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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sweet Cecily on her birthday

I can't believe I never posted this!  I just discovered this draft from Nov. 2011.  Well, enjoy it now and see how much Cecily (and all the kids) has grown!

All Saints day at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Here is a little glimps of our summer that passed too fast.  Before my parents so graciously gave us their gas grill,we did all our grilling on our fire-pit. 

We have a marinated chicken on the rotisserie, sweet potatoes on the lower level, home-style potatoes in the cast iron pan with a lid (which had been under the chicken to catch the drippings), and bell peppers thrown on in at in the end.  I think we also had grilled okra that night--which was FANTASTIC!  We will never do okra another way, I think.  We also tried grilled zucchini: really good, and grilled beet slices: amazing!  The kids don't like the "black stuff" from the grilling, but that just meant that Craig and I got to eat those parts and they are the best parts anyway.  :) 

Friday, October 14, 2011

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

I forgot the recipe!  This is totally unrelated to rabbits--that must be why I forgot to include it in that post.  :)  These are bars that have been the big summer hit around our house.  I wanted something that was granola-bar-ish but I didn't want to have to turn on the oven.  This recipe is a cinch and is all done and stove top with just two pans (one if you wash in between).  I am terrible about actually following a recipe, so I am going to post the recipe and then in parenthesis share how I changed it.

Jill, this one's for you! 

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

1 c. butter (this is a lot of butter for the recipe, so I used 3/4 c. fat.  Probably 1/2 c. butter and 1/4 c. cocnut oil)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I don't use refined sugar so I used rapadura aka sucanat.  I also used a bit less than 1/2 c. and top it off with some honey to make it stickier)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. oats (we've been using organic or gluten free oats, but any old fashioned oats will due.  You can use whatever you want here: nuts, dried fruit, etc.
1 c. choc. chips
1/2 c. peanut butter (I use organic creamy; just peanuts and salt.  I also use a bit of coconut oil because it is more solid when refrigerated than peanut butter.  I love the taste and it makes the consistency a bit less messy)

You can use any sized baking dish for these, depending on how thick you want them.  I usually use my rectangular dish that is approximately 9x13.  Grease the dish.  Melt butter and coconut oil in a small sauce pan.  stir in sugar and vanilla.  Over med. heat, stir and let it simmer and thicken a few minutes; be sure all sugar is disolved.  Stir in oats; keep stirring until completely mixed and pour a bit more than 1/2 of the oat mix into the greased pan.  Press down to cover the bottom of the pan. Set aside other half of oats mix.

Melt choc. chips and peanut butter in another small sauce pan, then pour this mix over the pressed oats.  As best you can, evenly cover the bottom layer, then sprinkle the remaining oats mixture over the top.  Press down slightly to make the oats stick to the top.  Refrigerate.  Cut into bars. 

These do need to be kept into the frig. or they are almost too messy to eat. . . . almost.  

NOT prolificating like rabbits

Well, I just realized that I haven't posted since May, so here is a long awaited post and a new favorite recipe.

I think my last post was about bunnies.  Oh they were so cute!  There were eight and Flopsy proved to be a good mother.  Those eight bunnies, along with the two from Mopsy's litter gave Craig's rabbit tractor an inaugural run.  It was a pleasure to see them literally running around in it.  We had a few escapees because when they are that small, they can still slip right through the slats on the bottom.  One day, they ALL go out through a wide space between the ground and the rabbit cage.  Thanks to St. Francis and St. Anothony, they were all caught.

We were supposed to have several more litters this summer, but that did not work out as planned.  Having new little bunnies around would have made it easier, I think, when it came time butcher that litter.  We lost Mopsy on one of the extremely hot days.  Flopsy, I regret to inform you, seems to be too rotund to have bunnies again right now.  She is now in the rabbit tractor taking some exercise and on a diet.  It is certainly not as easy as I had originally though to raise rabbits for meat.    

We have, despite the obstacles and set backs, enjoyed the fruits of our labor a couple of times.  Rabbit meat is very tasty--similar to chicken!--but it does come out dry, even after slowing cooking in a wine marinade all day long.  So, my next endeavor is to try rabbit confit.  We have tried pheasant confit and it was a success, so I think it would work with rabbit, too.  Unfortunately, I am out of lard, so I will have to render some before we are able to try it.  Sigh.  So much to do and so little time.  Until I have more lard, we will probably just eat rabbit and like it.  :) 

Speaking of time, I also want to learn how to preserve the fur and make a little muff for Aine. 
*even bigger sigh*
I will simply pray for the patience.  I know there are wiser uses of my time right now.  May God bless your endeavors today; whatever you hope to accomplish, may it be holy and worth of your efforts.  May your efforts always bring you closer to Our Lord. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Bunnies!


Yesterday our doe (that is what you call a female rabbit) had her third litter of bunnies. So far, so good! The first two didn't make it, so this is very exciting for everyone. I counted six, or seven, or eight . . . they are really hard to count when they are that small and wiggly! We will see how many there are in a few weeks when they start hopping all over the hutch. Craig is beginning to formulate plans for our rabbit tractor. A rabbit tractor is a moveable pen that holds the rabbits on the ground which allows them to eat grass. The tractor is moved each day so the rabbits always have a fresh supply of grass. This way the droppings are naturally spread out on the pasture as well.

