Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baling Hay - Alfalfa

I rarely get pictures of working the Alfalfa fields because most of the time the jobs are done VERY early in the morning.  However, one day I managed to get Grandpa Schlatter baling one of the last cuttings of Alfalfa over by his place.  






Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Day at our House...

As I was making applesauce, I just couldn't refuse taking a few pictures of my family in their 'normal' activity state:


Nathan taping his spelling words...printed from the computer...to my wall!
I so need to get that boy a peg board or something because he is forever taping SOMETHING to my walls...all over the house!  You should see his bedroom!

Abi making an impromptu art project with glue and toothpicks.
My definite artist in progress...she will come up with the craziest of projects that actually turn out pretty cool...always looking for something to create!

Jonathan playing with shapes...making flowers and mud holes.
Busy hands...Jonny wants to be busy all the time...legos, shapes, trucks...it doesn't matter...just don't let me get bored okay!?

And Ethan...omgoodness...Ethan is into EVERYTHING!  I have given up trying to keep my floors uncluttered because two seconds later he has dumped everything again!  However, he is definitely doing some new things...watch and LISTEN to this video for his newest thing....truly...he'll drive his truck and "brrrrrrrrrrrrr" for hours!



And yes...if you listen carefully you will hear Nathan say "Mom, Jonny is taping toothpicks to the wall."  Apparently he got bored with the shapes and moved on.


Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Applesauce Day(s)

I am FINALLY getting to the apples that we purchased from LaDows last week!  Since the apple orchards around here either did not have much of an apple harvest or have basically shut down, we decided to just order our apples this year.  

I'm a bit bummed that we don't have that yearly tradition, but I'm at least thankful for the plentiful jars of applesauce that we will be able to have over the next few months!

12 jars from the Fuji Apples -
made into unsweetened, brown sugar, and cinnamon red hot applesauce

14 jars from the Jonathan Apples -
made into Cinnamon-Sugar and unsweetened applesauce

4 jars from the Jonathan Apples -
made into VANILLA applesauce
This is AMAZING stuff here...wish I would have made more of this!
Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

K4T Dress up Night!

This week's K4T was Bible Dress Up night.  This is when the kids can come as Bible Characters, Animals, or God's Creation.  

Abi is Mary with baby Jesus,
Nathan is a disciple who went to get the donkey for Jesus at Easter,
Jonny is the donkey,
and Ethan is a camel.
(all costumes borrowed from our church costume collection)
You can see from the picture below that Jonathan was very excited!  He was literally going around 'He-Hawing' and walking on all fours.  He was going to be a shepherd until he saw the donkey ears and then he decided to be a donkey!


I wish I would have had time to find Ethan's yellow shirt but we were running a bit late, so he just went in normal clothes with his camel ears on.  Everyone thought he was adorable!



Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

An exciting trip to K4T!

Marion was so taken back yesterday that he insisted I include these pictures on our blog!

On our way to Kids4Truth we take a back road as a short cut when the roads are good enough.  This time, we were blessed with the site of an albino deer!  Yes indeed! Check out our pictures:





Unfortunately, all I had with me was my cell phone so the pictures aren't that great, but I was able to blow one up via my Photoshop and here it is:

Disclaimer:  This is NOT a sheep!
Marion thought it looked like a sheep in this picture...lol!

When we got home, Marion looked up Albino Deer and found that only 1 in every 30,000 are white and several states have outlawed shooting them.  As you can tell, it was a big deal with our family!


Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

They surprised me...

The kids that is!

I've been trying to get more veggies into our lives and to be honest I struggle with it - not wanting to fight the kids!  But today I just did it.

I made a salad with spinach, lettuce mix, black beans, navy beans, onions, red pepper, feta cheese, and mushrooms!  I then made coleslaw as well.

I totally expected HUGE fits and tantrums and refusals to eat...the whole shebang.

But they surprised me.

Daddy called them to lunch and told them this is what we were eating and that it was yummy and that there were to be no complaints.

At the end of the meal, Jonny had eaten all of his greens but left his beans and onions, Abi left the coleslaw, Nate left the spinach and Ethan ate EVERYTHING (well...except the onions...he handed a few of those to Daddy).  Overall...I think that meal was a huge success and I had only a small bowl of left overs!

Here is a picture of my left over salad:



Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Monday, October 24, 2011

Homemade Yogurt

Today I made homemade yogurt.  It wasn't really complicated and it was oh, so, yummy!

So how did I do this?  Well, I took the idea from Laura at Heavenly Homemakers.  Only, instead of putting my yogurt in a jar and then in a cooler full of warm water, I put mine in the crock pot and then wrapped the whole thing in a towel overnight.  

The next morning we had yogurt:


 I mixed in a little bit of sweetened raspberries and yummy!

Now, this batch came out a bit runnier then I'd like, but I think that was because I was using such a large amount.  Next time I'm going to do a smaller batch and try to keep it a bit warmer by using the warm setting on my crockpot (so I'll be doing it during the day instead of overnight).  Just to see how it changes things.

Anyway, and since the Heavenly Homemaker link also talks about cream cheese...I made some of that too:

So first, I took a tee towel and put it over a bowl:


Filled the bowl as full as I could with yogurt:


Then I folded up the sides and tied the towel shut with a string, and then hung the whole towel over the bowl and let it drain for 7-10 hours (basically over night):


I was surprised by how much whey came off:


When I opened up the tee towel, this is what I had:


I scrapped all the yummy tasting cream cheese off the towel and put it in jars:


My first batch of homemade yogurt and cream cheese!  Next I want to look into making mozzarella and ricotta cheese!



Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

He's getting too big...

This is what I walked into this morning...


Nothing like being particular huh?

Oh...I'm in so much trouble now!


lol


Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Good News...Good News...

Update: Welcome Hailey Ann Spaak!

My friend Kim Spaak had her baby!

A little girl, 7 lbs 14 oz and 21 inches long.  Born last night 10-17-11 at around 9:30 p.m.

Kim and Mark had decided to have a home birth this time around and I am pleased to report that it went VERY well.  They had several goals they wanted to try to achieve through this method and things just went very smoothly.

CONGRATULATIONS to Mark & Kim and the new sisters Caitlyn, Mariah & Allison!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Milo Harvest

Milo harvest is underway





Refueling and greasing the combine





Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Homemade Vanilla DONE~

My vanilla is finally done.

Here is the 1/2 gallon of homemade vanilla that is now done and ready to be bottled and used up!  I'm so excited!  I've used some in my applesauce and it was SO yummy!


Now I'm going to dry the beans and add them to some vanilla for vanilla sugar.  Then, after the vanilla sugar is done, I'm going to grind up the dry beans so I can add it to my coffee grounds for homemade vanilla coffee!

YAY!

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, October 14, 2011

Silage Cutting

This year, I tried to get pictures of various farming operations.  One of the neat things we do is silage cutting.  We usually do this with the Frydendalls and Herredsbergs.  Here are some pictures of the crew cutting silage on Grandpa Schlatter's place.

silage cutter and truck

its a weird looking machine...and throws the silage behind so the truck has to follow.

another truck getting lined up

a big tractor is used to push the silage around and pack it down

a truck coming to dump

dumping the silage for the tractor to pack
Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Nathan's Birthday

Well, our day started off with Carmel Apple Cinnamon Rolls and a round of Happy Birthday to our 6 year old son!

Mid-morning I called the grocery store and they confirmed they had the dry ice I needed for Nathan's lava cake.  So we loaded everyone up and headed to town.  Nathan decided he didn't want to have regular ice cream but mini chocolate cones instead so we grabbed some of those and the dry ice!

By this time it was lunch time and Nathan requested Jiffy Burger.  We called in the order and picked it up on our way home.  The kids basically played and enjoyed the first day of their fall break while I got the house ready for company and finished a few details. 

One of the things I decided to do since we had plenty of dry ice was to make 'volcanic' root beer.  Now if you've done any research on how to make homemade root beer you'll see that finding a recipe WITHOUT dry ice is very difficult.  So, since I had some, I thought I'd try one.  The kids loved it...check it out:


Nathan helping me stir!

Abi's not so sure...it's cool...but scary!

Cousin B thought it was great though!
 It really worked...I didn't put the amount of dry ice they recommended so it wasn't as carbonated as it could have been, but we didn't want to freak people out too much...just make a nice smoking drink!

As you know from my other post, it didn't work so great to get the video.  And I was so busy creating lava and smoke and lighting the candles I didn't take any pictures.  I was able to get this still picture from the video clip so you can at least see the orange lava flowing over the top of the volcano!


After the kids watched the lava for awhile, we headed into the dining room for cake and ice cream cones.  Nathan was so excited about his dinosaurs that he barely ate any of his cake.  And then, I had to call him three times to come open his gifts...now that is something to be said!  lol


Finally I got him to open his presents - and I'll apologize right up front because shooting into the back light was terrible.  That, mixed with a VERY spastic little boy..the pictures aren't the greatest, but you'll get the gist!

First present up...Cousin B, E, & C's gifts.

A 1001 book, a Hexbug, and Hexbug set.
(Don't know what a hexbug is...check this out!)

Cousin B giving Nate the full explanation as we've never heard of these before!

Next up...a Mater T-shirt from Grandma Makey

And some Figurines and a Lego Mater!

On to the next one...the remote control truck!

And finally the basket ball.
I think I got all the gifts named there.  Grandma Schlatter is still working on her gift and it will arrive later on. I'll try to remember to get a post about that when it gets here.

After the kids played for awhile, Grandma loaded up the cousins and Nathan and they headed home for supper and a sleep over.  Overall, I think Nate had a great birthday!

Happy Birthday Nathan...we love you and are so blessed to have you apart of our family!  We are praying for many more years to watch you grow and share in our family.

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter