Monday, September 18, 2017

Molly's First Soccer Game!

Unfortunately, the kids' first soccer games scheduled for the 9th were cancelled due to poor air quality (smoke being blown in from all the surrounding fires). Boo. Then Timothy got sick and had to miss his first game this past weekend! Bummer! 

Molly had her first game though! And she was awesome! 

We think soccer is a great game for teaching teamwork and sportsmanship. The kiddos have always done so great in those areas! They've got those qualities down. This year, however, I would like to really focus on reinforcing that we play for fun....because we love the game!  We always want to put forth our best effort and do our very best, but don't loose sight of the reason you are playing the game in the first place: to have fun and because you like it! 

I think this is an important message to get across at this age. Especially when there are parents screaming a million and one directions from the sidelines and their children (and other children). Especially when peers will start to get mad about not winning, or gloat if they do win, or tell you how to play and what you should be doing. How does any of that make the game fun and worth playing? 

It doesn't. It makes it stressful and lousy.

When we showed up to Molly's game, she had a friend who was wrapping up a game and getting off the field. This friend told Molly to do this and that, but don't do this, and you really need to be aggressive and do this if you wanted to win....like her....and don't be all la-de-da because winning was better than loosing. Blah blah blah. She went on and on. 

When she was quite finished, I looked at Molly and said, "Baby, just have fun." Whereupon she smiled at me and said, "Yup! I know!" 

I love that girl. 

Molly started out the game as goalie and she was loving it! She stopped a handful of balls and the shit eating grin on her face was priceless! 

We really are just so proud of her! She was up and down that field and all over that ball, just smiling the whole time! Like Anthony, she is a superb player. I think it helps that she loves to run! :) Though the smallest on the filed (when is she not the smallest!?), she really held her own.

When the game was over and we asked if she had fun, she answered with a hearty YES! 


Great work, Hunny Bunny! You guys better get on thinking up your team name! Soccer pictures are coming up! Ekk!

With love,
Mama Hauck

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

September Garden Progress

Ahh, the garden! It is so so fun picking from the garden each day! I never know just what I get to pick! Here's an example of what a day's bounty looks like! 

We harvested our onions back in August. The kiddos had a great time helping! We pulled them, hung them on the fence to dry for a few days, then I cleaned them up and bagged them in panty-hose! The perfect material for onion storage! Even though we had A LOT, we gave some away....so we definitely don't have enough to last us past 4-5 months, especially with the way we eat onions! Next year we'll have to plant more if there's garden space. Onion harvest complete!! 

Anthony's cabbages were so beautiful, all three of them! All were pulled throughout August to the first week of September. The first one, unfortunately, went by way of fridge burn in the shop's fridge. Darn it!!! Rookie mistake, we should have known better, that fridge, especially the back, gets super cold. Ugh. So we had to toss it. The second one Grandma Cathy took and made corned beef and cabbage for us. Yum!! The last one Sammy is currently using to make some sauerkraut. I'm not the biggest fan of it, but Sam loves it. We'll see how it turns out! 

Did you know that if you just cut the cabbage head off and leave the stem and rest of it in the ground, little cabbages will start to form off of the main section? I didn't! That was a happy accident! I wasn't strong enough to pull the whole dang thing out of the ground, so I just wrestled back and forth until the head broke off. I was like what the hell, lets just leave the stem in the ground because who cares right now. A week or so later Anthony was like, "Ummm, I think my cabbage is growing little cabbages!" Sure enough, he was right! Fun! So we'll let it got for a bit and see what comes of it! 

Next year, if Sam wants to make more kraut, we'll go ahead and plant 3 cabbages again, but if he decides not to, then 1-2 is enough for us to realistically use. 


Our carrots just keep on chugging right along! This is our second planting. We harvested our first planting back in July when my Mom and Dad where here visiting. I don't know why our carrots have been so spotty this year....last year the bed was full, both plantings! This year, both plantings have had voids. Oh well. We'll have enough for us, but not enough to share. We'll harvest them sometime next month! 

