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Posts tagged ‘pictures’


I finally got some pictures downloaded from the new camera we were loaned by a friend after ours was stolen. Here are some random photos, and some that go with previous posts.

Recently, we had raw mock salmon, raw crackers, and a tossed salad for Sabbath lunch. It was more filling than it looks (we ate a lot more crackers and salmon than it shows on the plate). It was delicious.

Gluten-free bread is usually tasteless. Well, not the Gluten-free Goddess’s Delicious Gluten-free Bread. Not only is it delicious, but it turned out well even though I used chia seeds instead of eggs. Here is the result:

Recently we bought a new dresser and matching nightstands. Here they are:

And the leather couch mentioned in the same post:

Some pictures of Gislaine and Emmanuel from our recent visit to a campground with our church:

Isn’t this one precious?

Here are more photos of the kids from other days:

Gislaine by the tomatoes in the garden

Manny in the crib set up for the baby

And what post full of pictures would be complete without pictures of little Rafael? Here are a bunch:

I love these new cloth diapers I bought on Zulily. They are a one-size fits all pocket diaper, though right now I’m using them as wrap covers for prefolds, which I have a lot of. Zulily has great deals on new stuff–I got these diapers 50% off. If you sign up with my link, I’ll get $20 if you ever decide to order something from them.

Give me a hug!

I like to hold Mommy's finger.

No more pictures! Just get me dressed already!

That’s all for now. I’ll try to post more later.

Lately I have been on a bit of a health kick. A couple of my friends on Facebook have inspired me. :) Also, I figure I can’t eat too healthy with a baby growing inside of me, so why not? And since juicing is one of the easiest ways to get good nutrition, and since we have a juicer, I’m juicing.

After the morning sickness went away, I suddenly couldn’t eat as much as I had been. If I ate anything solid in the evenings–even a smoothie–I would crawl into bed with a heavy feeling in my stomach and sometimes even a sensation a little like heartburn.

I quickly realized that my body just couldn’t handle food in the evening. At least, not as late as I was eating–and since we were not eating breakfast early, there was no way to get a third meal early enough.

Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. I maintain my weight much better on two meals than on three. However, I am pregnant, and I don’t want to deprive the baby of calories or nutrition. Granted, the baby is only about 5 inches long right now and doesn’t need a whole lot of calories right now, but I want to make sure I am giving it all the best nutrition possible.

I recently bought a jar of wheat grass from Whole Foods, and sometimes I would mix that in with a glass of juice, but I don’t want to buy juice all the time, since those juices aren’t really all that good for you. Not that 100% juice is bad, but I like variety, too.

Then I thought of juicing. I bought a 5 lb bag of organic carrots at Whole Foods and juiced them. This I could mix with the wheat grass, and it was very satisfying. I also started mixing in Melaleuca’s fiber with this juice (adding extra water), and I found this very tasty and good for my digestion, too.

Sometimes I juice other things with the carrots. Last night I juiced carrots, kale, and apples, all organic. And I took pictures. My kids were helping me.

Organic Carrots, Red Kale, and Apples

I had made kale chips with half a bunch of red kale, so I used the rest for this batch of juice, I had almost 5 pounds of carrots, because I had used 3 or 4 in recipes during the week. And the 3 apples that had been on sale the last time I went to Whole Foods.

So I washed them and started juicing. As soon as he saw the juicer, Manny wanted to come watch. He likes to nibble  the carrot fiber as it comes out of the juicer.

He was trying to help, but the carrots were too hard for him to push down. He put some of them in, though.

After juicing most of the carrots and all the kale, I started on the apples. Since apples are much softer than carrots, he was able to do it all by himself.

