Saturday, July 31, 2010

He is a new creature...2 Corinthians 5:17

Yesterday afternoon we went down to river with Grandma and Grandpa. While some went off in search of some nature, I let it come to me.
If you look carefully, there is an itty-bitty fish swimming there in my hands (brown, horizontal line above my palm on the left side of the photo). I scooped it up while sitting on the bank of the river. This was actually the second one I caught. The Man didn't grab my phone to take a picture before the first got away.

While sitting in the same spot, I turned over a rock and found this...
We haven't identified it yet, but it is some sort of chrysalis. It was wiggling a bit, so we know it is alive. It is here at home in a jar with us now so we can see its final transformation. This reminds me of the text from this post title:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
If I had a better camera than my phone, you might be able to tell that The Man is holding a magnifying glass. I smelled smoke!

I was sitting in the shade of this bridge, thankful that these swallow nests were unoccupied.
Bird nests above the head can make a big mess!

G enjoyed getting his feet wet again. Two times in one week! He spent most of the afternoon throwing rocks into the water.

The younger kids enjoyed swimming in the river, pretending to be beavers.

Although we have seen beaver in this river before, the only beaver sighting today happened to be a stump in the water.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Two are better than one...Ecclesiastes 4:9

Warning: If you are of the camp that believes certain animals are more important than food for a family, just click away from this post. Thank you.

For those of you that have not had the pleasure of meeting a California ground squirrel, you haven't missed much! They are pests. Extreme pests! Just imagine that they are like their cousins, the rats, with bushier tails. They dig under the building foundations and try to destroy whatever else they can. We have to tread carefully out in the field to avoid the burrows.

The Dog usually takes care of the ground squirrels around our property, however he doesn't have ready access to our fenced garden area. The squirrels were "taking care" of our garden this spring until we started keeping a live trap on the compost pile within the fenced garden area. About 2-3 times a day the Dog alerts us to a squirrel in the trap. The trap is moved to an open area and opened, then the Dog does the rest.

This morning the Dog started barking so the boys went to move the trap. There was not one, but two squirrels in the trap. This has happened before, but it is a very rare occurrence. The Dog had to have some help dispatching of those two.

Later in the afternoon the Dog started barking again. This time I needed a picture!
Yes, the Dog is drooling. There were another two!
The second is hard to see in the shadow of the door, but there are two in that trap. It turned into an interesting object lesson for the kids. If you are going to do something that will get you into trouble, it doesn't necessarily help to do it with a friend...well, it may help the predator!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Eat of the fruit...Joshua 5:12

Grandma and Grandpa arrived today and I was able to catch up on my blogging for the week while they played a rousing game of Monopoly with the kids. Here are some pics that I promised of my cupboards.

These are the apricots. J cut the cardboard for me so the jars are more stable in this shelf-less cupboard.
Here are some more. (Sorry, I'm still using my cell phone for flash).

Here are the jars of apricot and blueberry jam.

The tofu boxes have been moved from those shelves to make room for the blackberry jam I made this morning.

Note: Just because a jar seems to have the same diameter as other jars, don't assume the rings will fit. The "Skippy" jar on the right doesn't work with canning rings!

I had to hold the lid in place during the inversion process! It seems to have sealed just fine, but I won't be using that particular jar again for any preserving in the future!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hail...Exodus 9:18

Our very first harvest of the summer crop of zucchini! If blossoms are any indication, we'll have plenty to share!

We are very thankful for this little squash since Monday night we had a hail storm. Other than a few tomato cages that got knocked over, our garden fared pretty well. Just a few miles from us, some gardens were destroyed by golf ball-sized hail.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The river...Deuteronomy 1:7

We went down to The Man's brother's house and had a fun day with the family. After lunch we went down to the river so the big and little kids could swim. I sat by the river and watched with G for a little while. Then I went back up the bank and searched the van for some bags.

These had caught my eye, and I thought they looked like they belonged in some jam jars!


I'm usually the one that stays home with the very little ones while The Man goes berry picking, so I had to prove that I actually picked some berries.

But I think The Man picked the most.

After we'd picked enough for either a berry pie or a batch of jam, we went back down to the river to cool off and wash our hands.

G enjoyed hanging out with Grandma and splashing his toes in the river.

A very fun day was had by all!

