Monday, October 29, 2012

day 1..

i'm so grateful for the 'heads up' we had about this hurricane and that things were taken care of before the storm approached.  It took an entire afternoon to get all the animals inside the other day, so the advance notice was nice!

i think of my family and others who have to be outside no matter what the weather holds.  rod and the boys are out right now (monday 5:00pm) but only because they want to see the creek and because they are silly like that.  They will be in before long.  Winds are definitely picking up.

Here's some activity from our storm-day.  We found things to do. 

Clay got a bath, in case it'll be awhile till he gets another....I love everything about this boys hair. 

We let the boys bring their trucks in.  Not sure why they take off their clothes to race trucks, but....

(FYI:  we do feed them)

The boys aren't as into crafts as they used to be, but I've been wanting to try melted crayons leaves, so we did these.  I thought they were cute. 

Instructions for these are found 'here'.

We did some school work in the afternoon.  Adam made his own 'desk'. 

Saw a recipe on another blog that i follow, for Apple Bread.  It's very good.  I had just picked up apples in our "orchard", so i made it tonight.  So good.  Try it, you could cut back a bit on the sugar. 

Apple Bread 
Makes two loaves
3 cups flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups apples, peeled and chopped
Combine flour through salt, set aside. In another bowl, mix apple sauce, oil, sugars, eggs, vanilla, and apples. Stir into flour mixture. The batter will be very thick. Divide mixture between 2 greased bread pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or just until a knife comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing turning out.
Our creek, as of 5:00 monday, when they went exploring. 
A little sad about our beloved Ocean City, NJ.  They are taking on the worst of this hurricane.  One of the first verses I taught Adam when he was little, was "even the wind and the waves obey Him"  I've been thinking about that a lot the past days.  This is all in God's hands.  Nothing is a surprise to Him, or outside of His will. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Still harvesting..

Garden season is definitely winding down, but i'm still getting these....(lettuce, spinach, parsley, potatoes, and broccoli)!

I probably still have swiss chard too, if i could find it under the weeds. 

I planted the lettuce, spinach, and broccoli in August, knowing i could sneak another round of those things in before it gets too cold.  They are a cool weather vegetable and grow great in cooler temps.  We did get one frost a couple weeks ago which took out my peppers and tomatoes. 

I'm anxious to see how my lettuce does that i just planted last week.  I have it under a cold frame.  Think we'll be eating fresh lettuce in December?  That would be nice!

If you have lots of parsley outdoors, don't let the frost kill it!  Here's a short video on the best way to freeze it., so you can use it this winter.  (click here).  I hope i remember to do this, i have a lot of parsley.

There's still so much for me to learn about gardening and preserving.  But i have come a long way over the years!  There was only one year of my married life that i didn't have a garden.  Let's just say having twins had a little something to do with that :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

saturday was a gem

we took the boys to west hempfield's fire dept. open house on saturday.  we went 2 years ago, but this year it was held at a park and they had a lot more space.  we were one of the first ones there so they gave us a ride in the fire truck right away. 

we missed the candy drop from the top of the ladder of one of the trucks, because we had to get home and prepare for the boys 1st Annual Farmdale Friends Fall Fest.  that's catchy, don't you think?  They each invited several from their classes and their families. It was a really great time.  the boys played with their friends and rod and i got to know the parents.  i already knew a lot of the moms, from kindergarten pick up.  the twins teacher even came.  she's such a sweetheart. 

Getting dark out, but you have to see Clay's best friend Levi, from Kindergarten pick up. 
now today was the first sunday in a long time that we haven't had a gathering here!!  we learned that in the future we'll plan to hold most events on saturdays instead of sundays.  God gave us a day to rest for a reason, and we weren't getting that rest which was getting to be too much.  live and learn!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

being a mom

Today was a nice birthday.  I had lunch w/ my mom, ran into a friend in the parking lot, so she had lunch w/ us too.  rod and i and the boys took a bike ride to lake grubb early eve and they played on the playground.  also enjoyed cards and facebook messages.  yes i still soak in birthdays...  
so i've been earnestly seeking recently how to have a good balance with the boys- with playing, working, teaching, reading, praying, goofing off... what to do more of....what i could do less of.  what to eliminate, etc.  it's always nice to feel like that is all balanced.  Then i read a really good and timely article the other day which i will put a link to, it's worth the read and sums up, i believe, what i already know but need to hear again.  sometimes we (I) get caught up on things that really don't matter in regards to mothering!!  She reminds us what our job really is.
just tonight 3 words that start with TR popped in my mind, as a reminder to recall while going through the day with these guys.....TReasure them, TRain them, TReat them with respect.  Yes there's more to mothering then that.  But i believe God gave me these basics to shift my focus from trying so hard to balance every little detail, to just living life with them and applying these TR's. 
Here's that article.  I hope you like it too.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall decor

Found some ideas online for fall decorating around our place, using old-ish looking pieces..i like decorating for fall. 
a few shots...
i came up with this one....maybe it's cheesy, i don't know.  i kinda like it though...

and my favorite.  a pumpkin made out of mason jar rings!  just tie 22ish rings together and add a 'stem' and greens in the center.  too easy.  it looks good in the barn on the serving table.  (too bad i discovered this after half our events are over!)

(this one is using the wide mouth rings)
Adam laughed at my creation and said 'i can do better than that'.  so he made his own pumpkin using a mason jar ring.  pretty cute!

Happy Fall!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Canning applesauce

Thought i'd do a post while watching playoff baseball.  The Phillies aren't even in it and i'm all worked up anyway! 

Years ago Rod's mom taught me the oven canning method for applesauce.  It has worked amazingly well.  Canning in the oven is so simple....

We got 5 baskets on Thursday.  Clay did his thing, i did mine. 

Maredith came and helped me make it today, which was wonderful!! 

After cutting, cooking, and straining the apples, put the sauce in jars and place in the oven at 325 for 15-20 minutes. Our sauce was cooled slightly by the time they made it to the oven, so the timing took 20 minutes in the oven for us.  The only way to really tell it's done, is that the sauce 'lifts' or gets bubbles at the bottom of the jar.  if you look for that and don't see it, i think your fine as long as it's been in for 20 minutes.
I only had one jar that didn't seal, if you get a few of those you can always put them back in the oven for another 15-20 minutes.  (first take the lid off and wipe the rim again, just to be sure that's ok).

I recommend this way for canning applesauce!  i hope to do several more baskets this month.  Sharon- i didn't forget our plans..soon!! 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Boy's prayer

The boys recite this prayer before bedtime.  It came from a book we read called God's Little Boy.  This prayer struck me, I thought it was very powerful.  Love hearing them pray these words. 

I also love that 2 stinkbugs squeezed their way in behind the glass and placed themselves neatly on the page, without covering up any words :)