Monday, November 29, 2010

Revamped leftovers {for Breakfast}

As I get older, more of my Grandmothers' depression era ways seem to be surfacing.  For instance, I have a really hard time throwing any food away. Could it be I feel the need to conserve a bit in the face of  boys who are capable of eating 9-12 eggs for breakfast?  Maybe it's not my might just be my grocery bill! 

I often recycle dinner into breakfast the next day, but Thanksgiving afforded me an opportunity to totally revamp some popular leftovers - cranberry sauce over pancakes, anybody? 

::Sweet potato pancakes with Cranberry Sauce::
serves 6 

Make Cranberry Sauce first:
1 bag cranberries, washed and picked clean
juice of 2 or 3 oranges
1/2 c maple syrup, agave nectar or xylitol 
Cook covered for about 15-20 minutes.  Stir well before serving warm over pancakes.
While the cranberry sauce cooks, make your pancakes.
2 C pancake mix - you know I used Pamela's GF
1 T cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
3 eggs
1 1/2 c water or milk
2 T melted butter or coconut oil
1 C (or whatever amount is in your fridge) leftover mashed sweet potato
You know how to mix up pancakes - just stir the sweet potato into your wet ingredients. Cook them on a well oiled pan, and try not to drool at the sight and smell of such yumminess!

Serve pancakes by heaping cranberry sauce on top of the big ole stack you serve your natives.

The baintrain said these are they've ever eaten.  

Not too bad on the grocery bill either!

Jen, Rachel, Kristin, Laura and Kelly

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. (thornton wilder)


Monday, November 22, 2010

If you give a seven year old a camera...

 You'll wind up with interesting self-portraits

 You'll glimpse what's truly important in his eyes: 6 shooters,
  a home-made tattoo

 and the most important: the invincible sock.
 The pet portraits you've been waiting for

 Will be ready to frame

You'll have confirmation of the best napping spot, ever!

Just when you think he's exhausted all possible subjects, you'll find
more self portraits!
And fine art.  

Turn your head sideways now...


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Awe inspiring Breakfast Cookies

Only a 7 year old who really liked the latest breakfast recipe would name it awe-inspiring breakfast cookies.  I'll be the first to admit that being gluten free has become a lot easier and much more manageable in the last several years.  Still, when I friend shared a recipe for oatmeal cookies with fresh cranberries I felt bogged down by my mental list of substitutions. 

As luck (and the real food blog carnival at Kelly's) would have it, I came upon this recipe. With lots of eggs it met my protein criteria for breakfast, and It looked good enough to eat right off the screen. I decided the only tweak would be adding the cranberries - and cutting out 1/4 c honey.   I knew cookies for breakfast would be a hit, so I went ahead and doubled it, which made several dozen.  So glad I did!  They have made breakfast and snacks super simple around here for the last few days.  I hate posting a recipe you have to order something for, but at least you can get the oil and flour from the same place

 :: Awe-inspiring breakfast cookies::
makes about 4-5 dozen
2 c coconut flour
1 1/2 c coconut oil
1 3/4 c honey
12 eggs (surely by now you've at least looked to see if there's a farmer in your area) 
1 T vanilla
4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut - I might take a 1/4-1/2 c more
fresh cranberries

First - you'll need to order the flour and oil.  If you are fortunate enough to live near a store that sells said ingredients, make some space for for that on your gratitude list. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Get a big bowl out - you're gonna need it.  Enlist a sweet 4 year old to help you crack all 12 of those eggs, and mix them with honey til well combined.  Add melted/cooled oil and vanilla.  Keep mixing and add flour.  It will take a few minutes to come together; once it's resembles soupy cookie-dough, stir in coconut (the way you would if you were making oatmeal cookies).  Get your hands wet and form the dough into golf ball sized balls and put on parchment lined baking sheets.  They will not spread so utilize your helper again and get him to press the golf balls down flat - but not too flat, since you're going to add cranberries to the top.  My helper decided on cranberry faces, so we used a lot of fresh berries.  It's up to you, but I think the tartness of the berries was the perfect addition to these cookies.  In other words, pile them on.  Bake for about 25 minutes until lightly browned.  

Mexicanjumpingbain says he'd bet his own money the first word out of your mouth after trying one of these is 'awesome!'


linked to:
Jen, Rachel, Kristin, Laura and Kelly

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Standing Against Cancer Update

As Thanksgiving approaches, I thought many of you would be interested in this report from the Hawkins family.  "Thank you" is not enough to express the difference your generosity and kindness has meant to this family.  You have been a shining example of what a grateful heart can accomplish.   I will continue to accept gift cards in any amount. 

Another day, another story,

Another week covered with love!
We have made it through the first 12 days after treatment with little side effects. Praise The Lord! This truly is an answered prayer. Our Dr said that the first 2 weeks of treatment would tell us how he could tolerate the drugs and I feel that he has done beautifully!!  Jeff has been fatigued and his mouth is getting tender but he never got sick and he still has hair!! (3 of the drugs can cause hair loss) Yeah! He has had days where he just sat around and a few days where we went outside and enjoyed the nice weather. 
Our biggest challenge this week was getting Jeff off the pain pump. During this time we have had to change pain meds and try to figure out the correct dosage.  We are still working on this.  It is an art to figure out the correct dose.  The new medicine seems to really work, and fast.  He sticks a little tablet up above his gum and it dissolves.  He can feel relief within 10 minutes.  The problem is…it is a new medicine and no one really stocks it.  We are learning that we need to order it ahead of time!
I have been so thankful to be home with him.  We have had some fun moments together.  He is eating much better and is becoming VERY SPOILED with me being home!!  He has really enjoyed those of you that have stopped by.  This really gives him something to look forward to and makes the day go faster.  His spirits are good and we are holding onto our Faith for strength. We take each day as it comes and make the most of it. 
WOW! God works in amazing ways…so many wonderful things have happened this week-I cannot list them all but here are a few.  A special surprise from China-via internet- the kids at the Children’s Home where we lived Summer '09 made a huge sign for Jeff with their hand prints and names.  One of the wonderful staff there coordinated it, took pictures and emailed them to someone in our SS class.  She printed them on a sheet and framed it! We will receive the actual banner before Christmas. It is so comforting to know that we have people all over the world praying for Jeff. 
Many other needs have been met this week even before I could think of them.  Kids carpool, laundry, food, repairs to our house, leaves blown, gift cards, letters from people that I have never met…the list goes on!!
This is my sign that God is in total control of this situation and that we are going to be matter what the outcome is. I get my inspiration from songs.  Light Up The Sky by The Afters-I am clinging to this week.  I want to share the lyrics with you:
So I run straight into Your arms 
You're the bright and morning sun 
To show Your love there's nothing You won't do
Light light light up the sky 
You light up the sky 
To show me You are with me 
I I I can't deny 
No I can't deny that You are right here with me 
You've opened my eyes 
So I can see You all around me 
Light light light up the sky 
You light up the sky to show me 
That You are with me 
Jeff will have a treatment this Thursday Nov. 18.  It will be a 1 hour treatment with 2 drugs.  He has had these drugs in the past 2 weeks, just not together. Please pray for little or no side effects.  Pray for complete pain relief and comfort.  Pray for lots of good days and most of all pray for COMPLETE HEALING.  Again, we have faith the God is capable of healing Jeff.  Continue to pray with us through this journey.
In HIM!!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wake up and smell the Chocolate

Wake up and smell these flourless, chocolate banana muffins.  You will not regret using the brown bananas taking up space on your counter for this recipe instead of banana bread.
::Flourless Chocolate breakfast muffins::
{makes 5 dozen mini muffins}
6 fresh eggs
1/2 t sea salt
3/4-1 c. honey or agave nectar (you know I'm always cutting back on sweetners)
1/2 c. melted coconut oil
4-5 mashed bananas  (about 2 cups)
1 c. cocoa

This is a one bowl recipe.  Mash bananas and add eggs.  Mix well and add salt, honey/agave, cocoa and oil.  All of that mixing will take you less than 10 minutes. Guaranteed.  Fill lined muffin cups 2/3rd way full and bake at 350 about 15 minutes. 

Your house will smell like brownies and you'll be off to quite a good start. 

Enjoy the yumminess...

linked to:
Jen, Rachel, Kristin, Laura and Kelly


Sometimes you hear a scream and you know there's a serious problem.  It's the scream that  chills your chest cavity, and makes you start praying instantly.  It's the this-is-not-a-joke scream - the one that makes you start calculating how quickly you can legally drive to the ER. 

Limabain screamed like that last Sunday afternoon.  He'd received the gift of a new knife from my parents and I had approved it as not that sharp. This isn't his first knife, but it was obviously much sharper than we realized. While admiring his latest treasure, he accidentally stabbed himself through jeans, long johns and boxers.  After intense back and forth discussion with Mainbain, it seemed a trip to the ER for stitches was necessary.

While I put my shoes on, consulted my sister/nurse and grabbed my bag, Limabain confided his concern that going to the ER would take so long he's miss movie we'd been planning to see all weekend. 

We arrived at the minor/med/ER and after a remarkably quick trip through triage we were assured that all he needed was a bit of Dermabond - which is  just a fancy medical term for Superglue

At which point the screams coming from the exam room were mine...


Halloween= new words

Who knew the motley baintrain would aid in new words for the dictionary - twice in one evening!

Stringbain: Angus Young - lead singer of AC/DC. Limabain: a random rocker - not pictured are his tatooed arms.  Butterbain: glow-in-the-dark-army skeleton - he came up with the whole thing, and even directed older brothers on his face paint.  Mexicanjumpingbain: the Sundance Kid. 

At one point I talked mjb into wearing one of my belts with a big turquoise buckle - he brought it back to me  explaining he couldn't "wear anything with 'Scrumples'!"

As we were trick-or-treating I looked down and saw that butterbain's chest was really lit up with the special glow in the dark paint on it. I commented he had achieved good "glowth" on his costume.

Whether you wore scrumples or had good glowth - I hope your Halloween was a treat!


Thursday, November 11, 2010


No, I haven't cleaned out the junk guest room.  I'm too busy finding out at dental appointments which kid isn't brushing their teeth good enough and when the next in line is getting braces.

No, I haven't bought a single Christmas gift.  I'm too busy not getting ready for my entire family coming to visit for Thanksgiving.

No, I haven't finished reorganizing the boys' summer and winter clothes.  I'm too busy not thinking about creating our family's Christmas card.

No, I haven't begun to think about holiday gifts for the boys' teachers.  I'm too busy trying to juggle field trip dates, school play practice schedules and Kindergarten sight words.

No, I haven't called back my friend who's called twice, answered those last 14 emails or bought my brother a birthday (Sunday) gift.  I'm too busy thinking about how many times we've eaten pizza this week.

No, I haven't read the 6 books and 33 magazines on my nightstand.  I'm too busy still not getting ready for my entire family coming to visit for Thanksgiving.

Another day, another story,

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What we drink with breakfast, plus a freebie

This is the post you've been waiting for. I know you wonder (you do, right?) what a real food/whole food advocate would be serving to drink with the most important meal of the day. The answer: Kombucha.

I do not need to recount or link to the hundreds of articles about how good pro-biotics are for you. How they aid digestion, boost immune system function and increase general health. Yogurt has live cultures, as does kefir which I've mentioned several times. The only draw back is milk supply. Since we only drink raw milk, sometimes supply is an issue for yogurt and kefir production. 

Enter our latest and greatest pro-biotic friend: Kombucha.  A friend supplied me with a starter culture for my first batch this summer (when our milk supply was low)
and it quickly became the breakfast beverage of choice, far surpassing juice. It's light and tastes like sparkling apple cider, even though it's it's just fermented tea.  Making it is ridiculously simple; let me know if you want to get started!

*makes about a gallon* 
4 family sized tea bags
Boiling water
1 cup sugar
1 gallon jar
1 rubberband and 1 dishtowel

Make tea, add sugar and stir til it dissolves.  I told you this was EASY! Tip: do not pour boiling hot tea into your glass jar - let it cool a bit first.  Add starter culture - cover with cloth and rubberband.  Store in an out of the way place on your counter and let it sit for 7-10 days.  Pour the effervescent liquid into a pitcher (leave your culture for another batch) and enjoy with breakfast - or any other meal.  While your crew slurps this down, but before they say AHHH, reach around and pat yourself on the back for serving something they love that contributes to intestinal health.  

You do contemplate intestinal flora at the breakfast table, right?

linked to:
Jen, Rachel, Kristin, Laura and Kelly

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It takes a village

...and a good internet get a haircut.
32 internet image searches
A 112 in-salon text message conversation about Rhianna, Katie Holmes, big sunglasses, black nail polish, ripped jeans and strep throat (We have all these kids, you know?)
6 emails
AND I have a new haircut: The Rhianna-Katie Holmes-Unsuburban-Not Yet 40.
It'll be sweeping the nation like The Rachel circa 1995, in no time.
And once my bangs grow out a little, I'll be set. "With 4 boys, do you really want to see EVERYTHING that's going on? One eye's worth is plenty." Sage advice, Peaches!
Another day, another story,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cancer Sucks - Let's Do Something About It

My dear friend's husband has been fighting bladder cancer for the last few years.  The cancer has become more aggressive in the last few months spreading to his lungs and bones. They continue to be an exceptional example of the power of faith. 

The first thing anyone says about Jeff is, "He is just the nicest guy ever."  It would be difficult to find anyone who could find a bad thing about him (unless maybe you ask someone who roots against the Vikings).  Jeff was a fraternity brother of St. Joel's - he was affectionately nicknamed "Grandpa" because he was several years older than most of the other pledges.  I have known Dawn since Number 1 was in preschool with her youngest.  We went to church together for years.  Jeff has been a FedEx driver in Memphis for many, many years.  Let's just say "We go WAY back!"

I am coordinating an effort to assist this very special family.  If you would like to purchase a gift card in any amount (Target, Kroger, Visa, etc.) to give to the Hawkins family, I will deliver them as they come in.  Please mail any gift card donations and cards of encouragement to our home address, 1772 Cypress Springs Lane, Collierville, TN  38017. 

Please feel free to share this with anyone who might like to contribute - church groups, all your Facebook friends, anyone at all.  You may not know this family, but unfortunately cancer has affected us all.  My hope is that this effort will help make the unbearable a little more bearable for this very special family.

Thank you,

Monday, November 1, 2010

We Have Winners - Hanes Soar for a Cure Giveaway

An official, (non-scientific) random drawing was held before dinner tonight with Number 1 choosing two winners (from a cereal bowl) for our Hanes "Soar for a Cure" Giveaway.   Congratulations to Christie and April.  Thank you for sharing your stories with us.  We will get your sleepshirt/ sock sets out to you as soon as we can.

april said...

My Grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed in early 2007, she underwent a totally mastectomy, 2 round of chemo, and radiation treatment to rid of 67 year old body of Cancer. Today, she is still a happy, beautiful, thriving mother of 4, grandmother of 8, and great grandmother of 6. Through her entire ordeal, she prayed that god would grant her healing and peace and that she'd be at least healthy enough to enjoy her family for as long as he saw fit. She is such a wonderful inspiration to me and my family in all ways, but since her triumphant fight against breast cancer, we appreciate her firey and faithful spirit even more than ever. 

Christie said...

Both of my grandmas are breast cancer survivors.
I'm also a surgical nurse, and most days I have patients undergoing surgery for either breast or colon cancer. I applaud them and pray for their healing.

Another day, another story,


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