Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Look at these berries!! If there has been one theme around our house during the past couple of weeks, it has been strawberries. Last week I hosted an Enrichment Activity over here where I did a demonstration of making freezer jam. Ahead of time I made several batches of jam using four different types of pectin--I have probably made 9 batches of jam so far (I can't commit to being done yet). At the activity the gals and I tested the four jams and discussed what we liked most about each recipe. It was fun to be able to compare the different flavors and textures. And, in case you are wondering, I think I am going to go for the reduced sugar recipe from now on--it's almost as tasty as the others AND so much better for you.
Also berry related, is my fantastic find of the century. There is a cute little strawberry stand that I go to (where to kids picked their own berries) which sells beautiful, plump berries for $30 a flat. THAT'S EXPENSIVE! The lady who runs the stand told me that they also have a packing facility that they send their berries to to be packaged for grocery stores, etc. She told me where it was hidden and said that I could buy their berries there for a little less money. I thought it was worth a try, and drove to a big white warehouse with no store front. I found an office and asked if I could buy strawberries. The man working in the office said, "yep, that will be $11" and brought out a flat of the same big, bright, beautiful berries. I couldn't believe my luck and had to resist running to my car to get out of there before he changed his mind.
The last berrilicious item--Strawberry picking. So simple, and so fun. My kids still talk about it as the best thing we did over Spring Break. For $6 each, they were given a bucket to fill with as many berries as they could pick. They had a blast. Though I'm not sure whether they ended up putting more berries in their mouths or in their buckets .

Easter Festivities

Easter is one of my favorite times of the year. I love the mild weather, the beautiful spring colors, and the Cadbury chocolate eggs (not this year). But especially, I love the opportunity it gives us to think of Jesus' life and ultimate gift to all of us. In honor of Him, this week our family spent time every day learning about his ministry, singing songs, and giving compliments and service to each other. I didn't take pictures of much of that part though. So instead, here are some pictures of the beautiful mild weather and spring colors part.

An Easter feast at Cathy and Allen's house, Pictures in our back yard, and our traditional Old Jerusalem feast at home. Grandma Bird, Mary Markoff, Allen, Monica and Greg doing what we do best at any get together--sitting around and talking.

Our Matriarch. Grandma will be 96 years old in June.

No eggs in there, Abbie! Emma, taking a moment to smile for the camera.
Matthew was a serious little egg hunter. He liked the colorful eggs just as much as the candy.
Abbie-dabby-do and me. What a gal!
OOOH, I love these guys!!!
Sorry gals, these two are MINE!!
Easter on the "candy deal." You won't find any candy in this basket this year. Emma, along with Abbie and me- aren't eating candy for a year. This year, the Easter Bunny had to get more creative, filling baskets with powdered donuts, fruit by the foot and black olives--yes, black olives.
Matthew is attempting the impossible. He loves cucumbers.
During the week leading up to Easter we try to do a few activities and lessons that teach about Christ's life, time, and teachings. One of our favorite activities is an Old Jerusalem style feast (usually eaten in recline style) but for obvious reasons--he's 18 months, we ate at the table. This year our feast included grilled (broiled) fish, nuts, fruits, cucumbers, and grape juice (our version of wine).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Happy Birthday

I just wanted to take a second for a quick tribute to my mom. Today is her birthday. She will be spending it at the temple--the same way she has spent almost every Friday for the past decade. Mom is the most compassionate, understanding and generous person I know. She loves her family and always tells us how proud she is us of, and of each other.
I am grateful for how much she loves my kids and husband. She truly does love them, and shows it in many ways.

Happy Birthday Mom! The world was made better the day you were born!!

Carlsbad Flower Fields

First day of Spring Break!! Yay!! Yesterday was a cousin filled day at the Carlsbad Flower Fields.

Such vivid colors!

Abbie with her cousins Madison and Ruth. Yes, that is the ocean in the background.

Matthew was my buddy today. He had a great time NOT being in a stroller--free to roam.