The Country of Marriage

I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark,
containing darkness: a night of rain, an early morning.
I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:
a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,
the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life
that we have planted in the ground, as I have planted mine in you. I give you my love...

Wendell Berry

Monday, June 4, 2012

Tasty things...

Here is a picture of the baked oatmeal:
It turned out a little custardy... maybe I should have only used one egg. It was good, very filling. Not very sweet, we like to put berries and milk on ours. Next time I might try adding a banana... or using a darker maple syrup (I had used grade B) but I like a stronger maple flavor.
I also made biscotti because we had some friends over. I made it whole wheat and used organic ingredients. Triple Chocolate Biscotti and White Chocolate Lemon Cranberry Biscotti. I'll post the recipes next time.

We did not end up going to Green Dragon Market however, it was raining and there were tornado warnings. Crazy! I was still willing to give it a try...  but Jesse was not. Instead we went to Central Market in Lancaster the next day. I LOVE shopping at the market! The only thing we could not get at market were some chocolate chips for the biscotti.

Random notes: I am so excited that my lavender plant seems to be thriving on our porch! I just love it.

And there is this little Amish boy who lives across the street from us. He is the cutest kid ever! I love to watch him out our window. He is always running around with his dog, either he is following the dog or the dog is following him. You can just tell that this little boy is in his own world, and that his dog is his best friend. Sometimes he explores the creek, or seems to be swordplaying the weeds along the road, but usually, he is chasing his dog and it is the cutest thing!

Tonight, I made Indian food for the kids, Red Lentil Curry, Naan bread, Indian spice chicken, and Mango Lassi. It was so fun, I thought the kids would rebel against this new food, but for the most part they actually liked it. They also knew nothing about India, so it was fun to talk about India, where it is and what the culture is. We looked up pictures online and the girls had a lot of questions about why their lives seem so different from ours. We watched a video on National Geographic about India, which also talked about Hinduism. It was neat to talk to them about God's truths and different religions and to be able to process that a little with them. It was definitely the highlight of my day!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cleanse complete!

Wednesday was the last day of our cleanse. Yay!!! We are SO excited to add some new foods to our life. We weighed ourselves yesterday just to see how much we have lost. (I was telling Jesse that I didn't feel like I lost anything- we weren't trying to lose weight, and I didn't feel any different) Well, come to find out I lost around 10 pounds- shocker! and Jesse lost around 12 pounds. When I realized how much I lost I realized that I need to try on that dress that I bought for my brothers wedding... you know, that strapless dress that I don't want to fall off of me! Ha! it totally doesn't fit anymore, thankfully Jesse's mom is a sewing genius and said she would help me out.

This was my lunch today... I think the colors are just beautiful!
 Since you probably don't care to hear about my dress woes... let's continue on about this cleanse dealio. We finished, which means that now we can start to reintroduce foods to our diet. We are supposed to do this slowly, but we also need to let our bodies guide us in this. We decided to add dairy first, (so that we can have coffee again with some milk!) Now here is the thing, we have decided to do this "Real Food" thing after our cleanse (my momma would be so proud!) This means that we are going to cut out processed foods, read labels- if we can't understand what the ingredient is- we won't eat it, we are going to try to buy organic, local food as much as possible- especially with our dairy and meat! For grains, we are going to try to make sure that it is the least processed, and sprouted when possible.

I am really excited about this! We are going to be doing most of our shopping at Farmer's Markets and the amish health food store that we found. Yesterday, because we started dairy, we also went to a cheese shop in Gap.. it was amazing! I think grocery shopping is going to be a lot more fun! Down side: its definitely more expensive. We think its worth it though, put good things into our bodies and maybe we will spend less on doctor bills, and our food is so much richer and tastier! Summary: we are cutting out all of that added crap that is added to natural ingredients. I have found some great web sites for recipes and tips:,,, I really feel that this is the way that God intended us to eat and nourish our bodies. Also, it is so good for local economy and community to be buying local, and what better place to do it than Lancaster County! We are going to Green Dragon Market today... yay! Shopping at these places is so fun! You can typically get good prices, and you have more interaction with people.

