Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pita Bread

Heidi helped me make pitas for the first time last week. They were surprisingly easy and very tasty! Our wheat grinder is currently not functioning - the seal has broken, meaning that if we try to use it the whole house gets covered in a fine layer of flour - so I made these with *gasp* white flour, but I'm hoping to try with whole wheat soon.

Pita Recipe
makes 8 pitas
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 TBSP honey or sugar
2 tsp yeast
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups water (at room temperature)
2 TBSP olive oil
  1. Mix yeast, flour, sugar and salt
  2. Add olive oil and 1 1/4 cup water and stir
  3. Ingredients should form a ball. If not, add more water
  4. Knead for ten minutes
  5. Place in an oiled bowl, cover, let rise until doubled, about 90 minutes
  6. When doubled, punch down, divide into eight pieces, roll into balls, cover and allow to rest for twenty minutes
  7. While resting, preheat oven to 400 and place a baking stone or upside down cookie sheet in oven (this is your baking surface)
  8. Roll dough on floured surface to 1/4" to 1/8" thick
  9. Place as many pitas on your stone as you can at a time and bake for 3-8 minutes. They don't need to get brown, just a bit puffy
  10. Remove to cool on wire racks, repeat, and try not to eat your entire first batch before the second comes out of the oven

A New Lover Of Mud

We went to help some friends move yesterday. I got distracted for all of about two minutes. Guess who found the only mud puddle in the driveway? She seems to be just as enamored with the wonderful squishy stuff as her big sister is!

From Oatmeal To Oats

I know it's usually the other way around, the oats turn into oatmeal. But, what can I say? Friday was a crazy day! I knew it was going to be that way, so in an effort to get two things done at once, I gave the girls their breakfast and left the room. Sometimes it really does save time to simply concentrate on the task at hand. We began the day covered in oatmeal (if anyone has tips on how to clean a ______ covered baby without getting it all over yourself, please share!) and ended the day by playing in oats. Daddy was moving some of last year's crop into the greenhouse so it would be closer for feeding the horses and cow, and the girls got to help. More fun than a sand box!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Crunchy Granola Bars

My Mom asked me for this recipe, and I thought I would share it with all of you as well. One small problem is that I almost never cook according to a recipe. I may use measuring cups and spoons, but they are more of a method to transfer ingredients from here to there, rather than to actually measure with. If it looks like it would be yummy with more, I fill the cup further. If it looks like it needs less, the cup looks a tad more empty. All measurements, therefore, are approximate. You have been warned.

Crunchy Granola Bars

4 to 5 cups oats

1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 TBSP honey

Totally optional, but recommended yummy ingredients include:
1 tsp almond extract
1tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan pieces
1cup white chocolate chips

Again optional ingredients, but these are to make you feel better about eating the treats:
1/4 cup flax seed
2 TBSP wheat germ
2 TBSP Wheat or oat bran

I could go on with the add-ins, but I'm sure you get the idea.

  1. Put the oats and whatever other dry ingredients you're using into a large bowl.
  2. Heat butter, sugar, and honey gently, over low heat, until the sugar has dissolved, but don't allow to boil.
  3. Add vanilla and almond extract.
  4. Pour over oat mixture.
  5. Mix, coating oats well.
  6. Place in a greased cookie sheet and pat down with moistened hands.
  7. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
  8. Cut into bars while still warm and allow to cool before removing from pan.


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now that I've confessed...

I can show you some more up close pictures of the weeds I'm trying to conquer. Heidi and I have done lots, but there's still lots to be done. Right now I'm just trying to find the plants and clear enough space around them that Karl can see them and take the tiller through the garden without getting the plants too.

We had fun playing jungle today. In the midst of all those weeds, we found some treasure as well. One ripe cherry tomato!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Cows Came Home

Well... actually there's only one cow. And I guess technically, it's not a cow, it's a steer. But it is home, although it may end up spending more time in the freezer than the pasture.
BEEF, it's what will be for dinner this winter!

Hitching Post

Watching Daddy and Momma hitch the horses is almost as much fun as riding in the wagon.
Heidi loves to carry the oats to the horses. And now she's discovered the hitching post is fun in and of itself!

Both girls love being outdoors and being with the animals, and Ruger is enjoying all the extra attention he's getting.

Blueberry Rides

Not really sure how Heidi got, "blueberry rides" out of "wheelbarrow rides", but I thought it was rather cute.
Thank you, Tanya, for a fun evening!

