Tuesday, November 15, 2011

For the beauty of the earth

While everyone else has been busily decorating for Christmas (I wont name names, but you KNOW who you are.... :) ) We have been embracing fall for all it's greatness. From decorating our home in the warm vibrant colors of autumn, to baking all those scrumptious harvest desserts, I'm talking pumpkin cookies, apple pies, and pumpkin rolls! YUM need I say more? And of course taking every opportunity to get outside and enjoy what is left of this warmish weather. Whether it is a walk to the park or store, we've been doing it, and loving it, and picking up leaves along the way cause that activity never ever ever gets old. (I have been told that by two toddlers so I am totally an authority on this fact.) 

Why oh why would you want to ditch this part of the year regardless of how great you think Christmas is? (AND may I add, I LOVE Christmas, and decking the hall to the nines is pretty much my favorite part about the season next to celebrating the saviors birth, and you can bet your bottom dollar come NOV 25, that is what I will be spending my pre-birthday day doing, and our house will glisten and shine like nobody's business!) 
But that, like all good things must wait, because at our house we are celebrating Autumn and "Giving Thanks" daily for our bountiful blessings and are P.U.M.P   PUMPED to engage in a day of stuffing our faces of all things unhealthy in the name of gratitude! CAN I GET AN AMEN!

And then of course celebrate the 2nd most important day in November, my Birthday! (Although, some would argue, it is the MOST...just sayin...) WHAT IS NOT TO LOVE!!!?

So here is a breakdown of our week thus far, and maybe it may motivate some of you to put off the tinsel and embrace the fall, because we make it look SO good.

 OK I love pumpkin rolls, LOVE is actually an understatement, but alas as many would know my plight, Kory can not partake in such, for two reasons 1. Sugar, and Powder Sugar 2. Dairy

So I was DETERMINED to find a recipe that I could "Agave-fy'" (That is my new word for it, so go with it) Anyway, so I found this recipe here. Simple enough, gives good instructions but kinda wordy, So I made the cake part, and it turned out BEAUTIFULLY, and it smelled scrumptious, and filled our house full of pumpkin cinnamon goodness.  I was super excited to share it with Kory.

Then I attempted the filling. I was going for a coconut milk creme filling as the base, and well after much experimenting it didn't really turn out as I envisioned. But it did work out and taste really good, we've been enjoying it all week after the kids go to bed.  Next time I will skip sweetening it completely because it is too sweat and I will just fill it full of the coconut milk creme with a dash of vanilla, the cake is sweet enough you don't need it.
Here is a picture of it sliced up! not pretty roll by any means, like I said it was a work in progress... next time will be much much better.

Walking has been really helping me lately coping with my many "stresses" yeah that is what I will call them. My kids have been really enjoying it too, on one of our many walks, we picked leaves along the way to help decorate our home. S and A loved this activity.

When I got home I dipped them in wax and made a garlandish thing for my kitchen window.
I also made another wreath, this time with twine and jute. It took FOREVER to wrap it in the jute. But it turned out cute right? I made the pinwheels from paper and a grocery bag. I wanted to do pinwheels because they remind me of turkeys.

Another dessert...
I am not really a pie person, but that is one of the few desserts you can buy sugar free at the grocery store, but they're kinda pricey. I have always wanted to learn how to make pies, I just feel like the task of making the crust seems soo scary. Up to this point my pie crust knowledge usually involved graham crackers. But I REALLY wanted to make some mini pie/turnovers for our Super Saturday Activity, so I attempted it...

First Batch: Turned out great, only I didn't put enough filling in them, so I attempted a second batch...
Second Batch: Maybe I didn't have enough flour, maybe it was too much shortening, but either way whatever it was, it did NOT work out. I threw them ALL in the trash.

