Sunday, August 24, 2008

We're Shaken Up, But OK

Tami, Nessa and I were in an accident on I-90 between La Crosse and Rochester this afternoon (Sunday). We were on our way to Northfield to pick up Megan from her shopping weekend with Tami's sister Ellen.

We think everyone is basically OK, but now that the adrenaline and emotions have worn off, Tami and I have enough minor issues that all three of us are going into the doctor and chiropractor tomorrow to be checked.

Our van was damaged enough to need a tow. It was towed to St. Charles, MN, where Tami's brother Scott picked us up. We met Megan and Ellen at Scott's house in Rochester, where we had supper. I was able to rent a car at the Rochester airport, and we got back home around 9:30 PM.

We'll post more as warranted, but for now know that we're safe at home, with no major injuries that we know of. Please keep us, and the family in the other car, in your prayers.

Surprisingly sleepy Nessa...

Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

Last Saturday night Nessa crawled up on the couch at what should have been bedtime, but we indulged her request to just cuddle for a bit. She was actually cuddling with Daddy while Tami was writing on the computer. About five minutes after she crawled up there Shawn asked me if she was sleep.

She was.

A short while later I scooped Nessa up so Shawn could get up. Then I thought I could finally get some time with Nessa just snuggled in rather than moving all over the place as she so often is these days. So we snuggled for an hour or three. :-)

Water play

Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

Last weekend Nessa was excited to go play in the new slip and slide (courtesy of a silent auction prize), and Megan was a good sport and played with her for awhile.

It certainly brings back my own memories of when I thought running through the sprinkler was the best way to spend a sunny August afternoon ... childhood ...

Too beautiful not to share...

Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

Shawn surprised me again this year.

We are so blessed to have had these years ... may this only be the beginning...

Who needs a stove anyway? (cross-post)

Below is a post that is part of my new blog.

Occasionally I'll share posts here as well so friends and family are sure to see some of the things that are such a large part of our lives right now. But I wanted to start a separate blog so that I wouldn't be subjecting all of you to tedious food posts, and so I could make the "food blog" public and optimized for search engines to find. It's about my journey to wellness though nutrition and whole foods (primarily raw foods at this point).

If you're interested, scroll through the dozen or so posts already there. You can skim over the posts about what I'm eating all of the time if that is just a bit much, or if all you want to know is "what the heck" I eat anyway, then you can skip the philosophical posts. :-)

You can find it here:


Originally uploaded by Tami of BrooksGroth

This is what my stove looked like when I woke up Saturday morning.

I smiled remembering unpacking all those veggies Friday night before collapsing on the couch with Shawn. Some of them are from our Friday CSA box, some are from neighbor's gardens, and a few are left from "the farm" (my dad's family farm which now has a family garden). I have many plans for these veggies this week!

But today I spent the day with veggies that didn't even make this picture -- dehydrating all items over a week old that we haven't eaten yet from beans to green peppers to onions to celery. I didn't even get to start on the zucchini and potatoes today!

The stove still looks like that ... if it was just me, they would probably stay there. :-) But I'm thinking that Shawn will want to use the stove this week, so I'll have to find a place for them elsewhere.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tribute to International Green Smoothie Day

I have more still photos to upload, but decided to put together a short video to make my official toast to International Green Smoothie Day! This was my last green smoothie of the weekend. Do you love the beautiful light green color? It's always a pleasant bonus when my smoothies look as good as they taste.

This one was satisfying my margarita craving--complete with the "salt" and lime! If you want this original recipe, inspired by my craving and what I've learned about using these fruits and veggies in smoothies over the last few months, please let me know. Usually I do more greens in the evening, but this is so light and refreshing that I think I'll be ending these dog days of summer with this one frequently.

Yours in health,

A whole lot of Olympics watching going on ... (quick updates)

I want to take a few minutes to let you all know we're still here just in case my plan for some blogging during the Olympics doesn't quite work out since multi-tasking during swimming and gymnastics this past week certainly hasn't worked. :-)

Where has this month gone!?! (OK, it's not over yet)

  • August 2nd: Tami's Birthday :-) Yes, the month started out delightfully as I was treated to a very lazy Saturday from sleeping in to making things in the kitchen with my new blender and cookbooks. There are pictures of me yet to uploaded smiling with my new "cook" books (or uncook books as Shawn calls them since most of them are raw food books). That is exactly what I wanted to get my year off to a great start now that I'm 37. Much of my spare time (?!) this month has been spent reading those cookbooks as well as experimenting with raw recipes beyond Green Smoothies. Most of the time I've felt great in comparison to much of the last few years (chronic fatigue/allergies/Celiac symptoms/low thyroid function fibromylagia symptoms/cadida-related symptoms), but there have also been some days of detox symptoms as my body heals. The detox days encourage me even more than the days I feel great because it means my body really is healing. This post isn't all about that so I'll stop here -- but if you want a less biased opinion just ask Shawn about how he fells about having "his Tami" back.
  • August 7th -- Our Anniversary! :-) There are photos of my wonderful flowers -- those gorgeous red, yellow and orange roses like we had at our Wedding. Shawn got extra bonus points for not only sending the flowers to work, but then stopping buy and picking them up for me when I ended up not going into the office that day because Megan was sick so I worked from home after returning from the clinic (no strep this time). We went out on the weekend for a combination birthday/anniversary dinner and a movie so we spent the day just appreciating the every-day wonderfulness of our marriage and our family. It has been 4 wonderful year, and my only hope and prayer is that it is only the beginning.
  • Vacation Bible School: Megan went to VBS at Prince of Peace in La Crescent Monday thru Wednesday (because she was sick Thursday and Friday) the week of August 4th. She had lots of fun and also enjoyed seeing friends from La Crescent. Then starting Sunday evening August 8 we had VBS at our church. It was Nessa's first experience at VBS or "macation Bible School" as she called it even though she says "vacation" perfectly well by itself. I stayed to help in the preschool room and to help be sure Nessa didn't accidentally get any gluten. Shawn stayed nearby at church most nights as well, and it made for a busy week for the family.
  • Olympics -- starting on about the 9th Shawn and I started watching Olympics most nights. Who else out there knows how late those gymnastics events went? Well CST, it was way past our bedtime, but we watched anyway. It was particularly fun to watch with Megan the last half of the week as she is old enough to appreciate the athletes and ask good questions. In addition the gymnastics, you may have guessed we really enjoyed watching the swimming. :-) I'm sure we'll find some new favorites this next week too.
  • Houston County Fair -- I'll do a post with photos and/or video on this, but as a quick bullet point -- Megan showed two of her goats on Thursday August 14th and then Megan, her friend, and I went back on Saturday to spend some time with the goats as well as go on rides and do other fun fair things. Megan did get a Reserve Champion while showing one of her goats and received blue ribbons for her goats in their respective classes. She also learned a lot about what to do to improve her standings for next year! It was the first goat show I've watched, and I look forward to watching more.
  • Sand on the Riverfront ( The event was Friday August 15th and Shawn was on the Business Objects team. It took nearly all day Friday to build the sand sculpture, but for Shawn's team it was worth it -- they won Best on the Riverfront and Best Interpretation of the Theme! Unfortunately my picture isn't very good, but hopefully you can get an idea of their "Farmer in the Dell" themed sculpture. There were also many fun kid's games and inflatables so Nessa had fun playing without getting frustrated at not being able to play in the sand on Friday afternoon.

