For my Kids

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One thing I have done since my children were born is compile a booklet of quotes that have touched me in my life.  I hope when they are struggling in life or over joyed, they will find inspiration in one of the quotes I have chosen for them and know each one was carefully picked to give them a perspective from their mother to use throughout their lives.

Here are a few of my favorites from the book to date.  This book will always be a work in progress as I come across other quotes that move my soul 🙂

I hope you enjoy them as much as I do

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Farm Kids

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This picture really captures the essence of “farm kids” in my mind.  I love how they still at 13 and 10 appreciate their farm animals and remain the little “farm kids” we have raised them to be.

We built a larger run for the chickens tonight so they have more room to free range safely when we are not home.

You can see more cute chicken pictures on our Facebook page here:  Cute chickens

Molasses on Snow Candy

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This recipe is from the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook.  This is one of my favorite Little House books and we try all different recipes from it.

One of the favorites of the kids is the Molasses candy you make using snow.  Every year they are excited to make their first batch and will make a few throughout the winter.  It’s a simple recipe and fun for the kids.

Here is the batch the tween made.  She likes to make swirly designs where I like to make small round circles perfect for popping in your mouth.

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Once you are done you store outside covered so the snow stays frozen and keeps the syrup hard like candy.

I actually really enjoy the flavor of this candy as well.  It’s nice to break off a little piece whenever that sweet tooth hits!!

Molasses on Snow Candy (as taken from the Little House on the Prairie Cookbook)

1 cup of dark molasses

½ cup brown sugar

Snow

Fill 2 cookie sheets or cake pans with snow and leave outside to stay cold

In a large sauce pan combine molasses and brown sugar and bring to a boil stirring frequently

Boil on medium heat approximately 5 minutes (it will boil up which is why you need a large pot)

After 5 minutes drop a tiny drop into a clean glass of cold water

If the drop dissolves boil another 2 minutes (or if you are candy thermometer person heat to 245F)

If the drop stays in a soft ball remove from heat

Bring one pan of snow in and slowly pour syrup onto snow making designs or in circles

Continue until the syrup is gone.

Store in the freezer in the snow or outside covered (we store it in the closed grill with waxed paper on top).

When ready for a piece of candy, peel up only the amount you are going to eat keeping the rest on the snow until ready to eat!!

Generation to Generation

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This picture speaks volumes to the lifestyle we are trying to lead and the traditions we hope to pass on.

During my childhood I spent time collecting wood and helping stack it for my family.  This is my daughter working with her 2nd cousin (my nephews son), Rohan.  Rohan is 3 and spends as much time as we can have him at our house.  He came over the other day and saw I had let the fire burn out as it was warmer outside and I wanted to clean the stove. We also needed to restock the wood storage on the porch from the woodshed.  The first thing he did after coming into the house was ask where the fire was. For all of his 3 little years he has become accustomed to the wood heat like the rest of us and it’s expected.  I told him I was cleaning the stove and we needed wood.

The tween queen said she would load the 4 -wheeler and start bringing up the wood.  She too has been doing this all of her childhood with us (helping her dad this fall stock the porch).

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Rohan could not get his boots and coat back on fast enough!!  He knew exactly what needed to be done as he has helped in the process since he was old enough to walk and hold a small piece of wood.  So they set off to the woodshed

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It was not long before they were back with the logs and kindling and Rohan was happily helping stock the porch.

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The first load was finished

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And after a few more loads a fire was started and the world was right again.

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Someday he will share the stories of helping his cousins and great aunt and uncle at their farm!

The Mystery…..

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The evidence above…..an empty jar of something I have canned…..

The investigation begins as all culprits are in bed when I enter the house from the nightly barn chores…..

First…what did the suspect sneak up from the pantry to eat?

After further investigation (the sniff test) it appears to be some sweet summer peaches which have been devoured!

There are 3 to be pondered….the man of the house, the tween, and the boy

The man of the house would likely never take the time to go into the basement pantry to fetch himself a snack.  Even if he did, by some weird twist of fate, he would never finish off the jar….X he’s off the list

We are down to 2

Let’s see….the boy asked me after school if we were close to winter (today was unseasonably warm)…I say yes

Suspicion arises…was he asking as he knows we “can” special items for the winter???  Could it be the cute cuddly boy who snuck into the basement to grab himself a sweet summer treat??

But wait!!….if memory serves me correctly, when he wanted a new jar of grape jelly we made the other day, he had no idea how to open the top.  Could he have observed me so closely from his perch on the couch that day opening the jar that he now knows how to do it?

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Next up the tween….she came home early from school with a sore throat and not feeling well.  However, she ate many frozen orange juice ice cubes and some soup for dinner.  She was milling about bossing her brother around and complaining she wanted me to bake as I have been neglecting them on their homemade desserts when I was pushing them to get ready for bed before I went to the barn.

The suspicion deepens…she knows how to open the jars, she helped me can them and was eating them hot from the syrup.

BUT…..she would NEVER even at the age of 12, go into the basement alone at night.  This child has a certain fear of the dark and will not go upstairs to her room or into the basement which is an entertainment area with wet bar and bathroom in front and storage area in the back, by herself.

Mystery Solved….the tween coerced the boy into entering the basement with her in promise of a delectable summer sweetened treat before bed.  The final piece of evidence was their favorite bowls in the sink with spoons in them, both empty and pleasantly giving off the aroma of ripe peaches!

NEVER underestimate the power of a mother!!

 

Tree Fort

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I think most country homes have some type of tree fort in their backyard.  The man of the house decided about 3 years ago we needed one also.   So he set off to build it.

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Phase 1 took not too long and was planned around a beautiful oak tree

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Phase 2 was a little tougher.  Attaching the slide was almost as hard as adding the roof.  The boys sure didn’t mind waiting

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Phase 3 adding windows and a railing went smoothly.  Even the goats joined in to check out the materials and a baby making sure it was low enough for him to see out of.  The railing is made from larger sticks we collected from our woods

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A dutch door was made and some furniture accents were added.  There is enough seating for 6 kids and the bench blocks the opening to the slide so all the little children who visit are safe

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The views out the window allow the kids to see all of the action

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Next season it will be stained to match the barn and woodshed.  For right now it is the perfect escape for the children and a great hang out area for their friends!!

 

Smoothies

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Smoothies are a great way to sneak certain vegetables, vitamins and minerals into your diet as well as your children.  I made one the other day for us with Kale, Strawberries, Orange Juice, honey and ice cubes.  The kids had no idea what was in it and they drank it right down. 

Here is how I made it:

5 Strawberries washed and dehulled

6 chopped small kale leaves

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 cup orange juice

5 ice cubes

Put all in the blender and blend until smooth.  Great flavor and I snuck in those extra greens!!