on the joys of motherhood, adoption, life in Korea & Japan & small town USA, simplification, homeschooling, sewing, quilting, and much more........
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today i was completely captivated by the joy of putting fabrics together into coordinating bundles that bring out the best in each fabric for our shop. i have always loved fabric. i love to touch it. i love to create with it. and i love to photograph it.
etsy is so much more fun than i ever anticipated! we've been surprised to find ourselves shipping packages off to germany, australia, the netherlands, japan, and three to the UK. i feel back in touch with my antique quilt business in japan, which is a happy feeling. and i'm meeting the nicest, most interesting, incredibly creative and talented people.
one of them has me feeling very inspired. she is expecting her eighth baby, has two fun etsy shops - check out the adorable scripture bags on this one, she also homeschools, and has a fabulous blog. i feel honored that she is using my "squares & stripes forever" quilt kit as a give-away prize on her blog.
daddy is growing his hair and beard for the pageant in three weeks. i really love father's day! i enjoy it so much more than mother's day. our daddy deserves to be spoiled. now he is off to japan, for the first time since january.
i have a request for the mulberry jam recipe i used. when i first decided to use our mulberries i searched the internet and found lots of amazing sites on cooking with mulberries, including lots of different jam recipes of varying difficulty and complexity. after reading through them all, i chose to just use the berry jam recipe in the pectin box. next time i will try it with the no sugar or low sugar recipe. i'm sure that it would work for freezer jam too....mmm, mmm. i've enjoyed my fresh strawberry freezer jam so much that it's almost gone.
our family's new favorite treat is yogurt bites. i saw the recipe in the guidebook for the new food dehydrator that brock gave me for mother's day. it is basically fruit leather made with plain yogurt, pureed fruit, and agave nectar (healthy sweetener). after drying, you roll it up, cut it into 1/2 inch pieces, and dry again for an hour or two. so yummy! better than candy! my kids beg for it! banana pineapple yogurt and strawberry yogurt. strawberry yogurt bites sitting on banana pineapple yogurt leather.
i've found that if you add banana, it is extra yummy, but also extra difficult to remove from the paper after drying.
more blessings from the overflow of the temple gardens: this is an extra blessing that i didn't anticipate that living near the temple would bring. tuesday i brought home and planted about $250 worth of free flowers - extras from the temple flower beds! i arrived on the scene of the flower give-away later than most, and i wasn't absolutely in love with what was left for me. but i do hate waste, and as i was the last one left to gather the left-overs, i brought home more than i initially planned on, and even brought home some that i didn't really like. but once i got them all planted, i loved everyone of them! some were a little scraggly and stressed, but i am giving them extra care in hopes that they will make a beautiful comeback. lots of zinnias and floss flowers, and some that i don't know what they are. i planted them among my marigolds, snapdragons, allysum, etc., and hope they are bunny-resistant. all of the beautiful salmon pink and ruby red double petunias i planted a month ago have been nibbled to ground, never to return. and just after getting all 170 new flowers planted and bringing brock to see the results, we found a baby bunny hiding in the zinnias! i have also planted a japanese maple, two hydrangeas, six "dinner plate" hibiscus, and five dahlias in this front garden, plus shasta daisies and sedum - the last two free from a friend's garden! brock pulled out two shrubs to make room for the maple and hydrangeas. we also planted two more hydrangeas and miscellaneous flowers in the back yard. the hydrangeas are all the new ever-blooming variety in red, pink, and blue. i want to eventually get this front garden filled in with perennials, but for this year, $250 worth of free annuals will do!
usually i feel that my flower photos are lovelier than the real thing, but this time i couldn't take a photos that i felt did these new flowers justice. they are really more pretty than this photo woud lead you to believe.
i abhor waste. i keep ridiculously small scraps of fabric, carefully saved in ziplock bags. i can't bear wasted food, or wasted anything. i suspect it was bred into me by my pioneer ancestors. whatever the reason, i love to find uses for things that seem less than useful.
we work and work and work to get certain fruits and vegetables to grow, and then some are just given to us without effort. the second type tend to go unappreciated, and fall to the ground unnoticed. i so enjoyed (and am still enjoying the rewards of) my crab apple project last fall.
this spring/summer mulberries have been the unappreciated fruit that i felt determined to make into something yummy and useful. first i made a batch of mulberry syrup - yummy! next, a batch of mulberry jam - very yummy too! my syrup turned out a little thick, and my jam is a little runny, so they are similar consistencies...but both are delish!
the down side of working with mulberries: removing the stems is somewhat labor intensive, and they have lots of seeds. upside: they grow abundantly for free, and they taste really good.
i enjoyed my jam making enough that also i made some fresh freezer jam from strawberries that needed to be used - really, really good! my family is enjoying all three efforts, and that is satisfying....and good for the kids who got tired of gathering mulberries, but now feel a sense of accomplishment as they eat the mulberry jam and syrup.
savoring the handful of strawberries we get each day, and discovering mulberries. two huge mulberry trees hang onto our property and drop hundreds of berries daily. we're finding that gathering them off the lawn is a nice evening family activity. this photos shows last night's gatherings. even little miss 2 years old can gather, but doesn't understand how to avoid stepping on the ungathered. i've googled and found lots of yummy recipes. should we enjoy them all fresh and raw, or make jams, mousses, muffins, cobblers, and more? nothing tastes better then freshly home-grow, picked when ripe, pesticide free berries.
we're hoping for raspberries this summer, and blackberries and blueberries next summer.
love this video. for a better experience, link here and scroll down to the video to see a higher quality, more powerful version.
i loved this talk. we based thursday's enrichment meeting on it, and invited sisters to share how they create in non-typical ways and how it brings them closer to the lord. it was powerful & beautiful.
susie grace has been acting ready to potty train for a while. but she is so little (2 and a couple of weeks) and i wasn't sure i was ready. we took the leap two days ago. she is doing well, staying dry for nap time but having little accidents while awake (shouldn't it be the opposite?)
i remember buying size 2 panties for lex & tash. mia was potty trained in japanese sized panties. but i had a difficult time even finding size 4 panties for baby grace. times have changed.