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Thursday, September 26, 2013

fall canning!

So it's been a bit of a busy week for me.
Hubby brought home a bunch of raspberries that he got from one of his co workers last week, and a few weeks ago, so Monday I made 2 batches of jam and we sent some of it back to work with him for his co worker. Then Tuesday I bottled some chicken stock that I'd been making in the slow cooker all the previous weekend.
And, speaking of last weekend, Hubby went out and gleaned potatoes with the Big Brother program. His little brother went home with about 25/30 pounds (his mom didn't want any more then that as her other 2 children were also out doing that..) and he brought home an insane amount of potatoes for me. He took some of those into work for the same co worker who had given us raspberries, and the rest I have been processing. I've gotten through about a quarter of them so far. (I swear there is at least 75 pounds, if not more...) So far this week I have processed 20 pints and 5 quarts of potatoes, and have a large bowl in the fridge that have been boiled and are chilling so I can start dehydrating them.
And it seems I've barely made a dent in them. So I will be busy next week, and maybe the week after that as well. Still need to make bottle fries and pickle some, but I'm running out of bottles and am probably going to need to pick some of those up this weekend as well. Busy, busy, busy, but it's a good busy. :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Summer is over..

Well, it has been an interesting summer.
Mattie left back in May to go back down to her mother's for the summer and the school year. We will see her again at Christmas. A few weeks later, Brie showed up with all of her stuff and then about a week later, one of her friends came up to visit as well. They kept us busy. It was an unusually hot and dry summer, which was nice, and it really didn't start raining at all until just last week. Just in time for the Fair :) as usual..
Brie bought herself a "new" car and then her friend left near the end of July. Brie then packed back up and headed off for Fairbanks, as she planned on going to school up there this year. She wanted to go up early so she could find a job and get all settled and had found a place to live, at least for a while.. but, she also broke up with her boyfriend just before she left... so.. about a week ago, she decided she was going to take some time off after all and just work for a while, so she moved _back_ down here and has sort of moved back in with us, at least for now, though she has spent most of her time back over at her older sister's. Who knows what the next few months will bring for her.
We had an emergency foster placement this month. We got a little 3 year old (day after her birthday...) and her 7 month old (and teething..) little brother. I, of course, can't go into detail about their situation, but it was sad. They have since been moved to their grandparents (along with an older sibling that had been on vacation with the grandparents when things happened..) and that will be helpful for the children. But we miss them.
We did get our foster care license renewed. Yay. It's good now for the next 2 years, we just have to make sure we keep up on on "classes." We shouldn't have any problem with that. lol. We went a bit overboard last year in our training, so we'll just keep up with that. We have asked to move to pre-adoptive placements only, so maybe we'll get some kids we can adopt soon. It's just been getting very hard on me to keep sending them back. At any rate, we'll see what happens next.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kindle Fire giveaway...

Hey all, one of my friends is on the list of authors (*wave* Hi, Talia) so I'm helping to promote this give away that she is helping sponsor and, you know, get word out about her books. (Ok, posting this also gives me an extra entry into the drawing, but I'd probably do it anyway.. ) So here's all the details:


Kindle Summer This is a joint AUTHOR & BLOGGER GIVEAWAY EVENT! Bloggers & Authors have joined together and each chipped in a little money towards a Kindle Fire HD 7".
Kindle Fire HD 7" Giveaway
The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HD (US Only)
  Or $199 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $199 in Paypal Cash (International)
 

