Monday, January 30, 2012

Menu Plan

Here's what's on the menu this week:

Monday: White Bean Chicken Chili in the crockpot (made with homemade stock from yesterday's chicken in the crockpot...pretty easy!), w/creme fraiche, avocados, cheese, tortilla chips & Fresh veggies
Tuesday: Pasta Dish (undecided) and I will have mine over zucchini strips
Wednesday: Taco Salad
Thursday: Split Pea or Lentil Soup in the crockpot, fresh bread from bakery
Friday: Burgers and homefries (class was moved to the morning this week)
Saturday: Clean out the fridge (also a bday snack/meal out for Daniel and I!)
Sunday: Birthday meal at home...possibly some seafood or some nice cut of beef as a treat!)

For breakfast we have eggs, fruit, toast or some combination of eggs & toast (ie eggs in a window, french toast, etc.). I've just started making kefir and sometimes we have that with nuts, raisins, fruit, honey and I'm making granola right now:). We'll be having squash pancakes in the morning, that are almost grain free.

What's on your menu? Merci!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

French Swing Dancing?

We check out a few french videos each week from the public library and one that Daniel got this time was "swing dancing" because he though the girls might like it. As in swing dancing lessons. It was pretty dorky, but the girls had an excuse to be crazy and dance (as if they need an excuse!).

Rockin' the crib (w/sis)

Friday, January 27, 2012

White Bean Cake (gluten free)

I know a few of you will appreciate this recipe (my MIL especially)! It was adapted from this recipe for White Bean Cake, but I had to modify it because not only did I not have coconut flour, but coconut flour is way to expensive (and I have never seen it here). So... not having any other flour to replace it with and also wanting it to be a grain free recipe meant I...just left it out. And it was still really good! My judgement might be slightly off since i really haven't had any real "dessert" in about a month but that's okay. I'll eat it all and you don't have to have any!!;)

Vanilla Bean Cake:

2 1/2 cups cooked white beans (very well cooked or canned...must be soft!)
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3-1/2 cup honey

Puree well in food processor or use immersion blender.

1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Puree again.

Bake at 325-350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Very moist and dense cake, but its very filling. Pair with a glass of raw milk for an almost nutritious dessert!

Quote on suffering

I ran across this quote in the book I'm reading right now and thought it was excellent.

"Suffering- especially in the forms of potentially ominous pain or significant longer-term suffering-tends to produce clear benefits. So how does it do this? It does it in part by challenging our shallow confidences. As long as things seem to be going well for us, we tend to harbor a number of false beliefs. One of them is that our lives are largely in our own control." Mark R. Talbot (from "For the Fame of God's name")

I tend on the optimistic side of personality (it will all work out okay...) and I needed this reminder to "challenge our shallow confidences". Putting our hope in Christ is always far better than trusting in some circumstance that is fleeting in the moment.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

New Haircut, Chapeau and big boy

Louis has gotten very fast in pulling himself up...and he can do it on pretty much anything. He's still a little unsteady on his feet probably because of his pigeon-toedness. He's still the cutest guy in the world (next to his daddy:)

Marianna learned more about the Gallette tradition in school today and everyone made crowns. Olivia is just a ham.

I decided it was time to start getting Marianna's hair evened up with her growing-out bangs. So out came the scissors and here's what we ended up with. I was originally thinking of going shorter, but I decided to try to keep it long enough for a partial ponytail.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Foil and Grunts

Yep, he's all boy. Unlike the girls, Louis has developed a language of grunts. He makes the age appropriate letter sounds too, but enjoys grunting especially when he is "conquering" something. For example: mommy's foil. Enjoy.

Beware of the creepy leg sneaking into the background;).

Monday, January 23, 2012

Band-aids and dolly clothes

Grandma and Grandma sent a package with some things we asked them to sent but they also included a few fun goodies for us and the kiddos: including clothes for the girls' "new" Barbies (hand-me-downs we were blessed with over Christmas) and band-aids! The girls promptly asked to put them on their chins so they looked like thy had some good "owies". Nice.

