Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Dear Susie, a cake for You.

Dear Susie, You asked how I made the birthday cake. Well I'm finally getting back to you. This is how we made the cake.
(By the way, do you have any idea how much I miss you all and how much we'd love to see you again? What wonderful memories of walks and teaching and babies and potty training I have with you? Oh, I miss you friend! Five years is too long.)
So, I used to boxes of white cake mix. Mixed them up as directed and divided the batter into 6 small bowls. Each bowl got a color and the boys and I added color and mixed until we were content with the color. That's really what this is all about, right?

Next, I dumped bits of color into my cake rounds.  No method, mostly madness.

Even dirty dishes can be nice.  

I made 4 rounds.   Each of them got a layer of icing around and atop.  (That's a Preposition, you know.)  After I got them all stacked up I iced the whole thing again very lightly.  Then, very important, I put the lightly iced cake in the fridge overnight.  This gave a perfect surface for me to ice the next day, the cake really looked pretty smooth.  

I knew I had done well when my boys kept brining the kids into the house for a peek at the cake.  And that was before they saw the inside.  How fun was this for me?  Way too much fun!

The ENTIRE slice.  No one got a giant slice.  I portioned them out, everyone was very happy to get their own colorful piece.   

Yes, I'm ridiculously impressed with my cake baking skills.  You have to understand this has been an area of defeat for me so long, I'm thrilled to have done well at last.

So there you go, Susie.  Thanks for asking, and all your sweet comments across the miles.  I miss you all over there so much!  xoxo!
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Snot-dogs. That's what Eli calls them. It was a fun little thing to do with the boys on a quiet afternoon. Gross, if you ask me. But I didn't eat them, and they DID. They loved them.
Pinterest Trick #2

Posted by Picasa

Monday, September 26, 2011

Pinterest….dusting the cobwebs off my craftiness

See! Pinterest has lots and lots of good things to offer!
I have promised myself, also that I will do some of the great projects that I find on Pinterest.
Project #3: Noodle-Bead-Dying Project

Our neighbor was having a birthday…a sweet 5 year old who requested only homemade gifts. Perfect!

Another beautiful thing is that you don't need my instructions because already wrote them out for you over at "Intrepid Murmurings"
I can tell you not to let the pasta dry on newspaper without a liner underneath. I am still very, very sad that the alcohol soaked through the newspaper and ate through the paint on our kitchen table. It needed refinishing anyhow, but how sad….

The gift was well recieved and we had a lot of fun making it. The cost:
Pasta: $3.00
Food Coloring: $0 (but I used all remaining supplies at home so I'll have to shop)
Alcohol: $1.50
Fishing Tackle Box: Free from the Warehouse (my hubbies shop)
Elastic String: free from our craft box

Oh!  And if you'd like an invitation to Pinterest, just leave me a comment and I'll send you one.  BUT, be warned.  Pinterest will steal your little quiet moments away quickly!
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The boys and I got up early this weekend. Saturday morning I heard the littlest stirring when I got up before the sun showed itself. I crept into his room and took his hand, whispered him downstairs to tennies and a sweatshirt. We grabbed the doggy and silently walked to the river side.

We met with the peeking sun. We greeted the new day with our all-night hair and awe of the sameness that comes over everyday whether we notice, or not.

We giggled as we watched a river otter paddle around in circles. Fish jumped here and there and then here again. It was dreamy, a morning-date for our busy lives.

It's one thing I'm noticing about being so, so busy in this season. I am enjoying all the retreats that I get from work.
So I snagged the middlest this morning when I got up again. He was fast asleep but had begged to be woken. As we crept out of the sleeping house we saw a nose pushed against the screen of my biggest boys room. He was invited, and gladly accepted.

We walked the same path, we're wearing ruts in that pavement.
We watched fishermen skilled and silent.

Joe measured his hand against the print in cement stairs fashioned just for us, I'm certain.

We gazed. What else is there to do. Nate crept around, ever the explorer. Joe snuggled up next to me and we talked, laughed, smiled away the hour.
The scent, the sights, the sounds of Autumn were carefully observed & discussed.

I will not miss THIS day, this hour. I was thrilled at this unplanned, unexpected weekend of dates with my boys. Quiet hours before the song of things to do got to any of us.

I will not rush the quiet hours.

….and I don't want to miss the beauty of the world around, changing just a bit faster than my sweet boys.
Posted by Picasa

Weekends are for...

Playing, Moving,
Posing, Almost Smiling,
Praying, Coaching, Leading, Learning,
Getting in the Middle of things,

Waiting, Seeing Others,

Chasing Opportunity,
and sitting on the bench,
pep talks, encouragement and being encouraged with words
leisurely reading,
counting freckles, and wondering at God's gifts,
being the star, (look for the cute guy in glasses)
And weekends are for science all around you. Putting roots down in new places,
using all five senses,
marveling at what started so small,
and just hanging out in beauty.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, September 23, 2011

Getting in our Groove

We are back to school!  Three weeks in and every day is a little simpler.  I'd have to say that this year has been the simplest to start up, by far.  I think it has everything to do with the ages of the boys, our experience and comfort level of getting started up again.  We sucked every ounce of juice out of the end of summer, not speaking of or thinking too much about school.  
Then, when the day came, we snuck up to a full schedule.  Our first days were just morning routine, Bible & Math.  Slowly I added in our memory work, Science curriculum (We're doing Apologia's Anatomy & Physiology) and History.  

Easing into the school year allows the boys to have time to adjust to the schedule change (getting dressed before lunch) and getting down to stretching our brains in new ways.  It also gives me time to tweak things one at a time.  I found both Nate and Eli needed to jump forward in their new math books (so much review in front) thus, I can iron things out as I learn what is wrinkled.

And this year we're studying America....her History, her Geography.  The photos above are our crude sketches of the East Coast.  We played a fun game of driving from state capitol to state capitol.  :)  

And then there is soccer.  Nate and Eli are on the same team...the team with the best coach:  their dad.  He is LOVING coaching and the boys love the game.  I love that Upwards asks only one practice a week, and a game on Saturdays.  Joe is playing too, on a different team.

And then Karate, our beloved Dojo with the best Sensei's ever.  Eli traded his white belt in a few weeks ago for his Little Dragons class.  Nate and Joe tested and traded their white belts in last Saturday.  I am so impressed to watch how controlled they are, how quick and attentive in this class.  

And then there are Sundays.

Sundays for turning over rocks and lying on a beach blanket, pushing a boy on the swings and going out for a lazy pizza dinner.  

Life is busy, and all this busy is good.  I am so thankful!