Sponsoring Bloggers & Authors

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
  2. Feed Your Reader
  3. New Adult Addiction
  4. Jessabella Reads
  5. The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Somthing Year Old Girl
  6. Books Unhinged by StacyHgg
  7. S.A. Larsen - Writer's Ally
  8. Author Inger Iverson
  9. The Geeky Gamers
  10. annakyss
  11. Everyday Word Magic
  12. Candance's Book Blog
  13. Page Flipperz
  14. SMI Book Club
  15. Laurie Here
  16. Feed Your Fiction Addiction
  17. Phantasmic Reads
  18. The Book Bellas
  19. Please Don't Remove MarGreat's Glasses
  20. Author Jennifer Laurens
  21. J.C. Valentine
  22. Holly Hood
  23. Young Adult Novel Reader
  24. Author Heather Bixler
  25. Literary Meanderings
  26. Suspense Author Kim Cresswell
  27. Mother Daughter & Son Book Review
  28. Meredith's Musings
  29. Auggie Talk
  30. Author Camelia Miron Skiba
  31. Author Lena Sledge
  32. LoriTheAuthor
  33. Author Dianne Venetta
  34. Curling Up with A Good Book
  35. MyLadyWeb
  36. Fae Books
  37. Bea's Book Nook
  38. Girls with Books
  39. Ketch's Book Nook
  40. Turning Pages
  41. Bookhounds
  42. Karey White
  43. My Devotional Thoughts
  44. Author Talia Jager
  45. Author Helen Smith
  46. Sher A Hart: Written Art
  47. Author MK McClintock
  48. Word to Dreams
  49. Buku-Buku Didi
  50. Tasty Book Tours
  51. Readerlicious
  52. Romance Bookworm's Reviews
  Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of a Kindle Fire 7" HD (US Only), $199 Amazon Gift Card or $199 in Paypal Cash (International). There is a second separate giveaway for bloggers who post this giveaway on their blog. See details in the rafflecopter on how to enter to win the 2nd Kindle Fire. Sponsor a future Kindle Fire Giveaway by signing up HERE. Ends 8/15/13 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the participating authors and bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway  
So make sure to click on the link! :)



 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

I have a little Etsy shop....

So  last month I came up with the idea of starting up an little shop over on etsy. Eventually, I hope to offer some home made jams and such as well, but for right now, while we wait for things to ripen up here, and suffer through an unusual heat wave that would make me not want to do any canning anyway... I've been finishing up a pile of baby quilts that I've had squirreled away for years and have them posted. I hate giving most of those up, but they are certainly not doing anyone any good just sitting in my craft bins.
I've currently got 10 items up and listed and am working on several others. Wanting to see  how many I can get done this summer while waiting for jury duty summons... I'm on call for district jury duty for all of July and August.. so who knows how that will play out. But it would be really nice to get some extra cash from these quilts, it will help us pay off some of the remaining bills we have from Tom's unemployment bout and help us save up for our adoption.
I went to a training session for foster parents wanting to adopt last month and found out about a new program they are getting started. It will help us to network with all the social workers in the state, mostly within our region, but outside of it as well. This could help us get a placement sooner and speed things up a bit. Which would be very good, so we are working on that as well.
Things around here have been busy.. After our weird late 3rd winter, Spring decided it need to play quick catch up and over did it on the heat for a bit. Youngest step daughter has gone back down to her mother's and we won't see her again until Christmas. Middle step daughter is up here now and spending the summer getting ready to go to college this fall in Fairbanks. She has a friend visiting for a few weeks right now, and today they are up in Fairbanks for a job interview and apartment hunting. We had a surprise about 2 weeks ago when I got a short notice message that a cousin's son was going to be in state for a month, would be arriving in a few days and would like to meet us... So that was quickly arraigned. He's up here taking an outdoor leadership course and doing a month long backpacking trip. I'd never met him and hadn't seen his mom (my dad's cousin, actually..) in over 30 years, so it was nice to meet him and I think he enjoyed himself.. Was a bit of a rushed visit because he had a pretty tight time line, but, it was still a nice visit.
So, that's where we are at the moment.. if you find yourself in need of baby quilts right now, or know anyone who might be, please visit my shop, spread the word, etc.. :)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AccidentalPerfection

