Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Happy Birthday Little M

Happy Birthday today to my nephew who turns 7! I can't believe how quickly time is going by. Seems like he was just a baby...ha! He loves to learn, swim, build legos and collects stamps and coins! I love talking on the phone with him and can't wait to go to Michigan to play outside and give him tons of hugs. He is always so kind and considerate towards me....he is quite polite and courteous and I'm always so impressed how well he behaves in church and out and about. When I'm with him he always offers to do things for me! He is just such a sweet boy! Sure do miss him!!!! Love to you my awesome nephew!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Jalapeno Pepper Jam

Today I made my sister's recipe, Jalapeno Pepper Jam. It is one of our favorites around our home. I put it over chicken or ham to bake or on a cracker that is smothered in cream cheese. This batch I made is very hot. I taste tested it and my mouth burned instantly. Ha! At least I had sense enough not to burn my hands this time when handling them.

Always make sure you start with a clean kitchen! One trick I learned from my sister and our girlfriend Heidi, is to always have a sink full of hot, soapy water. I've gotten in the habit of doing this every time I'm in the kitchen. It is so much easier to clean up as you go along especially when you are canning. This process sure can be sticky.

I've got them all packed and in the Steam Canner

This is the steam canner. I had no idea what my friend Stacie was talking about a couple years ago when she was talking about this and I was talking about the hot water bath. She didn't know about the hot water bath either. She is from Montana and this is what her grandmother always used. Of course I only remember my mom and family using the hot water bath. This works the same way but it is awesome because you just fill the bottom part with a little water. You put the top on and when steam starts to come out of the little start the timer. No more huge bath of boiling water to deal with.

After I take them out of the steamer I love hearing all the lids "pop"!

Jalapeno Pepper Jam
4 Cups finely chopped jalapeno
1 chopped sweet red pepper
1 can apple juice
2 T lemon juice
1 pkg pectin
8 Cups sugar

-Combine all ingredients except sugar and bring to a boil. Add sugar - return to a boil for one minute.
Process in hot water bath for 5 minutes....
*Adjust time for higher altitudes :)

Tomorrow I'm going to try this recipe with less jalapenos. Instead I'm going to use more sweet red peppers. I love experimenting and I'm sure it will taste just as good.
Lady was picked up by Stacie this afternoon so I no longer need to worry about losing her again. James came home tonight and she wasn't here and the first thing he said was "did you lose Lady again?" Ha! I told him if that was the case I would be in tears!! I went to the garden store today and bought some marble rocks for my to follow next week. :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Lost Lady

Sometimes a day just does not start out like planned. I woke up and let Lady (our friends dog we are taking care of this week) out the side door, went and made my coffee and then let Lily out the back door. Lady has never lived in a fenced in yard and always comes when called. Well, when I went back out around ten minutes later I started to call her and no Lady. I figured she was just around playing and that she would make it back in a few minutes. I went into town to clean at church just thinking she would be on the porch when I got home. Nope! Of course not...that was wishful thinking. Around 12:30 I decided I better call the pound...they asked me all sorts of questions I didn't know such as 1)What kind of dog 2) Is her rabbies up to date etc. The only description I could really give them was her hair color and she has one blue and one brown eye. Well wouldn't you know it, the animal control lady had just brought her in! Our neighbors kept her all morning until animal control picked her up. She must not have been over there very long before they took her in. I just want to mention that while I was driving around looking for her there were two other loose dogs in the area. I also have about four stray cats living under and around my home. Perhaps I'll start taking all my neighbors stray cats and turning them in. I know she wasn't out very long roaming around. When I called Stacie (my friend) to get the information that I needed so I could pick her up she just laughed and laughed. She knows if it's gonna's gonna happen to me. They only trust me to take care of their baby...ha! I won't even begin to tell you what we did to her the last time she was in our care but it was terrible! And yet, we continue to watch her. HA! Good thing I wasn't asked to take care of her chickens or goats. Who knows what would have happened. Last time I took care of the chickens one got out and James and I had to chase it around the yard! It was a funny sight.
This evening was the most decent one we've had in probably a week so James helped me put together my last square foot garden for the year. I'm up to three. I hope to keep adding one on each year. I'm hoping that everything I've planted grows well. It may have a chance if it doesn't snow anymore this spring/summer.

