Friday, November 11

Thank You


To all those who have served or are serving. We say thank-you for your sacrifice!




All photos are from my son’s 10th Army birthday Party. Soldiers are his greatest hero's!

Thursday, November 10

These Four


Can’t imagine life without them! What blessings they are to us!







Wednesday, November 9

Yes or No?

 It has come to my attention over the last year or so that we do not have enough dishes in our home for our everyday use. Well it’s finally time to buy some more. I have always had Fiesta Ware and I love it! The problem is I can’t make up my mind on the color! There are so many to choose from. I currently have scarlet and sunflower. I love the bright colors and the way the food looks on them.
IMG_2965 Now here is the dilemma. Should I add in another color or stick with what I have?
This is the Shamrock added.
So what do you prefer? Since I am having such a hard time making a decision I though I would ask what other people thought.  I hope to have open shelving and white walls so you would see the color all the time. What do you think?  Please let me know in the comments. I just happen to have a 30 percent off coupon to Kohl's this month. Smile

Tuesday, November 8

Legos, Legos, Legos!

About 9 months ago when we were getting our house ready for the market there was one project that I knew needed to happen to have any concept of clean in the boys room. Yes, all those Lego bricks needed a decent storage system that worked! Our original system was to small and therefore not working. There were always Legos on the floor because there was no place to put them.
This is the  system we started with.
The other problem we have is one son wants all the pieces separated by color and size, while the other one wants to keep all of his sets together. I began searching for ideas online and came across this one. Perfect! The only problem is we were getting ready to put our house on the market and move. I didn’t want to go buy anything new so I worked with what we had on hand.
Enter storage solution number two. All of the Legos were moved to the basement and organized by color. We kept some of the sets together and combined some into what we call the “everything” Legos. Those would be all the random pieces I have been collecting for my children since before they were born. This is a photo after we moved some of the Legos back into their room. Sadly I don’t think I took any photos of it while in the basement.
You can see that we had labels but they had all ready outgrown their homes and needed extra drawers.
This is what the basement currently has. It is the Power Miners, Atlantis, and Ninjago sets. I plan to do some rearranging on these shelves but that will come in time.
Now 9 months later we are not moving as our house didn’t sell.  It’s coming on to winter and our basement has no heat, and the make-do system was not always easy to work with according to my Lego builders. At the same time Jen from I heart organizing! posts about her organizing system. The same one I had been eyeing. That was all it took! Last weekend while the boys were at a camp out the girls and I took a little trip to IKEA! Out went the Expedit shelf and Sterlite storage containers and in came the new!
We are not finished as nothing is labeled but the system is amazing! The units are the Trofast system from IKEA. The only problem we have is that by having to keep it upstairs there is not room for all of the Legos we own. Some of them still reside in the basement. I hope to get those into Trofast drawers the next time I make a trip the the store.
Each color has it’s own bin and there is one for wheels, clear pieces, and mini-figures.
We also have two bins for castle and city pieces. I plan to get the bigger bins for the sets when I get more. The smaller ones are overflowing.
As you can see we still have some work to do. The books all need a nice box to go into. I used to store them in binders but some of the newer sets come with booklets that were to big for a page protector and the smaller ones tend to fall out. I think a box will solve all of those problems.
I like the fact that there is some display space on top of the storage units. Not enough for my boys but it works for now. Perhaps I might do something with the space between the top shelf and storage. This is what it looks like most of the time as my boys play with their Legos every day.
Now I just need to find the time to label them. In the meantime we are loving out new storage!

Linking up to 

Monday, November 7

It’s done.



(The last roses from the garden)

Well it’s official, we took our house off the market. We still haven’t moved anywhere. It’s to the point where we laugh about it as no one believes us anymore. We have been attempting to move somewhere for TWO years. Two very long years. Transition is not a fun place to be. It has so many limitations and questions and waiting. But that apparently is a lesson we are learning, that waiting can sometimes take a different turn than expected. Last month our cat died and we can’t get a new one until after we move, more waiting. Our fish died, sorry no more fish either. Decorating? Forget about it, who wants to put more holes in the walls that I’ll just have to fill. Well, I’m tired of it , not so much for me, but for the children who don’t really remember any other life before the one here. They have done well and have taken our dreams and made them theirs. They know that there is a little farm out there somewhere for us, when the time is right. Patience is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.


So enough of the depressing and lugging dirty dishes around when there is a house showing. What? You haven’t done that before? Well, if your ever in a time crunch it is the perfect solution. Laundry baskets aren’t just meant for dirty laundry.  I should also mention that stuffing dirty laundry in the washer AND dryer also works really well.  Instant clean.

Since we are here for another good 6 months I thought I would move on and tackle some of those projects I had to put off. I have sewing spread out all over the dining room table. Pumpkins on the kitchen table, laundry on the floor, and toys in the hallway. For now it’s fun to leave it messy while in the middle of a project. I know me though, soon it will all be tidied up because really I don’t like messy.

I hope(and I say hope because I haven’t been very consistent with blogging) to blog more and share all the the goings on around here again. Then in the spring when the snow is melted we will put the house back on the market and pray that we are one step closer in this waiting process.

