Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fall is Here

I'm still picking tomatoes and spaghetti squash (how I will eat all the squash by myself, I do not know! We discovered this year that John's pumpkin allergy does extend to spaghetti squash as well.), but Fall has arrived. Our morning ride to school is chilly, and the evenings are cold. It's been raining (mostly at night, thankfully!), and the sunny days are less and less. 

I'm not a "sweater weather" person, but I did enjoy my bike ride home from school with a pumpkin in the basket! We only ended up with 2 pumpkins in our garden, so thankfully a friend had extras and gave us one. No fights over pumpkins in our house!

In other news, Bryton started Cub Scouts! He's so adorable in his way-too-big-but-hopefully-will-last-a-few-more-years uniform. 

And then, there's this:
We got another freezer because we have 1/4 of a cow and 1/2 a pig waiting for us. And John is still hopeful that he will bag an elk this year. Archer has been asking (and asking...and asking...) for a playhouse, so he snagged the freezer box and decorated it for his playhouse. He told me the drawing means "Mom's Allowed!" Unfortunately, his playhouse wasn't looking so great after the Cub Scout meeting at our house, so I made him a little teepee out of fabric and PVC pipes. It isn't perfect, but it seems to be holding up okay for the time being. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Party

We finally had B's birthday party this afternoon! I know. 3 weeks late. Terrible. But we were so fortunate to have BEAUTIFUL 90 degree weather, and B had a pretty awesome "soccer party" if I do say so myself!

We played pin the soccer ball on the goal, decorated pennants, and had a soccer ball piñata. The kids had a squirt gun fight, ran through the sprinklers, and jumped on the trampoline. It was a perfect day that felt like SUMMER! 

Happy birthday Mr. B!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Picture Day

We didn't buy school pictures this year. It seems like a lot of money for pictures that are just headshots. And, I like individual pics, but also ones of the 3 of them together. Regardless...the boys knew it was picture day, and even though they knew we weren't buying pictures, they wanted to dress up anyway! They all came down in their suits first, but I mentioned that it was supposed to be in the 80's, and all but one kid changed. (And that one kid did end up leaving his jacket at home!)

Here are my handsome boys, all dressed up for picture day!

The suits I made for them last Easter sort of still fit...the pants are a bit short, and the jackets slightly more fitted, but I'm hoping they can wear them for Christmas...and then I may need to make the big kid a new one and pass the others down! Maybe I can start it after my Halloween costume projects are done!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


The doorbell rang today and it was the FedEx guy, with a package COD for us. I've never had a COD package before! But I was so excited when I saw what it was, despite the fact that it cost me over $14 in postage...

OUR CAMERA! We lost it on the cruise ship in early April, and honestly, I figured it was a lost cause by now. We have called, and called, and called, the lost and found. And each time, we were told they had the camera and someone would contact us within 1 day, 1-3 days, a week...and of course no one did. So we'd call back and start the same thing over. Well, on our last attempt we got someone reliable!

Our long lost pictures from our vacation!! We did have some cell phone pictures, but none at all for Belize, so now we have those. And, while it is definitely secondary, we now have our "vacation camera" back. Of course I just printed a blog book a few weeks ago, so I'm going to have to add the pictures/posts now instead of backdating them, but at least they will be here! 

The End of Summer

I never thought I'd say this, but right now, I am ready for summer to end! Don't get me wrong, I will miss the warm weather and I dread the ice and snow. But right now...I'm sick of the garden stuff! We got a frost last week, and I didn't even care. It was a hard enough frost to kill off our tomato plants and beans, although the actual tomatoes were fine. 

I'm in the midst of mountains of pears right now. I've made pear butter, pear sauce, and I have 10 dehydrator trays full right now. I have tomatoes ripening all over my kitchen and pantry, and I've lost count of how much I've canned. I've done garden veggie juice, tomato soup, salsa, and sauce. And I just feel DONE. And yes, I'll be thankful to have all of this yummy food this winter when we won't have much of a garden (although I'm hoping for a few things in my greenhouse and cold frame!), but right now it's exhausting! 

The boys started soccer, and cub scouts starts tonight. The fall craziness has started, but the summer craziness isn't quite over yet so we're being hit hard! B's birthday party is (finally) this Sunday, so we have preparations for that too, along with the fact that it's hunting season. Oh my goodness. I think I tired myself out just typing all of that. 

But I will say this. I'm thankful for a weather forecast in the high 80's for this week. I'm thankful to be still comfortable biking the boys to and from school. And I'm thankful for our productive garden, even if I'm burnt out on it!!!

I took the boys to Silverwood while John was hunting. He didn't get an elk, but he found this treasure that the boys think is pretty amazing!
John and I went on a date the other night...a bike ride by the lake, appetizers at an Italian restaurant along the bike path, and then sushi and a movie! It was amazing.

Garden corn...yum!
A little backyard four square
Archer doing his first filling :)
And the pears. Pears pears pears!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Selfies with Archer

Canning Progress

I kept thinking I was so behind in my canning this year, until I looked back at last years post...I guess I am ahead of where I was last year! I will try not to panic.

We have tomatoes in abundance, but our green beans are finally slowing down a bit. I still have canned green beans from last year, so I froze them this year and didn't can any, except for 10 pints of dilly beans. I ended up freezing at least 12 gallons! Crazy. Plus we had plenty to eat fresh and even enough to share with friends and neighbors. 

My tomato canning has really picked up the last week or so. So far this year, I have canned 20 quarts of tomato sauce, 32 pints of salsa, and 7 quarts of salsa. Up next is ketchup...I'd love to get 10 pints or so! I am definitely done with salsa - I've used up pretty much all of our jalapeños and Serrano peppers, plus I'm pretty sure we won't run out of salsa this year.

I'm so thankful that we have had such a productive garden year! We have a small fall/winter garden planted so I'm excited to see how that goes.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Number 7!

Yesterday my "little" B turned 7. Pretty sure I can't call him little anymore. 

I love this boy. He's the perfect mix of sweet and BOY! 

At 7...
He loves golf
Loves soccer (and is so excited to start next week!)
Loves dressing up
Loves roller skating and riding bikes
Loves books
Loves to cuddle
Loves camping and "outdoorsy" stuff - fishing, bug catching, etc. 

We have slacked on party planning for this birthday. In past years, we have done a party before school started, but he wanted to wait to make sure he invited all of his school, we waited, and we still don't have a date set! But B doesn't seem to mind. He's too preoccupied with school (loving it!), and his family birthday celebration at the Grille from Ipanema.

A new tie!
And a pocket knife!
Using the pocketknife to open...
Golf clubs!!

He was so excited. He just couldn't believe that he got a pocketknife AND golf clubs AND a new tie! 

I loved the outfit he wore to school today:
But he insisted on posing with his golf clubs first before he would let me take a picture of his outfit!

Tonight we went to dinner at the Grille from Ipanema (a Brazilian steakhouse), which was a nice change from the standard birthday choices of Red Robin or Texas Roadhouse. We all came home stuffed, and the boys are their fill of meat!

He saved a little room for a sundae!

The first day

All 3 are in school. I can't believe it. Where have the last 8 years gone? We have had a successful 3 days, and I'm so thankful. I wasn't sure how Archer would take the transition, but he's done amazingly well. The boys all love their teachers, and they are excited to be back with their friends. It's been strange to ride my bike home empty, but I've been getting a lot accomplished in those 3 hours of quiet (well, 2.5 by the time it's all said and done).

3rd grade

1st grade


My handsome boys!

The little guy all settled into his classroom

My empty yuba, riding home