Friday, August 7, 2009

Country Living - Around the House

So it’s a bit hard to spend six weeks away from home and be completely on holidays. There’s just still the regular daily things in life that have to be done ... cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I did make about 10 meals before we left so that my cooking duties were lightened a fair amount. But on the other hand, I found it hard to stick to my statement that I wouldn’t clean house as much. Ah well, we still had some fun throughout the weeks too.

I also couldn’t just skip over my yearly canning, as when the fruit/veggie is ripe it needs to be done. So we did spend a bit of time picking strawberries, making jam, canning cherries, freezing blueberries and celery. Nothing too outrageous.

Here’s Mareitta after helping me pit some sweet cherries. I don’t pit them all, just a portion of them for when I make mixed canned fruit for dessert.

The kid’s still love to bake and Becca made a cake for us one time. She’s getting a bit more independent and braver in this area and was pretty proud of her accomplishment. She still needs help with measuring and mixing etc, but she iced it completely on her own.

Shortly after we moved in the girls and I spent a good part of a day cleaning up the basement play area. Really, it would be better called the “girls playroom” as it’s 98% girls toys (can you tell the first three grandchildren were girls?). The room had not been cleaned for some time as the kids would just rearrange or mess it up each time they came for a visit. After the work was done they had a nice play area ... a area to play house, an area to play school, a doll house area, and even a sitting/t.v. area. This was just in the finished room ... there were still more toys and fun stuff in the rest of the unfinished basement ... except they weren’t all too fond of the unfinished part.

What’s the best thing to do with a clean playroom?? DON’T play in it ... because then it becomes a mess and you have to clean it up again. Yes, the girls didn’t much like cleaning it up, so after it was clean they played in it less and complained when we were having people over with younger kids as they would make a big mess again and they would have to clean it up again. You just can’t win ... when it’s too big of a mess they don’t play in it because they can’t find anything ... when it’s clean they don’t want to mess it up ... where’s the happy medium??

While Matthew and the dog did not get along (more on that later), Matthew and Ruby had some friendly moments. Mostly Ruby was nowhere to be found during the daytime, but sometimes in the morning she would hang around after Matthew had woken up and let him pet her and lay with her or snuggle her. After a little bit she would hightail it outta there and we wouldn’t see her for the rest of the day.

Becca and Matthew could often be found snuggling together on the couch watching TV ... usually first thing in the morning when Becca would wake up.

Matthew helping me wash all the balls for the ball tent. I figured it would be quicker and easier to put them in the washing machine and then air dry them in the drier, then to wash them all by hand ... work quite good I must say ... and let me tell you Matthew was thrilled to help and even more thrilled to watch the balls go round and round in the machine.

Matthew still loves to vacuum and enjoyed helping me keep things clean ... often it's a fight for the vacuum as he stands there screaming for it the whole time you're trying to vacuum and then refuses to give it up later ... too bad it won't stay that way :) (and no that's not a new fashion statement with the chair behind Matthew ... that was our way of keeping the animals off the furniture).

Matthew enjoying a snack outdoors. We absolutely loved the wrap-around-porch (covered deck). We enjoyed many more meals outdoors then we normally do (okay, I admit it, we don’t eat outside often at all as the set-up of our house just makes it more of a hassle then anything else). It was great to be able to sit (or for the kids - play) outside when it rains ... and given it rained a fair amount the deck was thoroughly appreciated.. It was a place to play when the weather wasn’t nice. Matthew didn’t always stay put on the deck and there were times I had to scoop him out of the rain, but mostly he understood he had to stay on the deck during those times.

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