Thursday, May 5, 2011

Allergies Anyone?

My cute kids.
"Bless you!". Yes, if you can see all the cotton wood tree pollen? It was crazy like this for a few days. This is at it's peak. We came home from church one Sunday, and found the yard looking like this:
"Snow banks" build up was inches high. The kids thought it was fun to play in, and enjoyed their time with it.
Adelle enjoying the "snow".
Brinly's happiness.
Cade's enjoyment.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Harvest and more Beauty

For our enjoyment, we discovered we have a well-matured rhubarb patch in the back yard. And can I say, we enjoyed it! Cade and Brinly dipped the stalks in sugar and actually ate them raw.
Then we made this yummy pie. Oh, SO YUMMY! IT was divine...I would have to say it is now one of my top 5 favorite desserts. Fortunately, we had enough rhubarb to make 3 of these throughout the spring and summer:). Bring it on next spring!

Apple blossoms in our orchard. Aren't they pretty?
There is an abundance, actually an over abundance of lilac bushes (more like monstrous out of control bushes) all over this property. When they bloom, they are gorgeous- as shown here...and actually edible, did you know?! We candied some and ate them. They smell amazing too. We enjoyed several bouquets while they were blooming. The remainder of the year, they are just a huge mass of stalky bushes. The kids can hid in them quite well...and the chickens:).
I was in LOVE with this tulip. Isn't it remarkable? Those jagged edges were just so unique. There were only a few, but I enjoyed them immensely.
Our first harvest from our garden. Fresh spinach. Wonderful feeling of self-reliance, not to mention it's yummy fresh flavor.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Morel Mushroom Hunt

If you've ever been a mushroom enthusiast, you may know what this is...we didn't. Apparently, it's a big deal here. They come up every year at a certain time and people go wild hunting for them. The bigger the better...just do a google search to see what they can grow to be. They go for ridiculous prices, like $80-$100 per lb. To our surprise, we discovered we had some growing in our yard. So, one day we hunted all over the property for them. This is what we found:
There are black and brown morels. We fried them up and ate them for dinner. Nothing too spectacular... maybe I need to learn how to cook them better. I'm just glad we didn't have any gastrointestinal issues due to them- that was my concern- we are definitely no experts! So, we'll have to see if they show up next year. Good Northern Michigan experience:).

We also found a Blue Bird nest to watch for the Spring. Four eggs eventually made their way into the nest. And two baby birds eventually hatched. Unfortunately, they fell out of their was pretty...but the kids got a good feel for how nature works :(
Lastly, we enjoyed MANY bone fires. Shane wanted to try burning our own trash to save a few $'s...but when you produce as much trash as our family of 5 does, it is definitely worth the few $'s! Here is Cade enjoying his time with one of them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Beauty

All this beauty bloomed in our yard. I LOVE spring. Aren't they wonderful? Wish I could keep it that way all year....but then I probably wouldn't appreciate it so much. Looking forward to next spring!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Spring is HERE!

So we decided to get 6 chicks and 2 ducks! Yes, we are accustoming to rural life. Shane spent all day building a chicken coop yesterday. I'll post more on that later.
For preschool one day we were studying the letter "R". So I made rainbow jello cups for the first and last time- way too long of a process! But Brinly was so excited to have a left-over rainbow treat when she got home from school, she wanted her picture taken with it. Jello isn't something my kids are very accustomed too, so it was special! (And yes, she cut all her hair off after watching Tangled...the power of media).

Our first blossom after a long winter. It was note worthy!

My new project is our garden. I am doing all I can to make a GREAT garden this year, from starting my plants to clearing an area to plant them in. I'm really excited about it and am thoroughly enjoying it. I'll post an updated picture of all my starts soon. They have doubled since this photo:)

Spring is Coming....

Katie made it just in time to see a good part of our winter melt. We spent a lot of time outside for the first time in many long wintry months. Cade was overjoyed.

Adelle just wanted to eat ice. She is an ice fanatic!

Cade tasting the melting snow dripping off the roof. So cute. His personality to a T.

Katie's Visit

We had a wonderful time while my sister, Katie, came to visit during her spring break. Obviously, it wasn't so SPRINGY here...but she doesn't get too much true winter down in southern Utah, so it was fun:). I do think she was cold though. The first night, I peeked in on her while she was sleeping and she was under 3 blankets and a sleeping bag:) But we had fun...even if Katie did white wash me! Love you Katie!

Just a little explanation here- We were making homemade tortillas. Katie is wowing my kids with her "skills" of throwing a ball of dough in hopes it becomes flat like a pizza:). We picked up several off the floor after that. We had a great time. Katie was awesome. My kids followed her example and we basically had dough everywhere:). Good times.

On our way to or from the airport. We wished we could have made it to actually go in the temple, but it was closed for cleaning. For some reason we seem to always find that weekend to plan a trip to the temple:) . Oh well.

Spring 2011

We had some fun adventures Spring 2011. We started our first chicken "farm" and prepped and planted a wonderful garden, harvested and preserved all kinds of fruits from the orchard and vegetables from the garden. It was a wonderfully fulfilling spring and summer. This is how it began:
Shane built a chicken coop- you'll see the final version later. He enjoyed it thoroughly!
The chickens and ducks are hidden, but we had initially 6 chickens and 2 ducks. This was the beginning of their outdoor home. The kids LOVED raising the little chicks. I was just glad to get them out of the house and outside! Those ducks are messy...and stinky. The chickens have less of a personality. But we did end up losing one of the baby chickens right here at the beginning.
Here are the chickens and ducks with the kids. The kids could catch them so easily, while Shane and I really struggled to keep up with them. They were cute little guys as little things:) adults...not so much.
My garden aspirations began in March. I started almost everything from seed, and considering our short growing season here up north, I had a lot I needed to get started as early as possible. This was just the beginning!This was the plot of land I cleared in the back yard. It was a TON of work because it was covered in overgrown vinca vine....terrible stuff to let go in a garden...roots everywhere. BUT after several weeks of clearing and a good was ready.