  • International Green Smoothie Day!!! Yes, Friday the 15th was also International Green Smoothie day, and I was ready to have an excuse to celebrate! I'm always ready to toast to the drink that has helped me along my path to wellness -- AND gets Nessa to eat greens as a bonus! For more info go here: / if you need and more ideas or recipes, just let me know. I've developed many favorites over the summer from juicy nectarines to fresh berries! And I've explored all kinds of greens as well with many thanks to our CSA Farm for providing me with a wide variety of chard, kale, carrot greens, beet greens, lettuce and more. Pictures and possibly video coming soon. I know I've forwarded my original green smoothie post, so if anyone out there has been inspired to try green smoothies due to my sharing please leave a comment or email me. I want to know and so do the Raw Divas ... so let me know you're favorites or even your flops (even I still have those sometimes). Shawn is becoming a sometime green smoothie enthusiast too, but my urge for a post-workout smoothie of banana, celery and frozen blackberries didn't go over as well with him, but I didn't mind too much because that meant there was more for me (yum! ... oh there was one chard leave in there too just for good measure). And by the way the rest of you are not allowed to say "eww" until you've at least tried it ... it wouldn't hurt to read about the health benefits of blended greens as well. Who else has managed to have more than 10 fruits and veggies by noon and two bunches of greens each day this week? Smoothies are the best way to keep up with my increasingly busy schedule ... but wait this is just a quick update post so more on that later ...

Coming up before the official end of summer:
  • This Wednesday I'll be taking Megan and a friend to the WI Dells to a water park for a fun day that she requested instead of a birthday party or big present. So far the weather looks ideal for such a day.
  • Then Thursday Megan leaves to go stay with Aunt Ellen for a long weekend. Megan will be going shopping with Ellen as only Aunt Ellen is really good at shopping according to Megan. :-) We'll go up to Northfield to get her on Sunday. (And I hope to sneak a few smooches and baby snuggles with Cully as well.)
  • Then it will be time to start getting ready for our Labor Day weekend trip which will include visiting both sets of grandparents. We'll stay in Cumberland for a few days and then move on up to Walker for a bit.
We did manage school supply shopping today, so we're officially prepared for school in that regard. The weather has been great this week (not too hot or humid!), and we hope to spend a bit of time outside with water toys yet this afternoon, fit a few more evening trips to Erickson pool in yet this month, and I personally hope to get many more bike rides in not only this month but also throughout the fall.

I hope everyone else is enjoying the last days of Summer!

Friday, August 01, 2008


I’ve been meaning to post this for awhile, but the pictures and Tami’s comment on them make this the perfect time.

I just want to echo Tami’s comments about what a wonderful young lady Megan has become. She has matured so much in the last year in every way. Here are just a few of the things I love about Megan:

She is a wonderful big sister, and Nessa adores her. Nessa gets excited every time Megan returns to our house, and sad when Megan goes away. Getting to go into Megan’s room and play with Megan’s stuff is the coolest thing life has to offer Nessa right now, and Megan allows that on a regular basis. She also reads to Nessa and plays with her, getting goofy and giggly and matching Nessa’s energy level in a way that Mom and Dad rarely manage.

She is becoming more and more self-confident. She handles herself well in a wide variety of situations. Hand-in-hand with this comes a great degree of politeness and emotional maturity.

As Tami mentioned, a Megan smile is truly a joy to behold. It lights up her face and makes her radiant.

She puts up with my attempts at humor, and some of them even get genuine laughs.

Megan is probably going to be somewhat uncomfortable with what I’m about to write, and I’m sorry for that. I hope someday that will change. But I want everyone to know that I couldn’t be more proud of her if she were my own daughter. I’m glad she’s part of our family, and I love her.

Not quite as good as Grandma's cupcakes...

My mom has this recipe for egg free, dairy free chocolate cupcakes. She made them once with our Better Batter that we got for her to make gluten free things for Nessa (, and they were SO good -- I mean, really, really, can't eat just one good. We made them with her recipe last night and they're good, but certainly not "can't eat just one" good. Hmmm, is it just Grandma's touch or did we do something wrong. I suggested to Megan that she make them with Grandma sometime just to see if we can learn anything. :-)

So, mom if you're reading this, you now officially have the "Grandma touch" when it comes to baking... oh, and we love you!!!