Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Today In The Life...Of My Yard...

I judged the poetry contest at our elementary school this morning.  I have a little break before I go back to judge the afternoon kindergarten.  And as I rode up to our home on my bike I was overwhelmed by how diverse the colors and blossoms in our yard are right now.  I love being outside, I love growing anything, I love seeing different colors, and today, I took pictures of what I love outside (yesterday I tilled the new garden and pulled weeds-the cost of a pretty yard), but of course what my brain perceives and what the camera captures, are two very different things, I wish I could share the vibrant colors and shapes I see, but the photos will have to do, today.  I hope you enjoy it at least a little bit as much as I enjoy it, I am grateful to the Creator, what joy his creations bring into into our lives!


  Green (I picked all the red tomatoes yesterday.)

 More Green...I live in the desert, I need green, and I don't have any blue in bloom, right now.

I arranged the photos in rainbow order...just for fun, and also, probably, that's how I think, no wonder I can't spell!  And now  you know why I wander around my yard, it is beautiful!  Merry Christmas!
As I was writing, I am reminded I need to thank Eli and Ryon for all of the hard work they have put into our yard, they have poured countless drops of sweat to dig holes and plant plants that I have cultivated or brought home from the nursery, thanks guys!  I appreciate all of your hard work!  You really make me happy!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thankful for Thanksgiving!

Ahhh!  Thanksgiving!  It was just the 9 of us this year, our 8 and Gabriel.  The food was a family effort and devine!!!!  It was the most delicious Thanksgiving food I have EVER eaten!  It probably helps that we have been collecting the best Thanksgiving recipes over the years, Kelly's sweet potato souffle (our newest edition), Mel's savory bread pudding (the best stuffing EVER), Ryon's rotisserie turkey (amazing!), ham, Savanah's mashed potatoes, Eli's cranberry fluff (Aunt Kim's recipe), fresh cranberry sauce, fluffy white rolls,      and a salad made entirely from our yard (pomegranates, cucumbers, green onions, the whole thing), Ryon made an amazing pecan pie(pictured below), plus I made sweet potato pie, moon pie (cake) (recipe from my Aunt Vicki), and a pumpkin roll (made with home grown sweet potatoes)...it's hard to explain the bliss my taste buds were in, but it was amazing!  And some how I didn't manage to over eat...

 Nathaniel worked on his First Lego League robot for most of Thanksgiving day, and yesterday was awarded advancement to state for his hard work.

 Ryon is just about to carve the most amazing turkey I have ever had in my mouth!
Andrew waits patiently for dinner to begin.

 After dinner and clean up we went on a family walk around the block.  It was a perfect day!

Even though we couldn't be with our family for Thanksgiving this year, we were happy to Skype with Nana, Papa, Aunt Jen, Uncle Todd and the cousins!
The day really did feel just right!

Sprained Ankle Epidemic

 We had a cold snap before Thanksgiving. The boys dawned their cold weather gear and went to jump on the trampoline.  (Notice cold weather gear includes bare feet!)
I decided I wanted to take some photos, so I asked the boys and dad Ryon to jump back onto the trampoline after I got my camera.  Notice in the first shot, Ry had his back to his dad (who was just about to skyrocket him into the air), so Ry didn't know Dad was coming, and oops!  His ankle swelled up and bruised all over the place, this is about 2 weeks after it happened, when it was looking better (although it started bruising immediately)!

Andrew sprained his ankle just a week before Ry sprained his...I was feeling like, "what are we doing wrong here?"  And also, I was thinking, I'm so glad we own an assortment of crutches and walking boots, it makes it so much easier to treat sprains!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chicken & CoQ10

It was a family affair.  Savanah dawned her red and white polka dotted rain boots and the boys ran around in their football shirts, except Eli and Nathaniel, who, without coaching wore their red scout shirts, maybe the red theme was subconscious, or maybe we've sat for enough Christmas photos we are just a color coordinated family!  I doubt it, I chuckle every time we enter public together, we are a virtual rainbow every time, yellow, orange, red, blue, green, and even purples, which just makes me smile because I have 5 boys, and rainbows normally adorn girls...  But they have my colorful blood coursing through their veins.  Now, back to Saturday morning.

We woke up to our alarm clocks and chill in the air for the first time this fall.  Our plan was to de-commission (that sounds nice, right) 12 broilers this Saturday and 12 next Saturday, so we'd be finished before Thanksgiving.  But once our family butchering machine got going we just took care of all 24 before we had to get Zach to his baseball game at 10:30am and Andrew & Ryon to their flag football game at 10:30am, also.

Ryon takes care of the coning, that means putting them upside down in a cone and beheading them.  Zach & Nathaniel were at the whiz-bang-chicken-plucker de-feathering station.  Leaving Savanah, Eli, and I to clean out everything undesirable from the inside.  Savanah was extremely helpful this time.  She seems to have lost her squeamishness and dug right in with a fillet knife, asking questions as she went, admiring living bone, and healthy hearts, she's a girl after my own heart.  Life & death is so miraculous!  Savanah was captivated by the look of white chickens resting headless hanging from their feet on fence, our little yard looked so much like a little farm, actually capable of producing our own food.

