Saturday, April 28, 2012

Goal: Day 24 Complete - Busy Day!

We had quite the eventful walk this morning, followed by a fun and busy day. I am so glad I slept in till almost 10...

We had Millet Porridge again this morning. We changed it up a bit so here is the amended recipe. 

Millet and Apple Porridge 
(2 large servings)
1/2 c millet
1c water
1/2 - 1 apple per person chopped into bite sized pieces
4tbsp honey (or more to taste)
4tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)
3tbsp chopped walnuts

1. Rinse millet in fine mesh strainer, then add millet and water to a pot. 
2. Bring millet and water to a boil, cover, reduce to low heat. cook undisturbed for 25 minutes
3. Once millet has cooked, remove from heat, leave cover let sit for 5 minutes
4. Chop apples and place into bowls (Emma could easily have eaten an entire apple with her millet).
5. Top apples with 1/2 millet, 2tbsp honey and 2tsp cinnamon for each bowl. 
6. Stir and enjoy!

Emma prefers it if I heat her apples a bit. I have been throwing her bowl in the microwave, but I think the next time I make it, I might just toss all the ingredients into the pot once the millet is cooked and heat it a bit that way. 

We left for our walk shortly after breakfast. Not even 2 minutes into our walk we notice a bird in someones front garden acting all strange, like he had crashed into the flowers and couldn't get away no matter how hard he flapped. We walked closer just to see if it would fly away, but it couldn't. It's foot was caught in some string which was wound around the plant it kept crashing into. 

Emma and I ran home, grabbed her little scissors and ran (yes, Emma pointed out I shouldn't be running with scissors) back to rescue the bird. 

We snipped the string (which turned out to be dental floss) and the bird flew into a tree. 

Mission Complete! We are true animal rescuers now and Diego would be proud of us :)

So, we finished out walk, grabbed a few things, then headed off for the Farm Cruise. We visited 3 different farms, all pretty close to us (2 were in Nevada) and made some new friends. The first farm was a small farm of mostly veggies. We got to plant an egg carton garden. This is were we met our new friends. A mom, dad, and their 3yo daughter, N. Emma and N became fast friends while playing in the dirt in the nice warm hoop house while all the adults chatted about farming. 

Once it was time to leave, N, got really upset because she wasn't done playing with Emma. We made plans to meet up at the next farm. 

And the next farm was The Berry Patch Farm. We have been picking our own fruit here for the last 3 years and we are going to miss it when we move to Cresco. So... we bought a blueberry and raspberry plant :) This way we can have a little of the farm with us. We also discovered that the blueberries will grow just fine in a large pot, so we may even take it with us when we move to Montana. I am not sure yet though. We might just have to make plans to visit Cresco every raspberry and blueberry season. 

We also met up with our new friends again which both Emma and N enjoyed.  After buying the raspberry plant, 4 things of strawberries, and some peach and pear jelly, we headed to the last farm on the cruise, The Cory's Family Farm, where we met up with our friends one last time.

Here we got to meet free range chickens - 
E- "Mama, those chickens are all over the place!"
M- "Yup, those are free range chickens."
E- "What does that mean?"
M- "That they run all over the yard."
E- "Cool!"

We had a lamb burger and a beef burger. Emma preferred the lamb burger but both were very tasty. 

Then we got to check out the lambs and cows :) Lots of cute baby lambs running around. We even got to pet some three day old goats and peek at some lambs that had been born this morning. So cool. 

Emma and N enjoyed playing with the kids who live on the farm, climbing on the hay bales, chasing the chickens, searching for feathers, and checking out all the cool animals. 

It was a really great day, and I love that Emma actually knew a lot about where her food comes from. 


Friday, April 27, 2012

Goal: Day 23 Complete and Yummy Breakfast

The first order of business this morning was a bath for Emma. In the last week, Emma has decided that her body is a blank canvas that need to be filled with art. Using sharpie markers. Awesome.

She was chilly after her bath, which worked out nicely as I had just made myself some millet porridge. What's that you ask?

Millet is a naturally gluten free grain (though best to purchase only certified gluten free to prevent cross contamination), often found in bird food, but very tasty and healthy for people too!

1 cup of millet provides about:
6g protein
2g fiber
19% DV of magnesium
23% DV of manganese

Millet also provides some B vitamins, as well as other vitamins and minerals. For more info on what millet provides, check this link out.

