Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to School

Argh, it's getting late already and I forgot to make lunch last night, you know, to be organized and all that jazz.  =) We had the very best First Day yesterday! I'll be documenting the details later, but for now will show off share this picture of these two great boys who are awesome brothers to each other (most of the time!). They were so sweet to me yesterday, not even arguing or complaining when I asked if they would wear something nice for pictures of their first day. And then they proceeded to clean up their rooms and make their beds super nicely, which of course they were eager to show me. What a way to start off the year! 

Obviously, back to school means something very different for me now than it did when they, well, went to school. I'm on call, now as Mom AND Teacher, which comes with its challenges. But the rewards? The rewards are more than I could ever dream! Since I'm always interested in how other mothers go about their day- maybe I'm just super nosy???- I thought it might be fun to highlight one of mine. It's not that I think I've ultra organized and efficient and simply must share my, I just want to savor these days, challenges and all, and have this as a record to look back on.

Plus, I think we all have such unique gifts to offer and share, and I've learned so much from so many different women. Okay, I'm off, and maybe today I won't forget to put a drink in poor Isabelle's lunch, ha.  ;)

(I'll share her pics later! How did my baby get so big?!?)

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Quick & Easy Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars don't really need an introduction. They're so good! This recipe has been a favorite since, well, forever. You won't be disappointed.  =)

The first layer is a rich, sweet, buttery crust, and then the lemon layer is spongy and light, and perfectly tangy. It's the perfect blend of sweet and tart for your taste buds.

2 cups flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 sticks butter, softened

4 eggs
1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk
2/3 + 1 Tbsp cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1/2 Tbsp grated lemon peel
sifted powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350* F.
For the CRUST:
Combine flour and sugar in medium bowl; cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto bottom of 13x9 baking dish or pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

(I make the crust in my trusty glass-handled measuring bowl, and then use the same bowl for the filling.)
For the FILLING:
Beat eggs; add milk and mix some more. Beat in lemon juice, flour, b.p., salt and lemon peel. Remove crust from oven and gently pour filling over entire hot crust. Bake another 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool about 10 minutes before placing in fridge for 2-3 hours to chill. 

Cut into squares, or if you want a little pizzazz use a cookie cutter to make shaped lemon bars. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. One of our absolute favorites!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Another Fun Adventure!

I just turned on the speaker to listen to a WOW CD and it scared the pants off my cat, who happened to be sleeping right next to it. Well, if cats wore pants... Sorry, Lukey.


Yesterday was a great beach day. And then things went sour. All week long I'd been planning to pick up Ethan on his last day of soccer tryouts and taking them all out for ice cream sundaes. That's kind of big for us, since usually it's a basic cone. One scoop, no toppings, no frills. Otherwise we won't walk out of there for under fifty bucks. Well, we ended up picking up Ethan all right, congratulating him for making the team- WOO HOO!- but because of a multitude of shenanigans, the whole night got wrecked and we went home with nothing. I told the culprits to get ready for bed (it was barely 7 pm) and just go to their rooms for the rest of the night. I felt terrible, they felt terrible, and Ethan didn't get the "happy night" I'd been so looking forward to. I hate days/nights like those. We could've relented, and it would have been fun. For a time. But what message would that really have given them? I pretty much insisted that Bill take Ethan out somewhere, but that felt pretty lousy, too. Well, do you know what those two did? They picked up a mini Carvel cake (my favorite!) and brought it back home so we could all hang out and enjoy it. They didn't want to celebrate without me, either. It probably doesn't sound like that big a deal, but it really meant so much to me. And just like that, the night felt better.

Today is a new day. Rise and shine and give God the glory.

Okay, so this was not originally going to be a waaaah post. Life has a funny way of doing that. Darn life. A few weeks ago we headed to an amusement park and had THE BEST time. Although, I realized some important things about us: 1. we are not "carny" people; 2. my irrational fear of swings has gotten a little, well, bigger; and 3. our kids really look out for each other when it counts, and that makes me so incredibly happy.

 Caleb is a zippy driver  =)

 Do not be fooled. Those chicken swings are deadly.
They finally convinced me to go on and I hid my face and screamed the whole time.
So swings AND ferris wheels are out for me.

 It was so fun to watch those two go off on their own for some rides.

 This one ride made our fun night an actual learning "field trip." It had Da Vinci paintings all over the ceilings, ha! I don't know why not, but they weren't interested in the art history lesson I began launching into.

 Do we look tired? I think we look tired. Hmpf.

 She is one lucky little girl to have these wonderful big brothers. They fight like cats and dogs sometimes (not with Ethan, actually) but they each took her around to different rides and went on with her. Aww.  =)

 Photo 1 of death trap roller coaster.

 Aaaaaand...Photo 2 of death trap roller coaster.

 Everyone wanted to go back to the swings one last time. Okay, not everyone. I like how this photo turned out, though.

 Poor Jonah had to ride all by himself. The three of us waited in line, assuming we would all go together, but they only let two people in each gondola. Boo. He said he liked it.

Yes, even this ride freaked me out, and it was super slow. I kept thinking that Isabelle was going to slide through and fall. Or I was going to drop my camera. Or lose a flip flop. That happened when I was a kid. True story.

 If we develop hearing problems later in life, I will trace it back to this carousel. The music was SO, SO loud. Ouch.

 She shies away from people she doesn't know, but weird dressed-up characters...those she wants to run up to and hug? I don't get it. ha ha We had passed this...thing... several times and I hurried her along, but I relented and let her go for it. Doesn't she look so happy?

 My whole world right there.

Look who let me take a picture with him!
It's Ethan, it's Ethan!

We had gone in the late afternoon but soon wished we'd planned on spending the entire day. We literally ran out of time! We started off in the huge water park/splash area, and then hit the rides. At first nobody wanted to do anything. For real. I think it took about an hour to get their amusement legs adjusted, and then of course once the thrill got 'em, they were hooked. They really came alive right about 15 minutes before closing. Great. HA! We were all feeling sort of whoosy and maybe hungry so we found a McDonald's and got vanilla ice creams in a dish for the ride home. Another biggie, since we don't normally eat in the car. Wouldn't you know, it's the late-night cheap-o ice creams that they still talk about. Why am I not surprised?

Busy day with homeschool prep and sewing for my Isabelle. I've closed down the shop for a little while so I can focus better. I'll share pics of what I make for her.  =)