Monday, January 9, 2012

More From the Garden

So it's been a while since I've talked about my garden.  It's looking pretty raggedy these days.  We had two nights that froze about a month or so ago and then two more earlier this week and my green beans and tomato plant didn't like it very much.  They both kept producing, but not as well.  It seemed like it was only the top layers of leaves on the tomato plant that shriveled and turned brown, so I cut those off and then the lower ones started doing it.  So my nice big tomato plant only yielded four tomatoes, and the tops cracked on all of them.  I'm still thrilled that I grew four tomatoes though.

Only three here, one was hiding on my plant.

We ended up with about 20 green beans total from my three grean bean bush plants.  We usually just ate them right when we picked them though.  Since only two or three would be ready at a time, the kids would all be disappointed that they couldn't have a whole one.  What a good problem to fighting over fresh veggies.  I think the biggest issue with my green bean bush plants is that I planted the broccoli closer to sun (not knowing how HUGE the broccoli plants would get) so the beans were blocked from the sun. 

Speaking of the broccoli, it continues to produce!  A few times, usually after a rain, it'll flower before I cut it off.  The older boys just pick off the flowers and eat the rest that isstill good.  We usually eat it raw, but when I steam it or use it in stir-fry, you can tell a big difference between it and the frozen florets I usually buy. 

The carrots are all still growing but I picked on just to see how big the root was, and it was barely there.  I'll keep them in there, but I'm not expecting big things.  We read that you have to prepare the soil for months before planting the seeds, and we didn't do that.  I got too impatient.  

We're done with radishes for now.  We had SO many and we're not that into them, but it was fun to usually have some to pick whenever we went out there.  I'll grow some more later this spring.

My snap pea plants have gotten good size and they just blossomed so they should be growing the snap peas soon if the freeze didn't affect them too much.  I need to make a bigger trellis for them to grow on when we plant spring veggies.

The brussel sprouts plants got very big and are just now starting to grow brussel sprout shoots.  I'll have to figure out something to do with them.  I'm not sure I've ever eaten a brussel sprout.

And lastly is the cabbage.  I planted four plants and have picked two of them.  One I gave to my dad when he visited for Christmas.  The other I used for dinner the other night. 

I made Runzas.  We had Runza restaurants in Nebraska and it was so yummy.  I made these a couple of years ago when we studied about Russia, but it was fun this time to use cabbage I had grown myself.  They were yummy and most of the kids liked them. 

I did it a bit different than the recipe I found.  I used a tube of croissant dough instead of bread dough so they wouldn't be so bread-y and so they would cook quicker. 

So there is the update on my garden.  I'll go take some pictures to add so it's a little more interesting.  Once the chance of freezing is over, we'll start our spring veggies!  I really like living down here where our growing season is practically year round. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Little Girl Turns Two.

I can't believe this day has come so quickly.  Our little baby, the one I hoped so much for when we had a little oops with our birth control method two years and nine months ago, has turned two.  As in, not a baby anymore.  I love watching her grow, but like a lot of mommas, I just don't want it to happen so fast.

I love that she's little and she still looks more baby-ish than little girl-ish to me.  I love that she loves cuddles and likes to be held still and walks around with her thumb in her mouth and her blankey dragging behind her.  I love that she has a quick little temper that makes her little tantrums disappear just as quickly as they come.  I love that she follows her big sister around everywhere and tries to imitate everything she does.  I love that she folds her hands to pray and mumbles out mostly indistinguishable words when I pray with the girls at night.  Oh how I love my little two year old!

Chris ended up having the day off from work on her birthday, so we were able to have her party on the morning of her actual birthday. 

I choose Winnie the Pooh simply because I had a lot of decorations from when Gabe had the same theme and I wanted to be able to use them again before nobody wanted a Winnie the Pooh party anymore.  And Anna likes him anyways, so we both won.  
I made a few of these 'hunny' pots by painting clay pots and we already had this big stuffed Pooh Bear.

Chris decorated our dining room really festively.  The picture over the window was something I had saved as well and it fit there perfectly.  Chris drew the Eeyore for a 'Pin the Tail on Eeyore" game.  That's where the boys get there awesome art skills genes.

Yes, 'tale' is purposely spelled incorrectly, in a Pooh way of spelling.

Since we had a mid-morning party, I just made a lot of easy brunch-ish food.  The kids all loved it and it was so easy which makes me love it as well.
I also made the 'honeycomb' centerpiece for the last Pooh party, just by hot gluing rope around an oatmeal canister and adding on some wooden bees.

Veggies, canned mandarin oranges, mini pancakes, mini muffins, 'Piglets' in a blanket, fresh bananas, teddy grahams, and meatballs.

We had about as many older boys as we did younger girls Anna's age, so we had the girls eat inside and the boys eat out at the patio much quieter, and the boys played outside most of the time anyways.

The boys did come in for our game and the cake though which was good because the younger girls didn't quite get the hang of the game.
Anna, no blind fold on, and still pins the tail no where near the correct spot.  hahaha

Cake made by my awesome hubby of course

She didn't quite get the blowing out the candles concept.

Anna didn't seem very excited with the doll house until we took it out of the box.

But her trike was already assembled and she knew just what to do.  Now Anna doesn't have to try to take over Leah's trike!

Celebrating Anna turning two with her friends made for a great birthday for our sweet girl.  I've never not been either pregnant, or already had a new baby on any of my kids' second birthday, which is bittersweet for me.  I'm so excited to see our family of seven grow together without a baby in tow, but I do love having those babies!  A new friend here has a newborn that I get to snuggle with whenever she their family comes over for play dates, and since all my children still like to cuddle as well, I think I'll be okay.  :)