Sunday, August 29, 2010

A Love Affair

This butterfly was in love with my sunflower.

Happy Sunday!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

End of Summer Family Lake/Cabin Fun

Jake's been waiting for this all summer!

Cambria's impressed by her cousins tubbing abilities.

The little girls holding on for dear life.

A little tether ball before dinner.

Beer/Soda pong tournament.
Jake's not impressed with the competition.
Ally must be winning.
Ending the evening with GIANT roasted marshmellows.
They were HUGE!!!!

Coo Coo

My garden is going a little coo coo this summer.
I have elderberries ripe a month early, strawberry plants that still think it's spring and carrots poppin up all over the place.
I am not complaining, I just think it's strange.
This just means I can still have cherrios with berries everyday.
Gettin a litttle old.
I will probably be missing it in the winter though.

Thanks to this coo coo growing season and my fellow share-opers I have not had to buy veggies or herbs or eggs or laundry soap for about 2 months now!

That is truly something to be thankful for.

To learn more about share-oping check out our blog or follow us on facebook!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Weekend Fun

The dragonflies were out in full force.
They are so beautiful.
Old chicken coop at the Ranch.

Fun old stuff at the Ranch.

Averie's hoping the baby ducks would swim over.

It was a great day for a swim.

My sunflowers are finally open!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Roasted Tomato Pasta

1 1/2 - 3 lbs. vine ripened tomatoes
minced or crushed fresh garlic
olive oil
salt n pepper
1 lb. spaghetti noodles
3/4 cup freshly grated parm cheese
fresh chopped basil or 1 recipe pesto
Slice tomatoes in half, remove tops and a bit of the bottoms and line 1 or 2, 13 x 9" pans.
Drizzle generously with olive oil.
Sprinkle with lots of garlic, salt and pepper.
Roast in a 425 degree oven for about 30 mins.
Pour roasted tomatoes into a big bowl and dice with two knifes.
Toss with cheese, noodles and basil or pesto.
Delicious & Easy!
A great way to use up all those tomatoes from your summer garden.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What We Wore Wednesday For Back To School

This is sooo sad for me. (tears)
My oldest kids first day of their senior year. (tears)
I didn't even get to drive them to school. (tears)
My son has his own car and he drove. (tears)
I waited until I got home to start the balling. I will savor every moment of this last year. It's sooo strange coming to the realization that my job raising these two amazing individuals is almost at an end. I am soooo blessed to have the two most wonderful, loving, enthusiastic, caring, and wonderful teenagers any mother could have asked for. They are sooo special and unique. And now I am crying so much that I can't see the computer screen anymore.
On with the rest of this post!
Our annual back to school pic!

Averie's first day of first grade!

Morgan's first day of 7th grade!

Bayleee's first day of 12th grade!

Jacob's first day of 12th grade!

My first day of back to work!
No more sweats and pj's for me.
Shirts - Style's for Less (Our new favorite store, Bay's outift came from there too)
Jeans - Old Navy
Camera - Birthday present from my DH
Camera Strap - Shey B
Ugh, I can see again but I am still sad.
Enjoy the day!
I linked up to the Pleated Poppy!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Elderberry Madness

The best invention ever! My grandmothers berry steamer.

What to do when your elderberries are ripe a month early.....
call in some reinforcement.

Leesa and I doing the Elderberry happy dance!

Leesa, snippin away!

So beautiful.

More harvesting! There is a TON of berries this year.


Making Ridgetop Farm jelly is serious business!

Leesa with her finished product!
Helpers get their share of the haul.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Pickles, Pumpkins & Purging!

Cucumber vine.

Delicious Dill Pickles
Makes 1 quart
4 to 6 cucumbers, quartered for spears or sliced for rounds
1 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbls. salt (I use kosher sea salt)
1 tsp. dill seed or you can use a couple fresh heads from your dill plant
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 cups water
Today I added one small onion to my jar but this is optional.

Place cucumbers in jar or storage container.
(It really doesn't matter what you use as long as the pickles can soak in the brine.)
Combine all ingredients and bring to boil in a saucepan.
Pour brine over cucumbers.
Refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours.
Can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks.

Note: This is not a canning recipe so the pickles MUST be stored in the fridge.
This isn't really a problem for me because my kids usually eat them all in the first couple of days. It's also good because I harvest just enough cucumbers to pickle every few days so we have a continual supply all summer.

Averie's pumpkin patch!
Spunky the pumpkin and friends.

Here's some more pics from my purging and cleaning binge.
My baking drawer.
I love putting things in glass jars so it's easy to tell what's in there.

My morning station.
Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, smoothie stuff, and vitamins all in one spot!

Kids snack drawer.
Down low so they can help themselves.
Averie loved this, everyone who has come over has seen the snack drawer.


Friday, August 6, 2010


Today was a day of purging and organizing. I find it really hard to work at home when my house feels like a disaster zone. I really really need to get started on products for a big show I have coming up. So to prepare, I decided to go through and deep clean and reorganize every room in my house. What does that have to do with making soap you ask?? I have no idea but at least it makes me feel better. My inspiration, this blog! I just love everything about her home. So neat, tidy and adorable. Her my ultimate fantasy. Sooooo, I ordered some really cute vinyl labels from her and I love them. I will show you where I use them but for now all you get is the laundry room. It took me 6 hours just to do that one small room. I am exhausted.
Thank goodness my goal is only one room per day.
Yes, I also did all that laundry today.
This is just embarrassing.

Good things come in small packages.

Applying the vinyl to my jars.

See my super cute labels!

Makes me oh sooo happy.

It was getting dark by the time I finished.

Junk drawer isn't so junky anymore!
I just used strawberry baskets and old ramekins that I don't use anymore.

Message and charging station.
My kids have no more excuses for not writing down messages.