Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Cherry Crisp

1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup flaked coconut
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x9" small rectangular baking dish. Pour pie filling into dish and spread evenly. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients together. With a fork, mix in melted butter. Combine until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly ontop of pie filling. Sprinkle nuts ontop, if desired. Bake 30- 35 minutes until golden brown. Serve slightly warm with ice cream.
A yummy, simple dessert that is very easy to put together!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winter is not forever

The calendar has indicated for over a week that spring is here. Today I actually believe it! We were able to venture outdoors after lunch. The weather is perfect: lots of bright sunshine and a mild breeze. The kids had so much fun today going outside. They are thrilled that enough snow has melted so that they can play on their little swing set.
Isaac kept saying, "Look, we can finally see the ground again!".
Living in a cold climate makes us appreciate the warmer seasons that much more. At times, winter does seem to last an eternity. The snow keeps on coming, and everyone is sick of shoveling--and shivering. The heating bills soar, and illnesses are passed back and forth.
A little hint of despair sets in. "Will this never end?"

Then suddenly, one day it does.

 The sun feels so much stronger, the air has a softer edge to it. Bird song fills our ears. Windows may be flung open with abandon.
And spring has arrived at last, full of hopeful promise.

 I am just itching to get my hands into the fresh earth once everything completely thaws! Emma spotted the first green leaves in our perennial flower beds today.It's a tantalizing hint of what is soon to come in the next few weeks!

We are looking forward to daily walks and treks to the park, and going outside without wearing a coat! Every day the remaining snow seems to shrink back a little bit more. Before too long, we should have a completely snow free yard. And then we will just wait for it to turn green and come alive with all of our lovely dandelions!
Ethan probably does not remember playing outside in an atmosphere that does not include snow because he was so young last spring and summer. It's so cute to see him running around and experiencing the outdoors as if for the first time. He always has a fit when we have to go in!
It sounds like the rest of the week should be beautiful weather also. Spring is officially here, and we are all breathing a collective sigh of happiness!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Dressing Up

What's a tired momma to do on a cold day when her children desperately need a diversion from bickering with each other and getting into things they should not?
Answer: drag out the "Dress Up Box"! Before long, creative costumes are quickly put together and imaginative play is underway.

It's funny how odd clothing items, hats, and various other accesories can keep them happily least for awhile.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

When life gives you lemons....

....make Lemon Glazed Scones! That is what Emma and I did together today. This was the ideal activity to do on a day that was cold and blustery. The weather outside might have been frightful, but the smell inside, emanating from our kitchen,
was delightful!
Emma checking if the lemon is fresh

Emma stirring the dry ingredients together
 Lemon Glazed Scones:
2 cups all purpose floour
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup cold butter, cut up
1 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 egg
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Yellow food coloring, optional

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. Cut in cold butter with pastry blender until crumbly. In a seperate bowl, whisk together zest, juice, cream, and egg. Stir egg mixture into dry mixture just until dough begins to form. Knead a couple times until dough just starts to hold together. On a lightly floured surface, gently press dough into a large circle, about an inch thick. Use a pizza cutter and make 8 wedges. Place scones on ungreased baking sheet, not touching each other and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes just until edges are light brown. Remove from oven and let rest on sheet for 5 minutes.
Prepare icing by mixing powdered sugar and remaining juice together in bowl. Add coloring if desired. Place scones on wire rack. Drizzle or brush icing onto warm scones.
(recipe courtesy of --a great site!)
My husband gave this recipe a thumbs up! I will be sending a few scones tucked inside of his lunch box for him to enjoy tomorrow on his morning break at work.
Next time that I make these, I think I will experiment and try orange juice and zest, and maybe add some dried cranberries, too. There are alot of different combinations of flavors that would be yummy together.
The finished product

Treat time!

So good paired with a cup of hot chai tea. one indulgence today! :) This is the perfect treat after a long day of toddler chasing, laundry, meal preparation, teaching.............especially on a night where the wind is howling around the house and we are in the middle of a March snow storm. Time to curl up with a book and relax. Good night!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Lost In Space!

Ever since we began the school year last September, Isaac has been obsessed with all things space related. We began with learning the names of the planets, and it just sort of skyrocketed from there. We have covered asteroids, black holes, the Milky Way, constellations. We have read stories about the first step onto the moon. My mother gave Isaac his very own world globe so we can now study just how the earth functions in the Solar System.And yet, there is so much more to delve into, it feels like we have barely scratched the surface. There is plenty more to learn next year, too!
Right now,Isaac seems to be especially interested in the astronaut/space mission aspect of it all.
So, I scoured the Internet for a cool, space themed birthday cake idea to surprise him with. Wouldn't you know it, the Betty Crocker test kitchen came through for me yet again! On their website I found the recipe for a Space Shuttle Birthday Cake.
It was fairly easy to make. I followed the basic recipe with some little changes of my own. For example, I could not find star shaped candies or gummy things, so I just did free hand stars with gel icing and it turned out fine. I also chose to outline the entire thing with red string licorice for more emphasis. 
Isaac loved the cake, especially the added touch of placing the candles at the back--all ready for take off! It looked so neat when we lit them (though unfortunately I did not take a picture when they actually were burning.)

Views of his cake before cutting:


He had a great birthday. We kept it small and meaningful, had a few family members over, and enjoyed visiting together, playing some games with the children, and eating cake and ice cream. Among Isaac's gifts, fittingly enough, he even received books about space and a large floor puzzle that shows all of the planets!
Some more pictures of his special day:

Ethan drooling over the extra cupcakes we made!
Emma enjoying her cake with gusto!
The day after...finally able to play with balloons!

Birthdays are such fun!

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Today marks six years since I first became a mother when our oldest son, Isaac, entered the world.
 And our world has never been the same!
He has brought so much joy to my life. I did not imagine myself as a mother to boys, but am so glad that God saw fit to bless me with one as my first born.
Some days, our personalities mix like oil and water. But on other days, we find some sort of mutual understanding in a peaceful,middle place...a connection, a bond. Funny how that works!
Isaac has brought so much energy and enthusiasm to each day. He has made me more relaxed and spontaneous. He thinks of the most interesting questions to ask. He has an unquenchable thirst for learning new things.
He has a strong spirit, yet a soft heart.
These past years have flown by so quickly. It seems like he was just a tiny newborn that we were so nervous to bring home from the hospital. That stage did not last long, though. By four months old, he was mobile, and has not slowed down since!
I am kept constantly on my toes! But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Sometimes I look back on those baby days with yearning. I wish that I had realized how swiftly they would pass and how much of the "little stuff" that I would forget.
But I also look forward to the future, to spending many more days with my son, celebrating each milestone in life as it comes, and savoring the small things he does that make us smile.
Now he is such a big boy, reading fluently on his own, waiting impatiently to lose his first tooth, and even dreaming of being the youngest astronaut in history.
I have no idea just what plans that God has in store for him, but I will be there beside Isaac, encouraging, supporting, and loving him.
I am so thankful to have my wonderful son, challenging bumps in the road and all. He is a gift. A joy. A true blessing!

Happy birthday to you , Isaac.
I love you so much.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Happy Girl

Her happy outlook on life is infectious! She makes us smile every day.