Monday, August 30, 2010

Bumper Crop of Beets


My mom has an AMAZING vegetable garden every year and this year she has a bumper crop of beets. Of course she is more than happy to share her vegetable wealth with her daughter LOL.


So this morning after feeding the cow the kids and I walked over and brought our wheel barrow along with us *grin*.


My mom and I plucked out beets by the handful and my dad cut off all of the beet tops. Dad's getting out of the house more now so it was great to see him doing something he enjoys :) By the time we were finished there was heaps of beet tops that are going to be a wonderful treat for the cow tomorrow morning....


and plenty of beets to take home and cook up! I boiled up 2 big canner loads this afternoon. I just love how easy they are to prepare! After they are cooked their skins just pull off like butter and tomorrow I'm going to chop them all up and make pickled beets. SO GOOD.

Beets freeze really well to so I'm going to get a couple more canner loads sometime this week and get them frozen up so we can enjoy them all winter long :)

~ Rosina

Saturday, August 28, 2010




That's just what we have been doing around here!! I wanted to share with all of you the wonderful news we received this week regarding my dad's colon cancer and surgery.


The tests results came back and there is absolutely no cancer in his lymph nodes or any of the surrounding tissue that was removed with the section of his colon. That little 1 cm portion they removed seems to have been the entire spot of nasty cancer that was growing inside of him. Oh my word it is a miracle. Thank you so much for all of your prayers and well wishes. I just know they helped :)

The doctor removed his staples and the incision continues to heal nicely. There is still one spot right around the belly button that is slowly healing but there is no infection and the doctor said he is doing great. So for now he is supposed to continue taking it easy for at least another 5 weeks and then they will do blood tests every 3 months for the first year and an annual colonoscopy from here on out to make sure they keep a close eye on what is happening internally.

I know my dad is strong and puts on a brave face but this past week of waiting was extremely hard on him. You could just see by looking at him that he was worried. His spirits were low and he looked grave a lot of the time and today he looks just like his old self and he has even been out walking around the property a bit more. I don't know what we would do without him and I am just so thankful to the Lord for watching over him during this past couple of weeks and to all of you wonderful friends that have emailed, called and checked up on us.... You're the BEST :)

Big (((Hugs))),

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Birthday

Birthday Cake

Today we celebrated L's 7th birthday.
Her actual birthday was last Wednesday but with my dad being in the hospital and all of us spending so much time with him we thought that it would be best to postpone her party so that we could really make it special for her and I think I succeeded :)

Birthday Cake

I wanted to make a fun cake for her along a princess theme and I had previously done the castle cakes with towers so this time I thought I'd experiment with fondant. Now that is some fun stuff!

I baked a chocolate cake for the two layers and then rolled out a large sheet of the white fondant and popped it over the base of the cake. It went on so nice and smooth and it just took on the circular shape without much effort at all :) For the castle top I worked in some pink gel food coloring into the remaining fondant and then rolled out another rectangular strip to wrap around the top layer of the cake. I put a dollop of icing in the top of the base layer in the center and placed the second cake on top of it and then wrapped the pink castle tower shaped fondant around it and inserted another circular piece of pink fondant inside the top so that it was completely covered.

For the circular embellishments all around the bottom I just used various small objects I found around the kitchen for the circles and when you dampen the backside of the fondant it instantly becomes tacky so that you can just press the shapes onto the other fondant and they stick like glue.

Of course I couldn't resist making matching miniature bunting flags to adorn the top of the cake to go with the larger set of special birthday bunting that I made for her just days before :) It turned out so cute!

L's Birthday

The weather cooperated beautifully and the rain held off long enough so that we could have her party out in the gazebo like we do every year :) With the amount of food my mom and I made you would have thought the entire neighborhood was coming but it was only the six of us *grin*.

Strawberry Umbrella Garnish

There we were outside in the garden sipping raspberry spritzers with little strawberry & umbrella garnishes...

Ice cream cake cone

and nibbling on our ice cream cake cones *grin*.
L was definitely one happy birthday girl :)

~ Rosina

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cake Cone Treats

Chocolate Cake Cone

Ice cream cone anyone?
I ran across the cutest ice cream cone cake pops over at Bakerella and I just had to recreate them for L's birthday :)

Chocolate Cake Cone

I couldn't find the exact recipe on her blog as to how to make them but with the photos and another little tutorial by her showing how to make cake pops it was enough to get me started. So armed with my baked chocolate cake I mixed in some frosting to make a moldable mixture that I could fill my sugar cones with and popped them into the freezer to firm up enough so that I could coat each one in pink chocolate and sprinkles and started making cake cones :)

Chocolate Cake Cone

Amazingly enough these were super easy to make and so darn cute!! I nearly don't want anyone to eat them LOL.

~ Rosina

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Birthday Girl Bunting

Party Bunting

The countdown is on with only one more day until the birthday girls party! One of the larger projects for L's party that I needed to complete was making her special birthday bunting that she had asked for. True to form I left it to the last possible moment and hurried to finish it today *grin*. Actually I quite enjoyed sitting at my sewing machine listening to it whir along. There's something so therapeutic about sewing and it was probably the least stressful moment of my day :)

Party Bunting

Armed with a stash of fun ginghams and summery fabrics I set to work cutting out flags, twenty-seven in total.

Party Bunting

Now I know you might think I'm a total sucker for punishment or am just crazy but I decided to sew a backing onto each of the bunting flags. Twice the work but I was thinking about durability and washability when I came up with my plan *grin*. Knowing my daughter she is going to want to move and reposition this bunting multiple times and it may even end up outdoors in her tree house so I wanted to make sure that it will stand up to some heavy usage!

I always have tons of unbleached muslin on hand so I cut enough for each of the flags backing and then sewed each flag with right sides together along two sides leaving the tops open so that I could clip, flip, press and top stitch each of them before attaching them to the hot pink rik rak that I used for the string.

In case you are curious as to how to measure and cut your own flags so you can make a fabric bunting as well you can check out my previous birthday bunting tutorial which has photos and complete instructions on how to do it :)

Party Bunting

Here it is all complete :)
I just had to sneak it outside and hang it in the plum tree for a quick photo *grin*. I just love how fun the fabrics and rik rak went together and from end to end it is roughly 20 feet long. I can't wait to give it to her.

~ Rosina

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Finding Normal

L and M in field

I brought my dad home Sunday afternoon after 6 days in the hospital and I think we're all still struggling to find some sort of normalcy. The traveling back and forth to the hospital an hour away each day has taken its toll on me and left me feeling drained and we're trying to get back into a normal routine again.

Dad seems to be doing well. He has no pain at his incision site and his bodily functions are starting to return so that is wonderful. We had a bit of a scare tonight when I helped him change his dressing though. He had some weeping from part of the incision and I ended up calling the nursing hotline for advice but she let me know that it wasn't out of the ordinary if there was no sign of infection and if the weeping stopped and didn't get any worse than it would be alright. So far it seems to have stopped so we'll just keep a close eye on it for now. Thursday is the big day when we finally find out if any of the cancer has spread into his lymph nodes and I think that once we have that final okay that he is in the clear we will all feel so much better.

For now I'm busying myself with party preparations for L's 7th birthday :) Her actual birthday was last week while dad was in the hospital but we postponed it and on Friday we will finally have a big party for her. I can't wait. I'm working on a special bunting for her and some pinwheel party favors, special cupcakes and more. I always love to put on a big spread for her and treat her like a real little princess. I know she won't be disappointed with this years surprises *grin*.

I can't believe summer is finally winding down to. Only a handful of days left before we get back to our homeschooling routine. I've been pulling out books and making plans but I never set anything in stone as I like to have the freedom to mix it up :)

How about you, are you ready for these care free summer days to end?
~ Rosina

Friday, August 20, 2010

Garden Fresh Pizza ~ Recipe

simple pizza

When lunch time rolls around at our house I like to keep it quick and simple but still provide something nutritious. So I came up with a great way to make a pizza using fresh tomatoes, peppers & basil from the garden with a toasted tortilla for a crispy flat crust :)

So quick, so easy and oh so tasty!

simple pizza

To start I toss my plain tortillas in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and toast them until they start to go slightly golden and firm. This only takes a couple of minutes so keep an eye on them or they will burn, trust me I know *grin*.

This provides a firm base for you pizza plus the toasting keeps the tortilla from going soggy when you top it with all of your fresh tomatoes! With your toasted tortillas finished put down a layer of sliced tomatoes over each tortilla and then top with your favorite vegetables and tons of fresh basil.

I had a left over sausage from dinner so I sliced it thinly and put a few slices on each pizza along with red peppers, red onions, our basil and some shredded asiago cheese, popped it back into the hot oven for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese and that's it.

