Saturday, February 25, 2012

Coffee is addicting

Coffee is addicting. What started out as something fun for Peter and Fisher to do together has turned into Peter and Tate's thing. Tate loves roasting the coffee and drinking it. Fisher will drink it sometimes but he does not seem to have the same enjoyment as Tate.

Friday, February 24, 2012


The girls told me that they were BSFs (Best Sisters Forever)! I think they were buttering me up and wanted their picture taken together so lovingly because they wanted me to take them to Walgreens to get them lip gloss! That is okay, I will take it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hello Netflix!

Love that I caught the boys both tucked into a sleeping bag together in the basement watching Netflix! So excited we can stream this to the televisions we got rid of a few cable boxes and downgraded or cable package. How much longer will we really need cable?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sleep Issues

As everyone knows EB has trouble with her body and we are so grateful to all that have helped her and continue to help her to learn about her body and have control over it. I am so so proud of her for working internally on what she is feeling and working on expressing it to others. We were seeing Dr. G on Wednesday and Monday night/Tuesday morning EB woke up at 12:45 a.m. and was never able to go back to sleep. The next day she wanted to write Dr. G a story about what was going on so she could help her. Here it is....
E.B. Daniels February 14, 2012 Sleeping Issues I'm having trouble sleeping at night and I don't know why. Maybe it is my medicine. I don't know, but last night, I couldn't fall asleep at all, and nights before that I did fall asleep till like 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. And woke up at alike 6:00 a.m.. I don't know how much I'll sleep tonight but I hope I get more sleep than 8 of 9 hours and I don't want this to keep happening so can you please try and find a solution to help me because I really want to fall asleep at the normal time. I don't want to be tired in school also I want to sleep to get my rest because then I'm really tired ruing the day which I don't like. I want to sleep at night not during the day. I also want to get my rest that I need too. We love EB and are glad you have had 2 good nights of sleep. Glad Dr. G could give you some new meds. While I am so proud of you for all this it breaks my heart you have to go through this.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Be Mine!

Love that my kids love each other! Tate wrote this to Harper.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Keurig Loving, Sumatra Swilling, Ethiopian Taught Newbie Dad

I originally posted this in Sweet Maria's Forum, but Jill loved it and suggested I put it here, too. This way, I can also add pictures.

You gotta hand it to Keurig. They make it so easy when there's only one busy coffee drinker in the house. If you have a minute, you can have a coffee. My two Keurig brewers kept me fat and caffeinated for a good six years.

Keurig has a big menu of coffees from a variety of places. I kept trying different ones, especially Ethiopians. But I always found my Ethiopian brews to be, well, sour. Same thing with other origins, more or less, except my extra bold Sumatra. I always gravitated toward dark roasts and Sumatra, especially. Still, I never liked Starbucks or worse, Peets. Even though I liked dark roasts, those always veered into charcoal for my taste. Who needs those places, anyways. I had my Keurig and it served up competent, extra bold Sumatra, extra fast.

I learned pretty early on that I could make my little boy really happy with just a little taste of coffee. Judge away, but it's in his blood. He had his own coffee tree growing up and used to roast his family's beans with his mom in a vented skillet over an open fire. My son is from the Sidama region of Ethiopia where most of the country's best coffee is grown.

There's a little Ethiopian bodega on the north side of Chicago and I was browsing it with my son. "Daddy, daddy, look!" My son was holding a black, vented skillet with a wooden handle. "Coffee!" He said. He pointed out a bag of green beans. I asked him if he knew how to roast and he said "Yeah! please, please please?" We brought the stuff home and forgot about it for about a month.

We found the beans one Saturday morning and he brought me over to the stove. "You go like this," he said as he swirled the skillet over the fire. "Daddy, I'm tired." he said after about 2-3 minutes and I took over. "When do I stop?" I asked, squinting the smoke out of my eyes. "When it's brown... that's good." And it was good. Really good. This was no sour Ethiopian, this was a whole lot of flavor.

It took me about two weeks to break the skillet. No offense to my Ethiopian son, but we pop a lot of popcorn and I thought one of those cranky stovetop poppers would do a much better job. So, I Googled it and discovered I wasn't the first person to have that idea. I also read that air poppers do the job better, but I felt like I had to go with my first instinct. That was a mistake. The crank popper I bought had a flat agitator and it didn't roll the beans. They just burned on one side and under roasted on the other.

Lucky for me I have an understanding wife and a local Menard's that carries West Bend air poppers, cheap.

Since then, I've been roasting my first four pounds from Sweet Marias. Here's what I've learned. Ethiopian Coffee (Sidama Aleta Wondo) can be fantastic, especially if light roasted (City / City +) though I like full city roasts, too. Guatamalan (Acatenango - Finca La Soledad) is wonderful, even with citrus fruit. Yemen (Mokha Harasi) was my favorite roast, spicy, earthy but full of flavor. Sort of like my beloved sumatran, but way, way, better. And My Sumatran (Tarbarita Peaberry)? That was easily my least favorite of the bunch. I probably won't even buy Sumatran on my next purchase. But I'll be keeping a sharp lookout for more Yemen.

So, what about my Ethiopian son? He still loves drinking coffee, but roasting in the air popper just doesn't cut it for him. His American-born brother, on the other hand... He runs to the kitchen whenever I say I might be roasting a batch. He climbs up on a chair, peers into the top of the popper with me and catches the chaff in his hands. "Dad, that was first crack, right?" I'll give him a little for breakfast, too. Judge away.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Harper's Elephant

Harper did a wonderful job on her art project. Her job was to copy the elephant onto black scratch paper. It was very hard to get it scanned in but trust me it is good! Way to go Harper!