Saturday, November 26, 2011

Green Tree!


Green….fresh, environmentally friendly!  The National Forest Service here in CO sells tree cutting permits every year to help thin out the forest for healthy forest growth and regrowth.  Here are some links if you are here in CO to obtain a permit  Pikes Peak National Forest - Woodland Park Area Permit Info or Front Range.  If you are out of state, check with your local Nation Forest!

Each year, we head up to the mountains to cut down our fresh Christmas tree.  This has been a family tradition since the 1st year we moved to CO.  It is a day we cherish!  We always stop by to take a pic with Smokey as we enter into the National Forest cutting area.  And then off we go……




Until we find the perfect one



Time to work! Sawing…





We did it!


Back to the car


Now that the serious work is complete…..


Always have to go bouldering





Precious memories!



We hope to share this tradition with others! 

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Crafts!

With each schooling week beginning with a nature walk/study we thought we would go natural with our crafts. (I found this cute idea here Giving Thanks Centerpiece.)

A “Giving Thanks” Centerpiece


Their favorite part (other than collecting the sticks) was painting the sticks different colors.


After letting the paint dry, we cut out our circles and wrote letters.  They also loved filling the mason jars with split peas.  All in all, an easy frugal craft!

Our Thankful Tree

A vase filled with popcorn kernels and twigs decorated with colorful paper tags. 

We sat around the table as a family and talked about what we are thankful for.




Here are links to our previous crafts…..

  CIMG4718 CIMG4625

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread (Bread Machine)


Mmmmmm…..the smell of fresh bread! I usually time my weekly loaf of bread to come out at lunch time.  There is nothing better than a PB&J on this warm bread =) with a glass of milk. 

I have experimented with so many recipes for a whole wheat sandwich bread that would come out just right.  Now, just right for each of us is different but this one is pretty close for us.  I have not changed up this recipe for a while now. So, I guess we are pretty happy with it.  We use this bread for toast, sandwiches (mostly grilled), French toast…..pretty much anything. 

Here is the recipe with a disclaimer Winking smile  I use this recipe at above 6,000 feet so you may need to adjust water and/or yeast.

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread


  • 4 cups  Whole Wheat Bread Flour (a hard red wheat is best for bread)
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 2 Tbls Ground Flax (optional)
  • 2 cups Warm Water
  • 2 tsps. Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Honey (raw, unfiltered & local is best)
  • 2 tsps. Fine Sea Salt
  • 3 Tbls Olive Oil


  1. Warm water and add yeast and honey in a glass cup or bowl and let sit for 3-5 min until frothy.
  2. In bread pan, add Sea Salt and Olive Oil
  3. Next, add water, yeast and honey mixture into bread pan.
  4. Add WW Flour, Oats and Flax if using
  5. Close bread machine and set for (depending on your bread machine options) 2 lb. loaf, Whole Wheat with light crust.

That’s it! Please do share any yummy, successful bread recipes your family enjoys.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crew’s Piano Recital….”Mom, what is that feeling in my belly?”


“Mom, what is that feeling in my belly?”  Butterflies?!  It is so fun to watch our kiddos grow and learn everyday.  Today we got to talk about that feeling in your belly….nerves!  I never realized that little ones don’t really know what that feeling is.  It’s totally normal Crew.


He was awesome!  Although, when he sees this video he notices all his mistakes.  “Mom, I couldn’t get started, I missed a chord,….”  Me “Crew your 6 years old and you are amazing!”

He has been taking lessons for approx. 6 months (collectively).  We had to take a break after his first piano teacher moved away until we found a new one.  We love Ms. Rebekah and are so thankful and blessed to have her in our lives!

This is his first time playing on a Baby Grand piano and he said “It feels so heavy!”  We only have a keyboard at home but something tells me that will change Winking smile.

“The Bubble” Faber & “Here I am to Worship”

We love you Crew!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

This Week’s Menu

image photo : Chocolate frame



Monday – Mexican Lasagna  This is our favorite recipe!

Tuesday – Whole Wheat Homemade Veggie Pizza

Wednesday – Crustless Quiche

Thursday – Dinner @ Church

Friday -  Lentil Soup w/fresh bread

Hmmm….guess this is a vegetarian week.  It is just what sounded good.


Cobb Salad

Spring Rolls (Rice paper wraps w/marinated chicken, basil, avocado, cucumber & carrots)

Leftovers Winking smile



Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Rosemary Crackers (This will be our 1st attempt at this recipe.  I will use WW flour & olive oil for these.)

Do you have any healthy recipes to share?  Please do!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels


Soft Pretzel Recipe (or Garlic Knots)


  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • White Whole Wheat Flour (I use King Arthurs)
  • Yeast
  • Honey
  • Salt (Sea salt is best Winking smile)
  • Baking Soda


  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • Dried Basil


First….Combine and let sit for 10 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread flour
  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthurs)
  1. You can….mix thoroughly and knead for 5 minutes. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes OR stick it in your bread machine on the dough cycle. Yes, I always opt for the easy way out!
  2. After rising, roll pieces into ropes and shape into pretzels or just tie in a knot. 
  3. Dip pretzels or knots in a baking soda water solution of 2 cups warm water and 2 tablespoons baking soda. 
  4. Place on cookie sheet and let rise again for 1 hour. 
  5. I then melted some butter, minced some garlic and added some dry basil in a small bowl and brushed it on .
  6. Bake in oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or less (until pretzels begin to turn brown and are cooked through).

Serve with hummus, mustard or just have them plain.  Crew & Goose are begging for more!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Start them young!


How we spend our free time!


Crew & Goose wrap up the season with a duathlon!  Goose’s 1st official race since they allowed 4 year olds =).  Okay, the day was really for Dad but they got in on the fun too.  Mike’s last triathlon for the season turned into a duathlon due to weather.  Water temps are tooooo cold!





What a beautiful place we live in!!CIMG0672

Way to end the season!  I am so very proud of all Mike’s dedication and hard work.  You are awesome Honey!CIMG0673

Ready to race!



Run….she is signing “I love you!”  Seriously the sweetest girl ever!CIMG0682


So, Crew was too fast for me to keep up and take pictures!  He finished 5th and Goose finished 7th overall 2nd for the girls.  CIMG0684

So proud and blessed to love, nurture and teach these two little amazing people!