Saturday, May 30, 2009

Peach Butter

I've never had it, but as soon as I started reading about canning peaches... I knew I wanted it. It seemed like a better thing to make than just slicing and preserving peaches. I *thought* I'd freeze some sliced peaches, and can some peach butter. That was before the crows got 75% of 'em. I really didn't have enough to do any canning. Half the ones I picked were ready to be eaten. The other half have to ripen a bit. We ate a few last night and much to the dismay of my kids who wanted to devour the rest, I made peach butter... small batch as it was.

I had to set it in the window in order to take a picture... battery was too low for a flash. But that's it. I'm sure we'll eat it all this week! I tasted it and I think I could eat it as soup. This is where I got the "how to."

I forgot about these pictures until I saw them when uploading the peach butter pic...

These were taken at my mom's.

She has a huge playset in her massive backyard. The grandkids lucked out when they moved.

Playing with bubbles in the front yard. I think Elijah and Noah were with Daddy when these were taken.

ha... falling...


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Glass, smoothies, and peaches

Tuesday was the first day of break. It didn't go well. The kids were bored and I was exhausted by the middle of the day. Abigail cut up some cucumbers. She was sitting at the bar with Elijah snacking away when all of a sudden a loud crash/shattering was heard. We have no less than 6 cutting boards and she used the glass one... I had no idea. It went all over the kitchen and into the dining room and mud room. I vacuumed, then used a chenille microfiber mitt, and then mopped. I had been wanting to get rid of that cutting board for years. I bought it before having kids b/c it looked pretty sitting on the counter. I never use it. I use the plastic flexible kind. I'm glad it's gone, but wish I would have gotten rid of it long ago.
Today I made smoothies to go along with our feeble dinner since David wouldn't be home. I poured them, leaving the spoon inside the container and putting it back on the base. Bad idea. Elijah loves buttons. Especially red ones. Especially red ones that make a lot of noise when pushed. And this one even had the extra special side effect of splattering bright pink goo all over the ceiling, floor, and counters... and shooting a spoon out with it.
And then there are the birds that are eating my peaches. Dern them. I was picking the ones pecked into, not wanting the open peaches to invite pests, but then it just seemed to make the birds attack new, unharmed peaches. So now I'm leaving them. I won't have as many to can as I had hoped :( I found a recipe for peach butter... I hope I can at least make some batches of that for Christmas gifts. I'm always struggling for teacher gifts. The kids have so many... I don't want to do for one and not all, but even something that is as cheap as $2 adds up to over $50 when you count up their many teachers. SO I'd like to have something homemade that is worth getting.
I have my $.99 Wal Mart post season clearance scarecrow staked in the dirt. He's about the size of Abigail. I have no idea if he's doing any good, but I'm sure the neighbors are wondering why I've hauled out halloween decorations in May.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

We went up to Ft Smith to have a little party for Elijah and spend the long weekend. We'll have a party here in June... gonna give Ron plenty of time to recover from his 5 bypasses... and also hope that the new children's play area at church will be open. It is only day 2 of summer vacation and this house is already full of boredom, self included. I'm ready for that play area... and the coffee shop that comes with it!
We went to the national cemetary on Sunday. I didn't expect to get so emotional, but I couldn't stop crying. The graves of young soldiers who died while serving and the hundreds of "unknown soldier" graves really got to me. I wish I had taken the camera.
We went to Eastgate pool on Monday. My mom joined so we could go when we're up there. That is where I spent my summers growing up. I *lived* there. I was there from age 3 until 12. After that it wasn't as cool. I still wanted to go, but none of my friends did! Until I was 7, we lived around the corner. I remember having to go to bed before the pool closed and being able to hear some of my friends stil playing. I loved that place. It still looks the exact same... except now it seems smaller.
Now we're home and well, bored.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Elijah!

Two years ago we weren't real sure how everything would work out, adding #4 five and a half years after #3. And now of course we can't imagine our family without him. He brings so much joy to all of us. The change he has made in the other kids has been the most fun to see. They adore their baby brother. He's our special little curly headed blonde. He wasn't real sure what to do with that candle... then we decided to blow it out for him since he's been sick.

