Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Slip-Slidin' and Summer Fun!

Need I say more?

Levi has learned to pump his feet while swinging, and loves to swing for loooong periods of time!
Andy heading out to ride the tractor with Daddy, you could tell he thought he was pretty hot stuff, the only kid going!
 He went potty in the toilet today, so got to go as a treat.

Birthday, visitors, burning fields, and some scraps.

We were so lucky, the great folks from Alaska drove hours out of the way to see us, Grandmother & Grandson are on a road trip and our little town was way out of the way.  What a treat!  Connor even killed a rattlesnake that was by the house, yikes!
The kids started swimming lessons yesterday, but I forgot to take my camera!  They both loved it, so I'll have to next time.  Afterwards we over to "Grandma Sue's", and she matched Andy.  Minus the watermelon juice...  Quite a special neighbor we have!
Yesterday they also burned a bunch of the wheat fields (before tilling and planting carrotts), it was quite a sight!

Right across the street from us, the kids had a great watching post.  You could feel the heat when walking into the room!
This little boy turned two this week!

When I showed him both cake-mixes, he chose the strawberry.  I added some chocolate chips and marshmallows since he loves them.

This little boy was very happy when the birthday boy had a nap.... so he could try out the new equipment. =)

I'm taking a break from working on the house for a bit, I was getting overwhelmed and longing to sew a bit.  I had a lot of scraps from the circle quilt, so cut them into 2 1/2 inch squares.  Three hundred of them!
These are what what left of they smaller stuff, thinking they might work for making cards?  I can't seem to throw even the tiny ones away.
I laid them all out and sewed them into strips, hope to get it finished another day.  It sure was a fun little distraction!
Thanks for stoppin' by!

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Sunday: a day of rest.  You really appreciate it when you're farming..... especially Tyler!  =)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Project Busy

As you know, we bought a house a couple weeks ago.... and started what seems to be a never-ending project.  It was perfectly fine the way it was, just all original 1982.  It was actually in very good shape, but we wanted to update a bit.  And since we've had some previous experience in the updating department, we knew it must be finished before we moved in.  It's just so hard to work around your mess, and live in a mess.  And since we were replacing 90% off the flooring, we couldn't do it with all our stuff in there.

We tore out all the flooring (mostly carpet), and it was quite gross what hides under there!
It was old enough that when you pulled up the pad, it came in little pieces for the most part.  Then I had to pull out all those staples one by one, and also the tack-strip along the walls.
This wall between the kitchen and living room, we decided should go.  It made the kitchen feel cramped, and wasn't useful.  Tyler being a truss-designer in the past, looked in the attic, and the drawings, and said it could go.
What it looked like from the living-room side.
Mom was here for the weekend (along with Kylee, who took the big kids to the pool so we could work!), and we both tackled it while Andy was having his nap.
Sheetrock off one side....
Now both sides... you can see the kitchen!
Just in case you were wondering, sheet-rock makes a huge mess when you tear it down!  Tyler said to try and pull it off in sheets, and we did with a few, but it didn't work for most of it.
I'm not going to miss this...
Or this.....
Or this.  (although the last two might be nice in if they were fabric).
The carpet in the master bedroom was worn less, so that padding came out in a somewhat larger pieces.
Such good helpers!
There is a pantry in the kitchen, and the plastic sheeting on the shelves was peeling.  So I pulled it off.
Hmmm, a few different types of wallpaper.  Slowly working at peeling that off, I want to paint the shelves red!
We decided the kitchen cabinets would look very nice painted white.
But now that I've been painting for what seems like forever..... I'm having to work hard to convince myself it's worth it.  Maybe if I can just get the bases done, so I can paint the doors later in the garage.  Don't really want to paint the bases after the flooring is in, and we can't move in until the flooring is done.
This cabinet in the laundry room (now going to be office/library), is what I'm going to use for practice.  The more I think about it, the more work it all starts looking like!
I've finally put a coat of primer on all the door jams and window sills.  I found that Behr makes a primer that sticks to slick surfaces, so I didn't have to sand forever!  Now I need two coats of glossy white, but you can start to see the difference it's going to make.  I love the look of white trim against colored walls.
Some evenings we eat dinner on our new deck, Daddy comes and it's quite fun!
A bit lacking in the furniture department currently.  But we make do.
I told the kids I'd buy them some sidewalk chalk for while I'm working, but in the mean time they found something that works almost as good...... pieces of sheetrock!  I did get a big box of the real stuff, but haven't taken pictures yet.  Breanna wanted me to come see what she wrote.  =)
Today Levi rode the tractor with Daddy for over 4 hours, what a sweet little helper.
When we went to pick him up, they all had to check out the tractor again.

