Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tiny Treasures

"Never will I set my children in front of a TV so that I can get work done/rest/read!" I at one time said.

Well, folks...Shiloh Peace is such a busy little one. I mean, ALWAYS a 'movin and a 'shakin. And she likes to be velcroed to me sometimes. (But God has given me such compassion for her!) Honestly, there are times when I am in serious need of a shower...or to close my eyes for a few seconds...or to breathe deeply and walk out of the room without her pulling at my in goes Tiny Treasures. This video is a kid-led singalong show where children are encouraged to remember how treasured they are to God. I love it! I love how it teaches my daughter truth just as I could use a hefty dose of truth myself. She believes the truth after she watches it. And this is my latest secret to sanity. That, and lots and lots of prayer to the Lord Jesus Christ, who I could not be alive without.

Lately, I need a crescendo of peace! Today, at the Farmers Market, Shiloh smelled the flowers next to my spot rather than eating them. This was a first! Also, she waved toward a person instead of toward herself. Chronicling these events helps me keep them all in order because they all happen so quickly! no time!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Grand and Monumental! (And Part 2 of Foods That Make Me Happy)

Here's to a grand and monumental day!!

Family Zoo Day
Michael suggested we have a family day at the zoo today because it would be fun. So, we did. And it was. A hot one, yes, but we all cooled down at the Splash Park where Shiloh made new friends. We "ooo-ooo, ahhh-ahhh"ed at the gibbons and baboons, laughed at the brown bears wrestling in the cool water, smiled at the wiggly meerkats, and fed the giraffe a slice of sweet potato. While Shiloh snoozed, Michael and I petted goats, a donkey, and stared at a skink (in order to see his bright blue tongue) and chatted about having chicks, goats, horses, and the like. We do not want a farm, but we'll settle for some land to work a garden and some animals.

Shiloh and I played successfully on the playground after Michael left for work. Once, she and I went down the twisty slide. Then, she decided to go back up. No help, indeed! She climbed up that like it was not hard at all! Even though I was right behind her, (picture me trying to get up an enclosed tunnel twisty slide: with the Ergo flapping wildly around my knees, a backpack on my back, and an oddly-shaped water bottle on the side of it, I am sure I made quite a sight) she was up at the top before I could even think about what was happening.

Thoughts on running...
I needed to go to Trader Joe's and Whole Foods after we got back from the zoo, but we had a few hours' break in between. With only one short nap at the zoo for the day, Shiloh decided sleep was not cool and was literally RUNNING around after we arrived home from the store! How is it that she couldn't even walk unassisted a week ago and now she is running?! I even said to myself yesterday, "Well, she is walking, but at least I have some time to get used to that before she is running. She is growing up so quickly." Well, no. She is defying all of my assumptions.

Homegrown Splash Park
As for Splash Parks...Shiloh made her own one tonight. We were reading a book and Shiloh became distracted. She crawled off to the kitchen. I, for one, was enjoying the book about the Berenstain Bears making their mama breakfast in bed. There are even ideas at the bottom of each page on how to go about doing this. Definitely my type of book, as breakfast in bed sounds lovely. So there I am intrigued, then I hear a clang! I dart off to the kitchen, meanwhile remembering that I had left out the dog's food and water bowls while I was giving the baby a bath and hadn't put them away yet. I reach Shiloh, discover she is munching on dog food, and see her splashing (just like at the Splash Park) in the water she emptied from the dog bowl!! What a fun--and funny--scene!! I scooped her up, said "no thank you" and grabbed a towel. Then we ran around the house, me carrying her, while I told her how much I loved her, Shiloh smiling all the way, still with dog food in the back of her throat that I could not reach without her biting me.

Other Cute Shiloh-isms
Other new antics include open and shut (cabinets, little plastic colored Easter eggs, lids on things) and up and down (she can now do so on the couch, beds, chairs, etc.) Today she said "blueberry" (not antioxidant, but it's still a big word for her age!) and I will never forget the day she said, at around 8 months, "my onion." No kidding, folks. First phrase I can remember her saying. It must have been worth saying.

And why wouldn't I want to be a stay-at-home mama?!

Part 2 of Foods That Make Me Happy

Age-defying, wrinkle-chasing, beauty-building, yummy for salad-sprinkling. Eat up heartily! Just look out for those poor molar tells me even now...

Fresh or dried, mmm good. I love the wild Boreal blueberries from Trader Joe's. Make sure to get organic because non-organic are laced with pesticides. Antioxidant-rich succulent...hard to find around here except in season, so I like to buy the flash frozen variety.

Front Porch Salad!!
This is my name for the salad mesclun that I have growing in a pot on our front porch. I like is sassy and slightly spicy. I picked it right before I consumed it in my dinner salad. I am thinking that all food should be like that.

Kashi Crackers!!
My husband reminded me tonight over dinner about a time when I was first on the organic, all-natural food kick that is now part of my lifestyle. We were at an auto parts store and as usual, I had my box of Kashi crackers with me. (Not so much now...they don't agree with my colon...but I do enjoy them every so often.) I guess I told the guy at the cash register, "Have you ever had Kashi? Oh, try one! They are so amazing!" Did I really do that? I sure am passionate about what I believe in, even food!

Salads in General!!
Kale, mustard, collards, spinach, spring mix, green leaf, sprouts, avocado, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, goat cheese, smoked salmon, mango, fresh berries, green onion, fresh mint, cilantro, other fresh herbs, parsley, radishes, green and red peppers, carrots, quinoa. What's not to love?

Another note on salads:
Lastly, Michael was known for his incredibly concocted, perhaps slightly aggressive salads after football games in high school and college. The team would go to a buffet center to "reward" the guys following a good rough and tumble. In college, before we were dating, he came to the art building to keep me company while I worked on a project for a class. He painted a picture of himself about to embark on a salad to end all salads, fork and knife in each hand and curly fro on Michael's head to boot. I don't know where the picture went but if I ever find it, you'll find it on our wall, framed.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Foods that Make Me Happy

(Might I begin by saying that I DID NOT say that only foods make me happy, just that there are foods that make me happy. If I said the former, there would be a serious problem. As it is, there are so many foods that I enjoy that one post would not be enough to contain them all. A-Z posts by the first letter of the food name, perhaps?)

(And...I've heard some say that Americans talk too much about food. I agree. I love food, but I surely do not want to worship it. I am learning every day how to worship God in spirit and in truth. At the same time, I enjoy more of what He has given to me--life to the fullest--and I get to share it with others!!! Food included!)

Curried Lentil Spread!!
This puree is absolutely tantalizing to my taste buds. I love texture in food, and this zinger provides the feeling of being richly carpeted with a rosebed (minus the thorns) or a minky shawl. I had Farm Fresh put some in our bin a few weeks ago and I've never been the same since. That one is from a local company. I looked at the ingredients and thought, hey, I can make that! So, I am making it today. Ask me for some when you're over unless I've already eaten it all.

Dark, Antioxidant-Full Chocolate!! (Especially from Endangered Species Chocolate)
Wow, what to say! Velvety, bittersweet goodness envelops my entire mouth when I eat this chocolate. 'Tis better than any coffee (although Alliance World Coffee makes a superior blend.) I try to eat a piece (or two...or three...) once a day, cause "they" say it's healthy. It sure does my body good. I can never go back to milk chocolate. It's like going back to the kiddie swings after you've been on the roller coaster.

Thai Food!!
Okay, so this is more a category, but I cannot just name one Thai dish and leave it at that. My husband, baby and I went to THE MOST AMAZING Thai food restaurant I've been to yet with friends last weekend. The people were so, so kind!! The man filling up our water glasses was absolutely kind to our daughter Shiloh. I had Mango Curry with duck, everything but the duck and curry being raw. Mmmm. Can I ship their food to Indy?

Raw Granola!!!
I have a bowl sitting in front of me as I type. I make one for myself every day lately and share it with Shiloh. Michael likes it, too. Almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pepitas, blueberries, strawberries, raisins, dried cherries, almond butter, raw name it, I throw it in. I usually munch on it all day long. I love that I can do this since I stay at home with my daughter. When we're out, I often put it in a to-go container. I make it different when I feel like it, adding some dark chocolate or various fresh berries for a new twist. I can't go wrong with it. The almond butter (yes, it's expensive, but I spend less money on food because this fills me up so much I eat less!!) and honey congeal to make an utterly irresitable mixture that swallows up the seed/nut taste. That helps me eat it because I do not like the taste of plain nuts and seeds typically.

Alfalfa Sprouts!!!
I sprouted alfalfa last week and it multiplied from 2 or 3 jars into what seems like gallons of it!! I think of how Jesus took two fish and five loaves of bread and multiplied it into enough food for more than 5,000 people. I think it has to be the principle of sprouting. Sprouts start out small, but once they have their water and rinsing and (sometimes) sunlight, their tails grow and grow and then there are many! It seems almost the same principle, but it's a bit different from what I conventionally learned about Jesus in this story. Rather than making more from what there already was, it seems that Jesus took what He was given (because the little boy willingly gave to Jesus, not Jesus taking from him, which I think is significant) and let it grow outwards to be MORE THAN ENOUGH... We watch The Gospel of John to see this illustrated. And later, the people say to Jesus, "God gave our ancestors bread from heaven. Why don't You?" And Jesus is internally shaking His head and thinking, "They don't get it. I just gave them bread from heaven..." But of course, He still loves us when we get all stuffed and then miss the most important part of eating...communing with Him and in community with His people. Thanks be to God.

Eve's Banana Bread!!
Last one for today. Eve is from JPUSA. We just met her yesterday and she made us banana bread for our trip home. She gave us a tour of the shelters JPUSA is caretaker over and she had the bread baking at the same time. After the tour was over, she ran upstairs and grabbed the gooey, chocolatey, bananay, yummy bread!! I tell you, we had almost all of that loaf eaten before we got on the interstate. What a beautiful servant...thank you, Eve!

Shiloh is such a precious blessing from God. That is what her name means ("gift from God", or "peace.") She is so much fun. I love training her up in the way (God reveals) SHE SHOULD GO!!! (As opposed to the way I think she should go!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Antioxidant Baby, er, Toddler

Shiloh will be chock full of antioxidants the older she becomes. I think she'll even say "antioxidant" by her second birthday. Blueberries are the only food she won't ever turn down (well, there was that one time...) She and I shared almost an entire 6 oz. package of organic blueberries that came in our Farm Fresh Delivery bin today. Yum!!

