Saturday, September 18, 2010

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I'm sitting here crashed out on the couch after a long day of homeschooling and canning. I canned applesauce today. The apples we bought are Macintosh, Courtlands and Gala's, which is a mix I have never done before. Here are some of them. We bought 2 bushels.

And here is what my kitchen looked like today. It smelled wonderful, but was SO sticky.

I canned 21 quarts total and then got too tired to do anymore. I still have about 1/2 bushel left. I am going to can them tomorrow, but not do applesauce. I am going to try canning sliced apples so I can use them in pies and cobblers.

My garden is going a bit crazy! This is what my side garden looks like. The pumpkins have taken over! You can barely see my tomatoes because the pumpkin vines are going over the top of them!

Here are some of my pumpkins. They are actually ready to be picked. They are supposed to be a pale orange, and the variety is called "Long Island Cheese" because it looks like a wheel of cheese. I thought they would be small, but they are big!

Amazingly, my tomatoes are producing like crazy, despite being overrun by the pumpkin vines. I'm not sure what I am going to make with them yet. I canned the ones we picked late last week into sauce. I have so many coming on that I am going to have to get creative. Maybe I will can ketchup? All 12 tomato plants are loaded like this...

Underneath all the pumpkin vines are my carrots. We picked a few today, and they were SO sweet and yummy. I wish I would have planted more! We still have a whole row to pick, so I am glad they are so good. Evie ate the littlest one, and most of the big one :).

I am so thankful for all the abundant produce that God has blessed us with this year!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Crazy busy last week!

It has been a wild last week at our house. First, Jeff got offered a job about 2 miles from our house that he couldn't refuse. He ended up taking the job and quitting his other job. He left on such good terms with his job that he quit, that they want him to do contract work for them in the winter! He started his new job this past Tuesday, and he had a really good first week. He gets to come home for lunch every day, which has been SO awesome! Love it!! God is so good, and has blessed so much. We are so thankful!

My garden tomatoes weren't coming on very well, so we bought 2 bushels of tomatoes that were heirloom organic tomatoes at a roadside stand. We got a really good price on them. I canned 20 jars of chunk tomatoes and 11 jars of tomato sauce. I also canned 30 jars of pearsauce, and froze 1/2 bushel of green beans. Now my garden tomatoes are taking off, so I'm not sure what I will do with them! I'm thinking about just canning them into sauce. We just bought apples, so this week I will start canning applesauce. The last thing I will can is grape juice. Here are my shelves, which are getting very full!

Trying to fit in homeschooling this past week was a challenge because of all the canning, and also because we found out the cats were infested with fleas! I have flea dipped them twice since Tuesday, and at the last bath we killed 40 fleas between the two of them. The natural flea shampoo we bought was completely worthless. It didn't kill them at all, so I tried orange oil (called Orange TKO). It repelled the fleas, which made them jump off the cats. Some of the fleas jumped out in the water and drowned, but most of them jumped off when we toweled the cats off. Evie was my helper! She would see one and go, "There's one!" and either she or I would pick it up and stick it under the water in the tub. We were amazed at how many we were able to get! I'm planning on dipping the cats again on Tuesday. I need something that kills the fleas, but I don't want tons of chemicals. I am going to try Dawn dish soap next. I read that it is supposed to kill fleas on contact. The dog is pretty much under control now. I have only seen (and killed) a few fleas on her in the past several days. I have been vacuuming the house every day. So far we haven't seen a flea, except for a few in the cannister after we dump it after vacuuming. Jeff got bit by one once, but Evie and I haven't. So I am trying to keep the fleas from infesting the house. I feel like I need to have a clone because there is so much to do!!

Evie lost her top tooth last week, and looks so cute with her gap :).

Monday, September 6, 2010

The blessing of adoption

I have been crying lots of tears of joy this morning. My cousin and her husband just adopted this beautiful little girl last night from China. They are there right now. Every time I look at this picture, and the pictures of her with her new parents, I just bawl. Knowing all they went through, and how long they have waited, I am just so thrilled for them. They wrote about how surreal it all was, and how they felt shell-
shocked. It brought back memories of when Jeff and I first held Evie. Unlike with a pregnancy, adoption doesn't have 9 months of preparation. Most of the time people wait and wait, then everything happens super fast all at once. You almost never know when things will happen. It only took us a year to get Evie. It took my cousin and her husband almost 5 years to get this precious baby. The wait for adoptions seems to be much longer now than when we adopted. Domestic adoptions are becoming so scarce that most people are adopting internationally.

When we were waiting to adopt, we found out a month before Evie was born that we had been chosen by Evie's birthmom. After Evie was born, we had to wait to see if her birthmom would really go through with the adoption. When we got the call to go to the hospital because Evie was really ours, we really didn't have any emotional preparation. It was SO surreal. I still remember just staring at her. I thought I would be crying hard, but instead I just couldn't wrap my brain around the fact that I was holding my daughter. She was absolutely beautiful, and such an amazing gift. I am so thankful that her birthmother chose life for her. As I look back and see the journey we have been on, I cherish all the memories. She has been such a huge gift to us. There are verses in the Bible that talk about how God adopts us into His family when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. Having adopted, I see those verses in a different light. I view Evie as my flesh and blood, even though I didn't give birth to her. If I see her that way, in all my human-ness, how much more would God my Father who is perfect see us that way! My heart is so full this morning. I am so thankful for the blessing of adoption. I am so thankful for this new, beautiful baby girl in our family, who will grow up in such a wonderful home. What a blessing knowing that she will grow up hearing about the Lord. God is such a good God!