When it was all done, I let Manny and Gislaine have a little bit of the apple juice (it had 2 or 3 carrots in it, since juicing a carrot with the slender end up last leaves less unjuiced food than a chunk of apple), and then I mixed the juices together. I added the extra water and fiber to mine, left one for my husband, and froze the rest. Here is the result (before adding fiber to mine):

So now when I feel a little bit of hunger in the evening, I mix up a liquid drink. Since my husband drank one, there are a total of 4 servings per week for me. I mixed fiber with one, and drank it down. I stored the extra ones in the freezer. I get one out the night before I want to drink it. On days that I don’t drink one of these juices, I will add a bit of whatever reconstituted frozen juice I have in the fridge (right now I think it’s apple raspberry) to my fiber drink and throw in some wheat grass. With the kale in this, I don’t think I really need the wheat grass with my organic juice.

So that’s what I do for supper most nights. It digests very quickly, so there is nothing to make my stomach upset when I crawl into bed, and tastes delicious. Granted, there are some evenings when lunch was light and I’m hungry early; then I’ll eat a little something. And I’m sure in the last trimester I will be very hungry and will need more calories than I do now. But for now, I’m content that I am giving my baby the best nutrition I can while still listening to my body.

This post is participating in the Modest Monday link-up on The Modest Mom blog.

Getting Fit

A few weeks ago I told you that I was going to get P90X and do it. I may not have mentioned it since then, but I have certainly been thinking about it, almost every day, in fact. I’ve also been working hard to get ready for it. Every week I have increased my average workout time by 10-15 minutes, so that this week I am doing 50-60 minute workouts.

There has not been a day in the last 2 1/2 weeks that I have not been sore somewhere. Near the beginning of the month, I got so sore from a half-hour cardio workout that I could barely walk up and down the stairs at church two days later! I haven’t been that sore anywhere since. However, I have been mildly sore in various places–legs, abs, arms, shoulders… the soreness just moves, never leaves. :) And I’m sure it’s only going to get worse starting next Sunday! LOL!

I’ve been watching some of the P90X videos to get an idea of what they will be doing, and I have learned some things from them and also from the videos I have been using on I noticed that the trainers would do circuits. They would pick 3 or more sets of exercises, and do either so many reps or so many seconds (30, 45, 60, etc) depending on the exercise, and whether it were strength training or aerobic. Well, I decided to apply that to my strength training at the gym.

Something else I learned was about working to failure, meaning you lift a weight heavy enough that at either 8-10 reps or 12-15 (depending on whether you want to build bulk or lean muscle respectively), you cannot life it one more time. Then you rest that muscle by doing other exercises, then come back and do it again.

This is the machine I was using.

So I took those two things to the gym last week. The first exercise I did was the machine bench press . I picked that and two other machines and did 1 set on each machine 3 times. Then I picked 3 more machines and did the same thing, for a total of 9 machines last Thursday. I was able to benchpress only 22 pounds with that machine.

Now, not only is 22 pounds a very small amount, but considering that when I started in late May, almost exactly 4 months ago, I started out at barely being able to do the 20-pound minimum, that’s really bad. I mean, gaining only 2 pounds in 4 months… But all summer whenever I would use that machine, I would do as many reps as I could, then rest for a minute, then do as many as I could again (usually about 12-14).

Tonight I went again. I started out at 22 pounds, but it was too easy. I got all the way to 15. So on the second round, I put it up to 24. That was still too easy, so I put it up to 26. I should have put it up to 28, because I still got up to 15 reps! So that’s a 4-6 pound gain in just 5 days! I worked the muscle to the max, let it rest, then did it again, and sure enough, I improved!

I also improved how much I could do with the bicep curl machine by a couple of pounds, so I was very happy. :)

That’s what P90X seems to be about. Only much more intense!

I can’t wait to get started. I’ll keep you all posted, probably with video posts. And I’ll post my modest before and after pictures (no guys except my husband will ever get to see the immodest ones I took yesterday) once I get them taken. And I’ll try to talk about other things on this blog other than just exercise. It’s just on my mind right now. Including my recipe for a homemade recovery drink. I need to actually make it first, though, and see how it turns out, before I post the recipe!

So are you planning a workout to get ready for the holidays? Why not share it?

Well, about a week ago I decided to make rye sourdough. I found a very simple sourdough starter recipe, and after about a dozen exchanges of emails with the author of that site, I came up with a starter that I had to refrigerate last Thursday because Manny had a doctor’s appointment Friday morning and I knew I wouldn’t have time to work on it.

