Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Building a Table With the Boys

The boys and I decided we would make and paint a table yesterday. So, I gathered a few materials laying around and built one, having had no prior woodworking experience or knowledge. I think it turned out pretty decent, considering I didn't really know what I was doing. Best part of it was that it was such an enjoyable process.

I assumed this would be enough support because the table is fairly small, but afterwards I added 2 more boards across the depth of the table.

....My little helper....

....Jared's photo of Mommy painting a picture to be colored in.....

Lukey did most of it, with a little help from Jared.

Dylan's job was to paint the legs...Luke and I helped a bit, though.

My contribution was the farm property around the edges.... I am no painter, but it was fun just the same...

Jared wanted to paint his own scene.

Our colors were limited because we did not have blue on hand. We had a really light blue which works for the sky, but not for making purple in the rainbow and the lupine. Maybe we can go over that at a later point.

Jared decided he wanted to make a spring cloudy night scene with a fox and his Daddy's "Big Jeep."

And there you have it. Not too shabby for someone who can barely figure out how to use a darn drill.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Around the Garden

The garden is still slow-going due to our extremely late start and lack of full sun, but it is growing and progressing, slowly but surely.

After I took this photo yesterday morning, we weeded and watered and it was looking fantastic! Oh how I would love more open spaces for corn and pumpkin patches and garlic and....... For now, I will try and nurture the teeny piece of land we are using right now. I should be grateful to be at this home we are given the gift to live in, and I am. Have a great weekend and I hope you too are creating new life in your garden.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Kite Flying

Kites are surprisingly entertaining. Working with the forces of the wind to set the kite in flight is intriguing in itself. I couldn't believe how high our kite could go and how long it remained soaring far above us. Lukey and I sat at the picnic bench where we had just eaten lunch, as we chatted and stared at the younger boys and Daddy. We reminised about the eagle kite we used to have when Luke was little and talked about how amazing such a simple concept kite flying is. We soaked up the sunny rays and stayed cool with the spring breeze.

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Classic Cookbook

The Little House Cookbook
Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories

This fantastic farm on the prairie style cookbook is a cute mixture of Little House on the Prairie literature and authentic culinary delight from the pioneer days. I found this gem at the thrift store in my town. I went without the children this time, which makes meticulous searches far easier. You can check it out here or on my left sidebar. Between the wonderful illustrations, the storyline, and the historical recipe variety, this will be an enjoyable and functional read for the entire family.


Thursday, June 09, 2011

Around the Garden

Recently, a favorite blog of mine (Farmama) started a weekly posting about what is going on "Around the Farm." She has encouraged others to share, as well, whether one has a simple garden, a homestead, or a family farm. Since I don't yet have any livestock, nor a large greenhouse, I am calling my version "Around the Garden" for now.

The other day, we rigged this small greenhouse with what we had. We found these glass shelves and propped them up on some wood and voila! We will see how it goes...

A mini-garden for the kids...well, Dylan was the only one that planted seeds with me while the 2 big boys played. I have noticed that Dylan is the one who has been spending the most time working with me in the garden and around the property. I guess I am planting a seed in pun intended. He has been helping me make bark for the walkway from a rotting tree stump we removed from the backyard.

This Morning in the Garden

The beginnings of crookneck squash...

The corn is absolutely loving the sun.... I am not sure it will do what it needs to do this year because we do not get an entire day's worth of sun here, but it is worth a try in my book. 

Green Beans.......

 These radishes are happy...looks like we need to do some trimming.....

Daniel didn't think carrots would grow here...but they are.......

In the Evening

More crooknecks and golden zuchinnis came up today. And those that were peeking out this morning were fully reaching out by dinner.

Corn emerging everywhere!

More beans......

And a couple friends near the garden. I love them! So do the boys. Especially Dylan. 

Maybe one day I will be able to refer to my farm and have a plethora of plants in my greenhouse by this time of year...and have lambs to birth and sheep to shear and layers for eggs......... Ah, but I will take it one day at a time. That is all for this week.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sitting on a Swing

These photos are from a couple weeks ago. Just a few shots of my perspective as I sat on a swing on my children's swing set. Unfortunately, due to the lack of a greenhouse early in the year and the crazy cold weather here in the mountains that lingered into June, not to mention the limited light we have back here, this garden was looking pretty lifeless. Yet, it still holds its' informal beauty, built with random things we had laying around. Eventually, when we own a property that is truly our own and one that is set up for it, we will create a much more vast and interesting garden, greenhouse, and homestead.

Somehow, black and white photos capture the essence of a moment from a different angle than that of color photos. Maybe, I should capture more moments in black and white. I used to play with black and white photography in high school, but the digital age has made it easier to create great pictures.

This day was a partially sunny one among the many rainy, cloudy, cold days. It was quite lovely, especially since the weather should be warm and sunny this time of year.

Luckily, these last 2 days have been sunny. I am looking forward to the continuing warmth as we approach Summer's arrival. And I am very pleased to see babies coming up in the garden...finally.


Monday, June 06, 2011

Trying New Things in the Home Bakery

I am often trying out new recipes and creations of my own in the kitchen. It would be ultimate to eventually be able to prepare all of our baked goods whenever needed. I will get there some day perhaps. For now, I experiment in the kitchen when I have time between everything else.

A couple days ago, I made my first whole wheat tortillas ever! We made burritos for lunch, then quesadillas with dinner.

The next day, I used the leftover tortillas for dinner when making quick Mexican pizzas. 

More daily sweet wheat bread, made a bit different this time...I am still experimenting.

My first ever cinnamom rolls. 

Strawberry shortcake made with homemade whip cream and homemade short cakes...yet another first. 

There is never a limit to what we can learn, no matter what direction our interest takes us. The plethora of knowledge and experience is endless. I will continue to explore the realm of food and gradually produce more and more of it in my own home. I hope you also explore that which interests you more and more each day.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Simple Pleasures

It always seems to be the little things that make the whole of one's world. Here are a few things in my little world that have made me happy from the last couple of days. I must apologize in advance, though, about the blurriness of some pictures. I am no incredible photographer. Sometimes, that is just how it goes for me.

~ A visit to our local market equipped with newly sewn produce bags, made with hemp, wool, wooden beads, old knit shirts, and thrifted sheets and fabric. I have a few more to make still. ~

~ A trip to the local library. I am so excited about all of this rainy day reading... and so are the boys. ~ 

~ Freshly-baked Sweet Wheat Bread... that is what I call it, anyway. It is a make ahead bread dough recipe that gets better with age in the fridge.. up to 2 weeks. I found it at Mother Earth News last night. The smell was absolutely incredible! The kitchen filled with home-baked sweetness after mere moments in the oven...No exaggeration. ~

~ Making our own pasta for the first time ever. Not as pretty as it could be, but very successful and delicious. Dylan had not only seconds last night, but thirds! He has never had thirds. I'll say the boys certainly shared my feelings about the taste. ~

~ The quite informal, yet homey setting of our dinner table. ~

 ~ Spending a dollar at the thrift shop. ~

~ Figuring out a simple way to store my thread with things I already have. ~

~ Admiring the work Jared does when he homeschools. He decided drawing a picture of us at the farmer's market would be a perfect representation of June. Too bad it was rainy at today's market. ~

Funny how the simple things add up to so much. Have a great remainder of your weekend and take time to enjoy the little things around you.