Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strawberry Jam

I meant to have uploaded the pictures we took of the Jam making process but I just haven't yet.

I will. I swear.

But in the mean time, here is the finished product made with only strawberries and sugar. No pectin, no lemon juice, just 2 ingredients. And boy, is it SWEET.

Overall we made 9.5 8oz jars and I water bath canned them AND they all sealed.

As I said, it's pretty sweet and it's also a little runnier than commercial jam but it would be great in a sandwich or over cheesecake so that works for me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Berries

Saturday I decided to have a little girl time and took Lizzie and Grandma Leslie (Micah's mom) to Berry Patch Farms in Brighton. It was a 30-45 minute drive which I do not consider to be that bad.

The goal was to pick our own strawberries to make jam with.

My friend Erin and I tried this with Lizzie and her daughter Alice when the girls were about 1-1.5 years old. We had a great time but admittedly did not come home with a lot of berries. I was determined to have better luck this time. Luckily time was on my side and this was the last weekend in June that they would be allowing berry picking which means it's a free for all. When Erin and I went 4 years ago we were limited by both the farm and the children.

When we got there we boarded the Berry Train which is a tractor with cool sled type thing on wheels behind it.

You can see that we were being overly ambitious with our picking plans by having 2 trays with 6 containers EACH for berries. We also brought an unseen smaller container for Lizzie specifically. Now THAT was realistic.

Once we got there I got to the very serious job of picking berries. Lizzie and Grandma started and then got side tracked searching for berries.

In the end they came back to me and luckily, with their eagle eyes were able to spot a toad. It was TOADLLY cool. Oh my....

I gotta say, that was a big toad. I was happy with our hoppy friend being around but what freaked me out slightly was that usually, where there are toads snakes are bound to be close by. That was about the time Lizzie was over the picking and ready to head out. The idea of snakes bugged me so we were out of there.

In the end we spent probably an hour and a half total on the farm and got a about 4 lbs of strawberries. Little tiny ones because ,in case you didn't know, pick your own strawberries are much smaller than the ones in the grocery store.

Also, I'm not tattling but SOMEONE ate the best strawberry of the day out in the field. Berry Patch farms are certified organic so we weren't worried about chemicals and so SOMEONE just split the strawberry with the other person there (after I declined). I'm not saying WHO but I'll just show a picture and maybe you can figure out who.

Overall we had a great time although Lizzie did get a little sunburn on her shoulders despite using mud SPF 100. Tomorrow I'll show you what I did with the berries.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Girl time

Alternatively titled: How did I manage to spend more on a 5 year old than myself?

Our AC went out Sunday night (I think). So Monday I took the kids while Micah researched the problem. We headed to the mall.

I hate the mall.

But it has AC and pizza.

My "goal" for the evening was to purchase body wash for myself from Bath & Body Works. We have a rule in the house that each person has their own SINGLE body wash in the shower at any given time.

Except Kylie has, right now, 4 in there, none of which she uses. Lizzie had none and I had one but I don't like waste so I kept trying to use up Kylie's stuff, even though I don't like the smell of any of it.

But I'm down to my last squeeze of my own body wash and Lizzie correctly pointed out that she is a big girl now and deserves her own body wash since she showers now and doesn't take baths.

So we are in Bath & Body works and of course we have to smell every.single.bottle. Plus Lizzie has to resmell some of them.

I'm a pretty basic individual when it comes to my hygiene products. I don't use hair products aside from shampoo and conditioner. Unless a rubber band counts as a product because I use that a lot too. I don't wear makeup, I don't even own any. I don't wear perfume. I consider scented deodorant to be the highlight of my morning hygiene routine.

I picked out a body wash and was ready to go. (Butterfly Flowers I think)

Lizzie, however, worked her entire way through the store TWICE before deciding on the body wash I had suggest 45 seconds into the store. Sweet Pea.

As we were making our way through the ridiculous crowded store (it felt like a maze with a stroller) she found lotion AND Body spray in Sweet Pea.

Her argument (I'm a girl mommy! Girls like lotions and perfume!) held some weight because I recognize that while I'M the anti-girl she is the poster

So. After negotiations and discussions I bought myself a small sample lotion for $1 and my body wash as well her three products. I also bought hand soap for the kitchen because I loved the smell but couldn't find any in a body wash. I walked out of there having spent $45 of which $12 was for me.

We got home and Lizzie could not WAIT to show her friends next door her smelly girl stuff. She especially wanted to show Abraham her awesome stuff. And she has managed to leave it there twice now since we bought the items.


On the plus side, our AC is fixed now. And I smell really good.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day

We spent Father's Day in Wyoming with my Aunt Linda, Uncle Jerry and their daughters and family. I love spending time with them and a 6 hour drive hardly seems tough when you're excited to see the people you love.

It was Micah's first official fathers day and he got a card from my Aunt and a work shirt from me. That he picked out and handed me at the store. My creativity at gift giving apparently underwhelms even him.

I discovered a strange truth while we were out there.

A 7 month old baby playing on the floor can entertain a room full of adults for well over an hour. It's kinda sad really.

Here are some pictures from our trip.

My boys chillin' out, drinking a Ba and chatting

We made for good photos, even if we are missing 2 other children

Grandma Linda rocks a little boy

Will hangs out with his Aunt Jenny and Grandpa Jerry

I know, I'm biased, but that is a ridiculously cute baby. I'm lucky Micah can't make anymore or he'd be having to beat women off him with a stick, they'd be wanting such cute babies. And he'd have to start with me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where is your Mama?

This conversation begins again. Lizzie knows my Mama is in heaven. That she died when Lizzie was still too young to walk. But she asks again anyways.

"She's in heaven." I say as she crawls into my lap.

"Does she live there? Can we go visit?" she asks earnestly. This is the first time she's asked these questions. I suspect that the Summer Camp focus on "places" has made Heaven seem like a Place for her just like Colorado or Alaska.

"No honey, we can't go visit. Heaven is where people go when they die." I begin to rock in the rocking chair.

She looks at me. Her mouth frowns downward and her eyes get wide. Wide and scared.

"Not everyone dies though, right? Just your Mama?"

I sigh. This has been coming I suppose, a true understanding of death for a 5 year old. Kylie was much, much older when Julie died. She was 9 and a half. And her understanding, even for 9, was greater since we knew it was coming and had time to prepare her.

"Everyone dies sweetie. All Mommas and Daddies and people die. Animals die, plants die, everything dies and goes to be with God in Heaven. Our bodies stay here but our spirits," I touch her chest near her heart, "they go to be with God."

"NOOOOOOOO! You can't die. Never ever! I don't want you to die!"

"Oh honey, I'm not going to die for a very long time." Internally I frown at my implied promise. I could be hit by a bus tomorrow and die. Then I would be a liar and dead to my daughter.

"Was Grandma old when she died?"

"Well yes, she was pretty old." More lies.

"As old as Grandma? As old as Granny?" She's talking about Leslie and Jenny. What do I say? Leslie turned 52 this year, the age my mother would have been. Jenny turned 80, an age my mother never even approached.

"Older than Grandma, not as old as Granny. People die at different times though sweetie. When God is ready he brings us to heaven. There isn't a set age when we die, we die when God says it's time."

"Well then I hate God!"

Mayday! Mayday! This is NOT going well! "Honey, you can't hate God. He's doing what is best for us. He lets us live here for awhile and then, because he knows best, he brings us back to Him."

"We live there? In Heaven?"

"Yes honey. We have our own houses. Grandma has a condo I think. It has a very little trashcan."

She laughs. "Will we get to live with her?"

"Well, I think I would want my own house, don't you? But I bet we can live next door to her. Maybe we can get a bigger trash can."

She laughs again and then her face falls. The trash can talk didn't work.

"But I don't want you to die!"

"I wont honey. I'll be very, very, very old by the time I die. You'll be a Mommy of your own and you'll be married and you'll probably even be a Grandma."

"But what if I need you?" She wails this last part and clings to me. I suddenly become aware that my rocking chair is rocking VERY fast and she almost needs to hang on to me to keep from flying off.

"When I die you wont need me anymore. God makes sure of that." I practically choke on my words because they are so wrong and a lie. I still need my mommy. Uh oh, Lizzie saw my frown.

"I'll always need you." She hugs me and I smooth her hair on the back of her head.

I don't know what else to say.

"I love you sweetheart. "

"I'll miss you. Too much."

"I'll miss you too. But it's a long ways away and it wont be for long, I promise. We'll be together in heaven before you know it."

"Will Micah be there too?"

"Yes. Everyone will be."

"Will he make cheeseburgers?"

"I bet he will."

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Grandpa time

I've never lived near a grandfather for any extended period of time so I'm not really sure how grandfathers are supposed to be. I guess I always assumed they were like what I thought Fathers were like and therefor aloof and not "into" kids.

I was wrong.


I know, as if that's a surprise.

Will and his Grandpa like to spend time together.

They read:

They laugh:

And they walk together:

I would say Grandpa's love their Grandson's about as much as Fathers love their Son's.

I gotta give God a hand, when he wants to show me the real way relationships are supposed to be he really goes all out and gives me excellent role models.

Friday, June 4, 2010

6 months and growing

Micah took Will to his 6 month appointment yesterday.

Stats are: he weighs 18.2 oz , he's 26.5 inches long and his head is 43.5 cm around. He's in the 50% percentile for everything.

He also got three shots which he did not love. At all.

Yesterday he was doted on and overwhelmed by people and so last night he woke up a lot crying. I didn't get much sleep. *yawn*

It was worth it though.

Healthy baby - check
Fantastic family - check
Opportunity to show off my mad cooking skills - check (and YAY)

It's offical.

I'm blessed.

Blessed and sleepy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One of those days

I took this picture about 5 seconds after I realized what was going on under my ankles. My shoes felt "different" so I looked down, saw this, snapped a picture and sat at my desk.

In case you can't tell, not only are they different shoes, they are also different colors. That's how I roll.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


William has been, from the moment of conception, an eater. He likes all things that involve eating and was born hungry and ready for breakfast. Or lunch. Or even a snack. He didn't care as long as there was food. He became depressed in the first few days of life when milk was not as forthcoming as he would have liked but once it did come in he was enthusiastic about it.

He's my chunk of burning love baby.

Since this weekend he has been kind of a cranky boy. I think it's sort of a perfect storm coming together for him.

1. he had the undying love and attention of his sisters for 2 straight weeks and they are gone

2. he had the undying love of a Nana for an entire 2 days and she is gone

3. he's teething and they wont pop out no matter how many fingers he stuffs in his mouth

4. he stuffs a lot of fingers in his mouth which makes him choke and also makes him cranky

5. he didn't get to really take a good nap all weekend

6. he's starving and no one noticed

It's not that I didn't notice. It's that I didn't put everything together. I figured he was waking up every 2 hours at night (after sleeping through the night for how long?) because he was teething. So what if I made 8 ounce bottles all three times and he sucked them down in 9 minutes? While asleep.

Sunday, I fed him a jar of baby food. A little one because he's really only eating baby food sporadically so we only had little ones.

Now let me stop a moment and paint a picture for you of feeding him. When Micah or I feed him we need two spoons at a minimum because either one will end up on the floor at some point or we need to distract him. He constantly tries to grab the spoon with his left hand and chew on it which makes for a messy and long ordeal in feeding. So we haven't been consistent and he's only 6 months old, he really doesn't NEED it. Right?


So he sat in his high chair and ate the entire container of apples without moving anything but his lips and head. I thought it was great he had finished the whole container and SURELY he would sleep through the night. No. He woke up twice that night.

Monday, I sat him in his car seat but he refused to lay back. I fed him another small container of apples. He ate it without comment or attempt to touch the spoon. When I finished he cried. Cried like I had kicked his favorite puppy. So I got a container of squash and decided he would probably eat 1 bite and waste the container.


He ate almost the entire thing until finally his lips would no longer open and only about 5 bites remained.

After an additional 8 ounces of formula with a rice cereal mix in he slept from 1-6. The longest he'd slept in a week.

Yesterday more of the same. Pears and then green beans until I was scraping the jar and praying the monster would be appeased.

The only thing he focused on was the spoon. The only thing he cared about was the spoon. He would not make eye contact with me and when I dared to get up to fetch the second jar he cried sorrowful, pitiful cries. Angry cries. Why me God, why me cries. You know the ones.

Basically that's the only thing he did with us last night. Fussed, ate and went to bed.

Woke up at 3:30am. Drank 8 ounces of formula. Wanted to chat with me about weather, the dogs, breakfast...until 5am.

Last night after he went to bed I had to run to the grocery store because we only had 4 containers of baby food and in two days he had consumed what had taken 2 weeks previously to eat.

I bought $40 worth of baby food. I'm not proud but there it is.

And better diapers because I knew what was coming today.

Luckily I had to work early so Micah had baby duty this morning.

He didn't say much but I believe his text message read, "OMG the poop on him!!"

At least he's not starving anymore.