10th Birthday Cupcakes!

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Little Chef turns 10 today and she decided to make cupcakes so she could take them to AWANA and share with all her friends.  So we got some super cute cupcake liners and found some yummy looking recipes at Your Cup of Cake.

DSCN4990 (480x640)-1This is why we call her “Little Chef”

DSCN5012 (480x640)-1She LOVES to cook and like her mama, she loves to eat!!

DSCN5021 (408x640)-1DSCN5023 (640x480)-1We are so thankful for our Little Chef and can’t believe how grown up she is!

Hoar Frost

For several weeks we have been under a THICK blanket of freezing fog with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees.  Ordinarily we have a beautiful view from our living room windows, but I’ve been considering it a good day if I can look out and see my car parked in the driveway!  In the last three weeks we have had two days that the sun has shone and illuminated our winter wonder land!!  The freezing weather and fog left behind  “hoar frost” that is absolutely beautiful when the sun shines on it!!

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DSCN4795 (480x640)-1DSCN4760 (640x480)-1Isn’t it wonderful how God can use some not so pleasant weather conditions to produce something so beautiful!!

DSCN4875 (640x480)-1DSCN4791 (640x345)-2                                            Told you we (usually) have a nice view!

DSCN4886 (640x480)-1          This is not snow, it’s all frost!  Some of the branches got so heavy they broke.

DSCN4894 (480x640)-1It is amazing how we take so many things for granted until they’re gone…..like sunshine, blue skies, and a view!!  Today I am very thankful for all these things. (including the beautiful frost!)

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”                     – Fredrick Koeing

Spring in January

On New Years Day we managed to slip and slide our way out for a shopping trip.  We had a foot of snow and were trying to stay off the roads, but the necessity for dog, cat and chicken feed forced us to venture out.  We got to the feed store and to my pleasant surprise they were having a sale!  Don’t you just love it when you go to the store for a specific item and it just happens to be on SALE!! (BONUS)  With all those red sale signs I COULDN’T just get what I needed and head for the door, so I started to brows.  😀  I soon spotted one of those lovely signs above several racks of newly stalked garden seeds!  Oh man!  I wanted to start dancing and spinning and giggling and throwing packets of seeds into my cart!!!  Pumpkins and cucumbers and beans OH MY!

I purposefully kept my hands on my cart as I ogled the rows and rows of beautiful seeds.  Constantly repeating to myself “January, winter time, snow, January, winter time, snow……”  That seemed to help, I slowly lost the urge to break into song and dance.  Then I spotted the sprout seeds…YEEHAW!!  It doesn’t mater if there’s snow outside, we can grow sprouts inside. 🙂

Here’s how to grow nutritious, yummy sprouts ANY time of the year!

What you need:

1 quart size mason jar

Cheese cloth and a rubber band or sprouting lids (pictured below)

Sprout seeds and water

My girls had been given these sprout grower lids as a gift from their  Aunt Kate so we used those.DSCN4646 (480x640)Put 2 tablespoons of sprout seeds into a clean quart size jar.  Fill the jar about half way up with water then place the cheese cloth over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band or just screw on the sprouting lid with the smallest holes.  I do this in the evening so they can soak over night.  8 hours is about right.

In the morning dump the water out through the cheese cloth or sprouting lid. Then pour some water back into the jar, swirl around and dump water out through the sprouting lid again to rinse the seeds.  Prop the jar up sideways in a bowl with the lid side down.  Like this:DSCN4690 (640x480)-1This is so remaining water can drain yet allowing the air to circulate through the jar.  Keep them on the counter out of direct sunlight.

Rinse seeds 2 to 3 times a day, always propping the jar lid side down in the bowl. It will take 4 to 5 days for them the reach the desired length.  We ate most of ours on day 4 (on sandwiches, wraps, and salads) but if you have any left overs just store them in the fridge.  These sprouts were sooooo yummy!!  We have our next batch started and now I’m looking forward to growing…red clover, broccoli, mung bean, radish…..and so on.  I had no idea there were so many different kinds of sprouts.

Even though we have a while to wait before we see signs of spring outside, it’s wonderful to have a little taste of spring in January!!

Avocado Scramble

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This recipe is simple, VERY attractive and tastes every bit as good as it looks!!

Start by whisking together eggs and water.

Pour into a pan drizzled with olive oil on medium-low heat.

                           Stir with spatula until eggs are set up. Add salt and pepper.

Top with salsa, avocado and sour cream!!DSCN4676 (640x385)-1I told you it was attractive!!  Don’t you just love those colors??

Here’s a close up…..DSCN4682 (640x480)Oh yeah!!  That’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!! Yummmmmmmmm!

Here’s the printable version of the recipe:

Avocado Scramble
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa or Pico de Gallo would be yummy too
  • ¼ of a large avocado
  • A dollop of sour cream
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the eggs and water
  2. Pour egg mixture into a pan drizzled with olive oil on medium-low heat
  3. Use a spatula to stir eggs until done
  4. Place eggs on a plate and add salt and pepper
  5. Top with salsa, avocado, and sour cream

 

Snowflakes – Winter Art Project, Science, History and Bible Lesson

Winter has arrived!!  So we decided to start working on our “winter wall”.  To see pictures of our “fall wall” click here.  Of course the first thing to go on a “winter wall” should be snowflakes…right?  We got out the coffee filters and started cutting.

