Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pumpkin Apple Jam

My freezers are overflowing! Which isn't an entirely bad thing. We had a great harvest last year and even the Farmer says we a surplus is good because not every year will be a good year. But still my freezers are overflowing and it tends to drive me nuts when I can't find something. And since we're starting to work in the gardens, we will need room come harvest. So I did a little jam makin' yesterday afternoon. Pumpkin-Apple to be precise.

I modified my regular favorite pumpkin soup recipe.

This recipe will make 8 jelly jars plus a little bowl for your bread at dinner.

4 cups pumpkin puree
2 apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup water
6 cups sugar
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a pan, cook pumpkin puree, apples, and water approximately 15-20 minutes. Stir in sugar, juice from orange and lemon, cinnamon, cloves, and ground nutmet. Build to boil and cook 15-20 minutes until setting point.

Ladle into sterilized jars and process in hot water bath.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Curtains for the Lil' Lady's Room

It really couldn't get any girlier than it was in there. I mean, pink walls, pink bedding, purple bedskirt, barbies, baby dolls, and princess toys. So when picking out material for the curtains for her room, Miss Em decided that she really needed more pink. The nothing matching she gets from me. I love the cozy, wozy, mixy, matchy hodge podge style of design. Pretty much meaning if I like it, I'll find some way to make it work. Or I let it not match and tell people it's my "country cottage style."

She wanted pink bias trim but after a "designer pow wow," we decided that the green would offset the rainbows on the material. At what age do children stop believing the BS that comes out of their parent's mouths? I figure I got a couple more years with my oldest.  :)

Doing the rooms for the oldest two (the babe still sleeps in a crib in my room and yes, I have issues with my baby growing up too fast), it was quite a lesson in control for me. I had a vision of what I wanted for both rooms but had to bite my tongue and let them decide. In the end I'm happy because their rooms are turning out just the way they like them.

The rainbow material is from I think Riley Blake? and the stripped material is gifted thrifted material from a friend.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Sprung Right Into Summer

My fellow Midwestern friends will attest that there is a reason blogs from the Midwest are lacking on posting lately.

Here in Wisconsin, the LOW today is 63 with a high of 79.

Seriously, 79 PEOPLE! It's only March 19th. My kids are wearing shorts to school and I've entered into my summer uniform consisting of capris and sandals. My kids are now requiring daily baths because they come in at night covered in dirt. They want sandwiches for lunch because they can eat them on the run.

It's warmer here in Wisconsin than it is in Los Angeles!

I almost stopped at the greenhouse to buy tomatoe plants.

I may pacify myself by planting potatoes.

Or carrots.

Or maybe one tomato plant?

Or Two.

I'm hanging a sign up for awhile that says...

"Out Enjoying Summer in March until the April Snowstorm Arrives"


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring Chickens

I ordered chickens this week. My order consists of:

50 straight run Jumbo Cornish Cross
10 Hatchery Choice Waterfowl Special
3 Straight Run Bronze-Broad Breasted Turkeys
3 Straight Run Bourbon Red Turkeys

Last year we lost all of our turkeys except one.

Big Red seems to be hangin' around for the long haul. I did see him eyeing up the lovely lady chickens so I told the Farmer it may be time to get him some friends. Hopefully, our straight run includes all females and not all Toms.

I debated on what to order for meat birds. We last we ordered the heavy fryers but in the end, I just wasn't happy. I looked into the freedom meat birds but decided to go with what I've been successful with in the past - Jumbo Cornish Cross. When fed and cared for properly, these can get to be quite the meaty bird. The heavies just took too long to get to butchering size. If I go 4-5 months on the Jumbo Cornish Cross, I can have birds that dress out at 12-15 pounds. The heavies had to go almost 8 months and we were only getting birds dressed out at 4-5 pounds.

I'm also getting 6 geese and 4 ducks. I'm not picky on the breed and the hatchery special is the best price.

This year, the Farmer is also building moveable pens for the jumbo cornish cross. Turkeys, ducks, and geese roam free and usually the chickens also if we aren't having problems with predictors.

I didn't order any new chicks. We're going to collect eggs and hatch out our own. I do have one little hen who's already escaped the chicken coop for the summer so we'll probably be seeing little chicks wandering around in a couple of months.

I'm so excited for spring! And it's really easy to say that because it's supposed to be 74 degrees out today!


Monday, March 12, 2012

The Kitchen Playset

Miss Em and Lil' Man helped me add a little bit more to the kitchen playset. The oven is now blue and the drawers are now pink. I'm thinking that maybe the fridge can be green?  Yellow? They also added stickers that I got from the scrapbooking section. They peel off so we can easily change them out.

I really do like the pops of color. I've found that those little sample bottles of paint are the perfect sizes for craft projects. They are pricey but there is quite a bit of paint.



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Country Kids

Spring has sprung officially. Our yard is slowly becoming a shallow lake along with parts of the driveway. My kids are lovin' it.

This is better than any video game, any day.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Do you GroopDealz?

Almost a month ago, I ordered two kits that included the stuff in the above picture, plus the findings to make earrings and necklaces. I ordered it from Groop Dealz at an amazing price.

I've ordered a couple of different things. I've liked everything I've gotten. You just have to be prepared to wait. Both took about a month to get here. I had forgotten about it until I got a package yesterday.

Last night, Miss Em and I made two rings. The pink one was for her and the orange one was for her bestie at school.

It took a whole minute and a half but made her do the silly dance.

This would be an awesome idea for a little girl's bithday party. Instead of cheesy favors, which if you're a mom like me get thrown away, each girl could do home with a ring, hairclippie and necklace.

And all the leftovers can be used for me to make earrings!


Oh yeah, and the etsy shop all these lovelies came from....PrettyLovelies


Sunday, March 4, 2012

Green and Gold Apron for the Middle Man

Sorry to all my fellow Wisconsinites, however, green and gold in our household usually conjures up thoughts of John Deere over the Packers!

I've noticed that our new kitchen playset tends to be gendering itself towards girly colors. Which in all honesty, does not seem to mind either of the boys, even when my lil' man dones a pretty pink apron. But fair to be fair, I got out some fabric scraps and made him his own little apron this afternoon. This is the results of me asking him to stand still so I could get a picture.

I kept it simple. I used to squares of fabric and laid them right sides together but upside down from each other. Turned inside out, pressed the seams and then turned up the bottom to create the pocket with stitching down the center. The band is the same fabric and put on as bias tape would be put on.

And by the time I finish writing this, those pockets are probably stuffed full of Thomas and Friends!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

A little winter

...right before spring!

For a mild winter, it was definately a weird snowstorm. In this part of Wisconsin, we started with rain that turned into sleet, which turned into several inches of snow.

It is actually nice to see some winter in Wisconsin. Only fair since the first day of spring is only 20 days away! This kids are really enjoying it and it's perfect snow to make this fort they started this afternoon.

That they began decorating with colored water.

The only unfortunate part is that with all the initial rain and the still unseasonable warm weather we are having, our driveway now looks like this!

The kids are also having fun playing in the mud.

And that is life on the farm!