Wednesday, July 27, 2011


When we bought our house ten years ago, I was elated to have a variety of fruit trees. We had a plum, 3 peach, apple, necterine, and we planted a pomegranite bush. Two of the peach trees (including the white peach tree) was infested in bugs and only lived for a year. We ended up burning the trees out and putting the garden in that area. The necterine has been a weak tree and has refused to produce anything of worth and the pomegranite, although 5 years old, it has yet to grow any bigger. The apple tree also only produces a handful of blossoms and apples. Each year I say that I'm going to take out the necterine tree, but the blossems are so bright pink and pretty, that I just can't do it. I keep praying for the apple and pomegranite to step it up, or they are going to end up in the fire pit as well.

All of that sounds really sad!!

Thankfully the plum tree and peach tree have made up for the lack of success with the other trees.

This past weekend was picking time! Luke and James were priveliged enough to pick ALL of the fruit. My boys are so great to help me with the canning. Last month we picked 50 pounds of cherries at a local farm and my boys pitted them all!!! Now we all enjoy our fabulous cherry pie filling.

But first, another side story. When James was 3 we had lived in the house for about a year and a half. I peaked out the window one day and saw his little feet dangling off of the roof! I come out and ask him what in the world was he doing!? He replied that he was getting his toy.

So you can imagine how I *laughed* when I came outside and saw James sitting on the roof picking the plums. >sigh< He was even in the same place.

So they picked and picked and picked!! And picked me 46 pounds of plums!!! It was AWESOME! I was so delighted! James then became out official plum cutter and Luke set off to pick the peaches.--He ended up picking almost 20 luscious pounds!

The next day we were able to make 37 pints of plum jam, peach jam and peach-plum jam-plus we froze some peaches. The jam even turned out nice!! (Unlike my last batch of raspberry jam that I over cooked and is so thick that you can't even spread it...such a waste of raspberries. ) We had a great time together! We listened to The Beyonders and had some great conversations about just about everything as we cut, blanched, mashed, sanitized, bottled, and more. Great least for me anyway.

If the world ends, I will have enough jam to trade for ANYTHING! I do wish that we could bottle when it wasn't so blasting hot. Seriously! Its 108* outside and I have all of my stove burners on high! I am so thankful for fans! We did save enough plums to snack on (although, after all the plum work, none of us are really in the mood to eat any.)

Apples are next. I can't wait!! Even though I end up purchasing apples from local farmers, I love making applesauce and pie filling with my boys. Ohh and I can't wait for pomegranates!! If anyone knows of any bright red pomegranate bushes (the super sour pomegranates) that I can pick in late Sept. or so, I will happily come and pick them (I will bring my boys too) and then we will bring you some pomegranate jelly! BEST JELLY EVER!

I feel very fulfilled when I do my various bottling. It is a great feeling to do this work with my family. Hooray for work!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Camping project

July is the month designated for campouts it seems like. Both James and Luke have scout troup campouts and then Cory is taking them on a backpacking trip in Fillmore.

The boys LOVE camping and are very excited to go for a few days in the mountain with just "the guys."

To prepare for their campout they are making portable fuel cans. This way they will be able to cook their food no matter where they are. The left overs we will put in our 72 hour kids.

They are super easy to make.

You need empty tuna, clean, tuna cans (or that size anyway)
cardboard, and wax -we use old candles.

Take your cardboard and cut it into a one inch long strip, coil it up tights and place it in the can.-this is your wick Pull the center of the wick out a few inches so that you can light it easily. Then melt your old candles or you can use paraffin wax from the grocery store. Pour the wax, but not the end of the wick that is sticking out, and starting from the center spiral around until you reach the outside of the can. Let the wax completely cool and then you're set!

They work just like a sterno can but cheaper. They would be great to have on hand in case of an emergency

Happy camping boys!!
I will be doing my OWN projects while you're gone!!! bwaahaahaa!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Luke's smile!

Luke has an amazing smile!
I love love LOVE his smile. However, it has always been a challenge for him to smile. He has had challenges with his teeth for the past 5 years.

For starters his front baby teeth never came out. When he was 10 they were pulled out so that his adult teeth could come in....which they never did. He had no two front teeth for more than 2 years. He never complained and was so positive about it.

When he was 12 he had braces put on when one front tooth was finally starting to come down.


He then had his front teeth cut out of his gums and forced down. Luke was so nervous for this to happen, but he did great! I think he was just so happy to FINALLY have front teeth.

For two years I didn't even have to remind him more than twice to wear his elastics!--ok maybe it was because every time I asked him and he didn't have them on, he had to pay me $5 but I digress....

So now, after 2 years of braces, Luke has a BEAUTIFUL smile! It was worth every penny for the confidence of his smile.

His teeth worries aren't done yet since it was discovered when the braces were put on, that he has a third set of front teeth and his adult molars are growing in sideways and are jammed into his other teeth. But those worries are for another day because today Luke is to SMILE!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Me? A guest blogger?

Recently I was asked to be a guest blogger at one of my favorite homeschooling sites. To say I was SHOCKED! is an understatement. I had the thoughts going through my head of "What in the world could I say about teaching science that would be beneficial to anyone!...Isn't everyone doing this already?" It was a lot of fun to rack my brain and to figure out how I had taught science to my boys, especially since I did very poorly in my science classes when I was young. I figured out that I was using the same process that I use with reading.

And holy cow, guest blogging is STRESSFUL!! At least it was my first time! Yikes! I tend to over-analyze..well..just about everything, and this wasn't any different. I even drempt about this stinking paper! Ha! But like everything else, the first time was the hardest and I think I might write another one for her. :-D

Thank you for this experience Mary Ann!
Happy day!!

Go check me out over at:
The Home-School Coach!!!