Sydney and Haily love art. (They did not get that gene from me!) I found some water colors and one fun thing they love to do at Grandmas is get paper and go out on the front porch to paint beautiful pictures! They get some on the porch but I don't care, the rain washes it off and they love it!
One thing I've loved about canning the past two years are starting to can meat and starting to can convenience foods. I dug up some of our potatoes this week and had some tomatoes and onions left along with some of our herbs so I added some carrots and stew beef and made some delicious beef stew. Fortunately, one jar didn't seal so we were able to eat it for dinner. Yum! All I can say is we didn't can enough to last through the winter. It will make delicious lunches and an easy last minute dinner!
Sveta went to Moscow this week and had her physical and interview at the US Embassy. This took all week. She took a 24 hour train trip on Tuesday and came back Friday night/Saturday. She got her patriarchal blessing while she was there and did get to do a little bit of sight seeing. It was her first time in Moscow. At the embassy, she was asked some questions and fingerprinted and then was told she had her VISA!
We talked through Skype with her yesterday after she got back. The plan is for her to get things organized and pack up what she can bring and then come the first of October and they are planning to be married in the Columbia SC Temple on November, 11, 2011! Everyone help make her welcome!
When I got going in the garden this summer, I didn't think we'd have as good a harvest. Last week the paper said we had the hottest summer in 100 years of record keeping. But we have kept things watered and I have been canning almost daily for the past six weeks. It's starting to wind down to just eating out of the garden. We have okra coming off and are still getting tomatoes, a few cucumbers and green beans, a couple of melons and a ton of peppers.
We have been getting some good deals on peaches for canning and have taken advantage of that. I just love how peaches look when they are canned!
We also U-picked a couple of bushels of tomatoes last week so I could make some wonderful tomato sauce and a few other things. We have had several bushels of tomatoes from our own garden but there are so many things that I can with tomato. I love having them to make soups, salsa, sauce, juice. . . I could go on and on.
Michael and I decided that we wanted to go solar as much as possible so we invested in a 8 KW solar system for the house. The past two weeks, Michael and our friend Bob Libby have been installing it.
I have to admit, it makes me very nervous to see them up on the roof. They installed the rails that hold panels and did all of the wiring they needed for the rooftop part before putting on any panels.
Eric and Ryan came to help move the panels from the garage to the roof. We have a total of 30 panels but they installed 9 on Saturday.
It took a while lining them up but they think it will now go a lot faster once they have done this first set.
Here is the panel that the wiring will go to and convert the power and below these we will have the large batteries that will be charged and store.
When it is done, we will have Duke Power hook it up to the grid so when we have extra power, they will buy it from us and we will use what we need instead of their power. If the power goes out, we will have our batteries capped and can use it without being on the grid! We figure we will probably be able to almost run the house except for the air conditioning!
We were told this week in the news that this is the hottest summer in Upstate South Carolina in 100 years. Not real good for gardens! It's been a struggle keeping things growing. Amazingly, the tomatoes look great and green. It's hard for them to set fruit in temperatures over 95. I'm hoping they stay healthy for when the temperature moderates so we can get some fall tomatoes! I was still able to get about a half a bushel last week. The sweet potatoes seem to be vining around just fine in the heat. We will know how good they did in September. Michael did put in a drip irrigation system in that helps immensely. Our pepper plants are just loaded. The peppers are also bigger with having the drip irrigation. One of our green bell pepper plants was actually in our greenhouse last summer and I planted it outside for this summer and it's still producing!
Ger and Mee Yang, great friends and members of our ward were sealed together in the Columbia temple last Saturday. I don't think I've ever been to a sealing with six sweet little children! Joseph, the oldest was smiling ear to ear the whole time and was so excited. The children were so precious and angelic in their white clothes. Mama and Papa Lor (Grandparents) are a wonderful example as the leaders of their family (which you can see is growing larger with Der's baby due at any time)!