Thursday, January 29, 2015

homefront updates

The snow has been good to me this week!  2 days with a school delay, and hours of entertainment for the boys while i indulge in a quiet house.  still would be ready to move on and have spring under way though :)

the boys have been sledding with different friends, mostly here at our house.  i was delighted when our long lost "daughter"(neighbor) came over to sled with the boys last weekend.  our trail was nice and icy at the time and we could start in the field out back and go quite a ways.  They had a great time together again.

What an angel he is

Our fancy chicken, miss Ameraucana, started laying a couple weeks ago.  It's no secret when she lays an egg!  we love getting the blue/green eggs she lays.  i even watched her lay one this week, in person.  it was the coolest.

This week i took out all our tomato, pepper, and cucumber plants from the greenhouse and started new seeds in rockwool, for the hydroponics.  i also planted some cabbage, brocc, and lettuce seeds in soil to transplant to the garden in early march.  We are still getting lettuce from the greenhouse.  The heater out there is set to kick on when the temp gets down to 40, which keeps the lettuces producing.  Everything is very slow growing, from lack of daylight.

I never have been very good at making bread.  I can do dinner knots and biscuits, but struggle with bread.  I saw this bread recipe that says it takes 1 hour from start to finish.  i had to give that one a try.  it was very good!  I will plan to make it again.

Easy Peesy French Bread:
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 T honey
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 T active dry yeast
3 1/2 - 4 1/2 cups flour

Combine water, honey, salt, and yeast.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes until there is a foam on top.
Knead in flour until no longer sticky.
Cover with a towel and let it sit for 15 minutes while preheating the oven at 425 degrees
Cut slits in the top and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Winter activities

The farm show has been my winter highlight.  Yup, that's how bad winter is for me :)
We've been going regularly since Clay was born and as the boys get older, there's more for them to learn.  I love the mix of fun and education that is provides for us.  And it's a great break from the norm of our days.  We did our school work tuesday evening and went for the day Wednesday.  We were there 8 hours and still didn't get to the large or small arenas for their shows.  So much to do there.  The boys played the detective game they offer to the kids, and before we left we sat in on a maple syrup tapping demonstration.  very cool.
The past couple years we paid the $2 per person to tour the butterfly house.  So worth it.  We probably don't need to do it every year though.

This is normal and happend to all of us!
The chickens are always a hoot

Mid day milkshakes are a staple

 A lot of time was burned at the tractors and corn bins

I think Clay did this for about 1/2 hour.  

This is an example of a station geared toward kids...It was about bees and pollination.  The velcro balls only stuck on the center of the flowers where the pollen would be.  The ball was a bee.  If the ball stuck, you successfully pollinated.  A cute way to get the point across. 

Same idea with the bean bag toss

This flower was not in the mood to be pollinated

I was talked into this!
Late last week we started going over to our neighbor's pond to skate.  They were gracious and said they didn't mind at all if we came over to do that.  The boys are really taking to it.  On Saturday Rod took us to a bigger "pond hockey" pond nearby.  And he reintroduced the boys to pond hockey.  I think we tried it a couple years ago.  With them holding the stick and concentrating on the puck, it's helping them to become better skaters.  This pond gets used a lot for skating.  They have lights set up and everything.

Clay is a disaster on skates!  Just boots for him for another year or two.  He fell enough the way it was :)

We went back today and there was a thin layer of slush on top..which would cause ruts when it would refreeze so we didn't stay.  we'll try again in a few days.  for the first time ever i'm hoping the temps stay low enough so the pond freezes!  i need something to keep my caged monkeys busy!  

Thursday, January 15, 2015


I've been wanting to jot down and share these recipes for a while now.  These are both a great and filling wintertime meal.  The first one is very quick to make and has great flavor.  It's also nice to have an all-in-one dish, less clean up.  The second one, sausage and biscuits, takes longer to clean up afterwards then it does to actually eat it, but it's soooo good.  it's nice for something different, as i can get too stuck on the same meals.  if you have leftover gravy you can use it as a soup base, or have it over toast the next morning or lunch.

Chicken, Potato, & Green Bean bake:

3 boneless skinless chicken breast (i used bone-in legs and thighs, you can use whatever)
green beans (again, whatever amount you'd like.  i used a quart)
cut up red skinned potatoes
Itailian dressing seasoning packet
1 stick butter, melted

Arrange the chicken, potatoes and green beans in a large pan, and sprinkle the itailian seasoning packet over top, and drizzle melted butter.  Cover and bake 350 for 1 hour.

Sausage gravy and biscuits:
1 lb ground sausage
4T flour
2 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp onion salt
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste

In a large skillet, cook sausage until evenly browned.  Do NOT drain.
Sprinkle with flour, and seasonings.
Stir and cook for 2-4 minutes, browning the flour keep the gravy from tasting like raw flour
Add milk and mix well
Bring to low simmer until it reaches desired thickness.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
4 T butter
1 cup buttermilk

preheat oven to 450.

In large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Using your fingertips, rub butter into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs.
Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk.  Stir just until the dough comes together.  The dough will be very sticky.
Turn dough onto floured surace, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times.  Press into a 1" thick round.  Cut out biscuits with a 2" cutter, being sure to push straight down through the dough.  Place biscuits on baking sheet and bake until biscuits are tall and light gold on top, 15-20 minutes.

Makes 1 dozen.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy belated New Year

We had a nice Christmas break, it went by very fast, as if i should be surprised by that.  Some highlights were....a visit from cousins from Texas, a visit from family from MT, ice skating, hosting family in our basement, a campfire on a warm late december day, a 3 hour long dinner out with friends, memorable family get togethers, and Rod and I's "movie marathon".  (we watched 4 movies over the holidays which probably doubles how many movies we've seen...ever!)

I scanned over my december posts and had to laugh...those snowflakes i wanted to make with the boys turned into gun and sword creations.  And our 2014 praises and blessings jar, that i wanted to make sentimental and meaningful at the close of last year turned out disastrous as Clay was disruptive, and ended up pooping his pants (moments like those i wish i'd make him wear underwear), and the others were more interested in wrestling then reading and reminiscing.  but i am not giving up! we're doing a 2015 jar, and it can only go better next new year's eve, right?!  I do love the boys ages right now, but they are hard to keep on track sometimes.  Meal time is a circus most days.  Last night we started a rule, they may not talk until their food is gone.  I know in a few years it will be reversed.  All they will want to do is eat and we'll have to beg them to talk.  Well right now it's the opposite and i don't want to disapprove of them talking because like i said, the table is bound to turn, but my lands there's a time and a place!  

We don't have many things going on this month, which is typical for this season.  I like to clean things in here that only get cleaned in January.  Some of it is a little scary.  And I'm still trying to get out and run when i want to.  I do not like to run when it's windy.  But if it's calm and 30 degrees or above, you will probably find me out on my route.  I am hoping to do a 1/2 marathon in July, but won't offically train (or commit) until closer to the time.  Not sure why such a self torturing event is on my bucket list, but might as well go for it.

Other then that, Adam started basektball today for a couple months, just on Saturdays, and we plan to go to the farm show a day this week.  Nothing too blogworthy neccessarily at the moment, but things on the homefront are going so good, so many blessings, so much to be thankful for.  I'm not sure who reads my blog anymore, but i hope you all are having a good start to 2015!