Friday, July 29, 2011

My Little Rabbits Dig For Carrots

What are these young gardeners doing?  Digging up some carrots!

Look at that dirty baby!  He won't keep his shoes on, so often I don't even bother, or else we have to hunt all over the yard for them.  He's got tough little feet!

They picked a bucketful of carrots and most of them are good.  Occasionally there is a bitter one.  I don't even have to peel them, though, just give them a good scrubbing.  The kids love to eat them.

Anne with her prize.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Book Review: How Do You Count A Dozen Ducklings?

This is a cute, clever little picture book about Mama Duck and her struggles to keep track of her 12 new little ducklings.  I could definitely relate as I have often counted my crew (1,2,3,4,5......1,2,3,4,5) when out and about to keep track of them.  The clever part of this book is that it includes math in a fun way.  First, Mama Duck counts them in groups of two, then the next day in groups of three, then four, then six.  In doing so, she unwittingly outwits an old wolf who complains that there are too many ducks!  Then an experienced Mama Duck realizes that 12 ducklings might be a lot, but "never too many."  The last page shows Mama Duck sitting on her nest and it says,  "And who knows?  Maybe there will be even more."  So this book has it all: cute pictures where every duckling has its own personality, a lovely theme of big families, and even math to boot!  Definitely one to check out at the library if you have kids learning skip counting.

We Had A Good Green Bean Harvest

Here is a picture of the kids cutting the stems off some green beans.  Catherine got to use a sharp knife, but the rest of them used butter knives.  I'm not ready for the boys to be handling sharp knives! 

Dan had 13 rows of green (and yellow) beans.  Here are the four different kinds.  They did well, but it was hard to keep up with the picking.  I did manage to get about 23 quarts in the freezer.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It Was An Earthquake!

I came downstairs and found this scene, and when I asked what happened,  Joseph said, "I was pretending that there was an earthquake!"  We've told the kids not to climb on the train table, but evidently we never told them not to shake it! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Up To Our Ears In Corn!

Dan planted the first two sets of corn to be a couple of weeks apart but somehow with the extreme heat, it all was ready in the same week.  One evening the whole family went out to pick some of the corn.

Anthony was thrilled to have free rein of the corn rows and he gleefully went up and down, up and down.  If he fell down, it did not matter, he just kept going.

He even helped carry some of the corn over to the big pile.

Catherine was pretending she had a corn silk beard. 

Joseph, with his haul.

After picking, we all shucked the corn.  The kids were pretty good at it, even though nearly every ear had a worm, or two, on it.

Over the Week Of Corn, we had 4 separate sessions of blanching,...

...cooling in the ice water bath,...


...and finally, cutting off the kernels.  I ended up putting 35 quarts of corn in the freezer, along with 2 gallon bags of whole ears.  I think we are stocked for the winter!

Of course, we've been doing lots of this, too.  Yummy!

We have one more section of corn to go.  It won't be ready for a few more weeks, though.  We've gotten all this corn only due to Dan's diligence in watering the corn, as we've had very little rain this summer, in combination with extremely hot temperatures (so far, 30 days 100 degrees or higher).

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm Not Crying. Really!

I'm just chopping up lots of onions to put in the freezer!

I chop them up, then spread them out on a baking tray and place it in the freezer.  Once frozen, I put them in bags and then back into the freezer for later use in soups, pasta sauces, chili, etc.  If you do this, make sure you double bag them or you risk everything else in your freezer smelling like onions.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Our 4th Of July

The evening of the Fourth of July we were back at our house, and the kids were very excited to watch Daddy shoot off some fireworks.

Dominic and Anthony sporting their red, white, and blue.

Yikes, look at that one!

In between explosions, the kids paused to look at Mommy with a smile.

Daddy had sprayed down the cement to cool things off a little and from then on, Anthony was obsessed with the hose.  Especially since he could make the water come out! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fun With Family

Catherine with my niece and goddaughter, Emily.

 During the 4th of July weekend, we were able to go up to first Topeka for a family reunion with my mom's sisters and their families, then up to the Kansas City area for my Dad's 70th birthday party.

The girls especially enjoyed the new kittens at my parents' house.

My Dad and Mom.

My parents with all 15 of their grandchildren.  It was quite a feat to get them all in the picture.

There was a photographer taking pictures, so I just snapped these from the side.  I cut Dominic in half, but you can mostly see everyone.  Nine boys, six girls.  The oldest is 10, the youngest 9 months.  It gets a little crazy when we are all there. :)

Anne with her godfather, my brother, Eric.

Picnic on my parents' front porch.  Anne, cousin Andrew, Joseph, cousin Thomas.

Catherine and Dominic dig in.

William and Patrick, the oldest two grandchildren.  Patrick is my godson.

Grandpa was "surprised" with a birthday cake. 

The birthday boy!  He doesn't look 70, does he!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Hamburger Store WITH Playground

One day I took all the kids to get the oil changed in the mini-van and we shopped for an hour and a half while it got done.

As their reward for being good, we got to stop at the hamburger "store" that has an indoor playground.  This was very exciting to all of them because we rarely do that. 

It was Anthony's first time there when he was mobile, so Catherine took him up to play in the tubes.  He enjoyed looking out of the windows at Mommy.

The only hard part was that Anthony did not want to go down the slide so Catherine had to get him to crawl back through the tubes and down the stairs to get back to Mommy.  Finally he got back down and had to refresh himself by swiping a drink of pop.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Catherine and Anne share a room,... together, imagine together, and just have fun together.

Most of the time they are best friends.

Friday, July 15, 2011

The New Craze: Basketball!

Earlier in the month, our new basketball goal arrived and Dan put it together, with some assistance.  Notice where Anthony is standing!

The hole is dug and ready to be filled.

"Here, Daddy, I've got the one you need!"

After pouring the concrete, Daddy smoothed it out, while carefully levelling the base of the basketball goal.  

The goal is up, and the final touch is added:  the net!

Joseph and Catherine tested it out.  We had but one basketball (flat) at the time, so they had to use what balls they could find.

Dominic shoots while Anne watches.  Did he make the shot?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Catherine's Garden Project

Over a few days, Catherine took clipboard and pencil out to the garden, checked the tags, and then wrote down all the variety names of the tomatoes and peppers, next to their dots on the picture Daddy made.  We have 12 tomato plants and 24 pepper plants, so it took a while.  A great summer homeschooling project!  And now I know which 5 pepper plants are the hot ones.