Today is Fatterday. This is the one day of the week that Alicia, our oldest daughter, who on every other day carefully watches what she eats, eats whatever she likes. So Saturday, in our family has become Fatterday. Usually we go out to breakfast on Fatterday, but since Faith and I are now gluten-free, it limits our menu selection, and we cannot enjoy pancakes out anymore. So I found this recipe and tried it out on the 'fam' and everyone liked them as well as the whole wheat ones I used to make, so this has become our Fatterday staple. This is basically the same recipe as the other one, just used all oat flour and veggie oil instead. AND, there are pictures this time!! Here is the recipe again:
We think they are just about perfect. Only bad thing is that I have to cook them instead of getting to go out to breakfast. But I think it is a fair trade. We have been to the Original Pancake House since they have gluten-free pancakes, but honestly, these are much better. And we don't have to spend the big bucks they charge for their food if I make them at home. If you have a vitamix, even better, since you can just use regular oatmeal and grind it into a fine flour yourself. YUM!
We are now in Ohio, but I thought I would share some of what we did while we were visiting our northern neighbors.
If you've never been north of the border, you should go. Canada is beautiful, although I must confess that it does look an awful lot like the northern part of our country. Of course, to judge all of the beautiful land that is Canada by the postage stamp sized portion that we saw would not be right. But we did enjoy our visit, and recon that if the rest of Canada is anything like the part that we saw, we could happily live there.
It is said that 90% of the population of Canada live within 100 miles of the border. I think that must be true, since the Niagara area employs many people due to the tourism of the area. It was a good thing many Canadians call that area home and work there, because there were plenty of tourists there to keep them busy. We really enjoyed meeting and interacting with so many kind, helpful people, and would like to say a huge "thank you" to everyone who helped make our time up north such fun.
We had 4 great days there, and here are some of the highlights.
Day 1 started out with a great bike ride from our campground, the beautiful Windmill Point, to the Peace Bridge. Windmill Point was not the closest campground to Niagara, but it was so beautiful, that we were very happy to be there. It was an easy 7 mile ride, and then we turned around and did the 7 miles back. Most of that is right up next to the Niagara River, and it is a gorgeous ride. No commercial buildings, just lovely private homes with a trail practically in their back yards. The trail was paved and mostly flat, going through several parks and a beach area as well as a cute neighborhood that was on road (no trail) but we didn't see any cars so I think it must be very lightly traveled. I didn't take any photos, and I am really sad about that, but I have my memories, and they are most important to me anyway, so there you go. Then we went to the lake at the campground and dinked around there for the rest of the day and enjoyed a campfire that evening. A perfect day.
Day 2 we went to Fort Erie.
It was a short distance from the campground, and it was so cool. This location was a pivotal point in the War of 1812, and they have rebuilt the fort much as it would have been then. They had costumed guides as docents, and they told us the history and background of the importance of the Fort in Canadian as well as American history.
It was the perfect homeschool field trip: we all learned so much that it made us want to learn more, AND we had fun at the same time. Who could ask for anything more?
We ate dinner at a local diner, called "Greenacres". The food wasn't great, but it was an adventure, and it wasn't bad either. We found our way back to the campground and turned in early so we could rest up for the next day.
Tomorrow (or whenever I get around to it), I will tell you about the rest of our time in the great country to our north: the great country of C-eh?-N-eh?-D-eh? Did you get that? C-A-N-A-D-A!
We have been on the road in our motorhome, affectionately named T.J. now for 10 days.
We named it TJ because my nephew Brad, upon seeing it for the first time proclaimed that it was the Taj Mahal, and it was nicer than his house! It isn't the Taj Mahal, but it is nice. And it has air conditioning, and I am camping, but not sleeping on the ground. After all, I am a city girl with a country heart. I don't do sleeping on the ground and this is my idea of "roughing it". Navy Showers in T.J. or showers in a public restroom are about as close to a wilderness experience as I will ever come. Not to say that I don't enjoy the great outdoors. I love to bike, hike and enjoy nature. Just not from a tent. Or a pop-up camper. Been there, done that. And I did love it at the time. But at this stage in my life, this is the only way I want to go. Unless we are going to a lovely Bed and Breakfast. Without the kids. Then I will go by car and enjoy the ride since my hubby doesn't say anything unless spoken to, or he needs me to read him the directions. It's usually a nice ride with me chatting away and him occasionally nodding or commenting politely just so I know he is still listening.
But I digress. This post is supposed to be about our last 10 days. So here goes.
We left our steamy south Florida home on July 6, headed for Savannah, Ga. to tour SCAD with our oldest daughter, Alicia who is going to school there in the fall. It is a beautiful campus, and we are so excited for her to begin her new life there. However, we did not get to enjoy Savannah, because Little Faith had been eaten alive by mosquitoes at a July 4th fireworks party and ended up with an allergic reaction so bad she looked like she had chicken pox and hives all over her arms, and she couldn't be in the heat or it would break out worse and itch like crazy. And if you've ever been to Savannah in July, you know that there is one thing they have no absence of: Heat. So she and her brothers ended up staying in T.J. while Hubby and I toured SCAD with Alicia. I didn't worry, though 'cause the campground had wi-fi and they all have technology tools, so it was all good. Or so I thought. I texted my sons in the afternoon to find out how Faith was doing, only to get a message back saying she was fine, but the internet was down. All day. I smiled to myself, thinking that they needed to "unplug" anyway, and when we arrived back at the park, I spoke to the manager about the situation. Indeed, they had been having trouble with it, but didn't know the extent reached our area and she would call Comcast, but that they had been out fixing the transponder in the front area earlier that day, and gee, she wished she had known 'cause she would have had him check our area when he was here and it would be a week or so before they would be out again. So No Internet. I really didn't mind, but they did! I assured them that the next campground would have it. I mean, what are the chances? We left there on July 9 to our next destination.
