Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Herbed Quinoa

Quinoa is a nice variation to rice and it is a gluten free grain.  Costco sells organic quinoa on the same aisle as the rice.

1 T of olive oil (or butter or your choice of oil)
1 C of Quinoa
1 small onion or half of regular sized
several handfuls of fresh herbs (whatever we have in the garden..lately it's basil, sage and parsley)
2C chicken stock of vegetable stock
1T of lemon or lime juice (I use lime)

In a saucepan heat the oil and toast the quinoa. About 5 min.  Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer for about 15 min with lid on.  While it is cooking, wash your herbs and then chop them up fine.  Chop your onion to fine size as well.  When the quinoa is finished toss the rest of the ingredients together and add salt (and pepper if you like) to taste.  (note: the onion is not cooked)

By the way everyone in my family loves this!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Homeschool 2012-2013

Homeschool began slowly this year at the beginning of August while we were waiting on Samuel to be born.  We started slowly with only two subjects math and handwriting.
Main Math Curriculum
Isabelle moved on to a new to us math curriculum this year.  Her main math curriculum is Saxon 8/7.
We were so fortunate that when we asked around about Saxon one of my fantastic homechooling cousins offered us one of her copies and loaned me the teachers guide!  It has been a great way to try it out, and I have to say it seems to be a great fit for Isabelle.  Very straightforward and she can mostly figure it out on her own with a little guidance now and then.  She seems to have inherited a little emotion when it comes to getting stuck with a math problem!  I don't blame her one bit! 
Joseph is sticking with our tried and true Horizons math curriculum.  The only drawback with Horizons for us is that they have so many lessons and tests that it is simply impossible for us to finish in the 180 days of a typical school year, and therefor we have to do math for many more weeks.
Isabelle is finishing up her very last handwriting book.  She's using A Reason for Handwriting and she loves it.  She especially loves the last day of the week because of the coloring page! These are verses of Proverbs.  It's laid out to be done as a 4 (maybe 5 if you stretch it) day week.  Easy to do and a fun way to start your day.  It's not hard and makes you feel like you accomplished something right away.
Joseph is doing his last year of Handwriting Without Tears before moving on the A Reason for Handwriting.  This book is really fun.  They also include some grammar incorporated with the handwriting.
We started with these two subjects and then Samuel was born on August 8th, so it was easy to continue these for a few weeks and then we slowly added a few more subjects and started taking some classes which I'll post about later and hopefully that will not be like say months from now!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Sampling of Family Favorite Books, TV etc.. of 2012-2013

We are waiting somewhat impatiently for the next season of Downton Abbey to begin! 
We watched all the seasons available while we were expecting Samuel.
Such a wonderful good series! 
In addition to a fantastic story, I just simply love the clothes and especially the hats.

Doc Martin is hilarious.  A Doctor who is afraid of blood.
Who is struggling to maintain relations with all people.
It will draw you in and keep you coming back for more.
I love all the intertwining relationships in Lark Rise to Candleford series.  We watched every season and were sad to see it end.  However, it is based on a book so I may have to read it! 

This is a current TV show that everyone in our family likes to watch.

A Sampling of Books in our Home
Our family reads aloud regularly and currently we are reading this superb classic.  If you are to only write one book in your life try to make it as good as Harper Lee has done.
The vocabulary in this book is rich, including words no long appropriate, which sparked great family conversations.  

Brendon and I started reading Diana Gabaldons' Outlander series last year. It is so much fun to read.
The only draw back is that they are LONG books.  Brendon finished the series, but with Samuel being so new I just don't feel like investing in the last two books just yet.

 Isabelle enjoyed reading the five book series: Abrams Daughters.
Pictured here is the first one in the series.  Set in Pennsylvania Amish country and the trouble that befall one family and their ensuing years of drama.  They are good books and I am finishing up reading the last two.
Joseph (and honestly Isabelle too!) Have enjoyed this little series of books
They really are too easy for them, but they are fun!
A Few Websites we Browse from Time to Time 
This is a delightful interior designers website
Ann Voskamps popular website
A great website for gluten free recipes

