Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mighty Minis

Poor Micah has been under the weather. He had his first fever and ear infection last week and upon completion of his medicine, a cough and drippy nose have followed. And furthermore his unhappiness is accompanied by cutting 4 molars all at once! He is just not happy.

Phil suggested some Popsicle therapy.

I personally do not like Popsicles. I would much rather have a scoop of rich creamy ice cream but KIDS seem to flock to them. Moms don't like them because of their sloppiness. Kids like them at first but they quickly melt liquid all down the hands, lips, and face and then they lose interest and THEN they are all kinds of sticky. So I was not too eager to bring some home until I found these:

Just look at how tiny they are? They are totally cute and the perfect portion for a toddler. Plus, they leave plenty of stick to hold onto.

I snapped a bib on each boy but not a mess was made!

Some relief for all those pesky teeth!

Now you might be wondering about how nutritious these little wonders are? Not so much. The 4th ingredient is, of course, high fructose corn syrup. Bummer. It even says right on the box "natural with fruit juice." So sneaky! So now I am thinking of ways to make a similar Popsicle in size with maybe pureed fruit etc. I even wondered why there are not "chicken soup Popsicles." Wouldn't that be the perfect thing for a sick child? So I looked online and found this. It turns out that people do make them for treats for their DOG! This really made me laugh! Now I am going to have to make one for myself the next time that I make broth! I will let you know how it turns out.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easy Granola Recipe

I think that all granola recipes are easy but this one has few ingredients and for some reason that makes life so much easier for me! I like recipes that I already have all the ingredients for in my pantry. I am more likely to make it if that is the case.

So here we go: Gather your ingredients.

Crush 1 cup of nuts (I like walnuts or almonds) and dump them into your large mixing bowl.

Measure 3 cups of old fashioned oats into the same large mixing bowl.

Measure 1/4 cup of honey, 1/4 cup of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon.

Pour butter/honey/spices mixture over oats and nuts in the mixing bowl.

Stir oat mixture with spoon until thoroughly coated.

Pour granola into baking dish.

Place baking dish into the oven at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Stir mixture every 15 minutes.

After an hour in the oven remove baking pan and add 2/3 cup of raisins and stir. Leave the granola in the dish to cool. (or scoop out some and eat it with a little milk right now. YUM)

Store granola in an airtight container. Yes, that is a repurposed plastic mayonnaise container. Phil said "Why are you photographing granola in a used mayonnaise jar?" He knows me too well to ask that! And we both had a good laugh.

Easy Granola Recipe:

1/4 cup butter (or use equal parts butter and extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup of crushed walnuts or almonds
(optional additional ingredients: 1 cup of coconut or 2 tablespoons of flax)
2/3 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Mix ingredients into large bowl (except for the raisins) and pour into baking dish. Bake in the over for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. After an hour remove from heat and stir in the raisins and let cool! Store in airtight container.

The reason why I wanted to started making granola is first of all because my 3 year old LOVES granola and all things breakfast. It is his most favorite meal of the day and requests it for all three meals. He also really likes breakfast cereal which is a heavily processed food that I am trying to get our family to stay away from. Have you heard before that 1 in 3 Americans born after 2000 will contact early onset diabetes? That really scares me because this includes ALL of my current and future children. That is a crazy HUGE amount and affects all my friends children and my nieces and nephews. If I have learned anything in watching "The Biggest Loser" I take comfort in knowing that early onset diabetes can be avoided.

I stumble over great blogs all the time and I recently found one called "100 Days of Real Food" It is a family that started a blog to follow their experiment of eating all real foods for 100 days and blogging about it. This blog has a lot of good information about what how to distinguish between real food and processed food. I want to give you the link to their "rule" page and also just encourage you to browse around on their blog and glean knowledge.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Why My Life is Like a Musical

Ad lib

Preschool scatting.

Walking and Golfing

Proof that Micah is walking...

...and golfing.

"A Hole in Two"

Thursday, April 7, 2011


My name is Allison and I admit that I have a large obsession with seeds.

