Saturday, May 30, 2009

Finger Painting

It occurred to me the other day that it had been forever since we finger painted. So that's just what we did yesterday for Making Day. Despite the smocks and the outside location, I still had paint all over clothes and toes and noses and carpets, but I guess that's part of the fun. It was very washable paint, so in the end everyone was happy.

Note how Bean has one color on each finger. Roo made a big mix-y mess and Fish as usual tried to duplicate exactly what I did.
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Hot or Cold?

I can't decide which way I like it best.

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

It's That Time of Year Again!

We went strawberry picking this morning. Mr. Eeyore, who runs the u-pick farm, insisted that the crop was terrible this year. However, I still came away with thirty pounds of utter heaven. Okay, they were a little small, but small sometimes makes for better flavor.

At least ten pounds were picked by my two boys, who actually worked constantly and un-complainingly the whole time we were in the field. I didn't have to coax them at all. They just dove in and filled their buckets. Starting them on berry picking when they were tiny tykes seems to have paid off (Fish has been doing this every year since he was ten months old).

Strawberry picking is becoming quite the well-loved tradition in our family. And if it wasn't fun enough by itself, there's the strawberry eating afterwards. My kids and I all had red, sticky, happy mouths and fingers at lunch time today.
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Love love love love love this boy!

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Table Trouble

The Rabbit just figured out how to get on the kitchen table. I haven't been looking forward to this. It means I have to make sure the table is constantly clear of anything non-Rabbit-friendly.

When Bean was a baby we had folding chairs and we would fold them up immediately after each meal. Fish and Roo weren't big table climbers, so it was never much of an issue. However, my Rabbit is incredibly tenacious and she LOVES the top of the table. I'm really going to be hopping to keep up with her (pun intended!)
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Roo Drew This

She says it's herself.

Had I not known that I would have guessed it was a parking meter/vortex.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Really Good Read

If you're looking for something really good to read, come check out my kids' bookshelf. It's got some really amazing stuff, especially on the middle shelf.

(I went downstairs to turn a load of laundry over and this is what I came back up to! She sure loves books.)
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Four in a Row

The kids spontaneously lined up on the couch in age order for Family Devotional this evening and I said "Oh, that's so cute, I have to take a picture!"

That was easier said than done. I took more than 20 pictures. I wanted to shoot without flash, so most of them look like this:

The Rabbit decided to start lamenting her position on the bottom of the totem pole, so most of my clear photos look like this:

However, I did get this cute one when the Badger told them all to say "cheese":

One of my favorite things about my little group of four is how they sing. I've been waiting for years to be able to sing as a family and actually sound like a family singing and not just a voice or two. They all sing beautifully and it's just gotten better and better. Now that Roo knows several whole songs, we really have a full sound when we're all singing. One of our best numbers is the one we sing every evening right before family prayer:

Let us gather in a circle
And kneel in family prayer
To thank our Heavenly Father
For the blessings we all share

I can't believe how lucky I am to have these beautiful, wonderful kids.
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Sunday, May 24, 2009

What a Birthday!

I had a fabulous birthday. In addition to my unbelievable cake, there was yummy pizza:

fun presents,

silly things to put on my head,

and lots of people who love me.

And I mean LOTS of people who love me! Thank you to everyone for your good wishes and kind thoughts. I am always touched when people remember my birthday because I can never remember anyone else's birthday. I really appreciated the calls and cards and emails and blog comments. They made an already grand day glorious. Thank you!
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Friday, May 22, 2009

What the Rabbit Thought of my Birthday Cake

The Rabbit attacked my birthday cake with her customary exhuberance and enthusiasm. And it definitely got her stamp of approval.

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Oh Beautiful for Birthday Cake

Every element of my birthday cake turned out perfect. Perfect!

Look at these two lovely golden cakes!

I got the whole thing put together and then said "I'm going to hurry and get the camera and take a picture of this perfect cake before something happens." I ran down and got the camera, came back up, and there were already finger marks in the cake! I had to laugh.

Four lovely, luscious layers cemented with gooey, tangy custard and topped with whipped cream mixed with cream cheese.

Marvelous!!!! What a birthday!
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Cake in the Works

My friend JaneAnne posted a recipe on her blog for an absolutely amazing gourmet rhubarb cream cake just a few days ago. It looked divine. It also looked very fun to make, albeit time-consuming. The kind of cake I would only make on a very, very special occasion.

Aha! I thought. I have found my birthday cake!

You don't turn 30 every day. So it's worth taking all day the day before to make your cake.

Between the custard cream for the filling and the cake itself, I separated no less than a dozen eggs.

A whole pint of whipping cream, a whole pint of half and half, and a brick of cream cheese also worked their way in. There's no holding back with this cake.

Here's my carefully stewed rhubarb to mix with the custard for the filling. Had I used only the red ends of the rhubarb it would have been a nice pretty pink, but pea green is in these days, so I went with the times.

I had lots of help with this cake, which is why it took me all day. Here is Fish mixing the merengue into the cake batter. Behind the mixing bowl you can see the way Roo decorated the floured cake pans with her cute little fingers.

All ready to go in the oven! Hooray!

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy Feet

These are seriously contented toes.

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Under the Oak Tree

May is the most glorious month of the year. Life has been so beautiful lately. I don't know how many times in the last few days I have thought "I am so happy to be alive!" as I have stepped outside on a breezy green evening or biked along a trail through a new-grown meadow.

And you simply can't help but be in love with life if you take a turn in our freshly-installed backyard hammock.

Pull the string and you will rock back and forth, back and forth, just like a baby in a cradle. (Please click this picture to enlarge it. It's too good not to take a close look!)

It's perfect for snuggling.

An oak tree, a hammock, and a beautiful day in May is just about as good as it gets.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Another Rabbit Around Here

A real, live rabbit has moved into our neighborhood. I do not know where he actually lives, but he usually spends his mornings foraging in our backyard, which is full of clover and dandelions.

When the kids say "Look! There's the rabbit!" I'm never sure anymore whether they're talking about the rabbit pictured above or about our Rabbit.
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