Saturday, September 21, 2013

Missing in Action!

I've been missing in action! Some of you have wondered where I've been, and what I've been doing since my last post.  It has been an exciting past month around here as we have had the pleasure of lots of company!  Seems like some of that company might have been coming my way due to a recent birthday milestone in my life... so needless to say... my time has been otherwise occupied spending valuable and precious time with the family members who have come to visit us here in North Idaho... all of them for the first time!

Before all the company came, there was one thing on my to-do list that I hadn't gotten around to doing... and that was making strawberry jam... so the night before my sister, her husband and precious baby girl arrived, I got busy making strawberry jam. 

I use the same recipe my mother used growing up as kids.  Mom always made her jam with Certo pectin, and I've always had outstanding results using the Certo brand of pectin for my jam.

 Here is the result of my jam making evening!  I made two batches of the jam, and the whole house smelled like a strawberry factory when I got through!

And if getting ready for a round of company wasn't enough going on, our family made the decision to buy 10 acres of property in the very same town we live in now, yet out close to a beautiful mountain lake.  We were driving around, as we love to do here... just driving down different roads, and exploring, when we saw a small sign reading "For Sale by Owner".  We called and talked to the owner, and he met us out at the property the next day.  By that time, we had already fallen in love with the place.  It has a large number of big trees on it, and is for the most part heavily forested.  This place also had a septic on it as well.  It sits just next to a valley that overlooks part of the Selkirk mountain range.  There is not much of a view yet on the property to these mountains, because the place hasn't been logged in at least the last 50 years.  We plan on keeping as many trees as possible, but there are a few that have to go, and eventually we hope to have a lovely mountain view.

Here are a couple of pictures that I've taken just around the 10 acres...

You can see how huge some of these trees are.  There are a lot of lodgepole pine, but also some huge Ponderosa Pines and Douglas fir.

As you can see there are a lot of trees, with a few clearings here and there throughout the 10 acres.

From the very back of the acreage, this is the view that can be seen.

So, we have certainly had our fair of excitement over the past month!  Finding and buying a beautiful piece of land, and within a few days the round of company began, and what an exciting time it has been!

And then! Our company began!  My sister, her husband and baby girl arrived to spend ten days with us.  It went by waaay too fast!  We had so much fun catching up, visiting, and just getting out and exploring the area with them.

One thing we had to take in consideration with all our planning was the fact that our sweet baby girl was teething three top teeth the whole time she was here.  She was so miserable though as her teeth tried to push through her top gums, and we all felt so bad for her.  Despite the pain she was in, she managed to entertain all of us, and what a joy she was!

The one thing that kept her entertained the longest was a bowl of ice.  She absolutely loved sticking her fingers into the ice and pulling out a cube and just sucking on it until it melted.  Her little hands would turn purple from the cold, but she never seemed to tire of playing in the ice and putting it in her mouth.

My sister and her husband were able to get away for a night and two days while they were here, something they hadn't had a chance to do since our sweet little girl was born.  So, my kids and I got to play being auntie and cousin and oh what fun we had!

We discovered some things so easily forgotten once your kids get grown up... things like... it doesn't matter what you put on in the morning, as soon as breakfast is over, everyone will know what you had for breakfast!  I never ceased being amazed at how food ended up in the funniest places!  After we got done with a meal, no one would even want to take a guess at what was served up!

But the clean up part wasn't so bad... we just called in the dogs! 

And I forgot how quickly little tykes can crawl! She was so quick, she could just about outcrawl us, and laugh... oh how she'd laugh when she knew she was ahead.  We had put up a gate so that she wouldn't fall down the stairs.  That made her so angry that we would do such a thing.  So, one day, I let her crawl to the top of the stairs, and I sat on the stair below.  She sat there for a few minutes and scoped it all out...  and then decided it wasn't such a big deal after all.  After that, we had no problem with her scooting for the gate.  She had decided it wasn't such a game after all.  Whew!

We discovered that the best toys in the world hold no match to a cardboard box! She had more fun with some cardboard boxes we had lying around, and discovered how much fun it is to scoot around on a hardwood floor in a cardboard box... we all got our exercise from this fun adventure! 

And last but not least, we discovered the love our of baby girl's life... ice cream! Any kind... any flavor... it didn't matter... as long as it was cold and sweet... she'd eat it up.  I made her some homemade ice cream, and it didn't get to stay around very long... with the weather being so warm up in the 90s most days... ice cream was such a welcome treat not just for her but for all of us!

So needless to say, our sweet baby girl was the center of attention while they were here for ten days, and when it was time for them to leave, my arms felt so empty!  It was so hard for me to see them go.  I miss my sister and her husband too... and we had such an amazing wonderful time with them... time spent each night around the dinner table just visiting... but I miss my baby girl the most!  There is something about sweet little ones that just steal your heartstrings, and run away!

The story is still not over yet...but I'll leave you with this much to start... and hopefully I'll be back in the next day or two to bring you the ... rest of the story!