Monday, July 26, 2010

These are the numbers...2 Chronicles 17:14

Since I'm behind a few days and am going to try to catch up today, I'll be posting under the day of the activity...hope I don't confuse anyone!

Today I went up to the city to the hospital for the 3-hour glucose tolerance test. Three hours without the kids with nothing I had to do except walk into the lab four times. Cool. During my first hour "break," I went out to the van and gathered up all the trash that had accumulated since the last time I'd had the time and inclination to do that. I found an empty cardboard box in the back of the van in which I placed all the items that needed to go into the house. It looked so much better then!

During my second hour, I took the van over to the car wash to use the vacuum to clean the de-cluttered floor and upholstery. This was the first time I had taken this van to the car wash for vacuuming. I was surprised that I had to use two cycles with the vacuum. I could clean our old van easily on one cycle. Then I went to the dump landfill to empty 3 cans of trash. Finally, I went and filled the tank with gas.

During my third hour, I stayed in the hospital since it was starting to get hot outside. I was planning on going straight home afterward to eat, but the lady was adamant that I eat something before I headed back over the hill. OK, on to Taco Bell.

On the way over there, I remembered that I hadn't reset the trip odometer. It had been a long time since I'd completely filled the tank with gas, and I always try to reset the odometer with a full tank. As I was doing so, I noticed the main odometer read 100,099. Oh, wow! Things like this are too exciting!

As I was in the turn lane waiting to go into Taco Bell, I got this picture...

It's a good thing I snapped the photo then. By the time I was waiting in the drive-through lane, the odometer had already turned...
Wouldn't it be cool if all odometers gave you a binary reading? Then my poor van would only have 37 miles on it. Fasting plus 4 vials of blood can make my brain think of pretty strange things!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Home...2 Corinthians 5:6

M is home. He had a very uneventful trip home. Yay! We just got home from picking him up at the airport and getting groceries. We stepped out of the van and S exclaimed, "It feels like Indiana!" Yes, it had rained while we were gone and it was very hot, humid, and muggy when we got home. Now that I have my official photographer and my cell phone/camera back, I may be able to post some new pictures soon!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Frogs...Exodus 8:2

I'm missing M. He should be flying home from camp on Sunday. Even though we've sent a few emails to the camp for him, we haven't heard anything from him. That's just what we expected, but it has still been hard! We are glad, though, that no news is probably been good news since we've heard of several campers that were extremely ill. Since we haven't been contacted, he is probably fine. Hopefully his flights home will be a lot more non-eventful than his trip up there!

I've been looking through some of his pictures that he has taken and I thought I'd share these with you. Enjoy!

The End!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Look...again...I Kings 18:43

I apologize to those of you who were repeatedly checking in here all day today to find out if we are going to have a boy, girl, or both. We're still not sure, but we're fairly certain it won't be both!

The midwife, bless her heart, wasn't accustomed to using the brand new ultrasound machine. Although she usually does "first" ultrasounds for women, she hadn't done a "first" that was so large on this new machine. After trying repeatedly to figure out how to measure the head circumference, she went to get the doctor to show her how.

The doctor came in the room. "Oh! Hi! Congratulations! You pregnant!" That was about the extent of my lecture from her for waiting so long for my first appointment. We'll see if I get more in two weeks when my appointment is with her!

After showing the midwife how to obtain the measurements and chatting with The Man a bit about his new practice, she left the room. The midwife got back to measuring the head, abdomen, femur, and (one other thing I can't remember...I'll have to ask The Man later). The estimated due dates for all those measurements were averaged together to come up with a due date that EXACTLY matched my due date based on LMP. She was stunned. She said it rarely comes out so exact this far along. I was also amazed. Based on other factors, I was putting my due date at least a week later. Oh, well!

Oops. The midwife then realized that she had failed to print any of the pictures! So, she had to go back and remeasure everything and take pictures for the chart. This time the due date came out about a week later, closer to what I was expecting. I'm not sure exactly when, but we should have a new baby by the first week or so of October.

During this time, the timer went off indicating it was time for the nurse to come in and get blood for my glucose tolerance test. In all the back and forth with the blood draw and other stuff, the ultrasound machine was turned off and put away. Ack! I didn't even get a picture! And we didn't get to find out the gender.

I'm trying not to pout too much about it since it is probably my own fault. We were there over an hour and a half as it was. The waiting room that was empty when we got there was packed when we left. I think my appointment of trying to cram 20+ weeks of OB appointments into one really backed things up!

