Nov 30, 2010

The First Thanksgiving...

Thanksgiving morning, we all slept in 'til 8, then dad and the other kids went outside to blow and rake leaves out of the yard.

Thanks to them, we now have lots of awesome leaves in our garden. All ready to till into the soil in the spring!

Mom and I stayed inside and made a huge breakfast of:
Sausage gravy & biscuits
Fried Apples

Wow, so much food! Thankfully we had our cousins Wes and Kels over to help us eat it! After we finished breakfast, the guys went outside to finish the leaves, and we girls got a few things ready for dinner.

Marci and Kels making stuffing.
 Mom getting the turkey ready.

 Mom and Kels showing off their cinnamon candy!

 Conni and me goofing off at the piano

Next, we got ready for some paintball. Our friend Cory came over and added another person to the teams, which made it way more fun!
 I was having issues with the face mask. It just wasn't working for me, so Marci had to help out.
 The whole crew. None of us are intense hunters or anything, so we all went digging in the old "army" dress up box for our outfits. :)
 Our deadly team.
We totally dominated. (I think)

We came back and cleaned up in time for a 4:00 dinner.

The table.
 Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry dressing. Beyond amazing.
 The Turkey

 Each of us had one of these under our plates, and we all had to answer each of them. It generated some great conversations!
 The after-dinner-stupor...

 Serving dessert!

The cookie game

The day ended with a little football watching, a movie, popcorn, and Kelsey's apples and dip!
Talk about lots of things to be thankful for!!!!!! What a day!

Nov 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Prep.

For various reasons, this was the first Thanksgiving that we had been able to celebrate at our house. We were all very excited, and we had all kinds of fun things planned, and tons of awesome food to make.

Conni made a pumpkin pie, an apple pie, and a french silk chocolate pie (mom made the crusts)

 Her favorite pie of all time!

She also made a batch of cinnamon candy. (yes, it's totally non-healthy-but hey, it's Thanksgiving!)

 Cinnamon oil is some harsh stuff!!

She is getting to be quite the little cook! Go Conni!

We managed to get Abe to help in the kitchen just long enough for him to seed two pomegranates!
Thank you Abe! :)

Pumpernickel bread rising.

Abe also contributed greatly by getting the lawnmower up and going so we could do our final mowing of the year.

All ready for the big day!

Winter Family Entertainment

When winter time rolls around each year, we break out the puzzles and games in the evenings. Mom and I aren't very big fans of strategy/number games, so Abe very sweetly suggested that we play Boggle for our first game night this winter. We had a fun time deciphering Abe's newly invented words and seeing who could get the most "awesome" word out of each round!

Nov 22, 2010

Winter Garden

At the end of the summer I decided that, all things being considered, it was going to be best to skip planting a fall garden. It was very nice to not have to think about the garden during school and the various trips we took. However, this Friday I was overtaken by the gardening bug again. So on Saturday I took advantage of the beautiful weather (high 60's), and tilled up the end of the garden to plant our garlic for next year.

This is our dormant asparagus at the end of the garden. I wanted to plant the garlic next to it so it wouldn't be in the way of tilling next spring.

Pretty seed pods...

This is my tiller. We have a love/hate relationship.

Sometimes it will start, sometimes it does other things- like today for instance. It hasn't been run for 2 months and it was hard to do the pull thing-a-bob. So, I yanked harder, and.... it tipped over. I attemped to brace it with my foot, but that wasn't working out so great for me either. I finally just went inside and got dad to come start it for me. I think it likes him better.

I tilled up a nice wide row.

I am rejoicing that after about 3 years of improving the soil, I actually have something beside straight up clay!

I marked off my row and dug my trench.

Planted the garlic,

covered it back up,

then covered it all with leaves.

I planted 1 60 ft row and used 7 heads of garlic. It will be pretty dormant all winter, but early next spring it will start growing. It should be ready for harvesting mid-summer. :)

This is our compost bin from this summer.

This is our compost pile from last winter.

As you can see, it's pretty much all broken down. We will put it on the garden in the early spring when we do our first tilling.

So, that's about the extent of our winter garden. I wanted to try some short day onions along with the garlic, but my local suppliers completely let me down this year. Not one of them ordered ANY onion sets this fall. :(
So, I will just go with the long day kind in the spring like I did last year. Oh well.
My goals for next year's garden are:
1. Completely fill the garden. (this year I had some extra space)
2. Stick with all our basic garden favorites but also try a couple new things.
3. Have enough tomatoes to dry AND can for our winter supply. (we had plenty to eat and dry, but not enough to can this year)

I will be ordering all my seeds in the next couple of weeks, and in January I will start to sprout some of them inside. It's a lot of work, but it's fascinating and it keeps me supplied with green things during the dreary Jan-March time frame!

Good luck to anyone else trying a winter garden!