yesterday the knight and i gathered the flock, clad them all in tennis shoes, strapped “popstar” into the bob and headed out on a trail hike. it was awesome, tiring and beautiful. as we climbed up the hills we were constantly stunned by the incredible beauty around us. we are so blessed to live where we do! spent the evening laughing and eating with the knights larger family and it was so much fun. played catch phrase and cards AND bananagrams too.
took a break today , raindrops falling hard this morning so we got “the paver” completely outfitted for hockey, including new skates {{gasp}}, marriage life group was awesome. conflict resolution is a great topic, there is much to learn even after 25 years of blissful togetherness, smile. home now and getting the flock readied for bed.
what did you do? how did you get your move on this weekend?

there’s a lot of community talk about open adoption, it’s not co-parenting, it’s better. open adoption allows children to be a part of their family of origin, not losing those ties is SO important, but it also gives them another family who loves and cares deeply for them. after all, if parents can love more than one child doesn’t it make sense that a child could love more than one family?


Fictive Kin
People not related by birth or marriage who have an emotionally-significant relationship with an individual.

it’s been a while since i’ve been here. i’ve mostly been on my other blog (but you have get invited to that one!). if you’d like an invitation please let me know.

let’s get back to the basics of feeding our families awesome food with little prep.

there are so many places to buy “food” these days, and most of them are happy to fill their aisles with boxes, cans and packages of processed/toxic matter called food. i went into a local market a few days ago to buy vinegar for the science class i teach and remembered why i stay out of there. except for the produce area 95% of the store was dead boxed food. who feeds their families this? the vast majority of americans…sad!

have you ever made kefir? it’s a delicious cultured milk, healing for the body and offers millions of beneficial bacteria for your intestinal tract. i really enjoy goat milk kefir from our own goats, but raw cow’s milk has great flavor too. culturing the milk eats the lactose (milk sugar) and makes this a very low glycemic food. as goat’s milk is naturally homogenized (the cream doesn’t separate from the milk) goat’s milk kefir is fantastically creamy (unlike the packaged stuff at the store, which i have used in a pinch, but i digress…). you can buy kefir grains online (my original grains came from and i recommend them. they multiply like crazy so if you already know someone making kefir ask for some grains to start!

here’s a very basic recipe to get you going:

1-    pour 1-cup keifr into blender

2-    add I heaped TB raw virgin coconut oil

3-    add 1 heaped tsp chia or golden flax

4-    add maple syrup to sweeten (or a dab of honey) to taste

5-    blend well and enjoy!


Next time you could add

a half cup of berries

vanilla or chocolate protein powder (omit sweetener!)

an omega-3 egg yolk





Choosing the Healing

I haven’t shared about adoption or foster care work here, but we are immersed deeply in both of these as a family and community. There is such deep wounding in people from their pasts and ALL families serve dysfunction with dinner regularly (yes, even yours & MINE!).
As an adoptive momma I speak regularly to my baby about her adoption and first mom (if you need help with this get this book immediately:


as a foster care momma I daily open conversations with my little guy about the love and affection he has for his mom, listening to his answers and reminding him how much he is loved by his first family and encouraging him to look forward to their visits. It’s a juggling of emotions most days, he has anger and love, confusion and forgiveness, frustration and grace all overwhelming him at once. I believe a lot of his issues stem from his mom not choosing healing, and she has a right to not choose it! Emotional healing is really hard work, but I read this article and have excerpted a few items which really spoke to me about my own responsibility to choose healing.

“I believe that every single one of us is responsible for healing our trauma, and for our impact on others when we fail to do so.”

“My wounds, or rather my actions as a result of my unhealed wounds, were injuring those around me on a regular basis. My closed heart, which I perceived as protecting me from further betrayal, led me to treat others with heartlessness. The numbness that kept me from thinking about how I had been hurt, led me to overlook the ways I was disregarding the needs of those closest to me. My refusal to feel the shame that had been inflicted on me, made me righteous towards those who failed to live up to my standards. And I have concluded from this experience that there is no buried trauma that does not cause negative consequences to others. It is not a benign act to bury our pain within ourselves. It is not solely our private concern. It impacts everyone around us. It makes our heart a little more closed, our tempers shorter, our smiles smaller, our trust truncated, our paranoia greater, our judgments sharper and our words harsher. It makes us wounders of others. It makes us inflictors of pain.”

“But I tell you, you are responsible to others for healing these hurts. I believe I have come honestly by my opinion that birth mothers are responsible to heal their pain. And I believe those who would “protect” them from feeling their pain are misguided in their understanding of personal responsibility. I do not believe it is okay to say twenty, thirty or forty years later, “I don’t want to think about it”, or “I don’t want to feel anything about it”. Not when another person’s identity, heritage, medical history or humanity is at stake. The price of a birth mother keeping her pain locked in the closet is being paid by another human being. And just like all the rest of us, her responsibility is to heal.”
Copyright 2013Karen Caffrey, LPC, JD

These words have penetrated me as I see first moms hurting their children because of their unwillingness to dig deep inside, feel the gut wrenching pain of their own childhood and find the healing.

And these words from sweet Deanna (

Hurting people hurt people, and when we refuse to heal, the negative impact of that choice is incalculable.
We all have the freedom to say no to healing.
And, what is the opposite of healing?
It is sickness.

When we argue our right to say no to healing, we argue our right to be sick.

Arguing the right to NOT heal is an old argument…

The mothers who defended their right to stay unhealed reminds me of the story of the lame man in John 5 of the Bible.

“Afterward Jesus returned to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish holy days. Inside the city, near the Sheep Gate, was the pool of Bethesda, with five covered porches. Crowds of sick people—blind, lame, or paralyzed—lay on the porches. One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, “Would you like to get well?” “I can’t, sir,” the sick man said, “for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me.” Jesus told him, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!” John 5:1-8

This man was sick for thirty eight years.

