23 June, 2011

Recommended Reading!

Hunger Games!

Grade 7 Up -In a not-too-distant future, the United States of America has collapsed, weakened by drought, fire, famine, and war, to be replaced by Panem, a country divided into the Capitol and 12 districts. Each year, two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal intimidation of the subjugated districts, the televised games are broadcasted throughout Panem as the 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors, literally, with all citizens required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as the mining district's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart, Peeta, the son of the town baker who seems to have all the fighting skills of a lump of bread dough, will be pitted against bigger, stronger representatives who have trained for this their whole lives. Collins's characters are completely realistic and sympathetic as they form alliances and friendships in the face of overwhelming odds; the plot is tense, dramatic, and engrossing. This book will definitely resonate with the generation raised on reality shows like 'Survivor' and 'American Gladiator.' Book one of a planned trilogy.(Jane Henriksen Baird, Anchorage Public Library, AK)

Book 2: Catching Fire

Book 3: Mocking Jay

Click on the links and order them now!

22 June, 2011

Deer Farm!

Last week was VBS and a friend from church had a baby also so she asked me to bring her other kiddos home a couple days so she could enjoy some extra quiet time with her new baby.  When I dropped her kiddos off we got to see their deer and all of their other animals!
 Here is one of the baby fawns that my 6 yo DD got to bottle feed!  CUTE!
 Baby girl was playing peek-a-boo with it around this wooden box!
 DD bottle feeding the fawns!

 Their horses!

 Their fryer chickens!
 This little menace to society....   I got to bottle feed him while we were there and as soon as his bottle was gone he head butted right between the legs!!!  If I was a guy I would have been laying on the ground unable to breathe or see..I am telling you he got me good!  I had calf snot from my knees to my crouch and my pants were wet!  I was laughing so hard I nearly peed my pants!  LOL!  It really was funny!  He kept trying to head butt me to get his bottle, even though it was empty.  So I had to get out of his area quick so he could not do it again!
 A few of the Does are so tame that they will come right up to you and let you pet them and feed them right out of your hands!  The kids especially loved that!  My oldest was itching to line one up in the site of his gun though!

13 June, 2011

Changing the Brakes!

The brakes on the ban needed to be done.  So my 13 and 15 yo changed them with the help of a gentlemen from our church.  I love the fact that my boys are learning this stuff while they are young so they can do the maintenance on their own vehicles when they are older.  They have been working with the 'Damsels in Distress' program at our church and changing oil for singles and widows once every three months and they have gotten pretty good at changing oil from all of the cars they have done there.   Since my oldest is literally days away from getting his permit he will need all of these skills!

07 June, 2011

Homemade Salsa!! YUM!!!

My friend, Vicki, passed this salsa recipe on to me last year and I swear it is the best salsa EVER!!  You can make it as hot (or not) as you want it!  I made around 24 pints last year and I have sworn to myself that I will make at least twice as much this fall!!  I can sit down and eat a whole pint of it by myself!!  If I am forced to share with the kids then one pint just is not enough!  LOL!

Homemade Salsa Recipe:

4 qts tomatoes
6 big onions
4 large bell peppers
6-10 hot yellow peppers
1 to 2 Jalapenos (I use 6 or 7!)
2 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons canning salt
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 bunch of CILANTRO, chopped (Just the leaves)
Cook 4-5 hours, can in boiling water canner. I usually get about 8 pints. 

It is totally the CILANTRO that makes this salsa!  

I know this is a great fall recipe and is perfect for canning but I just popped open a jar and thought I would share it with you because now is the perfect time to get your Cilantro Seeds and get them planted!  According to the My Patriot Supply website the plants are ready to harvest in just 40 days!  So there is still plenty of time to get your seeds and get them planted and ready for harvest in time for canning!  There are also harvesting and seed saving tips on their website!   
If you are going to buy your Cilantro from the store be sure to get CILANTRO and not Parsley!  They are near always displayed together in the produce section and they look VERY similar!  I would highly suggest getting some seeds now though because last fall I had to go to several stores just to find fresh Cilantro!!  You can always harvest the Cilantro multiple times and dehydrate it and store it for fall if your plant is producing to much then you are always sure to have some on hand!