Hiding items in various places is Shiloh's newest craze! It is quite a game. I find little dolls stuck in baskets, crayons in the doll cradle, mixing beater in the magazine rack...even play food under the tablecloth in the kitchen or, while I'm sitting next to her, she'll tuck toys under the hem of my skirt!

We're visiting JPUSA ( this weekend and also seeing some friends who live near Chicago. We've been stoked about this idea of intentional community living for some time now, and we're looking for the next step in the process. My excitement cannot be contained!

Lastly, I've been doing a candida cleanse of sorts. Slowly, (as I've mentioned before) I am eating less cooked food and more raw food. And any food I do eat typically is a candida-killer. But I must say, this cleanse is not for the faint-hearted. Or faint-boweled. (Need not say more.)

I have been consuming large amounts of raw garlic (which is perfect for ridding the body of candida) and I love all aspects of it! However, Michael has a major problem with me consuming large amounts of said raw garlic. We have a daily conundrum.

Michael is joining in on this purification as well. It truly is hard for both of us--Michael loves his carbs and red meat, and I love me some sugarrrrrrr...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Walking! (and shoe surprises)

'Tis time for summer, and obviously, for Shiloh to begin walking! And I mean REALLY walking. She's been the master of a few steps here and there for quite some time now. Now, on to conquer new territory.

Yesterday, we went to a state park for some muddy hiking and old-fashioned creek stomping. I even brought the dog along. Once we came to a pretty little alcove where the creek was shallow enough, I slung the Ergo backpack over a short tree branch (just about breaking it), pulled the baby's shoes off, and let her splash to her heart's delight! She turned over all of the stones and made sure to give me a few as creek gifts. I had the wiggly dog on the leash too. Pearl was a mischief-maker and slipped into a deep part of the creek. Wet and mud-caked, she received a bath as soon as we were home.

Sadly, when I said it was time to move along, Shiloh had a fit, even though we'd been there for a good stretch. Have you seen when a child at an amusement park or the zoo (or any other super fun place that a child doesn't want to leave, for that matter) goes all slack against the will of the frazzled-looking parent? Full-out kicking and crying with an occasional scream? Well, that was Shiloh. Part of it was that she hadn't had a nap yet. And...yes, she is expressive! On we trailed...I stopped at the top of a hill and surveyed the scene, breathing in the forest and thanking God for such a beautiful nature that He made. I couldn't even begin to think how He crafted every single stem and leaf with superior care. The trees cannot hem in His majesty.

Today, the crayons came from their shelf hiding place! Today was just the day! Shiloh had never played with them before. She began by eating them, but then moved on to other ways to play with them...

Next up: drawing with crayons! (I just hope not on the floor! Remember Pippi Longstocking??)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rody ride!

Birthday gifts are fun!

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Queen of Wii

For me, much of the news I can do without, but this I had to share. I am not the Queen of Wii (in fact I've never even played) but the Queen of England has been gifted with her very own gold-plated version! Reports have even said she was "addicted" to playing Prince William's last Christmas. So I suppose she is thinking...why not be on the receiving end of a new gaming project promotion?? And with shiny packaging at that! If you can hardly believe it yourself...
Sigh...I love my family. Little Shiloh is all curled up in a sweet, soft baby ball in bed. And my hubby gave me a back massage already I think we're going to the zoo later!

The Farmer's Market is going splendidly! It was last night. I consider myself victorious if I had fun, talked with people and helped women recognize and live out their beauty in Christ Jesus and more at peace! Creating the products and passing on the knowledge is such a joy, too. Thank You, GOD!!

Did I mention that we are constantly watching The Gospel of John in this household? I mean, as soon as it is over (and the intro music plays for a while) we turn it back on! I love listening to the Word of God as I talk with my husband, do chores, play with Shiloh, work for the spa, whatever it may be. I see how much more we, as a family, are loving like Jesus as our "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God." There are times when I stop and stare at the screen, and realize I am allowing the truth to penetrate my inner core. Oh, He is good to me!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My "Did-Do" List

This is my own version of a "To-Do" list, that is, the total opposite and very fun way of looking at my day list! Instead of looking at what I didn't get done as I scour my mental to-do list, I delight in what I DID!!!