In NC, a lovely campground for 1 night. No internet.
In southern PA, an interesting campground for 1 night, and "no honey, we don't have cable or internet here. They won't let us. Only for the long-termers". No internet.
So, we checked with Windmill Point Campground in Niagara, Canada, our next destination for 4 nights. Internet was important, because we would not have phone service internationally, so in case someone needed to reach us, email was a good option. And usually we use one of our cell phones as our rolling wi-fi hotspot. Not the fastest internet, but internet none the less but since we would have no cell service, that was not an option. Yes, they assured me they have internet.
Most people know that I am the mother of 5 wonderful children. And that their ages range from 28 to 10. And that there are 3 girls and 2 boys, and the boys are in the middle, flanked by 2 older sisters and 1 younger, thank God. Cause if they were at the beginning, there would be no girls. And that the reason the girl at the end is a girl is because God loves me and knew that we needed more estrogen, not testosterone in this household. And that I don't think I could have lived through another boy. Especially since the pregnancy was a total shock. I tell everybody that 'she was the best surprise I ever got.' My 50th birthday party was a close 2nd, but that is another story. Today's post is about birthdays. And children. And the wonder of it all.
Alicia, my first born turned 28 today. She is a joy, and such a wonderful young woman, and is leaving me in September to pursue a degree in art at SCAD. I am both excited and depressed, so filled with mixed emotions for her. I don't know what I am going to do without her, yet I so can't wait to see her blossom. It has been a long road for her, but she is ready and I am so excited for her to shine and use the talents God has given her.
This is our 4th family birthday this year: Sarah is April, Josiah in May, Sam in June and now Alicia in July. My hubby is August, and then the summer of birthdays is over! Whew! Anyway, since Alicia is going to school at SCAD, she has been pining away for an iMac. So the boys and Faith and I went together and got her a gift card for the Apple store. She was so excited, and wanted to go right to the store and get it. I tried to talk her out of it, since we will be leaving for vacation soon, so she could wait till we get back, but she really wanted to go. So we all got in the car and went.
When we got to the store, the guy who sold me the gift card happened to be working, so he was helping us. My hubby asked me which one I had been looking at, and told the guy to get that one out too!!! I had been pining for the MacBook pro, but really didn't plan to buy it for several reasons.
1. because of the expense. I could get a PC for way less money, and it would do everything I need, and more.
2. because my hubby is a PC man. And I feel like I am abandoning him, since he and Faith are now the only one without Macs. And Faith wants one so bad she can hardly stand it.
3. I just hate to spend that much money on myself, on something I really don't need. Even though every time I turned my computer on, after 10 minutes it would just shut off. I mean, off. No warning, No beep, just off. In the middle of something. ARGGGG!
So I needed to do something, even though I wasn't sure what. So the kids were pulling for a Mac, trying to convince me that it was so much easier, and that I could do it, but I was scared. Could I learn to use something new? What would I do if I messed something up? So I was just going to wait and see what God brought. And look what happened.
God showed up and honestly, I think I am going to do fine. I am on it now, and I do think I am going to fall in love with it. In fact, I think I already am.
As for Alicia, she was excited to get her new 21" iMac. But I think she was more excited for me than she was for herself!!
Thats just the kind of girl she is. I can't take any credit. Its just the way she is. And I am so thankful for her and who she is becoming. She is amazing. And I love her so much.
Thank you, Alicia for the incredible woman you have become. I am so proud of you. And thank you God, for all you have done and are doing in her. You are showing me so much of who you are as I learn to love and care for your blessings I call my children. I am so blessed. Today was an amazing reminder of that. And I am so thankful.
I had no doubts, but we made it! And no one fainted from a lack of food at lunch! I really don't think anyone really missed it either. Except perhaps, Faith, who watched the clock all afternoon, reminding me how many hours until dinner :) Our One meal for One Child was a piece of cake. Not cake, since we were not eating. Perhaps that was not the best metaphor. Anyway, it was easy.
I promised the kids a big breakfast, and an early delicious dinner. And I don't think they were disappointed. For breakfast we had scrambled eggs with green onions, shallots, and cheese with gluten-free chocolate chip pancakes. I was a bit worried about the pancakes, wondering if everyone would like them, since they were gluten-free, but they were amazing, and the kids didn't even use syrup. They were that good. I wish I had taken photos, but you will just have to take my word for it. They were amazing. I adapted a recipe that I found in a great cookbook, so the recipe that follows at the end of this post is an original!
For dinner, with the help of my great kids, we made Arroz Con Pollo (chicken with yellow rice). It was absolutely amazing. I think it was the best I ever had. I know it was the best I ever made. I used brown rice, so it was healthier that using white rice. I also used carrots, so it had hopefully had a little more vitamins, too. Here's how we did it: