Friday, May 29, 2009

7 Quick Takes

Happy Friday!

1~ Evelyn and I have been in Iowa all week having a wonderful time with family and friends. It's been great to have extended time with them rather than a fly-by weekend trip.

2~ Evelyn took her first real step this week. She stayed standing afterward and everything. We haven't gotten her to do it again since...but it happened!

3~ Happy Birthday Ryan! My brother turns 24 tomorrow. We've had a good time this week with him and his girlfriend, Sheila, who has been in town since Wednesday.

4~ We're headed to Omaha tomorrow for a little family vacation. My brother-in-law, John, has a cousin who is in the tour of Wicked (the musical) and we are going to go watch that and attend my cousin Callie's high school graduation party.

5~ Does a baby get any cuter than this?

6~ Evelyn has discovered swings and LOVES them.

7~ Memorial Day Weekend at Lake Panorama was a blast!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Baby TJ

Thank you to those of you who have been praying for baby TJ and his parents, Travis and Lisa. TJ went home to be with Jesus today. My heart is broken for them and the incredible pain they must be going through right now. Please remember them in your prayers.

7 Quick Takes Early Edition

We are headed to Iowa tomorrow, so I decided to do this a day early.

1~ Evelyn is 8 months old today! I can hardly believe it.

2~ She has finally started liking solid food. She will eat a few small soft chunks at dinner each night. It's not much, but I'm not concerned as she is still nursing away.

3~ She is officially a "stander". For the last week she has been pulling herself up on things, letting go, and staying standing for a few seconds. But last night when Scott had her out on the back deck he turned around to look at her and she was standing in the middle of the deck with nothing around to pull herself up on! She's getting so grown up.

4~ She became a "climber" this morning as well. I managed to snap a picture of this first successful attempt at climbing up more than one step.

5~ I love gardening. Unfortunately it's not really an option where we live right now. But I got part of my first organic herb garden! Yay! I only have oregano, basil, and rosemary so far, but I love going out there at dinner time and cutting off some fresh herbs to add to my cooking.

6~ Scott and I decided we want to be up in Iowa this weekend (for the nice 3 day weekend) and next weekend so that we can meet my brother's girlfriend. So, rather than drive Evelyn back and forth twice, she and I will stay in Iowa for the whole week! If you want to hang out, just let me know when you're available! We will be at Lake Panorama on Sunday and Monday, but are free the rest of the week.

7~ I've been doing a lot of research on the food that we eat and trying to be a healthier family. Here is a list of things that I am no longer purchasing (if it's linked that means I found a good article to explain my reasoning): canola oil, margarine, processed sugars (white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, agave nectar, brown sugar), artificial sugars (splenda, aspartame, etc), prepackaged dinners (the microwavable kind a la Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, etc.), soy anything, pop, cereal, most brands of store bought bread, processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meat, etc), pasteurized homogenized dairy products (especially milk), and basically almost all processed food products especially those with chemical additives.

And for Evelyn: infant formula, soy formula, rice cereal, jarred baby food.

Let me tell you, this is an adventure!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Homemade Salsa

This is my version of homemade salsa. I like it because you don't have to can it or anything and it's not very spicy at all. It makes about 2 cups of salsa which doesn't last long with Scott around, so I usually triple least.

6 tomatoes (peeled and seeded)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1-2 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. cilantro, finely chopped (must be fresh, dried tastes awful in this)
splash of lime juice
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and turn on until you've reached desired chunkiness.

To peel the tomatoes, cut out the core and slit an "X" in the bottom. Place in boiling water for 10-15 seconds (no longer or they will begin to cook!). Remove and allow to cool. The skin will easily peel off. Cut along the equator and squeeze over a bowl to remove the seeds.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Taco Soup

I said a while ago that I would post this recipe and forgot....sorry! Here goes.

1 1/2 - 2 cups black beans
2 Tbsp lemon juice
warm water

Put beans in lemon juice and cover with plenty of water in a glass container for 12-24 hours.

1 1/2 - 2 cups kidney beans
warm water

Put beans in plenty of water (these soak up a LOT of water) in a glass container for 12-24 hours.

Drain and rinse both bowls of beans and put in a big stock pot covered with plenty of water. Bring to a boil and skim off the foam. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 4-8 hours. (I usually just do 4-5). Be sure to check occasionally and add more water if you need to.

Strain the beans when they are done but be sure to save at least 4 cups of the water!