*Nursed and snuggled with my sweet baby girl 27 times or so
*Sewed while she slept on my lap
*Watched/had "The Gospel of John" playing in the background all day (2x worth)
*Repaired the sock monkey I made when I was 10 years old
*Vacuumed the dog hair off the living room rug twice
*Gleefully opened the package from the mailman with worldwide fair trade gifts for our home and the spa
*Blew out wooden candles on a wooden birthday cake and smacked my lips as I savored the scrumptious taste as I role-played
*Sat outside and played in the grass
*Chased the dog in the sun as the baby clapped her hands
*Placed recycling in the recycling bin
*Placed compost in the compost bin
*Discovered panda nesting gourd "baby" was actually a shaker (well, Shiloh discovered it!)
*Had a few band performances for the dog and ourselves
*Danced in the circle with a tambourine above my head
*Put away birthday presents and wrapping from Michael and Shiloh's dual birthday party
*Bounced on Rody's back as Shiloh rolled on Quackles
*Opened (with Michael) two of his birthday presents in the mail and wondered why one of them looked like it would only fit me
*Watched "Tiny Treasures" (of course!) and sang and danced along
*Replaced oversized living room rug with fair trade Afghan rug to cut down on dog hair accumulation and support families whose men would otherwise fight for the Taliban
*Gave Shiloh a bath and found a cockroach living in the Neti Pot
*Folded and put away laundry
*Up the stairs...down the stairs...up the stairs...practicing with Shiloh
*Read Bible story rhymes
*Marveled at how intricate the design was on Shiloh's handmade shirt from the Philippines
*Shared a mostly-raw taco dinner with the baby
*Read a book while Shiloh slept on my tummy
*Made a huge yummy breakfast for my family
*Discussed different shapes on a puzzle with Shiloh
*Listened to Michael read Shiloh's favorite book (My Dad)
*Repaired a rip in one of my favorite skirts only to find another in the same skirt
*Shared tiramisu (from Michael's work dinner) with him once he brought it home
*Played a game I've dubbed "Lovely Ladies" as Shiloh and I donned lovely scarves
*Got dressed in beautiful, brightly-colored skirts and shirts
*Played with alphabet puzzle by rearranging all of the letter pieces and corresponding pictures
*Stacked panda nesting gourd and watched it topple
*Shared homemade flaxseed crackers and guac and later, chocolate with Shiloh

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

How can it be?

My baby is turning one!! I do not know what to do except thank God for such an incredible roller coaster year. Michael and I couldn't wait (well, maybe it was more my prompting) to give Shiloh her birthday gifts, so we gave her one early. It's called "Band in a Box" and it sure is noisy! And I love it! Maracas, a tambourine, a triangle to call folks in for dinner, a clapper, itsy bitsy cymbals, and a rhythm stick complete the instrument ensemble. We had soooome fun today.

It feels good to make decisions. I used to put off making decisions that I thought were important because I didn't want to make the wrong one. But now!! The freedom I have tasted in trusting God that even if I do make the wrong decision, He's got it all under control! This has been especially timely as I now have a home-based business with lots of little and big decisions to make on a daily basis!! Thank You, God, for redeeming every bit of me. (This is also described as passing His people on from glory to glory spoken of in His Word.)'s past midnight, so yeah, two days ago in the morning...I wake up to the baby crawling on my head and pokes from her chubby little baby fingers (like every morning.) I am still resting with my eyes closed though. But then there was a new one. I hear this chhhip! ripping sound and then a whoomp and something lands on my head. I open my eyes and it's a diaper!! A very full and wet diaper!! Haha! I'll tell you what, we got out of bed in a hurry so as to place a new diaper on her before she let loose anything else! My husband said, "Well, at least it wasn't a poopy one." Aptly said.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Man Sale

Driving down the road a few days ago, I craned my neck to see where the Man Sale was because of the utter absurdity! With a big block-lettered scrawl and a painted arrow, the sign pointed west. All of this came complete on a large piece of wood stacked up on the sidewalk. Now, I have no reason whatsoever to attend a Man Sale, but I am definitely interested in what would be sold at one. Maybe it's for single ladies to come shop at their own pace for a husband. Honestly, I don't know what else a Man Sale would be for! Surely if it was for men's clothing or something of that nature, the sign would say so. Nope. It was "Man Sale" alone on that sign. Hmm. Strange but true around these parts.

What a gloomy and drear day. Where is that sun?! It's on these days when I feel that singing a song that might actually bring that sunshine back on out.

We are going out! Too much gloom outside, so we are taking a few moments to enjoy family time as we run errands and check out the local Mug 'n Bun! Tasty, yet terribly fattening burgers...we'll eat one for ya'll...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Homemaking at Home

Spring must be the time for me to get in gear for creating raw/homemade stuff, because I have seriously been wiping my brow as I knock out my internal I-want-to-create-oh-so-many-new-homemade-things-list! For instance, there is the new home spa I began. I decided to call it Terebinth Spa (another name for the common oak.) Isaiah 61:3 was my inspiration and I am thankful to partner with God in this endeavor! (What I mean is, I haven't a clue as to what I am doing with this whole spa thing, but I am listening to God one step at a time.) Check out my spa blog at Other recent creations include my "Villa Villepatchouli Hair Tonic" (drawing from one of my favorite characters, Pippi Longstocking) and "Manly Man Shaving Soap." Let me inundate you with a few homemade recipe pictures...on the left, a foot balm disaster (the entire pot boiled over, leaving its vanilla shade behind and going for a dark chocolate brown, which means it...burned...) and on the right, the beautiful rainbowed array of the beginnings of a raw tomato-based sauce called "Italian Red."

Michael accidentally schlepped up his hair with the shaving soap today!! That was too funny. He was in a rush to leave for work, so he said it would have to do. Personally, I think it probably is fine, although I wouldn't go around telling anyone so. Hush hush.

Ever heard of Mothering magazine? This past issue features my hubby and baby in the Letters section!!! Here is the picture I sent in...duh duh duh...

It's obviously not difficult to see why I sent this darling image in. Shiloh had smiled prior to the taking of this picture (she was about 11 weeks old here), but this was the first one I caught on camera. Dripping with jog sweat, I thought, "oh, why not snap a pic before I shower?" And this is what came from my snap-happy fingers. What cuties they are!!

