Monday, August 31, 2009

Jelly update

The jelly set and it tastes good. One thing I was worried about was prickles getting through the straining process. So far, we've eaten jelly with no prickles.

My second batch was quite rushed when I made it. It turned out the color of honey instead of the pretty orange and when I took it out of the boiling pot at the end, it was still liquidy. I was disappointed, but decided that syrup wasn't a bad thing. However, after a day of sitting, it seemed to be setting. So I packed them away on the pantry shelf and will let them be for a few weeks. We might have jelly after all.

School is going well for the kids. Somedays at home with the two littles is great, other days it is really rough. Today Peanut is having a rough day. She has a cold, didn't get much sleep last night and has fussed all her awake time today.

Things aren't going so great with the house sale. They want us to scrape all the paint downstairs and re-paint. We just did that right before we listed the house! I'm not paying someone, again, to re-paint. This whole thing is ridiculous and it is getting worse and worse. Every time we hear from the buyer's agent, they want more done. If we could afford to do it all, we would have done it while we lived there. No idea how this is going to turn out.

Well, it's lunch and laundry time! See ya around.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Prickly Pear Jelly

A neighbor down the street has a nicely landscaped yard filled with cactus. My kids have to pass it each day walking to and from the bus stop. They call it Cactus Alley. Earlier in the week, we notice their prickly pear cacti were dropping huge fruits. So last evening, Hubby and I went to meet the neighbors and ask them if they would let us have some of the fruit if they weren't going to use it. The said take what you want, so we did.

Hubby had a leather glove and a grocery sack. He picked a lot of fruit, about 8 pounds of it. We came home and I started to read about making jelly from the fruit. Hubby, meanwhile, started to pull the needles from his fingers where they went though the gloves.

I don't do jelly much, in fact, I've only done it once. I don't keep the supplies around to can things on a moment's notice. After some research, I had simple step-by-step instructions. With the use of tongs, I washed the fruit, cut them into quarters and boiled the fruit. I ran to the store for cheesecloth, lids, and pectin. I had about 6 jars without lids that were in good use condition. Last night before going to bed, I drained the juice though a strainer and ended up with a lot of beautiful orange juice.

Draining the fruit. It isn't pretty once it's been boiled and mashed.

The most beautiful orange I've ever seen. I'm always amazed at the colors in nature.

This morning, with instruction in hand, I made the jelly. I'm never sure if it works. I guess every one who makes jelly has the same worry. I'll know tomorrow by 11:00 am if the jelly set or not. If not, I guess we'll have prickly pear syrup. Isn't it a gorgeous color?

I was able to get 8 cups of juice out of those fruits. My recipe only used 2 1/2 cups and I got enough to fill 3 of the 8 quart jelly jars. I'll be doing two more batches. I need a lot more jars! I want some small jars. If this works, I want to be able to give some away as gifts. There is no way we'll be able to eat all the jelly we'll be able to make from this batch of juice. Watch out, friends, you might get a jar of Molly-made Prickly Pear Jelly for Christmas!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


This evening on the way to Sam's Club to get milk with my 3 year old son.

Son: Mom, I ate the air!
Me: You ate the air? What did it taste like?
Son: Pepperonis!

On the way home from Sam's Club:

Son: We lost the house.
Me: We did? Where is it?
Son: (very sad) I don't know
Me: Don't worry, we'll find the house, I know the way home.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lovely Quote

The more I learn about CS Lewis and read his works, the more I like him.

CS Lewis said, "The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career. "

CS Lewis had insight to the world unlike many others. On days like today, when I'm stuggling to figure out what to do with a pre-teen, I'm glad to read this quote.

what to say?

I started a long post about the kids and school and decided it wasn't very interesting. They are doing well in school and as for the two little ones I have at home, it has been fun to get to know them a little better.

The weekend was busy, but fun for the most part. We are doing what we can to sell the house, but it isn't going well. I don't quite know how it will all work out. The scary thing is, it may not work out.

We've had some rain the last few days. I love that, but it makes it hard to dry clothes out on the line. The dryer is still broken.

