Monday, May 30, 2011

garden update....

This is almost my favorite thing growing in the garden right now......it's a volunteer lettuce that popped up early this spring, makes me wish I had planted all of my lettuce when the snow was still on the ground. I know it's probably read to eat, but it's so beautiful and bushy, I can't bear to eat it, yet. Maybe tomorrow! :)

Our neighbors' irises are blooming at the moment and they're gorgeous, the perfect border to our little garden bed.

Their currant bush is growing fruit too, last year they didn't use them at all....hopefuly this year they'll let me pick some!
Flowers are blooming!
And the tomatoes are tolerating our cold spring weather. Hopefully soon it will warm up so they can start to grow a little. But out of 10, none have died, so that's a good thing!
And here's the proud little gardener and his plot of land. He's especially proud of his huge collard greens! They're about ready to be made into a yummy green smoothie!

Monday, May 23, 2011

riding the dunes!

We had a great trip to Idaho this weekend to ride bikes in the dunes. Who would've thought there were huge sand dunes in Idaho? :) It's like being in the middle of a desert, except louder with bike engines humming all around! Derick's been taking this trip with his family since he was a kid, and it was fun to go again this year and carry on the tradition with our kids (although they're both a little scared and each only took one ride!). It was especially fun to see the grandparents and cousins and play in the sand!
Of course, we have to spend a lot of time checking out the bikes and making sure they're running optimally. And of course improving them a bit so we can be faster than everyone else! (When I say "we," I mean Derick's dad, he's the pro!)
This is my super-cool bike riding man!
And this is his super-cool brother who could practically jump over our heads!
I'd like to say this is me, but no, still the super-cool brother! I really am out there too, just not driving, i got to ride along as a passenger. (And be the camera girl!)
Here we are being super-cool, exept my sis-in-law is cooler than me because she can drive her own bike!
This might be the kids' highlight of the weekend, swimming in the pool! We swam day and night, and day and night! Once again, it was a fabulous trip.....can't wait 'til next year!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

gluten free luncheon...

On Tuesday, a sweet friend from my ward organized a gluten free luncheon for five of us who don't eat gluten. It was so wonderful to sit down to a meal and feel completely comfortable eating everything! The gal who hosted it fixed us yummy breaded chicken with rice and salad, and on the side we brought cornbread, muffins, italian dipping bread, and a gorgeous chocolate layer cake for dessert! We shared recipes and chatted about our favorite gluten free options and what has worked for us over the last few years. We're going to make it a regular get-together....yay!

I wanted to try something new so I made Shauna's whole grain muffin recipe from glutenfreegirl. I've been intrigued by her blog lately because she is measuring all her baking ingredients by weight. It seems like such a fabulous idea for gluten free flours, because then you can mix and match and since they all have different densities, it should come out right in the end. I loved it! It made baking kind of like a science experiment! I put my blender right on the scale and measured out whole buckwheat, brown rice, and almonds, then whirred them all into a fine flour. This might be my new favorite muffin recipe, or rather favorite muffin formula. Baking like this gives so much room for creativity, which I love! I used coconut oil, flaked coconut, and dried cranberries in these muffins and they were delicious!

Monday, May 16, 2011

backyard picnic

We have a backyard, and then a back-backyard. It's a little weird, someone living here previously put a fence halfway through the backyard so they only had to landscape half of the huge lot. But the un-manicured back-backyard makes a great magical forest for children! It's mostly shaded by huge, overgrown trees, and there's no lawn so digging and mud pit making and plant picking is a total free-for-all! I see a lot of buckets of water being carried from the driveway to the back.....G usually comes in covered in mud, at least up to his elbows, and there have been times I've stripped him down and made him sit in the laundry room sink to rinse off before I'll let him in the house!

Today I took the kids some cups of chocolate "ice cream." (It was supposed to be a frozen banana smoothie with cocoa powder, but it turned out thick, so voila.....ice cream!) Once I saw them sitting there in their forest, I had to run in the house for my camera, and they loved that I was spying on them from behind the lilac bush!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

last minute shirt.


