Thursday, August 26, 2010


Could we be moving in a couple weeks?? We know the state but wouldnt know the location or city until we move. Nice huh?? Stay tuned to find out!! We need to give a decision by 10am tomorrow. Eeeek! Exciting!!

Friday, August 20, 2010


I just gotta say this quick before I forget.....THE best thing that happened to me during my dreaded trip to Walmart with my sister-in-law (I just don't like Walmart)....I WAS CARDED FOR BUYING A RATED R MOVIE!! LOL! Yes, that's right. When the guy rang it up at the counter (it was one of those $5 movies), the screen on the cash register was flashing and it wouldn't let him scan another item until he answered the question. It said "Is the customer 17 years of age?" He read it, looked at me and then said "Can I see some ID?" Hahaha... Sarah says "She's got 4 kids!" And apprently I can still pass as a high schooler. We laughed and the guy made a comment about how he goes hunting in Ely Minnesota. :) It was a good time.

Now back to my original post......

We were looking back on our blog books last night (I make my blog into a hardcover book by the year using it, it makes for an awesome journal!) and I realized that I wrote a lot more in each post than I do now. I would write about what the kids were doing, what we were doing in detail, along with posting pics and descriptions. I just don't have that kind of time anymore! I wish I did as I want to keep as many memories written down as I can, but it seems as though as soon as I do have time to do anything, I'm so wiped out that I'd rather do my reading with Nathan and go to bed!

My day starts at 6:00am when I get up and shortly after, about 6:30, is when the boys wake up. 6:40 Nathan leaves for work and I start making breakfast for the kids. From then on it's constant running, cleaning, cooking, baking, shopping, wiping butts, refereeing, teaching, disciplining, playing, reading, and on and on and on. At about 9pm the kids finally settle down and (mostly) stay in their room and drift off to sleep. Then I finish any picking up or cleaning the kitchen that still needs to be done and it's my "free time". Well since it's after 9pm now, I don't have much energy to do anything. I manage to either read, spend time with Nathan, or just go to bed. All to start it over again in the morning!

Some might say "well, at least you have nap time!" HA! Ariella does nap, and that is nice to have one down for a couple hours but the boys rarely nap, usually only when daddy's home. So anyway, all this to say that I know I'm 'behind' on my posts (as I do have a gazillion of them floating around my head!) but hang in there with me, I will try to eventually post it all :)

Well my last post was about the peaches that we got from the neighbors tree and how I thought we were going to be dehydrating them all...but I was wrong! We canned them! That second batched that I picked quick with the kids I ended up freezing. Which was funny in itself because our freezer is not big enough to set a pan in it so we can flash freeze them before putting them into bags. So I ended up putting them on regular plates lined with parchment paper on top of all our stuff and freezing them that way. It's a good thing we didn't have a lot otherwise we would have never been able to freeze them! We got a few quart bags full.

Then came the fun part. We went over to the tree one night after Nathan was done working and picked the whole tree. It wasn't a very big tree but we got a good amount of peaches. (I completely forgot to take pictures while we picked...I was probably more concerned with not getting stung by a honey bee as they were sworming everywhere and there were some peaches that had 20-30 bees on one peach!)

I read about canning and what I needed to get (I have never canned anything before, except jam twice...which, by the way, the stuff that I did the other day is AWESOME!! SO yummy!!) so I went and bought the right equipment and I was set. The first day I did 3 quarts of peaches canned in honey water!

The next day we were going over to Nathan's sister's house to hang out and do some laundry (which is a WHOLE 'nother post soon! :) so I decided to bring all the canning stuff over there since she has a WAY bigger kitchen than I do! So away I went canning with some help from Sarah and the kids were occupied with their cousins. I canned another 6 and a half quarts! We are so excited to actually have real fresh peaches!

