Donut Date

Look: Chelsea has school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For at least one of those mornings I get to take Gavin out for a banned allergic food.  Yesterday it was donuts and milk.  We've had a bit of a rough week and this was just what I needed.  Sitting with him for the 20 minutes it took him to demolish a donut was a real treat.  I decided at this second breakfast that I needed to get back into blogging about the awesome things about my kids.  

Learn: How could something that cost so little (like a donut) be such good therapy...one word...kids.  They are a breath of fresh air when you stop and take the time to enjoy them.  I find myself rushing around, getting things done and sometimes not realizing how very lucky I am.  Watching Gavin bounce his little legs in anticipation of the the next bite or sip made me realize living in the moment is best. We spent the snack time talking about what a big boy he is.  He told me all about Iron Man and all the things he could do now (I know those two aren't related topics, but have you ever chatted with a two year old?)  He wasn't thinking about all the tasks he had that day.  He wasn't making a mental to do list.  He wasn't dwelling on the fight he had with his sister.  He was enjoying a glazed donut...simple, eh?

Love: What I loved about this snack break was this it helped me get some perspective that has been missing.  If I don't take time to stop and smell the donuts (metaphorically speaking...donuts aren't my thing) then I can miss so much.  Hope you have a happy Friday and that you get a chance to slow down today at some point!

Fitness Friday

Saturday 4 miles
Sunday 2 miles
Monday 0miles
Tuesday 2 miles
Wednesday  2 miles
Thursday  5miles 
Friday 5 miles

Total this week  20 miles 
Total in 2011 148 miles this year


Top Ten Tuesday...my tribute to Millie in photos

On Sunday evening I said goodbye to my best friend, Millie.  She was eleven and one of the best golden retrievers ever.  I have so many happy memories of her.  Seems impossible that she is gone.  In true Millie style we had no idea she was sick, until just hours before putting her to sleep. Today I'm feeling a bit better than yesterday and thought doing a post on her may help the healing.  Having dealt with a lot of loss in my life, I know that hugs help.  Also getting past the awful feeling of loss includes remembering the best things about our loved ones. 

Here is my favorite chair.  I decorated an entire floor of my house around the color and feel of this chair.  It quickly became Millie's when she got big enough to get on it.  I vividly can remember coming in the door and seeing her curled up in it.

This is Millie doing the bump.  As you can tell from the state of my green wall (from my Chestnut Hill days), she liked to do it a lot.  We called it doing the bump, because if you sang that song, it looked like she was really dancing to the tune.  Most people know that Millie helped me get through the loss of my parents.  This was one of the ways.  If I began crying, she would either come to me for a cuddle or grab a toy and assume the "bump" position.  It always made me laugh and got me focused on the present.
Just silly!
Us lounging...best cuddling dog ever.  She wasn't little, about 80 pounds, but she never stopped thinking she was puppy size.  Seriously if I had tried to put her in a purse (or large piece of luggage) she would have happily been carried around.
This is the pose Millie would take when she was in the back of the car. A rearview glance in the mirror, usually showed this position.  It was even funnier when it was flanked by two car seats.  Wish I had that photo too.
Loved to swim, absolutely loved it.  If there was water, she was in it.  On many of our hikes and treks, I wouldn't realize there was a body of water near, until she began pulling in the direction of a swim. 
Cuddling and scratching her face simultaneously.  This was a signature Millie move that I adored.  Even when she was a tiny puppy, she would push her head into any space (think bent elbow) for a self done nose rub. 
Millie played with the kids so nicely. Not one child toy was ever consumed or chewed by my mil, mils (her nickname).   From letting them "ride" her, to getting her hair done and always playing the role of the animal in our pretend play.  What a great dog!
Stick eating....ever since Millie was a puppy she could devour sticks.  It kept our yard looking pretty nice, I must say!  There is a funny story about Millie at about 5 months.  We were at my moms and she had a full day of stick eating.  My mom was having friends over, so I left for some time.  As my mom told it "the ladies were all enjoying some tea" (all sounds very proper).   Millie came into the middle of their group, so as not be left out, and threw up a pile of sticks that my mom said resembled a bonfire.  Of course the ladies and my mom were horrified.  When I heard the story it made me laugh, especially the exaggeration.
Always part of the action.  This picture shows Millie helping us look for hidden easter eggs in the yard.  There are similar pictures of her amid piles of wrapping paper on Christmas, mingling at any of our parties with the guests and sneaking her way into lots of family shots.  This will be how I will always remember her life with my kids.  She was part of everything.
She liked to sit right by the kids when they were in this stage, the sitting up but not moving yet stage.  Once they started to crawl and walk she knew to move away rather than get stepped on.

A few years ago, we started shaving Millie to cut down on the hair clean up and allergies here.  My daughter is allergic to cats and dogs, but by the grace of God Chelsea had no problems with Millie.  She always looked so cute, fluffy and cuddly after a haircut.
A big part of Millie's story was how easy going she was.  In this picture we're heading to Sand bridge VA for a vacation at dog friendly beach.  She was chilling in the back with her paws crossed most of the trip. More recently she went with us to the Poconos all the time.  Her favorite past time there was to sit on the deck and watch for animals.