So at about 11:30 Thursday night I had this great idea that I could just sew myself up a cute little black shirt for my orchestra concert yesterday. I always have these kinds of ideas late at night, and I almost never actually accomplish them! But my super inspiring sister Kate has been sewing up a storm lately, and I knew I could do it! So I went to the fabric store Friday morning, picked out my fabric, and came right home and cut it out so I couldn't back out of my plan. I finished sewing it about an hour before the concert, and it turned out pretty cute, and it was much cooler than wearing my black sweater, my only other option. Of course getting a picture of a black shirt is never very easy, especially as I'm walking out the door....(you can see the clock, I'm supposed to be there at 1:30!)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

rainy day garden

We've had a lot of rain here this week, and luckily I did lots of gardening last Saturday, so it got nice and soaked. I took all of my pictures from inside my door, didn't want to get too wet! This is the front garden bed, I gave it a new log border and planted pansies and petunias. I'll add more once the tulips are done.

It's hard to see my tomatoes behind the wall of irises, but this is the new garden spot my neighbor tilled up for me to use. I have nine tomatoes planted out there, I love to imagine how they'll look climbing up their stakes!

This is the rest of my new garden with watermelon, cantaloupe, green beans, and carrots.

(And through my screen door....) This is E's little garden, you can see the peas starting to climb, and her little cherry tomato.

And G's garden.....I love how it's starting to look like a patchwork quilt with each square growing a new kind of sprout!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mother's Day...

My sweet little ones were so excited to give me their gifts.....these beautiful portraits of me! They left them on my pillow Saturday night when they went to bed, along with a pretty tulip in a vase. I love love love handmade gifts from my kids!

It was a great weekend of sun, and lots of garden planting! More pictures of that to follow. (Although we were too busy in the sun to get pictures that day, and since then it's been POURING rain! So rainy pictures it will have to be.)


Friday, May 6, 2011

splat.

Wednesday evening around 5 I was picking up the crockpot full of yummy, bubbling, golden chicken broth to strain into a pot in the sink, and SPLAT! The already slightly broken handle broke completely off and there went my beautiful liquid gold, all over the kitchen floor and my foot! I spent about 50 minutes cleaning it up, and finished up just as Derick and E came home for dinner, with nothing to show for it but a sparkly floor (and a slightly scalded foot!). So lesson learned......once the handle on your crockpot starts to break, buy a new one so you don't do what I did! I was so upset with the darn thing that it went right into the trash bin. I know that technically it still works, but without a handle it's difficult to clean and move around. (And it's got a few other problems as well, I won't bore you with the list.) But it's been well worth the 4$ I paid for it 5 years ago at a garage sale!

So I'm in the market for a new crockpot, let me know if you have any suggestions. I'm thinking maybe this one! :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

around the house...

Today I took a quick trip around the house, outside and in, to see what I could see. Our yard is starting to wake up a bit, especially now that the sun has been shining this week. (Unfortunately our grass hasn't woken up! We overseeded a few bare patches 2 weeks ago and nothing's happening yet!) The tulips are out in all their glory, and these pretty little white flowers are right at my front door. Unfortunately I don't know what they are, maybe they're weeds, but I'd love plant them all over my lawn!

The peas are ambitiously looking for a place to climb so we wraped some twine around our sticks yesterday. Hopefully they find it.

We're babying our little sprouts with hopes of big bunches of spinach. They're showing their second leaves now.

The beets are coming up too. I love how when we thin them out, their little teeny roots are bright red!

I've been puting things out on the line in this nice weather, today was kitchen towels. I'm always amazed at how quickly they dry out in the breeze, it almost beats my dryer.

And when I came in after my walk around the house, I found these two, studiously doing their homework. What great kids! And speaking of great, check out my tomato forest growing on the table! Those babies are so excited to get out in the real dirt, I'm crossing my fingers for next week, then the real planting begins!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

our pets.

Who would've thought we'd become "guinea pig people," but here we are, snuggling our little pigs each day! After six weeks of living here, they've become welcome little friends. The kids are really good about cleaning out their cage each day. E checks them first thing in the morning, even when us parents sleep in, and makes sure their hay bowl is full and even sometimes gets them a fresh veggie from the fridge. They get so excited when they hear the fridge open, or when they can tell I'm chopping veggies for a salad. They know they get the odds and ends of the lettuce and carrots and whatever else we're eating. Actually, they're great little composters! And man are they getting big! Oreo used to be kind of delicate and thin, and now she's got some little rolls of chub around her, like a good guinea pig should. And Fluffy is all hair! Seriously, somedays I just want to rub some gel in there and style it all funky! (Don't worry, I won't!) We're thinking of getting her a brush one of these days. Did you know they have special brushes for guinea pigs? They do, seriously!