Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monthly Update...

We've been busy. Very busy.

Swimming lessons
Sleep issues
Work (both of us)
Birthday parties
Farmer's Markets
And more!

Phew. I haven't felt much like taking photos because I've been so dang TIRED!!! lol. I'd like to catch you up on all of it, but I think you may fall asleep reading it. :P I'll touch on a few though.

My new "hobby" (the quotes are because anyone knows that my hobbies are more like obsessions...) is healthy food. Pretty general, huh? Seriously though. For weeks I read nothing but books, articles, posts, etc. about organics, gardening, farming, cooking, baking...and I am LOVING IT.

My shopping habits have taken a bit of a drastic change--instead of 15 stores per week (gotta get all of those coupon deals!!!), I've backed off to one trip to the co-op, one to the farmer's market, and one to Harris Teeter if any of the sales apply to us that week. Couponing is FUN, but I am more than burnt out at this point and am more than happy to sacrifice my savings and pay a little more (monetarily and time-wise) for the yummy goodness we get each week.

Lately, I've been trying to remember to document what we make (I'll admit it...I may do a lot of the shopping, meal plans, cooking...but Russ kicks my butt in the baking department!!).

First up, Blueberry Cheesecake Coffee Cake with blueberries from the Burgaw Blueberry Festival (we destroyed a flat of blueberries (12 PINTS!) in 3 1/2 days flat). Yes, we ate the entire 8x8 pan...

Butternut Squash Pie with our homegrown squashes and Russ's fabulously flaky homemade crust.

Hamburgers with meat from a local farmer, homemade tortillas, homegrown tomatoes, and other veggies from our CSA box that comes from a local farm.

Squash Spice Pancakes drizzled with honey and powdered sugar. Ooh, and the hint of sage (which was meant for looks only) was amazing as well!

No, we didn't make the cereal or grow the peaches ourselves, but this is our new favorite breakfast--cereal and fruit with homemade yogurt. Have you ever had greek yogurt? It has that amazing slightly tangy taste that I adore, and this has it as well. It takes about a day to make, then you add a little sugar and vanilla and voila...heaven. I get a gallon of organic milk for about $5.50, which makes a gallon of organic yogurt which would cost approximately $15.50 (not using coupons though) otherwise!

There's nothing fantastic about these cookies...other than the ENTIRE BATCH!!! No special ingredients...just pure sugar and butter goodness. :P I have a couple of fabulous cooks on my hands!!

So this whole healthy eating foray left me standing at a stand at the farmer's market handing over $4/dozen free-range eggs. OUCH. This coupon mama is used to spending $.08/egg, not $.33!!!! This led me into wondering if I could possibly raise chickens (this coming from the girl who refuses to get her kids a goldfish because she's certain it'll die within a day). We thought on it for awhile and finally decide to jump on it! Russ decided that he needed to build the coop himself. Brook had a blast helping him build and paint it (although it's still not finished, lol).

We finally went and got some chicks. Keep in mind...we started out thinking 3 chickens would be plenty. THREE. We ended up getting 6 chicks. Of these 6 chicks, we later found out that probably 4 of them are roosters....doh.

Brooklyn is the "chicken mama". She loves those babies.

Sam is the "chicken monster". They literally flee as fast as they can to get away from him.

The day after we figured out we had a flock of roosters, we were looking for some adult chickens. I found a woman a half hour away getting rid of 9 hens (7 laying, 2 about to start) and 1 rooster for a great price. We didn't have a run built for them yet, so we decided to fence the bottom of the trampoline in. It's actually worked really well!

Along with the chickens the woman gave us a huge watering can and a feeder for the chicks, so it was an amazing deal. Most of the chickens are sweet and some even come over to you, but the rooster....sigh. He may very well become dinner next weekend. I don't mind the crowing whatsoever, I actually kind of like it, but he's just plain MEAN. We hope to let the chickens free-range in the yard in a week or so, but there is no WAY I'm letting him out while the kids (or I!!) am outside, there is no doubt in my mind he'll attack.

Some of the babies. The one of the very left and the other red one that's hiding are the two girls, the rest are boys. From left to right: Pearl, Ming Ming, Carl, Noname (the one hiding), and Flappy. The biggest black one actually ran to me when I went to take the photo, so he's not in there, but that is Leonitus.

I'm absolutely LOVING having 3-5 fresh free-range eggs every day!! After paying a hefty price tag, they're like liquid gold to me! :P

Fourth of July.
Russ surprised me the Thursday evening before the July 4th weekend and said he wasn't going in to work on Friday. YIPPEEE!!! And I'm SO glad he didn't, the sweltering heat held off for 2 days and was a beautiful 85. We played outside all day long and even had breakfast outside! Smoothies, cantaloupe and banana chips, YUM!

Before we headed out for the downtown fireworks, we had to get a family photo with our Independence Day shirts (thank you Suzy!!!). This is Sam's "CHEESE!" face. Lovely.

And us. The fireworks were great--Brooklyn was very brave and loved them. Sam was a bit scared, but did okay when we held him. He would say "Home! Home! Fun fireworks. Home!"

We've been thinking about putting the kids in one room together for quite awhile, and decided to do it on July 4th, as we assumed they'd both be exhausted after getting home. This is Day 4 and although it's still frustrating, it's actually been easier. Instead of taunting us, Sam goes into Brooklyn's bed and they play, which is fine for now. And aside from the second night (Sam woke up in hysterics from midnight until 2am), it's definitely helped Sam's sleeping. He hasn't woken up at night (other than they hysterical night) at all. That's amazing. He was up 2-5 times each night, so it's definitely paying off! That and the other night I went in to get Sam up to pee and found Brooklyn laying with her arms behind her head on her bed and Sam sleeping on her chest. So sweet.

This was July 5th. I told him to sit down and take his shoes off. After 10 minutes Russ says, "Where's Sam?!" assuming he's completely torn the bathroom down by then and we found him like this. Unfortunately, it was only 5pm and we were starving.

Anyways...that's us for now. More updates later. Have a great week!