Levi was making sure the other one was ok also.  This kid's a farmer already.
Breanna commented that this is the kind of tree like you would draw.  Ha ha, I think so!
This calf was born yesterday..... very out of season.  But he was quite cute to watch, following his mother thru the sprinklers.
When Grandma came, so did little Rosie.  Andy was quite impressed when she was IN the cage.  We really need to replace Harry the kitten.... tragic event that has left everyone here sad.  He was an incredible little kitten, so well-behaved and sweet.
Cute cousins, it's been fun for them to spend more time together and get acquainted!  I overheard the girls saying they were sisters, what fun since neither will probably ever have a sister.

Andy had his hands in his face, so I told him to put them down.  He did.... way down!  Everyone thought it was quite funny.  At this age, a group shot is quite entertaining.
Grandpa Jon and Levi.
Sweet cousins and friends.
Know what's better than candy?  Whip Cream!  And Breanna says my strawberry jam is the best in the world.  "When she grows up, she's going to come back and eat some of my jam." ;)
I found a much more affordable way to make good home-made jam, and it's quite simple!
That's right... rhubarb!
Chop it up, boil it with a little water, add some strawberry jello and sugar.... and it's delicous!
Speaking of what comes from the garden, we've got a lot more of these!
After living in Alaska and attempting gardening, we're quite happy at what we're getting here!
Levi came in and told me we had rhubarb growing in our garden..... well he was close, but it was a beet.  One single beet.  Certainly not enough to make picked beets...
But it is quite pretty, so I decided to cook it for us.  Since it's gotten so big it probably won't be good, but we'll see how it tastes tomorrow.  The reason we didn't have more, is that while I was gone to Alaska the weeds got out of control..... and we used a rototiller to get the main stuff.  Uh..... some of the "main weeds" must have been the row of beets.  =)
This stuff is amazing, I can't believe how well everything grows here!
Levi was ecstatic to find broccoli growing, and he doesn't even like broccoli; so if you want your kids to start eating veggies..... have them help with the planting, care, and harvesting in the garden.  They love to eat what they grow!
Levi brought in this little pepper today, think it might have been better of waiting; but they have so much fun finding and picking things.
Yesterday we went and picked all these peas and carrotts from a family member who lives in town.  We have some of our own, but they are still a little small.
Breanna was quite impressed to help with the beans.  And she ate quite a few as we worked.

  1. Now I need to blanch them and freeze, saving for winter.

Levi's job was to keep the scrap-bucket emptied into the compost pile.
When we weren't looking, Andy hopped up the counter and tried cutting a carrott..... yikes!  But it was so cute!
 Tyler made a spot in the garden for them to dig, and it has occupied all of them for hours on end.
"Planting" some weeds.
And what to do with all those green giants?  Shred them up... then freeze them or make:
Zucchini relish, chocolate zucchini bread or cookies, you name it; we're finding out!  The Chocolate bread is my favorite.  I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the 14 pints of zucchini relish, but it's delicious too!  Here is the link to my sister's recipe, which is very similar.
And just in case you have a few too many of those green giants in your garden:

CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BREAD (also cupcake option)
1 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil (I use olive)
2 eggs

4TB cocoa
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
2 1/2 cups flour
1tsp baking soda
1tsp salt
2 cups grated zucchini

Mix first 3 ingredients and then add the rest and mix well.  Pour into two loaf pans, or 24 cupcake liners.  (For cupcakes, sprinkle with chocolate chips before baking.)  Bake at 350: 50-60mins for bread, 18-20 for muffins.  The muffins are a delicious substitute for ordinary cake, and with the chocolate chips you don't need to frost them!

One night this week, Breanna made us dinner!
She was so excited to be doing it, and I was thinking it needs to happen more often! =)
 And they sure were yummy mini pizzas!
This silly little boy thinks Breannas doll glasses are for him.
 Ha ha!
He just plain likes glasses.  Some real doozies from the dollar store.  Looks like they've been a little distorted.
So as you can see, I have been BUSY!  Tyler is so busy farming that we rarely see him besides meals, but it's been nice to have the house project to work on.  Although I think I'm starting to get tired of painting.  The rollers are nice, but the trim with a paintbrush.... I think I'm going to get carpal tunnel syndrome soon!  =)

A tiny bit of sewing for sanity's sake:
Do you remember the pink and green zig-zag quilt from Valentine's Day?  When I squared it up there were all these little triangles left that I couldn't throw away.  So I arranged them and sewed them together, squared up to block size; and have enough for at least 6 blocks.
Andy likes this one.