Monday, April 30, 2012

M: 5 months

  • army crawls
  • gets up on all 4s and rocks around
  • stands by furniture
  • drools, spits and babbles
  • thinks it's funny when Tobias drools or spits (stop encouraging him, Malachi!)
  • can sit by himself for awhile
  • is very hard to hold onto during church while we sing
  • has a brand new cousin born 5 months and 5 days after he was
  • falls asleep easily in the car but wakes up as soon as we arrive anywhere
  • still has 1 tooth, but that 2nd one seems like it could come through anytime
  • just as sweet as ever

Friday, April 20, 2012

Once a Month Cooking (Month 2)

Last month 4 women and 9 of their sons convened on Rachel's house to cook the February 2012 menu from It was a fun but intense 3+ days of cooking (the first day was a long day and then the other days were partial days of cooking). We learned a lot and got to try lots of new foods (some good and some....interesting?), and decided to give it a second go.

So this week we did the March menu. We substituted one recipe and changed a few details (for example, making regular lasagna instead of lasagna rolls to keep things simple). Instead of everyone buying so many different ingredients, we each took a section of the list. For example, I bought all the dairy products to make the meals for 4 families. Some of the things we had access to for free, such as chickpeas and applesauce. The night before, we each had a few tasks to do such as soaking and cooking beans, making dough, etc. That way we saved money by not buying the canned beans and biscuits.

We haven't crunched the numbers yet (I'll update when we do) but we think we spent about $120-130 per family to produce the 15 recipes. Perhaps a little more if you include things like freezer bags and containers. Each recipe was supposed to produce 2 meals worth per family, but some of the recipes seemed to produce a lot more than that. I think I have 4 containers of quesadilla filling, and 3 of the zucchini pesto. Everyone took home 2 big broccoli stromboli rolls and 1 little one. The lasagna recipe and the cinnamon rolls had some rabbit-like qualities to them (in quantity, not flavor)....I think I put together the equivalent of eight 9x13 pans of lasagna (some of the pans were smaller so it was actually more than 8 pans). Jamie spent most of Thursday rolling out cinnamon rolls.

(photos by Sheila)

15 recipes x 2 meals worth of each recipe x 4 families = 120 meals

120 meals x 5 people per family = at least 600 servings of food, more if you count leftovers

Some of the recipes are basically a meal in themselves, and some would need buns or a vegetable or various condiments to go with them. We had some extra bags of some of the veggies though that we split up among us, so some of those are already paid for too. I think this was an economical way to try new recipes!

Next month (or at least sometime) our goal is to plan our own menu. We can make some adjustments to have it run more smoothly with so much quantity and limited freezer space, as well as using some of our personal favorite recipes or hits from this month or last month's menu.

Besides the convenience of having all this healthy food in the freezer, it was a fun time getting to talk with others while we were cooking! The kids played (and built things, and bothered the chickens, etc.) in the fenced backyard and didn't get into too much trouble.

If you're thinking of trying this with friends, look at They now have some 5 and 10 day mini menus, so you could start small and then expand, instead of starting big and then trying to simplify like we did!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Physical Education: Wrestling Class

In a scene reminiscent of the classic "Tobias introduces his brother" (except now Malachi can laugh and even fight back), Tobias scoops Malachi into his lap and chats with him.

In case some of the audio is unclear, here's a partial transcript:

H: Hey, gentle.
T: He is not saying stop, and he has one tooth, and he's a baby!
I'm gonna hold him for awhile
Hey, say hi to him! Hiiii! Hiiii! He likes me!
N: He sure does.
T: Yeah, do you like me?
N: I think he likes to pull your hair too.
T: Do you like that baby Malachi? Do you like that baby Malachi? Do you?
This is my friend baby Malachi!
N: It's your brother, Tobes.
T: Yeah, it is my brother...tickle him!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Theological Education

So much to learn! Tobias is soaking up Catechism questions and asking "what letter does that start with" dozens of times per day. Malachi is scootching, sliding, and drifting away from where I set him on the floor. Nate is business-ing and programming and I'm sure he's learning things that I do not even understand. Hannah is sewing and making patterns (hat tutorial coming soon when I work out the last quirks), planning for mega-freezer-cooking day next week, and scheming ways to keep the quail out of the garden. It might be a stretch to say the chickens are learning anything new, but they are enjoying the moveable coop, they get fresh grass every day or two.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

4 month old letter

To: My 3-month-old friends
From: Malachi

Dear friends,

Soon you will be hitting the milestone of 4 months old. That is 1/3 of a year. "Time flies", my mom and dad say. I'm not sure what that means. Let me pass on a few words of wisdom and advice to you, though, as you approach this important time of your life.

First, please note that once your arms and hands start working properly, it opens up whole new fields of exploration. I particularly recommend putting everything in your mouth. Clothing, plates, noses, whatever you can get those hands on. Bonus points if it's frozen and feels good on your teeth or gums. You will find that some objects are forbidden, such as silverware, glasses and hair. I have yet to figure out what all these forbidden items have in common...they seem to all look like toys to me.

I am on my way to developing a new mode of transportation in order to obtain things to get into my mouth. I haven't worked out all the details yet but I'll let you in on what I've discovered so far: first, roll onto your tummy and lift your butt into the air. When you get tired of holding it up, the potential energy will propel you either forwards or backwards. This may place you closer to the desired object. If not, repeat until you are successful or someone takes pity on you and gives you the object.

The entertainment around my house is so-so. It's good to smile and be friendly and such, but I like to hold out with the actual laughter for the truly absurd and hilarious. 'Cause then they do it again and again. And get out the video cameras.

I must stress the importance of working out those core abdominal muscles (because we all know that crawling is not our ultimate goal...we are baby bipeds). Crunches, planks, side crunches, and leg lifting are good options. Sure it may disrupt your sleep if you're trying to do these things while swaddled, but that can be dealt with! And if you can find a nice cozy Aunt to nap on during the day, you'll be caught up on sleep in no time anyway. I seem to have misplaced mine though :(

Well, my mom is telling me to quit drooling on the keyboard so I better go now.

Your friend,