Saturday, October 18, 2008

Apple Heaven

Don't these look scrumpsious?!

Todd made the best apple pie!

Jamie dried some apples in her fancy food dehydrator.

I dried 3 times as many apples in Russ's homemade food dehydrator.

Then I made some yummy Apple Jelly. Here's how:

First wash the apples

Then cut them in quarters

Juice them (Russ has a juicer so I just used his, if you don't have a juicer then put the quarters in a large pot, add ten cups water and cook them. Once cooked strain the juice through cheesecloth. I used Sure Jell pectin so I needed 7 cups of juice)
I put the apple quarters in the juicer, filled it halfway then sprinkled on some apple pie spice filled it the rest of the way and sprinkled on some more spices. I thought this would give an extra yummy to the jelly.

I didn't take pictures of the next step because I had to do it quickly and according to the directions "exact."
I sent Todd to the store for the pectin and asked him to get the no sugar one, needless to say he got the one that you have to use sugar. But hey, he found the pectin. So whatever type of pectin you get just follow the directions exactly as they say.

Here is the finished product.

Note* If you don't have a generous uncle with an apple orchard I think it would be more cost effective to make the jelly out of apple juice you buy at the store.

A is for Apple

Last year Michael and Todd went with Grandma and Grandpa out to Karls apple orchard to pick apples. He grows the most delicious gala and fuji apples I have ever had! I thought that would be fun for us to do again this year so we got permission from Karl, who so kindly let us come and pick some apples. Thanks Karl

We tried to teach them to twist then pull to preserve the twigg for next years crop.

They weren't really interested in picking apples, but they loved running up and down the row of trees!

Look at all the apples we got! On the way home we thought of all the things we would make with them.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Michael absolutely loves having his cousin Genesee here with us! They have had so much fun together. Here are some pictures of the fun things they have been up to.

Michael and Genesee somehow got Grandpa to jump on the tramp with them, or as Michael would say "Grandpa fump."

Every year the neighbors sell discount pumpkins in their driveway. So we walked over and bought some pumpkins to carve. Michael loves their dog Bandit.

They love playing together in the backyard. Todd rigged up a wagon to the back of Michaels truck so that he could pull her instead of run over her.

This is my favorite, laying on my bed, watching a movie, settling down for the night.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Thankful Thursday. . . a little early

I am having a really rough day so I am making a thankful list a couple days early in hopes that I will feel better about life.

1. I am thankful for our health
2. I am thankful for vacuum cleaners
3. I am thankful for comfortable clothes
4. I am thankful for DVD players and DVDs like Finding Nemo
5. I am thankful for indoor plumbing

Wow that took me 20 minutes to come up with that list!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Economic Crisis. . . Who is at fault?

Wow am I ticked off right now! I just finished watching the VP debate and then started thinking about the "economic crisis." The GREED of the wealthy is so aggravating!

As lower middle class Americans, my husband and I have struggled with our credit for as long as we have been married. Due to periods of unemployment we were unable to pay some medical bills and cell phone bills, which then went to collections. Thus accruing more fines and debt and delinquencies reporting to our credit reports. I must also add that money mismanagement in early adulthood also aided in lowering our credit scores to below 600.

We have experienced first hand how having poor credit leaves you prey to predatory lenders. When you have poor credit the only auto loans you can get are at extremely high interest rates. The only credit cards you can get have large fees and high interest rates attached to them. Now days many employers look at your credit reports before hiring you.

When trying to fix your credit score the only advice you can find is pay your bills on time and pay off your collections. How does one do this if they can't find a job because they have poor credit?

Like most Americans it has been our dream to have our own home. To pay a mortgage on a property that would be ours rather than pay rent to a wealthy landlord. Two years ago we looked for a mortgage through Countrywide. We received one offer from a bank with incredibly ridiculous terms, high interest, and balloon payments. Thank God that my husband talked with his boss about this and she advised against this. We were thinking of going through with it because we really wanted a house of our own, a yard for our son to play in, and a garden to grow vegetables.

In the debate tonight the question was asked in regards to the economic crisis "Who do you think was at fault? . . . Was it the greedy lenders? Was it the risky home-buyers who shouldn't have been buying a home in the first place? And what should you be doing about it?"

HMMMM!!! let me think about that. The risky home-buyers who shouldn't have been buying a home in the first place! OH PLEASE! It was the greed of the filthy rich!!!

OH that urks me! Extremely greedy lenders took advantage of people with poor credit. They probably used the term "less than perfect credit" to lure them in. These "risky home-buyers" wanted to live the American Dream. A bank was willing to lend to them. Sure there was a balloon payment or it was an interest only payment plan. (WHO THE HELL CAME UP WITH THAT?) Of course they went for it. Mortgage brokers were probably telling them that this was their chance. They could agree to these terms now and in a little while they could refinance to a conventional fixed rate, or they probably pumped them up on how they could make money on this, in a year they could sell that house for tens of thousands more than they were getting it for that day.

So the greed of the lenders, the greed of the sales people, and the failure to regulate lending practices lead to this crisis!

And now they hope to pass a $700 billion bailout bill. Since government is considering stepping in and it will be my tax dollars that go to pay for this I demand that they consider helping the "risky home-buyer" get out of the grasp of the predatory greedy lenders, by getting them out of interest only loans, or crazy balloon payments, and into conventional loans.


I can't believe a week has come and gone already. I am especially filled with gratitude today.

1. I am thankful for my mom and Russ and the support that they have given us. My mom is an extremely caring person who worries about her kids non-stop and would do anything to help us.

2. I am thankful to live in this great country! Even though it has its problems it is still the "Land of Opportunity"

3. I am thankful that Todd did well at his interview and was offered the position at Coinstar.

4. I am thankful for hard times because they really make me appreciate the good times.

5. I am thankful for Karl's apple orchard. His Organic Fuji apples are so delicious!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

While I was on the phone with my dad

The other day I called my dad and just as the phone was ringing Michael picked up the other phone and started talking. I couldn't hear my dad and he couldn't hear me over Michaels blabbering. Finally he quieted down and let us talk. Just as I was about to get off the phone I found out why he was suddenly quiet. He walked out of Sara's room looking like this.

The kid loves lotion! For some reason he thinks it is conditioner.


I have a dream board or vision board and on it I have a lot of long term dreams or goals. I look at it everyday and go over what my dreams are. I started the dream board in January and since then about half of them have happened.

I thought it would be fun to do a Wishful Wednesday to focus me on some short term goals and to let you all know what some of my dreams are.

My three wishes this week are. . .

1. I wish that Todd does well at his interview with CoinStar and that he gets hired right away.

2. I wish that ESD123 will call and tell me that they want to hire me to be a Prevention/Intervention Specialist.

3. I wish Michael would easily go to sleep at naptime and bedtime.

Poopy in the potty!!!!

So Michael has been going "pee pee in the potty" for a few weeks now. He has yet to poop in the potty, fortunately for me it is usually right after nap that he goes (since he wears a pull-up to bed and nap) Lately he has gotten creative in finding excuses as to why it should not be his bedtime. He has often used that he needs a drink or has to go pee pee. How did he learn this already?! He is only 2! But because I really want to encourage this whole potty training thing I let him get up and go potty. Half the time he doesn't do anything but sit there and flush the toilet.

Tonight as I was tucking him in he farted and immediately his eyes lit up he smiled and said "poop potty" I took him to the bathroom where he sat. I was so sure he was actually going to poop.
Turns out it was just his newest way of delaying bedtime.