We opened gifts first b/c no one had room for cake after the 4 racks of ribs we consumed :) How do you like my $5 non-maternity shirt from Wal-Mart? I have found several thin 100% cotton shirts in the junior dept. I just buy L or XL and they are working great for this ridiculous belly that shouldn't look like this at 19 weeks.

We celebrated with cousins.

His first gift was a Sesame Street submarine tub toy. He kept saying "Elmo! Elmo!"
This was not an office depot ink cartridge... it is a razorback tshirt.

Which he loved of course, but he was so excited about the Elmo toy he really didn't want to open anything else.

but we managed to keep him going...

and he liked it... but still wanted Elmo.

Clipping the many wires...

These are obviously not birthday related. Check out all my peaches :)

This is the Endless Summer hydrangea. The limelight blooms later, but it is more than twice the size of this guy. The ES came in a gallon sized pot. The limelight in a 2 inch pot. Both were planted 4 years ago.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dining Room

I get to participate in Kelly's "Show Us Where You Live" this week AND I used a better camera... borrowed, but better. Last week was the guest room and since mine is a playroom/guest room and doesn't do a good job at either... I skipped.
This is the table set for Thanksgiving.

I like my dining room. It is used more for homework and projects than dining and that is just fine by me. I did away with the eat in kitchen in lieu of an extra large bar. The bar can seat 7... which is a good thing since we are about to become a family of just that many. I'm not a "fru-fru" kind of girl. We eat in the dining room on occasion, but when all the stuff is right by the sink and the stove... "It's a good thing." I am all about practicality.

This is how it normally looks :) You can see the smaller rug that matches the one I have in the living room.

In the corner is a music box I got from my grandmother (dad's mom, same one who gave me the rugs). The table also belonged to her. The chairs are new. On the table is a tea set that belonged to my mom's aunt.

I love this thing. Still in perfect working condition. I have about 75 discs. My favorites are the Sousa discs b/c at the time they were made, it was contemporary music.

*edit* the comments on the red color prompted me to add this... It is Sherwin Williams Red Bay. We picked it off the card and went with it without painting a whole wall to be sure we liked it. Our builder warned us against doing that, but we felt confident that this was the right shade. The kitchen used to be painted this color as well. The downstairs bath is also this color. We have loved it. It has been the only color we have remained happy with since building 4 years ago. We changed the kitchen only b/c I decided I wanted it the same color as the family/living room since it opens up into it. *end edit*

Taken from the hall, by the front door. I have the table 'off center' like this b/c it allows more room from the front door to the kitchen. I move the table all the time, but for our daily activities, I like it pushed toward the other corner, freeing up space.

I love the table, but I'd like a big ol round one. This one is a drop leaf so it could be used for extra seating for the holidays and kept behind the couch.

That's it! Come back any time :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


It was in the mini-sewing section Target has... you know, it is about the size of a piece of poster board, filled with sewing kits, needles, pins, patches and scissors. And THIS

It was I think, $2.00. I've seen fashion tape, but it can be awkward to use (I had lots of practice with it at prom making dresses stay up gravity disagreed with). This stuff comes on a dispenser kinda like those white-out tape things and is perfect for carrying in your purse. I wear a tank top almost always, but in pregnancy, and ESPECIALLY when nursing, things get heavier... and well, uncooperative. Very glad to have it for when even a tank top won't cut it... or when it is just too dang hot to wear one.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's another...

BOY. Oh yes, 4 boys one girl in my brood. We called the kids to David's office and told them by showing the picture (which I will have to scan later since I am at school). Abigail was seemingly more disappointed than I expected. She seems to have forgotten saying she could see the advantages of being the only girl... but I know she did. She was pouting a bit... but she'll be fine. No one is better suited to having 4 younger brothers than she. I was worried about Noah since he cried last time... but he just said "ok, can I go now b/c it is our outside time." LOL
I'm of course fine with that. It many ways things will be easier. Elijah and ?? can share a room. That's huge. I already have clothes ready to go.... and I'm just used to boys. It would have been a bigger adjustment to have a girl. Sure, the clothes are more fun and I love many of the hand-made things out for girls now... I would have enjoyed making some clothes. But I am not a froo-froo kind of person, so I'm just fine with more 'puppy dog tails' :)

It's a............










