Friday, February 26, 2010

Playing ball

Martin is such a good big brother - playing ball with his sister!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Playing trains

It was a rare moment that I caught all 4 children playing together around the train table. I just had to capture it! I love how Rosalie had to join in on their loud noise making with her own loud noises. She fits in rather well, I'd say!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

She walks!

Rosalie started walking 2 days before her birthday!! She is my earliest walker. It's taken me this long to catch her on video, though!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Aaron is an imaginative little guy. His favorite thing to do is enter imagination world. He loves to dress up as superheroes - and in fact, would rather dress up as a character than to sit and play with a toy. It's interesting to see the differences between my boys. Martin could sit and build legos or read books all day. Jonathan could sit and play with cars, trucks, planes, and trains all day long. Aaron comes up with an imagination world based on what he's wearing. He doesn't need toys - he just needs his imagination, and it really helps when one of the other boys plays along.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Making flags

We studied Besty Ross this week in our history lessons, so our Art for the week was making flags out of homemade frosting and graham crackers.

I made the frosting using powdered sugar, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, butter, and a little water. I added food coloring to make the red and blue.

Part of the project was for them to eat their creation when they were done. But I couldn't bring myself to allow them to eat something that contained food coloring - so, the boys were under strict orders not to eat the red or blue frosting. You'll just have to give me a break(food nerd that I am), though. . . considering that it was a stretch that I actually let them eat graham crackers. (which contain both high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils) I did frost a couple of the graham crackers with the white frosting and let them eat it.
We really enjoyed making our flags. Martin, Aaron, and I each made a flag. Can you tell who made which one? Post your guess in the comment area!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Maker's Diet - Phase Two

A very delicious chili that I made on the first day of Phase Two!! It included pasture fed beef from Hawks Family Farm, 3 different varieties of beans, and lots of yummy veggies, herbs, and spices. It was a happy day for the Hollands!
In Phase Two of the Maker's Diet, we have added several more foods back into our diet. We made it through the detox phase! We added beans, sweet potatoes, apples and pears, as well as many other fruits. The biggest deal to us was being able to add beans! Rich has rather enjoyed the addition of sweet potatoes as well. We've also added in raw pecans and walnuts.

We have made it through more than half of the 40 days now - and amazingly enough - without much difficulty. I really thought that it would be quite difficult for me to eliminate grains for such a long time, but I am amazed at how easy it has been. Rich has had many moments of frustration because of the lack of convenience involved is this diet. As far as the grains go, the hardest part for him is not eating pasta. Once we do start adding grains back into the diet, we'll still have to be very careful about the amount of pasta he eats each week. (and try to figure out a way to get him some whole grain sprouted pasta - without paying $4 a pound - or adding yet another thing for me to do in my day.) I already have to figure out how to make bread using soaked flour - I'd prefer to not have to make pasta at this point in my life when I am busy with so many other things. We are still working on figuring that out, though.

On day 29, we get to add grains slowly back into our diet. I will admit to looking forward to some hot home baked whole grain bread - fresh out of the oven. But I haven't missed it nearly as much as I thought I would.

On a side note, Rich has lost about 8 pounds while eating this way. I've lost about 4-5 pounds. Although weight loss was not our goal - neither of us are complaining!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

100 Fun Facts 51-75

51. I have adjusted to living in NC and now have the mindset that I will be content no matter where we live - I am just thankful that we are together.

52. When we moved to NC almost 7 years ago, we never dreamed that we would be in NC for 7 years. We saw it as a temporary place of residence.

53. For the first 5 years that we lived here, Rich was gone most of the time. He was either at work or Seminary or working on his school work.

54. Rich worked for Sears selling appliances for the first 3 years we lived here. He switched jobs when I was pregnant with Jonathan and started selling appliances at Garner TV and Appliance. He knows alot about appliances. He worked there for almost 2 years, and then made the bold move to quit and work only on his dissertation.

55. We lived on our savings account while Rich wrote his dissertation. I am so thankful that we were in a position to do that, so that he could finish and graduate. I am thankful that Rich worked so hard to get us into a position where we could go without an income for such a long time.

56. Shortly after Rich quit his job at Garner, we found out we were expecting Rosalie. It was not in the "no income" plan of ours, but we are forever thankful for this unexpected blessing.

57. I originally had something else here for #57 and thought it was dumb. I was reading the whole list to Rich and after I finished, I said, "I need to go fix that dumb one," and he said, "which dumb one?"

58. Rich was at home 24/7 during my pregnancy with Rosalie. LOVED THAT!

59. I am homeschooling my children and I love it.

60. I do not love all the distraction that a toddler and baby bring to the mix of homeschooling. I am not very good at multi-tasking. (like you are supposed to be when you are a mom)

61. I have audio-processing disorder. (my sister thinks it's not real) But it is. I discovered it when I was teaching. I actually thought I was losing my hearing. I went to have my hearing checked and discovered that it's actually audio processing disorder. (it just means that when there are lots of different noises going on around me, I am not able to process all the sounds - it's a jumbled mess of noises.) So, if I am ever talking to you in a large crowd of people making lots of noise, I may not be able to make out anything you say - forgive me if I have to say, "what?" over and over again.

62. I grew up a navy brat. I was able to live overseas. I lived in Iceland for 3 years and Puerto Rico for 2 years.

63. Rich grew up mostly in Pennsylvania and claims Belle Vernon, PA as where he is from. He lived some of his growing up years in New Jersey. (he likes to forget about those)

64. I don't really have a place that I am from. I never even lived in the place where I was born. It was just the closest Naval Hospital (Bethesda, MD) to where we lived.

65. Rich's parents have been married for 46 years. My parents have been married for 40 years.

66. Rich and I both have brown eyes. (and brown hair, but most of you who know Rich wouldn't know that about him) Our oldest son has blond hair and blue eyes. We were very surprised as Martin grew and his eyes kept getting bluer. I was certain that his eyes would change to brown.

67. I considered going to Virginia Tech when I was trying to figure out what college to go to - how weird if Rich and I would have met in college. We would have been there the same time - and we probably never would have gotten married.

68.I graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, with a degree in Vocal Music Education. Rich graduated from Virginia Tech, with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.

69. I loved Nashville and didn't think I'd ever want to leave when I graduated. I actually interviewed for jobs in and around Nashville. Nothing worked out, so I stayed in Virginia. I do not regret that.

70. My first teaching job was as a Middle School Choral Director at Great Neck Middle School in Virginia Beach. I really loved teaching Middle School!

71. Rich served as an engineer officer in the United States Army for 4 years. He was in the Army when we got married. I got to be an officer's wife for about 10 months.

72. Rich made it very clear when we married that he only wanted 2 children. When I would try to negotiate with him up to 3 - he would negotiate back by going down to 1.

73. We have neither 1, nor 2, nor 3 children. Does that mean that I won?

74. We did a ton of reading about vaccines before Martin was born, and decided that we would selectively vaccinate him. But after further reading, we decided not to do any at all.

75. The decision to not vaccinate led me down an unexpected path toward natural health and nutrition for which I will forever be thankful.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting ready to leave for church ...

and all 4 of the children were sitting on the stairs surrounding Rosalie to keep her from going up the stairs. So, of course, I grabbed my camera! (all 4 in the same place at the same time - is good enough reason for a photo shoot) Getting them to all look at the camera at the same time - well, that's another story! It eventually worked out, though. bonus picture - just because I like this one.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rosalie's first tea party

Rosalie got a tea party set for her birthday. This is Rosalie's first tea party - as you can tell, my boys are not used to having girl toys around - and seemed to enjoy them.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Martin Improves in Ice Skating

Remember the post, Watching Martin Ice Skate?

