Monday, July 22, 2013

Easy, Healthy, Summertime Snack for Kids: Watermelon Pizza

 From now on, whenever I buy a watermelon, I will always slice off a chunk and make a watermelon pizza. This was such a fun, easy, healthy snack that looks very appealing to kids (and adults). I think it would be fun to bring to a potluck, too. I found this recipe in the Ruralite magazine and I'm so glad I gave it a try.

Watermelon Pizza Recipe:


One thick slice of watermelon (a cut from the middle of the watermelon is always the sweetest)
Strawberry jam
Unsweetened coconut
White chocolate chips
Nuts (I used raw sliced almonds and pecans)
Raisins (optional)

I simply sliced a thick piece of watermelon, then carefully removed the rind. Spread some strawberry jam over the top of the watermelon slice, to be used as the sauce. Sprinkle some coconut to act as the cheese, then add your toppings.

Don't forget to let your kids help! I've learned that if they help, they will be much more likely to try whatever you are making.

God Bless,

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Finding Beauty in Rust and Splinters

I love going to ranch out of Heppner simply for all the wonderful photo ops. My sis and I worked on getting some good shots despite our rather inexpensive cameras and lack of experience. We have the same camera, must be a twin thing. It makes it nice when one of us discovers a new feature on it, so we can tell the other one how to use it. The picture above is of an old cookstove that probably belonged to the cookhouse built of logs when the ranch use to have a logging camp on it. 
 Loved this old sign.
 Who doesn't like an old rusty milk can sitting next to some teasel?

 Just a taste of the beautiful scenery. It had just rained and everything was lush and green. Wildflowers everywhere.

 My sis and I finally had a chance to explore the old school house at the bottom of the road leading up to the ranch.
 If those walls could only talk! You can see where the blackboard used to be. Every year we go back, I'm amazed to see it still standing.
 Like the angles of the siding with the teasel.
 This picture cracks me up. It looks like my sis is leaning with the building.
 As we were driving the fourwheelers back to camp, Stacie spotted this old dugout in the creek bottom. I have yet to find out what it was used for. Going to have to get to the bottom of that one.
 Spotted this old rusted out car, probably from the 1920's laying in the field. You can see the headlight and what is left of the steering wheel.
 Oh, the beautiful wildflowers!
 There is a small pond above the cabin with the most beautiful lily pads.
 They attract all kinds of different dragon flies.
 My favorite Lily of them all!
I managed to get this dragon fly just as it landed on the stump.

Trying to decide which of these pics to enter into the county fair under the amateur category. Please help me out and tell me which is your favorite?

God Bless,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Rain, Mud, Sun and Fun - Camping at Ranch Near Heppner

Hailey and her cousin Lily playin' in the many mud puddles left from the heavy rain we had on the first day of camping.

We had a wonderful time camping at a private ranch outside of Heppner, OR that borders the Umatilla National Forest. There were lots of old logging roads to ride our ATVs on, fishing in the pond, catching crawdads and mussels in the creek were among many of the activities that naturally come in the great outdoors. Michael and I found it particularly relaxing as our kids are getting older and more independent. It rained the like crazy the first day we were there but then got nice warm after that. It gave us plenty of mud puddles to drive through on our ATVS, earning Josiah and his cousin Jessica the titles, "Mudder I and Mudder II". They would deliberately drive through every puddle they could.

Unfortunately this picture wasn't in focus, but I still posted it because I could just die for my nephew, Elijah's, smile. He was a campin' kid and got muddy right along with the rest of his cousins.

Josiah taught his cousins how to trap and eat crawfish. He was pretty much the only one who liked them, but at least the other kids did try it.

Josiah is showing his cousin Jess how to hold the crawdad without getting pinched. My step-mom gave mustaches to all the kids and they had a ball with them.

I gave my sis some pointers on things I've discovered about our cameras. We have the same one. I'll be doing another post later showing all the fun stuff we took pics of. No shortage of material on this ranch.

Josiah used the lid from my Dutch oven to pan for gold in the creek. They spent hours playing in that creek.

 My brother, Jerry, giving a short ride around the camp with his boys, Elijah and Noah. They were so cute! Jerry and my SIL, Sonya, are doing such a good job raising my nephews. They have the best manners and are so thoughtful. Their kids are a joy to be around. Proud of you guys!
Lily and Hailey loved to go to the pond and look for dragon flies, frogs and all other manner of aquatic life. Never underestimate the fun of simply throwing rocks in the pond!

 Love the backdrop of green with Hailey's red hair.
Josiah and Jessica's first time up the big hill above the ranch (they each had an adult riding behind them). They both did awesome and were very cautious.

If only I had a video of this! You could hear Josiah from about a half mile away as they drove back from the big pond with this fish. They were so excited! You can see the pure joy and delight on their faces. Michael caught an albino trout but let it go and he didn't have his camera on him. He said it looked really cool. One night we saw and heard elk a few hundred yards from our camp whistling and bugling to each other. We actually had to put ear plugs in that night to go to sleep.

The memories we make each year we've been able to go to this ranch are priceless. Can't wait for next year!!!


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