So how is reintroducing things going for us?
Great! Yesterday we added dairy, we started with some organic, local yogurt and some quality cheese (aged gouda from Holland with natural salt flecks in it from the aging process- so so good!) Honestly, I felt better adding dairy into my system. I felt better than I did the whole time we were on the cleanse. It also made bowel movements easier for me. Jesse felt a little gurgly at first adding dairy, but after that he felt fine. Today we added coffee (we just couldn't wait any longer!) and grains. I am still feeling really good! Tomorrow, as long as today continues to go well for us, we will probably add eggs. I know we are speeding up the process a little faster than recommended, but with my brother's wedding next week and traveling, we want to be able to eat foods without worry. We do want to let our bodies guide us, but since we are still feeling great we feel comfortable to go ahead and add something each day. We are still trying to eat a lot of vegetables and fruits. We are also going to be a lot more careful about portion sizes.
These pictures are from Longwood Gardens, we went last week with Jesse's parents, grandma, and Nate and Dar.

Right now I am making Baked Oatmeal with steel cut oats. I am using a recipe that I found on Food Renegade, although I think I might change it up a little.

-3 cups steel cut oats
-3 cups water
-6 tbsp yogurt

Mix these three ingredients in a large bowl, cover and let stand for 24hrs.

Strain the steel cut oats the best you can. Then mix in the rest of the following ingredients:

-4 cups milk (Food Renegade calls for Raw milk)
-1/3 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
-2 tbsp vanilla extract
-1 egg (beaten)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of nutmeg
-pinch of salt

Grease a 9x13 pan (I used butter, you could use coconut oil). Pour the mixture into the pan and bake for 45 minutes or longer until set at 325 degrees.

I am pretty excited to see how this turns out! I will let you know if its good.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Standard Process Cleanse and Life Update

Jesse and I started the Standard Process Cleanse. We decided to do it because a lot of people from my home church have done it and really liked it, and I was having some pain in my stomach that none of the doctors I went to could figure out. So... we decided, no more testing for the weird stomach pain (it had been a lot better anyways, although not completely gone) and maybe we would try out this cleanse. It is supposed to clean out the toxins in your body and help your digestive organs work the way they are supposed to work. The doctor who I ordered it through also explained to me that it is eating foods to help nourish our bodies the way that God intended our bodies to be nourished, which is pretty neat. There are other benefits to doing something like this, such as sleeping better.

We went to Central Market in Lancaster to buy some veggies.

The cleanse looks something like this: you order the supplements from a medical professional (and they are pricey) and then you start the cleanse. It is a 21 day cleanse and for the first 11 days you can only eat vegetables, fruits, and 1/2 cup of brown rice or lentils. Then after the 11 days you can add chicken and fish. You are supposed to eat twice as many veggies as fruits, and half of those veggies should be raw. Included in the supplements are protein powder and whole food powder. These powders go in smoothies, you can have 2-3 smoothies a day. When I first heard that you could have smoothies I thought, "no problem, I LOVE smoothies" here's the issue... those powders, they take some getting used to. The first smoothie I had a hard time getting down because of the taste. Now we are on day 15 and I hardly taste the powder.

What has this been like for me?
1.  SO hard! For one thing, our eating schedule is weird right now. After the first day of this, I felt like we wouldn't be able to have people over for 21 days because I wouldn't be able to make a meal for everyone. I would think, about taking someone out to dinner and then remember that it would be torture for us to sit there! I never realized how much of our lives revolve around food. Even just personally, I had gotten into this bad habit of seeing coffee as "me time" and then food in general became "me time" and what a bad thing to associate as "me time". There are so many other things I should be doing with that time, that can still be "me time". Mentally, this has been very challenging.

2.  Food cravings. I have dreams about food now... and not even food that I normally would want! Right now, I just want a cup of coffee and a cookie. The first couple days, all I wanted was something warm and substantial. You aren't necessarily hungry, the supplements and powders fill you up and with the foods you can eat you don't go hungry, you just want the things you can't have. I have struggled with this aspect more than Jesse. He talks about how we should keep eating like this after the cleanse and internally I am screaming "NO! I just want a hot dog at a baseball game, I want a biscotti with my coffee! I want eggs and cheese and breads!" We will try to eat healthier though, and eat those good things in limited quantities.

