Sunday, June 27, 2010

Berry Delicious

We FINALLY made it to the berry patch on Saturday morning.

We wanted to go last weekend when they opened, but I had a ladies bike ride event that I went to on Saturday morning. By the time we were ready to go pick berries after lunch, we called and they were all picked over for the day. :( But, I had a fantastic time biking with some ladies from church to Dalton and back for breakfast. Hopefully we will do it again soon!

Shawn finally got his boat license and numbers on his boat and he tried to take the kids fishing. It ended up being too windy by the time they made it to the lake, but they had fun trying from the shore. I wanted fish to fry, but I think Shawn was relieved that he didn't have to clean fish tonight. He is planning on taking the kids and his parents out sometime this week while they are visiting, so they won't have to wait too long before they get to try again.

The K girls sitting in daddy's boat. I bought this boat for Shawn a couple of years ago at a garage sale...I think he is going to need a bigger one to haul all of us in it. :)

Mom and K-sis picking berries. We had wonderful cloud cover, great temperatures and a slight breeze (as you can tell by my hair). Shawn took this picture so you could see the cool wetland at the berry farm.

K-sis sampling the product.

K-girl picking strawberries. She did a great job this year and actually picked quite a few.

K-man was our ultimate berry picker and didn't want to stop when our buckets were full. He kept yelling out "jackpot" when ever he found a big group of strawberries.

K-baby managed to pick a few berries and not to many of them were green, but her favorite thing to do was squeeze the strawberries between her fingers. She didn't want to eat any, but she loved the dessert I made later in the day.

Our strawberry stash was 5 big icecream buckets! We couldn't have asked for a nicer day.

This is 4 of our 5 buckets of strawberries. I was already cleaning up the first bucket when I remembered to take a picture for the blog.

K-sis enjoying a big slice of strawberry short cake I made from a recipe off the Heavenly Homemakers website. She has wonderful recipes and they are all healthy and delicious.

K-baby finished her piece of cake and then helped 2 of her siblings eat theirs too!

K-girl is my healthy no dip girl and ate her dessert with just bread and strawberries.

I hulled most of the strawberries and froze them on cookie sheets and then transfered them to freezer bags. I ended up with 4 FULL gallon freezer bags of strawberries and we are taking Shawn's parents later this week, so I'm sure I will have even more. We love strawberries in our smoothies!

K-man loves to cook and helped me make strawberry jam. Anytime my kids hear noises coming from the kitchen they all come running to help cook. K-man is a whiz at helping read the recipes, stirring hot pots on the stove and anything else I can think of to keep him busy.
This was my first time actually canning something! EVER! We got a whole lot of dishes dirty and the counters, floor and clothing too. Last year I we made freezer jelly and I was shocked that the recipe called for 2 cups strawberries and 4 CUPS SUGAR! I thought if I made my own jelly it would be healthier, but 4 cups, WOW!
This year I found a wondeful canning and freezing book at my local library called Canning and Freezing without Sugar. She has some wonderful recipes in it and I can't wait to try them. We used the strawberry jam recipe today and it called for 2 cups strawberries and 1/2 cup honey. It tasted great and the kids loved it too! Now I'm excited to can some of our produce we get from Bluebird Gardens and the farmers market this summer.

I did run out of liquid pectin for my healthy recipe and decided to do some unhealthy freezer jam to use up my powdered pectin from last year, so K-girl helped me out with that recipe.

Our final product 6 jars of Strawberry Jam and 5 jars freezer jelly.
Now I just have to clean my house before the in-laws arrive on Tuesday! They wouldn't mind if my house was a disaster, but I like for things to look good when they arrive.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Smores, Rain, VBS and Tigers!

We ended our weekend with some of the neighbors roasting smores in our backyard.
K-girl playing t-ball. She is on the Cubs.

K-man hitting the ball. This picture was from our newspaper's website.

K-girl's team. She wanted her shirt tucked in. :)

K-man's team...they were to quick for me to get a good picture. Oh well.

Shawn and k-sis trying to stay dry at one of the games. I think it rained at all 3 of our games this week.

K-baby loves t-ball as long as she has a snack.

All the kids made their own pizza. They love to help out in the kitchen.

This was our half of CSA share. The peas were all eaten raw by the end of the first day! Everything tasted delicious.

K-man with his VBS group doing crafts. This is where I got to help out.

K-girl waiting for her VBS to start.

All the kids and adults getting ready to sing. I think they had over 150 kids this year.

k-sis and k-baby in daddy's office chair

The BIG map. This map is right outside of Shawn's office so the kids are always looking at it. K-man would tell you that daddy fixed all the green, yellow and red parts and is working to make all the white part colored too.

Daddy's office

All the family at the circus. K-girl wasn't in top shape, but they all loved it.

White tigers which was K-baby's favorite, but I think all the other kids loved the clown the best.

K-baby enjoying her cotton candy! Too bad mommy forgot the wipes, but dad got her all cleaned up before bedtime.
We didn't get to the strawberry picking or fishing, but hopefully if the weather cooperates we will get it all in this weekend.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Abby is growing by leaps and bounds!

Shawn, K-girl and K-baby took Abby in for her latest puppy appointment. She gained 11 pounds in the past month and now weighs 29 pounds.

Every time any of our neighbors comes over to play they comment about how big she is getting and BIG she is!!!
Abby at 5 weeks old

Abby at 8 weeks old

Abby is currently 3 months old and I don't think we will get any more cute pictures of the kids holding her because she is getting so big.
She has been a lot of fun to have around, even though she STILL potties in the house, plays rough with the kids, barks constantly when left alone and loves to get on the couch. Good thing she is so cute looking!
K-man has been taking her to 4-H obedience class every Friday, but this last class I walked her most of the class. She walks a lot better on a leash than our past black lab, but Kolsen can't quite make her behave around other dogs yet.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Life is flying by

We have been so busy doing all of our spring activities I haven't had time to blog lately. It also didn't help that I had to mail my laptop off for 4 days this past week to get fixed. I don't think I could live without wireless internet anymore, so I was very happy to have my laptop back by Friday.

We started our week off with 3 t-ball games. 2 for K-man and K-girl's first ever t-ball game.

K-man LOVES t-ball (even though he isn't smiling here). He has been eagerly awaiting t-ball season all winter long. This year he is on the Pirates!

All four kids played for hours in their small tent in the front yard. I wish I could say I was doing something useful during this time, but I was enjoying myself and reading a library book.

This weekend we attended Fergus Falls' summer fest. We had a great time even though it was raining most of the time. I don't know what it is about large animal statues, but this area seems to have plenty. Here are the kids posing in front of the prairie chicken.

K-man enjoying the blow-up obstacle course.

K-girl and K-sis on the jumper. K-sis had fun once we could get her in!

Watching the festivities

Creating our Home Depot crafts in the rain. :) I had the big 3 kids with me and I was very happy when one of the workers offered his help to finish our projects. (K-baby was taking a nap and daddy was busy doing bills)

K-girl and K-man riding their bikes in the parade. We should have done more streamers, but we ran out of time. The kids also want to throw out candy next year while riding their bikes, so we may have to practice that at home this coming year.

Enjoying our wonderful salad from Blue Bird Gardens. We have been having fantastic weather! Most days it has been getting up in the mid 70s.

Every Thursday there is a concert at the park on town and we are always reading to get out and here some good local music. This first week was a Reggae Band that performed last year and was one of our favorites.

Lots of people at the concert (and about twice as many not in the photo sitting further back).

Posing for Kelton in front of the race car. We have a dirt race track in town that K-man has been wanting to go to. I think they have races every Friday. This car was sponsored by the zoo.
Shawn volunteered to work a few hours at a special day at the Chahinkapa Zoo. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had 4 different booths with activities that you could participate in while at the zoo. We attended and toured the zoo while Shawn was working his booth about hummingbirds. The kids were excited when we can up to do the craft at daddy's booth. :)
Otters at the Chahinkapa Zoo. This is our closest zoo and is only 30 minutes away in North Dakota.

The kids using an apple, peanut butter and pretzels to make a butterfly at the zoo. We loved this snack and will do it again this summer.

Shawn and K-baby in the duck exhibit.

We even got a free ride on the carousel outside the zoo sponsored by Thrivant Financial. This carousel was made in the 20s and was beautiful.

Our second week of CSA (community supported agriculture). The pink/white radishes were awesome and that head of lettuce was about 5 of my hands big (it was HUGE). Luckily, some of our friends decided to split our share with us, so we only had to eat half of this produce this week. We have a little bit of lettuce left and some spinach for smoothies to eat tomorrow. We get our next delivery on Tuesday.
I forgot to take a picture of the farm fresh eggs I bought from a lady North of town. She advertised on craigslist and even delivered to my house for $2/dozen. This was my first ever purchase from craigslist. Shawn also has a source for eggs at his work, so we may try that out next week. The kids were excited to see the brown and blue eggs from the chickens.

K-girl in her Cubs uniform. It thunder stormed all night long all the way up to about an hour before her game so we were excited when they didn't cancel. It was a mud pit, but she didn't get as muddy as some of the boys. Getting a girl ready for t-ball was different that getting K-man ready, he doesn't care what he wears. K-girl had to have just the right shirt to go under her uniform. She also wanted to have her shirt tucked in so it looked nicer.

We also attended the barrel bash rodeo Saturday for an hour and then Sunday before church. The kids got to see LOTS of horses and the best part is that it's FREE. We have already scoped out an event to attend when Nana Yvette and Papa Bruce visit in July.

Boy am I looking forward to this next week. Shawn has 2 softball games, we have 3 t-ball games, storytime, tractor pull....and who knows what else we will find to keep ourselved busy.