T Rex Family

T Rex Family

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Plum Canning Extravaganza

This past week my mom called me up and said she and my sister had acquired a "couple buckets" of plums. She asked if I had any idea what to do with them. My suggestion was to make plum jam. I was thinking a couple of small buckets would make 2 or 3 batches and to allocate four hours to do so.

Well, two buckets was approximately 500 plums...

My family motto: Never do anything small.

It was a lot of hard work but also a great time with my family. T Rex Dad was in charge of T Rex wrangling and making grocery store runs for more and more pectin and more and more sugar - yes, he did take T Rex with him (only one major melt down on the first grocery store run).

My mom's hands - she wore the peeler out!

The assembly line...
From right to left: my mom and brother-in-law peeling plums, and my sister chopping. I was in charge of all aspects of cooking (trust me, I was the lucky one). I had all 5 burners on the stove going for eight hours straight. Any guesses what my gas bill is going to be?

So after peeling and pitting 500 plums, 30 lbs of sugar, 56 jars, and 8 hours later we finished the 8th batch of jam!

Let's see that finished product again...

My mother-in-law is getting some huckleberries next trip up north so that's next on the canning project list.

What did you do this weekend?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A Few Random Thoughts (T Rex Pants, Pregnancy, & School)

Since we won't find out for another week or so what the gender of Baby 2.0 is, I'm trying to get pants made for T Rex to wear this fall. (Because if 2.0 is a girl I know I'll be sewing overtime to make "girly" outfits!)

Here are the pants I made. The blue ones with stars are my favorite - I like the red contrasting thread. He already has a couple pairs of the striped ones that he's nearly worn out. I replaced the elastic in the one pair twice. But they are our favorite so I had to make more.

(If you click on the photo you will get a better look at the prints.)

T Rex Dad and I were both a little tearful when we saw how large these pants seem. He's just growing up so fast!

I also started fall semester for school. Taking a pharmacotherapeutics class and nursing theory. I pretty much slept through my undergrad pharma class because it was at the end of the day after 48 hours of clinical rotations for the week. I cannot believe I still got an A in that class. I think the professor pitied me because she had me for two of those clinical days at the VA hospital - and that was quite the experience! But after working for a drug company for 3 years I grew to LOVE pharma and am really enjoying the class. We will learn how to prescribe drugs for our patients - very overwhelming to consider doing that. The theory class - well, I don't think there is any hope of that not being boring but I'm going to give it a whirl!

(Yes, more energy, less vomiting - but not entirely stopped, and I've actually gained a couple pounds. 20 week ultrasound next week - getting lots of kicks too. It's amazing to me how entirely different this pregnancy experience is from my first. Anyone else experience this?)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - 4H Fun

This past weekend our equine daughter and her charming rider rode at the fair. They've been riding together for two years. The fair is the culmination of the year's 4H project. They worked extremely hard this year and won too many ribbons to even list in this posting.

Here are a few photos taken at the fair during their Western riding class. They took second in this particular class.

FYI - BlackBerry is twice the age of her rider! Not a bad "lope" for an old gal!

Here is BlackBerry at her new home. She will be staying with my sister-in-law for a while. Taking a break from giving lessons and stable life. Especially since I am out of commission from riding for a while.

Congratulations to BlackBerry's rider for all her efforts to end the year so successfully. And thank you for all you've done for our special equine daughter. I've never seen her look so good!

For more Wordful Wednesday fun visit:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Profile Pics

T Rex Mom...

18 weeks (smaller this time - so far only 1 lb weight gain)

T Rex

21 Months

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What Does This Mean?

Do I talk on the phone too much???

(Very short video - about 13 seconds)

T Rex loves to call his Dad, Grandma & Grandpa, and "Nan" but as soon as they talk to him he gets star struck and won't talk back!

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Little Bit of Heaven...

We had T Rex's friend Joseph over for the afternoon/evening. The boys had so much fun together. I wish I had taken videos of their peek-a-boo session or bath together but they are so busy these days it's tough capture those moments on camera.

However, after they were bathed and clean from their adventures, we all snuggled up together to watch a "show" as T Rex says or "moo-vie" as Joseph says. Regardless, it was heaven being sandwiched between the two cutest little toddlers! If you've never had this experience, you need to give it a try - it truly is heaven on earth!

Seriously, heaven...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wordful Wednesday - Humming Bird Friends...

The long awaited humming bird photos...

Our feeder has been Grand Central Station lately - or at least for the past month and a half. And since all the neighbors have feeders hanging off their back fences like us, it has become Hummingbird Lane!

Morning feeding...

Evening feeding...

For two weeks we had one male who dominated the feeder and only allowed 1 or 2 other females access. During this time the feeder went from needing to be filled every other day to a filling every 5 - 6 days. He would just camp out on the fence and attack anyone intruding on his feeder.

He would perch all day to ensure only those deemed "worthy" used the feeder.

Ariel "bird fighting" - experienced advice - don't get in the way!

In the past two days he has disappeared and a new hummer has taken over and is much more liberal with who she lets use the feeder. And we are back to filling every other day. I'm not sure what happened to him but he may have finally met his match or moved onto dominating another feeder.

Our new dominant hummer...

And last, but certainly not least, my favorite bird watching companion...