But, everything seems to be fairly healthy with the baby and me...that's what is important. I did flunk my one hour GTT (as with the three previous pregnancies). I didn't flunk it as badly as I did last time (148 vs. 215 last time), so I'm fairly confident that the 3 hour GTT I'll take bright and early Monday morning at the hospital will be passed as it has been all the other times.

The babe...Luke 1:41

I know I haven't had many updates on the current pregnancy. There really isn't an excuse other than I haven't gotten around to making an OB appointment. The longer I waited, the more I knew I'd get a lecture from my doctor when I finally went. Since things have been progressing normally, I really haven't felt an urgent need to go.

I called yesterday morning and made my first appointment. For some reason the receptionist thought I should go in today. I'll be seeing the midwife instead of the doctor. Perhaps I won't get quite as big of a lecture as I was dreading. I'll try to give an update later today after the appointment.

Yes, if possible, we will try to find out the gender of the baby if we do an ultrasound. I thought about waiting to find out as we did with G, but I am SO ready to get rid of some of the baby clothes from my house. Leave your boy/girl/both guesses in the comments!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fruit...Leviticus 19:25

Tuesday evening I made 3 batches of blueberry jam. Wednesday morning I made 3 more batches. In the afternoon I made 2 additional and final batches. All the Sure-Jell is gone and we've used an obscene amount of sugar this summer. We just emptied the last of the 3rd 25lb. bag of the summer into the sugar container. Let's see...75 lbs. / 7+ people. Ick. And the year is barely half over.

There are 89 jars of jam (blueberry and apricot) in the cupboard. I used miscellaneous hand-me-down jars for the blueberry jam. I'm not sure some of them were actual "canning" jars, but the lids and rings fit. Since I use the inversion method for jams, I wasn't worried about breakage. There are several 10oz. jars and some really cute short pint jars. Hopefully they will provide the kids with their weekly PB&J fix this winter.

We still have 20+ lbs. of blueberries in the refrigerator, so those will probably be frozen for eating this winter.

I know we'll be doing sugar-free applesauce from culls this fall, but I don't know what else is on the list for fruit preservation.

Our garden is coming along. We may get some zucchini to eat this week. It was reported to me that something has been eating the tops off the cucumbers. Another planting of black beans went into the garden this week. It is a bit late to guarantee a crop, but if the frost holds off, it will be worth it.

Sorry...Psalm 38:18

For the few of you that have been faithfully following my July blog challenge, I apologize for missing not one, but two days. Sorry. Real life kind of took over on Tuesday and I didn't have internet yesterday afternoon. I'll play catch up later today (maybe). I have to go get G up now for breakfast.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A brother...Proverbs 18:24

Happy Birthday to my Big Brother! Of course, I don't remember the day you were born, but I do remember you had really cool birthday parties when we were little where everyone got to play outside.

I suppose you helped take pretty good care of me when I was little...except the time you abandoned me told me to stay put in the middle of the academy campus at camp meeting. I wandered around crying until someone picked me up and carried me into the gym and I saw Mom and Dad. Did you get in trouble for that?

And then there was the time you played barber. Mom wasn't too happy that you chopped off my hair. At least you didn't use me as a patient when you played doctor. Mr. Hippity Hop just wasn't the same after you poked him with a pin.

I'm having fun reminiscing, but I think I'll stop before I inspire you to start blogging.

Hope you have a great day turning 42!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Before the camp...Exodus 14:19

M left this morning for camp. This is his very first time away from home without either parent for more than a sleepover at a friend's house.

I was so happy to finally see that M's flight had left the airport that The Man took him to early this morning! They left just after 6 am to get to the airport in plenty of time for his 9:20 am flight. The flight was delayed just over 5 hours!
M called from Portland and said that the delay was caused by a malfunction of one of the "triple redundant" parts. It took that long to repair the part and return it to triple redundancy. As long as he made it there safely, I'm not going to complain!

He called again from Portland right before he went to get something to eat for supper. I told him to call again before his next flight took off. He didn't, but since the cell phone was turned off and my online source said the flight actually took off, I just needed to assume that he made it on the flight!

He did make it safely to Spokane. He said he forgot to call until the flight attendant said to turn off the cell phones. Tomorrow he hopes to receive his checked piece of luggage. I hope he's thankful his mother had him pack a change of clothes and his toiletries in his carry-on luggage (at least the other campers can be thankful if he's not)!

