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Posts Tagged ‘twins’

45/365 not art

just an unedited photo.  I love how close the twins are, notice how one is wrapped around the other.  Photos can be so beautiful in an artistic way, yet just as beautiful in the memory of what they convey (even if it isn’t perfect.)

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Today was the second day back to school for us.  While schools all over the area canceled their classes for the day, us homeschool-type pull out the books and an extra pair of socks to keep our feet warm.  To cope with the step back into school and routine, we had a pajama day today.  Not that it really, matters, but I wanted you to know I don’t normally have my kids in their pajamas all day.  Those are some of the side-benefits of homeschooling; pajama days, weather rarely stops us, and an extra pair of socks instead of boots on a cold day.

This photo was not an easy one to catch.  When daddy got home from work the twins, as usual, want his undivided attention.  With as cold as it is out, he wanted to crawl into bed and get warm.  It’s always loud when he gets home, today just seemed extra so.  Lots of tickles, giggles, and talking over one another.  The sun was gone from that side of the house and there was only one lamp to help light all that movement.  Once again, my camera amazes me and I realize that with some more know-how this camera will take me quite far!

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You guessed it, I am still one busy gal.  Really, does life ever slow down?  School starts in THREE WEEKS!  Just in the next couple days I am going to my sister’s musical about 2 hours away, planning, making cakes, and having a small birthday party for the twins, and going to my other sister’s to paint (an hour and a half away.)  That will bring me to Wednesday night and I will once again be working I am sure.  I did give notice that once school starts, I am only working on an emergency basis only.  If they can’t honor that, I will have to quit as the money just doesn’t justify all it takes to make it there.

I did manage to squeeze in a run today (before work, after market/store/mom’s house.)  It was week 4, run 1 of Couch to 5K and it was not my best run.  This week they drop a good bit of the walking and it really makes it harder.  Hah!  I feel like such a dork saying it, but I’m not embarrassed as I really am pleased with my progress.    The podcast is by far not my favorite, he really slows the music down to where I can not keep stride with it.  My MP3 was acting up to, so I’ll give it another run before digging out the stopwatch for the third if need be.

Speaking of the market, I felt like I got a good haul today for around $10: beets, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, lettuces, green peppers, and green onions.  The best part was that I rode my bike up with Liz.  I FINALLY have a basket on the front to put produce in.  We had to rig a bag of produce to Liz’s handlebars as my basket wouldn’t hold our bounty.  I like getting out with just one of the girls, it’s a rare thing to have that one on one time.   Need to  work on doing that some more with each one.

The twins turn three on Monday.  Wow, no longer babies, or even toddlers.   I’m sad in so many ways, but happy in as many more.  I miss the snuggly days, but not the sleepless nights.  Yes, in the last month or two we finally are getting sleep most nights.  It’s been a long time coming.  Potty training…meh.  they get it, but don’t want to.  We are out of diapers, though, so this week they have no choice and I’ll just have to really keep on top of them about it.  No diapers…goodness, let’s just hope they still take naps for another school year!

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Why do kids have to grow up so fast?  Really, look at this:

We were getting ready for church and everyone ended up in a dress.  They all looked so grown that I had to take a picture…we were late, but I didn’t care. When did this happen.  The twins aren’t so tiny anymore.  And the older two…help someone!

On a side note, these are the closest things to hats I’ve been able to get the twins to wear since we came home from Vietnam.  That winter I would put one on their heads and they would eventually knock them off.  Every since it has been a strict no hat status.  These things stayed on all day, though…even through a nap.  Looking at the pic, I had them a little forward on their not-so-little noggins.  I still am shaking my head, how is it that time is going so fast?

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The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

  Did I mention I am participating in a monthly baking and cooking challenge?  Oops, well now I am mentioning it.  Head over to the Daring Kitchen for more info and to join for access to the recipes.  We all are supposed to reveal on the same date, this one is a day late, though.  For some reason I am off a day…hazard of staying home so much.  Wonder how long I have been off and if I have post-dated any checks?

Most of the recipes I will alter to our way of eating (when possible.)  This one I did not.  I could have swapped out rapadura for the white sugar, found or made some sort of soaked/sprouted flour cookies for the base, figured out the chocolate or some other option, etc.  But when it got down to it cheesecake sounded good and why mess with such a good thing.  It knew it would not all be consumed by us, so it was our treat for the week.

This is a wonderful base recipe for a solid, creamy cheesecake.   I altered  (as we were encouraged to do) by adding cayenne to the crust and using chocolate graham cookies.   I made the cheesecake itself with cayenne and melted dark chocolate.  So very rich and yummy.  It baked up beautifully in a small water bath (pan triple wrapped in foil to prevent seeping.)  There was no crack on top, and it tasted best the day after baking.  I know this is common of cheesecakes, but who could resist cutting into it once it had cooled?

I took it to my parents house and we celebrated a milestone for Brie.  No more pacifier for almost a week now.  She was so excited to have a cake when CeeCee didn’t.  She still asks for the paci every now and then but there isn’t one to give her.  It went fairly smooth with only one time (so far) of her showing up with one from who knows where in her mouth.  She had started getting to where she was walking around with it all day and it was causing her to snore so much we were turning the monitor down so we could sleep.  What a big girl she has proved to be!  Of course, it’s a good excuse for extra cuddles during the day to help offset any insecurities the change may have caused.  Love celebrating milestones with my girls and passing cheesecake out to others, otherwise it would sit in my fridge and tempt me something awful.

