10.31.2011

Trick-or-Treat

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Costumes and My Grandma

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My Grandma.  Though it has been many years now since she passed away, I still think of her on a daily basis.  And more then ever since having children and moving to our farm.  So many things that have become an important part of my life were introduced to me by my her.  She was the one who taught me how to can.  Who picked berries with me and then taught me how to make them into jam.  She loved to bake.  She loved to draw.  She loved nature.  And she loved to sew.  When my sister and I were little she sewed us clothes and costumes.  As I got older, she taught me how to sew and helped me make my first quilt.

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Recently I came across this picture (Kirsten and Sarah in the crayon costumes and Katie and I in the cat and bunny... too cute) and wondered if they would fit my children.  So the last time we were at my parent's house we dug them out and tried them on, a perfect fit.  They were so excited about them too, knowing that auntie Katie and I had worn them when we were little.  My Grandma had sewn these for us one Halloween and I have such fond memories of helping to pick out the pattern and the fabric and excitedly watching the progress.  What a delight to several years later see them on my own children.

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Treat Bags

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Today while we were waiting ever so patiently for the big night, we decided it would be fun to make some treat bags. I had picked up some fabric yesterday that I thought would work and thankfully they loved it.

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In the past we had just used random bags so it was really fun to make something special they can use every year.

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We were all pretty happy with how cute they turned out. 
And now to fill them up...

10.30.2011

Coziness Around the Fire

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I am loving, loving, loving our Sunday afternoons around here lately.

The Annual Pumpkin Carving Party

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Highlights
~ My parents joined us this year too (along with Katie and Kris as always)
~ Jackson's excitement in using "knifesaws"
~ Cookies and pie
~ Grace and Jackson cleaning out their whole pumpkin themselves
~ Their creative faces
~ The countdown to trick-or-treating

My Girl and Her Knitting

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Last summer, when I started knitting my first sweater, Grace suddenly became very interested in knitting.  She begged me to teach her, and I hesitated a little since, well, I barley knew how to knit myself.  But I showed her anyway and to my surprise, she got it.  After she finished her small square, she was determined to make something with the same yarn I used for the sweater.  She decided on a scarf to which (I'm embarrassed to admit) I never really thought she would finish, mostly because it seemed like such a big undertaking for a five year old and I thought she would probably lose interest along the way.  But instead her interest grew, and she worked and worked.  And sure enough, she finished the scarf, only to declare that now she needed a hat.

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So a hat was made (while I learned to make one along with her since I had never made one myself before).  And now she's moved on to making wash clothes for the new baby (really "soft and pretty ones, that the baby will love"). 

I'm so, so proud of her, but even more so, I'm so excited.  As we sit and knit together she will constantly say, "mom, I love knitting so much" and I just keep thinking... even if this ends up being the only thing we have in common someday, I am so lucky.  What a great thing to be able to share with each other.

10.24.2011

So Long

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This is what a hundred years worth of barn contents looks like as it's leaving your house.  Don't get me wrong, we have found plenty of treasures in that barn too.  When we moved in we inherited some real gems.  But we also inherited over a centuries worth of "oh let's just put that in the barn for now"s.  Of course we contributed a lot to this pile too.  As we've replaced windows and doors to our house, the old ones were put in the barn.  When Ryan worked at smaller jobs and needed to get rid of miscellaneous this or that's, they were put in the barn too.  But no more.  It felt so good to get rid of all that.  On top of the dumpster, we also made countless trips to the goodwill and two trips to our county environmental center (with old paint cans, old tvs, etc.).   There's still a lot of organizing that needs to be done, especially on the top floor.  But, slowly but surely everything is getting a place.  It feels wonderful.

10.23.2011

Home Again

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Today we scrapped all other plans for uno, knitting, and football watching (well that part was Ryan of course). It's always a treat to hear all the stories from when I was gone.

One of my favorite cozy family days in a long time.

Girls Weekend

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Laughing
Catching up
Amazing food
And pies
Staying up way past my bedtime talking
But still waking in up to see the beautiful sunrise
Even the car ride was delightful

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So thankful to have had this group of girls in my life for the past 20 years.

10.21.2011

Today

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Today was a really good day.  Not only was I incredibly productive, which doesn't happen a lot these days, but everyone was in pretty good spirits too.

