Friday, August 26, 2011

Coming up....

I was quite excited yesterday to blend a double batch of Peach Pluot Jam together and can it into beautiful little brand new jars that I purchased with the proceeds from my last Jam Jamboree.  Heard Smith Ranch's last day of fruit was today, so I zipped over there after carpool and got 2 more flats of Pluots. 

There are plans brewing in my head for Pear Pluot Jam and straight Pluot Jam.  Someday soon I'll post pics and details (soon being a relative term - still not sure how these homeschooling Moms of 5+children manage to blog multiple times a week.  Maybe they do it while their children do the schoolwork?) 

There is also a "Pepperonchino Post" in the works, as well as "Corny Day"

But first...(as always) there are special people coming for supper tomorrow night and this house looks like the domain of someone who has been sewing, supervising children and canning...You can conjure up whatever image you like!

If you are a foodie, check out my dear friend Carolyn's blog.  If you like a truly "laughing out loud" motherhood adventure blog, go see Kendra.  I enjoy quite a few blogs and might crosspost from time to time.

Thought question...hehe...(very complex)  I'm thinking of doing a link party re: laundry stain tips.  Yes, or no?

So that's the menagerie on my mind.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Everyone loves the First Day of School!

Who was ONE of your favorite teachers...and why?

Only a few words of narrative needed. 
"You know who" was up at 5:45
Coffee was required! (by me - not sure he'll ever need it!)

First Grader Extraordinaire.

It's a wee fuzzy.

Yeah for Grandmas!

The 3rd Graders

I'm still getting the hang of everyone out the door at 7:30 - but we made it =)

And you know by now....this blogger desires input, conversation, sharing, not just a whooshing sound left by lurkers.  I don't care if it's anonymous, or on facebook...please answer the thought question, please with a smile on top?  =)  I always appreciate those of you who do!   
Who was ONE of your favorite teachers...and why?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Life With A Family: Operation Jackets-n-Hats

Life With A Family: Operation Jackets-n-Hats

Let me know if you want to drop off here in Ca. I know who it is. We have some extra jackets/hats around here, that is for sure.
There are so many ways to show love to orphans...Thank you Jody, for helping us help others!

So you know my "thing" is a thought question.  In keeping with the theme of this post here it is.

Drumroll.....dadumdadumdadum....Thought question!  What are your favorite local places to donate goods or services.  Local means local to you.  I don't mean that we should all be bragging about what we share.  Just share your idea of a deserving charity close by. That way we can all be more aware of the needs about us.  Keep on brings much blessing.  Feel free to share links in the comments section.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Toy Organization Extravaganza and Logic Tangle

Thanks to Becky at Organizing Made Fun  for her wonderful challenge and toy cleanup posting party.

I love organizing and get ridding of excess, so I decided that there is nothing like a deadline to make me tackle the ultimate challenge.  CLEANING AND ORGANIZING WITH CHILDREN.  It was good, and a bit crazy.  Aaron actually enjoyed most of it.  He did great!  Sarah was a good sport too.  Her toy "go-through" even got her playing with her dolls afterwards...something she rarely does.  John is a bit of packrat/hanger-on-of-all-that-is-mine. You will see what I mean later.

We started by going through the boy's large vehicles, tractors, implements, etc.

John's lineup
Aaron's lineup
Shared toys
We counted up how many items they had and I would say, Ok, pick your favorite 4 tractors and put one in the basket...which implements do you like best... can we share this one?  For some reason, they didn't mind getting rid of some of their big vehicles.

I need to insert here that a friend of mine who is returning to an orphanage in Ethiopia to pick up 2 children soon (So Happy for them!)  told me recently that they were thinking of taking some tubs of books/toys to the orphanage. "Perfect timing," I told her!   So the boys knew that their giving was going to boys without.  It is a joy to see the generosity of Jesus push through in their conversations. John could hardly bear the thought of giving up a tractor. We won't say how many he kept, he is rather sensitive about it. We had a long discussion and then I told him he could think about which of 2 that were his least favorite he would donate.  Later, all by himself he came up crowing about which one he would share. 

They consolidated their donations in this basket.
Don't worry, Grandpa...we kept the Farmalls and most of the John Deere's =)

Then we moved into Sarah's room and went through her stuffed animal and doll bins.  May I add here that this spring I got some new organizing bins for her room, but the animals and dolls in and she has rarely if EVER even gotten them out!  So I was a bit curious to see how this would go.  I told her to keep 5 stuffed animals and 5 dolls.  Mostly b/c she has dolls from all her grandma's and some of them are a bit too good to get rid of =)  Hmmm Mudder.  Didn't bother her a bit.  I love the fact that 2 of the tubs are now available for other use.  We'll tackle her and Stephen's closet when the season changes. (That's an all morning activity!)