This is a new video taken on week 6 of the 9 week lessons. He has improved!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Pajama night at AWANA

Pajama night has to be the favorite theme night for AWANA. In fact, last year Martin and Aaron spent months talking and looking forward to pajama night. I remember sweating it a little, though, because Rosalie was due that same week. I was hoping that either she would come early or wait until it was over before she decided to make her appearance. Sure enough, the labor pains started coming mid-morning on Wednesday the 4th of February - Pajama night. Thankfully, my mom got in the car and came right away - and was able to take the boys to pajama night - they didn't have to miss it after all.

This year - Martin wore his Star Wars - the Clone Wars pajamas. (a show which he hasn't really seen before - I wanted to find him the classic Star Wars pajamas, but they didn't have them) Aaron wore batman pajamas. I gave Jonathan the choice to wear pajamas - but he did not want to part with his precious puggles t-shirt.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Aaron ice skates for the first time!

My mom spent the week with us last week, so I was able to take Aaron ice skating on Wednesday during Martin's free homeschool skate time. It had been about 20 years since I had been on ice skates, but it came back to me. Aaron had was a great sport about it. It was really hard for him, but he kept on trying! He eventually got to the point where he could hold on to the side and keep himself up.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rosalie's first cake!

I have made it a tradition to make one of these bear cakes for each of our children on their first birthday. This is Rosalie's first cake. Since she had never had anything quite like cake before - you can imagine that she enjoyed it!
This is her first look at it.

Her first bite.

How it looked like when she was done.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Our Trip to Hawks Family Farm

Last weekend we finally made the trip up to Warrenton, NC to The Hawks Family Farm to buy beef. Not just any beef, though!! We found a wonderful source for pasture-fed/grass-fed beef. We have been wanting to find a good local source for a long time, so that we could get away from purchasing meat from grocery stores. The picture above shows the sign outside there farm.
This picture is of the building where they store the meat.

This is our cooler loaded with beef. We purchased 50lbs of ground beef, 4 lbs stew meat, 9 pounds of roasts.
They have very reasonable prices - in fact - much cheaper than even the sale prices at the grocery store. For 63 pounds of beef and a dozen and a half free range eggs, we only paid $158!! Our chest freezer is stocked full!
The beef is vacuum packed and frozen, and will last up to 2 years in our freezer. (It won't last nearly that long in our house of 3 growing boys!)
I packed a lunch for the children, so they could eat while we were traveling.
Jonathan fell asleep.

Rosalie slept all the way there - and woke up for a snack!

I highly recommend the Hawks Family Farm if you are in the market for good quality pasture fed beef.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We Love VA TECH!!

Rich did his undergraduate work at VA Tech. He loves VA Tech football. So, of course, our children have all the VA Tech attire to go along with it!! (Thanks to my mom who supplies the VA Tech clothing!)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Maker's Diet

Fresh Salad with hamburger topped with guacamole

cheese omelette topped with guacamole

We are in week two of following The Maker's Diet.

.It is a 40 day program that has 3 phases to it. We are currently in Phase 1. This is not intended to be a weight loss program for us. The goal is to optimize our health and try to eliminate any health issues that we may have.
Phase one is specifically geared toward cleansing the body. There are many foods that we cannot eat in this phase. The main foods we have to stay away from our grains, most fruits except for berries, grapefruit, lemons, and limes, beans, most nuts except for raw almonds, and dairy, except for raw goat's milk, and goat cheese.
Phase one is definitely the hardest, but we have been eating delicious foods! It helps to have a great cook in the house to help me prepare our meals! Phase Two will start next Monday, at which point we will add many fruits, beans, raw cow's milk, raw cow's milk cheddar, whole milk yogurt, and more raw nuts. So, Phase Two should be a piece of cake!!
We already eat a mostly whole foods diet - so this hasn't been that much of a stretch for us. But we do miss our freshly baked whole grain breads, pancakes, and waffles.
Rich has done very well with the diet. He has noticed some good health benefits for him. He is not having sugar crashes anymore after each meal. (each time he ate, he would drag and feel as though he was going to fall asleep)
I have done well with the diet too - but I have been experiencing some bouts of low blood sugar. Eliminating the grains and fruit from my diet has caused some spells of dizziness, headaches, and general fatigue as well as being nauseated. Once I figured out what was going on, I contacted my friend who is a certified natural health practicioner, and she gave me a remedy that I could take for those spells.
The pictures above are some meals that we have enjoyed over the week. We may have been missing our grains, but we have been eating very delicious and nutrition packed food!