Hmmmm, yeah, this has been most uninteresting. Isn't it lovely to have uninteresting days?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wallet appeal

What is it about wallets that attracts small children? All of my kids have at one point during their one year old time when they have loved to get a hold of my wallet and empty it's contents.

My fourth son managed to loose my drivers licence for a few weeks when he was little. Peanut has joined the list of wallet attackers. Every chance she gets, she opens it up and pulls out the drivers licence, the library card, Sam's Club, health insurance cards, any business cards I keep, and if I have any, money. The also likes to pull out the little pictures I keep in my wallet.

I find the contents of my wallet strewn all over the floor. This last time I had to do a little digging for my drivers licence. She let it slide under the couch.

I need a kid proof wallet.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

keeping busy with everyday stuff

Things are staying very busy. Life is sending Hubby and I on an unpleasant roller coaster, but in the every day mundane things of life, I try to stay positive and do my very best to stay afloat of the housework.

Our family motto has been for years, "It never rains, but it pours". I know a pretty depressing motto. This week reminded me of why that has been our motto in the past. I'm not going to go over any of the difficult things here. I want to focus on the more positive and funny things that are going on.

Peanut is amazing in every sense of the word. Her vocabulary is so sweet and funny. Her word for food is "cookie". When she is hungry, she asks for a cookie. She says milk and cheese. She loves babies and says baby over and over. Thanks to Baby Einstein, she uses sign language as well as words. Sometimes she just uses the signs when she can't say the word. A few days ago, she brought me some of her sister's stickers. "Barbie," Peanut announced and she was quite right. The were Barbie stickers.

The dryer went out. No idea why. It still tumbles the clothes, but the heating element must be out, so cloths stay wet, even after tumbling around in the dryer for hours on end. Money is gone for the month, so I've been making very good use of our clothes line. Thank goodness we put up a clothes line and thank goodness it was the dryer that quit working and not the washer.

Today was day 2 of school. It is going well, so far. My 5 year old daughter got to go meet her teacher today and see her classroom. Actual class for her doesn't begin until Thursday. She was happy to see a friend from church in her class. She isn't very happy about going to school, but after seeing the classroom today, seeing her friend, and meeting her teacher, I think she is a little more assured of what is going on and will be ready for her first day on Thursday.

Come 8:05 Thursday morning, this mom will be doing the Happy Back to School Dance! I'll have just two children at home and I'm really looking forward to the time I'll have with my three year old. I think he really needs some one on one time and he never gets it with three older siblings and a younger sister who is mischievous and takes a good deal of looking after.

Some things in life sure ain't fair right now (pardon the bad grammar), but I'm so happy for the chaotic, mundane day to day things that keep me normal.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Drilling a Straight Hole

This has got to be the best instructions for drilling a hole that I have ever seen.

Click Here

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Healthy Gravy?

In July, my sister-in-law announced she had a healthy biscuits and gravy recipe. I started to worry. See, in the southern states, like the one I grew up in, love their biscuits and gravy. Don't mess with biscuits and gravy! I wondered how in the world she managed to make it healthy. As long as it wasn't made from soy or tofu, I'd give it a go.

In the end, all she used was the Low Fat Bisquick. The gravy had pieces of ground sausage floating in it. It was great. If lower fat biscits make it healthy, I'm all for it! Someone pass the gravy please, I've got some reduced fat biscuits here that need to be smothered!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cooking with my 3 year old

My youngest son, who is three, has been my big helper in the kitchen lately. He seems so left out of everything that goes on in this house. The older boys play computer or Wii together or get to go to the pool together. But the three year old gets left out. I have been inviting him to help me in the kitchen and he is happy to come in and help.

In the last week, we have made cookies, breads and cake together. He holds the measuring cups and dumps the ingredients into the bowl. He loves to mix with a spoon and use a hand held mixer with my help.

