Monday, June 28, 2010

Orchestra Camp

Last week, William attended an orchestra camp with other middle-schoolers. He moaned and complained about having to go to the camp, but once he went, he admitted to having a good time. Ha, ha, mom was right.
Parenting 101 - gloat when you're right because it will happen less and less frequently.

Here's the maestro after Friday's half-hour concert.
The camp was well-done and the concert was enjoyable. William seemed to learn a lot and have a good time.
Future Minnesota Orchestra concert master! I guess New York Philharmonic would be okay, too.

I had to include this picture because it is so indicative of the kind of craziness around here. Unfortunately, Micah is missing from the scene so it can't show the full scope of the insanity, but you can get some idea.

Remember the bumper sticker that read: "Insanity is hereditary. You get it from your kids?" Yeah. Now I get it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tea for Two

Yesterday, Johanna and I went out for a special mother/daughter tea. Why? Well, just because.

We went to the lovely Avalon Tea Room in White Bear Lake.

We ordered the "Cream Tea" which consisted of a pot of tea and two yummy scones for each of us with lemon curd, Devonshire cream, or Queen's jam to go on top.

Since Johanna doesn't like tea, we ordered an herbal tea called Bumblefruit, hoping that would be more palatable. Unfortunately, even with two sugar cubes, she didn't like the tea. I thought it was delicious but was not equal to the task of drinking the entire pot-full!

The tea room was elegantly decorated with toile, lace, flowers, and white lights. They also provided hats for those who chose to indulge. Johanna picked out this little number for me. It's difficult to see in the picture, but it's a small black satin hat with a spotted veil and a tuft of black tulle in the back.

Johanna picked out this fetching number for herself. Put a ribbon under her chin and she could be Little Bow Peep!

A lovely morning for girl time!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Best Buy Tornado

This from today's paper:

"A powerful tornado hit the Twin Cities 29 years ago on Sunday, June 14, 1981. In its 26-mile path, the tornado touched down Edina, then tracked northeast ... into Roseville, causing a great deal of damage to the Har Mar Mall.

The Sound of Music Store was hit hard. Afterwards, the store sold slightly damaged radio electronics and called it the Best Buy sale. The best buy sale was so popular the company changed its name to Best Buy.

--Belinda Jensen"

So there's your bit of Minnesota history for today!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Family Night

To celebrate the last day of school (yes, quite a while ago now) we decided to go out for ice cream at Cup 'n Cone.

Cup 'n Cone is no Brewsters, but it was pretty good. Unfortunately, the ice cream melted fast, even on a not-so-hot evening.

Apparently, the day was exciting enough to wear out even this young warrior. Notice that he sleeps with his sword to hand, prepared to defend his castle at a moment's notice.
There's a special joy in seeing your own little bundle of non-stop energy zonked out at the end of the day, his face in repose, his hands resting, his legs momentarily stilled.
Until you realize that he's just recharging, preparing for the next day of non-stop action!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

My dear Grandma Copeland passed away ten years ago, just before Micah was born. A year or so ago, a bunch of her recipes came into my possession and I had lots of fun looking through them, watching for names and handwriting I recognized. Most of the recipes were not for foods I particularly remember from her, but the handwriting alone is enough to make me feel a little like I felt as a little girl, watching her take dinner out of the oven or carrying forks to the side porch to set the picnic table for dinner.

Now that it is fresh berry season, I wanted to make a dessert which features the fresh blueberries and farmer's market strawberries I have on hand. So I decided to make Grandma's recipe for Hot Milk Sponge Cake. I had never made this particular recipe nor remember this from her kitchen, but the card is written out in her handwriting and that's what matters most!

It is rather nice that it tastes good, too, though.

I mixed up the simple ingredients and poured them into a pan. I guessed on the size of pan since Grandma didn't write it down, but 9x13" was right.

It came out a delectable golden brown.

Warm cake topped with fresh strawberries and blueberries: pure, simple, delicious.

I like the using old-fashioned recipes. They generally use ingredients I have on hand, like milk, eggs and vanilla, so I don't have to run to the store for fancy stuff, like real vanilla beans or wasabi paste.
(Wasabi paste is rarely called for in cake, but you know what I mean.)
I also like using old-fashioned recipes because it gives me a sense of being connected to previous generations. How I would love to sit around a warm kitchen with my mom and grandmas and chat and swap recipes! Since that's not possible, using their recipes is a dim second, but is the next best thing.
So, Grandma, in honor of you, tonight your great-grandchildren will have their cake and eat it, too.

Hot Milk Sponge Cake
Beat 4 eggs
Add 2 c. sugar
2 c. flour
Sift together and add: 2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla
Heat 1 c. milk and 2 Tbsp. butter
Combine all ingredients and spread in 9x13" pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Today, I read an article in Thriving Family which says so well what I have felt since the day I came home from the hospital with Baby #2 I knew I had to share it here.

The author, Carol Barnier, starts off telling about a talk-show guest who joked that mothers need to borrow a business model and learn to multi-task. "Was he kidding?" she asks and describes the five tasks she was doing at the same moment she was hearing this guy blather about motherhood. ("Blather" is my word, not hers; she's much more charitable.)

She goes on:

"No, Mr. Television Guest, you missed the mark completely. What we moms need, what our minds miss most and what our hearts intensely seek is the seemingly lost ability to monotask. We long for a quiet moment on a porch swing to laugh with a child, a chance to linger over dinner with our husband and the satisfaction of allowing a burgeoning idea to playfully work its way through our brain. feel the linear path.

...The world of motherhood is one of perpetual motion. Calendars with no blank days. 'To do' lists that do not end. Spring cleaning that runs deep into August. But multitasking isn't just a solution for improved productivity; it's a value statement that says more is always better and quiet times are unproductive times.

I suspect that God couldn't agree less. The Bible does not say, 'He leadeth me in the path of astounding productivity and dizzying accomplishment whereby He is exceedingly impressed.' No, God wants us to lie down in green pastures, and He wanst to lead us beside still waters to restore our souls.

I know raising children is a season, and a short-lived season at that. One day my kids will be grown. The quiet will be mine to fill and enjoy. I will probably miss the noise and disorder that many little feet used to bring to my world. But when that happens, I intend to read my favorite magazine, from cover to cover, all in one sitting."

Well said, Ms. Barnier.

taken from "Mommy-tasking" in the May/June 2010 Thriving Family from Focus on the Family

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm an Author

Look at me! I'm a published author!

Drake's Treasure

I don't know the readership of this blog/e-zine, but it's rather cool that I was asked to publish this story.

Next stop, NYTimes Bestseller List!

Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't hold my breath.

Still, I'll take this small achievement for now.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Micah' First Baseball Game

Much to John's chagrin, Micah has never been terribly interested in any sport and never had a desire to play baseball. Micah finally decided, though, that he wanted to play this summer for our local rec center. John approved of this decision. I sighed and bowed to the inevitable. Tonight was Micah's first game.
I don't know what the score was but I know we lost. That's okay, though, because no one was counting, right? It's just a learning experience, right? It's just for fun, right?

The team has lots of players so Micah played the bench as much as any of the others, but he also played 3rd base. He even made the 3rd out in the 4th inning.

Even better, he seemed to have fun.