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How does your garden grow?

After all of the rain we received over the past week, our little garden is growing like crazy!  We took a chance planting a (big for us) vegetable patch this spring since our house is still on the market, but we decided it was worth it since it's a wonderful learning opportunity for the little ones and we love having fresh produce in our back yard.
 What started as two beds, has quickly become one thanks to our crazy melon patch...maybe I should have listened when my dad tried to tell me melons take up a lot of space?
 We have spent hours marveling at these baby watermelons, but really, aren't they adorable? 
The little girls insist on trekking out many times per day to visit "the babies."

Our cucumber plants have quickly scaled the fence and are now using the rose bush as a trellis

We have enjoyed lots of salads from our lettuce and picked the first beans for Saturday's dinner.  Our little bean teepees are holding up well!
I'm not sure if it's me or Reader, but the picture tool is doing weird things...
We do have some very happy news- it looks like our house will be having new owners at the end of the month, so we have been in a packing and house-hunting frenzy.  Though I am not complaining and we will just be happy to be under one roof again, I had forgotten how crazy the moving process is, especially with little people who are not fond of seeing their belongings go into boxes!
Joing up with:


9th Birthday



9 years ago we were given a gift of these 2 and it was the best gift ever.  Never could I have imagined how caring, smart, curious, and unique you each are- it is such a pleasure to be your Mom!

Happy Birthday, B and AC!


Gluten -Free Dairy-Free Breakfast Ideas

So, I'm clearly having a hard time finding time to blog.  I know this busy time is just one of life's seasons, but considering how much I enjoy reading previous posts, I know I will look back and regret not keeping a record.  All that to say, I'm really going to do my best to write at least a few times per week....not making any promises, but I'm much more likely to follow through now that I have it out.
One more thing concerning the blog- very soon there will be some really big changes here!  I'm really excited about it and I'm dying to share, but can't until a few things are worked out.  So, stay tuned!
One thing that has kept me plenty busy is finding out 3 of our little ones are allergic to dairy aand 2 are also allergic to gluten. Basically, we have had to make some big changes in our diet because we decided it was easier for all of us to be gluten and dairy free than trying to juggle different meals for each child- no thanks.Cutting out dairy has been a lot more difficult than gluten, but we have all adapted pretty well and we have only shed a few tears over the loss of icecream.
We are big breakfast eaters and we especially love waffles, pancakes, cinnamon rolls...everything we can't have, but luckily we have adapted some of our favorite recipes to work with our new way eating and they really do taste as good as the original, maybe better.  Hope you enjoy!!

Gluten Free and Dairy Free Peach Pancakes

2 1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup flax seed (cold milled)


Catching Up

I never intended to take such a long break from blogging, but between computer and camera issues needing to be resolved and the typical chaos of having a busy household the months sort of got away from me! 
A photo dump(not many as my camera has been at the shop a lot) from the past few months.
 LJ and MC sharing a snack
Wish they were always this sweet to each other
 A little princess helping mommy make bread
 Playing in the leaves
These two are so grown up and I have to say, 8 may be my favorite age so far!

The line-up of cousins at the farm on Easter
MC was not so interested in hunting eggs

 LJ sure was though!

We picked lots and lots of strawberries.  My hands may be stained red forever.
But it was worth it because we have 12 half-pint jars of strawberry jam and tons for the freezer to show for our hard work.
In some ways not blogging for a few months was a good thing, but I sure missed it and I love having my version of a scrapbook!  Hope each of you have a great weekend!


Favorite Soup for Cold Nights

Our family loves soup and we usually have it a couple times per week during our winter months.  Kelly is asking everyone to share their favorite soup recipe, so I thought I would share ours.  I got this recipe many years ago when T and I were first married and I'm pretty sure it was in the Chattanooga Times newspaper...one thing I am really looking foward to with our move is having a great newspaper again!

Tuscan Chicken Stew

1 pound chicken breast cut into 1 inch pcs.
1/2 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
14 ounces chicken broth
16 ounces rinsed and drained cannellini beans
7 ounces roasted red bell pepper, drained and chopped
3 1/2 cups torn baby spinach

Toss the cut up chickn with the rosemary, salt, and pepper.  Brown in the oil over medium-high heat.  When browned, add the garlic and saute 1 minute.
Add the chicken, broth, beans and roasted red pepper to the crockpot and cook on low 4-5 hours.  Stir in the spinach and cook on low 30 minutes to 1 hour.

So easy and delicious!


A Healthy Snack Recipe

One of my goals for 2013 is to continue cutting out as much processed food as possible and keep healthy homemade snacks on hand.  The inspiration for this recipe came from the back of a graham cracker box, but I substituted and added whole grains and coconut oil to make it more nutritious.  The original recipes uses condensed milk and I couldn't come up with a healthier substitution....any one want to share one ?

Banana Graham Cookie Bars

1 1/2 cups graham crackers finely crushed

1/4 cup flax seed meal

3 Tbsp. wheat germ

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup coconut oil

3 mashed ripe bananas

1-2 cups dark chocolate chips

1 cup finely chopped almonds

1 cup flaked coconut

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  To make the graham cracker crumbs, run them through a food processor or place the graham crackers in a plastic bag and roll a rolling pin over until finely crushed.

2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3.  Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, flax seed, wheat germ, flour, and baking powder.

4.  In another bowl, beat sweetened condensed milk, coconut oil, and bananas until smooth.  Add vanilla extract.  Add crumb mixture and stir until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips, almonds and coconut.

Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan and bake 30 min or until set. 

These are so good and got 4 stars from my little ones!