Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sweet Partings

When I started blogging I really needed a place to think out loud, to process what was going on, and to have a safe place where nobody knew me to emote all over the place.  As time passed I needed that less, but liked the little community I had found so I kept going, and it has definitely been fun.

But as the girls get older my schedule got more crowded, and now I find it is so crowded I cannot get it all done, as I am sure you can tell by the more and more frequent breaks around here!

As I prayed about my schedule the topic of this space came up, and when I asked the Lord if I should close down this space the answer was an immediate yes.

So it is time.

I wish the richness of the Lord's blessings upon you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cherry Conclusion

What does 30 lbs of beautiful Bing cherries get you?  Besides oddly stained hands of course?

  • 29 pints of canned cherries (plus the 1 that broke)
  • 10 quarter pints of quartered canned cherries that are the home made version of the fruit cups you get in the store
  • 1 batch of cherry jam that yielded 4 and a half pints
  • 2 pies worth of cherries frozen
  • happy snackers - we ate to our hearts content

I learned that my daughters are more than capable of stemming cherries and not eating each one they stem, that Miss Pear can pit them with the pitter, and that next year I need a second pitter...and probably twice as many cherries!  We had a lot of fun, and are enjoying the results very much.

It makes me very happy to see the pantry filling up again with delicious treats, healthier too as we use a very light syrup.

And we pick up 10 lbs of Rainier cherries Thursday night.....

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cherry Insanity

Today we sorted 30 lbs of cherries.

Over 2/3 were ready to be worked with, rest set to ripen more.

The ready ones were cleaned, and the craziness began.

We got 17 pints of cherries completed and they are so pretty.

We had 1 broken jar which broke after the cherries were in and processed, the jar boiled over and then on the cooling rack cracked - very weird...and smelly.

More to do tomorrow as we did not get all the ripe ones done.

When we run out of pint jars we are freezing cherries for pie and will try dehydrating again.

And then we found out we get 10 lbs of Rainier cherries on Saturday after all.

I don't know if I should jump up and down or hide under the covers.

I do know that those 17 pints of cherries make me very happy.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Cherry Week

Happy Monday, and I am much happier this Monday than I was last monday when I was almost in tears from my re-injured hand!

I am still going very slowly, wearing a brace, and taking lots of Motrin to make it through the day, but if I follow all the directions I was given carefully I actually stay ahead of the pain - huge improvement!  Thank you Lord!

We found out this morning that the 30 lbs of cherries we ordered for canning and eating will be here at least a week early, and at a better price...they will be here tomorrow.

So I think Baby will be pulling the stems off, Miss Pear will be pitting them with a cherry pitter, and us adults will be putting them in jars with syrup and processing them - should be interesting, but my husband grew up with a mom that cans and is actually better at it than I am!  So we will get it done.

But typing is still very hard for me, both time consuming and messes up the calm in my hand, so I will be back as I can, but probably not very much.

What would you be doing if you were blessed with 30lbs of organic bing cherries?  (At $1.50 a pound!  I am doing such a happy dance!)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Oops

Hey - I hurt my wrist on the weekend, aggravating an old injury, and by monday night it was bad enough I went to see a doctor who put me in a brace,  on my dominant hand.

Typing is very hard.

See you next week.

If you have any lunch ideas that require no cutting I would love it if you would share them with me.  Dear husband of mine came home to make lunch yesterday, but cannot the rest of the week because of meetings.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Morning

It is Monday morning, and the girls are playing doll house.  I am sitting at the island listening to them, and the washing machine, looking out at the back yard and the beautiful sunlight playing on the green of the leaves.  And I am reminded of the fulfillment of simple beauty, simple provision, simple joy.  I am reminded of the joy I have Monday mornings now that I stay home with the girls rather than the dread and knot in my stomach when I went to work, and it gives me joy.

I had to write a few quick emails this morning, and it gives me joy to know I am emailing local friends, new friends in our new area who have become great friends.

I listen to the girls playing together, real friends, real joy, no yelling, and it makes me so happy.

Monday mornings have found a delightful joy over time and I did not notice the gift because I did not slow down enough to look, I would just look at my to do list instead.  Our lives are becoming increasingly simple, and with that I am finding increasing joy.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Joy

I am learning to look for joy around me.  The giggles of little girls, the singing of birds, the clear surface of our kitchen island...okay that last one may be a miracle it happens so rarely.

But just like I purposefully slowed myself down to give thanks, I am learning to slow myself down to find joy.

Just today, reading through my blog subscriptions I found things that gave me joy:

This great article about preserving the family dinner table - something dear to me!

I laughed at this post about what to do when you run out of table linens because I keep 2 white twin sized sheets just for this reason!  Maybe I should just quit pretending and put them with the table linens?

