Back to School and more…

And we are back to school. This is the second week, so we are beginning to fall back into a routine. The girls had a short week last week, and then a long weekend off, so today is only their fourth day of school. It’s time!

I loved, loved having them at home this summer. I kept thinking of the song “Mighty Army of the Young” when I’d see how the work disappeared! Yes, it does take effort! In some ways, I think it’s more exhausting, at least mentally, to have to organize and oversee this tiny army! They need so much encouragement. And motivation. And assistance! It would be great to be able to say, “hey, can you go clean up the basement for me today.” But somehow, that mostly doesn’t happen, not unless Mom is right there helping, too! 😉

What I really loved though, was that one of our girls really stepped up this summer. Prior to this year, she was the one that kind of tried to avoid the work. Not lazy, no, but she definitely preferred holding down the couch with a good book in her hand (and I totally get that–I did that way too much in my own growing up years). But what makes a mom’s heart thrill, is when they come to you and say, “What can I do to help you, Mom?!” I’m tearing up as I sit here writing this. Yes, she did this so many times this summer. I told her numerous times, “Do you know how much I appreciate it when you do that? I can’t even really express it! You are growing up SO much!” How I love her!

And then, (frequently) when the work was done, there was still plenty of time for her to go read or play a computer game, or do a craft project. But she had the satisfaction of knowing that she helped make the work load a bit lighter!

I have four girls, and lest you think I had one doing all the work, NO! They all helped. Each one has such a different personality, and they each help in their own way. 🙂 Not necessarily equally. But they are all growing up. And becoming much more efficient! I’m discovering the saying to be true, that if you really train them properly, you kind of work yourself out of a job. Of course, that’s only the one aspect of it! 🙂 (Somehow Mom’s work is never really done… 😉 )

I had my biggest canning day of the entire year this past week, and yes, it was a day when they were at school! 😦 The tomatoes in our garden are ripening very slowly this year, and so I finally decided to find some elsewhere. My mother-in-law has a lovely juicing machine that makes that whole process so much easier, and she also had tomatoes for me. So Wednesday found me at her house juicing away. She was well into the juicing of them by the time I arrived there.  I left her house two hours later with FOUR very large kettles (not entirely full, so I could transport them home without creating a mess…) of tomato juice! I ended up with 93! jars of various sizes containing tomato juice, marinara sauce, bbq sauce, and ketchup. (side note here, we have been eating mostly sugar-free, and I wanted to make sugar-free versions of these, new recipes for me, so as to have some healthier options on hand. We’ll see how we like them!) It was such a relief to have everything in jars and be done canning, no later than 10:00 that evening! The actual process of canning is not a hobby of mine, but I do like the satisfaction of seeing my shelves stocked for the winter. And I love being able to run downstairs and get a jar, and not have to worry about running out!

After doing what felt like a small batch of homemade salsa yesterday, I think we are stocked for the winter! 🙂

And now, today…I get to have a more relaxing day. I hope to spend the day chatting and sipping coffee, maybe doing a pillow cover project that has been put-off for way too long… 🙂

I also need to post some book reviews, but don’t quite have them finished…hope to do that in another post in a day or two.

What have you been doing the past week? Are you ready for the whole Back-To-School schedule? Are you ready for fall? 🙂


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