Saturday, April 30, 2011

First Tooth!

A few days ago Maeve's first tooth came loose. She was so excited and wanted her father to pull it immediately. Unfortunately, the tooth wasn't ready.

Maeve was showing off her loose tooth to friends and family today. While I was getting the kids a bedtime snack, Maeve left the room and pulled her own tooth. I couldn't believe it! What kind of girl pulls her own tooth? I would hide behind the living room furniture and it would take hours for my dad to pull my loose tooth. I understand that that was probably super wimpy, but I was at least expecting Maeve to want someone else to pull it. I think she might be my hero.

I would just like to add that I touched several worms today. On purpose. Does that make me sound less wimpy? No?

Maeve was incredibly disappointed and on the verge of tears after seeing her tooth. She couldn't believe it was so small and was certain it would only fetch a one dollar from the Tooth Fairy.

Well, Tooth Fairy be damned because Daddy just left for Toys R Us.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Week Menu

It was great having all of the meals planned so I'm going to do my best to keep at it. This past week didn't go according to plan, so I'll be keeping most of the menu the same for the upcoming week.

Friday 4/29
homemade donuts
whatever I feel like making after we've gone to the store
beef stew with rolls
*cook two chickens

Saturday 4/30
German apple pancakes
steak and waffles: a re-do of my son's birthday dinner since he was sick

Sunday 5/1
hard boiled eggs and fruit
fried rice and veggies
chicken and dumplings

Monday 5/2
leftovers if we have them, otherwise sesame noodles
lasagna with bread and green beans

Tuesday 5/3
rolls with butter, honey or jam
out to eat
*soak beans

Wednesday 5/4
eggs and toast, fruit
homemade mac and cheese
Greaser's Delight

Thursday 5/5
chicken and noodles

Friday 5/6
German apple pancake
meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans

Saturday 5/7
homemade donuts
pork chops, twice baked potatoes, broccoli

Sunday 5/8
rolls, fruit
pancakes, eggs, hash browns

Monday 5/9
maid rites with homemade fries
spaghetti and meatballs, green beans

Tuesday 5/10
hard boiled eggs, fruit
out to eat

Wednesday 5/11
have the kids make breakfast
tacos, rice

Thursday 5/12
German apple pancake
whatever is left in the cupboard to fix

Grocery list (we might go to Costco this month since almost everything on my list is a staple I can buy in bulk)
milk (4)
sesame oil
cheddar (2 blocks)
sour cream (2)
black beans
frozen blueberries

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter Eggs

I wanted to try dying eggs with food this year. We used blueberries, strawberries, onion skins, tumeric and grass. The grass was a last minute idea and the kids got antsy so we added green food coloring. I put a white sheet over a card table and let them go crazy with the dye after the eggs were finished. We're using the dyed sheet as our Easter table cloth and the kids are very proud of it.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Ghetto Trees

The weather here turned cold just as all of my fruit trees were starting to flower. We are already the only house on the block without a neatly manicured lawn, and I can only wonder what they all thought when they saw Sponge Bob Square Pants covering the cherry tree in our front yard.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rabbit Fail

Our doe, Flower, finally had a large litter of kits. We were happy to see that most, if not all were living and that she seemed to be a good mother.

Unfortunately, Flower refused to build her nest in the nest box and instead built in on the wire floor. She pulled some fur, but not a lot, and when the weather turned cold and extremely windy, all of her kits died.

I'm annoyed. Her first pregnancy was a miss, the second was stillborn and now this fiasco. I'm going to get her a different nesting box, but I really do not enjoy cleaning out or even seeing lifeless, hairless baby bunnies. They are even worse to touch.

Flower and Bowling Pin will be spending some quality time together soon. I am hoping that she gets her act together with this next litter because if she doesn't, I will start exploring other options. Like roast.

