Thursday, October 2, 2014

The simple things.

The kids are back at school with a dedication I love to see. 

Here they are working away at their Latin lessons. I love listening them recite their vocabulary all together. It is such a fun thing for this mom to hear.

The kids were outside the other day enjoying the Autumn air when Meghan came in and said, "Mom, look what I did!" She had figured out a way to make roses out of fallen leaves. It never ceases to amaze me how artistic and creative this girl is. 

So, this is what we played with once we had beautiful leaf roses...

Two weekends ago we finally took some time away and went camping for a few days. What a joy that was. We all really were looking forward to getting away for a while. God blessed us with a canoe as we were traveling to our destination so that made staying by the lake that much more enjoyable for the kids. Donald and I have yet to enjoy the canoe, but we have plans...

Yes, the trail is a steep here as it looks! But we all did it!

The lake at the end of the 4 mile trail is Bluebird Lake. The dogs really enjoyed the lake at the end of the long walk.

We are beginning to plan for our next adventure of hunting camp. We will be in Eastern Montana for about 5 days starting the 14th of October. All three kiddo's get to hunt with dad this year and they are all really excited. 

Have a blessed day all!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ahhh...cooler days.

Now that the busy months of July and August are over and the cooler weather is coming our way, (We actually had snow about 4 or so days ago.) I feel like things are starting to feel a bit normal again. School schedules are back as the priority and the kids are happily working away. It always amazes me how they seem to feel and act better when they are on their schedule again. I don't know why it amazes me, they have been this way since they were all little. But it is a nice peaceful feeling in the home right now. I bask in these days.
My garden was pretty much non-existent due to chickens, deer and an early freeze that I wasn't watching for, so I took a trip to the produce stand and came home with a car full. I am working on all sorts of things right now.

I suppose I should start at the beginning though.

We needed to clean out the freezer of the last of the deer meat from last year to get ready for this years hunting season, so we decided to make up summer sausage. A friend of my husbands made the seasoning mix. It turned our very good. We were able to make 15 sticks of sausage. This will be a great treat through football season. Home made sausage with cheese and crackers. :-)

We smoked the sausage on our bbq with hickory chips.

This was a fun new project for us all. And then on to another new project that I decided to tackle, diced green chilies. I am tired of spending so much money on a can of diced chilies and getting something with a mediocre taste, so while I was at the produce stand, I saw they had a bunch of anaheim peppers and decided now was the time to give it a try.

First I roasted them on the grill.


Then I put them in a ziploc to sweat for about 20 min. Actually, I learned later that they should sweat for 30 min to an hour.

Then I peeled and seeded the peppers. I also learned after that I probably did not do myself any favors by not starting off with nice firm peppers. Some were a bit shriveled, but I thought it wouldn't matter since I was roasting them anyway. The peppers that were not firm at the beginning were a PAIN to peel! Note for next time. :-)

Then finally, I chopped, divided, and packaged the finished product. I didn't end up with many packages, but it was a trial run and I learned A LOT! Next time I will have the confidence to purchase many more and put up enough to last a while. I would like to can them next time, but this time I didn't have the right sized jars, so into the freezer they go.

More projects are on the horizon, but this is all for now. I have to get up and get busy. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

So many things...

Life has been busy for us the last month and a half. Too busy. But many good things have come from the busyness. Last month, each child had their own week of Bible camp to attend. Though it was a lot of trips back and forth to Kalispell (and hour and a half away each trip, six trips total) the munchkins really enjoyed their individual time away. The last week in July (when my youngest was at Bible camp) my husband and son were gone for a week long hike in the sawtooth mountains in Idaho. Meghan and I were home by ourselves. It was very nice to have some one on one time with her.
The weather has been extremely HOT this last 6 weeks. 90* or more almost every day. YUCK! But the pond has been well used by the kids.

The garden was doing quite well. It is small as I am building as I go, but the tomato plants are loaded with unripe tomatoes right how. Hopefully they still have enough time to fully ripen. 

Of course these pictures were taken before the deer decided the fences and marigolds were not enough deterrent to keep them out. :-( But they left my tomato plants alone and the carrots and beets will survive without their tops.

Our puppy Sophie decided to take a 3 day vacation away from us. While my husband and son were at a friends house cutting up a fallen tree she decided to wander away. Luckily we live in an area where people are so good about turning in wandering animals and we got a call from a family who said "I think we have your puppy." We were very happy to have her home again.

We have had a large amount of company visit us this summer which has been so much fun, and are expecting more next week. Of course this keeps us hopping as all the visitors want to see the beauty of the wilderness of Montana. Oh, and all the animals too. :-)
There was also Vacation Bible School that we were involved with the first week of August. We were blessed with the opportunity to see one young man place saving faith in Christ Jesus that week. Those things make all the work worthwhile.