I am thankful...

That I insisted on him taking my cell phone with him.

That he was (very) capable of getting his connecting flight changed and notifying the camp staff.

And yes, I was very thankful that we/he had to deal with that before. Even though I was fretting this morning and afternoon thinking about my son dealing with it all on his own, I think our previous experiences helped prepare him for this adventure. Ha. I don't think it really bothered him. Even though I let him know that we had free minutes on our cell plan today and he could call and talk to us any or all of the time he was stuck there at the airport, he didn't call to chat. Of course, I really didn't give him a chance to call us since I called him as soon as I noticed each flight status change online.

I'm sure he will have a great week at camp. If you click on the camp link above, that page will allow you to listen to the nightly programs.

Cell phones, flight trackers, live streaming of meetings...and blogs to share the story. What did we do before technology?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out...Psalm 105:41

After church and potluck last week we headed for the mountains and the water! The water was kind of cold, but it was enjoyed by the humans and canines on such a hot day! The waterfalls created such a nice, cool mist. G even found a puddle on a rock that was warm enough for him to have fun splashing.

Here is a little butterfly that stayed with us for awhile.
It even let G pet it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Eat the herb of the field...Genesis 3:18

A few days ago I mentioned that J took some interesting items to the church potluck last weekend. Can anyone identify these weeds specimens from our garden?

The first is purslane and the second is lambsquarters. They are definitely an aquired taste, in my opinion. Lambsquarters would make a pretty decent spinach substitute, and my internet research shows that some people actually prefer it to spinach. I think everyone at potluck at least gave them a try. It didn't hurt that those were the only things remotely resembling salad that showed up last week...and there was plenty of salad dressing. Ranch dressing covers a multitude of peculiar tastes! There was even a hint that there might be more wild edibles that show up to future potlucks!

Here are some of the other things growing in our garden that everyone should recognize...

Zucchini just starting to blossom:

(Sorry, M just informed me I should have rotated that photo. Oops! I think I need glasses, but that's a whole 'nother post!)

And an actual tomato:

I picked what I think was the last of our sugar snap peas last night. It was getting dark, so I'm not sure I got them all. I was astonished that they were still tender. We have had temperatures near or over 100 for about a week.

This morning when I got up it was 67 outside and 78 inside. I opened a few more windows and a few minutes later the temp outside was 69 and 76 inside! When I noticed the inside temp had crept back up to 77, I shut the house completely down. All the windows and shades were closed and I made sure the lights were off unless absolutely necessary. By mid-afternoon the outside thermometer said 102, but it was only 82 inside. We've opened up the house again now that it has cooled off for the evening.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And they built...Exodus 1:11

The Food Pyramid...Tree River Edition:
The oldest child started it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hold fast...Job 27:6

We went to the city today to pick up S's new retainer and to get impressions made for J's next retainer (some molars coming in made his old one unusable). I was surprised to see S' looks just like this one. Out of all the choices, he wanted one just like J had. Awwwww. J was still getting his impressions made when S joined me back in the waiting room. I asked why he had chosen J's watermelon design.

"It was the only food design, but it doesn't taste like watermelon," he said with a hint of disappointment in his voice. Somehow with all the conversations he'd overheard of other people talking to J about his retainer, he had gotten the idea that it actually tasted like watermelon.

J said he had picked out a glow in the dark retainer. I don't even want to think about it!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A time to sew...Ecclesiastes 3:7

Nothing new to add to the preservation report today! I started out the morning by having The Man drag some boxes* out of the garage. After riffling through them, I had several possibilities for the projects for the day. M had requested a case in which to carry his tiny Bible. Sacagawea desperately needed something new and summery to wear. I brought my heap of fabric inside and the kids chose their favorites.

Bible Case 1.0 is now completed.
Before it was even finished we had come up with many upgrades we wish to add, so M is going to use it for a few weeks then we'll make another with all the adjustments.
It was done by 11:00 a.m. and then I started on a skirt for Sacagawea. I used this pattern, which I had used a few years ago. After measuring Sacagawea, figuring out the piece dimensions, and cutting out the fabric, the rest went together pretty fast considering all the help I had. I did learn to turn off the sewing machine when I wasn't in direct control of the foot pedal. G found it too fascinating!

The skirt was completed just a bit ago and Sacagawea is currently twirling for M and the camera. G is joining her. He knows how much fun it is to spin oneself dizzy!

