Monday, July 27, 2009

crazy weekend

I know I have not been on here in a while but its been busy. we are getting ready to go on vacaton this week, so I will be away for a bit.
I will try and add some pics of the weekend in a bit. We went to a wedding and a luau in the same day very fun, busy, and tiring. Madleine ,Grace and Adam learned to hula and it was so cute. I got to have adult conversaton- which is rare- and it was nice.

then yesterday we had our homeschool picnic and a swim party with Madeline's softball team, both fun.

Today is laundry laundry and oh yeah laundry:-) and getting things together for our over night trip to Lancaster on Wednesday.

so if you all don;t see more this week you will know I am okay just super swamped.

Monday, July 20, 2009

green beans part 2- processing them.

since some of you have asked how we got our beans ready for the freezer here's what we did. I have used this book for a long time its a great resource on how to prep almost anything. She also tells how to get seeds for next year, and how to order those plants you can't get locally, theres recipes, contacts groups and all kinds of information. I highly recommend it its a fun read too. I have taken it to softball games and just set and read it.She gives lots of information on living off the land, collecting rain water raising livestock, making soap, etc etc etc.

we cleaned the beans, I just filled the sink with clean water and gave them a quick rinse and shake, to get off the dirt, and snapped off the ends.

we blanched them in boiling water for three minutes, this stops the beans from decaying. I basically did about two cups at a time, this kept the quantity small enough to work with quickly, and kept us moving along .

after we boiled them for three minutes - no longer-, we scooped them out with a slotted spoon and plunged them into an ice bath- a big bowl with ice water. This stops the cooking process and makes them really nice and green.

after chilling in the ice bath for a couple of minutes we took them out and dried them off a bit on a dish towel , we just rolled them up int he towel and squeezed gently.

we filled our freezer bags, and pressed out the air, then put them in my freezer- also write on them whats in the bag and date processed, they keep about a year or more in the freezer.

I had 10 bags of these when done. I only filled the big freezer bags half way, because that's about a pound and usually what we eat at a time. The smaller size freezes a bit more evenly too. Just make sure you roll the bag up and press the air out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

green bean picking

we spent Friday at a local pick your own farm picking green beans, I love fresh produce and putting it up for the winter. It was a rainy humid afternoon, but, we did okay. The plants where so full a few filled our box pretty quickly. we are heading back this week to gt some more and also some beets and squash to freeze as well.

everybody picking and snacking on the fresh as fresh can be beans, we also picked some flat runner beans by mistake they are next to the green beans and look a lot alike. So we brought a bunch of them home too and they are so yummy to, we made them with a piece of ham for dinner so good.

Our fresh picked beans ready to take home and make into yummy salads, soups, and just plain old dipping in to ranch dressing .

We had a wonderful afternoon picking the green beans, and went home and began the process of freezing them.The kids where tired and hot, and dirty, and wanting to go pick more.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Blessed Asurance

I have fallen behind on our learning of hymns and verses, it is something we really enjoy. I love all the older hymns.So this week we are doing Blessed Assurance, we sang this at a praise service last night and it is sticking in my head. So I am guessing this is what the Lord would have us learn this week. To praise Him All the Day Long. Through trials, and triumphs, he is with us always and knows the plans he has for us and he is leading us onward.

God Bless to all have a blessed day, praising your savior all the day long:-)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Lydia is all grown-up

This is Lydia wondering our yard freely she had been out of her enclosure for good for about a week, just wondering and eating bugs and checking everything out.Well July the fifth she discovered freedom all on her own, and how good it felt and we are so happy for her.

Lydia found her own way into the river and was off like a bullet. She is so happy and diving and splashing all over. She has since found a group of ducks she seems to swim with, which is wonderful for her, she needs to learn things from them we cannot show her. So it is so wonderful to see her so happy and well. Madeline is still a bit teary eyed, but, knows if she had not saved her she would not have this chance to go out an be a big duck. And who knows next year she may come back and build her nest right here. She still thinks Madeline is her mom, and comes to her when she calls her.

We feel so blessed to have had a hand in helping one of Gods little ones grow and then letting it go home. - reminds me of the day my chicks will leave the nest , made me a bit teary eyed myself-.Perhaps the lessons where meant for me more then the kids.

Friday, July 10, 2009

our first harvest:-)

this was our plant two weeks ago, getting big and beautiful, just wanting some sunny days- lots of rain this year-, to get red and juicy .

all red and pretty on the vine, we have had a wet cool summer not what tomatoes like but it has been dry the past two weeks and this guy finally ripened up. The plants have all been double staked cause they are so loaded with green ones they are falling all over.

our first pickins of the season:-) I was very excited, I love fresh from the garden warm tomatoes, so good.The kids are excited too, they have been the ones weeding and picking off the bugs, so its nice to get a result, and a yummy one at that.

I know its a very small harvest but its a start we have lot of green tomatoes on the vines so we should be over run with them soon, I am hoping to make some homemade salsa with them. This one is going to be sliced up and will be a nice little snack this afternoon.

Now if only my squash would do something seriously lots of yellow flowers not a single squash or zucchini.Oh well , maybe since its warmer they will get pollinated and we will get a few, I love making fresh zucchini bread, and having fresh spaghetti squash,

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?

We spent Monday at Sesame Place in Pennsylvania it is outside of Philly, we actually rode right by the stadium on the way home and they where shooting off fireworks, which was cool. Anyhow this was a great day nice weather, no crowds just a good time.

we had lunch with the characters, at which Adam danced in a conga line with Big bird- too funny-. Shawn spent this time latched to my neck-.

enjoying the rides and other play areas. Shawn was so tired at this point, he cried all through lunch cause he did not like the characters.

riding on the peddle trains, Shawn got a helping hand form his big sis Madeline. He was relieved no characters where lurking around here:-)

we got home that night close to midnight exhausted but happy. What a great day. We spent alot of time on the water rides and in the splash zones, I don;t have many photos of that though .

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


we went out on this pirate ship on friday afternoon for a little piratey fun. It was a lovely day, for a cruise around the inner harbor and Fells Point.

a rare photo of all six of us in one pictrue,

mom and pop posing with the kids.

dressing up and playing pirate.

the jolly roger flying high on the mast of the ship:-)

posing with the crew of pirates, and helping to hang the flag.

each child was allowed to select two items of pirate booty from the treasure chest.Shawn had a hard time choosing.

firing the water cannons at enemy attackers.