Monday, May 26, 2014



 As is tradition in May, we went strawberry picking.  We went again this year with some wonderful friends, but it wasn't so much of a "leisurely" day this time.  It was pick and get out.  We had many other things to do that day.  We did have to take a few minutes for pictures though.  Far to often we forget to get family pictures.  I enjoy seeing my children as stair steps, and there always has to be a funny guy.  ;)


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homemade yogurt

This is a new thing for me just this week...homemade yogurt.  I've already had to make it twice, it's so yummy and it's so easy! 
Here's how...
you need 1/2 gallon whole milk (8cups) (do not use ultra-pasteurized) pour it into a crock pot, turn on low for 2 1/2 hours with the lid on, then turn the crock pot off for 3 hours (leaving the lid on), next scoop out 1/2 cup plain yogurt and 2 cups of the warmish milk, mix together, pour it back into the crockpot and mix, put the lid back on and insulate the crockpot with blankets or towels for 8 hours or so.  It's DONE!  You can add fruit, granola, honey, make a smoothie.  It's great for breakfast or snacks or dessert!
Your yogurt will last in the fridge for 7-10 days.  Reserve 1/2 cup as a starter to make the next batch instead of buying the plain yogurt.
With homemade yogurt it is thinner than store bought because it doesn't have extra additives like pectin.

summer school

Years ago we did lessons straight through the summer, but when we started moving around the last 5 years, we had to take summer break.  Now that we are finally in one spot and I can get back into the groove of life I'm excited to be schooling through the summer.  I've always had a pretty relaxed attitude about schooling...more of an "unschooling" mind set, or what I like to call "natural" learning.  We have used several different curriculums over the years, not really finding a favorite, but leaning more toward the Mennonite curriculum.  It's pretty plain and to the point, but it's simplicity is what I like about bright colors and not to many words.  This summer I have found this curriculum...Christian Light Education.  I've got the books in and am excited to begin.  Summer is a great time to school because it's so hot out by mid morning to early afternoon.  So I figure if we do a bit in the late a.m. and a bit more in the early afternoon we will have plenty of time to get the other things done we need to do and have time for swimming (not in the worst part of the day).  I also like summer school because it gives the children something to keep them busy on long days.  I could go on and on about schooling and maybe I'll talk about some different ways we go through it on a different day.
Joyful Mother


Naughty dog, always in my flowers and garden!
The little's have been loving frogs these days.  They rise in the a.m. to go out an frog hunt, after lunch, and after dinner...and any time between they are frog hunting.  Along with frogs they are finding all kinds of other critters.  My rule is they have to be gentle, have something for the frogs to get out of the water on, and they have to release them by the end of the day.  Mamma needs those frogs in the garden and flower beds to catch other critters!



We had homemade pizza last evening.  I don't really know why, but we just don't do this very often.  It's so easy and besides cheese pretty inexpensive.  It's also a great way to incorporate the kids into helping with dinner.  We put peppers, onions, and mushrooms on them and added mozzarella cheese and pepper jack cheese for a bit of a kick.  This is a great meatless meal and I hope to do it more often (maybe once a week) this summer.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

tid bits of doings

 I have been wanting to order a slip cover for the futon couch for a while, but didn't really want to spend the money on one, especially after purchasing a new mattress just last year.  So I got the idea of sewing two sheets together and making my own version of a slip cover!  The color that was chosen was "dusty grape" PERFECT...I love it! 
Our bedroom has been a work in progress since we've moved here two years ago.  We finally got it painted, still some touch ups to go.  Still needing to finish the final coat on the trim, pick out a bedspread, paint the end tables, and purchase lamps.  It's coming along great though and making quite a happy place for me.  My bedroom has always been my go to place for peace.  I love to read and just do quite things in this place during the day and before bed.
Something new I tried this week...making yogurt...success!  Add some fruit and honey and it's perfect.  Tastes like a dessert.
and...we put smallish pool up!  In a much better spot this year.  It's NOT in my front yard, it's level, and NOT under a tree!

Joyful Mother

around the farm...


putting in a raised garden bed for tomatoes and peppers
calendula coming back on its own from last year
potatoes shooting up, ready to be covered
a frog home
a make shift chicken/rabbit run
rabbits resting in the rabbit tractor
chicks getting big
Hope you're having a wonderful productive May!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

farmer's market

We were excited Saturday for the first day of 2014 Farmer's Market!  We had our normal soaps out there with a few new items...body scrubs, lip balm, and bath salts, along with some new kinds of soaps.  We had a good day, a bit chilly, but warming up as the morning went on, visiting with lots of customers from last year.  We hope to have a great season!


turtles and such

Now that's a whopper of a snapping turtle.  We have 2 huge turtles that have been hanging around the pond lately.  Hopefully no one is swimming when this big guy is! 
Chicken tractor up and running
plants ready to be planted


Fourth of July 2010

Forth of July 2011

Forth of July 2012