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??)