Saturday, September 24, 2011

Plum Butter

Last year I didn't make any plum butter. And all winter I've heard the quiet begging for plum butter on sandwiches. But alas, there was no plum butter to be found. Who would have guessed that plum butter would be such an integral part of our family life:) So when I was offered some picking time at a friends plum tree, I jumped at the opportunity!

I half filled a bushel basket and grabbed a some pears as well and came home grinning with my bounty. Then the work began.

I washed, pitted, chopped and weighed.

I cooked, and stirred, and chopped some more (this time with the help of my blender) and cooked it more.

Then I canned it and water bathed it. 

Then with great elation...listened to them pop! Ah the sounds of a good canning session. Success was audible and my kitchen smelled like heaven. Now my sticky floor, that was a whole different matter:)

While all this slaving away and hot, sticky matter was splatting everywhere, it seems that my son was chatting on my cell phone. To his grandmother...who knew:)

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lego Mania

We have LEGO mania here at the Riddle house. Chad has started a LEGO club at Kyla's school that we all get to take part in twice a week. Did you catch that, all of us...twice a week. Oh boy:) On top of that, Gavin and Kyla are building with LEGOs every day! 

Our boy is showing some mad skills in the building and designing department. Here is a little taste of what has been coming out of the playroom.

All on his own, with no help from us. He's four people!


Please focus your attention towards the amazing lego creation, with a loading door. Please don't notice the amazing bed head and tired eyes. Lots of Lego building = not much personal grooming:)

And you know that Gavin isn't having the only building fun. Here's Chad's latest creation, which was used for the LEGO presentations at our local grade school. Introducing Robot Dude. Or Dude on a Robot:)

I'm sure that there are more creations to come, both from the kids and from their toy-lovin' daddy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A Jump through July

In my effort to catch everyone up, we'll take a quick jump through the month of July.

To start off, we raised 12 caterpillars and watched them turn into 12 beautiful butterflies, amazing! We released them with a bit of help from some friends.

The kids and I were in our local Lafayette Fourth of July Parade. We even won a prize for our wagon...I mean float:)

The kiddos spent two fun filled weeks at two different local Vacation Bible Schools. The second was cowboy themed, right up our alley:)

We spent a week poolside as the kids took another round of swim lessons.

We bought a car, a new to us 2006 Subaru Outback XT, with cash. Dave Ramsey was very proud of us. Well, he would be if he knew:) 

We were able to take a couple of laps around the Bonnell gocart track (AKA Grandpa and Gradma's back field). Kyla is a mean driver, she'll take you out. Gavin will take you out as well, but only if you are a small tree or large bush:)

Our neice, Ana, was down for a fun, whirlwind visit. The weather was cold and blustery, but a blast was had by all.

 We took a trip up to Washington to help celebrate our nephew turning three. 

And to finish off the month, one of our chickens laid the biggest egg known to man, poor gal:)

Friday, September 9, 2011

One Thing After Another

This summer we were busy, really busy, while we waited for some sunshine and warmth. Here is just a glimpse of what went down this August.

 Kyla took her first round of riding lessons at a local farm. It was a two day camp and she loved every second of time on the horse.

We had a "First" happen this month as well. Kyla and I had the oppurtnity to take a ride in a hot air balloon. Gav and Chad took a tethered (the balloon was held by a rope so they went up and then right back down) ride as well. Chad's family started crewing for this couple back when Chad was Gav's age! We'll be crewing from now on:)


With great joy, we celebrated Kyla's 8th birthday. She had a friend party before we left on our big trip, and as you can maybe guess, it was fairy themed.

We traveled to Indiana on her actual birthday, and the crew of the airplane made her a crown and "cake" out of peanut packages and stirsticks. You can bet that made her day:)

We also squished in a trip to the Yamhill County Fair. The kiddos enjoyed the rides, while Chad and I enjoyed the crazy fair food. We caught the rodeo and some animal judging.

Sometime in the midst of traveling and birthdays, the kids became underwater detectives. Hence the underwear on their heads...and clothes pins:) I know for a fact that Kyla's panties were clean, I am not as certain that Gavin's underpants were. I choose not to dwell on that:)

The four of us traveled to Indiana for my cousin's wedding. The trip was full of wedding fun, visiting, eating, and playing.

Instead of heading straight home from Indiana, we made a week long stop in Colorado to visit with Chad's brother. Trina (my MIL) met us up at Estes Park, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we got a three bedroom condo for all of us. Chad's brother met us there and we hiked, swam, toured and went horse back riding. It was a phenomenal trip!

At some random day during the month of August, Kyla somehow got hold of her little brother and proceeded to use every hair tie in her supply to decorate him. He didn't seem to mind and the giggles that were seeping from under the bathroom door were well worth the work of putting everything away.

So that was our August, well at least a glimpse of it. Makes you want to take a nap doesn't it?:)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New school supplies and waking up's back to school time!

The trumpets sounded on Tuesday morning and we were off, off on the back to school routine. Actually it was just one lonely alarm clock, but trumpets sounding sounded much more exciting and oh so very formal and spectacular:)

Kyla has been blessed with an amazing phenomenon in a public school...she has the same teacher and students as her second grade year. They all moved up together! We are so blessed by this! Her teacher is amazing and Kyla feels right at home already with her classmates so that getting back to learning is an easy transition. She is a third grader and loving it! 

Gavin started at Little Lambs Preschool on Wednesday, going back to where he took part in a month of preschool last May. He easily slipped back into the routine of it all and is excited for his next day of school.

He'll be busy learning and playing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays while I'll be enjoying the soon as I get over the faint stirrings of loneliness:)

Lunches have been  made, school supplies delivered, schedules fussed over and bed times revived. All is in order for school, all except the habit of waking up early. That may take a while to get used to again.

We're Back!

Hmmm, did anyone notice that it's been a while since I last posted? No one? Hardly anyone did, except for all of my family back in Indiana...and Chad's family...and my family here in Oregon...and even some of my friends. I took a small break from blogging this summer as life got a little busy and priorities shifted. But we are back...and ready for more:)

So here goes!