Friday, October 31, 2008

Trying to sleep....

Last night I couldn't get back to sleep after waking in the middle of the night. After laying there for almost 2 hours I finally decided to get up and update my blog. Are you surprised the topic I've chosen is sleep? I thought I would post some pictures of the silly places the kids have slept. Sometimes I say yes to my kids requests to sleep in strange places. Here are Reagan, Heidi and Torsten in the basement linen closet after a night of slumber. Look closely, Reagan is in a laundry basket.Heidi made a little fort in the living room and inside of it she put her laundry basket and used a sweater for a pillow. It doesn't look too comfortable but she slept in it all night.....Speaking of comfortable, this spot doesn't look too great either. But during the long late hours spent remodeling at Grandma's house this spring, sometimes Heidi was forced to create a sleeping place amidst the clutter. This time she used a pink parasol to help define her little space (and maybe protect her from the dangling electric outlets over head- poor child!).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Cleaning Up the Garden

Sunflowers are so amazing! It's so fun to see all those seeds packed in tight orderly rows. Taylor and Hailey started cleaning out one of the gardens for me this week and harvested all the sunflower heads. We will probably use the seeds we don't eat ourselves to supplement the chickens diet. This was our biggest sunflower.

Torsten started cleaning out the other garden and he lined up all the tiny pumpkins he collected in a row. We ended up with 62. You know what's funny? We didn't plant any pumpkins in that garden.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Applesauce and Grape Juice

The kids always have a great time making applesauce. I cook the apples and they take care of the rest. And boy the house smells so good when apples are cooking all day. I just wish our family liked to eat applesauce. Reagan is really my only applesauce eater. This year I decided to try freezing it in individual size portions for him rather than canning it. We'll see if that idea works.
A couple days ago I made grape juice. Sadly, that project was accomplished very quickly due to the shortage of grapes this year.
Last year we had close to 60 quarts. This year the count was 7! The deer must not like the Concord grapes as much as the green grapes because we were left with mostly Concord. Look at the difference in the juice color of this year's and last. I think the purple juice is prettier but I actually prefer the flavor of the pink juice. "Mommy, why do green grapes make pink juice?" hmmm... that's a good question. I don't know. (and I also don't know why the store-bought grape juice from green grapes is clear....)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Remember this?

Today I was reminded of the silly winter picnic our family had with some other crazy homeschoolers last January. I think we were all experiencing cabin fever so we thought we'd get out and enjoy the great outdoors for a bit. It was soooo cold and 2 of us mothers brought salad for lunch. What were we thinking? But sometimes those silly, off the wall experiences make for great memories! We ate right next to this big pine tree to try and block some of the arctic wind.
Reagan trudging back for his lunch in what looks like Siberia.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.....

Just a week ago I was enjoying the balmy fall weather and taking photos like these:

Then, I woke up this morning to the wintry hush of quietly falling snow.
By the time the kids awoke it had accumulated a little more. So everyone decided to go out and play in it.

They jumped on the trampoline and even went sledding! Afterward, we fired up the wood stove for the first time this season and then spent the day inside making applesauce and baking bread. (Yes, and listening to Christmas songs :-) Aaaah.... we're ready for winter.

Cooking Up Some Edible Clay

Taylor is a doer. As long as he is doing, whether that be mowing the lawn, grating cheese for me, driving the Montero, jumping on the trampoline, etc., then he is generally happy. This week Taylor decided he needed to make the edible clay recipe that was on the kids show Zoom a few years ago. He found the recipe, (which consists mostly of powdered sugar and corn syrup! ), on the Zoom site and then proceeded to make it with no help from me. All the kids joined in to mix the clay with food coloring and create something. Thanks Taylor, for making our family more fun!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Art and Crafts

The last few days the kids have been making Halloween decorations to put in the windows while I read aloud from "Caddie Woodlawn". (No, those two activities do not really relate...) I thought I would show the Spider that Torsten drew and cut out. He is quite the artist.

He also made a scary pumpkin face.

With creative kids in the house, sometimes I find out they decided to do their chores in a "creative" way. I asked the boys to straighten up their bathroom and put away the new package of toilet paper. I walked into see this:That really wasn't what I had in mind.

Snake battle

Some of you may have seen this snake video all ready but I wanted to post it for those who haven't. I was cleaning up apricots one afternoon with the kids when I stumbled upon 2 snakes fighting in the horseshoe pit. The snake that has the upperhand in the battle was about 3 feet long. The kids wanted me to rescue the other snake but I told them I didn't know if I was qualified to mediate snake battles. By the way, please disregard all my commentary during the video.