Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick Roast, Kale Chips and Oat Pumpkin Bread

I had some unexpected success with a roast last night and thought I'd share. I had a frozen roast which I had intended to thaw the night before and then place in the crockpot come morning. However, since I didn't remember the roast until 3:00 yesterday afternoon, I placed the frozen roast in a pot of boiling water. I kept the roast in boiling water on medium heat for 1 hour. Then, I placed it in the crockpot with the following ingredients, on high heat for 2 more hours.

Ingredients to add to crockpot:
4 cups broth water (that you boiled roast in)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1.5 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
Spices (I added Thyme, Onion flakes, Pepper, Rosemary, and Oregano)
1 teaspoon orange peel

It was incredibly tender and quite tasty.

And some of you have asked about Kale Chips:
Fill a cookie sheet with finely chopped Kale (you can buy it pre-chopped which is a lot easier). Cover lightly with olive oil and spices (I use a pre-mixed organic spice mix from Costco, but anything like Dash would work) and a little salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Yummy!

For the pumpkin bread I used the following ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup butter, melted
1.5 cups honey
1 can pumpkin
4 eggs
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
2.5 cups oat flour (take old fashioned oats and grind into powder)
1/2 flax seed powder
1.5 cups chopped walnuts
1/4-1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder

Place in two large well oiled (with olive oil) bread pans and bake for 65 minutes at 350 degrees.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

100,000 Huzzats (and other random things I love)

"Huzzat?" Translation: What's that? Madigan asks this question at least 1,000 times each day. Trash days are my favorite as there is a Huzzat (or sometimes two) for each trash can we pass on the way to the barn. So, if you bugged our car you would hear: "Huzzat?" "Trashcan." "Huzzat?" "Trashcan." "Huzzat?" "Trashcan." "Huzzat?" "Trashcan." "Huzzat?" "Trashcan." "Huzzat?" "Trashcan." Etc.

It was dark when I stopped to open the corral gate leading into the barn two nights ago. It was a still night and remarkably quiet as I fiddled with the latch trying to get it open. I barely noticed the three little figures standing directly behind me, lined up in a neat little row waiting with great anticipation for me to make my next move. The ducks, who have been historically shy and hesitant to approach people, were standing approximately 14 inches from me, staring up with their heads cocked to one side, watching me closely. When I acknowledged their presence, they responded one by one, right after the other, with a "Whack", then a "Whack", then a "Whack". I felt like Mother Goose as I walked into the barn with the three white waddlers on my heels.

I think it's so cute that Devany happily spends her nights in her stall with the companionship of 3 ducks, and one great white dog. She's a pretty special horse.

Madigan includes his beloved "Tigger Hun" in everything, including his daily barn duty. As I picked out the stall this morning, he came running in with his man shovel and he and Tigger helped shovel shavings into the wheelbarrow. Tigger-Hun is a valuable part of our hard-working team.

Declan Wil-YUMMMMM (as he is affectionately referred to around here) is such a delight! I've never been around a better baby! Almost every morning I wake up just a little bit before him and can't wait see his little round face, blue eyes and quick smile. He giggles when we tickle him, rolls from his back to his front like a pro, has started to show an interest in real food and has even started tasting a little rice cereal, and he's always watching everything going on around him, paying special attention to the antics of his big brother. He's completely and ridiculously kissable! Sometimes I pinch myself just to make sure it's real that he's our boy. :-)

Lisa made me a red hat and I absolutely love it! I've never liked a hat so much and wore it today even though the temp really didn't justify it.


As we approach Christmas 2011 I definitely find myself reflecting on this past year and all that I have to look back on... including (but decidedly not limited to) a whole lot of wonderful 4-legged babies, the speedy and exciting arrival of our beloved Declan William, the birth of my dream horse, the growth (and maturity) of one marvelous red head, another year loving my George, working and living alongside Virginia who has become one of my dearest friends in all the world...

