Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fun and busy days

It has been such a busy time at our house these past few weeks! It has been wonderful having Jeff home every night! I love being able to eat dinner together each night. His new job is going well, and he is really liking it. We are so thankful for that! I have been busy canning, getting stuff ready to homeschool, and de-flea'ing our dog. Poor Si Si was covered with fleas. I kept checking her because she kept chewing on herself, but I couldn't find any fleas. Well, I must not have been looking well enough because she was covered. So I had to flea dip her (I found some natural stuff), then I put some more stuff down her back (also natural). I have also been vacuuming every day. Evie took this picture tonight after I had just checked her for the 3rd time today, and after we had just been outside on a walk. She looks all tuckered out :).

I have been canning peaches. I have never canned them before. Evie was such a HUGE help! She helped me peel the skins after I put them in the boiling water and then the cold water.

I canned a bushel of peaches over 2 days, and got 27 quart jars. Each one sealed! Yay! I have learned to pray over my jars, and I pray that they will seal. That may sound funny, but I believe God cares about even the little things :).

I just got a bushel and a half of pears, so I am going to be busy for awhile! I canned 23 pints of salsa, so that is done. Evie helped me with that too. She has been my little canning helper this year. When she isn't helping me, or playing with friends, Evie likes to pass the time playing dolls. And she likes Daisy to feel like she is part of the playtime!

This past weekend, we went with Jeff's parents to Michigan and Ohio for a mini vacation. We went to Cabela's in Dundee, MI. I wish I would have taken my camera to that place! Wow, it was awesome! Then we went to the Toledo Zoo, which was amazing. It is ranked one of the top 3 zoo's in the nation, and I can see why. It was an awesome zoo!

Evie was really afraid of this polar bear at first, but got brave after we had been there awhile :).

We loved the polar bears. They had a beautiful underwater viewing area so we could see them swim. This one was the mama bear.

The baby's name was Siku, and he is the only polar bear cub in a U.S. zoo. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of him (he was jumping in the water). He didn't stay still for very long!

The wolves were probably my favorite. They are so beautiful.

It was Jeff's parents 45th wedding anniversary. We were glad we were able to spend the time with them.

They had a fabulous aquarium there. Jeff took this great picture of a Clown Fish inside an anemone.

Here is the drenched family! It sprinkled the whole time we were there, which was nice because we stayed cool. By the time we left, it was raining pretty hard. We went at a good time!

The gorilla's were fascinating. This big guy just stared at us. He was huge!

He was looking right at me. I'm thinking he didn't like me taking his picture!

Look at the other crazy gorilla's that were at the zoo!

Evie "hatching" out of an egg :).

My blog posts have been really long lately. I hope I am not boring you all! It is nice to have something to write about! I didn't really want to write much when Jeff and I were apart. I guess I felt too sad. I'm so thankful we are together as a family again!


SchnauzerMom said...

I'm definitely not bored with your posts. They are very interesting. Great photos! I also believe that God is interested in the little things of our lives. Looks like your family had a great time on your trip.

Jules said...

Wow, look at all the pics. You've been so busy! And your hair looks amazing.

Jen said...

Thanks SchnauzerMom! I'm glad you aren't bored :). We did have a great trip!

Jules, thank you!

winterwren said...

Hi, Jen--

I have never left a comment before on your blog, but I do enjoy reading it. Not boring at all, very sweet and cozy. The part of your post about praying over the peach jars made me smile. My DH thinks I am a bit crazy praying about little things, like seeing a certain bird I like, or that a cake will turn out. We just had a discussion about it this week. But I think talking to God about little things is part of having an intimate relationship with Him, isn't it? And being like a little child? Sadly, I feel like I haven't been doing this as much as I used to, mostly due to DH, although he has come around more to my line of thinking. And he is certainly stronger than me in other areas of his faith.

There's a part in a book by evangelist David Pierce about that--how he talks about everything with his wife, so why would you not do the same with God? He also has a funny story about praying for a piece of chocolate cake that I always loved.

Anyhoo, thank you for your post. It made me feel more reassured that God does deeply care about every aspect of our lives, even the small things.

Now if only I knew how to can. I did just learn that there is such a thing as "freezer jam" and plan to make some, but there is only so much space in my freezer! You are braver than me--I am terrified I would scald myself, get food poisoning, or shatter a jar.

Jen said...

Thanks so much Winterwren for commenting on my blog :)! I truly agree with you about how talking to God about little things helps us to have a more intimate relationship with Him. And I loved what you wrote about David Pierce. That makes so much sense! If we talk to our spouses about little things, why not talk to God about them too! That is wonderful that your husband is coming around to your way of thinking. I think it is harder for men to talk about little things, and even big things with God. Maybe because a lot of men aren't real big talkers in the first place :).

As for the canning, I wasn't as much afraid of hot water bath canning as I was pressure canner canning. I still don't like to be in the same room as my pressure canner when it is going! I still get nervous! With both ways, I have broken jars, but never outside of the canners. I haven't burned myself, except for the occasional steam burn (which only hurts initially). I'm sure you could do it. If you follow the instructions, then it will turn out. Plus it can be fun :)!

April said...

I really enjoyed all the pictures and am so glad you guys are all together again every night. :)

I can't wait to start canning next year. Do you recommend any particular book(s)? Tell me again if you already told me because I can't find my notes since we moved! All your canning inspires me so.

Good luck with the fleas on poor Sienna. I had a dog years ago who had flea dermatitis and it drove him crazy. Keeping the fleas off was difficult in the summer, but I combed him every night and we were able to keep them under control.

The zoo trip looked like so much fun!

Jen said...

Hi April! I think you will love canning :). It is so rewarding too. I love looking at all those beautiful jars on my shelf. I use the Ball Blue book of preserving. I bought it at Wal Mart years ago, and it is really helpful. There are several editions, but they all pretty much say the same things. I also use the Farm Journal Freezing and Canning cookbook (here is a link to what it looks like...
You could check too. I love that book. It is old, but good! I picked it up at a flea market years ago, after looking through the one my mother-in-law has.
Speaking of fleas, the fleas are still there, but I am only finding about 2-4 a day (which I kill). I'm vacuuming every day, which I think is helping. I'm giving her another bath tomorrow. I feel so bad for her. She is covered in bites :(. This is the first year she has ever had that.