Thursday, April 26, 2012

Garden - Week 8

Man, I haven't blogged in a long time, again. I've been documenting our garden still, minus one week, and I am excited to say it is doing so well.

The lettuce and spinach were pretty much done, so I had to yank those, but that's okay. I knew it was bound to happen and it just makes me look forward to when I can plant some more again in the fall. Our last carrot bit the dust. I'm not really sure why, but I will try again.

*** I didn't edit any of these photos. I just wasn't in the mood. haha.


 We have added some rosemary and parsley to our little garden family. I've already used some of the parsley too. And it is really growing well. It is so satisfying going out into your backyard and picking fresh herbs!


The basil seems to be doing a lot better. I've been adding some mushroom compost to it and making sure to pick off the tops, and not water it as much.


Our strawberry plant has been pretty successful. Including the two we harvested today, Cohen has enjoyed 9 of them. He tends to hog them. And that's alright with me because he for some reason wouldn't eat them before, even though he would when he was younger. Kids.


We have about 17 tomatoes on our plant, all varying sizes. It's really exciting to go out there and see more starting to come through. Lately though, I have been having to pick little eggs off and tomato worms as well. And I saw a little bug this morning that looked like a ladybug with no spots. I remember reading something about them a while back, and I think it's the mexican bean beetle. I took a pic and then I couldn't find it. Which isn't good. I'll try again tonight when it's time to water them.


The other day I noticed our beans are producing beans! The one below is the biggest one I saw and there are a ton of smaller ones. But, I've noticed something on some of the leaves, so I need to do some research and figure out how to treat as organically as possible.


Our peppers seem to be doing pretty well too. With our green peppers we have about 3 and there are about 4 yellow peppers. I'm itching to use all of these already! (i'll get a pic once I figure out why it's not loading.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Coloring Easter Eggs

I am always looking to do things in a more natural way, so it wasn't any different when it came time to color Easter Eggs. One reason I want to color them naturally is so I don't waste anything (and because I love to eat hard boiled eggs). And another is because it's just better for ourselves, each other, and the environment to do things more naturally.

So, for dying Easter Eggs this year I found through Pinterest that you can dye eggs with Kool-Aid. The process seemed very simple and I thought the bright colors would be fun for the kids. I wish I would have made more eggs, because it all went by way too fast. And I think it would have been better and more fun for the kids had they had their own carton of eggs.


Yes, Avery ended up spilling the cherry kool aid on the table and all over herself. You would have thought she was bleeding she was so upset.

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Cohen was beyond excited to color Easter Eggs. I loved it. A part of me wants to do it again, just him and I. But seeing how Easter is only a few days away, it's not gonna happen.

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The flavors from left to right...
top: orange, lemonade (with a little orange), lemon lime, mixed berry, pink lemonade (with a little strawberry), and peach mango
bottom: cherry, grape (I added some mixed berry, but not nearly enough), mixed berry, lemon lime, strawberry, black cherry


The coloring with kool-aid was fun. But it stains your hands and clothes. I love the vibrant colors, but I may try something different next year.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Gardening - Week 1 and 2

Week 1

Here is our garden just after one week! Let's first say I am really excited about finally starting this. Our dream one day, when we move to our dream home, is to be able to do this to be self sustainable and to also provide for our family and others. Anyways, here goes...

This is our strawberry plant. The first week I think it had about 5 little strawberries or flowers. Two small ones died off, but that's okay.


Our pepper plant is below. I'm guessing those little buds will one day become peppers!


Our tomato plant is starting to get some flowers!


Okay, so I'm not sure exactly how the lettuce is going to grow. You can tell a little by the picture below. I did leave these as is to see what they would turn into.


This is either more lettuce or spinach. I forget.


Basil is on the left. And there are carrots coming in on the right!


And these are our bush beans! Two have just started to come through and it was so excited to see that we could grow things! And not just things, food!


Cohen was super excited to see them grow. He has been such a great helper, first by wanting to plant the seeds, then water, and now tend to them. It is so fun to watch him, especially since I wasn't sure if he would be at all interested in it. I'm so glad he is and I can wait for things to really start growing and seeing how his face lights up. Just about every morning he says he things our "such and such" 'growed'. So, precious!


Week 2

Now onto week two. We have see a lot of progress in just a short time.

Below is the spinach. I don't things that all the seeds we planted are going to grow, but even if I just get a little it'll all be worth it. Then come fall, I know I will want to plant a lot more of it.


On the left is our lettuce! I'm glad I didn't pick at anything last week. Because now I can tell that it is going to be lettuce. And on the right are the carrots. I had to thin one of them out. I think we will just get a few, but still it's our first garden and it's all new and exciting.


