Friday, June 24, 2011


We had two show bantams go broody last month so we took some eggs from the 4-H Farm just for fun.  We didn't really need any new chicks, but the kids have always wanted to hatch some.  Well I did not expect a 100% hatch rate.  lol  So 7 new chicks are here and boy were the kids excited to see this little chick in the nest box.  Hope fully there are some girls in there.  They are all mixed breeds as there is no separation out in the barnyard but it was fun.  Hoping that we get a green egg layer out of one at least.  4 of the 7 eggs were dark green so we shall see!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Strawberries are Here!

Strawberry season is here again.  The kids had fun picking though we went late in the day so ended up with half what we normally pick.  We plan to go back when the farm opens up their second field.  We spent two afternoons processing what we picked and totals are up in the sidebar. 

Strawberry Jam
Dehydrator full on yummy smells!

Fruit Leather.  Ingredients: Strawberries :)

Finished jam
So what are you turning your strawberries into?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Canning Memories

I love canning and preserving.  That love came from my Grandma.  Each time I was at her house breakfast included toast with her homemade blackberry jelly.  It was so pretty sparkling it its little jar.  Such a deep purple, my mouth is watering as I write this.  There is nothing like her blackberry jelly.  Mine does not compare.  She also canned peaches and pears and applesauce.  Her applesauce was so good I used to love to spread it on toast.  I learned that delicious idea from my Grandpa.

As I grew up my Grandma let me help.  She would take me out to pick berries when I would spend a month with her in the summer.  We would crush and strain and measure and boil.  Out would come these little jars of goodness.  This is where I learned to love the little pinging sound that jars make when they are sealing.  That love doesn't come from the thought of the food inside them (well part of it does) but it comes from my memories of doing something in the kitchen with my Grandma.

When I grew up I spent less and less time there in the summer.  I was a uhh shall we say difficult teenager?  I could learn to do it all myself, don't ya know?  No more canning days with Grandma but when I did see her she would load my arms up with jars before I left.

As an adult when I became pregnant with our first child I went down and spent a week with her.  Her canned peaches were the most amazing thing my pregnant self had ever tasted and she sent me home with an entire box.  I swear that entire pregnancy I ate canned peaches.  When they were gone I wanted to drive the 8 hour drive to her house just to get more but that is a long way to go for peaches when you are 8 months pregnant.  The bed rest didn't help either, I doubt my doctor would have okayed that trip.  But peaches!!!!

As I got older so did my Grandma.  Sadly in the last few years her canning days ended.  She has slowly passed a lot of her jars onto me.  Now its my turn to repay her with jars of purple jellies and golden applesauce.  I love bringing her what I have recently canned and love it when she says I will return the jars.  Only a canner understands that.  When I can with my kids now I wonder if they will have the same feelings I do about canning.  Will the sound of pinging lids bring back happy memories?  I sure hope so.  I hope that one day my children will be canning and passing on their goodies to me when I am too old to can fresh summer berries, pears picked that day, and apples so fresh that they are still warm from the sun.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finding Joy

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
This is my focus lately.  I found this verse when searching for verses to string together for a homework project for women's group.  I need more joy, I need to give thanks.  I find myself feeling very ungrateful lately.  Not that I want more, cause I don't, I want less.  Less this, less that, less work, less laundry, less loneliness.  I am really struggling with this, finding joy in all things!

Instead of being thankful
I complain,
complain about the hours
grumble about the laundry
feel lonely in a house full of gifts from God
I get grumpy
lose my joy because I am not being thankful in ALL things.
I hide

I work on this.  Daily, hourly, every minute.

For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 30:11, 12