Speaking of milestones, do not ask about potty training.  For some reason potty training twins is so hard.  I know I’ve mentioned it before, but really, this is not fun. 

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In light of the coming weekend forcast full of 80 degree temps and sun shinning,  I am spending the day in the kitchen.  The only housework I want to do tomorrow is the kind that hangs laundry on the line or plants flowers in the window boxes (Pansies as we have been known to get more snow.)  If it is going to be that nice in April I am going to enjoy it, darn it!

On my list today is:

  • yogurt
  • ricotta (homemade since we can’t buy any fresh here…it’s not hard)
  • sausage
  • roasting a chicken
  • a special dessert (for Mr “I’m not so into this” Trying Traditional)
  • Vietnamese meat balls
  • hardboiled eggs

This is on top of the usual homeschool, dishes (and if I accomplish all on my list, we will have lots of dishes, picking up,meals, etc.

This reminds me.  Why is it that the twins are like a tornado?  If the older two and I go around picking up, they are in the opposite rooms making a mess.   There are only 8 rooms in our entire house and while we are picking up three rooms, they are messing up at minimum two of them.  And I am not a neat freak.  I would love to have a nice, neat home, devoid of stuff, clutter, and well, more stuff.  I would love to have a decor and even more so an actual living (but that is another battle.)  What I am talking about is the general mess of four children, a three-legged dog, and two adults.  From where I sit I could reach laundry (all clean and on it’s way to being put away), dishes, four purses, pencils, erasers, cloth napkins, random socks, sippy cups, two squeaky toys, a towel, a lock for at the YMCA, books, one pen and a ruler.  This is all around my kitchen table.  Sigh.  So, when naptime hits I try to really work on the house and schooling when I feel like collapsing for an hour.

Back to my kitchen list:

So far I’ve finishe the hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and ricotta…well, almost.  The ricotta is straining and the yogurt is heating.  I started at about 10 this morning on both.  Mind you there was lunch, potty-training, and all sorts of interruptions mixed in.  The yogurt is in the dehydrator (to keep it warm) until 7 tonight.   Next is the chicken (can it really be after 2 already) followed by the sausage and meatballs.  I’m making my own sausage to avoid nitrates and processed sugars, besides it isn’t hard.  The special dessert may or may not get done today, we will have to see. 

Here is how to make raw milk yogurt and ricotta in case you are interested:

Raw Milk Yogurt

The yogurt is pretty much like the recipe in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

  • 4 cups of raw milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (with active cultures)

That is it, only two ingredients, if only all recipes could be this way!

In a double boiler (or a heat safe bowl set over a pot of boiling water for a home-made double boiler.)  Heat milk to 110 degrees.  You want to heat it slowly.  Have a 1 quart jar ready to let your yogurt culture in with a lid that fits (always an issue around here.)  Once milk gets to 110, remove from boiling water and remove/discard/drink 2 Tbsps of hot milk, stir in a heaping tablespoon of your yogurt into the remaining milk.  Pour this into your prepared jar along with two more heaping Tbps of yogurt.  Stir really well and screw lid on tight.  Place in your dehydrator for 8 hours at around 90 degrees.  This is to maintain a warm temperature ideal for culturing all those beneficial bacteria.  Ive heard of people using warm towels and a cooler, a crock-pot, and all sorts of things.  I’ve blessed to have my handy dehydrator to do the work for me on this one.

Whole Milk Ricotta

Not necessarily a true ricotta (traditional ricotta is made from the leftover whey when making other cheeses), this is made from whole milk.   It works quite well for me, though, seeing as I would have at minimum an hour drive there and back to pick up the real deal.  The ricotta was made pretty much like this, though I used 11 cups of raw, un-skimmed Jersey milk, 1 cup of cream, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and healthy 1/4 cup of distilled white vinegar.  I would type it all out, but really, why re-invent the wheel when there is so much that needs done. 

So, now that it has taken me 2 hours to write this, my ricotta is drained and very tasty thank you very much.  Time to go get that bird roasting and to season some sausage, suppose I could put it in the Kitchen Aid?

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I feel bad for reader’s looking for raw milk articles, ferments, and handcrafted butter or bread.  Those posts are there, please search if that is what you are looking for.  As of late, though, I have re-discovered my love of sewing.  It satisfies the creative and practical side of me in one fell swoop.  I can’t help it, I love it.  Before kids I sewed, quilted, painted (oh my poor paints that are likely crusty with my dear brushes at their side), and all sorts of creative endeavors.  No schooling or training on it, just a love for it.  Sorry dear readers, but I promise with spring on the horizon the food related articles will return.  Meanwhile, you have sewing projects, homeschool, and Adventures in Daddyhood to look forward to.

All that to say, I made two more dresses that I LOVE!  The worst of it is that I have to send them away, but I can cope.  The best of it is they are going to the sweetest twins that were adopted the same time my girls.  Really, what are the odds?   We actually met up at the Hanoi Embassy without really knowing each other would be there.  We have kept in contact and it is great to have someone in a similar boat to talk to.  Her girls are a month older than mine so it is like a heads-up on things.  This family has been so gracious to us in the past I wanted to do something for them.  Long story short, she ordering some amazing Heather Bailey Fabric (Pop Garden) and I made these…I hope you like them!

the pics do not do them justice…flash (obviously) and me in a hurry

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