Sunday, February 28, 2010

Olympic GOLD - Oh Canada!

We decided to chew on a few of these, lest we become nail biters when a sudden goal with only 24 seconds until a Gold finish win occurred in today's Olympic men's ice hockey game between Canada vs. USA

Wow, what a game! Wow, what a performance by every single player - on both teams!

  • Congratulations Canada on winning the gold.

  • Congratulations USA on winning the silver.

  • Congratulations to our North American hockey players. You all ROCK!

Thank you for a riveting and a super outstanding game!

Oh Canada!

With glowing hearts......we're all ready to watch the closing ceremonies.

In their hands

God hath given His angels charge over thee,
to keep thee in all thy ways.
In their hands they shall bear thee up,
lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
~ Psalm 90: 11-12

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ten things I'm thankful for

WOW, two in one week! Pats on the back for me! whoop, whoop!

Time for another installment of my
"Ten Things" to be thankful for, always varied, always random bits in no particular order. There are many things to be thankful for - Amen!

Today, yet again, in the spirit of a "REWIND POST", I am including a few oldies right alongside of a few current photos.

As always, I've chosen ten photos with personal thanksgiving below each one.

Please know for certain that my own personal thoughts on true thankfulness can obviously never be offered, nor delivered in true completeness within one simple post.
And in case you just might find it interesting and want even more today, you can always skip along to view other "thankful" posts by clicking onto the archives located - right HERE.

- 1- I'm thankful for our newly renovated "Imagination Station", complete with everything for a child's love of building possibilities to happen there. He made this recently to surprise his little sister, a barn with stall dividers and much more.

It was so thoughtful, and presented with much love and affection. This is one of those - some things in life are free, freely created and freely given, from the heart.

- 2 - I'm thankful for the learning curve I've had over the past few months since obtaining my new iPhone. Wow, there is so much to learn, and so many duds out there in "app land". Actually to be fair, there are multitudes of apps out there in app-land.

Last year in July there were over 50,000 applications available for the iphone and each week another four thousand are added for iPhone users to tap in to.
But how does one find them all? That is the question.

I've discovered several magazines amongst the bookstacks at the bookstore who present new apps, old apps and featured apps every month. I didn't relish the thought of spending 24.95 or more for such magazines so when I accidentally discovered them on the magazine racks, I decided to spend a few moments sipping on my hot cuppa while browsing through the pages, pen and paper in hand for those catching my eye. Many have indeed caught my hand and as time continues to press forward, I'm making notes of those I enjoy having to use, a future blog post as promised to several out there in bloggy land. :)

- 3 - I'm thankful for finding a lost son who was supposed to be reading, drawn to the family puzzle still remaining on the dining room table (this shot was snapped well over a month ago, but still dear daughter, a great challenge for us!) Love it.

Actually what was so funny about the story behind this photo is our son explained to me he didn't know which to choose from, his great book he got as a Christmas gift, or the puzzle calling his name. So he divided his reading time to sneak over in the hope of adding a few more puzzle pieces to the big picture.

- 4 - I'm thankful for our son's find at our local library - they have puzzles to borrow! Many selections await the continued family puzzle bonding times ahead. He's made a wish list of those with at least 800-1000 pieces, so we'll see how many we can accomplish over time.

- 5 - I'm thankful for another run and drama listening experience using these cassette tapes (yes, we still have oodles of cassette tapes here, right, like you Justine? LOL).

I saved all of these character building story tapes and their counterpart bible story tapes. They are completely dramatized, and so good to listen to. Recently we've adopted the practice of listening to one tape (both sides) per day during our lunch time.

Since our younger two children were much too little the last time we went through these stories, and they are really enjoying them. Even I am liking this newly formed little ritual in our days, several rounds of children later.

- 6 - I'm thankful for children with their very own gift cards, like the one above used at Subway. All four of our children were gifted with various amounts on gift cards over Christmas, most from places like Subway, Starbucks, Dairy Queen, those types of places.

It's so cute when they ask if it would be possible to buy themselves their own lunch while we're out and about running errands. And they are proud people when ordering and paying for their dining themselves. The dear little lunch bags are reusable too, the ones featuring animals from the National Wildlife foundation, complete with stickers of animals inside.