In college, I purchased a slightly tacky yet fashionable-at-the-time leopard-print children's camping chair duo. My thought was to save it for my future kids' use. Well, tis future time, and my daughter loves it!!

Story about this picture! When Mike and I were registering for our wedding, we wanted this huge pot to keep spare change in. We actually thought we'd save our spare change up and use it in 25 years to take a big anniversary trip. It was spent years ago. However, the pot became home to ugly cloth flowers while I shopped around for a bountifully-leaved tree. It's been almost 5 years and the cloth flowers live on. Shiloh pulls them off their plastic stems, one by one. I am actually happy about this because then I should have the motivation to finally buy a pretty tree! So in the picture, she sat on a flower and somehow, it stuck inside her diaper...I laughed out loud. She didn't seem to care it was there, even after I showed her.
She loves the chairs!! Her fondness for them makes them worthy of clashing with our red scheme in the living room.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

There's a Springtime Scrooge in Our Midst

Shiloh largely detests socks! At any moment I turn my head then zip! off she has pulled those socks again! And it seems this is often when we are about to leave the house. She must believe that socks are bad for the complexion or she may have an aversion to sweaty feet. Come to think of it, she always pulls off her dolls' socks as well. It's the old adage..."whatever I like must be what you like" (although I think that is mostly antiquated now.) As I walked into her toy room this morning, I perused the floor and spotted my childhood American Girl Doll Kirsten (anybody remember those dolls?) in the doll cradle, sockless. Shiloh the Sock Snatcher was at it again.

There are many different calibers of dark chocolate. Trader Joe's makes a good dark chocolate, but Newman's Own and I have some serious issues. Maybe it went downhill after Newman left the scene. Therefore, I am savoring a piece of the yummylicious TJ's dark chocolate as I write. Maybe one day I won't like chocolate as much. It's a long, slow process of overcoming addiction.

Since the springtime environment has been absolutely GORGEOUS as of late, Shiloh, Mike and I choose to embark on more trailside treks. A few days ago, though, I saw a few disturbing things along the trail. As we merrily plunked along, with Shiloh in the Ergo and Pearl the dog straining at the leash, I viewed several neighbors wearing winter parkas. Winter parkas?? It was like 60 degrees out!! There I am, in a short-sleeved shirt and sweating, while Mr. Neighbor mows his lawn and Mrs. Neighbor tries to catch her runaway dog in full winter gear. Including hats. I don't know what this world is coming to. Spring may not be official for a few more days, but in my opinion, it sure is here. Back to the trail. Next, I saw a sprig that a sprig of (fake) mistletoe?? Yes, folks, it truly was. And it was stuck in a horrendous gash from the side of the tree. I think it was the Springtime Scrooge. There is no need for mistletoe in the springtime!! It got even stranger when we returned home. In the yard, there was a bristly (fake) limb from a Christmas tree. The Springtime Scrooge must know where I live.

Dogs have this innate sense of smell that amazes young and old alike. Without fail (except maybe once), every time I open some package of beef or cook some bacon or what-have-you...and I mean the very second it hits the air...Pearl the dog is suddenly my best bud!! Or, if she is outside, she begins barking her little furry head to no avail. And while I'm thinking of funny things, Shiloh began this new drama piece that is one you've gotta see. She sits down, flings her arms out wide, throws her head back, smiles, and then projects her body toward the floor.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Socrates Jr.

Is it only I who missed the visit of the great philosopher's progeny at the trail near my house recently? Shiloh and I were on a looooong walk together today. As we walked over the bridge shielding us from the stanky sewage waters, I stumbled upon sage words from Socrates Jr. written on the bridges's rails: "People used to drink from these waters." Hmmm, thank you for the reminder. I'm glad I had a healthy swig of water before I left my house. Otherwise, I think I may have quenched my thirst with a bit of diseased creeky aqua. I have a high regard for the peoples of yore, especially those who partook of the flowing fountains of crawfish-laden creek beds.

More on bridges, now that I'm thinking of them. Mike wrote a song called "Building Bridges" about restoration with someone close to him. He has yet to add it to his myspace page, but I think he's working on recording it. Here is his music myspace page if you have a hankering for some redemptive rock:
He is a fabulous author, singer, and sound engineer all rolled into one musician. And no, I am not biased!

On our way back home after the park, we crossed paths with Socrates Jr.'s red Sharpie graffitied wisdom once again. "Why are you here?" it read. What am I supposed to respond? And to whom? Maybe there will soon be a Creekside Counselor with which to exchange oodles more penetrating thoughts for the day.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gorilla Munch or Bunny Crunch?