As Emma was bathing, I was wasting time on the computer slaving over a hot stove to make some millet. This was the first time I had cooked it so I looked in this book

for a basic millet recipe. I didn't want to make 3 cups of millet, so instead of 1c millet to 2-2.5c water, I went with 1/2c millet to 1c water. More water makes millet creamier, less makes it fluffy. Fluffy sounded good. Rinse millet in a fine mesh strainer, then add millet and water to a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat to low. Let simmer for 30 minutes.

Of course the timer when off at the same time Emma decided she was done, so I turned the heat off and went to help Emma out of the tub.

As she dried off, I fluffed the millet just like you would rice. I cut an apple into quarters, then chopped a quarter of the apple into small cubes. I placed them in the bottom of a bowl, heaped a spoonful of millet on top, drizzled some honey on top then sprinkled with cinnamon. YUM!

I offered Emma the rest of the apple, but she informed me that she was cold and wanted something warm to eat. I chopped the rest of the apples, placed them in a small pyrex dish, sprinkled them with cinnamon, drizzled them with honey and threw a bit of millet on top and mixed it all up. I tossed the dish in the microwave for about 30-50 seconds, then served it up.

She loved it :)

After breakfast, we decided to brave the wind and cold for our daily walk. Brrr! Our toes were pretty cold, but we walked fast so we survived.

One week left to go! My latest crazy thought for after the 30 days is to walk to the local park (in Cresco) everyday and do some exercises at the park while Emma plays. Pull-ups, push-ups, kinda something like this.

Anyway, I am excited that we have done such a great job on our goal, and I am excited for the next step, whatever it ends up being!

To make the recipe above easier for printing, here it is again

Millet Apple Porridge
2-3 servings

1/2 c millet
1 c water (makes a fluffy rice like porridge, use more water if you want a creamier porridge)
pinch of salt
1 apple (we used a Granny Smith, but I think any would be good)
2tsp cinnamon (I didn't measure this, but just sprinkled in on until it looked like enough)
2tbsp honey (I also didn't measure this, but I would guess anywhere from 2tbsp to 4tbsp)
1tbsp walnuts, crushed up a bit

1. Rinse millet using a fine mesh strainer.
2. Place water, salt and millet into pot and bring to a boil
3. Cover and lower heat to low, simmering for 30-35 minutes.
4. Core apple then chop into bite sized cubes, add to bottom of bowls or one larger container
5. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon and drizzle with honey
6. Once the millet has cooked, allow to sit for 5 minutes, then add millet to the apple mixture and stir.
7. Add walnuts if desired, eat and enjoy!

I loved the walnuts in mine, but Emma doesn't like walnuts so I didn't put any in hers. Next time I might crush them up smaller and mix them in with the entire batch because for the most part, the blend right in with the millet.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

From The Kitchen

I am happy to report that the week isn't even over yet and I managed to make 3 VERY tasty meals so far. I just finished up some cookies and they are cooling as I type so we will see how they turned out in about 20 minutes.

First, a throw-it-together meal from potatoes and ground beef (I think this was actually from last week). This recipe was really tasty and we enjoyed the left-overs.

3 beef patties (these are homemade with a mixture of ground beef and quinoa and possible some chia seeds/water as an egg replacer)
2 medium potatoes cubed
1/4 bell pepper (we used mini peppers in various colors)
2 large chard leaves
1/8 tsp ground red pepper flakes
2 tbsp green onions
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Heat oil in cast iron skillet over med-high heat
2. Add remaining ingredients
3. Cook till potatoes are tender, covering if necessary

Next up was a chili/beef stew thing. I didn't actually measure anything for this which is kinda a shame because I can't get enough of it. Oh, and it's a crock pot recipe :)

2-3lb Beef roast
Kidney beans (about 1-2c)
Black beans (about 2-3c)
quart of homemade marinara sauce
large jar of chunky salsa (TIMER- cookies are cool, be right back. YUMMY!!! Recipe is below)
1/2 sweet potato baked
chopped red, yellow, orange bell peppers (about 1/4 to 1/2c)
Swiss Chard chopped small (about 2 big leaves)
Kelp (not necessary but adds iodine for those that limit salt in their diets)
Baby Carrots (frozen- about 1c or so)

I put the roast into the crock pot and it was frozen solid. I dumped the rest of the ingredients into the crock pot and turned it on high for 6 hours. I think that's how long I cooked it for. I kept poking my nose into it throughout the day, so it may have cooked quicker if I had left it alone.

