Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gearing Up For Fall and Winter

A little fall color and lights have brought some little joys to my home. I owe many thanks to you dear blogging friends for inspiring and encouraging me to decorate my home. I will be addressing my fear of decorating at the end of this post.
This is a big year for me. All four of my children are attending public school rather than homeschool. My sister Sharon gave me this idea to have a folder for each child, with all their school information inside. Since there are three different schools involved this is an absolute must. School phone numbers and calendars, sports schedules all go into the file.
Victoria on school picture day. This is all new to us too and fun. The kids are excited about having student I.D. and official school pictures.
Corn from our garden. I blanched and froze 10 quarts yesterday.
Plumbs are ready. I have been canning them, but now I will make some plumb jelly, and dry a few.
This is my canning log. I keep a record of every pint and quart for each year. Its seen quite a few canning seasons as the water spots on the blue file testify.
Here are a couple sample pages from my canning log.
My daughter Jessica labels the blackberry jam for me.
My son Garrett scrubbed potatoes for me. After this we let them dry for a few hours in the shade on a hot day on the drive way. We then put them into burlap sacks.
We bought a 1/4 beef from our neighbor for the freezer. Jessica helps unload and record what we have. There are some nice steaks and lots of ground beef. I like knowing where the meat came from. Next summer we will have beef from our own cows.
Garrett helps stack it into the freezer for me. The kids are a huge help on the farm.
Okay, time for an evening bike ride. Our son, Harrison left his helmet at a friend's house, but we let him ride anyway. We only had one car pass us. The roads are pretty quiet out here.
Garrett enjoying the ride.
Jessica loves biking too.
My husband on his unique bike, which is great if you have a bad back, which he does not, but likes being able to look around more freely.
Our neighbor and her new Rottweiler puppy. We are going to get one too. All of our neighbors have dogs and most are Rottweilers.
Girls taking a break at another neighbor's house.
Harrison saying hello to their dogs.
I love the scenery out here. It's very peaceful.
Another neighbor's home.
Enjoying the quiet and peaceful surroundings.
It was a fun evening bike ride. Don't send the helmet police please. I could not find my helmet. I had it on my last bike ride; honest; and no cars so pretty safe!
Last but not least, a little fall decorating with orange lights. This is my ugly dark room, soon to be known as the gorgeous bright room . If you knew the real me, you'd know that I have a secret fear of decorating. This is my first attempt at fall decorating; honest, it's the truth. note: The cute kitchen on my header is from a magazine and not my decorating skills. I'm a wanna be.
I got lights and little fake leaves from a craft store and silk flowers and cute little ceramic pumpkins from the Dollar Tree.
I put them above our fireplace. My fear of decorating comes from not doing it, for lack of time; along with fear of failure. I think jumping right in and trying conquers the fear.
As scared as I was to attempt decorating, I was pleasantly surprised at the kids and my husband's reaction. They love it and want me to do more. "She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family...She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her task...she is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." selected verses from Proverbs 31 ~ a model for me to look to. Have a pleasant day dear blogging friends. Kathi


Judy said...

I love your fall decorations. You did a great job. You must have a really big garden. What a beautiful harvest you received. I used a basket for school papers. Not as easy as the folders. I like that idea.
Have a good Wednesday.

grey like snuffie said...

I'm in awe of all your canning. And I think you did a great job with your decorating. I have just slowly collected little things here and there over the years and when it's time for a seasonal change I pull it all out and start moving things around. Sometimes it takes LOTS of moving before I think I may have gotten the look I want. I LOVE strings of lights. Well done!

Connie said...

I too, am in awe of your canning and your organization. My garden isn't nearly as big as yours. How did your plum jelly turn out? Mine was runny like honey, but still very yummy.
You did a great job at decorating. I'm impressed.

linda said...

You are talking to a decorating addict here...I love to decorate and spruce up my home for the holidays! Since you've now experienced how fun it is, I bet you'll do more of it...especially since your family liked it so well.

You may be in awe of others decorating abilities but we are in awe of things that you do. I have never canned one thing in my entire life. I'm in awe of all the wonderful things that you do on your farm...we all inspire one another!

Tiffany said...

I love your canning log idea! I wish I'd done that from the start. Will have to start now:) And you reminded me, it is almost time for me to pull our decorations out too. Hey, we can leave these up clear through Thanksgiving! I just haven't wanted to face the fact that summer days are past...xoxo T~

Sharon said...

What a fun, newsey post! I am so glad that the kids are doing well in school and ya'll are adjusting to the new schedule! You are so blessed to have all this time now! It sounds like you are busy though with all your canning. I am proud of how much you can! Now, I am a decorating and have no fears of that, but I am not a canner and I have fears of canning! The only things I do are jams and jellies and I freeze things. I have pickeled green beans before and they were good, but that was many years ago. Keep going with the decorating!!! You will be fine!

