Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween Re-Ment

My new hobby- Re-ment- very fun to display in dioramas and collect. I have joined a fun Flickr group- Rement addicts. I have enjoyed putting together my first few photos. I will be blogging more about this, as well as some of my vintage toy collections this fall/winter holiday season. Toys are such a fun part of the holidays- and I really enjoy them. Here is a halloween Re-ment dispaly- the Halloween cake in the center is Re-ment, the spooky figures on the sides are part of a vinyl toy collection by Nathan Jurevicius called Treedweller & Ghostsquid.

My Halloween Home

Halloween was fun this year. We had a nice relaxing evening passing out treats to all the cute costumed kids, watching some of our fave Halloween specials, and enjoying our traditional Halloween appetizer buffet. I have taken a bunch of pictures of our fun Halloween decor, as well as our yummy appetizers. Our appetizers this year were- Green Bean crisp's with ranch dip ( a new family fave from Safeway), classic l'il smokey wraps w/ mustard, pizza rolls, buffalo chicken sticks w/ blue cheese dip, sweet & sour meatballs, and for dessert Orange Ooze (cream cheese filled) chocolate cupcakes. To drink, I made mulled hot cider in my crock pot, served with caramel syrup & whipped cream, and had everything out for Cherry & Raspberry Italian Sodas. Everything was tasty- and was nice to snack on through out the evening. Halloween 2010 was great and was the perfect kick off to the holiday season.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Review of Hexbug Bridge Battle Set

Great New Hexbug Set

By April-Mother from Molalla, Oregon on 10/27/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Easy to Control, Long Lasting, Durable, Realistic Movement

Best Uses: Older Children, Collecting, Young Children, Teens

Describe Yourself: Stay At Home Parent, Parent Of Two Or More Children, Collector

Was this a gift?: Yes

This is a wonderful new Hexbug set for the nanobugs- last Christmas my children got Hexbugs and they were a hit, this set will be a fun addition to their other hexbugs. This product has a lot of play value, and is made very well.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

My Garden's Summer.

My Veggie Garden.

I has been quite a long time since my last post- I took the summer off and enjoyed the freedoms of summer break with the kids. Now we are all back to school and on a schedule. I have a lot of exciting things to blog about this fall- probably my favorite time of year- although sometimes I think I say that about every season, but before I start in with fall stuff, I would like to share my summer garden.

What a great year our little 4 x 4 beds had- we were eating fresh green beans and loads of zucchini and all kinds of peppers. We even grew enough corn for one dinner. I had fun trying many different recipes for the zucchini- of course bread & cake- but I also made tempura with both the zucchini and green beans- yummy! And I came up with a super super easy zucchini fritter recipe- that is very good.

Super Easy Zucchini Fritters
1 Extra Large Zucchini de-seeded and grated in a food processor
5-6 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
salt and pepper depends on how much you want
1 T dehydrated onions (fresh would probably be great too- more or less to your liking)
Enough vegetable oil to fill 1/2 inch deep in a sturdy frying pan and more to refill as needed.
Mix together all ingredients until all flour is moistened, and all zucchini is coated. Drop a small pancake size pile in the frying pan (depending on the size of your pan do 2-4 at a time) Use a slotted utensil to carefully flip fritter when edges start to brown- fry until both sides are a nice golden brown- some of mine I had to flip a couple of times to get it nice and golden. Carefully remove fritters from oil and transfer to a paper towel lined plate when they are done. This recipe made a bunch- between 12 and 16 fritters. We made a complete dinner out of these - Serve with Sour Cream and Salsa on the side. The whole family loved them- a great late summer goody- we don't fry food around here all that often so it was a real treat. You could probably make many interesting variations of this fritter as well- it would be fun to experiment with other veggies and maybe some herbs- but this was good and simple.
Our Zucchini found its way into a lot of our meals- we also grew a round variety that we are saving to carve at Halloween.
Hope everyone had a great summer!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Update on the Garden

Just an update on our garden- These pictures are from last week- the garden is even bigger now, I will have to get out there and get some new photos. The corn, summer squash and green beans are doing nicely. I have a feeling we will have a great crop of green beans in a week or two, the zucchini has a few babies as well as pretty squash blossoms. I look forward to the harvest, and all the fun recipes. Rasied beds make weeding so easy, they never get out of control, I was inspired by the Square Foot Gardening method, perfcet for small spaces! Speaking of the garden, I am off the start watering! Happy Summer!


