Monday, August 5, 2013

Its' been a Simple Blackberry Jam Kinda Day

I have been gone from blogging for quite some time now.  My days have been so busy, heck my life has been so busy.  About a month ago I really felt that God has put something so strongly on my heart that I could not deny it any longer.  He led me to a decision that I had been putting of for a few years but could not bring myself to do.  I resigned from a job that I truly loved working as the Executive Director of our local Arc chapter.  I enjoyed getting to know so many people and gaining a better understanding of the needs in our community for people with disabilities.

What I came to realize was that I had a very important need in my own household.  Raising five children and trying to keep it all together is not something that one can do lightly, I WAS NEEDED!!  I was needed to stay home and be the best mom and wife that I could possibly be.  And thus I begin the stay at home mom routine again.  The income loss will hurt but I have faith that God has a better plan for us and He will see us through.  Already I have had more time to tend to my garden and keep the weeds from overtaking everything like it usually does by this time of year.  Already I am working hard with the kiddos to simplify things in our home.  I have said several times, I don't know if I'm losing my mind or if I'm getting smarter, but we currently have NO FURNITURE in our living room... thats right!! We have a rickety ole glider rocker that I bought when I got pregnant with Tristin (16 years ago) and an Amish wooden rocker that is not the most comfortable to sit in for a long period of time.  So a rocker for mama and a rocker for dada.  The kids can sit on the floor....and they do!!  The kids had spilled things on the furniture, jumped on it until fabric was torn, the twins had pee'd on it a few times and the odor would not fade, the dog used it more than I did and I just plum got tired of having something like that in my house... so I paid someone to come and haul it away to burn.  Honestly, felt great!!!

We are downsizing the bazillion pieces of clothing that my children have, and don't take care of.  I will wash laundry only to have them throw it on their floor and declare it dirty again and end up back in the wash before its even worn... no more!  What does not end up in the dresser goes away in some fashion or another.

Yesterday my darling husband informed me that the blackberries were ripe and huge.  He spent about an hour or so pickin for me last night.

 I didn't want to see that beautiful harvest end up as just a snack so today I took some time and made some blackberry jam.  I have made strawberry jam, I have made blueberry jam, I have made peach jam, I have even made tomato jam, but never have I had a chance to make blackberry jam... I have to boast and let you know it turned out delicious!!! Can't wait to spread it out on pancakes or eat it ontop of ice cream and enjoy it for breakfast ontop of my toast.. YUM!!

So as I start my new journey of being a stay at home mom again, I see wonderful things in my future.  I see canning, I see baking, I see crafting, I see home improvements, I see landscaping.... BOY oh BOY I guess I really was needed right here ;)

Recipe for blackberry jam:

9 cups of fresh blackberries
5 cups of sugar
1 1/2 cups of apple juice
1 box pectin

mash blackberries, add apple juice and bring to a boil adding sugar slowly.  When boiling add package of pectin and boil until thickened.  HELPFUL HINT: I always take a spoonful out and set it on some ice cubes for a minute to see if its the thickness I desire when finished.  Ladle into jelly jars, top with sterilized lid and hot pack for 10 minutes.  This recipe makes about 9 jelly jars full, with a little extra to enjoy ASAP!!