Sunday, September 13, 2009

Awesome Message Today!

At church this morning we got an awesome message about the spiritual war that is going on daily around us. We were reminded of how Satan attacks us and the lies he uses and our own weaknesses that he exploits (most of which we don't even know ourselves). If you have 35 minutes it should be available online soon at It would be the one dated 9/13/09, Message 2: Defcon 1.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Gardening Update

Last week my friend Dana and I went on a road trip to Tullahoma to do some canning with another friend of mine, Amy. Between the three of us we had six children running around so usually there were two of us canning and one tending to the children. Amy had bought some apples from the Farmer's Market so we washed them up and decided to make applesauce. Dana and I were so impressed with Amy's food strainer. You just drop those quartered apples into that wonderful contraption, turn the crank and out comes beautiful applesauce! It was awesome, I have added it to my wish list.

Amy also had some Concord grapes so we cleaned those up and ran them through the strainer for juice. Amy gave me a recipe and a few days later Dana and I made Concord grape jelly. We enjoyed the process of making jelly, but we must have let it cook to long because it's pretty hard. Konrad laughed at it, I think that's a bad sign. I tasted really good as we licked the spoon during the boiling process. I think I had the heat turned up too high. I think I was supposed to turn the heat down after it started boiling, down to a soft rolling boil maybe? Or I may have added too much sugar for the amount of juice we had after straining it again.

But after tasting the Concord grapes and learning how to make the jelly I bought two Concord grape vines. I think they are already two years old. I'm working on holes for them out back. The soil is not very good so I'm digging out a very large hole and backfilling it with better soil. Dana brought some wonderful cow manure compost back from her parents place. I spread it around the 2 grape vines I already had. They aren't Concord, will it be bad to plant different kinds of grapes close to each other?

I opened a half pint of dill pickles today that I canned back at the apartment. They tasted pretty good, still a little crunch. They were almost sweet though. It was one of the Ball recipe jars. They are edible though, so I am pleased. The sad thing is that I opened them because I'm hungry and haven't been to the grocery in so long that I can't find anything to eat! I even poured a bowl of cereal only to realize we had no more milk.

I am currently harvesting lettuce that the boys and I planted. I can't remember if it's romaine or green leaf. I've been putting a few leaves at a time on sandwiches. And the cukes that we planted in the upside down planter are bearing fruit. I told Kolin we could pick the big one next time we have a salad. Maybe that's what I should have had to eat!

Yesterday I canned 3 more cans of tomatoes from the neighbors plants (yes I have permission to pick them!). Today I am making spaghetti so I will put some of my canned tomatoes in the sauce.

Konrad worked several days on fencing the garden area. This was during his stay-cation. I think most of the posts are set, now he wants to add braces and then string the wire. I moved one of my raised beds so it will be over a rock outcrop. So now I'm trying to kill the grass in it and get it ready to planting next spring, hopefully.

I planted some spinach, chives, 3 apple seeds and cilantro last week. We'll see what comes up. The spinach is the only thin in the ground, the others are in pots so I can bring them in when it gets cold. I'm going to try to over-winter the spinach. I read an article in Hobby Farms (my new favorite magazine) so I'm going to try it in the bed on the side of the house. So far nothing is sprouting.

Well, that's all for now. Time to Skype with Ken & Tina!

Saturday, September 5, 2009


The boys got a big surprise when a flatbed pulled up in front of our house with a bulldozer on the back of it. I'm sure Kolin thought it must be a dream. We watched the whole process of unloading and followed it down to the field where we took advantage of the beautiful day with a few photos.

Konrad and Mr. Richard have been working hard on the back of the property with the bulldozer, tractors and chainsaw. They are making a lot of progress and we are so thankful for the continued blessings of this donated bulldozer.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kaden's First Day of School

Kaden started Mother's Day Out September 1st. He had no qualms about going, we talked it up big time, I think he was actually excited to go. He completed his first week and had stellar reports from his teachers about his manners and willingness to help. Well done son.