*Boxes full of supplies for "someday" when I have the time. I think I finally figured out that I'll never have more time than now!

Sorry this post is late getting up! The pictures were just uploaded this morning (7/14). Hope the pics were worth the wait!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hot...Exodus 16:21

Preserving report:
More blueberries went in the freezer today. I bagged up 26 more quarts!


Mowing the lawn (S & J), riding bikes, and packing for a week at camp (M). M, S, & J also are working on keeping the unwanted weeds out of the garden.

Pregnant. Hot. Tired.

I haven't yet turned on the air conditioner this summer, but we did bring home one of our "on permanent loan to the church" fans last weekend. It is blowing on me right now. Usually we open up all the doors and windows when it starts to cool off in the evening, but it was still too hot when we left for a church business meeting this evening. We didn't return home until after 9 pm and it was like an oven in the house. It is cooling off nicely and I may be able to sleep comfortably tonight. Good night!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fruit...Genesis 1:11

The apricots are gone! I made 3 more batches of jam (27 c.--some in pints, some in 8 oz. jars) and froze one more quart. We picked up lots and lots of blueberries this afternoon. So far 30 qts. have gone in the freezer and a lot in our tummies for supper. Since I was too busy bagging them up for freezing, I didn't get any pictures tonight. You'll have to travel back a few years and see these pictures. They look about the same!

Our garden is doing reasonably well, considering we were still getting frosts the end of May and beginning of June. You will NOT believe what J harvested from the garden to take to potluck yesterday at church...oh, I need to go to bed now. We'll save that exciting revelation for another blog post. I'm afraid I'll run out of blog-worthy material before this July marathon is over!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Flower of the field...Psalm 103:15

Here is what M has been working on for his botany project. There are a lot of blank spaces that he'll come back later and fill in, but for now, it is just an online place to store pictures of the flowers and other plants he identifies. He has several more that he just hasn't added to the blog yet, so keep checking back!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Teeth...Deuteronomy 32:24

Guess what? S got his braces off today. Exciting news, isn't it? I just realized that I never told you folks in blogland that he got them on in the first place. I've been such a slacker with my blogging! He and M both got braces the same day. It's been over a year. I would tell you the exact date, but I'm too tired to go in the other room and retrieve my appointment book to find the date. Somewhere I have some "before" pics, but I'm just too tired tonight to go to the other computer and dig find them. Another time! Anyway, here are his pictures from today...and then I'm going to put my tired self to bed!

Before he left for his appointment...
A few minutes ago when I told M to go get an after picture...
He has to go back in next week for his retainer. Hopefully his will be more useful than J's was while waiting for phase 2 of his treatment. J had to quit wearing his last summer when some of his molars came in. Today the orthodontist decided he needs another one to keep what he has in place. We're still waiting on the rest of his molars before starting phase 2 for him. Good night!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Twenty years...Genesis 31:41

Happy 20th Anniversary to us! On 7-8-90 we got married. We've now officially spent over half of our lives married.

A few months ago someone got me thinking about marriage certificates. Hmm. I had the fancy one in the little folder that was given to us when we applied for the marriage license, but I couldn't remember getting an official copy after the wedding. I checked the county website and it stated that a copy would be sent within 2 weeks after it was received. Hmmmm. What if...? Maybe we weren't legally married after all.

"Now you tell us!" stated M in disbelief. The children quickly agreed that we would have to have another wedding if we weren't married. And soon. Before baby #6 arrived!

I called the county and found out what I would have to do to get a few copies and sent in my letter and $4 in cash. Then I waited and wondered. I had already checked and none of the states we'd lived in were common law states. This could be interesting.

I told The Man that if the county didn't have record of our marriage, I wanted to go to Vegas and get married in an Elvis chapel. He said no. I think he thought I was kidding. I was. Sort of. I think it would have been hilarious to have him wear a pair of blue suede shoes.

He wore his white tennis shoes at our reception.

Fortunately, the county did have record of our marriage and I have the two official copies tucked away in the safe with all the other important records. No Vegas wedding for me! It is just as well. I couldn't decide whether we would have our 2nd wedding on 7-8-10 (on our anniversary) or 8-9-10 (to appeal to my sense of numerical order).

I love you, The Man! Thank you for putting up with me all these years...even if you wouldn't wear a pair of blue suede shoes.