After I took them to our Super Saturday I decided I would try one last time, but this time "Agave-fy"  them  (see how I did that...anyway) so Kory could shower me with compliments for making him yet another dessert he can eat.
And the turned out BEAUTIFULLY wouldn't you say?! And they tasted SO GOOD! I'll admit, my egg wash made them look like they suffer from a skin condition, but still they were tasty, but it does add to the charm of the "homemade goodness" of them.
So here is the recipe for the filling, the pie crust is just your standard 2 pie Betty Crocker pie crust recipe, of flour, crisco, salt and water, by the way I had no idea that was all that was in them!

Agave Sweetened- Apple Filling
Peel and Cut 2 golden delicious apples into thin small pieces
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C agave...I think...give or take a tablespoon... maybe sweeten to taste.
1/8 C flour

Mix all those together and you have a great sugar free pie filling! (I think if you want to make an actual pie double this recipe and only slice the apples, but the mini pies don't require as much filling)


As many of you know, I tend my niece and nephew two days a week. Most days we are stuck at home though because I don't have a way to take them anywhere. (oh how I wish I had a mini van, and oh how I NEVER thought I would say that ever ever ever!)

Anyway I have been trying to decide if a double stroller is something I should get, or just a wagon since I have more than two babies to take with me half the time. Up to this point we have just been walking around the block, S and A walk/run and I push baby G in a stroller and baby D is usually wrapped in my wrap. But I FINALLY found a great way to get them out of the house and out somewhere besides just around the hood.

Ta Da! My bike stroller converts into a jogging stroller, and with a little creativity, it totally works out! 

Baby D, S, and Baby G snug as bug in a rug up front, Gauge was getting bugged with Story a little bit though because she had to hold his hand.
 Axel loved sitting in the back luggage compartment all by himself. He talked with me the entire way about all the things he was seeing. It actually was kinda nice. I originally thought Story would do better back there, she is just a better sport about everything, but he really wanted to try it. He kept saying "Axel's turn! I try!?" SO it worked out. And Story is so good at holding the babies and not bugging them...too much.
We have been walking to the store, and the various parks around the neighborhood thanks to this set up!

On this particular day, a house on the way was selling bunnies in it's front lawn. I let the kids get out and meet the bunnies. Axel was so excited that on the way back he kept asking to go see the bunnies again. Kinda a fun block because the next door neighbor to the bunny house had a pet duck and a bunch of chickens, so the kids thought that was great.

Story Axel and Gauge is in between them.

At the park the older two went crazy on the slides while I pushed the babies in the swing, they were happy about that the whole time. I got a lot of looks from moms, one lady asked "Are these ALL your kids." I could tell she was trying to figure it out.


Kelli said...

Oh my goodness. I need to borrow that stroller on my day. I feel locked in the house because I worry if I strap one boy to my back, and another in the stroller I'm not sure if Story will go where I tell her to walk, because there was an experience where she didn't. And it is very hard to carry her when she is screaming AND push a stroller...But anyway. I LOVE your wreath and I love your leaves.

rain said...

I really love your wreath, as well. And I am TOTALLY LOVING my Christmas lights being up. And so are all the kids. It's fantastic.
I'm excited for next week's feast, as well. In fact, I've started baking as well. It's gonna be a party. And THEN there is DATS. I can't even tell you how excited I am!!!

Sarah said...

I love all your agave recipes - so much healthier! I am loving baking right now and am only just in the fall mood let alone the Christmas mood. Your craft projects are as usual great and good job on getting all the kids out at once!

KaSs MiLeS said...

can you imagine having 4 kids under 3? its as if you had 2 sets of twins right? they could be siblings though, axel looks like gauge i think. I love the pictures. so cute. you're brave for taking them all out on your own.
i like your decorations, even though i'm pro early christmas. i just dont have any fall decorations and i really hate storing decorations, so i haven't gotten any.

Ashley said...

All the kiddos in that stroller is hilarious, i can't believe they all fit!

Its not that i don't love fall festivities, its just i love Christmas much much more.
I'm also in the same boat as Kass i just don't own any fall decor.

Yours did turn out very very cute though.