Monday, September 29, 2008

Vacation Eve

Today is officially Vacation Eve. I am so excited to get some much needed time away with Gary but boy oh boy is there a lot of work involved in leaving for a few days! We are going to Glacier and the weather reports say it will be perfect weather while we are there. It will be so nice to just relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery. If anyone has any great places to eat in the Kallispel, Montana area, let us know ASAP! I'll try and post pictures when we get back but I'm not sure how great we will be at taking photos!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I'm Finally Finished!

I finally finished my canning spree this afternoon. Another 19 quarts of sliced peaches and 9 quarts of tomatoes. I know when Gary and I get back from our vacation next week, there will be more tomatoes waiting for me but it is SOOOOO nice to have the fruit done. Thanks to Kris Mullen for helping me out with some Fruit Fresh since the entire town is out! There is nothing quite as rewarding as looking at your counter the next day and seeing all the jars lined up and ready to be put away. Now I get to tackle the extremely dirty and sticky kitchen so that it is ready to go for our vacation. Hopefully I'll get my second wind soon and will get it all done tonight.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Guilty for Enjoying a Cold

I don't have much of a cold, just a few sneezes that the allergy medicine won't take care of but......

Dylan started having a fever yesterday afternoon and it carried through to today. He is sniffely and hot and cutting two molars all at the same time. The poor kid looks rough with his watery eyes and red nose and red cheeks. Even with all this, I am kind of enjoying it. He is NOT a snugly baby. Not when he was a newborn, not when he was a few months old, not now. This morning I just sat in my bed and held him while we watched Survivor. He just laid there and let me rub his head and play with his hair which is NOT like him at all. I do feel bad he is sick, but is it so bad that I am enjoying the time a bit too?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Run on Canning Supplies

This is how I spent the morning. Smiths, Fred Meyer, Wal-Mart, Cal-Ranch, Winco, and calling Albertsons. To show how productive my trips were, my grand total in spending was just over six dollars. I was on the search for some Fruit Fresh to finish up the last of the peaches today while my kids were at the neighbors. Apparently it is harder to find Fruit Fresh than most illegal substances at the height of canning season. The entire Pocatello area is OUT. If anyone knows a secret canning store, let me know! I am now putting off the peaches until tomorrow and working on Primary stuff instead. Never a dull moment here! And, if any of you have a stash of Fruit Fresh, I am betting you could get a mint on the black market right now!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Three P's of Fall

I haven't been very diligent at updating my blog the last week or so and here's the reason why: peaches, pears, and plums.

Our neighbor gave us 5 gallons of ripe plums last Friday so Saturday was spent turning the 5 gallons into 46 pints of plum jam. It was an all day endeavour but, knowing how much the boys enjoy pb&j's, I think it was well worth it.

Monday Gary told me he had some peaches and pears for me and they would be delivered Tuesday morning. Our canning stores were running low from a couple years ago and he works with someone who knows someone who can get something.........

Anyway, a bushel of pears and a bushel of peaches later, my kitchen is sticky from top to bottom. Yesterday I bottled the pears. You wouldn't think that 19 quarts would take that long but it did. I was grateful that Logan requested pancakes for dinner instead of something that required much cooking. Today I canned half the peaches - 17 quarts in all. I don't know why peaches go so much farther than pears but.....Tomorrow is another day and I think I'll be doing much of the same to finish off the peaches and then I can clean my kitchen!

Canning is definitely work but it is rewarding work when you look at your full counter top or when you pop open a jar in the dead of winter and know where the fruit came from and who put it in the jar. Later this week I need to do something with my tomatoes. Does anyone have a pizza sauce canning recipe? If so, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE share!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time For New Shoes?

We (Dylan, Ethan, and myself) were just getting ready to head out the door this morning to run some errands and I was waiting ever so not patiently for Ethan to decide which pair of shoes he would like to wear when this conversation happened:

E: I chose my army guy shoes (camo crocks) because I love them. They are army and they don't hurt.

Me: Do other shoes hurt?

E: Yeah, those ones (his school shoes that are still practically new looking). You tie them and my toes go, "OW!" And my garden boots make owies on my nipples.

Me: (trying not to laugh hysterically when I realize nipples is really ankles) We'll have to get you some new shoes buddy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Benefits of Driving the Truck

I took Ethan to preschool this morning and realized an important benefit of driving the truck. I get to sit right next to my little guys! On the way home, I could talk to Dylan and joke around with him. It was too funny to watch his face and see his responses. He is really in a teasing mood today. When I said, "I love you!" he smiled an shook his head no. I tickled his leg and told him yes I did and he just laughed and shook it harder. He's going to be quite the jokester I have a feeling!

We forgot Ethan's backpack today for preschool. All we have to bring is him and the backpack so I'm not sure how that happened. When we pulled up and I realized we didn't have it, I told him I'd have to bring it when I came to pick him up.

His response: Oh, dang it! That's okay if you bring it.

I'm glad he's an easy going kid! Although the first thing he told his teacher was that he'd left his backpack at home.

Monday, September 15, 2008

I Feel Stranded!

This summer, as some of you will remember, I had a little incident with my car and the tire tread. Well, the time finally came to get the body work done. It's been driveable and you couldn't see most of the damage so we didn't have to get right in to the shop. Finally, my week looked slow enough that I could schedule it and yesterday Gary and I dropped it off at the shop.

It's interesting how stranded you feel when you don't have your car of choice! I have the purple truck but I don't drive that very often and it won't fit more than three so we won't be using it much. Today I have two little neighbor boys so we all will be staying close to home. No McDonalds for lunch for us! To top it off, Gary left for a prescribed burn today and won't be home until late tomorrow night so I am here with no car and no husband! How did they do this before most families had two cars?

I realize I will be getting the car back by Wednesday most likely because the guy running the shop already painted the bumper and made sure all the parts were in when he found out we didn't have rental car insurance. He has been terrific to work with and does a great job. If any of you need some repairs made, I highly recommend Brent at Flatline Autobody! He's done work for us before and it is always on time and for the price he quoted.

OK, I'll quit whining now and get back to work. We'll be fine I'm sure. It's only a couple of days and it will be nice to be home getting things done around here!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Football - Way More Intense Than I Thought!

It's been a few days since I've posted but I've been meaning to write about my first flag football game experience. Let me start off by saying that I wasn't prepared in the least.

Gary was out of town on a burn so I took Tom to his game. Luckily, I left the other boys home with a sitter. When I showed up, I ran into a mom that I knew from Utah - we were actually in the same ward growing up but she was a few years younger I think. WHOA! She was REALLY into this flag football thing. I figured that she was just a bit excited. NOPE! We have quite a few moms on the team that are really into every aspect of the game from holding the down markers to critiquing jerseys to discussing the best photographer to get the action shots.

I, naively I realize now, thought that this would be similar to soccer, baseball, or basketball. You go to the game and cheer the team on. You even cheer for the other team when they do something great. You get to catch up with the other moms sitting on the sidelines and everyone is like a big family. I was sitting between Anna McDonald and Jen Muhonen and we did spend some time chatting but all the while we were getting dirty looks from other parents. Whoops! I thought at eight, it would be more fun than intense but from the looks of it, I better start getting more into football and start watching for those scouts out looking for the next break-out star!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Shouldn't the Box be Bigger?

The other day I realized that my little Ethan had no pants for school. I pass down the clothes from boy to boy but apparently the size he was in was worn out between Tom and Logan and he only had play worthy pants. So, off to the Children's Place website to order a small fortune in clothes. I picked up an outfit for each of the boys for Christmas as well as some pants for the two little ones now that it's getting colder. I was pleased with how many items I ordered for each of my boys for only $250. I know there are better bargain shoppers than me out there who could have done much better but.....

Well, after days of anticipation, the delivery arrived. Shouldn't the box be MUCH bigger? It kills me how small of a box can fit over 20 items of clothing. At least send it in a bigger box and add packing material! OK, now I've gone of the deep end. Here I am, the "green" part of our household wishing for larger boxes and more Styrofoam peanuts!

In the end, the boys will each have some cool boy stuff for the holidays and Ethan won't look as much like an orphan at preschool anymore.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What's for Dinner?

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this GREAT recipe on the Notes From the Trenches blog. It has become one of my favorites. Not only is it cheap and easy, it tastes good too. We are having it tonight again and I can't wait for it to cook. I'll call it Chicken and Black Bean Tacos.

Boneless, Skinless Chicken - the amount you need to feed your family
Black Beans - I use one can for every 4 chicken breasts
Salsa - I use one pint for every 4 chicken breasts
Grated Cheese - we put this on individually due to our lactose intolerant little ones.

Put the first three ingredients in your crock pot and cook all day on low or about 4 hours on high. The chicken should just fall apart when you shred it. Put it in tortillas and top with cheese. YUM! You can also add some rice to it before serving to stretch it out even further. The juice from the chicken and salsa mix in nicely with the rice and give it a Spanish flair. Hope you enjoy it! Let me know if you try it and what your family thinks.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Logan's First Soccer Game

I don't know when it happened, but I'm relatively sure that Logan was abducted by aliens. I can narrow down the timing to the space between the end of spring soccer and the beginning of fall soccer but that's as close as I can get. I have proof too.

First, his best friend on his team is Morgan, a girl. They played in spring and he wouldn't talk to her at all.

Second, Logan hasn't been known as the kid who LOVES soccer - especially the running. He was always the first one asking his coach for a break. Not today. He wanted to stay in AND he ran the whole time!

Third, last season I told myself that he was just hanging back because he was a natural defender. This year he is actually a great defender - blocking goals and stopping the other team. He also goes after the ball this year instead of practically looking allergic to it.

