Monday, March 2, 2015

February Update

It's March!

February flew by in a whirl of school and driver's ed.  Kylen was VERY happy to have his last classroom session Thursday (final drive with instructor tomorrow).  I don't think the poor kid has ever experienced such a demanding schedule.  It was rough!  But he took the written portion of the test and passed.  Woo hoo!  Now he just needs to keep practicing driving with Greg, and he should be able to get his license on his 16th birthday.  :)

We also had our last day of co-op for the trimester and are officially on break (although school will continue without co-op!).  I will not be teaching during the spring, as I will be aiding in two classes as backup for a friend who has a lot of health challenges.  I won't need to spend the month of March preparing a class.  Yay!  I'm starting to feel almost guilty about having a calm schedule for so long . . . almost!

But I'm not completely idle!  Researching new recipes for my restricted diet (and even trying a few out now and then ;) . . . researching curriculum for next school year, since we'll be changing what we use for at least three subjects . . . researching college info.  After spending a full day looking into options for becoming a writer, Kylen told me he really feels the Lord directing him toward ministry.  He had told me not long back that he is interested in becoming a minister, but I didn't know how serious he was about it.  Apparently, pretty serious!  I'm excited!  I feel like he's going to learn all sorts of awesome things I'd love to know.  :)  I'm not sure where the Lord will take him, but I'm so, SO incredibly proud of him!!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

I like these!

Saw them in the latest Guideposts magazine.  :)

What if you woke up today with only the things
 you thanked God for yesterday?
~Brad Johnson


The most important lesson of friendship is also the most basic:
In order to have a friend, you must be a friend.
~Ruth Soukup


Pain is a gift.  It puts us in a position where we're quicker to be desperate for God.  When we seek him, we will find him.
~model Lauren Scruggs, who lost her eye and hand in an accident


When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things
 a chance to catch you.
~Karen Lorimer


For it is not failure that stops most people, but rather the belief that failure is permanent.  Failure is nothing more than a storm in the weather forecast for the week -- it comes and it goes, and it waters next season's yield because it teaches us where we can improve.
~Jake Ducey


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

In the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day, I kept feeling like we should do something special this year.  I asked the boys for ideas, but their concept of a great time is staying home relaxing.  Not much help!  Then, as it got closer, I kept thinking about some friends we've been wanting to have over.  I was deeply impressed that we should invite them for Valentine's Day, but who does that?  It's a day for couples to be alone, staring into each other's eyes in the dark corner of a restaurant!  (Not that we've ever done that!)  Yet the urge wouldn't leave!  I finally called, and the wife suggested we go on a double date.  LOVED the idea!  Why have I never thought of that?  Their mom was already watching their kids for the day, and a couple of Kylen's friends were able to come hang out with him.  We carpooled from our house around 2 p.m., went to Red Lobster for an early dinner, hung out at the mall for an hour, and headed to Laser Quest to take advantage of a special deal for three games of laser tag.

Aren't we cute?!

Best part of the meal!

The big shocker when we walked into Laser Quest was that the older of my two brothers was there with a bunch of his people.  I hadn't seen him and his wife or kids in over a year, so that was pretty cool.  We all exchanged greetings, and they still had another game to play, so we ended up playing our first game together!  I had an average first game and bad second game. The crowd in our third game was mostly guys in their teens and 20's, so I figured I didn't have a chance.  But things went unusually well, and I came in 5th out of 32 players!  Possibly my best game ever.  I NEVER do better than Greg, and he came in 16th.  It really made my day!  Our friends were Thing 1 and Thing 2, I was Thing 3, and Greg was Thing 4.  (The remaining ranks of 25-32 showed when this screen changed.)

Upon arriving home, I found this on our front door:

A touching card for us and chocolate for Kylen from my other brother!!  Turns out he stopped by while we were gone, and Kylen didn't hear the doorbell because he was out back jumping on the trampoline with his friends!!!

I wanted to do something special with Kylen too, so the following day we went to the fancy brunch buffet at the Coeur d'Alene Resort we sometimes enjoy for special occasions.

