Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Marker Eposide

I love it when we get Eli new markers. He loves them and he goes through lots of paper as he draws. I have always referred to his drawings as "shapes." That is exactly what so many of them are, which makes them so abstract and wonderful. It is so fun telling him what I like about each "shape" when he brings his work to me.I honestly do not even encourage representational drawing much at all.

One evening I was away from home and I got back just after my husband and Eli had gotten to bed. This is what the refrigerator looked like. I stood there in awe of Eli's little gallery! I was so inspired, (and maybe a little jealous!)

This "mural" Eli drew in the corner above his bed is completely gorgeous. What awesome use of color and space. (Of course, I can't tell him I think it is beautiful and I regret that he will have to wash it off with me because those are the terms and conditions of wall writing in our house. I still love it.)

I am interested to know what these drawings mean in terms of his development. I know for his age it is not normal for so many of his drawings to be non representational. However, I feel that his use of space is advanced. I am going to look into this more and hopefully discover more about my son's unique abilities.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Personal Hair Dresser

Eli had a wonderful weekend. That is not to say that we did not have our moments. (I think when I woke up to the bathroom flooding this morning was my favorite part of those moments. Not. What can I say? I guess he will be a five year old boy.)

Eli has just been so happy. His tummy has shown no signs of bloating. He feels well, and we can see it in is smile. Today in church he sat on my lap and pretended to be my hairdresser, whispering to me about color choices, giving me a little trim around the bottom edges, and I think he said something about staples and glue. (!) Good thing it was pretend!

After these last few years of working on healing his gut, I think we may be at a good place now. That is not to say that he does not have bloaty days. There are times when we are not careful enough about his diet, (meaning that we have had times when we don't realize that too much GF yeast bread would make his belly bloat, and other similar instances.) The true miracle is that his belly will go back to normal on it's own in time when we go back to normal diet. I can't explain how huge this is. I feel such gratitude that I can't express.

On Saturday a man we met at the park said to us, "He is just a bundle of love, isn't he?" He just found Eli so very friendly and sweet. I hope I remember that forever.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Garden Veggie Zucchini Casserole

So much zucchini! I have even let the squash bugs have at it these last few weeks, and we still have so much. Here is dinner idea that I have been using throughout this plentiful season.

It all started with some ideas I gleaned from "The Classic Zucchini Cookbook" by Nancy Ralston, Marynor Jordan, and Andrea Chesman. In this book they describe how to make "Born again Zucchini." For this dish I use this same idea, also incorporating potatoes. I also found some great tips on baking time.

There are no measurements. I never measure when I make this.

First, slice thinly clean potatoes, zucchini (small to medium size,) white or yellow onions, and tomatoes.

Place the zucchini and potatoes in a bowl, toss in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Let this sit for 15-30 minutes, and afterward drain and blot dry with towel. Now you have "Born Again Zucchini," (and potatoes,) with less water in the squash, it is much more recipe ready.

Next, stir and coat pieces in a prepared tomato based sauce. This is where you can really customize to your own taste. Personally, I start with a pizza sauce base, and start stirring things in. Here are some ideas I like to add:

minced garlic
finely grated cheese (I use soy)
dried sweet basil leaves

Stack the coated veggies in glass pan, adding here and there a slice of tomato and onion. Here is a picture of mine all ready to go for the oven.


I like to spoon whatever sauce is left over the casserole.

Bake at 350 degrees. The trick I have learned is that the typical 45 minutes to 1 hour used for typical like dishes is not enough for this special veggie dish. An additional 45 minutes or so is needed to really caramelize the veggies. (Always keep an eye on the oven, of course!)

I have even made this in a dutch oven outside my back door with tasty results. :)