Saturday, May 21, 2011

Fantastic Mother's Day!

Had a fantastic Mother's Day and had to share in all the festivities! The actual day of Mother's Day my hubby asked if there was anything special I wanted to do and honestly the best present to me is quality time, no gift could compare to a day of just being together so I told him not to get anything since he's usually working most evenings and weekends on side work it was nice to just be a family of 4 for the day!

Besides, since I was young I've found doing for others is more rewarding so I get to relish doing things for Grandmom's on Mother's Day more than anything for myself. So after the Strawberry picking a couple days before I found a cute Minnie Mouse printout and added some chocolate-covered strawberries for them to enjoy, along with the stepping stones we all made for each of the Grandmom's (which glow in the dark too!) they'll have lasting impressions to remember just how small the boys were-which I'll enjoy seeing when we visit too!

Carter filling the container to mix into the cement

Pushing in the glow-in-the-dark stones

And since my Mom's birthday is only a few days after Mother's Day we took her and my Dad to Double T Diner for lunch where they had the biggest cake ever! There were 4 long tables full of strawberry cream cake that spelled out Happy Mother's Day where everyone got a complimentary piece to take home, what a sweet surprise!

But I did receive a great gift from Gavin's school, the opportunity to attend a Mother's tea and see what his daily routine is like. It was so touching to see the love within that school, teacher and kids alike, this is how church should feel, like a second home with extended family! I was blessed to see just how much he's enjoying the company of his friends in class and how excited he is to learn!

In class sharing the Mother's Day gifts they made with their Mommy's

Praying to Jesus as they pass the crucifix hanging in the hall

( Have to mention that Gavin has never sung a whole song before, not like Carter who at not even 2 was singing up a storm, but for Gavin it's mostly because of his shyness mixing with his speech delay, he'd only get out a few letters of the ABC's and part of Old McDonald's song- mostly just the animal noises came out. But last month out of the blue he blurted out this song while laying with me in bed, word for word and to an actual tune. I was so moved! Now everytime we hear it in church he can sing along and I'll always think of his 1st song he learned thanks to his school!)

They also made portraits of their Mom's and told what made their Mommy special. None of the pictures had a name so each of the Mom's had to read and guess which pertained to them. They were sooo cute! Of course as soon as I saw the part about 'Mommy getting me a football shirt', I knew it was Gavin's!

Can't wait to attend this next year with Carter! Truly touched my heart, as a person of God and a Mother, there's nothing better than seeing a child growing in faith!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Having a Berry good time!

"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."...Marcel Proust

There's nothing like the sweetness of fresh picked strawberries! No multi-person handeling, packing and long truck ride to the grocery store; just picked off the plant right to your kitchen!

I wish I had more land to be able to have a few rows of strawberries myself, but they are only around for about 4 weeks time so in the long run of prepping the garden I'll stick with my 2 pots of plants and leave the big stuff to the professionals nearby!

That said, I took the boys to a local farm to go Strawberry picking today and had to share our visit! I mentioned it once earlier in the week and this is all they've been looking forward to! It was so cute, as soon as we got out of the truck and got our boxes, Gavin runs up to the field saying, 'Strawberries, here we come!'

They did awesome too! After reminding them to only pick the all red ones they could have been hired on the spot! Their little fingers griped the stems perfectly and they were so gentle when pulling that only a few were a little bruised (those were eaten on the spot of course)!

Also taught some great teamwork skills in the process!

Now, I have the great pleasure of washing and preping tons of berries as we picked the most ripe ones. I'll save about a dozen to be included in a chocolate-covered Mother's Day bouquet for the Grandmom's this weekend and another couple dozen to eat. The rest I'll try my hand in making some Strawberry Jam. It seems easy enough to make, guess we'll see how it goes! Here's a basic recipe:

5 cups crushed berries (2 qt.)
7 cups (3 lb.) sugar
1 box powdered fruit pectin

Stir powdered pectin into the berries. Bring berries and pectin to a boil and add sugar all at once. Again, bring the mixture to boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and fill jars.


2 cups crushed berries (1 quart)
4 cups (1 3/4 lb.) sugar
3/4 cup water
1 box powdered fruit pectin

Add sugar to fruit and stir well. In a sauce pan, boil 3/4 cup water and the fruit pectin for one minute, stirring constantly. Add the hot pectin and water to the fruit and continue stirring 3 minutes. Put in containers, let stand 24 hours and store in freezer.

*A great tip I got a few yrs back when making the kiddos fresh baby food:
If there is not time to make your jam the same day as you picked, here's a great idea! Wash, stem and slice the berries then blend them. They won't take up as much space in your freezer, and 2 cups of the blended berries makes one jam recipe any time you want "fresh" jam.