Friday, August 28, 2015

School, Potty, Canning

I feel like I've passed a big "mommy milestone" this week by sending my first kid onto the school bus and to Kindergarten. Did I cry yesterday? Well, no, but I did for a few weeks beforehand. I'd been dreading it for a long time, but the actual sendoff wasn't so bad. Joseph confidently stepped on the bus and didn't look back. I think he had a good day but was hungry and tired when he got home.

I've been warning Kenny for a few months that he'd have to go on the potty when Joseph went to school. He's 3 1/2, so the same age Joseph was when I potty-trained him. Joseph took a couple days to get the hang of it. Kenny already gets it after one day! He only had one accident yesterday, and he didn't freak out. He changed his clothes and went on with life. It's so nice to only have one kid in diapers now.

Our garden has been producing very well. We've had tons of squash, peas, beans, peppers, cilantro, green onions, tomatoes, and kohlrabi (so far) with many other crops to come. Today, I will can my first (double) batch of salsa. I can't wait! I'm also going to make a kimchi from the kohlrabi, which I peeled and shredded yesterday.

I was worried about staying busy during the afternoon, but I think my fears were unfounded. This harvest is going to keep me busy until Halloween if it's like last year. I'm so excited!

We did go to a wedding reception in Provo last Friday night. It was intense because it's a 3 hour drive, and we went there and back in the afternoon/evening/early morning. It was fun to see family and stop for a picnic on the way. We spent the rest of the weekend sleeping, or so it felt.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


I always dread the end of summer. School is the first sign that the best time of year is coming to a close. I live for the long days of sunshine and warmth. I don't look forward to short days, cold, and gloom. I know it's a while off, but knowing it's coming makes me feel anxious.

I have set a few goals to help me get to the end of the year. Keeping goals constantly helps me improve myself and get things done. I do love projects.

1. Exercise every weekday morning with James for 30 minutes. So far, I am really enjoying this. I got a fair amount of exercise over the summer with all the yard work, but there isn't enough outside to keep me busy anymore. We are doing Your Shape, an Xbox workout game, while listening to my Spotify playlists. I'm a little sore, but in a good way. I've already adjusted to getting up at 6. Exercise always starts the day off right, but if I don't do it first, it isn't likely to happen. Since I'm up, I can also make James a decent breakfast instead of him eating cold cereal. (I could write a whole blog about how lame I think cold cereal is!)

2. Finish using the denim squares I've cut out to make jean quilts. I actually already did this one! I just finished my last blanket yesterday, a twin size and my 5th one for our house. I'm going to take a very long break to hopefully make queen or king-sized blankets for my kids when they're a lot older. Since I need 288 per quilt, I will need to save for a long time! Maybe by then I'll have a decent sewing machine.

3. Go on adventures to finish exploring Uintah County. As mentioned before, we've done a ton of exploring this summer. We have about 5 day trips left to see the rest, and after that, we can do some hikes during cooler weather (September, October) before there's snow. I have everything mapped out. We just have to get in the car and go!

4. Finish the hard piano book I'm working on. It's a pre-virtuoso level, so I have to work really hard on the songs to make them sound good. I have only 3 left! After that, I really want to learn the additional music found on lds. org (stuff they print in Church magazines). We will have to buy a printer first. :) I also have a really hard LDS song book, meant for special musical numbers. I slacked off a lot over the summer, so I really hope to get back into practicing every day.

5. Finish trying recipes for the Happy Herbivore cookbooks. I have tried a ton so far and found lots that I've liked. I know my blog hasn't been updated in a long time with recipes, so I'll get on that too. HH's recipes are plant-based. I've learned some fun, new food combinations that are also easy, cheap, and healthy. Win-win!

With all this and being involved in Joseph's school, I'm hoping I won't have time to be depressed.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Back to School

We had a wonderful family visit this past week. It was a stressful week overall, but that's because it was so busy!

1. Apricots. I processed all of them into salsa, jalapeno-apricot jam, and regular jam. It took a lot of time and made a big mess.

2. Helped friends move. Scott and Chelsie are moving back to SLC area, so we helped them pack up, and they fed us lunch. We got some stuff from them that they didn't want. It was like a free yard sale.

3. Yard work. We spent 6 plus hours on Monday pulling weeds from the new grass area. It filled our big garbage can! I wanted it to look nice before the family came.

4. Babysitting. Same as last week, I did Wed. and Thu. nights. It was a little stressful because of the family being here too, but we managed.

