Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a new school year

Today marked the first day of our homeschooling year.


We welcomed the 2011-12 year with our traditional 1st-day-of-school breakfast, including apple cider and homemade donuts.


I need to practice more often than once a year. Still, they were good.

Ben, 3rd grade


Kyle, 1st grade (halfway through)


Owen, goofball extraordinaire...Pre-school


Elise, pre-preschool.





Sunday, September 18, 2011

"Circles"

a Poem by Hafiz


The moon is most happy when it is full
And the sun always looks like a perfectly minted gold coin that was just
Placed in flight
By God's playful kiss
And so many varieties of fruit hang plump and round from
Branches that seem like a sculptor's hands
I see the beautiful curve of a pregnant belly
Shaped by a soul within
And the earth itself and the planets and the spheres
I have gotten a hint
There is something about circles the beloved likes.



Friday, September 16, 2011

you might be in the third trimester if...


...the mere thought of bathing your toddler makes your back ache.

...a glass of water can give you heartburn.

...you cannot read any of the Chronicles of Narnia books aloud to your boys without getting choked up.

...you are fairly obsessed with birth stories.

...you leave a ladies' brunch, go home, and proceed make yourself half a sandwich.

...you often feel that you'd gladly give your right pinky toe for a glass of orange juice.

...you're excited to see autumn arrive, because summer clothes no longer flatter your figure.

...everything sounds good to eat, but at mealtime you have very little appetite.

...you find yourself physically unable to exit your vehicle in a crowded parking lot....because the door won't open far enough without hitting another car.

...watching "Baby Story" on television makes you sad.

...your children try to sit on your lap, and are disconcerted by how little space is available.

...you think about chocolate...a lot.

...the chronically chaotic state of your children's playroom makes you cry.

...realizing that you forgot to do the one thing your husband asked of you this week makes you cry.

...having your eyeglasses knocked off by a large rubber ball makes you cry.

...you fantasize about sleeping on your back.

...you lay down to fantasize about the coming babymoon, but fall asleep too soon.

...you avoid sitting on the floor if there's even the slimmest chance you might need to stand up again soon.

...you spend a lot of time planning which desserts you'll make next.

...the fact that your midwife is happy with the amount of weight you've gained endears her to you forever.

...tiny baby hiccups are among your very favorite things.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

sweetness of motherhood

Sweetness is a bouquet of flowers from my young son, during a walk in the country on a warm, sunny day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

in my freezer

I'm still relatively new to the idea of "putting by" food for the winter months. However, this year I've done a bit more than ever before. Now, please keep in mind that three years ago I froze nothing from summer's bounty. We're starting from pretty close to scratch here. And considering that I have a baby coming in December, I could've, should've done a lot more. But here's what I've got....so far.

Jam:
68 oz. strawberry freezer jam
24 oz. raspberry freezer jam
64 oz. marionberry freezer jam

Berries:
3 gallon bags marionberries
2 gallon bags raspberries*
2 gallon bags strawberries
3 gallon bags blackberries*
1 gallon bag blueberries*

Vegetables:
7 gallon bags blanched beans (green & purple)LinkLink1 1/2 gallon bag green peas
15 oz. roasted tomato sauce

Meat:
3/8 of grass-finished beef
10 pastured local chickens


In other news, not freezer-related, I've done just a few jars of lacto-fermented pickles. These include:

3 jars LF dill pickles
2 jars LF bread & butter pickles.

I'd really like to do more pickles, but I'm frankly running out of jars. We need to work that into the budget for next year.

I'm not (quite) done yet. I have only begun to make roasted tomato sauce, as the tomatoes are really starting to come in just now. I hope to get a lot of that in the freezer - it's delicious, versatile, and oh-so-much less expensive than buying organic pasta/pizza sauce from the grocery store (especially the sugar-free kind). It's such a treat to have that fresh summer taste in the "bleak mid-winter."

As you can see, it's not a ton of food. But I wanted to share what I've done, and also to have the record of it, so that next year I can use this as a sort of benchmark. I love the idea, and I'm getting there, but I still have a lot of growing to do!


Saturday, September 10, 2011

at Grandma & Grandpa's

We just got back from spending a few days with my parents in Idaho. It would be impossible to tell you everything we did and experienced while we were there. Well, perhaps not impossible, but not necessarily interesting for you. In view of that, here are a few highlights...

...a ride with Grandpa on the "mule."

...a ride on Daddy's shoulders.

...walking hand in hand with Grandma.

...discovering a snake. Evidently a pretty scary one.

...my first experience shooting a gun. I didn't do half bad!

Friday, September 2, 2011

the latest


I'm 27 weeks!

Thursday, September 1, 2011