Saturday, September 20, 2014

Have you ever Canned?

There are a few things my Grandma did that I wanted to do. One of them was and is Cloth Diaper. My Grandma thought I was absolutely insane. She told me stories about having to hang cloth diapers out in Winter and how they "Freeze Dried." I think she literally said something like "Now, why would you do a thing like that?" I just chuckled.

Full Disclosure: My Grandma is my Hero. Her name is Betty, and she is perfect. 

So, today when I was talking to my Mom about all of the apples on her trees, and how I wanted to can some apple sauce - she told me how my Grandma used to have a pantry with ALL OF THE THINGS canned, and how it was beautiful: LIKE A WALL OF CANNED GLORY, I wiped the tears away from my eyes, and I said "I want to do that when I grow up." My Mom and Dad totally hooked it up, and bought me everything my canning heart could desire, so long as I gave them some of my apple sauce when I was done. 

 So, My little Family set out in the back yard, and we picked every single good apple we could, and then I started peeling them, by hand, with a potato peeler straight from the 1950's. My Mom tends to kick it pretty old school with her kitchen utensils. Someday, I will tell you about the vintage kitchen aid mixer that smoked when we used it, but today is not that day. I caught my knuckles a few times, but I did it. I peeled, quartered, and cored all of the apples we picked. 

I tossed them in the crockpot, poured about a 1 1/2 cups of water in there, and let it cook on high stirring every now and again. I boiled my jars, lids, and set up a little line with all of the canning things, and canned 4 pints of pure apple sauce. 

And, I am proud. 

I would be telling a white lie if I said that I enjoyed peeling all those apples by hand, because I kind of did, but doing it that way for the rest of the apple sauce I plan to make is going to be tough. I'm definitely going to be on the look out for an apple peeler. 

There is a part of me that longs for simpler living, and by simpler, I mean more involved. I like knowing where my food comes from. I like that my family literally watched the whole process and were involved from tree to table. It also gave me a sense of accomplishment. I can have my own wall of canned goodness, and all the feel goods that go with it!

If you haven't tried canning, you probably should!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Daughters, Dreads, Books, and A Possible Home.

My Oh My. Our lives are in a constant state of change. We are currently bouncing between Family Homes while trying to find a home of our own. I only had one solid stipulation: No Boxes on top of other boxes. (Apartments.) I never really found the perfect way to express my desire to raise my children "wild" until Nate and I started listening to Typhoon almost consistently. (Nate has listened for years, and finally got me to listen to them.) The line goes "Raise them in the wild, cause up against the city, my love is such a small thing." 

Being at my Parents, there is just this amazing "homey" feeling that comes from walking outside and grabbing an apple of the tree. Watching Ari play in their dirt driveway, and eating mint and lemon leaves straight from the plant. Adlai crawls around in green grass, and both girls are just piles of giggles. At night, you can see the stars, and if I'm lucky, I get to sneak a pet of one of the kittens I got to tame when He was just a baby. My girls are covered in bruises and bug bites. They are filthy. Correction, WE are filthy, and sometimes we spend all day outside with breaks to eat, or go to the Library, where we play more. Our clothes haven't been matching. This is what our summer should have been. We are living. And, it's wonderful. 

We are currently waiting for our Final Check and Separation Pay from The Air Force. We are looking forward to the opportunity to pay off debt, personal, and private, and move forward. Nate spent all of his adult life serving, and I think he is excited to try new things. I cant lie though, we are both a little freaked out. We have so many options without feeling like we have any. It's kind of a silly place to be. 

We found am amazing place and we are waiting for the decision on our application to come back, but it's perfect for us, right now. It was an old hay loft that was turned into an "Apartment." I say that loosely because we have access to a huge beautiful yard. You can't see the stars at night, but during the day, we can play outside. It's walking distance to the library, and really, it's just gorgeous! We are really excited at the prospect, but trying to maintain, just in case.

I decided to dread my hair. Love it or hate it, it wasn't for anyone but me. Maybe someday I will share my commitment to dread my hair, and how I feel it relates to my spiritual journey, but for now, I am just going to say that I did it, and I like it. 

We went to Reptile Gardens. Ari loved it! She just loves nature.

So, that is a brief update.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

100 Happy Days! (day one)

I have fallen off the blog-o-sphere. Surprise! I have been dealing with a lot of negativity, so I decided that I wanted to have a go at 100 Happy Days. So, My first post is going to be a few different pictures and such from my week. It's really a jumble of Happy Moments!

