Little Monkey turned 3 yesterday; I can’t believe it, and I’m so glad to have another Blessing on the way, even though we weren’t really expecting it. We had a nice turnout for her party; it was very windy so I’m glad I didn’t plan a barbecue. The guests were mostly family (at 3 she doesn’t have a huge independent social life yet), and we had 12 guests, counting from the toddlers to the grandparents. I started the night before on a carrot cake recipe out of Nourishing Traditions (see link on sidebar), and it came out great. Has a 2 hour baking time though! I made a double recipe, and managed to save the smaller cake in the freezer. I served 4 of my 6 homemade ice-cream flavors, and the biggest hit was my last-ditch effort at variety; I made vanilla ice cream, but was out of fruit or additions, so got out some orange juice concentrate. I planned to ‘marble’ it thru the ice cream, but somehow my vanilla ice creams have a hard time ‘freezing up’ in the mixer, so no marbling was going to happen. It came out a VERY pale yellow, and tasted like orange-vanilla creamsicle, which was great. It doesn’t seem to have a problem freezing up in the freezer. Little Monkey’s grandparents got her a tricycle, for which she is still working out the coordination. My order of Melissa and Doug “homeschool toys” came earlier than expected, so she got a bigger pile of stuff than usual. She was also blessed with some darling “kid gardening” stuff, books, color books, a fishing game, and a darling little doll with “snap on” plastic clothing.

After the party, one family left (2 parents, 3 kids) and the rest stayed on for dinner. The weather forced a lasagna feed, which is ok with me! I had three women to help in the kitchen, and we rolled out lasagna noodles, made the sauce with some of Zeke (thanks Zeke!), and had a good time. I also tried a recipe for caesar dressing, including anchovies. With salt (which it didn’t call for) it was pretty good. Hubby tried to brag about the lasagna to someone, saying it was all “made from scratch”. I vehemently disagreed, because save for the pork and eggs, it was all from the store! I didn’t make the mozzarella, parmesan, or the cottage cheese nor did I grow the tomatoes or herbs. Silly me, he meant I didn’t buy noodles or pre-made sauce (and here I am figuring out how to grow/manufacture a REAL “from scratch” lasagna!). We used a pan I got from the bar/restaurant supply, and I weighed it on the bathroom scale before cooking it; twenty pounds! And I’m not sure if we should be proud or ashamed to say that as of now, 24 hours later, there is one little piece of it left for Hubby’s lunch tomorrow.

We’ve been blessed to buy a “spare fridge” (man, I think every family should have one of those!) for a good price from some friends. Now I can quit stacking the fridge so dangerously, what with all the eggs and cream I’ve been getting!

Hubby had a checkup last week, and it was all good news. In 2 months he has lost 26 lbs, his cholesterol and triglycerides are normal, and his blood pressure is normal! He isn’t done with the weight loss (and yesterday’s festivities didn’t help), but we’re so encouraged by this milestone. He’s had a low body-temp when the naturopath has checked him, so he was sent to a lab for a thyroid test; we haven’t heard anything back yet, so assume things are normal. I don’t know much about thyroid stuff, but it amazes me that he’d have a sub-normal temp; he’s ALWAYS warm, and uses 1/3 the blankets I do in bed. He’s like a heater, I swear.

Today we went to church *gasp* and enjoyed a presentation/testimonial of a former Power-Team member. It was encouraging and neat to hear his story. He was speaking again tonight, and Hubby rode to town to see him (I wonder if it didn’t have to do with the guy’s mentioning of his Harley…). Church often has a lunch or potluck afterwards… This sunday it was Deli Fried Chicken, which they tried to tell us was organic. Ha ha ha. I’m sure the Deli Potato Salad was too. I suppose we should be grateful if the chicken wasn’t among those fed the industrial product that also contaminated the pet food! I was glad for hubby’s diet for an excuse to get something at least a little better (the Power-Team guy and his 3%-body-fat wife weren’t there for lunch either [I do not mean to mock them – his wife was extremely fit and beautiful and I’m sure she works hard to be so]). I’m so torn between understanding that “in Rome, do as the Romans” and consciously doing what I can to care for my “temple” (and those of my kids). There is a scripture about drinking poison and not dying, but I’m not so sure we should tempt God on such a regular basis. What is right? It would be snobbery to consistently refuse the food that is offered, and to say true, we do not (indeed, cannot at this point) eat how I really would like. It would be more right to offer to others food that is healthy; as we did yesterday with the cake, ice cream, and lasagna, more or less. We do not often know enough ahead of time whether we can feed the entire church or not, though. And while many are understanding (at least tolerant) of how we prefer to eat, there are few who espouse it. And of course, those who mock with “this chicken is organic!”

We have lost 2 of the 40 chickies, and while I wasn’t sure about a few of them there for awhile, they’re all doing well now. I’m imagining what I need to do in 6 weeks, and I’m starting to wonder if I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. I don’t really like going elbow-deep in viscera, and can’t ask hubby to do ALL the eviscerating of that many chickens. I wonder if I can get a haz-mat suit on ebay. At least a rubber apron and some elbow-length gloves…

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