Fitness Friday

Saturday 4 miles
Sunday 4 miles
Monday 9 miles
Tuesday 2 miles
Wednesday  4 miles
Thursday  4 miles 
Friday  2 miles

Total this week  29 miles 
Total in 2011 128 miles this year



From Inmates to PlaydatesWhat I learned Wednesday.  Love this idea of gathering and sharing ten things that I learned this week.  So, you ask...what did I learn?

1. Making barrettes for C is much cheaper than buying them and so much fun!

2. "Eating what stands on one leg (mushrooms and plant foods) is better than eating what stands on two legs (fowl), which is better than eating what stands on four legs (cows, pigs and other mammals)."  Chinese proverb from  Michael Pollan's book Food Rules

3. WIWW (What I wore Wednesday) is about keeping moms out of sweats and tees.  It's inspiring to try to look nice because you post the pics.  I'm going to try this one for next Wednesday.

4. Jungle Book is an excellent movie.  We've been singing the songs from it all week.
5. A few warmer weather days made me miss spring, but also was just what I needed to get through the winter.
6. My kids could bounce forever.  Wish I could make one room a bounce room and send them in there whenever I need a break.

7.When you grind the beans yourself, coffee tastes better.  (Thanks for making my coffee everyday, Chris!)

8.Brits use the word "bangers" for the female chest.  I'm adopting this word and using it...it's my favorite new word.

9. Persistence pays off.  My daughter ate 2 types of vegetables this week and now asks for them.  Must keep up the progress.

10. Sleepy time tea actually puts me to sleep.


Tried and True Tuesday... A yummy homemade whole grain bread

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  I can make really yummy french bread in my bread machine.  It's a great side for salads and soups...then I can turn it into kickin croutons.  But why, oh why, can't I make some delicious bread with wheat, bran, oat and flaxseed.  The photo below is one of the duds....this stuff was really nasty.  It was hard little blobs that looked more like chicken then bread, am I right? 

So I turned to the library and requested a bread machine cookbook for help.  Yesterday I put all the yummy ingredients in before we headed off to the zoo.  We came home to smell of warm bread (LOVE THAT!).  I sliced off an end piece, took a bite and was pleased that I found a winner!  Here is the recipe.

1cup milk (we used silk)
3 T water
4 t honey
1 T butter (we used earth balance)
1.5 c wheat flour
1 c flour
.5 c oat bran
2 T ground flax seed
3/4 t salt
1 t yeast


Monday Meal Plan and Makeover

This weeks meal plan  

Monday: Mushroom soup and homemade wheat bread
mushrooms, onions, water, spices
Tuesday: Chicken Chopped Salad
cooked organic chicken with a mess a veggies and homemade chinese honey mustard dressing
Wednesday: Pasta with sauce
Wheat pasta and homemade tomato sauce (tomato, garlic, onion, spices)
Thursday: Beef Stew
Grass fed beef, water, veg ( turnip, carrots, celery and sweet potato)
flour to thicken
Friday: Homemade pizza dough and sauce
dough: flour, water and yeast  sauce:tomato and spices
Saturday:Vday dinner out!

Sunday: Soup and dip night
Organic vegetable stock with noodles, vegetables and beans.
Homemade fries and veggies to dip into homemade bean dip and guac.

Just finished reading Food Rules by Michael Pollan.  Loved it. The basic principal is eating more simply.  Try foods with the least ingredients, foods from nature in their simplest form...sounds easy. Then I looked in my cupboard....yikes.  Why do so many foods that should contain just a few things, have tons of ingredients? The author explains that eating this way will make you feel loads better.  I already feel great about all my walking, so why shouldn't my eating follow suit.  Going to dip my big toe into trying recipes that have little or no processed foods in them.  For myself I'm trying for every meal.  With the family I am just changing dinner.  This week I came up with this  set of meals.  I am hoping just a few weeks and I'll be hooked.


Fitness Friday...Mental Health

Saturday 4 miles
Sunday 3 miles
Monday 4 miles
Tuesday 4 walk
Wednesday 2 miles
Thursday 2 miles 
Friday 0 miles

Total Last week 20 miles
Total this week  19 miles 
Total in 2011 99 miles this year
Yippee...so close to 100.  Maybe tomorrow!
This week my husband's sweet grandmother passed away.  It has been a sad week.  She has been on my mind all week during my walks, and daily activities.  So that got me thinking about how much stuff I really work through mentally and process on my walks.  Walking has been good to me physically, but what about mentally?
Truth be told, I get more out of walking than I ever imagined.  It seemed like a fun goal to make.  Yet over the past few weeks, I've worked through some heavy stuff that has been on my mind.  If I leave the house for my walk with a problem, I come back with some solutions.  If I leave not really thinking about much, I come back with menu plans or great ideas of things for my family.  And to put this in perspective to our week...If I leave the house saddened by Grandma's passing, I come back realizing how lucky I was to have her.