Slightly obsessed

. . .with strawberries! But after six years of living where “U pick farms” are nonexistent, can you blame me???

Rachel and I picked 28# with Mom while we were in Indiana.

It was berry season in Minnesota by the time Mom was here, so she and I picked another 32#.

And then a neighbor offered to let us pick strawberries because she was done. Unfortunately her husband mowed right before we came, but the kids helped me glean about a quart of strawberries.

And then on the 4th of July, the kids and I went back to the berry farm and picked another 21.5#.

And now strawberry season is over until next year. :( I still have some berries in my fridge, plus a lot in my freezer and in jars of jam. Meanwhile Larry is already make plans for blueberry season. . .

Happy 4th of July!

A random selection of photos from past Independence Day celebrations. . .

2000

2005

2007

2008

I was surprised at how few pictures I found, but either there are years I did not take any or they are not on the computer (or Picasa has them so jumbled I can’t find them). The first two are with Nana, my dad’s aunt, at the annual family celebration; had hoped to attend that this year, but we had to go to Indiana last month instead. The first picture is one of my favorites and I set it as my wallpaper every July. :D The third picture is at our home in Iowa, taken after the local parade my kids still remember affectionately as “the candy parade.” The final picture was taken while at Symphony on the Prairie with my parents.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Entertaining

That’s what we’ve been doing. Mom & Dad brought Rachel back last Thursday and stayed through the weekend; Larry’s parents and aunt came over to help us celebrate Nathan’s 12th birthday on Sunday.

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And now everyone has gone home and life is slowly getting back to normal (except Caleb is still at camp). And believe it or not, I enjoy ironing…and napkins are so easy to iron and look so pretty freshly pressed!

How many in your party?

This month has been unusual for me in that the number of people I need to feed keeps changing! The kids and I went to Indiana the second week of June. That was seven people, nine with my parents. Wednesday, Caleb’s friends picked him up to travel back to Wyoming to work at Boy Scout camp for the summer. That brought us down to eight people. Then on Sunday, Rachel flew to Germany with a youth group from Indiana and the remaining boys and I drove home.

Back home in Minnesota, there were now only six of us. But then first thing Monday morning, the three younger boys started VBS and Joshua went along as a helper. That meant packing four lunches and only two of us eating at home at noon. . .talk about strange on both counts.  I don’t have a lot of practice at packing lunches, but after the first day I decided I needed a better way to pack. I’ve looked at Bento boxes before but for a large family they’re not affordable; I finally decided to buy what I could afford and if it works well and we use it a lot we can always upgrade later.

Lunch!

So I ended up ordering Easy Lunchboxes. Thanks to Amazon shipping, I was able to use them for the last two days of the week. . .why didn’t I think to order these sooner? Happily they just fit, the four of them stacked, in one of our cooler bags.

Joshua’s lunch

A closer view of what I sent on Friday. . .yogurt, taco meat “muffins”, pretzels, and slightly over baked macaroons. ;) As an aside, the lids are not watertight, being designed for small hands to open. However, I read online that a square of waxed paper over a thick liquid would keep it from leaking; the boys tell me it worked.

So that was last week. . .oh, and Friday night Larry took the two Cub Scouts to a camp out, which meant I only had Joshua and Nathan at home. But then on Sunday the Boy Scouts left for a week of camp, which means there are only four of us at home right now. We even took the leaves out of the table; I had forgotten it could get that small (still seats six ;) ). Mom and Dad will be bringing Rachel back at the end of the week, and Joshua and Nathan will be home sometime Saturday. . .are you keeping all of this straight? Me neither. 8-)

Happy

Laundry on the line, blue skies, and big green trees. Life is good!

You might notice this doesn’t really look like Wyoming; that’s because it’s southern Minnesota. There’s a long story behind our ending up here, but for today the green says it all. :D

Taking a break

Okay, I’ll be honest. . .I’ve been taking an extended break from blogging! But this is an intentional break, an admission that I do not have time and energy to do everything and that blogging is not a high enough priority to get done. My hope is that this will be a temporary break and that at some point life will settle back into a rhythm that includes time for blogging. In the meanwhile, may God’s peace be with you all!

(In a week or so I will change my blog setting to “private.” Once I am writing again, I will change the setting again so that you will be able to read it.)