Monday, November 28, 2011

Birthday Boy

Seth is now officially 6 years old, and for 2 months he will be 'older' than Ahren. As usual, we managed to drag the festivities out over several days. The weekend before his birthday he got to have a friend over for the day. The friend brought him the coolest rocket launching toy gun. Then on his actual birthday (a school night) we had a special dinner and treats. Then, that weekend we went out to eat at his choice of restaurant (Red Lobster) then had cake and presents. 

We ordered his cake the week before but when I went to pick it up they had forgotten to make it! Luckily, the head baker jumped in, found what she needed and one hour later I went back and picked up this. It actually was better than usual since she had used cake that just came out of the oven and it was so fresh and moist. Seth loved it!

Time to open presents. These are just the ones from us. He had other presents and cards too. Spoiled kids? Naw, just really loved!

First present, a new helmet. Isn't that adorable...umm, I mean really scary???

His little brains are now safe and sound while he rides around like a crazed lunatic.

Next came the football he wanted.  One just his size so he can throw and catch.

Of course there were some Legos. Like we don't have enough....

And finally his big gift, a new Razor scooter. Within sixty seconds of taking this picture he was out shooting down the driveway at warp speed, giving his Mama a heart attack.

We all had a great time celebrating Seth's sixth birthday, and he didn't seem to have any fallout afterwards. I think our little man is growing up.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Harvesting the Bounty

The drought has severely affected my ability to raise our own food. I didn't even plant a garden this year, which turned out to be a wise choice. I would have spent more in water than I would have saved. Plus, everything would have been stunted and died off early. Instead, I bought from farmer's markets and roadside stands. Peaches, strawberries, peppers, etc. Then I got out my handy dandy canning supplies and got to work.

The three pot method

One pot of boiling water (back left) to process jars and lids
One pot to cook the jam/jelly in
One extra large canning pot to process the jars. 
This is hot work, just saying.

Freshly washed jars ready for grape jelly.

Most important part? Teamwork! My little helper wasn't allowed to get too close to the stove but he did provide constant commentary during the process.

One batch of grape jelly, processed and cooling. That should last us at least a year or so.

Fresh strawberries, getting prepped for jam. Note: when using a very sharp knife to cut up strawberries, do not talk animatedly with your hands. This will result in injury to fingers. Just saying.

One of my favorites: hot pepper jam. Gloves are important when prepping the many jalapenos that go into this recipe. The end product is sweet with a spicy finish and totally yummy.

Pot of peppers prepared for processing!

Pickling, freezing, canning, making things from scratch. I love it all. My next project I am wanting to tackle? Making our own jerky from some of the deer meat Chris is filling our freezers with. I'll keep you posted on that one.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I didn't really intend to take a break but I it just worked out that way.  I guess I needed it since I feel all ready to blog and get back to real life. The past month+ I have been on autopilot in many ways. I took a 'vacation' in a way, from the emotional challenges of parenting, working, and handling life. Now I am re-charged and ready to handle it all again!

I have many blog posts in my brain and on my camera, so I will be catching up in bursts.

You know you have boys when....

you have plastic building blocks everywhere

you find rocks in the sink, the dryer, the bathtub, the drawers, etc etc

play guns are part of your decor

transformers walk your hallways

strange orange-soda monsters stage surprise attacks 

haircuts aren't so much done by stylists as by junior barbers (or is that 'barbarians'?)

you send them to wash their hands and more dirt ends up on the sink than down the drain

you find them all asleep snuggled together with their favorite dog and can't help but smile