Sunday, September 9, 2012

What's all the Excitement About?

Before school starts
 Class of 2026
They had their very own table, the rest of their siblings had to sit at another table.
Mr & Mrs. B. hosted a perfect summertime party...bbq'd hamburgers and hotdogs, all the fixings, beans, chips, and of course, homemade ice cream!
 Playing in the host's very special playhouse
 Cupcakes for all!
 The night before her big day
Can you say sparkly eyes?

Going out to the All School Assembly
 With the Seniors behind them




Miss K. is Aaron's new Teacher.  She is also a dear friend. Both of her parents are my father's first cousin, so we share a lot of cousins. She even occasionally reminds me of my great aunts =)  But our closest connection is that she used to come babysit for me when I worked a little in David's office.  She is even best friends with another of my former babysitter/friends/cousin on my mom's side.  I love them both and I think this is my only picture of both of them.  Well maybe not, we've had some crazy bake cookie parties over the years =)  Love you guys!   
 no picture, sorry. Parents know that schedules are good.  We are so thankful that our little school is an option for us here in CA.  It is easy to take it for granted.  Did you know that my husband was the first graduate there?  He was the single 8th grade graduate the 2nd year out.  I graduated from there, taught there, and am now in my 5th year as a parent.  All but 9 yrs of my life have included this school.  To God be the Glory.  To the teachers, we pray daily that God would give you patience and wisdom. 
No, Stephen didn't think too highly of it. Day 2, he fussed and did NOT want me to get him out of his carseat after we came home from dropping the children off at school (pushed my hand away from the buckle =).  Did he think maybe we were heading right back to get them? He's adjusting well, plays by himself rather happily, stands at the window watching things for a long time and is always always cheered up by the offer of a laundry basket and our work together song...sung to the tune of "When we all get together"
When we all work together,
work together, work together
When we all work together,
How happy we'll be
When your work is my work
And our work is God's work
When we all work together,
How happy we'll be. 
Together we carry the empty or full laundry baskets to their appropriate destination (we have a long hall) and he smiles the whole way!  Try it with your toddler today =)


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Camping from a Month Ago

Yes, a slew of camping photos, I post them here mostly as a story line for myself, knowing also that a few of you are actually interested.  The 1st night I spent at least an hour listening to the sounds of nearby campsites repelling bears.  THANKFULLY, the bears did NOT think our campsite as appealing as we did!

Can you guess WHY we have a canner with this label? =)
Smore cones are tops!
for some reason this makes me laugh =)

All better?

Games with Grandma Irene

 I'm a sucker for nature photos...someday, a slr will hopefully sling around my neck and it can do justice to the beautiful color/light. 
 The downtime of camping is truly a blessing
 Baby blues in the water
 Their logs were thier canoes
 Bear River Resevoir
One of J's many many many many self portraits. He's not as camera shy as his mom.
A. Sharon rented a motor boat so we could explore the lake.  Shockingly, the children were excited;)

The water line

 The campfire starting pro is passing on his tricks.


A tight swing to a different photo completely.  This cracked me up for some reason. =)   

Mr. Discovery...what the toddler years are all about.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Red Pepper Apricot Chutney

What is a chutney?  A clutz who goes down a chimney? hehe...I think it is a funny word too.

I quote from one of my favorite canning cookbooks called The Complete Book of Small Batch Preserving by Ellie Topp and Margaret Howard, "Whereas salsas have a light and fresh, lively taste, chutneys have a rich, smooth, mellow, sweet-sour taste. They are the perfect accompaniment to spicy an strong-flavored foods."

This cookbook has such a wonderful range of recipes; both the basics and the unusual ~ like this one, featuring, 

Red Peppers




Golden Raisens
Candied or crystallized Ginger

How could it NOT by good?  Oh, and I had to buy mace for it.  Add cinnamona and a touch of cayenne...and boy howdy, there is a reason I'm keeping these =)  I can't wait for the flavors to meld completely so I can put it over a roast chicken or pork loin.  

The cookbook pairs it with pork curries, duck, poultry, or lamb. 

Or in a Cheddar Cheese Sandwich.

Or on top of cream cheese and toast.

This is one of the options for the savory givaway...perhaps you are now persuaded to enter the drawing by purchasing a jar of jam....or by sharing the sale photos on my Aria Gardens facebook site
If you are new there, "like" the page and enjoy updates on my canning adventures. The drawing ends the end of August.

Drumroll....thought question....brace yourself!

Have you ever thought that an onion is a thing of beauty?

The onion I showed a picture of (above) was actually a botanical marvel in my eyes.  It was 4 onions grown into one.  I couldn't get a good shot/cut of the onion to show all four corners of it, but it intrigued me with it's swirls of purple and white symetrically juxtapositioned together.  The first shot shows one "corner" of the onion.  The second one, while dirty, shows all 4 "roots" 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sale + Giveaway + Recipe option

Back to School Jam Sale


Peanut Butter and Peach Pluot Jam

Peanut Butter and Berry Cherry Jam

Peanut Butter and Apricot Pepper Jelly

And for Mom?
Cream Cheese and Cherry Apricot Preserves

Apricot Pluot and Grilled Cheese

Jars are $6 for 16 oz
$4 for 8 oz
50c off if you trade me an empty jar

Message me on my Aria Gardens facebook page to order today
SALE RUNS THROUGH the end of August 2012
I have 4-5 jars of the pluot jams available, but only 1 of the Apricot Pepper Jelly, and only 2 of Cherry Apricot Preserves.  The Chutney, I'm keeping, except if you WIN =) I also have 1 jar of BLUE BOY jam available and 2 jars of BERRY CHERRY.

Giveaway - you can choose one of my Savory Creations if you win. 
Enter to win by sharing my photos on fb and/or buy purchasing a jar of my limited edition of jam.

Thought question: do you freeze sandwiches ahead for lunches? If so, which kind?  Have a great day and let me know if you ever want a recipe, I'm not stingy about them, just don't enjoy typing them out!

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