Wednesday, September 30, 2009

WIP Wednesday!!

Work-In-Progress Wednesday!
This has been kind of a weird week. I have a list of projects to get done before Kylans birthday and Christmas. Somehow I ended up working on two things not on that list!!
The first, I call 'tossing pillows'. Kylan has a habit of throwing things he shouldn't, as I assume most children his age do. When he is throwing some hard wooden toy, I can hand him this as a substitute, rather then constantly telling him not to throw things over and over. He loves them and wants more. They are simply made with felt and stuffed with wool. The main reason I wanted to make them is to practice my hand stitching, which I am awful at. So, I plan on doing more little crafts like this so I can improve! I've seen some beautiful hand stitched projects lately, and I have to start somewhere:)

The second project I started is a bit random as well. I wanted to start a knit toy for Kylan's birthday, but my printer was being difficult and I was having trouble finding the time to fix it. I wanted to start something simple that I can do while I watch the boys play outside. I went into my yarn cupboard and the boys, of coarse, came running. Kylan grabbed this yarn and told me he wanted socks made out of this for Christmas! So, socks he will get:) I love this self striping yarn:)

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Autumn Soup Recipe

Here is a yummy recipe I made the other day. I wasn't to sure about apples in soup, but it turned out great! Just had the last of it for dinner:) I tend to modify recipes a lot and never follow directions:) The original recipes, which is a bit different, is from the wonderful book 'Witch In The Kitchen'. I have made many recipes from this book and they have all turned out great. It goes through the 4 seasons and the recipes use the proper seasonal food. I don't think you have to be pagan to enjoy this book (but definitely open minded), the author shares some wonderful words of wisdom.

Squash & Apple Soup

2 Lg apples
2c apple juice
2-3c cooked squash (I used butternut and pumpkin)
2 lg potatoes
1 med onion
ginger, nutmeg, garlic and salt to taste
veggie broth (as much as needed)

Saute onion in oil, add potatoes and apples for a few minutes, then add everything else. Bring to a boil and simmer until apples and potatoes are soft.

The original recipe said to remove seeds, peel and dice squash and add to soup uncooked. I just put the whole squash in the oven, cook for about 45min at 400 degrees. Let it cool a bit, scoop out seeds, remove yummy cooked squash and add in soup. I think this kind of recipe is very flexible and you can add more or less of just about anything and it will turn out good. I also added pumpkin pie spice and served with homemade bread:) Yum!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Give away on soule mama

Over on Soule Mamas blog, she is having a free give away for these totally adorable felted slippers by Satch & Sol, you just have to leave a comment to be entered in the contest:)
Good Luck!

marking moments

Do you ever try to mark moments in your memory? You know how it is said that your life flashes before your eyes before you die? Sometime I find a moment in time that I really want to remember, so I try to absorb it thoroughly. I make note in my head of every detail and try to be in the moment. I hope that these are the moments I see when my time comes.

One of my most memorable and recent moments I tried to absorb with every ounce of my soul, came the night Everest was born. The midwives had left, everyone else was asleep, everything was calm. I was achy, exhilarated, and exhausted. I crawled into bed, and it happened then.

Our bedroom was perfectly cool, the covers light and fluffy, the bed was the most comfortable it has ever felt. I sunk down into the soft, cool mattress. It felt as good as a full body massage to just lay in the perfect, cool, softness. It felt like every tense muscle exhaled. I have never been more comfortable in my whole life. Next to me, asleep, was my husband, my 3 1/2 year old son and my newborn baby on the day of his birth. Perfect silence, except for the long, slow sound of my three loves breathing. Their breaths where on a slightly different pattern, so I could hear each of them individually. It was the most beautiful sound I have ever heard. It paired perfectly with the cool comfort of the room. The word that kept floating through my head was 'absorb', it surfaced over and over again as I tried to take in every detail, in the dark, in the perfect coolness, in absolute comfort, in a chorus of perfect rhythmic breath, in deep, deep gratitude for the moment. I think it was the most perfect moment of my life and I hope I never forget it.
Do you ever mark moments? Absorb every sensation of it and live 100% conscious in that very second? It really is a beautiful thing:)
Thanks for reading, I just wanted to share, that moment has been on my mind a lot lately.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Yummy Griddle Scones

I made scones today, they turned out sooo good! You make them in a skillet:)
Apple Griddle Scones

3/4c all purpose flour
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4c wheat flour
1/2c sugar
4Tbs butter
1 egg
1/3c yogurt
1 large apple
1Tbs cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spices)
1/4c nuts (optional, I used sliced almonds)

Mix dry ingredients well.
Pinch in the cold butter until crumbly, make a well in the center.
In a small bowl mix egg and yogurt.
Peel, core and finely chop apple and add to yogurt mix.
Pour yogurt mix in center of dry ingredients and stir with a fork to make a soft dough.
On a floured surface pat the dough and form a round 1/2 thick circle. (add a little more flour so It's not super sticky)
Cut into 8 triangles
Heat a griddle (heavy skillet) over medium/low heat and sprinkle with flour
Cook the scones for several minutes on each side, until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter, won't last long!

WIP Wednesday!! (on thursday)

Work in progress Wednesday...a little late. I just started a couple quick easy projects, not much to look at yet, I'll post photos next week:0

I finished Kylans sweater:)

The pattern for their sweaters was super easy! It is from the book Charmed Knits :) First sweaters I've completed. I have a tendency to alter patterns and didn't realize the importance of checking my gauge, but after a couple failed attempts at baby sweaters were my gauge was way off, I always check it!!

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebrating Mabon

We celebrated Mabon by decorating a little bit for fall, setting up our nature table, feasting on apple-squash soup, cider bread, and pumpkin pie, and playing in the mud. It would have really felt like fall time had it not been 95 outside! Our small, mostly uninsulated house was sweltering hot by mid afternoon!

Playing in the mud...

Kylan's fall gift was an apple lacing toy from A Toy Garden. He spent a lot of time working on and Everest is quite fond of it too! Happy Autumn!

Autumn nature table

We set up our fall nature table. It was challenging finding a spot that Kylan can reach, but Everest can't! We picked a little spot on there toy shelf next to our turtles tank. Kylan helped pick out the little acorns, mini pine cones, and bark from our yard. He also thought the faeries would enjoy a cherry tomato from our garden. We picked up the hand carved wooden squirrel from the gift shop at one of our local state parks. I love the fall!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

apple pickin'

We went apple picking at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville this week. Very cute farm, good pie! Kylan was bouncing off the walls he was so excited to go! The trees where all dwarf apples, perfect for little ones:)

I know, I need to cute his hair!

Everest wouldn't look at the camera, he gets like that sometimes. It was pretty hot, notice his little red cheeks?

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

beeswax candles

I've been wanting to make beeswax candles, I thought it would be a nice fall time project to do with Kylan. Power outages are not unusual in the forest we live in and one can never have too many candles! I had trouble finding beeswax sheets at any of the local craft stores, so I ordered a little candle making kit from A Toy Garden.(and I got them 2 days after I ordered them!!) It was perfect and Kylan had a lot of fun helping me roll beeswax candles. He did really well with it! I didn't think he would actually be able to do, I just figured I would give him a sheet or two to play with while I rolled them, but no, he listened and rolled them very gently and did great. Everest played with some scrap pieces of wax. He kept asking me 'apple?' which is his way of asking if he can eat something:)

Kylan was very proud of his candles and couldn't wait to show daddy!

*good times*

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Autumn Equinox

Just a reminder....Autumn Equinox (aka the first day of fall) is on Tuesday September 22. It is a day worth honoring in my eyes. Autumn is my favorite time of year!! The end of summer is such a time of abundance! We've had such a hot summer, I am looking forward to cooler weather! Although by the end of the winter I am so over the wood burning stove (our only source of heat!), I always look forward to using it again in the fall. The Autumn Equinox was traditionally celebrated similar to modern day Thanksgiving. A time for feasting on the abundant harvest, gratitude, thankfulness, and finding balance.

Creating small traditions to honor the change of a season can be especially fun and meaningful if you have small children!

A few simple ideas to mark the first day of autumn-

-write a list of what your most thankful for & share it with a loved one

-put up/make fall time decorations

-have a fall feast, bake apple or pumpkin pie

-visit an apple farm

I use to always forget to honor important days like this. I'd always remember a day too late and think, next year we should....blahblahblah. I want my children to understand how important the cycle of nature is, live in rhythm with it, and honor it. It helps being a gardener, you can't ignore those cycles:)

WIP Wednesday!!

