Thursday, August 20, 2009
My husband, who decided to do more of a vegetarian thing, decided he would go in for a high-raw diet as well and has really enjoyed the dishes I've whipped up.
This is a pesto pasta salad. The pasta is actually thinly sliced zucchini (I used a vegetable peeler with a blade on the top, instead of the side) which is marinated in a bit of olive oil, lime juice (just a touch!) and seasonings. It was yummy!
This is a raw taco wrap.
My vegan pizza. The only thing not raw is the Wasa Light Rye cracker. I made these for a bridal shower and EVERYONE loved them. There wasn't one left! I was asked for the recipe at least half a dozen times!
These were a big hit. I call them enchiladas. The sauce is guacamole (with cilantro) blended with almond milk. The corn isn't cooked- it's sliced right off the cob and is surprisingly tender! Of course, the tortilla isn't raw. I hope to be able to purchase a dehydrator around Christmas to make some raw tortillas. For now, I'm using the "warm" setting on my oven to dehydrate stuff.
Just Like Cheesecake- and yes, it really tasted like cheesecake... with no dairy in sight!
Another diary-less treat! "Icecream!" made with frozen fruit and macadamia nuts! Yum!
Anywho, all is well in our household. We tried to start officially homeschool a couple weeks ago, but decided to put it off until the rest of the kiddos in the neighborhood start. We're doing reading lessons and math lessons here and there, but we'll be back full force next week. I know the kids are always eager to play when the neighbors are home, and soon, they'll be back in school, so homeschool won't have to compete with playdates.
Keagan's birthday is coming up, and I've decided to to a cowboy theme... I think. I can't believe my little munchkin is going to be TWO.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
A life remodel is a scary thing. If you have ever remodeled a house or even painted a room of your house you will know what I mean. Before you may be like, “Well, it doesn’t look half bad… Maybe I’ll just leave it like it is. Yeah.” That’s what it is like for my life and me. Eventually, though, I think we all get tired of the same old “look”. Our lives are like that house.
I have truly been convicted that I need to do a life remodel. I don’t want to be comfortable with my life. I don’t want it to be like it is. The fact is that I have been too lazy to even try and do it. I’m afraid. I’m afraid I won’t like it. But you know what, it’s not about me. It’s about God and what He wants for me and what He thinks is best. That’s all that matters.
I have been convicted to eat better, to get up earlier, to spend more time conversing with God spending more time in His Word, and just really do a total revamp. I’m unsure of things and where to start, but I really need to do this. That’s the long and short of it.
I have a lot of remodeling to do. I had better quit stalling. . I have been putting this off and battling it for a while and it needs to happen. I can feel it.
© Copyrighted by Hannah Braboy 2009. Used with permission.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
I've started "vlogging" (video blogging) about my vegan journey, as well as taking photos of the meals we put together. I want to make it clear that we are not 100% raw. My husband has agreed to make the switch to a healthier diet, so I have started making him green smoothies (raw smoothies) for breakfast, healthy vegetarian lunches, and vegetarian suppers as well. He seems pleased with the results, which makes me a very happy gal.
I feel it's just not healthy for growing children to be on a 100% raw diet, but they are doing about 75% raw.
I didn't know whether I should share my journey here or not because, well, I already have a lot going on in this blog, but since it is becoming a big part of our lives, I just didn't see how I could not post about it!
So, here's my vlog from this morning.
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Here are some photos of a few of the things I've put together for Kbaby.
I bought these mini-blocks for under two bucks at Hobby Hobby. I had this metal tray hanging around the house. Sometimes K turns it over and sticks magnets to it. I painted some of the wooden cubes (red and yellow), but it's quite a tedious task (painting a few sides of each cube, letting them dry before painting the other sides), so I'll finish painting them later. I want to leave some plain. The natural wood color is appealing, but I love pops of color. All of the kids tested them out today, and I'm really interested to see what they work them into as time passes. So far, they've been dice, ice, and little castle bricks!