The beef came out so tender, and every time I get hungry, this is what I want to eat.

And the last yummy dinner recipe was from tonight. I am trying to use up the last of the foods so we are doing a lot of dumping things together. I love that they are turning our so well :) The key to this recipe was cutting everything up really small.

Skillet Pork and Potatoes
1/2 lb cooked ham shopped in tiny pieces (we actually used the prepackaged tiny ham cubes)
4-5 small potatoes cut into small cubes
1 Swiss Chard leaf, chopped small.
1 Carrot chopped small
1/4 small red onion chopped small
2 cloves garlic chopped and mashed
4-5 Asparagus spears, chopped small
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
5-6 cherry tomatoes (these were just for me as no one else likes warm tomatoes)

1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet over med-high heat, add chopped potatoes, stir often.
2. Cut and prep the rest of the ingredients in the following order adding them as you finish prepping them; onion, garlic, chard, carrot and asparagus. Stir often to prevent sticking
3. Add ham and tomatoes, continue cooking until heated

I was a little unsure about this one, but everyone loved it. Emma even asked for seconds!

And now for the cookies! I have been having a major sweet craving the last day or two, so I really needed something healthy that satisfy, but not make me feel like crap. I had a recipe for granola balls, but I didn't have most of the ingredients, so I decided to wing it as it seems to have worked well so far this week.

Buckwheat Fruit Cookies
1 tbsp Chia seeds
2 tbsp water
5 dates
1/2 c water
2/3 c nut butter (I made a mix of almond, peanuts, cashew, honey, cinnamon and virgin coconut oil)
1/3 c raisins
1/3 c craisins
1 c "creamy buckwheat" (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/3 c Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips
 Brown Sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2. Soak Chia seeds in 2 tbsp water, and the 5 dates in 1/2 c water for 5 minutes, then puree.
3. Mix puree and nut butter.
4. Mix in dried fruit, then buckwheat, then chocolate chips.
5. Drop spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and slightly flatten them, then sprinkle with brown sugar
6. Bake for 20 minutes.

We let them cool for about 20 minutes then Jared and I ate one each.

 Ok, we shared a second one. We are doing our best to leave some for Emma. I think next time I will omit the brown sugar. It was tasty on there, but it would be just as tasty without.

Well, that is about it. I hope that everyone has a great and tasty day!

Goal: Day 21 and 22 Complete- Talking About Food

We got our walk in yesterday and packed a few boxes as well!

We walked around the block today, but didn't stop when we got back to the house. We walked into town to pick up a pill crusher at the pharmacy.

Packing sucks, especially when motivation is in short supply. We have gotten a lot done, but it doesn't feel like. It seems I get the choice of doing dishes and laundry, or packing. I am not talented enough to get all of them done in one day.

So, the dishes have been neglected. Did you know that some dishes are made from rabbits? It's the only thing I can think when I blink and my dirty dishes have doubled.

Lucky for me I am okay with not being Super Woman. In fact, I am so far from Super Woman that I managed to finish reading a good book today (instead of mowing the lawn or doing the dishes).

The book I finished was "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver. The book tells the story of how their family spent a year of eating locally (with the exception of a very few things; coffee, flour, spices). The also ate within the season, meaning no fresh fruit until summer, and mostly meat and potatoes in the winter. The raised their own turkeys for meat (and for future turkeys), as well as chickens for eggs and meat. The grew a large portion of their own fruits and vegetables.

I really enjoyed the book. There was more humor then doom and gloom, although the author is very realistic about where the trend is heading in our country in regards to food.

Like I mentioned the other day, I try my hardest to not push my beliefs onto others, so I won't go into major detail, but I do have two points that I feel are really important.

Purchasing just a few of your everyday items from a local source (within 100 to 200 miles) will make a big difference in the fate of our food economy.

Organic foods (fruits, veggies, and grass fed meats) have more nutritional value and do less harm to the earth and to the human body.

How can you incorporate local, organic items into your diet?

Look into a CSA (community supported agriculture). With a CSA, you purchase a share of a local farm, and they provide you with some of their bounty throughout the growing season. Local Harvest is a good place to start when looking for a CSA. Jared, Emma, and I participate in a CSA not last summer, but the summer before and we loved it. As we were new to it, we decided to just get a fruit share from the local pick-your-own farm in our town. We LOVED getting fresh fruits each week and we enjoyed supporting a local farm.

