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Flexibility with Food

IMG_4047 This weekend we had the lively, lovely, smiley Ellazora stay with us for 4 sleepovers. She has been babysitting for us one day per week, afterschool, for months, and our children LOVE her.

I feel she could not have slid into our family life and routines any easier… she truly is a delight to have around.

A great board game player (who knows when to quit!), an engaging reader (a book she brought was sure a hit!), amused by little puppet shows, able to tell and laugh at silly jokes, naturally follows their lead and hey… did I mention she spent a good chunk of time crafting a paper “phone” complete with its own “wallet” for my son who had big tears over wanting his play phone. “we can just do this…” she says as she gathers paper, duct tape, scissors…

Oh, AND she makes her bed, goes to sleep, and gets all ready for school peacefully and silently. Amazing! IMG_4059

I could go on… but I will share just 1 thing I so loved about Ellazora this weekend = her easy way with food.

She ate ABSOLUTELY everything that was put in front of her – gratefully, eagerly, and often with excitement! Eggs on toast, sushi, soup, oatmeal, all dressed pizza (yam, onion, chickpeas, greens,…), waffles with fruit, home fries, rice…

She asked for what she needed, but mostly she just went with our flow.

Before she came I asked her and also her mom about any food preferences… they both had nothing to report… how true!

What’s the best part of all this? She says at home she and her mom follow quite an intensive “GAPS” diet.

But, she says happily, “when I’m with friends I just eat whatever they do”.

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Sushi Sundays

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Well, sushi Sunday has been added to the list of regular meals, along with Pizza Pie Day Saturday! All our kids luv sushi, and Kurt has loved making it! Bonus = little d will take the leftovers for her Monday lunch. That meal is IN!

As I ponder the “winter” on the Coast, I am amazed how well we are taken care of.

Take this week’s example – I had 6 kids booked Thurs, 6 booked on Friday, and only 4 booked for Saturday. We had hoped to have a party for Kurt Saturday night (so I didn’t book my last Sat client so I’d be off at 3 instead of 4:30)… but then:

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Yup, the chicken pox. You can see the coloring pages given with love from Grandma down the lane. Beautiful.

And then…

3 clients cancelled Friday. 1 client cancelled Saturday.

I love overbooked days, that allow freedom for people to cancel when need be… and often when I need it too! I got to have a relaxing waffle breakfast and go for a nice walk around the block with my sweet sickie.

Instead of snow forts, we played with boats floating down the ditches and watched the water fall out of drain spouts. No snow here!

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One happy boy

Here we are reading books on the eve before his first day of preschool:

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And, then, ready for his day! He’s been looking forward to this day all week. He’s off to join the “train” of kids (he is with yellow slicker complete with hood and red mitts). No looking back to momma for this boy…

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Well I can’t share much tonight as its 11:23pm, my usual wind up time these days… but it did bring a tear to my eye to watch my baby go off happily with his new teachers.

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I pray this incredible space brings you light and love.

And I will always, always, always look forward to that smiling face RUNNING to my arms, and our afternoon ride home and lunch.

p.s. It wasn’t a food day. I was so blessed to receive some soup from a lovely neighbor which was GREAT timing for this working momma!

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New things afoot…

My best friend growing up, and her family, always always always went skiing on New Years Day.

Today, we put all things aside, pulled ourselves together and rode as a family, the 189km to Mt. Washington. The first time we’ve been there since moving here 20 months ago. Here is the lodge, which apparently was not built when I was last here in 1989:

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This outing turns out to be a great way to introduce my new blogging theme… how to feed a family wholesome food on a budget! I packed up food for our family of 5 last night, at 10pm, using what remained from our last shop which was… boxing day. 6 days ago. Our family of 5 needed food to last for 12 hours. What to do?

Our family’s budget really does not include buying food “out”. Feeding 5 on $11 sandwiches is really kind of a lot of spending… and there are various other reasons we don’t look for food “along the way” too much (namely, our kids often won’t eat it!!). So… every outing is another adventure in food preparation and packing.

I am sure I am not alone in being daunted by this endeavor at times? Crazily enough, at times, it almost makes me give up experiences like this:

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Today, our food bag was quite solid. Started off with 2 cups each of baby carrots and snap peas, 5 kiwis and 4 pears, an avocado (all from COSTCO)… a big tub of our homemade granola, raisins, a jar of fresh farm milk (plus bowls and spoons!). Oh, and not to mention the 4 individual packs of yogurt (a divine treat for our kids!)… almost as good as snow!

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Ah, I added trail mixes (from Rancho Vignola nuts and seeds and dried fruit), chickpea crackers (COSTCO), rice crackers, rice cakes… but those are kind of just “fillers” for our energy-burning kids…

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So then there was the grilled cheese sandwiches (optional mustard, thinly sliced onion) which I cooked this morning at 6:30am… plus 2 large salads filled with kale, lemon arugula, organic spinach, feta, pomegranate… and my favorite dressing “The Herbalizer” (recipe below). This dressing made the last of the snow peas palatable to little d on the last leg of our car ride today… and makes various other leftovers palatable on a regular basis in our home!

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I nearly forgot the last picnic item… a container of homemade oatmeal raisin cookies which I mixed up after 11pm and baked before 7am… at my husband’s dire request.

hmmmmm…. am I a little food nuts? Yes, I think it is time I shared this gift with you all again. The food train is back!

The Herbalizer: 1/4c apple cider vinegar, 1/4c avocado oil, 4 Tbsp nutritional yeast, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tsp basil, 2Tbsp (or less) maple syrup or honey. Salt if you like. Shake in a jar. Yummmmmmmmm on soooo many things! Plain rice, dip for veggies, on salads, on eggs… you name it.