Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Black Holes

As I've mentioned in previous posts (and as I'll mention in posts to come, I'm sure), we love our yard filled with trees and bushes.  However, they are quite the hazard to playing ball.

We're constantly having to search in bushes for lost baseballs, soccer balls and footballs...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Field Day

There are many wonderful school days, but few are as great as Field Days.  

We joined several of the homeschool families for a field day last week.  The weather was perfect and the fun was abundant.

Besides water gun fights and playing on a slip and slide, the kids enjoyed classic team relays.  
What's not classic about a wheel barrow relay

Go Cory Go!

They were more successful at some games than others.
Cory and his partner never quite got the hang of the three legged race.

Riley didn't make it two steps from the dizzy bat before falling!  At least she was smiling and not puking!
And in some they were just plain cute!

Putting on "summer clothes" to race in
Fantastic Day!  

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Indian Camp

The kids pulled out their old Indian costumes and set up camp under our trampoline.  They gathered rocks for fire pits under and clipped blankets all around the perimeter of the trampoline.  I'm glad they still have each other to play these games since they no longer have a Circle of neighbors to play this with.  (see picture in this blog from a year ago)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Piano Recital Spring 2011

It's been a crazy year for the kids--leaving midway through a "school year," put lots of things (lessons and activities for the kids in particular) in a holding pattern.  Luckily, we were able to find a piano teacher here (also held during Co-op--score another point for Momma not having to drive to an extra place), and after a few months hiatus the girls were able to start back up.  (Admittedly, though, they were rusty after a couple of months off)  Cory got to join the girls in lessons as well and had his first taste of piano, and this was his first recital.  Here's a video compilation that Ted made (he's having scores of fun with the new imac.  scores!  oh I kill myself) of the 3 performances, all of which he had to miss.
p.s.  Ted also added a video of the dance performances at the end of the previous blog entry

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Just Dance

California Dreamin' was the theme of the girls' dance recital this spring.  They participated in dance class during co-op time (score one for Momma' not having to haul them someplace extra), and they loved it.  Mary Beth's never been in a dance class before,

and this was the first time since she was six that Riley has participated.

They performed to Black Eyed Peas' "I Gotta Feeling," and it was great!  (of course)

Way to go girls!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

How Lucky I Am

When we first looked at this house on a wet, gray, dreary November day, one of my first thoughts was how wonderful it was that there was a big yard with so many mature trees.  Of course, being November, most of the trees were bare, but there were a few giant, beautiful evergreens and among the evergreens were two magnolias, one of my favorite trees.

Mary and Cory soon discovered that this tree beside our house is an excellent climbing tree.  How lucky they are!

And then its leaves came and look how gorgeous it is now.   They're slowly turning to a deep green color.  Such a pretty tree.

But, it does have a lot of those leaves, and I've already had moments of dread for what fall weekends will be like for us because there are enough trees that the leaves in fall are going to be a mess.  But then one of the trees would bloom, and I'd say not to worry about tomorrow because it drains today of its happiness.

Of course, whenever we're wishing we could be at the beach, all we have to do is hang out in our backyard and enjoy this tree.
But the greatest two trees in our yard by far have just recently been discovered for their fantastic-ness...

Because when you look closer at these trees you will notice this...
And if you're not quite sure what "this" is, let me just say it's only the most beautiful, wonderful fruit EVER!


We have Cherry Trees.  

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Take 4

The other night I got out this package as we were preparing to bake, but if you are supposing I was going to make peanut butter cookies, you're supposing wrong...

Because when you take this ordinary package of peanut butter cookie mix and add just a few simple ingredients you get something much more wonderful, right Cory?

This is our version of the candy bar called Take 5, only we've reduced it by one ingredient, peanuts, so we're calling it Take 4.  Might want to work on the name a little--seems there might be something more catchy.

Anyway, here's how it goes.  Begin by mixing the cookie dough according to the package's directions, but instead of creating cookies, press the dough into a 9 x 13 pan sprayed with cooking oil and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or so, until the edges are that pretty golden color.

While it's baking, begin peeling the wrappers off the caramel candies, pour in 1/2 cup or so of half and half, whipping cream, whatever you have in the fridge and melt in the microwave.

While the caramel is melting, grab a couple of handfuls of pretzels and break them/crush them into smaller pieces.

After the bars have cooled for 5-10 minutes, pour the caramel on the bars, and spread it around,

then press the pretzels into the caramel.

While that cools and sets for a little more, melt the chocolate chips in a bowl.  Pour the melted chocolate on top of the pretzels, and carefully spread it around evenly.

Let the entire creation cool and refrigerate until you're ready to cut them.  It's best to cut them after they've been refrigerated, because the caramel is gooey if the dish is left out.  Now of course, gooey while you're eating it is perfection!
What would you call them?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


Just because we're in Italy doesn't mean that every restaurant we go to has fantastic Italian.  That was the case last night.  Not good.  However, we found a way to make up for it!  Go to a Gelateria and drown your sorrows with dessert!  It's very effective.  I got a sundae (I can't remember what they called it).  It had vanilla ice cream, warm raspberries (WARM RASPBERRIES!) and whipped cream.  And it was absolutely perfect.

I forgot about dinner.

Riley got spaghetti for dessert...

No joke--that's spaghetti (gelato) with spaghetti sauce (strawberries) and parmesan cheese (coconut).
There are a minimum of 3 other items on the menu that will cause me to return...
Writing this has reminded me that we have taken countless iphone photos of various foods we've eaten since being here, but I don't think we've actually written about many/any of them.  hmmmm...I should get on that.