And I loved this article about serving nourishing meals to crowds because the very idea of filling our home with friends gives me great joy!

And then the CSA we are part of emailed me about next week's box, and that definitely gives me joy!  As does slowly working through the surplus of veggies we had and not just putting them all in stock, stir fries, or roasting them....although I will be roasting veggies for supper tonight.

Where are you finding joy today?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Potty Training Week

While I still want to share about the thank you note table a little more, and point you towards this great post about Perfectionism Ruining Entertaining, we are potty training this week.

It might be the hardest part of parenting as far as our wonderful but strong willed girls are concerned!  But the hardest part is the first couple days, and we are already seeing hope that our little one is getting it, which is great.

So I am throwing out my to do list and agenda this week and just focusing on getting Baby through this time and convincing her that going potty is really a great thing...it is a harder sell than you might expect!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Simple Baby Shower Decorations

When it came to decorating for the shower I wanted to be very careful to find balance between fun and unique, and using what I had.  While I certainly could have asked for donations for the decorations I felt very strongly that I did not want to ask for them!

What happened to just say yes?

It met logic!  This is a first time mom and I did not want any money that could be going to items she needed to be going to decorations!  I kept sending people to shop her registry!

So that left decorations.

I went through all our toys pulling out cars, trucks, and construction vehicles.

My theme became Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

I put a copy of this well loved book on the piano with some other construction themed books we borrowed from friends.

When you came up the front steps you were greeted by a Tonka Truck Crane borrowed from friends and our friendly stork sitting on the bench that was given to us at Miss Pear's baby shower.

Inside was the welcome table.  I asked that attendees write their address on a thank you note and put it in the large Tonka dump truck that was borrowed from friends.  The table was a card table covered with a white sheet and one of our receiving blankets.  The cards were ones I had leftover from my babies, but all the same.

The girls' art table was covered with the blanket I made for our gift and was the gift table...and there were some of our lego cars and trucks around it and on the window ledge.

The meal was served on the island in our kitchen.  For a table cloth I used receiving blankets (also on the kitchen table), knives and forks were in the Little People School bus that was lined with a napkin, and the spoons were in the Little People Minivan that was lined with a napkin.  I used my collection of everyday blue cloth napkins for the occasion, rolling them up and placing them in our dump truck.

It was all using things we had in creative ways, and everyone seemed to comment on the napkins in the dump truck!  

It was fun, it was unique, and it was very frugal because it was all stuff we had, so all funds went to gifts!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Simple Baby Shower

We had the great joy of hosting a church baby shower this past weekend.  Everyone said they had a great time, I had lots of fun, the mommy got spoiled, in fact, I think she was overwhelmed!

So I wanted to share her what I did, not only to encourage you, but so I remember for next time!

To everyone else it looked like there was tons of work in the shower, and there was, but it was spread out. 

The first thing I did was make a list of everything I could easily delegate.   I decided to have a brunch, so the list of things we needed were:

1.  Paper products
2.  4 hot brunch dishes
3.  4 breakfast bread dishes
4.  2 fruit
5.  Juice
6.  Volunteers to help set up
7.  Volunteers to help tear down
8.  Chairs from church
9.  Someone to do the evite who has all the addresses set up.

If figured I would do whatever was left.

There was nothing left.  I ended up doing decorations, cleaning the house, hot beverages, and all the planning.

I also asked a lady at church to bring a devotion for the morning and it was wonderful.

What I found was that everyone wanted to help!  And when people called and emailed asking if they could help, I just kept saying yes!  People want to serve, and saying no is not helpful, it denies them that chance!  so JUST SAY YES!

Would you have delegated all this or done it all yourself?

Friday, June 10, 2011

A-Z Construction Vehicles

If you have ever needed a list of construction vehicles for every letter of the alphabet, here you go!


A - Ariel Lift, Asphault Reclaimer, Articulated Truck
B - Backhoe, Bulldozer
C - Cement Mixer, Cement Pumper Truck, Compactor,
         Cold Planer
D - Dump Truck, Double Drum Compactor
E - Excavator
F - Front-End Loader, Front Shovel
G - Grader, Grapple
H - Horizontal Borer, Hydraulic Excavator
I - Impact Hammer, Integrated Toolcarrier
J - Jack Hammer
K - Knuckleboom Loader
L - Laser, Loader
M - Mobile Rock Crusher, Motor Grader
N - Night Lights (those really big ones)
O - Off-Road Dump Truck, Off-Highway Truck
P - Paver, Pipelayer
Q - Quad-Axle Lowbed, Quary Truck
R - Road Cutter, Road Reclaimer
S - Scraper, Skid Steer Loader
T - Tower Crane, Telehandler
U - Utility Truck
V - Vactor, Vibratory Drum Contractor
W - Wrecking Ball
X - X-Bracing
Y - Yard Crane
Z - Zipper

Thursday, June 9, 2011

CSA Box This Week

This morning we unpacked a delicious CSA box that also included a green grocer order of yougurt and half and half cream!

