Saturday, September 29, 2012

Our Week in Pictures

Its been a busy week again here on our little urban homestead. I'm too tired to write much but wanted to share some pictures from our week. 

The girls enjoyed the remnants of a friends' garden. If you are pulling up the plants from your garden this weekend, find your local homesteader and surprise them with some free animal fodder. 

Our outing to the orchard on Wednesday provided enough apples for a pie...

and some applesauce...

and some apple snacks.

I took the peels from the apples that I used in the pie, sprinkled them with cinnamon and sugar and dried them in the oven (2 hours at 200 degrees).  The kids loved them!

2.5 quarts of applesauce isn't much, but I only had about 5 pounds of apples and it was my first time canning applesauce.  It was super easy to make though so I'm excited to try it again. 

I found this woolly worm on Friday.   Last year I found one that was all brown & sure enough we had a very mild winter.  So if the wives tale holds true, it will be a cold start and finish but mild through the middle. 

I'm still getting tomatoes and peppers, but not enough to do a batch of salsa or sauce, which is fine because I have plenty of both.  I got thinking today, why can't I make my own version of Rotel? I usually use a can of Rotel in chili and some Mexican dishes so it would be handy to have some in the pantry.  I found a few recipes online and took what I liked from each and got 6 pints & a jelly jar of my version of Rotel canned tomatoes with banana peppers (didn't have any green chilies but plan to for next year). 

When I took Chloe's hair out today, we discovered it was just long enough to put in a ponytail. Tonight I told her to go get in the shower, and then wondered why I didn't hear the water running yet.  I walked into the bathroom to find this...

I didn't even have to ask what she'd been doing.

I mean, how cool is this?  I had to take a picture b/c I could never get my hair to do this!

A friend gave Matt 2 tickets for tonight's UK/SC football game.  Essie got to go with Dad to this late game (I shutter to think what she will be like tomorrow).  It's now 10pm and they just called to say they were leaving the game. 

*Update:  Essie thoroughly enjoyed herself at the UK game and did great yesterday, but all the fun caught up with her this morning, trying to get ready for school.  I think early bedtime will be in order again tonight. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Deals of the Day

Just had to share some great deals I got today.
Wal-M*art had a whole rack of these ladies shirts for $1.
So bought a few in different colors. 

Staples had this paper on sale for $3.99 (reg. $6.99)
and they e-mailed me a coupon for a $3.99 rebate, making them FREE!
Staples runs this deal every few months.  I honestly can't remember when the last time was that I paid for computer paper. 

Help Others Adopt

We are one of the families that have been blessed by Show Hope.  If you aren't called to adopt, please consider helping a family who is.  Any donation will help!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Day at the Orchard

The kids had a half day of school today (for some unbeknownst reason) so my friend Sarah and I thought it would be a good day for an adventure to the local orchard.  Sarah has 5 children and her middle 3 are just about the same age as my kids so they always make great playmates.  The weather was beautiful and the orchard was practically empty.  Their playground is AMAZING and so worth the $5 for a few hours of playtime. My kids were completely wiped out tonight, though I'll probably pay for it tomorrow with some overly tired children.  Oh well, we made some great memories.  And Sarah and I got some much needed mommy bonding time.
Sarah's middle daughters were born in Liberia

Nathan is homegrown and one of AJ's best buds.

Oh my much cuteness!

 Chloe and Margaret

So many great sensory activities!  I swear this playground was set up by an OT.


I love that all 3 girls went back to help Courage overcome her fear.

The even have a little petting zoo


Hello, goat!

It took Tessa a minute to warm up to the goats,
but she finally got the hang of it.

I love that the goat posed for the picture too!

Tess thought it was funny that the big boys were playing in the sand box

AJ trying to find the biggest apple.

Chloe picking out a snack

Thanks, Boyd's!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ladies at Work

We got 5 eggs (we have 5 hens) today and 4 of them were laid in the nest box...not bad!

Oh yeah, and I used a coupon to buy the hen's food this week.
Gotta love it!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Matt's Birthday

Matt's birthday was yesterday, but I was out of town at a conference so we postponed celebrating until tonight.  Poor guy had a not-so-great birthday week when he came down with a stomach bug on Tuesday and I left on Wednesday, leaving him with all the responsibilities of the kids and house.  AJ was away at a sleepover last night so Matt & the girls did head to Applebee's for half price appetizers (bring back memories for you fellow Asbury grads?) and blizzards at DQ.  He told me he only got 1 birthday card in the mail yesterday and it was from the car dealership.  Now before you start feeling too bad for him, he did order a new iPhone this week (though it won't be delivered for 2 more weeks).  That was his big present so tonight after pizza and cake, he got a few more, smaller presents.
Matt's Mom pinch hit on the cake, since I didn't get home from Baltimore until this afternoon and headed straight to AJ's soccer game (he scored 3 goals in a 5-1 win).

A new UK shirt picked out by Essie on behalf of the other kids

Matt has been wanting this shirt for weeks, but didn't want to spend the money on it so I e-mailed the link to Matt's sister and told her to get it for him (I'm so sneaky). It lists a movie title for every states in the US (Coalminer's Daughter is in the shape of KY,  Hoosiers for IN, etc.) For those of you who know Matt, you know what a movie buff he is.  He's seen all 100 movies in AFI's top 100 films.  (I know, CRAZY).

United States of Film

So even though Matt's 33rd year started out a bit rough, I pray he has a great year ahead. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Final Harvest

I was not planning on harvesting our sweet potatoes til it frosted but I walked out to the garden today and noticed the chickens had begun the harvest for me.  I only planted 1 sweet potato because last year the 6 plant I planted produces 5 minuscule sweet potatoes.  Well, I think I did better with my soil prep this year because the harvest was much better.  
Our 1 plant

What I saw when I pulled the plant up

All this from 1 sweet potato that I threw in a pile of dirt.  I love gardening!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Around the Homestead

Here's what I love about home-grown eggs, no two are alike..just like people. 

Never thought I'd be so happy to see one of these guys in my tomato patch.  But these days, tomato worms means a delicious, protein packed snack for my ladies.  I tried to take a picture of the hens eating it, but they got it down too quickly.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Times, They Are a Changin'

We met with AJ's teacher the first week of school and she said she thought AJ had turned a corner and we'd be seeing great changes in him this year academically.  On Friday, Matt brought home an easy-reader chapter book and not only did AJ sit right down and start reading it, he finished it before lunch on Saturday and asked Matt if they could go to the library and get the 2nd book in the series. 

Things continued to change this morning when AJ asked Mat to buzz his hair.  I honestly can't remember the last time AJ had a haircut.  His hair is quite amazing how it just spirals on its own, but I told him, if he was going to keep it long, he had to condition it every morning and pick it out.  Funny, after 3 weeks of doing this every morning for school, AJ decided a buzz cut was way easier to care for. 

Ready for a buzz

He's taking his bag o' hair to school to show his class...crazy kid!

My good lookin' men!

Things that haven't changed...AJ scoring more goals in a soccer game than the entire other team combined. He had 2 games this weekend and scored 3 goals in each game.  I'm more proud that he is scoring when he has the opportunity, but passing more and making sure others on his team get a chance to score a goal.   Good job, Buddy!