Friday, June 25, 2010

7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 10)

--- 1 ---

I mentioned in my last Quick Takes edition that I had purchased a shark steam mop and that I would report back on my thoughts about it after using it. Well, I love it! It easily cut my mopping time down to a third of what it previously took me with a mop and bucket of soapy water. It was fast, cleaned thoroughly (even those mystery spots that just spontaneously appear on the floor in the areas of the house where the kids typically are) and my floor both felt and looked clean when I was finished. It's way better then a mop and bucket or a swiffer in my opinion. Plus I love that it requires no cleaning products or disposable pads; I just throw the washable pads in the washing machine when I'm done!

--- 2 ---

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Aren't these the cutest tomatoes? They are from our garden and are supposed to be cherry tomatoes, but they are more like the size of blueberries. They are tasty little suckers but it takes at least a half dozen of them just to make one mouthful!

--- 3 ---

Last Friday we hosted a small group of people who are all on the Core Team of a marriage ministry at church. We served coffee cake with fresh berries and some wine. It was a nice evening in good company with fruitful discussion for our ministry.

But, (there's always a "but") it took me all week to prepare for it. I admit that I am not a natural housekeeper but having four young kids in the house all day certainly complicates the process. I did finally get the entire house spic and span, but it was at the cost of many other things. Because we were cleaning we did not go to the library or the park, we didn't do our read alouds, the kids math workbooks and journals were untouched, the laundry piled ever higher and higher, I didn't get my allergy shots and I was a grumpy, stressed-out mess.

I have officially proven to myself that I can't do it all. We can either have a clean house or a house with happy, enriched, healthy kids and mommy. I choose the later, but I sure wish I could have both!

--- 4 ---

Here is what we made from our bounty of blackberries:


Blackberry Jelly. It was the first time I ever made jelly on my own and it was quite a success!

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Blackberry Crisp. This was Eric's Father's Day treat. It was absolutely scrumptious with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.

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Purple blackberry juice stained hands. It's not a good idea to make blackberry jelly on the same day that you have scheduled for family portraits. My skin and nails were a mess! I think I scrubbed them clean enough to not show in the pictures, but I won't know for sure until I see the proofs!

--- 5 ---

Clara's baptism is this coming Saturday. I'm so excited to be welcoming my little girl into the Mystical Body of Christ! Will you please pray for her on her special day?

--- 6 ---

Jonathan's 8th birthday was last March and by far the best gift he got was a Rubik's cube. Eric's been slowly teaching him how to solve it and this week he finally solved the entire thing all by himself. He and Eric have had so much fun talking algorithms and strategies (yes, we are a family of nerds!), racing each other to see who is fastest and coming up with special patterns. That was definitely the best $10 we've ever spent!

--- 7 ---

The most prolific bed in our vegetable garden this year is not one that we planted; it's our compost pile where we throw all our kitchen and yard scraps.

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We have volunteer tomatoes, potatoes and cucumbers; a mystery vine turned out to be watermelon and just this morning we picked a cantaloupe. Each piece of fruit that we pick is like a wonderful little gift from God since we did absolutely nothing to cultivate it. We just get to reap the harvest!

Be sure to check out more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary!


Milehimama said...

I made blackberry jelly this year too! How wonderful about your little Clara - we have a Clara too!

Jill said...

My house cannot get clean with my four little ones, so I do hire a cleaning lady once every two weeks to do the mopping on all of these European floors (which I won't miss!).
Excited to hear about Clara's big day!

Anonymous said...

I found your blog via Conversion Diary, and I just love your layout and photos! The berry crisp you made looks just delicious. We have a raspberry bush in our yard, and I made these breakfast bars that turned out quite good, though I'm sure any berry would be good. :)

I too feel as though cleaning often takes a back seat to tasks like prayer, family time, and sad to say...blogging. But as you say, we can't do it all!

God bless!

Mary @ A Simple Twist of Faith said...

I also found your blog from Jen's Conversion Diaries, what a lovely find! The blackberry jelly and crisp look divine!

I completley understand about the struggle between "housekeeping" and keeping a "home".