Thursday, July 30, 2009

we're going on a lion cicada hunt

this morning the kids and I went on a hunt for cicada shells. this time of year you know it's going to be a hot one when you hear the buzzing of the cicada. we've been hearing them a lot these last few days so we looked at each of our trees and found 3 shells. we'll check for more in a few days.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Saturday, July 25, 2009


looking for an easy way to use up a lot of Zucchini you might be overloaded with? i found the answer while flipping thru the latest copy of 'Better Home & Gardens' -- i just love that magazine! it was an advertisement for butter but looked good and called for a lot of Zucchini, which i have a ton of these days. turns out it tastes pretty darn good too!

you should try it...

Stuffed Zucchini

5 med Zucchini, halved lengthwise
3 tbs butter
1 med onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves, crushed
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

preheat oven to 375 degrees. scoop out pulp from 8 zucchini halves; set aside. arrange zucchini halves on baking sheet. meanwhile, coarsely chop remaining zucchini and pulp.

melt butter in skillet over med-high heat and cook chopped zucchini and onion, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

add red pepper, garlic and oregano. cook, stirring frequently. 1 minute; cool slightly. evenly spoon vegetable mixture into zucchini halves.

bake 30 minutes or until tender.

top with cheese.

Friday, July 24, 2009

camping 101

last weekend we put our family to the test and went tent camping with the kids for the first time. my worst nightmare of Cameron crying all night didn't come true but it was definitely not the quintessential perfect family camping trip. taking away many of our daily comforts really put stress on all of us and we did not use this power for good. now, don't get me wrong we did have some good times but the kids were a bunch of needy, complaining, annoying little people. we decided that they must be like this all the time but we mask it with things like TV, internet & life's busyness. Chris and i both think this is something we need to be more conscious about and perhaps look into changing. i don't think it's their faults, i blame the parents... but i refuse to raise brats and i feel like maybe we're headed that way. they've never been ones to just run off and play -- our kids need to be entertained all the time and that was very obvious this weekend.

another problem is that we are a very routine based household so it's hard to throw the kids into a new situation without a lot of headache. we seemed to be resisting the change rather than embracing it. we just weren't working in harmony out there. i think we should have started with one night instead of two and perhaps we should have started with a cabin and worked our way down to a tent. but to be honest i'm not sure it would have been much different if we stayed in a hotel! on our last night we were *this* close to going home early. we let Mayden make the final decision and she decided we'd stay in the tent so we did and it turned out to be really nice and we actually seemed to be starting to click. we changed sleeping arrangements a bit and all got more sleep than the first night (which always helps!). i was happy we stuck it out and didn't give up early. in the end though i'm just not sure it was worth it.

we learned a thing or two...

Cameron calls his feet "socks"

pie irons are great to cook over the fire with... we did hot dogs, grilled cheese & pizza

we need a bigger cooler

kids + water = a good time

children can survive on mostly pretzels & goldfish for at least 48 hours

Cameron sleeps best (away from home) right next to his mama
i shouldn't bother bringing a book for myself

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

book # 10 of 2009

We Took To The Woods
by Louise Dickinson Rich

we'll it's a good thing i was ahead of schedule a few months ago because i've definitely slowed down! not for lack of trying, just for lack of time. it's hard for me to slow down and read with all this warm weather calling to me.

this book was a wonderful read though. i don't know what i was expecting but when she says "woods" she really means "woods". they were in the middle of nowhere Maine living a simple life although they did their fair share of "mail order" which was a little disappointing.

this lifestyle genuinely interests me. i'm not sure if i could live in quiet the seclusion that she did, but something less suburban might be nice. i still haven't made up my mind as to weather i'd like to be a city dweller or a country dweller... i say my mind because i think my husband could be swayed reasonably easily either way. my favorite line in the book was:

"I think, probably, whether you're better off in the country or in the city depends, in the final analysis, on where you'd rather be. You're best off where you're the happiest."

wordless wednesday

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

project hatch: R.I.P.

we've had a little "doodle doo" going on as Cameron would say. i got a call late last week about some crowing in Camden (oops!) and that very same day i heard crowing from our own chicks. i had a feeling 3 of them were roosters but they really haven't been very vocal at all yet. late bloomers perhaps. so i picked up the Camden rooster and put him into solitary confinement because the other chicks were not very happy to have him back as i quickly learned. we'd been planning a trip to see the Dohner family anyway where their oldest boy Zach (13) offered to behead our roosters... even make them "table ready" but as tempting as that is, there is no way i could eat one of these guys!

so last week we hand delivered two of the (probably) 4 roosters. but even before this we had a bit of a tragedy... our chicks have been growing more and more bold and have been spending a lot of time in our neighbors lovely bushes. well one morning the kids and i were hanging out in the front yard when our neighbor's dog got ahold of one of our chicks... the silkie... poor girl. i don't blame the dog, he's a dog! i don't blame the neighbors, they were nice enough not to call the cops on us for having our chickens hang out in their yard. i blame the birds. stupid birds. they refuse to learn their lesson so they were grounded for a week and now i've been letting them out later in the day (around 4) in hopes that they stay a little closer to home.

~~ the kids aren't traumatized. i shooed them inside before they knew what happened!

quick recap... 3 down, 4 left, 2 probably roosters, 2 probably hens, thinking about getting 1 or 2 more hens.

Friday, July 17, 2009


here's a (fairly long) video of Cameron discovering fireflies (or lightning bugs, as we call them) there were so many out tonight i couldn't believe it! i found out rather quickly that its near impossible to get a picture of those little buggers. i haven't posted a video of either kid in awhile so you can hear how far he's come verbally in the last few months. remember May catching them last year?

i love this!

i'm digging both the story (message) and the storytelling. very cool.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

testing 1...2...3

one of our goals this summer is to go camping with the kids at least once. i grew up tent camping and Chris and i went many times before kids. we love camping and want to be the camping sorta family... which means we will have to take the kids sooner or later. later seems to be approaching next weekend. weather permitting we're planning on going for it at a nearby state park for 2 nights. i'm still hoping we can talk someone into going with us as the general rule for camping seems to be "the more the merrier".

this morning while May was off on a date with our neighbors at Sesame Place (lucky duck!) the rest of us did a trail tent set up in the side yard. success! we'll do it a few more times this week so we look like pros in the field (or forest as the case may be)

Friday, July 10, 2009

B&W photography class

as i mentioned in an earlier post i'm taking a little B&W (film) photography class and i love it! i've really been having a great time messing around with this camera and have learned a lot. last week we started the process of developing our own film and printing photos... oh man, what a rush! after a lot of trial and error i managed to print some good ones. if you're interested in seeing all of the photos (i'll be adding more each week) click here

presto chango!

i love it when veggies out of the garden end up on my plate for dinner! below is some stir fry complete with lots of fresh garden Zucchini. AND to make things even better Chris made this dish (which mean i did not... ahhh) he's been diving into cooking a little more since the layoff, which has been really great! and to the right is some Zucchini bread i whipped up the other night. it's really more like Zucchini cake... yum!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

garden goods

i don't think i've mentioned the garden yet but we do have one!

the Spinach is already finished but lasted an extra long time thanks to the cool spring we had. this year i'm going to try and remember to replant them for fall.

so now we have tomatoes which are still really small. i planted peppers but i'm not sure they are going to make it, i always have trouble w/ peppers!

sunflowers are coming up nicely, i think Mayden will be amazed at how big they get.

Zucchini seems to be the winner every year. we always have plenty of Zucchini and with very little effort. in fact the largest Z plant in there is left over from last year. i didn't even plant it and this morning i pulled out 6 huge ones! those little suckers grow so fast, next time i'm going to try to pull them a little earlier. i've already given away 2 of them to neighbors so now it's on to stir fry & Zucchini bread... yum!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

weekend happenings (july 4th)

our 4th of July weekend just wouldn't have been complete without...


skinned knees

starting a new book (and actually finishing the first few chapters!)

time in the pool

backyard campfires

figuring out that chickens like to eat marshmallows

brother/sister bonding

a little tennis

sprinkler fun

dogs on the grill

a cold one

awesome (and painful) tricks

baby bellies

cool summer breezes

even more watermelon

preparation for the inevitable


happy faces

and of course... a sink full of dishes!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

happy 4th!

yes folks, this is as good as it got this morning. Cameron has been quiet challenging these last couple days (to say the least) i think i have my work cut out for me with this one. ugh!

last year was much better :o) and yes, thoes are the same shorts from last year he's wearing today. small little terror he is!