2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic

In a large stock pot, saute the onion until clear, then add beef and garlic. Cook until the beef is browned.

2 cans diced tomato
2 cans tomato sauce
1 bag frozen corn
2-3 pkgs. taco seasoning

Add these ingredients to the beef mixture. Stir in enough bean water to get the consistency of soup you would like (should be chili-like in consistency). Don't be afraid to add a little more than you think you need as it will thicken when cooked.

Simmer for 30 minutes before serving.

Serve topped with tortilla chips, sour cream, salsa, and cheese.

If you don't want to mess with soaking beans (although I highly recommend it for health, cost, and taste) you can substitute 3 cans each of black beans and kidney beans.

Update: I made this last night and had some fresh cilantro on hand for my salsa making adventure on Saturday. Chopped it up small and added that and some fresh lime juice....yum!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Did you notice the mama duck with her little duckings in the background? So cute!

Friday, May 8, 2009

7 Quick Takes

1~ It's Mother's Day this weekend! I'm excited to celebrate my first Mother's Day with my baby in my arms.

2~ Evelyn stood on her own this week. She's done it several times. She stands up hanging onto my legs and then lets go for a few seconds before she plops back down to the ground.

3~ She is starting to come around to the eating food thing (albeit very slowly). She still loves chomping on peeled apple slices and then mostly spitting out the chunks she breaks off. But, she did actually swallow a little avocado this week. She doesn't seem too thrilled about it, but we're getting there. I'm not really in any hurry.

4~ We're having a guest over for dinner tonight. There's a foreign exchange student that lives next door to us that we've seen and chatted with a few times. We decided we would see if she wanted to come over for dinner this week now that school is done and she will be heading back home soon. Our neighborhood has lots of foreign exchange students from all over the world and Scott and I have been tossing around ideas on how to welcome them into our home more often. Pray for us about this possible venture!

5~ I love doulas. Our doula from Evelyn's birth came over yesterday to drop off a Mother's Day card. She's so sweet and it was nice to see her again.

6~ People find my blog in some random ways. My favorite is to look up what google search terms were used for people to end up here. The last few were these:

Natural birth blog only
familia behrens
swollen glands onion
garlic poultice socks to chest congestion
lima beans and candida

7~ I also get visitors from all over the world which is kind of fun. In the last week I have had visitors from Australia, Germany, Brazil, Japan, and Canada besides the U.S.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Baby TJ

Travis was one of my good friends in high school. He and his wife, Lisa, have a beautiful baby boy named TJ who had to be born much earlier than hoped. That was 116 days ago. The poor little guy is still in the NICU fighting hard. His poor little liver has given out on him though and he is on the donor list awaiting the arrival of a new liver to help his body heal. Travis and Lisa have a blog where you can get updates on TJ's progress ( Please remember them in your prayers as they are going through much more than first time parents should have to go through.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Productive Weekend

The yard is looking sooo much better! Bruce and Scott worked really hard and got a lot done. Here's some of their handy work...

As always, some dirt made it into the house off of our shoes. Evelyn found some and decided to chow down. This is after she refused to try mangoes the day before. I don't understand this child.

I even had to get out her toothbrush to get mud out from between her teeth. Ewwww...

Friday, May 1, 2009

7 Quick Takes

Happy Friday! I wish it looked happier outside. :( The weather is cold and gloomy all weekend. This makes me sad because the Brookside art fair is this weekend and I was really excited to go to that and the Farmer's Market tomorrow. So sad. Maybe next weekend.

1~ Bruce (Scott's dad) is down here right now working wonders on our yard. We're getting grass seed planted and a little flower bed out front all put together.

2~ I have discovered the wonder of making your own homemade bread from freshly ground grain. I don't think I can ever go back. Soooo yummy. And before you think I'm out back with a couple of stones, quickly change your mental picture. I got a grain grinder that you pour the grain in and presto! it comes out the other end all ground up into flour. :)

3~ If you ever want to have folding laundry be more interesting, you can borrow my 7 month old. It's all kinds of fun.

4~ I have a delicious recipe for taco soup that I will be posting later this week. It's so yummy!

5~ Evelyn's birth story was featured on another blog for her May mom-a-thon, so if you're visiting from there...hello and welcome!

6~ This week Evelyn pushed a laundry basket a few feet across the living room while standing with it. She would push and then take a few steps to get back close to it. I'm soooo not ready for her to be walking already!!! Thankfully she can't stand unassisted yet, so we should have...what...a few more days??? :)

7~ "Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10