If you are not interested in signing up for a share, another great option is a local Farmer's Market. Local Harvest can also help you find farmers markets near you. We enjoy going to the farmers market and plan to make it a more regularly occurring event this coming summer. Typically the people at the stands are the farmers themselves, or someone who works at the farm. The selection of fruits and veggies is amazing, and the tests of fresh fruits and veggies is so much better then from the grocery store. If you see something interesting, but have no idea what it is, ask. The people at farmers markets are passionate about their produce and are happy to help newbies with recipes and other info.

Another thought is to request that your grocery store carry locally produced foods (meats, produce, dairy items, etc).

And the one that I hope to embrace the most this summer is growing my own food. One of the best things (among the big long list of awesome things) of living with Gramma and Boppa this summer is that we will have the space and sunshine required to grow a decent amount of food for ourselves. Tomatoes, beans, lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, squash, pumpkins, radishes, onions, and oh so much more. If we get everything into the ground in time, I hope to grow enough that we can freeze and can some of our produce for use during the winter.

And if your crazy like me, you can even toy with the idea of raising your own chickens, turkeys, or other animals for meat (and eggs in the case of the chickens). I will do this someday, but not likely this summer. My in-laws can only be expected to tolerate so much from me after all.

Well, I think I have kept you here reading this long enough. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them to the best of my ability.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Goal: Day 20 Complete

Two-thirds of the way to my goal! With just 10 days left, I will meet my goal next Friday, which is our packing/moving/good-bye party.

We haven't sent out official invitations, but if you are in the area and are not really busy, we would love some help loading our stuff into the trailer. We start loading around noon, May 4th. We will have pizza and other goodies out for people to snack on as they get hungry. We really only need help with the big stuff (couch, dressers, t.v., etc) which won't take long if we have a few capable people helping out.

Jared insists he can help carry the couch. With one hand. I kinda laughed at him.

Anyway, our walk today was nice and the weather is beautiful.

The weather was beautiful today because we had plans to stay inside and get some packing done. We spent pretty much all morning packing, so now Emma and I are getting our computer fixes and then we plan to walk over to the park.

I hope everyone's day is as beautiful as ours!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Goal: Day 18 and 19 Complete- Love My Man

When you post everyday, it gets a little hard to come up with interesting things to write about. Especially if you don't do a whole lot, and you are trying really hard not to cram all your thoughts and philosophies onto others. 

So, I didn't post yesterday, but Emma and I did go for our walk. Jared didn't come with us as he was working on his last test he needed to take in purist of his BS. 

Yes, it will now be even funnier when we tell people he has a BS in BS because at least half of it is true. 

His actual degree will be a Bachelor of Science in History with a minor in Military Studies. 

I can't even begin to put into words how proud I am of him. To stick with something he hated (yes, he hated school with a capital H), for 4+ years so that he can provide a better life for us (while I got to do whatever I wanted) really amazes me. 

I better get my but in gear because once he retires, it's my turn to carry the torch for the family!

I guess even Jared would have to admit that it wasn't all torture. He really enjoyed the POW/MIA runs each year he participated (and he plans to participate this next September if we are not in Montana).

The cadets and cadre at the Iowa Statehouse before the POW/MIA run September 2011 

Jared carrying the flag while running- September 2011

There was paintball more years then not. The type of paintball he played while at ISU (tournament) was a lot different than the type he played when we lived in AZ (more recreational and role palying), but it was still paintball and for the most part, still a lot of fun. 

Team photo from his first year playing (2008-2009)

Jared in action

He really enjoyed some of his classes (anthropology), and really hated others (mostly the gen eds). He kinda wishes he could go back and change his major all because of a 1 credit class he took this last semester. If he could start over (and I remind him that there is no law against getting a second degree), he would study Kinesiology.  

Would go nicely with the Food and Nutrition degree I start working on this summer, don't you think?

It wasn't easy, these last 4+ years. We went through a really rough patch, as I think all married couples do throughout their lives, but we worked together to get through it. And I am proud of both of us for that. 

We struggled with living within our means (which at times was really tough, but at other times surprisingly easy). We learned to be frugal and thirfty, which I will always be grateful for. We learned to make do with what we have (though to be honest, we could have been better about it) and we learned that splurging occasionally was ok. 

We also learned that buying a camper was a really bad idea. 

