Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sugar Beets

The time has come to begin clearing out my garden.  This is a great lesson for the girls in beginning homemaking.  Thursday Lydia helped me harvest the beets.  We kept the taproot attached and then cut the stems to about two inches.  We brought them into the house where Kara washed the beets and placed them in the blancher.

We then boiled the beets until the skins were able to be rubbed off.  Both Kara and Lydia helped me skin the beets and then I chopped them and placed them in the pint jars. Adding a 1/2 tsp of canning salt to each pint then sealing it with a lid and ring.  This is all the girls were able to help me with.  I am always a bit nervous about using the pressure canner, so no kids are allowed in the kitchen when the pressure canner is building pressure up.

This was the first time I've used the pressure canner this year, so I had to do a quick review of what I was doing (by calling my very experienced gardening/coupon friend!).  I processed the pints for 30 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure (or 11 pounds on my canner since the extension office told me my gauge is off by one pound when pressure gets to 10 pounds).
After all the beets were processed we have 20 lovely pints of beets.  Now, hopefully the kids will enjoy eating them :)  I don't think I've ever fed them beets before - Total cost $1.40 for 20 canning lids (I already had the jars and rings, and the lids were purchased using $1 off coupons for .$69 each).

Homeschooling has begun

We have started our schooling up again.  If you are interested in following our schooling adventures, click here or on the homeschooling tab at the top of the blog.

From Reading to collecting bugs, we hope to make this school year a great year for our family. Please share any great activities or helps that you have used in homeschooling.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Happy Birthday Lydia

Tomorrow my little girl turns 6.   Lydia is my sweet sensitive one.  She feels everything, and is concerned about everyone and everything.  While sometimes this can be frustrating -- because she loses complete control when she even THINKS that she is in trouble, this aspect of her personality is also a blessing as she is very sensitive to spiritual things.  She is concerned about obeying God and hates the idea of any of her friends not knowing God.
Lydia's first time fishing
 Lydia is also my peacemaker.  She can play well with Andy, or she can play well with Kara.  She tries to be loving and kind.  She can be easily persuaded by her oldest sister, but she is learning to stand up and say "No, that's not the right thing to do." 
 Lydia loves Cats - probably because of Kara's passion for cats.  She greatly misses Shalom, and whenever we go down to visit the grandparents she asks if we can go visit Shalom.  Lydia loves animals.  Lydia is also very detailed oriented. Because of this, she does her work slowly - because she wants to make sure she gets everything right.  But, if I need things vacuumed very well - she is the person to ask :)
 Lydia loves to explore, and will often get sidetracked by something and not realize where she is going.  Because of this, when we are out we need to keep close tabs on which direction she is going.  But, we've only lost her once - last year at the zoo.  I even hate admitting that, but am very thankful we found her quickly (before she really even got upset about it).  Now, I am sure to count heads repeatedly whenever we move about at the zoo or mall.
 Lydia has a very vivid imagination.  While Kara prefers to bury her nose in a book, Lydia much prefers to act the book out.  She also loves being artistic.  She made a pillowcase in 4-H this year, and I have a feeling this was just the first of many projects she will be completing this next year.
 Lydia loves books, but she will tell you she doesn't know how to read (she can, but it takes a lot of effort on her part- so she would much rather have you read the book to her).
Lydia is a sweetheart, and I love her so much.  Her sensitive nature and daily reminders to pray for our soldiers.  She has a sweet love for her brother and desires to give him whatever he wants.  Lydia is a blessing, and I am excited about the many creative things she will do for God in her life.

Happy Birthday Lydia