We’re Going to the Mountains

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A couple of weeks ago we took a trip to the mountains. It was inspired by a book of Lydia’s and by her incessant chanting of “We’re going to the mountains!”. We don’t always do everything our almost-three-year-old tells us to do, but in this case, we did.

We packed our bags. They included: a toy camera, sunflower seeds and raisins (trail-mix, of course), hats, scarves, and a baseball glove and ball. We loaded up the car and headed out.

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Little brother and Abigail had a few arguments during the drive and there were a few “Are we there yet?”s, but it wasn’t too bad in all. We listened to music, read a picture book, took turns driving, and avoided taking a single bathroom break. Abby slept almost the whole time and we managed to make it all the way to the Grand Himalayan Alps in what really felt like just a few minutes.

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Since Abby was still sleeping, we decided to just leave her in the car. Please don’t judge our parenting decisions. The parking lot was practically empty anyway.

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Then we headed out to climb the biggest mountain we could find. We took a break about halfway up on a nice grassy plateou, where Lydia took a short nap. Then we resumed our climbing.

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Near the top we had a close encounter with a bear. By ringing a bell and shouting at it, we managed to scare him away. Then we ascended the very highest peak. We stopped to munch on trail mix and enjoy the view.

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No one felt like playing ball just then, so I guess it was good that we had left our bag in the car with Abigail. Lydia didn’t take any pictures either, but I brought my camera along so that turned out ok too. After soaking in all the beauty surrounding us from that height, we made our way back down the mountain and back to the car. Abby was safe and sound and still sleeping. The drive home felt longer but was actually shorter. lydia made good time.

It was a great trip. I know not everyone has the time and resources to drop everything and drive to the Alps, but, for those who do, I highly recommend it.

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Apple Pie for Breakfast

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We had apple pie for breakfast last week and I don’t even feel bad about it.

You see, we have been trying to help Lydia memorize Bible verses for a while now. She has a great memory, especially when things are put to music. I’m not great at making up my own tunes (I can never remember the tune once I’ve made it up), but I’m not too shabby at taking old tunes and giving them new words.

So our first Bible memory song was Acts 16:31 set to the tune of “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”. It went like so:

Acts sixteen thirty one
They replied, “Believe
in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved,
you and your household.

The “you and your household” didn’t fit so we just sort of chant it quickly at the end and Lydia thought that was great.

Well, as awesome as that was, I couldn’t get Lydia to prove to me that she had learned it. I was sure she had because we had sung it so many times I found myself humming it frequently when no one else was even around. But, how to get her to recite for me?

Enter apple pie. I had the bright idea of offering Lydia dessert if she could sing her song for Daddy. Throughout the day, Lydia would ask me and I would remind her that I would make her an apple pie if she could sing the song all by herself in front of Daddy. No sooner did he walk in the door that afternoon and she burst into song.

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That night happened to be terribly busy and I eventually had to apologize to Lydia and tell her the pie wouldn’t be done baking until too late. Instead, we would be having apple pie for breakfast. And the reason I could do so is that this pie wasn’t laden with sugary, buttery goodness. In fact, if you could see the recipe, you might realize that it wasn’t a whole lot different from sliced apples and toast as far as ingredients go.

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And because I think everybody should get to have apple pie for breakfast, here is the recipe for you all to enjoy.

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Breakfast Apple Pie
Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup coconut oil
6 to 7 tablespoons cold water
6 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
10 dates
cinnamon

1. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt; mix in coconut oil until mixture is crumbly. Gradually stir in water until a ball forms.
2. Divide dough in half so that one ball is slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger ball on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie plate. Transfer to plate.
3. Grind up dates in a food processor. You’ll end up with small sticky chunks of date mush.
4. Layer pie with half of your apples. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon. Evenly distribute date mush balls. Cover with the other half of your apples and sprinkle generously with more cinnamon.
5. Roll out second dough ball to fit top of pie. Place over filling. Cut slits in top, and shape extra dough into a pretty heart to put in the center.
6. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 55-60 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack. Store in the refrigerator.

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The date mush balls are yummier than they sound. After enjoying pie for breakfast and more for dessert after dinner, Lydia was given a new Bible verse. She wasn’t too enthused about this one (1 Thessalonians 5:16) until we offered her chocolate banana “ice cream” as a reward. Then she learned it in about two days.

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Abby Update: 6 Months Old

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Weight: 11 pounds, 14 ounces

Yesterday Abby had her 6 month check up and she’s doing great. Her iron, which has been very low ever since she was born, and especially since the UofM incident, is finally up above the normal threshold. Her weight is increasing at a happy rate and she’s closing in on first percentile (which, for us, is a big deal). Her left foot, which has been turned in since before she was born, most likely due to her breech position is improving, but still turned in enough for us to be doing some work on it at home. She may or may not need to see orthopedics in a few months.

This month Abby started out waking up during some nights, but now is consistently sleeping about 7-9 hours a night. Even during our trip up north, she kept sleeping through. On the other hand, we haven’t been able to get her on any sort of predictable eating/sleeping routine or schedule. Until a couple of days ago, that is, when she suddenly started eating and napping about every three hours with one extra snack in the morning. We’ll see how long this lasts.

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Abby rolled over this month, from her tummy to her back. She smiles a lot, and loves to be talked to (probably due to a lack of attention which is definitely due to a needy older sister who shall remain nameless). She started laughing recently which is so much fun.

One of Abby’s favorite things is what we call the baby blimp. Even when she’ll in an all-out crying fit, we can usually get a smile out of her using this little technique. Lydia calls it the baby balloon.

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This month Abby starred in our Church’s talent show: Fur Rondezvous, in “The Story of Abigail“.

Abby still loves to bounce. She loves her bouncy seat and is in the process of learning to fall asleep without Mom or Dad bouncing her into sleep. She’s getting close to being able to hold onto things, which will be especially fun as Lydia always wants to give her toys to hold. She’s looking more like her older sister. Every day we love her more and couldn’t imagine life without our Abigail.

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