Wednesday, May 25, 2011

20 years

7,300 days
 And every new day is a blessing.

 1,040 weeks
Filled with far too much time apart, but loving the moments when we're together. 

240 months
Births and birthdays, new homes, new jobs, new states, teaching children, graduations, weddings, grandchildren, growing together.
20 years
Remembering beautiful times together, enjoying the moments we are given, planning and looking forward to many more.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saving Money: Ground Beef

We go through quite a bit of ground beef here at our cottage so it's something I buy on a regular basis when it's on sale, but I recently needed some and we were all out. Ideally, I'd love to buy grass fed beef on a regular basis, but I can buy it cheaper if we get a quarter or half from a local farm and I just haven't done it for a while. It's on my list of things to do before the baby's born. (Yes, it's a very long list.)

So, here I am, needing ground beef, and not having any in the freezer which means I was at the mercy of whatever price the grocery store was charging. (Yes, I could have changed my menu, but that would ruin the story.)  The ground beef was $3.49 a pound for 85% ground beef. OUCH! I needed 10 pounds. I certainly didn't want to spend $35 just for the meat! But wait! There is a better way. Walk over to the beef section of the store and price the boneless chuck roasts. The day I was at the store, they were $2.99 a pound. So we took 10 pounds of chuck roasts over to the butcher's counter and asked him to grind it for us. We saved $5.00. Not bad. But we could do better. Boneless chuck roasts go on sale pretty frequently (about once a month or so) and the sale price is about $1.99 a pound. So if we plan our purchases around the sales, we can save a whole lot more.  I'm pretty sure all stores will offer this service, as long as they have an in store butcher, so it's worth it to ask. And the best part is that it's free. And we get to see what's REALLY going into our ground beef.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

Bingley when he was 15 minutes old.

Turkey poult reading the news.

Little baby ducks.
It's spring here in New England. Which means there are LOTS of things calling for attention. Baby chicks, baby ducks, baby turkeys. Preparing garden beds, mulching garden beds, planting, weeding, cleaning. And then there's the end of the school year push. Every year in May I can see the end of the year coming and completely lose my schooling focus. This year it happened at the end of April. So we entered May mode in April, but now I'm ready for summer mode and it's still May. It's pretty difficult keeping children on track when I'm not!

Plus this year we have to pull together final grades for Josh, who is graduating in just over 2 weeks! And we don't have only final grades to pull together, but grades for 9th and 10th grades which were stored oh-so-safely (NOT!) on a computer that decided to have several hiccups along the way. I still have all his work, but it's stored in the basement under all the things we haven't needed to access in the last 2 years. So in order to get to all his old work, I need to go through the stuff on top. And it makes sense to sort what I'm going through while I'm going through it, right? So let's just say that I have a few things on my things to do list.

And on top of it all is the oh-my-goodness-the-baby's-coming-in-as-little-as-9 weeks! I still haven't gotten through my pre-Sophie project list, and she's 20 months old! I think my spring and summer are pretty well spoken for.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day Blessings

Reminiscing. Thinking of all the mothers in my family. My great-grandmothers, most of whom I never met, but still are such a big part of who I am. The one who had to leave one of her children in another country for years because they didn't have the money to bring her home. The ones who left home for new lands and new opportunities. The one who lost a son in WWII. Strong women, all of them.

My Great-Grandmother, Amelia, is the second on the left. My grandfather is the handsome blond sailor in the back on the right.

My grandmothers. I love them dearly. One who told me on her 83rd (or 84th?) birthday that her biggest regret in life was not having more children. One who never talked about children until after my third child was born and just mentioned that she always wanted more but had many miscarriages. No one ever knew. One leaving home and family to marry the man of her dreams, the other marrying after a brief 6-week courtship and then sending her husband off to war, not seeing him again for 2-3 years. Strong women, both of them.

My still beautiful grandmother.

My mother. Raising two children as a single mom. Warm and creative. Working to provide the best she could. A strong woman.

My grandmother, my mom, my oldest daughter, and me.

I'm next on the family mother tree. I am a blessed woman. Abundantly blessed. I think about each child of mine. Each one so precious.

The oldest, Kate, a mama herself now and living too far away, preparing to move to an even greater distance in a week. Born when I was so young, and didn't know the first thing about being a good mother, but wanting to giver her the best of me that I possibly could. She is the fierce protector of her baby I always knew she'd be. Graceful, passionate, beautiful.

The next one, Josh, now a man preparing to leave our nest. He spends less and less time here. I miss him already, but I'm so honored to be his mother and I look forward to watching the next few years. Gifted, humble, a quiet and strong leader.

And then my quirky, particular, and oh-so-funny Zach, the boy who is quickly growing out of boyhood, loving books and dragons and legos and swords, still giving me swift hugs when he passes me in the kitchen. 

Sweet Maddie, so tender hearted and kind. Probably the one most like me in likes, but so much like her Papa in personality. Dress wearing, tractor driving, loving to knit and bake and sew and run barefoot and splash in the creek and care for the animals.

Little Emma, a princess. Blond-haired beauty with a quick smile. Dumping toys from boxes so she can stand taller next to me to play with my hair - her habit when she's tired. So wanting to be in charge, but just barely 3 years old and the 5th child makes it hard to be the boss.

Sophia Rosebud, the current littlest, but not for much longer. Dark, curly hair and a deep belly laugh. Such a petite little body, but such a big personality, a fearless monkey imitating everyone around. Curious, climbing, busy.

And the soon to come littlest. A boy? A girl? Blond or dark? Serious or fun-loving?

Each one is such a gift, a treasure. I did nothing to deserve them. So much love in this little cottage of a home. Oh, yes. I am a very blessed woman. And I'm so grateful to be the descendant of so many strong women. I hope I am able to honor them in the way I live my life.


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