- 7 - I'm thankful for our pool table and all of the game play it has provided for us and our children. Actually my husband and I became interested in playing together several years ago when we traveled for our family reunion and there was a billiard table in the house we all rented for our time in Oahu together.

Recently, there are children found alone in the attempt at perfecting their "break" to begin a game, or their shots, or their logic play. And then, the tournaments begin, or the game after game to find the best out of however many the number is all agreed to.
Determination has new meaning for a family with a pool table. (Oh and p.s. to Allison - it's really great for logical thinking, like pucks flying off arena boards type of logic for better game play strategies, wink.)

For now, as long as my husband sinks the white ball right when I think I'm out of the game, it's all okay with me. I'm practicing when he's not looking, but the thing is I want to win fairly. I have won a few games, I have. I just want to win them because I know what I'm doing and not because of simple luck. snicker...

-8 - I'm thankful for EVEN MORE library books! My early February bookstack on my nightstand gave me cause for having to wear my reading glasses, another sign I fear that these eyeballs just ain't what they used to be. I really enjoyed this stack of books, something heavy, something interesting and something just for fun.

- 9 - I'm thankful for hockey playoffs because that means another year is almost at end, at least for the ice hockey part and we can have even more weekend to our lives again.

Actually there is yet another tournament during spring break yet, a thrilling thing to our young man here who has had a great year playing in minor hockey.

As you can see in the photo above, he still likes his social times while on the bench when he should've been watching the intense game in progress, and cheering on his teammates instead of having his head turned the wrong way from the game play. LOL

Shrugging his shoulders, he usually just claims he's playing hard and having fun like we've instructed him to do all along.

- 10 - I'm thankful for being able to surprise my husband with a pedicure, mostly to get him relaxed after a hard week of coughing round the clock, especially at night, losing plenty of sleep.

No nail polish for him, although he visibly melted in his chair once those feet hit the warm jetted bath water, that is before he was handed the controllers for a fabulous chair massage offering anyone a Swedish massage and then just when he thought it was almost over, the technician's massage on his feet and lower legs using moisture cream almost did him in and placed him into a deep blissdom.

The big bonus of the evening - He slept better than he had in weeks after this surprise and has expressed doing it again sometime. Who says men can't have a pedicure anyway? He L-O-V-E-D it! And so did I while I sat next to him having mine. I am currently sporting a green/blue mermaid colored polish and very soft feet. grin, grin.

(And there you have ANOTHER ten things I'm thankful for, the second post this week....bravo to me for being better late than early.)

Company Girl Coffee Time!

Waving a big hello to my friends over at Company Girls coffee party today. Welcome! It's not everyday we can sip our coffee with friends from cyberspace.

Our plans for today have been changed. We are snowed in with another eight inches of snow overnight. The roads were awful early this morning for my husband while he was headed to work, such is the case when hitting the road extra early before the snowplows no doubt.

So, we're having a snow day today, and isn't it always something when homeschooled children beg for a snow day anyway? Our children will stop at nothing to become lost in their pursuits. Currently the lego is everywhere with special "Olympic" projects scattered far and wide.

And speaking of the Olympics, wasn't that some ice hockey game last night with Canada winning the gold medal? Our son and his wife were present for that game and I can't imagine the energy in the building, so exciting! Our hometown of Vancouver is doing a great job hosting this year's Olympic games, bravo for them.

Last weekend I was able to spend my Saturday in eastern Toronto when attending a Stampin Up (I am not a consultant, I was just a guest) conference with two other ladies from my area. Together we met outside of the local Starbucks, right when the doors opened at 6:30am. and then carpooled for our road trip of sorts to the big city until 12 hours later when we arrived back to our morning meetup spot.

I had such a splendid time crafting and card making all day long. The food was grand, the ladies were fantastic and it was just what I needed - a big crafty fun hands-on day. Are any of you crafters, either paper or other types? How about seamstresses or needle crafters? I will sneak away anytime to slip in a few minutes with my beloved projects and can't get enough of it myself these days to complete even more. In time...