A cake in their display case:

View from our seats.

My favorite part of the meal was their chicken masala.  It had a subtle but delicious flavor and lots of mini mushrooms.

After stuffing ourselves, I did a little shopping while Kylen got some driving practice with Greg.

On our way out of town,  I noticed a new art installment.  I'm not sure how long it's been there, but we thought it was awesome!  Gigantic dandelions ready to scatter their metallic seeds.

Back at home, we exchanged cards, played games, and . . . relaxed, just as the boys like.  It was a great Valentine weekend!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

~Valentine Jokes ~
 Q. Why is Valentine’s Day the best day for a celebration?
A. Because you can really party heart-y!
Q. What did the bee say to his girl on Valentine's Day?
A. You are bee-utiful! Will you bee mine?
Q. How did she reply?
A. Yes, I love bee-ing with you, Honey!
Q. What do you call a very small valentine?
A. A valen-tiny!
Q. What kind of flowers should you never give on Valentine's Day?
A. Cauli-flowers!
Q. What did the boy sheep say to the girl sheep?
A. I love ewe!

Q. How did she reply?
A. You're not so baaaaaa-d yourself!
Q. What did the farmer give his wife on Valentine's Day?
A. Hogs and kisses!
Q. Why is lettuce the most loving vegetable?
A. Because it's all heart.
Q. Why did the banana go out with the prune?
A. Because it couldn't get a date.
Q. What is a ram's favorite song on Valentine’s Day?
A. I only have eyes for ewe.

Q. What happens when you fall in love with a French chef?
A. You get all buttered up.
Q. Who passes out oinks on Valentine’s Day?
A. Cu-pigs!
Q. How do you catch a unique valentine?
A. Unique up on it!
Q. Why did the chicken cross the road?
A. To deliver an egg-stra special valentine.
Q. What did the pencil say to the paper?
A. I dot my i's on you!
Q. Do skunks celebrate Valentine's Day?
A. Sure, they're very scent-imental!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Elimination Diet: Favorite Lunch

I am on a super restricted elimination diet most of the time.  It took awhile, but I finally found a lunch combination that I love:

Half an avocado, chopped
Sea salt
1-2 Medjool dates, diced
7 healthy crackers or chips
Teriyaki sunflower seeds

The variety of textures (soft avocado, crunchy chips, chewy dates) and combination of salty and sweet (sea salt on avocado and sweet dates and seeds) are what I think makes this lunch such a winner.  I'm amazed that after having it for so many weeks and months I still look forward to it every day.

I originally used Beanitos Original Black Bean with Sea Salt chips, but I have recently switched to Edward & Sons Baked Whole Grain Brown Rice Snaps, Onion Garlic.  It's a nice change.  The ingredients for the black bean chips are: whole black beans, whole long grain rice, pure sunflower and/or safflower oil, guar bean gum, and sea salt.  The ingredients for the brown rice crackers are: whole grain brown rice, whole grain black rice, expeller-pressed palm oil, salt, onion powder, and garlic powder.

I got the sunflower seed recipe from one of my favorite healthy recipe sites, Nourishing Meals.

Teriyaki Sunflower Seeds

1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tbsp. coconut aminos

Heat a skillet (11-inch is great) over medium heat for a few minutes, or until the pan is hot. Add the sunflower seeds and keep them moving in the pan, using a spatula. Toast them for a few minutes until they start popping and begin to brown. Turn off heat and add coconut aminos. Immediately stir the aminos with the seeds. Let cool in the pan (off of your heat source); transfer to a glass jar for storage. (I store them in a sandwich bag, but that's probably not environmentally friendly or something.)

So True!

Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.

~author Rachel Naomi Remen

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Kylen is back! :)

A beloved tradition: Kylen swaps the "L" with the "V" when I'm not looking, and I swap it back when he isn't looking.  We like to see how long it takes the other to notice.  Takes me longer, sometimes MUCH longer.  Like days.  You'd think I'd be more observant, being the artistic type!