Friday, August 23, 2013

Baby Quilts for Sale and some Yummies...

So, I have been sewing for my craft show booth, even if I haven't been posting too many pictures.  I thought it would be fun to take a picture of all of these quilts at the same time.  But I couldn't wait anymore - here are the first 8, with 4 more in the works!

My little helper :)  I have had a lot of help with these quilts, too.  A friend quilted all of them with perfection, complete with minky backs!  She also whipped a couple of the tops up too.  :)  When I got them back from her, I have been sewing the bindings on the front and passing them to my mother-in-law who has been hand stitching the bindings on the back.  Thank you to both of you!

Timothy really enjoyed the farm ones...especially the tractor blocks.  My favorite of the group has to be the pastel one on the right in the picture above.  Lots of pretty little flowers, bunnies, and little girls sitting cross-legged and reading books to chickens.  :)

The pastel one in this picture is flannel.  The rest of them are quilting cotton from good shops with cotton batting.

I have been enjoying the work with all of the minky backs!

So there you go.  8 blankets done with 4 more that I will show you when they are completed.  They all measure in at 27" x 32", perfect for tucking in a carseat, stroller, or your diaper bag.  I am selling them for $40, so if you need a blanket or know someone who would like to receive one as a gift, let me know.  :)  My first craft show will be in October, so act now, or the one you want may be gone!

More craft-showing items to come.  :)

Adoption update:  No news.  Praying continuously.

Canning update: (because you love knowing what is in my pantry...admit it)

 9 - 12 oz. jars of chokecherry syrup (soooo good!)

8 - 8 oz. jars of peach salsa (yummy!)

9 - 8 oz. jars of pizza sauce!  (super easy, and so nice to know we can whip out pizza night and have sauce from our tomatoes!)

Star Sampler

Star Sampler Quilt

102" x 102" (ish)

Most of the patterns are from
(you can flip back to previous posts for all of the links)
Fabric bought at

It's done!  It's on our bed!!  I am so happy this project, started last September/October is checked off the list and we can use it!  Nancy did an awesome job on the quilting.  I finished it off with a pop of red for the binding.  It is a good thing that I had a friend's quilt display still in my garage so I could get a picture of this thing all in one shot. (Thanks Harriet!  I'll bring it quilt guild with me!)  :)  On to the next thing...

My happy, blue-eyed helper

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back Home!


The quilt for our bed is back from the quilters and it is beautiful!  Nancy did an amazing job and now all there is left for me to do is the binding (in a fiery coral!).  It is amazing how the quilting is the same pattern in every block, but looks different on each star.

Tigger thinks she is going to be taking long naps on it already.  HA!  Keep dreaming cat...  :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mid August Garden

Well, as you can see, things have gotten a little bushy in the garden.  The tomatoes and cucumbers have reached the hedge stage and we are finally enjoying their produce.  You'll notice a rather bare spot in front here.  The pumpkins were done.  We got 6 beautiful pumpkins hardening on the deck (I'll have to grab pictures of them soon) and the vines were dying, so we ripped them out.  I wonder if it was just too moist for them, or they were just done, I am not sure.  Anyway, we have a crop of bush beans planted in there under some grass clippings.  Hopefully we will get a second crop in here before it gets too cold.

Jared had fun picking these monsters that were finally more red than green.  They will become a nice batch of salsa that he will probably eat singlehandedly.  :)


Hope you have a great week!

40 pounds of tomatoes

Yesterday we spent the day in our kitchen, canning the essence of summer.  40 pounds of it!  By the end of the day, we were tired and sticky, but happy that we have lots of goodies to use over the coming months.  

First, I got to use my new food mill that I got for Christmas.  It was awesome!  I am looking forward to making more tomato sauce.  :)  Jared took one look at it and wanted to know why we didn't use it to make chokecherry juice.

Oops.  We know now for next year!

Mr. Ham saw the camera and came over for his picture...

Sauce ready to be boiled down...

Jared had to work for his salsa!  I  had some bad reactions last year to peppers, so Jared did all of the peppers, onions, and cilantro for the salsa.  It was a huge help and the salsa smelled AMAZING as we cooked it down.  We definitely have more salsa making in our future.

