss the babies i don't have and i miss the babies i don't have anymore.  and i realize if i ugly cry more often i might be able to live this life a little easier.

'member that time? (and link up!)

hey, 'member that time when i was on a gambling boat with my grandma and grandpa and the "house" band let me play the tambourine during one of their songs?  and 'member how i spent a long time after that wondering why my grandparents would take a child on a gambling boat?

now it's your turn - write your own 'member that time' and attach the permalink here!

thwr: faith and the ultimate focus

todd: for whatever you eat and drink, and whatever pelvic thrusts you do, do it all for the glory of god.

and that's how we roll.

how i spent all those hours of being stuck on the couch nursing.

i love reading, but it tends to be one of the things that gets pushed to the side in favor of, i don't know, raising my kids and doing laundry and (to be honest) watching reruns of friends during naptime.  so last year, i set myself a reading goal: 3 completed books per month - which equals 36 books over the course of the year.

i did not meet the goal.

but i did get close.  i finished 30 books plus the bible, which is still pretty sizable.  not all of them are profound or lengthy reads - in fact, a couple of them are from the little house series - i try to read at least one or two of them each year.  don't judge.  some of these books were purely for information, some were purely for entertainment, and some were in between.  but every one that made it on the list was read from cover to cover - i started but failed to finish quite a few, and i don't allow myself to count them because it's cheating.

so here are the books i read last year (in order):

1. Stop Dating the Church by Joshua Harris
2. Superfoods by Michael van Straten and Barbara Griggs
3. The Classic Mediterranean Cookbook by…someone.
4. The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O’Martian
5. A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George
6. The Dangerous Duty of Delight by John Piper
7. ******** (um...kind of weird so moving on.)
8. Living a Beautiful Life: 500 Ways to Add Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life by Alexandra Stoddard
9. A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
10. The Power of a Positive Mom by Karol Ladd
11. Babywise by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam
12. Made from Scratch: Discovering the Pleasures of a Handmade Life by Jenna Woginrich
13. Jamie’s Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver
14. The Family at Home by Anita Kaushal
15. Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis
16. One Thousand White Women: The Journals of May Dodd by Jim Fergus
17. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
18. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
19. Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
20. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
21. Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
22. You Are What You Eat by Dr. Gillian McKeith
23. The Passion of Jesus Christ by John Piper
24. Food, Inc.: How Indusrial Food is Making us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer – and What You Can Do About it edited by Karl Weber
25. Treasuring God in Our Traditions by Noel Piper
26. On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
27. Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper
28. To Own a Dragon: Reflections on Growing Up Without a Father by Donald Miller
29. The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
30. Style by Lauren Conrad
31. The Bible by, well, the Lord Almighty.

books that are currently in progress and will have to count toward my 2011 goal of 30 books (i like having multiple books going at a time):
1. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
2. Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon
3. Practical Theology for Women by Wendy Horger Alsup
4. The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul
anyone have any suggestions for good books to read in 2011? i'm open to most genres, including christian fiction, even though i've never read a christian fiction novel in my life.  i guess i have read like 15 pages of one, which a friend had by her bed and i started to read while using my breast pump at her house.  it was about some girl falling in love with an amish guy.  or something.  i don't know.  it wasn't good.
so anyway.  as long as it's not that book - i'll take suggestions.  hit me.

a day in the life of our house: day 1

i have decided to document more of our day-to-day stuff, and i thought it would be appropriate to start with the basics of our house since we will be moving at some point in the near future.  to add to the fun, i figured i'd post it on here and give you a little glimpse of how we roll on a typical day.  or, a typical day in which i'm filming, which means it is not a typical day where i gorge myself on oreos and pass out on the couch by 10:45 a.m., leaving my toddler unattended and my infant to fend for herself on the food front. 

(i'm really kidding - no one call dhs on me please.)

and yes, you're seeing the inside of my fridge here.  you're welcome.

snow time fun

over christmas, atticus got the opportunity to play in the snow with my mom.  he had a BLAST. (um, a far cry from his snow experience last year.)  he still talks about it: "yaya no.  pay no." (which means 'yaya snow. play snow.'  he calls my mom yaya.)


