Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

I'll admit I'm not the least bit sad to see you go.  You have been a "trying" year to put it nicely :)  BUT, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" right?  I'm still standing... hopefully a little wiser, a little more kind, a little more patient (working on it) and thankful, thankful, thankful for all that I have.  Despite 2009 being slightly horrid, I was blessed with the gift of a baby girl.  Having this precious angel has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl.  And she's finally here... the silver lining on our cloudy year :)
Thank you to my dear husband for continuing to amaze me with your humility, generosity and selflessness.  Thank you to all of my beautiful children for choosing us!  I know I'm not always the most patient mama, so thank you for your sweet hugs and thoughtful and cute little things you do and say to cheer me up.

Tonight Dylan said, "mama, don't worry... I understand"
me-  you do?
D-  yep, you just really need daddy around, don't ya?
me-  laughter :)

Today, after endless driving (long story, maybe later) Sory (tired of being strapped in the carseat) said, "mama, may I be "scused?".  We've been trying to get the boys to ask to be excused when they are finished with dinner, so I was totally tickled to hear him ask to be "scused" from the carseat :)
They really are listening... even when it seems they're really not.

To celebrate 2010 I thought I'd reminisce a little and write 10 things I was doing 10 years ago.  Boy how life has changed!  Here goes:

1.  I was living in Ft. Lauderdale, FL
2.  I was a nanny to two small boys who were a HANDFUL!
3.  Everyone was worried about Y2K :)
4.  One of my best friends died of a drug overdose
5.  I was wanting to move to NYC
6.  I was in a faze where I was constantly comparing myself to other girls and wondering where my life was headed.  I wondered "why is Shoshanna Lonstein so successful at such a young age and here I am in limbo?  Am I making a mistake being here?"  The the lady I worked for told me two things I'd never forget.  First, NOTHING you do in your twenties is a mistake and second, it's all about timing and who you know.  OK, Shoshanna definitely must have a few connections, right?  at least it made me feel better at the time.
7.  That whole crazy Emilio Gonzales (little boy who floated on a life raft from Cuba) thing was going on, especially crazy living in south Florida.  The city was so divided.  Cuban flags in some areas, American flags in others.
8.  The "Thong Song" was huge.
9.  Hurricane Floyd was a near direct hit!
10.  Lots of lessons learned during my time there.  Opened my eyes to a whole other world.

"There are some years in our lives that we would not want to live again. But even these years will pass away, and the lessons learned will be a future blessing."

Happy New Year!!!!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Oh, I see...

You're getting to know yourself
and you feel insecure because you realize you're imperfect
you think when you have children one day they will be perfect
then you have children
you realize they are imperfect
then you realize they are perfectly imperfect
then you realize you are perfectly imperfect.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

B-Day and Randomness

A couple pics. of Sory's party. He shared it this year with his life-long buddy. Their birthdays are only a week apart and in the middle of the holidays, so it worked out perfect. They had SO much fun as you can see!
Blowing out the candles. These three little guys seen here, were babies like yesterday! How time flies!
And just so random and sweet I couldn't help myself. A little bath in the kitchen sink. At first Miss Avi wasn't so sure about taking a bath with the wild child...
but, she slowly warmed up. These two are buddies. I have a feeling they may gang up on big bro. one day.
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A Little More Christmas...

Grandpa's "tiny" gift. We were laughing that morning because Gran. Ran had opened this teeny tiny gift card and then his next present was ginormous... one of those comfy, spongy matresses. Gran. Ann made sure his last present was middle sized :)
Reading new stories with Grandma. She got us the cutest old fashioned stories about three little boys from Sweden named "Snipp, Snapp and Snurr". We've been reading them together and the boys love them. It has been making me want to move to Sweden or a least get a Swedish nanny.
The tired couple.
Three happy kids! I love seeing them sitting together like this :)
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Christmas 2009

The big morning was finally here! The kiddies barely slept a wink the night before. I don't think I've ever seen them so excited, but this year Santa was bringing some pretty big ticket items... a Wii and for D and Sory and a Nintendo dsi that D has been wanting forever. When I asked him how much these things cost, his reply was "don't worry Mama! Santa just makes it!" Of course he does :)

Miss Avi modeling her cute little crochet hat with flower. This is probably the last time she will ever wear it. She's been pulling hats off left and right these days.

