Saturday, February 27, 2010

the girls

I finally took some pictures of my own kids. It's been on the to do list for a long long time. Taking pictures of other people's kids is much easier though, somebody else has to do the work of getting them clean, dressed and brushing their hair and then I get to do the easy part! We started with a bath which took all morning...

Poor planning on my part, I got everybody bathed then realized it was lunch time. So we had to get clean again!



The really hard part is getting all three of them to look at the camera at the same time. Here they are laughing at Rich who is behind me pretending like I stink.

This little piggy...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rosie is 5!!!!

I can hardly believe it, but my sweet little Rosemary is 5 years old! I don't know how it happened... time just keeps slipping away from me.

she has always been such a sweet...

and happy girl, not to mention just adorable!

She holds a very special place in our family,

and puts up with a lot being Lily's little sister!

but don't worry, she has Daisy to pick on!

We spent the weekend celebrating with Rosie, it was non stop action pack fun!
We got a hotel room Friday night so we could go swimming, since the poor girl always wants to go swimming for her birthday in the dead of winter.

Here she is with her BFF Ellie. Later that night her cousins came for a dip.

Here she is showing off her cupcakes in front of the puppet theater I sewed of her and the opening performance of Two Horses in Love!

Gluten free chocolate cake!

Fulfilling her dream of a tiered swan princess cake was no easy feat! Purple zig zags compliments of Lily!

Rosie invited a few friends from school over and we had quite a dance party, which included lots of running all over the house screaming.

To top it all off we decided to take the kids skiing on Sunday (Yes, we are totally insane).

Lily went once last year and loved it, this was Rosie's first attempt.

They both did great! They take after their Dad!

Needless to say it was an exhausting weekend!

Happy Birthday Rosie!

Friday, February 12, 2010

snow day

The girls really enjoyed their snow day on Wednesday. I shoveled the driveway and created quite a mountain next to the house in the process. Lily and Rosie dug it out and made themselves a very cool snow cave. They had so much fun! They stayed outside for hours!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

dreaming of spring

tired of snow.

longing for green and growth.

I want to build this.

new birth


Monday, February 8, 2010

the best sandwich ever

I am not a fan of winter...but I am surviving. Part of what is getting me thru is the food that I was able to preserve and put up in the pantry during the last growing season. I am finding so much joy in the preserved taste of summer; organic and free of high fructose corn syrup. It makes me so happy when I open my pantry and see all the beautiful colors in the clear mason jars. I have been gardening for 4 or 5 years now, but this is the first year I have really figured out how to preserve the harvest so that it lasts all year. It has opened up a whole new world for me and I can't imagine gardening any longer without doing it. We live within walking distance of a grocery store and would survive just fine without doing the work or growing and preserving our own food, but I can't even find words to explain how much our lives are enriched by the process of intentionally growing, tending, harvesting and preserving our own foods.

Here's a sandwich I made the other day from things we grew this summer:

Dehydrated tomatoes

along with dehydrated zucchini, eggplant and red peppers soaked in a little olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette with a little dried basil and kosher salt.

I added some minced garlic and made a paninni with provolone and feta cheese.

topped off with some pickled banana peppers and fresh fenugreek sprouts!
Soooooo good, I felt like I was back out at the farm eating a my picnic table!

I am beginning to dream and plan for the upcoming growing season. I can't wait to get my hands dirty again and watch the little seeds sprout and grow! I plan to begin starting seeds in the next month or so. We are planning to grow as much as we can in our very small yard and work in the midtown neighborhood community garden as a family. I hope to preserve by canning and freezing even more food than we did last year now that I know how much we eat in one winter. My goal is that every year we would become just a little more self sufficient in how we eat. How rewarding to walk out in to my yard for my lunch rather than start up the van (I am going to be honest with you, I don't really walk there, although riding my bike there more is one of my goals this summer!) and go to Family Fare!

Come back! In my next post I will share how I canned over three dozen cans of applesauce and applebutter in the outdoor kitchen while living in our camper!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

hello again

I must apologize for my long absence from the blog world. I know your wondering where I've disappeared to and I have heard from more than one person that they are getting sick of seeing Urban Chickens every time they check in here! I feel like I owe you an explanation. It was a crazy few months for us. The holidays are always very busy in my family, because almost everybody's birthday is in December. This year we started it all off right after Thanksgiving with a big family gathering. It was the first time ever that my whole family with all our new members have all been together at the same time! In the last year our family has grown significantly, with Laura and Wayne getting married and the birth of Julie and Davie's first child, Ayana. We managed to get a family photo with everybody in it! That's a big feat for us, he last family photo we have is from when Lily was a baby and has only 6 people in it!

Days after this gathering, we started off December with the very scary news that my then three month old niece, Ayana had a tumor on her adrenal gland. She had a very large belly so an Ultrasound was ordered and from that it was immediately obvious that she has a tumor and was admitted to Devos Children's Hospital. She underwent many tests and a biopsy. The diagnosis was a Neuroblastoma. Cancer. Needless to say it was an overwhelming time and there were lots of ups and downs, but she is an amazing little girl. She has the sweetest temperament and is just truly a happy baby. It was hard not to feel optimistic when she was smiling at you. She even learned to giggle while there!

Thankfully the tests came back well enough that she was sent home after only one week in the hospital. Rather than to pursue Chemo and other treatments the doctor thought it should just be monitored and observed. She sees the oncologist once a month and will have a CT or MRI every three months, but since leaving the hospital, all signs are showing that the tumor is shrinking! This strange form of cancer has been known to do that, but it is rare that it is not treated with Chemo. Her belly is significantly smaller and she is still acting completely healthy. Praise our Father!

Here's some recent photos of my girls with Ayana, or as Daisy calls her, "Ayana Baby":

The girls have my mom's baby buggy from when she was a little girl. We just got it out of storage the other day. They love pushing their baby's in it, but always long for a real baby to play with in it because they have heard the story about how when I was 8 and my sister Laura was 5 and baby Julie came along we used to push her around in it. When Julie stopped over the other day with Ayana, you should have seen the excitement in Rosie's eyes!

We let her try it out for a moment, very supervised! But Ayana looked a little overwhelmed!

So stay tuned, I'll try to keep up on the posting! I've got lots to fill you in on! I pray your having a peaceful winter and staying warm. Blessings!