Left is the basil, that I need to not water so much. And on the right is one of the pepper plants. They are both pretty much the same.


On the left are our Bush Beans. About 5 have sprouted and I checked again this morning and we have one more coming up! On the right is the tomato plant and we have about 3 flowers so far.


Well, that is our garden so far. It is so much fun. I find myself just sitting out there watching everything and it is so relaxing and rewarding. It's definitely something I find I have a passion for.

I'm going to try and do weekly updates. As long as their are changes going on.
Oh, and I forgot about the strawberry plant, but it has about 7 little strawberries on it!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Avery at 18 Months


A few weeks ago, on my 28th birthday, Avery turned 18 months. She is growing up so fast and is becoming quite the character. She is super silly and you often find yourself asking her 'what are you doing?'. She loves to sing and dance and when she's done or the song is over she starts clapping her hands and saying 'yay'. It's adorable. It makes us want to get her started in dance! She has lots of sass and spunk. And she is still very much a mommy's girl, even though she calls me dada. haha. We are working on it.

Avery is also starting to talk more as well. It's really exciting because although she can eventually show you what she wants, it is so much nicer when she can tell you.

One thing that is hard right now, which happened with Cohen at this age, is that she is becoming quite the picky eater. I can't say I'm worried about it because she is good and healthy but it is aggravating when she won't eat what you give her. I don't make her anything else. We still stick to that rule. We figure if she is hungry she will eventually eat.

Some other things Avery is loving are being outside, climbing on everything, shoes, clothes, sunglasses, tea time, books, and hide and seek.


We love you Avery and continue to look forward to seeing you grow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

February through my Phone Camera

February really got away from me. I suppose it was a pretty busy month. The weather was pretty great all month so we spent a lot of time outdoors. We made lots of new recipes. Practiced memorizing  our memory verse for Sunday School. Avery colored for the first time and loved it. We enjoyed some Valentine's festivities and Mommy's 28th birthday. Visited the Farmer's Market often. And much more. Hopefully for March I will get better at blogging.

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Our Spring Garden

After two years of reading, planning, and procrastination, I finally got our garden going! I'm not sure what stopped the procrastination but whatever it was I am thankful for it.

We have two beds total, but I only have one bed, a 4x4 bed, filled and planted. Hopefully we can get the other one started for the Fall. I decided a square foot garden would be easiest and most beneficial for us.  We have pretty sandy soil, lots of weeds, moles, cats, squirrels, and I needed something that would work for all those situations. In it we have a better boy tomato plant, two basil plants, a yellow pepper plant, and a green pepper plant. I also planted one square with Bush Lake Beans seeds; the other square right next to it will have more beans which will be planted in a few weeks. There is another square where we planted carrots seeds and we will have a second of those as well. Then the bottom row has lettuce and spinach seeds. I'm hoping I can get a small harvest of those before it gets too hot. We also have a pot that we planted a strawberry plant in. Hopefully we can get to them before the birds do.

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I do plan on making a cage to go around the bed to help keep the "predators" out, and Avery, but my staple gun isn't working at the moment for whatever reason.

This will be the time of trial and error, but I'm looking forward to see what we can grow. I definitely want  us to eventually be able to grow the majority of all of our food. But for now, it's one step at a time.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Veggie Chili

Every Super Bowl our church has a Chili Cook off, along with super bowl games, food, bounce houses. It's a lot of fun to be a part of and a great opportunity to bring friends to church. This year we were talked into making some chili for the cook off. I went with this Veggie Chili that I saw in the newspaper earlier in the week. It was really good. Nice texture. Good flavor. And it won us 3rd place for Most Unique.

Veggie Chili



2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
3 1/2 cups butternut squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed
2 cups vegetable broth
1 can tomatoes with green chilies
2 large poblano chilies, roasted, diced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
   freshly ground pepper
6 leaves kale, sliced in ribbons
6 leaves swiss chard, sliced in ribbons
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
   fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat olive oil in a heavy, deep pot. Add onions and jalapeno; cook until softened. Add squash; cook until barely starting to soften, 8 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, poblanos, cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper to taste.

Cook over low heat until squash is tender and flavors start to come together. Add greens and lime juice; cook until greens are wilted. Adjust seasoning, stir in fresh cilantro.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Photos with my side of the Family

Over Christmas Break, while my brother was in town, I really wanted to get some family pictures done. Thankfully everyone obliged and we went out to a friends property where we took as many pictures as the littles could handle. It didn't last as long as I was hoping but we did get some photos of all of us and I couldn't be more happy about that!

Forewarning, there are a lot....

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