Journal (Third Edition)

Outside my window:  A chilly morning, but will be in the mid 50’s today.

Clothing myself in: 
Still in my jammies.

Around the house:
I finally steam cleaned the kitchen carpet.  It looked better for a few days.  We add to our Christmas decorations each week in Advent. This Sunday our Christmas tree will go up.  The kids look forward to the new decorations each week.
The kiddos:  
All are doing well.  Jude will finish up with TaeKwonDo Monday until next month.  It is always nice when he has a break.  We have enjoyed taking the kids to some holiday events.  We have enjoyed a fireworks show and lights at the local botanical gardens the past few weeks.

In the kitchen: 
On the menu: Tuna Noodles, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chicken Parmesan, Tacos, breakfast. Baking this sweet bread today for St. Lucy’s feast day.  Also making some mini cheesecakes for a recipe exchange tonight.

 Annika’s Christmas dress is done and I have started sewing a skirt for myself.  Annika picked out the purple sparkly fabric.
Annika's Dress

We are having a good school week.  Jude is doing much better with a positive attitude after Jason and I both talked with him.  Annika’s reading is improving all the time and she really is enjoying the books I have picked out for her at the library.  Working on Jude reading books other than Star Wars, he seems to be enjoying the couple of books I have picked out for him.  I have been using the booklists on this blog to choose the kids books.

Bringing me joy:
looking at Christmas lights with the kids, our daily Advent activities, seasonal baking, seeing the children open their books that St. Nicholas brought them last week.  I love how excited they get to see one another open their gifts.

Thinking about:
The new year ahead and starting my new business.  I finally feel ready to launch and I am excited.   I celebrated my 37th birthday and have been thinking about enjoying the blessings before me everyday.

Pictures to share: 
JudeFaces Painted
Kids with Santa St. Nicholas Day

Jude’s Birthday Celebration

Jude’s kept telling me on his birthday that it was the best  birthday ever.  He loved getting the day off school, going swimming, and opening his presents.  He had Taekwondo on his birthday and brought some treats to share with his class.

Jude usually requests chocolate cake for his birthday and I decided to decorate this one with his favorite candies, skittles.  I used my favorite gluten free chocolate cake mix from Sun Flour Mills.

I love this picture!

I like the look on Jude’s face in this picture.

A Star Wars Cookbook!

New legos!

So glad my boy had such a great 9th birthday!

Moments From Our Week 20

We enjoyed another week and settled more into our school schedule.  Zane absolutely loves his preschool time with me.  This year we are keeping folders of our daily work to show daddy at dinner time.  The kids are all very excited to share with daddy what they have learned that day.

Zane working on the letter “B” items in his phonics pouch.

We made a loaf of gluten free bread for “B” week.

Annika working on her math, she really enjoys math!

A zoo trip with some cooler weather, it felt great!

We enjoyed watching a Grizzly Bear being fed at the zoo.

Moments from Our Week 19

This week we focused on settling into our school schedule and enjoyed some fun activities for our first week of school.  Our first week of school went really well and it was so nice to back into a routine after being off a routine the past few weeks.

A few years ago we baked an apple pie decorated with a letter “A” crust and we did something similar this year with a few embellished A’s on our pie crust.  The crust is gluten free and I used the pie crust from this recipe.

We visited a nature center that we don’t visit frequently and invited along Grandpa to join us.

Jude and Annika enjoyed the activities in the nature center.

Zane did not like the animal noises in the nature center and could not wait to get out of the building.

We enjoyed a walk on the trails outside and although the water was very low we got to see a bunch of turtles and some fish swimming.  The fish inspired the pictures of Zane, Annika, and Jude pretending to be fish.

We had a backyard picnic for lunch at the end of the week. Zane is pouty in these pictures because he was demanding I make him another sandwich.  Three year olds can be so much fun!

On Saturday we baked and decorated a cake for the Nativity of Mary. And celebrated this day as we have done the past 2 years.  Annika made the Mary drawing for the cake.

It was a great start to our school year this week and I am excited to see how much the kids will learn and grow this year.

Annika’s Easter Birthday!

Annika’s 1st birthday was on Easter and now her 6th birthday, what a special day to celebrate!  It is really hard to believe that she is 6 already.  Annika is a creative, strong willed, joyful, dramatic, and smart little girl.  She plays very well with both her brothers and enjoys being a good big sister to Zane.

I put this photo collage as my computer background for the month and thought I would share.  The picture of her as a newborn was her first Easter.  She was just a little over a week old.  The picture with the yellow flower in her hair is from her first birthday.

We had such a great day with a small family party and then celebrating later with our extended family and an Easter egg hunt.

Here are some pictures from her special day.

All three kids looking nice in their Easter clothes.

Annika wanted to take a picture while she was roaring, Zane was happy to join in.

Mother/Daughter picture

Her girly strawberry cake.

I think she was happy.  She decorated the table herself for her party.

Zane was happy to wear the barbie party hat.

Easter egg hunt time.

St. Martin’s Day 2011

Last Friday, November 11th we celebrated the feast of St. Martin.  We have celebrated this feast for several years by reading the story of St. Martin and the Cloak and baking German Weckmann.  If you want to look back at the last few years you can find more information for 2010 and 2009. This year took some creativity on my part to come up with a plan to make our Weckmann, since I needed to make them gluten free. Unlike regular doughs  gluten free doughs are like thick cake batter, not something you can shape by hand, so I needed a pan to make them shaped like little men.  I came across this gingerbread man pan and thought I would give it a try.  I then went searching the internet for a sweet bread recipe and came across this recipe.  I was very pleased the kids still got to be involved in making them and they turned out very yummy.  I think next year we will try to decorate with some dried fruit again.  We enjoyed these with our first cups of hot cocoa for the year.

Moments from our week 2

More moments from our week. I was thinking after I posted last week I would try to make this a regular post.

A baby chipmunk rescue. We caught our big orange kitty Pumpkin playing with a baby chipmunk. This cat has no killer instinct but I don’t think the chipmunk appreciated frolicking with a large cat. I thought I had seen a chipmunk in our yard about a month ago and now I have a picture to prove that we do indeed have chipmunks. Here is a little bit of information about the Eastern Chipmunk.

A zoo trip and a close up with a tiger.  He looked hungry, yikes!

This was Annika’s attempt to hide her little brother so he wouldn’t have to take a nap.

Annika and her little sister.

When were at the store Annika spotted some pie pumpkins and asked about us making pumpkin pie. We always bake something on the first day of fall, usually an apple cake, but we decided we would make a pumpkin pie this year. We baked our pumpkins the day before we were going to use them. So we could let the pumpkin puree drain overnight.

My little kitchen helpers

This pumpkin pie was the best I have ever had, even the hubby agreed. It was dairy free and I made a gluten free pie crust. I wasn’t overly impressed with the crust, it was good not great but the pie was awesome.
The kids approved. Jude ate his so fast that I didn’t even get his picture.