Sory and his favorite color changing Hot Wheels. Good job Santa! Sory played with this the entire day.

And the proud owner of a Nintendo dsi... these are actually very amazing. Like a mini computer. I kind of want one myself.

We had a wonderful Christmas with the family and Grandma Ann and Grandpa Ran. It was so nice having them here as always. We opened presents followed by my famous Christmas morning egg and sausage casserole. That afternoon we enjoyed a delicious "linner" of prime rib, cranberries, salad, baby broccolini and Grandpa's famous scalloped potatoes. Then it was a plate full of goodies and my honey's famous cherry pie for dessert. My mom found us REAL lard from pastured pigs. Hubby baked the pie crust using the lard and it was the best pie crust I have ever tasted. Nothing like the real thing! And I must mention that Christmas eve we enjoyed Grandma's famous gumbo. She also used the pastured lard and I have to say, that girl knows how to make a gumbo. THE BEST GUMBO EVER :)
I am oh so grateful for the wonderful food we are able to share and the amazing family I have been blessed with! Happy Christmas everyone!
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Little Love

December 19th, this little man turned four. Our Sory (as we sometimes call him) is such a joy, a mischief maker and a soft hearted, affectionate guy! And I can't believe he is FOUR.

Here are the top 4 reasons I love Sory... believe me, it was hard to narrow it down to 4, but here we go:

1. He LOVES his little sister. He is a sensitive soul. Watching him with her melts my heart and I know he'll be an excellent daddy one day. He tells me he wants to have 4 kids... all girls :)
2. He has a great sense of humor and loves to make people laugh... funny faces, funny noises... whatever it takes.
3. He is adventurous. Sory is our daredevil and even tries to lure his older brother into testing the waters at times. I love his try anything attitude.
4. He is SO affectionate. He is the only kiddo that will let you wrap him up and snuggle him tight.

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Monday, December 14, 2009

NEVER Honk At A Tired Mama

On less than 5 hours of sleep, I bounce out of bed, shower, get dressed, dress my three little birds, make breakfast, make lunch, feed the littlest birdie and throw everyone in the car to get to school promptly by 8:30am.
I am tired, a little flustered, wishing I could go home and fall into bed.  I'm in the car line to drop off my oldest kiddo, I get out to hand him his belongings and give a kiss... that's when I notice some poor little girl has dropped hot pink snow pants on the sidewalk.  Yes, I'm in the car line, but am I supposed to leave pants there to be trampled and forgotten?????  No!  So, I do what anyone would do, I get out and get the pants and hand them to my kiddo to take inside.
Ok, for some reason it's WAY too embarressing to take someone else's snow pants into school and give them to the front desk.  So, I grab the pants, leaving my two littlest in the car line and run them in.  Takes me all of 10 seconds... tops.
I come back to someone HONKING at me to move!  Many inappropriate thoughts are now flooding my mind, but instead I smile and give and innocent wave.  I then proceed to peel out of the parking lot, making sure everyone in line knows... NEVER honk at a tired Mama!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Was Oscar Wilde Spying On Me?

Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination.

Oscar Wilde

He took the words right out of my mouth

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

So Sad

Is this the most pathetic picture you ever saw? My big bros. get to go play and sled and build snow forts and I have to sit here with Sagen (our loyal dolly)? Seriously??

More Amazing Snow

Here lies the street. And tonight it looks exactly the same. Are the plows coming?
The sidewalk cleared by a nice man and his snow blower. The Daddy wants one SO bad, but shoveling is such a great workout!
And the digging out has begun!
Poor little baby wanted outside so bad today! She kept going to the door and fussing. It's tough being the baby.
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Snow Bunnies

Daddy training for the Iditarod.
D and his new sled.
Cuties in the snow fort. Every year Daddy builds a snow tunnel or fort for the kids to hide out in when they need a break from sledding. Here they are curled up in their igloo.
This was the first year my little Sory got out there and really had fun. I love watching my babies grow up!
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It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas!

