Sunday, July 29, 2012

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

My favorite summer salad. Hands down.

Fresh tomatoes from the farmers market, fresh basil from my herb garden, fresh mozzarella from Walmart... and the balsamic reduction? I made it. yup. yup.

I used Ree's recipe from The Pioneer Woman. You can find it HERE.

And, yes. That is my salad in the photo above. Be impressed.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fair Time

Due to the incredibly hot summer we have had, Elizabeth and William were not able to walk their chosen 4-H animals like they should. In the past, they have walked the cows late in the evening when it had cooled off. This year was a different story. In the few weeks leading up to the fair we were having 100+ degree days. By the time it cooled off to a balmy 80+degrees... it was dark. And frankly, still too hot.

At the ninth hour and after much tumultuous thought, Ryan decided that it would be ok for the kids to take a few cows to the fair.

"Few" was 10 cows, which was less than half originally planned.

The kids had a great time, and did a fabulous job- a few pictures from the evening:

Loves the fence.


Thank heavens for my nephew- Logan. He was a lifesaver!


This just may be my favorite photo from this year...


The "Mama Wiss Cows"


Yes, his show number was 007!


"Are we done yet?"

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Crazy Busy Life...

Oh. my.

We've been busy.

We are expecting some very special guest in August- which makes me take a good look around the house and make a very extensive list of all the things that need to be "spruced up".

My mom flew in last Thursday to help me with this extensive list. We got a lot accomplished, but man, am I tired. And sore. Very, very sore. (she's a bit of a slave driver...) I took her back to the airport yesterday afternoon, and now the list is all mine. all mine. yikes.

I think the biggest news is the rain. We've gotten several nice showers over the last two weeks. Our lawn is greening up-I think we may even need to mow it. It is raining again today- a perfect time to re-group- and re-evaluate the extensive list.

Elizabeth went home with my mom, and William is at church camp this week.  Ryan and I feel young again with just 2 little people hanging around!

I am planning on posting some pictures of our recent activities... but first, my cat has been cracking me up. She's been trying out some new napping spots...

Jackson's bed. It's ok... he never uses it anyway.

And the towel for clean dishes? All snuggled up.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pre-Fair Judging

Last week not only was it 100+ degrees We had pre-fair judging. *Most* of the non-walking projects were judged at the fair grounds in the show arena. It does not have air conditioning... but at least it was in the shade.

Elizabeth's project list included: foods, food preservation, sewing (non-wearable), recycling, general crafts & fine arts.

William had: foods, food preservation, sewing (non-wearable), and recycling.

At judging, there is lots of waiting.


Waiting with friends..

Waiting in line...

Some times it seemed our turn would never come... but it always did.

I'm sure our poor house suffered the most...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Independence Day

We celebrated Independence day with friends by swimming,

and eating,

more swimming,

and fireworks!

A fun, HOT day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012


A few weeks ago my brother asked me to come and watch his beautiful daughter while they went on a bike ride. (Bike as in motorcycle) I, of course, was delighted.

Jackson and I packed up and headed to Ohio to spend the day with this little cutie:

He loves her so much.  Would totally figure our last child likes babies more than any of our other children combined. Then again, he may  night like her so much if she monopolized his mother's attention...

Baby Edy is a petite little gal- and much to my delight, she sucks her fingers! The middle two, just like her Uncle Simon.

She multi-talented just like he is as well...

She can suck her fingers AND pick her nose at the same time!

At the end of the day, when I put the little missy in her bed so I could pick up some things, Jackson decided there was room for two!

Being an Auntie, is one of my most favorite things, I am so blessed to have such wonderful nieces and nephews!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fresh Laid

Awhile back, Jackson and I went down to the pasture to check out this little guy.

He had been born just hours before, and we wanted to get a closer look.

The following day, Jackson said to me: "Let's go see if another cow laid a baby calf".

Monday, July 2, 2012

Pickin' Rock

As much as I do not care for rocks in landscaping, it turns out we have a lot of them, and they are free. Free for the picking!

Last summer, my cousin Forest came out and built us a fabulous retaining rock wall for the flower beds/landscaping around the house. Very cost effective and I think it looks very nice. Even though Ryan would like to put decorative stone in those beds around my plants, I'm *pretty* sure I've got him talked into mulch.

This spring I planted some burning bushes behind the garage and some forsythia along the shed next to my clothes line. And in those two places, I agreed to the stone.

One of William's summer jobs was to pick the rocks out of the pasture next to the house, and outline the two beds that will hold the decorative rock.

William was much more motivated to do the job after we negotiated a price and a happier worker when I agreed to pay his friend too.

Unfortunately we picked the hottest day of the year to do the work.

No joke. Last Thursday it was 104 degrees.

They did a really great job getting all the rocks picked up, and it went really fast.

Jackson even got in on the work.  He did a lot more supervising after he dropped a rock on his head, but he was still great help.

They did get a little distracted when the county trucks went by.

Especially when there were three in a row...

They were delighted when each of them honked the air horn!

When they got them all  picked up, I went out, and smoothed out the ground cover, and helped them place the rocks around the edges.

Our finished project- waiting on the decorative stone.

It seriously only took like twenty minutes, but I thought I was going to die. It was so hot. So, we went to Dairy Queen and treated ourselves!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Seashell Salad

Seashell Salad


Small shell pasta salad
Green Olives-diced

Mayonnaise-approximately 1 cup
Sugar-approximately 1/2 cup
Vinegar-approximately 2 Tablespoons
Milk- approximately 1/2 cup


Cook desired amount of pasta according to package directions. Drain and rinse. Add olives, onion & celery.  Whisk dressing together and pour over salad.

*This is a recipe from my Mother-in-law, I don't remember how she makes it exactly...
*This is for a sure one of those recipes that you toss things together and make how you like.
*I hate canned tuna, so if I want to eat it, I use chicken.
*I also like to add green pepper.
*For the dressing, I start with the mayo, and add in things until it tastes good.
* I like to make plenty of dressing, after sitting in the fridge for a day or two, it dries out a little.
*Ryan LOVES this salad, and I'm trying to keep it in the fridge for him this summer. It's been so very hot- and this is a light, but filling lunch for him.