Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Prologue: Sept. 30th, 2017

Hi! My name is Priscilla. I am the wife of a Methodist minister, mom of three, a piano teacher and musician. I feel inspired to share with you stories of our family, especially our cute kids! I also want to include pedagogical thoughts, resources and theories about my piano teaching career. I hope you love the stories, enjoy the tips, and find some things useful.20171001_104215_hdr.jpg

 

Summertime and Birthdays! June 28, 2020

Summertime and Birthdays! June 28, 2020

David and Emma have completed their swimming lessons for this summer! The last couple of weeks have been busy taking them to and from swim classes. Emma had her first year of swim class. It was similar to David’s first year in that we had to get her over the hurdle of putting her head in the water. After the first day of swim class Andrew and I practiced with her in the bath tub. After several minutes of severe protest and tears, we finally coaxed her into sticking her head in the water. They call it “catching a bubble” in swim class. Honestly, I had to force her to lay on her stomach, counted to three, and then pushed her head under. Leading her to think she did it on her own, after a couple of times she was ready to show her swim teacher what she could do. After that first terrible evening, she did great, and had fun. She doesn’t really “swim” yet, but I’m confident that she will by next year if David is any proof.

David had a great year of swim lessons, completely different from last year. It’s amazing how kids change in a years time! He did so good the first day of swim class that I got a call saying they were going to move him up to the next class! What?!?! He now swims just about as good as myself.

David also turned seven on Thursday!!! WHAT?!?! Sniffle, Sniffle, How did my baby get so big?!?! We spent his birthDay swimming. A friend of ours has invited us to use their pool whenever this summer, and we are very grateful for their generosity and happy to oblige! πŸ™‚ The kids had fun swimming, and a McDonald’s picnic lunch was a special treat!

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We had David’s birthday party Saturday. David wanted a Pokemon party.Β  Surprise, surprise! I did my best to throw him a memorable Pokemon birthday party! πŸ™‚

Here are a few pictures of our Pokemon party! We had Jigglypuff Puffs, Bulbasaur beans, Tehpig berries, Charmander Chips, Pikachu pizza (not pictured, sorry), and Squirtle Punch for our menu. I also made a Pokemon Birthday cake! David requested a confetti cake, and so I went searching for a confetti cake recipe. I ended up using Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe for confetti cake.It turned out really good!! Super easy to make, just remember if you want a double layer cake to double the recipe! A few weeks back I ordered the Pokemon applique, and applied it to the top of the cake after frosting. It was the first time for me to use one of these, and I loved how easy it was to use and it looked great!

We had two party games that I prepared. Pin the pokeball on the chart, and a scavenger hunt. The pokeball game was easy enough! πŸ™‚ The scavenger hunt took a little Pinterest research, and putting together, but totally worth it! It was a hit and everyone had a great time! We made a Pokedex card, and then hid the poke characters around the yard. The kids then marked off the characters on their chart as they found them! So Fun!!

We had a family party with grandparents, cousins, and Aunts and Uncles, and Chris and Laura our adopted family.πŸ˜‰ We had a great time visiting with everyone! Here are a few pictures!

 

We decided to have a drive in service at church today! This is a big deal!! We have really missed physically going to church. While this is still not as good as gathering in the sanctuary, it felt a little more normal in that it made us get around and out the door this morning. I stole this picture from a friend on facebook, but I couldn’t help it. I love this picture, this man! He did such a great job this morning, and I’m very proud of him and all his hard work. This social distancing has been especially hard for him. Not being able to hold worship, visit the sick, etc. has been very tough on him. He sure is good looking! I’m allowed to say that about the preacher. πŸ˜‰ His birthday is this Wednesday! I look forward to making another cake! πŸ™‚

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Our garden is doing fantastic! We have cucumbers everywhere! Our peppers and tomatoes are also doing great!Β  We had these with our lunch today! Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes and cucumbers!

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Happy summer!

