Monday, August 31, 2009

The Most Important Meal of the Day: Dessert!

We have been playing around with dessert and found all kinds of interesting recipes. This one involved Nutella and puff pastry and was both easy and good. I saw the pictures and wanted to try it. She is better at shaping them than I am, I guess I need to practice more.


On Sunday, Kate chose dessert and her choice was fortune cookies. Hmmmmmm, that was something I always had wanted to bake, but never gotten around to. Time to fix that! I set the kids to work to write fortunes while I figured out the recipe. The recipe was pretty simple.


I never got them perfectly round though, and we weren't particularly good at shaping them, but I am happy we got to eat our very own fortune cookies. I used the recipe from The Family Baker.


Tonight I made brownies from the Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet book. I would like to show pictures, but I was too busy inhaling those, so you are out of luck on the picture front.


Instead sharing another picture of the fortune cookies, showing how much Kate is looking forward to eating those cookies. Or maybe she just was being silly. Anyway, we have brownies leftover to take to school on Wednesday.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

How Jane Discovered One Should Check One's Pants Pockets Before Doing Laundry

Alternative title: what Smarties look like after they have been through the washer.


My kids just love doing their own laundry! Well, most of them do their own laundry, any one 10 years old or older is responsible for their own laundry. And maybe love isn't the totally correct term to use ^^
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Scenes from our Hallway or How I Know Not to Buy a House with One Bath Room

Five kids wanting to use the bath room all at the exact same time. And yes, this house actually has THREE bath rooms, but no one was willing to use another bath room.


Of course they had good reasons. 'The other bath room is scary!' 'I will pee my pants if I have to run upstairs!' 'This is my favorite bath room!' 'This is the CLOSEST bath room!'



So they all stood and waited not very patiently at all and there was much whining and gnashing of teeth. I might or might not have said 'I am soooooooooo going to blog about this!'
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Saturday, August 29, 2009


Did I mention lately how I love the fact that my kids are old and capable enough to take over part of the cooking responsibilities?


And that Dawn has evolved into an excellent chef? She made this pizza totally from scratch while I was at aikido training. It is great to come home to dinner being made.


She made one veggie pizza for her and me, and cheese ones for the rest. Just imagine the horror if the others would find any vegetables on their pizza!


Kate gave her the highest possible praise 'This is just as good as the pizza we get at the pizzeria! So much better than the frozen ones from the supermarket!' I agreed with her, although I secretly pondered that the pizzeria has the sexy guys handling and shaping the dough, which we do miss out on by making our own. I guess she isn't at the age yet when she would appreciate that particular aspect of the pizzeria...

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Drinking Lemonade Using a Tea Spoon

Just to show that some of my kids have very individual ways of drinking lemonade.


Kate's favorite way tends to be with a tea spoon. Yes, spoon after spoon after spoon after spoon. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to calculate how many tiny tea spoons can be taken from this huge Coca Cola glass.


Erik usually manages to drink his upside down and inside out and other interesting ways. Be glad I didn't get a picture of his lemonade drinking experiments.


And Sylvia? She actually takes her glass, puts it at her lips and drinks! How quaint ^^

I love watching my kids develop their own styles of doing things.
And a BIG thank you for the lemonade provider, you know who you are. My kids will love you forever!
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Guess Who Got His Vest?

Last Friday Giant got tested for his vest. The vest declares him to be a 'Guiding Eyes for the Blind' dog and enables Dawn to take him many more locations, like stores and the farmer's market.


Giant's first farmer's market visit went beautifully. He ignored most of the people, and even didn't freak out when another dog was barking, barking, barking at him.


Many people asked Dawn for information about Giant. And stated that they could NEVER do this since they would have to give up the dog after a year. Which makes me wonder why people don't say that about having kids. 'I could NEVER have kids because I would have to give them up when they grow up.' Right?
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The Lazy Days of Summer

I freely admit that I greatly prefer summer over winter.


Going to the playground whenever we want.


Spending hours and hours just reading.


Hoping for our wishes to come true.


We will have to put our house up for sale soon, wish me luck on getting it sold fast. Heck, wish me luck in getting it cleaned up enough to dare to SHOW it to interested buyers.