We thoroughly enjoyed being so close to Gramma, Boppa, Auntie Sara and all the other family on Jared's side.
Really old picture from 2009 or 2010

 We did our best not to take advantage of them, but man has it been hard! They have been better to us then we deserve. At least we have a few more months (possible a year) to try to make up for it.

Watching Emma grow these last 4+ years has been amazing. Having Jared home (as opposed to deployed or TDY) to share this growing time made it even better. I have loved watching Emma and Jared's relationship grow as they both became more comfortable with the other. Overhearing their conversations always makes me smile, as do all of their ridiculously stupid jokes, their "repeat after me" games, and their tickle fights. 

It has also been nice to have him home when Emma and I have had enough of each other. She gets to hang out with Da while I get to go away for a little while. If some of the attitude over the last 4 years is any indication, I would imagine Jared looks forward to long deployments during the teen years :)

More to come...

Oh, Emma and I also walked today. 

11 more days and we will have reached our goal!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Goal: Day 17 Complete

Another rainy day here. I think the weather is starting to mess with my head.

Or it could be that I need to pack up my house if we are going to get it on the market the week after Jared graduates. By myself.

Whichever the case, I was feeling VERY overwhelmed this morning. To the point that I climbed back into bed and laid there for almost an hour trying to figure out where I should start with the whole packing/house prep thing.

Thankfully before I was overwhelmed, we did manage to go for our walk. Jared went with us, and Emma and I wore our huaraches. My feet were chilly, but I love the way it feels walking "barefoot." Emma loves them too :)

Well, I am off to waste a bit of time on the internet, then I will try to get something accomplished in the house.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Goal: Day 16 Complete

We went for 2 walks today. Just because it felt like that kind of a day.

This mornings walk was shortly after getting home from dropping Jared off at school, doing groceries, getting gas, picking up books from the library, then pick Jared up after his class.

Although bright and sunny, today was really chilly. Jared went with us (and complained that the back of his head was cold), but we always love it when he joins us on our walks.

Our second walk was after dinner (which actually turned out yummy and wholesome!).

Cooking this week has been a cray hard challenge for some reason. Everything I tried came out, well, bad. Jared is a good trooper and would eat it anyway, but Emma ended up eating what we call sampler platters; pretzels, tomatoes, peanut butter, spinach, and other random things thrown on a plate. Lucky for me those are some of her favorite meals.

But tonight. Tonight I made something that EVERYONE liked and they ate it all up with lots of compliments.

Well, compliments from Jared anyway.

I have named it "Throw-it-Together Potatoes and Ground Beef"

2 Potatoes cubed
3 frozen hamburger patties (homemade patties that are a mix of ground beef and quinoa)
1/2c chopped kale/chard/spinach leaves (more if you can get away with it)
1/4c chopped bell peppers
1/4c chopped green onions
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8tsp ground red peppers

1. Add oil to cast iron skillet. Once bottom is coated in oil, toss in everything else.
2. Cover and cook until potatoes are soft, stirring often.


After such a yummy dinner, and the fact that the fun was still shinning, I wanted to go for another walk.

So we all went.

Day 16 complete x 2!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Goal: Day 15 Complete- Halfway There!

Yeah, today is the halfway point!!

And boy was today's walk a blast. It started raining as soon as we got up, then started thundering and lightening while we ate breakfast.

Once Jared was off to school, Emma and I made our shoes so we could go for our walk.

Yes, you read that right, we made our shoes this morning. Our invisible shoes. I would post a picture, but, you know, they are invisible.

Just kidding.

Here is a photo from during and after our walk (because I wasn't smart enough to take a before picture).

Invisible shoes, or Huaraches became popular due to the book "Born to Run." While I am not an expert on it, Jared and I have been doing research into foot wear and we have decided that barefoot is best, especially for growing feet. 

While I am totally fine with Emma running around the yard with no shoes, I am not really comfortable with Emma running around anywhere else with no shoes. The huaraches allow Emma's feet to move as freely as if she was barefoot, but protect her feet from any nasty stuff that may be on the side walks and at parks. The sole of the shoe is thin enough that our feet can still feel the ground, and by being able to feel the ground, we are able to automatically correct our walking/running form. 

There is a lot of great info out there about barefoot running if you are interested. (I was trying to find an article I had read a while back, but I can't find it again)

Anyway, we really had a blast on our walk. I enjoyed walking along to the song of, "PUDDLES, PUDDLES!" It was pretty cute. 