3. The bathroom. One of us is almost always having to go to the bathroom. The supplements are supposed to keep you moving, and they certainly do keep you moving to the bathroom. You are also supposed to drink half your body weight in water if you weigh 140 drink 70oz.

4. Headaches. The first 2 days I had an awful headache, and now I only get one once in awhile, but I think that is part of detoxing. I've heard them called "Toxic Headaches"

5. Boredom. I am running out of ideas for how to make our food interesting or different from the day before. Thankfully there are some recipes in the book you get. I have also discoved that some normal recipes you can just omit the things you can have, like in some soups or salad dressings.

6. Sweet potatos. They have been like a life line to me. Sweet potatoes are my snack, it feels like I am eating something I shouldn't when I eat a sweet potato. They are just so tasty and warm you right up.

7. Weight loss. Jesse and I have both lost at least 6 pounds last time we checked. I think I lost 3 before the first week was over. My pants don't fit quite right anymore. I am a little worried the dress I bought for my brother's wedding will fall right off me! This is really weird for me since my weight really doesn't fluctuate much.

In case you are wondering, we are now on Day 15. The end is in sight! Jesse has been feeling great, he keeps saying, "I just feel really great" I have been feeling more alert, which is nice. Stomach pains? I haven't had them in a while... hopefully this has flushed it right out of my system!

Some beautiful poenies we bought while we were at market.

I know I am TERRIBLE at blogging consistently, I miss it, we are just living crazy busy lives so it is challenging to be consistent. I apologize to anyone who is offended at my sporadic blogging. Since I haven't blogged in forever, I'll fill you in on where are lives are at right now.

Our Life, the summary:
Well, we are working at Christ's Home for Children as relief houseparents. Typically, we will go in to work Monday 8am and leave Thursday 2pm, while we are there we sleep there too. We have our own room and bathroom. Our house has the capacity to have 8 children, but at the moment we have 5. While we are there we are the adults for those children, we make sure that they get their homework done, showers, meals, bed, etc. Anything you would do for your own kids, we do for these kids while we are there. The children that are in our home are foster children, so they were typically taken out of their home for a reason.  Our house is supposed to have ages 4-15, but right now we have a 10 month old, 2 year old, 7 yr old, 9 yrd old and 13 yr old. This is one of the hardest things that I have ever done. I just explained to one of my cousins, my job is playing mommy and at the same time crisis intervention. You never know how a kid is going to act out because of what they have seen or what has been done to them. I have found myself getting more anxious (my theory is that the anxiety is where the stomach pain came from) If I hear a noise in the night that I don't recognize I am out of bed and walking to each bedroom to make sure the kids are all in bed and not doing something bad. Jesse and I both feel like we have grown from this experience though, and it is awesome being able to see each other so much! We aren't sure how long we will be there though. It is a challenging job, and we feel that our hearts looking in other directions for jobs. I would like to do something in counseling,  but no doors have opened in that direction, and I am thankful for the oppotunities I have at Christ's Home. We know that God opened doors for us to be at Christ's Home, we just... are keeping our eyes open for more doors. Sometimes we feel like Jonah's "I know you called me to Ninevah, but Lord, isn't there somewhere else?" I think added to that, it is very challenging living out of two homes. We feel like we are living out of a duffle bag. Each time we get to the house the first night it feels like we have to get used to that bed again. It is hard coming home to spider webs and bugs that decided our apartment would be a good home while we were gone. But the schedule definitely has its perks. We have long stretches off where we can travel a little without taking any time off. So, that is our life right now. This last shift we were on, we had to take the 2 yr old to the doctor because his eyelashes got stuck under his eyelid and was irritating his eye. The doctor said he had never seen anything like it. The poor kid has such beautiful long eyelashes! Who knew long eyelashes could be such a problem?