Thursday, August 27, 2009

Winding Down: a Hodgepodge Post

We have been busy doing nothing around here. Busy, because I feel like I am in constant motion, but nothing, because I feel like nothing concrete gets accomplished! It's that end of summer busy-ness, where we try to get all the doctor and dentist appointments squeezed in before school starts, plus we are trying to accomplish the fun things on our summer hope list, a list we compiled back in June when it seemed like we had forever to get it all done.

My son turned 12 on Monday. Every new age sounds so old to me. Ten sounded so old two years ago. Now that he's 12 (what? 12?), 10 sounds pretty young. I try to keep that in mind when I feel like crying. He'll never be this young again!

He didn't have his traditional cake this year. He wanted Flower Pot Pudding Cake, complete with the flower! We had that on Sunday when family came to celebrate. On Monday, his actual birthday, we thawed some Blueberry Crumb Bars I had in the freezer and ate it a la mode.

I have a love-hate relationship with baking. I love to bake, and I love to eat what I bake. However, I hate the repercussions of all that eating. I have a hard time resisting baked goods. If I have a pan of Blueberry Crumb Bars on the counter, I will eat a sliver every time I walk through the kitchen. I want to bake! I don't want to eat it all in one day! My baking strategy is to bake, then freeze in small portions. Every couple of days, I will thaw something for that day's dessert. If there is just one piece thawed per person, no one (ahem, me) can have seconds (or thirds...). My freezer lets me have my cake and eat it, too.

I did some baking today. The kids requested Orange Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread , and I also tried a new recipe for Cinnamon Pumpkin Banana Bread. I first saw the recipe in the newspaper when I was visiting my parents, and I found it online here. The bread is pretty dense and heavy, and not very sweet. I think it's good, but it's one of those recipes that tastes like it's good for you, so we'll see how it goes over with the children!

My daughter and I have done a little bit of back to school clothes shopping. Her style preferences just kill me. We do not have the same taste at all! It's not that I dislike her taste, but she picks colors and patterns I would never pick myself, and the things I love and swoon over, she does not like at all. I do have a hard time accepting her taste in shoes. I love those sporty Mary Janes you see everywhere. I think they are so cute and functional. I want to buy her every pair I see! My daughter calls them all "throat clutching", and will clutch her throat and make gagging noises whenever I hopefully point to a pair. Sigh.

We did both agree on these, though.

How can you go wrong with purple tie-dye shoes?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Passport Required

We spent Sunday at Pt. Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada, the most southern point in mainland Canada. This narrow area of land gets thinner and thinner until it simply disappears into Lake Erie. Pretty dramatic and cool.
We are fortunate to live somewhere where day trips to a foreign country--Canada!!--are feasible. What's better than a staycation activity that requires passports and foreign money, one where we even get to speak a different lingo by asking for washrooms rather than restrooms/bathrooms? How thrilling and exotic!
The northern portion of Pt. Pelee is marshland. On Sunday, soft breezes waved the cattails and kept the bugs at bay. We enjoyed our cool green walk through the marsh.

The beach was loaded with fossils. Park rules prohibit removing anything, but my daughter still enjoyed hunting.

See more photos of our daytrip here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Finally, a quiet day

My son has been hogging my computer. He claims the family computer is not fast enough for his movie making anymore, so I "get" to use my computer in little fits and starts here and there throughout the day. Hence, no blog updates. However, for three afternoons this week he is attending baseball camp, so I have four hours today to actually use the computer myself! (I had to kick my daughter off it just now, though...)

July was a busy month. We went to visit my family for 5 days, were home for a few days, and then we went on our annual summer trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes in Northern Michigan. Ahh, summer is not complete with that trip.

We had variable weather this year. Some days were sunny, some days were cloudy, some days were drizzly, and some were really windy, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Our activities were just like last year's: rock hunting, sand castle building, swimming, eating, and hiking (almost in that order!)
Fudge shops abound in Northern Michigan. You know it's time to head for home when your children start chanting from the back seat "Fudge Fudge Fudge Fudge" to the tune of Charge, baseball stadium style (this ditty, if I'm not making sense).

That last photo is a plaster cast of my daughter's footprint on the beach. Yes, I brought plaster of paris on vacation! I bet you do crazy things like that, too. I used these instructions. It didn't turn out quite as defined as I would have liked, but that may have been because it was a really windy day and sand was flying everywhere. Her footprint started to fill with blown sand even before I could pour the plaster in. My son's cast broke in half. I blame the rogue wave that swamped his print half-way through the drying period.

See more photos here. Last year's photos are here.
Is it too soon to go back?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Get Smart

Get Smart
Originally uploaded by besomom
Here is a little something my son did today. He makes lots of brick films, usually elaborate creations that take him days, using his own storylines, but this one he did in a day. It is a recreation of the opening sequence of the 60s TV show Get Smart.

I have some other things of my own to share, hopefully later in the week!