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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Garden Party: Garden to Table

San Antonio Fajitas

One onion,
One tomato,
and One bell pepper (any color)--sliced...
add meat, if desired, or go veggie. 
 I added some sliced steak from the freezer.

Sprinkle generously with salt-free fajita seasoning, drizzle on a little olive oil, and cook on medium heat until the onions start to stick to the pan.  Serve with warm flour or corn tortillas, cheese, and salsa.  I use Bolner's Fiesta brand salt-free fajita seasoning, but I can't get it here, so I have to order it from them in San Antonio.  It's the best!

This is super-easy and quick to prepare, and if you're brave, you can toss in some sliced jalapenos (doesn't everyone have a gazillion peppers and tomatoes right now?)  Here's a time-saver:  pre-slice everything early in the day and store the meat and veggies in two separate storage bags in the fridge.  Just toss in the pan when you're ready to cook.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hello Monday {New}

Hello Monday is our place to welcome a brand new week and reflect on the old one. 

Our chickies have a new backyard, thanks to a husband who understands the importance of the little things and spent half of his weekend proving it. . .

Hello to a safe shady spot to explore.

Hello to chickies that can now stretch their legs a bit while staying out of trouble.

Hello to third grade, a big boy desk, and a new way of doing math -- on the computer.

Hello to happiness. You really can bottle it!

{Linking up with Lisa Leonard for Hello Monday and The Mossistribe Homestead}

Saturday, July 28, 2012

   Who couldn't use a little sunshine in their day?  {But some fall temperatures to go with it would sure be nice.}  My sweet friend Fraidy Cat Carol sent a little sunshine my way, and she asked me to nominate some blogs that "positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."  She also asked me to answer some questions about myself:

Your favorite color-depends on my mood, but almost always purple,
                      animal-cats, but chickens are closing in,
                      number-nope, only letters,
                      drink-coke, not pepsi,
                      day-snow days,
                      and flowers-peonies.
What is your passion? My family.
Facebook or Twitter? I just discovered facebook.  I have friends I don't even know.
Good book or Good movie? The book is always better than the movie.
Getting vs giving gifts? Giving ones I've made.

Some blogs that inspire me, besides Confessions of a Fraidy Cat, which I'm probably not supposed to pick but is so real and meaningful, are:

ScreenRiffs-my talented son's film blog.  He is already an amazing, funny writer.

Lisa Leonard-creative and inspiring.

Jump Into a Book-fun literature adventures.

Kelle Hampton/Enjoying the Small Things-beautiful words, beautiful pictures.

Cathe Holden/Just Something I Made-Vintage cool crafts that are doable (see above about gift giving.)

Harmony Art Mom-Homeschool resources, a veteran high school homeschool mom.

Home Educating Family Blog-Tons of encouragement and ideas.

My sidebar has several others listed that are worth checking out.

Friday, July 27, 2012

2012-2013 Schoolroom: Reading Corner

Over in the corner by the window, we have a special space for reading. With three big cushions to lay on and surrounded by books, this spot is perfect for my newest reader. His favorites are at arm's reach, and I can change the selection as his interests or the seasons change. Currently, he is into detective stories, so there are Nate the Greats and the Crosby Bonsall Private Eyes Club books among other favorites.
I found this cool spinning rack at a thrift store, and it is perfect for displaying and storing books. I set it on top of a storage crate with more books underneath. This crate is one of the ITSO storage cubes from Target with an added shelf. J-man loves this spot and was super-excited to have a space for his books. He just glows with confidence when he can pick up a book and read it himself, and he loves to read to me.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wonder-full Wednesday {red ears/brown eggs}

Photo courtesy of ScreenRiffs

 What's the difference between brown and white eggs?  Nothing, really, except their color.  According to The Chicken Whisperer's Guide to Keeping Chickens by Andy G. Schneider and Dr. Brigid McCrea, you can tell the color of egg a hen will lay (usually) by the color of her earlobes, the fleshy part under her ear feathers.  White-earlobed hens will usually lay white eggs, and red-earlobed hens will usually lay brown eggs.  (All of our chickens hatched from brown eggs.)

Monday, July 23, 2012

2012-2013 Schoolroom: Nature Shelf

I've been busy getting our schoolroom sorted out and ready for our official start to the new school year.  We "do school" year-round, but sometime around August is when we promote to the next grade.  This year, I'll have a high schooler and a middle schooler and an elementary schooler!

One of our favorite areas in the schoolroom is our nature shelf.  We have a jar at each end for treasures collected in the yard and from nature walks, our biosphere, which is almost a year and a half old, and two vivariums.  One houses two green anoles (Sally and Lightning) and a tree frog (Greedo), and the other houses our newest family members:  two long-tailed lizards (Calvin and Hobbes.)

The bookcase underneath holds our science books and field guides.
It's nice to have a little of the outdoors inside, especially when taking a break to daydream.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Picture Made Me Cry

This picture, taken about eight years ago of my youngest, made me cry, and that made him think I had lost my mind.  

J-man had a run-in with a pan and ended up with boo boo across his eye and the bridge of his nose. He was running full speed through a dark house, rounded a corner like a rocket on fire, and crashed into me -- or rather, into the pan I was holding.

It was traumatic and frightening, but he wasn't hurt badly, just shaken up. It was close to bedtime, and the tears kept coming. "Can I pleeease sleep with you, Mommy?" I realized how long it had been since he even wanted to snuggle, and since he was so pitiful, I told him we could sack out on the couch.

I was setting up my new computer and loading photos onto it, when this one popped up from what seems like so long ago in some ways, and yet just yesterday . . .

Those curls, those eyes, and that "baa-baa" constantly in his mouth. He was just learning how to crawl and was playing in the kitchen under the table while I was cooking supper. I remembered the rustling sound his diaper made when he moved, the smell of baby shampoo in his hair, and how he reached his little arms up every time he saw me, wanting to be picked up. 

The term, they grow up so fast, is so true . . . sometimes it seems like the time is zooming by. Now he's reading, tying his own shoes, swimming and diving without a floatie suit, and getting ready to move into third grade.

But, he's still my baby.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy July 4th

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov'd home, and the war's desolation,
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto--"In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.
-Francis Scott Key

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hello Monday {Growth}

Hello Monday is our place to welcome a brand new week and reflect on the old one. 

Hello to a fresh start to a new week. My niece got married last weekend, and my other two nieces were here for the week. We are starting this week by enjoying the slightly cooler weather after a much-needed thunderstorm, and by easing back into our routine.

Hello to wrapping up a week of filming with cousins and friends. 

 Hello to an older cat becoming resigned to the idea that the new kitten is staying.

Hello to Gary, the new kitten who is already a pro at snuggling and sleeping. 

Hello to watching him grow so fast.

Hello to chickies learning how to scratch for worms and discovering new territory.

Hello to the ultimate dining room.  We visited the Carl Sandburg home, and there are books everywhere, in every room.  Mrs. Sandburg kept her binoculars on the table so she could look at birds (the windows originally did not have shades or curtains.)  I loved the simple china and mismatched chairs.  

{linking up with lisa leonard}