Friday, August 31, 2012

Pizza On The Grill

One weekend we decided to try baking pizzas on the grill.  So I made some pizza dough and let it rise, then got all the ingredients ready. 

Anthony, of course, had to see up close.

We have been getting all of these little Roma tomatoes from the garden, so I sliced up a bunch and they went on the pizzas.

One pizza, ready to be cooked: homemade dough brushed with olive oil, topped with the tomatoes, some Polish sausage, green and banana peppers from our garden, Italian seasoning, and then a mix of cheeses (whatever I had).

Dan had put the pizza stone right on the grill and preheated it. 

Pizza, ready to eat!  It was good!  I really liked the fresh tomatoes on the pizza.

Then we decided to try a pizza with dough, oil, sausage, and our homemade sauerkraut.

Topped with cheese.

Wow!  This was one of the best pizzas I have ever tasted.  Something about that mild tang of sauerkraut and the sausage and cheese on the homemade pizza dough.  Mmm!

Watermelon Jam

We harvested about 20 watermelons this year, and one day I made some watermelon jam.  It didn't taste as watermelon-y as I thought it would, but it still tastes good on toast!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Creepy and Scary!

Do you know what this is?

Spider in a jar!

Do you know what kind of spider?
Here is a clue.

We found a picture in one our books:
Yes, the distinctive marking of a black widow spider!

Dan's brother came over one Saturday morning to pick some produce from our garden.  He was picking some green beans and found the above black widow spider sitting on an egg sac.  Yikes!  The bite from a black widow spider can actually kill you!  He captured the spider in a jar and destroyed the egg sac.  And, after a sufficient amount of homeschool learning had taken place, the spider was also destroyed. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

The first year we had a garden here we had pumpkins, but for the last two years, the crops were destroyed by bugs.  So this year, after the potato crop failed, Dan planted pumpkins in their place.  Well, lo and behold, we got pumpkins.  Luckily, they were established ahead of the bugs, but they were ready to harvest early.  As in, Dan picked them on July 30th!


The main crop was on the other side of this fence.  The strong south wind blew some vines through the fence and we actually had pumpkins hanging from vines and not even touching the ground, as you can see here.

A wagon load of pumpkins.

Dominic, Catherine, and Anne washed all the pumpkins.

Our crop of 21 pumpkins drying on the driveway!



Then the pumpkins came inside to the kitchen/dining room to cure for a few days.  So we ate surrounded by pumpkins and posed with them.

Miraculously, none of them were smashed or knocked onto the floor.
One day, a pumpkin got placed on the cutting board,...
...sliced in half,...

...and the seeds were scooped out.

Dan cut thin slices.

One pan was savory, and he put the pan right on the grill.



Yum!

The other pan was sweet, with butter and brown sugar, and we started them in the microwave on the convection oven setting.  They seemed to be taking too long, so Dan finished them on the grill.

Then everyone dug in.  Some of the kids liked them a little, some a lot.  I thought both kinds were tasty.

I guess you had to be half on the table to properly appreciate the roasted pumpkin!


All the rest of the pumpkins are now in a corner of the basement where it is cooler, none of them touching each other.  We are attempting to keep many of them until October so we can use them for Fall/Halloween decorations.  Some we'll bake and puree when the weather gets cooler. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hot Stuff!

Jalapenos and habaneros.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Cousin Time

One day in July, my sister and her two boys were travelling from the Kansas City area to Texas.  We met up for playtime and lunch at a Burger King near the turnpike.  The kids all had fun playing together and it was nice to catch up with my sister in person!
A great big hug to say goodbye.

Back row: Catherine, Dominic, Andrew, and Anne.
Front row: Joseph and Matthew.

Anthony refused to get in the picture.



Monday, August 20, 2012

Swim Lessons

In the second half of July, the four big kids took swimming lessons for two weeks.  They loved it.  On four of the eight days, I was able to take Anthony outside for Toddler Time at the outdoor pool.  He loved playing on and around the play structure.  Since it was just him, I didn't make him wear a life jacket, and boy, I had to keep my eyes on him! 

Loaded up and ready to go swim!

Anthony got to hang out with Mommy and eat snacks.

Joseph's class.  He had on the green swimming trunks.

Anne and a little friend.

Dominic gave a wave.

Catherine, as well as Dominic, had lessons in the lap pool.

Catherine worked on her backstroke.

This was the day that Anthony refused to wear a shirt.  And got to eat candy.  It was the last day, what can I say?


Friday, August 17, 2012

The Cantaloupe Crop

At the end of July, beginning of August, we picked and enjoyed our cantaloupe crop. 

This was the day I picked 16 cantaloupe!

These were some big cantaloupe!

Some of them were a little over 10 pounds!

We ate lots of yummy melon.


We picked the majority of our almost 50 cantaloupe within about 2 weeks.  One morning I cut up a 10 pound cantaloupe and since I could not get the lid on the container, I told the kids they could eat some.  In less than two hours, they ate the entire thing!  It was fun to let them eat as much as they wanted.  One Saturday, Dan and I canned 12 quarts of pickled cantaloupe.  It is great to eat in the winter. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Fun With Veggies

"Oh, my, look at all of those tomatoes!"

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Front Tooth Gone!

Anne lost one of her front teeth last week, which I always think looks so cute!  This is her third tooth lost.



First Day Of School 2012-2013

Yesterday was our first day of school.  This year Catherine is in Third Grade, Dominic and Anne are in Second Grade, and Joseph is in Kindergarten.  Then there is Anthony.  He is in Toddler/Destruction School.  The kids were very excited to start school.

Ready for school, Mom!

Dan hung a large bulletin board up for me.  Hooray!

It is already being put to use and is going to be a great addition to our schoolroom.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Twin Birthday

Last week we celebrated the twins' birthday with a fun, fun day!


Anne and Dominic, up and ready for a fun day.

Dan took a half-day off work, so we met him for lunch and games at Chuck E. Cheese.

Horse-crazy Anne was loving this!

Anthony and Dominic went for a ride.


The twins were having fun.

A fun family time.


After dinner that night, we got to eat cake.  Lots of cake!



Anne's double-decker heart-shaped cake with My Little Ponies on top.

Dominic's Batman cake.

After cake and ice cream, it was time to open a few presents.

An awesome St. Francis of Assisi comic book and Mary the Blessed Mother paper dolls.


Dominic got the Hot Wheels race car track he wanted and Anne was supremely happy with a new Breyer horse.

What a great day for two newly turned seven year olds!