Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Nothing Really. Part #17.

1. Love the pretty pink summer flowers outside my sister's. I think they are Day Lilies..I should ask.

2.Finally! Fresh salads from the garden. Have I ever mentioned how much I love summer food?
{Spinach, cucumbers, blueberries and feta cheese}

3.My girls were with my sister yesterday afternoon into the evening.  (They stayed for dinner and ate Brussels sprouts...and loved them...yuck!) When I pulled into the driveway they were outside doing a bible study. Then she let them pick flower bouquets to give to me. :)

{27 1/2 weeks} I wrote on instagram that I need a teenager to give me "selfie" lessons. Ha!
I have no idea how girls take them. and guys for that matter.

The past couple days have been so cool and beautiful.
Today is only a high of 66. Crazy for July...but we'll take it!

Hope you're having a good week.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Next 90 Days.

Love my little potato peelers...
with them old enough to help in the kitchen, it's much more fun and efficient!

Eighteen pounds of cherries...lots of cherry jam.
My fingers are still stained purple.

Ice cream with cousins in between swimming sessions.

{My baby sister is getting married!!! ^^^}

Let me just say, our summer just exploded with busy. It's all good things, fun things, but oh so much.
(Amid all of this hustle, bustle craziness, I WILL find a day to go to the beach! I will! ;)

Over the next 90 days here's what's coming up....

......working farmers markets.

...wedding showers, personal showers and all the fun stuff that goes along with weddings.

.......a WEDDING!

.....my oldest son is part of a huge Quinceanera celebration.
He is actually the "Head Chaperone". {more on that later!}
Sooooo, we will be attending a Cotillion later this month.

...between my family and Jeff's, there are 19 birthdays in the next 90 days.

......taking care of our garden...picking, drying, freezing...etc.

....lots and lots and lots of canning to do,
especially once tomatoes are ready. and peaches. and apples. and raspberries...oh boy...

...the start of a new home school year which I need to plan and get ready for.

..and I'm having a baby!!!!
I am so not ready. {materialistically speaking} I'm ready, really ready to meet the baby,
I just don't have "stuff"  ready...all I own is a decorative duck I bought from an antique store! Ha.
I guess I've been putting things off because I have no idea what I'm having, so I don't know what to buy.
I'm sure once I get started I'll be on quite a roll.

Happy Evening to you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What to do with all that thyme.....

...and a little bit of lavender.

Thyme...one of my favorites in the herb garden.
There are different types of thyme...I grow German Thyme...
...although it's considered a "Greek" of "French" spice.

Thyme is a perennial, so it sprouts back up each spring.
Always a pleasant sight after a long winter.
It's very low maintenance and very easy to take care of...you really don't do much.
Just trim it every now and then to keep the plant fresh and growing properly.

So what to do with all that thyme you're growing? or buying at the farmer's market?

1.Cook With It!
{Remember, herbs are so much stronger when eaten fresh, so be careful}
When it comes to cooking, I tend to overuse thyme...so I've been told by a certain male in my home. ;)
I just love it so much.

Two of my favorite dishes I use thyme in....

Chop potatoes and onions, throw them into a baking dish,
top with (many) pats of butter and sprinkle thyme, salt and pepper on top.
Bake until potatoes are soft and begin to turn slightly brown.

Add it to homemade chicken soup...it changes the flavor drastically...
...it completely MAKES the soup! It's just as important as the chicken to me!
I won't make chicken soup without it.

2.Clean Your Face.
Thyme is known to kill bacteria...so why not take advantage?
Fill a mason jar with fresh thyme. Pour a bottle of witch hazel over the thyme...
...leave it sit in a warm area...give it a little shake whenever you think of it.

After three weeks, strain the witch hazel/thyme mixture so only the liquid is left.
Voila! Watch out Clinique!
Dab a little on a cotton ball and enjoy the fresh, natural feel on your skin.

*If you have some on hand, add a little lavender to the jar for a pretty aroma*

Well, that's all the thyme I have for today. {Ha!}

Monday, July 7, 2014

Corny Old Navy T-Shirts, how I love you....

{Growing Baby...26 weeks ^^^}

Nothing says 4th of July like....
....grilled food, watermelon, corny Old Navy t-shirts, fireworks, sparklers
and most of all friends and family. I'm sad it's already over this year.