For more Wordful Wednesday fun, visit:

Monday, August 10, 2009

What Kind of Diapers??? Results are in...

Diaper poll results...
Pampers was the most popular.

For T Rex we started out using Huggies because we seemed to always have coupons. Then we started getting them at Costco. One day, the day care accidentally switched our diapers and we started getting the Costco Kirkland brand and decided they were better and cheaper. From there, T Rex started potty training at 14 months and diaper usage went way down. We still have a big box in the garage for nights but mostly we use his underwear and Pull-ups for going out. We did try 7th Generation chlorine free diapers when T Rex had his bad rash and they were actually pretty good.

I think for the next little one we are going to give cloth diapers a try - at least once we are past the newborn stage - I remember changing T Rex 20 times a day when he was between 2 weeks and 6 weeks old (and EVERY diaper had stool in it). I don't think I want to buy or wash that many cloth diapers.

I am going to try to make some and also put my mom on diaper sewing duty. Ally at Mommy Love (sorry, it's private or I would give you the link) makes her own and it seems like it's not too tough. And since I have miles of fabric in the closet it will go to good use. In those early newborn days we'll probably use the chlorine free kind again. I might even give those new G diapers a try too. I'd love to hear any feed back you have on any of these thoughts.

Moving on...

(I know you are all in suspence!!!)

The winner of the Target Gift Card - Katie!!!

Katie and I actually went to high school together oh so long ago. I love that we have been able to connect again so many years later. And now she has a cute little toddler just a bit younger than our T Rex!

A small tidbit about Katie that I remember (other than she was one of the few other girls with me in all those honors and AP classes) - she seemed to always be winning the state spelling bee championship. That girl could spell anything from A to Z!

Congratulations, Katie!!!

Stay tuned for the next giveaway coming soon...

Friday, August 7, 2009

Fruits of My Labor...

It's that time of year again...

Peach canning!!!

Every year I can peaches and peach jam- mostly for Christmas gifts and the rest for us. I've actually become quite efficient at it these days. It used to take me all day and I would need at least 3 - 4 people helping.

Yesterday, my mom came to help. She was supposed to just be watching T Rex while I worked but she started helping while he napped. Since he took a 2 hour nap, we pretty much finished everything and just had to let the peaches process for 40 minutes. I had already cleaned the jars the night before.

I ordered a case of organic peaches from a local company who delivers right to the door step. I purchased organic sugar from Costco - jam takes about 7 1/2 cups and I used about 4 cups for the sugar syrup for the peaches. A case was roughly 20 lbs and it yielded: 11 cups of jam and 8 jars of peaches. Everything turned out so lovely I might get another case to do more next week. The quality of peaches makes all the difference. I also use "Kerr" brand pectin for the jam - it's never failed me yet and the jam is setting up nicely as of this morning. Always follow the instructions exactly!!! And never double it!

Here is the website I have used for years for all my canning needs.

Because I do so much canning I have a fair stockpile of jars. Plus, I always tell everyone I give jam or peaches to, "If you return the jars, you might get more!" Works like a charm. Remember this if you receive a package with canned goods from me this year!

(P.S. Visit T Rex's blog to see what I mean when I say he loves it! Which, by the way, he still has more followers that me! Is that funny or what?!?)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Giveaway Updates...

A couple of giveaway updates...

June's giveaway winner was Kim over at "The Child". After a couple of delays, the toddler pack for her little one was completed and put in the mail - for a second time. Yes, the US Postal Service worker was so distracted playing with T Rex that she forgot to have me complete the customs paperwork so the package could be shipped to Canada. Luckily, the second time we saw her it was resolved. I think she just wanted us to stop in again. How can I be too down on someone who thinks my kid is cute?!? Too bad she didn't give him any free stickers (i.e. stamps) to play with!!!

Here are some photos of the completed toddler backpack...

Front view - you might be able to see the pocket I added.

Rear view - yes, those are Thomas the Tank Engines

By the way, you should read Kim's posting about their recent adventures to see Thomas - it was pretty funny!

Secondly, July's giveaway winner for the Goat's Milk Soap is Caitlin over at "It's Spelled C-A-I-T-L-I-N". Totally ironic that she would win because she was the one who introduced me to this latest indulgence of mine! Caitlin is also having her second baby about 3 weeks after we are. I'm telling you - it's in the water here in Idaho! Does anyone need me to ship you some of our water?

Lastly, I have decided to make the "What Kind of Diapers?" posting August's giveaway. Remember one person will be randomly selected to receive a Target gift card. Six days left to get those comments in and cast your vote.

I am loving all the comments I am getting but I can hardly keep up assigning a number to each and then randomly selecting one after adjusting for followers. So, this is how I will probably start running the giveaways from now on. However, please do not stop those comments from coming. I really do absolutely love reading them. And T Rex LOVES to check his. You'll see what I mean in a few days on his blog!

Congratulations to my winners - maybe it will be you next time!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Just Because...

Just because I'm feeling a little proud at the moment...

Grades were just posted for my graduate level human pathophysiology class.

I got an A!

Why am I excited? Well, it's my first graduate level class, it was a four credit class done in six weeks, and I was puking my guts out most of those six weeks as well as chasing the T Rex. A small victory, but it's the small ones that make up the big ones!

Thanks for sharing the moment with me!