Monday, December 16, 2013

A Weekend of Devastation

This weekend a pack of dogs came into our backyard, ripped open our hutches and killed all of our rabbits.  Captain Jack was our only survivor. 

Six breeding does, one proven buck and seven baby kits were all over our yard.  Including my children's special pets.  We have all been crying.  I just kept walking in circles all day.  I couldn't focus on a thing.  Our poor bunnies. 

The animal control officer is coming today and will look at the damage.  If we can figure out who the owners are we may be able to get reimbursed monetarily.  But that won't really replace them.  And we need to repair all the cages. 

Daddy spent all day yesterday re-enforcing the chicken coop and run and we put Jack's hutch inside the chicken run.  If the dogs come back we don't want our chickens hurt too!  We are figuring out the best way to keep the bunnies safe when we start building our rabbitry back up.  Stronger cages and a fenced in area to keep them is the current plan.  But I just can't stop thinking about our poor bunnies last moments.  They didn't deserve that.


Innocent Babies


Mrs. Sugarfoot and babies

Ginger our sweet Flemish Giant

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Allergy Friendly Menu!

My sister is coming for two weeks for Christmas!  My sister has a plethora of allergies, but I am happy to work around them.  She is allergic to wheat, dairy, soy, peanuts, all oils except coconut, sugar, has difficulty with meat, all grains other than rice, she also has reactions to pesticides and additives, etc so you have to wash everything well.  It's a LOT but you get used to it and she is able to eat our homegrown foods, like eggs, that are hormone and additive free. This list does not include all the pollens, animals, etc that she is allergic to! 

Through the years we have gotten used to cooking for her and it is an opportunity to get creative.  Thankfully my husband doesn't mind vegetarian meals! 

This is our menu for the next two weeks:

Black Beans and Rice with Quesadillas for the kids
Vegetarian "Fried" Rice with Hot and Sour Soup
Baked Potatoes (Loaded for us without allergies)
Falafel (In flatbread for us, as a salad for her)
Veggie Stir-fry and Rice
Kale and Potato Soup
Salad "Buffet"
Tacos (Taco Salad for her)
Anazazi Beans and Rice or Macaroni
Colcannon with Kielbasa
Garbonzo-Vegetable Salad
Potatoes Calcutta with Over Easy Eggs
Veggie Stew

Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 Days of Thanks 2013

It's November and you know what that means! Time to count our blessings ... 

 Day 1: I am thankful for my husband. He is a hard worker, who loves his children and makes me laugh everyday. I love him more then the day we got married. I am blessed to have him.

Day 2 of the Month of Gratitude: I am thankful for my mom. She did an amazing job as a homeschooling, hardworking, single mom. Now she lives with us and is an awesome grandma and partner in crime. Thanks Mom for being you.

Day 3 of Gratitude: I am thankful for a great group of women to meet with to keep our homeschool co-op going. Tonight was the committee meeting to decide on the next semester and its amazing how many decisions we can make in 4 hours! I am blessed to have my kids in such an efficient, fun group!

Day 4:  Even after 2 days of no sleep and cuddling a fussy, whiny baby I am still so thankful for my Fiona. She is a bright penny and my snugglebug and there would have been a huge hole in our family without her.

Day 5 of Gratitude: After steak, baked potatoes, mac and cheese, and homemade bread for dinner I am thankful for good food to eat! Even when times are tough we always have yummy food on our table.

Day 6: I am thankful for my sister. I got to talk to her today - which feels like a rare occurrence now that she lives in Florida - and it was wonderful. My sister is awesome and the most fun person to be around and I miss seeing her face!   

Day 7: I am thankful for my oldest child, Claire. She may be getting a little big for her britches lately, but she is funny, observant, smart and an awesome helper. She is getting so grown up and I treasure these times (most of the time!).

Day 8: I am thankful for books. I have traveled to many amazing places via books and I love that I have a whole box of new "doorways" in my living room tonight!

Day 9: I am thankful for my middle child, my Chandler. I am so glad I had a son - they are so different from girls! This morning Chandler climbed in bed and snuggled with me and said, "Look Mom I can sing a Christmas song with my nose!" and proceed to sniff out "Jingle Bells" for me. Love that little guy.

Day 10 of Gratitude: I am thankful for beautiful fall days with my family.

Day 11: I am thankful for all of our veterans. Especially those in my life like my mom (Air Force), my Poppy (Navy), and my Uncle Eddie (Air Force). Thank you!

Day 12: I am so thankful for the opportunity to homeschool my children. Even on hectic days like today full of schoolwork, a library trip and P.E. fun at the gym I still love it.

Day 13:   Today I am thankful for a warm fire on a cold day!

Day 14: I'm so grateful for a wonderful homeschool co-op for my children. We have 34 families this year and my children loved coming to class every week. We all work hard at it and it shows!

Day 15: I am thankful for a wonderful women's Bible Study. It is so nice to have "mommy friends" some of whom are having the same struggles and others who are there for advice and encouragement. Last night instead of our usual monthly meeting we went to Asheville to hear a speaker and even though I ended up queasy from carsickness I had a wonderful time.

Day 16: I am thankful for our house. It needs work, but it's ours and I love it's charm.

Day 17 of Gratitude: I am thankful for my June Moms. When I was home on maternity leave with Claire I picked up the computer and found the Babycenter community. In my daughter's "birth club" I found over a hundred women with babies the same age as mine and in the next 7 years we have gone through board changes, dramas, more births, hospitalizations, divorces and celebrations with these ladies and even though I have never met any of them face to face they are some of my closest friends!

