Thursday, July 26, 2012

Thrifty Thursday ~ My Canning Adventures

My new obsession... CANNING! I never thought that I would be a "canner", but I really do enjoy/love it! It's kind of like I get in my own little zone and just can away.
These are a few things I've canned so far.. green beans or bean greens as Olivia calls them, peaches, plum jelly, sugar free peach preserves, salsa and tomatoes. I'm wanting to can some pickles, tomato juice and maybe some more jam/jelly.
I have found great canning resources thru the web and one of my favorite sites has been This site is stocked full of anything & everything canning. Definitely check it out if you are interested in canning. You won't be disappointed.
I will say canning sugar free items compared to sugar items is totally different. My dad and my Pap Paw are both diabetics and they both love peaches so I canned some sugar-free peach preserves for them. They didn't quite "jell" like my plum jelly did, but I think they turned out pretty good. 
My plum jelly is one of my favorite things I've made so far. It has a great sweet/tart taste and it's perfect on some warm toast. All in all, my canning adventures so far have been great. This year since I've had to invest in my jars, lids, equipment, garden, etc. Canning has cost me money, but in years to come I will end up saving money and enjoy the "fruits of my labor." I have to say there's nothing more satisfying then knowing you grew something and canned it and ate it. No middle man, No Wal-Mart, just home grown good food. If you haven't tried canning, go ahead, give it a try. I promise you won't be disappointed and it's a lot easier than you may think.

Party Time

Yesterday we celebrated Ben's 31st birthday. He had to work the night before so most of the morning he slept. While he was sleeping Olivia & I made him some Blondie brownies.
They were delicious! Here's a pic of the finished product. (Olivia's pretty obsessed with making her "silly face") lol.
After Ben woke up we had arranged a meeting with, how do I put this, a burial plot advisor. Yes, morbid I know especially on Ben's birthday, but it's something we had talked about for awhile.
After our appointment my parents called and wanted us to go to dinner for Ben's birthday. Olivia was ecstatic! All morning she kept saying we need to have "a party, party hats, presents & cake."
She has a thing for birthdays. My mom must be right on target because she brought party hats & noisemakers (to Olive Garden). Lol!
Olivia loved it! Our friends Austin & Allie joined us.
We had a great time. It was fun having a low key family celebration.
After we went to eat we went up to the lake. The kids love it there.
Unfortunately they act like crazy people because they get off their schedules, miss naps and all. All in all we had a great time.
I'm truly thankful for my little family!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest Things

Olivia has been talking, it seems like, since she was born. I know it hasn't been that long, but she's been talking full sentences pretty much since she was a year old. She says the funniest things and since I try to use this blog as my journal I thought I would write down some of the things she says... here it goes..
  • Today is Ben's birthday and the very first thing she said when she woke up was, "it's Daddy's birthday today" then she said (while counting her fingers), "we need cake, presents, party hats and balloons."
  • "I love ________ so very much" The blank could be me, Ben, Owen, CoCo or Dora.
  • Everyday she says, "I want to go to school, I'm going to go to school. I need a backpack, pencil, paper and I need to see my friends."
  • "Mommy, you're so sunny" (As to say Mommy, you're so funny. She can't pronounce her F's too good right now)
  • "I want a Happy Meal. Chicken Nuggets, fries and a TOY."
  • "It's not Sair" (It's not fair). This drives me INSANE! She usually says it when she gets in trouble. I'm trying to break her from it but it's not working to well. Any ideas?
  • Every night we say our prayers and I'll usually pray first and say Now I lay me down to sleep... then she'll say who she wants to pray for and her list almost always includes, "Addi, baby Asher, Chloe" (her friends from church) and she'll always pray for Ben, Owen and me. It's the sweetest thing.
Owen has also started talking. Not in full sentences, but these are some of the words he says the most other than Momma and Dada.
He says, "Papa (for Poppy, my dad), Papaw (Ben's dad), dog, Coco (our dog), Dora (our dog), chicken, Sissy, No, Yes, church, shoe, car, hi, bye, blankie, bath and the other day before we ate he said "God is great God is good Let us thank Him for our food, amen. It was the sweetest thing. Unlike Olivia whose voice is so deep and grown sounding Owen has this really sweet baby voice. He's pretty funny too. I think both of our kids will be entertainers.
Owen loves going around playing the guitar and singing and Olivia acts like she's playing the drums and sings. They most definitely keep us on our toes, but we wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy Wednesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

God Supplies All Our Needs

Back in April I wrote a post The Happenings of Our Crazy Life, at that time Ben was still looking for a full-time job. Not too long after that (sorry I can't remember the exact date) Ben got hired on full-time at another local hospital making more money than he's ever made. No we aren't millionaires or anything like that, but it's amazing how God provides. He's working in a sleep lab and there are sometimes that patients call and cancel/reschedule their sleep studies. This just goes along with the job. Last week this happened and I knew from our budget that this month would already be a "tight" month. This happened on Tuesday. Ben received a phone call saying his patient had cancelled their sleep study. When your husband is your only source of income and that's 12 hours of pay gone, you start to worry. It's crazy how the devil just creeps in. Not 20 minutes after Ben received that call, his other job (the prn job) called and asked him if he wanted to come in that someone had called in sick so he could go in and make time and a half for 12 hours! AMAZING!! God is so good! You would think that I would learn not to worry and just leave it to God because He always provides, but being human I don't think I'll ever be able to truly stop worrying, but God is teaching me that if I just depend solely on Him He will provide my EVERY need according to His riches in Glory. I honestly can't tell you how many times things like that have happened these past few months. Ben has been in awe and so have I. God is God and always will be God. He knows our every need before we even ask. I used to think that I was the one in control and I tried to work more or do more and then we would have more, but God is slowly teaching me and Ben that it's not about us at all, but it's all about Him. If we just rely on Him HE will see us through.
This was not even what I planned on blogging about today. I just thought I'd post some pictures of the kids and write about what we've been up to, but it seems God had another plan. If you don't know Him as your personal savior it's never too late to ask Him into your heart. Don't let another day pass without letting Him be in control of your life.