Saturday, May 15, 2010

two wheels!

Yes, it's a big day at the Barrett house. Daniel has mastered the art of bicycle riding!!
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Cookies

Hoping to remember to do this on Saturday!

The Easter Story Cookies

To be made the evening before Easter.

You need:

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp. vinegar
3 egg whites
pinch salt
1 cup sugar
zipper baggie
wooden spoon
A Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. This is important! Don't wait until you're
half done with the recipe!

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested,
He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.
Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar.
Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.
Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross,
He was given vinegar to drink.
Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.
Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.
Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and
brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears
shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.
Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.
Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died
because He loves us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.
Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks
are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.
Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie
sheet. Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.
Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.
Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that
Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matt. 27:65-66.

Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was
Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first
Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matt. 28:1-9

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Anna & her snowgirl

It snowed in Austin! Despite conflicting weather forecasts, it did actually snow in a measurable amount. Daniel was excited but spent only 3.6 seconds outside before he declared it "too cold". Anna, on the other hand, had a blast rolling up snowballs to make this beautiful creation! She's apparently an old school traditionalist when it comes to snowman building. She would settle for nothing less than a carrot for the nose, hat and scarf, and sticks for arms. She conceeded to craisins for eyes, and a bell pepper smile. She added her Anna flair with the curly ribbon for hair. I'm so proud of my sweet Anna and her snowgirl - just hope snowgirl can last for a few hours before the rain melts her away!!!
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

bleak february in the garden

February here in Austin has been rainy and cold!  Sure we get a beautiful 50ish or 60ish day here and there, but it's just been very wet and yucky.  My garden looks pretty much the same as last month, so I didn't post anything new.  My herbs are so hardy!  Oregano, thyme, mint, rosemary, and parsley seem to survive everything - cold, heat, dry, wet.  Amazing!  

So just hang on.  Only 1 month until planting season!  March 15th!!  

Friday, January 22, 2010

My garden - mid January

First off, here's what my boxes look like:

Box 1 has celery in top row, swiss chard in second row (purple), oregano in 3rd row (huge, needs to be cut back), and thyme, parsley, and cilantro in bottom row.

Box 2 has nothing on top row, garlic on 2nd row (frozen leftover romaine lettuce next to it - I'm crossing my fingers it will come sprout something), hollyhocks on 3rd row (only there because they are still green - they will come out soon), and a lone broccoli plant on bottom row.

What to do in mid-January?
From my "expertise" (HA!) - January is the time to clean out the dead stuff in your garden. Take care of greens that survived the frost. Sprinkle some fertilizer on your soil and mix it in to get ready for early spring planting. Turn the soil over, mix it up, get it ready for planting in mid March.

Since we live in Texas, there will be stretches of beautiful days, and you will be tempted to plant stuff outside. Save your money, unless you want pansies. It will freeze again and you will cry when you either lose your new baby to the cold, or when you spend way too much time and energy covering and rigging up warming devices to protect your plants. Take this time to look at the Burpee catalog and dream about the things you'll harvest this year.

That's it for now - headed out to prune back my huge oregano.
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so you want to plant a garden?

Over the last several years, I've enjoyed learning a bit about how to make stuff grow in the ground.  Before my kids were in the picture, I'd come home from Home Depot with several different interesting plants and stick them in the ground to see what would happen.  Dave & I spent lots of time the backyard back in Richardson, creating new beds, trying new things, planting trees/plants for special occasions.  I had roses from the Antique Rose Emporium where my bridal portraits were made.  We planted an oak tree in the front when Dave graduated from business school.  We had a rose planted when Anna Rose joined us.  The redbud tree was planted for Daniel.  It was sad to leave our first house (I took the rose with me - Anna was not quite 1 when we left).

As we entered full-on toddlerhood, Dave and I put most of the yardwork on hold.  We were in Granbury, and the soil around our new house was builders fill dirt, which is often referred to as "red death clay".  We planted a few things (Anna's rose looked great when I saw it last fall) but kept it pretty simple.  We were in a more country-type setting (no privacy fences, drainage creek in backyard) and deer and other critters were just waiting to devour any fun things we planted.  We also had Bailey in the backyard, who had a habit of laying down on TOP of things we planted! We were crazy proud of our 1 inch tall Rose of Sharon seedlings that were about 7 feet tall when we moved out after 2 years!

In July of 2008, we came to Austin and said hello to the privacy fences.  My kids were getting older (Daniel entered kindergarten in the fall) and I was able to spend a little more time outside without having to constantly attend to the needs of my kids or worry about the amount of dirt being consumed.  In the spring of 2009, I saw a "Square Food Garden" on a blog I followed.  I was immediately interested and purchased the book that told you what to do every step of the way.  I started late in the process - late April, I think - and had some good and some terrible results.

Over the summer and fall, I talked about it with friends who came by and commented on the boxes in my backyard.  I found 2 local nurseries that fed my growing desire to grow things and found more success.  We had watermelons, bell peppers, and herbs all summer long.  I learned a bit more about tomatoes, and harvested some in the early fall.  We harvested delicious broccoli in late fall and continue to enjoy super-skinny but very tasty celery.  And the kids LOVED growing huge sunflowers that unfortunately attracted crazy-weird bugs that were pretty scary!  I failed on lettuce, corn, early tomatoes, jalapenos, spinach, onions and several things I probably brought home from Home Depot and planted but quickly died.

So, I've had friends ask me for help and my sister thought a blog was the way to go.  So here I am -for now.  I've been a very sporadic blogger in the past, but I'm hoping to redeem myself by posting short posts (excluding this one, obviously) about what I'm doing in the garden.

Here are some of my previous posts with pics of my garden:

If you're interested in Square Food Gardening, you can look at their website, but you're better off just buying the book to get all the scoop.  If you live in the Austin area, The Natural Gardener sells a version of "Mel's Mix" that is MUCH easier that buying everything separate.

So, that's it for now!  Feel free to ask questions by leaving a comment (in case someone has same question) or send me an email daveandsuzanne @ gmail dot com.  (Must confess I don't know exactly why people do their email like this on blogs, but if it keeps the spam away, I'm in).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family! Our Christmas cards are late, but they are on the way. :) Our sweet friend Jami Sall took these photos - check out her site for her new nonprofit

Here a picture of the cuzzes (aka cousins, my 3 nieces) - Daniel (6 1/2), Anna (4 1/2), Baby Ivey (10 weeks), Halle (2) and Ellie (4 1/2).

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