Monday, May 30, 2011

Superfood pancakes

If you search superfood you'll find lists and lists of things you should be eating on a regular basis.  I think it's the should part that snags most everybody's plans.  There's just something about that word that doesn't inspire lasting or effective change.  I've said it and heard it more times that I can count - "I shouldn't eat/drink this......but oh well." 

Instead of spending effort on the should part, why find ways to incorporate and enjoy some healthy, superfood have-to's?  If you don't like nuts, spinach or eggs,  but know you should eat more of them, this recipe is a simple way to enjoy more superfoods and get your kids to as well - without them even knowing it.  Anything capable of sneaking a small helping of spinach into my non-salad eating 8 year old is worth a try.

Superfood pancakes
 adapted from Elana
makes about 2 dozen
1 3/4 c almond flour (if I can find it in the middle of nowhere, you can too)
4 eggs - you know the farm fresh superfood kind 
1/2 c melted coconut oil or butter
1/8 c agave, honey or maple syrup
1/2 c coconut milk or kefir
1 T vanilla
1 T cinnamon
1 t baking soda
pinch of sea salt
12-15 fresh spinach leaves
1 1/2 c blueberries

One of the other great things about this recipe is that it's made in the belnder.  Not mixing wet and dry ingredients separately saves a LOT of clean up time.  
That said, all you need to do is throw everything except the blueberries into your blender and blend on high until smooth.  You may or may not have to thin the batter with a little water, I've made them twice and one batch needed a bit.

To cook: Melt a tablespoon of coconut oil on a griddle and ladle the batter out.  Put as many blueberries as you'd like on each pancake - they will cook as the pancakes do.  Wait for pancakes to form bubbles and the bubbles to pop then flip them over.  cook for about a minute on the other side.  Serve with more coconut oil and agave.  

The first time I served these we had company - 9 & 11 year old guests.  Mainbain urged me not to use the boys' sleepover as an opportunity for a guinea pig recipe.  But, I'd just picked the spinach out of the garden, and couldn't resist.  After 6 boys scarfed down every last pancake,  I confessed my cooking sneakiness.  They said they could taste a difference, but it was just different, not bad.  I 've made them again since, and can happily report they willingly gobbled them down the spinach plus all the other superfoods!

  Knowing how delicious and healthy these are, can you resist trying them??

linked to Kelli Rachel, Jen, Laura, Kristen

Thursday, May 26, 2011

ARCHIVE: Why Summer Vacation is Like a Cruise, July 2010

I wrote this last July, but since today is the last full day of school for the year for Numbers 1-4, I feel it is a fitting way to kick off the long, hot summer vacation. Wish us luck...

There is someone within arm's reach of you 24/7.

Nasty viruses are bound to break out in such close quarters.

It seems like a great idea at the beginning.

People expect meals, snacks and activities around the clock.  The brochure promised cocktails?!?

Once it starts, expect waves of intermittent nausea and light-headedness.

The Entertainment Director's salary is laughable.

Sleep is interrupted by cabin mates climbing into your bed and/or wanting something to drink.

Tempers begin to flare after two weeks.

Excursions inevitably end with someone throwing up or getting lost.

The community pool is crowded with people you don't really want to hang out with.

When it is over, you need a vacation to recover from your vacation.

Another day, another story,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dinner on the grounds

It's just these little moments full of gratitude: a night off from the grueling schedule of 4 professional little-leaguers  IS a reason to celebrate.

Just these plain old life moments of laughing and trampoline wrestling, pass the hot sauce and I don't like these potatoes and dancing and making faces and singing together and folding laundry then racing to put it away.

Sunsets.  While you eat a peaceful meal outside. When everybody {kinda} uses their manners.  Not getting stressed that you're STILL working to finish up the Easter devotional book and reading together on the front porch while the crickets and frogs play a spring symphony. A husband who cries when we read about the Resurrection.

it's life and it's loud and it's unplannable and some days, for a few full moments it's plain old IDYLLIC.

Hallelujah, thanks be to God.

linked to Lisa jo and Ann

Monday, May 23, 2011

"When I'm a mother, I would NEVER ______"

If you are a mother, you know exactly what I am talking about.  I could fill in the blank with a hundred things. I would NEVER let my child have a pacifier. I would NEVER let my child eat chicken nuggets.  And and on and on and on. Like the saying goes, "I was a perfect mother. Until I had kids."

Well, Amy Wilson understands completely and has written a smart, funny book When Did I Get Like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, And Other Mothers I Swore I'd Never Be (HarperCollins).  This book sheds the bright light of humor on the reality of motherhood. I only wish she had written it BEFORE I had my 4 sons - so I 'd know from the beginning that I was not alone.

We are thrilled to be giving away a copy of her book. To enter the drawing, simply become follower here on 16 Balls in the Air and/or our Facebook page. Then leave a comment before Friday with an example of what you THOUGHT you would do as a mother versus what you REALLY did. Please include your email address in your comment.