What is funny about the whole thing, though, is the way he does all of this.
This will be hard to write, but I hope I can make the words and ideas clear. I will give him a measuring cup filled with flour. He takes the cup and dumps it into the bowl. As he does this he makes a sound. It is his idea of the sound the cup of flour would make if it were alive and being poured into a bowl. So it is a sound like someone just punched you in the stomach.

Every ingredient poured into the bowl is given a similar sound by my son. Then, when I give him a spoon to mix with, he stabs the ingredients in the bowl and says he destroyed it. Then, each swipe of the spoon in the bowl has the stomach-punched sound.

It is really pretty funny. I love how the food takes on a personality while he cooks. He has the most wonderful laugh. I hear it a lot while he helps me. He is a funny kid.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Hair raising!

My daughter playing around at the Air and Space Museum.

We all had a go at sticking our faces over this air machine, but it was especially funny to see my 5 year old's hair.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

A Random Thought

Opposites may attract, but they will have a hard time deciding where to go on vacation.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


I'm going to start a blog page to cronicle my weaving projects. There isn't there much yet, but I'm working on a few things and taking pictures. I have great ideas and great plans and I hope I can make them come together into a neat photo/instructional blog.

Inkle and Weave

the weekend

It's a lazy Saturday. Well, as lazy at things can be here. There is always so much going on.

Peanut has continued to be trouble. Her new favorite activity is to push a chair around the kitchen and dining room. Then, she climbs up on the chair, and plays with whatever interests her - light switches, the drawer of silverware, anything she can reach on the counter and the refrigerator water dispenser. She is everywhere and into everything! I'll be amazed, really, if she survives toddlerhood without some major incident.

She is talking more and speaking in full sentences sometimes. Her newest favorite word is "cookie". It is very clear and plain when she says it. "I want a cookie," is often heard from her pretty voice when she is playing around in the kitchen. Cookie doesn't mean simply cookie. It is a general word for most food and drink. So, if you hear her say, "I want a cookie," you must see what she is pointing at to know what food item she is after.

My older boys have been enjoying watching the old Ghostbusters movies this week. Fine with me, I like them too, but my youngest son, who is 3, doesn't like them at all. He will hide out in his room and play with his toys during the entire movie. When the movie ends, he comes out and plays in the living room.

School starts in one week for my kids! Actually, my 6th grader will go to school for one day this coming Wednesday. The 6th graders get to go for a day before the "upperclassmen" arrive. They get to know the school. Guess what - I still haven't bought school supplies! What is even worse, I still haven't registered my daughter for Kindergarten yet!!! I've been putting it off. I don't want her to go. I want her to stay home with me. I'm so selfish. Also, the school hasn't been opened at all this summer for me to go and register her. They office will be open this coming week and I'll go do it.

I'm starting the process of applying for school myself. I've been talking for years and years and have said over and over I'm going to do this, but I think now is the time. I wouldn't be able to start until next fall, unfortunately, but really, Peanut is still to little for me to do much school work. She wouldn't let me get anything done if I tried it now. So, in October, I'm going to go take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT) and submit my score and applications to the two schools I would be happy to attend their program. We'll see, we'll see. I've got a whole year and who knows what can happen during that time.

Hmmm, what else. Kids, house, cleaning, kids, weaving, cleaning more, tons of laundry, lightning storms every evening, more kids and more cleaning. Yep, the usual.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


I think I'm going to rename Peanut. Her new name is going to be Peanut Trouble Big-Mess Surname! This girl is trouble! She spends her days making trouble and messes. I can't keep up with her.

This morning alone, she dumped a bowl's worth of corn flakes on the table, opened the container of lentils with her jaws of steel, got a hold of a pen and drew all over some church papers as well as all over herself. She pulled a chair up to the refridgerater, climbed up and started pushing the water dispenser which poured water all over the kitchen floor. She has jumped on the couch, fallen off the couch, jumped on her mattress and rolled off of it (don't worry, the mattress sits on the floor). She woke up her dad and her brother this morning by going into their rooms and chatting with them. All of this with the normal playing of toys. It's nine in the morning and she has been quite busy.

Yep, I think a name change is order. Good thing she's been so cute about it all.