And I am proud to say it is rubbing off on you know who!

I have had a passion for growing plants since I was a kid. I even remember having a "grow light" in my bedroom for my 7th grade science project. (That was my excuse anyway) I think that my obsession even bothers Phil a tinsy weensy bit. You see I gave up t.v. for Lent and I have nothing better to do! So I check my seeds 2 billion times a day and examine them with full scrutiny and (probably unnecessarily) tend to them. Phil looked at me one night before bed this week and firmly said "stop checking your seeds." I responded with "you don't understand, I CAN'T stop!"

They need me and I need them and their future produce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And guess who else is currently obsessed with seeds? Our church! Before we even started attending our church they launched a campaign and called it "Seeds." Isn't that cool? Our church feels called by God to eliminate their financial debt so that they can enlarge their reach around the world!

Here are some examples of alternative acts of service that could be done with the current $10,533.71 mortgage payment:

One month they could build a church in India.

One month they could launch an effort to pay the rent for a storefront church plant for 10 total consecutive months.

One month they could place 10,031 Bibles in the hands of people currently in prison.

One month they could buy 52,000 pounds of diapers for a Hope Center.

One month they could buy a freezer and stock it with meat for a year for the Grabill Community Food Bank.

One month they could send approximately 800 coats and pairs of mittens to Romania.

One month they could drill 3 wells in Villages in Kenya, Africa.

One month they could fill 234 baby bottles with quarters for a Hope Center.

Isn't that just unbelievably amazing! I am so encouraged by this and I know that there are many other churches and people out there that feel just as strongly as we do. We try to think in these terms too and look for ways to increase our giving capacity by eliminating unnecessary debt. Generosity makes my heart and lips SING!

One of my biggest purposes of this blog is to encourage others and educate you in the process. A lot of the stuff that I post and write about on here could be thought of as weird, odd, crazy, and even gross! I want to show that there are alternatives to "normal." One of my professors at Bethel once said that "new and brilliant ideas do not come from thinking normally." The moment that I heard those words I breathed a big sigh of relief! Finally, I am free! Nothing about the thoughts and ideas that go through my head are normal!

So now you know why I post about making laundry soap and cheese in my kitchen, give chicken bones to my baby to chew of the marrow, paint and faux my perfectly fine kitchen cabinets, cloth diaper, teach Luke to write numbers at our kitchen table, grow tomatoes in any container I can get my hands on, prove that a baby can be born in 2010 without an epidural, and show that people and churches can survive and thrive with little to NO debt!

Thank you very much! I will now climb down off my soapbox and finish making my granola!

Good night.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Micah - 14 Months

Look at that perfectly placed chubby little hand!

I asked my mom today when does a baby stop being a baby?

I look at my little guy and still see a baby even though he is almost a toddler really! Micah has been toddling and walking more every day!

Today he walked from the futon to the couch all by himself!

And he has added 3 teeth! Molars that is.

His whole body is slimming down and you can see it especially in his face.

Some people have said that he looks more like brother Luke? Maybe!

No real words yet except for sounds that he associates with us.

Me: "ma"
Phil: "ya"

Right now he is LOVING rocking in our child sized rocking chair. It makes him so happy!

He has 2 "lovies" that he likes to carry around. One is a monkey and the other one is a bear. He travels with one in each hand, even walking!

His favorite snacks are blueberries, cheese, and Kefir.

His favorite show is "Baby Einstein: My First Signs"

Luke and Micah like to play with balloons together.

I can't wait for it to get nice out because I think they are going to love playing together outside and I am going to love watching it all!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pure Silliness

Micah thinks this is SO funny!

It can get out-of-control at times.

2 silly boys on 1 daddy's lap!

The fun never stops.

Opening Day

Here at the Wagler house we are SOOOOO happy for baseball season! The cubs had their first game of the season on Friday and YES Phil came home early from work and we all ate ballpark food! It is our tradition every spring.

Welcome Baseball Season!