Thank you grandma and grandpa!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

In which Louis discovers he has a tongue

and wants to show it off.

Family update and menu plan

Our weekend is just ending and honestly I am glad its over! For some reason we just had a really rough time with the girls. It seems like they are both going through really difficult phases right now. Previously it seemed like they would take turns (one would be sweet and delightful the majority of the time and the other...not so much). Now we seem to be constantly breaking up fights, dealing with whining and disciplining for disobedience. We are praying for lots of grace right now and wisdom for how to deal! Anyway, so that is why I am glad to be getting back into the "routine" of the week. Sometimes it seems like the strong structure built into our week helps to alleviate a tiny bit of the struggles.

We're also trying to do more "winding down" at night to try to help with Liv's night terror issue. After bath we read books, pray and then they listen to classical music as they fall asleep. Hopefully it continues to help...last night went really well. No one woke up until 3am, which is amazing for Liv. Hopefully it helps again tonight!

On to the menu plan:

Monday: Beef stew chunks in the crockpot over turnips, carrots, leeks and potatoes
Tuesday: Macaroni and Cheese in the crockpot
Wednesday: Thai or indian dish in the crockpot (I got cheap coconut milk this week)
(need recipe)
Thursday: Twice Baked potatoes or Mashed potatoes, beef gravy, green beans
Friday: Need something fun/easy crockpot or make ahead for this night...I have class in the evening and our usual isn't working right now (Hamburgers and homemade fries). We'll save that for Sat.
Saturday: Burgers and Fries
Sunday: TBD (grilled cheese maybe?)

What's on your menu? Any menu ideas for me (or parenting wisdom?;) Merci!

Marianna's school

Here's our big girl in front of her school. They are picky about taking pictures so this is as good as it may get. She sometimes rides her scooter there and is FAST! She likes it quite a bit, but it sees the exciting newness has worn off a bit and she has realized that she doesn't understand what people are saying! So she's had a few days where she wasn't loving going as much as in the beginning. But she is learning a lot and we noticed she has a friend or two already (that she must find SOME way to communicate with!). We are thinking about inviting one of her friends' families over for dinner. The dad speaks good English and it may be a good way to build a relationship, possibly share our faith and possibly practice some french. Last night she started counting in French (which we'd practiced at home) but she kept going....all the way to 20! I know we haven't practiced that far together more than a couple times. So it is exciting that she's learning already. I imagine it won't be long til she corrects our pronunciation;)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu plan

My trip to the saturday market pictured with my super cute helper eating an apple. (and our new big and sturdy table and chairs...yay!)

The vicious cycle of too busy to menu plan, but too busy not to have one has begun! So I am going to at least get a rough idea of what we'll have this next few days (mostly crockpot) sketched out to save us all further headaches:).

Monday: Fortunately this afternoon I pulled out a win with the crockpot at the last minute: italian zucchini/green beans. Sliced zucchinis, leftover green beans, chopped tomatoes, italian spices, olive oil and a jar of spagetti sauce mixed with a couple eggs cooked on high for 3 hours. I served it over noodles for the rest of the fam with shredded cheese. Daniel said that we could make it again, which is major for me! Also made homemade dressing for our salad (Smoked Paprika Vinaigrette).
Tuesday: Twiced baked potatoes ("bake" in the crockpot), smoked chicken, cooked carrots
Wednesday: Chili (in the slow cooker of course:), cornbread, mixed veg.
Thursday: Slow cooker corn potato chowder, fresh bread
Friday: (our tradition now) Hamburgers, homemade fries and fresh veggies

What's on your menu?

Sunday, January 15, 2012


We have some better videos coming, but for now here is one to check out the girls' scooter action.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trip to Grenoble

On the train to Grenoble to get our visas made "official". What an early morning (we had to walk to catch the train by 6:57am)! But we made it with plenty of time.

The munchkins had fun playing near the gare on our way back home. We had to get some "wiggles" out:). Check out the beautiful mountain behind Liv:

The fam, minus Daniel (always taking the shots!)
Louis got worn out with the trip and slept on the way back from the OFII office.

