Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Thinking of "home"

Louis is enjoying looking at the picture book grandma and grandpa Gregory made for us when they visited us in North Carolina.

Livvie loves looking at the card one of our friends and supporters from back home sent us. The small amount of mail we get here is VERY precious to us!

Happy Girls reading the card over and over.

Posing with the card...we love to get mail!

We are blessed to get mail! Thank you Grandma Betty and our friends at FCBC! And to other wonderful family/friends who send us packages etc...huge blessing!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Menu Plan

The "I've got a sore throat and can't swallow" version...which means...nothing really.  Life and menu planning goes on:)

Breakfast:  felt cruddy this morning and was skyping with my parents on and off so Daniel made bacon (a treat!) and eggs (I made the now-everyday-occurrence green smoothies though).   We have eggs and smoothies most mornings and everyone but me has homemade granola with raw milk or yogurt a couple times a week for an easy alternative.


Monday:  Had Pakistani Kima (a version of it)...and 4 out of the 5 of us really liked it!  Louis and Liv had some seconds which is caaaaarraaazy because it was packed with veggies and spices

Tuesday:  Hamburgers and fries with homemade buns

Wednesday:  Taco Salad

Thursday: Orange Chicken, over rice or sauteed zucchini (me)

Friday:  Noodle Free Lasagne

Saturday:  Paleo Pad Thai...so excited to try this.  Love regular Pad Thai, and I think if the sauce is good I will love this (I actually enjoy veggie strips in place of noodles).

In other news...did you hear we are going to Senegal!?  It's true!  I'm going to be a little bit freer with my frugal nature and try to splurge some in the next three months before we leave.  Why?  I figure the "comfort" products of home will be 1. super expensive in Senegal 2. not available.  So...while we can we'll enjoy but I'm sure we will eat well in Africa too:)

What's on your menu this week?

Friday, April 26, 2013

Toys are not necessary for fun

One of the few things I knew about having kids before becoming a parent was that kids don't need a lot of toys. Sometimes I forget that when I think about moving to a new country with only 10 suitcases for 5 people, but its still true! Even if we can't bring more than a couple toys the kids will still have their imaginations and lots of other stuff to pretend with. For example: flower pots, blankets and a salad spinner! Who needs more!

Silly kids.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Why this video is awesome on so many levels

Here is a video of my not-yet two year old "playing" with fire.  Yes, we let him(not unsupervised of course!). And yes, I expect to receive at least one horrified message about that fact. Besides that obvious problem, this video also records Louis' enormous drool problem as well as phone conversation Daniel was having, so try to tune that out;).  The final reason I love this video is that Olivia is yelling from the background while on the potty.  This is a regular occurrence in our home but it just makes the point that life in our home is never boring. Feel free to watch the horror unfold (and yes we will understand if you don't ever want us to watch your kids:) Ha!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Anniversary to Claudia and Joseph!

Yesterday we help celebrate the anniversary of our french friends Claudia and Joseph who have been married 50 years! Claudia is the "missionary to missionaries" and is just a super friend to anyone who isn't french who comes across her path. Even if you don't speak a word beyond Bonjour she'll invite you over, feed you delicious food and love on you. She is super inspirational to me. After seeing her in action I was even more convicted about reaching out to those who are far from home in my community. I wish I had been even more proactive about that when I was a young adult in Washington. Anyone can do it.

Such a sweet couple...we were so glad to be able to do a little something for them (our friends' Fran and Jenise had the awesome idea!). 

The whole group of party animals, with our honored guests. 
Such a fun time!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Exciting morning

When I say exciting morning, I mean exciting in the not so awesome sense.  But, it ended okay, so
"c'est pas grave!". 
The same morning that the washing machine broke my conversation leader showed up unexpectedly (and I was the only part of the group there!) and was totally unprepared.   Before that one of my precious children (and yes I do mean that...they ARE precious but I wasn't feelin' it at that moment!) ripped apart a very very full wet diaper and thought it would be a super idea to throw it at another one of the kids.  Hence little bits of diaper insides were covering their bedroom floor.  Very wet and gross. 

Despite all that Daniel managed to fix the washer and clean up the diaper mess.  And I muddled my way through two hours of french conversation (with much bumbling!) with no major harm done.  So all in all, what ends well is well.  Above is a picture of Daniel and his happy helper.  Nothing like a tool box to make a little boy ecstatic. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Menu Plan

Another week and lots more veggies, fruits and meat for us.  I am giving the no-dairy a go this week.  My coffee this morning was SO sad without it's whole milk.  My zucchini pizza boats were also very sad without some homemade ranch to dip them in!  Okay, so my food is hardly worth complaining over...I am blessed to have so many choices. 

Chicken Cabbage Curry  (this was great...all of us like and ate it!)

Carrot Banana Muffins (almond flour) for snacks

Crockpot no-noodle lasagne

Pork Chops, roasted brussel sprouts

Meatloaf, butternut squash & turnip fries (reg for the fam)

Roasted Chicken, Cauliflower mashed w/carrots

Taco Soup using broth from the roasted chicken

Made Coconut flour muffins and peanut butter bars

Those are my ideas for this week!  What's on your menu?

