Friday, September 30, 2011

One of those spiral moments

I've had a lovely, lovely day filled with a morning of friends & happy, peaceful children but the past couple hours have been one distraction after another. You know what I'm talking about. This is what I just came through.....

After our friends leave & the lunch dishes are cleaned up, I decide to sit down for a few minutes and check my email. My oldest daughter has other plans for me, though. Before I sit down, could I please help her send an email with the raw date cookie recipe to her friend? Instead of writing it down, I plop beside her at the table & recite the directions.

About 2 lines in, the phone rings. It's a dear friend who I really want to talk with so I motion to Simone that I'll be just a minute. 5 minutes turns to 10 and she isn't happy about the delay but thankfully she finds something to occupy her time. While I'm talking, the other line rings 3 times but I lovingly ignore them all, making a mental note to listen to the messages & return calls as needed when I'm done.

One phone call turns to 2 to 3 to 4 and during that time, texts are rolling in. I finally take care of all my communication needs, glance at the soaking almonds awaiting to be made into almond milk and find my way to the cozy chair. What's happening on Facebook? Wouldn't I like to know. There sits my daughter with the laptop, anxiously waiting for me to help her finish the email. So....I do. Now, where was I?

The mail is here! In comes Z with all the junk he gathered from the box, throwing it at me one by one as he reads off the names. I suppose I should filter through this, huh? Naturally, the mail prompts a few more things to do including the admiration of my camera's new filters & a couple phone calls to the eye doctor & insurance company. After I hang up the final phone call, I give up on resting & tackle the almonds. You also realize that each of these phone calls is interrupted by 22 dire needs of the children, right?

And here I sit. The almond milk is straining into a jar and 3 beautiful children are playing outside. All I hear are faint giggles & the ticking of the clock.

Now....time to make dinner. But wait - the phone is ringing!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dreary day apple crisp

The intention today was to go apple picking with friends but guess what? The orchard ran out of apples! I temporarily considered another orchard because the kids were uber excited but the weather called for rain & I wasn't prepared to drive a great distance only to get rained out SO.... we opted for the next best thing - apple picking in our neighbor's back yard. Yes, I phoned first.

Check out that vertical leap!


We only took home about 15 apples because the fruits were too high in the tree but we had a handful in our own refrigerator to supplement. Then we cooperatively set out to make our dreary day apple crisp! I used an allrecipes.com recipe & doubled the topping, as suggested in a few of the reviews.




Ezra and Kaiya lovingly washed the apples.














After that dirty deed was complete, I grabbed my trusty paring knife to peel & slice.


After mixing the first 3 ingredients (I substituted xylitol for sugar).....


Simone carefully spread them across the apples.


She then added water, according to the recipe, but I would decrease it by half the next time.


The next five ingredients were gathered and I substituted whole cane sugar for brown sugar.


Ezra did the honors of mixing.


Kaiya then added melted butter. A great tip is to melt the butter in the
 pre-heating oven instead of using the microwave.


After the crumbles were well combined.....


Simone & Kaiya spread them over the sweet apples....with clean hands, of course.


In the oven it goes, at 350 for 45 minutes. *tick tock tick tock*


The table is set & our apple crisp is ready to be taste-tested!


Three thumbs up! Their faces are a bit irritated because I asked them
 to stop stuffing their faces & give me their verdict.


So, even though our day's events were side-tracked by an apple orchard without apples, we managed to pull it together & create some apple goodness of our own!

Happy Birthday, Magnifying Glass!


Yes, you read that right. Our dearest, sweetest Magnifying Glass is celebrating his 6th birthday today!

A little history on this one.....Ezra has a toy magnifying glass that he loves with all his heart. For about a week now, he's been treating it like his best friend (or perhaps long, lost brother?). They have conversations, play games & go everywhere together.

Yesterday Ezra proclaimed quite loudly, "Tomorrow is Magnifying Glass's birthday! He's going to be 6 years old!!" He immediately started planning the festivities. He found Simone's teeny tooth fairy box and placed a marble inside as a gift. For the rest of the evening he made sure none of us spilled the beans about the present & regularly told us to "shhhh" if we mentioned it.

Last night I read books to Z & MG before bed & they peacefully drifted off to sleep, side-by-side....

First thing this morning, Ezra wanted to decorate the house! MG wasn't awake yet so we had to put streamers around the living and make pictures. Sadly, I was a bit tired for this activity but Kaiya helped with the decorations and Magnifying Glass was very surprised.

The big celebration came at breakfast with our normal birthday tradition....we joyously sang Happy Birthday over a candle-lit bowl of oatmeal.


Ezra helped Magnifying Glass blow out his candle and we were all 
 thrilled to participate in such a momentous occasion.


Happy Birthday, Magnifying Glass!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm baaaaack!

Apparently my blogging ambition has been hiding out but I'm determined to try this again!

Allow me to recap the last few months, in photos.....

Fairy hide out

Spring loveliness.

Simone, on the move.

Ezra, on the slide.

Rain!

Silliness with friends.

Look, Ma, no training wheels!

A visit with Grammy.

Old kitchen.....

1
New kitchen!

Games, games, games. 

On a hike while camping.

Our sweet Theresa.

Millenium Park on a hot summer day.

Camp time!

Simone's first overnight camp.

Garden abundance.

Lots of outdoor time.

Boys will be boys.

Canned tomatoes and....

canned peaches.

Butterfly garden. 
Nothing like climbing trees.

Muddy little Kaiya feet.

Forging rivers.

Ezra & his bud.

Me & Z.

Simone's Ziggurat, which still stands!

Tractor ride at Menno Haven.

Arboretum dam building.

A girl and her frog.

Homemade fairy pies. Yum!

Our front yard fairy house....

and our backyard village.


Cousins.


Now that we're caught up on the past 4 months, I'll try to be better about visiting this special place.

With love,
stephanie