Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yummy Stuffed Acorn Squash

So two nights ago, while wrestling with my overwhelming craving for new veggies, I had Sam bring me home an acorn squash. I've never been much of a squash eater, and just in the last year or so have I stared to come around, now don't get me wrong you lovers of squash, I like the flavor, it was getting past the part where I felt like I was eating mushed baby food that was hard for me.
After spending about 20 minutes going through different recipes online, I decided I wanted to stuff my squash, but with what? Everything online contained high amounts of sugar, bread crumbs, corn. . . all things that we can't have. So I raided my cupboards and came up with this delightful, savory little blend.


One Acorn Squash
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup shredded zucchini
1/4 Cup shredded carrots
1/4 Cup cooked quinoa (we used black quinoa)
Handful of chopped pecans


Cut the acorn squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. In a separate bowl combine the olive oil, zucchini, carrots, quinoa and pecans.
Fill the hallows of the acorn squash with your mixture.
Put squash filling side up in a glass baking dish with about a half inch of water, cover with tinfoil and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender.

And wallah, pretty simple huh. Not only was the taste amazing (even my kids liked it), but it would make a pretty little centerpiece for the table during dinner!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crazy Times!!

When the calender rolled from August into September, my baby was still...well, a baby. He had begun to push up onto his hands and knees and rock a little, but otherwise, he was fairly stationary.

Then, in the first 3 days of daddy being gone, he started to lunge at the toys he wanted and he taught himself to sit on his own. Now, just a mere 18 days later and my boy is gorilla walking around the room, pulling himself to a standing position on objects and sitting with out any help at all. I feel the surge of pride watching him grow and accomplish things on his own, but at the same time, infinite sadness knowing that he IS growing up and becoming more independent and he is only FIVE months old! I realize it has been awhile since my other boys were this age, but I don't remember them growing quite this quickly.

The last few weeks have flown by a lot quicker than I had anticipated, and we got a lot accomplished, at least in our little world. We finally made it down to New Mexico to get the some of my older boys' belongings that have been in storage almost a decade, and we had a great visit with family we don't see nearly enough while we were there, it was wonderful!

J found a fun bug while he was shooting rocks with his slingshot at overlook.
It's right there in front of him, yes that is a centipede (ewwwww)!!

D had a birthday, double-digits. . . VERY important birthday for a young man. He opted to have a piece of raw, vegan, blueberry cheesecake that our local health food store carries instead of having mom make him a birthday cake. I'm going to have to learn to make this cheesecake, and then I would love to share it with you!

And I got my husband back!
He had a great trip, I guess Cordova is a pretty amazing little town, so much so that we are looking at the possibility of relocating to there hopefully in the near future. Married to a fisherman, I could get used to eating like this every night.

Fresh coho salmon steak, YUMMM!! I have a freezer full of this, and couldn't be happier about it. Rumor has it there may be some halibut on it's way to me from part of the crew that is still up there, I'd be ok with that too!!

It's good to have daddy back!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Hungry Child Can't Wait: Ask 5 for 5

Guest Blogger: Sarah Lenssen from #Ask5for5
Family photos by Mike Fiechtner Photography

Thank you Monday Morning Coffee and nearly 150 other bloggers from around the world for allowing me to share a story with you today, during Social Media Week.

A hungry child in East Africa can't wait. Her hunger consumes her while we decide if we'll respond and save her life. In Somalia, children are stumbling along for days, even weeks, on dangerous roads and with empty stomachs in search of food and water. Their crops failed for the third year in a row. All their animals died. They lost everything. Thousands are dying along the road before they find help in refugee camps. 

At my house, when my three children are hungry, they wait minutes for food, maybe an hour if dinner is approaching. Children affected by the food crisis in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia aren't so lucky. Did you know that the worst drought in 60 years is ravaging whole countries right now, as you read this? Famine, a term not used lightly, has been declared in Somalia. This is the world's first famine in 20 years.12.4 million people are in need of emergency assistance and over 29,000 children have died in the last three months alone. A child is dying every 5 minutes. It it estimated that 750,000 people could die before this famine is over. Take a moment and let that settle in.

The media plays a major role in disasters. They have the power to draw the attention of society to respond--or not. Unfortunately, this horrific disaster has become merely a footnote in most national media outlets. News of the U.S. national debt squabble and the latest celebrity's baby bump dominate headlines. That is why I am thrilled that nearly 150 bloggers from all over the world are joining together today to use the power of social media to make their own headlines; to share the urgent need of the almost forgotten with their blog readers. Humans have the capacity to care deeply for those who are suffering, but in a situation like this when the numbers are too huge to grasp and the people so far away, we often feel like the little we can do will be a drop in the ocean, and don't do anything at all.

When news of the famine first hit the news in late July, I selfishly avoided it. I didn't want to read about it or hear about it because I knew I would feel overwhelmed and uncomfortable. I wanted to protect myself. I knew I would need to do something if I knew what was really happening. You see, this food crisis is personal. I have a 4-year-old son and a 1 yr-old daughter who were adopted from Ethiopia and born in regions now affected by the drought. If my children still lived in their home villages, they would be two of the 12.4 million. My children: extremely hungry and malnourished? Gulp. I think any one of us would do anything we could for our hungry child. But would you do something for another mother's hungry child?

My friend and World Vision staffer, Jon Warren, was recently in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya--the largest refugee camp in the world with over 400,000 people. He told me the story of Isnino Siyat, 22, a mother who walked for 10 days and nights with her husband, 1 yr-old-baby, Suleiman, and 4 yr.-old son Adan Hussein, fleeing the drought in Somalia. When she arrived at Dadaab, she built the family a shelter with borrowed materials while carrying her baby on her back. Even her dress is borrowed. As she sat in the shelter on her second night in camp she told Jon, "I left because of hunger. It is a very horrible drought which finished both our livestock and our farm." The family lost their 5 cows and 10 goats one by one over 3 months, as grazing lands dried up. "We don't have enough food now...our food is finished. I am really worried about the future of my children and myself if the situation continues."