My Patriot Supply also offers a Culinary Herb Garden with 8 different herbs that are popular to cook with!

This is the Dehydrator I have:

And it says to set it to 95F for drying herbs.

And yes we did eat the whole jar of salsa in LESS time than it took me to make this post!  LOL!!  

05 June, 2011

Homemade shaved ice!

 We LOVE homemade shaved ice in the summer!  I swear this stuff is addicting...maybe it is the sugar that is in it!  LOL!  This recipe is SOOOO EASY and with over 70 Kool-Aid flavors to choose from you will never get bored  with this cheap and easy treat!  If you are worried about stains or you just want to make a surprise flavor you could use the Watermelon, or any other flavor, of clear Kool-Aid!
 First I mix equal parts of sugar and water.  I usually do about 2 cups sugar with 2 cups water.  Then I add in 2 packs of my favorite Kool-Aid flavors!  The top pan is orange and the bottom is Lemon-lime.
 I bring the syrupy stuff to a boil for about 2 minutes.  Then I let cool.
The top one in this picture is Berry Blue!  The kids LOVE the  Berry Blue and Lemon-Lime!
 The bottom one is Cherry!  Cherry, Black Cherry, and Orange are my favorites!!!!  I also made up a batch of grape!
 After I made the syrup flavorings I put the hot syrup in my jelly jars!  This was a great way for me to reuse some of my canning lids!!  They actually all resealed too!!  After they cooled a bit I sat them in the fridge.  But as long as they sealed properly you could set these in your pantry until you are ready to use them.  (I would boil my jars and lids if I were going to keep it in the pantry though.)

 I LOVE looking at filled canning jars!  Aren't these just beautiful??
I make my shaved ice by putting a cup of ice in the food processor for just a few seconds!   
 Then I scoop it into coffee or tea cups and add the flavorings (to taste) on top!  We then use a spoon to scoop it out and eat it!  My 9 yo is having a Berry Blue and Orange icee here!
 Once I am ready to use my flavoring I like to use the condiment bottles.  I just store the leftover flavoring in the fridge in the condiment bottle.  It is so easy to use then!  I have a bunch of bottles...somewhere....  I got them when they were on sale at Christmas time...for candy making.  I can never have to many of these bottles!  LOL!
                                                          Cherry!!  YUM!!

Search & Win

03 June, 2011

Hyssop Seeds from My Patriot Supply!

I got these Hyssop seeds from My Patriot Supply!  I love the packaging!  All of their seeds come in resealable mylar bags!   Since we have spilled milk and water (twice!!) on this seed package that is a VERY good thing!  If it was any other seed package it would have been ruined and then my seeds possibly scattered and lost before I could even get them planted!  (Don't forget about their Genesis Survival Seed Garden!  Right now they are running a special:  if you buy 3 you save $9!  This is a great way to get one for yourself and some for your loved ones.)
 From the My Patriot Supply website about Hyssop:
Anise hyssop makes a delightful addition to mixed herbal teas and a fine tea all to itself. It has a delicate anise or licorice flavor. The tea is naturally sweet, so extra sweetener is not necessary. In fact the tea is so sweet that it can be used to sweeten other foods. Folklore medicine employed anise hyssop herbal tea to treat colds, coughs and fevers, and to strengthen a weak heart.
They also have a Herbal Tea Garden that you can get with a mix of different seeds to grow your own backyard teas!

02 June, 2011

Our first swim outing of the summer!

The weather was finally warm enough...and we had a free day...to go swimming!!  
Baby girl got sunscreen in her eyes so she had red watery eyes the whole time...poor thing!
 But it did not stop her from enjoying herself!  She is a total water baby just like the rest of my kids!

 The kids especially like the diving board!!

 The best part of having so many kids is that they always have a bunch of 'friends' to play with!  LOL!
That is an alligator in the water with them.  LOL!
 Baby girl loved going out as far as the boys would take her!!  She even got her face dunked a couple of times!  She coughed and then went right back to playing!

 The younger ones loved it when my oldest threw them off the diving board!