Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Almost Halloween

A couple of weeks ago, we tried out Elizabeth's Halloween costume. A dress rehearsal of sorts. We watched our little fairy flutter around the yard playing with the flowers of a four o'clock plant. The costume was hand made (and nearly no-sew) by yours truly. I still need to make her a little wand, but something has to be last minute!

I'm not sure if you can see it, but I used glitter glue to make designs on her wings.

Last week, I took Elizabeth to the pumpkin patch. My MIL works across the corner from where the pumpkin patch was set up and met us during lunch. Elizabeth liked looking at all of the pumpkins, but hated posing for pictures! Here, it looks like she's saying, "I want them all!"

Her cute little t-shirt, given to her by my MIL (Thanks!) says, "Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid." It is just too cute! Everyone says so.

Here's the one picture of Elizabeth and I. She's squirming to get out of my arms. Oh, well.

She decided to sit down and take a rest on the two pumpkins that I had already picked out.

Elizabeth the scarecrow!

We had a good time at the pumpkin patch and hope that Daddy can come next year!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Family Reunion

This past weekend, we attended another family reunion. This time, for my family. Before I talk about that, though, I was finally able to put Elizabeth's hair up into a pony tail for the first time! Isn't she adorable? It only lasted a few minutes before she became inquisitive about what was holding her hair back. It was cute while it lasted.

Ok, on to the reunion...almost. These next three pictures are from the day before when we were decorating the hall. Uncle Matt did a good job of entertaining Elizabeth while we were finishing up. The fun activity? Rolling a gold dollar on the floor! Who knew something so simple could be so interesting?

Isn't he a good uncle!?

Now, the reunion. Uncle Mike was the emcee. He did a good job and moved fairly quickly through the "formal" part of the day. Each of The Twelve's family was asked to stand up and introduce themselves and the people in attendance as well as anything new that had happened over the last year.

Aunt Fayola and Uncle C.A. (Great Grandpa's sister and her husband) also attended the reunion. I think Uncle Mike had gotten some facts out of order and she's got her finger out telling him like it is! She really is a sharp, funny lady!

I didn't get an official count, but between 80 and 90 people showed up to the reunion (this includes guests and the Family Priest of Choice: Father Walter).

This year, for the door prizes, my Crafty Aunt Jana decided that it would be much more fun to put a sticker naming the door prize on the bottom of ten chairs. (There were ten door prizes, six mums and three candles.) So this is a shot of everyone in the hall turning their chair upside down to see if they won a door prize. This was really fun and I think everyone enjoyed the change!

And finally, the best picture of the day: my Crafty Aunt Jana and me! Under our names are our family number. This is the order in which we entered the family. Jana is number 27 and I'm number 85. For the blessing and singing of Let There Be Peace On Earth, we all lined up by our family numbers. It was really neat to see how the generations faded into one another! Another great idea from Crafty Aunt Jana!

All in all, I think everyone had a great time at the reunion. I brought three silent auction items, all garden related, of course, and they all sold well. Elizabeth didn't get a nap in, so when we were finally on our way to our Down South home, she was asleep before we arrived at the first town with a stop light. She had a good time playing with all of her cousins and we had a great time visiting. I'm already looking forward to next year!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Family Reunion

Sunday, we had a family reunion for Travis' family. We didn't have to leave super early since the meal didn't start until 2 p.m., so Travis and Elizabeth decided to have a little fun on the couch. I thought it was so funny that she actually put her feet up to his!

Elizabeth and Grandma looking in the fish pond at the sole goldfish. I wasn't aware that there would be an accessible water source at the location. Luckily, I did bring a change of clothes (the ever so popular green and pink striped shirt). Do you see the little evil grin on her face? How fast do you think we had to use the change of clothes?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha (evil baby laugh). I'm planning my plunge into the deep.

All wet. Aunt Barbara was there to help!

Changing clothes in the trunk.

Our "close" family hanging out on the porch right before it was time to leave.

We all had a good time at the reunion. It was nice to see some of the family that lives further away. And, other than the dip in the fish pond, Elizabeth was a good girl! Let's see if we can have a repeat of good behavior at the reunion coming up this weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week is already off to a busy start. Elizabeth & I both had appointments today (annual eye exam for me and 18 month well-child for her), Travis was out of town, and then Elizabeth & I rode with Travis to return a tractor. (We're driving as I type.) So I haven't had a lot of time to think about this week's menu, but here's what we're having (tentatively).

  • T-bone steaks (grilled, they've been marinating now for two days in the fridge, so they should be fantastic), fresh green beans from the garden, fried squash from the garden
  • Chicken...maybe chicken spaghetti?
  • Oatmeal Meatballs, mashed potatoes, more squash (since we have it coming out of our ears!)
Let's see how far those meals get us this week. We'll be gone for the weekend at a reunion, so I'm not worried about having too many left overs.

Have a great week!

Farmer E

Saturday, while Travis was harvesting test plots for work, Elizabeth & I re-staked and flagged all of the plots. I knew we would be out for a few hours, so I brought some of her favorite toys and turned the truck bed into a mini play ground. She really likes hanging out back there and she can always see me, so she's never scared that I'm gone. I even brought a blanket so she could lie down (that never happened!) and so we could have a place to eat lunch.

I thought she was adorable in her little overalls!

There was a cow eyeing our peanut butter & jelly sandwiches!

Gotta wash up in the water trough!

She likes exploring the tractor under supervision, it has so many neat things. She'll sit on the seat and "drive" it, too. Of course, the engine is off!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Good Afternoon, Director

Last night, I was voted in as a Director for Our County Czech Heritage Society. (To give the county name would give away where I live and I don't want creepy people to know where we live!) It actually happened while I had stepped out of the building to take a call. Hmm, I wonder if they planned that! No, no, Travis and I had been approached before the meeting and were asked if either of us was interested in the position. I have been wanting to get more involved in the Society and this was a perfect opportunity. It's just too bad that I never even found out who was weaseled into nominating me. Haha.

I never even thought about taking a picture of Elizabeth at the meeting, either. Bad mommy, she was so cute! Of course, everyone loved her so even if the meeting did run ridiculously long, she was entertained the entire time. Ok, Miss Thang just woke up from a time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cooking Supper; New Master Sink

Last night, our steak meal turned into stir-fry! We still ate the steak, I just sliced it really thin and used it instead of round steak or chicken. It was so good! Travis snapped a couple of pictures of Elizabeth helping me cook.

In remodeling news, this was our vanity in the master bath. This morning (before Travis left for Weslaco), we took it out! We have people coming to fix the drywall next week and Travis will be gone for the rest of this week and possibly working this weekend, so today was the day.

There was a mouse skeleton under the vanity. Blick! It was quickly vacuumed up...with the shop vac! No skeletons in my vacuum!

In order to check that the plumbing was all at the right height, we unpacked our new pedestal sink and stood it up in the room. It'll look good, don't you think? By the grace of God, we don't have to do any major plumbing work for the sink to fit!! Yea! I couldn't believe it, either. It seems like everything needs to be fixed once you tear into it. This was a nice surprise.

After Travis left, I ripped out the ugly vinyl flooring you see in the picture. I'm now in the process of scraping off all of the glue that was left behind. Not too bad of a job since I found out that soaking a towel with water and letting it soften the glue for awhile makes easy work of scraping it up! Finding ways to make a job easier always makes remodeling more fun.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This week is shaping up to be a busy one. The weather hasn't been great, either. It wouldn't be so bad if it would just rain, but it's been overcast and yucky. We're hoping for more rain to get us out of this drought, though!

Here's what's on the menu this week:
  • Meatloaf, squash, noodles with crackers
  • Hamburgers, french fries
  • Ribeye steak, baked potatoes, green beans
  • Pork ribs-barbecued, squash, potato salad? (We didn't get to make them this weekend, we'll try again, but we have a family reunion on Sunday that I need to make a side and/or a dessert for.)
Have a great week!

Pear Pie

Last night, I made my second pear pie of the season. This one was much better than the first; I think because I left it in the oven longer and the pears were nice and soft.

Travis would rather eat the pie crust.

All ready for the top crust.

Slits for steam and over an hour later...

Golden brown and delicious.

Mmm...Travis ate his warm pie with ice cream. The filling was a little runny because we didn't let it cool completely, but that syrup was so good! I don't think this pie will last long!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Well, our bananas never grew large to a "normal" size because our poor plant died! We chopped the hands off of the stem and brought them inside anyway to ripen. We never thought they would taste like "real" bananas, but to our surprise, they taste great! Travis has been eating his bananas on ice cream. Elizabeth & I have been eating ours with cut up grapes for breakfast.

I think this winter we will try to wrap them so they won't die back with frosts or freezes. We'll see how that goes!
On another note, tonight, we made Tuscan Lemon Chicken. It was super easy since it was cooked on the grill. The recipe calls for a marinade of olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, garlic, and pepper. Grill or barbecue on low heat for 15 minutes a side. For the last 10 minutes, cut another lemon in half and throw on the grill. We drizzled the grilled lemon over our chicken and white rice. Delish! I will definitely try this recipe again. Thanks, Ina!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

In this house, we love to eat! Which is good, because I love to cook. Luckily, we all stay active enough to burn my meals off, because this week, I've got some hearty meals planned.

  • Roast beef (in the crock pot, seasoned with salt, pepper and onion; set to 8 hrs), steamed potatoes and carrots in the oven; something green....maybe home-frozen broccoli
  • T-bone steak (grilled), wild rice, fried okra
  • Tuscan Lemon Chicken, home frozen corn, white rice
  • Pork Ribs (barbecued on the pit); noodles with buttered crackers; squash (from our fall garden)
The Tuscan Lemon Chicken is from an Ina Garten cookbook. I've been saying that I want to incorporate new dishes into my meal plans and this is a start. I'm also going to make a chocolate cake from another one of her cook books this week. I'm really looking forward to some truly cooler weather so I can start making some of the yummy fall and winter soups and stews I've been waiting to cook up!

I hope you all have a good week!