The boys made a little ginger bread train while we were stuck inside. I was trying to give it a "snowy" effect with the cotton balls... not sure I accomplished that. Dylan told me "Mama, that does NOT look like the picture".
Our trusty tree. I didn't realize I only captured half of it. Oh well, you get the idea. I love having it up. Makes everything look so festive.
And the wreath. I think the snow adds the perfect touch. This is THE coldest place I've ever lived in my life. Never grew up with snow or hats or boots or mittens, but it is beautiful this time of year and now that I'm used to pine trees and snowy Christmases, I really can't imagine it any other way. Although, once the holidays are over, I'll be counting down the days until May... maybe June.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

The Stew Verdict

It's a hit! Ate our Yellow Split Pea, Kale and Sausage stew tonight. We used our homemade turkey stock instead of the water. It was so rich and flavorful. Also, a dollop of Straus Plain Whole Milk Yogurt on top. Delicious! My kiddos even liked it. And next time definitely soaking my yellow split peas. I didn't and they took twice as long to cook.

Still blizzarding outside. Time to curl up and dream of sugar plums :)

Ok, one last easy recipe before I retire...

Kale Chips
1 bunch of kale chopped, stems removed
Spread over a baking sheet
Drizzle with olive oil
Sprinkle with sea salt

I baked at 375 for about 15 minutes. They came out light and crispy. A perfect little snack or appetizer. (thank you to my neighbor for sharing)

What's For Dinner?

Yellow Split Pea, Kale and Sausage Stew

    2 cups of yellow split peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
    1 onion, peeled and chopped into about 1/4 inch pieces
    3 garlic cloves, pressed or finely minced
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 teaspoons dried basil
    I bunch of kale, washed, tough stems cut off and coarsely chopped
    2 large tomatoes, washed and chopped into chunks
    3/4 pound of mild Italian sausage
    1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    2 teaspoons sea salt
    freshly ground pepper
    2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

*Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat, When hot (though not smoking) add onion and cook until just starting to soften (make sure you stir during this process).

*Add garlic and cook one minute. Then add the yellow split peas, 8 cups of water, and the dried basil and cumin. Bring to a simmer and cook covered for about 30-40 minutes, until the yellow split peas are soft (but not mushy).

*Add the kale and tomatoes and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the kale is soft. Meanwhile, fry up your sausage in a saucepan over med-high heat, stirring the meat and breaking up clumps, until cooked all the way through.

*Add the sausage and vinegar and add about 2 teaspoons of sea salt and one teaspoon of pepper and adjust to taste.

How yummy does this sound on a blizzardy December day? I stole this from another site and will cook it up tonight! Today we are having a crazy amount of SNOW. They are predicting up to 28 inches by tomorrow morning. I'm waiting to post pictures until we have our grand total, so you can see the ginormous amount of white stuff we will be shoveling our way out of. I love days like this, as it feels so Christmasy out and it's such fun to just stay home and put on the Carpenters and make ginger bread houses and soup and watch the fire and the twinkling lights on the tree. Oh, so cozy!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cajun Christmas

Even though I am FAR from Cajun Country, every Christmas my mom makes a big pot of gumbo (she makes the best gumbo EVER for a non-cajun girl) and we read "The Cajun Night Before Christmas". My hilarious little bro. Willy Philly is always the reader and does it in the most perfect cajun accent. Cracks us up every time! I SO look forward to this. It's the one time of year we pay homage to our Cajun roots. This year I'm especially missing my family down south and will visit them soon. In the mean time, I will make my own little Cajun land here.
Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I'm On A Roll

OK, last post of the day, promise!

Check out my cousin's awesome new website:

Great idea Jandy!

Wait! Save Those Turkey Bones!

