Saturday, August 13, 2011

We have had a busy weekend around here...lots going on! Bug and I got up at the crack of dawn on Thursday to take the dogs to the vet. I am so thankful that they all check out heart worm free. We refilled Lady's prescription for heart worm preventative and got the tag team duo fixed up. They also got their shots updated so we are good to go for the next year! Let me tell you it was quite fun taking three dogs in my car! Phew - it smells like hound...gotta get out the Rainbow and vacuum real good! Here's our Lady Bug in the front seat - she wants to drive. LOL

Bug rode in the back seat with the Tag Team Duo - let me tell you he had a blast...and
it was quite funny too! What a pair these guys are...we sure are blessed to have them!
Update on the school preparation project...

Here are some of the games that Bug and I got cut out - I
put them all together in folders. I am so excited to have this resource!
Some of the games I put together for Bug!
More games for Red!
Well I got the schedule books put together. Now I just gotta get to Mardel to do some laminating! I can't wait to seem them all finished! I am so excited! Oh my it's already mid August I better get in gear!

So last weeks shopping trip and ad's brought home some great produce and Hubby and I decided we needed to do some more home canning! Pineapples, salsas, pickled peppers and Jams!
Bug helped to make the plum puree - he didn't an awesome job - squeezing
every last drop of good stuff out of those plums! W00-Hoo!
Red was my jam making partner - he helped to measure and stir! Yum - it's very tasty!
Black Plum Freezer Jam (oh this is my fav these days - so yummy!)

I had a small amount of the black plum puree left over so I decided to try
something new and mix some pears with it to see how it came out. I chopped
the pears in the mini-chopped and mixed them with the black plum puree. Oh it is
yummy! It has little chunks of pear running through it - I didn't mind and Daddy
didn't, Bug thought it tasted like apple - Red hasn't tried this one yet. He's my
"jelly-head" so we shall see how he likes it.

Bug loves to help chop - he helped dice the pears.
Diced pears ready for jars, syrup and water-bath!

Pineapples, Pineapples, Pineapples! Boy are they a pain to cut up...all those
eye things - but so yummy and so worth it!
Thanks to my hubby who helped cut these babies!
Pineapples and Pears in a very light syrup ready to go into the water-bath!
In our garden area - we have a blackberry bush that we brought home from Arkansas several years ago. We had gone up to visit my Dad's side of the family and on our way home we did the whole lazy trip, junkin', tour of Arkansas sort of thing - well at one point we ended up at a very cool nursery somewhere in Southern Arkansas. We found this blackberry bush and heaven knows how we fit it in the car with two little ones and all our junk, but we did. Well let me tell you - we call this thing the Devil Bush. It's has nothing short of 3 trillion thorns. It's crazy! But the guy assured us that it was super hearty and once it took good root it would produce like crazy. Plus it was super cheap - I mean literally I think we paid like $8 or something! But anyway - we got the devil bush home (wrapped in a blanket in the and somehow Hubby got it planted, but not without being attacked several times. LOL - that's been about three years ago I think. Since then we have got a few handfuls of berries off it each summer, but let me tell you this thing is growing. We hope it eventually takes over the fence on that side of the garden. If nothing else it serves as deterrent to burglars. (Not that I think a lot of burglars would try to get to our house via the garden, but anyway...back on track Wendy! LOL) This thing is crazy that's for can be walking within 10 feet and it will literally reach out and grab you...and once it gets you - oh my - you need three men and a surgeon to get you free! LOL - But anyway back to the jam. This year Brian (in his armor) picked a few handfuls of berries before they birds got to them. Well it was so hot and dry that the poor (ha) devil bush didn't produce anything more. I put those berries in the freezer and thought - I will do something with them later...and promptly forgot they were there. Then yesterday I was thinking about the left over pears I had and what to do with them. Then I remembered the blackberries in the freezer. So I put the blackberries and the chopped pears in the blender with a touch of sugar and a little simple syrup and blended them up! That became the fruit for my Freezer Jam. I think I could have used more blackberries to bring out the taste more, but it was quite yummy. The pear was definitely prominent, but yummy. And it's so very pretty! This is something I want to try again soon! (Watching for blackberries to be on sale!) :)
Pear-Blackberry Freezer Jam! It's so pretty!
We took a break from the chopping, stirring and mixing to eat the delish pizza
Daddy came home with! Yeah! He had to run to wal-mart to pick up lids because
I had neglected to make sure I had enough to go with the jars we had retrieved
from Uncle Doug's house. But it worked out well - he needed to fill up his car - check,
got dinner - pizza - check, grabbed a few items at wm - check! I even got my favorite
kind of pizza - Cheese with no sauce - yum-0! Yep that's right I ate a big old bread
stick for dinner last night...and no I don't feel guilty! ;)
Here is Red's Pizza - Pepperoni - NO cheese. You know it's been 9 months or so since we found out Red was allergic to cow's milk products so it's been a long long time since we actually ordered pizza. We usually make our own here at home so we can adjust as needed. But in the midst of our canning fiasco last night - take out just made so much more sense. So we decided to try it out. Let me tell you Red was so excited to have his very own pizza from a pizza store and big! LOL - I loved seeing his face when Daddy brought it in.
It's the little things in life...

