Friday, December 27, 2013

Cecelia is FIVE!

My baby turned five on December 10th. Here are some pics! Her highlight was probably getting to wear her birthday crown from her pre-school teacher "all day" at school!!

Cecelia requested a pink and orange pumpkin for a cake. Naturally, her mommy delivered. I used my grandmother's mini bundt pan for the orange pumpkin. Then I used these smaller mini bundt pans I had that were my great-grandmothers. Each little pumpkin took two of those cakes. One on the bottom and one flipped on put on top! She was very excited!!

She got a bunch of Bitty Baby clothing that I got in the summer at a warehouse sale!

The infamous birthday crown I referenced at the beginning of this post!

Big happy family!! (except for Cole apparently!)

Standing at her height poster at five years old!
Cecelia's birthday markers included being able to wink and snap now that she is five. She also mentioned her feet feeling bigger than when she was four!

My baby is growing too quickly... bittersweet, for sure!

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I've always been one to save, store or reuse. But this season I decided to only store what I thought we would actually use and to make sure it was in a user friendly portions.  I also added an extra challenge for myself- Could I store, preserve or freeze enough to completely supplement my shopping all the way through the winter? Right now I shop every other week. It's been a real money saver. Could I save even more by "shopping" out of my freezer and pantry? Hmmm... sounded like a challenge.

Another challenge I've been trying to follow through on is eating organic/local as much as possible. Unfortunately, living in Wisconsin makes this not quite possible year round but how far could I stretch it?

Game on!!

Thanks to our garden, our CSA from LongArm Farm, Tree-Ripe Citrus pickups and the local farmer's market, here is the culmination of what I've "stockpiled" on the Eiting Homestead for the season after we ate heartily on organic, local produce all summer and fall!

2 small, 4 big chicken stock
4 gallons broccoli
2 gallon swiss chard/other greens chopped
1 quart corn, green bean mix
4 small kale pesto
chicken kale soups 22 small for lunches, 1 big for dinner,
5 gallons Shredded cabbage
2 gallon quartered cabbage for corned beef and cabbage
3 gallons Zucchini/yellow squash spears
2 gallons Zucchini/yellow squash grill circles
6 (5 packs) Zucchini muffins
7 (5 packs) Rhubarb muffins
3 gallons asparagus
2 gallons whole strawberries
18 servings gallons green beans
2 quarts, 3 gallon blueberries
2 gallons snow peas
1 gallon rhubarb
1 gallon fudge
1 quart green peppers
mango strawberry freezer jam- 15 pints
cream mushroom soup- 19 pints
1 quart choke cherries for crepes
1 gallon blackberry currant crepe filling
1 gallon, 1 quart squash cubes
1 gallon blackberries cubes
2 gallons strawberry cubes
2 gallon kale cubes
1 cabbage casserole
1 quart peaches
2 quarts corn

5 pounds onions
26 tons carrots...literally!
13 quarts peach applesauce
2 gallons scape infused red wine vinegar for Christmas gifts
10 quart, 24 pints, 10 half pints tomato sauce
9 quarts hot salsa
5 quarts mild salsa
6 quarts dill pickles
21 quarts, 4 pints tomato soup
12 pints tomato paste
12 pints diced tomatoes
35 pints Italian tomato sauce
6 pints pickled beats
1 quart dried green onion
1 cup dried basil, rosemary, dill, oregano, thyme
24 half pints peach jam for Christmas gifts
24 half pints strawberry jam for Christmas gifts

Only tomato products!

Cubes of every kind for smoothies!! Fruit, greens, squash!!

Kale pesto with almonds!

Chopped and blanched greens (I throw into meatloafs and meatballs.)

Blanched and frozen green beans.

Dill pickles. Bloody Mary anyone?

Jams for holiday gifts.

More frozen veggies.

So, not too shabby!! We're eating organic and local at the Eiting Homestead! Looking to sign up for a Meat and Egg CSA for the winter from Grassroots Farm, LLC. EEK!!

Thanks to Jason for tending to our garden. Also, thanks to my most favorite farmers at LongArm Farm!!

Tips and tricks to freezing, coming soon....

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Milwaukee County Zoo

If you didn't know it, the Milwaukee County Zoo is one of our hot spots year round!! We have a zoo pass and take advantage of the WONDERFUL education opportunities they have year round starting at age 2. Since she was two, Cecelia has gone to zoo classes. They are developmentally appropriate for skills, sensory needs and children's attention span. THEY ARE AWESOME. I've even learned many different things at the classes. Did you know monkeys have tails and apes don't? Earth-shattering, I know! Did you know a feline's whiskers are as wide as the widest part of their body? So, if their head doesn't fit into a place, their body won't... AMAZING!

From ages two to four, children attend these classes with a grown-up. Starting at age 4 and 5, parents have the choice of enrolling kids with or with out adults. They have separate classes for each. Cecelia did her first, NO ADULT class in September. I was very impressed with the adult to student ratio in the class. As the kids get older, the length of the classes and depth increases. There are half day, whole day and overnight classes in Cecelia's future!!

I am in a bit of denial, but just realized that during the next round of signing up (it's done three times a year), I will be registering Coletyn because he will be turning TWO. How did that happen?
 C. R. A. Z. Y.

Any ways, here are a bunch of pics and videos from the last few months at the zoo. They are not in any order!


Zoo A La Carte!
A zoo trip is never complete without a carousel ride!
Choo- choo!
Kangaroo school- with her first scavenger hunt!

Tiger school!

At tiger school the kids got to feel a real tiger whisker and pelt. Cool beans!
Our good friends Ruth and Brittany thinking we had treats. Yes, they were that close- no zoom! They are right on the edge of a 30 foot drop into a moat. Made me nervous!
Bye-bye choo-choo!
Cecelia in her zoo school class (she is in the purple coat in the middle of the pack). We had to pull an evasive maneuver, twice, so she wouldn't see us when we ran into them while Coletyn got to enjoy single childhood for two hours!

Creatures of the night class- She's a fox.

Another zoo class is this weekend. I hope it isn't too cold so Cole and I can toodle around the zoo!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Happy Halloween!!!

Strawberry Shortcake


 Coletyn's first house. A little apprehensive to begin the adventure. By the 5th house he was game requesting "more" and taking the candy forcefully out of the homeowner's hands instead of letting them put it in his bucket. The funny thing is he has no idea what he is collecting. Thanks to the lady who was giving out fake spiders! That was a hit!!

 G-Ma came with us. This was the first year I would say we actually trick-or-treated. We have taken Cecelia since she was alive but I don't know if you can count 10 houses as trick-or-treating!?!? I see next year as fun. Going hard core with two kids chasing to the doorbell... they grow too fast!

Auntie Erica sent Halloween cards. Watch the mail delivery below!!

Hope your holiday was spooktacular!