fell off the globe

I didn't blog at all this past week, which, as most of you know, is odd for me. We're not sick or anything, just busy and when I have time at night to do posts or upload pictures, I've just not been in the mood. Yeah, it finally happened to me. A lack of desire to blog. Shocking, I know. Life has been busy but mellow, which is always nice. I have a bunch of random pictures to share in this post, so I'm just going to type about life in general and I'll post the random pix I have :) 

The sun is setting right now and its absolutely breath taking. Its been a while since we've had such a sun filled, dry day. And we loved it. I wish I could've gone for a quick run, or taken the kids to the park, but my knee is hurting after I twisted it the other day. So Jason is at the park with kidlets and I'm here, getting ready to make dinner.
I love sunsets. I love the view we have and the beauty God gives us in each one. Every sunset is different from the last and reminds me of how every day is. Different from the last. 

Kara has been wandering around the house in a pink tu-tu with a pink sweater {that only buttons at the top} with her big belly hanging out, and then Hello Kitty rain boots. She loves her style and when she comes into the kitchen and I say "oh Kara, you look beautiful!" she glows with pride, does a little curtsey for me and walks out of the kitchen with her head held high. Makes me laugh out loud.
Her outfit is actually so goofy, I ran and took some pictures of her - you have to see this.

School with Ethan keeps us super busy during the days. He's turned a corner where's he's gone from having a hard time being diligent, having a hard time seeing the girls play while he does school and feeling like he's never gonna get the things I'm teaching him. Seems like over this past week or two, he's taken huge strides of progress! He's reading all 2nd reader books with great ease and is getting better and better with penmanship, which he's had NO motivation for in the past. This week he's working on a couple hand written letters to send to family and friends in California :)

We're all healthy and have been completely healthy for several weeks now. I already mentioned our good health, didn't I? I feel like pinching myself every time I say it. Its just marvelous. I've been asking around and doing some research on ways to help our immune systems become even stronger during these rough winter months. Cod liver oil seems to be one helpful tip and zinc definitely has a good reputation for helping out. Grinding up hemp seeds and putting those in our food apparently helps as well. Here's what my friend told me about those: 
"Hemps seeds have edestin. Edestin is a plan globulin. Globulins are simple globular proteins that are constructed entirely from amino acids. Gamma globulins work on the immune system and are divided into five classes of antibodies called immunoglobulins. All are formed to combat specific cell invading microbes. These globulins are responsible for both the natural and acquired immunity a person has against foreign microbes. I could go on and on but just know that because hempseed is the world's best source of globulin building materials (edestin), eating hempseed will ensure the body has the reservoir of globulin resources necessary to transport raw materials and support the immune system and immune response." 

Also raw/local bee products will help and I know this also helps aid against bad allergies to pollen and such. None of us have experienced the allergy issues here that we had in CA, but you just never know. Seems like every year the allergies are different and brought on by different things. 
And then of course, lots of vitamin D3, which is already a familiar friend to our family :)
As much as I love warm, winter foods, I miss the fresh, local fruits and veggies that grow during springtime and summer. We decided this past year that we were going to only eat produce that's in season, so we can buy it locally {farmers markets, local markets, farms, etc...} and so there's a lot of yummy produce we can't enjoy during these winter months. But I'm slowly learning about things IN season right now and learning how to cook with different types of fruits and veggies. It scares me when I see strawberries in Costco, in the middle of a freezing cold winter month. Really?! And the bananas. Can someone tell me who's growing those things and what they're 'feeding' them?! Since when was a banana 10+ inches long?! We've also decided to start buying a box of produce from a local farm! This has been something we've wanted to do for a while, but either never found a good deal, or a farm we liked, or had the real motivation to just do it. - that one's for you, Nike ;-) I hear we get eggs in our box, which is exciting as well. My next project is to make butter and yogurt for about 2 weeks and see if its something I'd like to continue making from scratch. I have a feeling it will be a fun school project and then we'll return to buying our favorite butter and Greek yogurt from the store. 

I've enjoyed learning a lot about food in general lately. Learning what's best to eat in raw form, and proper ways to cook other foods we eat on a regular basis. Also learning what I want to cook completely from scratch and what's not worth the effort and healthy enough in stores.
The kids have become completely addicted to smoothies. We've always enjoyed them, but recently we've been adding raw honey, raw milk, coconut, mango chunks and other frozen fruit like blackberries, raspberries, etc... along with home made probiotics {from our raw milk} and the wheat germ as well.

