Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tasty Tuesday - Irish Soda Bread

Tasty Tuesday


I meant to post this prior to Saint Patrick's Day, but life doesn't always work that way. So here it is now. I modified a recipe that I found to accomadate what I had on hand. Enjoy! I know I did. I ate more than my share of this loaf.

1 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 tsp guar gum
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp molasses
3 tsp caraway seeds
2/3 cup golden raisins

Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a pie plate or 8" round cake pan and dust it with cornmeal. Whisk the dry ingredients together. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix gently and then add caraway seeds and raisins. Add some liquid (milk or sour cream if the dough is too dry). Pour the dough into the prepared cake pan or pie plate. Dust with cornmeal and slice a criss-cross into the dough. Bake in a preheated oven for about 30 minutes or until the loaf is golden and crusty and sounds hollow when tapped. Check for doneness with a toothpick. Cool on a cake rack for about 10 minutes. Turn out and less cool. Enjoy warm or cool. Be sure to put any leftovers in a closed container to enjoy any unused portions the next day.

For more Tasty Tuesday recipes visit City Wife, Country Life blog

Making Crayons

It is not always easy to keep a preschooler entertained during school time. He likes to do school, too, but only for a while. Today I saw a neat idea on the Little Birdie Secrets blog that I thought would make a good preschooler activity. We would recycle a bunch of broken crayons to make some new crayons. Nobody in our house uses broken crayons unless they absolutely have to. The kids also love using their Stockmar blocks which are similar. I can't wait to see all of the things my little guy will colour with them. The two oldest want to make their own sets, too. I can see these being great birthday gifts for other toddlers and preschoolers.

In case you don't have time to read the other blog, you simply sort broken crayons into silicone muffin cups according to colour or colour combinations of your choice. Bake in a 200F oven for 30-40 minutes or until melted. Let cool completely before removing them from the pan.



Monday, March 29, 2010

Stations of the Cross Box

Last week, I was reading several blogs trying to get ideas on how to make Holy Week more meaning. One thing I found, was a box for learning the Stations of the Cross. I saw this on a few blogs. I decided that we should make one, too. Owen has put this box to a lot of use ever since. It is amazing how quickly a four year old can understand and memorize the Stations with this kind of a tool.

First we found a small shoebox and decorated it with the Stations of the Cross from Catholicartworks.com. We decorated the top packing taped everything to make it durable. We printed out the Stations of the Cross cards from the pdf file here. We gathered objects to represent each station and voila, we had a Stations of the Cross box.

Our list is as follows:

First Station - piece of leather to represent the rope used for Jesus' arrest
Second Station - wooden cross
Third Station - bandage with the #1
Fourth Station - statue of Mary
Fifth Station - cutout of a hand with the inscription "helping hand"
Sixth Station - picture of Jesus' face
Seventh Station - bandage with the #2
Eighth Station - tissue
Ninth Station - bandage with the #3
Tenth Station - purple piece of felt
Eleventh Station - Nail
Twelfth Station - Crucifix
Thirteenth Station - picture of the Pieta
Fourteenth Station - rock

To look at some other Stations of the Cross boxes and for more ideas follow the links:

Cherished Hearts at Home
Catholic Icing
Growing With My Girls

Also to come... post on Resurrection Eggs.

Holy Week Daybook ~ March 29th, 2010


Outside my window... the sun is shining and it looks like a wonderful spring day. If only it weren't so windy.

I am thinking... how fast time flies when you have so much to do.

I am thankful for... my husband. He is so wonderful at helping me get things done with a high demand baby in tow.

From the learning rooms... week 27 (test week) of Seton home school study and lots of Holy Week activities and Easter preparations going on.

From the kitchen... leftovers from our Seder meal last night.

I am wearing... the baby. :-) and a t-shirt, floral skirt and leggings.

I am creating... a First Communion Dress for my daughter.

I am going... to try to stay focused and get lots of things done this week!

I am reading... too many books to list, some of which are kids books. Noah really enjoys reading the same book I am and having discussions about it.

I am hoping... that everything is ok with the baby. We have an appointment with the midwives for a weighing on Wednesday and an appointment with a pediatrician on Thursday to see if we can find out why baby isn't pooing.

I am hearing... the sweet sounds of a sleeping baby.

Around the house... lots of dirt and fingerprints. Have I mentioned that I have a new baby and that it is ok to have a dirty house?

One of my favorite things... a hot shower. A few minutes of mom-time under hot running water. I don't know what I would do without it sometimes.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Trying to finish our Easter preparations, spend time reading the bible and talking about the passion, death and resurrection of our Lord with the children. If all goes well, we will try to have a Holy Thursday tea like Alice's. I also hope to get the dress done, the house tidy and, and etc.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing... our seder meal. It is a tradition in our house to prepare a seder meal. Normally, we do this on Holy Thursday as a "Last Supper", but thought that it would be too hard to prepare during the week. We opted to not make our own gluten free matza, and had crackers instead. It isn't all kosher like it was last year, but we had to improvise a little. My favourite were the coconut-chocolate chip macarrons that Mia made at the very back on the table.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Library Finds

I love our public library. They sell their old books for $0.50 - $1.00 per book. Sometimes they are even priced lower than that at 2 for 1. I have walked out of our library once with six books for $3.00. One of the books was a book from the series of the Chronicles of Narnia. This Saturday I walked out with these three books:

The Ultimate Drawing Course by John Raynes

Knitting Over The Edge: Unique Ribs, Cords, Appliques, Colors, Nouveau (Hardcover)

Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing Butterflies and Moths (Hardcover)

Does your library do this too? Do you look forward to buying new-used treasures? My kids love going to thrift stores and looking through the used book section and shopping at used book stores. I hope we can find some of our school books for next year used and thrifty. I am a book shop-a-holic. I trade my visa points for gift cards at the bookstore. I have books in the amazon online cart right now, but feel terrible buying more books. Why? Because I just bought books last week using my points. I am already working on my booklists for next year. Updates to follow.

