Monday, July 28, 2014

July - Canning, DIY project, etc.

Hi ya'll!  The countdown has begun!  Only 4 days until we arrive in Virginia for a family wedding, some beach fun with extended family, and seeing friends!  Think about us on our trip Thursday and Friday...we are driving.  

Okay so I need to back-track a bit and post some photos that my talented sister-in-law, Danielle, took the last time we visited Garden City, KS.  I'm posting these pictures so that our Virginia family and friends can see them!  

Cowboy Take Me Away by the Dixie Chicks! (photo credit:  Danielle Stucky)

My two sister-in-laws (photo credit: Danielle Stucky)

My cowboy :) (photo credit:  Danielle Stucky)

Next up...DIY project!  I saw this cute idea for storage at one of my friend's house recently and I decided I just had to try it out!  We had all of the materials laying around the house and in the garage, so it made the project pretty easy!  Aaron kindly installed it in our up-stairs bathroom!  So cute!  I need to add some flowers or another cute decoration to the middle jar.

Finally, summer food!  Cooking in the summer is so fun because so many veggies are in season.  Awhile back I made a pesto pizza with fresh mozzerella cheese and garden tomatoes!  Doesn't it look scrumptious?!  The dough is home-made as well!  

Canning!  Aaron and I bought a BIG pot for canning (it's red of course!) and we made Fresh Garden Salsa and more Candied Jalapenos!!!  So yummy!  I want to try Tomato juice next (to add to chili in the winter).

Last up!  Nutella filled Muffins topped with cinnamon sugar.  Do you think I should start a food blog?  I would love to try making new recipes all day long!  I don't think I'd make too much $$ so I better keep teaching.

Happy Summer Cooking!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Backyard fence is complete!

Hello from Kansas!!  Aaron and I are enjoying our summer and hoping the next couple of weeks don't fly by too fast!  So I wanted to announce that we are DONE with our fence!!  It feels so good to not have the project hanging over our heads.   Plus, it was a HUGE job!  I have to boast about Aaron - he is determined, and incredibly skilled!  We had so much prep work to complete before even starting with the actual fence.  We cleared tons of brush in the back left corner of our yard, and trimmed many trees and bushes so that the fence would have a spot.  We took many trips to the Hesston burn pile!  Meanwhile, Aaron spent countless hours in the garage building the fence panels.  (26 1/2 fence panels, and 2 gates)  Oh, did I mention Aaron was building these panels in the HOT garage in the middle of summer?  Not much air flow in there, so he slaved away in the heat.  Not fun.  Obviously, I was the water girl.

The panels got stacked in the back until the holes were dug and set up.

The next job was to dig the holes with an auger.  Aaron's dad came over to help dig those, which was a huge help!  

Next, Aaron bought 28 bags of quick-rete to fill the holes and set the posts.  Oh, did I mention we bought so much wood for this project and it was all so heavy!

I had to document this hole because it was the most difficult.  Each hole was 8 feet apart, except this hole just happened to end up right by the neighbors fence post and a MASSIVE tree root!  So Aaron dug this hole by hand and we had to use the saw to cut the root out.  It was hard work to say the least.

Finally, we were ready to screw in the panels and level them up!  We were finally seeing progress!

I was Aaron's apprentice.  I helped him through the whole process and even used the drill a few times!  We got into a rhythm of putting these panels up. 

In the picture below you will see the back yard already had a privacy fence in the back, so Aaron just had to extend it a bit.  Our yard feels so much bigger now!

It's so beautiful!  The picture below is the view from the road.  The neighbors often  mentioned how nice the fence looks!

Oh, did I mention why we even decided to build the fence?  Well, you can see the reason below.   Casey is so happy and can finally run in our backyard without being on the leash!  Whoo hoo!

Here's Casey before his grooming a couple of weeks ago.  He was a very hairy dog, and got hot way too quickly.

Doesn't he look so clean and handsome now?  He is so soft and lovable, just like always.  

Come and see our fence and visit us, ok?!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4th!

Hi everyone!  Is it already July??  My summer is going too quickly!  I have about 1 more month to relax until little kids are entering my classroom again!  Yikes!  So this past week Aaron and I were busy preparing for some great Virginia friends to come visit for the weekend!  Michele, Jim, and Katherine Mumaw came out West to visit!  Whoo hoo!  Jim and Katherine (father and daughter) were showing two of their lambs at a National show in Hutchinson, KS, which is about 40 minutes away from Hesston.  That being said, they decided to bunk at our house for the weekend!  A little bit of background for you...I taught with Michelle (white shirt) at Waterman Elementary in VA for two years.  She was my teaching mentor and we have kept in touch since moving.  She wouldn't have had to make the long drive, but she came anyways to see us!  

In our spare time we went on a walk, watched fireworks, fed turtles and fish at the Hesston Arboretum, shopped in Newton, and ate some yummy grilled food!

Aaron enjoyed buying a ton of fireworks and setting them off for us!

The big huge box was our finale...we have some crazy stories to share about our firework experience :)  Ask us sometime!  Needless to say, Kansas knows how to do fireworks the right way!  You could look around for 360 degrees and see fireworks being set off in every direction!

So Saturday we went to Hutchinson with the Mumaws to watch the lamb show!  This was such a fun experience.  This was a national show so these were the best of the best.  This was a junior show which means only 21 years and younger can show.

Katherine is in the green shirt!  She did an awesome job!!!

Last but not least....we had a TON of jalapenos on our two plants and Aaron decided to make candied jalapenos.  So I assisted the chef and we ended up with 1 awesome jar of sweet, but spicy jalapenos to top burgers, etc.  I need to invest in a larger canning pot because the sauce pans we have aren't big enough.  

In the next week we will be working on putting up our NEW FENCE in the backyard!!!  Aaron has built ALL 26 1/2 panels, and 2 gates.  Wow...he worked sooo hard and I was his apprentice some of the time.  ;)  Pictures to come of the fence and Casey Boy's summer hair cut!  He looks so skinny!