The next thing I tackeld today was canning tomato soup! I got the tomatoes from some people at church and took on the project in the camper. I have to say that it is THE best tomato soup I have ever had!!!!! So good I wanted to share the recipe with you in case you (or someone you know!) has tomatoes growing out of their ears that they don't know what to do with! It's sooooo simple and it has ZERO sugar in it, making it EXTREMELY healthy for you! And even though it doesn't have sugar, it is still super sweet and sooo good!

Tomato Soup:

5 lbs chopped tomatoes
1 large-ish onion
2 stalks chopped celery
5T butter
1-1/2 t salt

Put all ingredients in pot and simmer for 2 hours. Put in blender til smooth. Strain through strainer as you pour into clean jars to can. Hot water bath for 30 mins! Voila! You have awesome tomato soup! (It made 2 and a half quarts)

Our next dilema is what to do when we run out of room to store our jars after we can everything! We still have a few feet of room at the top of our slide, but once our neighbors pears are ready, we might have to rent a storage shed! :)

Who woulda thought this could be used for storage?!? Works for me!


Nathan was trying to do push-ups....the boys thought he needed an extra 97 pounds :)


Watchin' the horses....

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Moving to a **HOT** climate has some being able to see a peach tree for the first time in real life! And even more exciting is being able to EAT peaches straight from one of those trees! Our ever-so-generous neighbor (who has the horse farm) has said that they don't use any of their peaches so we can have as many as we'd like. We've been waiting in anticipation as we checked on them every week or so. Yesterday we found that they were actually ready to eat! We picked some that we thought looked good...and OH they were SO good! Plump, juicy, mmmmmm.... We would love to freeze a whole bunch but since our freezer can hold about 3 things, we decided to dehydrate most of them so we'd have a load ofpeach fruit snacks in our pantry. And I am again amazed at how much smaller a dehydrated piece of food is verses it's hydrated counterpart! But it's perfect for us because we have very limited space!! Bring on the peaches!! (And today we picked a whole 'nother bucket which I plan on dehydrating again! (Or I'll make some jam...which I did this morning with strawberries! 11 jars! Yippee!)

What we brought home last night....don't they look amazing?!

Ready for the dehydrator...

This is what is left after dehydrating....this is a quart size bag.

Off subject, but this is a little glimpse of what my kitchen looked like yesterday when I got home from the grocery store while trying to get the kids fed for lunch. Disaster area!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ariellas first word

Okay, so I just have to share this super cute video!!! Ariella has said her first word & I was able to catch it on tape!! Since she's our first little girl, I've been looking forward to her saying things like "baby" and "doll" but that hasnt't happened yet. Do you know what her first word was?! None other than the 3 syllable "basketball"!!! Do you think she's got 3 older brothers or what??

The video catches her saying it quite a few times, in which she usually says something like "glah blahg laga basketball" so it sounds more like she's trying to say a sentence :). Right at the end of the video she says it the clearest after I ask her what this is. She says "bah-sket-ball"! :). Enjoy!

Monday, August 9, 2010

date night.


Well, lots has been going on, but for this post I will focus on the highlight of the weekend....we went on a kid-less date!!!!!!

It was the first time we have ever hired a babysitter to watch our kids, ever. We've left them with other moms so I could run to appts and Gma and Gpa have watched them on occasion and we did go on a date back in April when Nathan's sister and family was kind enough to watch the kids for us, but other than that, we haven't actually paid anyone to watch them...that is, until last Saturday!

A super sweet 18 yr old girl from our church was going to be house-sitting at the same house that we stayed at for a week in July and we thought it would work out perfect to bring the kids over there instead of them having to stay in the camper. So that's what we did! And actually, since Nathan's sister Naomi was coming over in the morning, we brought them over there for a few hours during the am so that Naomi and I could run errands kid-free! We couldn't believe all the places we were able to run in and out of, and in record time!

We picked up the kids around noon, brought them home, put Ariella down for her nap and then once Nathan got home from work (he got off a little early), we brought them back over around 5 and we were FREE!! :) Besides the one time we left ALL the kids with Nathan's sister back in April, we had not been on a kid-less date since BEFORE Ariella was born! (She's 16 mos old!) So it was about time!

