Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Narrator: Zane

He finally did it!  Zane can read the whole book, so now it is time for a party.
Menu: green eggs with ham

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Abundance

Yes, these are from the garden, picked this morning (a surprisingly cool one), and also the cinnamon pickles I made last week.  One of the jars broke in the water bath, or I would have had 4 pints.

BUT, what I really wanted to show you (forgot to take a pic) was all the produce I got at Loving Hands last week.  Here's a list:
2 lbs. carrots
1 lb. organic spinach
2 organic celery
2 organic lemons
3 clementines
4 apples
3 leeks
1 large veggie tray w/ dip
3 poblanos
2 grapefruit
4 onions
10 potatoes
2 peaches
1 large bag mushrooms
1 bag bing cherries
1 big watermelon
3 cucumbers
sugar snap peas
1 bag broccoli
3 organic heads of romaine

And that is just the produce.  I also got eggs, butter, yogurt, chicken, lunch meat, and center cut bacon.
This is our new living room look.  Finally brought the bookcases up from the basement. It isn't quite finished, but this is the general idea.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Make a Splash!

The boys attended our local library's Summer Reading Program for the past six weeks and last night was our big finale party.  I had to wake them up from a nap to get them there, so it took a while for them to get into it, but once the magic show started, they were hooked.  This pic is of everyone else doing the chicken dance while our boys slowly sneaked out of the crowd. I have a video if you're interested.
Here they are blowing giant bubbles.

Making cinnamon pickles tonight.  Results soon to be posted.

Steal of a Deal

Guess what I found at one of the 61 garage sales being hosted all over Fort Lupton this weekend?   JARS.  That's right.  I was shoving a load of 25 cent books in the truck along with the boys, when a man came up behind me and said, "I don't know if you're interested, but there's a living estate sale up the street on the corner." Was I?  Oh yes.  At first I though it was a wash, but then I went around the corner and discovered the hidden trove.  A jumbled pile of old cardboard boxes with odd jars tossed carelessly in.  I figured there were maybe thirty or forty good ones, so I went and offered the lady $20 for all her quarts.

"That sounds perfect," she said, looking relieved to have gotten rid of the dusty old relics so quick and easy.

Only it wasn't so easy.  She offered to help me load them and went off to get boxes.  When she reappeared we started sorting all the quarts out from the rest of them....and sorting, and sorting, and loading, and sorting. 

And then I found some gallon jars.  And then some half gallons.

Before I knew it, my whole truck bed was full of boxes of jars, and the boys were wailing, "Enough!  no more jars Mom!" from where they were wading between them back there.

Needless, to say, I don't either I or the lady had realized how many jars were there.

Final count, around 170.  I think.  Unless I find another box somewhere.
OOh, I also nabbed this dutch oven which will be great for camping and such-$10.  Not bad.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

update on all the stuff we've been doing

It has been a busy year so far and here are some pics of what we've been up to.

Zane got to meet and hold his new cousin, Raeven.

 On Easter we took a trip to the mountains for a short hike and lunch at one of our favorite restaurants, Zoka's.

Our local heritage Fair was a new experience for the boys, where they got to see everything from ancient Roman soldiers (in costume) to WWII stuff.  Here is Haukin peeking out of a 1700's fur trader's teepee.


Zane wanted me to be SURE to post this pic of him in his soldier costume so all the grandmas could see him.

Tonight Haukin is taking apart his first radio......aaawww.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Field Trips!

Lately we've been enjoying all the lower rates that the colder weather allows for at places like the zoo and the aquarium.  Here are some pics:
Some fun, huh?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

"The Library Lion" book review

It was, of course, the interesting title that caught my eye, but the beautiful illustrations were what made me cram this bigger sized book into my already overflowing library bag.  I love beautiful artwork combined with happy prose to give my kids. I think it helps them develop an appreciation for both.

The Lion is such a stately, noble looking beast that it is not at all incongruent to think of one reclining on a bean bag in a sunny corner of the library.  Think of the scene in the opening credits of The Addams Family--a large, bored looking lion wanders through their stately mansion on Cemetery Lane.

Anyway, in The Library Lion, a lion has to learn about rules in the library, just like kids do, and that all rules themselves sometimes have to be bent.

Friday, January 15, 2010

"I Love My New Toy" book review

We came home from the library last week with our usual load of books randomly picked off the shelves, but a couple of them have really been enjoyed by the boys this week, way more than I would've expected.

