Saturday, February 28, 2009

Spring cleaning

Yesterday we cleared out our winter garden to prep the soil for spring.

Thank God for healthy and strong teen aged boys because my back just can't take it anymore!
I'd love to say they worked so hard from the goodness of their heart and the betterment of the family, but honestly, cold hard cash was the only motivator here.

That, and the fun of spraying your brother with ant pile dirt!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Too big!

On our way home from my sister's house last weekend we stopped by the mall. While we were window shopping, John Paul spied the Build-A-Bear-Workshop and begged to go in. Ryan and Kyle were mortified that they had to "cruise" the mall with their mom and baby brothers, so I let them have some respite while me and the little guys built a bear.
JP and Danny selected their bears and took them to the station to be filled. The very nice lady filled their bears full of fluff and then asked Danny to go get a stuffed heart to place inside his bear before she sewed him up. He picked the heart he wanted out of the bunch and the lady told him, "Close your eyes, make a wish, then kiss your heart and put it inside your bear!"
Danny just stood there so she repeated her instructions.
Finally Danny rolled his eyes and said in a very exasperated voice,

"Ummmmmm...I'm too BIG for that!"

The clerk and I looked at each other and simultaneously burst out into laughter!

Too big indeed!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And Lent Begins...

"From dust you came, and to dust you shall return."

Wishing all of our Catholic friends and family a blessed and fruitful Lent.

And for non-Catholics, curious why we put ourselves through all this penance and fasting? READ HERE.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kraut is done!

My cabbage has been fermenting in the mud room for two weeks now (mmmmm...doesn't that sound appetizing?) and I bottled it up this morning!
The color is still nice and green and most of the cabbage is still crisp. It has a lovely sweet, tangy taste which is much milder than the pungent pucker you get with bagged or canned kraut.

I really packed it down into three quart jars and covered them in brine. It's not enough to get out my big steam canner, so I think I'll just store these babies in the fridge (they'll keep for months and months!)

I may have to alter my menu plan for today! I forgot that the kraut would be done when I did my planning and shopping. I think we'll be having grilled brats with a generous helping of kraut instead!

It's not exactly a traditional fat Tuesday meal...

...anyone know how to say, "Let the good times roll!" in German?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Happy Birthday Aunt Bonnie!

This weekend we all gathered at my sister Sonya's house for a birthday celebration for our Aunt Bonnie. My Aunt Sandy flew down from Dallas to join the party as well! Sonya made a delicious lunch and we had the most wonderful afternoon talking, laughing and playing Farkle (Google it!)

Let's not wait so long for the next get together, girls!
I love you all and was so happy to spend such a wonderful day with you!

Happy Birthday Aunt Bonnie!

Menu Plan Monday

Tuesday: Hot muffaletta sandwiches in celebration of Fat Tueday.

Wednesday: Split pea soup with homemade bread.

Thursday: Grilled chicken and roasted swiss chard.

Saturday: Smoky bean and bacon soup

Sunday: Baked ziti and salad.

Check out hundreds of other meal plans on

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Me and my leggy seedlings

I planted heirloom tomato seeds a little over two weeks ago. Since they've germinated we've had nothing but dreary, overcast weather and my seedlings have gotten quite leggy. They were beginning to sprout their true leaves and I was scared that they'd get too top heavy and break the stem, so I spent two hours transplanting them the other day.
Yes! Two flippin' hours!
My little seeds had a great germination rate. I just could not prune out some of the seedlings, so I ended up transplanting 48 tomato plants! Needless to say, I will be pawning off these suckers on anyone who will take them.
Sonya, Rhonda, Bonnie,'ll be getting tomato plants this weekend when I see you,
They're not leggy anymore!
Danny and JP were irked I wouldn't let them transplant with me, so instead they played with play-dough and proceeded to name every.single.plant.
So if you get a "SpongeBob," "Greeny," "Ninja Power Ranger," or a "Chewy,"
take very good care of them...
They were grown with love!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Fallen Hero's Homecoming

A soldier from Bay City was killed in action in Iraq, his body was welcomed home today.
Ryan and his C.A.P. flight were privileged to be part of the color guard to honor this brave soldier.

This young man leaves behind a wife and two small children.
Please pray for the repose of his soul and for the comfort of the Holy Spirit for his family.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon him.
May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Kraut Watch

My cabbage has been fermenting a week. About every two days I check it and skim off the "scum" that forms on top, but today there were just a few bubbles. That tells me that the fermentation is slowing down and entering a different stage. The sugars in the cabbage are being broken down into lactic acid, which is a potent digestive aid. The kraut no longer smells like "stinky old man farts" but now smells sweet and tangy.

I gave it a good stir today just so I could check it out. The cabbage is still crisp. I even tasted it (and lived to tell about it!) It's sweet and tangy and just a little salty, definitely on it's way to kraut I can tell.
I'll give this bad boy another week to brew and we'll see how it turns out. I've still got about four heads of cabbage that need to be processed some how. I'd like to make another batch of kraut, but if this doesn't turn out we may be eating cole slaw and stuffed cabbage leaves for the next month!

Monday, February 16, 2009

On this president's day

On this president's day we need to pray for Mr. Obama and the choices he is making for our country, especially in regards to the most innocent of human life. Because if he won't protect the smallest and most helpless Americans, how can he protect the rest of us?

Heavenly Father,
I come here in Your presence because I believe all life is sacred. We are all part of your creation, from the smallest plant to a newborn child. Please help us fight the wrath of FOCA. Grant President Obama and all of our legislature wisdom and guidance to make the right choice. Give them the strength to stand up for Your greatest gift of all, the gift of life.

I also pray for all of the mothers who are contemplating aborting their child. Please send Your graces upon them so that they may let their baby into this world. Grant their families a loving and faith filled life.

I pray for those children who have been terminated. Please open your arms so that they may return to eternal life with their Father in heaven. We ask this through Your Holy Name, through the passion and death of Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Virgin, and her mother St. Anne, for You are Lord for all of eternity.

In Your name we pray,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Post bridal show recap

We survived the weekend...and by 'we' I mean Doug.
We went early Saturday morning and set up his booth then Doug had an afternoon wedding to shoot. I took time out to scope out the competition!

Here's a look to the right as you enter the booth. Lots of display pictures and albums.

...and a look to the left of some of his bridal portraits. We also set up a flat screen tv to play some of the DVD wedding stories he has created.

It was a busy afternoon, but Doug made lots of good contacts at the bridal show.

And his work speaks for itself. It's lovely and he had some of the most creative work among the photographers at the show (and of course I'm partial...but it's TRUE!)

We're hoping for lots of follow ups in the next couple of weeks!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Our new entertainment

We got cows, ya'll!

The big open hayfield behind our backyard has now become a fenced cow pasture. The cows have been coming right up to the fence and trying to get my vegetables! We get the biggest kick out of watching them, especially the new babies in the herd. They even have two donkeys mixed in with the cows.
It's so funny watching the boys watch the cows. They call to them and approach them like they are dogs. They just don't understand why the cows won't come to them and let them pet them! I really hope they get used to us...maybe a ripe tomato off the vine will persuade them that we're not so bad after all.