Heidi Helped Me Weed

As to why exactly she needed a turtle tied around her waist to do so, you'll have to ask Heidi.
She was a great help, and even greater company!
Confession Time:
You see the green behind Heidi in the above picture? (No, not the darker green, that's the oak trees, the lighter green in front) that's our vegetable garden. Or, more accurately, that's where our vegetable garden should be, it's where we planted it. It is there still... somewhere. You just have to hunt through the weeds to find the plants. Yes, all that green belongs to WEEDS!
We got a bit discouraged this year when, just after we transplanted the seedlings in June, there was frost, and even though we covered the plants, many of them died anyway. Add that discouragement to Karl having a new job which took more of his time, and then getting another new job a month ago and the garden being away from the house and having a crawler who gets filthy in the mud and no water at home to bathe her in, and you come up with a sorrowful case of neglect. Which in this world affected by the curse, adds up to a whole lot of weeds.
I know that weeds are the result of sin, but I wonder sometimes if God put them there to remind us of what sin can do in our lives as well. If we notice a "weed" and deal with it early, it's not such a big deal. Minimal disturbance of the soil, not much effort needed. if, on the other hand, we put it off for awhile, think, "Oh, I'll get to that soon enough", it grows. It can become like the weeds I was working on today. I was enjoying working in the shade until I realized the shade was coming from the weeds! Weeds that big take some effort to pull. Both hands grasping the stalk, whole body effort. A lot of dirt comes with them, and sometimes it even disturbs the roots of the good plants, just as sin can affect all areas of our life, even the good. Yes, weeding is much easier done early, when the weeds are first noticed. I pray I remember that in the future, both in the garden and in my life.

*Thanks to Grandma for watching Hannah so I could work unhindered!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Popsicle

We didn't put the cart before the horse...

but we did get the horses, and now we need a cart! With a little ingenuity on Karl's part, we were able to go on our first ride as a family last night. We're borrowing what's called a "fore cart", which is hitched to the horses and then used to pull whatever else you like behind it. For now we're using David's trailer which provides ample room for us all to ride. YEE HAW!
Heidi and Hannah, munching on apples and riding.

Traveling down the road.

We stopped to visit with our neighbor who has helped us get started with this whole horse adventure and got a few more pointers. How much we don't know!

While the men were talking, the girls had fun playing. Heidi, by climbing everything in sight and running around with the dogs trying to get them to do what she wanted them to do. Hannah, by working on that newly acquired wonderful skill of walking.

I agree with Heidi who ended the evening saying, "Let's do it again and again and again!"

Friday, August 21, 2009


We had nice weather for a few days a couple of weeks ago and the girls and I spent as much time outdoors as possible. We had our snacks and lunches out under the trees on those days and the girls were delighted!
Heidi set up each of our tree shelters as a home, and insisted upon taking her shoes off in the entrance. Here she's bringing some wood to fuel the kitchen stove.

Couldn't resist this face I captured on Hannah. Not sure what she just got a mouth full of, but it doesn't look too tasty, does it?

From Crawling to Baby Steps

I knew that Hannah's crawling would soon be left behind in favor of a more upright position, so I took a brief video of her traversing the lawn a couple of weeks ago. Two weeks later I filmed her at the zoo. How do they grow so fast?

She's actually been taking steps on her own since she was 11 months old, she just didn't believe she could do it. She would want something, take a few steps toward it, then sit down with a shocked look on her face and refuse to try again for a few days. Knowing all that happens once walking begins, I wasn't in a hurry to push her. A few days after her birthday, Daddy decided it was time to help her gain some confidence. He did, and she walks.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

While looking through these pictures, I realized I didn't take too many of the animals we saw at the zoo on Tuesday. Rather, my pictures are of my girls enjoying the animals at the zoo. I'll leave the animal photography to those who know a bit more what they're doing - such as the friend who went with us.

I guess there is one picture of Heidi with an animal, she's making sure it doesn't bite Hannah.

Imitating the monkeys.

Hannah is thrilled with the new-found Independence that comes with walking. She wanted to go all by herself and refused all offers of hands to hold. It was slow going, but, oh, so fun!

We entered the tropical house and Heidi exclaimed, "I've been here before!", remembering our last year's visit.

All those animals, and the most fascinating part? Why the manhole of course! Maybe we really do lead a bit too sheltered of a country existence.

Heidi. Climbing. As Heidi is prone to do.

Enjoying a fountain.

I asked Heidi what her favorite part was and she said it was the elephants. That humored me a bit as there weren't any, but later she told me she really liked the owls. How fun to see some more of God's wonderful creation!