My friend Sarah is going to come over and help me learn how to bake some new breads! We're not huge fans of bread in our home, but we do eat it for some things, namely sandwiches, so Sarah is going to give me a list of the healthy ingredients to buy and then she'll come over and we'll bake away! I'm super excited about it. Sarah's an awesome photographer, so I'll ask her to shoot a few pics as well :)

 All this stuff can be overwhelming sometimes, but I'm focusing on learning what's healthy, while keeping my sanity at the same time. I can't do it all and I'm not gonna shoot myself for buying regular cheese at Costco instead of making my own. I would love to know any tips you have to share; what are some things you love to cook from scratch and what ways has his benefited your family?
Also, share any fun ingredients you put into smoothies, please! We recently discovered a "green smoothie" that has things like baby spinach and cabbage, mixed with yummy fruit - it is to die for. 
I've been working out again, which has been a  nice routine to get back into. I was super bummed when my chiropractor told me that I have some swelling near the muscles in my spine. He basically said "you can work out, but I would recommend NO jumping up and down too much." Hmmm... pretty much cancels my favorite work out DVD :(
He did give me some tips on modifying things like jumping jacks, which I had no idea was even possible. So now I'm working on finding some new work out routines that have more stretching and cardio, with less jolting my body around. He also showed me how to even go on a run outside, without coming down so hard on my knees and back. Surprise, surprise! I even know less about these things than I thought! :)

Unless I start giving just bullet point highlights, this post will be too long. So here goes...

*Ethan lost his 2nd tooth!
*Kara is talking super well and clear lately. 
Its like she woke up one day, sounding exactly like the older kids. 
And no, Jason and I were not prepared for it.
*Rachel is learning how to read! 
She read her first beginner book to me the other day and was just so proud. 
Its amazing to me how fast the younger siblings learn, 
when they've been watching and listening to the older siblings learn.
*All 5 of us are eager for glorious February weather. 
I wonder if February knows it has a lot to live up to.
We did have a week or 2 of very beautiful, sunny weather in January, but more gloomy, 
dark days than I'd like to admit.

I think that's pretty much it. January felt long, but it usually does. And then with February having less days in it, I have a feeling it will fly by.

Hope you all have a great week!

15 {comments}:

Nicola S. said...

What adorable pictures of the girls on the computer and Kara in her tu-tu, super cute!!

Brooke said...

Hi Stef!
Beautiful sunset and Kara is adorable in her tutu :)

Great things you're doing for immunity boosting. I love to see/hear people eating healthy and taking good care of the bodies God has given them! We do all the things you listed, but also use elderberry and homemade kefir (made with organic, grass-fed raw milk) in our smoothies daily. I actually hadn't heard about the hemp, so I'll have to add that for us! Thankfully, my kids or we are very rarely sick - of course most or all of that is attributable to God, but I think healthy eating and no sugar really helps keep our immune systems strong, too. Coconut oil and coconut helps, too. I know you use that, though, from a past post :) Glad you're all healthy.

Stef said...

Good to know, Brooke! I had read about Elderberry recently, so I'm glad to know it seems to work for you guys. Your kids have always been very healthy and I've wondered if the lack of sugar helps. Ours eat very little processed sugar, but I'm sure still more than yours do :)
I know my immune system goes down when I stop working out and eat unhealthy.
Kara is our carb lover and she's always getting sick :(
Rachel is more our fruits, veggies and meat eater and she's our healthiest child. So I think there's something to that.

The kefir is something I'm also working on, with the help of my friend teaching me about it. I'm making my own whey from our milk and our own probiotics for yogurt and fermented food. So much fun!

DLJ said...

Love the Mac!

Brooke said...

That's great, Stef! Fermented foods and kefir are the cheapest ways to get good probiotics in our systems. The bulk of our immune system is in our digestive system, so the probiotics are a huge help. On the sugar topic, it takes two weeks for the immune system to boost back up after eating sugar. Sugar greatly depresses the immune system and feeds cancer and any 'bugs'. I'm sure simple carbs can do the same and are also like glue in our guts. OK, I'll stop :). The way America eats today makes me really sad.

Charlotte said...

Thanks for updating on your week. a lot of the things that you have been exploring are some of the same things I have been looking at. Like eating seasonally, and eating homemade in as many areas as I can. There is a book that my friend told me about and I am completely blanking on the title right now, but it talked about fermenting. This is something I am thinking about blogging about soon.... :-)

Gina said...

We've been talking about kefir and making our own yogurt lately too. Love the elderberry & it works well--has antiviral properties too! But it shouldn't be taken while pregnant, nursing is ok. It has a natural arsenic factor so be sure not to OD or use for long stretches.

Jessica said...

You guys have sure been busy!!! You're intriguing me with all the foodie talk. I'll have to call you and chat to get more details! And I'm *so so so* glad you are all healthy again!!

Erin said...

Don't be afraid of the strawberries. They are just from California. They grow in fields this time of year here. Nothing crazy! :)

Stef said...

I didn't notice CA ones! Bummer. These were all "product of Mexico" and "chile" :(

Erin said...

Ah! I think the season just started here a few weeks ago.

Stef said...

yeah, that's probably why. Plus, these strawberries were quite abnormally large. It was a bit scary.
We're hoping to eat ONLY local produce from now on, so we'll have to wait a few more months for strawberries.
Lots of other berries grow here almost year round though, so I'll need to get creative :)

I will miss Watsonville Strawberries - they're my fave.

Brooke said...

Remember, it's opposite seasons in the Southern Hemisphere (Spring now) and it's always warm near the equator. Warmer climates can grow nearly all year round. Everything in stores here, is from somewhere else, because NOTHING can grow here in the winter. Too cold.

Stef said...

I didn't notice CA ones! Bummer. These were all "product of Mexico" and "chile" :(

Erin said...

Ah! I think the season just started here a few weeks ago.


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