What's your inner cereal child? Do you think you're more of a Gorilla Munch or a Bunny Crunch type of person? Sorry, no quiz to help you find out. Just some cold hard facts and bright pics. Gorilla Munch mirrors the kid-tested, mother-approved golden oldie Kix, while Bunny Crunch mixes a taste of honeyed Smacks with a more healthy, rather yummier option of other grains. Today, I opted for Bunny Crunch. Shiloh didn't pick Gorilla Munch, but that's what she got. She likes it, though. This morning is one that I was not ready to greet yet. I couldn't sleep well last night (might have something to do with the fact that I went to bed at 2:30 a.m.) and was awakened promptly at 7:39 a.m. I also nursed every hour/two hours throughout the (very short) night. Yeah, so it's a cereal morning. No special breakfasts of vegan pancakes or steel-cut oats or even pre-cooked chicken sausage. Although, I do have a super-good-for-me-half-of-a-smoothie awaiting me in the fridge from yesterday, so I can always have that, too. In my sleep-deprived state this gray morn, on one hand I am very thankful to be so loved that my baby cannot stand a moment apart from me. On the other side of the script...Michael gets to sleep because he's sick!! 'Tis true that once a woman has a baby, sleep is a blessed commodity. Maybe someday, out there, I'll get sleep all the night through. But I'll have a twinge of sadness, for within that means that my baby will not need to nurse through the night as she has done for the last 9 1/2 months for every night. If you're a lady, you are probably familiar with ambivalent emotions for at least part of your time on this globe.

Back to Bunny Crunch. Sounds like had a pretty rough time swallowing--literally--Bunny Crunch Honey. Check out their review: Personally, I think it's closer to the high end of Delicious.'s reviewers must be too far removed from their bunny friends in nature, because they were rather scathing in their write-up. I feel this need to defend the cereal to all! Yeah, I have to be sleep-deprived when I become the cereal cause champion.

Shiloh just left half-munched Gorilla Munch on my shirt when she wiped her nose on me. Any moms out there relate? And how is it that I can nurse, type with my left hand (when I'm right-handed even) and sing her songs all at the same time? How is that for left brain-ness?

And for all my ranting! Shiloh just smiled her winning big-cheeked smile at me. God must have made Shiloh so uber-cute so that even in my weariness and busyness of this early dawn, I cannot help but smile back. Thank You, LORD!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Sausage Smile

Hungry for breakfast?

Remember when I told you about Shiloh's birth? Well, I birthed her in a birthing tub in our living room and my husband caught her! He said she was a bit slippery; our midwife said it was called the vernix covering. After he passed her to me and I held her close and we nuzzled a minute, she gripped the necklace I had on with such a grip.

Speaking of strong grips! Lately, she hates diaper changes. She holds onto the sides of the changing table with an unholy passion...sad, too, since at one time it was a better time for her. Cooed, smiled, giggled, the whole, she mostly cries or at least sniffles. This started once she began having more solid food. I think it must be hard can I say this lightly...pass it on. I don't recall having difficulty with that as a baby, so it may not be genetic; however, I don't remember a whole lot from being a baby, either. Go figure.

From my kitchen to yours: I made "Tangy Italian Flax Crackers" (check out to order your very own raw food un-cookbook called Rejuvenate Your Life if you have a hankering to eat more raw-ly) and "Fantastic Falafels" yesterday. The falafels and my husband are not going to get along. He said it was the raw garlic. I like the smell of the stuff, but I'm not sure what I'm going to eat with it just yet. Maybe tacos? Anyhow, I also sprouted quinoa recently, which is incredibly easy to do and also very tasty. Salads have become a new phenomenon in this house because of those little quinoa sprouts, along with soaked sunflower seeds and sprouted chick peas. Don't forget to add goat cheese. A salad takes on a new flavor with some goat cheese. And ensure it's fresh, because old goat cheese tastes like curdled, well, goat cheese. And, sunflower seeds are much, much easier to munch on once they've been in a nice bath for a few hours. I think I dunked mine for 4-5 hours.

Fun With Dick and Jane is a spoofy, funny movie that Mike laughs his curly fro off the whole way through. It was on clearance today at Target, so I grabbed it as I purchased other necessities. He is watching it now and commenting and snickering as I write, and this makes my writing feel a little disjointed but somehow more...worthy. I love when Dick (who, along with his wife Jane, resorts to stealing when his company rips up his reputation by handing him a sinking vp job) in a mad, mad dash for sanity, burglarizes all of the neighbors' lawns so they'd have their well-manicured lawn back. It's ugly and patchy and his across-the-street neighbor gives him an odd look about the empty spot of grass in his yard, but then scurries inside when Dick gives him the EYEBALL. If you haven't seen it I hope I didn't spoil that scene for you.

We volunteer at a food pantry that's in a local church every Wednesday morning. It just happened slowly...we can always use help with the grocery bill. We heard tell of this church, went once as volunteers, and now it's a weekly family event! And oh yes, they give out free organic food!! Besides volunteering, we go through the food line and I've been so thankful for God and His provision in this way! They have bulk food items, too, like flax seeds, oats, rye berries and then rare items like dates, tabouli and coconut oil (which I snatched up like a sweet popsicle on a hot summer day for my homemade spa stuff I make!!) The food is so wonderful. Even more wonderful, though, are the people that we meet and get to talk with. I am beginning to remember some of their names and more of their faces. My friend Sarah's kids sometimes stay with us a few days before and after. They represent their family and get loads of food for their 9-soon-to-be-10-person family. That makes it even more fun. I get to load up fresh bagels in paper bags for the customers (is that the appropriate word--customers?), carrying the baby in the Ergo, and saying "please don't run back here" to my friend's kids all at the same time. I love it.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Changes on the Home Front

Warning: this will be a long one because I haven't had time to write in so consider yourself warned...

