Sunday, May 15, 2011

snake for science...

it was an average monday morning. that is, until sam ran into the house announcing the presence of a six foot bull snake near the swing set. now, bull snakes are not poisonous, but they are really, really big. all snakes bite and bull snakes even rattle just like a rattle snake when threatened.

a few weeks ago, i saw a large mound in the open space just feet away from the sand box and the swing set. a snake's nest for sure. not something we really wanted to deal with so close to the littles. but, if this was the resident of the local nest, i was just thankful that it wasn't a rattlesnake!

so, after a few minutes deliberation, we decided to "deal" with the snake. sam + shovel + snake = a monday morning science project! i printed out a snake dissection guide, the middles grabbed tweezers and scissors and audrey squatted down poking the snake with a stick to make sure it was "dissection ready". grizz was still feeling under attack and kept trying bite at the snake and shake it. he was so sweet in his concern for us. plus, i think he thought it would make a fantastic chew toy.

the internal organs of a snake are fascinating. very long and slender and really packed in there efficiently. audrey's one question during dissection was, "why did God make snakes, mom?" good question audge. good question. ew.

Monday, May 9, 2011

gluten tag. yes, gluten...

liv has been having lots of tummy aches. and headaches. i responded in the typical mother of the year way. "you're eating too fast" or "you'll be okay, just lay down for a bit". it seems to be getting worse, so we recently took her to our doc.

liv, audge and i walked into the office, checked in and sat for a just a few moments until we were whisked into an exam room. after a few basic questions from the nurse, she left us to peruse the highlights magazines and the safari artwork adorning the walls.

our doc came in and listened intently to liv's series of symptoms, listened to her heart and felt her belly. we let him know that gluten intolerance runs in the family, along with lactose intolerance on both sides. he said the safe things: that it's difficult to diagnose, the blood test often comes back as a false negative and that a lot of this is over his head.

so, he wants to send her to a pediatric gastroenterologist. we're just not so keen on that. so, we're thinking allergy testing first. because we have so many family members already years into a gluten and dairy free life, we know how far behind the rest of the world is regarding this topic.

liv had a field trip with the cottage school today and she didn't want to be having a tummy ache while she was gone. i had picked up some rice based pasta and decided to make her a roasted veggie pasta salad with homemade dairy free mayonnaise. the entire family loved it! she also took fruit salad and trail mix.

liv's field trip pasta salad:

1 yellow pepper
1 orange pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 T. olive oil

chop veggies, mince garlic and mix both with olive oil. roast on a cookie sheet for 40 minutes at 425.

boil rice penne (tikayada brand) until al dente. i added a t. of olive oil to the water to prevent sticking.

make your favorite homemade dairy free mayo recipe and chill. here's a great one:

after veggies are cool, mix with drained pasta and a can of sliced organic black olives. lastly, chop up fresh chives and mix in. a bit of sea salt and black pepper and it's done.

we're going to give the gluten free dairy free life a whirl this summer and see how we ALL feel. i'm really looking forward to focusing on whole foods, healthier eating and new recipes! i promise i'll share if you'll share yours too!

Friday, May 6, 2011

audge loves awana...

audge loves awana! her program is called cubbies and it's a crazy filled night of crafts, games, music, snack, story time and scripture. she earns littles patches for memorizing scripture and i get to sew them all onto a cute little blue vest. she comes home with adorable art and side splitting stories about the kids in her class. the best part is close family friends run the program, so we couldn't be more comfortable about leaving her in very loving hands. sarah, their daughter is audge's teacher and babysitter extraordinaire!

last wednesday night, the cubbies group graduated! they sang on stage, received their "diplomas" and had a cookie reception afterwards. even cubbie bear came to visit them! well, it was actually sam, who got conned into dressing up as cubbie bear.

it was a magical night for audge. she loved the stage, sang her little heart out and beamed a giant smile from the front row. she's a bit sad that we're done for the summer, but asked if we could read her cubbie book all over again. we're so thankful for all the volunteers and our church for sponsoring this program. i'm trying to talk marcus into being a leader with me next year. believe it or not, ev will be old enough to join the ranks of accomplished cubbies everywhere!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


grizz has a best friend, other than me. a furry one named patch. patch is the howards' dog, good family friends and neighbors up the road. he's part border collie and part lab, a really smart and sweet mix! we have him over to play when they head out of town, or when they are gone all day. we love having him here~he just settles right in and makes himself at home.

somehow, we started calling patch "patch-weeza". so, when they're together, they're "weez and wonk". they can be found chasing after the same tennis ball, napping on the green formal living room couch together or standing in the kitchen waiting for manna from heaven (crackers from ev).

i have always loved border collies and would love to rescue one someday. having patch around is almost as good as having one of our own. almost...

hit the deck...

we desperately need a new deck. well, we did anyhow. when we purchased this house, the deck looked brand new, but the previous owners had thrown a fresh coat of paint on it, hiding the wood rot underneath. but worst of all, they actually used PAINT! anyone who knows the weather extremes of colorado knows that's a recipe for disaster.

while on vacation, marcus rented a floor sander and a smaller belt sander and hit the deck. literally. he painted it the same color, but this time used an appropriate outdoor product. it looks amazing! i cannot wait to spend time out there as a family this summer and adorn it with flowers and a picnic table stained to match.

no more slivers on the girls' chubby little feet! no more paint chips on the lawn below! all of marcus' hard work definitely bought us some more time with the deck to save up for all of his plans out there. we have this gorgeous view and we spend quite a bit of time out there together star gazing, listening to coyotes out in the distance, grilling. it's our happy place. and now it's even happier!