Now that I'm a stay-at-home mom, I have a lot more flexibility with my time. For example, I often use my mom's canning to replenish my food storage. Usually, however, it's just a few jars here and there, as needed. I've really been wanting, for a long time now, to go home for a few days and just spend the entire time canning, so I could use my labor as payment for bringing home more food. I did just that a few summers ago and brought back a bunch of tomato sauce and stewed tomatoes. I've been itching to do it ever since. But I never could justify taking the time off work to do it again. Well, that changed this past week. My parents came down for a wedding, so Kessa and I jumped at the chance and went back to Idaho with them and my Aunt Grace (who became dubbed Grandma Grace (originally by my niece and nephew, Lexi and Parker, and was quickly adopted by Kessa and me). For a week the three of us canned like crazy. (Tuesday-Friday my mom worked days, so it was just Aunt Grace and I during the days.) Monday we got the most done, since it was a holiday and my mom could stay home. It was nice to have three people, because there was always someone available to hold Kessa if she was fussy, or to feed her (ok, just me on that one), or to put her to sleep. (Turns out, the Grandmas are much better at that than I am.) The rest of the days it was just Grandma Grace and I, so typically one of us was with Kessa while the other one canned. Things went much slower, then. But it was still a lot of fun.
Here is the kind of food we got to work with. Seriously, some of it was ginormous. Please note the pint canning jar in the picture for reference. And yes, that's a cucumber. (Travis, make sure Sanna sees this. Mom was proud of them after Sanna was telling her how big her tomatoes got.)
We babysat Damian's boys for a couple of hours one afternoon. Parker was a huge helper. Here he is, grating carrots.
Grandma Grace was super efficient. Here she is snapping beans while holding a sleeping Kessa.
I, on the other hand, was not nearly as good at multi-tasking. I put Kessa to sleep by reading her books about cows (hey, we were on the farm!) and doing no canning.
Kessa spent a lot of time in a playpen in the kitchen. Here's one of the few times she actually fell asleep in there. (Please note the fleece blanket. Idaho is freezing! How in the world did I forget that when I packed our clothing?)