Zoe in the Kitchen

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Zoe has recently started to want to do her own work in the kitchen.  She has always helped me in the kitchen but she wants to do it herself.  And she doesn’t want to use a recipe out of one of our books she wants to use her own recipe.  I love her creativity.  It started with the cookbook she created with recipes like Raisin Snack, Jalapeno Spicy and Apple on a Stick.  One of her latest experimental recipes was Apple Crispies. 

Basically rice crispy treats with apple and cinnamon.  It didn’t turn out quite like she was expecting but the flavor was good.  She identified what went wrong and what to do to correct it for next time.  I was quite impressed!  We’ll share the recipe once it’s been perfected.

Pumpkin Party

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I love pumpkins!  So what better way to enjoy pumpkins even more than by having a Pumpkin Party.  I’m so glad to have friends willing to party for reasons such as this.  Today was our first annual Pumpkin Party.  We started by, of course, getting slimy and sticky gutting out some pumpkins.

Next we headed outside for a pumpkin hunt. 

Working as a team the kids read clues and searched for the pumpkins hidden throughout the yard.

Victory!  All pumpkins were safely found.

And two little girls love to pose.

After the hunt we came inside to enjoy pumpkin dip, pumpkin bread with pumpkin butter, pumpkin scones and pumpkin coffee.  Lets just say YUM!  We had a blast and plans are already in the works for next year.  

A Day at the Park

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A friend called the other day and said “I need to practice with my camera in Manuel.  Can I use your kids?”  Of, course!  I’d love it.  And off we went to get awesome pictures.  OK, so it wasn’t quite that smooth.  First, we had to discuss when the weather would be best and where it would be best to get all the great fall colors.  Then there was the last minute plan change.  But, the outcome was beautiful.

As you can see I loved so many of the pictures taken.  And trust me, this isn’t all of them but don’t be surprised if you see more later.  Thanks again, Ruth, for using my kids.  Anytime, anywhere 🙂 

I think she's ready

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Today Abigail decided she was ready for some real food.  I honestly haven’t thought much about giving her solids yet but this morming while sitting on my lap during breakfast she was expteemly interested in my bowl.  I gave her a little taste of oatmeal and we moved on.  At lunch she took matters into her own hands.  She was again on my lap and I had just sat down to my sandwich.  She leaned in with her mouth open wide and started sucking away on the bread.  I gave her a sample of my soup and she was quick to open her mouth and take it all.  OK girl, I can take a hint…we’ll make you some food.

And since we’re on the supject how about we review a few facts about Abby. 

She will readyily roll from her back to her stomach but, really, she doesn’t like being on she stomach much.  Tummy time is short lived around here.    Although, today she did start pushing herself all the way up with her hands and then pushed her legs off my hands to move forward.  She was not happy about it and complained as she scooted toward Greg.

She is adored by her big brother.

Maybe a little too much.

She enjoys sitting at the table with the family during meal times.

She would much rather be sitting up watching the activity around her than laying on the floor.  She is starting to look eager to take off after her siblings.   

She enjoys playing at the lake on warm summer days.

Haning around with a buddy always makes it better

She is a sweet girl who has brought much joy to this family.

Butchering Day

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Has come and gone.  It’s always a busy crazy kind of day but when it is over my freezer is packed (stuffed) with little white packages of meat.  All pork products are off the grocery list!  I’ll share a few pictures of the days events.  A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful helpers we had. 

WARNING:  Pictures will show the butchering of the pigs.  No blood and guts (that was on slaughtering day).  Just meat being made into the desired cuts.  It’s up to you if you want to continue 🙂

The pigs arrive home in the back of the trailer wrapped in plastic and on ice.

The teaching…the learning

Ribs, soon to be bacon, a ham and I think that’s a head

Pork chops.  The meat saw was a new and wonderful addition this year.  Made things neater and so much faster.

A little ham for Christmas?

The set-up and a few helpers

We were blessed with the perfect butchering weather.  Chilly and no rain.

Sausage!  We tried new seasonings this year and LOVE them.  Breakfast, Hot Italian and a little Mild Italian.  YUM!

Our packaging line in the house.  After a quick packaging lesson these kids made quick work of it all.  A great relief to me.  Well, that was it in a nutshell.  Thanks again to everyone that made this day a success!


High on the Hog

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Today is piggie day!  Yesterday the butcher came out and slaughtered our three little piggies for us.  Don’t worry Ali, there will be no pictures of that on the blog.  I stay in the house while all that is happening.  Chickens are one thing but pigs are just a little different.  To me anyway.  Zoe on the other hand…now that is one hard core farm girl! 

Last year we told her she could watch this year and boy did she remember that.  We had watched a video of a slaughter so she had an idea of what was happening.  I kept asking her if she was really sure she wanted to watch.  Her reply  “Yes mom.  I know what they are going to do.  I watched the chickens.”  So, she and Greg went out with the butchers.

  When they left I headed out to see how it went and the first thing Zoe said was “I got to see the brain!!”  Awesome.  What a great school day.