Blueberries are such a wonderful and happy little berry, my very favorite! We have five young blueberry plants in the garden, two are old enough to start producing some nice berries. We have been picking them as they become ripe for the last two weeks. Perfect for blueberry muffins, breads, and pancakes, and we are hoping for enough to also make a blueberry pie by the end of the week. I would like to review my favorite blueberry themed children's books as well as share a blueberry craft and some pictures.
My favorite blueberry themed Children's books are Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey- a cute story, well written, about Sal and her mother's adventures out picking blueberries, and their run in with a Mother Bear and her cub also out to pick blueberries. This story moves along at a good pace, and holds the attention of the listener, as well as being interesting to the adult reading it. Great illustrations too, this story has been a favorite of our families since the children were toddlers. I would say this is a must read classic children's book.
And Peter in Blueberry Land, by Elsa Beskow- an adventure about Peter's search for Blueberries and cranberries for his mother, and how he meets the King of Blueberry Land. All of Elsa Beskow's books are charmingly illustrated, her pictures and stories spark imagination, highly recommended.
Here are the links to those books through

I have included a picture of my latest needle felted project. A wonderful little blueberry baby. A perfect summer addition to the bookshelf, sitting next to our mini copy of Peter in Blueberry Land. I have also included a picture of one of our wonderful blueberry bushes, and some of the blueberries we have picked.
We have a very tiny yard, and it is amazing how many things one can grow in a small space, our blueberries are planted in half barrels, and although they won't get as big as bushes planted out in the ground, they will provide us with a nice portion of blueberries, as well as the joy of watching them grow. I would encourage anyone with the space for a few barrels to plant some.
Another fun thing to do during blueberry season, is to go to a u-pick blueberry farm. We did this when the children were younger, and they loved it, the plants were beautiful, the air smelled of amazing blueberries, and we were able to pick a large amount of berries for a fraction of supermarket prices, as well as meet a very friendly farmer.

I hope I have inspired everyone to get out there and enjoy blueberry season!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Seed Parables and The Spring Garden

Every spring when I plant my garden I am reminded of the seed parables in Matthew Chapter 13, as well as Matthew 17:20. Gardening in so miraculous, I am amazed every year. I have been going through some of Jesus' parables with my Sunday school class,and, because we are a rural church, seed and planting references make for tangible lessons. I hope the spring garden will encourage everyone to read these parables. Every time a gardener plants a seed faith is involved- you can buy the best seed, mix the best soil, use the best fertilizer, water, and keep pests at bay (as much as possible), weed, weed, weed- it is still not the gardener who is making that plant grow. I planted my corn, beans and squash two weekends ago, the week was a great week for seeds, warm, with just enough rain- still though, I am always eager to see if the seeds come up. This weekend, I went out to check on the garden, pluck a few weeds, and to my surprise all my little seedlings were up. Since I was a child gardening with my grandma and through the last 12 years of actively gardening I have seen seeds come up every year- it does not get old- the whole family loves to see the seeds come up. I hope everyone gets a chance to see this miracle for themselves- there is still plenty of planting time left. I have included pictures of my little baby sprouts, as well tomato blossoms, and a pretty late spring rose. Hope everyone is having a great week and gearing up for a great Father's Day weekend.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Great New Homemaking Blog & Contest

Hope everyone gets a chance to check out a new website They have a great contest posted to win an amazing Homestead Blessing DVD set. This would be an awesome set to own. The website looks like it will be a great tool in helping to raise girls in the art of Christian homemaking. Very exciting.