On a related note, we have a Flemish Giant doe named Fiona who has an attitude the size of Texas. My original plan was to breed her to Bowling Pin, our Californian, so that we'd have a cross for meat. Actually, my original plan before that was to keep her as a pet in the house, however I discovered that I am allergic to rabbits and that Fiona enjoys chewing cords way too much to be kept out of a cage. Anyway, I put Bowling Pin in Fiona's cage last month and she about killed him. She had backed him into a corner and was throwing a fit. Fiona was nasty for several days afterwards.

I honestly thought this rabbit thing would be easy, but we ended up with two silly does and one doe who is a great mother and nest builder, but older and a little too skinny for me to be comfortable breeding her.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cute Chicks

I love our chickens and had no idea they were such characters. We were playing with them and I guess wore them out because they all fell asleep on the arm of the chair. I think it was one of the most adorable things I've ever seen.

I need to keep reminding myself that I gave Drumstick her name for a reason.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Groceries for Two Weeks

A friend of mine recently shared a link to a book called Hungry Planet. The book is full of pictures from around the world and details what people buy from the market or grocery store.

I found it fascinating to see how much some families spent on food. I admit that I am frugal and I definitely think that making most things from scratch helps our budget, but one family spent around $500 for one week's worth of groceries. How is that possible??

Here is mine. The picture isn't as pretty, but this is what I bought for two weeks for my family of five. I spent $102. There are five bags of potatoes hidden behind everything.

I posted my menu and grocery list here and stuck to it, with the exception of vinegar, more potatoes than planned (they were on sale for .88/bag) and orange juice.

Violet Jelly

Wash and rinse the violets
2 C violets
2 C boiling water
1/4 C lemon juice
1 box pectin
4 C sugar
Add boiling water and let steep up to 24 hours. 
Bring violet juice, lemon juice and pectin to a rolling boil.

This was a hit with my family. I need to find more violets.
Add sugar and boil for one minute.

Process 10 minutes in a hot water bath.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Four Years Ago Today...

Happy Birthday to my sweetest middle child, Finnegan.

Finn told me that he skipped a year and that today he's actually five.

Yeah, buddy, and I'm turning 30 again this year.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Learning Update

I am amazed at how much can be learned from everyday life.

I recently bought math books from Singapore Math and the kids really enjoy them....when they are motivated to work on them. I don't force my kids to sit down and learn. If they are not in the mood, everyone involved gets frustrated and upset. Maeve has worked through the first 15 pages or so of her math book and I don't know if the lessons have inspired her, or if she is starting to finally be interested in numbers, but she has been counting everything. Maeve even counted from 1-100, which is a big deal for her. After she counted to 100 she turned to Finn and said "I bet you can't count that high." Finn was like "Dude, I've been counting that high since I was two."

We've been studying weather lately and learning about the different types of clouds and how to read weather forecasts.

We've also been very busy playing outside, working in the garden and exploring. The kids have made several worm  homes and have discovered that a wheel barrel really isn't the best place to put worms before a big rain. Oren has decided that he does like to eat dirt and that feeding the rabbits is awesome. He has also been jumping off a whole slew of things in the yard and I'm thanking my lucky stars as each day passes without him needing stitches.

Our family has grown. Our rabbit, Flower, recently had bunnies. I counted at least five today and am looking forward to when they get a bit bigger and we can handle them. I think the kids will get a kick out of watching the babies grow. We have three chicks too. I believe they are Red Sex Linked chicks. It will be fun getting the kids involved in the coop building. I also think they'll be able to help care for the chickens. Oren is all about feeding the animals and gets upset when I do it without him. Maeve loves her chick, Feathery, and Finn likes to watch his chick, Chickeny, run around, but isn't too interested in touching it because he doesn't want to have to wash his hands.

I love this time of the year.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Menu and Groceries

It's been forever since I've planned meals. I spend so much less and don't stand in the kitchen at 4 pm twiddling my thumbs and wondering what I'm going to fix for dinner. So, in an effort to get back on track, here's my menu for the next two weeks.

