Sunday, September 30, 2007

Queen Busy Bee

That is a title my best friends often toss around. Believe me it is NOT a coveted title. Lol! I think I may be in the running for it though not only this week but this entire month! This is what our month looks like so far:
This Week:

Monday: School, Making more applesauce, etc. , Horse Care class, E-boy's soccer practice & game, & meeting with our new piano teacher

Tuesday: School, Boo's BIRTHDAY!, Boo's soccer practice, Boo's party

Wednesday: Ladies Bible Study, School, Boo off to NH with Grannie, Tim's birthday & church in the evening
Thursday: School, more apples, bread baking, Library Night & Homeschool planning meeting

Friday: Christmas Craft planning meeting/playdate w/friend & Family Night
Saturday: Farm pick-up, apple picking, soccer, tree work, preserving, chores

Sunday: Church & Sunday school, church event, pick up Boo? and C-R-A-S-H!

Tired yet?

Week 2: Pick Boo up from NH, school, soccer practices & games, Nana's birthday, Piano lessons, Ladies Bible study, Horse Care class, Heritage homeschool group meeting, Library night, packing for trip & me off to Florida to visit one of my best friends!

Week 3: Horse Care class, soccer practices & games, piano lessons, unpacking, school, Ladies Bible study, church stuff Wed. and Sunday, Library night & Darin is coming to visit!!!!!

Yikes! I'm wondering how I am going to get everything done. I do not normally enjoy being this busy as I enjoy my downtime. One thing I DO know is that I am counting down the days until my trip to Florida. Can you tell I'm excited? I have only been to Florida once when I was a teen. I won't tell you how long ago that was. I can hardly wait to see my dear friend & her new home. We are going to have such fun!

Now off to start a new week..........

Friday, September 28, 2007

Small Pleasures, Big Blessings

What gorgeous weather we have been having! Such a treat! The kids have been soaking up the sunshine. We also had another round of knocking down apples. It was a great stress reliever with our court (crap) stuff & impending lay-offs at Dave's workplace. Dave & I also started in on our growing pile of apples. We've canned 8 quarts of applesauce so far! Lots of spaghetti sauce & tomatoes too. God has blessed us richly with our garden and apple trees this year.

Giant Sandbox!
Since Dave put away the pool the kids have enjoyed playing in the "sandbox" that was underneath to keep it level.

One of the hazards of using shoes to knock down apples. :)

Wonderful Invention
We bought this apple peeler/corer a few years ago when we started our annual tradition of apple picking. It's such a time saver! Below I have posted some step-by-step pics in case you are curious how this works.

Step by Step
This is the apple after it has been peeled & cored.

The core of the apple stays on the peeler/corer while the ribbon peel is lying on the table after it has been peeled off. Pretty cool, eh?

Can't Help Myself
Bugs kept coming over to snitch apple slices from the pot.

Caught Ya!
How can I resist a face so cute?

My New Friend
E-boy "adopted" this potato as his new pet. Bugs was intrigued.

That's My Boy!
E-boy announced he was going to have a staring contest with his new pal. Here they are in action. His new pal is quite the contender!

Big Helper
At first I was working the peeler/corer AND cutting out the bad parts on the apples AND getting the applesauce going. Plus I was keeping the kiddos occupied & under control. Dave was canning spaghetti sauce that I made earlier in the week. After he was done he came in and helped me. The work went much faster then! And it was nice to have his company. As you can see he is having a fabulous time! Lol!

I couldn't resist taking a picture of some of our labors. This week we canned 10 quarts of spaghetti sauce, 5 quarts of tomatoes & 8 quarts of applesauce (1 has been set aside to take to our friend Al.) There is something about preserving & stocking food for the winter that gives me a cozy, happy feeling.

Happy Birthday!

The big day is here! I can't believe my baby is now 2 years old! We're having our own little party for him tonight & then will celebrate with Grannie & Tim tomorrow night. I'll be sure to post lots of pictures!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

One More

Here's one more pic from last night.

I love the expressions on Dave, E-boy & Bugsy's faces!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Heave Ho!

