Recipe: Morroccan Stew

I whipped this up tonight for dinner – it was delicious and it made a LOT of food – could have easily fed 4-6 adults. I’ll be making this one again for sure!

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3-4 cups diced tomato (I used a 1L jar of home-canned)
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, cut into little pieces
  • 1 cup rice, uncooked
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Throw everything in a large pot or crockpot.
  2. Simmer for a few hours.
  3. Eat it. It’s yummy!

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Man, I’m a sporatic blogger at best!

I was looking through my archives and noticed that I’ve only been blogging once, maybe twice per month recently. Well, I suppose ‘recently’ is a misnomer … it’s been a while, hasn’t it?

Ah well, I’m not going apologize. Know why? Because I’m not sorry. I haven’t felt like it, and that’s okay!

But I am going to write about something dear to my heart today.

The needs of children.

I was thinking the other day about what it is that really bothers me about ‘training’ children – whether we’re talking about sleep training, ‘discipline’, whatever. It hit me: what really bothers me is the belief that the parents’ needs supersede those of the child.

I’m learning never to see any issue with my kids this way. Both of our needs are valid. Is there any way that we can compromise or meet both of our needs without someone needing to lose? After all, that’s how I would hope to approach it with an adult: brainstorm possible solutions to the problem and choose one that’s acceptable to everyone, hopefully meaning no winners, no losers.

Let’s co-operate and look for creative solutions, shall we?

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The Rockin’ Horse

Is now home to TWO crazy kids. Gil has been playing around with it for a few months now and figured out how to actually get on it today and rock. And off. Safely!

He’s not yet one!

Well, I guess I had to have ONE climber, huh?

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Upbeat post!

In which I spill some of the lovely things about my kids :)

  • Gwen to Brad: “That’s my mommy! She loves me.”
  • When Gil is on my hip but I’m engaged in something else, he’ll tilt his head and smile at me, grabbing my attention and helping us connect. It’s very sweet :)
  • Tonight on the couch, Gil & Gwen hugged. And it was a real hug on both sides!
  • Gwen to anyone who says Gil’s name: “MY brother!”
  • Gwen to us when we pick Gil up to protect him (from her): “I need my brother back!”
  • Gil is now saying “Haaaaa” for “hi” and waving goodbye when we leave places. He’s also in that stage where he puts every item to his ear like a phone. Change purse? Phone. Remote control? Phone. Piece of paper? Phone. LOVE IT!

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Industrial revolution: a revolution of the family

In her recent blog post, A liturgical downer, Brenda linked to the blog of a Benedictine sister: Monastic Musings Too. In her post, Millions of Holy Innocents today, she writes:

Elizabeth Marquardt raised the fundamental question in the title of her ground-breaking report, The Revolution in Parenthood: The Emerging Global Clash Between Parents’ Rights and Children’s Needs. Most homilies preached in Catholic Churches today will focus on abortion, in which the lives of millions of children are sacrificed for the needs – and legal rights – of adults. Marquardt’s 44-page monograph provides a larger context which helps to illuminate the political struggles around the issue. She studies the needs of the children in opposition to the desires and rights of parents. How did this opposition come about?

Social scientists place the heart of that change in the Industrial Revolution. Until that time, children were often part of the domestic economy – whether on the farm or in a craft or service occupation or business. From an early age, children participated in the work of the family, both contributing to the family’s livelihood and the learning the myriads of skills they would need as adults. The children of cooks learned to cook; of farmers learned to farm. Children were contributors to the family, and valued.

While I have lately become familiar with the Industrial Revolution as the start of unskilled, unsatisfying work, and also the beginning of consumer debt, I had not yet read anything about this … and it makes so. much. sense. It saddens me that this is the kind of thing that is missing in my life with my children. Since I don’t really have ‘work’, and Brad works in an office, Gwen is bored. There is only so much she can help me with at home – only so many sinks of dishes, only so many times I can make muffins, only so much sweeping to do. Yes, Gwen has toys, and yes she is often content to play with them, but I can just imagine how much more full her life would be if both Brad and I had practical, hands-on, skilled work to do in which she could participate joyfully!

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Welcome, 2011!

Wow. 2011 already.

I honestly feel like this past year has flown by. We’ve had some hard times and some great, but overall, I feel like 2010 was a hard, hard year.

But I don’t want to be someone who looks back and groans, shaking their head.

I want to be someone who looks to the future with their head held high and a smile on their face.

Here’s to 2011 – let’s hope it doesn’t suck!