But it was so weird bc we didn't even know what to do! We started by strolling the downtown area of Culpeper. There are cute little shops and lots of restaurants. It was a beautiful night out, a lot cooler than it has been, so it was great just walking hand in hand. There was actually a time where we found ourselves just staning in the middle of the sidewalk, not saying anything and not moving. We really were just in awe of the fac that we didn't have 4 kids pulling us in all different directions and having to keep them off the street, etc. So we just enjoyed that peace and stood there quietly for a few mins :) Although we checked out some of the restaurant menus during our walk, we didn't find anything that grabbed our attention. A lot of those places serve greek/mediterranean/european food and half of the stuff we had no idea what it was so we were thinking somewhere "American" would probably be better :)

We ended up at Ruby Tuesday. Which, by the way, is a restaurant that neither of us had been to! And the funny thing, right under their "Ruby Tuesday" sign was the phrase "Fresh, Simple, American Food" HA! Perfect! Just what we were looking for! :) I ordered the spinach and artichoke dip for an appetizer and then a shrimp alfredo pasta thing for my entree. Both were amazing. Nathan ordered wings and steak. Typical.

After that we ran a couple errands...went shopping for romantic stuff like, ya know, toilet paper, laundry soap and sandwich bags. What? That's not romantic?? Well, it's necessity, I guess! Then we went to a clothing store that I never shop at bc it's way to expensive (I prefer the cute thrift and consignment stores!) and we spent and hour and a half there were I tried on a gazillion different outfits that Nathan was picking out for me! It was so much fun, and we stayed until they closed. We ended up leaving with $160 worth of stuff (holy cow!)....ONLY to have me go back the next day and return $105 of it :) It was still fun.

We left there and went to the new cold stone creamery that just opened in town and shared an ice cream while sitting outside in the beautiful weather. By now it was 9:30pm and it was time to head back to pick up the kiddos. When we got there, Ariella was sleeping in her pack n play, brayan was zonked out on the couch and Tiernan and Caedmon were still up watching Tom and Jerry.

They missed us and we missed them...kinda :) But it was sure nice to have some time to spend with my husband alone. I didn't even mind the $10/hr it cost us to hire the babysitter, it was well worth it...and I'm sure we are going to be calling her again soon.

Just as a last note...I talked with the dad of the girl who watched the kids today (they are friends from church) and he said that the first thing she said about the kids once she got home was that they were so good! I'm like..."huh? MY kids?!" :) We'll see if she still thinks that way once she watches them at the camper. It's a lot different when you are at someone else's house who has a bazillion toys that you don't have! But she did say that they obeyed and cleaned up real nice, stuff like that. So that's always nice to hear. Makes the 'date' that much better!!


Random pics.....

While we were at the grocery store, I told Brayan (who was running around) that he better come back and sit down with his hands on his lap. Of course I was meaning ON the cart (they have a bench that the kids sit on) but being the little stinker that Brayan is, he just sat down right on the ground and put his hands in his lap. Well, I guess he listened since I didn't specify where to sit...but he was still doing it in defiance bc he knows where he should sit! It was cute though...I had to chuckle!

Ariella in the "bath"...which she actually likes now, took her awhile!

Look at how long this girls' hair is!! It's a good ways past her shoulders when it's wet and I comb it much more fun than the boys' hair! :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

yellow squash, anyone?

Have you ever had a bunch of yellow squash and had NO IDEA what to do with it?! It seems as though a LOT of people plant this in their garden, and then give most of it away because they have so much and don't know what to do with it! Well, we would LOVE to have that problem, but since the campground doesn't exactly have ample room for a garden, we'll have to wait to plant our own. BUT..we were blessed with a WHOLE bag full of yellow squash from a friend from church! Now, before I would have been thinking 'uh...what in the world am I going to do with this?!' but since we've been living our 'no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors, no msg, no packaged anything' lifestyle, it's been so fun to incorporate different veggies in mostly anything! Here is what I did with the yellow squash....

Added it to:
1) Lasanga--just chopped it up and put it in the sauce
2) Pizza --sliced it and placed it on homemade pizza as you would with pepperoni
3) Speghetti --same with lasanga
4) a Mexican style skillet--with chicken, onions, peppers, garlic, and salsa.
5) Alfredo--with brocolli, green onions, tomatoes and angel hair pasta...mmm...

6)Sauted it with onions, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes...yum!
7) Ate 'em fresh like a cucumber

8)and my favorite....made BREAD! Here is the awesome yellow squash recipe I came up with that we think is soooooo yummy! You can also use zuchinni substituted for the yellow squash.

Yellow Squash or Zuchinni Bread

3 eggs
2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 c honey
just under 1/2 cup coconut oil
just under 1/2 cup olive oil

2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 t. baking powder
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 t salt

2 heaping cups (peeled) shredded yellow squash or zuchinni

Mix first 6 ingredients in large bowl. Set aside. Mix next 5 ingredients together in small bowl. Add small bowl to large bowl. Mix. Stir in yellow squash/zuchinni. Bake at 350 for 50 mins. I make this into 2 smaller loafs (in regular size loaf pans, just doesn't get as high) and keep it in the fridge. LOVE this bread cold! Freezes AWESOME!

Enjoy that yellow squash!!

Here is a couple things the boys like doing outside.

Playing in the itsy bitsy sandbox I made. Remember this pool? It's the one Ariella brought to the beach! Well, not the exact one, but for $1.88, we got two :) Plus some sand for $2.50 at Lowes and it makes for hours of fun! (Minus when they track it inside all over the camper...then that's not so fun for mom!)


We bought a pack of cheap paintbrushes (3 for $3) at the dollar store, gave them a bucket of water and a board and away they went! They love to "paint"...and mom loves it too! No mess!...except when they dump the water...but let's not think about that!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

one of those days.

This is the kind of day I've had, just so you know......

Yesterday I went to Nathan's sister's house to visit, vacuum out my car (it's tradition to do that while I'm there since I can't here!), let the boys play on the trampoline and with their cousins, chat and watch movies, and do some laundry!! Doing laundry in a 'normal' washer is, like I've said before, sooooo incredibly amazing to me!!! I brought all my sheets and blankets over and made up the clean, fresh beds last night before we tucked the kids in.

Today Caedmon napped in our room and today he peed during nap. Which meant our clean fresh sheets were not so clean and fresh anymore. He even managed to get it on our top sheet and it went through to the mattress pad...nothing I could even salvage!

Then after I finished cleaning the dishes from supper, I went into the boys' room where Ariella was and saw that she had dug into her poopy diaper and smeared it all over Brayan's (clean) sheets! She actually took a monster truck and drove it through the poop and then drove the truck around his bed, over his blankets and even on his pillow case! Are you kidding me?!?

Ugh! So after getting her cleaned up, I ripped off the sheets, blankets and pillow case and threw them in the tote in the shower. I couldn't put them in the washer yet since I was waiting for our top sheet to get done drying. Then after the top sheet was done, I needed to put the rest of the clothes that were in the load with it back into the dryer for them to dry since I can't dry them all at the same time or nothing gets dry since the drum is so small! So basically I need to wash one sheet at a time, then dry it (which takes about 90 mins in my dryer) and then start another one!

I called Sarah (Nathan's sister) to tell her about the little episodes and she says "So what you're saying is that you're coming back over tomorrow to do laundry!" HA! I am actually considering it since my day seemed to go much smoother and faster when there was 1)other adults to talk to and 2)5 other people to help watch/entertain my kids!! Love you guys!!

So anyway, that is why this post is nothing more than a whiny post I's just been one of those days! (But I do get to spend the rest of my night helping someone with their budget...I'm so blessed!!)