This is going to sound silly but we had the BEST time tonight! We were hanging outside and the boys were playing. The weather has been gorgeous here & we took time to enjoy it. Dave worked in the garden a little, put away the pools, & started to pick up the apples in the yard. Our large apple tree has actually been producing quite a few good apples this year. We gave our neighbors a bunch & they thanked us by presenting us with homemade applesauce. Yum-o!
Anyway, we were sitting on the back steps blowing bubbles & watching the boys play in the Coup cars. I looked up and noticed that there was an abundance of apples way up high in the largest apple tree. Dave & I discussed the possibility of him getting a ladder out and trying to reach the apples way up there. And then a light bulb went off in my mind. Why not throw something to knock the apples down? After all I had shaken the smaller tree & that had worked. This tree was too large to shake but if we knocked the branches with some hard whacks......... I found a few things on the back steps, cleared everyone out of the way and took my first few shots. No success. Then I spotted Sweet Pea's sneakers. They were nice & heavy yet easy to throw. SCORE! Apples fell. I had my sights set on a particular large, juicy apple. After a few more hits & misses it was mine! Lol! We soon realized that shoes were the best ammunition and sent and eager E-boy into the house to gather up shoes aka ammo. He loaded us up and then the real fun began! I coaxed Dave to join me and soon we were both taking shots at the branches. Apples rained down. The neighbors came out to watch us for a bit & were amused by our antics. E-boy & Bugs cheered every time apples hit the ground. Soon they began shouting, "Apples! Apples!" and racing to gather up our trophies. It was such a blast! I can't even believe how much fun that was. It was so simple & I think that's part of what made it so amusing. Sweet Pea took pictures & also cheered us on. We all got a big kick out of it & felt like we were at a carnival game booth with apples being the grand prize! As it began to get dark we reluctantly gave up our game and brought our treasures inside. Can you believe we filled up 2.5 buckets?!?!?!? Those were added to the 1/2 bucket Dave had gathered up before our game & the bucket we loaded the other day. Now it's time to make applesauce and apple pies!

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Dave taking a shot while I look on. As you can see I have a shoe in each hand & am ready for my turn. Lol!


Dave & I watch to see if I hit the mark.


E-boy & I show off some of our "prizes".


LOL! Can you see the expression on Dave's face? I guess he thought I was going to throw the shoe at him. Lol! I was actually only revving up & waiting for him to clear the area. I promise!

This Is FUN!

Bugs was having fun in his job as ball boy, or in this case, "Apple Boy". He got a big kick out of chasing after the apples once they fell. He & E-boy would yell "APPLES!!!" and then run as fast as they could to gather them up. And of course eating one was a bonus!

Gathering Them Up

Part One

Here are the apples I carried inside with the aide of my shirt. The buckets were too full to hold anymore!

Bountiful Harvest

Here are all our apples! We need to get busy now peeling, cooking & baking.

Aren't we a funny family? We can't wait to go out and play the game again! Yahoo! Apples, here we come!

Yummy, Yummy!

Today has been busy. First we went to Bible study. One of the ladies from our church & her oldest daughter watched the children. What a blessing! I was able to be upstairs with the other ladies & wasn't worried or distracted one bit. The children were able to get schoolwork done and the youngers had time to play.

After Bible study we came home and I immediately started working on produce from the garden. I'm afraid that if it sits much longer in this warm weather we will have to compost it. I blanched & peeled tomatoes and then peeled & cut up zucchini, onions & green peppers. I made 2 crock pots full to the brim of with spag. sauce. Soon the house will smell like an Italian restaurant! Lol! Sweet Pea shredded zucchinis for me and we'll make bread either tonight or tomorrow. The kids are all looking forward to that!

Now it's time to get everyone settled down for some quiet time. The youngers will nap & the olders will read. I love this part of the afternoon. It's a nice break after the craziness of the morning and hard work of chores, etc. Plus the girls are bickering & they need some rest. I've already decided early bedtimes are happening tonight. Yes sir!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Here are a few pics from our week thus far. I am trying hard to get some school in. We need to get back into our routine! Baby steps.

Today we went down to the Boys & Girls Club and signed the girls up for a weekly cooking class. It will start after soccer ends. They participated last year & the classes were a big hit. The best part is that the cooking classes are FREE with a $10/year membership fee! My cousin & her hubby gave each of the kids $10 while they were here & kindly gave it to Dave and I to use as we wanted for them. We decided that the kids would love extra activities and that is what we have used or set it aside for. With the boys I am not sure yet. Maybe towards swimming lessons. I know E-boy is eager to start again. I'm also hoping to add piano lessons for the girls soon. We may have found a wonderful, talented, Christian young women to teach our girls. I received a glowing reference for her today. She sounds amazing! She is being more than generous with her fees.

