Tuesday, August 31, 2010


"I know why dinosaurs died. They ate too many grapes*, they didn't take naps, and they didn't brush their teeth! Then they got sick and died!" - Preston

*I had to cut Preston off from eating grapes because I was afraid he was going to make himself sick, so that was the "logic" behind that portion of it. He spends many hours contemplating the extinction of dinosaurs!

My weekend

This weekend I had my first solo canning session. I've helped my mom can countless times (probably ever summer from the time I could help until I got married, and then a few times after that as well!), but this was my first time actually doing it without help. Turns out, it's a bit more difficult to do the whole process alone. Who knew?! It could've been slightly complicated by the fact that I was attempting to juggle 3 boys as well (or 4, considering John was home). John helped me a little, but it still seemed like a LOT of work. Either way, my pantry now has some freshly canned green beans and peaches in it! I'm hoping to do some more green beans since the boys LOVE green beans, some tomatoes and salsa, and possibly some other kinds of beans - we'll see how ambitious I am.

My main motivation for canning started when I read that BPA leaches into canned tomatoes quite a bit due to the acidic nature of the tomatoes. Totally logical, but it never really occurred to me that there would be higher amounts of BPA in tomatoes than other canned items. We eat a TON of canned diced tomatoes as well as tomato sauces, etc. I buy spaghetti sauce in glass jars, but the other tomato products don't seem to be readily available in glass jars. So, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my tomatoes hurry up and ripen before frost! We woke up to low 40's today (and a high of only 60 today!) and I'm concerned that our first frost might be right around the corner. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

Unfortunate Friday

(Let me preface this by saying that John normally works Monday-Thursday. When he has to work on a Friday, I tend to get a little bit...ummm...annoyed by it and I act like a spoiled brat because I really like 3 day weekends.)

So, the events of the day.
All 3 boys are sick. Archer started it off on Tuesday, and now they all have varying degrees of the sickness. Thankfully, Archer is mostly recovered, and the other 2 are shortly behind him. Either way, I haven't gotten sleep all week. And I don't have the luxury of sleeping through the panicked cries of "I can't breathe! I can't breathe! There is snot in my nose!" like the other parent does.

This morning I had to drag myself out of bed. I was irritated from the start (no surprise to anyone that lives - or has previously lived - with me...I need 8 hours of sleep and I haven't gotten 8 hours of sleep in WAY.TOO.LONG) and things kinda went downhill from there.

The boys ate breakfast and John went to work. I had coffee. I realized that it was not a wise decision to feed Archer peaches and toast with honey on it for breakfast. Nasty sticky mess. Jasper helped clean it up while I changed Archer's diaper. Hmmm...a small poop. I was sure there was more to come so I opted for a disposable diaper instead of cloth (yes, I try to time it so he has a disposable diaper on when he poops!). Put Archer down in the playroom to continue cleaning up breakfast.

And then I hear...


Of course I rush to the playroom to see what was happening, and find that Archer had in fact finished pooping...while riding on the rocking horse. Oh not good. Not good at all. Oh my goodness. Rushed Archie upstairs for a hose-down in the tub while Preston and Bryton are completely freaking out (for boys who love to play in the dirt, they are seriously poop-a-phobic). Get Archer cleaned up, cleaned the bathtub (and decided that I might as well clean the rest of the bathroom while I was at it), cleaned the changing table, and then decided that I had to tackle the horse. I took it outside to hose it down in the yard, meanwhile getting completely soaked because Jasper decided to use the hose as a chew toy and made it into a sprinkler. And it was cold today.

While I'm doing this, the boys are fighting of course, because they like to take advantage of me being covered in poop. So I'm running in and out of the house, getting soaked, and covered in poop. Argh! Got it sprayed down, scrubbed with vinegar, sprayed off again, set in the sun to dry...DONE!

Go inside, and Archer decides to take a dive off the train table onto the drawer of the table which he had pulled out to use as a ladder to climb up there in the first place. SMACK right on his head. Of course.

All of this before 8:30 am.

The rest of the day didn't go much better, but fortunately it didn't get much worse either. I was so proud because I had gotten the older boys down for a nap, did a massive amount of cleaning, and finally got Archer to sleep. I sat down to read...and...the doorbell rang. My peace and quiet shattered. 2 boys awake.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Garden

Most of our garden is new this year. Last year we planted 2 5'x5' raised beds with veggies and some blueberries, but Jasper ate all the blueberries so we pretty much started from scratch this year. Our 5x5 beds are in use once again, but we expanded to a few other areas in our yard (that are now all fully fenced and safe from Jasper!).

We have a pretty small lot (.2 acre) so we don't have a whole lot of space to work with, but here is what we have planted so far in our "permanent landscaping": hardy kiwis (2 females, 1 male), grapes (4), blueberries (10 or so?), red raspberries, black raspberries (we have 1 shoot that survived a Jasper massacre that we are currently nursing back to health), blackberries, elderberries (2), lots of strawberries, cherry bushes (3), wintergreen (ground cover), 2 semi-dwarf apple trees (Fuji and Honeycrisp), a semi-dwarf Cherry tree (Stella), a dwarf peach tree, a dwarf "fruit cocktail" tree (nectarines, peaches, plums, and apricots), and a dwarf 5-in-1 pear tree.

Our 5x5 beds, along with a couple of new beds and some containers, are reserved for the "non-permanent" items (mainly just tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, peppers, watermelon, and pumpkin - which won't be for eating due to John's pumpkin seed allergy...but we're hoping to have a few pumpkins for the boys to carve for Halloween!). Eventually we'd like to expand our permanent items to all but the 5x5 beds and some containers. The boys love berries more than anything else (they have blueberries seriously every.single.morning with their oatmeal/granola/5 grain cereal, but they will take pretty much any other berry as an acceptable substitute!), so it makes sense to grow more of those (especially since we have an extra freezer!).

Here are a few of my favorites...these were all planted in Spring (late May or so).

Our biggest grape!

A kiwi (pretty sure this one is a female)

The red raspberry "patch" - these started off as 3 little shoots that we planted in May and they seem to be doing really well! We've been getting a couple of berries, and there are a LOT more berries (and new shoots) in the works!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


"Can I have tomatoes for dessert?" - Preston

Popsicles & Friends

John had the day off work yesterday, and we started the morning off by having some friends over. Including our boys, there were 8 kids ages 1-4. It was a bit chaotic, but the boys had fun. And they got to have sugary popsicles in the morning which never happens.


Conversation with B this morning:

"So, Bryton, how old are you going to be on your birthday?"
"THREE!" (holding up 2 fingers)
"That's only 2 fingers, silly!" (help him put up his 3rd finger) "There ya go! So how old are you going to be on your birthday?"
"This many!" (holding up 3 fingers)
"And how many is that?"

Friday, August 20, 2010


The Swordfight!

The Captain winning the fight (except that he didn't win in the end...he was a bad Captain, after all - he DID kidnap the crew)

"Brave Bryton" (all the kids were given Pirate names)

"Pyromaniac Preston" (I think they were having a difficult time coming up with a suitable "P" name!)


Today we were "kidnapped" by Captain Jack Calico and the Pirates of the Coeur d'Alene. The boys were pretty excited about the afternoon. They love to play pirate ship anyway, so to be on a "real" pirate ship on the Lake, complete with sword-fighting, cannons, a rescue, a treasure chest, singing, and dancing...well, it just doesn't get any better than that for these 2 little pirates! Archer liked the singing and dancing, as well as pointing at the boats/water/shoreline. The rest didn't really impress him though!

The boys before our ship set sail

Checking out the map

The route

Archer pointing at...something...

Part 2 of pictures on the way!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

She couldn't wait...

This is what is left of Preston's shoe, courtesy of Jasper left outside for about 15 minutes unattended.

Come on, Jasper, couldn't you have waited another month until summer was over?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Archie is NOT pleased with this situation


"You break my heart, Mom, you break my heart." - Bryton
(Preston started calling me "Mom" a few months ago, and Bryton has picked it up...ugh! I'm getting OLD!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This was Preston's first time down the fire pole completely unassisted! He didn't want me anywhere near him...direct quote: "Mom, go over there away from me and take my picture!"

Oh Little B. So serious but so cute!

Monday, August 16, 2010


See this lovely rain barrel? We put it in this spring and I love it. Our garden is ever-expanding, and hopefully we'll be able to add another rain barrel at some point (John just doesn't know it yet!).

Did you know that rainwater collection is ILLEGAL in some states? Crazy. I just read this article about how certain states put restrictions on the collection of rainwater! WHAT?! How is that even possible? Apparently it is better to have all that water go to waste than to have people put it to good use in their gardens.


We have a walker

Archer took his first "real" steps this morning. Generally he hasn't really been motivated to try to take more than one step, but this morning he just kind of took off and took a couple in a row completely unassisted! I tried to get a picture and video, but no such luck. He just tried to get the camera.

I don't think walking will make him any more mischievous though. He is a climber through and through, and does his best to keep up with his big brothers - crawling, climbing, or walking!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Morning hot chocolate for Little B

Cuddling with Arch

P&B on the tire swing with their 2nd cousin


The Boys

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Archer watching the parasailer on the lake


Here we go! The new blog. Hopefully you all made it over okay from the old blog. After a year of having a private blog, I decided that it was time to switch back to a public blog. It was getting to be kind of a pain, and it just seemed simpler to be able to give people our blog address without having to send them an invite. I will miss the old blog, but I always felt a little weird about having our last name "out there" with random people reading all about us.

It'll probably take me a while to get things set up around here, but all of my posting will be here from now on!