Friday, April 29, 2011

Look At Me Mom!

I understand this propensity for climbing may run in his Daddy's side of the family! He just had to prove once again, that he totally belongs in this fam!!! :-)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Something I Have Really Been Enjoying!

So, I've been on a whole grains kick lately. We've been milling some of our own wheat for a while and I grew up with a home wheat grinder. But thanks to various contributing causes, I've been getting interested lately in pursuing whole grain use for our family in a more major way. Some of the things that have been encouraging me in that direction are as follows: some persistent health issues in our little family which would be nice to deal with, getting to chat with a friend who has recently been getting into more healthy eating, things I have been learning through the Bread Beckers about the MAJOR health benefits of whole grains which have been freshly milled and prepared... and my hubby buying me a new electric grain mill a couple months ago!

I've been learning that wheat is an extremely nutrient dense food. There are 44 basic nutrients that our bodies require to maintain healthy life... and all but 4 of them are contained in wheat!!! But we NEED to be consuming it in whole grain form... and if at all possible, freshly milled! I've learned that there is a LARGE difference between freshly ground whole wheat flour and whole wheat flour we buy from the store. As soon as wheat is milled it begins to oxidize and lose the rich, God-given nutrients that the grain is full of. Within 72 hours as much as 90% of the nutrients can be gone! And that's just talking about the difference between fresh whole wheat flour and the not-so-fresh whole wheat from the store... we haven't even gone into the white flour issue!

I have been greatly enjoying learning from the Bread Beckers, a family run business in Georgia that sells all kinds of grains, other healthy products as well as appliances to help in food preparation (we bought our grain mill from them). But beyond being a store they also offer a WEALTH of free information, training and inspiration through their free online video classes! They're fascinating and enjoyable and I come away so inspired to prepare healthier food for my family and try ideas they've shared!

When I made whole wheat bread in the past, I almost always put in part white flour and part whole wheat. I didn't think you could have very nice homemade bread without at least SOME white flour. And if I was going to do 100% whole wheat I thought I would probably need to add gluten and maybe soy lecithin. But I had neither and gave it a try without, using a recipe from Bread Beckers and have been so pleased! It IS possible to have very enjoyable bread made at home with 100% whole wheat! And beyond that, pancakes, cookies, cakes, cinnamon rolls, and more, can all be delicious as well! No, I haven't had great success every time... but I HAVE had A LOT of successes and been so pleasantly surprised and encouraged!

I've been having so much fun learning from these video classes and trying new things in my kitchen. I'd encourage you to join me. Check out some of the videos and consider ways that you can include into your family's diet more of the incredible nutrients that God has given us! In general, it seems the more man messes with the incredible food God made for us... the more we mess it up! We cannot improve on God's creation!

Throughout the classes, Mrs. Becker shows you various things they sell through their store... obviously, most of us can't run out and buy all of it! And we really don't need to in order to make some very healthy changes and additions to what our families are eating. The number one thing I would encourage someone to consider getting is a good grain mill. The Beckers have recieved MANY testimonials from people who have had major health improvements... simply by beginning to mill and bake their own bread. They share some of them on their website.

You'll see that there are several different classes available! So far, I have enjoyed the "Getting Started Class", watched a bunch of the "Healthy Eating Simplified" series and seen part of the class on making pasta. If you are new to the idea of doing your own milling and bread making, I imagine the "Bread Making 101" would be a good place to just check it out and learn more. The "Getting Started Class" would also be a good place to start... as the name might indicate! I greatly enjoyed that class!

Well, there is plenty more that could be said... but I will leave it at that for now!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Music Men

Stephen has been pulling out his guitar lately and playing it for chapel. Hilkiah thinks practice sessions are just wonderful!

But don't be fooled by the first few pictures. The little man was not content to sit on Daddy's lap and listen. Oh no. He must be part of this and display his own impressive musical talent! Poor Daddy.
If you blow this one up, you will see that he has a guitar pick in hand and a wide open mouth!

Trouble maker indeed... but an awfully cute one!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Captured Moments and "Clara-isms"

About a week ago we had a day of unusually warm weather and were able to go to the park jacket free! Yay! Here are a few captured moments to share:

Come on, Mom! And yes, I did take one trip down the slide. :-)

And here is a close up of the little man's first ever hair cut. Didn't Daddy do a great job???!!!