Today I am making a turkey stock from our leftover bones. Stocks are an important way of getting essential minerals in our diet. And gelatin. Gelatin taken with food aids in digestion and helps many intestinal disorders. Gelatin (not talking Jello here) also contains amino acids. Stocks have been used for years to treat everything from colds to cancer. Grandma knew what she was talking about when she said eat your chicken soup!!

Turkey/Chicken Stock

save your bones and pieces that don't look so tasty (gizzards)
put in a crock pot with cold water
add: onion, carrot, celery (you can even just throw in your celery ends a chunk of whole onion and a chunk of carrot, it doesn't need to look pretty)
add 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (helps to leach out the minerals)

cook 12-24 hours
store in your freezer in a glass jar

pull it out whenever you make rice, soups, noodles, whatever for added nutrition and excellent flavor!

A Traditional Thanksgiving

Pastured Turkey
Mashed Potatoes (made with cultured butter, raw milk and sea salt)
Green Salad
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
"Dirty Rice" Stuffing (made with brown rice, sausage, liver and spices)
Sprouted Grain Muffins
Homemade Sauerkraut
Pumpkin Squash Pie
Apple Pie
Homemade Whipped Cream
Homemade Spiced Cider

*(all ingredients 100% organic)

It was intimate Thanksgiving this year with just the Madskaggs and Grandma Ann and Grandpa Ran. Therefore, we kept the menu simple and spent the day relaxing and enjoying each other. It also helped that it was 72 degrees at Grandma's that day, so the boys spent the day outside, while the women folk cooked ;)

The food was absolutely delicious and satisfying... just how food should be. Amazing down to the last drop, no guilt involved, just traditional, wholesome, real food. If you are curious about what I mean by "traditional", you can click on my traditional foods link on this page or google Weston A. Price. Traditional foods are the foods humans have thrived on for thousands of years. They are the foods that build strong, healthy bodies. Only recently have we been eliminating good fats from our diets and adding the bad fats, much to our detriment. Indigenous cultures around the world, use every last piece of the animal they have killed. That includes the fat! They would never only go for the lean cut of meat. They know how important those saturated fats are for our bones, muscles, brains. In our fat free, cholesterol free, carb free world, heart disease is at an all time high, as well as many other degenerative diseases.

Moving on...

We spent the rest of the weekend, hiking, relaxing, sitting by the fire and today, enjoying the SNOW! Our first real storm hit last night. We had about 3 inches. Just enough to go sledding and build a snowman in the back yard. As I sit here typing I can hear their little shrieks out the window as they play in our winter wonderland with their Daddy. I have much to be thankful for this year. Despite our stresses of the job, the finances, the house and wondering when will it all change... we have our HEALTH! We have three funny, smart, active, sweet, completely different, 100% unique, amazing kids. I have a husband who would do ANYTHING for this family, who would rather spend his day playing with his children, who loves to make me smile and is a treasure to this family and those he works with. I am thankful for Grandparents who love these little kids SO much. I am also thankful for great friends. Without them, my days would be lonely, I would be grumpy and I wouldn't crack up in the middle of the day nearly as often! They make me feel like I'm a good Mama, despite my days of little patience. They listen to me vent, bring me treats, send me funny and thoughtful emails. My girlfriends are like my co-workers. They are my soul-sistas! The icing on my organic cake :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


We had a little photo shoot the other day and I made sure we got one of just the two of us. I seriously can't remember the last time I saw a picture of my husband with ME. I'm usually the one behind the camera. Isn't that the way it seems to go? Never any pics. of the mamas and the papas!
And the whole fam.! This was an extremely early morning for us to even be out, nevermind the fact that we all had to be nicely dressed, hair combed, teeth brushed, which is a feat in itself. Lately my rule is, if you've accomplished anything associated with grooming in the past 24 hours, you're good.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

...And This Little Piggy Had Flu.