Breakfast: oatmeal with frozen strawberries or blueberries
Lunch: whatever we want to eat as we are unpacking the groceries
Dinner: Sweet and sour meatballs over rice with green beans
*make dough, make meatballs when we get home from the store

Homemade donuts filled with various jams
ask the sweet birthday boy what he wants
*make a cake

eggs and toast or rolls
homemade mac and cheese
birthday party
*make coconut cream pie in am

German apple or blueberry pancake
maid rites with homemade fries
manicotti with bread sticks and green beans
*cook two chickens, make more dough

out to eat
*make pretzels

tacos with beans, rice, salsa, etc.

sunny side up egg in the middle of toast
potato soup
*make sandwich bread

cinnamon toast
kids' choice or let them cook

sesame noodles with carrots
meatloaf, mashed potatoes, broccoli

eggs, hash browns, toast

German apple or blueberry pancake
fried rice with veggies
pasta with meatballs, broccoli

hard boiled eggs and fruit
chicken and dumplings
out to eat
*soak beans, make dough

rolls with butter and honey
hamburgers with homemade fries
Greaser's Delight (my husband's creative name for nachos)

beef stew with rolls

Grocery List
brown sugar
cheddar cheese
heavy whipping cream
sour cream
black beans
canning jar lids
tortilla chips
muffin liners
baking powder

Why My Lettuce Won't Grow

With a Chick, Chick Here....

Meet Chickeny, Drumstick and Feathery.

I am amazed at how fast these suckers grow!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


 Oren asked me to take these pictures and then posed while saying "cheese". I love this kid.

The thing in his hand is his special screw driver. He carries it around all day so that he can fix things as he sees fit. That includes his brother and sister.

Oren is almost always sporting some sort of bump. The one on his forehead is because he went barreling down the hallway and neglected to see the wagon directly in his path.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Keeping It Real

This is what my kitchen looked like after dinner. Notice the huge, delicately balanced stack of pots in the sink? They are all still there because I didn't have it in me to do dishes after the kids fell asleep.
This is my living room. The yarn all over the floor is from Maeve taping a huge spider web onto the walls and then knocking it down. After knocking down the web, the kids took the ends of the huge ball of yarn and ran all over the house with it. The blocks are from a destroyed dinosaur house. I have no idea why the soccer net is in the living room.

 This is the always messy (with water all over the floor because Oren has figured out how to turn on faucets) bathroom. I put toilet paper on the holder every day and it's forever empty. I'm almost certain a great deal of it is waded up on the floor next to the toilet.

The toy area of the dining room. The monkey in the picture was very tired. The pillows and blankets were from the kids pretending to be dogs in a whelping box. Do you see the bit of yarn around the table leg? The dining room is not close to the living room.

All of the mess in the pictures is from today. I think the laundry room and half of my desk are the only clean spots in the house.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

My Bunch

I love my kids.

I often times complain about Oren's busy ways, but there is nothing better than when he wraps his little arms and fingers around my neck and hugs me. Or when he give me a toothy grin because he's about to do something terrible. My heart melts when he laughs that huge belly laugh that comes from pure happiness and joy. He truly is amazing.

Finnegan is my most sensitive kid. His feelings are hurt easily and he has a gentle soul. Finn is a snuggler and a silent observer. He feels and loves deeply and almost always has good intentions. Finnegan is funny, smart and kind hearted. He, too, is amazing.

Maeve is in a league of her own. She is the oldest and very clever. Maeve is also kind hearted and will often times offer to spend her money on a toy for Finnegan. She adores her brothers, but you will seldom hear her admit it. Maeve is creative, strong willed, spunky and loves nature. She, of course, is amazing.

I am so lucky to be a mom and have the opportunity to homeschool my kids. Life doesn't get much better.

Actually, I take that back. I think when my kids discover that they can serve me breakfast in bed, life will get better. And life might get just a touch better when Oren stops jumping off of tables and furniture. In the meantime, I think I have it darn good.