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Friday, August 31, 2012

Rainy Friday

When you have a day off of school and it's pouring down rain, don't you just want to RUN to Grant's Farm?  
Well we did just that this morning and had such a fun time!  Aunt Meredith scheduled a private tour for Mike's parents visiting from Australia.  Clearly scheduled before the rain!  Here Meredith and Chris are modeling their oh so stylish rain ponchos, direct from the shelves of the gift shop!

 We toured this log captain which was built by Grant and has been moved 3 times.  I was only slightly terrified that Lucy would break something inside.  

Here's our jolly group and our awesome truck/bus.  The big girls were super excited that they served soda on board but then when they were offered one, they declined.  Always a mystery, those girls. 

We stopped along the way to feed all of the animals.  Here Eleanor is feeding a buffalo!

                                    Lucy enjoyed all of the animals, except the buffalos.

Lulu loved feeding the goats.  We stayed outside the fence.

Yay, for a fun, adventurous, and rainy morning!    We'd never had planned this if we'd known the weather forecast for today ....I'm so glad we didn't know! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Transition is hard but pizza is good!

I like to try to forget how tough transition is for this family.   They keep reminding me though so I can't forget!  We've had our share of tears, tantrums and other grumpies the last week and a half.  This morning, with tears in her eyes, Em said "Mom, I really like school, I just don't want to leave you and home and I'm kinda bored and I could probably do more stuff here.".  It totally gave me a big lump in my throat because I can remember feeling the EXACT same way.  I still vividly remember laying in my bed the night before kindergarten started and wishing like crazy I never had to go to school and leave my mom.  I guess it's genetic.  I know in another few weeks things will be fantastic but oh, these first few weeks are long.  

These Snoopy pajamas are tough to get off our sweet girl!
I'm waaaay behind on my recipe organization, now that the girls are back in school I'm going to start working on that again.  Yesterday's lunch was a big hit as evidenced by Lucy's two thumbs up and pizza sauce face!

Pizza Dippers (original recipe calls them stuffed pizza rolls,renamed by my kids) Recipe here

The only change I made was to make our own pizza dough.  Right now we're really liking Mark Bittman's Pizza Dough Recipe

I stuffed a third with just mozzarella, a third with mozzarella and olives, and a third with mozzarella, olives and tomatoes.

I also made our own sauce.  Here is the one we use.  I decrease the water to between 3/4 - 1 cup.  I use garlic powder rather than garlic and I add a little salt.  I make it early in the day and let it sit in the fridge until we're ready to use it.

Kids are already asking me to make them again, a very, very good sign!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

In progress...

Go Daddy Go!
We're having a fun weekend and although we all need some rest and a do nothing weekend that will have to wait!  So far El's finally lost her front tooth...the one that was resulting in our nicknaming her "Nanny McPhee", the girls have planned, prepped, and survived a sister's sleepover, and Kevin finished the Lake St. Louis Sprint Triathlon with an awesome time! Right now El's at a soccer clinic, Lu is napping and then we're off to Loufest.  Super fun but I'm already looking forward to resting next weekend! 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

First and Third

School is back in session.  Emma and Eleanor were so excited this morning, they have amazing teachers and fun groups of kids in their classes.   All the same, I had a lump in my throat and worked hard not to cry on the playground.  Why the heavy heart, we go to the most amazing school and the kids love it?    Unknowingly, Emma answered my question this morning.  She told me it was ok if I went to wait with the first graders, because "you can't be in two places at once, mom".  And I can't, not just physically but emotionally either.  The beginning of the school year, like a birthday, is a marker of time and instinctively, these big change days make me want to stop the clock, back it up, not face the new beginning.  This is the place my heartache grows from, that wish to go back, that fear to go forward because it's all just going by too fast.  But today Emma's words ring in my ears, you can't be in two places at once.   I can't simultaneously wish to go back in time and fully live today.  I see my girls, 8 and 6, so beautiful and brilliant and fun and while I loved the babies and toddlers they once were I truly don't want to go back in time, I'm having too much fun with these people. Forever more, on the first day of school I give myself permission to be a bit blue on the playground (someday the sidewalk, the parking lot, the driver's seat, the front porch, the dorm room) just as long as long as I don't ever try to trick myself into believing I can be in two places at once.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Summer 2012

