Monday

I had an awesome NIA class, helped facilitate some learning and then took Grace and Hannah to Presentation club where we heard about – cheese, Extreme Life of the Sea, Puppy Powers, New Horizons probe, history of Lego people, what is inside a computer and what do the parts do and how to make a fleece no sew pillow. I’m making lentil soup for dinner to counteract the cold outside. Maisy is flopped on the couch sighing, the girls are playing LPS and drawing and I want to take a nap.

It was a nice day.

Bring it!

Finally

A good snow day. The weatherman was right, it did snow and it was a lot. Bethany was at a sleepover, so the girls and I watched the rest of The Great Dictator and then watched Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood. James and I went to the gym, he made soup for dinner and I took Bethany to the ortho.

I’m thankful for: NIA class, gout medicine, snow, homemade soup and chili and heat!

Some quotes:

My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.

I’m convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they’re stones that don’t matter. As long as you’re breathing, it’s never too late to do some good.
-Both by Maya Angelou

Believe you can and you’re halfway there.
-Theodore Roosevelt

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
-Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday

At church we were talking about another aspect of Jesus – being thankful. Jesus was thankful and did He really have to say thanks? I mean, He was/is God in human form, so He knows that He is thankful, but He prays and praises anyway. Our goal this week was to list 5 things we are thankful for every day, so if you see 5 random things pop up on here, you know why.

It started snowing (thanks!) before we picked up Grandma and continued all day. Grandma was in a good mood (thanks!) and we talked and ate super sweet brownies. Bethany got picked up for a sleepover (thanks!) and the rest of us stayed home. I had TNO that night, so James drove me there (thanks!) in the snow and then picked me up. I had food that I didn’t have to cook (thanks!) and no one else showed up, so I had some alone time.

James is working from home this week and we don’t have much outside stuff to do, so the week looks like – NIA, cheese class, shopping co-op, skating and Chinese New Year.

New alarm clock

Well, we got to count 2 Northern flickers right off the bat this morning for the Great backyard bird count. It was easy, they have been hovering around our cottonwood tree for awhile, now they want to nest, so cute. Hammering on my house at 7 am – not so cute. Screaming for your mate to join you – not cute.

Hopefully they settle down and find another house to eat at.

A little noon music

After some school in the morning, we headed up to St. John’s cathedral for their noon music. Once a month from Sep-May St. John’s holds concerts at noon. They are free and if I worked downtown I would take advantage of the concerts as a little break. Today they had a soprano singer, Stephanie Ball, and a pianist. She sang spirituals and she was amazing. When she was done Hannah asked of we were going to hear her again next month (no, they change who is singing or playing instruments) but we did get her info. to see if she’s singing anywhere soon. The girls weren’t too happy when they heard the singer was a classical soprano, but when she started singing they were happy to sit back and listen. This was our first concert in Dagwell hall (usually the concerts are in the cathedral) so it was nice to sit in there and hear the difference in the sounds in the room. We’ll miss the concert in March, but we will definitely be there for the April concert with Young Opera Colorado, they are good.

At the gym I was listening to my music (KLOVE this time) and Matt Redman’s song “Your Grace Finds Me” came on and I love this part of the song – So I’m breathing in Your grace, And breathing out Your praise. Every day we breathe in grace and then we can choose to sing out praises, or not. But, everyone gets grace, every day, every minute, every breath….then we have to take that grace and give praises because of it. Anyway, I like that song.

I was ravenous by dinner and could barely wait for the bacon wrapped asparagus and carrots to cook because the roasted chicken was just sitting there being savory. It was really good, maybe because I was really hungry (except for the asparagus, that was good because it had bacon on it….mmmmmm…..bacon.) James and I went to the gym for our nightly session and my foot is almost all the way better, so that’s good.

Another warm day

I think the groundhog was wrong…church was about Jesus and how He defended children. Rapha house was introduced (they rehabilitate girls who have been saved from the sex trade) and a special offering was taken up for them. Jesus didn’t just love children, He didn’t just bless them, He defended them. He told everyone around Him that unless they became like little children, they could not see the Kingdom of Heaven. What He meant was, as adults we make things so difficult, we make hoops to jump through and we don’t have the innocent faith of a child. Is Jesus the son of God? Did He die for your sins? Was He raised from the dead? Is He coming back? Was that hard? The simple truth is just that, simple. He came, He died, He rose, He’s coming back. Our challenge for the week was to bless a child (other than our own) this week.

James BBQ’d for lunch and we feasted on chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, it was so good. Then I went to the gym, we watched a Lost and then I took the girls to see Big Hero 6. It was a cute movie and a bit of a tear jerker. My foot is feeling better, must have been the threat of going to the doc.

Our week looks like: NIA, art co-op, St. John’s music at noon, RAFT HS Valentine party, Black Hand drums at the Fox, our HS group’s Valentine party, youth group, DDC games and coffee, Sticky fingers cooking, a birthday party, Duck, Duck, Dupe, Valentine’s day, and working in the 2′s room at church…whew!

Sticky fingers

Here’s what they made at Hannah’s cooking class today – the special ingredient was avocado.

Awesome avo-chocolate pancake puffs +double chocolate mousse

scoop+whisk
Start the mousse! Have kids scoop out 2 avocados into a bowl and mix until smooth with a whisk. Add ¼ C cocoa powder, ¼ C honey or agave or sugar, ½ tsp vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt and whisk until smooth. Stir in a handful of chocolate chips and scoop the mousse into a ziplock and place the bag in the refrigerator to chill for 30 to 90 minutes.

pour+curdle
After making the mousse it is time to mix up the pancake batter! Have kids pour 2 T lemon juice and enough milk to equal 2 cups in a medium bowl and set aside for a few minutes. It will curdle but that is OK!– this is what you want! This will be your ‘buttermilk’.

chop+mash
Give your child 1 Avocado and have them chop into tiny bits and THEN MASH IT…. And set to the side.

mix+measure+wet+dry
In a large bowl have kids mix and measure together 2 C flour of choice, ½ C cocoa powder, 3 tsp baking powder, 3 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp sea salt, 4 T sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup or sugar). Now have kids add 2 tsp vanilla extract, the chopped and mashed-up avocado, add a handful of chocolate chips and 4 T vegetable oil to the bowl with the curdled milk and mix with your whisk. Form a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined and set aside for a few minutes to give the baking soda time to work. This will give you a nice and thick cake batter.

cook+flip+squeeze
Adults: Heat your your skillet to medium heat and add some vegetable oil. Pour ¼ C of batter into the skillet. It is really thick, so you may need to spread it with a spoon to get it smooth. This thick pancake doesn’t get to bubble on the surface when it’s time to flip like other cakes so flip when the edges start to look cook, about 3-5 min. Flip and cook the cakes for another 2 min on the other side. Keep cooking and flipping until all the batter is used. Mousse it up! Don’t forget the mousse! Take your chocolate mousse ziplock bag out of the refrigerator. Snip a corner off the bag and squeeze the mousse on top of your delicious pancake puffs.… and EAT!

They also made an avocado-banana-cocoa smoothie, Hannah didn’t like it that much. Her mousse was too chocolaty because some other kids added more cocoa when se was done with it, but she like the pancakes (though they made them into small cupcakes at the class.)

Wednesday

Today in NIA we were focusing on the stepping in aspect. There are 7 cycles in class that we go through and these can be taken (and are supposed to be taken) into your everyday life. Focus and Intention, Stepping-In, Warm-Up, Get Moving, Cool-Down, Floor Play, Stepping-Out. Stepping in means thinking about breathing and feeling your body. So, when you wake up, you open your eyes, deep breathe, focus on how your body is feeling before you roll over and get up. This means not waking up and immediately going over in your mind the 50 things you need to do before breakfast, and that is hard. It’s just a goal, not something that you can faithfully do every day, but wouldn’t it be nice to wake up and just spend a few moments breathing and thinking of nothing? We are still focusing on new and what better song to listen to than Matthew West’s new song…

This morning I read this:
Psalm 29 – Yahweh will give power to his people.
Yahweh will bless his people with peace.
So I had a very strong and peaceful morning.

After school and lunch I went to the gym for 30 min. on the eliptical, I haven’t had anyone on it for a few days now, so that’s good. Then back home to finish up some stuff and get ready for dinner. Hannah is making shrimp soup for dinner, it sounds really good.

Corn and shrimp soup

About 1 C shrimp
1/2 tsp garlic powder (we used fresh minced garlic)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped (we used green onions)
1 C frozen corn (or use a blend veggie like we did)
1 Tbsp cilantro chopped
3 C chicken stock

Make a marinade for the shrimp by mixing the garlic powder, lemon juice, salt and pepper together. Let the shrimp sit in that for at least 30 min.

Heat oil in pot, cook onions for 3-4 min., then add cilantro and corn (we used a Yucatan blend with fire roasted corn, red peppers and beans in it.) Add in stock and let boil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 min. Add shrimp, if raw cook for a few minutes longer than if already cooked. Serve hot. We doubled the recipe, since it’s meant for one or two people.

First time

After school I took Bethany for her first driving lesson in my van. We went to the parking lot at Redstone and drove the end loops, drove to the other parking lot where she encountered a bus turning in, turned and parked. I think it went well. I think we’ll do another parking lot and then take a route down county line to Fly’n B, back to Lucent and then right toward home.

Hannah is busy working on a project for a K12 STEM contest, as soon as she’s done I’ll put the video of her invention on here. Her idea is for a cook book for kids where the measuring items are color coded and the recipes show only pictures.

I did not want to go to the gym this morning, but I did anyway. Maybe one week of morning gym session on T, Th, F, Sa, Su will make it feel like I’m supposed to be doing it. On the good side, NIA class is tomorrow morning and that IS a good thing.