I know I will forget so many of the smaller yet meaningful details that have made this year part of my life, but I hope that perhaps the smattering of brief written accounts in this blog, as well as the photo log will help me remember, even when more years have pushed us beyond this moment in time. It is a good life we've been given and I count it a sincere blessing.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Blow outs and cute faces

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It's always a good time for a bath

I was filling up the ol' red pot with some water and Bundle enthusiastically requested to be able to dip his hands into the warm water. I agreed and before I had time to react he had climbed completely into the pot, clothes and all! He didn't seem to think anything was out of the ordinary with this particular bath. I think parenthood is teaching me one thing repeatedly: flexibility. My ideas/notions of how things should be done is constantly coming into question with this little Tiger around. :-)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Communication breakdown

Real Conversation: (Note, Kris located in bathroom, Eryn in living room, Kim in kitchen)
[Kris]: "Babe, do you know where the plunger is?"
[Eryn]: "What?"
[Kim, translating for Kris]: "Did you make cornbread?"
[Eryn, with noticeable irritation]: "No, I did NOT make cornbread."
[Kris]: "Do you know where the plunger is?"

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mud Happens

Thanks goes to Kimmie for the photos.
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These boys

are so special to me.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

'Zat Whack?

Madigan Luke, why are you so funny?

His first phrase when we get to the barn in the morning: 'Zat Whack? Translation: Is that the duck, which says, "whack, whack"?

Yes, he has often been known to throw a temper tantrum because I pick up the dog food and put it away to encourage him to eat his human food breakfast as an alternative (to the good stuff).

Those tender, raw moments of truth like when Mommy "secretly" (though perhaps not noiselessly) farts and Madigan asks "Wuzzat, wuzzat, wuzzat" until given a complete explanation. He might as well know I'm human.

The man eats dog food, horse food, goat food, duck food and dirt (when I'm not watching, of course :-). Yet, if he falls on the ground and gets dirt on his hands, he panics, runs over to me, grabs my pant leg and starts wiping frantically to remove the unwelcome substance from his untarnished presence.

I love the way he body slams his little brother, smothering him in a full body hug each morning or anytime Declan appears lonely. Declan has adapted; he's adjusted his response from sheer horror to what seems to be delight. He lights up like a butterfly when he sees his big brother's face directly above his own.

This boy is just a treat to behold.

Friday, November 11, 2011

OCD or something

The red head in our family has started to develop some interesting and humorous habits of late. They're hilarious and I'm constantly laughing, to be sure, but yet there is a part of me that is slightly alarmed.

While trotting through Costco last week, Madigan noticed a napkin lying on the floor where it clearly shouldn't have been. I saw his eye latch onto the out-of-place item and willed him not to care, but he immediately said, "Uh Oh" and repeated the phrase feverishly until I finally stopped, retraced my steps and picked up the nasty item from it's temporary residence on the floor. Nothing else would appease his sense of what should be.

Our next stop in the day was the Co-op where we encountered a clump of mud that had fallen off of someone's boot, no doubt. Unfortunately, it had fallen right into our line of sight in the middle of the aisle and it was, of course, our responsibility to make sure it was removed and the farm store restored to it's natural state of cleanliness.

I have repeatedly discovered Madigan wiping down the cabinets with a rag from his drawer of kitchen goodies, sweeping the floor with his man-broom, and vacuuming the rugs with his popper. However, he's never been particularly fastidious about picking up his toys, until last night. Daddy turned on the dance music and reached for Madigan, only to discover that the boy was frantically picking up everything out of place in the living room, ensuring sufficient room to dance without incident (i.e. stumbling over something in the way). By the time he had the room in order (it was spotless when he was done!) the dance song was half way through. I was hit with the grave realization that I have done that very same thing so many times in my life... missed out on the full blessing I am given because I'm too bogged down in the small details of life and getting it "just right". How many times have I spent less quality time with my husband or boys because I'm so busy keeping my house and material possessions in order? Yikes.

So, tonight, I'm going to help Madigan enjoy his Daddy time to the fullest by "pre-cleaning" the living room for him, at least well enough that he hopefully won't be distracted by the disorder.

Monday, October 24, 2011


These are the latest, most charming additions to of our farm. Meet Charlie, Pete and Charlotte. We have them housed with the goats, currently, but soon we hope to let them have free range of the whole property and expect they will assume their rightful ownership of our pond as soon as they are able! They are absolutely adorable and I could watch them waddle around, quacking at each other all day. Madigan is equally fascinated by them, but still finds them slightly terrifying.

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The unfortunate truth about my brain

Last night, before heading to bed, I placed a cup of dog food on the bathroom counter, as a morning reminder to take food out to the barn for our barn dog, Sabina. Later, as I was taking my vitamins, I reached for the cup of dog food rather than the full glass of water sitting next to it and I very nearly swallowed a mouthful of the yummy chow. It would have made taking vitamins a whole new experience!

