Sunday, January 25, 2015

52 Adventures | Jumping Around at the Secret Dunes

We discovered a little piece of heaven, not too far from our house. No longer do we have to drive to the coast to play in the sand!! You can barely call these dunes, but the sand is soft and warmed by the sun and perfect enough for jumping and digging. Jumping contests are the best.

Have you been adventuring lately? Post photos on Instagram or Facebook with #52adventures!
To see other adventures we take, click here. We try to do lots of fun stuff. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Massaman Vegetable Curry

The adults in this house love rice and curry -- anything Thai or Indian really. Especially the kind with crushed peanuts. But since we discovered Pete's peanut allergy, we've had to be more creative with our cooking and find babysitters for a bi-annual Thai peanut sauce feast. This curry has an almond butter base, so it's safe for our kiddos -- that doesn't mean they like it though. Vegetables? Spices? They'll pass. Hopefully with maturity will come smarter tastebuds. ;) And I'll keep making this recipe until they decide they like it!

This isn't a difficult recipe to make -- just have your veggies prepared before beginning and don't over-cook them! The spices should make the perfect blend of sweet/spicy/sour. *fingers crossed*

Massaman Vegetable Curry
inspired by Vegan Richa

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, sliced
2 tsp minced ginger (or 1 tsp powdered ginger)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of cauliflower flowerettes
1 cup of green beans
2 carrots, diced
1/2 tsp salt 
2 tbsp red curry paste [Thai Kitchen]
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/4 tsp fennel seeds or anise
3 tbsp almond butter [or peanut butter]
1 tbsp sugar
5-6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
1 cup coconut milk
3/4 cup water 
bean sprouts for garnish {optional}

Saute onion in oil on medium heat for a few minutes. Add ginger, garlic, cauliflower, green beans, carrots, and salt and saute for 4-5 minutes. Add the curry paste and spices and cook for another couple minutes. Stir in almond butter, sugar, tamarind concentrate, coconut milk and water and then mushrooms and let cook for another 6-8 minutes. Add bean sprouts during the last couple minutes of cooking if you like. Salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro and/or peanuts and serve with your favorite kind of rice. Serves 3-4.

Feel free to substitute vegetables as you prefer!

Monday, January 19, 2015

52 Adventures | Snow Trekking and Fire Building

Have you been adventuring lately? Post photos on Instagram or Facebook with #52adventures!
To see other adventures we take, click here. We try to do lots of fun stuff. :)

Friday, January 16, 2015

Things To Consider | Weekending

That they can still love me when I have to be really tough on them. Cause you know mommy can't let you eat right before bed because you were too distracted to eat at mealtime. So mean, right? Tonight was like this: me -- "love you buzz" him -- "okay". He'll say love-you-too when he feels like it.

That part of life that ebbs and flows. You feel really bored and consider taking on more work or starting new projects and then your kiddo is sick and needs you and life just fills up all of a sudden with things you must do.

That I gauge success in life in terms of photos. There must be lots of good photos and that means there must be things to photograph. School until 3pm, gymnastics, piano lessons and practicing, homework, dark evenings, cold weather --- not one of these things helps with my definition of success. I either have to let go this expectation for myself or be more creative with my photography.

That I get really itchy without a new blog post every fourth or fifth day. I used to get itchy if two days went by without posting, so I guess I'm making progress. *scratch, scratch* I don't want to post just for the sake of posting, but you know. I like how Kristen defines herself as a "crock-pot blogger". Sometimes the best things take time.

weekend shares ||
Eating: the yummiest ever chicken corn enchiladas with cojita cheese and green sauce
Enjoying: you might think I'm crazy, but my husband makes REALLY good kombucha and I LIKE it
Listening: to songs by joe brooks from this album
Pinning: this raspberry chia seed jam
Tweeting: this cute photo of my Haitian friends riding in the miracle truck to church
Planning: just bought tickets to the fiery furnace guided hike -- going to UTAH for Spring Break!!!
Watching : this interesting Ted Talk about giving cash directly to the poor
Resolving: to exercise my optimism muscle

Have a good weekend. :)

Friday, January 09, 2015

My One Little Word for 2015 + January Goals

We're a week into the new year and I think I'm ready to announce my one little word for 2015. There has been time to think lately [praise God!], so I've been listing up my reflections and goals and generally thinking about what matters the most. Around the first day of the year I was pretty sure my word would have something to do with being certain, since I've been saying "I don't know" so much lately. But I'm afraid it would be healthier to approach life with an open-minded "I'm still learning" attitude than to hope for an assured, got-it-all-figured-out perspective [which I would love, mind you]. I'm realizing the freedom in not knowing and trying to release the tight grasp that shouts -- figure it out! solve the problem! give me the answer! Things wash out. People adjust. Bad things turn around. Kids learn. So CONTROL won't be my word of the year. Nope.

Rather -- my word deals with something I've been avoiding about myself. #confession Well, maybe avoiding isn't the right word? Something like its-who-I-am-so-oh-well? Resignation? OK >> out with it. I'm kind-of a pessimist.

It was evident last weekend as I moped around -- "the weather is lowsy, I'm worried about the first day of school, why can't we figure things out, I just want a bit of quiet, I'm such a worrier, will we make this day count or won't we"....on and on. I stopped to listen to myself. Then -- I conducted an experiment. I adopted a new tone of voice [albeit a silly, high-pitched one] and started responding to all comments positively, with "how fortunate we are" and "even this bad thing brings rewards". I paid complements, splattered out I love yous, and seemed altogether cheeeeeesed-out. My husband said I sounded fruit loops but that he liked it. He could handle a bit more optimism out of me.

I think we all could. So I've decided to fake it till I make it. We'll have swiss cheese and harvarti cheese and feta cheese and squeaky cheese and don't forget the easy cheese. #pretenditssillystring

Do some of you know what I mean? When you've lived as a pessimist [think Eeyore] for so long, it can sound really ridiculous to talk cheerfully. It's of character. That's what I mean by cheese. And fake it till you make it. I'm not going to be tooooo weird about it, but I really want to give it a fair shake. Because the words I say and the way I say them affect the people around me. Especially my kiddos. And I want them to turn out more like Tigger [with a little more self-awareness and empathy] or Winnie the Pooh [with a little more brain and less sweet tooth] than Eeyore [even though he's adorable and I completely understand where he's coming from]. 

Wow. And all that was just the intro....

[drum roll]
My word for 2015 is OPTIMISM.

Because I need it, they need it, the world needs it. I can be happy and cheerful and stuff, especially when things are going well. But this is about when little things start to get me down and I start saying things like "I'm so depressed about..." or "why does this never..." That's when my word of the year is going to speak. And it might sound corny at first.

Optimism is like seeing the white space while tree skiing [such a terrific analogy, right? stole it from dig this chick!] Yes, there are trees, but we're not focusing on them. We're focusing on the possibilities, the strengths, the hidden value, the underlying joy, the grace. The trees can stay in my peripheral vision, flying by, definitely there, but making a way for me.

Cowabunga. It's gonna be a good year. #highfive

January Goals: 
{last month's goals -- whatever we didn't complete we erased off the list anyway #cleanslate}

For the blog...
+ a post about kids and faith #onmyheart
+ a short daily life film #learningvideo
+ massaman curry recipe
+ book review #interrupted

For our family...
+ cross country ski adventures
+ make family chores a habit
+ go to the jump park with friends
+ try stop motion animation

For me personally...
+ figure out what kind of house projects we want to do
+ find some taking-video and editing-video inspiration
+ search for new favorite tunes
+ read Mere Christianity