Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chickens and Kids

Okay, this is just too stinkin' hilarious not to share . . .

What We Do While We Wait - Part 2

We play . . .

Waiting for forms to come back can be so hard, but we have tried to keep busy and have fun at the same time.

Baby Girl had her first birthday this summer and it was so fun to see her eyes light up when she saw her cupcake and candle. We have cherished this time with her in her babyhood and while we are anxious beyond words to bring our new children home, we are glad to have the time to watch her grow.

We've also had a great time at the lake this year. It's a great family getaway. No t.v., no internet, sketchy phone service. Strangely, we never miss them. The two younger boys have taken to the water and Son #2 has had a blast knee-boarding and kayaking. Even though he's only 5, he just hopped in and took off. He's a better paddler than some of the older kids!

And yes, we even had fun watching the hay being cut and baled. The younger kids have been playing "King of the Mountain" and other made up games. Next year we hope to have a barn built and to be baling our own hay. Sounds like a great job for dad and almost-teenage son! :-)

We hope you all are taking some time to enjoy friends and family this summer!

Monday, July 26, 2010

What We Do While We Wait - Part 1

We work . . .

This summer has been a busy but good one. We have used our 'waiting days' as well as possible and packed them full.

In May we made strawberry jam with grandma. She is the best jam maker we know and we just can't do it without her. Something about the way she stirs. :-) We made over 45 jars of jam to put away for winter and to share with friends. So yummy!

We have been working and picking and weeding in our garden all spring and summer. It has been a great experience for the kids and they are incredible little helpers. Many hands make light work has been playing out at our house this year. Youngest son spent some quality time with mom shelling peas. The great part about a garden is that everyone can help in some way. He did a great job with this.

In June, I loaded up all seven and we went a few blocks from home to a blueberry farm. In all my years of living here I never knew it existed. Kind of a freak of nature as blueberries don't really grow well in this part of the country. Each kid grabbed a bucket or box and we picked a BUNCH of berries in a short time. I'm really starting to like the help. We are a force to be reckoned with when we're on our game. :-) I think we were in and out in 30 minutes and froze about 20 quarts from this picking.

And then there is the canning . . . always exciting as I try to remain calm and NOT blow the lid off the pressure cooker. This year we have picked and canned about 50 quarts of green beans. I only blew the lid (ring and all) off one jar while inside the canner. It sounded like the entire jar blew up in there, but when it was all done and the lid came off the canner the jar was sitting perfectly upright, beans intact. The lid and ring however, were bent and laying in the bottom of the canner. How does that happen???

We are getting ready for tomatoes next. Trying some new marinara recipes to can, making lots of fresh salsa (YUM!!!) and eating a lot of BLT's (double YUM!). This week we have been on major weed patrol and getting ready to plant turnips and more sugar snap peas for a fall crop, and considering clearing a patch for pumpkins. We are running out of time though . . .

If you're bored or hungry, stop by. We'll feed you . . . or put you to work . . . or put you to work and then feed you!