Without going into all the details of exactly what I did (just read the instructions in the link above if you want to know), I mixed up more flour and water and a little salt with a portion of the starter that I had revived by doubling it, kneeded a bit (which was hard, because it was a VERY stiff dough), then divided it into roughly half. You see, I wanted to compare how it would look and turn out in a round loaf verses a bread pan. Half went into the bread pan and half onto a cookie sheet (I would have used a clay stone or pizza stone if I’d had one).

About 3 hours later it had risen a little, but it was almost 9:00 pm, so I gave up and baked it for half an hour. Knife inserted in the middle came out clean, so I knew it was done inside. The round loaf came off the sheet right away, but the one in the greased glass bread pan didn’t want to come out right away. I had to let it sit a few minutes before it would release without sticking too much (in spite of all the oil I smeared the pan with before putting in the dough).

Oh, you want to see pictures? But of course! This first one shows a bird’s-eye view of the two loaves, plus a portion of the 100% rye bread I made a few days ago (yeast-risen–this recipe). The pan I used to bake both that and the sourdough to the right is on the far right.

Top View - Middle loaf is not sourdough

This picture shows the sides of the three loaves, with the bread pan in the back for size comparison. The funny edges on the top of the middle one are because it overflowed the pan and I had to break those pieces off, so it looks a little funny. It was a 4-cup loaf of bread, but surprisingly rose well–melting butter soaks through because it is so light, comparatively. I’m not exactly sure how much flour went into the other two loaves in cups–it was somewhere around 700 grams, if that means anything.

Side Views - Sorry, but I ate them before I got the camera!

Now, for crumb views. Sorry the flash makes it so bright, but I don’t have optimal lighting nor a fancy camera, and I was too much in a hurry to dig up the tripod. Click on pictures to enlarge.

As you can see, the first two, the sourdoughs, didn’t rise much, but they did rise some. The last one was yeast risen and really rises a lot. It has a very wet dough, too wet to kneed, but very stiff to stir (which is what you are supposed to do with it anyway). I should try baking it in my bread machine pan sometime, just to see how much it will actually rise (because it likes to overflow the glass bread pan, which is much shorter). I couldn’t possibly kneed it in the bread machine, though!

Yes, I didn’t get pictures of the loaves before cutting. Why? I was hungry. I had baked it the night before and taken it out too late to eat any. So as soon as breakfast rolled around, I ate several slices. Yummy! It has a nice sour taste that reminds me of the kefir bread I made over 2 years ago. It’s even better toasted. It’s been a long time in coming, but now that I have a working starter, I can keep working with it, so I can make all the sourdough I want. Yay! Whole grain and wheat free.

Now if I can just get it to rise a bit more… But if not, I can use the yeast rye bread for sandwiches and this for, well, all other bread cravings. Wonder if it would go over well at potluck once I perfect the recipe… which means getting a better scale that weighs in at least 5 gram increments and is more accurate than the one I have (which could be off by as much as 20 grams or more).

Yeah, making bread by weight is a whole new level of breadmaking. But I like it. It means I don’t have to worry about having or doubling a recipe–because weights are accurate–if the scale is.

Okay, enough. Go make a starter. Or come visit and I’ll share a slice with you. If there is any left!

Here are a few pictures from the past month or so.

I was doing something upstairs one day and heard someone down below calling me to “Look, Mommy!” I just had to run get my camera!

Sometimes after Manny wakes up, I take him to Daddy. This day, they both went back to sleep. Sooooo precious!

One Sabbath afternoon in our since-mown lawn:

Gislaine with her best friend, Megan. They are likely to be found in this pose many random times throughout the day:

I have never heard these words from my kids. Yet. My son, of course, is too young. I would like to think that “Mama” and “Dadoo” mean what I think they mean, but so far the only thing I am sure he says and means is “Uh uh.” Oh, and let’s not forget “Uh oh.” Still, that’s not much!

My 3 1/2 year old daughter has never heard the phrase, but that doesn’t stop her from coming up with a substitute. “Mommy, I want to do someping.”

I am not one of those creative moms that comes up with 101 ideas to keep kids happy and busy, but I have a few standbys for situations like this.

One is coloring. This is almost always a hit. Especially when I print out a picture to match her Bible lesson for the week. This will be harder to do when we don’t have Internet at home. Usually I just google the topic of the story (such as Jesus healing Jairus’ daughter) and add the word “coloring” and up pops a list of pictures.

Another thing she loves to do is string beads. I have a set of pink beads with big (maybe 3/16″) holes in them that she can string onto one of those stretchy strings for making kids jewelry.  She never actually completes it. We just unstring the beads and put them back for later. But it can keep her busy for a while. After we move, I’m going to buy different colors for her.

Nanna gave her a package of multi-colored pipe cleaners, and she loves to sit and make things. She put two of them together and told me it was an ant and that it smelled. They can keep her occupied and out of trouble for extended periods of time.

And yes, many times I send her outside to play where I can watch her. Being out in nature is so soothing, lets her burn off energy without stressing Mommy, or waking up baby brother, and it’s fun.

Many times, I get her involved in what I’m doing. She is pretty good at rinsing dishes, grinding cereal, or setting the table. She helps me pick up the rugs and wash the mirrors and windows. As I type this, she’s sitting in the big laundry basket, folding cloth diapers right beside me and loving it.

So Gislaine will learn what being bored means soon enough. But let’s hope that by then, she won’t have a need to use it!

Well, it looks like we are not moving over Memorial day weekend. This might be a good thing, in some respects. There will probably be more people available to help us load and unload that way.

Our original (actually, second) closing date was May 10. If we had closed a few days later, as planned, we would have had all of last week and this week to fix up the place and move in by the end of the month. But thanks to problems with the money transfers from the USDA (we got a USDA loan) to the escrow company, we didn’t close until the 20th. That means we had 1 week to get everything done.

At first we thought, No big deal. The only things we need to worry about are painting and installing the laminate floor. Should be able to do all that in a week.

Or not. My husband hasn’t even started painting yet. He’s been plastering up the laundry room to make it look nicer and fix a leak or two in the foundation, running between Home Depot and the house, sorting out issues with the paint (they couldn’t find the tags indicating which paint was which color, and then they brought him the wrong order and couldn’t figure out what to do with the buckets of silver paint!).

We decided last night to get someone else to do the painting. The living room has a vaulted ceiling, and the darkest brown trim you ever saw. And by trim, I don’t just mean around windows and door frames. I mean there, plus wherever walls and ceilings meet, plus this (I think it is) 8″x12″ beam that runs the width of the living room… not to mention that the stairs and wood stove are NOT to be painted… nor the fan hanging down in the middle of the ceiling… We want the walls to be a very pale pink (that will look white unless next to real white), and the trim and ceilings to be white. So we are just going to fork out the money for someone else to do the painting, and my husband is going to go back to work for the rest of the week, starting this afternoon. And then he’ll go back to work on it Sunday.

But that’s not the half. The kitchen cook top is broken. It might work if I turned the nobs with a wrench and lighted it with matches (it’s gas). But we need to replace it. We went back and forth between just replacing the cooktop and putting in a whole stove/oven unit. The wall oven that it has is too small to fit my large cookie sheet (which I use every week to make oven fries), so I need a larger oven. We finally figured out that the oven that is there is smaller than the space will allow for; we have room for a 27″ oven (instead of the 24″ one that’s there now), so we’re going to get an electric oven to put in its place–but probably not until after we move. The two pieces separately will cost almost as much as a new all-in-one unit, but the installation will be much cheaper (since we won’t have to remodel the island to accommodate it!). And I think it will be nice having the oven up higher, out of reach of little hands.

So… here are a few pictures for you to see, to get an idea of how it looks now. I’ll post “after” pictures later.