I kept livers and hearts this time!  I just discovered the much sought after CoQ10 is prolific in these rather detestable organs (which I have only eaten once as an adult-on accident of course in "foie gras" and as I almost threw up in the nice little establishment the observant server quickly removed the plate and replaced it with fried squash blossom salad (which was delicious and much more desirable than duck liver!).  But I'm going to give it a whirl now that I'm...I don't know what I am, but I think it's a shame to throw them away...they look so healthy.  Although, the filter for all bad in the little chicken body?  Still baffles me how it can be healthy to eat!  But I'm going to try it out.

So, we just had enough time to butcher and disinfect everything when we had to fly out the door in different directions to sporting events, so here it is Tuesday and I'm just getting all the birds parted out and CANNED, yes it's my first experience canning in a pressure canner as a grown-up.  It's been fun!  But time consuming!

I haven't caused any explosions or 3rd degree burns, so I count it as a success!  Plus the garden is looking beautiful!  I'll have to take some photos to post in the near future.  Happy Thanksgiving month!  I AM GRATEFUL!!!

Questions:  Any great egg plant recipes?  I have 4 egg plants in my garden that are ready to eat.  Also, I'm looking for chicken liver and heart recipes...please no liver and onions, I gag just thinking about it, sorry, Dad!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Halloween was fun!  Ryon and the boys built an amazing haunted house with the scouts, and the rest of us handed out candy at the trunk-or-treat, went to the box maze and went trick-or-treating.  It was a fun night!

Monday, October 29, 2012


We all have our reasons for doing the basic activities in life like eating, sleeping, exercising, and working.  Our family is divided.  Ryon likes to eat because it tastes good and it's fun.  I have been accused of just eating because I have to eat.  But that isn't really true. I like to eat because it makes me feel good, not like chocolate and cookies with ice cream makes you feel good, but like I feel healthy and energetic feel good.  So, through the years I've drifted to some odd food places, like my first year in college and my first time living on my own, I would eat hamburgers of my own making, which consisted mostly of shredded carrot, on a bed of cabbage on whole wheat bread...I think I added ketchup or BBQ sauce, let's just hope I did.  Now, I'm a firm believer in rainbows when it comes to food.  I like to have every color, every day, but I'm not talking about blue cheese dressing on hot wings, I consider those foods white:).  Although, my home made hot wings are my family's favorite food right now, I don't even try them...wings and hot sauce are pretty much repulsive to me (and Zach, too).  Although, I love the celery on the side, yum!  And the truth be told, I love good food, but most food in our society, is well, not so good, it doesn't make my taste buds fall in love, it's either too salty or too sweet and the depth is gone.

I spend a lot of days thinking, what is worth eating...  And then, 1 o'clock comes and I think, I'm hungry, what is going to make me feel great, and at that moment, taste has little to do with what I eat (a little twist to impulse eating, I'd put grass in my mouth at that moment if it were healthy, I normally run out to the garden and graze on something in there or eat off of a tree in my yard, or sometimes I'll make a salad or today I made lentils).

I'm writing this because I'm eating my lentils with home grown cilantro/parsley lunch alone today.  And some times I'd like to talk to someone at lunch.  So, I'm writing to you, although, it makes it a bit hard to eat...  I've recently tried making some good for me, yet repulsive green shakes, one had only limes, aloe, cilantro and parsley, and chard (a recipe I found)...I almost lost it, seriously...but, I didn't and I drank the whole thing...but only once, I washed it down with the BEST tasting water I've had in my entire life.  The next day I added banana, raw honey, and celery, it was much better!

And I definitely have a sweet tooth!  I love chocolate ganache!  It's one of those foods that I could eat just because it makes my taste buds fall in love, and there has to be some endorphin releasing ingredient in there! And fresh fruit is amazing.  I can pass on all hard candy and Mike and Ike like candies are in the same category with licorice (blah!).

Beautiful food is hard to pass up.  I wish I was a food artist!  I seem to make slop more often than not.  And well, even though it's healthy, it looks like it's poison, and my children aren't really likely to try poison, even if it tastes good and is great for them!  With the exception of bread soup bowls made with kidney beans and brown rice, no one even asked me what was in the bread bowls...mu ha ha ha ha! (They were more concerned with what I had put in the soup:)  Slight of hand!)

Savanah & Eli have taken to eating more like I eat.  Savanah is trying new healthy concoctions...although, sugary treats still call her name.  Eli on the other hand has sworn off sugar for about 6 months now (impressive, even for my standards!) but isn't so interested in my crazy concoctions.

What sounds good for dinner?  Spanish rice with lentils, and probably corn tortillas with taco meat, with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, and avocados...  Why do we have to eat every day?  It takes up so much time!  That being complained, I'm so grateful I can eat and there is so much at my finger tips that is healthy for me to eat and feed my family.  God is SO good to me and mine.  Loving Life more every day!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Family Picture Time

Marci came over and helped us with our family photos this year.  Last year I didn't take the kids "school" pictures until May or June...a bit late I thought, so I'm doing better this year!  (Nathaniel is standing on his toes in this family picture, he said, "because Savanah has high heels on", and Eli is in a low spot in the yard compared to Ryon...I thought it would show our true height comparisons, but I have heels on, too, so it doesn't.  And it is becoming apparent, that we have few years left when the younger boys can stand in front...  This isn't the one I chose as our Christmas picture, you'll have to wait until Christmas for that:).