Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Barn Party

The other night Grandpa and Gigi hosted a "Barn Party." Which, in Texan-speak means we all got together and sat on hay bales, drank tea and cold coca-cola, and talked politics until the sun went down.

Thomas was a keynote speaker at the gathering. He was preaching to the masses about county-level control and constitutional government...all with a baby on his back.

Here's the crowd.

Riley wanted to go hear Papa speak but Papa told him he couldn't come out there until he was cleaned up and in nice clothes. He jumped in the shower and put on a polo shirt. When I showed up he told me, "Uh-oh! Mama, you need to look nicer. You should go back home." Guess my long stained skirt, tattered running shoes, a floral apron, and perpetual bed-head weren't gonna cut it. In the end, we agreed I looked just fine.

Riley and Abram watched and listened from the top of a round bale.

We're in Texas now, baby!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Garden Dinner

What to do when Riley unloads yesterday's harvest on the counter?

Make Ratatouille!

1) Score bottoms of fresh tomatoes, blanch for one minute, peel.
2) Chop loosely and place in pan with olive oil and fresh basil.

3) Add slivered garlic, cook for 20 mins or so.

4) Meanwhile, salt the eggplant and let sit in colander to drain. Pat dry.
5) Cook cubed zucchini, summer squash, onions, sweet peppers, and eggplant in more olive oil.

6) When all is cooked well, but still crisp, add to tomato sauce.
7) Serve over pasta or rice accompanied by fresh bread.

Tastes like summer!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Unwelcome Visitor

Went to go pick parsley the other evening for our dinner and as my hand went down into the middle of the plant, I felt something furry and then it moved.
Y.I.K.E.S!!!! A tarantula!

I looked down and SCREAMED!!! Riley ran out out to see if I was okay and I told him to look.
He, of course, was thrilled! We contemplated capturing it and keeping it. But, um, no!
The next morning it was gone.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

After Lunch...

We go outside and harvest whatever there is be picked. Afterward, we reward ourselves with homemade juice popsicles.

This is the last of our beets and carrots. Our zucchini, squash, and cucumbers are in full swing. In about two more weeks, our tomatoes will be ready! We have 26 thriving tomato plants so I hope we will be able to keep up!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Silas Goes For A Ride

One of big brother Riley's favorite things to do is tour around with his little brothers in tow. This was Silas' first ride in the wagon without adult escort.

It went pretty well.
Riley put a plush pillow and blanket in the wagon for Silas to lean up against and filled the wagon with toys to entertain him.

They started out with no hats on but after seeing how red-faced they were, I had to put sun hats on them. Especially poor Silas...he's as white as a sheet!

(If you look really close, you'll see his first tooth popping up out of those tender gums!)

...just chillaxin...

What We Picked Last Night

A bouquet of vegetables!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day 2011

The Rickstrew Family packed up and headed for the Gulf of Mexico again for Mother's Day. We enjoyed playing in the sand and sun in Port Aransas.

The Gulf is completely child friendly as the shore is very shallow for a very long time. We can walk out into the sea quite a ways and still only be knee deep in water.

Fair-skinned Silas stayed in the shade tent all day. This was his first trip to the beach. He ate his fair share of sand, let me tell you.

His eyes are as blue as that tent!

If you are wondering what Silas looks like/does most of the day...this is it! This is Silas' quintessential pose. Sucking on his two fingers, looking down, right hand in the air about to grab something he's looking at on the floor.

We were parked next to a truck that had the sign "Sandcastle Lessons" on the doors. He was creating a big castle for a young couple that would be strlling by later that day. He wrote the words, "Bianna, will you marry me? - Dave" on the front. We stayed late enough in the day to watch the whole proposal unfold....it was very exciting. Oh- and she said yes!

My beautiful Abram, 2 years old.

He played all day in the sand until...

He got so tired he kept saying "bed, bed, bed..." and looking around. We made him a bed in the shade on towels and he slept through a major chunk of the afternoon.

Riley's favorite part of the beach is surfing. He goes out with Papa in the whitewater and Papa pushes him into the waves...over...and...over...and...over again.

Papa, Riley, and Abram.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

400th Post!

It's our 400th post!

These pictures were taken a week ago and I'm just now getting around to putting them up here. It is amazing how fast things grow here in the Texan heat because just one week later, our garden looks completely different.

This is how I usually look when I'm in the garden. I've got a baby on my back. He loves to be outside.

Riley found our first zucchini!

The boys are "harbesting"

Cucumbers are growing!

Yellow crookneck squash

Friday, May 6, 2011

Breaking in the CAT

It's hay season!
And that means it's time to get the irrigation system up and running since we haven't had any rain this year. The sprinkler heads needed to be changed out at the beginning of this season, so Tom and Riley got in the bucket of the CAT and did the job.

If the tractor is running, Abram is usually in it. There is a jump seat which fits him perfectly.

Silas took his first ride in the tractor. Since he's still too young to sit on his own in the jump seat, Tom buckled his car seat in. Looks like that makes 3 for 3 little boys who love tractors.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Out With The Old...

...in with the new!!

We've (sadly) said goodbye to 'ol John Deere and have welcomed Mr. Cat into our lives. Out with the green, in with the gold.

Yesterday a big semi drove down our driveway with this behind it. A new tractor! It was ordered a couple of months ago. They built it to our specifications, so it's entirely custom.

Tom and Thomas getting the low-down on the new machine.

The new CAT Challenger