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April 2009

A little weekend Sewing...

The weather was awful this weekend, which made for a perfect excuse to let the kids watch a movie and eat popcorn while I sewed.I had been eyeing that camper fabric by Heather Ross sitting in my stash, thinking my wee one needed something made from it. So I worked on this outfit for him here and there. No pattern for the shorts, just traced a pair that fit him. I had been dreaming of some funky patchwork pants and these are what I came up with. Little scraps sewn together along the sides and they are made from linen.

And the shirt was inspired by a similar one in Weekend Sewing, but I changed it up a bit to make it a pullover style. 

So here are some pictures taken this morning while wee man tried to run away...... yes when mama pulls out the camera he thinks it is some great game of chase!


Cheese

Cheese!



Offandrunning

Off & running.....



Finallystill

Finally, A good picture of the wild one.


And Mama won the photo chase!


sometimes you just need a few rocks....

For some reason the morning just didn't start off well. A little one needed her mama and an even littler one had no intention of sharing this mama. Before I knew it, a fight broke out. I think one got a pinch and one got a push which ended with both of them in tears.......

And all of this by 7 am? I sighed and looked out the window.... sunshine.... and then had a moment of clarity in the chaos.

"Get your day clothes on, let's go outside." I say.

Miss six was dressed with bike helmet on determined to ride her bike solo. My wee one insisted on wearing this huge hat from the hat/mitten box.

Mama poured another cup of coffee....and we were off. 

We walked down to the bike trail about a mile from our house..... down to the lazy little creek where my two littlest ones could spend as much time as they wanted doing one of their favorite things. 

Throwing rocks into the water.

splashes smiles and sunshine

2 little people who like each other again.

A mama drinking her coffee soaking up the rays...

This is the good stuff, folks.


Weeone

The Wee One



Rocks

Rocks



Happy

Lovin' It



Brave

Dare Devil Miss 6



Enjoy your weekend.... hope you have a little sunshine.... and a few good rocks.


Warming the soul with good soup.....

I love soup. I could eat it every night with fresh bread and a big green salad and never tire......

Something about it just warms my soul and calms my nerves and an an accompanying  chunk of warm bread smeared with real butter just puts it all over the edge for me. Culinary Heaven :)

Our daddo of the house just left.... 7-10 days or so, as is life of a sailor. Holding down the home front I tend to cater a bit to my babes when his departure is fresh in their little hearts and minds..... it usually goes something like this:

1. Make french toast or pancakes for breakfast in the middle of the week (done)

2. Start a fresh new book to read aloud. (done, we're reading The Underneath by Kathi Appelt)

3. Make huge batch of chocolate chip cookies, share some with preggo friend across the street (done)

4. Make bread and soup. (done)

Chicken veggie soup with homemade noodles. I totally think the presence of homemade noodles more than makes up for the lack of bread. Bread may happen today.... or tomorrow. But last night was chicken soup...... broth made from scratch.... and homemade noodles. 

Here is the recipe, just in case any of you are in the need of a little soul food.

Enjoy :)


Soup

Gypsy Mama's Chicken Soup:: (Feeds a hungry family of six)
(a note, I save my chicken bones, I have this whole appreciation for the life of anything I eat and I use every little piece of it, so as to waste nothing...... chicken bones can be kept in your freezer until you are ready to make broth, believe me, it is the best broth you will ever eat!!)

The Broth:
Bones from 2 chickens
1 tbsp vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
Add enough water to cover the chicken bones

(If you are really motivated, throw in some celery & onions too)

Simmer the above all day on low, better yet in the crockpot. Don't forget the vinegar, it helps make the broth super nutritious as it pulls the nutrients from the bones of the chicken.

Some Flavor::
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2+ tsp Garlic Powder
1+ tsp Rubbed Sage

The Noodles:: (adapted from a recipe in Made from Scratch)
4 eggs
2-3 cups flour

Beat eggs & add flour half a cup at a time to make a stiff dough. Roll dough out 1/4 inch thickness onto a floured surface and cut into noodle shapes. You can put them on a baking rack turned sideways so they don't stick together.... Cook in boiling broth 5 minutes or until tender. 

drying noodles


Some Other Stuff::
Sauteed Onions & Garlic
6+ carrots peeled and diced into coin shapes
1 pound fresh/frozen peas or green beans

Assembly::
Simmer the broth, drain & discard chicken bones. (you can pick the meat from the bones if you want a meatier soup) Add seasoning & boil carrots in broth. When the carrots are tender add the noodles & simmer until al dente. Add whatever other veggie you find yummy..... Serve with salad and good bread. YUM!!


Made from Scratch

Last night I just finished up Made from Scratch by Jenna Woginrich

Made-from-scratch-jenna-woginrich-hardcover-cover-art

It's funny to feel like you have a connection with someone you've never met, but I really felt connected to Jenna's experiences as she stumbled along figuring out her homestead. Lot's of humorous parts that made me laugh out loud and she's a terrific writer, so her words flow beautifully making it a quick and enjoyable read. 

