Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sausage Making

For the first time since we have been married, Jason's parents made sausage with us! It is a German tradition around here but it also just makes sense for families that hunt and store meat throughout the year.Kill and harvest your meat
Cut it all and mix in pork. Pile it on the kitchen counter and season it.

Send it through the grinder once and then twice for fine ground meat.

Using a sausage stuffer and beef casings (not appealing substance but very resourceful!), turn the hand crank to fill casings.

Tie off links with string.
Hang out in the smokehouse until desired 'dryness' is achieved.

ENJOY all year long!!!!!
(Jason and I also wrapped 20 pounds of ground meat in 1# quantities to use in regular cooking.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

...these gifts from Thy bounty...

All Saint's Eve Costume Party! Personalities include Abraham & Sarah, St. Sebastien, Michael the Archangel, Kateri Tekakwitha, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Gemena, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, St. Patrick, St. Agnes, Veronica, Fr. Andrew Dun Lac and others.

The First Fruits of our winter garden!! (and some late producers from summer)
Grape tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, turnips & cabbage

Fresh venison, warm on the bone still!
This is how Jason and his dad 'clean' & skin the dear they kill

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Baptism Birthday


3 years ago today, our first born was baptized in water and The Spirit. It was particularly poetic today as I watched my two little ones dance around in the cool rain falling from the heavens.

Thank God for the grace that led us to the waters of baptism.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Swine Flu Hysteria like you've probably never seen before

When I got this in my email today, I thought it was particularly amusing considering our recent bout with the H1N1 flu. Also, we rented the Winnie the Pooh movie the other day... Anne wasn't sure what to think about this picture. Jason and I got good giggle.

Jason is well now and we are still flu free!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


So... Jason recovered from the flu

-but got an ear infection (undiagnosed but almost positive)

-started antibiotic (ZPAC)

-felt relief

-went to ER because his throat was swelling shut (reaction to the antibiotic)

-off the antibiotic

-Feels better

-goes to school (40 kids out of 100 out with the flu)

-Ear pain starts up again.

-Wants me to schedule a Dr. appt for him or get a prescription for Amoxil...


HOWEVER: Praise God that me and the kids haven't gotten sick yet.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Flu

PRAYERS NEEDED Jason has come down with the flu and is having a rough time go it. I am doing a crummy job of helping him AND taking care of the kids - - let me rephrase that - - - I haven't been able to help him at all.

Also, having the flu isn't ANYTHING like you see in the Little Bear episode. What with friends coming to visit you and all, bringing stuff and hanging out in your room. And Mother Bear diagnosing it from a sneezing spell. Seriously, I think Anne wants to get the flu so she can have the kind of fun day that Little Bear had. Oh Boy.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Growth & A Rainbow

My thriving 'sproutlings'. We transplanted this squash to our raised beds in the garden last weekend and we will probably move our tomatoes & broccoli this weekend. We dug and filled our new plant beds while the kids were napping and there was something very satisfying about working next to my husband that afternoon. Turning up fresh earth, sweating and building something...together.

"...and after the rain had ceased, there appeared in the sky a radiant, colorful bow. A sign from God..."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Says Jason to Anne, "I hope you never grow up Sweetie."

Says Anne to Jason, "Daddy, I want to get big so I can read big books like you."

Jason..."(big smile)"

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Heavenly Rain

God has sent us the most beautiful rain this weekend.

Our little tomatoes just couldn't handle all the water though and some of them burst...I guess you could say they are 'bursting' with joy!

Praise the Father in Heaven

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dove Season is Open

For those of you who didn't know (and frankly, why would you know or why would you care) ...Jason wanted me to let you know that dove season is open.

I'll bet Mrs. Park knows!

So far, Jason has killed 5 of those nice little birds. I am expecting him to cook them himself and as strange as it may sound to some of you, I think they may taste good (bacon and marinade maybe....).

More thinking on vaccinations

Just yesterday, I had yet another conversation with a mother concerned about vaccines. She is about to have her first and she really doesn't think the Hepatitis B shot is necessary for a newborn. She didn't know that she could sign a waiver to opt out (which can also be done for the eye drops given right after birth). Anyhow, as a special ed. teacher, she is also worried about the wide gammit of side effects and syndromes that can occur from the typical vaccination schedule.

The best resource I have found on the matter is 'The Vaccine Book' by Robert Sears. It seems like a very thorough treatment of the topic that includes manufacturing information (ingredients), alternate brand available, possible side effects, CDC reported cases of the disease in question, potential side effects, etc...
While Dr. Sears encourages parents to consider getting at least some of the vaccinations, he seems to understand many parents' desire to forgo all or some. He gives an alternate vaccination schedule that splits up and delays them so that aluminum exposure is limited and side effects can be tracked more effectively.

Personally, I am mixed on it all. It seems like the biggest concern is for illness within the first year (more likely to seriously trouble an infant) and then of course there is the use of fetal cells within some (Chicken Pox Vaccine and MMR most common). Also, the ingredient list on many of the vaccines looks like a witches potion if you ask me...sucrose, live virus, cow blood serum, monkey cells, chick embryo...
For a child who is breastfeeding and doesn't attend day care, exposure rates are VERY low and really, one has to consider if the risks (known and unknown) of the shot are better than the risks of the illness. I tend to think most of the common vaccines (and certainly the jam packed shot schedule) are not necessary for our kids but I'm planning to do a delayed shot schedule for Michael that includes Rotavirus, DTaP, and probably Pc.

