Tuesday, September 15, 2015

An Attempt to Catch Up!

I don't even know why I haven't been blogging . . . too much else going on, though nothing earth shattering or, really, enough to keep me from blogging . . .

So let's see . . . some highlights of the last few weeks . . .

My parents have been here quite a bit, working on adding stairs and a small deck to the back of our garage so we can access the storage space above the garage. It's almost done. The girls have all gotten experience screwing down decking and . . . I"m not sure what all else.  Little Bit has loved having tons of time with Mama as her personal playmate.

I started doing a separate Bible with Little Bit. Using the Jesus Storybook Bible. We read one story each week and then do one or more related activities. Depending on how much time we have and what I come up with. The first week we read the introduction (you know it's a great book when you want to read the introduction to your six year old!) and I printed out a big puzzle printable that someone created to go along with it. Little Bit and I had fun putting it together, it took up most of the living room!

I turned 40 in August. And have a wonderfully low-key, just us family, kind of birthday (my favorite kind!).

And, to celebrate turning 40, I got glasses LOL. I had glasses/contacts from 5th grade on, but a year or two before the twins were born I had lasik done. I was SOOOO thankful to not have to worry about glasses or contacts while dealing with infant twins. But over the last year or so I've noticed my vision getting worse again, so finally got around to going and getting glasses again. At this point, I wear them for driving and randomly other times. Sometimes at the computer, other times they annoy me at the computer . . . I figure once I get to the point of wearing them all the time, I'll go back to contacts, because I hate glasses, but for now, I'm dealing with glasses.

The girls are all very not impressed . . . when they said they didn't like the frames I'd chosen, I asked what kind of frames I should have gotten and the unanimous answer was, you just shouldn't wear glasses! I suspect it's mainly a matter of them not being used to seeing me with glasses, and they'll get over it eventually.

We've all been getting our baby fix regularly, thanks to our friend Sonya's new baby. She and I, and another mom, have been getting together to plan out Sabbath School for the rest of the year (they both work in the 0 to 3 yr old class, along with my big girls, and all 3 of us work in the 4-6 yr old class, so we've been figuring out stuff for both classes. And, discussing a small, informal, homeschool co-op we will be starting in a couple weeks. Little Bit has had fun playing with the other kids, but also taking her turn holding the baby. Lexie and Ashlyn have been great help at helping to keep the younger kids playing together, and taking turns holding the baby (notice a trend?). As well as taking a part in our planning since they help and teach too.

Little Bit found a kid-sized bench in the shade.
Last Sunday, we took a field trip to Steamtown National Park. They theoretically had some special extra exhibits and tours, but we never really figured out what was supposed to be happening when. And it was really hot, so that made it less appealing to try to figure things out. The highlight for Ashlyn was when we happened upon a K-9 cop demonstrating how his dog helps him. Unfortunately, they were playing music so loudly over the sound system that we couldn't actually HEAR his demonstration, but at least got to see the dog doing it's thing.

Climbing around in a "box car" full of "cargo"
We went through several engines, and other train cars. Little Bit got a start on her Junior Ranger, though she wasn't able to finish it because of the extra stuff going on (Lexie and Ashlyn earned their Steamtown Junior Ranger when they were 6, so didn't feel the need to try again, at least not on a hot, crowded day).

So it was a fun day, but could have been a lot more fun with some basic communication and organization on the part of the park.

Ashlyn's garden has been producing TONS of tomatoes, so I've been making and freezing tomato sauce for this winter. LOVING my vitamix! I just wash and core the tomatoes and chop them in half or so (to fit more in at a time) and toss them in the vitamix. When the vitamix is full I turn it on and let it turn them into juice/sauce. Then I pour it into my biggest pot and let it cook down all day. I'm not seasoning at all, that way we can turn the sauce into whatever we want when we use it. Since even my biggest pot ends up cooking down to only a 3 quarts (give or take) of sauce, I haven't bothered to can the sauce, I'm just putting it in freezer bags in the freezer. Thinking this winter, when having extra heat in the house will be a GOOD thing instead of a bad thing, I may pull it all out (along with some tomatoes that I froze whole last summer and never did anything with), heat it all back up and can it, to create more room in my freezer, and for easier quick use.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things we've been doing, but that's at least a brief overview of what we've been up to the last few weeks.

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