The results!   3 quarts of tomato sauce, 11 pints of crushed tomatoes (some are yellow!), and 5 pints of salsa.

We also ended up with 2 partials that will be spaghetti sauce this evening for dinner.  Yum!

The kitchen is now closed for a few days...the weeds in my garden and the sewing machine is calling my name!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Fermenting Buddies

For the next couple of weeks, these two jars are turning one corner of my kitchen into a chemistry lesson.  Fermented deli pickles (my first batch!) and a fresh batch of sauerkraut (another batch in a long line).  The sauerkraut will take anywhere from 3 to 10 days, depending on your taste preferences.  The pickles should take around 3 weeks.  Both jars are then popped into the fridge and enjoyed for the next couple of months.

If they last that long...

We found a solution for the onslaught of grape tomatoes!  Roast them!  I halved two cookie sheets full, baked them at 300 degrees after coating with olive oil and salt.  About an hour and a half later, we had some really delicious treats.

Some of which Jared and I may have ate off the pan still warm.  :)

Two full trays fit into one quart sized bag, with room, and will reside in our freezer until we need them to boost sauces and soups when the snow starts flying.  I was kinda concerned that we had planted 4 grape tomato plants, but bring it on!  The more the merrier we will be this winter with lots of garden flavor.  If you want the recipe or other ideas for your small tomatoes, check this out.

And a picture for the nanas and the papas...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

40 cups

It takes 4 dozen ears of corn to make 40 cups of corn, some of which was cooked down into creamy corn.  

Thought you would like to know.  :)

Our freezer is filling up fast!  I am hoping that my tomatoes cooperate so I can get some canning done this weekend.  

Where did you go summer?  My garden needs some heat!!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

First days of August Wrap Up

Besides going to Omaha for a few days, we have been busy at home...

I finished another quilt top (MUCH less involved then the last one) that is just for us to use during the winter months on our couch.  Because of that, it'll have a minky back...I can't wait to use it!  I'll post more info when it comes back from the quilters and I bind it.

Timothy discovered that he rather enjoyed sitting in the "hole" as he called it.

Timothy has a big boy bed now!  It took all of 5 minutes for Jared to pop the side off of the crib and attach the bottom rail, so if we need to we can switch back.  So far, so good.  :)

Tigger is still Tigger, just so you know.  She wasn't very happy with Jared for taking her picture...but she isn't the happiest cat on the block either.

We rearranged Timothy's room last week and he has been really enjoying a lot of independent play, especially with the vehicles.  

Next big boy challenge?  Potty training.  But not for awhile.  With a trip planned to Michigan at the end of September, we are going to wait until we get back before we really hit that one.  He has been telling us for awhile now when he wets his diaper, so we will start working on recognizing the need to go before it happens.  It could get interesting around our house.  

Big boy bed success!

See the bandaid on his foot?  He got his first bee sting on Saturday.  :(  He was out in the backyard with me and we were both shoeless and he stepped on one.  He was so sad, but a trooper!  We got the stinger out and everything washed, iced, and a bandaid slapped on and lots of kisses without any screaming.  Thankfully he didn't have any sort of a reaction other than a mosquito bite sized bump.  We still need to walk around barefooted in the grass as part of his therapy (it is good for his sensory issues), but next time we will make sure to avoid the mostly clover part of the lawn back by the garden.

No adoption news, please keep us in your prayers!

Trip to Omaha

Here are some of the Omaha highlights...

Sunday was a nice drive (it is really only 5 hours, totally doable) to the hotel, dinner, and pool time for Timothy.  We stayed in a suite so we had a little kitchen, living room with a dining table, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom.  It was really ideal because we could (and did) eat in our room when it would have been a pain to eat out with a 2-year-old and we could put him to bed at his normal bedtime in our room and still watch tv, play cards and relax out in the living room.

Monday morning, we started with the Botanical Gardens.  They had a really neat model train garden that had wonderful branch trellis tracks meandering through a hillside.  Tucked along the track were different buildings from around Omaha, miniature style.  Timothy LOVED it.  

Of course, they had beautiful flowers too, especially in the rose garden.