And, today's brain activity: I pulled up to the Starbucks drive-thru to order my deeply-adored-no-water-chai-latte, but the barista did not immediately acknowledge my arrival. After waiting patiently for 4 seconds, I reached up and pressed the garage door opener. What was I hoping to accomplish by such an action? Not sure, but it seemed perfectly logical at that moment. The barista was so entertained when I explained what I had done that she upgraded my drink size for free!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My little man

Krista has a way of capturing those "little moments" that I cherish beyond measure... the things that are hard to describe or convey to others, like these pictured below. How can you put this package into words - a Bundle and his Tigger Pooh in action? The moments change/pass so quickly and they are treasured in my heart.

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Friday, October 21, 2011

Eryn's famous (ok, maybe not) Squash Soup

1 butternut squash - cut in half, scoop out and throw away the seeds. Place upside down on a cookie sheet with about 1/2 inch water and bake on 350 for 1 hour. Saute 1 large onion, 6 minced garlic cloves in 6 tablespoons butter. Once softened, add 3 Tablespoons flower. Then, add 1 quart broth (chicken or veggie), 1 pint whipping cream (I did mention that this isn't a low fat soup, right?), the squash "innards", 1 teaspoon mustard, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon (or more) salt, 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar. You can also add 2 cups of cheese, but some people prefer it without the cheese. Bring to soft boil and then EAT! Careful that you don't cook it on any higher heat than medium once you add the milk, as it will scorch. It is SO DELICIOUS!

Ingredients list, all told:
1 butternut squash
1 large onion
6 garlic cloves
6 Tablespoons butter
1 pint whipping cream
1 quart broth (chicken or veggie)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon mustard
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups cheese (optional)

Boy and his dog

Me and my girls

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moments in this day...

You're all missing out if you haven't heard Kris reading horse stories to Madigan, sounds included. I NEVER thought I would hear my husband neigh with such finesse. Really admirable - of course, Madigan is a great coach on the art of neighing.

Additional special moments from today:
I put Madigan in his carseat next to Declan's car seat which was empty since I hadn't yet strapped the wee tike in. Madigan was immediately alarmed about his missing brother and started squawking... at first I thought it was out of concern for his missing Tigger, but even handing him the beloved Bear did not reduce his fervor. I asked him, "Are you looking for Declan?" He started giggling and nodding his head and said "ESSSS!(Yes)".

I can hear Declan's happy moans while he sleeps on my lap as I type. The sound could be recorded but I wouldn't want to create baby noise junkies.

This afternoon, Madigan told Valiant to hop off the couch (we're trying to keep the little Scottish wonders off the furniture). When she obeyed him, he walked over to her and patted her gently on the head. Such a tender boy!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Cheesecake is awesome...

Though, some of us are too milk drunk to notice.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tigger Pooh

Tigger Pooh has made into this blog before, but as we all know, not enough can be said for a faithful bear. Madigan and his Tigger Pooh (aptly named since he is a Pooh Bear wearing a Tigger costume) are nearly inseparable. We have reasoned with Madigan that taking Tigger Pooh to the barn might put the dear bear at the mercy of the cunning crazy white dog's teeth, so in that event alone are they parted each day.

Tonight, I found Madigan strapping Tigger Pooh into Declan's carseat, ever so carefully... he did have to use his foot to cram him into the base of the seat, but our family moto is: "Use whatever means necessary to ensure the saftey of your bear's travel".

I do start to wonder, sometimes, at this bear and the influence he's had in all of our lives. This evening I plopped Madigan into a quick bath before bed time, scrubbing him down with his shampoo/bath wash, working efficiently to expedite the process. After thoroughly washing down his little tummy, I quickly moved onto Tigger Pooh to give him a swift scrub, completely covering the little orange head with soapy lather before I realized that something was amiss. Tigger Pooh, who was gingerly sitting in front of his boy, submerged to his torso in the bath water, seemed perfectly at ease with the situation. Wow.

For bed time, I had to rapidly improvise and retrieve the "back up Tigger Pooh" from my hope chest where he is stored for such crises. Tigger Pooh #1 was given a brief holiday and can currently be found fanning himself.




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Saturday, September 24, 2011

I love my horse!

Miss Devany - 4 months

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My boys being boys


Madigan put his own shoes on his feet! And he got them on the right feet! We are all exceedingly impressed.

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