Sunday, November 30, 2008

Of popcorn chains and pre-lit trees

This weekend the kids and I worked on getting a popcorn chain made to put on the tree. Every year Heidi insists on doing it and every year I forget how time consuming it is and agree to the idea. Even Reagan helped us out this year! Hours later, after we had sewn and eaten as much popcorn as we could possibly stand, we tied every ones length into one continuous chain. This project was a great accompaniment to our other time consuming project of "let's clip all the original lights off our fake tree" project. That actually took about 6 hours with the combined efforts of Joel, Taylor and I. Taylor even has a blister! That's what we get for buying a fake pre-lit tree I guess. (Why did I expect the lights on that tree to last any better than the cheap lights you buy in a box, you ask? Good question.....) So what I've learned this weekend? Popcorn chains- a lot of work, but worth it. Pre-lit trees- not so much.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Free Baby Carrier Contest

I wanted to post this contest opportunity for any of my friends who have babies or want babies. :-) It's a contest to win a free "Organic Embroidered Baby Carrier" and backpack/diaper bag too. Who knows, maybe one of us could get lucky....

Monday, November 24, 2008

Collecting Sagebrush Seed

Our homeschool group met at Dierkes lake to do a sagebrush seed collection project with our friend Ed, the forest ranger. It was fun to get out in the desert and enjoy being outdoors for a couple hours. We love the rugged beauty of the canyon.

Here is Hailey and some of her friends with their seed collecting hoop.

Taylor and his buddies had a great time together.

Heidi found a seat just her size formed in the lava rock.
Towards the end of the outing the girls discovered the cattails going to seed and decided to help nature out.

Sewing Projects

I finally finished sewing some items that I started awhile ago. I wish I had thought of making this apron for Heidi's Christmas present, but it's too late now because she's been watching me work on it! I made it a little big so she could wear it for next 2 or 3 years.

Then I made an apron for Reagan because he's been begging for one of his own. (His is going to be a Christmas present.) The fire engine fabric is one I've been hanging onto since Torsten was 3 years old. I'm glad I finally found something to do with it!

I have enjoyed sewing more lately because I finally got my sewing table dejunked and thoroughly dusted. Yay!
Do you know what inspired my cleaning? The fact that my sewing closet now has shelves! Joel made them for me when I was gone last weekend. It was such a nice surprise. Here is my newly organized closet:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sick Day

Heidi caught the stomach flu that Reagan had 2 days ago. Sadly, hers is lasting a lot longer and she is much more vocal about her pain than Reagan. Heidi decided she needed to wear a hat because she felt cold and I had to try hard not to laugh because the one she picked out made her look like a sick smurf.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Our Chicken Laid an Egg!

Finally, after what seems like months of waiting and anticipation, one of our chickens started laying eggs! Yesterday, Hailey went out to feed them and found 2 eggs in their nesting area, so at first we assumed they had both started laying. But then I was reading my "chicken manual" and read that chickens that are laying eggs will have white feet and non layers will still have yellow. I hurried out to the chicken coop to check my chickies feet and sure enough- Stinky Pete still had yellow feet! Do you think it is psychological? The kids named her Stinky along with a masculine name and now she is the one not laying eggs! Anyway, Abigail has all ready laid her 3rd egg so she truly is our golden child, I mean chicken.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Quick Lunch

Mmmmm....... I love lunches that are quick yet fresh and yummy. This idea worked great today. Cook a cup of couscous in a little chicken broth. (It only takes 3 or 4 minutes) Then add diced cherry tomatoes (Costco's are the best, of course) chopped fresh spinach, and toss with some good Ranch dressing and a little salt and pepper. Finished!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why can't I sleep?

I am not sure what my problem is lately. I seem to have a sleepless night almost once a week and it's driving me crazy! I guess I might as well post some random thoughts while up in the wee hours of the morning.

First, take a look at this artichoke. This was taken in mid-September.
My dear friend, Hilarey, gave me some seedlings started in cups this spring and I have to say that I really didn't expect to harvest anything. But they surprised me and did great! Artichokes were a fun, exotic looking plant to have in my rather mundane potatoes, beans, corn, and squash garden. I plan to plant them again next year.

So then I decided to dry a few of those artichokes for decoration but now one of them is coming back to life! Take a look at the purple stuff growing out the top. It almost reminds me of a sea urchin or a very weird flower.
On to a different topic: I have another silly photo of a sleeping child that I took last night. He's in the laundry basket again! Posting photos of the kids in peaceful slumber may become my tradition on sleepless nights.......

Monday, November 10, 2008

Smoothies and Bread

Sometimes, when I know dinner is not going to be as complete or filling as I think it should be and I'm worried the kids will be hungry again in a half hour, I make a big smoothie to serve along with the main course. I always try to cram as many good things in it as possible. Saturday night's smoothie was particularly delicious. It included strawberries, 1/2 a banana, 2 handfuls of spinach, a small amount of kale, yogurt, frozen orange juice, a bit of lime juice, and little elderberry concentrate. My friend, Jenny, told me last year that you can add quite a bit of fresh spinach to smoothies without effecting the flavor at all. It's true!

And here's a simple bread idea that Joel always raves about. Take a loaf of the Idaho sourdough baguettes you can buy at Costco. Cut one in half, spread ranch dressing on each half and sprinkle grated cheddar or mozzarella on top. Then toast until bubbly. A nice variation on this is to add bacon bits before the cheese. And no, this recipe isn't lowfat or healthy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Blue-eyed boy

Reagan has a pair of froggy PJ's that I love on him. They make his beautiful eyes even more blue, though this picture doesn't do them justice. Every morning he comes in and asks "Can I please snuggle you?" If he would just stay that sweet all day it would be perfect....

Thursday, November 6, 2008

At home....

I love Mondays and Wednesdays because we have no activities going on during the day and we are able to enjoy the luxury of staying home. Yesterday, we accomplished a great day of school and got all the chores done and the kids asked me to play a game of UNO with them. As we played cards at the kitchen table with the woodstove crackling cozily behind us and the cheery afternoon sun pouring in the window, my heart filled with gratitude for my family, a warm home to live in, and the freedom I have to educate my children at home.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


I found some pictures on the camara that I didn't take. Torsten informed me they were alphabet poses. Can you guess what letters they are?