The girls enjoyed a playground after we arrived back in Chambery, a kind of "celebration" for making it back safely. Mommy and Daddy enjoyed a "kebab" a yummy sandwich while they played. Then it was back home for naps!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Busy Louis

Louis leads a busy life. Whether it be laughing at his really weird mama, looking through our door down the hall at his crazy sisters, or taking a nap in what we call the "suffocator" during a walk in the stroller (and continuing even after the walk has ended), he has LOTS to do. He is a sweet addition to our lives:)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Growing up too fast!

The girls are growing up too fast! My oldest "baby" is now in school and LOVES it and my second oldest or middle "baby" is now pretty much potty-trained! Where did the time go? I am very proud of how much the girls have accomplished since coming here.

Marianna loves to play "kitchen" and with babies and jewelry. She is such a girly-girl.

Space is kindof tight so the girls get creative with where they play:)

My big potty trainer!

Love these crazy girls!

Menu Plan (and my trip to the Saturday market)

We are trying to only grocery shop once a week (very tricky with a family of five and no wheels except a bicycle!) and because Daniel is a rockstar he has really taken over that task. He is the master of packing a bike or a stroller chock-full of groceries and getting them home in record time. That's why I can't complain when he occasionally buys something that isn't quite right (zucchinis instead of cucumbers for example) since not only does he have to figure out what it is in French, but he almost never gets something that isn't on the list. He's not the guy who brings home a bunch of junk when I send him out with a list. He's pretty awesome:) yesterday we did our weekly shopping and I thought we might try it a little different to be able to fit in a trip to the Saturday market too. I volunteered to bring the two littlest with me to the market and he went with Marianna to LIDL. It worked out pretty great and I was super excited that I was able to ask for the raw milk pictured below totally in French*all*by*myself:) Woot! Also got the equivalent of about 13 lbs of apples (mostly good for cooking/applesauce) for 4 Euros ($5-$6), so pumpkin-like squash (for my crustless, made w/honey pie and Louis food), and some pears. Yum yum!

We had a super busy Saturday so I am thankful that our Sunday has been fairly restful. We went to a new church today but I don't think we'll be going back. It wasn't what we were hoping for doctrinally so we're kind of struggling with what to do. The options for churches here are VERY limited, but we don't feel like we should just stay home and do church ourselves at this point.

On a different note: raw milk is SO good and I am going to have to exercise much self control to keep myself from drinking all of it! Still doing the no-sugar, no caffeine and no grains (well almost...we had two get-togethers yesterday-one at our house and a friends' bday where some grains may have snuck into my mouth accidentally;).

Here's our menu plan for the week:
Sunday: Lentil meatloaf, roasted red potatoes, green beans (very suprised that the girls and Louis ate their lentil loaf w/no problems)
Monday: Chicken in the crockpot, fresh bread, carrots and zucchini
Tuesday: Spagetti (mine with zucchini noodles...didn't have this last week)
Wednesday: Chicken stir-fry over rice
Thursday: Soup of some kind (or maybe white chicken chili!), fresh bread (we'll be traveling to get our visa made official today so the crockpot is a lifesaver!)
Friday: Hamburgers, fries (our new friday tradition to replace the pizza)
Saturday: Open...clean out the fridge maybe?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Menu Plan (for my first week of school!)

I started school today and so did Marianna! It went really well for both of us. I really didn't start "class" yet, but did spend most of the day at the school getting oriented and placed into a level. Plus two 50 minute (round trip) bike rides to and from school and a 2 hour tour of the city...exhausted. Tomorrow morning I be in my beginners class and I am looking forward to it! Daniel and the littles did great with their first day without mommy...Daniel even fixed dinner that I planned!

Tues: Ratatouille with rice
Wed: Spagetti (I will be having zucchini "noodles" instead of actual noodles) with fresh bread and broccoli
Thursday: Taco soup in crockpot
Friday: Cheeseburgers, homefries, veggie sticks
Saturday: Green Mashed potatoes, meat and gravy