Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nicki's Diapers: Babysitters and Cloth Diapers

I have a guest post at Nicki's Diapers: Babysitters and Cloth Diapers: "When I first started cloth diapering my daughter over a year ago, I thought that I might be the only person willing to change her diapers. ..."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Tis the Season...

It's been busy around here.  I've been finishing up a few gifts that I'm making for Christmas.  The kids are helping me bake cookies.  They love wearing the aprons Mamaw made.  Lydia wore hers for days straight, actually.  It is really cute; it reminds me of an old-fashioned pinafore.  Nathaniel is off until the new year, so we've been enjoying his company.  Unfortunately, he's had to spend quite a bit of time dealing with our heater.  It's broken.  We hope the repairmen call back tomorrow to set up the appointment to fix it.  In the meantime, we do have heat, but it's not functioning right and will cost a lot more on our electric bill.  All of this is pretty minor, though, when I've been thinking about a dear friend whose son has a heart condition.  It's one of those things that you wish you could just fix for them.  So we're just hoping and praying that his heart and lungs don't get any worse.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Ranch Potato Salad

This is so yummy!  My parents have been talking about this different potato salad that they get at the lake, made with bacon and sour cream and some ranch flavors instead of mayo.  Well, I decided to try and make some, and it was a huge hit with Nathaniel and me.  Here's what I did:
6-8 pieces of bacon, cooked and diced
4 baked potatoes, cubed (I took about 1/2 of the skins off, but left half on)
1/2 c cheddar cheese (plus another 1/2 c, optional)
1 recipe of my garlic ranch dressing (see

Combine all ingredients in a 2 quart baking dish.  Now it is great just cold like that.  But then you can add the additional 1/2 c or so of cheese to the top and stick it in the oven for about 15 minutes.  And then it's really heavenly.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

First Sled Ride

It snowed last night and all morning, so we decided to introduce Lydia to snow and sledding.  She loved it, of course.  She really likes to walk in the snow.  She finds it fascinating.  Our neighbors are nice enough to let us use their hill, which is perfect for kids' sleds.  Here's a shot of the hill:
Here is where Nathaniel hangs out at the bottom of the hill, to make sure our kids don't wind up in the road or in front of the few cars that could come by.  (None did.)

Doesn't Lydia look cute in her snow suit?  I think we bought it for Malachi at a yard sale or something, but then we moved to Texas, and it never got used.  Well, today it saw snow, and she stayed dry underneath, so it was a perfect suit for her! 

Here they are before sledding.

It was tons of fun.  I haven't been on a sled in years.  I took Lydia in after only about 15 minutes (she is only 1), but the boys stayed out for quite a while.  It was perfect play-in-the-snow weather, right around 31 degrees.  Unfortunately, later in the afternoon Lydia got sick, and now she is sleeping in her footies in her crib.  I guess if we get more snow tomorrow, the boys will have to enjoy it without her.  :(  They willl have a busy day, though.  They are singing and doing their puppets at the nursing home tomorrow after church. 

Friday, December 3, 2010

Leaves and Spanish storytime

This picture is a couple of weeks old now, as you can guess since it's way too cold and wet now to be playing in the leaves, but I thought it was a fun action shot.  My kids and nieces were helping Pa and I rake at my parents' house.  OK, mostly, they were playing, but we did get some help out of them.  It was a lot of fun.  My siblings joined in, too, and all three of us were taking multiple pictures. 

Does anyone else have trouble putting more than one picture in a blog entry?  Sometimes I have no trouble, and other times it just won't let me browse for more.

I just printed up the fliers for my next project: a Spanish storytime.  My church asked if I could do something with moms and kids, and we came up with a storytime format.  It will be in Spanish and English.  The idea is to slowly introduce English to Spanish-speaking toddlers/preschoolers and their stay-at-home mamas.  I start in January.  I am nervous, but very excited.  (Missy, I will be asking for help with felt farm animals!)  This is really all me, because no one else at church speaks Spanish, but they are eager to reach out and start some type of ESL program.  This is the beginning of something that will hopefully expand later on...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

After Thanksgiving

Yes, I've been gone a while.  We went to Nathaniel's parents' for Thanksgiving, and that went well.  We took the boys bowling for the first time.  I wish you could all see Malachi's happy dance.  It is so cute, and he did it after EVERY single frame!  Both boys had a blast, and my ordinarily super-competitive father-in-law just sat back and enjoyed watching them bowl, which was awesome.  (And my boys thought the bowling shoes were cool! :)
Now we are just trying to get back in the swing of things and get ready for Christmas.  My poor baby had a stomach bug Monday, but she's fine now and we're hoping no one else gets it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lydia's Favorite New "Game"

