Lately, Josiah has not been eating as much, which I’m sure will change again, but for now he basically says that he doesn’t want to eat. He claimed to not like the dinners prepared for him. After several days of this, we offered him a new option: make the dinners that he would like. He jumped at the chance and has made dinner so that he can get more of what he wants.
So far from Chef Joe, we’ve enjoyed Mandarin Chicken, cereal, pizza, macaroni and cheese (from the box), Swedish meatballs, sausage, biscuits & gravy (homemade), spaghetti and sauce (from jar) and breakfast casserole (Mrs. Meagher’s recipe – from my wedding shower cookbook!).
These choices may not all be the healthiest or most nutritious, but Josiah seems pretty happy. He is learning some valuable skills in the process too.
I love breakfast and I enjoy cooking and baking in the morning. By the end of the day, I’m tired and it’s hard work to make dinner for my family. Research has shown (somewhere, I’m sure) that it’s good for us to eat breakfast. So, here is a list what my family eats for breakfast. I included links to the recipes that I started with, but for almost every recipe I have adapted it to be gluten-free and with much, MUCH less sweetener. I also usually reduce the butter because while we love butter, there is a limit to the amount we need for our healthy brain function. Cereal in our house is a great bedtime snack, but not great for breakfast since we all seem to be hungry again well before it’s time for lunch. We typically have pancakes at least once a week, which we serve with peanut butter and a small amount of maple syrup or jam. Eggs and muffins make regular weekly appearances as well, sometimes served with veggies or fruit, but usually just on their own. Oatmeal, cookies, biscuits, toast and smoothies are in the rotation every other week on average. For gluten-free toast, I sometimes use frozen gluten-free waffles. Occasionally, we will eat leftovers for breakfast, but that is rare. To make breakfast and pack lunches each morning for our family of five, it takes me about an hour. We eat together and then head off in different directions to work productively and efficiently since we are so well nourished. At least, this is what I tell myself.
The Yees enjoy: pancakes, biscuits, scones, pumpkin muffins, almond muffins, blueberry or bran muffins, cinnamon roll muffins, or other muffins, Scottish oatmeal, eggs, smoothies (usually with oatmeal or biscuits instead of honey/jam), hot chocolate and toast, toast and peanut butter, breakfast cookies, baked oatmeal, ricotta pancakes, overnight waffles, french toast, popovers, and fruit with grilling cheese or yogurt and granola.
Time flies when you’re having fun. We must be having a lot of fun!
I think we really are, but we’re so busy it’s hard to be certain. School, church, sports (basketball for Josiah and gymnastics for Eila, plus exercising for me too), and home make up the routine of our days. We are trying to keep Sundays as our family day and play games, take a walk, or watch a movie together. Brian has been traveling for work about once a month, so that adds a little variety to the schedule. Eila’s gymnastics competitive season is in full swing and we are traveling at least a few weekends each month with her. In January, we went to Toledo and then on to Columbus to visit my family. It was so much fun for all of us – playing games with our cousins, shooting pumpkins, eating well, and just catching up with each other. At the beginning of February we enjoyed a long weekend in Chicago where Brian and I celebrated all of our special occasions for the year with a most delicious and fabulous meal at Moto. We also loved exploring the Museum of Science and Industry as well as doing a little shopping. One of the highlights of that trip was the stop we made on the way home to visit some dear friends. This weekend, Eila and I will take a girls’ trip to Holland; we’ll probably try to squeeze in a little shopping during our time away.
I imagined that when I had more than one child in school, things would slow down. I would be able to get so much done around the house and provide great meals for our family. I figured that with only one kid, we would be able to have fun and get our work done and also have time for naps or relaxing each day. I don’t know what I was thinking!
As I write this, I’ve just realized that I only have 5 hours of time between the dropping off and picking up times instead of the 8 that I imagined I had. This might explain some of why I’m not as productive and fun as I thought I’d be. In reality, after playing with Josiah until he has to leave for school, Thad and I usually get the grocery shopping done, have one fun outing (like the zoo or park), help out a school (go to a playdate for TJ) and make a few meals each week. Each afternoon, he naps while I work on Bible study or ESL lesson plans or connect with people or maybe do a bit of a house project. Then I wake him up to go get Eila and we go, go, go until bedtime. Each evening is different, but they are all the same too: eating, playing, working, talking, laughing, crying, cleaning, reading, sleeping.
Fall is here and I don’t want to miss it, but it is tricky taking time to enjoy and experience life as we live it. If you have any tips, please share!
That’s what we’ve been doing for a very long while and apparently recently it takes up all my time and energy. That, along with all the other stuff related to living life to the fullest! (Hence, the lack of activity here.)
As previously mentioned, over the past year Eila, my beloved 7 year-old daughter, has been complaining almost daily of stomach aches that she describes as constant, extremely painful and unbearable (with a very whiny voice). We took her to the doctor who said she has no obvious problem that he could fix, but it could be anxiety or she could out grow it or he could run lots of test or refer us to some specialists to try to figure it out more. So, on his recommendation, we tried to eliminate gluten, which didn’t really help and then dairy, which also didn’t make any difference. We prayed and waited and then did a few more tests with some specialists and eventually decided to change her diet to exclude wheat and corn. Now, we have been very proactive in trying to treat the cause of her complaints rather than just alleviating the symptoms and the main tool that we rely on is prayer. I believe fully that God made Eila and He is able to heal her. I also know that His ways are not my ways, which is why we have prayed for wisdom and guidance in addition to requests for complete health for her. We have also asked others to pray for her and we have seen great improvement in her health. There have been a few complaints, but 1-2/month compared to 5-6/day is great. The fact that she is not 100% better leads the doctors to believe that there are likely other issues too and so we are still pursuing complete health and healing for Eila, who would really like to eat in a restaurant again or have a piece of candy one day.
NB:If you think you eat a lot of wheat, check again and see how much corn you ingest… It is everywhere! And we haven’t bought things with HFCS for years, but we do like to eat out. 🙂
This weekend, a few of my sisters and I met up in Chicago for a bit of shopping and eating. We did a manage to squeeze in a little time to talk and walk as well, but that’s about it. And, it was a blast. Shopping with my little sisters is so much fun and really the only time that have time to scour the sale racks or the energy to try on all the possible fabulous finds. I also love eating good food especially with great people and we did more than a little of that…
Getting to and from the windy city, I took the train and highly recommend it to anyone traveling alone. I had oodles of time to read, study, take notes, think, plan, dream in relative peace and quiet as the train chugged along. The monetary cost was very comparable to driving, but the benefits for a weary woman were priceless. Plus, it was fun for the kids to have an excuse to go to the real train station.
Josiah had such a good time with Daddy, he has asked me to return to Chicago next weekend as well. I just might.
Eila has been complaining on and off for several months about stomach aches at school. Mostly after lunch, but sometimes in the morning too. At first, we thought it was nerves. Then we wondered if it might be something else, so we took her to the doctor, who said she is fine and that lots of young kids complain and it’s usually anxiety. Well, we were wondering if she might be having some indigestion or maybe something she is eating is upsetting her stomach. Our doctor recommended trying to eliminate some common problem foods (first gluten, then milk, then both, then eggs, soy, etc.) and see how she feels.
So, I thought that making stir fry would be one of the meals that we ate that was already gluten-free, but then I realized that the oyster sauce and the hoisin sauce that I usually use in my sauce both contain wheat flour. This recipe that I made up turned out to be better anyway.
Easy Stir Fry Recipe
3 T. peanut or vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 t. grated ginger root
1/2 small onion, diced
8 oz. firm tofu, cubed
2 packages frozen stir-fry veggies
1/2 c. chopped toasted cashews
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. rice vinegar
1 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. sherry
2 T. honey
3 T. soy sauce (gluten-free)
1 T. corn starch
pinch white pepper
1. Mix sauce together in measuring cup or small bowl; set aside.
2. Heat large pan or wok over high heat and add 1 T. oil, when hot add aromatics (garlic, ginger and onion) and quickly cook them until fragrant then remove from pan and add to sauce mixture.
3. Add 1 T. oil (if needed) to pan and heat until just smoking. Add tofu and fry until browned on all sides. Remove from pan and set aside (on paper towel-lined plate).
4. Use final 1 T. oil in pan, reheating until smoking. Add vegetables and stir frequently until heated through.
5. Add sauce and tofu to veggies and simmer 3-5 minutes until thickened. Add cashews and serve over rice.
The word that currently best describes our family… hungry. It’s not that we don’t eat, because we do. Lots. And often. Usually well. It’s just that we want to grow and be healthy and happy so we need a little more. And, I’m not talking about only food. Although that is a big part of our hunger.
Some of us are hungry for love and attention. Some of us are hungry for time at home. Some of us are hungry for safe places to run and climb and swim. Some of us are hungry for God’s direction and clarity. Some of us are hungry for praise and encouragement. Some of us are hungry for rest and peace and quiet. Some of us are hungry for affirmation and affection. We get these things, and we are satisfied. But, then time passes and we are doing other things. Eventually, we each getting a bit cranky, and we realize that we are again hungry… We want more. We need more.
Last Friday, my kids and I cemented into tradition the way we greet the end of spring. We started the day picking up our canning supplies, which included new lids and some canning utensils. I cannot overemphasize the benefits of those tongs for removing the jars after they are processed in the boiling water bath, absolutely worth $5. From our local Kmart, we headed to the farm where we spent approximately two hours picking the best berries. I suppose “we” is a bit optimistic. Eila helped and picked about 3 quarts total, eating a quart. Josiah ate every single strawberry he picked. Thaddeus ate strawberries that Eila or I picked. After about an hour, the boys tired of the berries and decided to play in the paths around the field and in the car. All in all, we left with about 40 quarts of strawberries, twice as many as previous years.
The children got to work hulling the strawberries and mashing them up. Josiah helped stir while we cooked the berries, pectin and sugar. Then we sealed the jars and I started over again with another batch when the kids went to bed. It was a long day, but I now have a year’s supply of jam, plus nice presents to give to some lucky loved ones. I froze several quarts, made a strawberry pie for Father’s Day, strawberry muffins this morning, and have been enjoying fresh berries in salads and for snacks. I love the last week of spring, not only because it means it’s finally summer!
Every morning I get up and make a big breakfast for our family to enjoy together. It always includes coffee, water, and vitamins, but the rest varies with the day. Some of our breakfast staples include pancakes, waffles, scottish oatmeal, biscuits, and almond muffins. Each morning I try very hard to get everything on the table so that once I sit down, I don’t have to get up and I can imagine that I am in a lovely restaurant. The illusion is really very nice. I cannot think of a better way to start the day than the Yee Family Restaurant.
Here is my pancake recipe:
Soak 2 cups whole wheat flour and 2 T. ground flaxseed in 1-3/4 cups buttermilk, 1/2 cup milk, 2 T. butter, melted. (Mix together and leave on the counter overnight.)
In the morning, add 2 beaten eggs, 2 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. baking soda, 1/2 t. salt, and optionally 1 t. sugar and mix well.
Cook on hot griddle, flipping once when bubbles appear. Keep warm in oven. Serve with warm maple syrup, peanut butter, or fresh fruit.