We're observing the Lenten season in our home, at least continually trying to seek God in all our days as we journey through the way of the cross. We find during our days in Lent, it never fails other things drop by to harness us in all new ways and keep us grounded to reality.

Have you ever experienced something similar to this yourself? Forty days. That's it, and yet so many other crosses fall down to keep us on our knees. But it's a good place to be isn't it? :)

For instance, last week when the weather began to warm up and the icy thaw proceeded to melt off our rooftop, we sprung a few leaks inside the walls of our garage again. It seems the roofing scaffolding job that took up to two months last summer wasn't all good as we had hoped for. The builder has been contacted and away we go awaiting more thaw so it becomes safe to get up on our roof to deal with this detail.

It's Friday. The weekend is about to begin.

Our weekend is comprised of two teens requiring a ride to and from work tomorrow. Somehow they had tonight off, both of them d0. Amazing!

Our youngest daughter will tend to her barn duties and bring a friend home to celebrate a belated birthday time together.

Our youngest son has a hockey practice, a surprise one as we thought last Wednesday evening's was the last.

In between all of that, my hubby and I are hoping to sneak off for a frothy latte somewhere quiet in the hustle of our day.

And then, Sunday! A day to go to church, followed by relaxation, a bit of rest perhaps, well sort of (wink).
Too bad it's so snowy out. I'm really feeling like having a picnic.

So how are your plans shaping up for the weekend?


While you're coffee is still hot, click on over to enjoy other coffee conversation over at the Company Girls at Home Sanctuary blog with Rachel Anne.

Flying creatures

We've been studying and learning all about birds the past while using Jeannie Fulbright's Apologia science book entitled;

"Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day;
Exploring creation with zoology"

Need I mention how much this family has enjoyed all of her volumes to date, including this one?

The way she is able to articulate her words on each topic and bring a zeal toward each subject contained in her books to light using layman's language, coupled with plenty of experiments using items we already have in our homes, how could one not appreciate all of her hard work and dedication to bringing course studies such as this one into the education book market.

Our children are very fond of all her books we've used so far.

They love using map skills learning books as part of their educational studies. It was interesting to see their reactions to the idea of
"bird mapping", a type of colorful mapping system they've not yet used to date.

At first glance they were sure these couldn't possibly be a type of map at all, that is until they noted the diagram example and the key below to show what the goal of it was all about. And then, the notebooks were opened and off they went, eager with artist kit nearby to make a bird map.

Vocabulary usage sure seems to become enriched when new words on Jeannie's science topics are introduced and soon thrust before their eyes repeated in all the readings, the very words they are also recording in their notebooks.

This past two week's bird study has included the most interesting fact finding and informative topics to keep interests peaked; bird mapping, flight, feathers, bird feed experiments, instinct, extinction and more.

We headed outdoors on what would prove to be the coldest day of the year to refill our feeders for the experiments with new types of bird food, not the most pleasant weather to snap photos, therefore I have none of all the outdoor work to date. brrrrrr.....

The bird feeders are far away from the house with our new feed filling up their interiors, mostly because we've had more rodent issues of late and prefer not to have them closeby.

It was interesting to see how quickly a black squirrel became visible, running about in the attempt to hoist himself upward to the yummy feed. And then we noted a vole popping out from the depths of snow below and a fast return of several downy woodpeckers and mourning doves grazing continually at the feeders.

The goal is to see which type of feed/seed becomes a preference for local birds. We think we already know, however to be fair here, the children's window and binocular viewing sessions are still in progress for keeping track of scientific documentation towards the assigned exercise, so I dare not yet reveal which type of feed just now.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

(I apologize for a few words on "Wordless Wednesday"...

Our young friend with the baby horse born at the barn last summer. She is a filly doing wonderful, so healthy and growing well since her mama became very ill and died. The owner named her "Hosanna", always a christian or biblical name (assigned by the owner at the barn) for every horse.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten things I'm Thankful For

Time for another installment of my
"Ten Things" to be thankful for, always varied, always random bits in no particular order.

There are many things to be thankful for - Amen!

Today, in the spirit of a "REWIND POST", I am (yes I am) still catching up, on memories recorded, the kind I'm sharing with you here today. As always, I've chosen ten photos with personal thanksgiving below each one.