If you are interested in doing things yourself, homesteading, gardening, keeping animals & bees....... you'll really enjoy this book too. And if like me, you just can't get enough of this gals wit, your in luck! She's a blogger too! Check out her blog, Cold Antler Farm. I love seeing more books out there for those of us who would rather get our hands dirty and make a mess creating something than pick it up at a bog box store. 

And anyone out there who shares a crazy passion for coffee & dark chocolate, is surely a kindred spirit.

Enjoy :)

Jenna was also was featured in the recent April/May issue of Mother Earth News.


Last One ~~ The Swamp

Here are the last few pictures of our Louisiana trip. These were all taken on a little trail walk through the swamp. This is where we saw hundreds of dragonflies. I wish I could have gotten a good photo of them all flying around, but they were busy eating bugs and making baby dragonflies and.... well have you ever tried to take a picture of a flying insect? I got a few and all I could do is point out their fuzzy little streams and say "look, that's one!" It certainly made me appreciate those ones sitting still for me the previous day!

Hope you endured this week of photos :) See you next week for the usual musings of crazy family life intermingled with some crafty blissful bits.

Enjoy your weekend :)

Lizard

little lizard

Moss

mossy trees & an opossum tail ~ can you spot it?

Roots

cypress root reflections

S&J

every vacation needs a geeky self portrait

Swamp

beauty on the bayou


Furry Little Friend

We were visiting a beach in Louisiana and apparently the critters that live there are very well fed. This cute little squirrel followed me around for quite awhile and she was very tolerant of my photo taking, I think she may have even been modeling for me!


I didn't feed her, I swear! I did however hold out a stick to see how close she would get...... I am quite certain if I had a granola bar on hand she would have happily accompanied me home to Wisconsin!



Brave

~~photo by Joe~~




Newfriend

~~photo by Joe~~




Furrygirl

~~photo by me~~



Busy Bees & Dragonflies ~~ in Louisiana

Well, to be completely honest here, these photos were taken especially for my girls. Lovers of honey bees and dragonflies. Perhaps it's their uncanny resemblance to fairies.... but seeing these flying around..... and let me tell you there are hundreds of dragonflies in the swamp.... made me in-vision this perfect little image of those two sweet girls of mine barefoot and warm from the sun chasing dragonflies and silently watching honey bees. So perfect :-)


Dragonfly


Flowers


Makinghoney


Pollenbee


Spiderlily


Dragonfly2


Birds of Louisiana

I am a bird girl. If you want to get me all excited, just send a new bird to my feeder and I am all giddy... pulling out the bird book to see what it is and where it came from. 

I don't know how many times this scene happened.... while driving 65 along the highway I would yell "Joe did you see that one?!? Pull over I have to get a photo!" My sweet husband was very accommodating of my obsession :)

And so when I got home, bird book in hand, I was able to identify these beauties and share them with you. Enjoy!

Greatblueheron
Great Blue Heron



Egret
Great Egret ~ if you look closely you can see LOTS of turtles on the logs.



Cattleegret
Cattle Egret.... these are only this color when they are mating.... the rest of the time they are solid white. So beautiful!



Pelicancypress
Brown Pelican in the top of a Cypress tree. We watched this guy fish for awhile, pretty amazing!



Brownpelican
Brown Pelican



Greategret
Great Egret


I hope you enjoyed these gorgeous birds, come back tomorrow for more photos of the Bayou.

Home

We are home

Isn't that always the nicest feeling? No matter how excited I am for the traveling adventure, I always find that I am even more excited to walk into my own front door. Greeted by the furry feet of Sid & Jasper who thought for sure we'd left for good and most importantly, this time, greeted by my four lovely babes who had so many tales to share and fill us in on each adventure we'd missed. There was book club and and art class and a field trip to a maple sugar farm with their homeschool co-op buddies. Several trips to get ice cream (thanks Grandma & Grandpa) and happy smiles on their faces. We had a weekend together before the grandparents headed home to Alaska and the oldest two kids headed to camp and now the house is fairly quiet with just two kiddos and us unpacking. A whirlwind of days has faded into a quiet time of rest. 

Louisiana was wonderful..... unlike anything we had ever seen. We both took lots of photos in between looking at houses. So many birds I have yet to know their names and so many little critters which I am sure will end up in the pocket of Miss six......

I had planned to share our trip with you chronologically, but I am too excited to share our news. We bought a house! A first for us. We are so excited to live in our OWN home. Of course all of this is pending an inspection, an appraisal and perhaps forfeiture of our first born....... (just kidding) but we're pretty darn sure everything will work out and it will be ours by the end of May.

Here is a little peek...... (yes this was taken last week, it was 65 degrees in Louisiana!)

House


And this picture..... though seemingly uninteresting to most, has a lot of meaning for us. A bottle of wine and two hotel paper cups. Living the simple life and loving every bit of it...... 

Cheers


Cheers to our new home and to an exciting new adventure, and mostly to the deep gratitude I have for my family. You guys rock!