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

April

Well, Tom is back to work.. yay! He is really enjoying the new job, so we're all happy.
I'm going to be very busy the next month and a half or so.. One of our neighbors has to go out of state for a while to help her parents with some medical issues. She didn't want to take her kids with her as that wouldn't be helpful for her parents as they recover, so I will be watching them during the day while dad is at work.
So I'm gonna be busy keeping them busy and on task with their home schooling (a simplified version anyway...)
So not sure how much time I will have for blog updates for a bit.. but I will try...
We're also getting ready for the end of the school year. M will be going back down to her mom's and then a few weeks later B2 will be coming up for the summer and then will be headed to Fairbanks for school. And it looks like B1 and her little family will be moving. They've found a place a bit more remote, which is what they want, so they will be moving out there and renting out the house they have now. And who knows when our next foster placement will happen or when we might get an adoption option.. so who knows what will be going on. :)
This is also going to put a wee bit of a damper on some of my family history research and post pone some of the training I'm taking for my calling as a ward family history consultant, but.. I'll be doing what I can there as well.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Back to work!

Yay! So happy to be able to say that Hubby's first week back at work is done! woohoo!!
So very glad to be able to look forward to a steady income that will actually pay the bills.
We've also been taking some adoption classes through the local OCS offices and their affiliates. Lots of good information, and lots of depressing information. *sigh* But we press onward.
This past weekend was also General Conference for our Church. We missed all of the Saturday sessions because of one of the adoption classes, but Tom was able to make it to the Priesthood session in the evening and we were able to see both of the Sunday sessions. We're going to be catching up on the Saturday sessions this week. Lots of good messages there as well.
It was a hard weekend for me emotionally. Friday was the 10th anniversary of my father's sudden death, so having lots of emotionally charged topics from Conference and our class, combined with the huge emotional release of Hubby finally having work again and no longer surviving on stress and trying not to worry... well, I was a bit of an emotional mess this weekend.
In the midst of all of this emotional turmoil, Hubby decided that maybe we needed to boost our odds and look back into working with LDS Family Services about traditional domestic adoption. So I've contacted them this week and we will be having our first meeting with them on Friday. I'm excited and nervous, and still more then a bit emotional this week. I just want to be "mommy" so badly. Money is still going to be tight for a while. Months of unemployment have taken their toll and we were really only just recovering from last year's bout of unemployment (and emergency septic repair..) so, I've set up a fund raising web page to help raise some money to cover our upcoming expenses. The link is up there at the top. Any contributions will be welcome.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Well...

