Wednesday, September 29, 2010


 A while back, some friends of ours gave us some pears from their pear tree and one day I came out into the kitchen and found this:

Was it a mouse?

Nope!  It was the "Champion of the World," pictured below.  I finally figured out that he didn't think I would notice if he only took a few bites out of each one.  Funny boy!  He could have had a pear anytime if he had just asked.


As we were listening to the audiotape of "Mr. Popper's Penguins" this morning before lunch, I was astonished to hear the reader read right out of the book that it was Wednesday, September 29th!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hot Pepper Mania!

Dan planted 26 hot pepper plants this year. They have been, and are, producing copiously.  There are three kinds:  Anaheim, Garden Salsa, and Cayenne.  We have given away a lot of them, because really, I don't cook much with them as it makes the food too hot for the kids. 

Dan has made three batches of hot pepper sauce, one from each kind of pepper.  First he chopped them up:

Then he cooked them in a big pot with vinegar and salt until they were soft:

Then the hot pepper mixture got run through the food processor.  Note, do not put more than two cups of liquid in at a time or it will leak. 

Then Dan poured the pureed mixture into this tall glass canister.  Dominic approved:

After the hot pepper sauce steeped for a week or so, Dan strained it and poured it into bottles, some of which have even gotten a personalized label:

I've frozen a few hot peppers for use in cooking this winter, but only a small amount.  I've used some in both fresh and canned salsa. We've also canned some pickled hot peppers.  Here are some pickled cayenne peppers: 
So far we have done 12 quarts of pickled peppers, with one more pepper type to go.  All of these hot pepper products are mostly for Dan, as he can add as much as he wants to whatever food I make if he wants to "Kick It Up A Notch!"

And we've still got loads of hot peppers out in the garden! 

Um, Thanks!

Dominic:  I like you, Mommy.

Mommy:  I like you, too, Dom.

Dominic:  I like you because you make us breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Anthony Update

I took Anthony to the doctor today for his 6 month checkup and he is 19 pounds, 11 ounces(83%) and 28.5 inches long(96%).  Whew!  Big boy!  He is doing just fine. 

I must have been distracted while doing my last post.  Imagine that.  I think Anthony was on my lap.  I completely forgot to mention that he got his first tooth a week ago!  Mr. Cranky also wants me to tell you that the second one is just about to break through as well. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Six Months Old!

Anthony turned six months old this week! Wow, I can hardly believe it. It has gone fast. How can a day go so slowly sometimes, and yet the weeks and months just race by?

Almost two weeks ago I decided to start giving him some baby food. He seemed to get so mad every time we sat down to eat and all he had were toys. He was watching the food go into our mouths and just knew he was missing something. So here he is, getting his first taste:

Anthony says, maybe I was wrong about this whole food thing:

He really likes being outside:

He has been learning how to sit up over the past few weeks. The kids like to help.

Hey Mom, look at me! I'm a big boy!

Playing with two of his favorite toys: his toes!

First time in a swing outside, photo taken last weekend:

Today I wanted to take some pictures, so I sat on the floor while Anthony was playing. It wasn't long before I had 79 shots. Don't worry, though, I'm only posting six! :)

Anthony has really gotten pretty good at sitting up by himself:

That face has mischief written all over it. Oh, when he starts crawling...

Who me?

Did you notice the glaring safety no-no back there? That plug-in is where we keep a nightlight at nighttime. It is supposed to have a plug in it during the day. I did try to cover that box of clothes back there. I had to start digging in there for 12 month clothes. He's so long! And he weighs about 19 pounds or so. (The girls both weighed between 19 and 20 pounds at one year old!)

Okay, Mom, if you're all done taking pictures, I've got things to do:

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Guess We Were Supposed To Stay Home Today

Just as we were heading down the road to choir practice this afternoon, I realized that I heard a funny sound. I listened for a few seconds and then stopped the minivan to investigate. And found a flat tire! So we drove the short distance back home. The kids said, "That's okay, Mommy, we can play choir practice at home."

On the plus side, Anthony fell asleep in that short period of time, and I was able to get him into the house still asleep. Yahoo!

Monday, September 13, 2010

What We Did With Watermelon

About a month ago, Dan brought in a whole wheelbarrow full of watermelons (didn't get a pic of that). We stored them in the basement so they would last longer, but really, how many watermelons can one family eat? They had seeds in them, so the kids did not eat as much as they otherwise would have. So we gave some away and then I started to look for things to do with them. We tried watermelon smoothies, but I think the recipe wasn't that great, because they didn't taste very good.

I made watermelon salsa, which was yummy. Basically you just substitute watermelon for the tomatoes in your favorite fresh salsa recipe.

I also found a recipe for Watermelon Muffins. They were good, but did not taste like watermelon.

I had doubled the muffin recipe and put half in a loaf pan. The very middle did not get all the way done, but otherwise it was good also. Of course, anything with chocolate chips in it ought to be yummy!


Anthony is in the tub!

These pictures are a few weeks old. One night I decided to try to have Anthony sit up in the baby bathtub as he was getting so long he had to fold his legs up like a frog just to fit in there lying down. Plus he was starting to lift his head up all the time like he wanted to sit up.

He learned very quickly to drape his arms over to help balance himself:

He loves to take a bath:

He gets to play with his toes and the water. What more could a baby ask for?

Anthony looks at Mommy:

Anthony sees Mommy in the mirror:

Anthony discovers himself in the mirror!

Look at that cute baby, Mommy!

I think I like him!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hay Bales, Part 2

When the farmer comes to your place to bale some hay, you must get a ride on that cool tractor:

Here comes a bale out of the baler:

When it is not your turn to ride on the tractor, then you can play in the big hole left by the removed post:

Or you can play on hay bales:

Climb, Joseph, climb!

Almost done baling the hay:

Next it was time to pick up the hay bales and load them on a flatbed truck. They used this neat contraption, which picked up each bale as they drove along and brought it up to the farmer and his wife, who stacked them in rows.

Then, they brought our hay bales over to the side of the shed, where the stalls are. The kids were eagerly watching.

Oh, what fun to climb hay bales!

We have to get Anthony in there:

And one last picture of their new "playground."

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hay Bales, Part 1

The farmer who was cutting the long grass in the neighbor's field to make hay bales stopped by and asked if we wanted ours cut. The deal is, the farmer cuts and bales the hay for free, but he gets 2/3 of the bales. He needs the hay for his cows, we only need a few for mulch next year. So a good deal all around. So here is the farmer with his tractor and swather.

The boys are completely entranced:

Anne hangs out with Anthony, who was happy to be outside.

The only problem was, the swather could not fit through the gate. So Dan gave the okay to remove a post:

Then the kids got an up-close look at the machinery:

There it goes, and the first row is cut:

What fun to watch the hay being cut right from your own backyard!

Daddy takes the kids for a ride around the edge of the partially cut field to follow the farmer and his swather.

The grass is all cut and drying in the sun. Soon it will be ready to be put into bales.