Monday, April 26, 2010

Dizzying

What we do for fun in lieu of watching TV (yes, we are one of those crazy families that only catches snow on the TV when you turn it on =):




it was fun until it made her so dizzy she couldn't sit up without falling over =)

Even though we do not have cable, we do still enjoy movies and such...especially on Saturday mornings:

Little Thoughts

Last night, I managed to sneak in some one-on-one time with Andrew.  I was getting him ready for bed, and we were chatting.  I asked him what he wanted to do tomorrow, and he said, "ummm, we can do some morning chores, and then do school..."  Hahaha.  I guess our routine is pretty ingrained by now.

During school this morning, part of Natalie's assignment was to draw a picture of her family.  After she drew it she showed it to me, and said, "I drew a mad face on Rachel because she wants to nurse on Momma...she's crying."  (I've been trying to cut out some of her nursings that are purely habitual, and not so much nutritional....she's not happy about it, and apparently Natalie noticed =)  Nothing gets by that girl!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hey, Mom! Look what wwe found...

...always a potentially scary phrase from children





Not really sure what it is, but Natalie has me on a mission to find out...

Craft Basket Wednesday


 Sometime during the last year or so, I discovered the lost art of knitting.  Wow is it addicting!  And really fun, too =)  You can make so many cute things.  This past weekend, I finished my first project - a yellow, boucle baby blanket.

you have to be careful with knitted objects around here, so they don't get pirated:

she likes it:

Peek-a-boo!:

I still have to weave in the ends, but other than that, it's finished!  Natalie even used it to nurse her baby doll this morning =)  Unfortunately, that was before the pot of coffee was made, so I didn't think to get a picture of it.  Now that I'm confident I can actually finish a knitted item, I'm moving on to a baby sweater!  I received my yarn and needles in the mail last week, so I'm ready to get started!


I just love new, squishy yarn!!  The teal is for the body of the sweater, and the brown for the trim.  Hopefully it will look like this when it's done (only a different color):

*note:  these are the images from the Debbie Bliss pattern book, Booties, Blankets, and Bears, and they come from this link

I would have made the sweater in the same colors that the pattern suggests (because I'm OCD about stuff like that), but that yarn is sooo expensive!  So, I opted for something that was 1/3 of the cost, and they didn't have these colors.  I'm sure the teal will still look lovely on Rachel - even if she will probably be way too big by the time I finish.  About a year from now when I finish the sweater, I'll let you know how it turns out ;)  I'm not the quickest knitter on the block....

Now, you can go on over to the Knit Together blog to see what other fun projects are going on!  Enjoy =)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Around the Garden

I thought I might do a post on my our garden progress.  It's looking really nice these days!  So far, I've we've got cucumbers, corn, okra, English peas, tomatoes, bell peppers (green and carnival colors), spinach (which we have eaten 2 salads from!), and carrots (which I'm pretty sure will NOT be producing anything).  I've also got a raised bed purely for strawberries, which I am very excited about!  One of my best friends gave me 8 runners from her strawberry patch (I use all these terms as if I know what I'm talking about...bahahahah...I really have no idea; I'm just doing what other people tell me to do, and then pray that it works ;)  But, we've eaten 2 strawberries from it already, and there are more waiting to ripen, so I guess it's working =)

Here is the first ripened strawberry we picked:

  I have one more raised bed that needs to be tilled and filled with soil, although, I'll be sad to see it filled with plants as it serves as a perfect playpen for Rachel =):


   I plan on putting more corn and okra, as well as cucumbers, squash, and zucchini in that one when it's ready.  I am also going to plant watermelon, which means I'll need another raised bed just for that, and cantaloupe (I'll be putting that on the other half of the strawberry bed for this year, since my strawberry plants are so small and I've got the room).  

Our first bowl of spinach (the leaves are huge, but very tasty!):

My carrots that have lots of green-age, but no orange underneath =(

My middle bed in the early stages w/cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and green beans:

The end bed in the early stages w/peas, green beans, cucumbers, corn, okra, spinach, and carrots:

The first flower on one of the cucumbers!:

The peas are also flowering nicely:

Here is a more recent picture with everything growing and the kids running through the sprinkler:

On the non-edible front, the flowers around here have been blooming like crazy!  It's so pretty.  I was never really into roses that much; not that I don't like them, but I have never really gotten into planting or growing them.  But, when we moved here, the property had rose bushes all over the place, and I have really been enjoying them!  Natalie has been picking them to put in vases for our Mary statue in the house, which is just too sweet =).  

This one is from a huge bush right outside the kids' bedroom window:

It has tons of blooms on it:

The smaller bush next to it is about ready to start blooming:

These white ones are just gorgeous:

But, I think the yellow ones are my favorite:

I'm not sure what these are going to look like, but they are super tiny!:

Besides roses, we also have these pretty little pink carnations (at least I think that's what they are - please correct me if I'm wrong...I am no expert at flowers):

And these lovely ladies:

Natalie's snapdragon plant:

And, of course, the azalea's and clover are blooming EVERYWHERE down here:

Which means we have been making lots of these in the afternoons:

And, Phil and I found this guy the other day while working on the fence:

Needless to say, we have really been enjoying the beautiful outdoors this spring!  I feel very thankful that my kids have the opportunity to enjoy God's creation so up close and personal.  Hopefully they learn to appreciate it as well.   

Sunday, April 18, 2010

ABC Gum

My five year old, Natalie, is addicted to gum.  She's like that kid, Violet, from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  She would chew the same piece of gum for days if I let her.  A couple weeks of go, my in-laws were visiting and helping my husband work on our fencing, and Natalie put her gum on a plate to "save for later".  She told my father-in-law to make sure no one threw it away.  He asked her if he could chew it in the meantime (don't worry...he was only teasing her ;), and Natalie said, "uh, sure, just put it back when you're done."  I guess I should be pleased with her generosity, but GROSS!!  Although, I shouldn't be totally surprised, because when she was three, she would ask her Daddy what he was eating.  When he would say gum, she would then ask to see it.  And, then, she would proceed to snatch the gum out of his mouth and start chewing it herself when he would show her.  Sneaky little thing!  Obviously, the girl will stop at nothing to get what she wants.  I suppose that is not a bad trait, assuming what she wants is good.  I guess the responsibility lies with Phil and I to form her so that her goals and interested are geared towards all things Holy.  And, what a great responsibility that is!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Meet Clarabelle (until futher notice...)

We have a new baby calf!  It's our second one this spring (and our last one....we have no more preggo cows =).  We *think* she is a girl, thus the name Clarabelle - courtesy of Natalie, as usual.  But, we are not 100% on that...hopefully we can get a definite on the gender soon.  She was born sometime yesterday, April 13, and she is so cute!  I didn't realize how much our other heifer calf, Felicity, had grown until Clarabelle came along!

 
 
very attentive and protective Mama!


Isn't she sooo cute?!:

Felicity nursing on her Mama (she how much bigger she is!  and she is only 2 months old):


Monday, April 12, 2010

The Great Fencing Project


We purchased our 18 acre 'mini-farm' with the intention of raising farm animals.  Mostly cattle, and a few chickens, pigs, and possibly goats as well.  Naturally, you must have fencing to keep said animals within the confines of home - at least if you want your neighbors to like you, or at best not call the cops on you.  So, my handy-man husband has been diligently working on fencing our property in time for the cows' summer grass feast.  Right now, the cows are in the only pen that we have that will actually keep them from escaping, which is not nearly big enough.  We've been keeping them fed with hay, but that's not really the ideal.  It works for now, but not only do cows provide us with tasty, grass-fed steaks and briskets, they also take some of the work load off of our trusty, 'ole lawn mower.  That's the goal, anyway.  

This week, my husband has been working specifically on the fence around the house.  I am very excited about this!  He decided to keep me happy by putting a wood fence around the house.  The rest of the property will be broken into paddocks, fenced off with wire, but my house will have a gorgeous, 3-board wooden fence =).  Very cute and farm-country style!  It's going to look amazing when it's done (as does most of his handy-work).  This past weekend, he engaged the help of his Dad, and two of three his brothers.  So, while they spent the entire day digging post holes and putting the posts in, I made sure they were well fed.  We had cinnamon crescent rolls with sausage for breakfast, brisket for lunch, and red beans and rice for supper.  Yum!  

It is so nice to have a husband who knows how to do these kinds of things!  That, and fixing broken water lines, but that's another post entirely...  Here are some pictures of the progress they made:
Natalie & Andrew enjoying the corner post hole:
Putting in one of the gate posts:
All the posts for the front of the house:
the posts for the side of the house:
side view again:
front view again:
random baby loving on her baby doll =)
the guys working hard:

my blueberry bushes are blooming!:


red beans and rice for supper:

I also made homemade granola bars (a slightly adapted version of this recipe) for a snack:

making sure everything is level:
The kids enjoying the beautiful day while the men worked:
The end of a VERY long day (I think they worked for a good, solid 12 hours that day!):
There it is so far!  Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures of the auger in use due to camera malfunction issues...oh well!  They had fun using that thing, anyway.  This week, Phil and I are going to put up the boards and finish up the fence.  I can't wait to see it all finished!  A big thanks to all those guys for helping!!!
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