Thursday, September 29, 2011

Plums, plums and MORE plums!

 We have a lovely plum tree in our backyard.  The first year we lived here, we experienced some crazy weather that caused the tree to bloom at the end of Jan/beginning Feb.  Consequently, it produced minimal fruit that summer.  But, we still got to enjoy some and it was fun.  This year, we had an amazing amount of plums!  So the girls and Luke went out and picked them last week.  We ended up with two GIANT pots (these are my canning pots people!) and an easter basket full. I've been making jelly, fruit leathers, dehydrating and canning them.  I would give them away, but 1/50 when you cut them open I find a little white worm/maggot in it.  So... what do we all think?  Would people think it's gross if I gave them some plums and they find a maggot?

It was so cute watching them go up the ladder and have Luke helping them.

I LOVE Arya's face in this picture.  It's so her!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

When You Have 2 Older Sisters....

 In his defense, he did protest....

Friday, September 16, 2011


I have never canned in my entire life.  One of the first things I noticed about the Baileys when I first met them was the jars upon jars of home-canned goods ranging from fruits/jams to sauces/soups.  I was quite impressed and always wanted to do it.  When we first moved to our home almost 2 years ago, I was so excited about all the fruit trees and the possibility of canning... but then I got pregnant, then gestational diabetes, and decided if I couldn't eat my yummy canned goods while canning I wasn't going to do it. 
A few months ago, our bishop pulled the entire ward out of the 3rd hour and talked about emergency prepardness and how he felt impressed for us to really get ourselves prepared.  he wanted us to work on our food storage, etc., then he proceeded to cancel about 30 minutes of church and wanted us all to go home and work on our emergency prepardness.  If that wasn't a wake up call I don't know what is. 
So, this year Luke and I invested in some canning supplies, and when bountiful baskets had peaches for $0.73/lb and pears for $0.55/lb we took advantage and bought a couple 24-28lb boxes.  I then proceeded to can them all in 2 nights.... yeah, not doing that again.  I was just so excited and it was so much fun for the first 6 hours, but it definitely became work after that. 
I also made some blackberry jam from the blackberries we picked on my birthday.  So, all in all, I ended up with 11 quarts of peaches, 12 quarts of pears and 6 pints of blackberry jam.  The apples on my tree are ALMOST ready so I'll be doing more canning still, but I am quite proud of myself and what I have been able to accomplish so far. :o) 
For those who are curious, I followed the directions on this website  On the very bottom of the page there's a very small icon where you can find directions on how to freeze, can, preserve, and dehydrate just about anything.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Company Picnic

Yay for company picnics!  Luke's company likes to host their annual picnics at the zoo.  It is great fun and admission is free for everyone in the company including their families.  The picnic was from 11-2, but we took advantage and got to the Zoo at around 10:30 and visited before we joined the festivities.  You never know what you're going to get at the zoo and unfortunately this time the red panda (my favorite) was sleeping when we went by his habitat.  However, we did get to see the penguins diving in and out of the water chasing each other.  The hippos were also going at it... so unfortunate the camera wasn't ready because MAN it was awesome seeing them open their mouths popping out of the water.  There was a giraffe feeding when we stopped by so we got to see the giraffes up close too.  Considering Lily's favorite at the zoo are hippos and Arya's favorite are the giraffes, I think we did well. 
The company provided a lovely lunch, face painting, a magic show, tickets to both the dinosaur exhibit and the carousel, and fun bags for the kids.  Needless to say we had a fabulous time.  Thank you Cequint!

Arya was very excited to see the Giraffes up close.

Love Orangutans, they are so fun and clever.

 Arya on the Carousel
 Lily with Michael... such a good big sister.

Dinosaur Exhibit.  It was quite fun... the girls were a little scared at first, but I think they enjoyed it.

Friday, September 9, 2011

My 31st

Best day EVER!  Luke took the day off work so that we could spend it together.  We went to Home Depot first to get a few things - have to say, I was pretty happy/proud that home depot was one of my birthday stops.  Next we went to the gym together and worked out.  Luke then made lunch for all of us.  After lunch him and the girls started making my birthday cake.  Now, you might be scared or think it'll be funny or a disaster, but let me tell you, my man did GOOOOOD!  In between making the cake and decorating it, we went to Michaels to get my present. We got some nice sketching/drawing pencils and charcoal.  I cannot wait to dig into it!  It's been so long and a few things have happened recently that has stirred my passion again.  After Michaels we went blackberry picking!  I am so excited to make some yummy blackberry jam or maybe pie or syrup; the possibilties are endless.  We came home with a nice little basket and the girls had a lot of fun.  Luke then finished making the cake, we went out to a mexican place for dinner, then came home for cake!

I am so thankful for such a sweet, loving husband that tried VERY hard to make my day special.  It was seriously the best day ever!  Thank you Luke!

Luke and the finished product, yes, Be AMAZED! Devils Food with the amazing whipped cream frosting and lots of yummy fruits!
Seriously impressive, RIGHT?! It was so dang good!
The inside was filled with cream frosting, strawberries and kiwi.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Day of School

The big day finally came and went. Lily was so excited for school. We got up in the morning, got dressed in the outfit we picked out the night before, I made her a nice little breakfast (egg with bacon and cheese on toast), did her hair, and then Luke and I took her to the bus stop right in front of our house. Even though the school is only 1/2 a mile away, Lily gets to ride the school bus because we live on such a busy street. I LOVE that the bus literally stops right in front of our house.

I had my moment of excitement and sadness, but it could only lasted for a second, because I then drove myself to her school to drop off baked goods for a PTA tea and help with safety patrol. I didn't just take Lily because the school district suggests that if your child will be riding the bus to let her do so the first day. I had signed up to help because the day before school started, the PTA sent out an urgent call for volunteers and I saw that no one was volunteering. It was also a way for me to transition into a student mom. It made me feel better being there, knowing that I was on campus with Lily even though she didn't know it. Everyone thanked me and thought it was so great that I am diving in and helping out already, but to be quite honest, I volunteered because it made me feel better and made me more comfortable, and it definitely curbed the crying. ;)

Lily has half day Kindergarten, so at 11:53 I went back out to the street to meet her because the buses won't drop Kindergartners off unless there's a parent waiting. Arya and I sat anxiously waiting for her to come. At about 12:10 I was worried and wondered if she got lost or if I missed her bus. The bus finally arrived at around 12:15 and she was beaming as she got off. I heard many little voices happily saying goodbye to her and I knew she had made friends already.

She told me all about her first day - about recess, songs she learned, snack time, how she made 3 friends - 1 boy and 2 girls. She calls her friend boy her boy friend so it was kind-of funny. She told me that she could not wait for tomorrow, and I call that a VERY successful first day! :)