...when you're having fun! Well...I had at least a couple of days of "fun". We spent the Labor Day weekend at a cabin in Island Park with the Sponenburghs. It was really a nice get-away...and we even took the kids to Yellowstone Park. Sadly, my kids have never been there, even though it is so close to us! I guess that I just don't really think that you should have to deal with crowds in nature...isn't that why you go into the mountains? To get away from it all? It was not the best day for visiting the park...it was SUPER BUSY, but I have to admit we still had a good time, and my kids were glad to finally see the park. Thanks Andrea and Casey...as those who know me at all, it is nothing short of a small miracle that David and I (who are totally anti-social) would actually go somewhere with someone besides family, and actually have a great time! Just in case you wondering (and if not, I'll tell you anyways), Andrea (or Andy as I call her) has been a friend since high school. She is just the cutest little thing, and I am like this gigantic person next to her. I think she is the only person I have consistently stayed in touch with since high school. I have some great photos of her and I from high school I will have to share sometime...
When we got back in town, Russell was so PUMPED because grandpa took him Dove hunting. He was on cloud nine getting to go hunting with his grammpa!
I have settled back into the everyday life here at home. David is approaching his busiest time of year (not that I can imagine him being gone anymore than he already is...I feel like a single mom). He is so busy coordinating everything, working ground and preparing for the upcoming potato harvest.
The garden is never-ending at this point. I have been canning and freezing like crazy! I have froze peas, carrots, green peppers, strawberries, raspberries and corn...can I just say that we make a whole LOT of freezer corn! David plants the whole hill behind our house in corn, and we all get together and freeze enough to feed everyone during harvest and then enough to feed our family, his parents, each of his siblings and even my mom comes and helps! We go through a lot of corn! We also all get together and make TONS of strawberry freezer jam. I think that with my family alone, we go through about 1 container of jam a week (it mostly goes on the weekly homemade bread, PB&J sandwiches and often on waffles).
I have also been canning: pickled banana peppers, dill pickles (slices and whole pickles), bread and butter pickle slices, strawberry syrup, green beans and next week will probably be spent canning salsa and spaghetti sauce since my 25 tomato plants are about ripe! I have peach trees up in our orchard that are getting ripe and so those will be another item for next week. I know, I know...I must be crazy...but besides being healthy and good for you, the home grown/froze/canned stuff just tastes a lot better. And lets face it, I have four kids to feed. I think I get the desire to do this stuff from my grandma Russell (yes...Russell is my maiden name, and it is also my son's name since I didn't have any brothers to carry on the family name). She always grew a huge garden and canned the most delicious things. It doesn't help that my husband is a farmer, and he loves growing anything, so he is always buying and planting things. He even planted a bunch of cold hardy apricot and cherry trees in our orchard this year...and I have already dog eared some blueberries in a catalog I want to order for next year. Gosh...it's never ending, but I obviously enjoy it, or I wouldn't do it! I will admit though...I am looking forward to the gardening season to be over for a while...I need a rest! I am so thankful for the seasons...I love the summer, and I love yard work/garden work/playing outside, but there comes a time when I would just like to relax a little and stay inside.
School is going great for the kids...we still have a few moments of nervousness every day before Lily goes to class, but she is getting better, and makes it through once we get her there. My sister is coming home from Canada today to visit for a couple of weeks, and I can't wait to see her and my little niece Addilyn. We have some fun sewing projects planned, and I am looking forward to spending time with her and my mom.
PHEW...now that my post has gone on and on forever! I am so sorry I didn't get the winners of the cookie post up sooner. Thanks SO MUCH to everyone for sharing your favorite cookie recipes!!! I can't wait to try them! I have had a lot of requests for more info about my freezer meal swaps, so I will try to put together a post on this subject sometime soon (time permitting). Congrats to
CHAROLETTE A. and ELISE DEMILLE email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your cookbook!
Oh...and just a note to anyone who might have emailed me in the past few weeks. I have been having some real issues with my email, and it deleted a lot of messages that I know I didn't get to reply too. PLEASE email me again, and don't be offended if I didn't answer you!!! I'm off to cook dinner and watch Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace (two of the only shows I actually watch) in the process...I hope you are all having a wonderful week! Hugs!