Haukin has asked me to read  I Love My New Toy every day, I think.  It is VERY relavant to him and his brother.  The simple illustrations are hilarious--Haukin giggled more and more over every page as the plot unfolded.  Both boys know exactly what it is like to have a brand new toy that someone else wants to play with--and then horror of horrors!  what if they break it?  Hopefully the ending of this book taught the boys a valuable lesson, but if not, they still love the pictures and the  expression of voice required to read it.

I am definately going to look into more titles by Mo Willems and more books in this Elephant and Piggie series.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Homemade Kefir

Today I made kefir, which is a cultured drink, usually made with milk but sometimes also water or soy milk or coconut milk.  It worked perfectly the first time.  I was impressed.  Must have had something to do with having the perfect place to let it culture.  Take Note:  the best place to culture drinks like kefir and kombucha is on your boiler!  Mine is downstairs in the laudry room where it is dark and quiet and warm.  The surface of the boiler is maybe 70-75 degrees or so. This is what it looked like after I had blended it with some organic bing cherries and put it in a jar.
kefir in a jar
This is what it looked like after it had set for a while.

It is a fairly sour drink, so I added stevia to make it palatable to the kids.  Don't think the dh was too impressed.  This is what it looked like after I shook it well and served it in his favorite Carnival glass.

kefir in a glass
Yum.  Drink your probiotics!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Who's Picasso, Mom?

Zane is my inquisitive soon-to-be six-year-old.  He has the memory of an elephant, and his brain is a sponge.  I have no idea where he heard about Picasso, but that was his Question of the Day yesterday, along with "what is double probation?"  ??blink. What??

This morning he came up with one that I actually understood, "what is light speed?"  I knew right away where this came from. He and Haukin spent the morning watching Star Wars.
Captain Solo: "Hang in there Chewy, while I make the calculations for the jump to light speed."
Or something like that.

So Zane and I have several things to research for school next week.  He loves using the Internet, although I don't think we'll be watching any more video clips about "what is inside me"  (a question from last week) after he got completely worked up from watching a video about internal parasites.  Now whenever he steps outside he is constantly on the watch for dog poop.

Friday, January 8, 2010

New year's resolutions (subject to revision)

Winter sunrise on the Cottonwoods
Just as an aside, not really an official Resolution, but I do plan to take more pictures this year.  I've been mostly inspired by all the fantastic blogs I've been reading, especially Sarah's, who is an excellent photographer and shares her work on her blog.  Another motivation is having great visual content for my own blog!

1. Seek out and learn from godly mentors.
      This is sort of doing my part in the whole transfer of knowlege from one generation to the next, which is
      seriously lacking in our culture.  Besides the fact that I need all the help I can get, besides the fact
     that we all need to be obeying Titus 2.

2. Increase and develop personal discipline.
    a.  Do a study on the spiritual disciplines and determine what specific goals and routines will help me.
    b. Establish daily routines and guidlines for physical disciplines--i.e. exercise, eating, and scheduling habits

3. Increase and develop creativity, knowledge, and expression.
    a. Redecorate the boys' room (Wind in the Willows theme).
    b. Blog regularly (3-4 times/wk)
    c. Learn how to use my new Adobe Photoshop Elements 8!
    d. Learn color work knitting.
    e. Get the piano tuned--and find a teacher for Zane.
    f. Finish my wedding album--it's about time!

4. Read these books:
   a. Practical Theology for Women: How Knowing God Makes a Difference in Our Daily Lives (Re: Lit Books)
   b. Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families & Churches
   c. Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate
   d. The Family Worship Book: A Resource Book for Family Devotions
   e. The Life of John Newton
   f. The Bible and the Closet
   g. Meet the Puritans: With a Guide to Modern Reprints
   h. Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer
   i. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life
   j. Teach Them Diligently: How to Use the Scriptures in Child Training, Study Guide

5. Memorize:
   a. Galatians
   b. Ephesians (note* lest you think I am aiming to high, I've already done this and it will be review)
   c. Philippians--already have some of it done too.

This is a pretty preliminary list, because for each of these resolutions I have specific goals toward carrying them out; I have to tackle things in little bits.  For each resolution I have weekly and monthly goals. We have to remember that Reality and Life happen, so of course these are all subject to revision as I deem necessary. There will be unplanned, last minute projects, and I'm sure I'll read books other than the ones listed here. I may seem ambitious, but better to aim high.

