Summer flies by fast enough as it is, and when you don't get the summer off with your kids, it goes by even faster. With work Monday-Friday and church on Sundays, if you really break it down I have a grand total of about 14 full days to really do things with the kids and make some memories. I realized a few weeks ago that if we were going to accomplish everything we want to this summer, I needed to start making some concrete plans and get activities on the calendar that couldn't just be done spur of the moment or after work.
One of my best friends is Jennifer, someone I first met when we moved to Salem 5 years ago, and she has been a dear friend ever since. She is very much like me, a full time working mom who is still hell bent on creating a well spring of great memories for her kids. She is creative and energetic, is trying to raise her kids "old school" like we are, and is always down for an adventure. She also loves Marionberries nearly as much as I do, and when I put berry picking on the calendar I knew there was no one better to ask along. I also knew she would be game for loading up a mini-van with 5 kids under the age of 9, giving them buckets, and letting them have at a berry bush.
This was our result:
Believe it or not, there is another completely full bowl the size of the white one that didn't make it into the picture. 25 pounds of berries in all! I couldn't have been more proud of all 5 of our kiddos, who picked like little farm workers without a complaint, and had such a great time.
They cannot, however, all take a good picture at the same time....
(Leah's shirt should have been weighed along with the rest of the berries, for all the juice that's on it..... )
The fruit of our efforts... 11 jars of Marionberry freezer jam, canned with the help of my 8 year old.
Plenty left over for my favorite summer treat, berries over vanilla ice cream!