Ari has never had ice cream from an Ice Cream Truck before. We had been gone and as we were getting out of the car, We heard the music playing. Ari had no idea what was going on, but I asked Nate if we had any Dollar Bills. We usually don't. We happened to have exactly $3. It was just enough for Ari to get the ice cream she picked. A Sponge Bob with Bubble Gum Eyes. She has asked for Ice Cream every day since. :)

In other news, Ms. Adlai turned Five Months Old! At this point, she is closer to Six. Things were pretty hectic, and so this is going to be her Five Month Picture in The Baby Book. Adlai is a ridiculously happy little baby. She never really cries. She is just content and happy. I think this picture sums her up pretty well.

So, We had some pretty ridiculous car trouble on our trip to South Dakota. We were so excited to go, and in Colorado, after seeing my Grandma, our Jeep broke down. It ended up being that there were sensors out, and all kinds of stuff. Some people called into question our motives, because we opened a GoFundMe and got some help from Family and Friends, and ultimately ended up getting a new (read:used) Toyota Van. It really hurt me. I don't operate from a place of malicious intent, or selfish intent. I also would have really preferred that our Jeep didn't break down at all. Nobody plans for, or wants that. I always think about my Girls, and our Family. So, when I say that a lot of negativity has been surrounding me, that's what I mean. We were blessed that the Family and Friends who did help, were extremely happy that we were able to get something that was more appropriate for our growing family. While we were trying to figure out how to raise money, we decided to get a small show together. We played at Shaviq, a really great little Art Gallery in Rapid City, SD. An Amazing Local Photographer, Wesley Todd, took some really great pictures of us! We played with Clayton Kennedy  and Gallery. (Who I cant link. As far as I am aware, they don't have a Facebook.) I would first like to issue a great big thank you! They gave their time and talent to help us, and they didn't even know us! How awesome is that? Now, I just want to talk about how talented they are! I was totally blown away by Clayton's Style. He was funny, and engaging, and is great at what He did. Gallery was amazing. Both Ladies are very talented, and I was totally amazed by the vocal range they demonstrated. The thing is, with Musicians, often times, we don't get paid to play. You tend to have to play for exposure rather than money at first, which can be hard. You put a lot into what you do, and you share your gifts and talents for free. These guys did it knowing that there would be money involved, they just gave what was there to us. I know I'm kind of rambling, but it is a huge deal to me.
Clayton Kennedy


Sylvia Dennis (me)

Nate Dennis

As you can see, Nate and I are pretty much the same person.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A New Leaf & How to be a Dennis!

Today, my little brood and I went to a really great place called The Wonder Place. It's located fairly close to us, and can I just say, I had no idea it even existed. A fellow Mama invited the girls and I to go, and it was absolutely a welcome break from our day to day. It had a water table, an art room, and a big Tree House. It even had a cute little pretend River Market. Ari loved it. Adlai got to splash around in some water, and it was just a really great day. 

For me, one of the hardest parts about living here has been the lack of interaction, and honestly, the isolation. This last weekend, we decided to shop for our produce at The River Market, and something came alive inside of me. How silly that shopping for veggies would do that, but it did. There was something alive about Little Rock that I hadn't noticed, or maybe failed to see prior to that outing. Maybe it was just the fact that our family hadn't done anything for the sake of doing it since Ari started OT, and ST. I'm not entirely sure, but there was something in me that made a resolution to enjoy my time here and grow the relationships I can, and really to just bloom where we are planted. Going to The Wonder Place with another Mom {a friend, even} made me feel human. It offered me some connection that I haven't had since I've lived here, and it was really nice.

You've probably noticed a little bit has changed on my blog, and you're if you've noticed, you're right! If you haven't noticed, I'll explain. My Husband and I have decided to make this blog a family blog. Nate is an excellent cook, and has decided that he is going to be posting recipes, and posts about our family, as well. We've decided to be more active in our blog posts, and more aware of whats going on here in blogger world! This resolution has been made before with very little success. We are thinking this time it might be a little bit different. This post is going to serve to update, introduce/reintroduce our Family, and get things rolling on The "New" Blog.

We are a family of 4, 5 if you count our Lab, Abita. Nate is Active Duty Air Force, and I, Sylvia, am a Stay At Home Mom. We have two beautiful daughters. Ari is 2 1/2 and Adlai is 4 months old. We didn't pick A names on purpose, and our Dog came to us with an "A" name. {It was just meant to be!} We are finding our feet, and faith after what proved to be a very challenging first year of marriage. You will see some posts about Sensory Processing Disorder {SPD} because our Daughter, Ari, was recently diagnosed with it! We hold our faith in Jesus Christ, although, some of our views may prove to be less tradition. We believe that LOVE is a verb, and that it can change things. We believe we are loved by God. Nate and I are vegan, while our Ari is not, and Adlai is a milkatarian. We are not perfect, in fact, we are far from it. We are messy, silly, busy, crazy people, and these are our dreams, hopes, failures, and victories! Come Along as we teach you "How To Be A Dennis."

Be Well,