5. Temple. James and I attended last Friday before it closed for the 2 week cleaning. We were also able to go to dinner. We felt really needed there, because there was no one else doing sealings at the time.

6. Family visit. We crammed as much as we could into less than 72 hours. We did the dinosaur bones, DUP museum, Western Heritage museum, petroglyphs, shooting, found James's great-great-great-grandfather's grave, did a cookout at Remember the Maine park, and ate grits and eggs on the last morning. In our down time, we watched some episodes of the Middle.

7. Catching up. I missed a dental appointment last week, so I rescheduled and went. No cavities still! I also had grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, and generally putting the house back together.

The internet hasn't been working for a few days, which has been a real bummer. James starts school tomorrow, and Joseph starts on Monday! I can't believe that time has come already.

8. Katie the stripper. I can't keep clothes or a diaper on this child. I have resorted to taping the diapers on. I tried a onesie, but she just took the diaper off through it and slept completely naked, peed in her bed, and pooped on the floor. Ugh! The boys never did this!

Thankfully, even with school starting, this week is a lot less stressful so far. I hope it stays that way, but I know it won't. It will be an adjustment to start waking up at 6, but I know it won't last long.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

When the Family Gets Together

Thinking about the past two weeks is making my head spin a little. It went by so fast! Hopefully I remember it all.

7/24 Pioneer Day, we went to the parade in the morning. Vernal's parade is the perfect length that just as you feel hot or bored, it's over. The kids enjoyed running out to get candy. We ate dinner together as a family at home.

7/25 We took a day trip around a big loop of the southern part of the county. This included Fantasy Canyon, Ouray Wildlife Refuge, and Pelican Lake (though we only looked and didn't stop.) We are dinner together and everyone went shooting while I read a book. They got a small rabbit.

7/26 Church. Myles and James drove to Salt Lake to pick up Mom from the airport.

7/27 Brinson built a cover for the HVAC out of scrap wood and Myles installed new struts on the car (better known as shocks, though they are not the same thing). Christian was feeling lazy, so I had him help me clean out the cars. We were going to cook out, but it was too windy.

7/28 Did a temple session and family names. We had our cookout at Remember the Maine Park and then drove to Moonshine Arch. It was really nice outside.

7/29 We went to the Dinosaur Quarry and saw the wall of bones. After dinner, Mom stayed with the kids while we saw Ant Man in the theater. It was a pretty good movie!

7/30 The kids left for St. George (and the Grand Canyon, Kentucky, and home in NC) while Mom helped me take my kids to the last summer activity at the library. They had a blast getting pops, cotton candy, popcorn, and free books for finishing the program. During naptime, Mom helped me tie one of the jean quilts.

7/31 Mom and I went grocery shopping and got the rest of the supplies we needed for the quilts. We tied the second quilt and I sewed both together. She also helped me make a dress for Katie out of one of James's old shirts.

8/1 Joseph had a birthday party for the neighbor down the street. We hung out, and I finished sewing Katie's dress. Mom and I finished watching When Calls the Heart on Netlflix. It's a very clean romantic series that reminds me a little of Anne of Green Gables.

8/2 Church. We relaxed in the afternoon and talked to family as usual.

8/3 We picked 47 lbs. of apricots at a neighbor's house. We went to a park in Jensen for a cookout and FHE after failing to see a lake we were looking for. (It had no public access.)

8/4 The boys and I drove Mom to the airport. We had a fun lunch at Chick-fil-a and then came home. I caught up on some baking.

8/5 I started processing the apricots by making salsa with them. It's got an interesting flavor. I started my first day of babysitting for a neighbor whose husband works 2 weeks on, 2 off. She needs me 2 days a week from 4:45-9:15. It went okay until 8:30 when the baby started crying and wouldn't stop. I survived. The two girls were great and played with my kids for a while. I know it will get easier.

8/6 Make peppricot jam and ran out of pectin, so I set the rest of the puree aside to make sweet jam once I shop again. Dried the rest, so I'm done with apricots! Registered Joseph for Kindergarten. I have less than an hour before babysitting. I finished sewing the rows on another quilt, so tomorrow I will sew them all together.

Whew. And we have more family visiting next week!

Now for pictures.

Fantasy Canyon


Moonshine Arch

the view from up high

the Quarry

Brinson made it!

Mom helped me make the dress. Katie loves it!