Lydia's favorite new "game" right now is to change her baby.  She strips her doll and gets her own (real) cloth wipes.  I can hear her talking to her baby.  "Oh, poop.  Clean you up.  Change you." 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Pink Applesauce

Around here, pink applesauce has been extremely popular.  No, I haven't been buying the neon pink, expensive concoctions you can find in individual servings at the grocery.  I've been making my own strawberry applesauce, which we all enjoy, even Malachi, who won't eat strawberries or apples!

When I first looked into making applesauce, I consulted my husband's grandmother's old (1950s?) cookbook.  It listed applesauce under dessert, and my first thought was who in the world would ever consider applesauce a dessert?  And I certainly kept in mind that this is a cookbook that actually advised housewives to serve margarine at every meal for their families' health!  But I get it now.  Homemade, hot applesauce topped with a bit of vanilla ice cream definately qualifies as a delicious dessert (and you know I love desserts!).

This is more of a how-to than an actual recipe.  All you need is strawberries, apples, cinnamon, and water.  If you have one of these:
The boys love turning the handle on the apple peeler.
it really helps.  My corer/peeler/slicer is from the Pampered Chef, but I'm sure there are other brands, too.  The only thing is, you have to have firm apples, so you need to use it soon after you get your fresh apples.  Waiting a couple of weeks means that you will have to peel and core by hand!
I basically fill my biggest pot almost full of apples and add about 2 cups of frozen strawberries.  (No need to defrost.)  I add 1-2 cups of water and a healthy amount of cinnamon.  Then you just cook it until the strawberries turn to goo and the apples can easily be smashed with the back of a spoon.  You do need to stir it, but not constantly.  I'll stir, then put pajamas on my daughter.  Stir, then read the boys a book. get the idea.  Then you can either leave it lumpy or blend it smooth.  I love using the immersible blender my sister gave me, but the food processor or regular blender will work just fine.  Whatever you use, be careful; it is HOT!  I usually turn off the heat and let it sit a while before blending.  It does freeze well, but I put the jars in the fridge overnight to cool before freezing.   Try other fruit, too.  We also like purple applesauce (made with blueberries), and I've thought of trying other combinations.

In other news, Nathaniel is home from Europe!!!  We are so glad to have him back.  He and the kids are all asleep now, and it is wonderfully quiet and peaceful here.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Down time and etc

Lydia's been taking a regular, longer nap these days, so I've had a bit more downtime in the afternoons.  It's been wonderful.  I've been busy crocheting and cooking lately.  I messed around with my ranch dressing recipe and improved it (I will update it on the blog, if anyone's interested).  I'm currently crocheting Nathaniel a wool hat.  I hope it fits.  And I've had to spend many mornings this week at the school.  One of the reasons was Malachi's Thanksgiving program.  And he and Elijah both got medals at the assembly for participating in the PTA art contest (which they loved!).  We've been keeping busy, which is good since Nathaniel's been in Europe all week.  We can't wait to have him home tomorrow night!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry-Orange Muffin on a placemat my wonderful friend Karen made for me!
This weekend, my sister and nieces came to visit!  We had a great time.  Nathaniel watched all 5 of our kids (in the evening, including bedtime!) so my sister and I could go see Burn the Floor.  Fabulous!

For breakfast, I made the ever-popular pumpkin muffins, but I decided to try something new, too: Cranberry-Orange Muffins.  I am happy with how these came out.  Malachi particularly liked them.  I think they are better cool; the orange flavor doesn't come through when the muffins are hot.

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
1/3 c honey
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1/2 c milk
1/4 c water
1/4 c applesauce
1 orange
1 c fresh cranberries

Chop the cranberries.  (I measured them before chopping.)  In a bowl, combine milk, water, egg, and applesauce.  Zest orange into bowl.  Then add the dry ingredients and mix.  Add cranberries.  I peeled the orange and broke it into small segments.  I added half of the orange to the mix (my kids ate the other half).  Bake at 400 for 9-10 minutes for mini muffins or 19-20 minutes for regular muffins.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


I'm back online and very happy to be able to post Halloween pictures.  Here are my cuties:
Special thanks to Aunt Sherri, who always makes whatever the boys want even if it's a snowy owl (Elijah, this year) or a bat with red wings (Malachi, last year).  And I decided that our baby chickie needed to be a baby chickie for Halloween, so I made the hat to go with the body Sherri had made several years ago when Malachi was a duck.  I'm very happy with how that turned out.  Unfortuantely, the baby chickie is sick and will not be trick-or-treating.  In fact, she is sleeping right now at home with me, while Nathaniel and the boys are at the church's fall fest.  Later, they plan to trick-or-treat.  Poor chickie.  At least she's too young to realize that she's missing anything.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Techincal Difficulties

So sorry, but I haven't been able to blog lately.  Our computer is messed up, and so I'm writing this on my husband's work computer.  He is working on ours, and hopefully, he will figure out what is wrong, but it doesn't look good right now! 
We had a great weekend camping with Nathaniel's family and friends.  The kids had a blast.  They had a taste of freedom: the boys were allowed to go around the circle we were on at camp by themselves.  Malachi nearly wore out the tires on his new bike, and Elijah can really fly on his scooter.  (He didn't have his bike there; maybe next year.) 
Halloween is fast approaching.  I hope I can have my computer working by then so I can post pictures of the kids in their awesome costumes!  (Aunt Sherri always comes through!)  And I must say, I am proud of how the baby chickie hat I made turned out. 
I hope to be back soon!

Thursday, October 14, 2010


As promised, here are a couple of pictures of my little darlin' in her new pigtails.  My sister visited last weekend, and she put up Lydia's hair.  I had no idea that she had enough hair for pigtails!  Lydia loves them.  She walks around patting her head and saying, "pretty, pretty."  (Modesty is not a virtue my children seem to have!)
I just love the smile on this one! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Failed Muffins and Pumpkin Love

Well, they looked good.  I decided to make a new muffin, and I made up the recipe myself.  I was going for a strawberry chocolate muffin, but the strawberry taste didn't come through at all.  The cocoa sure did, but the muffin wasn't very sweet at all (I was counting on more sweetness from the strawberries and drastically reduced the honey I put in).  Elijah seemed to think they're ok.  They are edible, but not good.  Oh, well.  I'm debating about trying again, maybe this time just a strawberry muffin, since the taste was really lost with the cocoa, or maybe I just put in too much cocoa.  And yes, I do make an awful lot of muffins around here.   Lately, I've found myself humming "Oh do you know the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man, the Muffin Man...."
In other news, Malachi had his first field trip today.  He got to pick a pumpkin at a local farm, and he had a great time.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Long Absence

Sorry I've been strangely silent lately.  I'm keeping busy but not much seems to be going on to write about.  I have a happy fire going in the fireplace right now.  It's been pretty cool in the house, so we've started using the fireplace, and it does make the living room feel nice!
I'm thinking of taking the kids back to the apple orchard tomorrow after school.  I could use some more apples!  They've eaten most of the applesauce I made, and I still haven't made the apple-cinnamon jam.  Plus, the orchard was a lot of fun and is fairly close to us.  And I'm thinking of toying with an apple-cinnamon muffin.  Maybe an oatmeal muffin.  I'm not sure.  With this cooler weather, I do feel like baking!
I'll be back sooner this time! 

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Backyard Camping

The boys were very excited last night to set up the tent in the backyard and sleep in it with their daddy.  It's been too dry for a campfire, but they had a ton of fun anyway.  Now they're ready for the big family camping trip in October.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sad little cantaloupe

No, those aren't super-huge tomatoes.  That is the only cantaloupe I managed to harvest off of 5 healthy-looking plants.  Seriously.  I picked it a week ago, and we ate it.  It did taste good, but after 2 years of cantaloupe failure, I've decided not to try and grow them next year.  Maybe in a couple of years.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

                                                                                                          Although it has still been hot in the afternoons, mornings here have begun to feel like fall, so I've been in a baking mood.  I also had a butternut squash that needed dealt with, so I made pumpkin muffins, which are always a huge hit with everyone in my family (and I can't say that about most foods!).  I originally got the recipe from my sister, but we've both tweaked it a bit since then.  We do that.  So, here is the recipe for some yummy muffins, which can be made with either pureed pumpkin or butternut squash.  Just don't tell my kids I used squash; you can't tell the difference, but they think pumpkin is the only way to go!

2 c whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c softened butter
1/2 c honey
2 eggs
1 c pureed pumpkin
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/2 bag mini chocolate chips

Mix together the wet ingredients, then add the dry.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven.  For mini muffins, bake about 11 minutes; for regular-sized muffins, bake about 15-16 minutes.  These make great snacks or breakfasts.  They never last more than a couple of days around here.