Here’s part of the yard from the deck:

Some trees by the driveway:

The deck has some issues; also notice the horizontal slats:

But it has one nice feature–we don’t know yet if it works or not:

This is about half of the kitchen. The fridge and freezer and more cabinets are (or will be) to the right. Dining room is beyond that on the right. You can’t see it, but the floor is all wood:

Here is the cooktop. It doesn’t work. From here you can see the stairs to the living room (detailed below), the stairs down to the basement, and the hallway leading to the sewing room and front door:

Here are the steps from the kitchen into the living room. They appear to be made of fir; quite worn, aren’t they:

Here is the old wood stove. It’s not up to code, so we have to get a new one. That’s okay. The new one will have a glass door, which is so nice:

Above, there was a leak:

You can’t see it (my husband didn’t get a picture of it), but to the right of the wood stove is a cute little bay window. I’m going to make cushions for it similar to this one, and then finish it off with a couple of pillows. It will make a nice reading nook.

The living room has vaulted ceilings. Not sure why my husband didn’t get a picture of that very dark brown 8″x12″ beam beam that runs the width directly under the peak:

With the stove behind, here’s a view of the stairs and back door, which leads to the woodshed and parking area. The steps are bright because there is a skylight at the top of the stairs:

Upstairs the first room is the kids’ room. It’s made in two parts, with a skylight in the first section, then double doors, and another section with the closet and a window. They will probably sleep in the second section, and the first section will be for their toys and other things. Someone was painting in here, and they just set the paint cans down on the carpet. I don’t know if you can see the rings of dark olive green paint they left behind or not:

Here’s the wall they were painting. It’s just too dark. You can see the hallway and the living room ceiling out the door:

Here’s the tub in the kids’ bathroom. I think whoever left this house (it was foreclosed) hadn’t cleaned it for a few months. You can’t see the rest of the bathroom, but it’s a lovely rose pink, and the tub door has swans on it, I think. The counter is pink and white tile. This is one room that isn’t going to change, except for getting cleaned:

Here’s part of the master bedroom. It has 2 windows. The trim around them is pretty, I think, but my husband thinks it’s hideous. It’s a dark magenta. We’re going to change it to a nice olive green to match our bedspread:

Here is a wall that juts out into the master bedroom about 8 or 10 inches. I think it’s pretty; my husband doesn’t. We’re going to just paint it white. The little door is a laundry chute, and below to the left is a heater with the cover off:

Here’s the master bedroom walk-in closet:

There is a master bathroom, but I’m not including a picture. It’s not so bad, just white and black tile, similar to the kitchen counter. We’ll change it at some point, but not right now.

My husband didn’t take any pictures of the office. We’re not going to do anything with it before we move in, so I’ll take pictures later.

Downstairs, we have another bedroom. Whoever did the texturing on the walls was… well… I don’t know. There is no rhyme nor reason to it. It’s deep, painted over with glossy paint, and it’s absolutely hideous! We’re probably going to just get thin (1/4″) sheet rock and cover it, then paint over that. Sanding it down just didn’t work:

Here’s the laundry room, from in front of where the washer and dryer will be. It’s large. I’m going to put a table with fold-up legs along the right wall, beside the washer, and definitely make use of the rack and shelves to the left! I may someday install a fold-down ironing board in here:

Here’s the wall to the right of the picture above. My husband has plastered some of it with cement. The washer and dryer will go on the right:

Here is the water heater and holding tank. We are going to replace this water heater with a new one. Can you see where the laundry chute comes out?

That’s all for now, folks! Hope you enjoyed the tour. Check back frequently to see updates as things get fixed. Or just subscribe so you won’t miss anything!

Just a note on the subscription contest. Subscriptions have been rising, and we are nearing our first goal of 25, which means I just may be able to pick a winner. But we still have fewer entries than we have subscriptions, and there is no excuse for that, since multiple entries are allowed. Even though we aren’t moving until the 6th, the contest still ends the 31st, and I will be mailing out the prizes to the winner(s) before we move! There will be 1 winner for ever 25 subscribers, with no upper limit! So copy that link, share it all over the internet. See how many entries you can make!