Saturday, September 5, 2009

Harvest Time

I've been very busy lately harvesting from my garden and my mom's garden and pear tree. I had not had a garden since we had kids and then it wasn't the best garden. We decided to give it a try again this year now that I'm a SAHM. It has been great. I have approximately 100 bags of tomatoes frozen, a little over 20 bags of zucchini and yellow squash, around 10 (so far) of shredded squash (I add it to recipes to increase the veggie content), 8 jars of salsa, 4 bags of acorn squash (so far), 3 jars of pear jelly, 22 bowls of pear sauce (like apple sauce), plus pear juice. This week I plan to start making some tomato sauce. Next year I plan on increasing the size of my garden and growing a few more varieties of squash and some cauliflower and broccoli. I would also like to get a few more fruit trees (we have two apple, but one is dying) and some berry plants. I have already let my family know that I would love some fruit trees and berry plants for my birthday next year. The only problem is that I think my excitement over being able to cut some of our grocery costs is going to be more than our freezers can handle. I'll have to learn to can, it's just so much more work than freezing. It's also done wonders for the kids eating too. Sweet and Sugar do pretty good with most veggies, but have never liked beans of any kind. Now that they've had fresh green beans they love them, even out of the can. Bam ate an entire can of green beans by himself with dinner the other night. Sweet is not a huge fan of tomatoes. She tolerates them, but certainly won't go out her way for them, that is unless they're fresh from mom's garden. They're excited to see what we're growing and want to eat it.

Other than that, we've had a good birthday week. The kids have to love this week because they rarely get sweets, but everyone gets a special sweet made in honor of their day so I've already baked a cake, hot fudge cake, and iced brownines this week. Plus we have a birthday party with family on monday in which they will each get their own cake. One cake would probably cut it and that's what we've done in the past, but every other kid gets their own cake. I want them to like their birthday and not feel as if they get short changed because their birthdays are so close together. So tonight I baked Sweet's cake, which will be a princess. Tomorrow I will bake the boys cakes; a tractor and a dinosaur. I would say which is which, but Sugar can't make up his mind which one is for him. I'll have to decorate all of them tomorrow too. It's been a long time since I've done much cake decorating so we'll se how it goes. I hope they atleast come out presentable.

I am also looking forward to some time with my hubby. He has some time off of work coming up and I look forward to having him around more. It's so much easier when it's two on three rather than one on three. It's so much easier to get things done when he can take them out to play while I work on something rather than me having to get things done during nap time and after bed time or with kids under my feet. I also know how much the kids enjoy spending time with their dad. He took them out to play this morning while I finished up the pearsauce and cleaning so tonight when I asked Sweet what her favorite part of the day was, her responce was playing outside with daddy. That makes my heart melt.

I also got to go to a presentation earlier this week on food alergies. It was very well put together. It was aimed more at awareness for those who don't know anyone with an allergy. The woman who presented has worked with several of the school districts in our area to put food allergy plans in place. I was very disapointed that the school system that my kids will be going to does not currently have one, but I was relieved when I takled to her afterwards and she said that she's working with the school nurse to put one in place. It's funny that a couple of years ago I was one of those that kind of scoffed at having to make special arangements for just one or two kids and now I've learned how truely important it is. I am very selective about who watches our kids and who they are around with food for fear that Bam may come into contact with something he's not supposed to have. People don't think to read every single label (we had an incident at Easter with a jelly bean that was processed on equipment with peanuts). Just 1/1000 of a peanut can cause a serious, deadly reaction. Food allergies are a big deal. They can kill.

Now on a lighter note. Bam doesn't like vegetables. He never has, other than a select few. He has grown to tolerate most of them now. He ususally needs some encouragement and or help to eat them but no longer screams and cries about it. But for the mear mention of cake, he will eat them without any help or need of encouragement. It may not be pretty (note picture). He may gag on every bite, but he will put bite after bite in until they are all gone to get his beloved treat. Did I mention that my kids love birthday week?

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