Monday, September 22, 2014

Life in pictures...

We had our first school field trip of the year...Connor Prairie in the Fall
 The indoor play area has been revamped and I love it.  Really well done reading and craft areas along with the role playing and make believe play areas they had before.

 The village Doctor explaining blood letting and leaches...lovely :)
 Union soldiers in training-this drill sergeant meant business... ;)

 Our sugar baby watermelon :D  So many seeds, but hey...we grew a watermelon people.  Tasted like one and everything.
 My biggest heirloom tomato. :)  My grandma Carmela always said yellow tomatoes have less acid or something like that; I always think of her when I see them because she liked them. :)
That's miles y'all...that's right...I left the house and didn't come back until I'd ridden to Noblesville and back.  Boom!  I'm loving these fall days.  Amazing
 I think Gisella is figuring out that she has a face ... :D lets hope it doesn't lead to selfie addiction in future years.

Next up...our second field trip to Merango Cave IN :D

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First day...

 of school.  

It's only one day a week and I'm wondering how you moms that drop off kids every morning get into the groove.  Even starting at nine in the morning wasn't quite late enough for this mama who kind of loves sleeping in when possible (my excuse is bedtime after midnight regularly...canning tomatoes ;). was worth it.  I learned a lot.  Moms sit in on the Essentials classes so that they can teach the stuff learned for the rest of the week and to help with assignments.  It's pretty intense.  But Gisella napped and my kids didn't melt down in nursery-so I can't really complain. I lost my keys for an hour our so before finding them by Gi's travel bed on a coat hook.  One of those...I'm going to put these in such a safe place I'll never ever find them moments.  Not having the keys meant I didn't have the history binders I needed for the boys as they were locked in our vehicle...but the mood and spirit of this group is great.  I had moms passing me extra copies of stuff and we were all set in no time. ;)  It's an odd mix of high expectations for the kids and moms and a real understanding of every mom doing things her own way without judging the place a child is at in their educational journey.  Standing in line with the kids doing math drills was making me pretty nervous too.  Who wants to add numbers slower than their 11 year old...?...stress.  The setting is quite unique.

Christian making a "K"  
 Will wanted his picture taken with the shorts he picked out...
 This class was so cute :)

 learning their timeline songs
 I was running between four classrooms to listen in and here their presentations- Noah was wondering what I was doing in his classroom.  Apparently he's at the age were he's way too cool for that. ;)

 "about me" presentations
 Their science experiment was like a flip book thing with an eye blinking. :)  All the ages did the same experiment, but Noah's older class drew their own picture to do it.
And that was the first day.  The boys are so excited to do their homework...for the first week.  We'll see how long that lasts ;) 

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I thought...

I could can tomatoes real quick at 9:30... pm...
 (sidenote...most of these are from my sis-in-law...but a few are from our garden too. :)
 10:30...ish...still peeling dumb tomatoes...
 could have left them whole...but I kind of have this theory that I should only take the time to can what I'll actually be thrilled to use...which in this case is diced tomatoes.  Not whole ones I have to dice when I have no time to do it. :/
 And so the tomato juice was flying.  I was on my second Andy Stanley podcast series at this point...not episode...series.  One episode on choices made me start questioning what I was doing dicing tomatoes quite seriously...
 The cutting board looking pretty clean all things considered, and a look at the fact I used a powdered citric acid supplement instead of lemon juice to keep my tomatoes from turning brown once canned. :D  At least I assume that's what it's for.  I don't know that much about canning actually.
 after having those tomatoes staring at me for several days...this is pretty site, even with all the clutter in the background. :)
 This image is time stamped for accuracy.  It's also when I thought I was pretty much done only to find out from the recipe I was reading on my sermon broadcasting phone that these diced tomato laden jars needed an 85 minute bath!  Seriously!  My boys were starting there first Classical Conversations tutoring thing in the morning, so I actually had to wake a normal person to an alarm the next morning.  :/

And if you know anything about canning you'll know that they even needed a longer bath than that because the water is not nearly high enough on most of these jars...see, that's hard to pull off in a skillet.  After this over optimistic evening of unprepared canning joy...I may buy a big fat aluminum pot that I use once a year.  Skillets don't cut it-neither to small sauce pans for that matter.
 And then...after taking them out of their longer than a hour and a half bath...the little lid things still didn't seem to be sealed or whatever.  I didn't know that they pop down once they cool off.  So I went to bed thinking that it was all for nothing and that we would be eating a lot of tomato soup this week.  They were sealed in the morning though.  These will sit proudly on a visible shelf for a while before being carelessly eaten.  Now I know why mom would get annoyed when we ate a jar of canned peaches without asking first. :D

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Monday, September 8, 2014

coop update...