Lydia enjoys her mini muffin

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Kid quotes

Here's a little update on the kids.

Today, Elijah was filling out a calendar.  I told him that Nana and Pa got married on April Fool's Day, and he said, "So they fooled each other!"  Then he noted that since his birthday is one day after his sister's, "we will probably be tired because we will eat too much unhealthy food for two days."

Malachi had his first soccer practice yesterday, and he loved it.

Lydia can and does speak in full sentences, like "I want THIS slide."  She enjoyed story time today.

That's it for now.  We're just happy that Nathaniel will be back from California in a few hours!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Art of Toilet Paper Tubes

The day was saved by toilet paper tubes.  On Tuesday, we "finally" had 2 toilet paper tubes available for crafting.  The boys were ecstatic.  Then they very seriously (as you can see from their expressions here) got to work on a Christmas present for their cousin.  (That was all their idea, from something Elijah learned in school.)  It's fun to watch creativity in action.
And here is a cutie shot:

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Salsa Beef

I canned some more salsa today.  I eat a ton of salsa, and I like making it from tomatoes I grew in my own yard.  My goal is to can enough salsa to last me until next summer.  (It is doubtful that I will make it; I really am a bit obsessed with salsa!)  Besides just eating it on anything from scrambled eggs to tortilla chips, it is really good to have on hand for an easy dinner.  My mom (who is an excellent cook) threw a jar of salsa and a beef roast into the crock pot, and wha-la: salsa beef.   Generally, I use about half a jar of salsa and a bit of water, plus I add an onion, quartered.  Just put the crock pot on low and let cook all day.  It is great shredded and topped with cheese on a whole-wheat bun.  It can also be served with rice.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


I had planned all along for Lydia's room to be purple with yellow and white daisies, but I hadn't done much to really make it come together until this morning.  I made this daisy with leftover craft items that I had on hand, and I'm so happy with how it turned out.  It makes her room much more cheerful, and the center of the daisy matches her curtains and the quilt my mom made her.  (The petals match the afghan I made her.)
She wanted a picture, too:
Her hair was pretty crazy this morning!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Paper people

Lately, Malachi has been really enjoying making paper people.  Then my nieces came to visit, and they and Elijah got into the fun, too.  You can simply cut people shapes out of construction paper, and then let them decorate as they please!  This has been an extremely popular and simple craft.  Some of our people had wiggly eyes, but when they ran out, drawing the eyes worked just fine.  Some people have yarn hair or construction paper clothes, but some are decorated only with crayons.  If you have paper in skin tones, you can use those, but if not, plain white or off-white construction paper can be colored any shade you choose.  Or, of course, you could always be creative and make very colorful people: one person was a rainbow all over!  Malachi prefers to make actual people that he knows, so today after school he asked for a "brown-skin" friend and a "skin like me" friend so he could make school buddies James and Andrew.  Very cute.  He also likes to make the clothes, so I am pictured above in my orange shirt and brown shorts.  (Yes, I am bald as a paper person!)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I've never grown tomatillos before.  A few years ago, I fell in love with a tomatillo salsa recipe that I got from the Foodnetwork's Tyler Florence.  I've made it several times since then, and I always look forward to finding tomatillos to make it.  This year I decided to grow my own, and they are doing nicely in a pot on my deck.  However, I don't know for sure how to tell when they are ripe.  Does anyone know?  I did taste one yesterday, and it tasted like a tomatillo (which of course got me dreaming of salsa!). 
Are you wondering why I would taste one without knowing for sure if it was ripe or not?  Well, my darling daughter has been attacking my potted plants with the zeal of a tomato worm.  Seriously.  This is how the tomatillo plants are guarded at the moment: 
Every chance she gets, our little baby chickie pulls a piece off of the plants: leaves, tomatillos, stems, she doesn't care.  Since she pulled off a little tomatillo yesterday, I decided to eat it.  And it was so good.  But they are very small, more like the size of cherry tomatoes, so I'm not sure how to tell if they will grow more or not.
Of course, it may not matter if Lydia keeps this up!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Peasant Chicken

