Wednesday, September 24, 2008

58 Pints of Jam!

'Tis the season for jars and fruit and pectin and endless hours stirring and watching. This was my big canning week. So far this summer I have made 58 pints of plum jam, 6 quarts or salsa, 21 quarts of tomatoes, 8 half pints of pesto and 6 half pints of relish.
Why so much jam? My four children (plus Steve, that makes five children, right?) ate 52 pints of plum jam last year. They love the plum jam made from the trees in our back yard and complain if I try to feed them anything else. This year, they are bigger and hungrier...I thought it would be better to be safe than sorry. I still have my sights set on spaghetti sauce and maybe apple sauce. We'll see how that goes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Fabulous Farting Futon (and other stories)

This past weekend was our Relief Society retreat. The theme we chose as a Relief Society Presidency was "For where your treasure is, there will be your heart also." (Matthew 6:21)

This retreat was something I inherited when I became the Enrichment Counselor, and to be honest, the whole thing really stressed me out. The former counselor had reserved Yurts at Beverly Beach at the gorgeous Oregon Coast. I just had to get people there, (and feed them, and arrange speakers, and make sure they have fun, and get them into the right yurts with people they would get along with...YIKES!)

Sooooo...I pretty much begged and threatened my friends. I shamelessly played the "you have to support me because you are my friend" card. After all was said and done, we had about 35 sisters together laughing, playing, walking on the beach together, and learning to love each other on a level that could never be achieved at church on Sunday.

We had three fabulous speakers. Rachel Nielsen, Sarah Castleton, and Peggy McIlmoil...three amazing women at three different stages in life (pre-kids, right in the middle of mom life, and kids are grown) told us about the treasures in their lives.

Now to the part you've been dying to hear about...the fabulous farting futon! My yurt included me, Julene, Sarah, Natalie, and Jackie. Sarah and I threw our sleeping bags on the futon for the night. After the fireside, we dispersed to our yurts for either more fun and frolic (and a warning or two from the Park Rangers because we were too loud,) or a little shut eye. We got set up for the night and sat down on the futon...from Sarah's direction there was this long farting sound that made us all look her direction. "It wasn't me!!!" she roared. Then, we discovered that every time we moved, the futon would make very real sounding "farts." It was like all five moms suddenly transformed into 10-year-old boys!! Every time we heard it, our yurt would erupt with uncontrollable laughter. What a nightmare! How are we ever going to sleep?! This went on and on (it was probably hours, we're a little slow on the draw.) At some point, Sarah picked up her two pillows an realized that there was a little "fart" machine under her pillows and Natalie held the remote. OH, MY, GOSH!!! We laughed so hard! They got us and it was a really good one.