Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ahh Summer Days Are Here!

We couldn't be more excited for a rain free day! Let alone two in a row!

Yesterday, the kids were having so much fun being outside so Elizabeth decided to make a lovely lunch of leftovers for her siblings and serve it on the deck of the playhouse.

Today, the little people wanted a repeat.

We packed up a lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, cheese, crackers, applesauce and a bottle of water in the big kids lunch boxes, and they were off.

They felt like such big kids carrying their lunches across the drive,

and through the water logged overgrown lawn.

(Don't mind the hillbilly car in the background.  It does run. Much to the dismay of the junk collector who stopped by yesterday.  We parked it there awhile back to get it off of the concrete in front of the garage... and just haven't gotten around to moving it.  Even for the lawn mower.)

Through the pool,

both of them.

Apparently, even after you tell your mom exactly what you want in you lunch, you have to "order" it through the window.  Drive through much?

I'm not sure who got the lion's share... the kids or Ruby. But I don't care.  I'm just glad the sun was shining!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Blue Striped Two-Timed Hand-Me-Down Tank-Top Up-cycle


That was a mouthful! 

My modest little model~

Elizabeth had this tank-top given to her from an older friend- it was getting a wee bit tight. Hence, the "two timed".

I originally thought I could just move the buttons on the straps and shorten it up.  Then I realized the buttons were sewed on...

I cut the straps off the chest band really, really close to the seam.  I did not have to open the seam to hide where I cut. (score!)

I serged up both side seams, taking off just enough that it didn't look "sloppy" on her.

Trying it on so I could measure where to sew down the straps....

We decided to make it a halter!

*I love those little shoulder blades!*

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cream Soup

Cream Soup Base Mix
*Casserole Sauce Mix*


2 cups nonfat dry milk powder
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup instant chicken or beef bouillon
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper


Combine all ingredients and mix well.  Store in an airtight container.

To prepare as a substitute for one can of condensed cream soup in recipes, stir together 1/3 cup mix and 1 1/4 cups water in a saucepan.  Cook and stir until thickened.
Yield: equal to 9 cans condensed soup.

A little memo:
* We eat a lot of casseroles in our house... and I frequently run out of cream soup, so it's nice to have this on hand.
*I like to use the low fat versions as well, and guess what? this is fat free! 
*I hate recipes that call for ingredients that I cannot use up before they go bad. (dry milk?? I live on a dairy farm folks!)  Fortunately, my go-to bread machine recipe calls for dry milk too.
*And I never cook it up.  It thickens as it bakes in whatever I use it in.

Credit where credit is due:  Purdue Extension Family Nutrition Program. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Farm Tour Four

Yesterday one hundred and twenty Kindergarteners visited our farm.

Curious, cute little kiddos!

So, so thankful it didn't rain!

*phew*  We were exhausted at the end of the day!

~And I wore my new boots~

Thank you so much Pandora and T for your wonderful help! xo

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ear Candling

Oh my.

It's a long story.

You've been warned.

Last fall I noticed that I was having a little difficulty hearing.  Especially if there was any background noise.  I usually just blamed it on my surroundings... the kids were loud- equipment running outside- the radio was to loud. etc. 

Until I was at a meeting for work.  One hundred women in an auditorium, and I couldn't hear the person sitting right next to me.

Yup.  I can't hear.

So, when I was at the local herb shop  a couple of months ago picking up some "Focus Attention Powder"* for William, I grabbed four ear candles.  I had heard other people swear by them, and hey, I'm only 35- I am way to young to be losing my hearing!

Those ear candles have been in my bathroom drawer until last weekend when my cousin in-law and I were talking about it, and she knew how to use them.

She did the dirty deed on Sunday afternoon.  And I performed the task on Ryan's ears this week.

Not only can I not tell any difference in my hearing, (neither can any one else) I've felt like I was getting an ear infection all week.  I don't think I'll be doing that again.

Ryan, on the other hand feels fine.