Slice each tortilla up into wedges and enjoy a slice of garden fresh pizza! YUM :)

PS. Check out the Wholesome Whole Foods and Food Renegade weekly link up for more great recipes and articles :)

Bon appetit!

~ Rosina

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Kicking Cancer in the Butt

hospital booties

♥♥ Thank you everyone for all of your prayers ♥♥

My dad had his surgery Tuesday afternoon and he did fabulous! The operating room was running behind schedule so we ended up waiting until just before 3pm before the doctor finally came out to talk with us and get Dad all prepped for surgery. Originally we had been told that they were going to go in laparoscopically to remove the cancerous section of his sigmoid colon but just before they took him the doctor informed us that he would be opening him right up.

Of course this is scary news when you have mentally prepared yourself for little teeny tiny incisions with minimal damage and all of a sudden there's much more involved. In the end it turned out to be a good thing though as the doctor was able to have a really good look at the colon, surrounding tissues and the liver. All of it looked great and the cancerous growth was only 1 centimeter in size!!! Can you believe it?! Praise the Lord

I swear sometimes I think my dad has lucky horse shoes up his behind LOL. We were anticipating to find him in recovery with a feed tube up through his nose and the possibility that he would have to have a temporary or permanent colostomy bag and there we found him smiling. I'm tearing up as I type this because I was so scared to see what he was going to look like and there he was actually smiling when we went to sit with him and wait to be moved upstairs the the med surg floor. With the minimal destruction to his colon they were able to reconnect the two sections nice and neatly so there was no need for a bag or feed tube. Again praise be to Him as this is just such fantastic news :)

We finally got moved to the ward he will be staying on by 8pm and then we hugged him goodbye. Yesterday we spent the day with him and he was a little dehydrated from all of the colon flushing that he had done previous to the surgery and from not being able to take much liquid by mouth as they were afraid if he took in to much it might cause vomiting but by evening he was feeling much better. He was sitting in a chair and even took a little walk around the floor so he is truly doing great :)

He will be in the hospital for a few more days to recover a bit more before going home and the results from the section of colon they removed should be available within the week. They will tell us if there is any cancer in the lymph nodes and then define what sort of treatment such as chemo he may need at that time. I am being completely optimistic at this point that it has not spread!!

Thank you again for all of the prayers you are sending up for him. I know they are helping immensely and words cannot express how thankful I am to all of you ♥♥

Big (((HUGS))),

Monday, August 16, 2010

Homecoming and Sad News


I know I've been mysteriously absent for the last couple of weeks but I have a great excuse :) We took a family vacation and went camping throughout BC's interior. We hitched up our travel trailer, jumped on a ferry heading off the island and hit the open road *grin*. I have TONS of photos that I can't wait to share with all of you but it's going to take me a bit to get them all off of my camera and into my flickr account.

Special bag for my dad

Sadly upon our return I learned that my dad had been diagnosed with colon cancer while I was away and has been scheduled for immediate surgery this week to remove a portion of his colon and to check if it has spread to any of his lymph nodes.

It has been a bit surreal. I know it's going to hit me tomorrow when I take him into town for his pre-op appointment and find out what time his surgery will be and I'm hoping that you will be able to remember him in your prayers. He beat prostate cancer 4 years ago and he's a real fighter so I'm keeping optimistic that he's going to pull through this and be good as new but I'm still worried.

I spent this evening making a special cloth bag for him to pack his toiletries in tomorrow for his hospital stay with little embroidered 'I Love You' notes inside of it so every time he opens it he knows we're thinking of him even when we can't be there every minute of the day during his stay.

I'm not sure how much blogging I will be able to do over the next week while he is recovering but I'll try to pop in and give you an update or you can check my twitter status as that will probably be the easiest place for me to post updates quickly and easily while being on the road back and forth from home and hospital.

~ Rosina

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Water Fun

water fun

My sister had a day off work and invited all of us in for the day so we packed up and headed off to the city :) When we got there she had the pool all set up in the back yard and the sprinkler going for the kids. Once I saw all the water I knew no one was going to stay dry for long *grin*.

water fun

They had so much fun jumping, splashing and screaming. I swear the whole neighborhood knew we were there by the amount of noise that was coming out of her backyard! If there's one thing you should know about our family it's that we are rarely if ever quiet *grin*.

water fun

It was a great afternoon and hopefully we'll be able to do it again soon :)

~ Rosina