Showing posts from 2011

A time of weaning: The end of a journey, the beginning of another one.

I sat staring at the blank blog page for a few moments, wondering where to even begin.  There is much more emotion surrounding this time than I even imagined.  I had wondered what it would be like, what I would feel, what Aaron would feel, do, say.

Weaning.  There were days that I thought the moment would never arrive.  Then there were days I wish I could have stopped time because I felt like we were on a journey where we had been hurdled through space and time and light speed.  I wanted to stop it, stop time and breath in the moments, trying to imprint the memories so deeply in my mind that it would always remain crystal clear.

Though this time can be quite intimate, I also want to share it publicly for many reasons.  First, because it is a tremendous thank you of gratitude to some very strong women who saw me through from dream, to reality, to sustaining.  Beth, Anna, Jennifer, Dagmar, Solimar, Aisha, Rikki and Nicole!  Women who lifted me up and guided me when I listened to my instin…

Unconditonal Parenting

More often than not the path as a parent that I want to take becomes so entangled that I lose sight of how I really want to connect with my sons.  I tend to find more peace and be in-tune with them when I'm calm, understanding and willing to step out of my own comfort zone and lose what "society" tells me I should do.

One way I have begun this journey is by watching Alfie Kohn's Unconditional Parenting DVD.  I've know WHAT I wanted to do since my boys were born.  But DOING it in day to day life can be  quite another thing.

This past week I REALLY resolved to jump on and begun consciously parenting and being the parent I know my boys need.  And with good results and peace in my own soul!

Below are the 10 basic principles of Unconditional Parenting.  Though this is just a glimpse, I highly encourage you to read the book or watch the DVD for full understanding!  Also after the 10 principles I'll add some You Tube clips/excerpts from Alfie Kohn's lecture!


Not looking back!

As I stooped to pick up a load of laundry, I gazed around my house at the utter mess.  Yes, I said it.  Utter mess!  A sink full of dirty dishes, several laundry piles, toys scattered in the bathroom, the living room, the boys room, our room and the kitchen.  A bowel of goldfish sat on the toy shelf, pretty sure the bathroom needs a good scrubbing, beds unmade...and laughter.  The sound of two little boys building towers and houses with legos as they laughed and pretended they were blasting off to the moon to visit Martian Mickey Mouse.

Messes tend to irritate me.  Just ask my husband.  I suddenly become Mr. Hyde and vow to throw away anything in my path!  But today the first thought that popped into my mind without even thinking was ... "I wouldn't trade this for anything.  I can barely remember life before this life, nor do I really want too."

That's right!  Sure life was fun, we had more money before children.  I did a lot more, ran around a lot more but in the end …

Cast iron cinnamon rolls! [And muffins too!]

I have been having a grand time finding, making enjoying cast iron recipes!  Because a few people asked, I thought I'd share these [somewhat] healthier versions of old favorites!  


2.5 cups whole wheat flour
Pinch of salt
2.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon 
3.5 oz melted butter
2 egg yolks
3/4 cup milk

-Whisk yolks, butter, milk
-Combined in dry ingredients 
-Mix until dough is soft
-Turn/knead on lightly floured surface
-Roll out to a 12x10 rectangle [cutting off uneven edges] 

1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp sugar [raw sugar worked beautifully!]
1 tbsp melted butter

-Mix all filling ingredients until blended
-spread evenly over dough
-I found that almost making a double batch of the filling works better to spread

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tbs milk

-Stir milk, 1 tbsp at a time, into powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached
-I also found that this glaze is *okay* for a quick one.  But a cream cheese glaze/icing would be better.  So use wha…

Bittersweet milestones: Finding me again!

Bittersweet.  That's the only term that fits it best.  Watching David and Aaron's milestones come and go as the months and years go by.  Bittersweet as the my family journey's through this thing called life, wishing many moments would last years.

Today is a bittersweet a day, a finality as a milestone has come and now gone.  For our family, early one, we did the family bed.  It worked well for us and brought about an amazing bond.  Amidst criticism and snide remarks like we were spoiling them, creating bad habits, letting them control us, not being "parent-directed" and creating dependency that would surely never end.  

For the past 4 years we have 1 then 2 then back to 1 little one in our bed.  We did the side car crib method to create more room and it was fantastic!  It kept them close, which made nursing a breeze, yet gave them and us the space we needed.

For the past 4 years I had forgotten what it was like not to have a wee one with us.  Around 2.5 years old Da…

Cast Iron Love: Part Duex...Fruit & Veggie art too!

My obsession continues.  With cast iron!  I've finally begun branching out and cooking more and more in them.  And I am blown away by the results.  I've never had such easy clean-up of cookware in my life!  Why didn't I discover this art sooner. 

I made our own deep dish pizza one evening and then meatloaf, potatoes and biscuits the next.  Both were hits.  Especially the meatloaf, and especially by Eric, who said ... "This?  Is Good!  Make it more often!"  A huge compliment! ;)

As I cook with them, I do chuckle to myself and think of historical things I have read or seen and note where they travel, many times on foot, with a few staple items.  One of them being cast iron.  That certainly adds weight to the travel!  What a work out!  

Now if only I had an old wood burning stove ;)  

On another note, in the summer homeschooling realm, we've been learning about fruits and vegetables.  The boys have enjoyed watching time lapse videos on YouTube.  It's amazin…

Learning to be a Cast Iron cooking pioneer!!!

The cast iron skillet lay buried in my pots and pans cupboard for 3 years. Dirty, dusty and worn, I took it out one day and decided to see what all the fuss was about.  

After asking, researching and reading, I spent one day cleaning and seasoning it!  So easy really.  Give it one good scouring, put a coat of vegetable shortening or oil on it, and bake it on 450 degrees for one hour.  Turn off the stove, let it sit another hour []  I did this several times throughout the day, gave it a few good layers.

The next day I took it for it's first test run.  I baked chicken in it.  I was impressed!  It didn't stick, it didn't burn, it browned beautifully and was moist!  And best of all, the skillet cleaned up in no time, some rinses under hot water, a wipe out with a hot water towel [no soap].  Dryed and a coat of veggie oil.

Cast Iron!  Better than any non stick skillet I have ever used or owned!  I will never turn back!!   I …

Toys, toys and more toys.

For the friends that saw, liked and commented on a Facebook post tonight [Sunday], it's easy to see that I get frustrated not only by little ones who love to play but not clean AND trying to figure out what to do with toys in a small area!

I love our house, the one thing I wish we had though is either at least one BIG bedroom for the all the boys things or an additional room [even small] for nothing but a playroom!  

As it goes, we make do with what we have in life right?  Our house is about 600 sq. ft. max.  The boys room is also a computer room.  So with two twin beds [that will be bunked at a later time when they are old enough.  I believe the AAP recommends children being at least 6 years old.], a computer cabinet and small dresser there is really only a space of about one body length to walk.  So not toys in there [at least to play with!]

Where are the toys you ask?  In the the living room of course, much to my dismay!  I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that having a…

Three revolutions around the sun and tipi dwelling!

It leaves me in awe as I stand at the end of the proverbial road of time and look back.  My own 40 years on this planet seem but only months.  In the midst of each year it feels long, but remembering the  years...they are too short.

Aaron's 3rd birthday has come and gone.  3 whole revolutions around the sun!  Looking back, it's but the blink of eye to me.  It truly seems like yesterday evening Eric walked across the hospital room and placed him in my arms.  I took him to my breast and thus began his life of nourishment not only physically but emotionally, spiritually and lovingly!  

To put into words what parents feel for there children is impossible.  There are truly no words this side of heaven to define the love that we feel, we breath, we give, we receive.  I always say it gives me a very small glimpse of what God must think of each one of us.  And if I can have the magnitude of love for my sons, how much MORE does the Lord have for me, for you, for us?  Amazing!

And amazing …

The passion in my heart, the fire in my soul!

I'm finding that after 40 years on this planet, no matter how fast I run, how matter how often, how long or how hard I push that ever consuming fire to the furthest reaches of my life....It comes back burning brighter, making its presence known...beckoning...."DO SOMETHING!"

Sometimes what to do EXACTLY down to the detail can be vague.  What to do generally can be an entirely different matter.

My heart, my soul, my life burns bright AND heavy burdened with thoughts of those who suffer.  Those who sleep tonight without a home, while we have a roof over our heads.  Those who went to bed hungry or were lucky enough to have maybe a meal, perhaps the first one all week...while we have our pantries and fridges stocked.  Those that have infinitely  less than I, yet I take forgranted more often than I'd like to tell you.

Weather or not one shares my faith in Christ these following principles can be understood and followed by anyone of any path.

Three things I know for s…

Fungus, field trips and volcanoes...OH MY!

It has been quite a couple of weeks for the school of Gouge!  The boys, especially David, have enjoyed being home so very much!  

I've been trying to keep them busy with a myrid of fun but educational activities.  Hey, why NOT be sneaky about it when I can? ;)

I realized that even though I would love to take them to "far off places", time and money can be a hindrance.  As I was eating dinner one night I looked out the window to a tree stump where we put bird seed to feed our local birds.  I saw 2 beautifully growing mushrooms.  It struck me that we don't have to "go" anywhere beyond our driveway.  A whole world waited just outside our door to explore!  So exploring we would do!

The next day we went on a mushroom hunt!  We started by watching some time lapse YouTube clips of various fungi growing.  The boys LOVED it!  And it was a great way for them to begin to learn the life cycle via pictorials and simplicity!  

Here are a couple of the clips we watched.

They r…