No-Sew Window Treatments

I finally hung my beautiful new chic (yet cheap) window treatments for my master bedroom!

Remember my $4.00 warehouse sale find?

Originally I was totally going to whip out the sewing machine and sew these panels up complete with lining. When I started to figure up the cost of buying the lining and other materials like thread etc. I realized that the cost of the thread alone would be more expensive than the fabric! So I was inspired to try something new. They were super easy. If you can iron you can make your very own custom window treatments!

First get yourself some Heat n Bond Hen iron-on adhesive. I found mine at Jo-Ann Fabric.

Lay out your fabric and iron it.

Fold over and iron a 3/8" fold on all sides of your fabric panel.

Make sure your creases are nice and sharp!

Now fold in each side another 3/8" and iron again. Repeat this step on the remaining 3 sides. Now follow the directions on your Heat n Bond package. Place the adhesive tape inside of the folded edge and iron over your fabric so that the hem is bonded to your fabric panel. I used the 3/8" tape because it was the smallest and I wanted to conserve as much "face" of the panel as possible.

Once you have repeated that on all four sides of your panel get out your clip rings. Evenly clip your rings to the top of your drapery panel and slip the rings unto your prehung rod.

I like to then manipulate the folds so that they are all evenly placed, smooth, and facing out.

Put your finger at the top of each fold and bump it out.

Make adjustments and "fluff"

If they are too long puddle them on the floor or hem them to desired length. You already know how to do that now!

Now a before and after of the master bedroom just for fun!

The master before we moved in:

The master today! Progress in the making.

I still have not made a paint decision and I need something on the walls, and new light fixture and new side table lamps.

I found this pressed board chair in Paris that I have been wanting to do something with. Maybe this will be my next project for the master?

Friday, April 1, 2011

March Update

I didn't do a very good job in March updating you with our everyday happenings. So here we go!

Luke extends the peace pipe to Micah!

I think they are finally realizing the entertainment that comes with having a brother.

Luke gets his first very own kids Starbucks drink. After a visit to the library that involved Luke putting together a giant state puzzle with only a little help from me, he wanted to treat himself with hot chocolate.

Micah "practiced" with my empty cup!

Luke likes to do his own thing.

A tandem drink.

Trying to get a drop of something!

Micah loves to wear shoes and tries to put them on!

I found Micah rocking in his room alone with his shoe and happy as a clam!

Both boys loved lounging in this chair but it broke this week and we had to throw it away. Sad. Phil blames me because I sat in it a few times and the weight limit is 50 lbs. Whoops!

My dad had a birthday and Luke made him a card.

And then he took a picture of his beloved junkyard and carwash.

My sewing machine made an appearance.

I made this fun top by following a Sew Mama Sew online tutorial. I kind of tricked my mom when she was here yesterday. Micah was sleeping and mom and Luke were occupied outside so I set up my machine and started sewing together this top that I cut out the day before. I get kind of desperate for any "kid free" moment that presents itself! My mom is so funny! She did not say a thing but I could tell she was like "you're doing that now?" Ummm, yep.

And then after I strutted around modeling my handiwork and Phil said things like "Are you wearing a tent?" and "Is that a purse?" we did something that we have been waiting to do for literally years. NOW drum roll please.....

.....an awkward photo of Phil and I clicking the button to pay off a student loan online! Whoo-hooooooooooo! This particular loan was the source of the highest interest rate and our biggest single payment. I must admit it is hard to part with a large amount of money with a single click and have nothing tangible to show for it, but the future is exciting!

It was funny because even though we have been planning this for a while Phil had a hard time sealing the deal when it came down to it. We were saying how much easier it was spending this money when it was not really ours in the first place. Borrowing is funny like that but anything that is borrowed eventually has to be reconciled and dealt with in some way. So now our goals are well on their way.

So now that we are all caught up in March bring on April and more importantly BASEBALL season. The CUBS have their first game today and Phil is coming home from work early (like 2ish) to watch the game and eat opening day food! Yay!
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