Weekend in review

Isabelle-and-vivian-with-us 

After 3 busy weeks, we said goodbye to our students, Isabelle and Vivian (they have Chinese names, but we have no idea how to say them!). The kids and I attended a potluck to say goodbye, while Ryan went down to Seattle on Friday afternoon to pick up his new musical “baby”, a Yamaha CP70. It is somewhat of a mini baby grand piano, yet not quite. It’s somewhere between that and a keyboard, yet the sound is far more to the grand piano edge (except that it needs an amp to be very loud).

On his way back up on Saturday morning (he left at 5am, poor guy!), one of our tires blew on the I-5, leaving him stranded on the side of the road for over an hour. When he finally got the emergency mini tire on, it took him twice as long to get home because he had to drive so slow! He managed to get two new tires in record time once he crossed back over the border, and we began to get on with our Saturday.

I was so blessed to attend a morning women’s meeting put on by my church, with Janis Shank speaking on Hope and Contentment. The contentment portion was particularly challenging for me and I may share some great quotes from it later on in the week.

Following that, we went home for a little while, to eat lunch, give the kids naps, etc. and then were off again. This time we were visiting the farm of our friend’s parents, where we had been invited out to pick raspberries (unsprayed and FREE!), and to enjoy dinner with them. Dinner was wonderful, followed by a fresh raspberry pie and coffee, sitting around the pond, talking and laughing. We so thoroughly enjoy going out to visit, and just soak up that peaceful, relaxing feeling that seems to come with being on a farm out in the country.

Not only did I pick berries on Saturday, but I had also gone out there on Thursday to get a head start on picking. On Thursday I brought home around 20 lbs, and I believe that on Saturday we managed to pick another 30 lbs between the two of us!

So after doing this all Thursday night and Friday morning, this is what I began to do again Saturday night, this afternoon, and I will continue on with it tomorrow morning…

 

Two-berry-trays

Our freezer is starting to look a lot more full, between some recent strawberries that were added, and now the bags and bags of raspberries going in, not to mention the couple of bags of organic blueberries that were given to us this morning! Wow!

I will work on freezing as many more as I can tomorrow, and then I think I will make a small batch of jam and syrup to can. Later this week I am going blueberry picking, and hope to get my 50lbs then, so I really have my work cut out for me this week!

This afternoon I also got out to my garden for a little while, and cleaned up the remnants of my turnip/radish patch, turned the soil and added a bit of compost and manure, and replanted it. I’m starting some broccoli for the fall, as well as a big patch of carrots. I’ve never done broccoli successfully, so I’m unsure if it will work straight from seed, so I am thinking of starting some seedlings indoors at the same time, so that I have a backup plan. Any thoughts? Can I just start the seeds in the garden and save myself the hassle?

We have new students set to arrive next Sunday night (yes, we’ve decided to do it again, crazy us!). My plans this week are to make a meal plan for the next month (which is why there is no meal plan up today), get my house really clean again, finish setting aside items for our garage sale (which has been postponed by a few weeks due to the busyness of having students), deal with all the berries, work on my garden some more and then start preparing for the new students- phew! It’s gonna be a busy week!

One exciting bit of news is that through having all of these students, we have set aside some extra money to allow us to take a wonderful family vacation this September. We have chosen to go to Northern Arizona, to see the Grand Canyon and the many other incredible sights up in that area! Neither of us have ever been there before, and it is so fun to plan for our trip! If anyone has any tips for us on what to visit, cheap flights to Arizona (we’re looking at flying into Phoenix, then renting a car), or doing the Canyon with kids, I’d love to hear them!

About Stephanie Langford

Stephanie Langford has a passion for sharing ideas and information for homemakers who want to make healthy changes in their homes, and carefully steward all that they've been given. She has written three books geared to helping families live more naturally and eat real, whole foods, without being overwhelmed, without going broke and with simple meal planning. She is the creator of Keeper of the Home.

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Comments

  1. How do you go about hosting students? I’d love to hear more about this or get a website. Not only would our kids learn a lot but we would too.

    God Bless,
    Katie

  2. Just wanted to add that hotwire.com has been a huge help to us in finding inexpensive travel options.

  3. Thanks for the heads up about the broccoli, Nola. I had heard that they can be much smaller when you grow them yourself. I just thought it was worth a try, with a bit of space freeing up as spring crops are finishing.

    Org Junkie, I think we’re just blessed to live somewhere where there are both short and long term opportunities galore! We prefer short term, because though they can be more intense, there’s very little commitment and you get your house back to yourself in just a few weeks. :)

    Jess, I should’ve know if I asked for travel help, you’d be right there! LOL! I’d forgotten about Kayak, so thanks for reminding me. So far, I’m finding the same price at both Expedia and Travelocity, coming in a little under $250 including taxes. My next step is to bid for something cheaper (now that I know what’s out there), on Priceline. I’ve never used Priceline before, but I hear that it’s definitely worth a shot, so I’ll probably be trying that later today.

  4. Jessica says:

    Priceline and Kayak.com are two cheap places to look. Right now Seattle to Phoenix on Kayak is somewhere around 250$ per person, round trip. Hope that helps :)

  5. Those berries look wonderful! What a blessing to have them stored up for the winter.

    I’ll look forward to hearing about the women’s meeting. I too have been challenged with “contentment” lately, so I’m sure the shared knowledge will be an encouragement!

    Your upcoming vacation sounds like it will be very exciting!

  6. I’ve never heard of taking students in for such a short period of time. That’s really nice that you can earn some extra $$ without a long term commitment. Glad to hear it’s working out for you. Your vacation sounds wonderful!

  7. Sounds busy!

    I’d love to hear more about the women’s meeting on hope and contetment. I have been really struggling with conentment especially lately.

    I don’t know about starting broccoli from seed- but I tried 4 transplants (purchased from a farm I know) and they went to seed (although beautiful they are now useless!) before I could use them. I didn’t realize they would go to seed so fast, or that they don’t get big. The heads were only about the size of a plum. For me, it wasn’t worth it, I think I will concentrate on things I can grow well. But maybe from seed it would be more economical. Just wanted to share about them not growing big (at least for me) and I went away, came back and it was all flowers.