The Great Adventure

~ just one blink and its changed ~

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Apples, Pears and Oh My

My canner and crock pot have become my best friends lately as we've taken care of apples picked at the orchard and our own pears from the 2 trees in our backyard. This year the squirrel took a lot of the pears down. But, thanks to Steve and Einstein (the dynamic duo) they chased the squirrels out of the backyard and helped to spare a 1/2 bushel of good pears. Yesterday I put up 11 jars of pear jam... it smelled yummy and I can't wait to try some on bisquits from the oven... or maybe some scones!
Here are the dried apples from our 1st orchard trip last Saturday. I tried some in our food dehydrator... they turned out yummy and fun to eat. The kids like them! My Dad has always loved Jonathon apples... and I have learned to enjoy Jonagolds, but Ginger Golds might be my new favorite. They are crisp like Jonathons, and sweet like Golden Delicious, but the texture is even better! We picked a bushel of apples - Cortlands, Macintosh and Ginger Golds - the first 2 are great for pies and sauce, the last are a new kind that we tried this year - they just might be a new favorite. . We shared 1/2 a bushel with some friends and made applesauce and 3 pie fillings out of the rest.

There will be more trips to the orchard this fall. We're after Empires and Jonagolds, and just some good old fashioned fun.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yes, we CAN be spontaneous even with three kids!

Yesterday we got a phone call at 2:30 inviting our WHOLE family to a Tiger's game for last night. In a matter of less than an hour - we were looking forward to heading to downtown with 3 kids in tow... and a filled evening of ballgame fun!
We may pay for it tonight! But it was a blast in the process.
Simeon and Olivia - and Steve in the background...

I'm still awaaaake! And I can't believe it! ~ Sophie

Natalie, Olivia, Jackie, Simeon and Sophie on the foot of the Tiger!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Politics and Parties

Where ever you stand on the political spectrum, and whichever candidate you agree more with, we as American's all have a role to play in the coming election. I have become increasingly more interested in politics since I have had kids... not sure why... but needless to say - we had a GREAT time at a local rally last Friday. If you have never been to one - you really should take the opportunity.

In a recently forwarded email ( cannot confirm or deny the actual author) I read that according to David Letterman (I rarely watch late night tv - especially since the Olympics and the 2 "conventions" are done)... we as American's (in general) though we do an aweful lot of complaining - have much more to be thankful for in the opportunities that we do have... and should be reminded of these things rather than complaining about which candidate does or doesn't do what we want them to. Here it is:

No matter what your political convictions are this is an eye opener.... David Letterman on President Bush (Surprising)
David Letterman wrote this; it's the David we don't often see....

' As most of you know I am not a President Bush fan, nor have I ever been, but this is not about Bush, it is about us, as Americans, and it seems to hit the mark 'The other day I was reading Newsweek magazine and came across some Poll data I found rather hard to believe. It must be true given the source, right? The Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the President. In essence 2/3 of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.
So being the knuckle dragger I am, I started thinking, 'What are we so unhappy about?''
A.. Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?
B.. Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter?
C.. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job?
D.. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?
E.. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state?
F.. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter?
G.. I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.
H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.
I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.
J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.
K.. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.
L.. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own cell phones and computers.
M.. How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we en joy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have, and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled ungrateful brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?Did you hear how bad the President is on the news or talk show? Did this news affect you so much, make you so unhappy you couldn't take a look around for yourself and see all the good things and be glad?
Think about it......are you upset at the President because he actually caused you personal pain OR is it because the 'Media' told you he was failing to kiss your sorry ungrateful behind every day. Make no mistake about it.The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an 'other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable' ' discharge after a few days in the brig. So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans?
Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells, and when criticized, try to defend their actions by 'justifying' them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O.J. Simpson to write a book about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did he would have done it this way......Insane!
Turn off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as country. There is exponentially more good than bad. We are among the most blessed people on Earth and should thank God several times a day, or at least be thankful and appreciative.' 'With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, 'Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?'

As I figure - either way - we do have a lot to be thankful for. Hope your day is great!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

1st Day in 1st Grade...

So, I think every parent is going through the emotions of relief that life will return to normal and fear that their child will not "be excited" about the new school year. Such turmoil.

I am in the same boat and perchance you might be there too.

Olivia went to 1st grade yesterday and she was excited... you would never have been able to tell... but she apparently had a GREAT DAY! So, she told our friend, Evelyn last night at Kids Klub! I'm thankful that she is excited to be a 1st grader.

Just a side note... Sophie is cutting 4 molars all at the same time and Simeon is really hoping that October will come quickly so that he can join in the preschool fun! What's Sophie going to do? She's going to "Mommy's School" :-)