'member that time?

hey, 'member that time lauren and i got bunk beds and i tried to decide which bunk i wanted based on the possible dangers that could arise?  like, 'member how i thought if i chose the top bunk it would take me longer to escape a fire, but if a chose the bottom bunk i'd be more likely to get eaten by the witches that lived under the bed? and 'member how i chose the top bunk because, let's face it, how likely was it really that there would be a fire?

**note: next week i will be posting a linky thing - post your own 'member that time and link up!!

new year, same old me.

todd and i have started looking around at houses!  oh. my. word.  i am so excited!  our little apartment has served us really well, but 3.5 years and 2 kids after moving in, it's not serving our needs quite as well and we're hoping for a little more space.  maybe a yard.  not a known meth lab down the hall.  extravagant, i know, but i'm worldly like that.

so, for those of you who don't know me, i'm an INTJ on the meyers-briggs scale.  that's just a concise way of saying i desperately need people-free alone time, i'm kind of intuitive, i'm a thinker more than a feeler, and i'm SUPER organized and structured...

so naturally, during my alone time, i ...intuited.. a super organized and structured list of things i'm wanting to keep in mind when looking for a house.  and i'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but it is a 3-page long word document.  i'm not kidding. 

so...good luck to us.  we'll probably never find a house that meets my standards and, in addition, my apartment managers will realize i have something against the meth lab down the hall and evict us.  they're highly selective like that.

 in my list's defense, they're not all 'make or break' issues, but rather just things to keep in mind.  like, is there a utility sink? and where will we put the TV? are a far cry from does it have enough space for a growing family? and is there a known and unemployed pervert living next door?  it's all about priorities.  because a utility sink is VERY important to me.

but back to the point of all this: my list.  in all seriousness, the house search is really just an excuse for me to make a truly awesome list.  and i would consider this house search to be successful because i want to make out with my list.  so i guess the house search has served its purpose and is now officially over.  although, if i actually looked at real houses, i could compare them to my list and develop pro/con lists in addition...

house search: BACK ON.

i'll let you know how it goes.

if you're in the market for a new house and/or need a ready-made list to make out with, let me know and i'll hook you up with this bad boy.


i love the new year.  it's like the ctrl-z of life...if you want to say 'scratch that,' the new year is fine with it.  wanna become an entirely different person this year?  the new year is all, whatevs. i gotchu.

by nature, i am a list-oriented, goal-oriented, task-oriented person.  screw relationships.  i have a list and some good intentions and i plan on using them.  because of this, i have spent much of december mulling over what i will do over the coming year.  and honestly, i get excited thinking about all the things i will do.

things that include learning to shoot in manual mode.  eating differently.  moving my blog over to a less pervo-friendly url.  (not talking about you - i love you and you are not a perv.)  crafting more, stressing less, reading more, wasting less, showering more, not-showering less.  working on looking like NOT a pile of garbage on most days.  you know.  your standard, run-o-the-mill resolutions.

but god opened my eyes to all that i do.  i rely so much on what i do. and in my mind, what i do equals who i am.   if i do a lot, i am a lot.  if i'm good at a lot, i am good.  but even though that's how i see myself - and frequently, how people see each other - that's not god's mindset and he doesn't want it to be mine, either.

so instead of 'resolutions' per se, i'm instead going to adopt a theme for this year - abide.  the greek word for abide is meno - meaning 'to remain, tarry, be held, or kept continually.'  i want this in my relationship with god.  i want to tarry with kept continually by him.  not to just check my quiet time off my list and continue on to my next 'to-do.'  so this year will be the year i get to focus on abiding in christ.

and the awesome thing? christ promises that when i abide in him, he will abide in me. he will tarry with me, remain with me.  and this is all i want out of this life.  not that other things aren't enjoyable or even good things, but all that matters are those ways in which i will spend my time that moth and rust can't destroy.

so, because i am who i am, i still have a list of 'goals.'  which are basically the same as 'resolutions' only with a working-class name.  but they aren't allowed to hold me...make me tarry with them...keep me continually...the way christ will be invited to do this year.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
john 15:4

this video is for everyone in the world

...named jessie and who have made it their new year's goal to lose weight.

peyton manning is my life coach.

'member that time?

hey, 'member that time i was in high school and i started to black out in abercrombie and i couldn't see and was running into tables and stuff?  and 'member how i kept calling out for my bestie emily to help me but she was embarrassed so she pretended not to know me?

that was an awesome moment in our friendship.

happy new year from the v.v's!