Monday, September 29, 2014

Night time talks

Josephine and I like to lie in bed and talk in the evening.  We talk about our favorite part of the day, and our not so favorite part of the day.  We talk about family, about God, about friends, and about how beautiful our little life is. 
 Tonight I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up.
She told me she wants to be a daddy.
My first instinct was to explain to her that boys are daddies, girls can be mommies.
Instead, I asked her why she wants to be a daddy.
"Because daddies take really good care of babies and little kids."
I had to smile.
Just one more reminder of how truly blessed I am to have such an amazing husband, who has been a true hands-on daddy since the day our Josephine was born.  There is no bigger compliment to a daddy, I think.  She wants to be just like him.
As our discussion continued, I found out that she wants 2 kids, both girls.  She is going to feed them cookies all the time.
I told her that a good mommy would not feed her babies cookies all the time, and that her babies will need to eat a variety of nutritious foods to stay healthy.
"I know mommies cannot feed their babies cookies all the time", she said.  "That's why I want to be a daddy!"

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tree Climbing Days

(The dandelion picture is from the beginning of summer, obviously.  It's cloudy and dreary here in Missouri, and that picture made me smile)

Casey has been working on lots of wood turning projects.  Right now he is working on rolling pins and large muddlers, like the kind you can muddle a gallon jar of lemons with.  They're very cool.  I use mine all the time, and I'm not sure how I lived without it before.

Josephine has been working on fun projects, such as q-tip painting and gluing yarn fur on dog pictures.  The gray top pattern (which is actually a dress, I'll have to get better pictures later) can be found here.  This is a very easy pattern, even for a beginner like myself.  I will be making many more of these, I'm sure.

And, yes, at The Smith House we climb trees in our fancy pink dresses.  Doesn't everyone? 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Etsy at the Exchange


We had such a fantastic Saturday morning at Etsy at the Exchange!  The venue was rustic and beautiful, and all of the vendors were cheerful and friendly. 
Of course, I brought hats hats hats
This was my daughter Autumn's first show.  She brought her bookmarks, cell phone charms, and necklaces.  Jo came along to help out, too.
I met several lovely Etsy sellers, and wish I would have had more room on my camera for pictures.  But, alas, my memory card was full.  Or, hubby's was full.  He warned me that it was about to happen, but I did not listen.
Anyway, here's the vendors I got pics of:
From the Farm Prims makes the cutest prim items.  I spent a bit of money at her table :) 
Mazzy's Munchies was there with yummy-looking treats for pups.  I brought home a bag of their peanut butter trainers, along with a beet cupcake.  Charlotte and Bonita love them!  I think Mazzy's Munchies are going to become a regular fixture around the Smith House.
Next time I will get more pictures, because there were so many talented Etsy sellers at this event.  It will go on every Saturday at The Exchange on the Independence Square.  If you're in the area, come by next month to see all the talented Independence Etsy sellers.  I'll have lots of animal themed hats, since they seemed to be very popular.  See you there!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend photos

A few photos from our weekend.  Besides library time, we also had a fun show, Etsy at the Exchange. was Jo's birthday!  I will write about both later in the week.
I love this time of year.  The weather is becoming cooler, and my nesting instincts start to kick in.  I want to cook stews and lasagnas and soups of all sorts.  And I want to bake.  Bread, desserts, cookies - you name it.  All will be gracing our table over the next couple months. 
I'll tell you more about our weekend tomorrow.  Big Brother is on, and hubby wants me to watch TV with him.  :)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Gingerbread ornament swap

This is the beautiful package of goodies I received from Madeline in the August Ornament Swap over at Mary Jane's Farm.  Thank you so very much!  I will get your package out within the next few days. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Let's be there for each other

Let's start talking about these things, even if it seems negative or inappropriate.  Let's stop "minding our own business" and "giving him/her their space", and start being there for each other.  Really being there.  Let's start sitting with each other in our pain, and not just celebrating together during the good times.  If you know someone who is hurting, go to them.  Be with them.  Do whatever you can.  If you have a friend who seems out of sorts lately, find out why.  Educate yourself about depression, what it is and isn't.  Even the strongest among us have moments where they need someone to be there for them.  Be that someone.  Let's start talking about depression and mental illness without shame or judgment.  Maybe we can save a life.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

First Calendula

I planted calendula from seed this year.  Today marked the blooming of my first calendula flower!  Oh, how exciting!  I wanted to share this moment with my sweet little Josephine, so I called her outside to show her the beautiful new addition to our garden.  Squeals of happiness followed.  "oh how pretty!" she exclaimed. 
I left her to enjoy the beauty of our one little flower bud.  The sweet little lonely flower bud that I was oh so proud of.  After all, I grew it from seed.  As a novice gardener, that felt like quite an accomplishment!  I walked away for just a moment, to pick some zucchini.
"Look, Mommy!  I got the pretty flower so we can bring it in the house and put it in my vase!" 
Oh no!  My heart sank.
But, she was so proud of her little sweet self.  How can I be mad at a face like that.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

this week in the garden

Our early summer harvests have slowly started, and mainly consist of squash blossoms and various mints and balms for tea.  We have also been enjoying beet greens.  The tomatillo plant is full of blossoms and small tomatillos, and we have a few tomatoes starting.  We picked a couple of early ananas noire tomatoes the other day, and they are on the counter waiting for their turn on our dinner plate.  Handy Handsome Hubby did not care for the squash blossoms, but he did not hate them, either.  I love squash blossoms. 
I am between lettuce harvests.  I made the mistake of waiting too long to plant new lettuce seeds, and our first harvest was long gone before our second batch is ready.  All of my radishes bolted.  I'm pretty sure there was too much nitrogen in the soil.  I'm going to try again.
I love the rhythm of this time of year.  Wake up, open the blinds.  Check the garden.  Water, if necessary.  Do a bit of weeding, a bit of bug catching with Jo Bean.  When it becomes too warm to be outside any more, we retreat to the couch to watch a movie, or read a stack of books.  This week we have been learning about bats.  They are fascinating creatures, and we are enjoying learning everything we can about them.  Handsome even joined in on the story time, and has agreed to make Bean a bat house or two. 
We have decided that next week's reading will be about bees.  And strawberries, which are Jo's favorite thing in the world this week.  I'm pretty fond of them, too.  I've been making a ton of jam, putting it away for later in the year when the family yearns for a taste of summer.  Strawberries just taste like sunshine and warm, don't they?  Our winter toast will be so much more enjoyable.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Rainy Day Reading

Reading:  Hidden Kitchens
Stories, recipes, and more from NPR's The Kitchen Sisters
by Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson

loving it! 

working on a vest for Josephine.  I'll update more on that as it progresses

My garden is loving this rain!  We harvested the first of our tomatoes from our Ananas Noire plant.  I think I should have left them a few more days, but the girls were becoming impatient.  They will set on the counter for a few more days, and hopefully ripen a bit further.  If not, then we will enjoy some fried green tomatoes.

The tomatillo plant is going to be hugely productive this year, it seems.  There are several papery little lantern-like baby tomatillos so far, and dozens upon dozens of little yellow flowers, the sight of which makes my heart happy!

The gourds are growing up the trellis, which has been a magical sight for hubby.  He is a city boy, and is making new garden discoveries every day.  He was very excited that the gourds grab on to the trellis with their little curly hands all by themselves.  No need for human intervention. 

I'll post garden pictures soon.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Weekend happenings

This weekend:

-we visited the farmers market.  Bought a flat of marigolds to add some sunshine to my vegetable garden.  There's just something about a border of cheerful marigolds around a green veggie bed. 
Also, it's super nice to visit the market as a shopper instead of a vendor.  Don't get me wrong, I love my little business, and I love selling at farmers markets.  But it's nice to enjoy the market as a shopper. 

-My handsome and handy husband built trellises for my garden.  The squash are getting HUGE, and needed something to keep their unruly nature just a bit in control. 

-hooked some colorful washcloths.  More to come on those soon.

-visited the library with Jo.  It's one of her favorite things to do.  We chose an armful of books for the next week, and read a few while we were there.  She likes the beginner reader books, with only a few words that she can quickly memorize.  Then, she pretends to read them to me.  I love to watch her grow more independent every day, but at the same time I just want her to stay little.  So I am soaking every minute of her little-ness, well aware that it will soon be gone. 

-canned strawberry jam and bread and butter pickles.  Oh how the smell of fresh cucumbers, sweet onions, vinegar, and pickling spices brings me right back to my Grandma Helen's kitchen!  She would make bread and butter pickles every year, dozens and dozens of jars.  It's one of the many tasty gifts from her kitchen that we would all look forward to every year, and that we now miss so much.  This is my first year attempting to fill her pickle-making shoes, and I hope I do her memory justice with my attempt.

Today I have a long, fun list of homekeeping activities to attend to, between playing, reading, and snuggling with my little Josephine.  She is such a ray of sunshine in our lives.  But all of that can wait a few more hours.  First, I'm going to enjoy the peace of this beautiful morning, spend a few minutes absorbing the quiet before I begin my day.  Enjoy your Monday!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Making Cupcakes

Jo loves to help with the baking.  She's fantastic with the sprinkles.  Whenever Josephine and I bake, our little white dog, Bonita, is never very far away.  She takes care of any spills and drops that happen.
Also, please look away from the dirty dishes in the sink.  I did not stage these pictures.  Just keeping it real, y'all.
Have I showed you my gussied-up kitchen aid?  Love her! 
Here at the Smith house, our days have been full of gardening, creating, and lots of playing in the sprinkler with the neighborhood kids.  We are loving the warm weather.  The last several days have been rainy, but it has been much needed rain.  And only in spurts, mainly in the evenings.  The days have been full of sunshine and laughter.  Our new house feels like home.  We are very blessed.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Garden Girl

My little bitty has been quite the gardener.  She loves to help me water in the morning. Her little hands can barely squeeze the trigger on the sprayer, but she always gets the job done!

We also made sweet pickled jalapenos this week.  No, not from our garden.  It's a bit early for that.  We found bags of jalapenos at a good price, and my fingers were itching to do some canning.  It's been a while.  Here's the recipe we use, if you are interested:
Sweet Pickled Jalapenos
2 pounds jalapenos (you do not need to bother removing the seeds if you like hot.  I did not remove them this time, but I think I will next time.  This batch was hot hot.)
2c apple cider vinegar
4 cups sugar
1-2 T pickling salt
prepare canning jars (wash, rinse, sterilize)
slice peppers into rings.  remove seeds, if desired
Combine vinegar, sugar, and salt. Cook over low heat to dissolve sugar. 
Pack jars very tightly with jalapenos while sugar is dissolving.
Bring syrup to a boil on high, to thicken to thin syrup consistency.
Pour over peppers, leaving 1/2" headspace.
Process for 15 minutes in water bath canner.
This recipe makes too much syrup for 2 lbs of peppers.  I had quite a bit left over, so I cooked some fresh beets, sliced them, and put them in cans along with the extra syrup.  I added a clove or two to each can, along with a bit of cinnamon and coriander.  Spiced pickled beets!  Leave them set a week or so to let the flavors really develop.  They were delicious! 
The syrup will also keep for a month or so in the fridge. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Dandelion Bread

Josephine has had a busy week!  We started our week with some Q-tip painting.  We loved this project, and you can find different printables all over the internet.  I highly recommend this activity.  It's low stress, and easy to achieve success, even for your little impatient ones.

Leftover chocolate bunnies were consumed this week, some while wearing warm footy jammies.

Today we made dandelion bread.  Josephine loves dandelions. ( She gets that from her momma! )  So today, she harvested several hundred from our front and back yards, and we set to work removing the stems and green parts to make  batch of dandelion bread.  You can find the recipe we used here.  Removing the yellow part of the flowers was time consuming, and my fingertips are dyed a lovely shade of yellow.  The bread turned out much like cornbread.  Very tasty.

We are loving springtime at the Smith house!  We have trays upon trays of little vegetable plants growing, waiting to get big enough to live in our garden beds.  Our new house lets in the sunshine, and all the natural light is doing the family so much good.  How are you enjoying your spring?