Sunday, April 29, 2012

Strawberry Lassi

I don't think I'm going to get to make strawberry jam this year.  The sprite's have just about eaten all of the strawberries!  Yes, that means 20lbs of strawberries were eaten in a week!  In their defense, we did have strawberry shortcake twice. And we've also tried out a few other strawberry related recipes that I've found through some of my favorite blogs and websites.  Our favorite, the one that's been repeated almost every night this week, is called a Lassi.  It's a traditional Indian drink usually made with mangoes.  But this recipe calls for strawberries.  It's kind of like a smoothie.  And it's wonderfully refreshing and delicious!  I always think about taking pictures too late so all I'm left to show you is this:

Personally, I think the fact that our glasses are always empty is a testament to the recipe.  This is one you have to try.  And try it now, while the strawberries are in season.  Strawberry drinks are always best with fresh, ripe, sweet berries.  

You can find the recipe at Ambrosia, an easy to follow food blog that I like to check into occasionally. 

 And now I must leave.  I have a little blonde sprite pulling on my sleeves and asking me to make another pitcher.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Almost Finished

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words-capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

*inspired by SouleMama

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Weekends Are For...

...strawberry picking in the warm spring sun.  Lunch out as a family.  Getting caught in a light spring rain and breathing deep.  Giving an old bike new life with the help of the local bike shop.  And a rather large serving of strawberry short cake.  All together that would be one perfect Saturday.

I'm very much in love with this picture that Chris took.  Look closely.

One handful of the 20lbs of strawberries that came home!  I see jam in my future.

Friday, April 20, 2012


This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words-capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

*inspired by SouleMama

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


i live my life in a hundred years
of one day
through sepia-toned pictures
long seen;
of carnival lights and side show banners,
spinning plates and circus rings.
flying high, no safety net,
no partner to catch my leap.
ring leader and animal trainer,
placating the moody clowns with their
frowns and smiles and painted on tear-drops.
daydreaming about the next show
the next town, the next stop
always in sepia, no black and white.
a hundred years of one long day
lived before a crowd, but for one
two, three sleepy lions on stage.
one center ring. 
in pictures taken quickly
the flash blurs the faces.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday At The Mint

I've spent a lot of time at the Mint Museum lately.   I'm researching a piece in their collection and writing a paper on it.  (I present my research this Friday.  Almost done.  Breathe.)

This means my kids have been spending a lot of time at the Mint as well.  Thankfully, I have amazing kids who are more than comfortable in a museum.  They bring notebooks and quietly sketch what they see while I do the same. Seriously, can I say again, they're amazing.  The girls have two requirements in exchange for this amazing cooperation. First, we cannot leave without stopping in the couture historical fashion.  They like to ooo and ahhh over vintage hairstyles and beautiful Victorian gowns.  They are girls after all.  The second requirement is that they get to run the grounds outside afterwards.  These seem like very agreeable terms to me.  In the end, we all leave happy.  Another pleasant Sunday at the Mint.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Books and Books and More Books

This Moment

A Friday ritual. A single photo-no words-capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.

*inspired by SouleMama

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

My Boy

A few weeks ago the boy was in his 5th grade musical.  They performed Seussical, Jr.  It was funny and wonderful.  They all did such a great job.  Chris was a Wickersham.  For those of you not familiar with Seussical, that means he was a blue monkey.  (Those toe shoes really made the costume!)

For a boy who would rather be in a tree than on a stage, he ended up having a lot of fun with it.  I say "ended up having fun" because he didn't start out enjoying it.  Truth be told, I made him do it.  He didn't have to audition. He could have just been a stage hand or help build sets.  But I wanted him to have this experience.  There's something magical about being a part of a cast that's unlike any other experience.   If you've ever done even the simplest school play, you know what I mean. You work hard together, memorizing lines and learning dances and songs.  You goof off back stage and get to wear funny costumes.  A play puts you outside of your self.  And I think that's what really makes it a unique experience.  We all need to get out of our own head occasionally to see the world a little differently.  And then, of course, there's opening night.  The anticipation, the camaraderie back stage, the butterflies, and the eventual pride that comes when you take your final bow.  I wanted my son to experience all of this.  But like I said, he'd rather be in a tree hiding.  So I pushed him to audition in September and by November he was fairly mad about the fact that he got a part.  But I watched as his attitude slowly began to shift.  As the day of the 1st performance got closer, I could see him getting more excited.  He started saying things like, We really don't know that song very well or I need to practice that dance thing again.  It was the butterflies starting to arrive with the anticipation.  Then, finally, opening night.  He bowed with pride.  He came home happy and said, That was really fun.  And when the week was done he said, I'm sad that it's over.  That, right there, is all I wanted.  Not for him to be sad.  But to enjoy the experience enough to be sad when it's over.  He bonded with his friends in a way that they never would have on the kickball field.  (Though I very much think that kind of bonding is important too. Let the children be children, and such.)  But it was a chance for them to shed their strong 5th grade egos.  To be silly together.  To work hard together.  And to come to the other side of it a little bit stronger because of it.