 We love our walks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Goal: Day 14 Complete

Today's walk was super late. It didn't happen until 4 p.m. But we did make it around the block.

I woke up this morning with a killer of a migraine (which hasn't happened in a while). I managed to get up and help Jared get dressed, then I crawled back into bed until almost 11.

My poor child. She was forced to watch t.v. all morning. It was rough for her.

Not really. She loves to watch t.v. and is currently obsessed with Curious George. But I still felt like a crappy mama for not at least being in the same room as her.

The good news is I think I know what caused my migraine this time. The bad news is, I don't think I can eat rice anymore which is super sad because I just made some flat bread today where rice is one of the main ingredients :(

The reason I think rice is the problem is because I had rice with lunch and dinner yesterday. I noticed the headache before dinner, but it was a very slight headache at that point. By bedtime, it was worse, but I figure a good nights sleep would fix it.

Not so much. It took about 12 hours of sleep to knock it out.

So, to test my theory, I ate some of the flat bread today after I made it. It's been about 3 hours since I ate it and I can feel a headache starting up again.

That means no rice for me for a few weeks so I can test it again.

But, I managed to get my walk in. One more day and I hit the half way point!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Goal: Day 13 Complete

Today was a beautiful day. I slept in (well, went back to bed after helping Jared get ready for school) till 9:30. You can call me lazy, but man did I need that sleep.

I managed to get all the dishes done (well, about 98% of them anyway), which hasn't happened in about a week.

I made some nori snacks, cooked up some rice, made peanut butter, started some beans soaking (for recipes and some just for eating), did a few other recipe prep steps, threw some grapes in the freezer before they could go bad, rearranged the fridge a bit, and read outside while Emma played (for over an hour!).

Oh, and we went for our walk first thing after I woke up :)

I am currently reading "The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook" by  Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre MS CN. I found their website first, and loved a lot of the information they provide. I requested the book from my local library, but they had to inter-library loan it for me, so I just got it a few days ago. This just may be another book I add to my collection. The book provides a lot of general information about different gluten free flours, gluten free whole grains, beans, and lots of different fruits and veggies.

Plus, the recipes look pretty yummy, some old favorites and lots of new dishes to try out. I am pretty excited as most of the recipes seem pretty easy.

For now, I am going to finish up on the computer then head into town to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies that I ordered from Farm To Folk, a local organization that coordinates with different local farms to provide fresh fruits, veggies, meats, breads, etc to the public. 

Fresh strawberries, here I come!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Goal: Day 11 and 12 Complete

So, yesterday apparently was kinda crazy. We all went for a walk around the block in the morning after some breakfast.

Yeah for day 11!

It was a windy, but warmish morning. A nice walk.

Then the rest of the day was kinda a blur. I drove down to Prairieland Herbs (such a wonderful place and such wonderful people) for their Sample Sunday so I could pick up some herbal tinctures to help Jared's healing process, as well as a tincture for me to help relax a bit.

Stress sucks.

I tried making pancakes for dinner last night, actually, I tried making a German Pancake. It smelled so awesome! But I managed to burn the outside while the inside was still a gummy mess.

I tried to salvage it, but I couldn't.

So I decided to try making regular (well, gluten free regular) pancakes. Found a decent recipe, whipped up the batter, and proceeded to burn the outsides while the insides stayed gummy. Turns out some other people had problems when using arrowroot starch as well.

Grr. I really wanted some stinking pancakes!

So, Jared had some left over pizza that I dug out of the back of the freezer, Emma had some apples and pretzels with pb, and I can't even remember what I had.

Apparently when I am near my wits end, I can't cook. Lucky for me I made the smoothies in the morning.

As for day 12. We almost forgot to go for our walk this morning. Emma and I remembered as we were doing groceries, so as soon as we got home, the perishable items were put away, and off on our walk we went.

It is COLD and windy today. Yuck.

But, day 12 is done, so Yeah me :) And I took a nap, so I hope that today goes a little better then yesterday. I think we might be safe for dinner as it's pizza night and we LOVE Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust Mix. It takes a bit of time to make it, but we love it so much that this is the 3rd or 4th week we have had it. I even bought 2 packages today in case we have another night like last nights pancake fiasco.

Better safe than hungry.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Goal: Day 10 Complete

Today was actually pretty nice out. It rained most of yesterday, and through the night so it was wet out, but not windy and not too cold.

