Monday, September 28, 2009

Does anybody else have this problem?

Counters literally covered in dirty dishes? Even the table has no space:
That's what happens when mom has been in a crafty mood! I've done really well lately keeping up with all the chores, we've had a good rhythm to our days and the girls help each morning and evening with their own chores. But then I started having fun! We were in desperate need of some new pot holders. Of course when I mentioned making some Anna and Josie wanted me to make each of them one first. Josie chose alligator material, Anna chose blue checked on one side and yellow striped on the other (which matched the apron I made her for Christmas one year) and then of course they all had to have dark purple on the outside. Here are the finished products:
A clean kitchen and table was definitely not a part of the finished product. We may have some fun new potholders but no clean pots to use them with! We had to eat our smoothie on the picnic table outside this afternoon because, as you saw, there was nowhere to eat at our table inside:

Anna and Josie had fun taking turns giving Ruthie little bites. Ruthie loved it:When Mitch brought in a huge bouquet of beets and beet tops for dinner tonight he had a fun time trying to find somewhere to put them, something to wash them in, and somewhere to chop them. He was resourceful and pulled out our last cutting board that actually fits over the top of the sink. You found some space, Mitch! We were cracking ourselves up.
I even got to use my new hot pad!
And later that night I made sure the kitchen looked like this:
Before I let myself do any more of this:

Ssshhh! Don't tell Anna! That's the quilt I'm making her for her birthday. I'm pretty excited about it. It's actually one that I started when I was pregnant with her and I finally decided to finish it hopefully in time for her 4th birthday less than two weeks away. I've been working on it every night after they are finally in bed asleep. That used to be the time that I would finish up any dishes I hadn't finished during the day so I've been getting behind on the dishes again, especially when my time during the day that should be spent doing dishes is spent making fun (and needed) potholders. Oh well. It's been a fun trade-off, I must say.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Change of Seasons

-An extra warm, cozy blanket on my bed last night (made with love by my sister Becky). I loved snuggling down under the weight of it with cold air on my cheeks.

-Find all the winter jackets in a hurry! Bundle up, vests on underneath, hoodies up. Ruthie wasn't quite sure of what to make of all these layers.

-We covered the tomato plants with a tarp last night. Josie and Daddy went out after dark and tied the corners down . We have so many green tomatoes on the vine still and we didn't want to lose them all.

-Grey skies. Clouds fogging up the top of Green Mountain and the Flatirons.

-The last of summer's hot weather bounty from our garden, brought in before it freezes.

-Chard and Kale still going strong! Cold weather won't hurt these yummy veggies for awhile. You can't even tell we've harvested two huge bunches for dinner in the last few day.
The season is definitely changing around here. I am enjoying it. Hunker down, get out all the pants and sweaters that have been hiding in the back of the closet all summer long, actually wear shoes, feel the chill in the air, watch the leaves just starting to turn... I like the change. I'm sure I'll be tired of the cold weather and layers of clothing long before we are done with them around here, but I like the new freshness of it right now, the excitement of watching the cycle of the seasons happening right before our eyes experienced with every sense in our bodies.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who's Who?

I was asked recently if Josie and Ruthie were twins, and I was often asked in the past if Anna and Josie were twins before Anna's hair got so long. I get told that I have 'strong genetics!' and constantly get people telling me that my girls look so much alike everywhere we go. So here's your chance. See if you can tell who's who is in each of these pictures.









Post a comment to say who's who and I'll let you know by Friday who each picture really is!


Drum roll please! ..............

#1: Ruthie

#2: Anna

#3: Ruthie

#4: Josie

#5: Anna

#6: Josie

#7: Anna

#8: Ruthie

#9: Anna

#10: ME!!!

Congratulations to Aunt Becky, Grandma Jo and Grandma Judy who got all of them right! I'm impressed with your skills, ladies! (Grandma Jo and Grandma Judy e-mailed me their answers, in case you were wondering.) I had fun reading all the responses, both on the blog and by e-mail. Those last two ugly baby pictures of Anna and I had to be included because I thought it was uncanny how alike our faces and facial expressions were, not because I was mean or trying to be tricky:) Holly thought I should post another picture of myself so you could see how much the girls do look like me, in case there was still any doubt.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Tricks

The girls had a few new tricks they have been wanting to show you.

This first video is of Anna and Josie jumping off the picnic table. That's not new for Anna, but it is for Josie!

Anna had her first ballet class this week. (She loved it! Thank you Mema and Papa!) While she was in her class Josie, Ruthie and I watched gymnastics next door, since they had a big viewing window and the ballet classroom didn't. What Josie liked the most was watching the kids do the tumbling, or backwards somersaults off of an elevated mat. We had to come home and try it ourselves. Anna and Josie are both experts now (they're doing it off our bed onto the twin bed below, but 1 or 2 couch cushions stacked up on the floor does just as well):

The last video of the day is of a trick that Anna has been wanting to show you all for a while now. She found some new 'super high!' jumping off places at the playground. Here she is climbing and jumping:

What post would be complete without Ruthie's new tricks? Here's a picture of her standing on her own. She has pretty good balance now. No steps yet, though.

Always smiling:

It Worked!

My crab apple jelly jelled! I cooked it down more, reduced it, then recanned it. It took it almost two weeks to set up, even after all that, but now we have jelly!
And we sure are enjoying it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Look who just fell asleep in my arms

Cute pudgy baby feet still learning to walk:
Sweet little hand still learning its dexterity, so quick to grab onto Mommy:So trusting and innocent. So energetic, curious, talkative and expressive when awake, so peaceful when asleep.


