Monday, October 13, 2014

A little bit about harvest...

We're currently rained out of the fields right now, so I thought it was a good time for an update!
 
We've been picking cotton off and on for almost 3 weeks now. Not all of it was ready, but it is now! Which is probably why it's raining. We had a drought all summer, but when you need it to be dry, it rains!
I entered this picture in the county fair and won 2nd! woohoo!
Reed loves running up and down the cotton rows. And posing for pictures.
We are finished with corn harvest though.  This is a picture of some critter damage.
This was our first load of corn headed to the granary. We only had 20 acres, but it's nice to be able to say you're done with something, lol.
 
(This is a cell phone pic, so its a bit blurry). Reed and Wiggley like to occasionally go out and check on the peanuts. They are a month later than usual due to the drought. They should be getting plenty of water now. Hopefully we can start picking them soon.
And....introducing Big Bertha! She's our new cotton picker!
She makes her own module instead of having to dump the cotton out into a module builder and pack it. We've managed to use her one day. Then it rained. Of course. So, hopefully, my next post will be all about Big Bertha!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

 
Strawberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups sugar
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2/3 cup strawberry glaze
 
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until creamy. Gradually add sugar, beating at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add cream cheese, beating until creamy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Gradually add flour to butter mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in the lemon zest, almond, and vanilla extracts. Pour one-third of batter into a greased and floured *10-inch 14 cup tube pan (about 2 2/3 cups batter). Dollop 8 rounded teaspoonfuls strawberry glaze over batter, and swirl with wooden skewer. Repeat procedure once, and top with remaining third of batter.
Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 to 15 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).
 
Strawberry Swirl
2 cups strawberries(about 1 lb), quartered
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn starch

Combine the water, strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a large saucepan on high heat. Stir and bring up to a boil.
After the mixture begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for 5-8 minutes, until the strawberries have completely broken down.  As the strawberries soften, use a wooden spoon or potato masher to break up the berries. (At this point you could strain the strawberries through a sieve for a smooth glaze, but I decided to leave the bits of strawberry in mine.)
Meanwhile, whisk the cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Then, pour into the strawberries.
Increase heat to high, and continue to whisk the mixture until it thickens and the cornstarch becomes clear and loses it's cloudy appearance, approximately 3-5 minutes.
Remove  from heat, and pour into separate bowl to cool down. Use 3/4 a cup to swirl in the cake. Any leftovers are great served along with the cake.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Reed's 3rd Birthday!

I better get all these summer blogs out of the way before it gets harvest season!
So, July 31st Reed turned 3!
 Reed had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Party!
 I made these cute Mickey shirts for favors! I found the shirts on sale at Hobby Lobby, bought some black fabric spray paint with a coupon, traced a Mickey outline on some contact paper, stuck it to the shirt, and sprayed around it! Cheap, easy, and awesome!
 I put the shirts in red bags with round white stickers to look like Mickey's pants.
 
 What would a Mickey party be without Mickey shaped things? I cut out Mickey shaped watermelon, and used a melon baller to make round cantaloupe (no way were those gonna be Mickey shaped, haha!), both of which we grew in our garden!
 Mickey shaped cheese
Mickey shaped rice krispie treats with chocolate and white chocolate drizzled over it, sprinkled with mini M&Ms.

 Mickey shaped chicken nuggets! I was so excited to find these! Apparently you can only buy them at Costco. Thankfully, my father in law has a membership!
 We also had a taco bar with all the fixings!
 I make a big jug of strawberry lemonade for every party.
All the drinks went in a baby pool.

Mickey cupcakes! 
 The Mickey ears were Oreos!
 Reed loved it!
 He also loved his new gift from us!
 And the gifts from everyone else too!
 It was a fun day to just hang out with friends.
But what birthday party on the farm is complete without a ride on a tractor for all your friends?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Little Beach Trip...

Hello Hello? Is this thing on? It's been a ridiculously busy summer, so I'm way behind on blogging about what's been happening! Earlier in June, we took our yearly vacation to the Smokies, but this year we had a bonus vacation! To the beach! This was only possibly because we went to the Southern Peanut Growers Conference at Edgewater Beach Resort in Panama City Beach, FL! (Thank goodness for conferences!) It was Reed's first trip to the beach, and my parents went to babysit him while we were in meetings. When we weren't in meetings, here's the fun stuff we did...
 






 
Reed loved the splash pad at the hotel!

 
We also took him to his first amusement part-Miracle Strip! I've been going there since I was little, but it closed in 2004. Someone else has slowly started buying the old rides back and building it back, so exciting! Reed really enjoyed it! And so did I! Not sure about Lance though, lol).




What beach trip would be complete without an airbrushed t shirt??



Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Camper Re-do!

So, if you read my blog back in June about our vacation to the Smokies, you will remember that we got a "new" camper. In the months leading up to our first trip, I spent a good bit of time redecorating and organizing it! Here's my before and after pictures. Beware, there's a lot!
 
Before: Living and Dining room (note the ugly fabric pattern, it was everywhere! Couch, curtains, bench cushions, wall border, bedroom) 

 Before: Bedroom (or as we call it, Reed's room)
 

Before: Bathroom 

 Before: Master Bedroom (there's that ugly pattern again!)
 
 
And now for the afters...
Living and Dining Room.
As you can see, I removed every bit of that wall border, replaced the curtains, recovered the dining benches with striped plastic table cloths (easy to wipe!), and covered the couch with a fitted sheet (easy to throw in washer!).

Here is a better picture of the couch. It can fold into a bed, so having a sheet over it works great! 

Here's the entertainment center in the living room. We bought a new tv, Lance fixed the radio/cd player, and I added storage boxes for the remote and dvds.
 
Above the couch/dining table are 4-5 cabinets. I organized all of them with tubs. Each cabinet has something different stored in it. Left to right we have, office supplies/user manuals, spare lightbulbs/batteries, flashlights/Kleenex, games, and so far an empty cabinet on far right!
 
Kitchen
Due to an *ahem* electrical mishap, we had to get a new microwave. I found some stick on stainless steel backsplash on clearance at Lowes, added the paper towel holder, hung the new curtains and peeled more ugly wall border off. 

The fridge was wooden. I painted it with chalkboard paint. Makes a great place to write lists! 

Here's the pantry. I also painted the center of the doors with chalkboard paint. I just haven't decided what to write on them yet! All the cabinets have kitchen storage containers in them. I kept breads/cooking supplies in the top cabinet, snacks/side dishes in the middle cabinet, and the bottom I keep a stockpile of extra paper plates/cups/silverware/plastic bags/laundry soap/clothes pins/etc... You can see my broom and dust pan hanging on the side.
 
This is my upper kitchen cabinet. I added some shelves for storage to hold all my plates/cups/bowls/etc. I have my measuring cups hanging on the door. 

I got drawer dividers for my silverware, I keep all my cooking utensils in the middle drawer, and the bottom drawer has kitchen towels/dish cloths.

I keep my pots and pans in the cabinet under the stove. I didn't take a picture, but I keep a pyrex dish and a couple of cookie sheets in the oven.

In these tubs under the sink, I keep my dish mat and soap and cleaner/cleaning rags.

This is the cabinet by the door. I keep things you might need outside stored in this cabinet...paper towels/bug spray/sunscreen/lighter...
 
 Reed's Room
I put a different colored fitted sheet on each bunk. While we were cleaning out my grandmother's house, we came across enough spare pillows and quilts to use on the beds.
 
Here's a better picture of one side. I also bought some cheap blankets for each bed when you don't need a quilt.
 
 This is really hard to see cause of the bright sun, but I made curtains out of pillow cases for all four windows. This side has blue/green pin striping, and the other side has red/tan plaid. I used that iron on tape to turn the cases into curtains, so easy!

I added plastic drawers for clothes and baskets for toys in his closet.

Bathroom
We added shelving for towels and moved the hand towel holder. 

I bought a new shower curtain. 

Added baskets to store toiletries in.

More baskets in our medicine cabinet for things we use every day.
 
Master Bedroom
 Ugly bedding? Gone! I replaced it with an older comforter I had, and the "decorative" pillow is the case from the sheet on the couch. I took down the head board and replaced it with a picture from Hobby Lobby. I left the picture on the cardboard it came on, but instead of a frame, I lined it with rope.
 
Added storage in our closets too.

I made these curtains for both bedroom windows. I bought a bundle of fat squares (squares of random fabric) at Walmart in the color scheme I was going for and cut them into strips. Just tie them to the curtain rod, and tada! Curtains!

More cheap artwork from Hobby Lobby. I had to have it.
 
Inside isn't the only place I organized! 

I organized each outside storage bin. Each bin has a "purpose". There's one for camper setup, sewer hookup, camp chairs, campsite set up, tools, etc...

Each tub is labeled with what is inside to make it easier to find.
If that wasn't enough organization for you, I have a "master" book where I have the contents of each cabinet inside and each bin outside. Nothing should ever get lost! Unless I lose that book, lol.
 
Hope you enjoyed my "Camper Re-do!"