Ten Things I Am Thankful For

1. Family. I love them all. It’s just not right that there would have so many awesome people in one family and that I am apart of that family. I think I have something like 75 people in the extended family and they are all so much fun!
2. Faith. Who and where would I be without the saving grace that is constantly at work changing me and has given me life?
3. Friends. It boggles my mind to think of all the people that I have called friend and have returned that over the years. I am most thankful for those who still call me friend when I am not a friend.
4. Food. Honestly, I love to eat and create things with food. I cannot think of anything more fun that sharing a delicious meal with friends or family.
5. Games. Playing games is really fun and helps me to be at ease in a group of people when I wouldn’t normally.
6. Home. It’s where the heart is (and also the messy kids and hubby that I love so much!)
7. Computer. I really like to have all sorts of information available for me to learn and get organized, etc. It’s so convenient.
8. Health.
9. Books. So many to read, so little time.
10. Bed. I’m really tired and it’s so comfy…


Cooking Up Something Good

With all the rain we’ve been getting, I’ve been doing a lot of baking. Yesterday, the kids and I made some bread and crescent rolls (at Eila’s request, but she didn’t like them). Monday, we made corn dogs (at Josiah’s request, which he loved) and today we made Snickerdoodles (per Joe’s wish). We also made a yummy lentil dish.

Everyone loved the lentils with chicken and rice. Here’s the recipe:
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 T. spices (oregano, basil, rosemary, marjoram, parsley, thyme)
1.5 cups lentils
4 cups chicken broth
lemon juice
balsamic vinegar
asiago cheese

Saute the onion, carrot, and garlic in olive oil. Add spices. Dump this mixture into rice cooker and add lentils and chicken broth. When tender, add a couple splashed of lemon juice and a splash of vinegar. Serve with rice and leftover chicken and top with grated cheese.


Mmm… Granola

My house smells so good right now, like warm honey and almonds. I think that there are few things better than homemade treats. My favorite sweets include freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls and granola. I couldn’t wait until breakfast and had a bowl while it was still warm!
Here’s the recipe:
3-1/2 cups rolled oats
2 cups almonds, smashed/cut in pieces
1/4 cup shredded coconut
small handful of brown sugar (about 2 T. probably)
1/4 cup honey and a little extra
1/4 cup oil
Mix together, then spread on cookie sheet and bake at 250 F for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Stir occasionally while cooling to prevent clumping.



Every week I make a plan of meals in my head, this week I’m going to write it down…

Fruit and yogurt smoothies
Oatmeal (with dried apricots or honey)
Toast (honey whole-wheat recipe from Gwen) with peanut/sun butter
Egg, lettuce, tomato sandwich
Zucchini muffins

Rice salad and fruit
PB & J and veggies and fruit
Pizza and fruit
Hummus on crackers and veggies and fruit
Grilled cheese and veggies and fruit
Taco salad (cucumbers and green peppers) and fruit

Toast & cheese
Fruit & yogurt
Veggies & hummus
Zucchini muffins

Pizza (homemade) and salad
Lentils and rice (onions & green peppers)
Lasagna (veggie?)
Broccoli, tomato, sausage rotini
Fish, couscous, green beans
Tacos and black beans
Caprese salad and spaghetti

Comments (3)

Book Review: In Defense of Food

If you eat fast food regularly or frozen dinners more than once in a while then you might benefit from the information in this book, but I really don’t know many people who aren’t at least vaguely familiar with how they should eat. I think that Mr. Pollan gets it right when he says that it is a matter of priority. Spending more money and time on food to have a greater quality of food and a lesser quantity of food is of interest to me and lots of people that I know (because let’s face it we often associate with people who are interested in the same things we are), but not to the general public.

This book has an interesting discussion of the rise and preeminence of nutritionism in America and the deleterious effects of this philosophy. It also contains an amazing resources section with lots of other places to go for more information on eating well all around. I would add the resource of NourishMD for moms as it is a company devoted to encouraging moms to feed their kids real food. The first seven words (and the entire third section of the book) are the recommendations for eating real food. “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly Plants.” I found this book to be a recap of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” with the addition of basic holistic eating info.

I did sort of laugh at Michael Pollan’s suggestion that eating real food is a type of rebellion… Those darn hippies.

Comments (2)

Book Review: The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Something that I think about often – about five times a day – is what to eat or what to prepare to eat. I, of course, want it to be healthy and wholesome and tasty and easy. Well, this book is sort of about that. It is really about where our food comes from (or where it could come from) and how it gets to our table. I found it to be a very interesting topic and well researched and written. The author is a journalist, so I expected as much. This is the type of book that will cause you to re-think what you eat and how you spend your food money. If you are happy eating processed corn and aren’t interested in change, then do not bother with this read. I really appreciated all the info on farm industry as well as the history of the organic movement. I learned a lot about mushrooms and grass and more than I wanted to know about corn, chickens and cows in the farm industry.
I think I’ll try to read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food next.

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Funniest Thing Ever

“Mommy, come see the funniest thing ever. Hurry!”
I rush outside to see a cherry pits and stems and a plum pit thrown about the deck. This was so not the funniest thing ever, but I did at least produce a mild grin.


One More Thing

Okay, two more things to be thankful for are health and help.

I made a special trip to U of M today with Thaddeus and am so thankful for my good friend, who graciously agreed to take both of the other kids even though J was throwing up last night and not only that, she made us dinner too!

Thad has had a pretty rough go of this cold that he got from Siah and was having some signs of breathing trouble, so we were sent to the ER and after a brief check by several doctors, he was given the all clear with just a stuffy nose.

So, thank God for friends who help and for baby brother’s health.

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This fall I joined the Holistic Moms Network and have enjoyed attending the local meetings and being part of the email loop, but find some of it a bit over the top. I have to keep myself in check to not spend hours a day reading and following all the trends and ideas of ways to be healthier and greener and more natural in everything. I struggle to remember that not everything that I read or hear from these well-meaning women is truth; in fact, most of it is just speculation or humble opinions. Yet, there has been a very interesting thread about how much various families spend on food.

Apparently, most of the families that commented spend about $700-800 per month buying mostly organic produce, grains, dairy, eggs, and free-range meats. Some spend as much as $1500/month for a family of four and some as little as $350/month. Some people included soaps (laundry, dish, and body) as well as vitamins and homeopathic remedies, which I think are pretty expensive. We fall somewhere in the middle, but our difficulty in cutting back on food expenses is not in the grocery store, but in eating out. If we stopped eating out altogether, we could easily halve our food expenditures. I’m not interested in pursuing that budget shortcut just yet. I really enjoy dining out for the break it provides me from cooking and cleaning up after meals, but also for the chance to try foods that I don’t/won’t make at home.

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Family Update: Allergies, Weaning and More

So, today was Josiah’s visit to the allergist and after two hours, I came away with a prescription for singulair and an epi-pen as well as a tired and hungry little boy, whose skin test showed no allergies. It seems strange to me that despite a clear skin test, the allergist felt that the evidence was strong enough for Josiah to need me to carry an epi-pen around everywhere we go. He went for a blood test too, but we’ll discuss those results in a month. In the meantime, we are to continue to stay away from dairy and also eggs now. Plus, Josiah is to get a bath of at least 30-minutes each and every day followed by lots of lotion.

I don’t know if I’ll fill the prescriptions, but the allergist made a good case for the singulair especially since Josiah seems to be getting a little cold now and that is a big trigger for his asthma. I hate to disboey orders and not follow directions, but at the same time my main role (IMO) as his mom is to take care of him as best I can. Part of taking care of Josiah includes not pumping him full of unnecessary drugs and also taking the steps needed to prevent the preventable (like breathing problems due to a cold.)

This past weekend was momentous for the Yees as it was the first time I left for more than a few hours. Brian took off two days from work while I traveled to Dallas for the MOPS Int’l Convention. I had a great time learning and gaining vision and perspective and having a little bit of time to refresh. The trip did result in the complete weaning of Josiah. There is nothing left for him to get, but he is still asking often. He seems okay with a chocolate (rice) milk substitute, even if a little disappointed. This means that I am able to resume a normal diet as full of dairy as I desire.

Eila is very hopeful that she will have a little sister in about 6 months. I am now over 14 weeks pregnant with baby #4 and Eila has been very clear that she would like this one to be a girl. We’ll find out on November 5, God willing, if she is going to get her wish. I am feeling pretty good, if a little bit tired. The kids have been really interested in the baby since we checked out a very informative book from the library (maybe a little TMI was included in the first reading, but Eila hasn’t seemed to notice the skipping of the middle since then!)

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