We've all seen them. The Mother's Day questionnaires filled out in elementary schools and church Primarys all over the country. With questions like "How tall is your mom? What is your mom's favorite food? What does your mom say to you all the time? What is your mom's favorite thing to do?" The last question always seems to result in ridiculous answers like "Cleaning or doing the dishes or folding the laundry" I know of NO mother who's FAVORITE thing to do is any of these things.

I decided that I was going to change this trend and make sure my son NEVER says that my favorite thing to do is to clean.

Instead of whining and complaining about it while I did it or just stop doing it altogether which of course would be the more natural thing to do, I began training him. I would snuggle my boys and smother them in kisses and then ask Hyrum "What is Momma's favorite thing to do?" To which he'd answer the presuggested answer of "kissing her boys"


The other day I had kissed Hyrum and then as was becoming my habit I asked him "What is Momma's favorite thing to do?" To which he replied

"Kiss boys"

Yeah that is NOT the same. What a firestorm of rumors would be started in the school district or church with that answer.

I was telling my mom this story on the phone while Hyrum sat on my lap. I didn't think he was even aware of our conversation but when I asked him what my favorite thing to do was in order to show my mom what a little rumor starter her grandson was he replied

CLEANING!! ( and started to LAUGH)

When we moved here and we discovered that we had a pear tree in the back yard I began to worry. I'd never canned pears before in my life and I'd heard that they were pretty time consuming. And after a year of nectarines on our other tree I KNEW I'd need to can them. Last year was a failure for my pears. I read you were suppose to pick them before they were ripe because they ripened from the inside out on the tree. In my anxiety about leaving them on the tree too long I picked most of them too soon and my big box of pears all shriveled in the basement. There were a few pears that I left on the tree and they got big and beautiful. So this year I promised myself to get it right. I waited a little longer and picked them the 14th of September, put them in the fridge for three days then put them in the basement to ripen.

And ripen they did( it took about a week )! But with every shade of yellow they passed through the more I realized that I was going to actually have to can them. A friend of mine offered to help me with my first time canning them but the day before she was to come over I walked into my basement and was greeted by the strong smell of ripe pears. I knew I couldn't wait much longer. So as soon as I got Hyrum off to preschool and Noah for a nap I set to work.

I started with the smaller ones first so if I messed them up it wouldn't be so bad. But I was able to get all of them put into 4 quarts and processing in an hour and a half.

This is around how big the smaller ones were.

The next day I decided to do the bigger ones in the morning before it got too hot out. And I was able to get 13 quarts and a pint out of them. I was starting to get the hang of it. And even though it took longer to prepare them than peaches they weren't as horrible as I thought they would be.

I can't claim inspiration for the melon baller for the core remover idea. That was an idea from another friend but I've also found a contraption online that is designed specifically for pear coring and will look into investing in that in the future.

This is how big the bigger ones were. Aren't they beautiful? Those are from MY tree! Amazing!

Here are my pears at the end of the day canned and beautiful. And better than that FREE!!! I can't tell you how amazing it feels to pick produce out of your backyard and preserve it. Not only is it free but it is efficient and eliminates waste. And I'm discovering how very much I dislike waste.

This is my favorite shelf in our food storage. I think it's beautiful. (And yes those are bags of chocolate chips in my food storage...it's comfort food! )

Last conference I made up this little booklet for Hyrum to help him pay attention. YEAH RIGHT! He looked at for 5 minutes and was done for the duration. For that reason I didn't plan anything for him for conference but on Friday night it dawned on me that he is older now and might be able to pay attention to something. I decided that a bingo type game would work the best.

I explained to him that every time he saw or heard someone say these things that he could put a Skittle on the game card and then at the end ( if he filled it ) he could eat them. He was REALLY excited to play.

It's appeal would come and go to be replaced with Dad using the "force" ( static electricity ) on balloons.

General playing with Dad
Derek's going to kill me for this one but I love it. :)

Watching Noah go to town on a pear in the meshy feeder thing.

And a flying lesson courtesy of Mom and Dad.

At the end of conference he'd filled his card 4 times and enjoyed the fruits of his labors.

Then afterwards we drove up in the canyon to look at the fall leaves just before storm came through to usher in Autumn weather with rain and cold.

I was singing a song ( a jingle from one of his silly shows) and Hyrum informed me ( pretty resolutely I might add) that he didn't like that song. I gave him a dejected look to which he said "I'm gonna give you a hug" and came running. After I hugged him I told him that I loved him and said ( which I often do ) "Who does momma love?" Hyrum said "Children"

I was a little surprised by this answer and asked "Which children?"



"Noah and Daddy"

I said "Hyrum, Daddy is not a child, he's all grown up"

"Daddy is a child of GOD, Mom"

That's right little man...that's right.

Then we sang "I am a child of God" together. I guess he liked that song better. That's good.

I don't care how many kids I have. This is always comedy!

Each seems to have their own special way to express their distaste.

We'd given him bananas and peaches and he'd shake his head like he didn't like them so I thought maybe this will be my veggie eater...not so.

It even got to the point where I'd put the spoon to his mouth and he'd make the faces. Gotta love it!!