"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Because, there's not really much going on around here...but so much going on at the same time. Etc.: additional odds and ends; extras.  

Believe it or not, I originally had four separate posts going here, but good grief I am so behind on blogging, I'm throwing them all together for a nice Etc. casserole.  Bon appetit!

For their birthdays, the girls asked their friends to bring boxes of popice (instead of a gift) to their par-tay. Ryleigh briefly considered asking grandpas and grandmas for popice as well, but decided it was her last chance to ask for an easel for "like a long time, 'til Christmas!"...so, family brought presents and friends brought popice.  LOTS of popice.  About 1400, in fact.  Why don't I have a picture of the mountain of popice in our garage?  I'm busy, ya know?

Popice.  You know what I'm talking about?  Several of our friends did not.  Those!  Freezer pops, ice pops, flavor ice, pop ice.  Popice.  Evidently everyone calls them something different.  

I promise you Rowen and Maeson had FIVE each, and when I finally cut them off I got all kinds of toddler attitude.  Oh, no you didn't!  Of course, DJ Steele had left by then, and I had to drag the sugar-crashed naughtiness home to the tub alone.  Meanest mom, ever.

All five kids slept in Maeson's bed all weekend, which goes surprisingly well.  Helps if they're so tired they can't think straight once they've crashed from the sugar.

I started making smoothies with this kefir (the white goo on top those cherries) I got from my friend.  We still eat tons of yogurt (except Mitch), but I figure it can't hurt to add this to the mix.  No one has seemed to notice taste-wise (even Mitch).  Reise (Miss Sensitive Stomach) has been taking Culturelle and I was originally hoping this could replace it.  We'll see.  It's hard to be consistent with it, and it's definitely more work than opening a packet and stirring it into her drink at breakfast :) 

T-ball is over and I can't lie, I'm OK with it.  It was fun and all, and we'll be looking forward to coach-pitch next year, but I'm fine with taking back that time slot on Saturdays! 

Nope, that's not our grandma.  Just a nice lady sharing her shade with the boys.  She kept saying they weren't bothering her...yeah, right.  I kind of wanted to climb under there with them, it was hotter than blazes!

Rugger is so pumped about that trophy, it has his name engraved in it and everything.  What do people do with this stuff, eventually?  It'll stay on the living room book shelf front and center for a few months don't worry, but long term...what's the plan?  Hmmm....

Gets me every single time, them being sweet to each other, unprompted. 

It's not easy, parenting.  Once in a while they throw us a tiny little bone and it feels like we've got this.  Once in a while!  Amongst the whining, crabbing, fighting, attitudening, sassing...tiny little slivers of hope that they'll turn into compassionate, happy, healthy, contributing members of society.  Thank you, God, for those little slivers that keep us going over here.

I can can, and I love it!  It makes me feel like a Pioneer.  I'm only 30, so it's not like I don't have plenty of years ahead of me to do stuff like can.  It's so easy, practical and fun, I just don't know why I haven't done it before now!  Duh!

We got cherries in flats {cheap!} last week, so I made a bunch of jam and cherry pie filling.  I found this blog with tons of cherry pie filling recipes that look awesome.  I didn't use her pie filling recipe, tho.  I used a much simpler variation I found on allrecipes.com  4 cups cherries, 1 cup sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch.  Why, I ask again, have I not done this sooner?  Sheltered!

I've only ever made one pie with homemade crust, and it was u.g.l.y.  My sister in law said she'd help me figure out the crust thing.  However, pie isn't really my number one dessert choice anyway.  Unless it's my mom's apple pie.  Or Mitch's mom's peach.  Warm, with ice cream on top.  Mmmmmmm....  Oh, where were we?  Cherry pie!  Not really my cup of tea.  Cherry cream cheese coffee cake...right up my alley!

I also made some low-sugar jam using the cherries and strawberries I had in the freezer.  It's delish!  Mitch is still a big Welch's grape jelly fan, but I'm trying hard to convert him.  The kids all prefer the jam by now, which I figure has to be better for them.  Hello, real fruit!

By the way, me likening myself to a Pioneer is a big fat joke.  I could never survive without things like wet wipes, air conditioning, contact lenses, indoor plumbing...  In addition, I had no idea there were different kinds of cherries.  Pie cherries?  Bing?  Um...I used the kind Super Saver had on sale for less than a dollar per pound.  Washington is ringing a bell.  I might have used the "wrong" kind of fruit, but I tasted everything and it checked out.  Pioneer!

Choosing to love,


Jenny said... Best Blogger Tips

Luke still has his YMCA T-Ball trophy on display in his bedroom. He's 17 today. :) And just last week I asked John if he wishes I was a Pioneer Woman with the canning, sewing, etc. He said if I want to be, he'll support me. But I know we both realize that's just not my thing! Cute blog!

christiancari said... Best Blogger Tips

I knew exactly what you meant by Popice! And I've wondered about kefir too. My mom used to can all sorts of stuff, but I haven't jumped on that train just yet. I remember it being a LOT of work, for all of us. :-)

Becky@IfTheseWallsSpoke said... Best Blogger Tips

So far my kids are young enough that they like to help pit cherries or wash berries...but that will change I'm sure with time :)

Lynne said... Best Blogger Tips

Weren't you the mom who laughed at my begging for a bone to be thrown by the teacher while Eric (my baby turned 6'1" teenager in a snap - seriously it was THAT fast!) was roaming around was in Costa Rica without his mom? LOL! Love those bones!

I have a pressure canner and know how to use it if you ever want to expand to salsa, meat, etc. Closet pioneer woman here. :)

Becky@IfTheseWallsSpoke said... Best Blogger Tips

Lynne, you are one of my favorites, just FYI. Mitch says "throw me a bone" all the time. It's one of those sayings that never gets old for me. I laugh every time! I am IN for the pressure canning, once my garden throws me some bones over here!