Friday, April 22, 2011

Strawberries... the whole story

I had been planning to take the boys to pick strawberries and to make jam.  When I heard some of our church members were going I figured this would be the day to go!  I geared up in my mind several days before hand how to manage with Benjamin and the baby, as well as read the directions on the pomona packet of pectin on how to make jam.  I've made it twice before but I just wanted to refresh my memory and be as ready and organized as possible.  Things like jam making can be a bit hectic when you have a toddler and a 6 week old.  But it has become a tradition and I didn't want to miss a year-and I wanted to make my hubby happy-he loves homemade strawberry jam.  Okay, so enough of that and on to our day.

We left the house.  30 minutes late.  We got lost.  We arrived at the farm.  45 minutes late.  The boys wanted me to pick the berries for them.  I was counting on them so I could manage Benjamin.  Everyone else was just about done picking when we got there.  We mostly picked alone.  Actually I mostly picked.  Micah watched Benjamin.  With one arm in a cast.  His second broken arm in the past 2 months.  Benjamin fell in a very large puddle.  Micah yelled out that it was deep enough to drown him.  I encouraged with loud hollaring for Benjamin to come back.  I kept picking and hoped for the best.  Samuel squirmed in his carrier.  But stayed quiet.  I knew my time was running out though.  Until I had to nurse.  Again.  Benjamin came back.  Covered in sandy wet mud.  Unhappy.  Somehow I managed to pay and keep him from being hit by a car in the parking lot.  We made it back to the van.  No I wouldn't be heading to another destination for lunch.  If jam was to be made.  I was determined.   Here are some pictures, some are pretty.  Some are not.

(Samuel peed while I was changing him on my lap.  This dirty burp cloth was all I could find to catch the spray.  Thankfully I did have a change of clothes for him that fit.  I wondered if I had changed out his spare clothes from newborn to 0-3 months.  He's growing!)

Dirty.  Very dirty.  Dirty boots, dirty clothes, dirty boys, dirty van.

Nursing before heading home.  Chorus from the boys, "Can we leave yet???"

A bit of roadside adventure.  Because I couldn't keep my eyes off of the all the beautiful weed flowers!

Not sure what these were but they looked really neat!  If anyone knows would you tell me?

The boys found some eggs, they looked identical to chicken eggs but we were out in a field that looked completely abandoned.  Why would their be chicken eggs sitting in this field?  So weird.  The boys egged, I mean begged for an incubator.  Micah insisted, "We can't lose these mom!  If we don't save them racoon's WILL eat them!!!"

Our roadside treasures...  smile.

And from 1 pm to 3:40 pm I made these.  They seemed a little soupy.  I'm hoping they will firm up.  If not I made 12 jars of jam SYRUP.  All in a day.  :)

Okay, enough of the funnies.  Truly this was a wonderful day seeing good friends, seeing lots of beautiful farms, lots of cows :), lots of beautiful flowers, and making jam for my husband whom I love so much.  I spent wonderful time with my boys and I'm so thankful for this life that God has given me.  I love what I do, I love being a wife, I love being a mother.  But I'm thankful most for Jesus.  Thankful that he died on the cross two thousand years ago to save me, because he loved me.  Even though I have done nothing to deserve it and never will live up to the love that he has shown me.  He is so good and I'm so thankful that Jesus is my friend. My best friend.  Thank you Jesus.  Your the best!


Debi Miller said...

Abby, your adventure reminds me of so many of mine with my four older kids (we also have a 12 year old that we adopted at age 10). Your jam looks like my last batch of strawberry. If it does not set up as much as you like you can return it all to the pan and boil it some more. I have done this many times through the years AND I have also just left if and used it runny. It will still taste just as good. Thanks for sharing, your story made me smile!

Mary Jo said...

The neat seed heads you took such a nice picture of are a type of weed grass...maybe green foxtail. Don't worry about how thick of thin the jam is homemade always tastes so good!What's important is every time you eat it remember the moments of that day that reminded you of your many blessings!

Mary Jo said...

Oops, I want to know where you picked berries. Was it out in Grayson? Also, are you incubating the eggs?

Marianna said...

Abby, you are a great mom! I struggle at times to do things with 2 boys... You have inspired me. To make jam do you need special equipment? Care to share how to make it? A friend and I would love to pick strawberries and make strawberry jam. Thanks!

Abby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SteveW said...

Babe, THANKS for makin' the strawberry jam - it's AWESOME!!!..

Love you!!!

Abby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.