Against my ongoing wishes.....the garden dies down for the summer. I am grateful for the abundance we've had, what we've been able to share, and the veggies we've received from others! It's been a wonderful first garden for us, amidst the challenges this spring and summer have brought. We've learned some great lessons on what and how to plant next year. I also see now why the Bible so often uses the examples it does about planting, harvesting, reaping, sowing, and so on. There's a life lesson in all of it, and even more....a lesson from our creator. For now, I continue to water a few tomato plants and plan for a late summer planting for early fall harvest....or so I think! Still doing my homework on that one, so any and all input would be greatly appreciated!
The chickens continue to grow! I catch myself looking out these days for the treasure of their first layed egg. In the meantime, I've been kept full on fresh eggs from Holly's chickens! Who knew they could come in so many different colors!
Cherry Tomatoes. How in the world do you preserve cherry tomatoes? That's been a question rolling around in my mind for a few weeks, as that is one thing we have grown well! So many of them have been nibbled away by a venturing child's hunger, a visitors pleasure, or this Mama's enjoyment! But I had a TON left on the counter top this week that I didn't want to go to waste! So after a little research, we have come across a wonderful way to preserve this fresh bounty!
-First, wash your tomatoes and line cookie sheets with wax paper
-Then slice each tomato in half and lay face up on the cookie sheets.
-Sprinkle with salt.
And they should look like this (along with the happy child if they get to help!).....
-Place in your oven at 200 degrees
-Let 'oven dry' like this for somewhere around 2-3 hours
-Remove from oven when they feel chewy but not hard
-Enjoy a good snack (we ate ours by themselves and with cream cheese on crackers)
-Stick the extras in a freezer bag for later on in the year
Sorry about the picture everyone! We got a little carried away with how great they tasted so I forgot to take a picture until after we'd already helped ourselves to a good handful....or two! And I suppose I better share just exactly WHY I don't know an exact time to leave them in the oven! First, I started them off the first hour on only 175 degrees not being sure how they'd do. After bumping them up to full heat....I forgot about them! Not until in my bedroom piddling on some cleanup, with Holly from Tucker's Homestead Blessings reading and blogging on this here computer did I realize it! I was about to tell her about how preserving and such always helps me feel better when I'm worrying and fretting over something when it dawned on me and the sentence ended in a shrieked "THE TOMATOES". We ran to the kitchen, with curious ears from the other end of the house soon to follow! After a good round of laughter, we had these yummy treats! And plans to spice them up or sweeten them for a new twist next time! Perhaps most priceless of all will be the memory of a mad dash to the oven after remembering "THE TOMATOES"!
Now, onto another topic and the reason why these here children are so happy and proud of themselves! They very well should be as their behavior and motivation has been OUTSTANDING the last several days! And I for once have a peace that we're finally getting where we need to be in what may be the scariest, most dreaded topic in my house........
ORGANIZATION!!!! Yes, that word actually came out of my mouth to be followed by some accomplishment! You see, I have an organizers heart, believe it or not! This is something I've been yearning for for quite some time! Although I've wanted to be, tried to be, and in some small ways succeeded in the last few seasons of our life....we have a long way to go. Because somehow, LIFE HAPPENED in the midst of my intentions! I say that with a smile and a laugh because I love this family more than anything and we're blessed to be where we are today! Entering into this world of organization has been HARD EARNED for this here Mama! The kids LOVE IT, are THRIVING ON IT, and STICKING TO IT. So enough of the talking! Now to present.....TA DA!!!!!!!!
Some for the kids......and some for Daddy & Mama!
Motivation, Reward, Discipline, Accountability (for me too), and Reminders....all summed up in that simple little accomplishment of ORGANIZING our family and life's activities in one central place!!! There's such a great feeling of accomplishment for each of us at the end of the day. I suppose that at times it's proven a bit much for our little redhead.......
And yes, that is a mama and baby opossum sleeping next to him, every night! It was a vacation gift from his Daddy, and for good reason. Since possibly the day he was born, he's carried a nickname that has grown on us all and just become what we call this sweet boy.....he's our POSSUM! And definitely the cutest one there ever was!
Lord, help me to have a merry heart that does good like a medicine; and not a broken spirit to drieth the bones.
(from Proverbs 17:22)
Better is a dry morsel, and quietness therewith, than a house full of sacrifices with strife.