I love ya sis!

Mrs.Ruiz said...

I think thats sad that you are going to eat your cows I thought they were your pets:) I eat meat but when I think of how cute they are I have I hard time. As for the folders for the kids, that is a great idea, I'm going to put mine together today.

Mrs.Ruiz said...

I have a question regarding corn. I too froze some corn for the winter it was my first time and didn't know I had to blanch it. I just used the vacuum sealer and sealed it. Do you think it wil be okay? I have a fear of decorating too. I have been in my home for three years and still have nothing on my living room walls. I just dont know what to hang and where to start

Anonymous said...

Can I daresay that I love your blog?
I am a homeschool mama at the end of her rope. Long, long story which I will spare you, however I am encouraged when I read how your kids are doing fine in traditional school. Makes the very real possibility of sending my kids to school less scary.
Thank you for being transparent!!
Bless you!

A Romantic Porch said...

Kathy, I'm so proud of you! What a great posting. I need to do a canning log so I will know what I have, though I only have some things in the freezer side of the fridge in zip lock bags. I don't have any canning jars. I'm working on that. Your mantel is just beautiful. I'm so proud of you. Take baby steps, you'll learn as you go and learn confidence and it will all turn out wonderful. xo rachel

Pearl said...

Hi Kathi... How wonderful to read about your children and how well everyone is adjusting to public school. Such a blessing! The folders are a great idea. I used a small, portable file cabinet... I guess that is what it is called... hard plastic with a handle and inside you used hanging folder pockets. Then I made copies of birth certificates and medical records, plus S.S. numbers, etc. It was terrific because I could carry it to my desk or bed or sofa and everything was there! No need to go to the safe for original documents, etc. Then, as notes + letters from school would come home, I just filed them in the portable file. I also filed report cards and awards. At the end of the school year, I just transfered everything to my Big file cabinet and made new folders for the upcoming year.

I loved seeing your photos and learning more about your farm and all of the bounty you get from it. I am so amazed at your skills and energy, Kathi! Ohhh, also, I think your new blog header is pretty... and so is your home!! Your Fall decor is lovely and how exciting that your family noticed and had praise for your efforts! I was tickled for you ~smiles~ ... Please have a relaxing and pleasant evening... God bless...

~hugs 'n prayers~


Also, thank you so much for your visit and sweet, encouraging words... You're a true Sweetheart!

Jan Parrish said...

Looks beautiful. And the bike ride sounds like lots of fun.

Brenda said...

Love your lights.I have to get some.
I also just love your life. I want to live on a farm so bad.You do such a great job and make it look fun =)

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Kathi, You really impress me. I love the things you do as a wife and mother. You're a girl after my own heart. I no longer can anything. There was a time that I did a lot of canning. I love how organized you are. Especially the keeping notes in a journal. It's fun to see how the kids help you. You did a great job with the fall decor. Girl, you really have to try to get over the fear of decorating. My thoughts on decorating are that if you and your family love what you've done that;s what's important. If you don't like it, just change it. Paint is one of your best decorating tools because it's cheap. And just look at all of the help that you have. I'd love to have all of that help. I can't wait to see you venture into decorating. Have a great night!!

Anonymous said...

I love all your canning, I am a canning, decorating wanna-be. Someday I will get to it. When the kids are gone probably!
I don't have anyone to show me HOW to CAN, or freeze or make Jelly, so I just live vicariously through others!
Hope to see you soon ! We are down in Portland area all the time.

Charlotte said...

Beautiful fall decorations. You inspire me with your canning and planning. Thank you for being such a good example to all of us bloggers.

Elena said...

Kathi, Thank you for your kind words on my blog. Your decorating looks wonderful. I love fall! It is so great that you grow and preserve your food. I do a little, but not much. Hopefully more when Mary gets older:) Have a fantastic day! Elena

Kelly said...

Oh I have missed you!!!! Your decorations look marvelous, you are a natural! And good idea on the folders for all the kids and their school info. I took that binder folder idea from sharon and I write everything in there, from meals to ideas to things to do! That has organized my life so much!
And I love Proverbs 31!


Sondra said...

I am just amazed by all the canning you do. I am a little jealous of that! I would so love to do those things. I remember helping mom with the garden and canning when I was little. Your fall decorations are very pretty. I really should put some out.

Rosemary said...

haha Kathy, I think we all grew up bike riding WITHOUT helmets, and i doubt many of us have brain damage! LOL! Rosemary


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