Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Random Christmas Happenings

We went with my mom to see the Christmas tree/gingerbread house exhibit at Philbrook museum. Not nearly as impressive as it used to be years ago, but still fun for the little ones. A5 and B2 heard that Santa was there and of course they had to see him. I'm not really big on the whole Santa thing. A5 has asked me about Santa on numerous occasions and I always tell him the truth. But yet for some reason he still insists on believing. I guess I'll let him have his fun, but if he asks me, my answer will remain the same.


This year the city built an outdoor ice skating rink in the town next to ours, so K took the boys skating a few times. A5 is getting pretty good!


They even got to take B2 out on the ice. She was too little for skates but K carried her.


One of our friends blessed us with passes to Silver Dollar City, so we got to go there again too!




This year we also started a new family tradition (although I got the idea from a friend!). We had a sleepover in the living room next to the Christmas tree. It was a little stressful when it was time for B2 to go to sleep because she had trouble without her normal bedtime routine, but definitely a tradition worth keeping. K and I fell asleep on the couch but then snuck off to bed as soon as they were all asleep. No way I was going to sleep on a cramped couch all night when I had bamboo sheets waiting for me in bed!


I had fun waking them up in the morning...



Here's B2 and A5 before church on Christmas Eve.


And all four of them...


Merry Christmas!

Civil War Reenactment

We went to see a Civil War reenactment at the Prairie Grove Battlefield on one of the windiest (and thus coldest) days of the year so far. We took A5 to a different reenactment a few years ago and it made quite the impression, so we try to go to these any time we hear about them. It was interesting to watch but we missed out on some of the action because we didn't know the good places to sit. We were also right next to the canons and it was LOUD! Maybe we'll be more prepared in two more years when they do this again!



Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Edible Wild Greens

Today we went to my friend Linda's house and she walked us around her property and showed us the edible wild greens growing in her own yard. I was very interested in this because I have spent good money buying the same greens that Linda finds growing freely. Most people consider these edibles to be pesky weeds, and spend good money to have their yards sprayed. Little do they know that they could save money on yard treatments AND save money on food, if only they are willing to live with a few "weeds." Anyway, Linda has further opened my eyes to just a few more of the countless wonders of God's creation, which I hope to share with you!

Here are a few books about Wild Greens. I liked the one on the top the best because it had the best illustrations. I'll probably buy one for myself.


Broadleaf Plantain

I was really interested in this edible. This one is easy for me to remember it because it has long fibers running lengthwise on the leaf, which reminds me of a banana, or plantain. When I got home I watched a video about it and learned a few things:
-The seeds are a good source of fiber.
-While eating a diet high in sugar attracts mosquitos, if you limit your sugar and eat about 3 plantain leaves, mosquitos should leave you alone.
-To neutralize an insect sting or help with acne, chew up a leaf of plantain and use it as a paste on the affected area.
-Warning: If you rub it on your skin it can increase your chances of getting sunburned.




Long Leaf Plantain

Sorry this isn't the best picture.


Lambsquarters (Lamb's Quarter)

This was probably the best tasting edible. It had a really mild taste and I can actually see myself munching on it as a snack. Linda said that she chops it up and puts it in omlettes. This is a picture of a young plant.


This is a picture of a mature lambsquarter. Notice the seedlings. We pulled those off and ate them too.




Chickweed

I brought a bag of this home and ran it through my juicer. Yum! It was so much better than the swiss chard and kale I have been juicing lately. K said it reminded him of mowing the lawn. Hmmm...maybe we had chickweed at the house and didn't even know it. Anyway, we found it growing underneath the trampoline. I think Linda said it likes shady areas. We also found a few leaves of henbit mixed in with the chickweed. Apparently it is edible too. The henbit leaf had a soft feel. I don't think I managed to get a picture of the henbit but you have the world at your fingertips if you care that much...


Wood Sorrel

This had a tangy taste (probably because it is very high in oxalic acid). It had three leaves that looked like little hearts. Linda said that the leaves fold up when it rains. It also had a pretty yellow flower. One of the ladies there today said that oxalic acid is actually good for you. This is news to me. Anyway, here is another take on oxalic acid, just in case you're interested. This guy, Col. Joe, claims that oxalic acid can cure cancer. I don't know if I believe that or not, but it is always interesting to learn about different perspectives. If Doug Kaufmann is right, which I believe he is, and cancer is a fungus, then could oxalic acid possibly have antifungal properties?




Lady's Thumb

This one had pretty pink flowers. I don't know much about this except that online I found that it can be used as salad greens.


Common Peppergrass


Burdock Root

Linda said that she used this to boost her immune system to prevent her from catching a virus from one of her children. It worked!


Prickly Lettuce

This looks very similar to a dandelion. The notable difference was the small prickles along the main vein of the leaf. Don't worry, the prickles aren't sharp, at least on the one I touched.


Pokeweed

Warning: We did NOT eat this weed. Only certain parts of the pokeweed are edible. Additionally, you need to know WHEN in the life stage of the plant to eat the pokeweed. Linda said that she believed that the leaves of the young plant were edible, but once it reached a certain maturity the leaves would turn into carcinogens. So with that said, we didn't even attempt to eat it.


Last, and most definitely least, is this pesky weed. I can't remember it's name, but it is some sort of thistle. It is sharp and difficult to pull up. Linda said that even though those are edible (assuming that you want to go to the trouble to remove the spikes and boil the leaves), they are not supposed to be in their yard, so one of her boys dug it up. I guess you could eat it if you were really hungry, but otherwise it is just plain annoying!


We also saw dandelions and clover, but I didn't even think to take pictures of those since they are so common. However, here is a warning about dandelions.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Pickin' Blueberries

It's that time of year again! Blueberry season!

I think B2 ate more than she picked...


And then she quickly got bored picking and started playing in the dirt.


Where's A4???


J10 and I were racing to see who could fill the bucket first. The winner was supposed to pick where to eat for lunch. That was K's idea of course, because he wanted J10 to win so we could go out to eat afterwards instead of eating at home. Guess who he was helping?


My little helpers!


Our first family photo with G0 not counting the pictures taken in the hospital. Not the best picture but it's kind of hard to complain when a complete stranger is taking it.


We also picked a pint of raspberries to go with our 2 gallons of blueberries. We'd never picked raspberries before so I just had to give it a try...


Afterwards, A4 really wanted to sit in the gazebo to rest his legs and finish drinking his pink lemonade. How could I possibly tell him no?


What's the deal with the honey bear anyway?



And of course I had to include one of little G0, even though he pretty much slept the entire time with a few grunts every now and then!


Just a couple more pictures that were too cute to leave out...


Saturday, May 22, 2010