Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wouldn't you know it?

The garden is finally really starting to produce. The weather has been a huge problem this year. It has just been too cold! Today we picked 1 1/2 bushels of tomatoes and 1/2 bushel of cherry tomatoes (all varieties). There is at least a bushel of peppers on the plants. I am pulling up the pinto beans tomorrow to dry and I let the cucumbers die. I have the kitchen garden cukes for salads but I am done with pickles-by the time I finish the ones I have it will be about 12 batches of pickles. The freezer is getting full of shredded zucchini (for muffins and bread), diced peppers (for pizza and omelets) and squash dices for soups. I harvested a bushel of winter squash this evening also.

Now, wouldn't you know it? it is the busiest time of my year (gardening wise) and we have to go out of town for at least a week. DH's dear grandmother died and we are heading to the funeral. I am running as fast as I can packing for 8 and preserving as much of this bountiful produce as I can. I have at least 4 more bushels of tomatoes that are still green on these plants. So, I am calling around to see who wants tomatoes. I canned 34 quarts today, anything else I will have to freeze or give away or feed to the chickens.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My garden is sorta ugly right now

I have been harvesting and canning and not weeding nearly enough. Entire rows have been harvested and are empty. I have onions drying on the deck and an entire laundry basket of potatoes out there for #1 to scrub to put in storage.

Tomatoes are coming in by the half bushel and I am thinking about letting the cucumbers die. The weeds are getting tall and I have to go out and replant broccoli and spinach and cauliflower and kale and lettuce.

On the inside of the homestead we are taking a quiet day. Our dear friends the Earnshaw's left this morning and it is quiet around here. Well, anything would be quiet after yesterday. Not only were there the regular 14 children around Aubrey, Ryan, Heidi, Alex and Travis joined us AND the Lund's. The place was hopping! and lots of laughs and splashes and popsicles we consumed by the dozens. It was a good time.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Day That I Hear My Husband Sigh

#5 has been incredibly hard to potty-train.

I am thinking it is just she has a shorter tube than the boys. DH and she have had this ongoing conversation about her accidents. He has been kind and loving. She has been rationalizing and stubborn. (some say she is related to me--me? stubborn, rationalizing? Mother be quiet.) :) You may ask why I am not involved in this conversation? I wet the bed way past 5 and I can't believe I just admitted that but I figure there is a genetic component. DH forges forward.

So, he has had this conversation with #5. "Use your muscles to hold your pee in and run to the toilet." Some days I hear from the bathroom, "DAD! I used my muscles!!" We woop and hurrah.

Today she had an accident. I called her upstairs to clean up the mess she made in the kids bathroom (entire roll of toilet paper unrolled, spread all over the bathroom, some wet, some dry and added in crayon wrappers-this is my life folks, mess after mess after mess, we won't even talk about the can of honey roasted peanuts she dumped all over the library floor this morning. But I do hear my DH exclaim over and over again, "How come the vacuum bag is full again?!"). While she came up I noticed the tell-tale bottom and very calmly tell her to change her panties. Daddy's office is across from the kids bathroom. I got busy and he had to help her get panties down. (Picture 4 year old with her peasant blouse shirt all tucked under her chin running around upstairs with nothing but the peasant blouse shirt.)

Daddy gets her panties and asks her, "How come you didn't use your muscles to hold it in?"
#5 says, "Dad, sometimes I have wimpy muscles."

DH sighs.

I hide my face and hold in my laughs so he and she cannot hear me.

wimpy muscles....

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Garden notes

First large tomatoes are red today. The small fruiting tomatoes are coming in by the serving bowl. I was walking through the kitchen today and found #5 filling up on fresh picked tomatoes. It made me smile.

The cucumbers are prolific. I think I am on my 9th batch of pickles. It is a good thing. I was down to 4 jars of relish and completely out of other kinds. The shelf is almost full.

Today peach jam.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Over to Grammie's House to Pick up Cherries

Grammie and Poppy were up north this weekend. I rang her up and asked if she could bring home cherries. I have a whole flat of sweet black cherries on my kitchen counter. We had to go and pick them up last night. #3 and #4 came with me. #3 thinks that if you are driving and he is in the car he has a captive audience. (Well, you are sorta stuck but I don't always listen.) Last night he was talking about potholes, washboard roads, corn (how it is even taller than him), how long we are going to live in our house (this is all in the first 2 miles). I reply to him that I hope we are going to be in this house until he is married and brings his wife and babies to come visit me.

Here is part of the conversation.
#3: You mean we aren't going to move again?
Me: I hope not for a long time.
#3: Weww, you might have to make the house bigger.
Me: You aren't going to LIVE with me. You will come and visit.
#4 pipes up: I am neva getting mawwied.
Me: Really?
#4: I am neva getting mawwied. I neva want to weave ouwa family. I love ouwa family.

What a sweet, sweet boy.

#2 Funny

After #1 and 2 arrived home from scout camp we all sat down for dinner and talked. It seems that they filled their brains with all sorts of interesting information.

From #2: Mom? Did you know that Big Macs have less fat than Whooppers? almost twice the fat!

Me: A Whooper?
#2: Yes, Whooper.
Me: Did you mean Whopper?

Belly laughs from every one around the dinner table.

They will evermore be Whoopers in our house.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Having a hard time getting started today

I tried balancing the checkbook but my DH's system is just too stinking complicated. If a tractor hits him and he is killed we are screwed because he made it too STINKING COMPLICATED. (are you reading this dear?)

I am watching #6 empty kleenexes onto the floor in patterns. Then she stand on top of them and announces, "TADA!" Then she jumps and says, "Ooo, oo, ooooo." What goes on in those almost 2 year old brains?

I drove to see Jennifer and Mark yesterday. It was a nice drive. I took the girls with me. It was very nice seeing her and her family again.

I am tired. I need to do a brain dump and get the list out of my head. Then I will probably be able to decide what I need to do.

At 6:45 #3 and #4 bolted out the deck door to go see if we had more chicken eggs. It was a very fun conversation to listen to while half asleep. :)

#6 has just put on her sisters jammie dress upside down. In otherwords she put it on like a sack and has just announced, "FEEEEEEEee!" and plopped down on her bottom and pulled the jammie dress up to her waist. She knows she is way too cute.

I have the schedule for the school year about 2/3 done. With #1 starting seminary life will change around here. We have never had to be anywhere by 6:30 am in our entire marriage.

The chore chart is re-done.

This year because I will be homeschooling 5 of them I had to delegate some of my duties. Menus have been simplified. #1 is in charge of all lunch preparation, #2 is in charge of all bread making, #3 is in charge of all breakfast prepartions. I have made a complete menu and directions for all of the recipes. Directions like use both cast iron griddles and what setting on the stove to place the knobs. The directions and recipes have been place in page protectors and put in a binder for use.

I still need some bins for the little kids. I have been slowly collecting toys that are not too messy and will entertain them. I have things like bristle blocks, magnetic paper dolls, wedgits, dolls, and pattern blocks. Value World had a great selection this last trip. To get the schooling done for 1, 2, and 3 the little guys need to be occupied, hence the bins of toys. But all toys are behind a locked set of doors, one type out at a time, pick up before new ones are released. And all the art supplies are in the same closet. I had way too many paper clip and paper disasters the last couple months-little shreds of paper all over the place in the name of creativity. New videos have been purchased for video time (Value World and Good Will). I am hoping this plan will keep them engaged enough that I can get the big kids school work done. I know this sounds complicated but I don't want to fall into the trap of keeping the little kids out of the way by video or Wii.

I still have to order curriculum for the big boys. But it is in the shopping cart, I just have to double check it and place the order.

I had considered moving the school room upstairs but decided to get better lightbulbs and leave it in the basement. It is dark and cool down there. So the kerosene heater is being moved down and the lightbulbs replaced. I found a new school table at a garage sale and I have to put up a new white board (garage sale).

Still to do-upgrade memory on the laptops (assigned to DH), get software installed on said laptops (DH), inventory toys so I know what is in the closet and make a list so I don't have to open the closet to give them their choices for toys (or should I just make a schedule and rotate them? bristle blocks on Monday, pattern blocks Tuesday, etc.?) I have to put the books in order of use on the bookshelves, put up the maps, the school calendar and timeline.

Well, that was part of the list. :)

Gotta put on some shoes and get started with the pickles. I have to weed, water, make relish and limewater pickles, clean the garage and spend 15 minutes working on the pantry shelves, make lunch and dinner and attempt to get rid of the fruit flies.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Garden Today

Today's Harvest and Surprise!

See #6 pointing to it? An EGG!

Today there were wax beans, onion, round zucchini, banana pepper, cucumbers and the very first hopes that the tomatoes are going to ripen. What are you having for dinner? Just add garlic and butter and mine is ready to go!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Open pants on the pew

Yesterday #1 and #2 were not with us in church (they are at Scout camp). #3 and #4 decided I needed to be used as a pillow during church. I have bred a brood of cuddlers. Anyhoo, #4 was on my left. I am digging in my purse thinking about writing DH a note and I glance over and see #4 with his pants unbuttoned and open. My eyes fly open in shock-he is on the aisle side of the pew and not in anyway discreet.

I lean over and ask him if he is having pants problems. He looks at me straight in the eye and says, "NO. I fowgot to TUG in. I need to TUG IN." and gives me the mother you are so silly look. He finishes tucking in and buttons up.

But not before others around us saw... and asked "What was going on up there today? I saw that look..."

Come on mom! Didn't you know I need to tug in?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Harvested 2 five gallon buckets of cucumbers today. Finished the broccoli harvest. Finished the cauliflower harvest. 4 head of cabbage and a handful of wax beans. 3 cherry tomatos (come on heat-I need these tomatoes to ripen).


The days are so different. Instead of mess and homeschool teaching I have a DH working from home and quiet until 2:54 when #6 (who is 10)...