Em's Before and After: I have a hundred stories of how my perception before kids changed after I was actually dealing with real live human children. The most obvious to me is how I THOUGHT I would dress my kids - in cute, matching, clean, ironed, fashionable clothes.  Don't get me wrong, they don't look like ragamuffins all the time. But now, in Realityville, I am much less concerned with what they are wearing and much more relieved that they actually picked out and put clothes on themselves without my help. Sure the 3 year old may wear Star Wars t-shirts and sweat pants three days a week. Or The Kindergartener might wear red, Lightning McQueen socks with dress shoes and a SpongeBob T to school. But they managed to find clean, right-sized (80% of the time) clothes and get dressed without involving me. The benefit far outweighs the end result.

Lib's Before and After: I never thought I would be so exasperated by an inconsolable, crying child that I would walk out of the house to smoke a cigarette.  And I never thought I would warn them so often they might get hurt swinging, climbing, wrestling, jumping. I planned on being a much more adventure-promoting mamma, but the realities of co-pays took that instinct down a notch.  And I never thought I would use the arm-grab-hissing-voice ifyoueverdothatagain threat.  I never thought I would be the kind of mamma who wants to tell every little story about her youngest, or talk incessantly about how the rollercoaster of mom-hood moves at the speed of light.

You can read more about Amy, her blog, her Broadway show at her website.

Another day, another story,
Em & Lib
The big D(isclosure): we did receive a copy of When Did I Get Like This.
**linked to Kristen

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Again, "Mommy Esquire" said it better than I could.

Thank you for the "guest posting" the last couple of days while real life happened.

This post One Man's Life sums it all up nicely.

Another day, another story,

Friday, May 13, 2011

What do you love about summer?

Love or hate the idea of all the little ones being out of school for the WHOLE ENTIRE SUMMER...It's going to be here before we know it.  My kids only have 9 full days of school left (Number 4 only 2 days left). I'm not quite mentally prepared.

Stay at Home Moms have one set of issues - Entertaining a brood all day every day in the heat of the summer can be a challenge. West Tennessee gets crazy hot by June 1.

Working Moms - Finding fun, safe day camps or day care for 8 to 10 weeks isn't easy or cheap.

Homeschool Moms - I can't imagine figuring out the balance between taking a break AND keeping the momentum going.

I was recently asked by The Motherboard what I loved about summer. You can see my response and what others look forward to this time of year, at the Ladies Home Journal's site here.

Become a Follower of our site and share what you love (or HATE) about summer in the Comments below. We will send one reader a Barnes & Noble $20 gift card.  A nice beach read might be just the thing to get through the long, hot days ahead.

Another day, another story,
linked to kristen

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Altered {slightly}

Sitting on THEIR laps for the annual Mother's Day snap.

Just one more way things are altered as they grow...

Hope your day was happy!


My Blessings

Made by Number 3

Necklace made at school by Number 2

Mama Got New Pair of Shoes from All

Original Mother's Day Song
Lyrics by Number 2
Performed by Numbers 1-4

Another day, another day,

Friday, May 6, 2011

Five minute friday: Motherhood

My weekly (okay, almost weekly) writing assignment.  Even with an insane schedule through baseball season, I've got 5 minutes to write on Friday.  By this point in the week, taking a 5 minute breather in front of my computer feels like a welcome vacation.

Motherhood should come with a mentor.  
I'm not talking about your mamma or family support system.  Preferably a friend, who doesn't know all your family traditions and can encourage you to do this mothering thing your own way.  One wiith kids slightly older than your own who's already pulled her fair share all-nighters and has learned the difference between the I-didn't get-what-I wanted-cry vs. the I'm-really-hurt-cry.  The friend who will still believe the best about you after she hears you banshee scream at your 3 year old.  Will pray you through every un-forseen test you never wanted your baby to be subjected to. And will laugh just as hard as you do at the statement "that's way too much cheese for one backpack!"  
She's the friend who'll present you with your very own Get out of Clean Floors Card as you bring baby number 3 home from the hospital....with a glass of champagne waiting for you in her hand. 

She's the one who'll remind you it's normal.  Whatever IT is!

Monday, May 2, 2011

In case you're wondering

Mexicanjumpingbain plays catcher
I've taken up residence at our local little league field. At least 4 nights a week we haul our bags, coolers, bats, gloves, portable seats into town for several hours of (at times) nail biting, voice killing excitement.
My Mamma told me these are the golden days

I believe her!


Mothers Day is {complicated}

My January guest post on

Another day, another story,

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Chaos" Birthday Party Theme

It is obvious we are pretty low-key, old-school around here when it comes to most everything. Birthday parties are no exception. 

Some years The Boys have a birthday party with friends (movie, bowling, bouncy jumpy things in the yard, etc.). Some years just cake and presents with family. None of them expect a huge hullaballoo of a birthday party. That's just how it's always been.

Today was Number 2's 10th birthday. A big one, a milestone so we planned a party. Sort of.

The Plan

  • Our House
  • All the boys (8 to be exact) in his class, plus The Dougherty Boys (3), throw in a couple of siblings and mamas, grandparents and a Gigi. And of course Numbers 1, 3, and 4. I lost count 10 minutes in.
  • 3 large pizzas
  • 1 order of cheesy bread
  • 3 large orders of pretzel bites
  • Fruit punch and lemonade
  • 1 giant cookie cake
  • 1 Tornado Warning (just to keep it interesting)
  • Video games here, a movie there, light sabers and lots of running and squealing everywhere
"The funnest birthday ever," Number 2 declared.

Another day, another story,


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