Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday: Or getting inspired by my friends to try different foods

A good friend of mine from high school is a vegan chef (check out Katie's fantastic website with recipes and videos here: and she has long been an inspiration to me on the culinary front. She works hard to create and tweak recipes to ease folks into a healthy lifestyle and she is so very enthusiastic and passionate about her work. Recently another good friend from high school has set out upon a vegan path - primarily to improve her family's eating habits and health - and has experienced a lot of success. You can follow their journey here:

And yet another good friend from high school (I'm thinking the Caddo Magnet High connection is meaningful here, no?) is participating in the Daniel Fast for Lent. I'd never heard of it before so I did some research after she mentioned it: Essentially, it's a stricter version of a vegan diet based on scripture that requires some serious dedication and thoughtfulness on the part of the participant. I am so proud of them all! We all grew up eating "traditional" southern foods cooked by our parents and grandparents - often fried or covered with gravy or both, so I figure if they can make some lifestyle changes, so can I!

I live in household made up of some non-veggie eaters (for the most part), so the process might be slow going but... I figure better late than never. I doubt we'll ever go vegan, but eating vegetarian meals a few nights a week would be revolutionary for us right now! I gave up red meat, fried foods, and soft drinks for Lent, so why not take the next step?

Anyway, I'm going to start with Meatless Mondays and go from there. I've already been doing at least one slow cooker meal a week, so maybe that one can be vegetarian as well. Lucy helped me make some delicious banana bread this afternoon (we subbed applesauce for butter and used whole wheat flour and egg substitute to make it a bit healthier) and for supper we're having Bean Burgers and sweet potato fries. Here's the recipe:

I think they might be better with black beans and I'd probably add some corn next time too, but overall a good start! I'd love to hear about your best vegetarian and vegan recipes that the meat eaters in your family (especially the kids) love to eat. Wish us luck on our new adventure!

Big wheels

Big girl riding her big girl bike through the neighborhood. She is so proud of herself!  :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gone country

About a month ago we got the chance to head north of town to visit with some old friends at their family farm. Lynn Plantation is held in high regard in my life - I have so many fond memories of spending time there during my high school years and beyond with my amazing friend Lesley. It was not a difficult sell to get us out there to see their new baby girl, Matilda.

We had quite the "city girls go to the country" experience on our drive -- Lucy steadily pointed out tractors and barns and horses while Hannah kept us entertained with her "moo" and "cock-a-doo!" animal noises. And luckily for them, the actual experience did not disappoint! The immediately ran over to meet the animals and ran around the pond, then began to explore the array of tractors Mr. Lynn has accumulated over the years. Daddy took them for a spin on the John Deere Gator and they had a blast! Mommy may have succumbed to a slight major case of baby fever, and the girls fell pretty hard too. Lucy's been walking around with "baby Tilda" on her shoulder, changing her diaper and feeding her for a while now.

We so treasured the time with our friends and are grateful to have gotten the chance to spend a leisurely morning on the farm with them.  Here are some pictures from our trip ~ isn't the antique photo filter fun?
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My funny valentines

Our first attempt at pigtails

Big sister has been displaying a really big heart lately

My sweetheart

I love them all so much it makes my heart want to explode. They love me well in return and for that I am blessed beyond measure.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flashback Friday: Christmas 2011

We started off celebrating the Christmas season by attending a birthday party for Jesus at First United Methodist Church. They had a puppet show for the kids featuring tunes such as "Born in Bethlehem" (set to the Bruce Springsteen hit), games, crafts, and of course, birthday cake.

Lucy's class performed as angels in their school Christmas play. A bunch of 3 and 4-yr-olds in angel costumes singing "Away in a Manger" = heaven.

We also adopted an Elf on the Shelf this year - his name is George, after everyone's favorite curious little monkey, and he can be found in the silliest places after his nightly visit to see Santa at the North Pole!

Christmas morning was especially nice this year because we got to wake up in our own home and didn't have to pack up our entire house to travel somewhere! We had several of the girls' grandparents and their great grandfather over for breakfast and to open presents ~ it was a really special time for us all. The joy on the girls' faces when they saw their new swing set was worth all of Andrew's our hard work!  :) Thank you to all of the grandparents for making this a holiday for the girls to remember.

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P.S. I've been having a lot of problems with slow picture uploads to Blogger lately, so I'll be putting posts with a lot of pictures in Slide show format for a while.