This is the beading tray with various beads- some are plastic, some are wooden. One of the activities I'd really like to do with the kids is make beads from a flour dough. I think they'd really like it, and the beads could be used for various activities. This activity (putting beads on a pipe cleaner) helps build the skills needed to write.
I just love finding stuff around the house that works for our homeschool, and I love open-ended toys! Really fosters their imaginations!
This is a super inexpensive activity but kids love it. I need to find some small tongs for K to transfer these colorful marbles to the ice tray. Still... picking them up with his fingers is good for him too. A spoon would be great, he definitely needs to work on using utensils. He pretty much has the fork down.
These shapes aren't new (you've probably seen them in some of my other photos), and neither is the little bucket, but I finally paired the two together. It's so cute to see K tote this around. Sometimes he leaves a trail of shapes.... like Hansel and Gretel. (Hehe!)
A few photos of Merika and Nolyn's stuff. I really don't have it all put together just yet, so "stay tuned" and you'll see more as we progress into school.
This is the case of chalkboards, obviously. I have about 5-6 chalkboards for the kids to use. The small ones are great for teaching them to write capital letters (Handwriting Without Tears uses this as a tool). The one on the right is from Dollar Tree.
I prefer to use chalkboards because they save paper. I mean, come on. I am not going to save every single handwriting paper. A paper a day for five days a week for who knows how many years... it adds up. My mom just bought them dry erase boards, one side is blank and the other side has the lines (like that chalkboard up there does).
And this is just half of our watercolor stash. The rest doesn't fit in this... so it's at the top of the pantry. (Actually, my aunt gave me a bunch, and we accumulated a dozen or so more from those too-good-to-pass-up back2school sales over the years.)
My aunt gave me these. They are really great for teaching fractions. The clear sheets have lines on them, and you place them over the colored squares. The strips are "fractions" of different sizes.
This is the kid's Math tray. The card (as pictured) goes in the first section. The top number goes into the second section, and they either take beans out (subtract) and put them in the third, or in the case of addition, count out the second number (in beans) in the third section and then transfer them to the middle. In both cases, the answer to the math problem ends up in the middle section. Get all that?
I'll post more photos as we get more organized.
How are you preparing for the new school year? Are you refreshing things?
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I'm definitely ready to implement this system, but I don't really have the finances to do so at the moment (although, it's not very expensive).
Anywhosit, here's a few photos from several of the activites we did today:
My aunt gave us these little "pattern" tiles. On the back, they have numbers, and the "box" has letters. There are workbooks that go along with this fun little game. Questions are labeled with the alphabet, and the answers are labeled with numbers. You match the answers to the questions and lay the tiles numbers up. Then, when you are done, you flip it over to reveal a pattern. If the pattern matches the answer key, you've done it right! Sometimes the kids just like to play with the patterns though.
At some point, the stacking turns into throwing- as in chunking hard wooden objects at people and things. Ouch.
This is a kid favorite. I was so glad my aunt gave these to me because the kids love them and they are featured on Sonlight's Mathtacular video, which the kids also love.
Today is my husband's 28th birthday. (He's so much oooolder than me, har har har.) We made him a big birthday banner instead of a card. Side note: While I giggle about my youthfulness, apparently I'm not all that youthful anymore. I walked to the mail box (in our neighborhood, there's a "mailbox center" on every street, instead of individual boxes at the end of driveways). On my way back, two boys stopped me and asked if I knew where the kids in the neighborhood went to highschool. "Well, I think they go to the highschool on [this street]," I said. "I'm really not sure."
One of the boys cocked his head to the side and asked, "Don't you have a teenage son?" I think I about choked on my own saliva.
The UPS man overheard the comment, and let out a huge laugh. I asked him how he was doing today, and he laughed, "Good! Better than you right now, I bet! Talk about wrong thing to say!"
I have to admit, 99% of the time, when I'm without my children, people think I'm a teenager. They ask me what grade I'm in or if I'm graduating this year. They're usually surprised when I say I am not a teen and am married and have three children.