They need a little extra strength building here at the end of the year.  We haven't even finished 5th grade and we're already deep in the paperwork of starting middle school.  A few days after Seussical was over, the middle school that the boy will be starting at in the fall had a night for rising 6th graders to come and check out the scene.  It was daunting.  For me.  Not for him.  He's too cool to be thrown off by bigger hallways, lockers, and changing classes.  I'm the one not ready for him to leave the cozy community of elementary school for the cold open spaces of middle school.  Not him.  He was impressed with the science labs, the huge gym, and the band room.  The band room?  As we were choosing classes he told me that he'd like to try out for band and possibly play the clarinet.  I'm sorry, what's that tree boy?  He was serious.  He really wants to play the clarinet.  And as much as I'm surprised by that decision, I'm also sure it had a little something to do with Seussical.  The boy who'd rather hide in a tree got outside of himself a bit and found that he liked it there.

I'll take a point in the good mom column.  Don't worry, I have enough in the bad mom decisions to keep me humble.  So I'll take small victories where I can get them.

My boy.  He's a mysterious old soul with a logical heart.  And I can't help but love him.  

Sunday, April 8, 2012

And One More Easter Thing...

We ended up doing another Easter egg hunt this evening with our naturally dyed eggs.  And I was right.  They are harder to find...

Chris is still out looking for one, though I fear we will smell it before we find it.  It's those pretty purple-grey ones that are the hardest.  Chameleons, I'm telling you.  Even I had trouble finding a few.  But the real bonus is, I think I've won my kids back over for Easter fun.  (At least for a few more years.)  Glowing and rock colored eggs, brilliant.  

I hope you've all had as wonderful an Easter weekend as we have!

Happy Easter

Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life.
S.D. Gordon

Easter Morning...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Fun

My kids are getting older. (Bittersweet).  In the past couple of years, I've noticed them getting a little bored with traditional Easter egg hunts.  I can usually get one or two rounds out of the girls, but the boy really doesn't want to do more than one round, if that.  So this year I decided to add a new dynamic: Glow-In-The-Dark Easter Eggs!  (I got the idea on Pinterest.  Oh, Pinterest. So full of wonderful ideas.)

We kicked off the evening with a fire and made s'mores.  Not regular s'mores.  This was a night for kicking it up a notch.  So we made Peep s'mores.  And yes, they were as good as they sound.  Plus there was the added fun of melting and squishing a Peep.  If you have kids, you know that melting and squishing anything can't be overrated.

Then we had a hunt for glow-in-the-dark Easter eggs.  I really wasn't sure how this would go.  Would it work? Would they like it?  The answers are: yes and very much so!  They were so excited.  Especially the boy.  I think he would have kept playing long after the girls were ready for bed.  I can see inviting friends over next year to join us.  This would be so much fun with a group.

We laughed and played under the moon until the fire started to die and girls were rubbing sleepy eyes.  It was the kind of fun even I loved, and if I'm honest, needed.  It's been a long week leading up to Easter.  I needed tonight to play with my kids.  To laugh and eat sweet treats.  To usher sleepy girls to bedtime kisses and promises of filled Easter baskets come tomorrow.  And then I sat with the boy in silence around glowing embers just soaking in the presence of him.  He keeps me centered.

He came up with his own caption for this picture:
 "Chris, the boy on fire."
You only know why that 's awesome if you're a Hunger Games fan.

Yes, this was a lovely night.  I crave these nights in the deepest part of my soul.  A night centered around the things that matter.  Love. Laughter. Family.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Eggs

This year we decided to go Au Naturel for Easter.  I've seen recipes for dyeing eggs naturally floating around for awhile but for some reason I've never tried it.  Habit, I guess.  When you've used artificial hot pink for thirty years, it's hard to change.  But the pictures of the naturally dyed eggs always look so pretty with their muted colors.  I like that kind of thing.  I had just about convinced myself to try it this year when I read an article that talked about how the artificial dyes seep into the egg.  Now I don't know about your kids, but mine don't waste a hard boiled egg.  We dye them, then eat them.  Knowing that my kids have been eating artificial hot pink really made the decision.   So I started boiling fruits and vegetables and other various plant parts in the kitchen.  (You know you've gone hippy when you're boiling grass clippings.)  I got my recipes here.  It was a little trial and error.  I like the colors the onion and the blueberries made the best.  The paprika was a complete failure.  And all of our reds turned purplish-grey, albeit a pretty shade of purplish-grey.  All told, they aren't perfect, but they are pretty.  And safe for eating, as well as hiding.  In fact, the hiding should be a little more fun.  Light brown is much better camouflage than hot pink.