Finger licking French Toast : letting little fingers cook

Getting children involved in cooking is exhausting. Letting those little wild bodies into my kitchen that I just spent half the day cleaning sounds like the world’s worst idea. It adds double the clean up. You have to clean them up and then clean everything they touched and then clean the whole kitchen again. It raises my blood pressure and causes me to clench my teeth in utter annoyance as once again my son drops an egg on the floor after I asked him to stop wiggling and calm his body down.

Breath, just breath.

Now that I have that song stuck in your head (you know the one)  Read how I changed my attitude about having children in the kitchen. Learn how I deal with having those little fingers and hands and hair(?) get all up in my business and mess up my kitchen on a daily basis.

I had a roommate once who was never introduced to cooking as a young child or even as a teen. This trickled into her young adult life and we she moved out on her own she felt limited to just cooking by reading directions on the box of food she bought. She did not have confidence in her own abilities to cook and often would feel intimidated to even try. She didn’t have the courage to make mistakes in the kitchen. Adding new ingredients and trying to combine flavors freaked her out and actually caused her to shrink away from cooking duties. Now I realize that not everyone is Canada’s next top Chef, But having confidence and courage in the kitchen bring amazing freedom to a person. It also can branch out into all areas of life.

She is now an amazing cook and will make me the most delicious of lunches. She has found her groove in the kitchen and is owning her weakness and thriving in her strengths. It took practice and a lot of cooking lessons from her amazing chef of a husband.

Knowing her story has helped me to relax a bit when it comes to my little people helping me to make dinner. Learning how to cut and mix and crack an egg and even boil water at the age of 4 is not a rare find in my household. Although I often only let them be involved in the prep work and setting the table lately I have been introducing them to using the oven or even the Griddle. Lowering my own expectations and seeing it as preparing them for their future has helped me immensely in my reservations about having them as my assistants in the kitchen. There will be a day when they do not want to help and that day will be too late. There is no way they will want me to teach them how to cook and it will become a choir. For now, they are willing and believe it or not, they are able. So today I want to share with you our adventure in making french toast.

Finger Licking French Toast Made exclusively by My little lion cubs!

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 6 eggs
  • 2tsps vanilla
  • 2tsps cinnamon
  • 10 pieces of stale bread (we used fresh sour dough but any bread works well. stale bread soaks up the egg the best)
  • oil or butter for the griddle or frying pan

Mix the wet ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until combined. Add cinnamon and mix well. Pour mixture into a large dish with a flat bottom.

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Turn griddle or frying pan on

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At this time I also get the side dishes ready if I am making any. We had bacon and soft boiled eggs.

Then when the griddle is heated we put the oil or butter on it and then we dip the bread in the mixture and then place it on the well greased griddle. I let them do the dipping and had a cloth next to the bowl for them to clean their fingers. I helped place the bread on the griddle as to ensure their little fingers didn’t touch the hot surface. After a few pieces my 4 year old understood and I trusted him enough to try on one his own. I am pretty sure he is still smiling about that.

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Then while we are waiting for the first batch to cook I let them set the table. After they put the plates and forks and knives we add the syrup and the butter.

Then we flip the french toast!13334463_10156931378780405_432404462_o

Perfect!

Now while they cook on the other side we check our side dishes

Eggs and Bacon are done! Add them to the table.

Yes, my daughter is kissing the boiled eggs. She is a free spirit. My son has not figured her out yet.

after you finished cooking all the toast I had a little bit of the egg mixture left. so instead of leaving it and letting it go to waist I added it to the griddle and made some scrambled eggs. My kiddos loved it!

When everything was ready, I got my children to call their daddy for brunch and we celebrated their amazing meal together by thank my little helpful people and devouring all the food.

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Apparently they smelled very delicious too.

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I hope you find a little inspiration in getting your children involved and letting them help you cook. You can do it, and so can they!

 

-Lion and her little cubs.