Please know for certain that my own personal thoughts on true thankfulness can obviously never be offered, nor delivered in true completeness within one simple post.
And in case you just might find it interesting and want even more today, you can always skip along to view other "thankful" posts by clicking onto the archives located - right HERE.

1 - I'm thankful for flying things in a winter's storm, my things that fly from my potted planters and end up here, like this above, smack in the middle of the depths of snow to brighten my day.

We can pretend it's spring, oh yes we can. (snicker) I wasn't able to get a photo of the other bunch of silk poinsettias in a snow mound, the one amongst the trees in our forest because I hadn't any gators on to hike toward it for the photo opportunity.

Like sunshine in my day, it was so surprising to see these bunches had flown in the night, landed upright and are frozen solid in the snow until the winter thaw, offering color to the landscape. Fun!

2 - I'm thankful for stolen moments with my dad, the ones we shared together while they were visiting during the Christmas season.

Several times, just he and I escaped a busy household early in the morning (read - teens still asleep!) for time alone together, coffee times, and even for a complete breakfast at Cora's restaurant one day. He loved this restaurant so much the last time he visited, I was determined to get him there again to enjoy the wonderful breakfast menu.

And we did. Just me and my dad.

3 - I'm thankful for my husband's respiratory physiotherapist, the main head one who is responsible for his wellbeing and increased energy stamina when she works him hard, the woman who takes charge of his case and assigns all the other staff with assignments on his behalf, still twice weekly, and indefinitely for the time being. She is such a sweet woman, so kind and caring, just perfect for this job.

I snapped this photo of her at the hospital's Christmas luncheon, the one the children and I attended with my husband to meet all of his fellow hospital respiratory care patients, the one's he has been able to meet and bonded with over the past year since moving here.

The gentleman in the foreground on the left of the physiotherapist is Leroy, a beautiful man who we enjoyed chatting with over our lunch.

4 - I'm thankful for
tufts of hair peeking out from behind an obviously fully absorbed reading session, like the tuft shown here on our son, seemingly so relaxed and thick into a good book.

As St. Nicholas looks on, and the fire is stoked, he has no care in the world, (with his one foot up in the air hanging over the upper edge of the couch back), at least none beyond the great book.

I love these sweet times, just observing from afar and appreciating how fast time flies with little ones fast becoming big ones. This son is catching up to me in height, growing taller all the time. When did it happen the top of his head no longer fits perfectly under my chin?

5- I'm thankful for the continued scenes (as the one above) in our kitchen, like the one above. I have no doubt there is bonding happening there between our sous chef and her father. No doubt at all...

I'm also thankful for the discovery of "Williams and Sonoma" while shopping in the US during the Thanksgiving week with my sister. The matching aprons for our sous and her daddy were purchased way back then and both have enjoyed using them ever since they opened their gifts at Christmas.

I think though, it's almost time to switch to the new BBQ apron my husband was also gifted and the lovely one our daughter was also gifted over Christmastime.

6 - I'm thankful for long reading sessions, special or handmade bookmarks, post it notes or maybe even the odd dogeared corner (on my books), and even at times when viewing a stack with some left wide open.

I'm thankful for even messy book piles because it means I'm taking time out for myself upon occasion to read for pleasure and not just for our schooling syllabus preparation. It also means those messy piles are constantly in full view, offering a signal, beckoning me to return and feast my eyes for just a little while longer with a cup of tea when I'm able. :)

Actually I'm really thankful for the potpourri of books I continue to be surprised with when my sweet and dear library lady calls me to come and fetch the ones waiting...just for me. My book wish list is long and varied, so I always feel like a little child in a candy shop when I have to wait to find out just which of my reserved books came in as the library lady pushes them across the width of the library's counter back at me. I love that woman!

- 7 - I'm thankful for
Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! I'm thankful for the fun this video game system continues to provide for our family, and the hilarious pleasure it offers visiting friends when they ask to "try it out" with us. Not only is it spectacular for entertaining, the exercise abilities offered are only limited to how good a sport one becomes.

For instance, the Wii resort our family was gifted with over Christmas has a super fun sport on it for up to four players - that of the canoeing. The challenge becomes for all four players to be in sync with their "paddles" and avoid the ducks on the waterways while traveling. All are standing and trying to work as a paddling team. That game alone has provided all with more laughing and more required tissue usage than any other Wii sport thus far. Fun! Fun! Fun!

8 - I'm thankful for the gift of music, you know the kind you are are serendipitously attracted to when least expected, a new and undiscovered (unheard of) artist and find the tunes so special, they just drift you away when you most require drifting? Oh yes.

While I was dining at my sister's neighbor's home for the US Thanksgiving, Martha introduced us all to "Chris Botti" and I was instantly hooked. Not that she was ever speaking of this artist over the course of the evening or anything, she had her entire collection of his music on shuffle mode in the background. I had enjoyed the music and its variation so much, I begged to know "what or whom" I was listening to.

Christ Botti is a trumpet musician and has a huge repertoire of music, accompanying so many artists from almost every genre. Whatever your musical taste, no doubt there is an artist featured with him on his CDs to please everyone; Michael Buble, Sting, Renee Oldstead, Andrea Bocelli, Jill Scott, Aretha Franklin, and so many more. His "Italia" CD is all music one would hope for with the title it offers. His rendition of "Ave Maria" is so beautiful.

For my Christmastime birthday, I was blessed with a whole new playlist of music shown in the photo above, the kind of music (a mature person) can listen to when "it becomes that time of day" or I require an "unwinding" of sorts in the evening. Of course you'll also note the Michael Buble new cd in the photo, a fav here too.

- 9 - I'm thankful for far away friends with many children of assorted age ranges; the more the merrier.

This was our New Year's Day late brunch/lunch, the one we invited another family to join us for, the family we met through other friends three years ago who's children have been friends with ours. It snowed like the dickens this day, but it didn't get in the way of our visit which I am so grateful for.

It's too bad for all of us too that they live almost two hours away! We're trying to get them to move closer, wish us luck.

10 - I'm thankful for
warm hats my parents provided for our girls. They've come in so handy this winter when temperatures plummet to silly cold numbers in the negatives. Unlike their counterpart Olympic swag designer hats, the girls can use these at the barn to keep their head and ears warm.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A snowy sunset in winter

...this was last week,
before the warm thaw and then more snow last night.

Snow snow on the ground
Sun is sinking down, down, down.
Trees covered in white
People gasp at the beautiful sight.

Snow snow on the ground
Animals scurry all around
Snow snow in your hair
Stiffness and cold in the air

Snow snow on the ground
People sledding down down down
Hot cocoa and coffee inside
Why not go for another sled ride

Snow snow on the ground
The sun has set past the ground
Lights light up the city bright
People everywhere say: "What a sight!"

~ Randi Williamson

Family nutritional wellness

Our journey through January definitely included a renewed and purposeful zest for healthy living, beginning with better breakfast nourishment.

I for one have always insisted on a good breakfast at home, much to the chagrin of children who may have preferred not.

I've met dozens of families in general (and many homeschooling families) who often, due to assorted reasons, experience a dwindle of basic nutritional efforts sooner than later from either fatigue, lack of time, not enough hands to assist in the delivery of an action plan, a sick pregnant mommy, or many other and varied real reasons.

When this happens, the initial simple menu planning disappears into an oblivion and I've seen and heard of those sugary cereal substitutes becoming plopped onto the kitchen counter instead. Sometimes too, just sheer junky fast food is offered as acceptable replenishment for their children's growing bodies due to time and man power constraints.

Problem for those is; soon after the digestion of such foods, a sugar high or chemical imbalance may prevail, offering a child a sudden soar in energy, negative energy actually, and most often we all know what happens then? Right.

Mom's patience (or another care giver) becomes worn thin, and fast becomes exasperated over the sudden poor or unruly behavior of the child/children. At times the only remedy may be some discipline, eventually ruining the best tweaked and most perfectly designed schooling schedules for the day. But is it the child's fault? Good question.