Life sure likes to throw sideways.
I started a new blog (yay!) and things are going well over there, though some of the ideas I had for it are on hold because of.. complications.. in other areas..
In early February Hubby got laid off.. surprise, out of no-where.. know we told you we were going to have work and gave you an assignment for this week, but, oops.. we lied..
So we've been income-less for a month and a half now. This has not been fun. Money is tight, but so far we are managing. Not sure how much longer that will all last though. I am very anxious for our tax refund to show up soon. But we have had some blessings through all of this:
We had gotten a line of credit last summer that was supposed to be used this coming summer as an emergency back up for a road trip Hubby wanted to take. (Motorcycle across the country type thing..) His lay off last fall pretty much put an end to the plans for that trip, but we have had that money as a cushion. Even though we HATE touching it, we are very grateful to have had it available.
I am so grateful that I listened to all the messages and promptings over the years about food storage. We have needed to buy very few things this past month and a half because we have plenty of food and supplies stored up. And it's all stuff we normally eat anyway. So there is no, "ugh, we're sick cuz we've suddenly changed our diet" period of adaptation. We have been able to eat regular food, and regular meals, even roasts, steaks, french fries, cookies, etc, and all the trimmings, because I have a well stocked pantry and freezer. I'd been contemplating the idea of getting another freezer and/or fridge for a while, I think I might be able to convince Hubby of it now.. (Ok, we did have a second fridge in the basement, but it kinda died.. we still use it for shelving and storage though.. we'd gotten it for free. It was very old.. avocado green type old... the freezer on it still works though..) But, yes, food storage rocks. I highly recommend it. Even with my food allergies and dietary restrictions, having supplies of things I can eat and not have to worry about any of it has been wonderful. Also, I've somehow managed to accrue a 3 to 6 months supply of my prescription meds. This is one of those things that gets forgotten a lot of times as well. While my meds aren't horribly pricey, it is nice to know that, if we need to, I can skip ordering them for a month or two.
Even failures can turn into successes. I was attempting a recipe creation using some of the bottled carrots form the pantry. It wasn't working out the way I was hoping. I didn't want to throw it out, of course, so I gave it some thought and turned my failed recipe into dog treats, that, let me just say, my dogs go NUTS for. They love these things more then anything else I've ever seen them react to. Even our shy little Petey who is the biggest scaredy cat in the world will come out of his hidey holes and DEMAND these cookies.. And Hubby has been applying for everything he can find. He has even been pointed into directions that he'd really like to go, but never thought he'd qualify for. One company even cold called him about a job that would be _exactly_ what he wants to be doing, but he never thought they'd even look at him. And they called him! Out of the blue. They'd seen his resume online and wanted to talk to him. We're still waiting on call backs about a lot of things, but this lay off might be the chance for him to make some HUGE changes. He's also had the chance to meet and talk to some new people that have pointed him in other directions. He's off talking to Big brothers Big Sisters this afternoon, and he's found a local group that are restoring an old steam locomotive. Now, Hubby LOVES trains.. his father worked on the old steam engines back in the day, so he's just loving having the chance to work on bringing an old one back up to snuff. We went and talked to them a bit on Saturday and he will be going over to fill out paperwork and such for helping out later this week.
I'm really hoping he hears back from one or two of these companies this week. It's a hard time for electricians right now. One of the local companies laid off about 70 or so of them a week or so before he got laid off, so there are a lot of them looking for work right now. Everyone keeps saying that hiring will be picking back up in "March or April." I'm really hoping for sooner over later..

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Playing catch up

Ok, I've kinda slacked off a bit, but things got crazy. Thanksgiving was hectic and emotional. We had our family dinner on Friday and while I was home getting things prepped, Hubby and the girls went shopping. While they were out, we got a call from OCS about a possible placement.We got very excited as it was one that would likely have lead to an adoption. Sadly, it fell through within hours of our being notified of the possibility. I was a complete and total wreck the rest of the weekend and, honestly, am still sad that if fell through.
Then first week of December we a quick, short term emergency placement of a sibling group. Unfortunately, we had to call that placement off even shorted then it was meant to be because I went and got very, very ill. I was looking at hospitalization and there wouldn't have been anyone available to watch the kids. (They'd been waiting on grandparents to come in from the villages to get them, they were able to get grandma to come in earlier then originally scheduled.) I hated having to call that short, but there really wasn't much other option. I barely managed to stay out of the hospital and eventually recovered, but it was not a fun week. And annoying when a "2-day bug" winds up lasting a week and being 5 times worse then everyone said to expect..
M went down to her mom's for Christmas, so it was just Tom and I and the dogs. He wound up having some unplanned time off over the holidays, so we got to spend time together working on projects and such.
We still haven't gotten another foster placement yet, but we have some classes scheduled in the next few months covering adopting through the foster system.
The dogs are all still crazy. Willow has somehow managed to hang in there and is refusing to die, though it can't be much longer now. We will all be horribly sad when she passes, but, she's had a good run and she has taken a turn for the worse this past weekend, though she keeps trying to perk up.
And, after some cajoling and repeated suggestions, I've gone and started a gluten free food blog!  Click here to check it out! It's not much yet, but it's a start, and not nearly as much work as doing the cookbook everyone keeps saying I should write.
B2 was up here for the past week and a half doing some work for the company she worked for over the summer. They had a job up in Fairbanks that they needed extra hands for, so they talked her into coming up for it. She went back to school yesterday, but seems to have liked it up there in the -40 temps and dark and, oh, did I mention cold... She has pretty well decided that she wants to go to school up there next year.

So that pretty much brings us up to speed.