I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sweet reminder

I have long wanted something subtle to honor our first daughter that we were blessed to parent for a short ten days almost eleven years ago. Kelli from Rie's Dialogues had a Vintage Pearl giveaway recently and I won a gift certificate. I have been a fan of The Vintage Pearl but had never taken the plunge and ordered something.

When I found this necklace that could have an O engraved on it I knew it was exactly what I had been looking for all of these years. Now I can carry a little piece of Olivia Margaret with me. Margaret is the name of both of our mothers and means precious pearl. So many perfect details in my sweet reminder.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A family affair

We were gifted three boxes of apples from my great-uncle. They were the best apples I have seen in long time.

We decided to try some pie filling first and made 6 pints.

It looks so pretty in the jars.

We then moved on to applesauce. My kids like it so we thought it would be worth having it on the shelves.

We all chipped in and the process went really fast.

With all of our help, not to mention the awesome motorized victorio strainer, we made lots of beautiful applesauce.

21 quarts and 7 pints to be exact. The kids are devouring it. I knew they liked it but it would seem that they like homemade even better.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Date night

We love date night. They don't happen very often though it is more often then when the kids were younger. We have made a point this year to increase the frequency from our anniversary and birthdays to once every month or so. I know a lot of people say you should do it once per week but that just isn't practical for us right now.

Yesterday was a very challenging day for both Steve and I on many fronts. By five o'clock we had both had it. We were tired, frustrated with circumstances we have no control over and both needed some time out.

Steve had an idea. The kids were happy and were going to watch two shows they have been waiting for. Each an hour long. We made an easy dinner of nachos for everyone and let the kids picnic in the family room. We took our dinner and went upstairs to the office and watched the news and channel surfed for a bit. I suggested that in a bit we go for a swim. Steve was game so we changed and came downstairs. The kids looked at us like we were a bit off our rockers, going swimming without them? We told them they could finish watching their shows and we would be in the pool if they needed us and out we went. We each took jousting floatables that we have and reclined on them. Hands intertwined we floated for about 45 minutes or so. Sometimes chatting, sometimes enjoying the silence with the gurgle of the pool filter in the background that when our eyes were closed sounded like a small waterfall. At one point I asked why we hadn't thought of this before. Steve laughed and said he has no idea. Around bedtime we came in and ushered the kids off to bed. I was so relaxed that I went to sleep much earlier than normal. I'm pretty sure we started something new and I think I just felt my brain take a breather.

Monday, August 16, 2010

August is getting away from me

I hope you are ready for some random catching up that may or may not bore you to tears. We are already half way through the month of August and I am feeling behind. We start school in a few weeks and we are just hitting the canning season. I am feel like I am floundering a bit. I still have some curriculum to purchase and a lot of organizing to do. Our house guest that had been living with us for well over a year moved last week and so now there is more shuffling to do to get things in order. But it's one of those things where in order to organize this you have to move that, but to move that you need to move around those things. It's a snowball effect that I am having a hard time even starting to attempt. I know that when I do it I will be so relieved but the getting started is killing me.

We celebrated our youngest daughter turning eight over the weekend. Eight!!! No more booster seat for her in the vehicles much to delight of siblings who like a little more room next to them in the car. Speaking of vehicles...

We took the plunge and finally traded in the van. All I can say about that is a hearty hallelujah! My husband once again enjoys driving aka I get a bit of a break. The van made him hurt in so many ways, even to ride. I love to drive and completely understood the need for me to do the driving. It has been 3 years of driving all the time and the last week it has been fun to sit and just look at landscape while we travel. We got a newer extended Trailblazer and we couldn't be happier. Once again we have leather seats and as the mother of five I think some of you can relate to the ease of cleaning leather vs cloth.

There are circumstances going on with people around us that are weighing heavy on me. Sigh.

On the upside, the weather is gorgeous and that makes my husband happy which makes me happy. I am a 70's, low 80's person but the hotter it is outside, the happier Steve is. Yay for lots of pool time in the backyard!

If you are still reading this incredibly engaging post, congratulations. Give yourself a pat on the back. You stuck it out and I appreciate it. :-)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Campout 2010

Steve and I decided to host a campout for all of the kid cousins (all 19 of them) on his side of the family this last weekend. We chose his mom's back field as the location making it convenient if anyone needed to run home for something or if a child needed to be taken home in the middle of the night. In hindsight we took on more than we should have but we learned a lot and a good time was had by all.

As kids arrived, set up tents and settled we started off the evening with tie dye. Each of them were given a shirt and some designs to choose from. They then chose their colors. It was so fun to see them all together drying on the clothesline Saturday evening.

Each shirt was as unique as the person wearing it.

There were campfires both mornings and evenings with lots of old stories being told by uncles and aunts. A lot of memories were made and new stories will be told for years to come. We also had a water balloon fight that I will post pictures of later.

This guy was the driving force for all of the plans. He came up with the ideas and made some fantastic breakfast food. Some of the kids have asked us to do it again next year and we are considering that. I think we need to nap first. For a week.

For now, we are having fun looking at the pictures of the smiling faces enjoying their extended family. That's what it all about anyway.