I’m not really one for resolutions. In fact, I don’t have a terribly good track record for sticking to them, so I won’t make any of those. However, I do have a few goals that I’d like to flesh out here, hopefully meaning that I can look at them and assess how I’m doing throughout the year.

  1. Use as few chemicals as possible – both on my body and in my house. I got turned on to spotless by a friend and I love it! In fact, this website revolutionized my no-poo project and I’m back to fully no-poo. Yay! As a token of good faith, I used the last of my dishwasher soap on December 30th and ran my first load of chemical-free dishwashing this morning – they’re already put away and are squeaky clean :) I’m planning that when I run out of cleaning products, I’ll begin making what I need and I won’t buy more. That way, it won’t be in the house.
  2. Work toward becoming the kind of parent I know my kids need – this means more listening, more partnering, and more working on myself. I’ve had an introductory appointment with a counselor and I’m hoping that will help me move forward. I’m going to purchase and read Families Where Grace is in Place (Jeff VanVonderen), going to give Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves (Naomi Aldort) another read, and Brad and I are going to take at least one course in Non-Violent Communication.
  3. Deepen my faith – in a way that is authentically following Jesus. I’m hoping to talk to some people who are interested in the simple church movement and get my family involved in Christ’s body again.
  4. Re-discover what brings me joy – this is, I think, going to be the most difficult goal. Somewhere in the past few years, I’ve lost myself. In becoming a mother twice in such a short period of time, I’ve forgotten who I am and what I find fulfilling. Add to that the loss of the outward expression of my faith, the difficult times had within our immediate families, more job responsibility on Brad, and a head-strong toddler, and most days I’m not sure what end is up!

Four goals. I think I can do it. Cheer me on, peeps!

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The tribe: normal for human development

I was reading this article today and came across this phenomenal quote:

… [I]t never used to be that children grew up in a stressed nuclear family. That wasn’t the normal basis for child development. The normal basis for child development has always been the clan, the tribe, the community, the neighborhood, the extended family. Essentially, post-industrial capitalism has completely destroyed those conditions. People no longer live in communities which are still connected to one another. People don’t work where they live. They don’t shop where they live. The kids don’t go to school, necessarily, where they live. The parents are away most of the day. For the first time in history, children are not spending most of their time around the nurturing adults in their lives.

You can scroll down to the second interview to find the quote in context.

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Gil is 10 months!

Um, I’m an abysmally pathetic mommy blogger. I’m not sure when last I updated about my baby boy, but he was 10 months old just a few days ago, so here we go!

He crawls!

He stands!

He now cruises, but it’s hard to get an action shot of that :)

In all seriousness, Gil has taken off in his physical abilities. Because he learned to sit *after* he learned to crawl, we’ve not enjoyed any luxurious ‘sit in one place while playing with a new toy’ phase – this little boy is all GO all the time. Read the rest of this entry »

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Public Inquiry – G8/G20 Summit Mistakes!

I just sent the following letter to both Premier McGuinty and well as my MPP (Andrea Horwath), regarding the mishandling of the G8/G20 Summit security. Will you join me in requiring our elected officials to answer for their mistakes?

Premier McGuinty,

I am writing to express my shock and disappointment at the events of the G8/G20 summit this past summer. I do not believe that temporary laws should be passed without public input and am offended that the government should put the desires of foreign officials over the wellbeing and safety of its citizens. The way ordinary citizens and peaceful protesters were treated was atrocious.

I call for a full public inquiry into the events surrounding the summit. Please restore my faith in my elected officials by making this a priority.

Sincerely,
Kim S.

You can email Premier McGuinty HERE. Find out your MPP’s contact information HERE. C’mon, citizens, it’s time to exercise our democratic rights and show our elected officials that we mean business! I will posting any responses I receive.

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Jesus is an attachment parent

I haven’t been in a great space lately. My head is swimming and I’m having a hard time getting coherent thoughts out – especially into blogland. It’s a combination of all sorts of things, but mostly, I think, a lot of growing pains.

This subject, though, is one that took me by surprise. It might be shocking to some of you that it’s been over 2 years since Brad and I have been to church with any regularity. We were part of a church that we loved and moved into an intentional community with people we felt drawn to and then, well … and then we had Gwen. She turned our entire church experience upside down and that, coupled with some other stuff, has left us not attending church regularly. That’s not to say that I don’t think about faith and God much – I do. I think about that stuff a LOT. But, sharing my space with a toddler and a (very busy) baby all day means that when I do think about anything, it’s gone just as quickly as it came.

Again, this subject just keeps coming to the front of my brain … and I thought, “Hey. Maybe I should blog about it.”

So, here I am. And here’s my crazy thought process. Read the rest of this entry »

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