Friday, February 10, 2012

Grape Jelly

We've discovered wild grapes all around our neighborhood during the late summer months.  Malia was the great gatherer last summer, but the rest of the family got in on an outing or two.  These grapes have a wonderful flavor, but they're pretty tart; they're also small and have a seed.  So I cooked them and strained out all the juice.  It seemed too busy to make it into jelly right away, so we froze the juice.  February seemed the right time to pull it out and get busy.

Here's about half of the finished product.  I'm really not into canning, so I always hold my breath wondering if it's going to work.  It did!  And we made it using the "no sugar added" stuff from Rainbow.  Since the juice was so tart, I added 3/4 cup honey to every 4 cups of juice, and substituted one cup of the wild grape juice for one cup of grape juice from concentrate (still 100% juice).  Everyone likes it and I'm happy about having some jelly that's a bit healthier!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Fun

Last year we made these cute little fellows out of Hershey's kisses, foam hearts, little pom poms, and movable eyes.

Levi made these butterflies for his co-op class, using construction paper, two sticks of gum, heart stickers, movable eyes, and pipe cleaners. 

This was a valentine for one of our girls using scraps of pretty paper and kisses.

We like homemade pizza, so this was our Valentine's Day edtion.

A few candles leftover from our wedding, our red tablecloth, a pretty placemat and flower....this was our centerpiece.

DJ had fun creating these little guys with sticks of gum and pipe cleaners.  I think he made one for each kid in his co-op class.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Kade turns 3 last October

Kade loved the whole fireman theme last October when he turned three (and he still does), so we made the cake with lots of little boy help.  Everyone ate some, but the best part was decorating and taking pictures, and of course, blowing out candles.  (He is a fireman, afterall).  The coat is size 24 months, and he continued to squeeze into it over and over again until Christmas when Kalai got him a new one.

We continue to give thanks for all our children, but I'm always mindfully aware of how fragile life is when I think of Kade's entrance into this world.  He is a challenge in so many ways as he learns that he must obey and follow someone other than himself.  He often leaves me scratching my head, trying to figure out what motivates him.  He hears my praise over his good deed and it's as if he says, "Rats, I really didn't mean to make her happy."  He has some very sweet moments, though, when he seriously relates his desire to follow Jesus.  He loves to laugh with his brothers, hide from mom, try funny words out, read firemen books over and over, and work hard with Daddy, whether it be shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, or moving furniture. He really is a little man. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Thoughts on movies and media

I came across this blog post today
and felt like it was very thought-provoking concerning the misuse of God's name  in our current movies, music, games, and literature.  While I think all followers of Christ do or should agree that personal use of God's name in vain is wrong, there is a lot of conflict of opinion on whether it's "okay" to watch a movie that misuses His name.  I personally cringe at the thought because I really feel like I'm dishonoring my Lord when I choose to watch something that misuses His name.  Just as we make choices to honor our mates, our entertainment choices reflect the honor we give to God and His ways and desires.  When we marry our mate, we give up all attachments to others and by all we do and say show that we have committed our lives to this one person.  Doesn't God deserve this even more!?  Why would I tolerate, excuse, or put up with something that directly dishonors Him? 

I don't want to be misunderstood here though.  Entertainment is something entirely different than our normal every day lives as we go about in the world.  We can't escape corruption or profanity completely.  We really shouldn't even try to escape it completely.  To do so would to be to cut ourselves off from the world, and then we would have no chance to shine as lights.  But entertainment is entirely a pleasure and a choice.  Does it reflect the honor due our Lord?  Anyway, I did appreciate the thoughts of Bob's blog post.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A January Day

At 5:15 this morning, Kent helped push me out of bed (literally), and and I made it the the ladies' gym. He's so good to me...really!  Morning is hard for me.  I take a long time to wake up, but am feeling better when I exercise regularly!  I bundled up because it was 4 degrees!

We had these  (substituted whole wheat flour for the white four and used honey instead of brown sugar) this morning for breakfast.  I'm always looking for ways to use the pumpkin in our freezer, and it's so good for us, too.

We started school at 9:06 (I do notice because we're always shooting for 9) or so with our Bible time, reading from Keys for Kids and Character Sketches.  The morning consisted of math and language with DJ, a grumpy Cody who went down early for his nap, a quick phone conversation with my sister, a 5 minute piano lesson with Levi, a tracing book with Kade, a minute or two helping Malia with geometry, redoing Levi's bandaid, assuring him that he will heal, and making soup for lunch.  I rarely sit down and play the piano, but I did this morning because I was feeling frustrated with attitudes and grumpiness of my children. 

We had potato soup and toast for lunch, followed by smoothies.  We make them occasionally in our heavy-duty mixer, and today they had frozen berries and bananas, pineapple and an orange, some grape juice concentrate, two handfuls of fresh spinach, a chunk of cabbage, and a couple small handfuls of carrots.  The younger boys announced them to be the BEST, and I felt happy because we used up some fruit and ate a good amount of fresh veges.

After lunch we worked on thank-you cards for the grandparents, worked on teaching Cody that the markers were still off-limits, helped DJ write his speech for co-op, read books to the little boys before their quiet time, and journaled on my blog.  (I miss journaling and blogging).