What are your New Year's Resolutions and how are you breaking them down into workable goals? 

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Using Up Freezer Zucchini

Last night I created a recipe that has been floating around in my head for the last year or so.  My freezer gets overloaded with shredded zucchini every summer and I am usually at my wits' end to decided what to do with it.
So here's what came from the stove last night.

Zucchini Chicken Alfredo
1 ziplock bag full of shredded zucchini, thawed and drained
1-2 t. lemon pepper

The Alfredo
1 1/2 cups cooked cubed chicken
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1 1/4 c shredded sharp white Cheddar (I used some with Pesto in it--delish!)
salt and pepper
pesto or basil (opt.)
1/2 red pepper, diced

Put the zucchini in a pan or skillet with the lemon pepper and warm it until the liquid pretty much evaporates.  This is what will replace the usual pasta.  Very healthy!

Make a roux with the butter and flour and milk by melting the butter, throwing in the flour (amounts are according to how much you want to end up with, I suggest about 3 T butter and 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour.)  After you make a sort of paste with the butter and flour pour in the milk, enough to make as much sauce as you want, with a little extra to account for evaporation and thickening. Whisk until all the lumps are gone, and heat steadily until it begins to thicken.  Add chicken and pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cheese.  Let the cheese melt into the sauce. Add red pepper.

Serve the alfredo over the zucchini and enjoy.  Empty out that freezer!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Splattering Spaetzle

Last night we made the traditional German spaetzle and goulash fleisch (sp?) that Thomas' family enjoys around the holidays.  It didn't taste quite like his mom's (considering I used the last of our Barefoot Merlot) but it was quite good, once we figured out a good consistency  for the batter.  Here is Thomas cooking the noodles.

We discovered that it can be quite hairy to have two cooks trying to cook two different things in the same work space, our kitchen is not very accomadating at this time. You should've seen the state of the KitchenAid after we got done mixing the Spaetzle.  Next time I'll get a pic.  I was working on the Yummy Red Cabbage, whose recipe I'll have to share for anyone who appreciates cruciferous concoctions.

Yummy Red Cabbage: origin unknown (sorry I don't remember where I got this recipe)
8 oz. red cabbage, sliced
1 apple, sliced or chopped
1 oz. butter, 2 t. oil
1 sm onion, chopped  or sliced thin
2 cloves garlic minced
1/4 t. gr. cloves
1/4 t. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
salt & pepper
1 t. brown sugar
1 T red wine vinegar

Melt butter and oil. Cook onion then add apple and garlic and cook 2-3 min.  Turm to Hi and add cabbage; stir-fry 5 min.  Stir in spices, salt and pepper. Turn to Lo and cook 10 min.  When tender turn up heat and add sugar and vinegar.  Stir and serve.
This is delicious and not slimy like my mom's (sorry mom).  Not too sweet either, and the spices make it taste special.

We also enjoyed a Rye bread called Limpa which I made from my favorite bread machine cookbook,
The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook, which has about a zillion great recipes for breads in the machine, and they work!  What I usually do is use the machine to do all the work except baking, because the DH likes to have his bread shaped like a traditional loaf, and I don't mind this extra step, especially since I get out of all the mixing and kneading, etc.

Hope you are all back into your routines for the New Year.  I'll be posting Resolutions soon.  Meanwhile, here is our latest family photo (a rare sight!).

Monday, January 4, 2010

Signs and Facts

Know where the Mad Hatter came from?  Not Lewis Carroll, if that's what you thought, although he did fit one right into his Alice adventure.  I read today on Jon Barron's web site that during the 19th century  some hatters used mercury to make their wares.  The results were "baldness, severe muscular tremors, dementia, and fits of wild, uncontrollable laughter. Thus the phrase: "Mad Hatter." "

Interesting, huh?  Stay away from Mercury, and get those old fillings replaced, Thomas!

On another note,  one of the first Signs of the New Year is.....

Seed Catalogs!  These give me plenty to occupy the long hours of winter, waiting and planning for spring.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Full Moon Rising on a New Year

                                                Psalm 19:1,3  "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.....THERE IS NO SPEECH NOR LANGUAGE WHERE THEIR VOICE IS NOT HEARD!

Happy New Year!  The moon was telling me of God's glory this morning.