Friday, June 26, 2015


We're so blessed with an abundance of veggies from the garden and berries on our property.  This week I've been amazed at all the variety we've been able to harvest and eat.  Growing our own food still fascinates me.

During the school year Adam brought home a little cabbage transplant, as a project/contest for the classmates and other schools too i think.  I'm not sure what variety this cabbage is, but i'm pretty sure it should have "giant" in the name somewhere!

I emailed the picture to his teacher and she wants to use it in future years to show her students.

Clay wanted to be in on the excitement
Adam wants to make sauerkraut from it.  I think we have enough to make some coleslaw too!

This is our  current variety in the garden and greenhouse.  Green beans have started too, i planted A LOT of them this year.

We purchased some additional land a couple years ago and dozens of raspberry bushes were on the property.  The previous owners had a business w/ them, selling them at market.  We have gotten 25 quarts so far.  Not even thinking we got half of them...We're due for a lot of rain, so they might not last much longer.  We've had fun giving many boxes away, and trading some for fresh cherries.

Wanted to share a few recipes i've made with the raspberries, other then the usual smoothies, fresh eating, or with cream.   Friends have shared their favorites with me, since i wanted to use some up.

Raspberry pie:
4 c. raspberries
1/2 c. sugar
4 T flour
2 pie shells (i used one deep dish)

3/4 c. flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 stick butter

Mix raspberries, sugar, and flour.  Put in pie shell/s.  Mix topping ingredients until lumpy.  Sprinkle on pie (since i only made one pie, i didn't use all my crumbs).  Bake at 450, covered, for 10 minutes.  Reduce oven to 350 and bake, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes.

Frozen Raspberry dessert:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup nuts, chopped fine
1/2 cup softened butter
Mix and press into bottom of a 9 x 13 pan and bake at 350 for 20 minutes.  Cool and then break up with a fork and save 1/3 cup for topping.

2 egg whites, beaten until stiff
add 1/2 cup sugar, gradually
add 2 T lemon juice
Whip 1 1/2 c. raspberries into egg white mixture
fold in a large container of cool whip.

Pour over crumb base and top with extra crumbs.
freeze at least 6 hours and then cut into squares.

Raspberry Sauce:
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
1 3/4 cups, PLUS 1 T water, divided
1/3 cup sugar
2 T cornstarch

In a saucepan, combine the raspberries, 1 3/4 cups water, and sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Mash raspberry mixture and strain through a fine sieve into a 2 cup measuring cup; discard seeds.  Add water if needed to make 2 cups puree.  Return to saucepan.

Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth.  gradually stir into raspberry mixture.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir 1 minute longer.  Remove from the heat; cool.  Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, June 22, 2015


This past weekend was the annual Father's Day weekend Fly-in, in Dillsburg.  We went Friday - Saturday.  The weather was good, but since they were calling for nasty stuff Saturday night, there were less people and planes there then normal.  A plus side to that is the boys got an airplane ride and didn't have to wait!


They all loved their rides, even this guy.

We set up camp right along the runway

After dark they played the movie PLANES on the runway.  The boys stayed up and watched the whole thing.  Rod and i feel alseep!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

God is Good!

I want to start with 3 quick stories from this week, that God has clearly showed up and blessed me with:

I keep meals in my freezer for busy days and i am VERY possessive about these meals for some reason.  But this week I wanted to give a meal to a good friend, so i tapped into the freezer and it sounds silly but i hated to part with the lasagna.  That's one less quick 'go-to' for us.  It was a no brainer though, as i wanted to bless my friend.  Still while i gathered the meal, i thought - God will bless this....Sure enough that very evening i got an email from a family member who is coming to visit Thursday and she offered to bring a lasagna for supper!  Wow, God DID bless it, and with the exact same meal, just to be sure i'm paying attention!