SECRET!! ha. We want to make sure the kids hear it from us first so we aren't publicizing the sex just yet. BUT I did want to share that the baby appears totally healthy. There is no reason to suspect any problems. The baby measures just over 18 weeks and according to my doctor given due date, I am 17 weeks 5 days... but as I've said before, I think I'm really ahead of that. They always give me a due date about 3 days later than what on-line calculators predict. SO, everything is good. Heart was perfect, brain perfect, spine perfect, intestines perfect. He showed us how there was fluid in the tummy and bladder... indicating baby swallows amniotic fluid and has normal functioning kidneys. It was definitely the most informative ultrasound I've ever had. I had no idea he'd tell us so much.
I had a smile planted on my face the entire time, it was really neat to learn so much right then and there with no need to send the 'test' off to some lab and then wait to hear if there is a problem. It was a great visit... and I have TONS of pictures that I will post later. Not of me of course since David forgot the camera :) I had hoped to take pictures of me at the office... but oh well. I have a bunch of better ones to share... later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day is done, gone the sun

BUSY day. Why did it have to be so gorgeous? I wanted to be outside SO badly. I have plants still waiting to get in the dirt. With all the rain and stuff going on, I haven't been able to plant... and they are outgrowing their pots. My hydrangea is thankful for all the rain we've gotten. The limelight is always gorgeous. It seems to thrive regardless of weather... but the "Endless Summer" is a lot pickier. The brightest blue blooms are about to flourish though!
TOMORROW is the ultrasound. For the first time I'm more anxious to find out if the baby is healthy than the sex. I've taken that for granted in the past. I haven't thought about that being the REAL reason for the ultrasound... I've only thought about the sex. I don't know if it is b/c they have slapped this "high risk" label on me due to being 35 or if it is that that I'm more aware of problems now that I'm older and know so many who have had problems. Whatever it is, I am anxious to find out if everything is ok and I am much more concerned with that than whether it is a boy or a girl. I really will be happy with either.
SO until then...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Resurrecting Gilmore Girls

I didn't watch Gilmore Girls until the show was in its last season. I DVRd the reruns. It was during the one year that I had no kids at home and was pregnant with Elijah. I loved that hour (actually, 45 min since I FF the commercials). The reruns were in the middle of the 3rd season. I got addicted quickly, had to borrow seasons 1-3 DVDs to catch up on what I'd missed. I went thru some withdrawal when the reruns had gone all the way thru season 6. I've yet to see season 7. I stopped DVRing it until they started showing the final season... but have forgotten to check to see if they are... until now. They are in season 6... anyone know if season 7 will follow? I started watching again... don't know why I'm surprised at how much I've forgotten.
Now if only Amy Sherman-Palladino and the WB would resurrect it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nothing exciting, just what I'm up to

