Saturday, December 31, 2011

Our Christmas

Little miss Elizabeth G.


Miss Mylie R.

Austin R., Elizabeth and Tristan G. playing

The adults

 Abby, holding Mylie 

Austin was a good listener and had some very interesting questions. :)

Tristan G. takes a ride on Joel

at pinecove
The lovely tree

 Joel, holding cousins Zak and Emma-Grace :)

L-R (Back): Reece, Taylor and Andre. (Front): Dustin and Stefon.

 L-R: cousin Trevor, Aunt Mary, Uncle Jay, Jay's grand-daughter Janice and grandson Easton, cousin Lacey.

cousin Emma-Grace and Jaden

Emma-Grace loved Jaden

Reece and Lauren
cousin Stefon, being his usual goofy self. ;)

Poppy and Mom

Uncle Abe and Joel
Emily H., Andre, Reece and Lauren 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Jaden!

With Johanna in Vicksburg, admiring a house they liked.

Jaden is a semi-expert on weaponry.  He enjoyed posing next to this cannon in Vicksburg.

A self-portrait with my phone ;)

Cheesy smile, but still sincere

Jaden and I, about to go to the park for some outdoor recreation

He’s becoming quite expert at the swing. :)   He enjoys the thrill of jumping out and landing safely.

Johanna, Jaden and I at the park.  It was rather blustry that day.

Jaden having a uniquely Japanese experience, eating Green Tea ice cream with chopsticks!  We visited friends of our uncle who live in Birmingham, and they treated our family to some authentic Japanese food.

Jaden and a Chinese dragon, at the National Missionary Convention, Atlanta Georgia.  I took him for several strolls around the exhibit hall, due to his restlessness.

We found a kids station at the NMC and he spent a lot of time creating cool things out of the toys they had there.

He was so proud of his creation!  Jaden is very creative, and loves to build things.

With Phoebe, reading plaques at the USS Cairo memorial in Vicksburg.  He was fascinated by this gun boat that was sunk during the Civil War.

In downtown, enjoying the festivities of Dickins of a Christmas, and the race Caleb ran in.

He has begged me to take his picture on this spiraled staircase in downtown many times.  The Saturday after Thanksgiving afforded us an opportunity, and it turned out to be a cute picture of Jaden. :D

One of his favorite things… with Caleb. Legos!  For his birthday, he got a huge trains set.  He’s in love. ;)

Posing beside his new set!

Jaden joined our family nine years ago tonight.  I was excited to be a big sister once again, and it has been my privilege to help take care of him from the time he was just a few hours old.

Funny thing: our family held a contest of sorts in the days leading up to his birth, whoever guessed the day nearest to the actual day of his birth got to give him his first bath and dress him.  I choose December 17th, and two days later he was born.  I got to bathe and dress him.  Such a sweet memory.

J — Jovial, joyous, just goofy
A — Alert, always ready to play Legos, all-boy
D – Daring, darling, dimpled, dandy
E – Eager, earnest, ever-ready to assist Caleb or spend time with his chicken
N – Now nine, naturally a lover of outdoor activity, neat in his dress

He’s my little brother, and its hard for me to believe he’s growing up so quickly, the years have slipped past and I look back upon them with fondness.

Happy Birthday Jaden!  I love you. :D

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Tempted by all the sugary holiday"treats" (really "poison") that devastate your immune system?  Try these alternatives.

Our bodies NEED sweets, so let's nourish them while satisfying our sweet tooths.  (Or is that sweet teeth?!)  Let's give our families good, wholesome sugars.  Maybe then we won't give in and eat the junk.

Note:  Be sure all the ingredients are organic.  That way we can thrive, rather than tank, during the busy Christmas season.

 These are from Sweet Temptations: Natural Dessert Book by Frances Kendall

Ginger Nymphs

3/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 cup raisins
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp lemon peel

Grind dates, raisins, and almonds in food processor. Mix in ginger, cinnamon, and lemon peel. Form dough into little balls. Refrigerate or place in freezer until ready to serve.

Touchstone Caramels

1 1/2 cup pitted dates
2 1/2 cups cashews
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (non-alcoholic)
1 cup ground coconut

1/4-1/2 of a lemon zest (from a fresh lemon)

Grind dates, cashews and vanilla in food processor until smooth, add coconut. Refrigerate/freeze for a few hours, or overnight. (Best when frozen!)

Pecan Juliets

3/4 cup pitted dates
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups pecan pieces (or walnut)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Grind all ingredients in a food processor, starting with the nuts and coconut, and adding the rest after the nuts and coconut are fairly finely ground.

Banana Pistols

6 large bananas, peeled
1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked 1 hour in 1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coarsely ground almonds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
(we also sometimes use pecans or other nuts, too)

Cut each banana in half. Push a wooden ice cream stick into the cut end of each half, set aside. Puree dates in soak water at medium speed until smooth. Dip each banana half in date puree, roll in almonds, and sprinkle with coconut. Place on a tray covered with wax paper, and freeze for 5 hours, or until solid. Remove pops from freezer when ready to serve.

This is a recipe I made up.  I don't have exact ingredient measurements.  Just mix it up in the proportions that seem most pleasing to you.  For example, if you're a big nut butter fan, then use more of that than the other ingredients.  Once again, organic ingredients are essential.

Chocolate or Carob Snack

carob or cocoa powder
blackstrap molasses*, honey or agave
almond or cashew butter 
coconut flakes

Mix thoroughly, form into balls and place on wax paper.  If you want something more like a pudding, add
plain or vanilla yogurt 

*Blackstrap molasses is a little on the bitter side, so when using the cocoa powder, choose honey or agave.