Today’s Harvest: Zucchini

I’m harvesting a ton of zucchini from my garden lately. We’ve made grilled zucchini, fried zucchini and plenty of zucchini bread. Right now I have a batch of zucchini relish simmering on the stove (yes! You can make relish with zucchini instead of cucumbers – my husband says it’s the best). With so much zucchini, I’ve been trying to get creative here, and recently came across a recipe for stuffed zucchini boats. I served them for dinner the other night and they were so good! Even my pickiest eater ate them. Here is the recipe for Stuffed Zucchini Boats.  Enjoy!

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Feeling the Love – And Feeling Good, Even When Life is Tough

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But what about when it’s not? Can there be positivity in the midst of sorrow? Optimism and hope while overwhelmed with stress?? Yes, it CAN happen! I’m still participating in The Full Measure Experiment. I have yet to write about the second assignment, but the results of my third assignment are so cool that I just had to share… Continue reading

My “Why” – To Celebrate Life

*Lots of inspiration and deep-thinking for the next 6 weeks!*

I want to change the world! If not the whole world, perhaps at least my own little sphere of influence. I’m taking an online course from The Full Measure through Schoology.com. It will be exciting to learn more about myself and “to learn how to engage in a wholehearted life,” which is the objective of the class. Our first assignment was to identify our “why” – our purpose, cause or belief that is going to change the world. It was tough to choose the “why” that I want to focus on because there are more than a couple of “why’s” that define why I live my life the way I do. I decided on something that I am passionate about. It helps to shape who I am and is something I want to share with others. So what is my “why”?…laughtogether(photo credit: Lindsay Nicole Photography) Continue reading

To Plant a Garden Is To Believe in Tomorrow

(Title quote by Audrey Hepburn) Yesterday I was making dinner when one of my 10 year-olds walked in and sighed, “I really can wait until garden season. It’s so hard and boring!” I exclaimed to him, “I’m so happy to hear you say that because guess what we’re doing for family night?!… We’re going to clean up the garden! Yay!” (Cue groans, moans and complaints from both 10 year-old sons.) Yes, raising a garden is a ton of work. No, the work is not always fun, but it is super rewarding. Do not do all of the work yourself – invite your children to help. Give them responsibility. Show your kids that working together as a family is fun. Yes, they will whine. No, they will usually not find the work fun. And, no, they will probably not recognize the rewards of the hard work. At first. But when they are 18 and (hopefully) leaving your house, they will know how to work like grown men and women (even if they still whine about it a little). Strengthening the bonds of family and helping your children learn to be more self-sufficient so they eventually leave your house – what better rewards are there than that?! Grow a garden!

Round 1 of garden prep done! We did not plant a garden last year and for months I used the garden as my goat pen while we built a new barn. Since goats are messy and can be completely destructive, suffice it to say that we have a ton of work to do this year in the area of garden prep. Yesterday we hauled out piles of sticks and branches (which I had fed to my Goats last year), began repair of the brick walkway and completed the first run of tilling. 

Juniper and Bonita, our goat kids, also had a blast “helping.” 

Awakening From Our Long Winter’s Nap…

Well, our long winter’s nap lasted about 2 1/2 years. Ha. Not only is our farm awakening to the sights, sounds and smells of spring, but I feel like I too am figuratively awakening. I’ve spent the last two years growing and raising a baby (sweet Annabelle Ruth was born April 1, 2016). AnnabelleBirthRS_197

As she approaches her 1st birthday, she continues to grow faster than the weeds in my garden and I find myself awakening to a closer version of the “me” that I desire to be. As I awaken, I leave behind the sleepless nights. I leave behind the nag of the “getting-it-dones”. I leave behind the desire to do nothing but sit on the couch (as if that would ever happen – I have 4 kids). I leave behind the post-partum depression. Continue reading

This Week’s Harvest: Sweet Peppers

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I’m growing peppers bigger than my fist! And, they are still going strong – I’ve been harvesting a bucket of peppers every week. I have frozen most of them to make canned salsa later, but I have used quite a few fresh. Here is my new favorite recipe using green peppers (or red, yellow, whatever)…I give you the most amazing stuffed peppers you’ll ever eat, hands-down… Continue reading

The Story of a Little Heart Continues

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Over the next two years Adam continued to undergo various tests, procedures and surgeries and we continuously witnessed miracles. At 6 months old, we learned at a routine cardiology appointment that Adam was going into heart failure. He was admitted to Cincinnati Children’s that week for a cardiac catheterization with the hopes of repairing the pulmonary conduit through the catheter (rather than putting him through another open heart surgery). Through the catheterization they were able to successfully place three stents in order to open up his collapsing grafted artery. In subsequent cardiology appointments, his cardiologist continued to marvel at how Adam’s little aortic valve just chugged along. It was always leaky, but somehow his heart didn’t mind.

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The Story of a Little Heart (Part 3)

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7/03/12

My Dear Adam,

The best day ever. I held your tiny body in my arms for the first time since you were born three weeks ago. For the second time, I snuggled you. For the second time, I smelled your sweet hair. For the second time, I relished the softness of your baby skin against my face. I’m engraving this moment in my heart forever so I can close my eyes and return to it again and again. I haven’t felt so much peace and warmth and love in so long. I love you, my dear sweetheart.

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