Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cristine/Crafts and Candles

Cristine turned 4 last week. She has been so excited about her birthday. A few weeks ago while we were driving she told me that when she turned 4 she would know how to read. Then she said that when she turned 4 she was going to learn how to ride a bike. I thought those both sounded like pretty good goals. Then she told me that when she turned 4 she was going to learn how to drive a car! I decided that she thought 4 was a magical age. Until the day after her birthday. She told me that she decided that she was going to skip 4 and just be 5. I am just loving all her fun comments!
I've been making some cute gift card/cash holders for a few lucky family members. They were super easy. First I cut out the holly leaf shapes, placed them on some card stock and sewed through them with fun red string. After sewing the leaves, I folded the card.

I folded it twice. One fold was maybe only a 1/2 of paper. I stitched up the sides a bit to hold the bottom fold. Then I painted on 3 red circles to look like berries. I used double side tape to hold the front of the card down and to keep the money or gift card inside. I thought they turned out so cute. I had planned to make our Christmas cards this way, minus the bottom fold. But haven't gotten around to that...maybe next year!

These are our ice candles. Each winter we have a week or two of below freezing weather. During the day we place plastic containers with water out to freeze. Then at night we invert them, add a candle and light it. They are beautiful. I love seeing them when we go outside.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Count Your Blessings

Last year 3 out of our 4 kids had field trips to the pumpkin patch. This year Cristine was the only one to go. We had a fun time running through the corn maze, seeing the crazy pumpkin art and drinking apple cider. Somehow we never found the time to take the older kids. Much of October and November were spent making apple cider. My stomach hurts a bit from all that I have consumed.
This picture was taken on Thanksgiving. After feasting the kids enjoyed playing on my computer and on the Wii. Forest was right in there enjoying himself.

We also put together a puzzle. This on was put together in record time. We finished it just after midnight. We really enjoy the time spent gathered around the table, hunting for the missing pieces. Everyone helped out, even for just a few minutes.

I wanted to show my fall mantle. The plaque hanging above the fire place says: Count Your Blessings. We made the leaf garland a couple weeks ago. During Family Home Evening we were each given a leaf where we wrote what we were thankful for. Those leaves were then tied on to the garland. Rick's mom, Hana, even wrote on one.
I want to send out a huge thank you to everyone who helped out with our meal. The turkey, cooked by Rick was perfect, so good that we decided to cook another one the next day. Marianne, Dean and Erin were huge helps in the kitchen. Hana was even coerced into making chow mein and tempura shrimp. Someday, really, I will figure out the 3 day process of making chow mein. Actually it may become a lost tradition. But I'm still thinking about those shrimp, yum! I may be able to make the tempura, but someone else is going to have to fry them, that popping oil scares me. What a fun holiday, my heart is full of gratitude.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1st day of School

School finally started here in Oregon. The kids were very excited for the school year to begin. Cristine is now in her second year of preschool.
Michelle is in 1st grade.

Peter is in 3rd grade.

Abby is now in 5th grade.

Here are all the excited happy kids, waiting to meet their new teachers.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Just Peachy

Our first box of peaches didn't make it into jars, we ate them instead. Last Monday we picked several boxes. By Friday most were ready to can. Due to the mess the cherry juice made, I decided to try canning outside. I think this made the process easier in some ways, but harder in others. I kept forgetting things and had to run back inside for them. Hopefully next time I'll be better prepared. Next on the canning list: tomatoes, green beans, zucchini relish, Bartlett pears...
The sticky part.

The setup.

The end result. What do you think? Blue ribbon at the fair? I think the water was boiling a bit too hard, they seem to be floating more than my second batch.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Attempt to Become Self Reliant

Every summer I tell Rick that "this" year I am actually going to start canning. With all the pears, peaches, cherries, tomatoes and other veggies we grow around here some may think I should already be elbow deep in fruit peels and sugar syrup. Instead, I find reasons and excuses as to why I avoid it. This year I am determined to bottle up some fruit, boy that sounds familiar doesn't it?

Growing up I watched my mom can a number of different things. It seemed that as the temperature in the kitchen went up, so did my mom's temperament, sorry mom! Maybe that is why I avoid it...

My mother-in-law, until the last few years, was a one woman canning machine. She would put up quarts of green beans, pickled garlic, tomatoes, the best canned peaches-ever and the most beautiful canned pears. Every year she would win stacks of ribbons from the county fair. She also won a few trophies for her amazing pears. Several times I asked if I could help her, hoping to pick up her secrets in the process, only to arrive at her house at the 6am we agreed upon to find that she had already finished up. She was unable to sleep and started to can in the wee house of the morning.

Friday, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make some cherry juice. I picked a couple bowls of cherries, washed them and then threw them into my juicer thing. A little while later I was rewarded with 4 beautiful bottles of deep red juice. Since it was still fairly early in the day and the house wasn't too hot, I decided to make a couple more bottles. Lets just say I shouldn't have tempted fate. While in the other room I started to hear a sizzling noise so I quickly dashed back into the kitchen and found the hose leading out of my juicer had detached. Cherry juice had sprayed all over the floor, rivers had run down the face of the oven and huge puddles were burning on the stove top. I quickly wiped it all up making a sticker mess and continued with my juicing. I ended up with 9 bottles of juice and a somewhat sticky-free floor. Will I attempt to actually can something? Maybe. A friend just dropped off a huge box of fresh peaches.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

88 Birthday Wishes

Hana turned 88 this week. This is a big birthday according to Japanese custom. The person turning 88 is supposed to wear RED. (if anyone can explain the purpose and meaning behind this, please leave a comment) The money lei was a gift from her brother and sister in law. Tied to it is $88. Our kids thought that was really cool.
Rick's siblings all pitched in to help with the event, decorating tables, cleaning up the yard, prepping food, etc. Thank you for your help!

We had fun chatting and getting reacquainted with family members.

Happy Birthday Grammy K.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

4th of July

Hope everyone had a good 4th of July weekend. We watched a parade, baked in the sun, waded in the river, ate yummy food and too much candy, then watched a fun firework show. How was your weekend?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Peter's Baptism

Peter's baptism actually happened a couple months ago. It was a small, sweet event. Sadly my Erin and Bridger and my parents were unable to make it.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cross Your Fingers


Lately we have been quite lucky, so lucky that I've been thinking about going out and buying a lottery ticket just to prove it.

In January we found out that Abby and Peter won the Cavity Free Awards from their dentist. The secretary said that they have never had siblings win in the same month. Peter won a super cool penguin, Abby received a $25 gift certificate to our favorite local toy store.

A couple weeks ago we found out that Michelle won the monthly birthday drawing, from the same super cool toy store. She received a fun t-shirt and a $75 gift certificate. What a fun shopping trip that was! (Couldn't find the picture of her in the newspaper and the photo of a photo didn't turn out well)

Friday night was our school's carnival. After several tries at the Hostess Hop (cake walk) Cristine won a cupcake. During the raffle ticket drawing I held mine with anxious hands. Could I continue the tradition? Would my I make my family proud? Then I heard number. I won the Twilight Bo0k Series. Woo Hoo, then rats, I already own them. When I walked to the raffle table the lady behind me said that she had really hoped to win them. So we made a quick switch. Instead of vampires I got 2 cookbooks. Hello, Cupcake! and Katie Brown's Weekends. I haven't looked through the Weekend's book, but we've already used a couple ideas from the cupcake book.
Yesterday on the way to the Little League Opening Ceremony, Michelle picked me a 2 leaf clover. She said I was halfway lucky. She was right. The raffle tickets I'd bought for baseball were losers. Luck only lasts so long.

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Quickly Time Flies!

Lately my computer time has become very limited. It seems that whenever I sit down, several little people seem to crowed me off. I don't have too many pictures either. Let's just say I've been slacking the last couple months. Much has been happening though. Here's a quick recap...

January: My workers are all happy since they received their w-2 forms back in January, despite quick=books best efforts to defy me. Our orchard filing cabinet is cleaned out with fresh new files.

February: I survived the Valentine's Day rush...although Mother's Day is in the Horizon...

March: Spring Break, a trip to the zoo, we got rained out, pictures to follow sometime in the future. A fun visit from Uncle Nathan. He made Abby the neatest Ukulele her Uku-stra teacher was very impressed!

April: birthday season in now in full swing. Happy Birthday Michelle back on April 4th. Sorry you puked on the day of your friend party, but we did reschedule and have it last Saturday. A quick trip to La Grand to my sweet Grandmother's funeral. Although it was a sad time, I enjoyed seeing almost all of my sisters and cousins. Hanging out in the church gym was lots of fun, I wish we all lived closer. Easter, fun egg hunts, lots of chocolate and a surprise dinner guest, Mary, who had flight problems.
In March we went to Parkdale to visit with our friend Tommy. As soon as we got out of the car most of the chickens took off running, you got it, across the road. Which then called for my kids to ask over and over again....Why did the chickens cross the road?...

Apparently the rooster knew the joke and decided it was safer to stay by the water pan.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Be My Valentine

This was my project for the week. I made all three a fun skirt, at the hem I added buttons and cut cute hearts to button on. I got my idea from this blog: Abby said that yesterday at school kids kept coming up to her telling her they loved her skirt and oh here's a heart. The hearts didn't stay on too well. I may quickly stitch them on tonight so they don't fall off all over the church tomorrow.