Spring Where Are You?

It is now officially spring and it is supposed to snow today. This reminds me of a book that I have read over and over again to each of my children, Franklin's Baby Sister. Franklin clangs on pots and pans to wake up nature beacuse he is awaiting a baby sister in spring. He isn't successful at waking up nature, but it is a neat thought. We have had some spring-like weather, but it is cold and grey again today. Yesterday, we went for a nature walk down by the creek looking for signs of spring, but saw this...

and this...

Although, we didn't find any signs of spring at the creek, we found some signs in our own backyard. Miss Rumphius would be happy to see that our lupins are beginning to grow. Our neighbour's tree is beginning to bud and our grass is trying to turn green. Maybe spring isn't too far off after all.

Kids That Cook

Since Patrick's birth, things have been crazy in our home. While trying to maintain my sanity, great things have happened! My kids have become quite proficientin the kitchen. All of a sudden, my kids have learned to cook. The only cooking that I have done is.... hmm I just give directions, I don't actually cook. While holding or nursing the baby, I tell everyone where to find my best recipes, give tips and tell shortcuts, taste test and trust. I have always wanted the kids to learn how to cook, but didn't let them do too much. I didn't want to have to clean up after them and I certainly didn't want the cooking and prep work to take FOREVER! Well, God is teaching me to be patient and trusting. Iam reaping the rewards. Who knew that a 7 and 9 year old (with some help from dad and a little from myself) could be so talented? I have enjoyed stews, muffins, banana bread, pasta and even crepes made by my children. Am I bragging? Yes! It is not totally on my account, but I can be proud anyways. Daddy has also become quite good in the kitchen. He is the best muffin baker and pancake maker this side of the great lakes. Here are a few pictures of my budding chefs.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life With a New Addition

We haven't had much time for blogging the last couple of weeks, which I believe is understandable. Is understandable even a word? Anyway, life has taken us for a whirl.

I am typing one-handed with a baby strapped to my chest. Just 3 short weeks ago, our baby was born into our family. The labour and birth were relatively easy. I called the midwife at 7:00am with irregular, but somewhat strong contractions. I had a bit of show, so I just wanted to know if this is finally it. I had been experiencing contractions for a number of weeks. At times they were quite regular, but then they would stop. At 9:00/9:30am, the midwife came. In the meantime, the kids, dad and I threw food in the slowcooker for supper and cut up some veggies and cheese for lunch. The midwife wanted to know how far along I was and gave me a qick check-up, only to find that I had already dilated 5-6cm. The kids all got the birth-day toys (toys we had bought and put away until the day of delivery). The boys each got a lego set and Maria got a newborn baby doll. The boys were busy building legos, the midwife was filling out paperwork, daddy went to buy coffee (we ran out) and I worked through my contractions. It was very peaceful. When Sascha came home, he began filling the kiddie pool in our living room. We had planned a water birth. When the pool was finally filled, I could hardly wait to get in. The contractions were getting stronger and the warm pool was very soothing. My water broke somewhere between 11:30 and 11:45am (I wasn't watching the clock, but I remember reading it in the protocol of the birth). At 12:02, I finally gave birth to a big baby boy, weighing 9lbs, 13oz. and was 22" long. I feel I must mention that this is my first Canadian born baby and he weighed almost 1 1/2 lbs more than my biggest German born baby. He was luckily born 9 days before his due date! Is there something in the water here that makes such large babies??? This was my first home-birth and the first birth that wasn't induced, the first completely drug and intervention free. The midwife was very hands off. She lovingly pressed on my back when my contractions were unbearable and provided some protection against ripping and tearing. I had one little tear, which was a far cry from the three previous episiotomies and tears beyond belief. No sewing was required and I was feeling great. I would do it all over again.

Although the birth was picture perfect and fairly easy, the last three weeks have been very trying. Our little guy lost almost 17% of his birth weight. He is three weeks old and is still 7% under his birth weight. We are working hard on getting a good milk supply going, are supplementing and praying like crazy. The stress of having baby weighed every few days by the midwives isn't helping either. I feel like I am back in school, hoping for an "A" after working hard on my assignments. So if you don't see anything from us for the next days or weeks, you know why. Keep Patrick in your prayers that he quickly regains his birth weight and that we can begin to really enjoy him. We waited almost 4 years for this addition and can hardly beleive that God had entrusted us such a beautiful baby.

Lord give us the strength to do Your will and bless all of those who have been praying for us.

Wordless Wednesday

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