Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Red Currants

Our friends at M & M Robertsons Farm generously gave us some red currants.  They are so bright red and pretty!  I made currant muffins a few years ago but other than that one experience, they are a foreign fruit to me.  I asked Addy what sounded good to her and she decided on a currant tart with a few black raspberries thrown in, so that's what we did.

The tart turned out pretty good.  It is a little ahem...tart because I used less sugar than I probably should have.  I worked off of several recipes and am not sure what I really did, but it came together somehow. 

The next time I use them I think I will make currant jelly or jam.  I guess that currants naturally have lots of pectin so you don't need to use any with them, pretty neat!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Make Your Own Bug Spray!

I have been making this for a while and it really works! It is really summer now and the bugs are getting worse. Poor Fabian was attacked by some mosquitoes the other night while we were in the field.  Those darn things!  I almost started a fire to keep them away because they wouldn't leave him alone.  I finally remembered to get a spray bottle while I was out today and make some repellent.

It is nice to have a repellent free of questionable chemicals, especially for expecting mamas or little ones.

How to make your own bug spray:
  • 2 oz (about 2 shot-glasses worth)  witch hazel or vodka
  • about 30 drops of essential oil ( any combination of tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, or citronella)
  • about a tablespoon of castile soap ( I used eucalyptus bronners)
Put all ingredients into a spray bottle, shake and use when needed.  I like this little bottle to take with me so I can reapply if I want to.  This stuff is not sweat or rain proof so if you are going to be outside for long you will likely need to reapply. It is also not as strongly effective as deet stuff.  So if you are going on a long hike near a swamp or are honeymooning in the Amazon, I would probably grin and bare it with the chemicals.

There are probably lots of other bug repelling ingredients that I haven't come across, I would love to hear any other ideas for keeping bugs away naturally.  Happy summer nights!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Photo Card

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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Addy handed me this note from the back seat of the car the other day.

In case you cannot make it out it says, " One time a girl named Adela had a very nice mom.  She helped with almost everything!  (P.S. I want a turtle)"

Sometimes you just have to save your kids pictures and notes, this is one of those times.  So should I get her a turtle??

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Children's Literature corner time

I try to usually have a nighttime reading ritual with the kiddos.  We are pretty good with keeping up with it, sometimes not as much, but I do feel it is helpful when we read.  It is relaxing for us both and eases the transition to bedtime while instilling a love of books in the kids. 

We recently finished The Bread Sister of Sinking Creek and it was wonderful.  It is historical fiction, adventurous, and has nice characters.  The best part is it takes place in 1700's central Pennsylvania.  You know by now how I love my state and its history.  It was great to try and picture what it would have been like in the pioneer days.

The author came to Addy's school this year and did some storytelling with the classes.  We had the option to order a book from him signed to your child and I knew Addy would like that.  He encourages interest in storytelling and focuses on that being part of the book reading experience.  There is more books in this series too and I can't wait to read them all.  I think the age range would be from 8 - 12.  Some of the adventurous parts got to be a little intense and I wondered how Addy would react, but she was fine. 

Another children's author I just found out about is Hayes Roberts.  The age range for his books that I have seen is much younger, probably 1 - 5 (or 27! look who is writing about it!). The stories are a bit weird but cheerful, and they seem to have a light lesson. His artwork is so great.  The characters in his stories are very cute monkeys, dragons and blue goats and bison.  Also he has a wonderful website that I have been exploring on and off these last few days.

I am in the process now of choosing which coloring pages or books I want to download and color with Addy.   I think I am going to try this one first.  Monkeys, dragons, bats, and castles...awesome!!

           I love his trees.

Happy reading!