Yep, I'm pretty sure he was abducted by the David Beckham Aliens!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Is It REALLY Time Again?

After what seems like way too short of a break, it's once again time to start the sports seasons back up.

Yesterday Logan had his first soccer practice. I had threatened him with his life that if he didn't play his hardest instead of the way he played most of the season last year, so help me...........

Wa-La! Totally different kid out there this season. At least for the first practice. He had promised that he wanted to play again and that he would actually play this time and I guess I didn't give him enough credit. He was actually playing and looking like he enjoyed it. He has another practice on Friday and then their first game on Saturday. Two practices a week, an hour a piece and a game. Are we ready for this again?

Tom also had his first practice yesterday but this time it was for flag football. We missed the team meeting because of the fair so I found out about practice about 45 minutes before it was suppose to start. Apparently football is WAY more intense. They will have practice Monday through Thursday for 1 1/2 hours! If there happens to be a game on practice night, then they will skip practice though. Really? Like I was going to make my eight year old practice for over an hour and play a game for an hour on top of it?!?!?! When is the poor boy suppose to do homework or scouts or piano that I thought I'd start teaching them next week?

Oh, I forgot to mention that soccer and football practices overlap and are nowhere near each other. It's a good thing football is within walking distance of the house so Tom can just take care of himself because until they have started cloning moms, it's just me here and I can only be in one place at a time! How do you mom's of more than two athletes do it? I have two more on their way to practices and games and running around and..... YIKES!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Eastern Idaho State Fair

Last night the whole family took our annual trip to the fair. It was a blast! We did the traditional look at the booths and animals all on the way to the carnival rides. The boys had so much fun. Ethan could only ride a few of the rides because he is only 36 inches tall but he didn't complain at all. Tom and Logan were taller but still couldn't get on all the rides which didn't really bother them either. At first, Logan didn't want to ride anything too scary or fast or spinning but by the end he was loving it. I don't know how they rode some of them. I was almost sick just waiting for them on the ground!

Gary and I split up and took two boys each. He had Ethan and Dylan first and then Tom and Dylan. When we met up right before going to get some yummy fair food for dinner, he told me Dylan was MAD that he couldn't ride the rides with his brothers. That sealed the deal. We bought some extra tickets for Gary, Dylan and myself and all hopped on the big carousel. Dylan was in heaven. It was worth the $6 for the three of us to ride.

On the way to the food court area, we passed a mechanical bull. It didn't take much pleading from the boys and Gary was paying up for them to each have a turn. I wish we had our camera. It rocked. The man running the bull kept it going just fast enough for each of them that they were "really riding" but slow enough not to buck them off. He told them to wave their hats in the air at one point and each of them did on their own turn. Gary and I just at on the sidelines and alternated between laughing and cheering for our little cowboys.

It was a great night with all of us together. I'm actually looking forward to next year already!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ethan's Big Day

Today was Ethan's first day of preschool. I think I had a harder time with it than he did. Actually, I KNOW I had a harder time with it than he did. He was stoked. Walked right in with his Batman backpack like he owned the place. When I went to pick him up, three or four of the teachers came up to me telling me how great he did. I love the kid and his fearless attitude. He loves school and being big and helping his new friends.

When I asked him how school went, he told me it was great. Later, as we were sitting on the couch holding hands and watching Caillou, he told me about a girl in his class.

He said, "This girl was having a hard time with the monkey puzzle at school so I did it for her and then told her I would get her a sucker to make her feel better." The whole story in a nutshell. He is a sweetheart and I can't believe he is big enough to start preschool already!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Top Ten Lessons of the 2008 Bishop Family Camping Trip

10. It only took Dylan two minutes to be COMPLETELY covered in dirt including a hand print to the face.

9. Logan only tried to get lost once as he ran ahead on the trail back to camp very nearly giving Gary a heart attack.

8. Ethan can eat more for breakfast than his three brothers combined when he gets to eat in the good ole outdoors. (We're talking three fried eggs, some bacon, and a bit of hash browns.)

7. Tom can almost cut down a tree that is about 3" in diameter with his pocketknife he bought at cub scout day camp.

6. A new box of baby wipes (80 total) will last a family of 6 about 26 hours of their 48 hour camping trip.

5. Dylan can indeed fall out of his booster seat and land face first when you put it on the camp chair while remaining seat belted in.

4. Tom can defend himself when deep in the woods from mountain lions with the before mentioned pocket knife while yelling at the top of his lungs, "DAAAAAADDDDD!!!!!!!" when he hears footprints.

3. A queen sized air mattress is big enough for five of the six family members to share throughout the first night but Mom's mummy bag is only big enough for Mom and Ethan for about ten minutes before claustrophobia sets in.

2. There aren't any mosquitoes this time of year - the yellow jackets must have scared them away!

1. The Bishop family can indeed survive two nights in the wilderness without running water, bathroom facilities, picnic tables, gas grills, toys, etc. with only 5 gallons of water!