Will you help a child like Baby Suleiman? Ask5for5 is a dream built upon the belief that you will.

That something I knew I would need to do became a campaign called #Ask5for5 to raise awareness and funds for famine and drought victims. The concept is simple, give $5 and ask five of your friends to give $5, and then they each ask five of their friends to give $5 and so on--in nine generations of 5x5x5...we could raise $2.4 Million! In one month, over 750 people have donated over $25,000! I set up a fundraiser at See Your Impact and 100% of the funds will go to World Vision, an organization that has been fighting hunger in the Horn of Africa for decades and will continue long after this famine has ended. Donations can multiply up to 5 times in impact by government grants to help provide emergency food, clean water, agricultural support, healthcare, and other vital assistance to children and families suffering in the Horn.

I need you to help me save lives. It's so so simple; here's what you need to do:

  1. Donate $5 or more on this page (http://seeyourimpact.org/members/ask5for5)
  2. Send an email to your friends and ask them to join us.
  3. Share #Ask5for5 on Facebook and Twitter!
I'm looking for another 100 bloggers to share this post on their blogs throughout Social Media Week. Email me at ask5for5@gmail.com if you're interested in participating this week.

A hungry child doesn't wait. She doesn't wait for us to finish the other things on our to-do list, or get to it next month when we might have a little more money to give. She doesn't wait for us to decide if she's important enough to deserve a response. She will only wait as long as her weakened little body will hold on...please respond now and help save her life. Ask 5 for 5.

Thank you on behalf of all of those who will be helped--you are saving lives and changing history.

p.s. Please don't move on to the next website before you donate and email your friends right now. It only takes 5 minutes and just $5, and if you're life is busy like mine, you probably won't get back to it later. Let's not be a generation that ignores hundreds of thousands of starving people, instead let's leave a legacy of compassion. You have the opportunity to save a life today!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Double Digits

At 9:36 this morning my little boy, my baby middle son, will officially turn TEN! This is a big milestone for him, and even a bigger one for me.
The last 10 years have held a lot of changes and growing as a parent, and as a person who is capable of being the type of parent that I want to was meant to be. I have gone from being a young wife and a teenage (19yr old) mom to a (20 yr old) widow and single mom of two very small (19mo and 4 mo) baby boys, shortly after my first husband passed away I turned into a mom that I wasn't very proud to be, I just wasn't as involved as I should have / wanted to be. Through a 5 year journey, 4 states, 8 apartments, 3 elementary schools, a two year illness that turned out to be a mass amount of food allergies,  more cocktails than I am proud to admit and some VERY caring, supportive and understanding family and friends, I came to find myself and who I truly believe my kids needed me to be. We own a home, the boys are fairly successful in school, they have some good childhood friends, I have met and married an amazing man / father and together we have a wonderful little baby boy to add to our expanded family. I have become grounded, centered, I have found my way back to God, and I have learned I am still learning how to be a good mother, how to be there for my kids and how to teach them to be who they are destined to be, instead of who I think they should be.
So here is to the last decade, may the next one be even brighter, happier and full of giggles!
*** This slide show starts when Devin was a little over two years old, all the rest of my photographs are on film (yes film) and my scanner wasn't working.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Five Months

I cannot, for the life of me, believe that my baby is five months old. He is trying his best to crawl, just yesterday he figured out how to push up into a sitting position (and stay that way), his sweet little personality is really start to develop and he has gotten very good with a few basic signs (as well as screaming if you don't notice what he wants right away).

Yesterday, D and I decided to take C out and take his 5 month pictures while J was at a Boy Scout thing.

C was having a lot of fun playing in the basket with the apples and the flowers, I am in some serious trouble when this kid gets more mobile! 

Here are some of the pictures we came up with. I love how inquisitive my boy is.

 And of course, EVERYTHING has to go in the mouth.  . .

He was watching his big brother running through the river bottom

He can't wait to run with him

Sunday, September 4, 2011

You Capture ~ Peace

Here is Peace in my home.

My two youngest boys, sleepin in mommy's bed.


He loves his baby brother SO much

My daddy came for a visit today, he got to meet his new grandson for the first time. 

 And snuggling with his oldest grandson.

What does peace look like in your home?

Find more You Capture posts on


Friday, September 2, 2011

It's Going To Be A Long Two Weeks. . .

Sam left this morning for a two week work (fishing) trip to Alaska. It was a pretty gloomy morning in our house this morning, not even C was handing out smiles. I made the kids a big batch of hazelnut, maple pancakes for breakfast and some taco's for lunch, I am hoping this perks their moods today!
While on the way home I saw the sign saying that the Pumpkin Spice Latte is back at Starbucks, this brought on a feeling of disappointment since that is my favorite drink, and this is the first year I cannot have one due to EBF C who is HIGHLY allergic to cane sugar and dairy. So I took things into my own hands, making a perfect pumpkin spice latte at home, that is much healthier than Starbucks and tastes amazingly similar!

  • espresso or coffee
  • non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened rice, lighter taste)
  • 1 tsp organic pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut agave
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

Fill your mug half with hot coffee and half with hot milk, slowly stir in pumpkin puree. When pumpkin is dissolved add agave, nutmeg and cinnamon.

I hope this makes your morning as wonderful as it did mine! I can only hope that my hubby stays this nice, warm and cozy while he is up there in Alaska *working*. Hehehe