The tomatoes have been a labor of love....and I don't even like them!! First we were getting end rot. We had to keep throwing out the ones we found with end rot on them, boo. Then we were dealing with something eating them! Ohhhh I was pissed! I couldn't figure out just what the heck was eating them! Then I saw it....I watched a squirrel run out of the garden and under the barn! A squirrel! At any given time we'll have a family of them living under the barn. Ugh. Little did they know, I had a plan. I filled the horse trough up just enough for them to be enticed to drink, fall in, and not be able to get back out. Wouldn't you know it, over the course of a week, I got 5 squirrels and a chipmunk! Now, before you go crying over their drownings, know that squirrels are serious pests around here and they hold no place in my heart. No place! Especially when they eat my tomatoes that I don't even like! Haha 

While we were dealing with our end rot and squirrel issues, I decided to play it safe and pick the tomatoes just as soon as I saw a hint of yellowing. Doing so ensured their safe ripening in the house, instead of being devoured by pests. Every morning when I go out, I pick anywhere from 5-15 starting to ripen tomatoes and bring them in the house. Once totally ripe, I core them, place them on a tray to freeze, then bag 'em up when totally frozen. I've been doing this everyday for over 2 weeks. We've got 6 bags in the freezer so far, with probably another 6 bags yet to come! We plan to make salsa, spaghetti sauce, or pizza sauce (all of which I DO like!). Not sure which yet. We'll see. For now we'll get them all in the freezer and decide in a month or so when we've got the time! 

Our first round of beans were HUGE! We ate those the beginning of August and they were delicious! Just a simple steam on the stove and they were perfect. Since then, the deer devoured what was on the outside of the fence, and the beans are half the size as before. Not sure why, I'm not a bean expert. Even given weeeeks, they refuse to grow to their potentially huge size, deciding instead to remain small. So what the heck, I pick them small. If I don't they turn brown/white and drop off! Might as well eat them as in instead of waiting ages to see if they'll get any bigger. Despite their now smaller size, they are delicious. We'll for sure do beans again next year....but we'll have to change the way we trellis them, so the deer don't have access to them through the fence. And we'll plant them sooner. 

Our raspberries have produced more this year than last, and I couldn't be happier! Right now, every morning we are getting about 10-15 raspberries. I put them in my daily yogurt with some flaked coconut (yum!!), or if Tim gets his hands on them, they're gone! We still have tons of flowers and berries just starting, so I'm confident we'll be getting raspberries until at least the end of the month! If I could, I'd have a hundred raspberry plants. Too bad there's not enough room! 

I'm not the only one who loves raspberries....apparently our rattle snake friend does too. Unfortunately for him, we really aren't friends. His tail is now added to the collection. Good thing it was just me in the garden that time! 

Our strawberry plants are still producing as well! We get 2-3 each morning. Enough for me to cut up and put in my yogurt, or to save up for a few days to use in making a treat....like triple berry oatmeal bars! They are delicious!! I'm loving how the strawberry plants found their way over to the other side of the box and have now filled it up. We went from 4 mother plants, to a whole box! I've come to the conclusion that our garden is just much too small. It seriously needs to be 3x the size! 

Plums! We have two Japenese plum trees in the front yard. I hate to say it, but the deer got the majority of our plums this year. We really need to make the fencing around all our trees taller and wider. Damn deer. In any case, I got an ok amount for having fed the Ownby Rd deer population. Anthony and I ate a few, the rest I cut and bagged up for the freezer! We still have our harvest from last year in the freezer as well. I'm hoping between the two years, we have enough to make some sort of jam or savory sauce. For now, in the freezer they go until we decide what to do with them!

The pumpkins are doing awesome. The kids get a kick out of watching them grow! We have TONS of the little decorative ones, we'll for sure be able to give some away. We've got 4 giants that are really going, and a few that are starting...though I don't believe they'll be "giant" in time for Halloween! We've got 8-10 middle of the range pumpkins that'll be good for decorating. And at this point, only 1 carve-able jack-o-lantern in the bunch. Though I'm sure some of the middle of the range pumpkins will get there in time. Looking at the back of the seed packets, I'm sure I calculated right and gave ourselves enough growing time.....but maybe not. We'll see how we do by the time we need to pick, and adjust our planting time for next year if need be! Eeek, pumpkins!! 

Happy September!! 

With love,
Mama Hauck