Lily and Lady try to get along but it's hard when they are the only dogs in their family. Lily loves to follow Lady around.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Letter To My Niece

Dear Niece,
This afternoon I made taco pie for Uncle James for dinner tonight. Tomorrow I really need to bake him some applesauce muffins for breakfast. I really want to make chocolate mocha muffins to. Those are my favorite! You'll have to call me to make sure I'm up baking in the morning. I'm also planning on making tuna roll ups for lunch. Have you made those yet? Don't forget all you need is one can of tuna. Then you just dump mayo, pickle relish and cheddar cheese, mix it all up and slap it on a tortilla and roll up! It's so easy and yummy! I like to add some celery to mine because we like the crunch but I know you don't like celery.
Tomorrow night is our last night of vacation bible school. Tonight they served us Kraft macaroni and cheese with pizza rolls to eat. You know how I love kraft dinner! I don't know why they served it with pizza rolls though. I would have preferred it with hot dogs! That is what your great great aunt Dorothy used to serve to me. Your great grandma Curtiss also loved fixing me kraft dinner but I don't think she served it with the hot dogs. You just can't go wrong with hot dogs and kraft dinner. When I was little I was sure that was what was going to be served at my wedding. HA!
Lily and her guest for the week, Lady, are not getting along very well. They are quite funny to watch. Lily sits far away from Lady and if she gets to close...Lady shows her teeth and growls! Tonight the UPS guy came to deliver a package and James said Lady was barking and growling up a storm at the guy and then he had Lily in the other room barking. It's funny. I don't know why Lady was growling. She never growls with either one of us. Lady is a pretty nice dog and I can let her out the side door and not worry about her running away. She always comes when called. I'm not sure when Stacie is getting back from Utah. I think they pick her up Saturday. I offered to take care of her goats and chickens. She just laughed at me! Well, who can blame her. would laugh to if you saw me try to handle her goats! ha!
Ami got back from Africa safely last night. I only spoke for her for a few minutes today. She was exhausted but I think she'll be at VBS tomorrow night. Her translater put her hair in braids so she wants to show everyone. I'll be sure to take my camera tomorrow night so I can show you some photos. Her husband and boys were glad to see her! I don't think she'll be going anyplace again without them anytime soon. :)
Well, I'm going to go read "Emily of New Moon" by L.M. Montgomery. Does your mom have that book on her bookshelf? You should check and read it. I think you would really enjoy it and it would give us something else to chat about. I should read "Then there were five" again to. It's been a while since I've read through those. Love You Tons!

Friday, June 5, 2009

An Awesome Table

My niece built this awesome table for her bedroom. She just finished painting it today. I am very impressed and don't think I could have ever done something like this at her age (13). Aunt Theresa is so proud. Maybe I'll have to have her make me one! :)
Lily has a vet appointment on Monday. She has injured her left leg. I felt bad when I made the appointment when they asked how long she had been, almost a month! At first she only did it on and off so I did not think much of it. Thursday she started limping and has not stopped. Poor thing! She loves jumping and running so I'm sure this is hard on her. She does not seem to be in pain and still likes to run around the house when it isn't bothering her so hopefully it won't be anything to serious. Today we were looking at buying some trees and I decided to wait because who knows how much her leg is going to cost to get fixed and she is number one priority in this house. ha!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Is it June?

I'm not sure where May went. I had the best time having my sister and her family visit. I met them in Rapid City to do some touristy things and then they came to my home for a few days. If anyone knows my sister, make sure you ask her about the nice scenic drive we went on in the Black Hills. Oh, it was so funny! I hope she can laugh at it now. I don't think she is a big fan of drop offs or heights. :) I loved being with the kids because they are not shy with me at all. I get lots of hugs and they all sit on my lap and give me snuggles. I will only say that I cried a little when they left...only for two days on and off. Hey, I thought that was pretty good. I loved having all the rooms of my home being used and cooking for such a large crowd. It was great to have kids running in the house to! Well, that was the highlight of my May. I'm not sure if anything else that happened or that I did is even worth mentioning.

The Herder Family

Three of the kids just hanging out on my couch. They get along pretty good. I think they are really good kids!

We threw a birthday party for my niece. She turned five while on vacation. I decorated the dining room with pink crate paper and picked up a bouquet of balloons. I think everyone had a good time.

The girls decorating the cake! They had a good time.