Category Archives: Breakfast

Breakfast & Bicycle Benefit Recap

It’s June 2013. June. This entire year has been lost to a void and yet filled to the brim with many-many experiences. At some point we need to stop blogging about Avery’s GBS, but it has consumed us. Everything we do all week long is in some way related to his recovery. Every time I leave my house, it is for him. The conversations turn from every angle, back to Avery. There is nothing on our calendar for the remainder of the summer that isn’t for Avery. Therapy, baseball, appointments. It’s not that we aren’t doing anything else, but all other doings are happening organically, as they arise.

Yesterday we were treated to breakfast and a community bike ride that raised more than $2200 for Avery’s expenses. It was intense. We were greeted by so many well wishes and by the time I finished saying thank you and catching up with a few tables, I missed several others who finished mopping their syrupy plates and were on their way off for the weekend. We caught back up to some during the ride, where children corralled around Erick, our neighborhood ice cream tricyclists. The energy was incredibly positive. Laughter, that perfect weather we have been able to enjoy this late into spring, a community of strong leaders, proud riders, and friends.

There were several people behind the scenes making yesterday’s benefit events possible. Thank you Cara and Thomas, Stacy and Matt, Byron and Lynn, Linda and her kitchen posse, John, Jaye, Tom and Bill, Joel, and anyone else I didn’t know about, but deserve a lot of extra credit. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

To those who joined in the festivities, it was the best party I have every attended. Neighbors and friends. Colleagues and crew. School family and acquaintances. All  dining or riding around town together. He-yah!

Speaking of parties, my 33 and 3/3rds birthday is approaching. We simply must celebrate. Hugs and high-fives for everyone!

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Me and My Children, Car-Free

Since the decision to move to a car-lite lifestyle I have not had many days where it has just been me and the children. Those are the days I was thinking of when we were shopping for a bicycle. It was most important to me to be able to transport four children by myself in order to run errands, go on play dates and enjoy our extracurriculars. I knew I had the option to stay home, but the reality was we wanted to go to the library, park, friends, grocery, ice cream shop, comic book store, doctor appointments, post office, and pool.

Originally I thought we would drive to get groceries and with our current cargo bike and trailer options, we no longer think of taking the van. I originally thought we would drive to school, and turns out we are, although I am constantly thinking of ways around this. It was my intention to keep a vehicle, but as we over come each challenge I find a car-free lifestyle as a potential reality. Marshall University introduced a car share program this fall that would allow for a five passenger option only, yet we still have rental cars/vans in Huntington. We certainly like the convenience and option of having our van in the drive way, but when we have the opportunity to walk or bike, I take it. I look forward to spring 2012 where I can reflect on this year.

In July, Brent was out of town for three weeks. During that time I drove one day a week to do all my errands and we enjoyed our time at home and went for a couple of short distance rides. The days and nights of single parenting were emotionally exhausting and I didn’t care to add any additional and unnecessary challenges. When Brent returned we began our car-free month, Brent started back to class, the children back to school. We were working on our routes and our systems for getting out of the door with six people on ten wheels (four bikes and a trailer), or by foot, or by bus. Then came September and we found a rhythm with driving the children to school in the morning and biking most every other location and time.

October came and went and here we are seven days into November and today was a day where I had four children home and Brent was at work. We have been enjoying a spell of warm afternoons and plenty of sunshine here in West Virginia. We spent the weekend outside raking leaves and watching the children play tag with the neighbors.

Our Day Together
We began today making biscuits and oatmeal cookies. My friends came over to swap our meals, then the children and I loaded our bags and rode to the park to meet up with pals from school. London and Elliot are strong enough and have the endurance to bike most every where we need to go now. Carrying Oliver in the iBert and Avery on the deck behind me is my normal load. We are adapting well. I left the kitchen covered in flour, pans and cookie crumbs and enjoyed four unplugged hours under a brilliant blue sky.

When it was time to go we needed to refill our water bottles. The park had closed all its restrooms and turned off their drinking fountains for the winter, but the tennis center around the corner was open so we recharged there. It would have been, months ago, that I would have looked at the hill around the tennis courts as impossible. When I was running with my friend last year, it was a hill we dreaded and only ever walked up. Today, London, Elliot and I, with Avery and Oliver and all the bags on my bike, rode up the Ritter Park hill. London was crying, we were all panting. We stopped once to catch our breath and looked to see how far we had come and how little we had ahead of us. Elliot and I felt accomplished and excited. London threatened me and begged me to promise to never ever do that again. She’s my child who dreads anything uncomfortable, yet she did it. She was given the option to meet us at the fountain by going around the flat side, and she chose the hill. I think, under it all, she was proud.

We rolled on home and everyone enjoyed a cup of ice cream and a bit of time on the Wii. Oliver was asleep in the iBert before we got to our street, so I tucked him into bed and sat down to do what I do at my computer. When I get up I will tend to the kitchen and begin on dinner and then read stories with the children. I can’t say that all our future holiday breaks and summer term will be this relaxed and smooth and glorious, but I am very happy that we are able to move through our day together, with out an agenda. Extremely grateful I am getting strong enough to lead and encourage my children anywhere they need to go. Proud of myself for remaining true to my convictions and for choosing to be uncomfortable because it is more rewarding. This is our simple life. It is what we make of it.

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Miles Walked: 0 Biked: 7 Bused: 0 Drove: 0 This week
75.4 868.7 12.6 659 Since August 14, 2011

Feeding Six: Breakfast October 16-22

Sunday-Dannon Strawberry Yogurt, mocha, cinnamon toast, milk, bananas. Brent picked up three cups of yogurt as a treat for me. I got one and Avery ate two. They are one of the great foods from my childhood that I enjoy occasionally. Brent also brought home cocoa powder so I could make chocolate syrup.

Monday-Whole wheat, oatmeal pancakes, thanks again to Brent. It appears I am slacking in the kitchen. Yet, Brent woke up at 5am and found himself with extra time so he took the initiative to make breakfast. Lost the image, yet again.

Tuesday-Fried sweet potatoes. The children had cinnamon toast. It seems that is all the boys will eat these days. These potatoes were not very good either, I should have opted for the toast.

Wednesday-Pumpkin butter oatmeal with raw honey from our egg co-op farmers, fried eggs, and more cinnamon toast. Plates and plates of toast. Might be worth a second 4 slice toaster. Wonder what the Duggars use?

Thursday-Pumpkin butter pancakes. My friend Ashley gave me a jar of pumpkin butter on Tuesday and I felt the need to work through it. I just used a regular whole wheat and oatmeal pancake recipe and poured in pumpkin butter. We were not very attentive to the cooking…many overcooked cakes.

Friday-Reworked this cookie recipe Thursday night to include the last of the pumpkin butter, a banana and flaked coconut to make a breakfast cookie. It was a dinner, dessert, breakfast, lunch, and after school cookie. Doubling a recipe gives us mileage with meals.

Saturday-I Just finished an enormous plate of home made potatoes o’Brien with scrambled eggs. I didn’t put on clean clothes, wash my face or brush my teeth this morning, but I peeled and diced potatoes. My priorities are always directed at my stomach. Brent and the children gobbled up toast with butter, then Brent took off for River and Rail Bakery to get 7 hours of work in before London’s fencing practice this afternoon. He borrowed the camera, so at least I know why I don’t have a photo of this breakfast.

 

We didn’t go to the grocery all week. What a relief, after the five visits last week. I hope to make it until tomorrow before I need to get provisions for the meal co-op. Still wishing someone would work on the grocery shopping/delivery idea I have been suggesting. There’s a need here in Huntington!

Feeding Six: Breakfast October 9-15

Sunday-Cinnamon sugar toast, grapes, bananas, milk, fried eggs, potatoes O’Brien, scrambled eggs, and a mocha with my homemade chocolate syrup.

It was certainly a Sunday morning. We had no agenda and no ambition to do more than enjoy breakfast. The children came and went between art projects and the table as food appeared and disappeared. I flitted between the computer, Brent and the stove, working through each requested dish, prepping for the soup swap, and each email, blog reading, Facebook post, or conversation with my husband.

Monday-London made personal sized Irish soda breads on Sunday night. We each had one or two for breakfast with butter. We also learned that they are best eaten fresh and warm, not the next morning after spending the night in the refrigerator.

Tuesday-I used the bread machine to make coconut-zucchini bread loaves for my meal co-op on Monday night and one for breakfast this morning. Served with a banana.

Wednesday-Blackberry jam cakes. Using a basic pancake recipe, with 2/3 whole wheat flour today, I swirled the leftover pop-tart blackberry jam into the batter. Wouldn’t you know it, 1/2 the children wouldn’t eat them because they could sense the impurities! Heathen mother that I am. Tisk tisk. The photos have mysteriously disappeared.

Thursday-Leftover breakfast. More pancakes with batter saved from yesterday. Today there were no objections.

Friday-“Daddy” french toast. Brent used his homemade bread and fried it up. We managed to run out of bread on Thursday morning, despite a grocery trip on Sunday and Monday and Wednesday. Two of those excursions were for milk for us and fruit for the Occupy Huntington folks on 5th Avenue.

Saturday-Another Brent breakfast. Chocolate chip pancakes and bacon. Then it was off to the grocery for him and three children, as we have been out of fruit and picky-children supplies for many days. Anyone else notice how often we go to the grocery? That will make four trips this week and it has nothing to do with the amount we can get on the bikes, but everything to do with me not wanting to go and Brent making little runs for things we need at that very moment. Going to Kroger just feels like another daunting experience to fit in between Oliver’s naps. Should there be any entrepreneurial energy in town, might I suggest grocery shopping and delivery service?

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Feeding Six: Breakfast-October 2-8

SundayCrepes with All Fruit Jam. Some children had buttered toast with cinnamon and sugar, peanut butter sandwiches and grapes.

Monday-French Toast with Real Maple Syrup. We had leftover toast for lunch.


Tuesday-Toast with Cinnamon & Sugar for the children and Oatmeal with Milk, Brown Sugar & Butter for Brent. Yes, we like our sugar.

Wednesday-Corn pancakes inspired, but absolutely nothing like these corn fritters. Another bowl of oatmeal for Brent, this time with soy milk, vanilla and brown sugar.

Thursday-Banana Coconut Pancakes with Salted Caramel Sauce. The pancakes were a bit like Karen Cheng’s Fashion and Life recipe.

Friday-“Daddy” bread and bacon. We were out of milk and bread at this point. Luckily Brent woke up at 2:30AM and couldn’t sleep, so he made bread in the machine. The entire loaf was gone by 3:30PM.

Saturday-Homemade black berry pop-tarts. I took a short cut and used the box of pie crust in the refrigerator. I don’t make my own pie crust. I used to, but did not find it enjoyably. We all have our concessions. Served with scrambled eggs made with dry milk and water. We really need to go to the grocery, and to not take pictures of yellow eggs on yellow plates that are out of focus. The oatmeal was again, for Brent. This time with coconut, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla.

We worked our way through our banana stash with our breakfasts as well. We were out of fresh fruit by Thursday and have yet to get to Kroger. Brent’s planning a quick trip today during Oliver’s nap, but it’s likely we will go twice this weekend because I don’t have a very good list for him ready. I need to think about meal swap this week and the two families who became first time parents that I would like to bring a meal to, then lunches and breakfasts and one filler-dinner.

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