Friday, October 25, 2013

We're Moving! And some other random things...

Wow. Where do I start? The last time I blogged anything was back in June. 4 months ago.
Part of that was due to the garden/summer season. And I knew it would happen. It does every year. My sewing machine collects dust- literally- and we spend out time outside and busy with warm weather projects.

At the ocean

Riding one of Uncle's horses
Let's do a quick recap:
Our county fair this summer was really fun. I'll have to apologize though for the lousy phone camera pictures.
Timber and her prize winning arrangement
Layton showing his calf 

The garden and green house both did well. Layton grew the best corn we've ever eaten! We got about 25 pumpkins off our pumpkin vines and our fruit trees were amazing.
The Lord really blessed us this year with a bumper crop of everything. What a wonderful last summer to remember at our old home.

Main Garden 2013 

And speaking of old homes, did you read that we were moving?
Oh, this has been such a long, patient process for our family. My husband and I have been looking at property for close to 5 years now. Looking and waiting. Waiting for the Lord to provide the right time and the right place (not to mention something affordable so that we're not in debt for very long!)

 We are purchasing a 5 acre parcel with a fixer upper, off grid home. We are beyond thankful to the Lord for His provision of this piece of land. It is going to take a lot of work and a lot of fixing (home and land wise) but we are excited about the possibilities that await us. If any of you have ever read Michael Bunker's book "Surviving Off Off-Grid" then you'll know what we are shooting for with this new homestead. If you haven't read his book yet, may I humbly suggest that you get your hands on a copy and read it. Then re-read it. And then apply it to the best of your ability.
Mason and Oakley
Mason is wearing his "mountain boy" shirt I made this summer using a pattern from here.
A few other notes...
I have read the book Trim Healthy Mama and am using the methods in it to change my eating habits. So far (about 8 weeks into it) I have lost nearly 17lbs. I am thrilled and am well on my way to being a healthier mama for my family. It was easy for me to employ the eating methods in the book since we already eat a organic/whole foods diet. All I really had to do was cut out the sugar (which everyone should do anyway) and reduce my grains significantly. I then used the way my body burns fuel (fats and carbs) in the S and E meals to lose the weight. It may sound a tad bit confusing but if you read the book, it becomes clear.

I was also supposed to cut out whole raw milk. That made me sad. So instead of being ultra strict with the diet, I now consume much less raw milk than I did before, maybe drinking 1/4 cup per day. I still want the beneficial bacteria and all the yumminess whole, raw milk has to offer, I just don't need all the fat.
We started school in the beginning of September. This year I have a Jr. (in high school), a 1st grader and a kindergartener. Wyatt is using a combo of Apologia, Rod and Staff, Journibles, and Notgrass American History.
Layton and Timber are using Heart of Dakota. Mason is just hanging out, being an almost 4 year old.

I found some of these at Fred Meyer a few weeks ago.

If there are 2 things I am a sucker for it's quilts, canning jars,.. and bowls. Wait, that's three.
I restrained myself to just purchasing the one 6-pack of them.
I canned Spiced Apple Peel Jelly in them. I used Quinn's recipe as a starting point and then altered it from there.
I took my peels and cores and poured water over them to almost cover. Then I strained that, added the ACV and a handful of cloves and cinnamon sticks. I placed a cover on my pot, brought it to a boil, turned the heat off and infused the spices in juice for about a half hour. I then strained the juice, removing the sticks and cloves. From that point I pretty much followed the instructions in the Pomona Pectin box for jelly making. For sweetener I used a combination of coconut sugar and evaporated cane juice.
From 20lbs of apples, the peels and cores made up a nice finished 6 pints of jelly.

Signs of fall
So far hunting season has been a bust. Well for the most part. My dear husband has been so incredibly busy with work this fall that he hasn't had the time to go hunting on his own. Hunting this season has included mom (me), a 16 year old, a 6 year old, a 5 year old and a 3 year old. All piled into a truck. A loud, diesel truck.
Or walking along paths, breaking sticks underfoot, jumping, laughing and generally running off anything within 500 feet of us, 2 minutes before we even get there.
So here is the fruit of our labor so far...
One Grouse.

This coming weekend is the last weekend for bucks here in Northern California's B zone but thankfully upland game bird and bear season continue.

(Oh, and as a note, the 3 year old is holding a bottle of ROOTbeer. Just to clarify.)

Roasting hot dogs

The perfect skipping rock

The Creator's creation is simply amazing. All through out the year but especially, in my mind, in the fall. The crispness of air, the changing colors and temperatures. Stunning.
Thank you, Lord.
Lastly, quilting.
I have started a bit more here and there. I wish I could share some of the finished tops here on my blog but alas, I have readers (family and friends) who will be receiving some of these come Christmas and I'd hate to spoil the surprise. It is wonderful to hear the hum of my machine again though.
I will say though that I am working on another quilt for our bed. I'm using Jenny Doan's tutorial below. It's quick and easy. When you're making a quilt to cover a CA King bed, you want quick and easy. At least I do. I dug through my fabric stash and found the perfect fabric for this quilt... Wildflower Serenade by Kansas Troubles Quilters for Moda.
Yes, I know that the line is about 5 years old but I don't try not to stash fabric unless I know I'll use it at some point in the future.
Have you ever used a tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Co.?
There is more but I won't go into it for now. If you've made it this far you must be dedicated.
 Did I hit you with enough stuff?
Thanks for sticking with me.
Hopefully I can post again before the year is over.
I hope that your fall is full of His wonderful grace and blessings!
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