Now for a few cute "Clara-isms" from lately:

Excerpts from her prayers: "Please Mommy get better. Please Clara get better. Please Hilkiah get better. Please Daddy get better. Please all the guys get better." We had all been sick awhile back and she really noticed us asking the Lord to help us get better. The Lord blessed and we are thankful to all be in much better health now... but Clara has still been regularly asking for us to "get better". :-)

Clara's sharp little eyes noticed buds on the trees outside our window and called them "blueberries".

Cute phrases the girl has been using lately: "Let's see here...", "Just a second", "One question"

Another new thing is pretending that she is someone else. The other day she was pretending to be our new friend Marilen followed closely by pretending to be "Aunt Anna".

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Must Be One Of Us

It's official. Kiah is definitely a member of this family. He likes pasta. You pretty much HAVE to in order to fit in around here.

And after he got his picture taken... Sissy needed hers taken too!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Kiah's First Haircut!

As a treat to my large anonymous fan club, I submit the following video for your viewing enjoyment.

Gracie and I both think he looks like a cute little boy now that I cut off his mullet.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Join Us... On An Excursion To The Zoo!

We took an excursion to our local zoo today and I was impressed! Unfortunately, what had started as a sunny day had turned overcast and cold by the time we got there, but we had an enjoyable experience anyway.

There was a large variety of exhibits, a good number of which are indoor... an excellent feature in this climate! :-) I was extremely happy with the lion exhibit, and I think you may be able to see why in the following video!

Another highlight was the penguin display! If you find Clara's long jacket unique... that's because it's mine. I had dressed her in a sweater that was too light for the weather and, thank You Lord, had an extra windbreaker along!

After our long walk around the grounds in the chilly weather, fries and hot chocolate hit the spot! Unfortunately, Momma drake all the hot chocolate... but thankfully, Clara didn't seem to mind.

And fries weren't the only treat to be enjoyed, as you shall see....

Clara's last trip to the zoo had been in VA on her second birthday. Remember that, Mom F.?!!! Clara pretty much just watched people, pulled leaves off bushes, and other such non-animal related activities. Had a great time though! :-) This was totally different today. She was definitely getting the idea of checking out the different animals this time. Still found the other people interesting too! :-)

It was a fun outing! Another gift from the Lord to be thankful for!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fun Videos from the Blackberry

I have been saving these for a while. When I am at work sometimes I take a break and have a mini video-fest.

Stay tuned. I will down load some more in three more months......or sooner if I get some good comments.


The Boy

The boy has been showing his "boyness" lately. Brings us smiles. You should see the way he can turn a calm bath tub into a hurricane with simply two little chunky hands violently smacking the water! Rather messy, but too cute to cause much frustration in the parents.

Then there's the way he likes to stand next to the coffee table and clear everything on it onto the floor... and also open the little drawer and empty it of all the little cup coasters.

Then there are are the grunts and yells that come out of his little mouth.

Then there's the ball. Yup, he's already learning to throw a ball. Too cute! He's fairly good at it (says the biased Momma) but it does still land behind him sometimes! :-)

Our little man brings us much joy! And I know we will need much patience, grace, and wisdom from the Lord in how to raise him to be a manly man who is tough, strong, can take risks, and get dirty, and who is also a godly gentleman... like his Daddy and Grandpas! The wonderful adventure of parenting a boy has begun!

Enjoy the video of our little guy! (Are most of you able to see the videos we're posting? I know at least one friend was having a problem with one of them.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

My thoughtful husband called me up from work a couple days ago and said it was a nice day out and that the kids and I should get out and go walk or something. So, the kidos and I ended up at a beautiful lake near us where we walked and Clara had a grand time playing around in the lovely outdoors! She hasn't done much of that lately! For quite a while during the second half of our walk, she ran ahead of me, pulling this big stick she had found. She must of burned a lot of energy that day! :-) Kiah-man seemed to greatly enjoy himself too... every now and then he would wave his little arms up and down in this very happy way.

Enjoy the pics and video! And don't miss the following post regarding illnesses and Clara's doctoring skills.

Doctor Clara

We have all been sick here. Poor Hilkiah has had congestion and coughing that has just gone on and on! We kept thinking it would just run it's course and go away... but it didn't. :-( Then about two weeks ago Stephen came down with some nasty sinus infection or something. Then Clara came down with something... and then me too. On Monday we gave in and went to Urgent Care... all four of us. Both of the guys were put on antibiotics. Clara and I weren't. We all seem to be on the mend now! We have much to be thankful for... including a little girl who enjoyed playing Doctor last night! :-)