Seems like we had too much rain and hot weather,
many of the plums were starting to grow a white mold,
so we picked all the rest of the good plums.
This time quite a few of them tasted ripe and were delicious to eat right off the tree. I made more plum preserves:
4 cups plums (leave the skin on, it makes it a lovely color)
1 cup sugar
Boil pitted and halved plums with sugar, stirring occasionally. Boil until mixture is bubbling uniformly. Turn heat down. Simmer for 10 minutes than turn off the heat. Cool to room temperature. Repeat this step for total of 4 times. Last time bringing it to a boil at the lower temperature, stir frequently to prevent scorching. It will make it nice and thick, letting the excess water boil off. I've been enjoying it on vanilla ice cream and also with crepes.
Saturday some of my friends threw me (and another lady who is also expecting a baby in August) a baby shower! They decorated so nicely, with baby boy and girl stuff....as we don't know the sex of our baby. It will be so exciting to find out when baby is born.
I could list everything we got as gifts, but I'll highlight a few of my favorite things:
an 11 inch amber necklace for baby (to help with teething)
a newborn car seat with owls on it
a white baby bassinet
bath lobster that tells you if the water is too hot or gets too cold
lots of onesies in varying sizes, newborn, 0-3, 3-6 and up
cotton flannel nursing pads (I can wash and reuse them)
stickers for each month to put on baby and take photo!
a baby mobile, to hang over crib
Little Humans, a book by this photographer http://www.humansofnewyork.com/
Rob has been working on repainting and putting up moulding and decorative corners and mineral spirits (it smells) on the floor to prepare it for tung oil. I think this pale green is good for a baby boy or girl.
Our plum tree had a lot of hard plums fall off it in the thunderstorms earlier this week, so much wind and rain. I found a recipe and made plum jam.
Rob's birthday is in April, Olivia's in May, Hannah's in June and mine in late July, this baby will be born in August! I'm actually hoping a little later than August 16th, maybe just a few days, because one of my favorite church holidays is August 19th when we bless the harvest (we usually bring grapes, plums, peaches, cucumbers and tomatoes in a basket to church)!
Little Timothy before:
And after...guess he really liked the frosting and chocolate chips!
We celebrated Hannah's birthday at the Red Balloon Cafe! We ate lunch there and brought cupcakes from home.
For Olivia's birthday, she had just 3 friends who came over for cake. We baked a cake in a circle pan and cut it so that the 2 pieces looked like a mustache.
The girls played badminton and played on the playground in our backyard. So much has changed in our backyard since then...lots of stuff growing!
Yesterday, I made red raspberry leaf tea. I followed the advice here, but only steeped it for 10 minutes: http://www.passionatehomemaking.com/2009/01/homemade-pregnancy-tea.html Less than 2 months until we meet our wee one and I want to be strong and ready for labor.
Today I am 32 weeks and 5 days.
We have been going to the concerts in the park weekly.
The girls were playing slap-jack. It was the steel drum band, calypso-style music...really summery!
Olivia got a baseball from one of the Miami Marlins players at the game we went to last week. The girls did Irish dancing pre-game and post-game and they got to watch fireworks from the visitors dugout.
Olivia turned 12 last month.
Father and son...we roasted marshmallows after dinner at my in-laws house on Father's day.
So much has changed since 3 weeks ago. My dad was still amongst the living here on earth. He wasn't doing well, and they put him on oxygen...he was having difficulty breathing and swallowing. I still lay in bed at night, wondering "What could we have done?" We were hoping the doctor would give him food via through the g-tube, where he had surgery 4 years ago to have a tube inserted so he could get medication that would go right to his small intestines instead of taking medication orally. Honestly, I'm glad that didn't happen, because he wouldn't have wanted that. He couldn't talk, really, barely a yes or no that last week...we miss him dearly.
His funeral was in Loveland, OH. His coffin is made of simple pine, painted around the sides with "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal have mercy on us." My parents got both of their coffins a while ago, just to be ready. Here are more photos from Dad's funeral and burial (which was in Jordanville, NY): http://chicagodiocese.org/news_150529_1.html
The burial service was served mainly by Fr. Chad Williams, who is Dad's Godson. We had a nice dinner of soup, salad, fish, potatoes, peas and fruit salad at the monastery afterwards. The kids ran around (mostly barefoot) in the grass after playing. It was very nice to see family and old friends.
We took a week vacation to Tennessee.
Listening to a wonderful free bluegrass concert at Ole Smoky moonshine.
Beautiful morning sky in the Great Smoky Mountains.
It really looks smoky there.
The view from Clingman's dome.
In Cade's cove...
We went to West Virginia last weekend for our friend's 90th birthday.
Freshly picked strawberries and cherries from some of our friends. ♥ Yum.
While on vacation, I read Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah, about life after the war in Sierra Leone. In the story, he describes how there, after someone dies, the next 40 days are important. Same with those of us who are Orthodox Christians, we pray for the soul of our departed loved ones, that God will have mercy on them, because no one but Christ our God is Sinless.
This photo is on our bookshelf where we keep our spiritual reading and Bible, so that we remember to pray for my Dad's soul.
I'm the daughter of a Russian Orthodox priest, a wife who enjoys listening to her husband play the mandolin & mother of 2 girls (ages 12 and 14), who doesn't like to clean, but loves to bake, draw, take photos, garden, tend to our chickens, read...