This week has not been as lazy as I want it to be, I even would call it a whirlwind of activities. In between all the craziness I am getting lots of stuff done, just not yet the house cleaning. Next week we'll get our homeschool evaluations for the year out of the way, and catch up on other stuff.
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Stuffed Summer Squash


Stuffed summer squash from our own garden. Next time we'll try zucchini since we got our first one. Awww, now I am HUNGRY!
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Time

It finally stopped raining!


My kids have been doing daily swimming lessons in the morning, but we hadn't spent much other times at the pool, mostly because it was raining. And raining. And raining.


Finally summer has arrived and today we spent our afternoon this way.


I love it!


Soon after taking those pictures I put down my camera and joined my kids in the water, making life a lot less hot and a lot more bearable :D
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Isn't She Cute???


Or should I stop 'storing' the bird food on the garage floor?


These were flash pictures at night, she didn't really have evil eyes like that. I think.


If I would have been organized I would have missed out on this cool skunk sighting!
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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Jane!

Twelve years old, wow. Yet again I am wondering, how did that happen????


I am sure it was only last week when I carried a baby and a toddler in the sling. Dawn and Jane are only 13 months apart, so the first year was ... interesting at times ^^


Wasn't it only yesterday when I wrote this update on her?

Jane, 1y4mo: emulates lots of behavior from her big sister Tara, both positive and negative. She is too independent for her own good, running off whenever she gets the chance. I have to keep her in sight every minute when we are out. She is using lots and lots of words and if she can't make it clear with words, she will use signs and gestures. She is another climber, she reminds me a lot of Timmy at this age. Including the non-sleeping characteristics.... She is in the process of giving up her nap, since if we let her nap, she won't sleep till 2am or so.... She loves singing, especially songs with gestures. She loves to play with dolls and bears or to carry them around in the sling. It is impossible to keep her confined to a shopping cart or a stroller, she will climb out of everything, even when buckled in (only then it takes her 10 seconds, instead of 1) Good temper tantrum thrower, she is clearly close to being 2yo! :-)


She sure has grown up since then. She is turning into a lovely lady, lovely enough to have four boys fall in love with her during the theater workshop play. She played 'a Dutch lady' and did a great job, telling the public 'Ik weet niet wat ik moet zeggen, maar hij (wijzend naar een van haar aanbidders) heeft een kleine ...' Which luckily wasn't understood by the public, or by any of her lover boys in the play.


This summer she has done two weeks of camp at our local science museum, four weeks of theater workshop and now is busy with daily swimming lessons. She sure is an active girl!
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Climbing the Monkey Bars of Life

My life has been one of those rollercoaster rides, with lots of ups and downs and sideways and waiting in line, and being not so sure whether I really wanted to get on this ride in the first place and whose brilliant idea was this anyway???


Lately I feel so much more on top of things, even if I don't get things done all the time. There is such a strong, positive, forwards and upwards motion, that I can't help but squeal with joy about my current life status. I am still not perfect (I don't think I will ever be ^^) but I am feeling way more grounded than I did even half a year ago.


Some people keep throwing things at me, and I just laugh and watch them fall harmlessly to the ground. I redirect energy, both others energy and my own. I take care of myself and my kids and somehow everything else falls into place.

Today I got my new driver's license, with my beautiful new name. I cooked stuffed summer squash. I found my kitchen table (I kind of didn't really believe we even HAD one, figuring it was one of those urban myths). I had my kids clean up our television room which looks awesome now. (Erik came home and went 'Wow mom! Did you guys built a new room onto the house?') Today I received my very first post-divorce money earned. Yes, it was a tiny amount but it is symbolic of rebuilding my life.


Yesterday I spent with close friends in Vermont and had a wonderful time and got all re-energized. Tomorrow I will get many more things done and take new baby steps towards selling this house.

I am climbing up and up and enjoying every step and every view and every moment.
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Friday Night Perfection

Last Friday, we visited some friends and headed over to a local pond. It was one of those perfect nights.


Easy and short hike to the pond.


Peaceful atmosphere.


The perfect temperature for swimming at first, but then it got COLD.


Kate decided it was WAY too cold to go swimming, and wasn't so sure about this water thing. She found feathers and my friend and I were just sitting and chatting and relaxing. There weren't many bugs. Afterwards we went over to my friends' house and hung out for a while. One of those Friday nights which is good for the soul.
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