Much has been occurring in this household as of late. For those who have children or who are well-acquainted with children's development, they just grow up by heaps and leaps; once they get the hang of something, it's a flurry of new learning! All of a sudden, where we once had a little baby, we now have an almost-toddler...

Shiloh is saying a hoopla of new words! Up, down, hi, baby, book, apple, cookie, block...and of course mama, daddy and dog...she is only 9 months old! She also responds when I ask her questions ("What do you need right now, Shiloh?" and she signs "milk.") Oh yes, and she also knows signs. I am surely an admiring mama, so I can be a bit biased, but she is a clever little gal. Furthermore, she can get down from our bed (the mattress is on the floor) with her feet first, which if I am not mistaken, seems to be a precursor to walking. She pulls up onto furniture and people, too. I shake my head in disbelief.

In other news, Valentine's Day was an immense celebration for our family. I'm not into the commercialization of the thing, but for sure, I love to love and be loved. Friday, Michael brought home Thai food (yum!) which meant I didn't have to cook (a nice reprieve here and there) and he also brought me flowers (although Shiloh has by far had surpassing joy with grabbing their fragile petals off and attempting to eat them.) On Saturday, Shiloh and I hung out at home while Michael worked. That evening, we went to our friend's mother's home and partook of salsa dancing lessons and a huge, home-cooked SCRUMPTIOUS meal. With loads of chocolate. Of which I only had a sampling. But I digress. On Sunday, I surprised both my hubby and child with going to a nearby farm that is nationally known for their award-winning milk and cheese. At the farm, we enjoyed a Valentine's Day Brunch complete with a stack of tortillas (eggs, cheese, avocado, cilantro and fresh salsa within corn tortillas) which I replicated the next morning for breakfast and a chocolate and cherry bread pudding, which I could only HOPE to someday replicate because it was just that gooey and amazing. What fun to celebrate my family with so many adventures.

And Shiloh's favorite food would have to be blueberries. It's a daily routine now. Do they make a Blueberry Morning lipstick shade? If not, I've found the perfect tint. It's on her lips (and mouth) every day.

We have this book called Piglet is Entirely Surrounded by Water. Ever heard of it? It's an old-school Winnie-the-Pooh storybook, written by A.A. Milne himself. Was he British? I ask because I can't help but read the book to her with a British accent. The day I began doing that has gone down in infamy! Now, she doesn't go anywhere without her book! She carries it with her, wants it in the car, holds it while nursing, etc. I love that all of the corners are full of tiny teeth marks because of her little nibbles. Here are some pictures:

My personal favorite is the one where she is sleeping on it. And yes, she is in the Ergo!

My parents-in-law just left a few days ago from visiting us. As always, it was a grand time! John Dad and Michael fixed the washing machine. What a considerate offering! Heehee, I giggle when I think about Michael telling me that "my" washing machine was fixed when it was all over. Oh, so it's mine now, eh?? We've compiled a list of 13 items that are currently broken in our home. Sound familiar to anyone else? I suppose that when one goes, they all decide to go. How kind.

I have to share about Trading Day! My friends have this bartering day set up once a month or so in their home. Families bring homemade and gently used wares, anything from cookies to jewelry to hats to books (obviously the cookies aren't used), and then go home with stuff that they would like in return! Everything is assigned a point value based on its actual monetary value, and then we went shopping. It was fun for Shiloh and me to engage in such travels. I came with unhulled sesame seeds, succanot, and a huge bottle of Peppermint Bath Soak I made. I left with a handmade wooden sword, an Amish Shoo-fly Pie, Amish bread, carmel sauce, blueberry jam, an immense piece of material perfect for making curtains, a handmade glass bead bracelet, a little wooden person, and oh-so-much-more that I cannot remember. Many of the items were made by children. I remember being a child and wanting adults to find what I did special, so I try to return that now as an adult. I love this living simple stuff.

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my aunt and uncle gave me a sock monkey kit. Those were all the rage for a while. You may have even made one. Well, scared to try but intrigued, I faithfully looked at this sock monkey kit every so often until one day, I decided to make it! This is redemptive in my personal story because of my fear of messing up things. I have to show you what he looks like.
Do you see his fat lip? I love it because, as I tell Shiloh, he can give better squishy kisses.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Raw Foodist Colony

Shiloh was just sitting on my lap, typing on an old computer keyboard we have sitting around, while I checked my e-mail. This makes me want to be careful what I do even more because I know she's watching what I do. This cannot become legalistic, but can only spring from God's humbling, perfect love.

I'm going to do it!! No matter where we happen to be living this spring/summer, I'm going to plant a HUGE garden. I am so sick of shelling out money for organic and local produce when I could grow it in my own backyard (actually, it might be the front yard, which would be hilarious!! Our backyard is on a problematic downward slant. So we shall see. When you come to visit, you may have to weave through some tomato plants and quinoa stalks in order to reach the front stoop!) I've had a multitude of reasons as to why I couldn't start it before now. But no more.