Piggy Flu, Swine Flu, H1N1 whatever you call it, it seems to be all the rage right now. We just had our dose this week. I'm pretty sure we had another cold mixed in there too. Things are looking up finally. And I have to say sick kids=tired kids and that's not such a bad thing! Earlier this week I had 3 WHOLE HOURS where I was in my home in the middle of the day sitting in complete silence. Oh, the things I could've accomplished that afternoon, but I didn't. I just sat and stared, had some tea, read a magazine, lounged around. When is the last time any mom with three kiddies six and under can say that?
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Friday, November 20, 2009


Sleep is the best meditation- The Dalai Lama

and that's all I have to say, or rather can say, until I've meditated.

Long week. TGIF.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Afternoon On A Hill

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes,
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Growing up, my mom read to us A LOT. That was one thing she found relaxing and something we could all enjoy together. I'm finding out I'm more and more like my mom everyday. When I was a teenager you couldn't have paid me a million dollars to say that, but yes, it's true, and not such a bad thing after all! This was always one of our favorite poems.
We also loved Shel Silverstein and now I'm reading his hilarious and witty poems and stories to my own kids.
And I'm realizing why reading to your kids is so wonderful. You get to sit still, they are quiet (for the most part) and you know you are doing something good for them, so you don't have to deal with the almost always nagging mommy guilt.
Nothing like reading on a cloudy day by the fire, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and tea. Some of my other favorites that I still need to find for my kids are: "The Magic Friend Maker", "Nothing To Do" and "August Explains".

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fathers and Funnies

They've bonded. I think this little girl is going to be all about her Daddy in the very near future. As soon as she wakes up all we hear is a little whisper "dadadadadadada..."
And here's what the madskaggs have really been up to :) Yes, we sit at the computer and make crazy faces to pass the time. These are only a brief introduction. We thought about using one of these for our Christmas card. What do you think?

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Ebb and Flow

While last week I was definitely Ebbing, this week has been wonderfully flowing. I know it's only Monday, but I don't think I've had such a flowy day in a long while, so I had to document it! The baby slept all night, sat patiently while I showered, we got to school early, baby napped, play time at gymnastics, baby napped, walked to school (weather has been amazing) to get D, played at park, walked home, dinner, bath, kids in bed before 8pm. No screaming, little crying, good eating and pottying. I wish I could send this day through my copy machine and copy it a hundred times and then just pull it out when we were on the ebb side. To celebrate this day I will now post something beautiful as the grand finale! Monday, November 9th, I love you.

Plaza Cardigan
Isn't this the best sweater from Anthro? I love it almost as much as anything from Sugarboo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Favorite Auntie and First Snow!

My favorite Auntie Dawnie came to visit with Uncle Skip. Just what this girl needed to break up the day. Uncle Skip entertained my little boy and Auntie tried to make friends with Miss Avi. I love my Auntie. I wish she were closer. She's a girly girl just like me and she's absolutely beautiful. Look at her! She's in her mid-sixties!
The same day our very first snow storm of the season hit... not with much avengence. And my poor aunt and uncle thought they were escaping frigid Montana!
Pretty trees with just a dusting
And then it was gone. Just the kind of snow I love.
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I have neglected to write for the past week and I now have to play quick catch up! Here are a few Halloween pics. We had so much fun this year at the festival downtown with Grandma Ann and Grandpa Ran. The shops all handed out candy. My favorite was the Emergen-C from Winter Sun. Someone's got the right idea with all of this H1N1 stuff around! After downtown, the boys trick-or-treated around the neighborhood while us girls sat by the warm cozy fire sipping tea and talking. I'd say the girls definitely lucked out this year.
D was a proud Army man.
Sory was last year's dragon last minute. Not sure what happened... as he was all set with his Bumble Bee the Transformer costume. Oh well, maybe BB next year?
And our little flower girl. This was such a last minute find. I'm just not that motivated or crafty when it come to my kiddies costumes. They wear them for a couple hours and then what? So, Happy Halloween everyone! Hope it was super spooky. Next year the ENTIRE madskaggs fam will be dressing up. No exceptions! All Star Wars? All Wizard of OZ? Hmmm...
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