Thursday, October 23, 2008

Aunt Who's? Old What? Salad Which?

I've been canning my own jams and salsas for about 14 years. Canning has become a lost art and a practice which is usually found in the heart of the Midwest. I'm not sure what got this born and raised OC/SoCal girl started on it, but it's what I do. I'd only ever made my canned goods for gifts or my own family's consumption until last year. I was looking for a way to help fund my then 8th grade daughter's school trip to DC, and my girlfriend suggested I sell some of my items at her school's fall boutique. I agreed knowing that what I didn't sell I would either give as gifts or we would eat. A win win situation and no real chance of financial loss.

One holiday season and four school boutiques later, I've become a canning mad woman. I wish you could see my kitchen (actually, I don't because it's a horrific disaster)! I have empty jars, filled jars, a canning pot, hot pads, food processor, labels, recipes and mess everywhere. I usually start my canning in the summer when the produce is abundant and the prices are low. My dilemma then comes with what to do with it all prior to selling time. I have found nooks and crannies all over the house and garage to store it. No one in my home knew just how much I'd canned until I pulled it out to inventory it this week.

I was instantly reminded of the "I Love Lucy" episode in which her friends rave about her homemade salad dressing and encourage her to sell it. She and her trusty friend Ethel find a way to advertise (a 1950's version of today's infomercials) on another friend's husband's TV network.

Their million dollar plan was an amazing success and they were frantically making salad dressing to meet the orders they received. Lucy had salad dressing stored everywhere in their New York apartment and delivered it on roller skates using newspaper delivery bags to hold it all.

I almost always sell out of my products and at yesterday's boutique, I actually had a woman ask me if I had a website or mail order catalog in case she needed to get more. My husband was thrilled and the wheels began to turn as he proposed an entrepreneurial plan for me to start a family business that could eventually be run by our two daughters. As flattering and exciting as that is, I could only chuckle and think more of the 'Lucy' episode.

Since Lucy's big plans never go as she would like them to, Ricky eventually discovered that they were actually losing 4 cents per jar! In a ploy to keep more orders from coming in and end their business venture, Lucy and Ethel went back on the air to un-sell their product.

Of course that hilarious infomercial brought in countless more orders for poor Lucy. I realize that is a TV show and not real life, but I can't even imagine what it would be like if I were to take on such an endeavor. Especially since, I had posted a note on Facebook about the boutique and had three people show up because of it. So, I guess I'll just keep canning and see where it takes me. Perhaps, like 'Aunt Martha' I've "had too many old-fashioneds".

Friday, October 3, 2008

It's Friday Night...Do You Know Where Your High Schoolers Are?

Mine will be at Day Zero and yours should be too!

This is a great place for teenagers to hang out on a Friday night and well worth the $10 cover. Drive your teens, bring their friends, pay their cover -- you'll be so glad you did!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

To Do List

With today being the first day of school, I was overwhelmed with the thought of what I would get accomplished without any of my 4 children at home. For the first time in 3 months I would have the opportunity to take care of the many areas of my home that have been neglected in the name of summer fun. However, once I arrived home I was at a standstill. I couldn't even clear my head enough to know where to start. I proceeded to carry a notepad and pen around with me in my first day of school stupor in hopes of putting together a plan. Here's what I was able to come up with:
  1. Order Quest Study Bible

  2. Figure out dinner

  3. Make next week's menu

  4. Update calendar for FHS

  5. Laundry :-P

  6. Clean the kitchen

That's as far as I got writing my list before I actually did this:

  1. Blog stalk

  2. Play Word Challenge on Facebook

  3. Eat a bowl of potato soup for lunch on my couch while channel surfing

  4. Slip into a mini couch coma

  5. Pick up my kids from school

Now I need to make the dinner that I didn't plan this morning. I guess I'll try again tomorrow. In the words of Scarlett O'Hara ..."After all, tomorrow is another day."

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ready or Not...

The response is definitely NOT!!! I don't think I've ever been more NOT ready for school. Of course I'm prepared; we have the necessary school supplies, uniforms, shoes, physicals, etc. I'm just NOT ready for summer to be over.
I've tried to figure out how much more additional summer would finally have me feeling ready for my kids to go back to school and I don't believe I can quantify it. I just want more time to go to the beach, hang out by the pool, BBQ with friends, run out for ice cream, and pretty much just do whatever we want whenever we want.
I know that we'd probably get tired of that eventually. I'm sure there would even come a point when I'd end up screaming at the top of my lungs, "Get out of my house!!!", but I'd like to see how long it would take before I'd actually get there.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Blogging? No Way...It's VBS Week!!!

My head is filled with about 1000 stories from VBS and it's only Tuesday! I'm in charge of the crews in the 3rd grade lime green group, Kendall is an assistant leader in my group, RJ is in charge of recreation and Mitchell is just enjoying being a VBS attender in the 4th grade red group. I don't even have enough time or brain power to put the excitement of our Power Lab experience into words. are a few pictures to give you a feel for how the week is going so far.RJ getting Joy to say the Bible verse at the end of recreation on Monday.

Mitchell's red mohawk

I found this in front of Kendall's door after her 2nd day of working with a group of 3rd grade girls. PS -- She napped for 5-1/2 hours before I woke her up. I love when teenagers get exhausted for Jesus!

Monday, July 28, 2008

There Must Have Been Something In The Water

That water being from the lake, and that lake being Hume; which is where my two oldest were this past week at camp with their church youth group. What other explanation could there be for a 16 year old brother to volunteer to pose for a photo with his 14 year old sister?
Or...for that same 16 year old to come home with his hair cut like this:

(It's a little difficult to tell from the photo, but in between the shaved portion made to look like eyebrows and a mustache, are eyes and a mouth that read, "Hi Mom!" written in permanent marker)

My first inclination was to call the camp and suggest a water analysis of the aforementioned lake, meanwhile rushing my son to the ER for detoxification. However, after hearing all of the great stories that they both had to share about their week at camp, I knew that the only water that had any effect on them was the living water also known as Jesus Christ.

I am so thankful for the time they spent with friends, pastors, other volunteer staff and most importantly God. I am also thankful for my dear friend and hairdresser who was able to fix the haircut that came by means of a bowl, scissors, and a bunch of guys looking to gain extra spirit points during recreation!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Sunday afternoon I went to see Mamma Mia! The Movie and couldn't believe what I discovered; Matt Doan looks like Colin Firth! I have loved Colin Firth (in a movie star crush sort of way) since he was the wonderful Mr. Darcy in the TV mini series version of Pride and Prejudice. I have loved Matt Doan (in a thankful parent of a high schooler in his youth group sort of way) for the last 3 years. However, I have NEVER seen this resemblance before. For verification I immediately leaned over to my good friend Julia to share what I'd discovered. She gasped in agreement and couldn't believe that she'd never noticed it either. So, are we just a couple of 40-something-yr-old women who've completely lost it, or does anyone else see what we see?