Sunday, February 28, 2010

sweet bike love & heartshaped rocks

ok so real the truth comes out. while His mother was here she offered to babysit so He and i could go on a date. just what this mama had been craving. yes the girl's surprise dinner was fantastic. and yes the pink pancake breakfast was a special treat. BUT  this special time spent with my bestfriend,   was my FAVE part of her visit. 
He and i  loaded up our bikes and rode 14 scenic miles to the beach. this ride was my first real road ride on my bike. i was absolutely terrified in the beginning... like panic attack terrified. i was doing almost all the things i feared : riding in public, shoe clip timing, riding along other embarrassingly AWESOME cyclist, and my biggest fear :: descending. BUT my sweet was as awesome a coach as he is a man.  and who better? he's was very patient, positive, understanding, encouraging and not at all condescending. exactly what i needed to grow my confidence and  to begin to fully rock.

what IS that written all over our faces? (more like what is that ALL over our teeth? dang camera)

me & my handsome date

this is Ms. Blanca Madone. she's gorgeous & i love her. eventhough i'm convinced she is secretly out to kill me.

beach + bike equals love...well anything plus beach equals love for this mama

this is me working on number 9 of my resolute post :: this year i become a cyclist.

awwwww even our bikes love each other

i collect heartshaped rocks. when we go to the beach i immediately go on my hunt. of course the day i couldn't collect them,  was the day there were TONS on the shore.

heart-ish shaped. gotta look hard. maybe squint a little...but i see it.

another one that got away.

He and i are truly thankful we got to enjoy this special chance to be together, reconnect,  and  to strengthen our friendship and love for each other. very refreshing.

Friday, February 26, 2010

fun with food and grandma part 2

not only did the girls surprise Grandma on her visit, she had a breakfast surprise for them Sunday morning. 3 makes countdown charts for any upcoming event she cant wait for. it helps with the : when is grandma coming ?  is grandma coming today? is her plane here? without any reminders she diligently starts every morning with marking off her chart and a full progress report.  she checks it often thru out the day to count and remind herself.

 the girls woke up in the morning to this red & pink surprise.

complete with pink chocolate chip pancakes

checking out all the goodies

handmade placemats from dinner the night before 

freshly squeezed oj from our grove

this heart is mine

 heart shaped pink chocolate chip pancake cuties ala Grandma 

daddy's plate. english muffins with sweetened ricotta, fresh berries. his is missing the delish  freshly made vanilla whipped cream.

ahhhhhh there's the whip. makes all the difference.

happy campers

the end of the visit photo. Grandma, 1,2,3. we all  thoroughly enjoyed our surprise filled visit.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Food Fun with Grandma part 1: Great Grandma's Kitchen Cafe

Last weekend (Valentine's Weekend) His mom came to visit us for the first time in our current home. In the fall of 1998 She and Her daughter made this cookbook of Her mother's  favorite recipes as a family gift following Great Grandma death. The girls discovered the recipe book and wanted to make the visit a little more special by surprising Grandma with a dinner using  recipes of their choice from the cookbook. 

Little sisters making Great Grandma Caramel Butternut Cake

The cookbook recipe



1 busy making the menu. Dinner consisted of More Casserole, Aunt D's Cornbread, and Caramel Butternut Cake.

Our dining room was transformed in to Great Grandma's Kitchen Cafe for the evening. Heartshaped placemats and handpainted plates.

I made this little sign the night before
Head Chef Mama and my cute little helpers

SUCCESS! Grandma was surprised and the girls were very proud of themselves.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

weekend treasure

often im lucky to have treasured weekends like these. hours of reading in the sunshine. on the courtyard, back patio, out in the grove, on the beach. i recently finished Peony In Love and enjoyed it much to my surprise. im not a romance story girl, but weave in  ancient china, ghosts life & love in the i'm  interested.  the girls and i had not to soon before studied ancient china so i found it very fitting and even more relevant.

i just began reading While I Was Gone and  for some reason im hooked. i spent three sunny straight hours  reading it out on the courtyard sunday. getting closer to the characters...identifying.  refilling my cup of chai over and over. im now almost half way thru. im truly appreciative  for days like these. i have developed a deeper love of reading as a form of meditation and soulfood.  and we all know mama's definately need these times of escape. a short time in full immersion of somewhere else someone else...eventhough we are exactly in the place we are supposed to be.

*read any good  books lately?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a sneak peak with grandma & food

love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction
                                     - antoine de saint-exupery, sand and stars

we've been busy enjoying our visit from grandma kathy. here's a sneak peak of our food fun.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


resolute is defined by websters as having a fixed purpose. goal among other things means a mark to reach in a race and purpose. this time of year most people come up  resolutions only  to break them soon after. BUT of course not MOI! im not the new years resolution type so this i set  a few fully attainable goals to serve as guidelines for the year instead. no firm deadlines, no real time limits, just things i want to accomplish during this year.  here are the 12 things i plan to work towards thru out 2010. this list should be real interesting to look back on at the end of it ::
  1. make my christian faith resemble my christian life more and vice versa.  back to the daily bible reading, get my focus in life back, strengthen my friendship with God, etc... im especially going to need Him entering these teen years. i want to be sure im doing all i can to receive the power and support of the all powerful and almighty as my bestfriend during the times ahead. mainly so that i dont kill myself or my children. killing is just saying i need HIM!
  2. get up earlier. deciding to fully homeschool this year we are relishing in the many perks.  indulging  in our freedom is one thing, but getting up at 8:30 or 9 every morning does not lead to much productivity. amazingly this one is easier than i thought.  as the season is hinting towards a change our bodies natural rhythms are starting to responding. SOME of us have been rising earlier. this morning my eyes were open at 6 and i was in the shower by 6:15. two little busy bees were up and sneaking a video when i came in.
  3. earlier rising leads to my next goal of being more productive & less distracted. i have never been blessed as a homemaker. by simplifying our home and life managing our home much easier and more enjoyable.  i finally realized  no matter how much i hate housework it's an everyday inevitability that will continue during this "in the nest" life season. this also spills over to other areas ex: running, crafting/ art projects, reading, and just plain getting things done.  by cutting out many  of the extra distractions and commitments we have more time for the important things. ex: with homeschooling = no homework. one sport activity per child at a time, simplify in the yard and sadly SHOPPING everyday,.
  4. finish some items on my list of unfinished projects. (more on this later) im going thru my entire craft room, each project one at a time and either saying forget it or finish it. then to make finish it  list.  as not to leave ryan out, this also goes for home projects.
  5. re-learn to sew. honestly i havent the patience (nor the real desire honestly) to sew. it's such a tedious way of creating something i could easily go out , purchase, and be quickly gratified. that being said, i do see the need for basic sewing ability. i may never make a living as a seamstress, but there are some sewing  projects i would like to make. as long as i can finish in about 2 hours, i'll try. i couldve gotten by my whole life without very much sewing, BUT my girls like to sew. and i feel bad telling them to go ask dad everytime they have a craft related question. so this year i sew! 
  6. this year i MUST knit. this is one craft i truly have the desire to learn. i can just imagine the pieces i will create out of beautifully colored, carefully considered yarn, two wooden needles and my own hands : chunky scarves, knubby knit caps and beanies...dont know if im feeling the whole sweater thing though. my 1st knitting lesson lasted about 5 hours, i never even learned to cast on, and my friend declared me a knitting lost cause. yet again, my girls taught themselves to knit and have questions and again with the go ask dad. (what's wrong with me!)
  7. i have always been captivated to the core by photograph. especially black and white. this year since my role as mama is less demanding as in the past. im going to pursue this life long passion. and with gusto.
  8. im checking home canning off too. this house came with property full of produce as well as the neighborhood. there is WAAAAY to much than can be eaten. and WAAAAY  to much that goes to waste because of it.  we knew nothing about being farmers for one, and i definately knew nothing about being a farmers wife. but we are fast learners.
  9. this is the year i truly become a cyclist.  cycling is another life long dream of mine. i have the bike, the gear, the desire so what's the problem right? did i mention i live in the mountains. rapidly descending downhill in not much more than lycra...among other things... paralyzes me with fear!
  10. i planned to become as much better runner this year. that involved wanting to shave time. my plans took a little detour, now i'll be starting over in a way, but hopefully it wont take too much time for me to rock again.
  11. decorate our master bedroom. in each house we've never had a done master. i was afraid of babies getting stuck in or strangled by a headboard, pee or poop stains on bedding, all that.  the biggest reason of all is i just cant make up my mind. choice of bedding is a big commiment. there are so many choices, and  your going to have THE same bedding for a loooooong time...but i think i MAY be ready...or closer to at least.
  12. this year i MUST finish reading Howard's End. i started it about a year or was it two ago? truly did not enjoy it and  have been avoiding it like the plague. but i want some closure and to move on with my life.
here are a few goals i planned that i have already started or accomplished
         1. make body products. started experimenting. recieved & am perusing my supply catalog.
         2.started decluttering the house. still had years of stuff from the move. all piled in garage for yardsale
         3. experimenting with cooking in my FAB new kitchen!
         4. planted organic greens bed. need to start some new babies.
         5. pretty much ruled out chickens as of today.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

busy bees in the kitchen

     what a busy day we bees had in the kitchen today! we had a lovely family breakfast this morning. He made the girlies french toast sticks smeared with cream cheese and drizzled with honey on top. a spoonful of peanut butter to suck on. topped it all off with fresh blackberries and blueberries. i chose a bran & raisin muffin, plain french creamline yogurt, berries, and a cup of hot green tea. as the girls finished their breakfast i read the 5 chinese brothers, to introduce our school day.
my busiest little worker bee

     3 and I started our cooking day by making pumpkin apple butter to preserve while the big girls revised their creative writing masterpieces & spelling.  a few days ago 3 started with the inevitable color mixing questions. "what do you get when you mix red & blue ?" etc...we were out of watercolors...SO next we moved onto making  homemade fingerpaints
(color jellies)  for learning color mixing.
     the big girls were amazed that they were having more fun fingerpainting at this age eventhough they havent since preschool. They were still fully absorbed in their work long after 3 was done.

     while the color jellies cooled  we experimented with creating our own body products.  we made a tea tree body oil that works for not only 1's changing skin, but for all over everyone's bodies. we also mixed up different batches of body scrubs.  one scented with orange & patchouli and the other  lavender.  of course us girlies couldnt go without a mini pampering session to test our new product line. our skin glowed and thanked us.
happy smiles from the hive
loved experimenting with this sunset mag recipe
    found this book of recipes at the library and i love it so far.
     since the rain was hanging heavily in the clouds, i quickly threw on a pot of hummingbird nectar to refill the hummingbird feeders since the stove was still hot. our persistent little buzzy friends  EXPECT their sugary sweet nectar to be there especially in the rain. and visit often as a reminder that the feeders need to be refilled. i oblige of course because we are happy to have them in our windows.
     finally in the kitchen ::  tonights dinner. i used my more than amazing magic bullet to whip up a batch of arugula walnut pesto & creamy aioli to spread on our rustic bread for sauteed portabello sammies. i buttered and toasted the bread. let the bread cool while the portabellos sauteed in garlic, butter, olive oil, red wine and soy sauce. i then spread the bread tops with the aioli, bottoms with the pesto. layered mozz, mushrooms, red leafed lettuce, tomato, and  red onion. served with steamed asparagus. VIOLA! now im just waiting for the dish fairy to visit the kitchen from this messy busy kitchen day.

tasted WAAAAAAY better than it looks!  Funky the gorilla agrees.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

feeling right again

this week came with good news. news i've been waiting for. after almost a month off, i get to put my feet back where they feel right. i get to wear THESE beauties for the purpose they were created. i get to run again! my life long dream was always to be a runner. a serious runner. i've now been running about 10 years off and on between having babies. each time i'd start, get into it, then have to stop...and for way too long.  recently i started running in races.  my first race the girls and i did the Oceanside Turket Trot in November.  next i did a Hangover 5K the day after New Years and the San Diego Resolution Run 10K in January. my running just started getting good again. my new found stride resulted in an abundance of energy and drive. i was getting faster, logging 20 miles most week, adding distance, finally becoming a "REAL" runner. finally feeling right.
     this all changed during my last race. things just weren't right. on top of being ill, my body just wasn't comfortable or function properly . i  already commited to the race with a friend, thought it was nothing...and ran anyway. the run was already torture no where near the finish line. i soldiered thru. struggled the entire time, but still managed to come within minutes of my expected time. im good right? i knew better. this was one of those times i  should have listened to my wonderfully created body and what it needed my to hear. but no! afterwards...i was sidelined. i have been bothered with my sciatic nerve since my 3rd pregnancy...and it was back to haunt me.  it was now affecting the strength in my leftside and wrecking my knees.  so this new found superstar had to take a break.
      yesterday came with freshly renewed hope. i went to a new chiropractor, who is also a runner. i was pumped when he said the last thing he wanted me to do was stop running! but  man was i in for it. first he tested, he evaluated, he bent, he torqued, he stretched, he even sent electric currents thru my extremities. he dug into the exact muscles, pressed nerves, and weaknesses that were causing the loss of strength in my leftside. he located the numb spots (i didnt know i had) due to pressure on nerve spots in other body parts. he found things that were mislodged and thoroughly out of whack in my neck and spine. he pushed against muscles that didnt even bother trying to resist. he identified places that should move, but stubbornly would not.
        he stretched and torqued my body in such oddly amazing positions which gloriously opened my body in places that i never experienced "opening".  as he continued to message, rub, prod  i let his fingers work while i soaked it all in. l i t t l e did i know he was just buttering me up. whoamygoodness! i have NEVER had an adjustment like this. his instructions were to take a deep breathe and on the exhale he adjusted. have mercy! i have never heard the sounds of such bone chilling deep cracking while things were popping back into where they forgotten they should have been. i truly wonder how long they were out of their place. some spots he put almost his full body movement.  eventhough it felt like a punishment at the time, it was all well worth enduring. after the adjustment he re-tested some of my weakened spots, surprisingly, there was a little fight. hope. some pressure had been relieved. it also meant the problems were fixable, and we were headed in the right direction. i still have some work to do, but now i can run  my heart out. but more importantly, i feel right again.