This is the first time I've ever been mistaken for a mom of a teen. Of course, I think this particular boy has a very youthful looking mother. Plus, a friend of ours, David, was staying with us for a month while he finished school (and just left yesterday to join his wife in North Carolina). He's my husband's age, but apparently, is youthful looking enough to be "teen-esque". I believe this boy believed Dave to be my son!
I had a huge laugh, because, well, this had definitely NEVER happened to me before. In fact, I'm often stopped in the store by people who ask if "all those children" are mine. Some people think I'm just the nanny or babysitter! Someone came to the door the other day and asked if my mother was home! Apparently, now that I'm 25, I look much, much older. (By the way, my birthday [July 31st] was fantastic! I really enjoyed spending it at the family reunion!)
So folks, have I finally graduated from looking like a"teenage mom" to "mom of a teenager"?
The kids said this was my "birthday hat".
Keagan took joy coloring the banner. How many colors can those little hands hold?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Therefore, get your minds ready for action, being self-disciplined, and set your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance but, as the One who called you is holy, you are also to be holy in your conduct; for it is written, "Be holy because I am Holy." [I Peter 1:13-16 HCSB]
Hannah over at Reflections of a Face e-mailed me this morning with a wonderful idea. I must say, great minds think alike. I had been pondering posting a Life Remodel challenge at some point, but Hannah has definitely urged that on.
She'll be doing some guest posts here at MandyMom.com from a teenage point of view and will also be posting the challenge over at her blog. This is something my husband and I are extremely passionate about. Christians have been living defeated lives for too long. It reminds me of the first few lines of Francesca Battistelli's song, Free To Be Me:
"At twenty years of age, I'm still looking for a dream. A war's already waged for my destiny. But You've already won the battle, and You've got great plans for me, tho' I can't always see..."There's a spiritual war going on inside of us every day, and it doesn't stop when we turn our lives over to God. The devil knows God has won, but he still wants to make the road difficult so we live miserable, defeated lives and don't pass on the Word of God to others. I think C.S. Lewis' book, The Screwtape Letters, is likely an accurate description of what goes on in the spiritual realm. One demon named Screwtape writes to another (Wormwood) on how to manipulate a man in order to keep him from giving his life to God. He writes, “Indeed the safest road to hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” Then the man becomes a Christian, and Screwtape suggests Wormwood employ other tactics, like keeping the man busy with unimportant things so he doesn't read his bible, pray, or fellowship with others. Wormwood tries to poison his thoughts so there is discontent in all areas of his life- his marriage, his friendships, his church life.
You see, even when the battle for our souls has been won, and we are safely in God's hand, the devil still pokes and prods us. Most of us know this, but I think we tend to forget that the devil is still trying to grab bits and pieces of us, and will use whatever tactic available.
Satan's toolbox is full of cunning little tools, many of which we don't realize are his. We may see areas where Satan has obviously bombarded us, but overlook the little scratches and small holes he has made. Then there are the times he sends in a Trojan horse. When we aren't paying attention- when we are sleeping and not "watching and praying"- the enemy emerges.
Some of Satan's tools are small and wedge-shaped, helping him to pry into areas of our lives he may not normally be able to open. All of his tools are meant to take the focus off Christ and send it elsewhere. He uses discouragement to draw us inward, to keep us focused on our problems and issues, instead of leaning on God for support and strength. He uses pride to pump us up, so we believe that those things God has accomplished in us and through us are somehow our doing. He even uses a tool called guilt. You wouldn't think Satan would use that tool, which is why it's probably so useful. I know Satan has used this tool on me a lot, and I have fallen for it many, many times. If the devil can have us feeling sheepish, sorry, and condemned over something small, he can distract us from the bigger sins in our lives.
When I was a child, raised in a religion where most of the girls wore medium to long skirts all the time, I would feel extreme guilt over my desire to wear pants. Man, did the devil have me caught up on that little issue. I was so caught up, I had somehow tied the skirt issue to my salvation. I was an active little tomboy, and skirts were not my thing, but I wore then every day for thirteen years... and I loathed them! I felt so ashamed, and felt like God could not possibly love me because I hated skirts.