Here is the animal pile

Here is her stash to donate.  Sorry for the bad photo, my camera gets goofy when the batteries get low. 

Our favorite Bugaboo and toy tosser

Well since we are a family of 6, this is all we got done that day.

The next day we went DOWN to the basement where we have a "family room" that houses a bookshelf, and toy bin.  It is often rather a mess, mostly because I don't have to go down there very much, so I don't.  And as you know, out of sight - out of mind. When I don't see it, I don't have them clean it up.  But part of the reason it is hard to keep clean is b/c there are too many toys.  I've done many purges with them out of sight, but I followed Becky's advice and involved them in all of it.  First we went through the books, then we went through the toy bins, and then we went organized the rest of the room =)  Happy Momma! And yes, I definitely need to be more organized and have a certain time when they clean up the room to my specs.  So to prepare for that chain of events, I took lots of pictures of the perfectly clean and organized room.  I'm going to print them and hang them down there.  Then inspection should be simple.  If it doesn't look like the picture, it's not done.  This is the theory.  We shall see how the implementation succeeds.

During cleanup

All done!

bye bye books.

The Corner Mess

Vastly Improved - the bins even have Labels!
Thomas Train blue bins, and other misc that easily hides under a table

The cleanup crew...Good JOB guys!
During this process I had a child telling me that they wished we were adopting orphans...and that they wished there were no orphanages....I finally wrangled through the tangle of logic...if there were no orphans, perhaps he would not have to give away any toys?  I didn't tell him about Goodwill =O

Monday, August 8, 2011

What happens in 11 years?

It seems like just yesterday that I married the man who won my heart.

And then you stop and think what has happened in 11 yrs...

4 beautiful children joined our family.
 It always makes me laugh when they don't "get it" that we lived by ourselves once upon a time!

We switched from a 5 passenger vehicle to an 8 passenger vehicle. 42K miles already?  =)
I went from teaching to carpooling. David went from 1 employee to 2 to 0.  

Our marriage has improved year by year. I remember being rather surprised at how much closer we grew after having children.

We haven't moved...even 1x.  Fairly unusual. We'll enjoy our home/location as long as we are able.  We couldn't ask for a better renting situation!

One grandpa and one grandma are now in Heaven...both attended our wedding!  Can't wait to share the wedding supper of the lamb with them =)

I could go on and on about all the things David does and is, but that might make a few of you gag.  Suffice it to say that his love language is "Acts of Service" and he shows his love like that regularly.  I've learned not to tell him what i need to get done sometimes...b/c he'll quit doing what HE needs to do to help me.  He is a rock of quiet devotion to Christ, my inspiration and always available listening ear. 

God is good, His mercies are everlasting, from generation to generation I will bless His holy name.

I would scan in a wedding picture, but can't remove the professional ones from the album.

Oh, and those of you who know us well know that....I'm 39 days late with this post...=)

You know the line -  I prefer conversation to is the thought question.  What did you learn from watching your parent's marriage?  I can't wait to see your advice!  If you don't want to comment on here, or don't know how, the facebook cross post also allows comments.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Deedle deedle dumpling, my son John.
Went to bed with his MONKEY PAJAMAS on
One shoe off and one shoe on....
Deedle deedle dumpling, my son John.

What I neglected to put in put in poem form was how he also got to take his freshly mended "Bll-uuu Bll-ank-ie" (Ever since he learned special sounds - thanks Teacher!  he speaks with defined "syll-ables")  ANYWAYS...a while back,  scissors were banned from his hand (for 3 long weeks) when I discovered mulitple items with a fresh "change" as Amelia Bedelia did to those towels.  His aforementioned blue blanket...his BEST sheet that Mary got for a song at Dilliards.  His brother's blanket...he was obviously enjoying the experience.

Tonight I was mended his was freshly washed today...and he had been begging asking me to do it for a while.  As I did, I told him a little bit how his mended blanket shows us the consequenses of sin. God forgives our sin, just like I forgave his cutting.  He helps us put our lives back together...mends the blanket.  But there will always be a scar (The blanket is minky so mending it made a little ridge).  That is one reason why sin is never worth it!  I need to remember this vivid picture when the oreo cookies are calling loudly from the top shelf.

Today I overheard Aaron tell Sarah while I was back in our room putting laundry away,  "YOU MARCH RIGHT BACK TO MOMMA AND TELL HER WHAT YOU DID!"   Voluntary tattling?
 Ho ho big bro =)

So now I have a great place for all those funny things my children say...I'll just organize my posts with special labels.  =0 

I still have to work on the sheet. I'm not too excited about it as it is a rather big series of cuts.  But it IS a good sheet! I'm not one to preemptively throw away sheets.

I ALMOST forgot to include the "Though Question".  Gasp!.
What has God give you the grace to mend lately?
Opening up is hard, but it builds up the body of Christ

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