In the Kitchen

Cookies in Springtime

May 12, 2015

Emma-in-BloomsburyWhite-Horse The-farm3Lunch-with-the-girlsTHe-Farm1Emma-on-the-slide Cookie1Baby-Goats2Jacob-School-PlayThe-Farm2Emma-and-the-May-Baskets

Landon-at-the-farmMay-Baskets Baby-goatsEmma-Bloomsbury2Cookies2Landon-and-his-May-BasketEmma-in-the-sand

Landon-at-the-farm2

Landon-and-Emma-at-the-gardensCookies3Springtime has just been one of the most bizarre this year in Colorado. Our winter was so warm and beautiful, but our spring has been wet, and flooding, and grey. Those few days that have produced even a hint of sunshine have been met with us racing out of doors with boots, and sweaters, and smiles. Mother’s Day saw an epic snowstorm, with howling wind, hail, snow and sleet. This was the second year in a row that we were sidelined by little white flakes on this day. Thankfully we had the best time celebrating a little one’s 5th birthday. My girlfriend Heidi threw her daughter the funnest party ever, as she wanted a Halloween/Thanksgiving/Easter/Christmas party with wedding bell balloons. Somehow it was the perfect combination, with her presents sitting under a fake tree adorned with a giant spider on top. We wore Christmas pajamas, and the kids were in costumes. We listened to a combination of Christmas music, old school rap, and Halloween songs. How all of this worked, I have no idea, but you would have to know Heidi. She is the master of fun, and it certainly made for a great Mother’s Day.

Landon and Elwood have been spending time at the farm, enjoying goats and mud and natural egg dying. Emma Jeanne has been finding her way down every slide across the city, rain or shine, cold or warm. That child has no fear. I see her zip-lining across some foreign country in the near future in search of her next adventure. She is just too much fun for words. Thankfully she lets me knit and sew whatever pastel, ruffle infused combination that I can think of. She is a bit of a trooper with my girlie issues, and I appreciate her patience as she puts on yet another dress. Her latest sweater was one of my faves. The structure of Bloomsbury Kids is so neat to watch come together, and I love the way it sits on the shoulders. This is one of the first things that I have made for her where I was thrilled that they had the pattern in adult size. I think that mama has found her ski sweater for next year! Her Momo has also been getting a ton of use in this chilly spring weather, as it just goes so perfectly over any dress, and she seems to love wearing cardigans most of all.

The other day we ventured out in the cold and grey to take Emma Jeanne to her first little craft class. Oh my, how I loved that moment! The kids read a book about spring, and then made the sweetest May baskets to adorn the doors. Fresh cut flowers filled them, and Emma Jeanne carried hers all over the gardens, in her car seat home, and from room to room in the house. She wasn’t willing to part with it, and it even came to bed with us that night. It was so neat to take her to a place where the boys had all done the same classes, read the same books, and walked the same gardens. It is hard to believe that so much time has passed that my boys could teach those classes now, but also so nice to be able to experience all of this again with Landon and my little girl.

We are looking forward to the warmth returning, the sun coming out, and a lot of outdoor play to ensue, but for now we are content with the sound of rain on the windows and the smell of warm cookies coming out of the oven. I have discovered a new favorite recipe, and we just can’t stop ourselves from making them every few days. My girlfriend Misty introduced it to me, and it is a great recipe to modify as you see fit.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Adapted from this recipe

1/2 C smooth almond butter (or other nut butter of your choosing)
4T melted coconut oil
1/2 C brown sugar
2 T maple syrup
1/2C almond milk (regualr, coconut, or other nut milk will work fine too)
2 C flour (I used Cup4Cup)
1 t baking soda
1 t celtic sea salt
3/4 C rolled oats
1/4 c raw sunflower seeds
2 T ground flax
2 T chia seeds
1/2 c mini chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life)

Preheat oven to 400*

Combine the first five ingredients until smooth. Add the baking soda and salt to the flour and whisk. Add the rest of the dry ingredients together, and add to the wet until just combined. Drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes of until golden brown on the bottom.

These cookies are thick enough to be made like a scone, or gently pressed down to make a more traditional cookie. If the dough seems to too dry, add more nut milk until you reach the consistency you desire.

 

{ 8 comments }

Fear, Change, and Motorcycles

February 10, 2015

Feb6 Feb5 Feb2

Feb8Feb9Feb12Feb7Feb4 Feb11Feb10Feb13Feb1

Oh these days of February, they have been so strange. Some days we see near 70 degree weather, while others 6″ of snow will quickly fall. It is an odd balance of rushing outside to soak up as much Vitamin D as possible, while alternatively hibernating inside. There has been so much going on through these days; abundant play, new projects, and a new found respect for breakfast preparation. I was never one to fear the mornings, until ours dramatically changed. After my husband’s health issues this summer, my oldest decided he wanted to head to school. I think that it was a combination of fear of me not being able to give him what we needed, as well as a simple desire to spread his wings away from home. There was so much going on in the moment, I never really stopped to think about the implications. That is strange, isn’t it? Homeschooling had been such a predominant part of our lives, and then in a blink I just turned around and it was gone. I quickly signed him up, just days before the year began, at a school I heard great things about. Then, while he was far at the bottom of the list, he managed to snag a spot on the second day of school. Elwood chose to stay at home, and of course the younger babes are still here with me as well. There is a missing piece that is so very strange to be without, but at the same time Jacob has jumped in with both feet, and is loving this new experience. He joined the choir, went out for the school play, took on a leadership role, and made some friends that I think will be with him for a long time to come. There are good sides, and ones that I would rather he not experience, but in reality that is the story of life. I promised myself when I first gave birth to him that I would parent each of my children based on their needs, not my own, not my preconceptions of what should be, but on them. So long as they were safe, in an environment that could foster positive change, and a place where they could be happy, the freedom of choice was theirs. There are moments when I want him to tell me that he wants to come back, and they are getting less and less. When I look at him, and I see that strong, confident, social smile, I know that he found the place that he needs to be.

His decision bears little weight on what the others will choose. Each of them is so different, and with each passing year I change as well. My ability to meet them where they are is becoming greater, and I hope that we can always find common ground on what works for them as individuals. I certainly enjoy watching each of us take on new challenges, be it singing with 25 other students, or diving into fair isle knitting. Speaking of which, how come no one told me how awesome fair isle is? I can not put it down, and I find myself staring late into the night at Pinterest board after Pinterest board on the subject. I have been knitting for many years, and fair isle always freaked me out. I have no idea why it took me so long to take the plunge, but look out, because there is a lot of fair isle knitting coming off these needles.

That is the joy of life, right? we get past our fears, and find that we love something that we thought we would never take interest in. It is a joy I uncover often, and something I hope that each of my kids can embrace.

Of course, Emma Jeanne seems poised to take an interest in riding on the back of boy’s motorcycles, as we witness each day as Landon takes her for a spin on his bee bike, and I can assure you that all the growth and change in the world will never get me over that fear.

{ 14 comments }