Thursday, September 30, 2010

All Our Extra Fun Stuff!

Besides all the daily stuff we have been busy doing we have been hauling the kids around to some extra activities too.
K-girl at dance class. She has fun, but has decided she still likes gymnastics better.

K-sis at dance class. She loves dance class and her wonderful teacher.

Shawn bought me a blueberry bush for our anniversary this year. The company held on to our order until it was time to plant it, so when it finally arrived in the mail this week we were happy to get it planted for next year. Shawn always has plenty of help with his outdoor chores in our neighborhood.

All the kids ready for AWANA! They love AWANA and we are glad that we are all able to be involved in the Wednesday night programming. I am learning more bible verses now than I did as a kid. All of us love helping K-sis to learn her cubbies verses. God is truthful! John 3:33.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

School is keeping us hopping.

It's been a while since I got a blog entry up and since we are leaving for another trip to KS, I figured I should get another one up before we leave.

Besides taking care of stuffing our freezers for this winter, I have also been busy schooling the kids and trying to keep the top layer of grime off our messy house. I would have to say that housekeeping is taking a back burner this school season, but hopefully as we figure out our schedule I will find time to do it all. Right now I decided that I would rather be outside enjoying my kids than keeping the house sparkling clean (plenty of time for that this winter).

This week we have been trying to catch up on some of our science work. I'm thinking that Fridays may become science and craft days. We did a ton of experiments this week and I managed to take pictures along the way.

On Thursdays the kids get to do show and tell at the school of choice and this week they are supposed to bring seeds and leaves. So we took a bike ride around our neighborhood to find some cool leaves and then decided to take a walk out at One Mile Prairie to get some grass seeds. Of course, this also allowed us to exercise Abby at the same time (nothing wrong with a little multi-tasking right?).

The big kids on our nature walk at One Mile Prairie. I should have had Abby sit in the picture too, but I'm sure she was swimming in the wetland already.
K-baby and mom...ignore my terrible hair, the wind was blowing like crazy.

We also had the electric company come and cut down one of our trees that was out front. The kids LOVED watching this and K-man even remembered that gravity was at work when the branches were falling. Nothing like applying what you learn to real life. :)

Now we (Shawn and the kids) just have to haul all the branches to the dump.

K-baby busy with her science notebook.

The kids exploring the density of water. They had pretty good guesses while they were experimenting

We also did some experiments on things being wet and dry.

K-sis getting ready to see how sugar cubes react to colored water.

K-man experimenting with how beans change when they are hydrated. He was excited when the lid on the Tupperware totally popped off.

K-girl starting her experiment on what happens to bread when it is wet and dry. I'm hoping the mold appears before we leave for vacation. I don't know if Shawn will want to look at moldy bread for 2 weeks while we are gone. :)

Shawn made his annual trip to Wisconsin to hunt with his former boss and co-workers. He had a great time even though they didn't get as many ducks as they wanted too. Shawn thought there was too much water for the ducks this year. He did decide to stay for an extra day to hunt because they didn't get any on their first day.
I'm always glad that we both have hobbies that we enjoy and we both enjoy the time we get to spend with friends. Getting away from home every once in a while always makes us appreciate each other more when we get back to our family.

The cabin with Shawn's boat trailer in the foreground. His boat is on bottom (it always amazes me that he built it himself in our basement) with his bosses boat strapped on top.

Andy, Shawn, Soffie (Dog) and some of the ducks they shot.

This was one of the places they hunted. It looks beautiful and almost makes me want to hunt...but not quite. I prefer to enjoy God's creation during the day and not at 4:00 a.m.
We've also been busy with hauling kids back and forth for school of choice, dance class, AWANA, trips to the library for more books and park visits while the weather is still wonderful out. I'm hoping to get some pictures of dance and AWANA in the next few days and post that before we leave. And some where in there I'm going to pack all our clothes and school stuff for vacation.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Behind every good woman is a wonderful family!