I hope you enjoy the pics from our new week!

When we went downtown this morning this caught my eye.

Here We Are!
Ready to go in and sign up!

Thank you, Aunt Laura & Uncle Neil!

The girls used their money gift for a membership at the Boys & Girls Club

After sign-ups we went over to the library. I got a new library card. Yay! I haven't been able to find mine since April & it was time to give in and get a new one. I am a bookworm and the library is one of my very favorite places.

Uh oh.
This afternoon Sweet Pea came downstairs to report that E-boy had broken the light fixture in the playroom. I went upstairs to see the damage & talk to him. He was hiding in his room crying & afraid because he knew he was in trouble. He did get in trouble but I didn't yell. I talked to him firmly finding out that he had purposely thrown Tinker Toys & as a result broke the light fixture. He was disciplined and also was not allowed to go to the playground or have dessert tonight. We prayed about it & he asked God to forgive him. Dave & I also forgave him reassuring him that we love him no matter what he does. We may not be happy with his behavior or choices at times but we will never stop loving him.

School Time!
This is our Biology book we will be studying this year.

Gotta Love It!
One of the perks of homeschool - - studying & relaxing at the same time.

Working Together
Boo & I had some one-on-one time today to study. First we tackled our new Biology book. We discussed the reading & Boo wrote down definitions & the first stanza of "The Creation" by Cecil Frances Alexander, the poem she is memorizing.

New This Year
This is our new writing curriculum. Boo wanted to stay home from soccer tonight & to do more. We've never had that happen before! Lol!

Mama, Boo & Tinkerbelle
To Boo's delight Tinks joined us for our school time.

Writing is Fun!
This was our 1st exercise. The objectives were "#1 Word Play & #2 Use Adjectives". We first discussed adjectives & then chose a few. We were to write our word(s) in letters that describe the word. Boo & I had a good time with this!

Where's Tucker?
Here he is! Aren't cats funny? He was snuggled on this bottom bookshelf. Yes, even our kitty is homeschooled! Lol.

Gives a New Meaning to 'Snuggled Up with a Good Book'
Or in kitty's case, several good books. *wink*

Yesterday ~ Monday
Boo takes some time to love on our other cat, Casey. We've had Casey since Sweet Pea was 18 months old.

We're cat people! Sweet Pea snuggles two at once.
(FYI, Davey loves dogs but they are too much work & $$ for us right now. Maybe when the kiddos are older.)

Bugsy the Bookworm
Following family tradition Bugs is becoming quite the little bookworm.

E-boy & Boo work on E's math.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a good day too! We have Bible study in the morning & then I hope to get some baking done. Of course schoolwork too! The kids will work on that some while I am in Bible study & they are in another room down the hallway with the "babysitter". And it's supposed to be beautiful outside too!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Soccer Boy

Tonight we went to E-boy's soccer practice & game. It was a great night weather-wise & it was fun to watch E-boy in this new environment. Already we are seeing improvement in his soccer skills. He is loving the entire thing & when they scrimmage he cheers his teammates on as he plays and is so proud of being a "soccer player". He's been watching his sisters play since the fall after he was born. Now it's finally his turn! Hooray!

Waiting to start
In this age group the children have 3 different sets of coaches. The coaches rotate to the different groups of children teaching different skills as they go. It's a neat system they've come up with!

After playing hard on the playground Bugsy takes a water break.

Are you okay?

This was too sweet. Another player fell down and right away E-boy stopped playing and knelt down by his new friend patting his shoulder and making sure he was okay. I was a moment too late as I snapped the shot as he was getting up from giving sympathy.

Great job, E-boy!

Running for the Ball

What is he doing?
As E-boy runs after the ball a dad in the background looks as if he is trying that "rub your belly & pat your head at the same time" diddy. Either that or a monkey impression. Lol!

Quick Huddle

Future Soccer Player? ~ We sure hope so!

Throw In!
And he's doing it the right way too! Pretty impressive for an almost 2-year old!

Goofy Goalie
E-boy puts on a little show for Mommy & Daddy

He tried but it went right through his legs.

Now He's Ready!

He stopped the ball & now does a heave-ho throw.

Here It Comes!
They're coming again & E-boy prepares.

Another Save!
He stopped it again & now gives it a big goal kick.

After the Game
I tried to get a pic but E-boy was too wound up to stand still for long. Lol!