My Review of Crayon Rocks, set of 16

Originally submitted at Magic Cabin

Create beautifully textured drawings with these innovative crayons. Their special pebble-like shape allows children to color in large, wide strokes while strengthening their tripod grip (which prepares little fingers for h

Fun new crayons

By April from Oregon on 6/4/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Interesting, Creative, Organic shape, Easy to Hold

Best Uses: Art, Boredom buster, Rainy Day

These new crayon rocks are amazing. What a creative idea. They were perfect for the Easter baskets, and would work great for stockings, a tooth fairy gift, or party favors. Young and old children would enjoy these. Easy for little hands to grasp, great for inspiring the older kids to get artistic. Great colors! I am looking forward to purchasing the larger set for group activities, as well as more little sets to have on hand for gifts. Great Product!


My Review of Sleepy Owls GelGems®

Originally submitted at HearthSong

Whoooooo s that sleeping high up in the tree? Three adorable owls, can you see?

Designed into squishy, 3-D shapes, this set of 19 GelGems can decorate any smooth surface (lockers, sliding door, refrigerator and more) creating up to 3 owls.

Perfect Window decor to brighten a room.

By April from Oregon on 6/4/2010


5out of 5

Pros: Durable, Fun, Colorful, Quality Construction, Cute, Versatile, Easy To Clean

Best Uses: Small Children, Teens, Preteens, Toddlers

Describe Yourself: Education Oriented, Parent Of Two Or More Children, Stay At Home Parent

Sleepy Owl Gel Gems are wonderful. This was my first set of gel gems, and I can't wait to buy more, they stick right to the window, and have stayed on despite lots of touching by the children, my teens think they are cute, and my preschool aged neice and nephew love them also. They look great when the sun shines through them, it brightens up my whole room, they are very sturdy, and a great value. I also love the modern design they have, very cute owls. I would highly recommend gel gems!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Late Spring Garden

I was out in the garden last week, the sun was shining, and the lavender was blooming. I have a lot of weeding to catch up on this weekend, as well as planting the rest of my tomatoes, and swiss chard. I have been having trouble with toadstools in the garden, my grandma has suggested that I add lime, so I will be adding that to my raised beds this weekend. One group of toadstools looked so cool though I had to include it in my blog. Last week a few little mushrooms popped up in the moss surrounding my little maple tree, and within a week they were huge. We haven't seen a "fairy ring" since we lived near our woods, we figured this was pretty close, and were quite happy with them. I also included some pictures of the moss garden I am working on, and the gnomes that inhabit the mossy hills.

Our Worm Composter

I had a very nice Mother's Day this year, it was a nice relaxing weekend. One of the activities that I had been wanting to do since Earth Day was to set up a worm composting bin for my garden. The weather was so nice during the earlier part of Mother's Day that we were all finally able to get the project completed. Since I had to leave behind my flock of chickens a few years back when we moved into town to be closer to the schools, I have hated throwing out all of the veggie scraps that my chickens would have loved. So having a place where the wormies can turn all of our veggie scraps into rich compost for my garden seemed like just the right idea. We used an old storage tote, and Gary and Joe drilled holes for drainage in the bottom as well on the top and side for air. We then added a layer of shredded newspaper, a layer of soil, a half cup of oats, some left over lettuce, and a bit more soil, we then set the entire tote into another shallow tote to prevent the worms from escaping through the bottom, update: we removed this bottom half and plan to drill holes in it also, we had a big 3 week rain spell and the poor worms were way too wet, so for now they are just in the red tote on gravel, and we are no longer using the clear tote, none have been seen leaving, so the bottom tote might not be important. Instead of sending away for the red worms that most people use in these bins, which would have been $30-$40 to have them shipped, I decided to liberate nightcrawlers from the bait shop for much less money, and although they might not compost as fast as the red worms, I thought I would give these worms a chance. They have settled in nicely, we will continue bringing them our scraps, as well as making sure the soil stays moist, and I will give an update later in the summer to let you know how they do. Here are some pictures of how we made our worm bin. This would be a wonderful scout activity, or family summer activity, it was super easy, and it will be interesting to see if it works.