Where you go, I will go; where you live, I will live. Your people will be my people for your God is my God.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Strawberries and Cream

{Our the-babe's-in-bed-and-the-kitchen's-clean snack this evening.  I say "our" not because Rafa is home from work yet, but because I eat for two again. A fun job!}

Tomato Sauce

  I think we have finally come across "our" tomato sauce.  Every family who cans a bit, eventually discovers the perfect combination of seasonings and add-ins to fit their family.  Whenever we first married, I followed the recipe for my Dad's marinara sauce as best I could, making some changes along the way.  One of those changes was to add in a good dosh of chipotle chilies.  It tasted great, and even extended family would rave and request my spaghetti, drowned in that sauce.
  Then came Job.  Little ones always have a way of changing life in the most beautiful of ways.  One being that our "go to" pasta sauce could not contain a great amount of chilies.  A couple months ago, I came upon, this recipe and tried it out. And we liked it.  It is full of flavor and unseen veggies.   I'm a fan of teaching kids to eat real whole fruits and vegetables, but its always nice to get some hidden ones in there too  The veggies also add in more flavor, making up for the lack of spiciness. This sauce is also chunky.  A nice feature.  One other nice quality, is that it doesn't require pealing the tomatoes.  Or taking out the seeds.  More vitamins, less time, and more bang for our peso.  Wins all the way around in my book!  
  Job will eat this sauce straight off of the spoon, but loves some pasta smothered in this sauce even more.   Rafa always asks for seconds.  And I love that, for our small family, we can get at least two side dishes or a main dish {think lasagna} eaten twice, out of each pint.  That means the six jars I canned today {a seemingly insignificant amount} will be good for at least a dozen different meals.  And my favorite feature?  This sauce, because of the veggies, has an orange tint to it.  So pretty.  What's not to love about that?

So, what's your favorite way to use tomato sauce?!


Sweet, sweet, boy.

{And I'm pretty partial to his shirt too!} 

Morning Nap

Mandatory for all who happen to be at home at the time.
After first breakfast and before the second one, we do dishes, make beds, send Rafa off to work with lots of kisses, take out trash, tend the animals and garden, begin lunch, or whatever else needs to be done.
Then about 1.5-2 hours after he first woke up, J is ready for his morning nap.  Once he is down, I pull out something to read, but am usually asleep myself within 15 minutes.
Then a nice long while later {2-3 hours} J begins to stir and thus our day resumes.
I'm not sure just how much longer I will be spoiled so nicely.  Without a doubt, however, I am grateful for any day that includes such a lovely morning nap.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Front Patio

Our front patio is enclosed.  We have a front gate that can open up to allow a car to be parked inside.  It has a normal sized door in it so you can just walk on in {with a key} without having to open up the big double gate. The area between the front gate and the front door is where our Doberman, Rojo, patrols faithfully.  
Once in the front gate, if you look to the left, there is a fence Rafa and I built about a year ago.  At that time half of it was divided off as the chicken yard and the other half left for a little garden area.  Now once you pass into the fenced in area, this is what you see....
In the foreground is a fire ring Rafa is working on.  We hope to have it done within the next couple of days in order to be roasting hot dogs Sunday afternoon. Along the back wall are my buckets of roses.
Turning to the right {towards the house}  you see where my old garden area was.  It has been made a bit smaller.  It is almost always shady here, so this bed will be for the cooler vegetables, like greens and lettuce.
 To the left of the fire pit is our new raised bed waiting for something to be planted in it.   This is where the chicken yard was before, so lets say it is well fertilized.  I hope to grow sunflowers along the wall and other things like squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a variety of beans in this bed.

 Seasons are fickle here and do not follow a "normal" four-season year.  We also live high in elevation, so its chilly, but close to the equator so there is a good bit of sun.  Sun but not hot?   I'm still trying to figure it all out.  The fact that my thumb is anything but green, doesn't help matters either.  I have dreams of an abundant garden.  One day.  One day.
 The best part of the new set-up?  There is room to move around.  Sit.  Be together as a family.  Have a picnic lunch.  A place for children to sit in the dirt and pull at lettuce leaves.  To work on your standing up skills by pulling yourself up to peep through the fence at Rojo.
And maybe, one day soon, it will be a good place to learn that one foot goes in front of the other and you are walking!   But that's just a maybe.  Until then, we'll enjoy the sunny, but not hot, patio.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Second Breakfast or Elevensies?

My growing boy always has a bowl of oatmeal about seven.  I hear him begin to stir, slip my groggy self out of bed,  fill a pot with water and some oatmeal, turn it down low, and go get some morning cuddle time with my sweet boy before the day actually begins.  Within a few minutes, the oatmeal is cooked, covered with milk to cool it down, and the boy is eating viciously.

Our main meal of the day is served between three and four in the afternoon, whenever Rafa comes home on his lunch break.   Just a snack between breakfast at seven and dinner at three doesn't cut it for the growing toddler or his pregnant mother.

Enter Second Breakfast.  Or Elevensies.  Whatever hobbit term you decide upon works.  Its the second meal of the day and normally takes place about 11 o'clock.

Its a favorite time around here.  Cause its slow.  Our morning tidings and animal care are finished, dinner begun, and our morning nap has recently ended too.  Sometimes the affair is a simple green smoothie or other times we get fancy and make pumpkin pancakes.

We sit down together, taking the time for a couple rounds of peek-a-boo and converse about just about anything....well as much as you can with a one-year-old, which is really quite a bit if you try.  I finish first, take my vitamins, and pull out my Bible.  Job continues to chew contently while listening to my voice.

The time usually ends with a massive dirty diaper, a chicken loose in the house, and some unexpected visitor pounding on the front gate all at the same moment.  And so the day carries on.  But this meal, this time, has nourished both body and spirit.

We'll do it again tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Just Mop

Occasionally I get accused of being a perfectionist.  I'm not, though I do seem to lean towards it.  

But that's a problem, cause it means I have dirty floors.  

Being the good mother she is, my mother taught me that you should clean from the top down, vacuuming or mopping last.  She is right.  That particular piece of her wisdom has stuck with me through the years.   

On top of that, I have a small, tile-filled home.  No vacuuming here.  It makes sense to mop the whole house at the same time, right?   Why mop just the tiny kitchen?  It leads right into the living room, and then there is just the bedroom and the bathroom.  Just mop the whole house in one swift swoop.  Simple. Easy.
But not so easy if you couple those two thoughts together.  Mop last and mop the whole house.  That means,  thanks to my perfectest tendencies, I feel like I need to have my whole house clean before I mop.  

Dishes washed.
Counters wiped down.
Clutter put in its place
Ceiling to floor bookshelves dusted.
Dinning room chairs wiped down and moved.
Trash taken out of all the little trash cans.
Laundry  sitting on the couch folded and put away.
Beds made.
Etc, etc.  
Which if you have a whole Saturday morning to clean your modest size home, it wouldn't be a problem.  Cleaning everything and moping last would make sense and be a viable solution.  But not my life at the moment.  So my floors tend to stay dirty.  Cause I *have* to get everything else done on the list first. And, you know, the world may come to an end if I don't dust the top bookshelf before I mop my kitchen, right?!

So for the past week, I have been wanting needing {as in crusted food in the kitchen and my son finding who-knows-what to put in his mouth} to mop, but had never managed to get around to it.   

Enter the rooster.  Literally. He manged to get into the house today... and proceeded to leave his droppings in the living room.  *Hemmm*  

Suddenly, the list and a clean house didn't matter.  I was throwing out dirty mop water 20 minutes later.  

And everything was okay.  Better than before, even.  

Lesson learned?  Its okay to just mop.