Roommates

Meet our new roommates….

Squirmy and Fred, our monarch caterpillars

and Dooky (don’t ask!), our salt marsh caterpillar.

I was so excited to finally find some Monarch caterpillars. So looking forward to the exquisite jade green and gold chrysalis they make. By far my favorite caterpillar to keep and feed! Thank you, God, for the abundant amount of milkweed in our backyard fields! Monarch’s food of choice.

Gabe informed me that he thinks the cute furry gray guy is a salt marsh caterpillar (cousin to the woolly bear but non-banded). Good to know.  Can’t wait to find out!

This is our third year keeping caterpillars and it has turned into a tradition that I quite look forward to in August ~ September!

Think we shall be reading this during the school week ~

Monarch Butterfly of Aster Way

 

 

Less Screen Time

So I have in my head this great weekly wrap up on the rocks and minerals unit study we are doing right now. (Sorry, you’ll have to check back next week! 😉 But instead I spent much more time doing this…

and this…

and much less time on my computer.

Life is good!

The Homeschool Mother's Journal

Small Town Hospitality in Swedeburg, Nebraska

This past Sunday I got a true taste of small town life in the country! What to do when someone invites you to a church picnic of a church you’ve never attended? Go, partake, and enjoy small town hospitality! It was a beautiful day. The smell of pulled pork tantalized the senses. And the music took me back to younger days gone by.

Blessing #602 ~ small town hospitality

Thank you Pastor Steve and  Swedeburg Covenant Church for allowing us to worship and celebrate 135 years with you!


Camping in the front yard…

Sounds like a good idea, right?

Ahhh…memories of my childhood…running around the backyard with friends until 3 in the morning…practical jokes that weren’t so funny to some…eating junk food by the bucketfuls. Glad to pass on the tradition.

The kids were super excited tired and in pajamas, ready for bed by 6:30…amazing! Music by the fire, smores, smoke smell in the hair…what’s not to love? Well…there was this amazingly horrific thunderstorm of doom that ruined it at around 11:30 p.m…right when all the little ones had finally nodded off. Luc woke up in his bed the next morning crying because he wasn’t in the tent anymore. Lucky for mommy, they were all so tired from staying up so late that not a one of them woke up to the storm. Now Ivy…she’s a different story!

Blessing # 601 ~ The ability to allow your kids to stay up late and sleep in late in the middle of the week. School? What school? *Wink!* Just one more reason why we homeschool!   

Farm Fresh

The first sweet corn of the year off the farm in Nebraska. Thank you Matt at Melia Valley Gardens!

Oh how lovely…shiny silk threads beckon…come…partake!!!

My kids feasted in happiness, butter dripping down their chins. I literally had to hoard one piece away to save for the hubby when he got home from work.

The rest of our goodies for the week. Farm veggies for the week = $15. Good eatin’!

Prairie Flora

As I drive around town in the cool of my air-conditioned van running errands I can’t help but notice the beauty by the side of the road. This colorful summer treat has been dear to my heart since I was a little girl picking dandelions. There is a soft spot in me for prairie flora…what others would consider roadside weeds that fade into the background of their life. I couldn’t let another season pass without capturing their beauty.

{Yellow Coneflower. Ratibida pinnata}


{Purple Coneflower. Echinacea purpurea}

I braved the hot, humid steamy weather and took a walk with my littles and my camera. We drank lots of water and I filled my soul with pictures while my littles chased turkeys in the prairie grass. Ahh…it feels good to live in the country!

{Black-eyed Susan. Rudbeckia hirta}

{Indian BlanketGailardia pulchella}

How can you not look at this detail…this perfect artistry and not shout out to the Creator in praise? Man is good and we can create some marvelous things. I can make art with the careful cropping and composition of my photography. Another, much more talented person, can take this to another level and capture the tiniest details in breathtaking clarity through paint and other mediums. But NEVER can we create this.

{Partridge-Pea. Chamaecrista nictitans}

Oh, we may be able to drop a seed into the ground. We may nurture and help along the unfolding of life. We may partake alongside the miracle. But it is not our creation. We did not set gene maps to unfold at precise moments. Never can we do that.

{Blue Vervain. Verbena hastata}

All Praise and Honor and Glory be His forever and ever Amen!

Joining Walking with Him Wednesday.

Crockpot Peach Butter {and my favorite canning book}

I’m a bit sad to see strawberry season pass us by yet peaches are here and I am enjoying sweet juice dripping down the chin summer eating! Seasonal sales of 98 cents a pound beckon. But with so many peaches in house, ripe only lasts so long. What’s a girl to do? Make peach butter. I wanted to last year and decided to give it a go this year.

I used my favorite (ever!) canning book ~ Preserving

This is a Timelife classic…one of those buried-in-the-library kind of books that no one ever thinks to check out. And then you do and a gem is found. I am a visual learner and this book has literally every kind of preserving technique with step-by-step color photographs detailing everything you ever wanted to know. And the back is filled with a plethora of recipes from all kinds of old-time random sources.

Here is the recipe I adapted:

  • 3lb ripe peaches (8-10)
  • 1/2 C water (I used just enough to cover the bottom of my pot…about 1 cup)
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
Put the peaches in an enameled, tinned or stainless-steel pan and pour in the water. Cover and bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Put aside to cool. Lift the peaches out of liquid, do not discard liquid. Slip off peach skins and remove pits. Puree pulp and measure (should be about 5 cups). For every 1 cup puree add 1/2 cup sugar. Add sugar and 1/2 cup cooking liquid back into puree.

Now comes the part where I adapt the recipe to fit my needs. Who has time to sit at the stove for 2 hours and watch peach puree simmer down? I discovered with apple butter that the crockpot is your friend in times like these…especially in the heat of the summer. I barely just had time enough to simmer the suckers and quick puree. Time to dump them in with the delectable seasonings and let it go till morning on low.

After you wake up in the morning wondering what that funny smell is and quickly run to your crockpot opening the lid to uncover a gooey dark mess that looks like you’ve completely burnt and screwed up the recipe…

Take a deep breath, stir it and scrape the sides. Relax and realize everything is okay. Fill 3 pint jars or 6 1/2 pints and water bath or freeze or, if you’re like me and are planning on using this stuff in yogurt and yogurt pops and oatmeal and PB&J and toast and biscuits, just refrigerate and gift a pint. It will be used up in no time anyway! 🙂

BEAUTIFUL!