Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Apple Orchard

We got our first trip into Aamodt Apple Farm. They are by far our favorite of the local orchards. While they have fun stuff going on during the weekends, we prefer heading out on a weekday when we practically have the place to ourselves. We enjoyed eating their apple brauts and the kids split a cider float with cinnamon ice cream in it. They each got a bag to pick and picked sweet 16 apples that day. Of course I also purchased honeycrisps since they are some of our favorites. We fell in love with Sweet Tango Apples last Fall but they didnt have them there this year. There was still plenty to do with a hay maze, petting zoo goats, play ground, john deer bike area and the picking itself of course.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Paleo Breakfast Ideas

A lot of people have been asking me what we eat for breakfast besides eggs or to make eggs not get boring. And while we do eat a LOT of eggs now, we eat much more than that too. Here are some ideas we have tried or plan to try.

We mostly eat some sort of breakfast meat, eggs and veggies. The muffins, pancakes, and sweet potatoes are just occasional treats (while allowed on the diet, arent recommended to loose weight quickest)

-Asparagus roasted with poached eggs and a small bit of shaved parm on top (we splurged on cheese that day)

-Beets- I roasted them cut in half and then through them in a pan after an hour of roasting with garlic, grass fed butter and salt. Sliced them up and they were very tasty. Sophie thought it was great that her bodily functions turned bright pink after eating them. :-)

-Avocado Chicken salad- I mixed pulled chicken (leftovers) with an avocado and coconut oil. I added salt, pecans and grapes and it was so tasty!

-Scrambled eggs with homemade bbq sauce and avocados on top (I used the Beasty Bbq recipe)

-Egg bakes- mix with any variety of seasonal veggies. Add some coconut milk if you are someone who used to add cream of soups in their egg bakes. Add a layer of sweet potato hash browns on the bottom if you used to use bread or white potatoes.

-Raspberry Muffins using coconut flour (I used this recipe)

-Sauteed spinach and fried eggs

-Mushroom caps filled with eggs

-Poached eggs with broccoli on the side

-Sweet potato pancakes- I simply shredded my sweet potatoes and added eggs before putting them into the pan

-Sweet potato skillet- diced sweet potatoes fried with onions, cinnamon, butter and salt with poached or fried eggs on top

-Sweet potato hash browns with a side of veggies or egg

-Baked sweet potatoes with cinnamon and butter on top

-Bacon (good quality uncured stuff) with any of the above

-Ham leftovers with a veggie side

-Good quality sausage made into patties topped with poached eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce (first time making this, the key was making sure water in double broiler wasn't too hot and I super slowly added the butter)

-Pumpkin spiced donuts

-Strawberries covered in Dark Chocolate

-Caramel Apple Pancakes

Our first week of school

Before we began our very first Unit there was an introductory unit about Creation. We had a great time doing this together. It took a few days before I realized she was hungry for more so we added a bit more variety into the curriculum to keep her from being bored. Overall we really enjoy the curriculum so far and just started unit 2.

 Snack on the day that we discussed seperating day from night.
 We played a game where she had to cover letters or letter sounds that I called out. She really likes the tactile letter activities each week.
 We made a creation book. 7 pages altogether and she used different mediums each time.
 Each day we go through a calander book with and we count how many days until 100 by using straws. She has a 10's cup and a 1's cup. She was very excited to bundle our first group of 10 last week.
 We made posters of "Man Made" and "God made" and she had to cut and glue them where she thought they went.
 Another tactile letter activity. This one is her very favorite and my least favorite (its always messy)
 Liam sat in to make creation pages a few times that week.
He really did better than I was expecting! :-)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

This week menu plan

Monday night:: Grass fed beef stir fry with veggies, ginger and garlic (subbed coconut aminos instead of soy sauce)  Even the kids loved it

Tuesday:: Pastured Pork Chops with a cherry sauce, mashed califlower and a side salad for lunch
               Brauts with sauerkraut and a mashed carrot, califlower, sweet potato mix for dinner

Wednesday:: Crock pot chicken with rosemary, Marks Daily apple beasty bbq sauce and salad with cukes

Thursday:: Steak and steamed brocolli

Friday:: TBD

What do you eat?

When people ask about our new paleo lifestyle it is almost always followed by them asking what can you eat?!

I started by saying all the things we couldn't eat, but now try to focus on all the positive things we can eat.

I found this photo this morning and feel like it covered it all for me! :-)


We went to the state fair this year with some good friends of ours that we hadn't seen in a long time. When we met them at the Crepe stand I couldnt believe how much weight our friend had lost. Throughout the day I asked questions about how he had lost the weight. Turns out he has been on a paleo diet. This started the wheels turning in my head.

I went home and started researching more about paleo. I was very happy to read that it really helped people who struggle with inflammation and join pain, just like Kevin. I also was thrilled to read that it was suppose to be very helpful for people who have hashimotos thryoiditis, like myself. I figured, what do we have to loose?

So 17 days ago we started our journey on the paleo diet. It has been really hard but also incredibly benificial for us. Kevins joints hardly ache at all, I suspect he was close to being diagnosed with RA. He is losing so much inches (expecially throughout his mid section) and is having tons of energy. The only downfall for him so far is that because paleo has improved our sleep so much and because he no longer drinks coke or any sugar filled drinks, he has a hard time staying awake for his late night editing sessions.