Across the parking lot was a park overlooking the Missouri River, the interstate, railroad tracks, and they had a couple of trains on display.  We aren't really sure how they got those huge engines up there, but we enjoyed checking them out and the view.

We then headed over to the Durham Museum, which is located in once used to be Omaha's Central Train Station.  It was a perfect example of art deco architecture.

And who did we met, none other than another South Dakotan, Sue the T-Rex.  They also had a model train display and lots of train cars to go in and out of.  So far, it was shaping up to be an amazing trip for a little boy.  :)

We headed back to the hotel for a nap, time at the pool (I wish I had taken pictures of our little fish, but I didn't), and a visit with Jared's Uncle Dennis, Aunt Gloria, and their daughter and grandson, Alex.

Tuesday was spent at the zoo.  After spending the first part of the day in the desert dome and night animal exhibit (both were really neat) while a severe thunderstorm rolled through, we had the perfect day.  It was cool, fresh, and we hardly met a crowd while wandering around.

Timothy enjoyed another ride on a carousel, this time with daddy.  We still talks about riding the horse and going up and down.  :)

We also took the train ride around the zoo.  Talk about a happy kid!

The aquarium was our last stop at the zoo and was where we saw the most people.  It was well worth pushing through the crowds and Timothy loved it!

We also managed to bring home a friend too.  :)

Another highlight was spending time in the Old Market section of Omaha.  We hit a couple of different microbreweries for dinner and lots of strolling around, enjoying the warm weather and people watching.  Overall a wonderful time with Jared's parents and Timothy.  We are looking forward now to a few days of camping at the end of the month at the family trailer in the Black Hills, and a trip to Michigan at the end of September!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Carousel at Omaha Zoo

We had a lovely couple of days down in Omaha with Jared's parents.  I have over 400 photos to flip through and organize before posting a few to share here.  In the meantime, here is a little video of Timothy riding the carousel at the zoo.  Between this and riding the train, I think we made his day.  :)

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Party Animals

Ok, not really.  Jared and I spent the weekend at home, working on "putting up" food.  Why?  Because the second half of the summer, our squirrel half of our brain turns on and we see cold weather coming.

Ok, not really.  :)  We enjoy growing food and then eating it later.  It saves us a lot of money and is really healthy.  This is what we did.

Plum jam...what else are you going to do when you get 16 plums in your bountiful basket and can't possibly eat them all before they will spoil? We got 3.5 jars, a nice little batch.  (These were made earlier in the week)

I worked on a Christmas quilt for us.  It is a beautiful combination of cream, brown, red, aqua, and tan. I love it.  This should be done tonight!

In the meantime, Jared squeezed the life out of 2.5 gallons of chokecherries.  And made a mess.  :)  But we have 10 delicious cups of juice in our freezer that will become chokecherry jelly and syrup in the future.  Thanks to one of our church members for the chokecherries and to Jared for doing the dirty work!

Today, we picked half of the carrots, blanched them, and stuck them into freezer bags.  Jared and I picked, Timothy washed them with a hose.  :)  We are ready for pots of stews, soups, and pot roasts this winter.

Of course, we have the token weird carrot.  We think it kinda looks like a rocket ship!

Tomatoes are starting to come in!  Most of these are going to church in the morning to share...we are leaving tomorrow and we don't have time to deal with them.  Yay for sharing the bounty!

One of our buttercup squash plants completely died.  We are not sure is such a strange summer with the cooler weather and large amounts of bugs.  We found 6 awesome squash amongst the dead foliage and these beauties sunbathed on our deck furniture for the afternoon.  They will be roasted, scooped out and enjoyed or frozen to be enjoyed later!

So, I finished this quilt, but I dropped it off to Nancy to be quilted before I took a picture of the completed top.  Oops!  :)  You'll just have to wait until I get it back.  Trust me, it was awesome.  The pic above is the final layout of all 36 stars.  I can't wait!

No news on the adoption yet.  Praying hard for our birth family, future baby, and our nerves and we ask for you to join us!  We still have about $7,000 to sock away, so we are doing what we can with our budget, using the amazon tool to the right to raise some funds, and I am crafting away.  Hoping to give you an update soon, but first we are vacationing for a few days in Omaha.  Pictures coming when we get home!