Forever my parents have hosted a 4th of July party.
Forever my brothers and husband have put on their own firework display after we've already seen small town fireworks together. It's one of the days we most look forward to out of the entire year.
(I may say this after every holiday ;) But really, I do love the 4th of July!

Can't wait to see baby with our little group next year! ^^^

Summer...continuing on. Happy Monday.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Boredom. It's a good thing.

{Mint and Sugar Flower salad made by the Village Chef}

Boredom is .....
...a blank canvas
.....a place to create
...a gift
..... a necessity
..something we NEED to let our kids feel and experience

Boredom is what children need to drive them towards creativity.
They need freedom and space in their minds.

Parents often rob their own kids of time with constant entertainment,
extra curricular activities and busy, busy, busy in the name of "giving them opportunity".

You are actually doing your child a disservice by filling their every little second.
Give your child the gift of "Time on their hands".
Soon enough they will be busy and time will be hard to come by.

They need it so....to create.
They need to experience "nothing to do" so they can come up with "something to do"...
....on their own....using their own brains, their own minds.


Julie Robinson, the education and training director of the Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS), said more importance must be placed on reflection, meditation and calm. 
“It is all too easy for parents to be sucked into a competitive busyness, ensuring that children are constantly occupied and stimulated,” she said.

“We should not fear boredom however.
Quiet, reflective time is just as important as purposeful activity.”

All pictures in this post were taken in "The Village".
The Village is a small town that our kids and the kids next door to us
created and built over the past couple of years on a small strip of property the neighbors own.

Out of old boards and plywood they constructed houses...some high up in the trees, some on the ground.
They planted gardens (which are producing onions, peas and carrots),
their little homes are decorated...and they did it all on their own, no help from adults!

In the village there is also...
..a store
....a church
..a graveyard
.....a warehouse
and a village town hall.

When they are all grown up,
I believe memories of the village are going to be some of their favorites.

Flower Soup ~ made by Sophia ^^^

HereHere and Here are articles about kids and boredom if you're in a reading mood.
Happy Wednesday to you.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Outside, Inside.

The weather hasn't been the kindest this summer. humid. dreary. many, many clouds.
We are actually under a tornado watch right now. Big storms are on the way.
I feel like we live in England...everything so wet and green.
Gardens and flowers are growing beautifully though. Especially my ferns. They love the humidity.

It's so easy to keep the house clean during summer.
I made cinnamon biscuits for breakfast.

We have a music room in our house, it's upstairs.
It's tiny..there is a wall of hanging guitars. a violin. and my keyboard.
I'm thinking of changing it into a baby nursery. I haven't decided yet.
I like the little music room, but everyone usually plays music in the living room
or their bedrooms anyway and a little nursery would be cute. Hmmm....decisions, decisions.
I'm thankful I have a husband who puts up with my love of change and rearrange in our home.

I'm getting excited for baby...I can't wait! No one in this house can. :)
I am also getting very curious what baby is. Boy? Girl?
All the old wives tales about how you carry, how you feel, how emotions are...
none of those hold true for me...so I have no clues to what gender is growing inside of me.
Eventually we will know.

I'm going to take the flag on our front porch down before this big storm rolls in...I hear thunder already!
Hope you're having a great start to your week.
Happy Monday.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Strawberries and Sacred Jar Rings.

Even though I've gotten more organized with my canning gear over the years,
I still find myself scrounging around kitchen drawers and basement shelves...
....hoping to have enough rings for jars when it's time for processing.

Jar rings are like missing socks in this house.
Each jar is paired with it's own lid.
The lid never leaves the house...the lid is washed with the jar, kept with the jar...
....yet somehow there are always a few that go AWOL.

Since the only thing we've canned so far this summer is strawberry jam..I have an abundance.
Come late September when we're making applesauce, the last and final canning event of the season...
....that's when they will become sacred!

We went strawberry picking...Allison and I.
27 jars of jam we made. 6 quarts frozen for smoothies and muffins. The rest eaten fresh.

A few days ago I was in love...at this point I don't really care if I see or taste a strawberry for a while.

I love that my girls are old enough to be in the kitchen with me and help.
It's more fun to work with them at my side rather than all alone. I will miss these days in the future.

Happy Monday.