October 31, 2008


I went to Archiver's this week, intending to splurge and get myself the Bind-it-all, which is $59, but use my 30% off coupon, so it'd be more like $40, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I remembered how nicely my Crop-o-dile made holes through thick stuff. So, I got some of the wire and bound this book I've been working on for quite a while...
Then I made a little one with Olivia...
She's writing her name really well and learning some new short words! We're doing the Book It Pizza Hut reading program...I did it 20 years ago!
* It is a reward system, you read to your child and then when they are older, they read to themselves and get a FREE pizza.
After working at the preschool today, I came home and helped the girls finish up their homeschooling lessons. Then, I got Pippi on the Run, at the library, made in 1977....a wildly fun and imaginative film. My parents came by and brought food (we ate a delicious barley dish, tomatoes, cucumbers and falafel for dinner). Mom made chocolate covered popcorn with almonds to enjoy while we watched the movie! Dad made us tea to enjoy.
We ended the day with Chapter 17 of Little House on the Prairie, in which Pa went to town and brought back glass for windows in their new home. Laura and Mary were so excited. The things we take for granted in 2008, like glass windows were so very special to them.

October 27, 2008

Today is really chilly...

One of my blogging friends recently tagged me. So, without further ado, here are 7 random things about me:

  1. Anything homemade makes me happy, especially food, but also handsewn clothes, handmade cards, a painting...

  2. I would love to see the first African American president in the somewhat near future (however I was thinking in the terms of Alan Keyes)!

  3. I am going to get some raw milk this week, I have to drive out of's like bootleg, can you believe it? $7 per gallon.

  4. Last night, we made some fantastic Thai food with some friends. I'm learning all these names, but we made sticky rice, Larb, Green Papaya Salad, Pork Satay, and Pod Thai.

  5. A fire is gently burning in the fireplace.

  6. Today I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns...what an emotional, deep and realistic fictional novel.

  7. I am doing a painting for Art For A Cause...the proceeds benefit Afghan war orphans (one place badly in needs of funds described in the above-mentioned book).
    Now I'm tagging: Susanna, Anne, Jovina, Amanda and Kristina - I wanted to tag everyone...but if you want to play along, I'd love to read yours, so leave a comment and let me know, pretty please with sugar on top!

October 24, 2008

Eritrean Orthodox

A friend from church, Magdalena, stopped by yesterday and we ended up going to a new local restaurant owned by a family from Eritrea, a country in East Africa, that is near to Ethiopia. We were surprised to see a donation box for their church building fund on the counter, they are Orthodox Christians, like us! We asked them about their church and they told us that presently they have a priest that comes down once a month from Columbus, Ohio for service. It starts at 7:30am and ends about 11:00am Sundays. If we combined Vigil and Liturgy, that's how long it would be for us, too, but we do half of the service on Saturday in the evenings.

We ate mostly using the "ingera" a large, soft, flat bread, that is like a crepe or blini, but not made with flour, rather a grain called teff.

A glimpse in their modern bathroom! The drain was long and narrow, basically a slit.

October 20, 2008

Slippers for roofers??

Yep. Rob wore his L.L. Bean slippers, used his climbing gear and rope while patching up the roof, where we'd had damage from the windstorm last month. It was fun to watch him up there. It was a lovely sunny weekend...and the sunglasses also make me look cool, eh? We played hide-n-seek, jumped on the trampoline, walked to the park, etc... lots of fun outside stuff!!!
Today, Olivia lost her first tooth! Finally, it had been wiggly for a LONG time. Months.

Look at that pretty new smile.
You can see how Twinkle is healing. It's been about 2 weeks. Believe me, it was pretty bad. She loves bananas, but is smart. I'd been giving her the antibiotic in a slice of banana twice daily and she figured it out, so I tried a grape...that didn't work. So, now, I'm not feeding her at all until she eats the fruit with the medicine. I know, sounds cruel, but I want her to be recover well.

Hannah and Olivia were both promoted in karate class. As you see, Hannah has an orange belt with a white stripe and Olivia got a yellow belt with a black stripe. I was very proud of them doing their kata! They both move with such confidence.

October 17, 2008

Chess, anyone?

This is a great age to learn chess. Hannah has been teaching Olivia and now they both can play! Unfortunately, Lusy, our dog, wags her tail right beside our coffee table quite often and in the past month, or so, we've lost two rooks and a pawn!

I've changed the header, but will change soon! If anyone wants, feel free to copy any header I made and edit to your liking, adding a picture of you or your family. I welcome the cool weather...and hope for a big snowfall this winter! We had so much fun sledding last year.

Oh, about the teeth...about 6 months first tooth for my girls, but seems in our family five is the normal age for getting "adult" teeth!

October 14, 2008

Your turn...

I want to ask each of you to take a turn voting on your FAV header below...
But first, someone's got a really loose tooth! In July, our dentist told her she had a wiggly tooth. Then, Sunday in church, my sister, Susanna, noticed when she showed her how wiggly it was...saw a NEW one growing behind it! So, I tried to take a photo of it for you to see (and me to scrapbook, of course), but she had just finished eating soup, this is real life, no cleaning up or posing besides me asking her to show me her tooth...

So, now on to my header...
It's your turn to choose, this NEW one or an "old" one that I made (you can vote on the sidebar):
4. Keep this one?
5. The design of that last one is fun, definitely "winter," but I love the togetherness!

October 10, 2008

A few of my favorite grains...

Quinoa....okay, so quite a few people requested a "tutorial" which I would love to give, but could do that in person best. C'mon over!!! Or if you can't, it's a lot like rice, 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then cover and let simmer over low heat for 15-20 minutes. I add salt to taste, if you saute onions and add olive oil, it's better. I actually browned chicken (with bones and skin...more flavorful) in the skillet first with a bit of olive oil, then added the quinoa and water and cooked it. Hope that helps!!!

Oats...we eat these pretty much every Wednesday and Friday for breakfast. Sometimes we make a buffet of it, with honey, cinnamon, a bowl of coconut, sliced almonds, raisins, or peanut butter. We got a canister of the John McCann's steel cut oats, but I like rolled ones best, they cook a bit quicker. I must say that I don't like the "quick oats" that have been rolled and chopped up so they're practically indistinguishable, I like to see my oat. Silly, I know.

Rice...there are so many varieties, but we usually get brown takes a bit longer to cook than your white variation. I like it with black beans and cumin, a bit of fresh cilantro and tomatoes if we have them!!! My husband had a friend from Thailand who gave him a huge pot that holds a basket to boil sticky rice in...oh, you have to soak this stuff overnight first, too. It's really good, fun to eat with your fingers and dip into mango sauce! mom made a lot of tabouli this summer, it's so good, with fresh mint! I also love getting the Mediterranean sampler at Trader Joe' has tabouli, falafel, hummus and pita!

Buckwheat...again, my mom makes this best. She sautees onions and adds enough olive oil and salt, so that's it's tastey. I have to admit, I like it plain with honey drizzled on top for breakfast. Ground buckwheat is really great in pancake batter!

I try to make sure there is something beside wheat grains in our daily diet. Here is a list of other things I keep away from (someone at the school where I work lent me a book called Nourishing Traditions, because I told her I had so much leftover whey from the cheeses I've been making, but it also has some excellent thoughts on highly processed foods):

  • soy (so highly processed, did you know it's used in making most plastics?)

  • corn syrup

  • MSG (monosodium glutamate)

  • hydrogenated oils (we LOVE real butter)

Oh, Joscie, I do like Ramen noodles now and then...but I toss out that seasonings packet (full of MSG, it is known to give folks diarrhea) and add my own veggies. I'm certainly not a total health-nut, I'd love to be. I am going to use corn syrup this weekend and try to make some marshmallows!!! There's a recipe in my Joy of Cooking and it doesn't sound too complicated! I'll let you know how it goes.

We have a sick bunny in the house...usually they are in the hutch outside, but I think Twinkle got in a fight with a cat (sometimes, I let them run around the yard for a few hours, since it's fenced in). There is a cat in the neighborhood who jumps fences, she's quite adventurous and I've spotted her in our yard. Anyhow, Twinkle has been pulling hair out, and I saw that there was blood underneath, so I took her to the vet on Tuesday who confirmed that this was serious...and gave us an antibiotic for her. I've been putting the pills into a slice of banana and she gobbles them up. She eats our apple cores, loves dandelion greens and, of course, her alfalfa pellets (which Olivia is feeding her in the photo). The vet said that her wounds are so bad she has to stay inside, because flies will be all over her wounds...and then maggots...ew! So, please say a prayer for Twinkle!

October 6, 2008

Here and there...

My friend Sylvia is hosting another giveaway:
Hugging their Great-grandma! Although I didn't get to celebrate, I was there in spirit. I went to the CAEYC (Cincinnati Association for the Education of Young Children) conference at Union Terminal. The keynote speaker was Jack Grunsky. I bought one of his CDs, very cheerful and fun songs. His "Songbirds" is my favorite so far!!!

This is the "walker tote" I sewed as a gift for her. Did you see the purple/green one on her walker? A friend made that for her, but she mentioned that she'd like a NEW one.

We went to Whole Foods after church yesterday and I picked up some oats and quinoa (Trader Joe's hasn't had it for a couple of months), then saw another bin of quinoa, in a lovely shade of deep red, called "heirloom quinoa" it was just 10 cents more per pound, $1.49. Pretty isn't it?

So, I cooked this last night for dinner along with some chicken and it was scrumptious!

P.S. Notice my "made in the USA" Pampered Chef Mix 'N Scraper...I have 2 of them and use them everyday, seriously!

October 3, 2008

String beans

My friend, Sylvia, send me a package of String Beans, what a great concept! Visit her friend's shop:

P.S. I look deceptively thin in this photo, it's just the shirt combined with the way I was standing! Oh, that necklace is made primarily out of yellow lentils!

October 1, 2008


I have a ton of photos to scrapbook, from the recent weddings, our church's Russian Fest, the trip to Iron's last mention a few. I really love hanging out with my family. My sisters and I had manicures and pedicures, then went out to lunch one day during the summer. That picture is one of my favorites.

I got a McCain yard sign and car magnet. I've seen many Obama ones and feel like sometimes people might not realize how many McCain supporters there are... It's closer than you may think. It's our duty to go out and vote...I hope each and everyone of you think things through and vote. Nov. 4th I'll be there bright and early!

Now, look at these precious photos. McCain and Palin MAY be politicians, but they are real people, too:

Personally, I consider myself a crunchy conservative. If you see me at the grocery store, I'll have a cloth bag, to conserve water, we have 2 sixty-gallon barrels to collect rain water, for our garden, when it came time to feed my babies, I nursed them, because that's the best thing for them, what God created women with breasts for and why waste the plastic or glass on bottles? I wish I had used cloth diapers, but everyone has to make choices. I do what I can to be conscientious and take care of our earth. Overall, I'd say I'm a tradition-loving person, I like to do things in an old-fashioned way, I'm not for big CHANGE.