This is late, but I still feel the need to mention that I'm sad Danny was voted off. I love Kris, him being an Arkie and a worship leader and all, but I just wasn't a fan. I've been a Danny fan from the start. I'm tired of Adam. But, I will say Tuesday's show will be a lot more exciting with Kris and Adam than if it were Kris and Danny. I wouldn't much care who won in that case. But, I will be cheering Kris on come Tuesday :)
TODAY was busy. But things are winding down. We had the dedication of the new building today. David had to get out to the high school early so I took the kids to school then finished getting ready in the car until I could drop Elijah off at 8:30. Went to school to get my room ready (I moved to a room in the new building, but the actual choir room is part of phase 2... we've just done phase 1)... they waxed the floors yesterday so I had some setting up to do. Then rehearsed my students who were singing in the ceremony... outside. Praise the Lord for a clear day of no rain, but I was H.O.T. Ceremony went well. Then had the usual Friday activity of selling pizza for the Junior class. Then took students from my other high school group to the church to rehearse for Baccalaureate/Graduation. We left later than I wanted to due to the different schedule b/c of the dedication... so that rehearsal was very rushed.
Tonight I went to a Premier jewelry show and got some cute ear rings... exactly like what I was wanting
TOMORROW I have to be at school at 9am for the Great Arkansas Talent Search and might go to the Greek Food Festival later. Sunday is of course church, then Baccalaureate at 3, and the children's choir is singing that night at church. Monday is ultrasound :) graduation that night and the last week of school. But then life should slow down a bit :) I'm ready for a break.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I've had a sudden burst of desire to get things done. I don't think it is nesting since I am only 17 weeks... but that things are winding down at school and I don't have some other project taking up all my time. Yesterday I sorted thru all the art/craft stuff on the bottom shelf of the pantry. I moved it to a mudroom locker that was emptied when I put all the books on the bookshelves. And now the stuff is out of the reach of little tyke. And tackled the playroom. I do not understand how that place gets so bad considering I never see the kids actually playing in there. The past several times, they've picked it up. Which means... they make it appear picked up. I was worn out just from picking up. I was reminded of how bad it was when I was pregnant with Isaac. Abigail was 2, Noah was 1. There was no playroom, so picking up was a 3 or 4 times a day activity. Bending over with a hard mid section isn't easy. So, I'm grateful I don't have to do that anymore. I'm grateful I have little people I can direct when they are home.
The playroom is also the guest bedroom. It isnt' much of one. I got rid of the daybed that was in there b/c the trundle broke (from someone jumping on it after being told not to... hmmm, wonder which child that was) and so did the ceramic balls that used to decorate the posts. I went to the trouble of making new ones in the ceramic room at church... only to have them break too. So I gave up. Now I have two twin mattresses on the floor. I don't have to worry about things breaking or kids jumping (and landing on some spikey post with no ball on the end). But I do hope to make a cover for them. I was looking for a good stretch cotton in purple, but found this instead.
The curtains are purple toile. Odd combination, but it would certainly say "Guest Bedroom/Playroom." I really like the orange fabric.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

My shelves

These are the shelves I've been trying to put together. I had put the center section up when they first arrived, but so many of the other shelves arrived damaged so that is as far as I got... until yesterday. And again... these are taken with the bad camera...

This is the area at the top of the stairs. I was going to keep it open to the foyer below, but once I realized just how small the area would be, I decided to floor it. It has contained a drawing desk, bins for toy storage, and various other things (JUNK), but I cleared it all out today. David brought my grandmother's chair up from the garage and took the writing desk down. Hopefully the extremely heavy tote of old magazines will go to the garage tomorrow. I moved them to the top stair so I could take a picture.

The center set has a little desk in the middle rather than a shelf. I may still use it as a shelf, but for now it is cleared off.
I also raised Isaac's bed up on those lift things to make some room for storage, though nothing is stored there yet... and cleared out the mudroom... though that area still needs work. Got all the winter shoes out of the shoe bins though...that helped a lot!
And you know what? It was the exact kind of Mother's Day day that I wanted- I wanted to get stuff done and I did! I sat in my chair and read a little "Shepherd of the Hills" when I was all done and sweet Abigail sliced some cheddar cheese and brought it to me with a coke :)
David got me a necklace and some earrings... which I love... I just really don't like getting gifts. I know I'm weird. Especially ones like that. I'd rather have a cast iron griddle! ha I've been looking at them but I had told David not to get me anything so I left no hints. But I do like the earrings and necklace. I wore them to church today. Abigail helped him pick them out.
I made a summer dress yesterday too... I'll take a picture of it when I find the better camera. I've got another one to make, but am going to line that one and am thinking of making it bubble on the bottom...

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Mom
by Noah

1. One of the best people I've met in my entire life.
2. A very, very, very sweet person.
3. One of the best directors in all of Arkansas.
4. The best female singer I've ever known.
5. She is a very, very nice person to all citizens of Arkansas.
6. Always generous to the public.
7. She is always prepared for something.
8. She has a great mind.
9. She always loves me.
10. She is a really great mom and teacher.