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kids & Sun

Our sometimes-tradition for after church on Sundays: the beautiful parc du buisson rond. Love it and its not too far from our apt. We were going to take pics but the light wasn't great and we were all exhausted after a rough night of Louis up multiple times. So family pics will have to wait. We had a fun picnic though and the kids LOVE exploring the grass and trees.

Daniel and Marianna showing off the very french stinky cheese we bought at the market. Wish you could see the crazy crust on that thing!

Louis is proud of his new shirt with TRUCKS! He is very into what his shirts have on them these days.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Menu Plan

Continuing with the Paleo theme this week.  I've done less dairy but haven't quite figured out how to replace my milk in the morning coffee etc.  Coconut/almond milk are NOT the same!  Soy milk is not even close to an option either.  Oh well, baby steps:).  We had a few winners this week in terms of new recipes:  creamy cauliflower cheeseburger soup (using pureed cauliflower for the creaminess) was a hit and so were zucchini pizza boats.  All but Marianna loves those.  Super good "vehicle" for the delivery of the pizza flavors without dealing with the crust.  Yum!  I did get tired of the massive amounts of salad and meat that I felt like I was eating this week though.  Just being used to a lot of beans and other starchy foods and then replacing a lot of that with the above was a change.  I really love beans.  They (unfortunately) leave several of us with lots of stomach pain so I am trying to use them sparingly.  Sad day. 

Tried an awesome almond flour (paleo) cookie this week.  No sweetener besides bananas but almond butter is a bit naturally sweet to me and they were great. 

Hoping to try these honey muffins soon.  Overall the goal is to try just one or two "baked" things each week.  I LOVE to bake and eat baked things, but the habit of eating lots of that type of thing isn't great for me.  The kids are even getting more into it without knowing it..the last couple days they've been eating freshly shelled walnuts, sourdough crackers with raw cheese or fruit for "dessert" when they finish their food.  They haven't complained at all since those are things they like and don't get to have for snacks (we still limit to veggies and some fruits for 95% of snacktimes).  Cuz we're mean like that. 

Here are some things I want to make this week:

Roast Chicken (this is and will continue to be a weekly staple) & carrot parsnip puree

Beef Enchilada Rolls (love the idea of using cabbage leaves to roll stuff up in!)

Banana Raisin Muffins (my other baking project?) for snacks or with omelettes for dinner

Fried Rice (using cauliflower for my "rice" but normal for the rest of the crew)

Chicken Nuggets and Chick -fil- A sauce with sweet potato/regular fries and peas or raw veggies

Chili (leftover beans from tomorrows taco salad with friends over) but just meat, tomatoes, peppers, etc. for those who don't do well with beans. 

Paleo Pad Thai

Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash

What's on your menu this week?


Marianna's class went ice-skating last month.  And her awesome daddy tagged along a few times.  Just in case you were wondering...accompanying (is that a word?) an outing of sixty-ish 5/6 year olds is pretty much the most exhausting thing one can possibly do with their time.  Major hat tip to those teachers!  (Wouldn't wanna be ya! :)

And just for fun, here's a picture of some very zoned-out children watching an 8 minute clip of mickey mouse on their lunch break. Yes, sometimes the "boob-tube" is a very useful thing to have around for "those times";)Can you tell Louis likes watching "mimi" (how he says Mickey)? Cutie. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Menu plan

Our most recent trip to the farmers' market:

Normally I like to ignore the latest diet/nutrition fads until they are almost out of style.  Same with exercise...I got onto P90X and Zumba when they were already not cool.  I was like that in school with fashion and stuff too. Oh well.   Well, just to simplify and not re-invent the wheel, I started looking up the Paleo/Primal recipes because although I hated reading about it when it was first popular, it seemed like an easy way to get access to recipes that fit the grain-free thing I've been doing on and off. Can't decide about the dairy...I LOVE me some dairy!  It may need to go too eventually, but right now I am just too weak to give up butter and creme fraiche....yum.  And as to reasons...still the same.  Always looking for ways to improve health...get more sleep and not feel fatigued all the time.  That and little things like improved digestion and less blood sugar fluctuations would be awesome too. 

Breakfasts: eggs and green smoothies (frozen fruit, leafy greens/avocado...like always), the occasional oatmeal for everyone else and almond flour muffins for me once in awhile

Lunches:  leftovers or salads


Tuesday:  Cauliflower Soup (with bacon pieces/ground beef on top), rolls from freezer for the fam (made this just now and it was really good...love my immersion blender!

Wednesday:   Beef Broccoli (with rice for everyone else)

Thursday:  Lamb Broth soup with mushrooms (using the lamb bone from our Easter lamb leg), biscuits

Friday:  Cheeseburgers, sweet potato fries, salad

Saturday:  Scotch Eggs, honey cinnamon carrots

Sunday:  on verra...
Anyone else tried the Primal/Paleo thing?  What are your favorite meals if so?