The best part about our walk today was that Jared went with us!

We are 1/3 of the way to fully completing our goal and feeling good. I keep thinking, "We could walk around again" or "Maybe we should start jogging," or "I should start doing some push ups or something every day." Then I remind myself that at this point, the goal is to just walk every day. Period.

So, I am anxiously looking forward to adding some more exercise into our routine, but it can wait till day 31.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Goal: Day 9 Complete- Clavicle Update

We woke up this morning to a very WINDY, cold, and rainy day. After getting Jared ready and off to school, Emma and I stopped for some veggies at the co-op, then some ketchup and gas (at $.16 off per gallon!) from the grocery store.

To home then, and right from the car to our walk around the block (there was a break in the rain). Yeah for day 9!

So, to update everyone on Jared's clavicle. Our initial concern when Jared broke his clavicle was, obviously, his shoulder. Our second concern was what impact Jared's broken clavicle would have on commissioning.

Our worst fear was that the AF would say, "have a nice life!" What we expected was that Jared would have to wait till December to commission with the next graduating class. We figured if that was the case, it would be possible that he would end up with a different job and a different base.

So, we stressed over it, imagining all kinds of not so wanted outcomes, until he had his appointment with the Cadre yesterday.

Turns out, as soon as he is off of medical status, he has 45 days to get in shape and pass the fitness test. Once the fitness test is passed, he will be commissioned withing 30 days.

So, if all goes well, he should be commissioned sometime in June. It all hinges on how well his clavicle heals.

Hears hoping things heal quickly!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Goal: Day 8 Complete- Healing Smoothies

Stress sucks. Well, the bad kind of stress sucks.

But going for a walk around the block makes it a little better :)

We started making healing smoothies on Tuesday, after getting the ok from Jared's doctor. We use our basic green smoothie (which are not always green), but we started adding magnesium, as well as a supplement called Bone Strength. I will slowly swap out the spinach with other greens in his smoothie, as spinach can bind with calcium making it harder for the body to absorb.

Jared has cut caffeine completely out (he hasn't had any since Sunday which is pretty big for him) and he has cut down on red meat and processed foods. All three have been shown to have a negative impact (a small one) on calcium absorption or retention.

And really, we want him to heal as quickly as possible.

We also try to ice his shoulder regularly (though it's hard for him to do when he is at school). I made up two rice ice/heat packs as well as a comfrey poultice ice pack. Comfrey is an herb, also known as knitbone, that has been used throughout history to help heal bruises as well as broken bones, and many other things. There is controversy about ingesting comfrey, but we don't have plans for Jared to consume any comfrey, so no worries there.

Jared wears a "figure of eight" brace to help keep his shoulders in place, but it is uncomfortable. Seeing as he has to wear it for the next 6 weeks or so, I am trying to figure out if I can make him something a little more comfortable.

As I was searching for info on making a brace, I ran across this website with some stories from people who have broken their clavicles. Hope this helps someone else!

Time to get something done around the house!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Goal: Day 7 Complete and Lego Sculptures

Emma and I walked around the block this morning. It was pretty chilly again, but nice to be out.

We also parked at the free parking lot to walk to the library, which is about a 5-10 minute walk (depending on how many shinny things we see along the way).

Oh, and we stopped at Reiman Gardens after we dropped Da off at school (poor guy-I will write an update soon). Emma and I had only planned to be there for a few minutes- enough time to check on the mama and da geese that live in the pond there. Last time we visited, we sat by the little pond and drew the geese. The mama was sitting on a nest of eggs, so we kinda want to keep an eye on them so we can see the babies soon after they hatch.

The other big thing Emma likes to do there is climb up the hill with the rocks. I like to sit at the top and watch her :)

While we were at Reiman Gardens today, the staff was setting up their new exhibit. Lego sculptures. We say a Lego lawn mower, bumble bee, fox and rabbit (the poor rabbit was being stalked by the fox). I promised Emma we could go back in a few days to look for all of them. If you have never seen a life size Lego sculpture, you are missing out.

Anyway, thanks for reading about my daily walks and what not. I am excited to have reached 7 days and look forward to hitting the 30 day mark!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Goal: Day 6 Complete

Today's walk happened a bit later then usual. I ended up going to bed really late because just after 9pm, Emma decided she REALLY wanted to come home from Cresco. Which is 3 hours away.