Clearly, he was dealing with long-term, debilitating pain. And, he had a choice to stay sick, or pursue wellness. Instead of pursuing wellness, he made excuses. For thirty eight years.

He lamented that no one was available to put him in the pool.
He complained that somebody always got there ahead of him.

Jesus cut through his excuses and asked, “Would you like to get well?”

A question still relevant today…

No matter who we are, Jesus is still asking each one of us, “Would you like to get well?”

Sadly, some will defiantly say, “NO!” and defend their right to stay sick.

First mother, adoptee, human being, whosoever…there is help for your pain.

As Karen so brilliantly says, it’s not about “getting over it,” it’s about “getting into it.”

I encourage you, get into it.

Run after help.
Real help.

Not “trying it on your own” for 30 years.
Not just reading a self-help book.
Not watching Dr. Phil. (God forbid. Gag me with a packet of koolaid.)
Not quoting a cliche.
Not just talking to your best girlfriend or your sister.

When it comes to something that involves complex trauma, significant loss and grief, God has provided professionals to help us.

Run after real help like your life depends on it — because it really does.

You’re worth it.

Deanna speaks to me on SO many fronts, she has encouraged me to keep my baby’s first mom in contact with her, her original grandparents, aunt and uncle in love with her and my foster son returning to his first original family at the forefront of my mind (when mom chooses healing).

6. our thanksGIVING tree
7. food to provide sustenance to my family
8. goat cheese covered with apples
9. churches who provide alternatives to halloween craziness
10. my dear husband who always encourages, always encourages, always encourages

…and a recipe
stuffed meatballs (kibbeh in armenia)
first we’ll make the mixed spice blend (called baharat, arab cooks use this by the bagful:
2 Tb freshly ground pepper
1 Tb ground corriander
2 TB ground cumin
1 Tb ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 TB nutmeg
pinch of ground cinnamon
combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. may be stored up to one year, makes about 1/2 cup of amazing seasoning

next we will make the filling for our kibbeh
2 TB coconut oil
w onions, finely chopped
1 lb ground beef (preferrably grass fed)
1/2 tsp. mixed spice
heat oil, add onions and saute until tender. add beef, cook until browned and crumbly. add mixed spice. cook one minute longer to incorporate flavors.
set aside to cool and…
now we make the meat balls!
2 lbs ground beef
coconut oil for frying
get your oil heating so you’re ready to fry these once they are made. pinch off pieces of beef 2 inches in diameter, shape into balls. make a 1 inch well in each ball of meat and fill it with the meat mixture we just made. reseal the meat around the filling and carefully put them into the hot oil. fry on all sides to desired doneness.
let them cool a bit before you eat them, i tell you from experience they will burn your mouth and you won’t be able to taste anything for a week!

as i’ve struggled with the purpose of my blogging experience i realized it’s due to a lack of sharing my authentic self. i’ve hidden myself and this has made writing difficult for me. so, there are a few changes happening around here and without it there’s no air to breathe!
practicing gratitude (if you unfamiliar with this go check out
1. little boys waking up with their hair standing straight up in ALL directions, smiling and full of hugs and kisses
2. my 11yo growing man spilling milk all over our kitchen and wondering why his body betrays his thoughts
3. knowing He is always there waiting for me
4. blue skies after rain
5. home education

five days into the whole life challenge ( and feeling ah-mazing!!

this is my third whole life challenge (wlc), and i have learned a few things from each experience. the first one was really hard for me, i hadn’t completely adjusted to clean eating before we started and detox was tough. in the spring 2013 wlc i was part of a small  group of ladies (read accountability group) and we had meetings each week and laughed a lot together. it was actually a lot of fun last time. bonus: i won by losing the most inches, improving my performance score and logging my daily points. score: free membership for an entire year to my box- crossfit long beach.
i forgot to blog about the first four days, mostly because we are way too busy around here to stop and actually WRITE! school has started, classes have begun, therapy appointments for the two littlest ones, and blah, blah, blah… busy.

todays feed:
b: black coffee, banana pancakes, small bowl of berries
l: baby romaine, tomatoes, steamed beets, sunflower seeds, oil and vinegar
s: almonds and raisins
d: chicken thighs w salt and pepper, cauliflower and onion fries.
all in all a great day, drank lots of water and different teas throughout the day.

thoughts: this challenge is not about perfection, more about looking at what changes can be made to allow oneself to meet their personal goals. last challenge i discovered nearly all of the meat i was feeding my family at lunch was loaded with sugar, albeit under different names, but sugar none the less. when the spring 2013 wlc was over i allowed it to sneak back into my kitchen and our lunches (it’s so ez to just pop open a package of lunch meat, amiright?). things need to change, and they have.
fitness: stop scaling wods, four wods per week for the next eight weeks
personal: blog every day for the rest of this challenge, encourage and be present with my kids and husband
spiritual: get back into daily quiet time with the Giver of Life

stay clean,

Today’s menu:
Breakfast: eggs over easy, coffee
Lunch: nut granola, plain yogurt sweetened with honey, apple slices
Dinner: grass fed beef patties, green salad, steamed broccoli
The kids also had some leftover homemade coconut milk ice cream (sweetened with pure maple syrup) as a snack after lunch.

Today’s menu:
Breakfast: eggs, plain yogurt sweetened with honey
Lunch: tuna on lettuce leaves with baby carrots
Dinner: open beef tacos, diced tomatoes, black olives, cabbage slaw with cilantro
Looks to be anther devices day at the shore!

We’ve added two more feet! Our baby, Ruth, was born July 24th. Now there’s 12 feet between us and there really is no telling what we’ll do!

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