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By noon, I had baked two pumpkins and a double batch of pumpkin muffins, made granola and a pot of cream of broccoli soup, and I even managed to give everyone a bath.

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By dinner time I had vacuumed the house, cleaned our bedrooms, folded three loads of laundry, picked some more potatoes, peas, and onions and cleared another garden.

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And somewhere in there we read books and ran around in the field (where I got to play with my new camera lens a little... love it).  What a beautiful autumn day it was. 

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But the highlight for me might have been the fact that these two played so well together all afternoon.  Never mind the fighting this morning... somehow this afternoon they managed to have four whole hours of playing together without so much as a squabble.  No wonder I got so much done actually. 

Anyway, definitely a noteworthy day. 

And tomorrow a girls night away for me!

10.17.2011

The Last of the Garden

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Over the past week we have been harvesting and harvesting.  The potatoes are never ending.  I have committed myself to trying to dig up at least a small pile each day.  Slowly I am making progress.  I pulled the rest of our tomatoes off today as I think it's suppose to get below freezing on of these nights.  They are all still green so I tucked them away in hopes they'll ripen soon.  The onions are still out there, though I'll grab those this week sometime.  Then all that will be left is our secondsies... second crop of peas (loving those), lettuce, and carrots (which won't be ready for awhile yet).  I am torn between being slightly glad that the never ending cooking, baking, canning, freezing frenzy will be over, but also sad knowing how much I'm going to miss it all for the next several months.  Hopefully, the jars in the cupboard and freezer will help get me through. 

Some notes for next year...

~ The beans we grew this year were the best.  I cannot for the life of me remember (or track down) what kind they were.  I think they were "Trail of Tears"  but I'm not sure.  I did save the seeds so hopefully that works.

~ Peas... I need to look back on when we planted peas last spring and move it up a week or more.  They were ready right about the same time we went on vacation.  Otherwise one garden full was a great amount.  Next year I also have to faster at freezing them though, we lost a big batch the first go around.   

~ Corn... pay closer attention next year.  We were a little late in harvesting them. 

~ Tomatoes... grow more

~ Edemame... yes

~ Oats... don't let the chickens eat them

~ Potatoes... we really grew a lot of these (one full large garden and two triangle ones) but I think it will end up being a good amount.  Should get us through the winter.

~ White beans... don't bother.

~ Beats, kale, collards... a few was fine.

~ Cucumbers... don't do it.

~ Pumpkins... one garden full is still good.

~ Onions... maybe more next year.  They are easy to grow and good keepers.

~ Watermelon... Have to look up what kind it was but must repeat (sugar baby I think).  They were delicious.

~ Strawberries... more, more.  I'm going to try and transplant some yet this fall.

~ Butternut squash... well I love it even if I can't get my kids to eat it. 

~ Broccoli... yum.  Next year I want to try harder to grow a second crop.  I think I planted to late this year.

~ Zucchini... one seed really is just perfect.

10.16.2011

Determination

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One day last week Grace and Jackson both came excitedly running to the door and Grace yelled out "Mom, mom you have to come quick! Jackson has a surprise to show you... and it's amazing!"

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So of course I came running out and there was definitely an amazing surprise. Jackson (with some start off help from Grace) was learning to ride a two wheeler. They practiced all week, with Grace coaching him along.

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And while he's still working on turning and stopping, he actually is riding a two wheeler.  Just a few shorts months after Grace learned herself she has helped her brother learn too... I'm inspired... by both of them.

10.14.2011

10.12.2011

Juice

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4 apples
1 small beet (and maybe a beet leaf or two)
2 leaves of kale
Run through a juicer

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Yum!

Remembering (and Getting Excited)

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10.10.2011

Weekend At My Parents

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Weekend Highlights...
~ The big swing
~ Being a part of my sister's surprise birthday extravaganza
~ Picking out pumpkins
~ Seeing my belly for the first time on film... oh dear, I still have four months to go (I guess this might not really be a highlight)
~ Cowboy Jackson
~ Running into some friends unexpectedly at the orchard
~ Watching Grace and Jackson have so much fun with the "neighbor kids"
~ Sleeping in until almost 9
~ Seeing Fall colors everywhere

(all pictures except the first one courtesy of my dad)

10.06.2011

Today

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