The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and Cooking through My Grief

Taking it one recipe at a time. 2013 will be mainly focused on "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook," by Dinah Bucholz, and how doing what I love, cooking, being with my family and reading Harry Potter will help me process my grief associated with loosing my 3 week old daughter, Ruby, on November 18th, 2011.
Join me for a "culinary magical masterpiece" throughout 2013!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A house of Learning/Order

In my last post I made reference that we are starting some new schedules in our home. It is working BEAUTIFULLY!!! So I thought I would share it with you. First off, it has taken me 4 years of trial and error until I have finally come upon this wonderful schedule that works within our lifestyle! It also has taken me 4 years to realize that I cannot be a "last second" Mom any more. I need order, but more importantly Rose and Clark need order. So, if you are looking for a new "order" of things perhaps this will be your magical ticket...also don't think you need kids to make this work! If you just need order and a schedule for you give it a try! I found myself frustrated at Rose, Clark and Brian the majority of the time because they were taking up ALL of my time-lets face it, even Moms need a few moments to themselves. This has helped me out tremendously because I feel that everyone's time needs are met, for the most part. The biggest change has been that I have been so much more patient, loving, and kind to Rose because she no longer is an energy sucker from me-and in turn she is so much more patient, loving and kind to me, because she knows what we are doing and how the order of her day will play out! It is now a beautiful dance of life! Thank you schedule!!!
Here is our daily plan-weekends are a bit messed up, but I still try to stick to this as much as possible and honestly the routine snack time seems to be the most wonderful, ingenious thing I have done yet for my daughter!
8 a.m ish.-(I don't wake my kids up in the morning so typically we aren't up and going til around 9, unless Rose has preschool)
       Dress, hair, brush teeth
       Straighten room
       Scripture power(we read a story or two from the friend, or watch a spiritual video on-line)
       Alone Play time
10:30-Morning Tea (that just sounds cool, we don't really drink tea, but this is a planned out snack, morning snack is usually fruit based, canned or fresh)
       Chore Card-See below for details on how I attempt to make this a fun part of the day:)   
       Structured craft, cooking, computer time etc...this is time with Mommy
1-3 -Story time
       Imagination time a.k.a. nap time-This can be mommy nap time or used as time for my checklist of things to do. I typically try to get dinner prepared at this time as things seem to get crazy once the kiddo's wake up.
3:30-Afternoon Tea (typically a veggie snack)
4 pm-Gym time (I go to the gym to work out, kids play in the child center)
       Educational t.v time
       Get table set for dinner
5:30-6:00-Dinner Time
       Clean up dinner, do dishes
7 pm-Bath time
       Night time snack
       Family Sweep-walk through the house and pick up things/organize before bed
       Brush teeth
       Family scriptures/prayer
8 pm-Bed time-Yay, we all made it through another day!!!

       I also have different day activities. We haven't done these yet because my baby is sick and we haven't been going out, but when he decides to get better these are some of our goals:
       Tues-Stay home day! Cook with Rose (we make fresh homemade bread weekly, so this is a cooking day.
       Thurs.-Zoo or museum day/Morning field trip
       Fri-Swim @ the gym-most of the morning

Things to remember about schedules: They are fantastic to have but be flexible. For example I have a little baby who doesn't understand that I have a 3 year old who also needs attention. Sometimes his feeding schedule interfere's with my time with Rosie, but if this happens we work around it. Clark is on a fantastic schedule though, so most times I know when I need to feed him and when he is ready for his naps so I get good, quality time with my Rose. (if you have a baby and are in need of a schedule, try the "baby wise" plan-I adapted the 3 hour schedule, my own style and it has been a baby life saver for me!)

"You've Got Mail"-Chore Cards

Please don't judge me too harshly, I am somewhat computer illiterate and don't have time or patience to create a beautiful chore card system. So, yes, what you see is hand drawn, and you will notice very quickly that my artistic talent is slim to none! But it truly doesn't matter what a stick figure looks like, right? Besides Rose has not looked at me and said "Mother, (she really does call me Mother, so cute!) Why did you not create these pictures using some cool method on the computer." I'm sure some day she will be excited to teach me how to do that though!
   So the system is: I created 7 chore cards-things that are doable for a 3-4 year old with my help of course-but that is how she learns. One of the chore cards is "Play a game with Mother"-I added this to add an element of fun to the cards, but I am also teaching her how to follow rules and how to have a good time, even if she looses. The problem is she has won every game we have played so far! This girl is AMAZING at chutes and ladders! I cannot stay away from those darn chutes!
A few other chore cards are: mop floor, sweep floor, vacuum floor, wash dishes, clean bathroom, and dust.
I found an ADORABLE little mailbox at target last weekend that was on clearance in the dollar section! Didn't know they clearanced their dollar section, but know I do. I got it for .30 cents! Its perfect! In the morning I have the mailbox filled with her chore cards and the little red flag up. She LOVES to put the flag down and pull out a card. I let her pull out 3 cards and she gets to choose which one she wants to do. Sometimes they get tweaked a bit. Like yesterday she pulled out dusting, but she wanted to wash my sliding door window instead-so I of course let her do that and I dusted. Once the card is picked for the week I put it to the side, so eventually everything in the mailbox gets done. I didn't realize how amazingly helpful this little chore mailbox would be, but I now feel like I'm getting the little things done that never get done and am not neglecting my children-we do it togther!
Here is my picture, seriously, don't judge the simplicity! ;)

Happy Scheduling!!!

Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing; and establish a bhouse, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God.” D&C 88:119

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Walking through the Calm/Dundee Cake (fruitcake) for kids

  I know I have been distracted and not staying on top of my Harry Potter posts, I'm sorry to all of my faithful readers! :) Life gets busy sometimes, lets just say that.
  Well tonights Dinah Bucholz Harry Potter treat is the Dundee Cake, which is a fruit cake, and is actually a very yummy fruit cake. I sound a bit skeptical but I really don't like fruit cake and was not looking forward to making it, but I am learning to love Dinah's taste on her take of the HP menu. This recipe calls for apple juice and juice from an orange. I was fresh out of apple juice, but had a beautiful green apple. So we pulled out my amazing Breville, juicer, and made our own. If you have never juiced a green apple before I highly recommend it! YUMMY! We also juiced a minneola, which is like an orange, but perhaps a bit more tart. They are my favorite!!! I believe they are only available in grocery stores right now though, so run to the store and buy yourself a box of mineola's! You will not regret it! I took a picture of tonights treat, just wanted you to be aware that I attempted toasting almonds, I say attempted because you will notice that I blackened most of them...that is because I have not mastered multi-tasking yet, or perhaps I should say I have not learned that I shouldn't multi-task! Either way, Dinah has also taught me to fall in Love with everything Almond! I love almond extract and toasted almonds! Super, super yummy and add a fantastic flavor!
  This week Brian and I made a strange realization. We realized one night as we were having a discussion that we were struggling, having a difficult time. Why is this, we wondered. Both of our children are healthy, we are financially stable, our cars are running great, we have been amply blessed-so why are we not connecting??! And we realized that looking back on our marriage we have litterally spent most of it in high stress situations and have not learned how to relax, and enjoy the calm of life. It was time for a change, truly we should be walking blissfully everywhere we go because of the low level of stress! We have tried to make a few changes in our day to day schedule-and by changes I mean actually making a schedule, making time for each other-puting dating on the top of our to-do list, spending time with our children and just learning to enjoy a calm life. It is interesting how when things are calm there is this strange level of discomfort and a sense that we must cause some sort of upheaval to have purpose again. So, all of those years that we spent praying that the rocks in our road would be removed perhaps have been answered, and the Lord is now smiling down on us as we learn how to enjoy the calm. I put this in as part of my Ruby post because I don't think we are alone with this feeling. Perhaps others have felt the way we do, after walking through a refiners fire, of sorts, and truly needing your spouse as a strength and help, you wake up at some point after that and realize that you have spent way too much time stressing and having the water over your head you forgot to take care of the seemingly little things, like the love notes, the phone calls, the flowers and even just the kind words. I guess I am realizing that life ebbs and flows, and my one true constant is my husband, and we are learning, and sometimes struggling to learn how to continue to Love through all the changes of life!
Have you experienced this? has this ebb and flow of life effected you in your relationship? Just hoping we aren't alone...


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Peas and Carrots

Last weeks Harry Potter treat I ended up doing 2 recipes...Peas and Carrots! The peas were super yummy and the carrots were ok. I think carrots cook up perfectly and don't need any added sweeteners, so that is why I say they are ok. With the simplicity of the meal I can't help but think of the simplicity that can be present in life. My little Rose and Clark remind me of this daily. Rosie asks "I want snuggles Mother", which reminds me to slow down and take a few minutes with her. Clark rolled over for the first time yesterday, which reminds me that no matter how much I want to just bottle him up and keep him little forever, it can't happen. I love the little smiles and little hands I get to hold everyday. It seems like such a battle to slow down and yet those moments are the ones that matter most at the end of my day.
  Another thought on Peas and Carrots, although they are very different vegetables they seem to go together so well at a meal! Our family is somewhat set up like peas and carrots, with Ruby in heaven and us here. We keep Ruby alive in our life by still praying every day for her, that she is happy, we reminse of her life and wonder what she is up too know, every day. We ask Rosie where Ruby is...sometimes she say's she is at the hospital, but most of the time she says she is with Heavenly Father, and that makes us all smile. I'm sure that Ruby, though she is in heaven is very near us at times. I believe that even though she was taken home earlier than we had hoped she is still a very present blessing and sweet addition to our family.

"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Isaiah 55:12