The guests went on an excursion today up the mountains to see the sequoia trees. For people who've never seen them, look at your living room and imagine the trunk of the tree larger than that! 20-40 feet across! It's an amazing sight, especially for the kids from Oklahoma who have never really seen a tree with a diameter larger than about a foot or two. They took Girl and Boy with them so I have a house to myself! What am I going to do with all this peace and quiet? Read, work in the garden, hang laundry, surf the Internet.
Yesterday the guests went thrift store shopping so the kids could get "new" clothes. They returned with between 6-10 tops, several pairs of shorts, and a couple pairs of shoes...for each of the six kids. I asked what they were going to be doing with the clothes they had. Keep them, of course! Each kid has drawers and drawers of clothes and their closets are packed. Their laundry room is always jammed with clothes too. It's a whole different philosophy than what I have for the grand kids. They have more than they need, and even more than they wear, but Boy and Girl have in total less clothes than these six kids brought with them on their two week vacation.
Yesterday we had a party for our friends. Their local family came (although their local family doesn't want all these people staying at their houses), all but two of my grand kids came, but only oldest daughter and her husband showed up. I think the rest of my kids didn't want to be around the place with 16 children running around. I thought it was great fun. We bbq'd some hamburgers, I made chili from scratch...including soaking and cooking the dried beans, homemade pickles and salsa, loaves of homemade bread, homemade tortilla chips and corn bread, homemade cake, homemade lemonade (that the kids all squeezed). Coming from Oklahoma, the kids had never picked fresh oranges or lemons! The entire dinner for 23 people cost under $20.
My friend saw my bleached white flour (I used half of this and half whole wheat) and commented that she uses unbleached flour and whole wheat flour at times. I brought her out to the garage and showed her my grain mill and poured a cup of wheat kernels into the mill. This is how WE get whole wheat flour!
Breakfast this morning consisted of scrambled eggs and making french toast with the left over bread. With seven extra people in the house we are actually using all our eggs that the chickens are laying each day! The kids squeezed oranges for our juice. Breakfast for 10 people cost nothing. Now, that's self sufficiency.