Some meals that I have made this week:

Meatballs (with no bread crumbs - just spices and egg) with homemade pasta sauce

Meatloaf (made with lentils, eggs, spices), with pureed cauliflower, and italian green beans

Baked Lemon Basil Chicken with fresh raw broccoli and salad

French Style London Broil with asparagus and italian green beans

I made Rich a cheese omelett topped with guacamole and he did not like it.
I made myself an cheese omelett with guacamole for the second time, and it wasn't nearly as delicious as it was the first time. However, we both loved the guacamole on the burger. That one is a winner for sure!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rosalie 1 Year Old

Picture taken on her birthday with her pony.

This is just an example of how difficult it is to take a picture of her before she starts moving.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Puffy Pancakes - using soaked flour

Many of you may already know that in order for us to eat as we do, it requires a great deal of planning on my part. I have to know exactly what I am making each day for breakfast and each day for dinner. I keep a daily breakfast schedule, so that I will remember to soak the flour the night before. (soaking the freshly milled flour in an acid medium such as buttermilk or whole milk yogurt with live cultures optimizes nutrition!!) Most of the time, I follow my daily breakfast menu without any trouble. However, one Friday a week or so ago, I was out of everything. I was out of milk, only had 2 eggs, I was even out of bread - I had to make bread that day) What was I to do? I had to come up with something quick to feed my children - that didn't require milk - that only used two eggs - and that didn't require any of my home baked bread.
So, I leafed through a recipe book for ideas. I found a recipe for Puffy Pancakes. I wasn't going to be able to soak the grain overnight. (I figured they would survive) So, I milled some soft white grain and mixed all the ingredients together and put it in the oven. . . hoping they would all like it. The recipe does call for milk - I just used a mixture of water and buttermilk in it's place. It worked fine.
The children LOVED it. The recipe only makes one Puffy Pancake the size of a 9 inch pie plate. I gave each boy 1 quarter of the pancake - then Aaron and Martin shared the last quarter.

I made it again this morning - only this time I was prepared! I soaked spelt and soft white pastry flour overnight and mixed in the rest of the indredients this morning. It was even better this morning. Soaking brings another layer of flavor to it.

The Recipe:
Puffy Pancakes

2 TBS Butter (melt in pie plate while oven is preheating - this makes the puffy pancake crispy on the bottom)

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour (I used whole grain and made my own flour using soft white and spelt-original recipe is for all purpose flour)

1/2 cup milk (I used buttermilk/distilled water)

1/4 tsp sea salt

Soak the 1/2 cup flour overnight in an acid medium such as buttermilk/whole milk yogurt. (1/2 cup) The next morning add in the rest of the ingredients.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes until it is nice and golden!

I put agave nectar and warm 100% maple syrup on their piece of pancake.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Happy Birthday sweet Rosalie!!

Rosalie is 1 year old today!!

Rosalie opens a present from Nanny and Pupup!!

Rosalie hugs her sweet monkey!

Thanks Nanny and Pupup for the sock monkey!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My Rocking Chair

Rosalie is pictured here sitting in the Rocking Chair that I have had since I was a baby! My mom has kept it all these years. Before Rosalie was born, she recovered the cushions with fabric that matches Rosalie's bedding.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Snowstorm 2010

Martin having fun in the snow!

Southern style snow boots

All bundled up and ready to play

Jonathan running in the snow!

Aaron making a snow angel