Here's more thought for food!! We're soon to switch to raw milk through an Amish farm's co-op near us. We've already switched to raw cheese through another co-op. Yum; I love it! Another foodie change is that I am now a quasi-raw foodist. I would say we're eating about 50% raw, 50% cooked...or maybe 75% raw, 25% cooked. Mike pondered that if a bunch of raw foodists lived together, they would have to be called a raw foodist for thought...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pancakes are Love

Is it illegal to steal a line from a movie and use it as a blog's post title? Well, I just did. (Are there Blog Police?) Speed Racer, I do not jest here, is a simply funny movie. That's where that line came from. Seriously! The evil head of the big corporation trying to buy out Speed Racer's family's business says that to the Racer family before he embarks on a pancake fest complete with syrupy goodness. Do you like Pokemon? I always thought it was a bit know, all of the jerky motions and lights and dialogue that never quite meshes with the character's moving mouths...but the same strange antics totally work in this movie. No doubt, watching it at 2 in the morning probably made me think it was all the more awesome (because I was tired.) Then again, any movie that has the line "pancookins l'amour" (translation: pancakes are love) has to be at least a little bit good. Go rent it, but only when you're in a weird mood. Or if it's late at night. My advice.

So! January was a busy month! Our family attended 2 weddings (on the same day!) and a birthday celebration, along with the typical grocery store adventures, house church meetings, friends coming over and such. I met with my parents' friend from Liberia to interview him concerning his story. Michael's work is going splendidly. And the word of the month was crawling! Shiloh is all over the place! She loves the 3-CD changer tower and speakers. In no time she'll pull all of the CD's and DVD's that we are currently listening to/watching if we don't catch her in time.

Story time. Pull up a carpet square and bring it in close, because this is a good one. So, the other day we (Shiloh and I) were watching a rock concert on DVD. I actually listened to a lot of rock music while pregnant (should've seen me bee-bopping all over when I was 9 months pregnant) and even listened to rock while I was in labor. Basically, she's heard this group before (they're called Red) and so she was rocking out along...clapping her hands and bouncing up and down in front of the TV. Must've decided she liked her rock lmusic ouder because she proceeded to turn up the volume with the little knob--and I mean it got I turned it down again and said something like "oh, that's a bit too loud", in a kind and loving voice. Then, she swiveled her little head to look at me and GRABBED THE VOLUME KNOB AND TURNED IT BACK UP!! Whoa! Laughed my head off, I did! After I picked myself back up, I grabbed her blocks and we were playing with those. Looking right at the lead singer singing into his microphone she picked up one of her curved blocks and SANG INTO IT! We have a little genius rock star in our midst.

I have resorted to wearing my winter coat in the basement when I work on the computer. There is quite the chill in here and I do believe it is colder in here than outside.

Pancakes are love. Be sure to tell someone you love those three little words today. It could change your loved one's life.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cabbage Patch Kids

Say what you will, but the Cabbage Patch dolls were all the rage in my home when I was growing up. And I have my 2 dolls of the CP variety for my daughter to play with. She loves them to bits; chomps and slobbers all over Dory's face as she unhesitatingly seeks to kiss her.

Shiloh, it has been said, looks a bit like a CP doll. (Of course, she is so much cuter, and she's alive and not plastic and cloth. But you know.) Hubbby (oops, how's that for cold fingers down here in the basement) loves this look-alike idea. He asked me where the camera was and then here's what he was up to:

He seriously snapped 13 of them--a total photo shoot!--before he got this one. Well worth it. Do you see the resemblance? Shiloh is in the middle in case you had a hard time with it.

I made almond hummus today. Mmm, it is so good. Chickpea hummus does not like me (at least the sprouted kind.) I made almond milk today as well. Then I put the rest of the almonds I had soaked in the dehydrator. They're much better (tasting and health-wise) for you that way.

I've been offering my TLC of the foot massaging variety as of late. My Christmas gifts to family and friends were a complete foot package:

1. Almond Oil and Peppermint Foot Bath

2. Peppermint & Rosemary Foot Scrub

3. Tea Tree & Lemon Foot Balm (along with a foot massage)

I made all of the products, too. It was fun. It was a pleasure for me to serve those I love by helping their foot toxins to be released (peppermint is wonderful) and enjoy some quality time being on the servant end of things, albeit a strange and new way to serve (it's not every day someone asks to rub your feet while spending time with family.)

Michael and I washed each other's feet (literally) at our wedding to demonstrate Jesus Christ's servant heart to each other. When I took his socks off to do so, he had huge rockets of dark fuzz sticking to his feet!! All of the wedding guests craned their necks to see this rickshaw. We put a picture of this occurrence into our wedding photo album to commemorate the grand moment.

As a young child of 9 years old, I told all that I aspired to be a "writer and a rider." See, I loved to write even then. I wanted to be an author, I explained when people asked what I meant, and a rider of horses. I do still love horses. My grandfather offered to buy me one at that time but I was afraid I wouldn't take good care of it. I rue that choice. (Please, may I have another chance? This time, I'd say yes!) Anyhow, tonight, my father asked if I would write a friend of theirs' life story. He is from Liberia and has such a story to tell! God, I think, has been preparing me for this. I had been looking for part-time, work-from-home freelance work and it was causing me much distress because I knew I was supposed to be writing...but I couldn't find what I was supposed to be writing about. God dropped this one in my lap. Wow, He never ever ceases to be amazing in my life! Whatever comes from this, I do not know...but I love to share God-stories with others.

*Change in this: I met once with my parents' friend to interview him concerning the details of his story. He told me later (after he wrote the book) that the interview was the stirring impetus God used to complete his written story! God's Will is best!