Saturday, October 29, 2011

Meal Plan Monday October 31st, 2011

Homemade Green Tomato Sauce
Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili

Tomato Italian Soup and Grilled Cheese

Garbanzo Beans and Quinoa

Tortilla Soup

Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Green Spaghetti with Homemade Green Tomato Sauce

Fricase de Pollo con Papas

Butternut Squash Mac n' Cheese

  • 2 cup butternut squash, diced
  • 2 tablespoons veggie broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Gluten Free flour
  • pinches salt, pepper, and garlic
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups broccoli (or other veggie)
  • GF bread crumbs (I have some made out of GF pumpkin bread, yum!)
  • pasta
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add butternut squash. Cook until squash is softened and drained. Place in a food processor, add broth, and pulse until mixture is smooth. Set aside.
  2. Prepare pasta, drain and set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat butter over medium-low heat until melted. Whisk in flour and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Whisk in milk, butternut squash, salt, pepper, and garlic. Continue to whisk until the mixture begins to thicken (1-2 more minutes). Once thickened, remove from the burner and mix in cheese, continuing to whisk until melted (if the sauce seems too thick, add a little more milk.) Stir into pasta. Toss with broccoli (or chosen veggie), move to oven safe dish. Top with bread crumbs, broil until top browns.

What's for dinner this week at your house?  Find other great menu plans at Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday October 26th, 2011: Pumpkin Farm

Seems it has become our tradition to visit Stocker Farms in Snohomish for our yearly Fall celebration. Each year it seems to get bigger! We even got to hang out with Hobo Mama's family!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tell All Tuesday October 25th, 2011

Just when I think everything is running smoothly, it all seems to fall apart again. I am frustrated by everything. Nothing is good enough. I don't want to be touched by anyone, and my kids just have no way of understanding no matter how many times I try to explain. I feel like I am being beat up from the inside and out.

While Little Three is overall not as strong in moving, it seems that s/he is always moving about. And does get in a few good kicks here and there. I got one in the ribs and lungs so hard I almost drove off the road it surprised me so badly. Being glad for a nice strong, healthy baby only gets you so far before you just want a break!

When it was just L1, and before L2 was mobile, our DVD and CD collections were never a problem. Now I can't keep them away from them, and it is all a giant mess where they are getting ruined. We put the kid movies up where they can't reach, but they have started watching non-animated movies and now want to explore the whole collection. All the time. We have tried to come up with some options to get them out of the way (we DO want our children to know this house is theirs too and limit the things we have to teach them are off limits in our home) but so far they all involve buying new storage systems (not an option right now).

I want everything to just WORK, you know? I would like to wake up in the morning, rested, make breakfast, move into our day where we can play, read, craft, and everything else without all the grief. But, I am willing to bet that is what everybody wishes, no matter what their life.

I have a lot of apologies to make today. I have yelled and screamed and pushed aside too many times to be ignored (not that any times should be ignored) and I really need to find a way to reset myself and get back to where we were. How do you regain your composure and balance when you know things have gone awry? How do you make amends to the people you love when you know you have acted out?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Meal Plan Monday: October 24th, 2011

Tomato Italian Soup and Grilled Cheese
Our homemade sauerkraut.
A mix of red and green cabbage and apples.
(Hence, the pink!)

Roasted Root Veggies over noodles

Garbanzo Beans and Quinoa


Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Polish Sausage with homemade Sauerkraut and Potatoes

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup

Balsamic Lentil Soup with Homemade Bread


Thai-Style Pumpkin Soup
1 tbsp olive oil
6 chicken breasts - cubed
3 garlic cloves - minced
1 tbsp ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2-4 stalks celery - diced
2-4 carrots - diced
2c pumpkin
1/2c peanut butter
6c stock
1/2c mango nectar
1/2c lime juice
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2c cilantro - divided
1/2c heavy cream
1 tbsp cornstarch
2-4c rice
3 green onions - minced
1/2c peanuts - chopped

Cook chicken, garlic, ginger, and red pepper in skillet. Transfer to crock pot, add celery, carrot, pumpkin, peanut butter, stock, mango nectar, lime juice, rice vinegar, and 1/4c cilantro on HIGH. In separate bowl, combine cornstarch and heavy cream, add to soup and simmer on high until thickened. When ready to eat, ladle around rice, top with cilantro and peanuts.

What's for dinner this week at your house?  Find other great menu plans at Organizing Junkie.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday October 19th, 2011: Leaf Walk!

THIS is what makes living in the northwest easier through the long, gray, dreary winter!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tell All Tuesday October 18th, 2011

I turned 28 this last week. Still not old enough to consider lying about it. But, starting to get tired of the effort I put into celebrating for my husband and boys to get little in return. Really.