Looking back, it's quite silly, but the devil certainly used this tool extremely well in similar ways through the years. As long as I was focusing on my skirt and feeling guilty over that, the devil knew I would not really look into my life and focus on the real issues that were hindering me from having a closer walk with God.
Satan loves for us to get passionate about things that distract us from Jesus. “All extremes, except extreme devotion to the Enemy, are to be encouraged,” Screwtape advises in a letter to Wormwood. (Here, from a demon's point of view, "the Enemy" is God.) He doesn't mind if we are passionate about Christian things, in fact, he loves that, because if we are passionate about an aspect of Christian life, we may still feel very "holy", when in reality, we have allowed our view of God to be blurred.
The other day, I was taking a photo of one of my children. I thought I had taken a great shot, but once I uploaded it to my computer, I realized that, even though my son was standing in the foreground, his image was blurred. The camera had automatically focused on those items in the background. This is what happens so often in our own lives, at least, I know it does in mine.
Sometimes we get so caught up in aspects of Christianity, that we fail to get caught up in Christ Himself. It's not that these aspects aren't important, but it's much like worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. Maybe we started out with our hearts and focus in the right place, but over time, it became less about God.
Then there's the issue of taking for granted those things God has blessed us with, yet another time when our life's camera slips out of focus as we get into a routine of life. That's the next subject I'm going to tackle here, so come back later this week.
I know some of you have expressed interest in the challenge. If you're interested in "remodeling your life", remember, it's not going to be easy. There are days you will feel lazy. There are days you will feel discouraged. There are days that will be painful (especially those times that call for self-examination!). BUT... this is something we all need to do.
If you're not a Christian, I encourage you to begin reading the Word of God. Open your bible to any page in the New Testament and start reading.
If you are a Christian, it's time to stop living defeated lives. The battle has been won. You are God's child. We should start living like it.
If you've decided to join in the challenge, please let us know in the comment section. If you have a website, share it, and I'll post a list of the bloggers who are diving into the challenge with us. Come back regularly for little challenges to help you examine your life and make the most of your time here on earth by "living out loud" and serving others. There will also be more articles on the subject (from me and other guest bloggers!). I'm really excited to dive into the Word of God with you and not only inspect those crevices of our lives, but also step outside of our box and expanding our view of worship and praise!
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You can read a few quotes plucked from The Screwtape Letters at some of these blogs. I am not affiliated with, nor do I endorse, any of these blogs. (Which is not to say I disagree with what they say, but rather I have not looked farther than these quotes.) If you haven't read the book, do it. I think the excerpts from the book (found on these sites) will definitely tempt you to! (And that's one temptation you don't have to feel guilty about!) RightWingNews Terb's World: Straight from the Devil's mouth: Part 1 and Part 2.
Cartoon clip-art from ChristArt.com
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Since we don't really have a designated space, we sometimes do the messier art outdoors, but I've always wanted a spot for the kids to sit down and color, draw, or doodle.... some place besides the kitchen table.
I've been eyeing IKEAS's LACK tables. They recently dropped in price so we headed to IKEA to snag a couple, and purchased four little kiddie stools as well. The kids really love their art station, and so do I.
There's a project I've been wanting to test out for some time, so we tackled that today. It's much more fun if you have more people involved, especially since there is so much coloring involved (and I didn't want to get out the paints).
I'm telling you, putting the stools and tables together definitely worked out my arms! Woo! Keagan loves having a seat and table that is his size.
I used a tin bucket to hold crayons and a black iron dish holder thingy (from Taste of Home- what are those called?) to hold scraps of paper.
It definitely is a big hit. They've also used the tables to eat on. I wanted two tables so the kids would have plenty of room. I think I made a good choice.
Here's our project. I took 8 sheets of paper and drew a cow on it. Then the kids each got a few papers (as did I), and colored them. Then I mounted them on red construction paper and taped them to the wall.
I know, I know... it's not the perfect cow. I promise, I'm a better artist than that! I'd love to do something similar to this and use frames instead of construction paper.
Let me know if you try it out! I'd love to see photos!