My dear husband has begun to create a pantry area in my kitchen for me. This project has been put on hold due to company coming and going, but the finished project looms in the near future. I am VERY excited about this!

Things look like they are about to slow down for us here shortly, and though we have loved all the variety of the summer, we are longing for the peace of cool air and surety of routine coming with the fast approaching Autumn months.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A few things.

Donald came home the other night with a surprise for us. He found a baby turkey all alone on the dirt road. It just sat there and let him walk up to it and pick it up. We kept it in the house for a few nights until we knew it was eating and drinking and would live. Today the kids put up a separate pen in the chicken coop for it to live in. It is quite a noisy little critter. Never thought we would raise turkey, but thats the fun of living on a homestead. You never know what is going to happen next.

This morning I headed down the hill for ladies bible study then came home to finish up mowing the lawn that I didn't get to the other day before the rain hit. I got the last couple sections finished up and decided to try out my new large sized muffin pans. I was looking for some new breakfast ideas for Donald to take to work with him.

YUM! It was hard to not try to taste test every kind. I make banana chocolate chip, Chocolate chocolate chip, strawberry cream cheese, and apple pie strudel. I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. Now Donald can keep some in the freezer at work and if he doesn't get to eat before he leaves the house he can pull out one of these goodies. Of course, there is enough for some to stay home for everyone else to enjoy too. Off to clean the kitchen now. It is a pretty big mess after all this variety.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Around the gardens

Just a quick picture update of the gardens and a new project or two.

A happy greeting by the front door. I have two of these lovelies, thanks to my dear husband who convinced me that I should buy the pots even if they were more than I thought I should spend. He said, "You'll never find others that you like as much so you should go ahead and get them." So glad he convinced me. I really do like how they look.

 The upper garden section is coming along quite nicely. I keep adding on and adding on. In a couple years I should have a beautiful garden area with walkways built up nicely. goal now is to get some moss growing on the concrete blocks.
Today I replanted my asparagus seeds as the chickens got in and dug up all my starts. I also planted brussel sprout seeds today. I am new to both of these veggies, so it will be fun to see what happens.

 The tomato's took over the garden area this year as every seed I planted came up amazingly enough. I ended up planting 17 tomato plants. (I also gave away quite a few)

 This is the newest project. This area is along the driveway. I want to build just a short wall and turn this area into flower gardens.

The wild roses are in bloom all over the property right now. No matter where you go in the yard, you smell the roses. It's heavenly!!

It's true!

Cats really do like catnip, a lot. Our kitty Cloe found the pot of catnip and I can hardly keep her out of it. I never would have guessed that they liked it quite as much as the rumors say they do, but it's true.

There have been a couple times that I had to actually pull her out of the plant as she was trying to lay in it and was threatening to knock the whole thing over.

Life on the homestead is always entertaining. And you never know what form that entertainment might come in.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

March 26, 2014

It is starting to feel like Spring might actually show up at our house this week.

Our robins are here and singing their evening song. One of my most favorite nature experiences.

I love that they sit in the very tops of the trees (so much easier to find them) and sing their hearts out. No better song could accompany the setting of the sun.

Today I had to do some more re-potting. I needed to do a whole lot, but I ran out of dirt, so I re-potted my jalapeno peppers, bull nose peppers and my amish paste tomatoes. That added about 18 more pots to my little table. I absolutely love seeing these things take off. The growth and health that we will be able to appreciate and eventually harvest is so much fun to watch.

Some of the pepper plants I re-potted.

The table is filling up.

Yesterday the porch was finally clear of snow, so I was able to get out there and sweep it off. It was piling up with wood chunks and saw dust from our firewood that we store on it. It really felt good to get out there and do that. We have running water in our frost free by the chicken coop again! Yea! Its a step in the right direction. At least now we don't have to take the water tank to town every other day to fill it up. We were able to run a hose from the frost free to the tank and we can keep it full that way now. Still no water to the main system, but I am sure if this warmer weather holds up (55* yesterday!!!) it won't be much longer. 

As a side note, I happily found the sound track to Anne of Green Gables the other day and I tell you what, it is the perfect music to enjoy as we welcome Spring to our home. It is very cheering and uplifting. I sense a movie marathon for the girls and I in the near future. :-)

School is moving right along. Wesley seems to be getting over his severe dislike for writing, so that is a huge win for us for this school year. It has been such a battle the last couple years. But we are seeing much light at the end of that tunnel. Praise God. 
*On a side note to that, I highly recommend the book called "Educating the Well Trained Mind." There is so much good and helpful information in there.*

Not much else to report here. Just the regular every day stuff to do.

Have a blessed day!