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hard diet day

I know my biggest eating challenge is in social situations.  I love hanging out talking and eating good food.  This past weekend was a little challenging, but I did stay within the points range recommended by WW for me.  However, yesterday, a Monday for crying out loud, was a big challenge!  Mondays are supposed to be the easiest diet days...right???  I really would have rather been at the beach munching on chips and salsa and drinking a margarita!  Somehow, I made it through, and guess what???? Reward on the scales this morning!
Only 2 more lbs to the first weight goal!
I have been doing my transverse abdominal exercises faithfully.  Yesterday, I added in some triceps work, because they desperately need it, and also a little shoulder and chest work with weights. (Biceps and back are getting an excellent workout via Samuel!)
I added in some bridge work for legs.  One day really soon I'm going to get back to running.  I can't tell you which day it's going to be yet though!  I'm starting back with the C25K which I did 5 or 6 years ago when I first started running.  These days there are tons of fun apps to run with as well!

Halloween is the next challenge staring me down.  Oh, Reece's Peanut Butter Cups how I love thee!  Mounds you are also one of my favorites!  I better look up the point value before next week! 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers Online is happening in the Briggs home! 

It was time for us (yes, we are both following the plan) to shed that baby weight plus a few that had crept up on us. 

Y'all, this is the easiest so called diet ever!  You don't go anywhere and everything is online so there is no tedious paper journaling.  Almost every food we eat, and that includes restaurants is already on line.  The only thing we need to do is measure a bit here and there to make sure we are not going over on portion sizes.  We do eat organically, mostly gluten free and are generally health nuts.  Even so, all that food is online too!  For instance, I buy a box mix of gluten free bread (Gluten Free Pantry) for my bread machine.  It was already in their database of foods!

I am following the nursing points plan. I get 40 points per day and 49 extra weekly points.  You can also earn activity points to trade in for food.  I do not use many of the weekly points or activity points.  I do think I will use them during holiday feasts though!  Right now I'm losing about 1 to 1.5 lbs per week.  My goal is 1 pound per week.  They have suggested mini goals if you want to set them.  I love mini goals and my first one is 5% of my bodyweight. 

Normally if I feel like dropping a few pounds, I'll just eat less and exercise, but with exclusively nursing a baby I wanted to make sure I always have enough milk for him.  These nursing points have given me peace of mind as far as that is concerned. 

A few things I disagree with are that most fruits and vegetables have zero points value.  That might work well if you are taller, but I'm a petite person at 5'1" and so I limit my fruits to one or two per day.  I do eat mostly green veggies so that is probably not a problem.  However, butternut squash is also zero points and we eat that a fair bit because we grew it in our garden this summer and have alot of them left. I'm not so sure that is a zero point for me, because I love butternut squash.

Overall, I'm really liking the program! 

Friday, October 19, 2012


October 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Suwanee Day Parade 2012

We live on the Suwanee Day Parade route, which is very convenient.  At least it is convenient during the parade, because the rest of the day and night we have folks traipsing all over the yard!
Isabelle and Joseph just love it.  They have front row seats and candy galore.  If you look closely you can see the quite large bag that Joseph is holding.  He even snagged a shirt this year.

Amanda Weir, a local and olympic swimmer was a grand marshall.

  The local and state beauty queen.  Don't you love that wave? LOL
She didn't have candy for Joseph so he didn't pay her much attention!  You
think that will change in a few years time???

One of the local high school marching bands.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Destin Fall 2012

Our family road tripped to the beach again this fall.  Samuel was six weeks old and this is his first vacation!  He did great.  It did take us about two hours longer on the road, but it was not so bad.
Here he is dipping his toe in the ocean for the first time.


It is very apparent how he felt about the experience!

 Snuggles from Daddy to recover!

 The kids love Izzy!  A great way to avoid other carbonated drinks.
They do get the occasional soft drink when we dine out.
Joseph with his refreshment after some hard surf playing!
Isabelle relaxing in the sun!
Love this action shot of Isabelle!  She loves to romp around the beach!
Samuel getting a dose of beach snuggles!

Possibly trying to catch some fish...see Isabelle's head?

 Fun on the shore

 I must get her a straw hat!

The first sandbar was very close in our section of beach.  Almost like a pool to play around in.

One red flag day.  The kids had a blast, but close to shore.

Isabelle heading out to body surf

Joseph flinging himself in the waves!

Sameul took a break from his book!

 The cutest beach bum in Destin!



We enjoyed a week of relaxation.  It is always nice to rest in the sun.  The end of September is always cooler and perfect to sit on the beach (as long as there's no fall storm).