Monday, October 31, 2011

Peanut Plant

Sometimes I chide myself for not going out and taking care of my garden. Then when I do go out there, I remember the biggest reason why working in the garden is so challenging right now:

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My Merry Men

I got kind of lost in Sherwood Forest while sewing my boys' costumes this year...

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Cue the Polka Music....

...The Rabbit is ready for Oktoberfest!!!!!

I don't know exactly how it started.... I just got this idea in my head. My sister and I were talking recently about how much we liked dirdls. The Rabbit's favorite movie is The Sound of Music. And she has a nice line of Austrian ancestry through great-great-grandpa the bandonion player who immigrated through Ellis Island a hundred years ago, a family history story I find particularly interesting. So I just decided I had to do this.

I had fun with the details, like the sleeve bows:

Roo tried it on too-- it just barely fir her.

I modified the pattern for the top from a back issue of Ottobre Design (thanks, Andrea!) Then I just made a simple full skirt and modified the apron pattern from the pioneer dress pattern I have. Then I just went crazy with the ricrac and ribbon.

It was oh so much fun to make!
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Sunday, October 30, 2011


All last week while the Badger was tearing up the kitchen I was upstairs trying to finish this year's batch of costumes. I love sewing costumes for my kids. It is one of my favorite creative outlets. But sewing time is hard to come by, so I had to trim back my original plans. I had seven beautiful costumes in mind. Only four came to fruition, but I was very pleased with them.

Bean took this picture of me at work:

He also took this picture of my sewing corner while I was in the thick of it. What a mess!

Everything around me went to pot while I sewed happily away in my little corner. The kids' rooms were ankle-to-knee-deep with debris when I finally came back to earth after the Fall Festival at church. Everything in the bathroom was the wrong color. And the laundry was totally out of control. I'm still trying to get everything cleaned up.

But wait until you see the costumes I made! I am going to make you wait until tomorrow because I need to go to bed now, but they turned out great!!!!
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Oh My, What Have We Done?

This is what my kitchen looks like right now:

I knew when we moved in that we needed to remodel, at least as much as we could afford to, but this all happened so suddenly and now it's all ripped out and we have to put it back together!

I feel like we've jumped off a cliff and I'm not sure where the bottom is, but I'm so excited to be rid of all the nasty things. At this point I don't even care what it looks like when it's done just as long as all this old stuff is gone. Like the light ceiling. 'Twas the thing in the 70s and 80s but I just have this deep hatred for flourescent light.

Here's my lovely sink. It actually doesn't look so bad in a picture. Sprayer has never worked and part of the faucet broke off awhile back. Plus, the faucet's been leaking for awhile now. And the sink is only 5.5 inches deep.

Countertops warped...

...and stained... (and again, these pictures actually make it look better than it was!)

Once you get rid of the light ceiling it doesn't look so bad. But those cabinets were old and grungy.

And then when the Badger got them out of there we saw that the sheetrock really needed to come off, too...

So, yeah, now we're down to the studs. And we're about to build a room that makes me happy. It won't be fancy on our budget, but it will be wonderful.
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In My Garden Right Now

I've totally ignored my garden for the last six or eight weeks. It hasn't been watered, weeded, or tended. So I went out there the other day to see what was left.

I was surprised-- mostly pleasantly. I knew a lot of stuff died during the hot summer, but despite my lack of care everything that was left has been going bananas this fall.

Nice crop of basil, nice crop of chives. Marjoram is dead, but the oregano still has a tiny bit of life left.

On the other end of the herb bed there is rosemary and mint and quite a few marigolds and misc. perennials.

Around the first of Septeber I threw some lettuce seed in the ground. It then continued to be hot and I didn't water much and nothing germinated. I meant to go out and plant some more but I never did. Then when I went out there a couple days ago I saw this:

I didn't know that it would sit there that long without germinating and still come through. Maybe it was just waiting for a good rain. We have had some lately.

Over in the tomato/bean/pepper bed I have some fun zinnias and marigolds, though the beans and the tomatoes are pretty much dead.

The peppers are doing fine, though they're not fruiting much. And something's munching on them.

My chard patch is going bananas. It's beautiful.

The only thing prettier than my chard patch is Fish's chard patch, which is extraordinary. It's hard to tell from this picture, but those leaves are HUGE. I've only seen chard grow that large once before. Good job, Fish!

Bean's broccoli plant is also going bananas and it's finally starting to set a few small heads.

Which is weird because my broccoli has all been eaten by some very hungry caterpillars.

Here's another corner of Bean's garden. He's got a nice little watermelon (there were actually two but we already picked one). He was pretty excited about those melons. I was sure they were going to be dead or rotten or bug eaten when we got back from Utah, but there they were! Anyway, he's also got onions, peppers, a few carrots, and the one surviving tomato plant, which is fruiting (but they're not ripe yet.)

I'm glad we've been able to get some good out of our garden this year. We've learned a lot and had a lot of difficulty, but it's been a good experience overall.
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On the Subject of Smoothies

I love to make smoothies because I always sneak in some spinach or ultra-fabulous vitamin powder or something to make them really nutritious. It's a great way to get raw whole food nutrition into kids. It's harder with small kids though. They tend to make a mess with their smoothies:

On my trip to Utah I learned a helpful trick. Aunt Meadow also feeds her kids tons of smoothies but when she serves them to her kids she gives them straws.... They drink all their smoothies quickly and happily! What a concept! I never buy straws because it seems like the kids always getting into them and leaving them all over the house and I end up throwing them away but I'd rather deal with that than smoothie messes!
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Peanut is Learning to Climb!

One month 'til she turns one! I can't stand it!
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Following the Path

One thing that's fun about homeschool is how the littler ones want to do what the older ones are doing. Consequently they catch on to stuff far faster than the older kids did. When we do school the Rabbit insists on having her own folder and books and so she is learning her ABCs at a younger age than Roo, who learned at a younger age than Fish, who learned at a younger age than Bean. Poor Bean, he always has to blaze the trail.

Then there's Peanut....

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Rabbit in the Chicken Coop

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Don't Get Too Close...

We caught a skunk!

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Sunday, October 23, 2011


Here is the last picture I will share from our trip. I snapped this at our last rest stop in western Oklahoma.

Now I can move on to blogging about everything that has happened since the trip!
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Mesa Verde

For our second field trip, we went to Mesa Verde National Park. I was excited to stop by there but I had no idea it would take so long to get out to the cliff dwellings. Good thing we scheduled plenty of time to get home. Anyway, first you drive way up on the mesa and the view is really cool:

Then you drive a long way across the mesa to the cliff dwellings. They are absolutely amazing. I absolutely cannot imagine living like this, especially raising children in such an environment!

We signed the boys up for a tour of the Cliff Palace. It wasn't a great place to take small children, so I stayed with the girls at the car. The boys loved their tour and I was so happy they could go!

It was a really unique and enjoyable experience for our whole family. I'm glad we went!
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On our way back to Oklahoma we took a couple of homeschool field trips. The first was to Canyonlands National Park. It was cold, but the storm clouds were beautiful!

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