We have had the best summer!  I think the kids' ages had a lot to do with it.  Nearly 2, 6 and 8 are such sweet, sweet ages.  We've had a great balance of activity and down time.  We've been lax on schedules but not without.  I've heard far more laughter and singing than anything else.  It's been almost blissful.  However, in full disclosure, because the whole point of this blog is to remember my life in everyday snippets, the last week has been a bit rough, not terrible, just enough bickering and whining for me to be sad that summer is over but not bawling my eyes out.  Summer is great but so is school and the routine and structure it brings.  So we say good-bye summer and hello new adventures!

Tonight we had a good-bye summer dinner.  We made a chart with all of the things we liked about summer.  Here are a few of my favorites....child spelling included-

*Staying up a little later- Emma
*Cooken- Eleanor
*Fort of Jali -Eleanor
*Having more time to read- Emma
*Getting ears pierced- Emma
*Haven more time with famliy- Eleanor
*Seeing all of the plants-Eleanor
*The fairy house class- Emma
-Horseback riding- SURPRISE--Mom!
*Vacation in Colorado-Dad

Thursday, August 9, 2012


This girl loves pajamas and was delighted to receive two new sets of pjs this evening!  Now to get them off of her tomorrow morning.  

 Happy Birthday to you Lucy Adelaide Baum, the skip in our step and the song in our day!   I am thankful every single day for the delight of being given this beautiful, spunky, loving child to raise.  She rounds out our family and makes us complete.  She came like a flash two years ago today, I was admitted to the hospital a little after 7pm and she arrived at 10:13pm and ever since she's been just like that, quick, quick, quick and on the run.  We love you Lulu!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Happy girls!

  A couple of years ago, when asked, I told the girls they could have their ears pierced when they turned 10....totally arbitrary age, honestly I just didn't really want to mess with it.  Several of Emma's friends had their ears pierced this year.  So when Emma said she'd like her ears pierced I said we could talk.  She was shocked and dropped the subject entirely...for a few months.  Then at the beginning of summer the discussion came up again, and Eleanor wanted in on it.  I agreed to getting their ears pierced at the end of summer if they were responsible and earned responsibility points for things like taking care of their teeth and hair.  They absolutely were responsible girls this summer and so today they got their ears pierced.  None of us cried, not even me!  

Monday, August 6, 2012

Our harvest

We've never had any luck with tomatoes.  Usually our garden will produce a few...and by few I mean maybe 4.  We've had squirrel problems, bug problems, and just plain problems.   The tide has turned, this year at least and we've hit the tomato jackpot.  For five tomato lovers things just can't get much better.  Our lycopene levels have to be sky high!  I did actually look up the effects of too much lycopene...really, we're eating that many tomatoes!  Seems your skin may turn orange...hmmm, that may not really be considered a problem around here.  In other garden news our basil, something we've always had loads of, is pitiful and everything else is less than stellar...but who cares, those lovely tomatoes, they make up for everything else!

Today's harvest!  

She loves the cherry tomatoes, picks them herself and eats them like candy.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


She leaves me speechless...a lot.  I've never been around someone who works so fast.  She is amazing.
Today is the second of August which means summer vacation is just about over.  We have a check list made of back to school must do's and we're slowly trying to get a couple of little bodies around here reprogramed for an earlier bed time ( boy the Olympics make that hard!) and earlier wake up time.  We're in no rush though.  July was packed for sure and it feels great to have some lazy days around home, picking pounds of tomatoes, playing in the water hose, making forts and fairies, writing plays and songs and putting on lots of performances.   I'll take as many days of this as I can get.