I'm interested in your thoughts!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fall planting and other news

My little sproutlings! Broccoli, tomatoes, Lakota squash & white squash.

While Jason weeded the garden and made new rows, the girls helped me fill several small planters to start our seeds in. (Jason has great success with starting our plants in small containers and then transplanting them.) I planted on Saturday and most of them are already sprouting!!! I am excited. I did not help much with the spring planting but I am definitely enjoying the bounty... fresh basil and parsley for my pasta, fresh tomatoes for my sauce, fresh squash to cook...

Also, I have a gig making vestments for the Catholic school where Jason teaches. Hooray!!! A friend of mine found a semi-new sewing machine for me and it didn't cost a thing so I am ready to roll. Sewing vestments really brings me joy. Deo gratias.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Best in Show

Since Elizabeth would never post this herself, I waited till she was gone to post it. E talked about the fair in her last post without mentioning that she herself won a prize - BEST OF SHOW!!!! She entered her baby slings and a set of vestments she made earlier in the year. The slings both won in their categories, but her vestments won the entire shebang, for sewing at least. I'm proud of her. If you want to give a beautiful gift to a seminarian, priest or other cleric, she's the gal to talk to.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

The County Fair is in town!!

We are so excited because it's county fair weekend! (Bear in mind that the largest town in the county has a population of only 10,000 people so this is not like the Houston Rodeo or anything...)

There is horse racing, stock shows, queen contest, a carnival with real carnies, country music dances and yummy, expensive fair food! There are also exhibits of vegetables, baked goods, art & crafts and other handmade goods. A butternut squash from our garden even earned a 2nd place ribbon! We entered some of the girl's artwork and they were awarded their very own ribbons and petty prize money. (pictures to follow soon)

Lots of fun riding the carnival rides...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sling Samples

Custom Made Ring Slings... now available at a store near you! (ha, ha- I wish...well maybe not because if that really were the case, my kids would be largley unsupervised while I slaved away at the sewing machine)


So, I had an interesting conversation with the girls' doctor yesterday about... dun, duh, dun...
When I mentioned that we stopped Anne's shots after a year, I could tell he was a bit concerned. He was so nice though and he talked to me about the adult difficulties caused by chicken pox, measles and rubella...all of which are shots I am for-going right now! I can see that it's important to have a good relationship with your children's doctor, one where you can speak directly and openly at least.

As a mother, isn't it interesting how many things you have to become an "expert" on for your families' sake? Trying to figure out what's in the food you eat, the shots you're supposed to get, the best places to shop, how best to discipline for long term success and of course, the best course of action for school or homeschool! And my kids are 3 and under!!!

I tip my hat to all those moms who have managed to raise healthy children that love the Lord!

Monday, August 3, 2009

About our garden

Since this blog is entitled "Home Grown Kids & Vegetables", here's the skinny on the fabulous garden Jason has grown for us:

  • Items planted: butternut squash, green beans, radishes, 3 varieties of tomato, onions, garlic, red leaf lettuce, yellow squash, zucchini, jalapenos, banana peppers, bell peppers, watermelon & musk melon.
  • Right now, we are harvesting squash, zucchini, onions, peppers, lettuce & grape tomatoes.
  • The herb garden has 2 kinds of basil, oregano, 2 kinds of mint, Italian parsley & some struggling rosemary.

Back from the Beach

We are back home from spending 3 days at the beach in Port Aransas and I have to say, I am glad to be back in the 'mild' humidity of the hill country air. That sandy, salty and sticky air at the beach made me just feel gritty all the time! I am so glad that we could go though. I enjoyed the relief from looming piles of dirty dishes and laundry, the girls had a marvelous time splashing and digging (Rose splashed, Anne dug) and Jason had a few days of vacation from lesson planning. The cool breeze coming off the gulf was so pleasant that Michael slept through all of our beachside adventures and all 3 kids slept soundly after playing so much in the sand.

So, Anne was definitely petrified of the rolling waves and the tug of the current in the shallow sand, but am I an awful mom for dragging her in kicking and screaming anyway? I thought that if I held her and we played together that she might see how much fun it could be, but she didn't and I hope that I didn't make it worse by making her go in... I was holding her after all...
Oh well, I really can't blame her, I hate all that salty water splashing in my eyes and mouth!

Okay, so the beach is not my favorite destination but I must say, God's creativity and power is on display there in a special way. Holding my tiny infant as I watched the vast ocean sprawl before me helped me appreciate God's ability to be omnipotent while at the same time, leaving no detail unnoticed or unattended.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

First Time's The Charm!

This is my first attempt EVER to blog on my own. A little nervous. Hope I don't do it all wrong. It might take some time to get really good at it like Megan or Annamarie but by golly, I'm going to try...

This blog is dedicated to Jason, my husband, who has cultivated a delightful garden and is helping me to discover the goodness of country living while raising 3 kids. My blog is named 'Home Grown..." because I fully intend to share with you some of the wonderful events that occur in our special corner of God's green earth and how He is shaping our lives as we live and work in the Texas Hill Country.

*Disclaimer: This author does not presume to have great pearls of wisdom nor do I have beautiful prose to enrapture your mind but every once in while, I'll have a funny story about my kids or at least an interesting report of rural life!