Monday, September 12

Who says school has to start in September?


That’s a good question I have as my title up there. Who says school has to start in September? The government? Our neighbors? The public schools? Or is is because that’s what we did growing up? Last year when I was so sick I realized that there was no reason to be stressing my self out over trying to do it all. Because if there is one thing I learned well from being ill; I CAN”T DO IT ALL. So I stopped the one thing that I could and that was school in September. Just because that’s what everyone else does does not mean it’s a good thing for our family.

Now don’t think that means we just do one month less than everyone else. No, I still have 180 days a year that I must comply with. It just means we school on a different time frame. I call it the agrarian calendar. It’s the same one our ancestors followed and it follows the harvest. Before the Industrial Revolution when life in America was more rural children were needed on the farm to work. That meant that they went to school in the summer and winter and not in the spring and fall. There would have been to many chores with planting, harvesting, calving and the like. School back then usually started in November.

For our family we start in October, or after the apples are harvested and turned in to sauce and cider. We do not live on a farm so the garden is our only work and we also do not have any animals, save for our indoor cat. This is our first year following this type of school year fully. Last year was a an attempt to see how it would work. It turns out it’s one of the best decisions we made about our school schedule.

I can tell you that it is so nice not to have to worry about book learning or seat work during the harvest. I can focus all of my attention on the tasks for the day and the children are all pitching in where they can to help. I LOVE that fact that we get to enjoy the best parts of summer as our off times. September is the best summer has to offer, cooler temperatures and sunny days. I can also tell you that I am probably the only one in my area following this plan. So when I run out for an errand at 10:00 in the morning I get even more stares and questions than usual. But best of all we are still learning and working together as a family without the added stress of one more thing.

Thursday, September 8

What to do when it rains


Today it rained, and yesterday it rained, and yep it rained the day before that one too. The forecast for tomorrow? More rain. Now normally I love rain, it makes me want to curl up with a book, bake cookies , and generally lounge around the house all day. Especially if it’s a chilly rain. But this? This is during the harvest and I am busy. I don’t have time to do all those things the weather making me want to do. I must dice up those tomatoes that are sitting in boxes, string the beans, freeze the broccoli and some how try to keep the house clean in case someone wants to look at it. IMG_2421

The children are very helpful but there is still only so much I will let them do when working with boiling water and pressure canners. So after asking me about a million times to play in the rain, I finally said yes. After all there was no lightening or thunder and it was warm. They played outside for 3 hours, building dams, moats, and filing the boat with water.


They were quite resourceful in their playing and wore themselves out!


The girls? Well they didn’t want to get wet so they played inside under umbrellas.


Sometimes saying yes is worth all the extra work.

Wednesday, September 7

Cinnamon Pear Jam

This is one of the new recipes I tried this year and it turned out so good! I made two batches out of a peck of pears which came out to 8 cups diced pears. You will need 4 cups diced for a single batch. IMG_2389
The first thing I do is make sue to get all of my ingredients measured out, jars washed and sterilized, canner started to boiling, and pears diced. This way I can work quickly when it matters.
This is the first year I have used Pomona Pectin and I will never go back to Surgel or other brands again. It allows you to use less sugar(as little as 2/4 cup), honey or other sweeteners. It is a bit different to work with but very easy once you have used it once.
For this batch I used one cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3 teaspoons pectin powder.
Important!!  Make sure you thoroughly mix all dry ingredients together or you will get lumps in your jam. I learned this the hard way.
Begin peeling, coring, and dicing your pears. I usually dice about one or two pears and then add the lemon juice to keep them from browning.
You will need 1/4 cup of lemon juice.
Mash pears. this is personal preference, mash until you have as little or as many chunks as you want.
Next mix up your calcium water. The instructions for this are in the box of Pomona Pectin.
Add 2 teaspoons of calcium water to your pears.
Bring your pears to a boil.
Add sugar mixture and bring to another boil. I stirred mine at a rolling boil for about a minute.
Remove from heat and ladle into hot jars.
Process Pints for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath canner. Remove and let cool.
4 cups peeled,cored, and diced pears
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sugar and pectin according to directions included in the box of pectin you choose

Tuesday, September 6

Summer Strong~Tuesday Ten

Around these parts summer is still going strong. In fact it doesn’t end until the 23rd of September. So while most people are starting school and gearing up for fall we are enjoying summer. We won’t start school until the apples are harvested and sauce is made. For us that will mark the change of seasons and fall and winter will come quickly on its heels.
I want to savor every moment and even grill in the rain.
Enjoy fresh salads straight from the garden.
Snap beans on the porch while the children play and snatch fresh beans to snack on.
Enjoy popsicles  in the afternoon sun.
Enjoy new garden boots while there is still work to be done.
Let little girls wear their nightgowns “just because”  she won’t be little forever.
Leave dining room tables full of canning supplies and food that has been put up because there is no more room on the shelves.
Take cat naps in the sun.
And even enjoy the fruit flies that infest my house during harvest due to all the food lying around.
Oh and don’t forget reading. Lots and lots of reading!
Enjoy your last days of summer!



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