I am almost done with Kylans sweater. I will post pictures of it on him when I finish. This week I started something for myself. Something with big chunky yarn and needles that I can finish quick! It's kind of like a bonnet, it's a free pattern called Fall Fling Hat. I love it, the yarn is plumy and very soft. Kylan loves it and wants me to knit him a bonnet:) Actually, now that he understands I can knit him things he has a whole list of requests!

I couldn't get a great picture of the cupcake! I ended up making a few because the pattern was not turning out right. This one looks most like a cupcake! They are pretty quick to make, so at some point I'll make a few more...

Monday, September 14, 2009


Check out this quilt at Soule Mama! Wow! It really makes me dream of quilting some day! My Nana, great grandma, and great-great grandma where/are all quilters! I still need to learn to cut straight, but I can dream-

Looking at crafty mamas blogs has been really inspiring for me! If you look in my profile at the 'blogs I follow' you'll see some of my favorites!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yummy Bread

Whole Wheat Bread

This is one of my favorite bread recipes! It always seems to turn out perfect! I usually use half white flour and half wheat flour, it also has 2 cups of oats in it that seem to disappear when baked! I have made it with all white and all wheat flour and it turns our great either way! I use my bread machine to prep the dough and bake it in my regular oven. I have included directions to make in bread over and by hand.

Yummy Wheat Bread-
1/2c water
1-1/2c milk (cow, unsweetened soy or almond)
2c rolled oats
3Tbs honey (or other sweetener)
2Tbs oil
1tsp salt
2c white flour
2c wheat flour
2tsp instant yeast (bread machine)
2Tbs active dry yeast (if prepping by hand)

Bread Machine Directions-
If making in a bread machine, add ingredients according to directions from manufacture. If it's like mine you add liquid, oil, salt, sweetener, last you add flour and yeast on top. I use the dough setting. It takes about 1 1/2 hours. I remove from bread machine and punch down and form dough into desired shape on a lightly floured surface. (If the dough is sticky kneed a little flour in)Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet or oiled bread pan. Let it rise for 10 minutes and bake for about 35 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Yum!!

To make by hand-
Heat 1/2c water to 105-115 degrees
In a small bowl min yeast and water, it should 'wake up' the yeast in within 5 min or so and start to get bubbly. Scald the milk and mix with oats. Add oil, honey, & salt.
Cool until lukewarm and add half the flour and yeast mixture. Beat with a wooden spoon. Add the rest of the flour and turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastics (10m or so). Let it rise in a warm place until it doubles. Punch down dough and let it rest for 10 min or so. Form into desired shape and place on lightly oiled baking sheet, Cover and let it rise another 40 min or so, until doubled. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 min.

The bread is done when your house is filled with the delicious smell of homemade bread and the bottom of the crust sounds hollow when tapped.

I do love to make bread by hand. I am hoping when the boys are a little older we can make it together. At the moment I am grateful for the bread machine. It makes it more practical for me to make all of our bread:)

Waldorf inspired parenting

I am eagerly (or impatiently) awaiting the arrival of books and supplies from A Little Garden Flower. I bought her book on The Early Years and Waldorf Kindergarten.

Several months ago I began to read about Waldorf Education, and am thirsty for more info. It really resonates with me and I have already gained so much from the few books I have read. The foundation of the early years (0-7yo) is creating a strong rhythm in your home, free play, arts and crafts, and real work. Creating a daily rhythm has helped us enormously! It seems so basic, but we did not have a set rhythm.

I also moved bedtime up to 7:30pm, which has been great. Kylan gave up napping very early. He was going to bed around 9pm and waking whenever the baby got up in the morning, usually 6ish. That is not enough sleep for a 3 year old! Now bedtime is 7:30 and he wakes between 6-7. It really make a difference if he gets even an hour less sleep!

I have established strong daily rhythms and am still working on our weekly and yearly rhythms (traditions).

Children are greatly affected by there environments and during the early years mimic and reflect their environments and their caregivers. I recently came across a few notes I wrote down when I was first reading about Waldorf education, this is in relation to ages 0-7-

'Everything that affects a child from outside is recreated within...
This places great responsibility on the adults raising a child; they must be worthy of imitation!'

'Nurturing the adult always nurtures the child'

Other thoughts on parenting young children-
What is the tone of your home?
Talk less/don't over explain
Your energy and attitude will be imitated!
Be direct, firm, loving, and warm
stay at home more
find rhythm
limit TV and commercialized products
no guilt trips
avoid sarcasm
don't expect a toddler to control his/her emotions when most adults can't!