Hot water bath for the maters...I noticed that these Romas have a
much thicker skin that the big round ones we used last time.
The Jalapenos are chopped and ready to go and the tomatoes are peeled.
Bug was my tomato chopping partner - he is pretty good with a knife and
loves to help in the kitchen (I know - I don't know where he gets that...from his
Daddy I guess - but I certainly don't discourage it!) He chopped and chopped
and chopped with me...thank goodness too - 15 pounds of maters is a lot!
Daddy was the onion chopper. We joked about him cutting them out on the porch - after
he started cutting we were all thinking that we should have actually followed through - boy
were those things stout! We were all bawling before it was over! LOL
Red was my helper with the tomato transfer. ;) He scooped the
tomatoes into the blender for me. Great Job Red - I love you!

The big ol' pot of Salsa! Tasty!

Our finished products! We ended up with 6 quarts of salsa; 3 quarts of diced pears; 5 quarts and 1 pint of pickled jalapenos; 8 quarts and 1 pint of pineapple tidbits; 2 half-pints of Black Plum freezer jam; 2 half-pints of Pear-Black Plum Freezer Jam and 2 half-pints of Pear-Blackberry Freezer Jam. Oh I am so excited and so was my sweet hubby! We had so much fun...not only making good foods for our family, but spending time it!

Today was Teacher Appreciation Day at Office Depot - well the family and I go every year! Yeah! We got sausage biscuits and checked out the sales. I also got a great new tote bag that had a new pencil bag and lots of goodies inside it. Coupons, pens, markers, highlighters, rubberbands and paperclips - oh yeah! I love school supplies! ;)
Today was also supposed to be the Summer reading carnival at the library - but
it was postponed due to the extreme heat (funny since today it decided to rain - lol).
But they had a clown for the kids to watch and the carnival store open so they could
use some of their tickets to buy toys and books and stuff. Bug read 864 books this
summer! Woo-Hoo! I am one proud Momma that's for sure! He got 274 tickets in
all - oh my! At the carnival store he picked a drago, a book and a hot wheel (and
didn't make a dent in his tickets. LOL - it's gonna be a long carnival day! LOL

Red was the Top Reader is his age group again this year! Woo-Hoo! Go Red!
This is his second year in a row! He had 664 books and got 174 tickets.
He picked out a batman book, a stuffed skunk named bandit, a brown horse
and a woody and bullseye set. He was quite excited about the store!

Well that's the latest from our wonderfully wet fencepost...boy oh boy are we grateful for the wet part. Now if we can just convince those rain clouds to stay for a few weeks.


Angela said...

Wow, I love watching you guys prepare all your recipes for canning. Y'all are becoming quite the experts! I think you need to lead our next canning party, woman. I'm really excited to try canning salsa and am interested in your recipe. Doesn't it feel so good to stand back and look at what you've prepared for your family? You've got to tell me where you found that old colander...Tom, his mother and I were just talking about those the other day...I want one! LOL We had one when I was growing up that had the wooden "thingy"...:) You guys are such a great team, it's a blessing watching your little family work together. Thanks for sharing!

Suanna said...

If you lived closer I might just come visit to see all your canning. You should invest in a pineapple Wedger from the Pampered Chef if you plan to do much with pineapples. They make it really easy.