I had to share those. I thought they were really sweet, but some of them made me laugh, especially the wording. I have no idea where he came up with them.
I hope all of you have a great Mother's Day!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Show Us Where You Live-Updated

I missed last week, so here are a couple pictures of my kitchen...
Junk and all...

And the family room (our living room is the office)
I've since found something for the hole beneath the crosses, but I took this picture a while ago...

I need to take a picture facing the fireplace... maybe I'll get to that tomorrow (ha, with the week I've had with Elijah, that isn't likely, but one can hope)
I did get to take pictures, but not with the good camera! You can see the massive ottoman we bought a while back... VERY clearanced. Love it.

I wish I could have gotten a clearer picture of the mantel. It was undone for the longest time after we painted last summer. I knew what I wanted it to look like, but just couldn't get the right things together. Then I found the clock in the middle (on clearance at Hobby Lobby :) and it made all the difference. The busts to the left were my grandmothers... and so were the silver pieces to the right. The hurricane candle holders were a Christmas gift from my MIL. They didn't look right with votives, but I love how they look as vases.

I got the curtains on clearance at an outlet in Pigeon Forge. I was looking for 96" curtains but didn't want to spend a fortune... I found a matching pair in a clearance bin at an outlet mall in Pigeon Forge for $13 each. I think these were the only matching pair AND they were my colors. I was one happy camper. I still need a valance though. I don't usually have them open this much, but I needed the light... and Elijah enjoyed looking outside :)

This rug was my grandmother's. We tried several others before hauling this one out of the garage in desparation. I thought the pink and blue would overwhelm, but with all the red I have in the room... the dark mauve pops out and you hardly notice the rosy pink (not that it does in this picture...).

And here is the "Believe" metal piece I found to fill in the hole. This alcove serves as a changing table right now (I normally have a pad on top of the mattress) but it also is a great place for extra seating and is the size of a twin bed for overflow guests :)

I've got to do something...

This is the first time for me to have a toddler in a house that can't contain him. When Abigail and Noah were toddlers, we lived in a tri-level. I had a gate at the bottom of the stairs. Up half a flight of stairs was the kitchen, which overlooked the living room. So, it was very easy to watch them in the living room when I was in the kitchen... and that was the only room they had free reign in. We were in an apartment when Isaac was a toddler. It had 2 big master bedrooms, one upstairs and one down. The one upstairs was a playroom, with a gate. (the kids all slept in one bedroom downstairs... nothing in it but beds, and we were in the other master). THIS house... none of that is possible. I could gate off the playroom, but it is at the back of the house, other side of the mudroom. I can see in there from the kitchen... but I'm not thinking he'd be happy in there. Of course, the other kids had each other. Its not like they were ever alone anywhere. I'm going to have to try it though. This week has been crazy. I WAS able to put him in a play yard and turn on Sesame Street. He was happy and I could get some stuff done. NOT ANYMORE. He naps at preschool while I teach... so I really have not been able to do a thing. I have found a few moments when he would eat cocoa krispees in the high chair (nice time consuming task) but not enough.
I really wanted to get my shelves up this week, but all I had time to do was unwrap them from the bubble wrap! These are the shelves I originally ordered in February or so... but most of them were damaged. After MANY weeks of emailing customer service, I finally got the replacement shelves. And boy did they ever make sure they arrived safe and sound. I have enough bubble wrap to ship many sets of china. I couldn't bring myself to cut it off, so I unwrapped it and rolled it up. I have about 8 rolls that are over a foot in diameter.
So for Mother's Day I'd like to get these shelves put together so I can have ALL the books in the house in one spot. And some additional help to get this house in shape. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Free Giveaway and...

It has been crazy around here. Elijah is everywhere all the time. He used to sit and watch Sesame Street... but no more. I'm going to have to clean up the playroom to make it REALLY Elijah proof and put up a gate or something. I can't do anything... and he's broken his fair share of things.
SO no time to blog now that he's asleep, but I did want to share the free giveaway here: