Friday, August 25, 2006

Feelin' Peachy

Last Thursday, Mary, Ronda, Rusty, Alex and I went out to Sauvie Island and picked peaches. Over 400 pounds of sweet, juicy Veterans peaches. What did we do with that many peaches, you ask? Well, we ate some (delicious made into a pie, or just sliced with vanilla ice cream!), we gave some away, and we canned the rest. You see, every year, Mary cans this special variety of peach. And, since Mary's home-canned peaches are among Rusty's favorite foods, I asked her to teach me how to make them.

Even after eating some of the peaches and giving some away, there were still a lot of peaches left to can! So, Mary and I called in the troops. Pictured below are Alex and me with my friend Chalon, also a dedicated home canner, and in the background, Mary and her long-time friend Judy.

The peaches had to be peeled, then sliced or halved, then packed into jars. After that, we poured syrup over them, capped the jars, and put them into the canner for a 25-minute hot water bath. With two canners going at once, the kitchen heated up quick! The old adage that many hands make light work certainly held true in this case, though, and we enjoyed some sweet fellowship while we peached!

At final count, we had no less than 49 quart jars of peaches! That should keep Rusty happy for awhile, dontcha think? We also made several batches of peach jam and peach syrup (can't wait to try it on pancakes!). Home canning really is a lost art in these days of packaged and processed everything. I'm glad I learned how to do it, and I certainly feel like a domestic diva after this week! In all honesty, though, I don't care if I don't see another peach for a long, long time!

Wiggin' Out!

Mary, Rusty's mom, has been undergoing radiation therapy for the past several weeks as part of her treatment. As you may know, one of the many unpleasant side effects of radiation is hair loss. But thanks to the generosity of the American Cancer Society, Mary was able to get two wigs and several hats and turbans, all for free. She is pictured here trying on a wig that Ronda picked out just for fun. (Don't worry, the wigs she went home with were much more conservative!) I can't even begin to imagine what she must be going through right now, and yet through it all, she still manages to have fun and keep a positive outlook. And yes, good sport that she is, she did give me permission to post this picture of her on our blog!

Alex Plays His Piano

This wonderful toy was a gift to Alex from his Auntie Ronda (who dotes on him as only an aunt can do). He loves to sit in it and play with all the toys and make it light up and play music. He especially loves to play for an audience -- Mama, Daddy, Grandma, or whoever else happens to be in the room at the moment. I think we have a little performer on our hands!

Alex Visits "Mama Mzazi"

Alex loves to visit his "Mama Mzazi" (great- grandma Nadine, my grandma). She will be 80 years old this year, and her eyesight is failing, but she holds Alex and he talks to her and tells her all the things he has been doing. We try to go out and see her at least once a week. Last week, we walked around Huntington Terrace, her retirement home, and she showed him off to all her friends and the staff there. Alex loves to meet new people, and is proving to be quite the ham. Hmmmm, wonder who he gets that from?

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Five Months Old

5 Months Old
Originally uploaded by rustyandlaura.
I was five months old on July 28th, the day we arrived in Portland. I am getting very big and heavy and will soon outgrow my 3-6 month size clothes! I am rolling over and learning to sit up like a big boy. My recent discoveries include my feet (they sure are fun toys!) and my vocal cords (I can scream really loud when I want to!). My mommy says she thinks I will get my first tooth soon. This teething business is no fun at all! Until next month...

Friday, August 04, 2006

Alex Meets "The Fam"

Well, hello from Portland, Oregon! We arrived here safely last Friday. Alex did great on the 11 1/2 hour plane ride from Seoul to LA. I think he was just about the best behaved baby on the whole flight (and there were lots of babies)! While most of the other kids were screaming and crying, he snoozed peacefully in his carseat, and when he wasn't sleeping, he was trying to make friends with the other passengers. He travels so well -- I knew he would make a great TCK (must get that from his mommy)! Oh, and by the way, no one even asked us any questions about his chicken pox, which were still healing when we made our trip.

Since we arrived, Alex has enjoyed meeting relatives on both sides of the family, and of course they have all enjoyed showering him with attention. Here are a few pictures for your viewing pleasure:

With Daddy, Grandma, Auntie Ronda, and cousins Johnny and Robbie

With Great-Uncle Jim and Great-Aunt Mary Jane Campbell

With Great-Uncle Dennis and Great-Aunt Diana Campbell

Cousin Johnny introduces Alex to the PlayStation