Painting painting and more painting after that.  I hate painting. ;)
 The boys loved it though...for 5 minutes each before boredom set in.
Christian stuck with it a little longer than average :)  He's got to take care of his birds I guess
 getting there...
 The handles and locks go on...
 White paint inside finished... albeit not perfectly done if looking really close ;)
first official run around in the coop before it wast totally finished outside and ready for the birds to move in.  We used sand in the coop for the first time.  We'll see how that goes.
 fluffy got the drift that this is a higher rent coop and started laying eggs again after being broody for several months. :)
 This morning I cracked an egg of ours on the left and a free range organic egg from Trader Joe's on the right.  Both good eggs, but I think you can see the difference in the white for I took a picture of course... all this coop building and back breaking work better make a decent egg for lunch! :D
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Monday, September 1, 2014

homeschool somedays...

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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

life in pictures...

I've been quite obsessive about green tea kombucha steeped with mint and ginger this summer. :D  Ginger makes it really fizzy which I love.

two questions I get about kombucha repeatedly:

do you dump out the sediment at the bottom of the brewing jar: 

yes I do-I never use that to second ferment as it has a lot of yeast in it.  Dump it and only use the mostly clear tea in the jar to bottle.

what is a second ferment and how do you do it:  

You make the tea with a culture/scoby and sugar.  After that brews for two weeks+ you put it in an air tight bottle with whatever you want to give it flavor and to mellow it out and add fizz since the lid is airtight and traps the off gassing.  Swing top bottles are ideal as the lids are very tight.  Once in the bottle let it sit out at room temp for a day or two then refrigerate.  Ginger makes the tea more fizzy like ginger ale.  But the skies the limit...add blue zest...whatever you like flavor wise that goes well with the tangy flavor of the tea.  I've even had some with lavender and chia seeds added. :)
 My sister, Jenny, said there are cat people... and we (our family not her's) are chicken people... ha- I guess I'm okay with that assessment, though any label with "people" at the end makes me a little nervous. ;)
the black tomatoes have stars on top :D
 I made pickles out of the lemon cucumbers and our hot peppers :)  Hope they're good...and a bit spicy ;)

 These are not sealed, so I need to put them into the refrigerator tomorrow once they are "pickled" :)
 eating a lot of garden beans with good bacon...that would be back to basics I guess... :)
 I have never named any of our chickens...the boys always take care of that.  But I've been calling the pricey grey/blue one "Twenty" :D haha
 The boys picked an over-ripe green bean and planted the seeds in the carrot patch.  Looks like saved seed works. :)  I don't want beans planted there in late Aug...but...that's besides the point ;)
 anyone...?  What is going on here.  There are two kinds of tomatoes growing on this vine.  Big huge ones and little yellow grape/pear shaped ones.  It's not a illusion of two vines overlapping...its all coming from the same plant.  It's not supposed to be a's some kind of heirloom verity that Luke grabbed on clearance.  Does this happen?
I now have a secret (or not really all that secret) respect and obsession for power tools. :D
Doors that need to meet up in the middle evenly...the sweltering day only got hotter the more complicated that goal became. ;)
A birthday party for Poppy! :)

Ash made these flowers with pineapple slices...super cute :)
Looked like rain at the Holiday park playground, so we headed for the nature center.
The space kept them all busy for a little while. :)
And dinner at Luke and Jen's after the park.  Jude wasn't done with costumes and became an astronaut for the evening (this was before he ripped a gaping hole in the seat of his jeans and had to keep his shirt pulled down until we left and Noah got his finger smashed with a matchbox car...and a glass was shattered on the front step... ;) ha
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