San Francisco Botanical Garden

A month ago, my man and I got to hang out together for a few days alone in San Francisco and then Napa Valley.  Yes, it was awesome.  Even though I don’t sleep well away from my bed (or actually even in mine), I would never miss spending time with this man alone so that he knows how important he is to me.  Plus, I kinda like him.  It’s nice to just hold hands and not be interrupted.  It takes like a day to drop the instinct that someone might be getting into the ice cream, digging up my newly planted seedlings,ripping up the books, or waking up at 5:00 am.  Mostly, it’s just nice to not know what time it is, not touch our phones, drink some wine, and just be.

It was Sunday afternoon and what better place could there be than a botanical garden?  It was just a really lovely day.

My man got to rent a convertible and I brought my scarf to tie around my head so my hair didn’t get windblown.  Wait, who am I kidding, I don’t blow dry my hair anyway.


These wild strawberries were growing for a mile outside the gardens.

We have these bay fig trees all over San Diego, but it was cool to find out they first came from Australia to the U.S. in 1859, during the gold rush.  Cool, huh?

Love these flower sprays.

We were caught in a stare-down.  He won.

I’m greatly intrigued by this plant.

How could you not think of the awesomeness of God in this place.

What a sweet man…holding the purse of a crazy picture-takin’ lady.  Plus, he wears the TOMS I buy for him.  He’s a keeper.

Love me some reeds.

Not the best picture but I love the name of these…”Farewell to Spring”

“quaking trees”…finally a plant that owned up to its name.

One of my favorites.

Another one of my favorites.

Yes, it was lovely.

We look like botanist nerds, but I love us.

School is in session

I was so excited to start school today, I felt like I was the one who couldn’t sleep because I wanted to start IMMEDIATELY.  I started mid-August because I wanted to be sure to have 3 solid weeks of time off at Christmas or at least a super-light load.  Our first day went well.  At first, I thought I was torn in 3 pieces, as each of my kids wanted something different from me.  It’s amazing how a few minutes can bring thoughts of doubt into your head about what’s best for your kids (being that they are 6, 4, and almost 3).  However, the rest of the day was FABULOUS.  I didn’t even have to break out my cool tricks in case there was boredom.  Jack did 7 pages of math because he was so fired up about it.  How crazy is that?  You know your day is going great when you have to say, “Guys, if we do any more work, we won’t have any left for the rest of the week”.  God was so good to me and let me see my kids truly enjoying their learning.

I love the series above because it shows you exactly how this 1 minute in time went.  I had asked her to show me her sweet smile and so she thought it was necessary to tell what she didn’t currently like about her smile (lost 7 teeth in less than 1 year).  Middle picture is her thinking of how she could smile with no teeth.  Right photo is the end result, which she debriefed as working well following the snapping of the photo.

Here the little bean threw off his helmet and tossed his gun to get in the shot.  I had a sign ready for him so he didn’t feel left out.  If I had to guess, Miss F is thinking about her master plan for the whole day.

Little Bean’s favorite part was holding and then dropping the sign…over…and over.

My buddy was upset because he thought he was going somewhere.  I don’t know how he got that mixed up but he bounced back super-fast.  I loved that he picked the folder not because he remotely knows what Star Wars is but because it was “Lego-y”.  I guess that’s how Star Wars starts with little boys.

Our books and supplies.

One of my favorite things to look at lately :)  My Grandpa’s (Twin Winton) cookie jar,  my Mom’s awesome typewrite score, my very first successful avocado seed plant, and the globe my parents just let me have (that I’ve been wanting to use for a LOOONG time).

She loves owls, just like her Mama.

The kid’s fabulous babysitter bought this calendar for Miss F and she hasn’t missed flipping the date yet.

“When are we REALLY gonna start, Mom”

Math-u-see is awesome already.  They can’t wait to do more!

Link Love + some thoughts of late

I just wanted to share a few things I’m a part of in case you hadn’t heard of them or seen them yet.  I’m making some new things for my site that I’m excited to finally publish!


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

I’m excited to join some new groups and get my info out there.  Check me out over on BlogLovin!

You can also follow my Facebook page here.  I worked REALLY hard to design my iframe and make it ORIGINAL (and me!), so I hope you like it!  It’s very special to me!   I haven’t seen many of these out there in the blogging world yet so I’m excited to be a part of something new!  It’s kind of fun to do something before your friends and favorite bloggers.  Let me know what you think if you haven’t seen it.  While you’re there…press the “like” button :).

If you haven’t been on Pinterest yet, find me here as long as you’re at it.  I have a post on Pinterest coming up since it seems to be getting quite popular.  It’s growing up…sniff sniff.  I started using it a WHILE before anyone had heard of it so don’t let my 1000′s of pins keep you from starting with your first!

Enjoy!

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Junkfood Remade: Cheese-its

I’m so excited about this particular recipe because ANYONE can make this.  There are so few ingredients and so few skills involved that my kids basically made it all.  This means you can too.  I’ve been asked a lot lately for “easier meals” or “fast recipes” which is kind of discouraging to me because I feel like I have posted recipes that are both of those things.  But, in an attempt to meet half-way with people who want to start cooking, having never cooked much in the past, I offer you this recipe with love.

So, I had seen recipes before but saw a great look one on Pinterest here.  This recipe had the perfect cheese-it (or cheez-it) flavor if not better, some of my taste testers said.

Cheese-its

(adapted from “Ready Made” and a few other sources)

8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded

½ stick or 4 ounces unsalted butter,  room temperature

1 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup flour

2 Tablespoons water, iced

This recipe has so few ingredients I put them in bowls so my kids could mix them lickety-splickety.

Kids are great at measuring.  Practice makes them understand fractions visibly instead of just in theory.  Makes sense, right?

Yet another awesome kid skill…grating.  When they are little, I think they believe it’s a magic trick and constantly check underneath to see if the trick is working.

Measure the cheese to get 8 oz, if it wasn’t already measured as an 8 oz. block.

Pre-measuring the ingredients helps to maintain the kids attention during cooking.

Cream the cheese, butter, and salt until combined.  Add the flour until it looks like the above.  Then, slowly add the water until the dough forms a ball.  It may take 15 seconds or so for the dough to make the ball after you add the water so be careful not to add much more (I added a T. more).

Pat the dough in a disk and put in the fridge for an hour. Then, roll out the dough until it’s 1/8 of an inch.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Cut them in 1″ squares.  You can see by the lines that i let my kids help cut them out.  They LOVED the pastry wheel.

I put the better looking ones on this tray and saved the weird ones for the next tray.  Poke a hole in them with a chopstick and bake for

12 minutes.

Immediately test your product to make sure they are safe to feed other people, but be sure to actually share them.

If you are new to this space and have enjoyed your time, stick around and find me on:

F a c e b o o k  //  T w i t t e r  //  P i n t e r e s t  //  I n s t a g r a m  //  E m a i l

Lately

Today I’m linking up with Life.Rearranged for InstaFriday.  It’s a great way to catch glimpses of your week in phone pictures that aren’t always seen by someone else..

life rearranged

Had a visit to my friend’s house and visited with her and her chickens.  Thanks for the lovely time, friend.

 

 Read about some bugs with my buddy and hung out with this week’s grasshopper, Wolfgang.

 

Pool time with the kids and a friend.  I was trying to channel my Grandma in her hat, but she was a very elegant lady and that’s kinda hard to channel.

 Visit to a local bakery for a special “Daddy is on a trip and we need a treat” stop.

 

 Enjoyed some summer fruit from the farmer’s market.

Shared some canned goods with the farmers who helped grow the food I canned. It’s kinda like a first-fruits thing…

 

Watched the best 6 year old scrambled-egg maker I know.

Made the first batch of orange marmalade for 2011.   It was the first time I didn’t can with a friend this summer unless one being there for the last 20 minutes counts.   Holla, Lyndsay!

Finally finished my pillows!

Got my little bean to try on his euro swim shorts…hehe.

A book with Grandma before she leaves on a trip.

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