Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An afternoon with the horses....

Our week has been a little off my plan. You see, on Monday K came down with a tummy bug. Those are NEVER in the plan. She's recovering slowly and was insistent that today she was well enough to go on our scheduled trip to a horse farm. I mean, after all, she had eaten 2 whole saltines today! Add that to the teeny tiny piece of toast she had yesterday and you'd swear she was fit as a fiddle. Since she has been fever free for over 24 hours, I agreed to take her...but we packed a bucket just in case!

She did fine...and sat whenever she could. I know she has to be weak from lack of nutrients. Still, the workshop was great and included loads of hands on stuff. K even brought a fresh egg home. It's already in the fridge in a container with a handmade label by K. I think she wants to make sure her brother doesn't use it for breakfast tomorrow!!

Here she is waiting her turn. Her horse was Gabe.

It may not look graceful, but she actually got up the easiest of the group. I think her height helped.

She was BEAMING!

Doesn't he look like a sweetie!?

Here are a few of the feathered friends. They were waiting for us to leave so they could come out of their coop.

K's already looking forward to a summer workshop where they get to bathe the horses. I wonder how many kids are at home right now trying to persuade their parents to buy them a horse. I tell you...there are 7 that I know!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring project....part 3

Today was H.O.T. There is nothing like waking up in April and jumping right into mid-summer. We knew we were a little behind on working on the garden, but this heat made us kick ourselves for not finishing the job sooner! Check out what we accomplished.

This is landscape fabric and we decided to put it down on the walkways in between the beds. The thought is that we may get some mulch later on, but for now this will work.

Here's a casualty of the garden project. It was a "cute little bush type thingie" that was in the way. Can you tell I'm a seasoned gardener?? I have all the right vocabulary down pat.

Almost finished with the landscape fabric. The temp is in the 90's and we had to keep taking water breaks. Not exactly the type of day to be doing this work, but the clock is ticking.

Next up are the fence stakes. We need to keep the dogs out of the garden beds. I can imagine puppies racing right through my tomatoes and hearing snap, snap. That would make me cry. So, the fence went up. I don't want to cry.

Dodger is feeling better and is back on duty. Mike said he was "guardin' the garden". Get it?

Ah, the fence is up. We invited my parents over with their dog to test it out. It worked. He looked puzzled, but he didn't try to run through it. Success!

It was getting dark, but we set up a grid on the small bed. I plan to plant herbs in here and wanted a way to keep them straight until they come up. The herb seeds will go in tomorrow. I ran out of daylight. The lettuce, carrots and radishes are planted. Crossing my fingers and hoping for something green to pop up....

other than a weed!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

more reasons to love spring....

What's not to love about this time of the year? Ok...I can see if you are an allergy sufferer you might not find it such a wonderful season. But there are drugs for that...get yourself to the pharmacy! STAT!! Then take a good look around you....

The garden beds are warming up.

The cottony soft lambs ear is already going strong.

My bunny is back in her hiding place in the garden.

Cute little plants are popping up in the garden.

The hosta are unfurling their little stalks and becoming huge, gorgeous green leaves.

Last but not least, one of my FAVORITE things about spring are storms rolling in after dinner.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awesome Spelling Program

Sometimes you find a gem online and you just have to share. We stumbled across this free online spelling program last September, but only really started using it the past few months.

I can see this benefiting not only homeschoolers, but any child. You can create your own word lists for the child to learn or use lists already stored on their program. K has a spelling book, but I decided to put all her lists on Spelling City. She goes on the site and chooses one of the lists. With a push of the button the program will teach her the words. It says the words and spells them out for her. Next she plays games with the words. There are several entertaining games to choose from. She is ready to test usually the same day she starts a list. Of course, there is a function online for testing. When she gets a 100%, I make a mental note of that. Then after a few days I give her a written test. Fortunately for her, she almost always makes a 100% on that, too. Otherwise, it's back to the drawing board for her.

I don't feel the need to drag a spelling lesson out for a whole week. If you know know them. However, I do review after a few weeks to make sure that the correct spelling has been maintained in the brain vault. K finds great satisfaction using this program and nailing a list down so quickly.

Best part for's free.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A little under the weather....

Our poor Dodger is under the weather. He's 13 years old now and illness takes it toll on him. He lost his pep in his step, so off we went to the vets. (not his favorite place, as a matter of fact) Do you know how pathetic an old beagle's look can get when he's at the vet and he's trying desperately to send eye signals to his master that it's a good time to high tail it outta there? Oh, I wish I had my camera. He was pleading, I tell ya. Anyway, we waited forever in the room and I was secretly wishing I knew how to high tail.

Finally, we left with all this and notes to remember it all. Geesh! I needed a spreadsheet to keep it straight those first few days. Pepcid AC twice a day an hour before food. Then antibiotic once a day with food, pain killer twice a day with food, benadryl twice a day, ear drops daily and ear cleaning every other day.

Diagnosis? He has lyme's disease and yeast infections in his ears and allergies.

We're nursing him back to health so he can resume his duties as....

"Yard Work Foreman"

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


There are many, many reasons I love this time of the year. I keep saying that!!

Here is one reason....

(don't forget you can click on any of the pictures to get a nice full size view. I think #4 is my favorite!)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

little bites of goodness

I love tomatoes...real tomatoes. The kind that you pluck off a tall green plant in your own backyard. They have a taste that is just incredible. When I try to eat what is in the grocery just makes me a little sad. It seems illegal in most cases that they could be sold as tomatoes, because they sure don't taste like them.

However, I have found one thing that makes me smile during the off-season.

Slow roasted tomatoes.

Let me tell you...when you slow roast tomatoes you need to be prepared for your house to smell insanely delicious. I made this pan of tomatoes and invited my parents over for dinner. I had a couscous recipe that I was tweaking and I knew these would bring the taste up several notches. Silly me thought I would have some leftover to store in the fridge for another meal. The joke was on me. We devoured them all at one meal. Everyone just kept picking them off the pan and I had to start waving around a spatula to clear the kitchen to save some for the recipe. :) I can hardly wait to try this out with some real tomatoes. I might have to arm myself with something a little scarier than a spatula, though....

Slow Roasted Tomatoes cherry (or grape) tomatoes salt pepper fresh rosemary or thyme, optional cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed, optional extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them cut-side up on baking sheet. Sprinkle over the salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. (just enough so that the tomato tops glisten) Slide the baking sheet into the oven and roast the tomatoes for about 3 hours. When they’re done, the tomatoes will be shriveled and a little dry looking, but press them gently and you’ll see that they still have some juice.

You can use them immediately in a dish or just pop them in your mouth! If you don’t need them now, take them(and the garlic and herbs) and cover them with olive oil. They will keep in the refrigerator for a week or so. However, we both know they won't last that long! They are that good. ENJOY!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

ready to go...

The beds are ready! I picked up radish, lettuce and carrot seeds and the plan is to have them in the dirt this week. Yep...that's the plan!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The night before Easter....

I actually thought for a minute that we wouldn't dye any eggs this year. Silly ME! K is having an egg hunt tomorrow with plastic eggs and she can't stand eating hard boiled eggs. However, I still needed hard boiled eggs for my deviled eggs tomorrow. I figured I could just make them using plain white eggs. W.R.O.N.G. What in the world was I thinking??? As soon as K got wind of my idea, she quickly made her opinion known. Since she is still a kid....I listened. ;o)

And we had fun.

Um...she had her face painted this morning and you can still see some of the bunny face. I didn't want you to think she had some weird skin affliction.

Getting fancy.

Wouldn't it be really cool if chickens just laid them this way?

The hunt goes on....

Our church scheduled their annual community-wide Easter Egg Hunt for this morning. Last year, K was sick and very disappointed that she missed it. So, this year she had her alarm set early and was dressed and ready hours before the hunt. Wouldn't you know, right before we headed out it started raining. :( A cold, yucky kind of rain. Mike and I started whispering about what alternative fun we could have to help ease the disappointment. Of course, we drove by to see if anyone was hanging around and wondered if the rain would let up before the scheduled time. Well, to our surprise....there was a parking lot full of people and the tents were set up. We could see the colored eggs dotting the hills. The hunt was going on as scheduled!! Miss K couldn't have been happier. So, we hung out in the rain(which actually came down harder), ate hot dogs way too early in the morning, entered raffles, had her face painted and watched the massive egg hunt. The rain was quite the advantage for the kids that did show up. K said it best early on...."rain means less kids, which means more eggs for me!" The parking lot cleared out quickly after the hunt as everyone hurried home to change their clothes. However.... everyone had fun!

Memories are made of this stuff!!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Over the weekend....

This past weekend we went to my niece's birthday party. It was an indoor pool party. The kids all had fun splashing around in the pool area. The adults stood around remarking how hot and steamy the room was, but I think each one was secretly wishing they had brought their bathing suit. Even now, as I look over the pictures I feel the pool calling my name. Ahhh, it won't be long.....

....til it's pool time!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

She built a town

Ok, so maybe she didn't really "build" a town. However, the other day I was watching K play on the blacktop in our backyard. She was riding around on her scooter. When I ventured out closer to take a picture, she called me over to see her town.

Here's a shot from our patio. Since I don't have a great fancy camera....I decided to go a little bit closer for some more shots. The trick was being she didn't see me.

Here I am inching a little bit closer....

In her town the speed limit is 50 mph.

There is a jail for those that ignore the posted speed limit!

Her town also has a church because every town needs a church(or two).

Here we see two way traffic and quite a sharp turn. Notice the stop sign...or you'll wind up

in the slammer!

In the center of town you will find that the sewer drain is open. Ewww, stay away!

Wonder if he will follow the town rules?