This was my husband's birthday: 

This was mine:

My sister made pumpkin muffins with cream cheese frosting.
It isn't like I got nothing. My sister made cupcakes, SCRUBBED the furniture that so desperately needed it, and dyed my hair. Her boyfriend gave me a pumpkin spice candle. And my brother replaced the memory card for my camera (that my husband lost). My husband brought me blueberry muffins, and bought himself brownies (yeah, explain the fairness in that one). The only card I received was from my chiropractor! I know this just sounds whiney, but WHAT HAPPENED TO CELEBRATING BIRTHDAYS?!

UPDATE: I did get to go out to dinner with my larger family last night. It was nice. Hubby is still waiting for my gift. I guess they were out. :-)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Meeting Those People...

On the weekend of October 8 some of the amazing women and men who work hard to make Natural Parents Network the wonderful community and resource that it is got together for a meet-up at two locations across the U.S. — the Midwest and the Northwest. This was the first time that many of the volunteers have met in person after a year of collaborating on this amazing website. Please scroll to the bottom of this post for a list of links so that you can read what some of the other volunteers had to say about this incredible First Annual Natural Parents Network Team Get-Together!
When I was kid, there were pictures on the refrigerator of my mom's best friend and her children. These would update every few years. Finally, one year we met the family. And all I could say was that it was weird seeing these people in real life that I had only known as pictures on the refrigerator.

I had the opportunity to relive that awkward moment this weekend when the Northwest contingent of the Natural Parents Network gathered together to eat drink and video meet with the Midwest gathering and a few others on a Google+ video chat. In fact, I said pretty much the same thing when I walked into Moorea's (from MamaLady) home on Sunday. "Holy crap. I feel like I just walked into a webpage." There were these families that I had been watching grow up via their blogs for at least 6 months, some almost a year. Really, I follow these people like others might follow movie stars. It was surreal.

If there is a nook to be found, L1 will find it.

And then...I chickened out. I tried to make conversation. I tried to keep names straight. Mostly I stuffed my pregnant self with yummy foods and tried to keep track of my boys, who seemed much better at the whole "being social" bit than my husband or I was.

L2 making a tromp through the yard, barefoot of course.
These kiddos ran around making themselves at home. If L1 asked me who someone was and I didn't know the  answer he would tell me to go ask. When I hemmed and hawed at that, he walked over and started a conversation. L2 wasn't quite as social, but still attempted to play with the other kids until getting overwhelmed and wandering around making his "over-stimulated" whining drone noise.

All in all, I was glad to start somewhere in meeting all the fine people who work to make such a great online community for natural parents around the world. Though, I hope we get to do it again soon, so maybe I can get to the point of actually talking to them!

Photo credit to Sam and Lauren Wayne


To learn more about all the members of the Natural Parents Network team, visit our about page. To become a volunteer for NPN, first please check out what we're in need of, then contact us if you're interested in helping out. Here's information about some of our lovely volunteers, including all of those who are writing about the gathering today:

Northwest Gathering Attendees:

Lauren at Hobo Mama writes Meeting My NPN Friends.  Also find Lauren on Twitter and Facebook!

Amy at Anktangle writes Meeting the NPN Family.  Also find Amy on Twitter and Facebook.

Arpita at Up, Down & Natural writes Me And My Ladies ~ First Annual NPN Team Gathering.  Also find Arpita on Twitter and Facebook.

Kristin at Intrepid Murmurings writes Seattle Bloggy Meetup & Gluten-free Shortbread! Also find Kristin on Twitter and Facebook!

Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy.  Also find Jennifer on Twitter.

Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes writes Thanks.

Moorea at MamaLady: Adventures in Lesbian Parenting writes The Natural Parents Are Coming! Hide the Stroller!

Midwest Gathering Attendees:

Dionna at Code Name: Mama writes Wanted: More NPN Volunteers in Kansas City! Also find Dionna on Twitter and Facebook!

Jorje at Momma Jorje writes Vacation Weekend with Volunteers.  Also find Jorje on Facebook!

Amy at Peace 4 Parents writes The Value of Parent-to-Parent Support, Truth, Love, and Healing.  Also find Amy on Twitter and Facebook.

Amanda at Let's Take the Metro writes The Gathering.  Also find Amanda on Facebook.

Joni Rae at Tales of Kitchen Witch.  Also find Joni Rae on Twitter and Facebook

Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children.

Rebekah & Chris at Liberated Family.  Also find Rebekah & Chris on Twitter.

Fabulous NPN Volunteers who were unable to attend:

Melissa at The New Mommy Files writes Building a Modern Day Village.  Find Melissa on Twitter and Facebook.

Rachael at The Variegated Life.  Find Rachel on Twitter and Facebook.

Darcel at The Mahogany Way.  Find Darcel on Twitter and Facebook.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wordless Wednesday October 12th, 2011: NO FEAR

This week I had the goal of cutting out how many times I say "Be careful" to my boys. It was hard.

Spider wrapping a moth.

A giant spider they also stopped to watch.