 

p.s Their aprons were made by a local mom who does it for a hobby. We are blessed to be a family who she is willing to make them for. If you are interested in finding out more about her custom aprons shoot me an email and I will she if she is up for another order:)

 

Featured Female: Meet Jessica

Well the day has come, Jessica has turned 31! And she is obviously our female feature. Jessica is my older sister, though we are 3 years apart, sometimes I feel like we are the same age with her fun crazy side and seemingly endless energy, or maybe I’m the older soul? Anyways Jessica is a long time genuine friend, opens her home to all and loves to share as much as she can! So here is some more details about her and how she handles life……

Tell us about your family.
My name is Jessica and I have an amazingly smart and funny husband named Paul and together we have 2 adorable and chaotic children named Ezekiel(4) and Elizabeth(3). I feel I would not be a good mother without mentioning our two children we are currently waiting for from haiti. We are in the middle of the process of waiting to be matched with Siblings from my husband’s Birth country. There isn’t a day that goes by where I do not pray for them or think of them and recently I have been missing them as our family has yet another adventure without them. Feeling super blessed to have two children I can cuddle daily though. They really do love cuddling. I cant wait for our first family hug with 12 arms reaching around each other. Soon.
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what do you fill your full life with?
I love people. So I feel like I am always finding ways to surround myself with people of all ages. Not a week goes by that I do not have at least one play date lined up. I run a small daycare in my home and on week days take in a few kids. I have recently become a morning person so if you become my friend you will find that it is not a rare occasion that I request a play date starting at 830am. Don’t worry though. I bring coffee.
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Nap time is a sacred time in my house. I spend it writing on my sweet amazing blog or doing art therapy:) I love painting and writing and drawing, it has become my outlet lately. My evenings are for the most part reserved for my darling husband. We eat a late dinner and play board games or watch Sherlock on Netflix.
Weekends are where we as a family find time to spend together hiking or camping. It is a rare occasion when we are home doing nothing on a saturday.
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what is the biggest challenge with daycare and having your own kids or even working from home?
Biggest challenge so far has been feeling isolated. Hence the reason I have so many play dates. I hate to always be the one asking for friends to come to my house. It is a lot to leave the house with kids and I totally get that. But having daycare kids I am more housebound than the average mom. My husband and I share a car (actually it’s a truck) so I only try and use it on the days I have to drive my son to preschool. It is a pain to have to pick up my husband while dinner is being made. But nothing I can’t handle.
what is life giving to you?
Friendships give me life. Sharing with others my heart and listening to theirs. I love nature. I love that feeling you get when you are on the top of a mountain and all you hear is the sound of a bird’squarry wings flapping in the air. Complete silence. I love the sound of the rain on our tent trailer and my little people snoring beside me as my husband whispers good night.
I have recently been meeting my dear friends for walks in the early morning and I have noticed on those days that I am so full of joy and peace.
The thing that rejuvenates me the most is spending time with God. My most favorite times are when I am at church on Sunday and my children are in sunday school and I sit down with my special devotional note book with my special sunday pens and doodle away as my pastor preaches God’s Word. I always feel so alive after as both my need to be closer to God and my desire to make art have both been fed.
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What is life sucking?
Being too busy. I have been learning to let things go. Say no. only do what brings you joy. Putting too much on my plate makes me a horrible mother, a neglectful friend, and a lazy wife. Being able to find the balance is hard but so worth it. Which is why deciding to be a morning person is helping me a lot.
what is one of your biggest goals and how are you working towards it?
I have a few. People who know me know that I am a dreamer. I love to dream big. I also am a planner. making lists and trying my best to check things off is important to me.
Family goals. Be an intentional Mother. That one is huge. My kids are still young and I do not want their childhood to be my duty. I want it to be an adventure. As a wife I want to be supportive and fun. I want to not just do dinner and movie for date night. I want to go for hikes and go go carting or to that trampoline room (although I would pee my pants)
Personal goals. I want to start my own paint classes. Painting for adults, painting for kids. Different mediums and different projects. I want art to always be a part of my life. Finding a way to share it with others has been my recent goal.
Starting this fall I am teaching a Typography Class at a women’s program at my church on wednesday mornings called Breakaway. I am really looking forward to that. Sharing what brings me joy with others is a dream of mine.
for your 31st year of life, what is a personal goal you have
31 is a year I want to dedicate to finding God’s call on my life. I know He has called me to great things and there are some big changes coming up in my life and I want to keep Him involved and guiding my every action. I have been blessed with so so so much, so now I want to use it to bless others.
how is faith important to you? what do you do to pursue it? how do you make time for Jesus?
Ooh getting good. I need this question posted on my beside table to ask myself every day. I would have to say each day is different. I am not always motivated or disciplined enough to spend time reading the bible and meditating on what it says each day. But I do find a way to bring God into every area of my life. You will often find worship music playing all day at my house. God is a part of my parenting and marriage. I find I am most inspired by rewriting verses that I have memorized or are trying to memorize. Being out in nature always draws me back to the creator. Faith is so important to me. God has been so faithful and I do not want to take a step in any direction without feeling His Calling on me.
What is something you and your husband do that is your thing? 
oh man. This one made me laugh! You know why right? Anyways I digress. I would have to say that outdoor sports is our thing. We love trying new stuff and are super competitive with each other. Strong marriage, huh:) Last summer we learned how to Paddle Board. We do lots of hiking and are always trying to challenge each other to find new things to do.
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what is a way you guys connect? 
Communication and honesty have been the strong points so far in our relationship. We connect each day right after we put our kids to bed. We sit down with no technology and rehash our day. It is nice. I feel like I do not have to explode my day on him the moment he walks in the door and he gets to focus on our kiddos until they are passed out in their beds for the night. I feel heard and loved. I also know for him that it is nice to only have to focus his energy on the kids and not also have to balance his emotional wife:) We also really love going out for sushi. That is our go to. All you can eat sushi and good conversation. Then a walk after to burn off all our calories. (maybe a coffee for the ride home.. wink wink)
any recommendations for books? verses? outlets?
My favorite verse since I was  17 has been
2 Corinthians 12:9-11

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships,in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.



Thanks Jessica! Stay tuned for 9PM for who will win the giveaway!



-Owl

Lion's Favorite Things!

You guys, I am turning 31!!! I am way more excited about turning 31 than I was about turning 30. I think it’s because when compared to people in their 30’s I am just a baby. I have so far to go until I am 40 which is the real age that scares me. (already starting my counseling for that one)

To celebrate the fact that time is passing by too quickly we are doing a

BIRTHDAY GIVE AWAY!!!! (Cue marching band and the large elephant carrying me on his back.)

So what am I going to give you? Well here is a list of my most favorite things that I would love to give away to one very special person.

Here are the rules:

  1. Like this post on our Facebook  page and this picture on Instagram 
  2. Please share this post on your wall to spread the love. That is what it is all about anyways
  3. Must be resident of canada only. (sorry india, I know you love me)
  4. Contest Ends 9pm Friday May 27th (my actual birthday)

Here is what is up for grabs :

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A Few of Lion’s Favorite Things:

 

-Lion the Birthday Girl

Child Art into Styled Art

 

I put my sweet little kiddos and their little fingers at work today. Collaborating with my children makes my heart soar. Also so excited for us to work together and make a masterpiece. Today’s masterpiece is for my mom, their nana, and it just seemed fitting that her house warming gift be something that we all made together. Or as my son likes to call it: “Nana’s heater for her warmer house.”

Sure buddy, let’s call it that.

 

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This is the final Product.  I used a Tombow Monotwin pen to write over their beautiful picture after I altered it a little bit with watercolour paints.

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This is my Son’s painting. He used my watercolor paints and decided to paint his nana a flower. I tried my best to keep to his theme and just covered his whole picture so there was no white showing. I added in the background and a sunshine. I also added a bumble be by his request.

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This one is my daughters masterpiece. She used my Tombow dual brush pens because she was frustrated with how faint the colour was showing up when she tried using my watercolours. Her art lately is only “letter writing” and “people” so after she has used all the colours she wanted I added watercolor paints to create what I hope looks like abstract art and blends it all together. Then I added a twig wreath around the words.

The Words I chose are specific to my mom. I am sure they will bless other peoples hearts as well because their meaning rings true for us all in our own lives. For my mom my prayer is that  they give her hope and make her feel loved, not only by our Maker but by a family that is all around her loving her always.

I am excited to bring them to my dad and mom’s today not only to add to their art collection but to also get to see their new house. After living in an old 5 bedroom home for 20 years they have finally been blessed with being able to be the first owners of their very new house.They are so excited and we all know that means so am I!

 

Congratulations mom and dad!

 

-Lioness

Alice Lake Provincial Campground

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Camping with my family is our favorite family activity. We love spending time “unplugged” with each other  away from all our responsibilities.

When we are deciding which campsite to choose for the weekend we first decide if we are going to go East or West. Living half way between Hope and Whistler we really live in the ideal area. Our favorite luxurious campsite to go as a family is Alice Lake Provincial Campsite. It has hook ups and you are still in the forest and not camping right beside your neighbor.

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The other most amazing part about Alice lake is the playground.

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We really like the natural Playground.

It also has the most amazing natural bike path. My son had the time of his life.

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The Lake is also beautiful and an awesome place to swim and have lunch beside. There is a beach and a great wading area for children.

We ran into a few families who just go to Alice Lake for day trips. We would totally do that if we didn’t live 2 hours away!

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If you decide to take your family camping at Alice lake you will need to make sure that you book it months in advance. Alice lake is hard to book and almost never available for first come first serve basis.

Map

Reservations

-Lion

Meet Jessica Waddell

She is a Mom and wife with talent in so many areas. Sit down with a cup of coffee and get to know Jessica.

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1. How many children and ages? One daughter, Presley Ella — she just turned 1!
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2 Besides taking care of your family what other jobs do you have? Before I had Presley my I worked full time as a cosmetician, specializing in makeup and skincare!
On the side (I wouldn’t consider it a “job” quite yet) I am pursuing a long time hobby in photography, over time and with hard work hopefully it can become something more for me!
3. How long have you been doing it? I’ve been working with this company going on 4 years!
4 . How was the transition from working to being a stay at home mom for a year? In the beginning I left work at 25 weeks pregnant due to extreme morning sickness, having that much time off before baby arrived was nice but got boring at times — Once she was born I loved it, I never felt a desire to go to school for something I loved, and now I know it’s because being a mom was the only job I’ve ever wanted to do!
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5. What is your greatest fear about going back to work? My biggest fear about going back to work would probably be to miss out on anything, I am lucky to only have to work 2-3 nights a week when the hubby is home from work so from the time I leave the house to the time she goes to bed I am really only missing out on being with here for 2-3 hours, but to me that is huge! It’s hard going from being with her 24/7 to having to leave her for hours at a time, I’m always scared I’m going to miss out on a “first”
6. What are you going to miss about maternity leave? Where would I even start? I’m going to miss spending my full days with her, start to finish. Wife/mom life is the life I dream of, cleaning the house, doing laundry, prepping and cooking dinner, giving her a bath, and most of all putting her to bed, I love being the one to tuck her in and kiss her goodnight. (I’m tearing up thinking about it lol)
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7. What are you most looking forward to about going back to work? I’d say adult interaction, I really do like my job and I love my co workers, I’ve built great relationships there and I’m excited to spend time with them again!
8. What do you do to get some “Me” time? Luckily, Presley has slept through the night since she was 8 weeks old. My “me” time is when she goes to bed for the night at 8pm I get to watch my shows, enjoy a bath and a glass of wine and just unwind, it’s the best feeling — I’m a homebody so this is my little piece of heaven at the end of each day!
For more information about her beautiful photography please email Jessica at
Thanks again Jessica For sharing a little about your life with us. It was a pleasure featuring you and all you do. Little Presley is adorable and clearly getting all the love her little heart can handle.
– Lioness

Take Time For your Marriage

Day-to-day life just kills that emotional roller coaster you remember when dating. I remember in the first five years, constantly asking my husband if he still gets butterflies and when does he get them. I remember he used to tell me a different reason why he loved me every day because he ‘accidentally’ wrote it in his letter to me on our wedding day and i held him to it (HA).

We have learned about each other, grown older together, became parents together, moved (SO MANY TIMES) together, traveled, loved,cried, LAUGHED (and laughed and laughed), fought (and fought and fought), learned some more about each other, and created a marriage together.

I know it has only been 7 years this summer, but I feel like I have seen enough trials and errors and love to share some tidbits.

how to live with yours spouse and thrive

  1. take time for your marriage. my husband and I have tried to have a date night at least 3 times a month since we first got married. i am a quality time person, and even if we have a slower week and see each other every evening. I NEED date night. that way we can feel free to book activities with friends and family and know that we have created a time and space for us. I know that life, kids, mortgage, everything can be expensive. some years were leaner, others were not as lean. we still probably spend the same amount on our dates. we go bowling, rent movies, eat out, or do take out. If possible we get a babysitter so we can go out. YES dating is expensive, BUT YOUR MARRIAGE IS IMPORTANT. how much money have you invested in your relationship? and how much on your kids? the biggest thing i have come to realize is that my ministry,life,kids, in general happiness is very wrapped in my marriage. I know that when my son sees us hugging or laughing he wants to join.
  2. you don’t have to like your spouse to LOVE your spouse. Something i learned a while ago is to never put divorce on the table. IN ANYTHING, as soon as you say it, it becomes a joke or it makes your argument unbalanced, cause the other person starts feeling threatened and will either  cleave or leave. I have never heard anyone talk about using divorce (even jokingly) benefit the argument or there marriage. But, there have been lots of times that I will always love my husband, but it doesn’t necessarily mean i like him at that moment. I have learned that no matter what I love him! My love for him will manifest in different ways for different circumstances.
  3. Always share kind words and never gossip about your spouse. I was SO good at this for SO long, until recently I think i caught myself making a joke about how tired he is, or i don’t know what. and than i sat there, kind of shocked that i joined the spouse bashing. He is so important to me. So I don’t mind sharing my life lessons, or small situations with certain people who i know know me and know him well and would understand fully what i am saying. I would just say, guard your marriage, your bed, and your fights. unless they are resolved and its strictly for sharing to help a friend go through there life, or its something that you and your spouse have discussed is okay and they wouldn’t be upset if they knew you said it.
  4. Always figure out ways to thrive in all life situations.  you could be broke, 10 kids, no car, no friends, no family (that would be crazy), dont just say “this is a season, we can focus on us later” or “its only temporary” or ” we need a cooler car so we should just hold off on dates or spending money on us”. Learn to thrive. learn new ways to do date night, or different ways to create space for your relationship. in the end, your kids will be gone and out the house, or during that time when your kids are growing up they will be watching you. you are modeling how they should treat there partner, there friends.

That’s all I have for today I think.

here are my rantings, I hope you enjoy. I am no where near perfect in any of these categories, but i know when i learn others might be needing to learn the same things.

 

-Owl

Ripple Effect of Change

I have been a little hesitant to share some of what my life has been like in the past few months. It has been filled with moving, chaos,coffee, toddler tantrums, accidents, sleep deprivation, buying, coffee, driving (lots of driving), firsts, lasts, etc.


Loving sushi date with my little.

It all started back in February, when we were finally able to start the process of looking for a new home! we have been renting (we thought for life) and have lived in a 4 bedroom large old rancher home in a little less desirable neighborhood. we made it our home, the place our son learned to CIO, crawl, walk, laugh, play in the backyard, run, fall, eat solids, and have his first official bedroom all to himself. We also brought home our second. I have had a lot of great moments in this house, family moments, and ministry moments. Inviting the whole youth over for backyard fun, or even having people come over randomly because we were walking distance from the church.

BUT, we just bought a townhouse! wahoo, in a nicer area, close to downtown abbotsford (where spruce collective, sushi, thai food, saturday market, festivals, tracycakes, duft and co, precious kargo, spruce market, ALL MY FAVES). We move in on June 1st.


Watching daddy with his best friend

Segue into another item in our lives… our Church is sponsoring a refugee family from Colombia that we are excited about, but they have some specific needs and are looking for a rental that could fit them. last week of April my husband and i graciously offer our rental house (as long as all is well with the landlords) which means we needed to move out a month early. a  month early, of living somewhere, with two kids in tow under 3 and putting all our stuff in storage. Naturally we really wanted to help, so we did it. we moved out in a week, boxed and stored, and now are spending a month with our loving and beautiful friends. I thought things were going seemingly in the family department. I did not anticipate our son struggling with each box being packed, and he is so close to fully understanding, but not close enough. he also is now a horrible sleeper, no more naps, bedtime takes 2 hrs and he has figured out every latch on every door to get out and explore without responding to me (i have had a few heart attacks these past weeks). Our beautiful 7 month old, has decided that she LOVES crawling and eating everything, and she is FAST. she also has grown accustomed to sleeping in my arms at some point in the evening.


Cuddles before everyone Else is awake

To what would have been an easy change for my spouse and I, I did not think about my kids! Despite all this change, my son is loving his temporary living situation, so many toys that aren’t his, a ride on lawn mower he can sit on anytime, a large dog he can play with, and a backyard that he can explore in. BUT it still comes with some of the other special parts in my sons new personality.

I am so happy and do not regret leaving our place we called home for 2 years, but I am eagerly anticipating our new home, where we will paint, and have all our own bedrooms. AN ENSUITE for the first time and something we can call home for longer than other places.

This is just one aspect of my crazy chaotic life. we also have recently started back to work(both my husband and I at the same time) since my daughter was born, which leads to daycare. And our church is going through a transition time and we are short staffed a bit.

I am also very excited about my missions trip in July and ALPHA church wide program in September! This year is a year of change. and I am hoping the Ripple effect will be huge, life altering, and God inspiring!

Where is God asking you to trust Him? is it in finances? prayer? comfort? or Evangelism!?

 

-OwlThiessenFamily-21