A mother has the power to nourish her children's bodies not only to benefit their wellness and growth in general, but also to offer nutritional food fare, which at the same time doesn't ultimately begin to work against the child's health and thwart possible (schooling) progress during the day to frustrate the mother.

Hands down, breakfast really matters because the result of what it contains will either shape or ruin our day, and that of our children. Most of all, the entire family will feel the effect of the good early morning start to the day if proper nourishment is obtained.

Why not take time right now in the freshness of this new decade ahead to make breakfast count in our homes, for we will reap the reward of a little homemaking management in this area of our family's lives.

We have within ourselves home management tools to call upon, the local library, or that of other mothers either in the same position or having already survived it to assist us in this department if necessary. If you're waning for ideas, ask around or get onto the internet for a wealth of information at your "google" fingertips.

If you need help learning more, why not fill up your night stand with books on nutrition, read informative articles, and ask questions for assisting in arming your mothering defenses to keep your family healthy. Why not take time out to;
  • Learn how the body becomes affected by certain poor choice foods.
  • What are the effects of transfats, or preservatives, or chemicals used on growing foods.
  • How do engineered foods, coloring agents, and drying ingredients used to keep commercial cereals dry, affect our health?
Can you just believe that it's already late February! And we're fast moving towards the month of March now. If you're someone in need of a gentle persuasive push, why not get those kitchen engines all revved up again.

It's a known fact that between the months of both January and/or February, many people fall into the category of "burnout" and it is also well known, these are the times to raise things up a notch for better overall wellness.

Best things to do during this particular time of the year; Seek better nutritional fare, increase water consumption during the day, obtain the habit of exercise, and allow for stolen moments of fresh air daily. These things are imperative to a everyone's survival during these time periods.

Have your ever wondered why so many people in our country travel and take vacations to some tropical destination during this time of year? If we're not one of those traveling to some sunny vacation destination, then we can concentrate on our Lenten obligations, and/or watch the Olympics as a family while concentrating our efforts on everyone's health and wellness. Just think;
  • We have the power to feed and nourish souls!
  • We have the power to organize and arm our homes with healthy food selections in our pantries, cupboards AND refrigerator/freezers.
  • We have the power to train our children to assist us in the kitchen, to assign kitchen tasks that the entire family can and will benefit from.
Not only will taking care to provide good healthy meals benefit the entire family, we are also training our children and being an example to them on how to care of their nutritional food fare for their future.

How many young couples live off of junky meals after marriage today because they haven't been taught or acquired the skills to cook a decent meal? TONS.

Breakfast is one of the MOST important meals of the day for our bodies and that of our family's as all have just ended a fast. By daybreak, we are all going to BREAK the FAST from our sleep the evening before. How we all choose to rev up our family's body for a new day is up to us, isn't it? Here are a few helpful tips...
  • Forget the TANG, worse yet forget the Koolaid - positively for the most part these contain more harmful chemicals and loads of sugar the body doesn't require, rather than real juice to make it count as something nutritious.
  • Forget the sugary cereals. Call me a prude but these have never been a staple over here.
  • Put the sugar bowl away and keep it hidden!
It's a proven fact that a steady diet of this type of food will offer our children/teens/young adults moments of falling into the trap of having difficulty concentrating, the effect will be huge in just a few hours when the sugar buzz falters and the possibility of damaging one's system if diabetes runs in the family.

Someone with this eating lifestyle could very well be headed for a collision course in the future if this isn't bridled now to lower sugar consumption. I would implore you to g
et on the bandwagon for healthier breakfasts around your home.

Why not begin to prepare food the night before; make things like cooked sausages and hard boiled eggs, pancakes or waffles are frozen and can easily be popped into the toaster, granola and yogurt is a favorite quick meal, fruit salad with nuts and coconut atop, hot steamy porridge in the crockpot, homemade muffins and cheese sliced up, fresh fruit salad, toast and a quickly scrambled egg atop, whatever, just something nutritional!

World's simplest breakfast?
Hands down - We love protein shakes!

For many, many years I've concocted many a protein shake using whatever staples I've had on hand, and always an army of children would surround me begging to share them with me.

Types of shakes for me can include fruits, greens, flax seed (prefer ground flax but don't put it in until very last or it makes the shake all foamy) or flax seed oil, primrose oil, protein powder or greens powders, yogurt, whatever - even water as a base, just a variety of what's available at that moment.

It's a great way to use up those blackened bananas. Actually I freeze bananas immediately when the skin begins to turn darker. The banana peel is the perfect freezer protection and when I want to use one for a shake or perhaps a banana loaf, I simply remove the peel using a knife to cut it off and chop it into small pieces.

Admittedly I've produced my share of real "duds", really awful stuff, but with a cheery voice I sip mine back (gag, gag, gag!) and request the children just follow along by plugging their noses and getting it down. If I had been able to plug my own nose in front of them, the endurance episodes I partook in would have been much more tolerable for me too, but since example is everything, I played the role of "mama the brave".

Through that same trial and error, I've come to discover the perfect blend for us. I like to have frozen fruit on hand, my favorite is blueberries in a very large bag from Costco when I run out of my summer stashes.

Using frozen something or other allows for the shake to be frosty, icy and provide me with much tender sipping to enjoy the health I'm sipping back. And these digest so well!

With my trusty blender on hand, I use either some milk, or juice, or just water, maybe some yogurt as a base.

Pressing the blend button, I allow the liquid to whirl around while I drop in other ingredients a bit at a time. The reason why I want to do this is also because if using frozen goods, they tend to block up on the bottom of the blender inside to halt all of the whirling and blending action, mounding into a frozen blob that needs to be broken down after turning off the blender.

If adding "greens" by way of something like fresh or frozen squeezed chopped spinach, or two large spoonfuls of powdered greens or wheat grass, be sure your liquid will offset the taste. A bit of something like a bit of frozen orange juice (1/4 cup and water added) as a liquid, a chopped up mango, pineapple, some apple juice, something sweet to offset that taste will be your just reward for optimal health in a glass. I've even used a bit of tomato or carrot juice in mine. Yum.

These are super handy for the person on the fly! Add these to a water bottle for instant goodness. And they taste good too. I like to add them to my shakes.

Today and the past few days we've used a variation of this one; 2 cups milk 1 cup water 1 cup frozen blueberries 1 frozen and chopped up banana 1 - 2 tbsp protein powder 1 - 2 tbsp powder greens 1 - 2 evening primrose gel tabs poked with a pin and squeezed in the mix.

Whirl all up, add more water if necessary until desired consistency is reached. We like it thick just not thick enough to have to depend on using a spoon.

Here's another favorite;
1/4 cup frozen concentrated orange juice 1/4 cup apple juice 3-4 cups of water 1/2 soft ripe mango 1/2 cup vanilla or plain yogurt Add in whatever is on hand - protein powder, greens, flax seed oil, mashed leftover carrots, mashed leftover greens like brussel sprouts or spinach, etc. Feeling a bit indulgent, how about one big plop of vanilla ice cream? Smoothie city!

Warning; I've realized it's just not great to add in leftover broccoli heads because all those little dottie bits seem to freckle up the shake drink and all the children turn their noses up at me.

If your shake is thick enough and everyone loves it, why not whirl up 2-3 batches and make popsicles from them for another time. Just a variety and shake up from the usual drink.

Oh, and one last thing; We usually use
"Stem Glasses" because (for shakes AND water daily) our family is more important than saving these fine glasses for only when having guests over. Our children love using stem glasses, but upon occasion, someone shows up with this one to fill to its brim.

I'm sure you can find hundreds of lovely recipes to try your hand at for making fruit/vegetable protein shakes around your own home.

If you choose to freeze a batch in ice cube trays, get them secured into freezer ziplock bags and allow your family members to grab a few on the run in a cup or thermos for the road. As it thaws, shake it all up to keep it blended, and then voila, instant drink!

Best of all, remember health is wealth. Go for good quality foods, the best possible, especially when it comes to produce.

Always remember;
  • You get what you pay for.
  • Buy good, become healthy.
  • Buy garbage foods and guess what you end up feeling like?
I'll leave that one up to your own imagination folks.

Best of all, have fun. Sip slowly. Laugh often. Love deeply. (I think that's the line to use anyway about now. grin...)