So, I am still working on many of these. No one is perfect. I feel encouraged to improve myself and grow into the kind of person I want to be. I look forward to my journey homeschooling my children!

'Strive for excellence, not perfection!'

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WIP Wednesday!!

I joined the WIP Wednesday group (Work in Progress Wednesday) where crafters share what they are currently working on. I'm not much of a photographer, but I tried to get pictures of what I've been up to. I have a little problem of starting to many things at once. This week was no exception. I need to finish Kylans sweater. It's a very simple pattern and I only have one arm and the neckline left to do... stitch it all up and I'm done. I'm having a little trouble getting back into this project...

I'm using a super soft organic color grown (undyed) cotton. There is a creamy white and soft sage green twisted together. He is very excited about his sweater, I need to get it done!!!

Then I started some cupcakes. Yes, cupcakes. I wanted to start knitting some play food for Kylan's kitchen, but have had trouble finding patterns and I happened to have this cute little cupcake pattern in the book One Skein. I'm not happy with the yarn I used for the top, so I am planning on knitting a few cupcake bottoms, then I'll head on down to the yarn shop to get some fluffy white yarn to make the 'frosting':)

I finished Kylan's Halloween Hat, he loves it! Orange is his favorite!

I recently made this hat, actually I made two. One for Kylan and a smaller one for a friend who is having a baby boy this month. It's made with Frog Tree Brand baby alpaca, so soft!
Thanks for looking:)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Everest is 15 months old!

Everest Skye
Born 6/7/08

Everest is a remarkable child. He currently enjoys keeping up with his brother, being silly, and eating whatever you set in front of him. He knows quite a few words, I started to write down all the words he knew at 14mo and wrote over 50. Today his new word was 'knitting', at first he said 'ninning', but then added the 't'. It is amazing to see the different ways each child develops. He's a sweet and happy child.

Everest was born at home, in a birthing tub. I was in labor for a little over two hours. I felt the pressure of him coming down the birthing canal, and after pushing through just one long contraction I caught him in my own hands. Everyone in the room was surprises, as my midwife ran over to help pull him out of the water. It was amazing. I had a wonderful natural high for days. Then the exhaustion set in:)

I am grateful for that experience. People often say 'well I'm glad I had mine at the hospital happened' (of coarse if you have health problems or are high risk, a hospital is the only option, I don't mean to make anyone feel bad or offend you) but you really can't compare what happens at a hospital to what happens at home. Often you find out that person was induced, had epidural, was told not to push yet, etc. Those things don't happen at home. I had Kylan at a hospital, I was late and induced, but no epi. I can't compare that with a home birth. I was afraid to have a home birth with the first. I may have tried to have a home birth and after many hours transferred to the hospital and had to have a c-section. You really never know. So embrace your choices to birth where you did and why you did it. It would have been a different experience anywhere else. No matter what your birth experience was, the goal to introduce your beautiful baby to the world is them same. I am grateful for both experiences.

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Today we had a great little harvest, including the first watermelon we've ever successfully grown! Its an heirloom variety from Renee's Garden that is small and yellow. It wasn't super flavorful, but juicy with a good texture:) I'm very pleased with the delicata squash and the butternut squash in the garden are almost done as well. We officially turned on our spare freezer because our regular freezer is full of bags of tomatoes, veggies and fruit.
Everest especially loves tomatoes. It was hard to get a picture of our harvest because he keep attacking it!! He ate many cherry tomatoes and a couple large tomatoes this evening!!
I'm trying to keep momentum in the garden. I'd really like to garden year round, but it will take some time to get into the proper rhythm! I have started new seedlings and sown seeds in the soil, but I'm not getting much germination. It has been such a hot summer, maybe I will wait a few weeks and try again...

makin play dough

This is Kylans goddess sculpture! He was playing with the play dough and said 'look, boobies!'

The play dough we made today:) Kylan picked the colors. It's pretty quick and easy to make, we made it during Everest's nap. The hardest part is remembering to get some cream of tartar the next time your at the market. This play dough has a great texture, much softer and more pliable then the store bought play dough.

Easy Play Dough-

2c flour

1 c salt

4 tsp cream of tartar

2c water

2Tbs oil

food coloring

Mix the flour, salt and cream of tartar. Add the water, oil, and food coloring. Cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and kneed until well blended and smooth. Keep in an air tight container or zip lock bag.