I mentioned before how much I love Mexican food.  When I was 18, I went to Mexico for 6 weeks, and one of the things I did was take a cooking class. At that time my Spanish really wasn't very good, and the teacher spoke no English and used metric measurements (liters, etc).  I took lots of notes and later consulted many dictionaries to translate the recipes she gave the class.  Now I can read the Spanish, but it is fun to see my notes from that time.  I've made many of the recipes over the years, and this is one I've made many, many times.  It is good served over rice or egg noodles.  It is NOT spicy, so don't expect a spicy dish. 
Pollo Campesino (Peasant Chicken)
6-8 chicken pieces (legs and/or thighs are what I usually use)
1 chopped zucchini or yellow squash
1 c corn
1 or 2 chopped peppers, either bell or poblano
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 c tomato sauce
1 or 2 tsp oregano (I use Mexican oregano, but regular is fine too)
1/2 c sour cream

Brown the chicken in a skillet in olive oil.  Remove chicken.  Saute onion and garlic for about a minute, then add the rest of the vegetables, the tomato sauce, and oregano.  Salt to taste.  Mix well, then put the chicken back in.  Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.  (If you are using already cooked chicken, only 10 minutes will do.)  Remove from heat, and right before serving, add sour cream.  Serves 4.
Check out other bloggers' recipes at Fight Back Fridays

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fruit and School

I've been up to my eyeballs in fruit around here!  The kids helped me pick crabapples off of the tree in our front yard, and I made some crabapple butter with those.  Then Saturday, we went to the farm and picked 60 lbs of peaches!!  I'm still peeling and slicing those, but so far, I've canned honey-sweetened peach jam, peach blackberry jam, and peach butter.  I'd have made more of the honey peach, but I ran out of honey, so I'll have to get some more at the farmer's market Saturday. I've also made peach pudding and fruit salad, and I've been freezing peaches.  Yet there's still more, so today while the boys are at school, I will most likely be dealing with peaches.
We also picked some blackberries and raspberries.   Lydia was my most enthusiastic picker.  She only picked red raspberries, and then when we switched to blackberries, I told her, "Now we only pick the black ones, not the red ones."  Only black ones went into her bucket.  She never picked a red blackberry.  I couldn't believe how well she understood that.
Yes, the boys start school today.  I can't believe I have a second grader and a kindergartener already. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New family pictures

The kids at the Homeplace.  They loved dressing up!
I really loved the boys' hats. 
And here is Elijah working at the cabin for Pa:
One last picture.  Pure joy from Malachi:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bubble Trouble

Last week, the boys went to a library program called "Bubble Trouble".  They did a really cute craft that involved making fish out of plastic bubble wrap.  They really enjoyed this craft and asked to do it again.  So I looked around the house for some bubble wrap, and sure enough, I found a piece.  I cut out circles and triangles and one square.  The boys paint the bubble wrap on the "bumpy" side and then press it onto the paper like a stamp.  One circle and one triangle make a fish.  Malachi used a square and a triangle to make a house.  There are so many possibilities.  I set the boys up on the deck today while Lydia is asleep so they could create to their hearts' content (and I could have a quiet house for the baby).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kitchen teaser

Here's Lydia on the kitchen counter, which gives you a little preview of the orange.  It's still not done, but I did get a chance to paint a little today.  I also taught the boys how to sew today.  They did really well.  They were making presents for their cousins, so I will keep their project a surprise for now.
Tomatoes are starting to roll in from the garden.  Right now I have more than Lydia and I can eat but not enough for a whole batch for canning.  It won't be much longer, though, and tomatoes should be popping out all over!  I hope to make it to the farm soon to pick a bunch of fruit (for jam, freezing, sauces, etc). 
Oh, and it turns out that some of the peppers I planted have a bit of a kick to them.  It's not tons, more like a poblano or some other milder chile, but I thought they were bells, so it was a surprise.  It made the fajitas last night have a bit more heat than expected (which was not a bad thing).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Mexican food and my kids

I love Mexican food.  I'm crazy about Mexico in general, and lots of other Latin American countries' food, too.  Anyway, I've been loving the fact that tomatoes, cilantro, and red onion from my garden have been put to good use: salsa.  My mother-in-law makes fresh salsas a lot, even in the winter when she uses canned tomatoes but adds the cilantro fresh (which really makes it wonderful).  This one pictured includes tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and just a tiny bit of left-over bell pepper.  Yum.  I ate it all for a snack a minute ago and then remembered that I'm making fajitas for dinner.  No problem, I can make more.  (And this time, I may include fresh sweet corn...)

The boys have been playing really well together lately.  Of course, they do still have their fights, but they do seem to enjoy each other's company a lot lately.

