31 July 2016

Halo

There is a touch of divinity even in brutes, and a special halo about a horse, that should forever exempt him from indignities.

Herman Melville

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29 July 2016

Mini Cheese Puff Muffins

Way back during our annual Father's Day celebration, the girls and I decided to throw a Fogo de Chao themed dinner in honor of Jack, because he's just an awesome guy like that. We had some delicious pork loin, caramelized bananas, crunchy apple salad and these mini cheese puff muffins that were to die for. Hot out of the oven, they might as well have been from the restaurant!

Ingredients:

2 cups tapioca flour
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
5 ounces finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a mini muffin pan with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, salt, and milk. Bring to a low boil. As soon as it boils, transfer to a mixing bowl and slowly beat in flour. Add cheese, eggs, sugar, and oil. Combine until it is the consistency of wet bread dough. Spoon dough into individual muffin tins, about 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes--they should be light and airy and be golden brown on the top. Serve warm.
Enjoy!
Thanks to Savory Experiments for the recipe inspiration!

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Kindergarten and 2nd

Kindergarten, 2nd, and Envious Little Sister
Today was the first day of school for Evelyn and Claire, the very, very first time Claire has ever been away from me for more than a few hours. It was incredibly bittersweet, as it should be, but the girls handled it like champs without a single hint of a tear as I dropped them off.

(Glad to know they aren't too dependent on me, I guess!)
Anxiously awaiting a ride on the school bus.
It started last night when I took Claire and the rest of the kids to the Kindergarten Curiosity where we dropped off supplies, met with the teacher (who was Evelyn's kindergarten teacher--yay!!) and took a bus ride around the block. Once we got home, everyone had a quick bath and a bowl of ice cream while I read a chapter in one of their books. While they technically made it to bed on time, there was just a little too much excitement to fall asleep. Like, it took an hour or so before everyone calmed down.
They're home!
Once I dropped off the older girls, it was just Kate, Henry and me. At first, Kate wasn't a fan of being left behind but quickly warmed up to the idea. She got to ride in the basket of the shopping cart without competition, the Legos were all hers, Nova had her undivided attention AND she got to watch whatever television show she wanted. By the time her sisters hopped off the bus, she was super excited to have them back.
Movie night!
It was a tiring day for me too (on top of being a bit emotionally drained, somehow the laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning all landed on the same day...), so instead of our usual homemade pizza and movie night, I cut up veggies and fruit, made our favorite cream cheese fruit dip and put out hummus with pita chips. Everyone was happy.

I'm amazed how quickly these little babies grow up into independent, intelligent, clever, beautiful people. Having great teachers is a huge blessing too--Evelyn assures me her teacher is incredibly funny, which is important to kids, and Claire's, I've seen stop naughty behavior with a snap, a stern look and a, "No, thank you." Gotta hand it to those wonderful teachers!

Happy First Day of School, Everyone (whenever it happens to be)!

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28 July 2016

Summer Was...

Evelyn and Claire go back to school tomorrow (I know...Indiana has a ridiculous school schedule...boo!) and summer was so short, so hectic, so fun, so amazing. Here's some of the stuff that kept us busy these past few months of bliss...
Can you spot the three adorable fluffballs?
 Baby chicks! Our mother hen, Licorice, is really getting the hang of hatching out adorable babies.
Thanks for the passes, Charlotte!
 Monster Mini Golf!
They didn't quite get the idea of being the I of Indy...
 Lunch dates with daddy.
Training the lion cub.
 Trips to the zoo.
Thanks, Sarah!
 Fancy hair!
 Spa visits.
 Challenging games of Jenga, Mancala, Connect Four, Memory, Uno, Sequence...
 New fashions.
 Skateboarding.
 Lots of roasting marshmallows.
 Window artwork.
 Peach prepping.
Claire is seriously The Cat Whisperer.
Calamity Kate.
 Dress up.
 Snow cones.
Claire takes picking black raspberries to a whole new level.
Perfecting her trick riding skills.
 Carriage rides in pumpkins...
...and regular, ol' wagon rides.
 Storm watching.
These tree frogs are deafening in the summer. Such a loud noise for such a tiny creature!
 Tree frogs. Soooo cute!
 Chickens happily roaming.
 Lots of nail painting (gotta keep your toes looking fabulous).
 Petting zoos.
Yum!
 A strawberry festival!
Helping spread out the woodchips.
 Good old hard work.
 Tower building and messy rooms. So messy, in fact, that they could do an I Spy photo shoot here.
 Bubble blowing.
Jack running for home!
 Baseball!
Thanks for the straws, Kristin and John. :)
Tons of silly straws.

And all that fun, to say nothing of home improvements, naps, gondola ridesswim lessons, backyard water parks, or camping!

In a word, summer was fantastic.

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27 July 2016

Gondola Ride

I had planned this evening to go running after tidying up the kitchen following dinner, then having Jack help me put up some ceiling planks in the computer room before sending the kids to bed and unwinding while watching a show or two.

Instead, we rode on a gondola in downtown Indy.
Henry really, really wanted to get in the water.
We parked about a quarter of a mile away and Jack hurried off with the kids to get a head start, while I stuffed my purse under the seat and grabbed a bottle of water.

"Did you pay the parking meter?" I yelled.

"Yeah! C'mon!" Jack replied.

We made it to the gondola with fifteen minutes to spare before our departure, when Jack turned to me and asked, "Did you pay the parking meter?"

Apparently, he thought I was asking if he'd grabbed a water.

I got my evening run in after all.
A co-worker of Jack's lives on the canal and in his free time enjoys giving gondola rides up and down the mile and a half canal while warbling classic Italian tunes and spouting all kinds of trivia--everything from facts about the gondola we were riding in, housing on the canal, the USS Indianapolis, to the canal itself.
Watching all the Pokemon Go players wandering the canal.
The ride was leisurely and enjoyable, kind of like a canoe trip, except I didn't have to do the work or the singing AND we didn't have to hop a flight to Italy to ride a gondola.
 Not that I would complain about a trip to Italy.

But close enough.

For now.

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