Monday, January 28, 2013

Wrappin' Up January
Property searching...Satan has definitely played a part in tempting us with properties that we technically could afford, but wouldn't be able to pay off in our 5-year plan. Our goal is to have our new land and house paid for in five years or less and we'll be sharing (as the Lord leads) how we're going to be doing that.
 
A trip to the fair..."Cheese!"
 
Got a few nice green peppers out of the garden this winter. Juicy!
 
Our Buttercrunch lettuce was abundant and we found ourselves giving it away to neighbors and friends we had so much. Funny, cause our garden is so tiny, but still never ceases to amaze me how much it will grow. :)
 
Onions sprouting...will be another few months yet on these bulbs, although the top scallion parts are delicious. Isaac in particular loves snacking on these.
 
My five-year-old son has been known to enjoy photography and insisted on taking a few shots a few weeks ago. Avonlea loves taking pictures of nature (not sure where she gets that from!) and I'm encouraged with their abilities to take photos and identify animals with our Audobon books, as well as their nature drawings.
 
Our darling little garden. This photo, in fact, depicts just how shaded it really is. This is the only space in both our front and back yards that still gets sun, however it's not the 6-8 ours it needs for sure. To grow what we could really call "productive produce" (enough to really save on a grocery bill that is), we could do it but would require us pretty much chopping down all of the lovely trees we have growing on our suburban property. They are beautiful, old Oaks and Jacarandas and I love the sound the wind makes rustling through them. We'll keep this dear little garden going until the Lord calls us elsewhere.
 
School time with Isaac
 
Sometimes in a "hairy" moment when Isaac wants attention and the other kids are learning, Avonlea is quick to find something entertaining this little man likes to do. I love my little helper and don't know what I'd do without her!!
 
A mild, Mexican dish I make for Sunday lunches. Super easy to do in the crockpot and come home to after church. We love topping it with Jersey Acres sour cream and rolling it up in soft tortillas. Yummo!
 
Chicken/ Veggie stock...I've come to make this a habit by roasting a chicken (usually with potatoes and veggies along with homemade biscuits and jam) once a week or so and then saving the carcass and leftover veggies for stock. I just throw what I have in the pot and let it simmer during dinner and until we go to bed. Then I measure it out in "2-scoop regiments" and ladle it into baggies for the freezer. Instant HEALTHY stock loaded with tons of vitamins and minerals. This is a great way to get some kale and other dark, leafy greens into your kids' diets if they won't eat them raw. I use the stock for cooking with (rice, soups, stews, etc.).
 
"Monster cookies" A Bates family favorite. They're oatmeal based and quite healthy. We love to throw in M & M's for fun and color. I think these cookies got their name from the quantity in which we bake them. NINE dozen at a time! My Great Aunt Helen's recipe.
 
Norah with "Oreo"
 
Had some fun with clay and making our names
 
A new skillet bread recipe I tried, but didn't like. The bread wasn't moist enough. Back to my original bread recipe which never fails.
 
History has been such a delight as we've tweaked it the past few years and finally found a system that works for us in our "years of Littles"...making a wall timeline. Everyone participates and illustrates as Mommy is reading on a topic. Lincoln has basic copywork on the front and Avonlea is also narrating back to me what I read on the back of the papers. We hang them in our hallway and have fun mixing them up and putting them back in order again. No fancy assessments or tests needed. I know if they've learned the concept or not. What a blessing for a family of six and we're finding that as the kiddos get older, the more whole group instruction we do, the easier and the better. More fun too.
 
Guess who learned how to swing on a "big boy swing"?
 
Five months pregnant with this little babe. Narrowed down a name, but we're not sharing. Tee hee.  :)

2 comments:

Melissa Dobson said...

So sorry you guys have been sick. Hope you all are feeling better now. I love the maternity shirt that you have on in the last pic :-) It looks like you guys have been as busy as we have. I would love for you to share the cookie recipe I you wouldn't mind. And on our new blog is the recipe for the homemade tortilla chips that we make (looks like it would go great with your Mexican dish that looked so yummy). Let's catch up soon.

Rachel E. said...

You look great at five months. I wish I could say the same! Anyway, your January looks like a wonderful one. Lots of fun and memories made.