Monday, September 1, 2014

Piano Recital

The children had their first (of I hope many) piano recitals.  It was a Disney-themed event held at a local frozen yogurt restaurant.  20% of all sales after the recital were going to Make-a-Wish for a local family.  And if you dressed the part, you also scored free Italian Ice.

It was simply precious and I am so happy it was a positive experience for G and L.  I like the idea of building in them a desire to share their gifts with others - and successful performance opportunities will build their confidence in this area.

You can check them out here:

Their piano teacher, who also happens to be my fabulous husband, recently became the Director of Worship at our church.  We were to be introduced to the congregation 'officially' and were asked to share special music.  The plan was for me to sing and T to play.  Practicing at home, G asked if he could participate as well.  And we LOVED that thought.  So it morphed into T playing piano, G singing melody and me harmonizing.

It now stands as my all time favorite duet... ever... of all time... Worshipping with my sweet boy.  His sharing a song as an act of worship that encouraged the gathered believers.  Simply AWEsome in the truest sense of the word.

There is something tremendous that happens when children share in any capacity - a scripture reading, a praise dance, a song, a verse, a testimony.  It is powerful and precious and oh so pleasing, I know, to our God who created them.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

L First Day of Kindergarten

L had her first day of Kindergarten this week.  She had a great time, though came home tired.  I am thrilled with L's teacher.  L is used to using her smile/cuteness to get out of trouble or doing work (this inevitably happens everywhere).  Her teacher is warm and kind but no nonsense.  At her admission testing, L tried her normal tricks when asked to do some pre-reading she was not interested in, but her teacher ignored it and refocused her attention achieving the desired result in the activity.

You can read more about Lily's school here.  You can also get a sense of why we chose a Christian school by watching this video.

The school day began with the elementary students gathering with their teachers on the playground (every day will start with 20 minutes of outdoor play - so long as it's not raining and above 20').  A verse was shared for the children to focus on (Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.  Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:3-4).  Then parents and teachers prayed together before sending the children in.  I cannot tell you what a wonderful feeling this way.  To cover the children and their teachers in prayer as a collective group of parents.  Truly a blessing!

**Here's a great song from one of L's favorite bands relating to the verse that was shared.

I was, surprisingly, a mess about L starting school.  So very excited for her, but prone to tears at the thought of her going.  L called them my happy tears, which I'd say is a quite accurate description.

Here's some pics that captured our day:

L woke up ready to go!  She chose cereal and frozen hot chocolate for her first day breakfast.  

We were thankful that T's schedule allowed him to be home for drop-off/pick-up on the first day.

G was a great encouragement to his sister leading up to the start of school.  Very precious!

After prayer, heading in to school with her teacher.  Please note that her backpack is almost as big as she is!

My thoughtful husband (ahem) snapped this shot of me as L walked in.  He said he's going to show it to me on the days when I am feeling a little challenged by our little lady to remind me of how I felt when she walked in to K for the first time.

T had a meeting to attend, so G and I took advantage of some rare one-on-one time and went bowling.  He's psyched in this picture b/c he just rolled a strike.

This amazing young man starts third grade next week.  I hope I can keep it together when we drop him off.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Just Peachy

We've been on a homemade ice cream kick recently.  Have I mentioned how much I love the Vitamix?  It does everything - literally from hot soups to ice creams.  G LOVES peaches and they are coming into season in our area so we gave peach ice cream a try.  I used this recipe as a guide, but subbed in almond milk for the dairy and pure maple syrup as the sweetener.

I don't even like peaches and found this to be a yummy, refreshing treat.  The frozen peaches make the consistency pretty creamy, but I'm sure using cream or half and half would up the cream factor significantly.

G and L give this recipe an enthusiastic recommendation!

G topped his with blueberries and granola.

I have never met anyone who loves food as much as this girl.

No, we didn't eat it for breakfast.  They had gotten pretty messy during a Lego/bathtub project they concocted so changed into PJ's early in the evening.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Quick Glimpse

Summer is....

...splashing through fountains.

...eating sweet (oddly colored) treats.

...surfing and body boarding (in the controlled 'oceans' of Hershey Park).

