1. *grin* They really aren’t that bad. Lots of buzz, but that’s about all. (however, seeing them actually ATTACK a cicada in mid-flight? Wow… we saw that once and it was most impressive… and loud. They dropped right in front of the stroller.)

    Totally off the subject, but the most impressive walk we ever took around the block (the cicada killer ranked #2) was the time we were walking and Sean (a two-year old at the time) was asking what the transformers on the powerline were for. Just as my dh finished his explanation, the one we were looking at EXPLODED — shower of colorful sparks and everything. It was amazing!

  2. that is so sweet – and great job on the canning!

    Hm… maybe I should try to fly in for the day to the conference? Worth it?

  3. If you want a chance to actually pick up and look at books that are recommended by various Catholic HSers, then yes… or, if you just want a chance to listen to some great speakers inspire you as you get started, then again yes.

    If you’re looking for a great place to eat, then NO! Run away screaming! (the conference facility was abysmal)

  4. I clicked on the link and screamed when the picture popped up. Oh my! You are a brave and bold lady. And that picture of Christopher is so precious.

  5. Congrats on the jam, that looks lovely! My kids have been agitating for me to make some more because we ran out ages ago.

    Happy birthday!

  6. Thank you so much!

    Yeah, cicada killers are wasps that you really have to have some respect for… I mean seriously, that thing is about 2 inches long! I just loved the fact that several of my gang… including 2 yr old Grace… decided to march in there and do battle — and thought ahead to get some protective gear! Can’t go wrong with a storm trooper mask!

    Thanks also to both of you on the comments on the jelly. My kids want to dive right into it, but I’m in major horde mode right now… it took me a long time to make it, so I want to save it! Am I crazy?

  7. Wow, that’s some wasp! They look like Japanese hornets… If I didn’t know better what it was I’d have run screaming, too!

    Congrats on your strawberry jelly! I’ve made strawberry freezer jam before, but that was before I’d ventured into canning. We moved our strawberry patch earlier this year, so we’re getting some but not as many. My neighbor has tons of red raspberries, though, so I’m hoping to make jelly from some of them!

    Somewhat unrelated, another neighbor gave me okra plants. I’ve never grown it or even known anyone who did, but I love it fried, pickled or in gumbo. Finding other ways to eat it will be fun but the neighbor says they have flowers like hibiscus!

  8. I cheat and make strawberry jam in the breadmaker since my breadmaker has a setting for jams. It still takes an hour or so to do. I love the cicada battle costumes. You have to be fully protected against insects. 🙂 Love that your little man was so kind to his sister. My Jacob let Allyson (he’s just turned 5 in April and she’s 3) put her little legs on him before nap time and was rubbing her feet because her feet were hurting and he was singing a song to her so she’d feel better. Sometimes it’s amazing to see how sweet their hearts are.

  9. Casey, I had no idea that breadmakers had a jam setting! I’ve learned something new today!

    And yes, it’s amazing to see our kids being so totally selfless and giving. I think Jacob rubbing Allyson’s feet is going to be one of those memories you will never, ever forget…

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