DSCN4577 (1280x761)-1Coffee filters make great snowflakes they are round and easy to cut through, not to mention cheap.  The girls came up with some great designs.  But then we ran into a problem….we had beautiful white snowflakes and a very white wall to hang them on.  Instead of launching a full on, home improvement project of repainting our classroom/playroom we decided to bust out the water colors and  make some colorful snowflakes to hang on our white wall.  I think they turned out beautiful!!

DSCN4581 (957x1280)-1I then decided we should look at some “REAL” snowflakes.  We found several websites that have up close pictures of snowflakes….WOW!  They are absolutely gorgeous, every unique one of them.  I then found this amazing article “Snowflake Bentley: Man of Science, Man of God” by Jerry Bergman Ph.D. on the “Institute for Christian Research” website.  I shared this article with my girls and we attempted to make six sided snowflakes (like the real ones.)  This was harder than it sounds…..eventually we managed to get a few decent looking six sided snowflakes. 🙂

I love that this simple art project turned into a science, history and bible lesson. It taught all three of us new things, and made us even more grateful and aware of another one of God’s magnificent creations.

Here are a few pictures of what we like to do with an over abundance of beautiful ice crystals.

Sledding!!Sledding!!

DSCN4474-1Making Snow Angels!!

IMGP4342-1My personal favorite, building a snow fort!!

Happy Winter Everyone

“Chicken People”

I have a confession to make, I used to think “chicken people” were weird.  What’s all the fuss about?  Aren’t chickens dirty, stinky, noisy and dumb?  Who has the time or money to mess with chickens when you can easily buy all the chicken and poop free eggs in a quick trip to the store?  And all chicken people seem to do is talk and brag about their chickens…

Oooooops!!

I now find myself driving my husband nuts running in and out of his shop showing him eggs and telling him stories about my wonderful, funny hens.  Then I text my family and friends pictures and brag about all the nice big brown eggs they are laying.  Oh, and by the way,  MY hens aren’t dirty, stinky, noisy or dumb; and there is no comparing a farm fresh egg (even with a little poop) to a store bought egg!!

So maybe “chicken people” ARE weird, but what’s wrong with being a little weird if you are having a good time and supplying your family with good wholesome food….Right?

As long as I’m admitting that I’m a “weird chicken person” and my family is sick of hearing about my hens, I guess I have to do all my bragging on my blog.  So here are a few pictures of my girls…and my other girls (wow, I have a lot of girls).  I guess weird chicken people also take TONS of pictures of their chickens (and their kids). 😉

 

9 day old Golden Buff chick.

Look how fast their feathers grow!

 

 

 

 

1 month old chick

 

 

 

 

 

15 weeks old

 

 

 

 

Here they are being very cautious on their first trip into the harvested garden.

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Thanks for letting me share.

 

Chickens in the Snow

When I go out to the chicken coop first thing in the morning I open up their little door and they all rush out.  Usually walking and jumping on each other, trying to cram through the door two or three at a time.

IMGP4301 (1132x1280)-1But the other day when it snowed a couple inches, it took them a few hours to wander out and most of them headed strait for the barn so they could take dust baths, dig around in the fire wood for bugs and harass the barn cats.  That night we had to carry a few back to the coop, they didn’t want to walk back through the snow!

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On Christmas day we received a foot of snow (we blame this on our 9 year old, she was praying for a white Christmas 😉 ) and it’s not melting off very fast.  The chickens now refuse to come out of the coop.  They will step out, look around, fluff up their feathers and jump right back in the door.  You can’t blame them, that white stuff is cold and deep.

With no free ranging going on they have been going through a LOT of feed and water!!  I highly recommend  that if there is any possibility that your chickens can be let out to forage around….let them!!  I’m guessing it cuts the feed costs by half, if not more. (I am keeping track and will let you know exact numbers later). Not to mention it makes for very healthy, happy chickens and more nutritious eggs.   Anyway, I got worried about the hungry little buggers getting bored all cooped up.  Bored chickens are not a good thing, they will start pecking at each other and if it gets to bad the results could be deadly. 🙁  So I cut open an acorn squash and gave that to them, and they spent hours picking at it; the only part left is a thin layer of peel.  The next day we hung up half of a large cabbage in the coop.  They seemed disinterested at first, but when I went out that night to shut the door most of the cabbage was gone.  We hung up the second half of the cabbage the next day.  This one didn’t last long!!  Hanging them up is purely for the entertainment value, (for the chickens, not us….well maybe for us too).  Watching chickens chase a spinning, bouncing cabbage around the coop WAS very entertaining.

IMGP4316-1These little treats seem to be keeping them happy and occupied during these snow bound days.  To my surprise, being stuck indoors has not affected their egg production at all.

This spring I intend to plant tons of cabbage, pumpkins, and squash just for the chickens to have next winter (and maybe enough for us to have some too).

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