....learning about science - fires and frozen marshmallows were the highlights.

...slithering reptiles.

...s'mores (indoors because of crazy rain).

...sun-ripened, picked from our garden red raspberries.

...selfies at Clippers Stadium, cheering on the Barnstormer's.

...more sweet treats (they pretty much happen daily).

...reaching super-fireman status.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

As he has been since the day she was born - G continues to be patient towards, tolerant of, inclusive of, thoughtful towards and kind to his little sister.  And as she has since the day she was born - L continues to look up to, want to be around and listen primarily to her big brother.  I am incredibly thankful for the relationship God has allowed between these two pieces of my heart.  I pray that it continues for years and years to come.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

CSA Goodness

I am loving the CSA experience!  We paired up with family friends, so end up doing a pick-up every other week.  In our area there are an abundance of CSA options - ranging in size, variety and style of farming.  We went with this one because we really appreciated their approach to gardening.  I also thought it was cool that the owner/farmer is a (relatively) young guy whose first profession was teaching.  He got fed up with working in the public school system and moved to farming.  If you've read this blog before, you will understand why we felt a connection.  ;-)

Here's what the kiddos and I grabbed today:

  • spinach
  • turnips
  • radishes
  • PYO strawberries
  • kale
  • broccoli
  • head lettuce
  • salad mix (arugala and san toi)

We added on a fruit share as well, so we got a bonus of even more strawberries.

Oh my groceries, what a beautiful site!  Is there anything more tasty than a freshly picked, juicy ripe strawberry?  I don't think so.  I could eat an entire quart... by myself... at once...  (this may or may not have actually happened.)

Look at the green awesome-ness.  Love it!  Have I mentioned how much I appreciate our salad spinner now?  I never really understood it's purpose until this season.  It gets a workout now... making up for all that lost time.

The greens have prompted much salad making in our home.  We've long weeded out bottled salad dressings from our fridge (have you ever looked at the content list?!!  YIKES!), so it's been fun experimenting with dressing recipes.  Here is a current fav:

  • 1 grated garlic glove
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of one lemon or lime
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • salt and pepper to taste
Back to those strawberries...  

We eat a lot of them plain, made into shortcakes or pancakes, added to crumbs with rhubarb, tossed into smoothies.  I'll freeze many quarts as well so we can enjoy that sweet taste throughout the year.  I'll also make several large batches of strawberry jam to stock our freezer with.  I was so happy last year to come across a no-sugar pectin (have you ever looked at the sugar content of jam/jelly?  Not good for an item that is supposed to be fruit based) that tastes DELICIOUS.  I use a no-sugar pectin (Ball is most readily available in my area), 100% white grape juice concentrate and fresh strawberries.  Nada mas.  Sets perfectly every time, freezes awesomely and tastes so good on breads, muffins, pancakes, cupcakes...  and straight up - or so my children tell me.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Are you eating your greens?

No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to find one argument in favor of NOT eating leafy green veggies.  Every study, documentary or bit of research I've seen has affirmed that our bodies function best when fueled in large part by dark, leafy greens.  I love me some kale, and we've been using tons of spinach in our smoothies, but we hadn't explored much beyond that in the greens department.

We go through pounds of spinach every week, so Tim thought he'd try his hand at growing some.  He and the kids planted it and it's so cool to see it sprouting now.  We had our first DAD-SPINACH smoothie this weekend.  Tasted just a little sweeter than normal.  Must have been all the love.

Tim went with a system called lasagna gardening, which he utilized with a square foot plan.  Google the ideas if you are interested.  Very cool and we have had to do no weeding thus far, though I'm sure a small amount will arise in the weeks to come.

We picked up our first CSA share last week.  It was full of....  dark, leafy greens!  I can't remember the names of all the varieties we got.  I do remember that they came in many shades of green and purple.  Both my kids loved the arugula, which totally shocked me.

The share also included bok choy (which I'd never had, but enjoyed sauteed in EVOO with garlic and shallots) and kale and some fresh radishes.  

Here's to my being as adventurous an eater as my five year old in the coming months.  Eat your greens!!