So, I jumped in the car and met Gramma 1/2 way (Thanks Gramma!).

I climbed into bed a little after 1am.

But, Emma and I did go for our walk around the block (at 9:30am instead of 7:30am).

Slow and steady will win the race...

Monday, April 9, 2012

Goal: Day 5 Complete

I'm tired. 

Jared and I did not sleep so well last night. He was uncomfortable, and I (being the mother hen worrying type) woke up a dozen times to check to make sure he didn't need anything. 

Lucky for Emma, she got a good nights sleep up in Cresco with Gramma.  

I helped Jared get situated this morning, set him up with some smoothie, then I headed out for my walk. 

It felt good to go for the walk even though I was tired. It smelled nice out, the temp wasn't too cold, and there was no wind. 

I was a bit lonely, but that too was pretty nice. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

We Interrupt ...

this Easter holiday family get together to attend to this:

See that bone there, the one that looks, well, broken? Yeah, that would be Jared's clavicle. His broken clavicle. 

Hey! Did you know it only takes 8 pounds of pressure to break the clavicle? We do now. 

Jared went for a bike (the pedal kind) ride this morning. Handle bars met tree, followed by head (in a helmet) meeting tree, quickly followed by his shoulder meeting the ground. 

And not long after that, I drove him to the E.R. 

We are home now, trying to get settled. The pain seems to be  manageable, but then again, he hasn't tried to sleep yet...

Hope your Easter was a bit less eventful! 

Goal: Day 4 Complete

Still chilly here in Cresco! We almost had to go back in to bundle Emma up a bit more, but she decided she just wanted to tough it out.

Jared came with us again, which we really like (even though he complained that his ears were cold) :0)

So we have gone 4 days in a row, all around the same time. I have to say that I really am enjoying going for our walks in the morning. If Emma keeps getting up at 6 a.m. (i.e. the crack of dawn), we may start going out earlier.

Then I can accomplish 2 goals at once- Going for a walk every day and getting my butt out of bed earlier in the day.

I hope everyone has a great Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Goal: Day 3 Complete

So, we are in Cresco. I wanted to be able to keep up with my goal, so this morning we (Jared went with us) hit to road and walked to the stop sign and back. It took us about 12 minutes (4 minutes longer then our trip around the block).

So, to the stop sign and back will be our daily walk.

Last night and this morning, Emma's belly has been a bit unhappy, with her toots coming back. Laying in bed last night, Emma and I thought back to what she had eaten that day that was out of the norm for her. We realized that the only thing different was the eggs she had for lunch.

So, no eggs for a week or so then we will try them again.

Other than that, we are all excited to be at Gramma's!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Goal: Day 2 Complete

Emma and I had to bundle up this morning for our walk as it was CHILLY out! But, we went for our walk :0)

We chatted about green smoothies. I started reading a book last night called, "The Green Smoothies Diet" by Robyn Openshaw. So, I explained to Emma some of what I learned about 'live enzymes.'


I learned that our bodies have a limited number of enzymes available to help us for digestion. Fresh fruits and veggies are full of live enzymes, which when consumed, help us digest the other foods we eat (processed foods, meat, etc.) with minimal help from the enzymes currently in the body.

So, I explained to Emma that we would start splitting our smoothies up. Instead of drinking all of them first thing in the morning, we would have some with breakfast, some with lunch, and some with dinner.

The book also suggests that adults consume 1 quart (4 cups) of smoothies a day, kids 1 pint (2 cups).  Turns out that is what Emma, Jared, and I are currently consuming. Go us!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Have a Goal

I am kinda tired of being out of shape, though I really lack the motivation and desire to figure out what types of exercises make me happy.

Until I figure out what exercise strikes my fancy, I have decided to follow the recommendations on ZenHabits, specifically step 1, which basically says to start small and do it everyday for thirty days. Stick with the simple until it becomes habit and slowly increase either duration or intensity (not both) a little at a time.

Oh, another key to success is to document each and every days activities. Preferably to many people who can help you stay on track, encourage, and motivate me when I am having a hard time.

So, my goal is to walk around the block. Every. Single. Day. Oh, and I plan to make Emma walk with me. Mean Mama.

Considering the trip around the block only takes 8 minutes, I don't think I will be turned into CPS, though she may feel like I am torturing her.

Today was Day 1.

Walk around the block completed. Jared even documented it.

Thanks Jared :)