Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Garden pictures

Gosh I love beans. I love the way they grow, their vines reaching for the sky as fast as they can. I love the way they taste too... I even love the the way the purple ones produce faster than the green and the way they turn green as they are cooked. Just love them! :)

I do, however, now understand why people plant in rows. It is terrible to reach behind and inside my bean teepee this year. I made it huge, like I always do, but with the sunflower house that I planted for the kids at the same time as I planted the beans, I thought that no one would need to get inside of my 12 ft tall bean teepee this year. So I would add that side to my planting area. I won't do it again. It is back breaking trying to get inside the teepee to get the beans from the center and the season is just starting! lol.... You really do learn new things every single year.

My purple and orange carrots. Just big enough for a stir fry along with my CSA peas tonight. YUM!

Cyan and I spent this week doing poineer stuff... one of those things was planting a winter garden. We planted swiss chard, more carrots, salad greens, romaine for head lettuce, beets for greens, and a whole large row of winter peas. It should be neat to see how her winter garden grows!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Trying something new...

For the next 6 weeks, Cyan and I are trying homeschool. She doesn't start school until the 5th of Sept, and Alex is gone until the 28th of August so the next 5 weeks should be easy. This week is Pioneer week. Today we are making hot crossed buns (the old fashioned way) and making a patch work quilt for her dolls (with a machine, so the new age way, which will be featured on her blog when she is done... she is very proud!). She is loving it so far!

It has been far easier than I thought to incorporate lessons into these daily tasks. Math in measuring, reading also in the cooking, talking about plants when planning our winter garden, and colors and how they work together in making the quilt. It has been a good two days. Not sure when I will bring in books, I have three more lesson weeks planned out, some with dittos and some book learning as well... but I gave the 'pioneer week' a couple weeks just in case it took off like it has.

By the first of school we will see if it is something we can do for a longer period of time... like a year. Either way, she will benifit from the lessons this summer.

And we are having loads of fun. :)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Alex is 11 years old!


OMG... I have a full-on preteen. And I adore him. He is into yoyo's, slight of hand magic tricks, Spiderwick, Harry Potter, YuGiOh & Pokemon, growing things, taking bike rides, swimming, and just being a great kid. I feel so lucky to have two such beautiful older children to see this world with!


Every day is a mystery worthy of being discovered.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Birthday Breakfast

My mom started the dutchman tradition when I was really young. We always got our own personal dutchman pancake on our birthdays, and then the family would get the big one to split. We got to pick whatever type of fruit topping we wanted. Usually we picked a berry, but occasionally we picked things like apple pie filling or peaches. I have many a birthday morning picture of me or my brothers sitting at the table with fork and knife, ready to dig in to our personal bit of birthday joy with a huge grin on our faces.

The tradition is alive and well in my own family. Both my children love waiting for their own personal birthday breakfast, and love the idea of getting to pick their topping just like I did when I was young. I love that I have carried that on.

Dutchman Pancake
Preheat oven to 400*

Put two cast iron pans, one 7 inches and one 12 inches in the oven while preheating.
8 eggs
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
2 tea salt

Put ingredients in the blender and mix for 45 seconds or so.
Put a Tbs of butter into the hot pan, wait for it to melt and coat the pan with the butter. Pour the batter into the hot, buttered pans (splitting accordingly 3/4 in the large one and the remainder in the personal) and turn the pan so it lightly coats the sides with batter. Put in the oven for 20 minutes, checking to see the small one after this time (the large one may need another 5 minutes or so).

I make most of my fruit fillings with just fruit and a bit of sugar in the raw, but to the peach I add cinnamon and a bit of lemon juice to keep that beautiful apricot color.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Birthday Party

Birthday cake is somewhat overrated... who wants birthday cake when you can eat dirt. Right?

Actually, these ARE birthday cake. Well, birthday parfait anyway. Fudge brownie, french vanilla icecream, a gummie worm, crushed Oreo cookies, and a mint sprig from the garden make a perfect garden party parfait. They were yummy, included all of the necessary birthday cake things (like cake and icecream) and were just a heck of a lot of fun.

Food table... there was this and chicken, garden burgers and hamburgers from the grill. Simple, but wonderful backyard food. The punch is raspberry lemonade with 7-up, mint leaves and frozen blueberries.

Birthday kids "cakes"... A large star brownie, topped with a scoop of icecream, a mint sprig, an Oreo and the oh so necessary candle.

Birthday girl, swinging with her friends.

Alex laughing and having a great time with his friends.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Ducks

These sweet ducks live about a mile from us at the old Olympia Brewrey Falls park. I miss the old brewrey something terrible some days. The horn used to blow at 8:30am, noon, and 5pm every day. It hasn't blown now for three years. The last time it blew, before they took it down and moved it, it had a mornful air and they blew it for over a minute. It got me all choked up. Just like most in this area, I lived with that sound three times a day for more than half my life, not to mention the other hunreds of locals that the brewrey gave supported and gave work to.
This was three years ago now...
But the ducks remain.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Chocolate Covered Cherry

Cyan asked me last night to make chocolate covered cherries for our outing to Bloudel Gardens today... I had chocolate, and fresh local cherries. So I did. :)

Did I mention I was obsessed?

Here is my lunch bag. I made it with a stiff bottom 5 inches so things would be less likely to be squished (and I made it a bit bigger as well). Still lined with PUL for water proofness (is that a word?) and with only one sandwich wrap. But I thought it turned out cute.

Here is Alex's. The Kanji for FAST was a gift from a friend, and I thought it fit perfect. Alex loves it actually, and the matching wraps have already been used, just like Cyan's.


There isn't much more happiness and zen than in finding something you are good at, that you love to make, and for it to be loved, used, and practical on top of all that.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Lunch Obsessed

In the spirit of the last week of school I was really ready for sorting out lunch stuff, and finding new stuff for next year when I will have two who need to take a lunch every day. So this was timely and perfect for me. Slowly but surely, with many interruptions from my teething sweetling, I am getting all of their stuff cut out and put together.

They will each have two bags, one for their bento boxes and one for their sandwich wraps and PUL treat bags. It is shaping up to be a fun way to do lunch!

This is Cyan's lunch/sandwich bag:

Little details make this bag extra nice. It is fully lined with waterproof PUL, and has a bias top. It secures with Aplix Velcro tape and has a pocket for notes, should I need to tell her something, or just let her know I was thinking about her. I love it honestly... even more now as she has used it for the past three days to go on "picnics" in the backyard.

To make these sandwich wrap and place mats was my friend Sarah's idea... and it works perfectly! For the last two days Cyan has put everything from her breakfast croissant to her PB&J's in it and it has done it's job beautifully. I am really excited and already have 4 done (two for Alex in a red car print and two in this plaid for Cyan that coordinates with her bag) and 4 more cut out (again, 2 for each of the two kids).

More to come. I have been sewing a lot lately...

My first CSA share

It is wonderful!
I got two pints of strawberries, three heads of lettuce,
a bunch of radishes, and some bok choy.

But the best part was the herbs...