Thursday, August 30, 2012

Luke and Aunt Em

Luke talking with Emily about what he wants for his birthday (expressive much?)
He asked for and got Book 1 of the Adventures of TinTin!

Here is his "report".

Thanks Aunt Em!!

Building Day

 Taking a break from table-learning, Friday we had Building Day!  I just love it when boys can be little engineers! Luke and Joel *loved* Building Day with-a-passion and have voted in favor of a monthly reappearance. YAY

Joel's city with Foam Blocks
Working together with Marble Works
Joel with Wood Blocks
Luke with Duplo Blocks
Joel's spaceship with Zoob Pieces
Luke's very tall tower with Marble Works
Our materials:

These were set up in their own areas with the instruction that once you were finished building you would get a picture taken with your finished work and then you had to take it apart and put it back in the center of it's area so it was available to work with again.  Then you had to move on to a different area/materiel.
Worked excellently!
Working together with Duplo Blocks
Luke's reimagining of town with Foam Blocks
Joel's tower with Marble Works
Luke working
Joel working

GF Pancakes

Can I just say-THANK YOU! These were great.

GF Brownies

Almond Flour Brownies
See original recipe here.
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup  butter
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
  2. Mix together the almond flour, salt, cocoa powder, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, melt together 1/2 cup chocolate chips with the butter (I used the microwave for this).
  4. While the chocolate is melting, beat together the eggs, sugar, vanilla.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg/sugar mixture while whisking until fully incorporated.
  6. Pour the chocolate mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix completely.
  7. Pour the batter in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
  8. Sprinkle the top with the remaining chocolate.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

    SOO yummy and child approved! Both of my nieces and both of my sons are huge fans! My 13 year-old niece Madison even reviewed it as "better than regular brownies!" There you have folks!


After several years of struggling to ascertain what was "wrong" with me I was able, with the help of two amazing doctors (my General and my GI) I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Believe you me, this is exciting news! I will be making some changes in my life and in the life of our family but this is very good news.

What is Celiac Disease?
The Mayo Clinic answers that with the following:
Celiac (SEE-lee-ak) disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients.
Celiac disease can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Eventually, the decreased absorption of nutrients (malabsorption) that occurs with celiac disease can cause vitamin deficiencies that deprive your brain, peripheral nervous system, bones, liver and other organs of vital nourishment.
No treatment can cure celiac disease. However, you can effectively manage celiac disease by changing your diet.

Having Celiac Disease is not the same as having a wheat allergy (which acts like all allergies causing itchiness, breathing problems and sometimes even anaphylactic shock). And its not just about wheat! The problem is a protein called "Gluten" which can be found in wheat, rye and barley. And what it practically does is in people who have Celiac Disease it causes damage the small intestines and that causes problems (go figure, right?).

The bit that most people seem to get confused on is what that means! Sure, it means gastrointestinal "issues" as the small intestine is atrophying, but it also involves the immune system, when gluten enters the body the immune system starts attacking it and the body! So basically, its an autoimmune disease too!

Just -some- of the possible symptoms a person with Celiac Disease could suffer are:
-migraine headaches
-hair loss
-inability to concentrate
-lactose intolerance
-muscle cramps
-joint pain
-respiratory problems
-vitamin deficiencies
-irritable bowel syndrome
-acid reflux (GERD)
-abdominal pain

(whew) And some people don't have any symptoms at all! Its defined not by what is evidenced outwardly but by what is happening inside the body as a response to gluten, by damage to the intestinal villi to be specific.

So what does treatment look like?
Simply not eating gluten! And how great is that?! Not surgery, not pills. Cut out breads and whatnot: Easy-peasy.
.......well, okay, not so easy... turns out that gluten is is E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. It gets used in a LOT of stuff! Easy to see is anything made with wheat flour (bread, bagels, cookies, flour tortillas, pizza, pasta, etc), hard to see is the not so obvious stuff that has it as an ingredient (soy sauce, some packaged meats, chicken broth, cream of mushroom soup, and the list goes on for a very long time).

<Insert sad face here.>

After I got over the pity-party right about here I realized what a gift it was to be diagnosed with a disease that can be completely controlled by what I eat! So, making some changes around here in the Bonner Household. Keep checking in with us to see how we are doing!

1 Mayo Clinic Website
2 The Gluten-Free Bible

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Ferdinand the Frog

he naps in the ladder all day and hangs out on the dining room window at night. Every night.