Day 18: I am thankful for unexpected surprises.

Day 19 of Gratitude: I am thankful for my best friend, Anna. We have known each other since 7th grade and even when we lose touch for a few years we are all caught back up in 30 minutes and it's like no time ever left. I love that her daughter is the same age as mine and she gets to be Auntie Anna for my kids.

Day 20: I am thankful for my vehicle. It runs like a workhorse and fits us all and it is exactly what we need.

Day 21 of Gratitude: Today I am thankful for "enough" money. Bills paid, necessities taken care of and fun little trips to Chik-Fil-A all budgeted in. 

Day 22: Today I am thankful for my chickens and my first green egg laid by my Easter Egger hens today! 

Day 23 & 24: I am grateful for the training on hospitality and throwing a meal together for added guests and that thanks has to go to my mom and my grandmother. Grandma trained us both and that's because my grandma is awesome. I don't know who I would have ended up being without her.

Day 25: I am thankful for the Internet. How else would I see all my friends?

Day 26:  Fiona slept from 9pm to 6am last night. That is definitely my thankful post for the day!

Day 27:  Today I am thankful for the joy on my children's faces when they saw the snow outside!

On Thanksgiving Day I am thankful for my family. We are fun, quirky, silly, and in our own way boring but I love nothing more then gathering around a table loaded with food and coffee with those people.

Day 29:  Today I am thankful for the Greenway. I am so glad we have a beautiful, safe place to take the kids and the dog for a walk!

Day 30:  I am thankful for the life attitude my family has taught me.  Times get hard or things get complicated, but you just put a smile on your face (or at least a grimace) and shoulder on.  The bad times always pass ...

Friday, November 22, 2013

A month worth of meals!

I forgot to post our last menu so here's a whole month worth of meals!

Steak, Baked Potatoes, Brussel Sprouts and Salad (Splurge night!  Steaks were on sale!)
Chicken and Dumplings
Meatballs and Rice with Carrots
Pancakes and Bacon
Fish Cakes, Orzo and Mixed Veggies
Grilled Chicken, Potato Pancakes, Applesauce and Greens
Pesto Pizza and Salad
Hungarian Goulash, Egg Noodles and Corn
Curried Lentils, Rice and Flatbread
Eggplant Lasagna
Rabbit Schnitzel, Homemade Mac and Cheese and Applesauce
Spaghetti Carbonara
Poppyseed Chicken Casserole, Rice and Mixed Veggies
Soup and Bread (Chef's choice!)
Ham, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies and Biscuits
Pesto Pizza and Salad
Biscuits with Sausage Gravy and Eggs
Stirfry and Rice
Roast Rabbit, Noodles and Veggies
Country Fried Pork with gravy, Mashed Potatoes, and Veggies
Ham and Scalloped Potatoes Casserole
Pancakes and Eggs
Soup and Bread

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gymnastics Day

Our homeschool co-op rented out our local gymnastics building and the kids had so much fun.  Nothing better then getting free rein in a room full of gymnastics equipment!


Into the foam pit!

Fiona LOVED jumping on the trampoline with Daddy!

Chandler liked the little trampoline

Claire had so much fun!
And yes, that's my husband climbing the rope.

That's my man.  :)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fun Trip to Cherokee

We went to Cherokee to help my mom make deliveries and we had so much fun.  We stopped at the park in downtown Cherokee and we had fun seeing the duck and geese and throwing river rocks into the river.  I tried to teach the kids how to skip rocks - but they had a hard time with the wrist action.  I was able to get 4 skips out of a rock though!  



Fiona loved the ducks and geese.

Throwing Rocks

 The kids discovered the bamboo forest and thought it was amazing.  Claire walked into it and said, "Mom!  It's like we're in China now!" 

They were huge!

It was like a cathedral! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Saving Turtles

We found a box turtle in the middle of the road and had to rescue it!  We let him go in the woods at my Grandmother's house.  The kids found him fascinating!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hobbes and Prince

Hobbes and Prince are adjusting well!  They fit right in like they have always been here.  I love adding to our brood.

Prince Charming

Hobbes' first time at the Dog Park!
My Boy!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Two Week Menu

Chicken Diablo with Rice (Chicken in a Curry and Honey-Mustard Sauce)
Eggplant Lasagna
Taco Casserole
Soup and Bread
French Toast and Bacon
Enchilada Casserole
Country Fried Steak with Gravy and Mashed Potatoes
Potstickers and Rice
Hot Dogs, Baked Beans, and Salad
Tortellini and Alfredo Sauce
Quesadillas and Spanish Rice
Anasazi Beans and Pasta
Baked Fish and Rice
Chicken Pot Pie

Friday, October 25, 2013

Renaissance Festival!

We went on the best field trip we have gone on yet!  The Carolina Renaissance Festival in Huntersville, NC!  It was so much fun and we are already planning on going next year - maybe even in costume!

Picture Overload ....

The Joust!


Claire loved the fairy

Eek!  A dragon got Claire!

My girl.  She chose a parasol as her souvenir. 

These ladies were SO funny!

Face painting

Rides too!

Claire with the King and Queen

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trout Farm Field Trip and Bonfire

 We had a fun trip to our local trout farm!  The kids got to learn about the trout and how they live, we took a little hike and finished the night off with a bonfire and s'mores!  Chandler my sensory guy flipped when the melted marshmallow got on him, but he was a big fan of the chocolate bars and marshmallow! 

Daddy and my big kids

Learning about trout

Getting Daddy snuggles

Claire and Chandler


My Claire

My handsome guy - Chandler



My men

My four favorite people in the world

Bonfire fun!