About Me

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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My Newest Hobby ... Knitting!!

Just a few weeks ago I entered the wonderful world of knitting!! Since then I have met SO many extremely friendly and helpful people! It seems like every knitter I have met is so excited for me, very encouraging and always willing to offer advice.
I love learning new things and feeling the challenge of a new art as well as the satisfaction it brings to succeed at a project. So, after watching a few YouTube videos I was ready to take on knitting!
I made a little scarf for Addie and had such fun doing it that I was ready for project #2. I could not decide what to make next, but I had heard a lot of people talk about the "purl stitch" so I thought I better practice that! So I started by casting on 30 stitches and then knit stitch 2 rows and purl stitch 2 rows. It has been fabulous practice and I am loving the pattern it makes so I plan on makin this into some type of neck warmer with a fun button...which means I will get to learn to knit a button whole! I'm definitely not the fastest knitter, but I just hope I finish this before the cold snap gets here!
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Thursday, September 15, 2011

Explore the World from your Home with Little Passports

I am very excited about this 3 month subscription! I have a couple subscriptions for my kids that thoroughly excite them when they arrive! Little Passports is another fabulous subscription to add to our homeschooling.

"Introduce your little explorer to the wonders of world travel—without leaving home—with a three-month subscription to Little Passports. Your child will receive monthly packages from fictional characters as they explore Japan, and Brazil. Each shipment includes an adventure letter from Sofia and Sam, fascinating trivia, activities, and souvenirs related to the locale. Little Passports brings the world to your door, encouraging your child to embrace other cultures while taking textbook learning to a whole new level."

Click here to read more on this great deal!
There are always great deals to find on magazine and activity subscriptions for kids...Ill update you whenever I find these deals! I've never had to buy a subscription at full price...just wait and save! 

"I LOVE Metamorphosis!"

Every year my mom pulls a few caterpillars off her parsley plants and puts them in a jar for the kids. The kids loved it last year, but this year has been so much more exciting and educational. All week last week we watched the little cocoon clung to the side of the glass jar waiting in anticipation for "his" arrival. We talked about metamorphosis and all the bugs that go through metamorphosis. Bryan opened up his been hives and we were able to find all the stages of metamorphosis in the bees as well. 
The day finally arrived and we saw the butterfly in the jar! Henry had noticed the cocoon as he ran by to go outside to play and less than an hour later I heard screaming about the butterfly...we just missed seeing it emerge, but the excitement would have probably been too overwhelming for that poor butterfly! We watched it for about 15 minutes in the jar as it had a chance to fully expand its wings (they are curled up at first and take a little while to open all up). Then we opened the jar outside so "he could go find his family" (as Addie kept saying). The butterfly crawled out and hung around for about 15 minutes, crawling up and down Henry and Addie. They were overjoyed!! Henry kept yelling "I LOVE Metamorphosis!!" 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Melrose Peppers

Melrose Peppers may perhaps be my FAVORITE pepper! I have had the hardest time growing bell peppers, but for some reason these Melrose peppers will grow great here! They have an incredible sweet flavor! I love to dice these up and put them into sauces, pizzas, eggs...just about anything these days! I also LOVE to cut them in half, fill with cream cheese, wrap in bacon and bake!! Yum! These peppers are very versatile, easy to grow, and quite beautiful in the garden!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Delicate Purple Bean Blossoms

 What a joyful sight to see a delicate purple blossom coming up out of a lush row of green leaves! The bean blossoms are my favorite little visual treat. I really look forward to each and every one. As I plant a bean row I anticipate the weeks ahead that will bring 1...then 2...then 20...then hundreds of these delicate blossoms. The bees sure have loved all the new pollen they are able to dip into to store up. Soon...very soon, we will have buckets of green beans coming in from the garden!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sun Dried Italian Pepperoncini's

Sun Dried Italian Pepperoncini's
I couldn't be happier with the way these beauties turned out!! I have had a pretty tough time growing peppers in the past (besides Jalapenos and Melrose) but these Italian Pepperoncini's are doing great!!
I set out 2 drying screens in full sun on the back deck and every time we pick a red pepper I just cut it in half and toss it in-between the two screens. Drying time varies, but it is SO easy!! I LOVE sun-drying!! Just be careful not to leave them outside if it is going to rain ;) I woke up one morning to all my peppers re-hydrated from the evening rain...oops! 
I have 6 thriving Pepperoncini plants with alot more little "sweet with heat" drops of goodness! I cant wait to have a huge pile of dried Pepperoncini's!! Im going to leave some whole and then powder most of them up for a little extra hidden spice in my winter cookin :) 
Cant wait!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Double Egg

 Every once in a while one of our hens tries to be an overachiever and we find a "double egg". This egg actually had 2 yolks in it!! We have at least 4 of our new hens laying eggs now...here in a few weeks all of them should be in full production! Bring on the omelets!! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Knitting my first Scarf

Oh I sure do love to learn new things :) Seeing as I have never learned to knit I thought it would be fun to give it a try!! It SURE IS FUN! I made this little scarf for Addie and she LOVES it! I messed up quite a few times ;) Several of my mess ups I was able to "fix" but there are a few that are probably fixable...but I'm just clueless as to how to do it! The "strategically places" pom poms hide most of my errors ... I sure do love those little pom poms! I want to make her a matching hat JUST so I can put a HUGE cute Pom Pom on top ;)