Dh and I celebrated our 21st anniversary last week. Here's a neat shot my daughter got of us at the coast after our hike (hence the wild hair - lol). It's nice having someone old enough to take pictures. Most of our married life we have pictures of one parent with the children, but very few of us alone together.
The garden is producing a large amount of squash now. In fact, some have overgrown and it is time to "bless" some friends with some I think. My children will enjoy dropping it off at the doorstep, knocking on the door, and then running. My kind of fun. Here was today's lunch: Sauteed patty pan and crooked neck squash with Walla Walla onion and garlic, topped with grated cheddar cheese. Yum. I just found this recipe for patty pan squash. I personally like to eat mine when they are smaller, but this recipe looks great for overgrown size. Patty Pan recipe
The whole family went hiking at Neahkahnie Mountain at the Oregon coast. This was my first hike with the family and of course it was PJ's first hike, too. It was gorgeous. The top was very steep and actually a bit scary thinking about my little children up there. Surprisingly, our 3-yr old kept up with everyone and even meandered around trees making it harder on himself. Our 6-yr old needed to take a few stops. On the way back down, I spotted what looked like a green ball in the greenery. Upon closer look, it was part of a plant of some kind. I took a picture of it and a picture of the leaf that is attached to the vine with the "ball". Does anyone know what this is?
I normally don't put up cherries, but my friend came across a good deal on organic cherries (2nds). They were 20-lb cases for $20, so I ordered 3 cases. I froze half and canned the other half to put on yogurt throughout the year. And this little cherry pitter saved the day ($14.99). However, the little gasket already is mangled and there is only one replacement (with no place to order more).
I wonder if I can get plain rubber at the hardware store so I can cut my own gasket to match?
We celebrated my forty-somethingth birthday today. Dh made his wonderful lasagna (I've told him that I cannot compete with perfection). It was out of this world. My parents and sister-in-law came over. And more raspberry pie for dessert. My parents gave me a gift certificate for a day of pampering at a spa. Whoa - having a hard time wrapping my head around such royal treatment.
Oh, and on Saturday night, my 16-yr old son prepared fried chicken and had help with the mashed potatoes and gravy. All of this good cooking is definitely going to require a heavy dose of gym activity this week. Boy, am I spoiled.
And here are my favorite flowers. Zinnias remind me of the flowers I used to draw in kindergarten.
Boy, where does time go? I can barely keep up with anything around here. Raspberries are in and the children and I picked 50 pounds earlier in the week. We made thirteen pies: 2 are eaten and 11 are in the freezer! Woo-hoo! Last year we made a bunch of pies and I mixed berries, but we all decided that our very favorite pie was 100% raspberry. It is truly out of this world. I had to make 2 recipes of pie dough (10 pounds of flour total) from the Make-a-Mix book (Moist Pie Crust recipe). Now with the remaining berries, I'm making 10 half-pints of freezer jam. A few years ago I discovered Pomona pectin. It is great because I can double, triple, or even quadruple recipes. The pectin you get at most grocery stores allows you to only make one recipe at a time - total waste of time for a family like mine.
Oh, and it's definitely popsicle weather. I used yogurt, orange juice concentrate, raspberries, and a bit of honey for these.
My echinacea is going crazy, too.
Hope everybody is enjoying the summer and all the fruit. I'm in berry heaven right now!
When we got back from camping, we discovered our Transparent apple tree was dropping lots and lots of apples. The children gathered up more than 10 grocery bags of apples - our biggest lot ever since moving here over 5 years ago. We really don't know what we are doing in caring for the trees. The first few years we trimmed them back like the previous owner had showed us. We didn't get many apples at all. For the last 2 years, we haven't trimmed them at all and now we got a load. Hmm.
19-yr old spent most of yesterday and today working on applesauce and I am taking over tonight as she, her brother, and father went to see Pirates. So far we've got 56 quarts canned. Transparent apples are t - - -a - - -r - - - t - - TART!!! Guess what we'll still be doing tomorrow?
Canning is one of the skills I learned as an adult - in fact, it was the summer after we moved in this house as I noticed our fruit trees ripening. It was fun looking up how to can and having the children involved in the process. We typically can at night (late night) and play games as the jars are processing. It's a great family tradition and I'm sure the kids will have great memories. Yes, indeed, I am a homeschooler - life is full of learning :)
19-yr old daughter was making almost 4-yr old his burrito, but he didn't want to wait. He wanted it now!
19-yr old: “M., you need to be patient. Do you know what patient means?”
M.: “Yes, it means be quiet.”
We went camping over the 4th of July holiday for 6 days/5 nights with another family at Sparks Lake near Mt. Bachelor, Oregon. On our way, we passed through the small town of Madras, Oregon. I'm sure the people in the town of Madras had PFC Thomas Tucker and his family on their minds this holiday. We passed a memorial with candles, balloons, yellow ribbons, etc. It was very touching and put into perspective the meaning of our nation's birthday.
Billboards and storekeepers expressed their thoughts to the Tucker family. There was hardly a business that did not acknowledge the Tucker family.
Traveling for 4 hours, we encountered such diverse terrain. All of these photos were taken as my husband was driving 55-60 mps and through the window - it really is that gorgeous.
We had a wonderful time roughin' it with another family: 14 people and 6 tents. The nearest outhouse was 1/2 mile a way, so we could either walk around or canoe across the lake. The weather was in the 40s (there were areas with snow near our campsite!) in the evenings and as high as the 80s in the daytime. We had 2 days of thunder/lightning which included downpours and even marble-sized hail. My kids got their yearly quota of hot dogs and smores at this one campout!
One day, the group went hiking on Mt. Bachelor to go "treasure hunting". I stayed at the campsite with the baby and enjoyed several hours of reading - a very rare treat. When they all returned, I was surprised to hear about their treasures. They hiked just beneath the chair lift, looking for items that fell out of people's pockets. Normally you find pocket change and this was no exception; however, this time, they found a cell phone, digital camera (last picture taken was June 2005 and still works), lift pass card, credit card, bracelet, and my 8-yr old found my favorite - an Ipod. How fun!
Enough babble. Here are my favorite pics.
This was our view at our campsite - it was absolutely breathtaking (see the rainbow?).
Dh made the little boys bows and arrows. For the arrows, he used a wooden skewer and cut out the "feather" using the lid of a yogurt container. I should have taken a close-up of the bow. Dh was making more arrows every day - they flew really well.
Hope you had a wonderful holiday!