I was so tired out today, I took a nap around 6 and Erik was home to make dinner. It was delicious. He used a couple of the artichokes from the backyard.
I went to one of Brandon’s baseball games today. It was extremely windy and cold. It happened to be a very long game, with lots of hits and walks. The boys came back from a large deficit and almost pulled out a victory. This picture is when Brandon fought off an 0-2 count and drew a walk with the bases loaded to get an RBI. He played 3rd base and helped with some of the scorekeeping.
Erik gave me a Bosch mixer for my birthday, and I have made bread a couple of times. Homemade bread is delicious. I am planning to make it regularly. Scrumptious.
So I am still recovering from feeling sick the other day, and I felt like having a green smoothie. So I got some fresh strawberries, mint, parsley, spinach, celery, squeezed some orange juice, and added frozen mango and whipped one up. The strawberry actually makes the green less bright and instead more brown. It is not as pretty, but the taste was fabulous. Camille and Nicole, as well as Erik and me, really like drinking green smoothies. Maybe this is catching on and can spread to the whole family. Time will tell.
Some days I focus on having a rainbow of colors to eat during the day. Tonight’s dinner was colorful. Mostly green and red. We had a new kind of vegetable that was delivered in our organic box of fruits and vegetables. Romanesco. It is like broccoli, but a spiral formation with fractals! Math and vegetables. I roasted in the oven with the mandarin chicken. It was quite good. The kids gave it a thumbs up. Fun to try new foods.
Yesterday Robin said that she was craving strawberries — that they taste good this time of year. They have been tasty lately. We are probably so grateful to have more to choose from than apples, oranges, bananas. We are spoiled to have so many different fruits and vegetables all year long.
This morning I made a green smoothie with mango, strawberries, mint, celery, orange juice, parsley, and spinach. It looks like I had some red, orange, and green for breakfast. Red and green for dinner. I guess I should add some blue for breakfast tomorrow.
I have discovered in the last year or two that one of my favorite ways to eat vegetables is to roast them. I had an interesting combo tonight.
I cut up some mushrooms and zucchini and Dutch yellow potatoes. I added some olive oil, salt and pepper, and then cut some rosemary over the top. I set the oven at 450 degrees and roasted all of them together for 20-25 minutes.
We had pulled pork sandwiches and strawberries to go along with the veggies.
It was a delicous! Last week I roasted some cauliflower. I have never paid attention to cauliflower before, but roasted it was wonderful. Sweet potatoes and squash are also great roasted in the oven with some olive oil or butter and seasoning. Fun to find some new combinations of food that go so well together. Happy eating!
I gave Erik this fun mini loaf pan for Christmas. Finally, made some blueberry mini loaves. Should be yummy! When I take the time to make some homemade goodies, everyone is happy and feels loved and cared for. Earlier I whipped up a green smoothie for Erik, Nicole, and me. I am starting to enjoy the flavors of spinach, celery, parsley, mango and orange juice. It feels healthy and energizing.
Robin just fell asleep. Most nights one of us sits by her bed until she falls asleep. She gets more sleep that way. So we take the 10 or 15 extra minutes and sit with her. Tonight she reached out and patted me on the head. A small moment of kindness. She wasn’t falling asleep quickly, so I reached out and put my hand on her forehead and told her I loved her. Her act of loving kindness helped me do the same for her.
Today was a sick day for Maren and me. I stayed in bed late with a sore throat and head cold. She woke up with the same and threw up a few times. Erik was very kind to both of us. He just took an extra few minutes away from work to make sure we were cared for. Over the course of the day he made both of these smoothies for me.I have been wanting to try both of them, got the special ingredients needed — flax seeds, ginger root, rice milk, frozen raspberries, spinach, parsley, etc. — and he took the time to actually make them for me and deliver them to me. A special kindness on a day when I didn’t feel great.
When all the kids came home, they each seemed to need extra love and attention. I think Brandon may be getting the cold we have. He needed to use his calculator and was all spread out on the couch doing homework and asked if I would get it for him out of his backpack. I really wasn’t feeling well, but I knew he wasn’t either. So I got up and found it for him. Nicole needed a listening ear. Erik was home to give it to her. After trying to give her many solutions for her dilemmas, I started to try and listen more and just receive what she had to say. She was kind to me and kept me company while I made dinner. Camille always gives great hugs just when I need them.
Even though I didn’t have much to give, I somehow knew I needed some homemade chicken noodle soup. That was my offering to the fragile crew we all were today.
The seven of us made it to the dinner table. And the chicken soup and warm bread was just what the doctor ordered. I usually make dinner with a crew of kids. Then Erik cleans up. I was listening to a podcast here about how kindness inspires kindness – 40 random acts of kindness someone did on her 40th birthday. I was so tired, and my head was aching. Erik was getting Robin ready for bed, and the dishes weren’t done. I knew how tired Erik was after caring for all of us today and going to work on top of it all. Maren was feeling a bit better, and so we went and put all the soup dishes away and wiped up the counters and scrubbed the pots and pans while listening to that inspiring podcast.
Kindness does inspire kindness. Love begets love. Service inspires service. All those kindnesses help us connect and unite. It was a sick day, but one filled with love and service and kindness all around.
For Christmas I gave Camille, Maren and Robin a gift of cookies after school on Fridays. Today was the second Friday of the year, and so I baked them some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
This is a fun gift to us all, it turns out — cookies every Friday afternoon, warm from the oven. A time to talk and share some sweetness.
I love to be organized, but hate to fill up my calendar. But I have a feeling that having a set day of the week for this gift will make it much more likely to happen. There is some truth to this statement: calendared events tend to happen. I hope cookies after school on Friday becomes a weekly tradition! I am ready for the weekend.