*The "Focus Attention Powder" didn't seem to work either.  Maybe because I forgot to give it?

It's Raining. It's Pouring.

If you haven't heard.... it's been raining here. 


The kids have a pretty bad case of cabin fever.

Last night after dinner the sun came out for a moment, and the youngest three took full advantage.

It started out innocently enough.... looking for worms in the puddles I guess.  Dinner was a little light.

Then they moved on to full body mud exfoliating.

Right into group showers.

How do you like that little green algae on her hoo ha?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Second Cousins

Friday night my cousin from Ohio brought his family for a weekend sleep-over.  They had a wedding to attend on Saturday, and we had our usual soccer game.

Sunday the kids got quality play time all afternoon, and I got these shots:

It may be hard to believe, but I actually took more.  These two were so cute together.  Quincy on the left is a little older than Jackson.

Isabelle is a few months older than Pearl,

and William is almost a year older than Blake.

How convenient for us, that they had children to make perfect playmates!

NOT pictured: Elizabeth, Tia (7) and Twumin  "Truman" (7 months).  Sorry.  they are incredibly cute too.

Jackson just loved "Twumin".  Made me a wee bit sad he'll never be a big brother, but not THAT sad...

Monday, May 23, 2011


Look what I found in my yard:

A Lucky four leafed clover.

AND a Luckier five leafed clover!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No Bake Cookies

Grandma Blocher's Boiled Cookies


2 cups sugar
1 stick oleo
1/2 cup milk
3 cups raw quick oats
3 Tablespoons cocoa   OR
1 package chocolate chips OR
1 package butterscotch chips
1/2 cup coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla


Boil sugar, oleo and milk for one minute.  While hot add remaining ingredients.  Stir well and drop by spoonfuls on wax paper.  When cold ready to eat!

Sarah's changes:

*I only use 1 1/2 cups sugar
*I always use butter
*I use whatever oatmeal I have
*I always use cocoa.  Fair trade cocoa. 
*NEVER use coconut!

These cookies are kind of sticky, and are "chewy" even after being in the fridge.   Using the full amount of sugar changes the consistency- it firms them up.  But I'm ok with them this way.... I might even try cutting the sugar in half and adding more oatmeal.

Goodwill Tank Top Up-cycle

Last month while at my brothers for Angle Family Fun Day, my friend in-law Shannon and I went into town to check out the local Goodwill.

We found a couple of great things, one being this tank top I couldn't leave behind:

To little for Elizabeth, to big for Isabelle...
Don't you just love the way she's being so modest?
I decided to turn it into a little dress for her.

First, I cut the straps at the half-way mark.

Serged them up, so they don't ravel when I wash it.

Took in the sides a little with my serger.  Just cut off the old seam, and made a new one.

Tied up the straps at her shoulder, and bingo! a new dress for summer.  It does not look it in the photo, but is seems a little short on her, but I thought a little pair of brown capri leggings would look really cute with it.

Two bucks and five minutes? My kind of up-cycle!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Turkey Run State Park

The last two days I've been on a "Work Retreat".   Oxymoron right? But totally wasn't.

Every spring, the university takes us (program assistants from every county) on an overnight retreat somewhere here in Indiana.  It's two days of great programming, networking, new friends, and general relaxation. So refreshing to talk with other people who do the same kind of work-we share the good, the bad and the ugly!

I have not been able to stay overnight the last couple of years. You know- breastfeeding that baby kinda ties ya down.  But he's 2 now- drinks cows milk from a sippy cup.... and my favorite aunt agreed to keep him and Isabelle overnight.

The last two days I've been at Turkey Run State Park.  Attending seminars, networking, relaxing and hiking.  Shocking but true folks.  We even took the "Very Rugged" trail.  Impressive huh?

I even got a little practice with the "manual" setting on the camera:

ah... green. Every shade.

Yes, that was the "clearly marked trail".

Great job?  Absolutely.