Tuesday, May 29, 2007

We've got babies-almost...



We're so excited! We have babies at the barn-almost. We have found 2 bird's nest with eggs. One is a blue bird who has built a nest in one of the boxes that my brother built. She has 5 beautiful eggs!


The other is a brown thrasher nest that my husband found while trimming a tree. The moma is so beautiful. She lets us get very close before flying away. I can't wait to see all the babies!





Moma's in the Kitchen!



I've really been enjoying my new cook book, Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. I mentioned it before. My friend Lori got one and I knew that I had to have it! I started marking the pages that I wanted to try. Soon I ran out of paper to mark with! Everything looks so good. She actually has pictures of all of the recipes. Most have step by step pictures too. Here are pictures of my 2 favorites so far-Biscuits! I can't be a southern girl and not know how to make really good biscuits from scratch. If you want the recipe email me or go buy the book. Below are Buttermilk Biscuits and Cream Cheese and Chive biscuits (to die for!) Both are very good and very easy.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Borrowers

My girls loved the book, The Borrowers by Mary Norton.

"Underneath the kitchen floor is the world of the Borrowers-Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter, Arrietty. In their tiny home, matchboxes double as roomy dressers and postage stamps hang on the walls like paintings. Whatever the Clocks need they simply 'borrow' from the 'human beans' who live above them. It's a comfortable life."

We decided as an art project to make our own "little" family. Here's our creations:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lots of Love

My girls recently had a hair cut. This wasn't just any hair cut. They each had 16 inches cut off! What makes it even more special is that they wanted to donate it to Locs of Love (www.locsoflove.com). I'm so happy that at even this age they realize other children are struggling and that they can help-even in this small way.

3 Little Chefs

The last few weeks my girls have been busy in the kitchen. I wanted to share with you their creations.

Grace made Savory Rice for dinner.
Mary made Ziggy Peppermints.
Finally, Emma couldn't be left out. She made oatmeal M&M cookies tonight.

Monday, May 21, 2007

My "Secret Garden"

I've always loved the book, The Secret Garden by Frances Burnett. Imagine having a little secret place to go to that no one else knows about. A place where you can enjoy nature and feel close to God. I have a place that is all of that for me. Of course others know about it, but I'm normally not disturbed there. My secret garden is almost 18 acres of green grass, huge old oak trees, pine trees and even a little creek. We've built a barn there and even an out door shower-which is fabulous! There's nothing like taking a shower while gazing at the stars.


Around the shower we've planted jasmine, lantana and golden dewdrop. We love sitting out on the porch right beside the shower and smelling the jasmine. It's also at this spot that we can admire our little garden. We have tomato plants, bell peppers, egg plants, squash, watermelon, peanuts, rosemary, lavender, spearmint and cilantro.


Just beyond the garden are 2 of our hummingbird feeders. We already have 2 ruby throated hummingbirds buzzing around everyday. We love to sit and watch them. We hung bluebird boxes up this year. We were surprised to find a moma sitting on eggs in one of the boxes.
Lately, especially, with all the stress of life, I find myself craving the solitude of my secret garden. We've even been doing school down here. Today we read The Princess and the Kiss by Jennie Bishop. One of the study questions said to share examples of how God shows His love to you. As the girls and I discussed how God shows His love I told them to look around us. If God didn't love us, why did he give us so many beautiful things to enjoy-the plants, trees, wind, water...I hope everyone has a secret garden like we do.

My Little Muscian

This weekend Grace had her first violin recital. She has been taking private lessons for a year. Her teacher, Chelsea, is also homeschooled and just graduated. Grace played Minuet by Bach and Can-Can by Offenbach. She did such a great job.



This was not only a recital for the students, but it was Chelsea's senior recital.



We listened to approximately 2 hours of the most beautiful music. I could have listened all day. It all began with Chelsea's dad starting to play Song from a Secret Garden by Lovland on the piano. A couple of minutes into it we suddenly heard a violin from the rear of the church-Chelsea slowly walked down the aisle playing the violin while her dad continued on the piano. I almost cried it was so beautiful! Next her 6 students took turns playing 2 pieces each. I'll list below some of the other pieces that Chelsea played along with friends, teachers and her family. She and her 2 sisters (who play violin and cello) play in a quartet along with their dad (piano).




Ashokan Farewell-Ungar



Serenade leise flehen meine Lieder-Schubert



Minuet from Quintet in E-Bocchernini



Entrance of the Queen of Sheba-Handel



Brandenburg Concerto, No. 3-Bach



Concerto in A minor- Vivaldi



I Dreamed a Dream-Schonberg



Psalm 42-Appalachian folk melody

I wish I could offer a sample of each one for you to hear, but I have no idea how to do that! You'll have to just find them on your own. Sorry!

Spring Break

I realize that Spring Break passed a while ago. We had a lot happen right after that to keep me too busy to blog.

We normally don't do anything special for Spring Break. This year we made an exception and took the whole week off. We started out by spending a day with Britty and Belle and their family on the river. The big girls took the canoe out for a spin and found a rope swing to play on.


The little girls stayed right on the bank near us moms and played in the sand and water.

Emma took a break to pet the chickens and goats. It was such a relaxing day filled with friends and fun.



The next day we took off for Georgia to see our long lost friends. This was our first time to visit their home. They live in a beautiful house tucked way back in the woods. There's even a little stream. It was gorgeous. The girls had hours of fun running through the woods exercising both muscles and imagination.
We also watched movies together, worked on one of the bedrooms and of course did our Story Starters. The girls are getting better and better with their writing.
We treasured every minute spent with them. It was so hard to leave-my girls cried and cried. The one bright spot is knowing that they will be coming to see us soon.

Capers

This morning as I sat eating my breakfast of eggs and cold smoked salmon with capers I started wondering, "What exactly are capers?" I absolutely love them and wanted to know more about them. That led me to do this search. I found it very interesting and hope you will too.
A caper (Capparis spinosa L.) is a biennial spiny shrub that bears rounded, fleshy leaves and big white to pinkish-white flowers. A caper is also the pickled bud of this plant. The bush is native to the Mediterranean region, growing wild on walls or in rocky coastal areas throughout. The plant is best known for the edible bud and fruit which are usually consumed pickled. Other species of Capparis are also picked along with C. spinosa for their buds or fruits.




Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Plantae
Division:
Magnoliophyta
Class:
Magnoliopsida
Order :
Caryophyllales
Family:
Capparaceae
Genus:
Capparis
Species:
C. spinosa
Binomial name
Capparis spinosaLinnaeus, 1753

Medicinal Uses
In Greek popular medicine a herbal tea made of caper root and young shoots is considered to be beneficial against rheumatism. Dioscoride (MM 2.204t) also provides instructions on the use of sprouts, roots, leaves and seeds in the treatment of strangury and inflammation.

History
The caper was used in ancient Greece as a carminative. It is represented in archaeological levels in the form of carbonised seeds and rarely as flowerbuds and fruits from archaic and Classical antiquity contexts. Athenaeus in Deipnosophistae pays a lot of attention to the caper, as do Pliny (NH XIX, XLVIII.163) and Theophrastus.[4]
The caper-berry is mentioned in the Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes as "avionah" according to modern interpretation of the word.