Anna has been wanting to show you all how she pumps on the swings now. It seems to me that pumping is something kids have to feel the rhythm of in their bodies before they can really master it. I'm not sure how you could teach it before then. I guess it's that way with most things a kid learns: all in their own good time when they are developmentally ready to learn the skill, each kid at their own pace. Here's a little video I took of Anna pumping right before my camera batteries died. It cuts off pretty quick because there wasn't enough juice in the batteries for any more, but you can see her doing it. She has some other playground tricks to show you too, but those will have to wait until we get new batteries.

And not to leave out little Ruthie, here she is swinging too. She loves it as long as you don't push her too high:

More Inner tube Fun

I realized I had taken a few more pictures before my camera batteries conked out. Here's a few of the girls having fun with their inner tube. We went with Mitch down to the creek last Saturday. The girls can't get enough of it! It's a fun place to explore and splash around and float on the tube when the water is nice and low and lazy this time of year. It's so clear the girls can even watch the fish swim around. We're making the most of all the warm days we have left before summer is over to soak up the sun and the chill wetness of the creek.

Inner tubes are not only good for creeks, they make a great cozy spot to giggle in with your sister inside:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Colorado Sky Ranch

We went out to our friend's ranch, Ruthie and Jay Neibur's Colorado Sky Ranch, today and got to play all morning. They have horses, chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs and cows with a calf, plus grasshoppers, moths and barn swallows and little baby barn swallows that we got to see that are about ready to leave the nest. They told us about the coyotes that they hear every night, but of course we didn't see those in the daylight. The girls were in awe and loved touching the horses noses, feeding grass to the chickens and horses and petting the bunny and cat. Such a privilege for us who live in the city to be able to have friends close with all of these animals. They also had wooden seat swings, climbing structures, tire and hammock swings, rope swings, rings, bars, a playhouse, a barn full of hay, a huge slide (that was too hot in the sun to slide down), and a dry creek bed to explore with a foot bridge over it. I rode my bike out with the three girls and we took our lunch to have a picnic with our friends. Most of the ride was so peaceful, we just followed the creek path out of town as it meandered alongside the quiet creek. Once we were out of town the countryside opens up around you and you have such amazing views back towards the mountains, the whole front range of the Rockies jutting up.
Sorry, no pictures. Some other time. I'm out of batteries for my camera and haven't made it to the store to get some more yet. It's not as much fun to blog when there are no pictures of my laughing girls to go with the stories of our days, which is why my post have been slower coming lately.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Look what we found floating down the creek

An inner tube! It was our lucky day. The girls have been asking me for a ring to float on in the water so when we saw this one I thought we should bring it home. We actually found it mostly empty of air stuck on a rock in the creek, dirty and covered with beer cans. I would say it had been abandoned. I figured it probably had a huge hole in it and at the very least we could take it to the dumpster. But we lucked out! It cleaned up beautifully and held air! The girls were excited and we spent the morning playing at the creek on the inner tube. Josie was a little intimidated at first but by the end she was bouncing on it, splashing around and dunking her hair under water over the edge of it. Anna was a pro from the beginning. I didn't take the camera with us to the creek because I figured I needed both hands to keep three little girls safe in the creek, but these are a few pictures I took when we got home from our fun morning:

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Peaches! Peaches!

This one's for you Bethany, because you understand why I never want to run out of peaches in my house. A little girl and a miracle can of peaches...

We'll have peaches this winter when the trees are bare of leaves and ripe fruit and the wind is whipping the branches around. We'll be able to sit down all cozy inside and taste a little love of summer that this Mommy put into a jar.
Whew! What a day. I canned 20 lb of peaches! Thank you, Cuthbertsons, for delivering wonderfully ripe peaches fresh from the Western slopes of Colorado right to our door. For those of you who are not into canning this is probably way too many pictures of peaches in progress, but I had fun with each step of the process so you get to see it all!
A stove full of pots. Two dedicated to sterilizing jars and lids, one cooking down a light syrup to can the peaches in, and the fourth burner was a boiling water bath for the peaches to dip them in to take the skins off. Next to the stove you can see the ice bath to dip them in after the hot water bath:
And then the skins slide right off! Skins still on are on the counter, then the metal bowl for the naked peaches, and the white bowl once I had cut them into slices:Putting them into sterilized jars after boiling them for 5 minutes in the syrup:
Hot water bath! The safety part of canning. Don't can at home without it:"Peaches on the shelf, potatoes in the bin, suppers ready, everybody come on in, taste a little love of summer, taste a little love of summer, taste a little love of summer, my grandma's put it all in jars"(Greg Brown):That's about half the jars there. You don't get to see any pictures of the girls helping me because I didn't have hands free to take pictures when their 'help' was around. They were taking naps when I found time to pause long enough to take a few pictures of my work in progress, but they did have fun helping me. Their help was limited since most of the work was too hot for little hands. The main part I let them help me with was the cold water bath and taking the skins off the peaches . Their favorite part, though, was helping me figure out what to do with the slices of peaches we had left in the end that didn't fit into my last jar. "They can go in my tummy, Mommy!" And the last of the peaches were gone.
Mitch took the camera to work with him today or I would have shown you a picture of Josie eating a peach (fresh) with juice all over her face and dripping down her arms and off her elbows, making puddles on the ground below. That was one good peach she was eating. These were seriously the best peaches I think I have ever eaten in my whole life. And we get to enjoy them all winter! 'Taste a little love of summer...'