Lydia loves shoes.  She loves to bring shoes to me to show that she wants to go outside, but she also loves to just wear them.  Here she is trying on the "ruby red slippers" her daddy bought her at a garage sale.  She convinced her aunt to help her try on every pair of shoes she could find!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Garlic Ranch Dressing

This is an easy salad dressing or ranch dip.  It does NOT taste like Hidden Valley Ranch, but I really like it.  Don't try to eat it right away, or it is very bland.  (Sorry to my friends that I made it fresh for and didn't let it sit!)  It needs to sit for an hour or so to really taste good, and it is definately stronger the second day.
1 c plain yogurt (I often heap the cup)
1/3 c milk (optional, only for making it runnier)
1 clove garlic
1T or so minced fresh chives
2 tsp red wine vinegar OR juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt (I used sea salt)
pepper to taste
1 tsp dried dill
1 tsp dried parsely
Mince the garlic and then smash it into the salt to make a paste.  Then just mix everything together. 

This is really good as a dip or on chicken wraps!  I don't add any milk for a dip.  Lydia eats it with a spoon.  She LOVES it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ripe tomatoes and etc

Finally, a kid after my own heart: Lydia eats tomatoes right from the garden!  Yesterday, I picked a tomato, and she wanted to hold it.  I let her.  I checked on the zucchini (which is not doing well), and when I turned back around, she had already eaten half of it!  Her little face was covered in tomato juice.  She kept saying "MMMM" after each bite!  It was too cute.  She ate another one today.

In other news, Malachi has finally tried the zucchini cake, and now loves it.  He refused to try it the first 2 times I made it, but the third time, he finally took a bite and discovered that it doesn't taste like zucchini, and now he loves it, too.

Elijah and Malachi have assured me that they will try cherry tomatoes, but not "real" tomatoes.  I guess that's progress.  They were very excited to pull out their own carrots today and munch on them for a little snack. 

I have lots of basil, and it's doing great.  I've made a couple of batches of pesto.  Malachi and Lydia love it, although Elijah won't eat it.  We like to top ravioli or tortellini with fresh pesto.  I also like it on salad and veggies. 

So far, I've only had a few tomatoes a day, and Lydia and I are eating them up, but soon the garden should be absolutely exploding with tomatoes.  Yummm.... I'm looking forward to canning lots of salsa and tomato sauce.

I will try to get some pictures and write a bit more soon.  It's been a bit hectic this week; Nathaniel's in England, and Lydia wants to nurse all the time, so it's hard to get much done.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


This morning I did it.  I painted my kitchen orange.  And I mean ORANGE, as in so bright my husband claims it makes his eyes hurt.  I love it.  I don't have any pictures yet, because I want to wait until I get another coat on it.  Covering up the stenciling the previous owners did is taking quite a bit of paint. 

Now I just have to figure out exactly how I'm going to incorpoate the blue I want as an accent color.  Fun stuff.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Zucchini Cake and gardening

It's so nice to have fresh zucchini.  I picked my first one from the garden yesterday, and I had some from my sister's neighbor, so I have been happy to make zucchini cake.  This is my grandmother's recipe, with some (healthier) modifications. 
Preheat the oven to 325 and mix together:
2 c grated zucchini
1 c applesauce
3 eggs
3 c whole wheat flour
1 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 or 3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
Bake in a greased 9 x 13 pan for about 45 minutes.  Let cool, then top with icing:
Cream together:
1 (8oz) cream cheese
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 T softened butter (optional)
It disappears fast around here.

Also in the garden now, the tomatillos look pretty:
And I even have 3 orangish tomatoes.  The cantaloupes have blooms.  Two pepper plants have little peppers.  And I have found that I have husk tomatoes growing in my yard:
These daylillies are looking good.  I transplanted them next to the deck last fall, so I'm glad to see them blooming.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Short hair and zoo days

I cut the boys' hair last night with the clippers.  Malachi loves his; Elijah demanded that I get his hair back long "RIGHT NOW."  He didn't want anyone to see his buzz cut.  Now he is resigned to it, I think.  Malachi looked in the mirror and declared, "I look like Dalton!"(our good friend)  He has been thrilled ever since.

Lydia and I have become very familiar with the zoo.  We have lots of time to explore it while the boys are at zoo camp.  She can say turtle y tortuga.  Also she will say frog and fish, but everything else is "doggie".  She loved petting "doggies" (goats) and looking at everything.  She is really observant.  She even points out the chipmunks running along the edges of the grounds.