Cod Liver Oil Give Away

Healthy Home Economist is giving aways a free bottle of Green Pastures Cod liver oil. Check out how to enter to win: http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/2011/05/70-green-pasture-products-giveaway/

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Jane Austen anyone?


Well, I caved.  I took this silly quiz.   I don't think it is accurate, though I don't know that I am equal to any of Austen's characters.  Be silly.  Take the quiz.  Let me know who you are.

<p align="center"><a href="http://www.strangegirl.com/emma/quiz.php" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.strangegirl.com/emma/quizlizzy.jpg" width="200" height="300" alt="I am Elizabeth Bennet!" /><br /> <br />
Take the Quiz here!</a></p>

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Where did Jan., Feb., and March go?


I can't believe I have more pictures than I am able to post.  The days slip by and I think I will have more time to post tomorrow; then the days turn into weeks, then months. 

This was a nice day in March, around the time of the boys birthdays. 

The boys birthdays were hard because it was Lent and everyone was sick.  Actually, I think we were sick most of February, too.  We were well for a little bit, and now a few of us have colds again.  It could be worse, but I will certainly rejoice when the warm weather is here to stay and we are all well in body (an hopefully mind and spirit as well!). 

We have slowly moved to a Gluten free diet because of some of the problems Henry has been having.  He stopped sleep through the night a month or so before Cecily was born.  I don't mean that he gets up once or twice.  I mean that Craig was getting up with him between 15 and 20 times a night.  He doesn't want to  sleep with us, nor have one of us lie down with him.  We really have tried everything.  So I started cutting out wheat.  But the more I read, the more I realized that wasn't enough.  Now, we are doing a modified GAPS diet.  I will have to write more about it later, but it certainly has been a good Lenten trial. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Christmas 2010


I am sorry I can't type more. 

Craig said his favorite part of Christmas was when the kids came downstair and were transfixed by the new Christmas train.  They just stood there for about ten minutes and watched.  Truly childlike wonder. 

This is the table St. Nicholas brought for them.  He also brought a children's snow shovel, which Joseph actually got to use that day. 

Henry and Anastasia were enthralled, not with their presents, but with the packing peanuts! 

Aine become quite the "material girl" in her new clothes and sunglasses. 

The reason for it all!  We love this nativity set.  It is beautiful and durable.  Craig and Joseph built the stable. 

Anastasia's Birthday


I am sorry I a so late in posting these, and the kids are going nuts behind me, so I can't take the time to give a lot of info. about them. 

This is Anastasia with her birthday present from us.  I didn't know how to wrap it, so I used a big piece of pink fabric because I knew she would like it if it were pink.  First thing Joseph said that morning after he saw it was, "Aine has a big birthday present wrapped in a curtain!"  The kids curtains are made of the same material. 

Anastasia is so sweet.  This is the first thing she said once she knew what it was: "It's a doll house for US!"  she never thought that she wouldn't share it with her brothers. 

The whole family pitched in and made noodles.  It was a lot of work, but they were REALLY GOOD!

The kids playing with her gift from Grandpa and Grammy Dresch.  Aunt Jessi put the bow in her hair.

Anastasia blowing out her candles.  Uncle Shane did the crushing of the pomegranate to dye the frosting pink.  It tasted great, too.  

A Quiet Morning and Cecily 3 Mo.


I spoke to a friend today, also a mother of four-under-four, on the phone and told her it had been a quiet morning.  After I told her all the events of the morning, we both laughed, because in a house with four young children, "quiet morning" is a relative term. 

For breakfast, Anastasia ate most of a banana and three small bowls of cereal completely on her own.  This made breakfast and the whole morning in general more peaceful. 

Just after breakfast, we heard a big truck of some sort, and all ran to the window ( not me, but sometime I feel like it!).  Much to this mother's delight, the city crew was working right in front of our house with a cherry-picker and wood chipper.  This kept the mobile children transfixed while I switched loads of laundry.  Then Joseph was yelling something about Henry getting blood everywhere.  Sure enough, Henry had a cut on his thumb which was bleeding profusely.  Henry didn't seem very upset about the cut, only that the blood was getting all over his other hand and he couldn't just wipe it off on the widow sill.  I cleaned him and the window and got a band-aid on him, but I could not figure out how he cut himself.  I did a thorough inspection of the window and frame and found nothing that could cut a little finger.  I finally concluded that he had bitten his own thumb--he's teething and has his fingers in his mouth most of the time.

Around snack time, Henry climbed up in the Anastasia's seat and asked for food. 
He looked around and then said, "Y-eye boke Ya-ya's Boe." (translation: I broke Aine's bowl.) 
I said, "No you didn't . . . where is Aine's bowl?" 
To which he replied, "Y-eye ut-it in-ya tash!"  (translation: I put it in the trash.)  
"No.  Really?  Let me see."  Sure enough, there was a broken bowl in the trash.  So THAT is how Henry cut his finger.  It made sense now, but I don't know how this child has ingenuity to reek havoc and get in exactly the same place I left him in such a short period of time.  At least it was a small cut! 

So, all in all, it was a quiet morning.  To be more precise, it was a successful morning.  Not uneventful, but all ended well.  What will the afternoon hold? 

And now for something completely different:  Pictures of Cecily!  She is three months old in these pictures.