Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Snow

Can you believe it? This much snow! You saw the pictures from the weekend before and our beautiful backyard. This is only one week later and look at the snow in the tree. But can you also see the robins that have come back? Can you see how many are in the tree? Please pray that spring will come back. I can hardly wait until we can start planting. I am also sure that the robins will want to dig for worm pretty soon, too.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Owen Loves Dinosaurs

Owen has expressed an interest in dinosaurs. We were given a few plastic dinosaurs that Owen has grown to love. When I am printing out worksheets for the older kids, Owen always asks me to print dinosaur colouring pages for him. He saw them on one of the websites I printing worksheets from. So it wasn't a surprise that when we were shopping at "Wally-world" and looking at material, that he grabbed one with a dinosaur print out of the bargain bin. I found another material in the bargain bin that looked nice with it and bought them both. I had no idea what I was going to make, but new that I would make something nice out of it for Owen. I hardly ever make anything for him. I decided on making a pillow case, and this is what I decided to make. It is actually a really easy pattern that I saw in a German quilting magazine. It is a nine-patch cut into fourths and turned to make this pattern. If I can find some more of the material, I will make a matching quilt for Owen. Here is just a pillow case and it is not quilted (I was too lazy). Besides, I thought it looked nice this way and I used a hotel closure for the back. This way I have a nice closure without buttons. Owen loves the pillow case and so do I. I am not a professional seamstress, nor a good quilter, but I love to do it. I hope to finish two quilts that I have started very soon and will post pictures as soon as they are done.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Square Foot Gardening

This weekend we were blessed with the most beautiful and warm weather. I am still in awe over the wonderful weather. It was around the 20°C all weekend and in our backyard it always feels warmer than it is. We took the wonderful opportunity to build our square foot garden boxes that we had been dreaming of. We spent over two hours in Rona walking back and forth between the two ends of the store. One end had the lumber and the other end the garden supplies. We also needed to rent the store's van in order to transport our lumber and soil mix. It was so exciting that we even bought some strawberry plants. To get a better idea of what square foot gardening is, please follow this link. As you can see in the pictures, our space in the backyard is limited, but we are going to make the most of that space. We didn't follow the rules 100% because we had a huge hole to cover and the recommended 4'x 4' box wouldn't cover the biggest part of the hole. Instead, we made a 5'x 4' box in which Raspberry plants are along the back row so as to minimize problems of picking. I can't wait until the danger of frost has passed and I can really start gardening. Unfortunately, we live close to the mountains (and in Canada)so that snow in May happens and warm chinooks happen too. Next weekend the meteorologists are calling for snow and near freezing daytime temps. We will praying that we have a great growing season and a prosperous harvest. So here is what we have been up to...

This is the ugly hole that we wanted to cover!

This is Sascha with the help of the kids putting together the first box.

The first box is filled.
Sascha is making the grids out of chalk line.
This is the 12'x 4' box and behind it will eventually be a sandbox.
This is where the ugly hole used to be.

The strawberry patch.

Soft Prezels for Uncle Colin

Hello Uncle Colin,

This post is for you. As we chatted one day on msn, I promised you that I would post some pictures of the yummy soft prezels we made while chatting. The first picture is of the prezels without cheese and the second picture is with cheese. They were so delicious that the kids are begging me to make them again. Last weeks shopping list included coarse salt, so that we can make them really authentic this week. Perhaps, you will try them some time soon.

Recipe for Soft Prezels
using a bread machine

500 g flour
2 tsp. salt
1tsp. sugar
250 mL warm water
2 ½ tsp. active dry yeast
40 g  butter
Opt. coarse salt
Opt. grated cheese

Put ingredients in the bread machine in order according to bread machine manufacturer. Set on dough cycle. When the machine has stopped, lightly knead the dough and form into rolls or pretzels. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, boil 4 cups of water with 2 Tbsp of baking soda. Add the pretzels to the boiling water for 1 minute. Remove and place on a greased sheet pan. Sprinkle with coarse salt or grated cheese and bake in a 350F preheated oven for 12 minutes.
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