We had lots of fun this weekend and accomplished lots of work too.
I am slowly discovering that we are too busy during our school day this year to cook a good lunch everyday. Plus, the kids are eating more and Shawn is taking lots of leftovers to work so we don't have as much food in the fridge leftover. So if I don't want to eat pb&j or lunch meat for lunch every day I knew I needed to do some more freezer cooking.
I got lots done:
  • 20 breakfast burritos
  • 20 bean and beef burritos
  • 4 meals of hearty hamburger stew
  • 3 meals of BBQ pulled beef
  • beef broth
  • 2 breakfast casseroles
  • 2 meals of chicken nuggets
  • 3 containers of mashed potatoes (they were supposed to be hash browns, but it didn't quite work out.)
  • 1 gallon zip loc of frozen carrots from our garden
  • 9 jars of tomato sauce
  • 10 qts of peaches

I didn't feel like I got tons done, but after looking at my completed list I'm feeling pretty good about it! And I have chicken breasts in the fridge for grilling tomorrow since I didn't get them cooked into a recipe today. :)

As I mentioned in the title of my post behind every woman is a wonderful family and my family really helped me out this weekend. Shawn watched the kids for me while I canned and cooked. He even managed to install a new outlet for our new to us freezer too. Everyone pitched in to help with the freezer cooking marathon this weekend. My list was pretty long, but I got most of it done because I had great help. K-girl cracked all my eggs (2 dozen) for our breakfast burritos. K-man peeled and cut up carrots, K-sis dumped in many ingredients and stirred pots. K-baby was my time keeper by demanding snacks and meals every once in a while to remind me it was time to feed everyone.

Our beautiful box of peaches!!!

K-girl holding one of the peaches we bought last weekend!
The peaches were all HUGE and perfect. The lady we bought our 35 pound box from said they were from her father's orchard in Washington. They were definitely the best peaches I have ever tasted. I wish we would have bought 2 boxes, but it is hard to pay so much for fruit all at once. I think we had a peach with each meal and snack for the past week and I still had enough to can some this weekend.

Peaches and tomato sauce. YUM! I can't wait for some delicious soup this winter.

One of three ice cream buckets that we got from our final carrot pick in our backyard garden.

K-man and Shawn were in charge of picking, peeling and washing the carrots!

K-sis filling the stock pot for hearty hamburger stew. She loves to help cook and is always eager to dump ingredients in the pot for me.

I'm hoping this is enough chicken nuggets for 2 meals

My new stand up freezer that my parents gave us!! I was excited to put in the first of many freezer meals in it! It looks a little empty with only 2 meals of hearty hamburger stew in it.

My FULL freezer! Most of this is veggies from our summer CSA share and our strawberries and apples. Although I did manage to squeeze in 2 breakfast casseroles and one meal of bean and beef burritos.
Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the 50 pounds of red potatoes in my garage!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A FULL weekend!

I can hardly believe that it is only Saturday evening! We did enough activities yesterday and today to fill our whole weekend.

Today we decided to go to the farm threshers show at the pumpkin patch. (This is in between all my canning and cooking which will have to be a post all by itself.)

Last year we went to Lindig Farms with Nana Yvette and Papa Bruce and had a great time. We just found out that this year they were only going to be open for this one weekend because they aren't doing the pumpkin patch anymore. We had a fantastic time and they had tons of activities for the kids to do AND horses (you can guess who was excited about this).

Watching an old time sorghum press. They squeeze the juice out and then cook it down to make a type of molasses. They were also cooking down the sorghum juice over an open fire but I didn't get a picture of that. We tried the molasses and didn't really like it (it was green!), but we were told it was great for cooking cookies.

K-baby's favorite spot (beside the horses) was the gourds! I think she would have taken every gourd home if she could have. We may have to try planting gourds in our garden next year.

Trying our the homemade hand cranked ice cream. They had chocolate, vanilla and maple flavors and they were all delicious. I wish you could see the seats they were sitting on at this table...they were made from shovels!

All the family by one of the horse drawn plows! It was so neat to see 5-6 teams of horses all working on plowing a field while we watched. I can't imagine how much work it took to farm this way.

The thresher at work! My favorite kid quote of the day was from K-man. "Mom, guess what a combine is? It's just a fancy threshing machine!" He loves farm equipment and was telling me what everything was as we walked around.

Our favorite horse duo, Rudy and Rex.

Watching an apple press and tasting some fresh apple juice! It definitely didn't taste like any juice I've bought at the store.

After we watched a team of 3 horses pull a potato picking machine (I'm not sure what it was officially called) we picked a big 50 pound bag of huge red potatoes to take home. Yeah, yeah...more food to freeze or can or something. I'm thinking my neighbors may need some potatoes.

picking tators

K-girl and mommy enjoying a stage coach ride.

picking out our pumpkins

seed art- this was one of our favorite stations at the farm.
Tomorrow I am hoping to get to some more freezer cooking and also fit in church and a homeschool WATCH group picnic.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Back to Normal

We are busy trying to get back to normal, or as close as we can get to it! After a 10 day vacation to KS we are busy doing school stuff. I had some really cute pictures of the kids from our first day of school, but one of the kids got ahold of the camera and deleted them. I do have some pictures from our first day of co-op so I'm sharing those instead.

This year the to big K kids are going to the school of choice co-op on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. They were pretty excited to have their own school supplies and backpacks to take with them. Of course everyone had to have their own backpacks for the school pictures even though they didn't need one.

All the K-kids ready for co-op.

K-man--it's hard to believe that he is already in 2nd grade.

K-girl -- my big kindergarten girl this year!

K-sis -- What am I going to do with this girl for 2 more years of preschool?

K-baby-- following the leader...hopefully she will be happy to not start school stuff until next year! She does love markers though.

K-man and K-girl outside Adams School for co-op.

The kids have had a fantastic time in co-op so far this year. They love learning about animals and indians so far! I love this co-op setting because they are in mulit-level groups and get to interact with kids of all ages and abilities. This year to co-op has about 27 kids ranging from K-6th grade and 2 wonderful teachers. K-man and K-girl are only gone for 2 hours so this give K-baby the perfect time to nap and some quality time for K-sis and mom to do some special preschool activities.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

K-kids at the farm

We spent a crazy 10 days on vacation in KS this summer for Labor Day. We spent 5 days at each grandparent's house and they really kept us hopping!

We really needed a weekend to recover from vacation, but headed straight to work and school instead. I'm hoping we will all be fully recovered and ready to make the trip again in a few weeks for NASCAR in Kansas City.

We managed to squeeze in a short visit to Eric and Theresa's house. The kids had a great time playing in the backyard and also fishing at the neighborhood pond.

The Papon crew in the new camper. It was great to have a clean/cool place to relax while we toured the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge. I can tell Nana and Papa are going to get a lot of use out of this new toy.

K-sis at the lake

K-sis in her first Arty airplane ride! I think Papa is going to have to save up his money to pay for lots of fuel for all the grandkids to take rides. The kids had a great time.

K-girl, I don't think she really wanted to go, but she was all smiles when she got done. :)

K-man ready to take off.

K-baby in her and mommy's first Arty taxi ride. I don't think it was her favorite activity, but I'm sure she will love it as she grows.

The guys shooting blue rocks.

digging salt crystals in Oklahoma

Abby's first dove hunt.

Exploring Papa Bruce's L-2 he is rebuilding! What an awesome site to see the changes this plane has under gone.

K-baby LOVED the horses and cried when I took her off.

Yvette put me to work using up all the wonderful apples on her trees! We did applesauce, apple butter, dried apples and frozen apples.

K-baby and Nana riding double.

K-sis and Aunt Colette riding Babe.

K-girl going solo on her horse Sherman! She was so excited that she got to do the barrel pattern all by herself. She would have stayed on that horse all day and night!!!

K-man and Papa working the farm ground. That boy does love to do farm chores.

Everyone loved Nana and Papa's new gator and it made a great tool for picking and hauling apples.

The big boys went dove hunting and shot a few.

K-baby enjoying the frosting from Nana Yvette's 60th b-day party! Sorry I didn't get any great pictures of Yvette to post, but we had a great time suprising her with a few friends and family for her special day.

We even found time for the big kids to go fishing. K-girl caught the most fish! She caught about 20 fish in an hour and K-man caught almost that many.