I personally lost 12 pounds the first week on this diet. That tells you how poorly I had been eating. My body went through a major detoxification. Right away my skin broke out from the toxins escaping. Now my skin is incredibly clear. I am feeling great, I have lots of energy, wake up easily, and my depression that set in with the hashimotos is clearing. Also, I didn't realize how foggy my brain was, a side effect I hadnt been anticipating is that I now have much better focus and mental clarity. Also, I am a huge sufferer of seasonal allergies. From June 1st-the fall freeze I faithfully must take zyrtec or I will die. This summer has been particularly bad and my eyes have actually swollen shut. I am beyond exstatic to report that since I have started eating paleo (and introduced raw local honey from a farm in stillwater) I've only had to take one pill in 17 days!

There are so many benifits from eating this way. It is also very reassuring knowing exactly what I am putting into our bodies and its fun experimenting with new food. It has overtaken my current thought process because it is very time consuming to make meals for us now. I feel like I spend a huge majority of my time cooking or planning food or sourcing food. It is a rather expensive way to eat so I am trying to make the best meals and make it stretch and last. It does help that we eat out less now and that we are buying less processed junk so the budget does even out a bit there. I encourage anyone to try this diet, even if its just for a few weeks or a month. See how you feel, I promise you will not regret it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Daycare fun

This past year we had the pleasure of watching our friends daughter Brynn everyday. We truely grew to love her (Sophie accidentally called Brynn her sister the other day and I laughed but can see how she feels like that a bit)

Brynns Mom is a teacher so we only get her one day a week for the summer and we miss her terribly! But, at the same time we now watch two other little ladies. My friend Jess' two girls; Taylor and Kendal. Our big crew has a lot of fun together. It gives Sophia more playmates and all the kids fun together. They can work on sharing and play time manners and putting others first. Its a blessing to our family as we stay home and work from home.

Here are some pictures of the crew (mostly phone photos)

My sister

In January my lovely sister moved to Australia. She is going to C3 College in Sydney and also staying on weekends and breaks at Aunt and Uncles place in Newcastle. (Actually they are my Moms cousins but we've always called them Aunt and Uncle)

She has had her challenges while there but it has been such a joy to watch her grow spiritually while there. Hearing her talk about her passion for Christ and about the things she is learning through scripture has been awesome. We love to Skype with her, Liam plays peek a boo and all sorts of games over the phone. :-) Technology sure makes life easier far and away.

We all dream of winning the lottery to go visit her but I guess we would have to buy a ticket to even have a chance. Ha, not going to happen. It would be amazing and she will likely be there for a few years. I hope my parents are able to take a trip to visit, that would be so nice for them, her and Becky and Kev.

We are so proud of you Ash! Praying for you daily.

(Photos from a shoot we did before she left of her and her friends)

The Color Run

This past weekend I participated in my first 5k, The color Run! It was soooo fun! They blasted you with this colored powder (cornstarch and color) as you ran through different areas. Then at the end there is a count down and everyone throws theirs in the air at the same time. It was pretty cool. Well, not literally, it was ridiculously hot even for 8am. It was so stinking hot. But, we did it and had a great time. The kids, Kevin and  my Mom cheered us on and got powdered a bit themselves too. I would definitly do another 5k, but im not sure I could find one that would be as much fun. :-) There were 18,000 people at the Fair grounds for the race and it was packed.

Sweet & Sassy Sophies Summer

Sophia is almost 5! She is excitedly planning her birthday party and loving every minute of summer.She loves having our daycare kids here and is such a "little Mama" to each of them. We started reading chapter books together every night and she loves it! I wasn't sure if she would take to reading with pictures but we flew through "The Little Princess" and are currently halfway through "Mary Poppins" She laughs at the right times, has awesome prediction and imagination skills and begs me for one more chapter. She can't wait until she can read herself. We will start school soon and thats what she is anticipating most.

Sophia loves her brother and yearns for "alone time" from him sometimes too. They really are best friends. Her other best friend AJ moved to Texas this Spring and she is still heartbroken from that.

She is my thoughtful gal, she is loving figuring out real life application for verses she has learned. She sometimes fights learning them (though so good at it) but when the real life situation occurs, she often will bring up verses while out and about and think on practical application. It is a joy to my heart. She also has been sitting through our big church services now that shes 4. I was really worried how it would go as our services are really quite long (hour and a half) but it went way better than I could have expected. We have our days of course, that she goes to the bathroom more than Id like or whispers for snacks or pens, but overall I really enjoy having her in there. We have challenged her to draw things she hears the pastor say and its fun to see what she really understands. Or occasionally she will get really excited if she hears Pastor Lonetti talking about something they've learned about in Sunday School or that we have read at home.

Heres some photos from summer (a few from spring, most cell phone photos)


 Sophia loves playing with our bat and ball and is actually really good at it! I think she will be a great t-ball player.
The broom experiement this Spring

                                           A day at the zoo with Dad
                                           After the color run 5k at the state fair grounds
                                                         My little cowgirl
                                                             curly sue
                                                       @ the Little Falls Zoo
                                        Part of Kevins secret photoshoot Mothers day card project

                                                         Teddy bear Park in Stillwater
                                                     on the inflatable in Hayward
                                                    She loves writing her name
                                              At the South St. Paul Parade
                                                          More from Teddy bear park
                               A sweet shot from my Great Aunt and Uncles 65 wedding anniversary party
                                              "Look dad, its like Im purpalicious!"
                                               She loves the Slip n Slide at my parents house!
                                                The kids at before the color run
                                                 Cooling off, its been a ridiculously hot summer

                                                Sprinkler Action

                                                               VBS year two! She loved it!
                                                         Watering plants at the Cabin
We have dog sat a ton this summer and she loves brutis (he actually loves her too)