Wednesday this week i dropped the 3 older boys off at basketball camp and Clay and I went to Costco...I am not a member but i have a gift card for there that i still had $300 on and i was looking to use it up.  It's always exciting (exhausting) shopping with Clay, the non-stop chatter and claiming everything in sight.  But we made it through in one hour, dodging the extra crowded isles, waiting in a long check-out line and finally getting our stuff on the belt only for the cashier to say "i'm sorry we can't take gift cards right now, our system is down".  I calmly but firmly said "yes you will, we have all this stuff here" ($300+ worth of groceries).  She tried other things and it wasn't working.  I said "I'm not a member but i'll use my credit card"  This is normally not allowed but she said that's fine, but we only take Amercian Express.  Who has an American Express credit card?  Not me!  They apologized but there was nothing they could do.  Just then i heard my name from the line next to me.  It was another mom from the boys school.  We chatted briefly then i told her what happened and asked if she could pay for my groceries.  She was able to use her membership debit and we got out of there with my stuff and both headed over to pick up our kids at basketball.  It was such a blessing!  A nice reminder that God cares about the small stuff too and is truly in control.  

I've been wanting to add something different to the funny farm, in the animal department.  So this week when i picked up our meat chicks, i asked if they had anything else for sale.  I really had no idea if they did, but wasn't expecting them too.  She said we might have turkeys let me check....a few minutes later she came back with a box of 4 newly hatched turkeys.  She said we can have them for free since they just hatched and they aren't sure how they will do.  This is totally fulfilling my desire for something different!  They look like chickens for now, it will be fun to watch them change and grow.  One died so far, he wasn't looking good from the beginning.  The other 3 are doing well.

25 chicks, ready for butchering in 7 weeks

In other news, our neighbor has let us use her pool 3 times already this summer and it's been so fun watching the boys.  They get a little more comfortable in the water every year.  This year is the summer of jumping and doing tricks in the air and mommy has to grade them 0-10. (except for one boy, who is still warming up to the whole swimming thing)

I have been sleeping REAL good at night :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

New seasons

As i type Brad is getting his first piano lesson, from a very gifted lady from our church.  Ben will get his lesson next.  Adam did not want to, so i didn't push it.  He'd rather do drums.  Clay wants to learn electric guitar!

Last Saturday Clay was begging and begging for someone to give him a mini bike ride.  Noone really wanted to, so Rod put him on one by himself!  i was slightly nervous.  But he did fine and has hasn't gotten off since, other them to eat, sleep, and go potty.

The helmet pretty much stays on all the time.

Now we don't have a mini bike for everyone.  Such a first world problem. 

This is a funny random thing that happened yesterday.  We pulled into the garden center and Ben says 'there's a monkey in that car'.  i was kinda like "yeah right".  Well there WAS a monkey, and we had to track him down and meet it.  The monkey did tricks for us and turns out he does events and shows.  I see him coming to the funny farm in the future...

Monday, June 1, 2015

3 more days of school...The boys have had a count down going for weeks now.  Probably because we go to Sweet Frog on the last day of school every year and this year i'm letting them buy a lego set with their money on the last day of school.

I currently have poison ivy on my hands, legs, and face.  I guess that goes with summertime.  I think it's coming from the flower beds, which got sprayed and mulched last week so hopefully the poison ivy will be kept down.  I really didn't need more decorations on my face this year!  Clay has it to and calls it "poisonous"  Mom, i have poisonous on my toes!

Our one bee hive is producing honey like nobody's business.  We already have 3 supers on, which means a lot of honey for us come extraction day.  Our 2nd hive, the new one has been very slow going.

We've had 2 big gatherings and 2 smaller ones in May.  Now i need to take a break or i'll be going back to my old ways :)   June's calendar looks fun...Church camping, GAiN volunteer week, picking up meat chicks, piano lessons, basketball camp, Dillsburg Fly-in, hot rod show, and family picnics.  Love summer more then words can say.

We were able to borrow a customers car for the weekend, we'll miss it!

The boys are taking a mini biking break to pick fresh strawberries.  They are so good this year

One of my favorite things to do with the berries...Strawberry/Spinach salad.  The spinach is from the garden too.  Add some toasted almonds and poppy seed dressing and you are good to go!

Adam is fascinated with Mustangs.  He and i went out one evening and stopped at a Ford dealership to look at mustangs.
Today we are having a good soaking rain, which was much needed.  Enjoy your week, happy summer!