The box was filled with:


Box Contents
Roma Tomatoes, Organic - 1.5 pounds
Bunched Carrots, Organic - 1 bunch
Green Cabbage, Organic - 1 each
Spring Onions, Organic - 2 bunches
Cucumbers, Organic - 2 each
Arugula (Greens), Organic - 1 bunch
Green Bibb Lettuce, Organic - 1 bunch
Minneola Tangelos, Organic - 6 each
  These were unavailable and Navel oranges were substituted.
Navel Oranges, Organic - 6 each
Nectarines, Organic - 6 each
..
Peaches, Organic - 6 each
Cameo Apples, Organic - 5 each


Unfortunately I did have a fair bit left in the fridge after so much yuck in the house, including another cucumber, another head of lettuce (okay, half head), and bunch of carrots.

I don't think this is going to be a problem because I also have to goal of eating more fruits and veggies myself, and putting veggies in the snack bowls too - even if it means breaking out the salad dressing!

If you were feeling slightly over run by fruits and veggies what would you be doing?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Summer Goals

I noticed this morning during school time that we only have 22 reading lessons left to go, much less on math, and are completely done our hand writing.  Not bad considering all the yuck, broken arm, and move our family had this past school year!

That has me thinking about our summer plans.

While we do take a break from "formal" school, we also think that learning is life long and more learning happens away from the school table than at it!  However, we also know that we have to be deliberate to challenge and stimulate our children each day - it helps them so much, especially in behavior and being kind to each other!  There is definitely a link in our family.

So my plans for this summer include reading that will actually follow the Rod and Staff introduction to science and social studies, drawing, and lots of reading!  This is in addition to lots of playing and just having fun, of course!

I also made some key goals for the summer, things I have been meaning to get back on track, and things I know will help us tremendously in the fall if we already have them in place!

1.  Read Aloud Time - this has completely fallen apart.  We love this time, and we know it is important!  My plan is to re-establish this time into our day.

2.  Chores - our girls want jobs around the house, and we certainly encourage them to help, even Baby wants her own jobs!  We have tried chore charts, and that just isn't working for us as the jobs needed change every day, and let's face it, I don't have napkins to fold every day!  So now that we are in our new house I am going to get my housekeeping binder updated with a cleaning plan, including daily jobs for the girls.

3.  Scripture Memory / Children's Catechism - we are doing this, but not consistently.  Actually, we are doing a fairly good job on scripture memory, and a terrible job on the catechism.  My plan is to get back to doing scripture memory each morning after Breakfast Bible time (instead of just 3 or 4 mornings a week).  I don't know exactly where to slot in Children's Catechism, I just know it is important to us and I need to find a place.

4.  Personal Bible Time - Miss Pear is turning into an excellent reader, and she loves God and His Word, so we want to encourage her to being a quiet time of her own.  I am thinking this will start at our table with the two of us having a quiet time together, we will see.

The last thing is that my husband and I are planning on studying James together this summer.  With the yuck we are off to a bit of a rough start, but hopefully we will be able to start this weekend.

What great habits are you trying to establish this summer?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Help!

The yuck continues.

My husband and baby are now sick, and someone shared a cold with me.

But I realized something.  Today is our 12th anniversary and we are all together because everyone but Miss Pear is too sick to leave the house willingly (well, I could leave, but I am the nurse).  But we are all together and all on the mend, so I am choosing to focus on that blessing.

I am trying to think about ways to give the girls the responsibility they want with chores and a chart is not working because the needed chores change daily, so do you have any creative ideas for me?

And I am also looking for good children's book and read aloud ideas too!  The more the merrier!

Ooh, and if you have a fabulous brunch recipe please share, I am hosting a baby shower on Saturday and would love some new ideas!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Costco

I made a stocking up run to Costco this morning, shopping solo.  I almost forgot how to do that!

After filling my cart to the brim and higher, checking out and heading to the car I was feeling very successful in my shopping!

Until I heard a thump followed by a crunch in which my cart came to a complete stand still.

The tomato soup I had bought had been stacked on the bottom front of the cart on top of the gatorade and had fallen off, flipping over en route before being run over by the cart.

Seriously.

2 cans were crushed to 3/4 their normal height and the rest were badly dinged.

I made it to the car, unloaded the rest and went back into the store.

The gracious lady at member services offered to go get me a new case.  While she was gone I retold the story to the other member services lady, and she said what I suspected all along, "Wow, I have never heard of that happening before."

I live to entertain.

So tell me, what is the weirdest grocery related misadventure you have ever had?
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