Love,

PK

Face-to-Face! June 13, 2020

Face-to-Face! June 13, 2020

We resumed our weekly routine after last week’s vacation. I resumed teaching in person piano lessons this past week! I am so happy about it, I can’t even tell you. No matter how much we all try to stay “connected” online, it is just not the same! Physical presence is so important! Student’s are more engaged when there is physical presence, and there are so many things that are better physically demonstrated on piano. Also, and I’m sure there have been studies done, there is a very real difference between a face-to-face relationship and a virtual relationship! One of the many things I love about teaching piano is the relationship I build with my students! I know from experience that the influence a teacher can have on a student can be very powerful. I hope to have a positive influence on the lives of my students by teaching them a skill and a love for music they will always have!

David also had his first piano lesson this week! Talk about a proud mom moment! No, I’m not his teacher! I decided years ago that it would be better if I did not teach my own children. Once again, there is definitely a different type of relationship between a teacher/student and a parent/child! Some people can do both successfully. I’m not sure if I could, and I’m not willing to find out just yet! πŸ™‚ David was nervous at first, but once he met his teacher and was successful at his first lesson, he loved it! I hope he continues to love it!

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The kids were playing outside and Zoe, our cat, was watching from the window! πŸ™‚ We call Zoe our “watch cat”, because she is very protective and always keeps an eye on the kids. She doesn’t really like them messing with her too much, but she always wants to keep an eye on them from a distance. πŸ™‚ They LOVE Zoe though! They were playing in the water, so it’s a good thing the cat was inside! πŸ™‚

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The kids went to spend the weekend at their Grand-mama and G-pa’s house! It’s the first time in MONTHS that I have been in this house alone! It is so quiet, too quiet! Last night Andrew and I sat on the couch, looked at each other and asked the question, “What did we used to do before the kids?” πŸ˜‚ We ended up ordering Chinese food for dinner, and watching tv! This was our first date night since Valentine’s day! Yes, we spent it just sitting on the couch! 🀣

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Have a great week!

Love,

PK

A Week at the Beach. June 7, 2020

A Week at the Beach. June 7, 2020

Any one who knows me very well knows that I love the ocean! It’s other worldly, mysterious, always changing, serene yet turbulent. It’s vastness carries with it the knowledge that there is more to this world than we can possibly know.Β  I would love to live on the beach some day! It’s a dream of mine. However, I currently settle for vacations to the beach. With the turbulent state of the world right now, we needed a little beach serenity! We were blessed with beautiful weather overall, and a week of great memories.

This was the day we arrived. I took pictures of the kids on the balcony of our condo. The kids did REALLY well on the drive to the beach! They played kindle games, ate snacks, took naps, and watched movies. We stopped mid-way and grabbed some lunch. We did our best to maintain social distancing, and took our lunch to this great park we found. The kids were able to eat and then run and play, wearing off some energy, before returning to the car for the remainder of the trip. We did a similar thing on the way back home too.

Some very good friends of ours, Chris and Laura, spent the week at the beach with us. We’re still great friends after this past week!😜  It was great to have them along on this trip with us! We had a great time!

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I’m going to overload you with pictures on this post. I can’t help it! I love beach pictures! I love the kids first reaction to going down to the beach! They are all different! Samuel LOVES the water, and loved splashing in the ocean, swimming in the pool, and digging in the sand. After the first day Samuel was a little too brave, and would get knocked over by the ocean waves, but he took it like a champ and didn’t cry at all. I love the picture of Andrew and Samuel from behind. πŸ’• Emma LOVES the sand, and played in the sand more than the others. She was, however, brave about getting into the water this time. She played in the ocean, and got down into the pool! She was proud of herself for doing this. πŸ™‚ David has overcome a lot of his fears about the water too! If you remember from last summer, we put him in swimming lessons because he was afraid of even washing his hair in the bathtub!! No joke! Well it paid off! This time he was jumping and playing in the ocean! He even learned to swim underwater in the pool this past week! Yes, underwater!!

Truth be told, the kids loved the pool probably more than the beach. Every time we would walk past it to go to the beach, they would want to get into the pool first. I would force them to keep walking with the promise that we would return to the pool after the beach. πŸ™‚ They had so much fun!

We had a few beach activities up our sleeves for this trip. David wanted to bring his Godzilla. Apparently in every Godzilla movie he comes up out of the ocean. So we took some pictures of Godzilla on the beach. πŸ˜‚ Emma wanted to bring her Paw Patrol “Ryder” figure toy.Β  However, he didn’t fare well on the beach. She was in mid play when she comes up crying because she has lost Ryder. Ryder was lost at sea! We had to comfort her for quite a while, and Andrew immediately ordered a new Ryder from Amazon with the promise that he would be waiting for her when she got home! We also made a volcano! We made a big sand mountain, stuck a little cup in the top of it. Poured in baking soda and vinegar to cause the eruption. It was pretty cool!

We buried the kids in the sand, or David and Emma anyway. Samuel did not take well to having sand put on him. Emma wanted to be a mermaid. πŸ™‚

The kids and I love scouring the beach to see what we can find. We found LOTS of sea shells. One day David found a shrimp, and what we think is a baby lobster. We also went crab hunting a couple nights. We caught several smaller crabs, and a couple larger ones that would not stay in our bucket!

 

Here are a few more pictures! πŸ™‚ I love baby toes in the sand!

When we arrived home I found that my garden has grown exponentially over the week! I found this big cucumber and banana pepper ready to pick, with several more on the way. My tomatoes are also looking great, and I can’t wait for them to change color!

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I have been trying to cook recipes that use our fresh garden ingredients! I have a couple to share with you! This is super easy! It’s just pasta tossed in a basil pesto sauce. I harvested several stalks of basil from our garden, and blended it with two cloves of garlic, 1/3 cup of olive oil, 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. A lot of pesto recipes call for pine nuts, but I couldn’t find any at our store. Just toss with the cooked and drained pasta!

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This dish is grilled salmon, grilled vegetables, and rice! I love grilling in the summer! The salmon is seasoned with salt and pepper and then grilled. I made a sauce to go over it after it finished grilling. Here is the sauce recipe! Four tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of lime juice, 1/4 cup of honey, two garlic cloves minced, and about two tablespoons of chopped cilantro (add the cilantro at the end after the butter and everything is melted together).Β  Pour it over the fish when it’s done grilling! I also made the vegetable medley to cook over the grill in a foil pouch. It includes a couple zucchini, half a red onion, a banana pepper, salt and pepper. Toss it all together with a little olive oil, and put it in the foil pouch. Grill until zucchini are fork tender.

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Hope y’all are staying safe and well!

Love,

PK

Family Reunions! May 22, 2020

Family Reunions! May 22, 2020

We went to my parents house this past weekend. For the first time in months the kids were able to be with Papa and Nana! My sister and brother in law came too! It was great to see and visit with everyone. In person!! A change in scenery and routine for a few days was welcome too. It’s hard to explain, but my mentality has changed dramatically this month. It’s like my brain said “Okay, enough. I’m going on vacation.”.Β  My students sent me their recital videos for their virtual recital. My own recital program is underway. David is officially finished with kindergarten. (What??!!! How is this possible?!?! Tissues Please!!) Summer vacation is at hand, and my brain is already there!!

We sat on my parents beautiful porch surrounded by a forest of trees, birds, and nature of all sorts! It’s really peaceful, except for when we are there! Haha! πŸ™‚ The kids loved riding on the back of the mower in the little trailer. Those pictures are so sweet! David of course had to watch a GodzillaΒ movie with his Papa.

David and Emma LOVE sleeping over at their grandparents houses! The funny thing is, and I just thought about this the other day… At home they always sleep in their own beds, and in their own room. However, when sleeping anywhere else, whether my parents or my in laws, they always sleep in the same room, and at my parents house in the same bed even. Maybe this is a situation that needs to be remedied? I don’t know if either one of them would be able to sleep anywhere else without the other. In one respect I love that they have bonded so, and despite their occasional arguments, they play and converse together all the time.

This is my mom and sister. Aren’t they lovely! Emma is so cute sitting in the middle on the porch swing. She didn’t really want her picture taken, and so this is what I got from her. Leah and Emma are kindred spirits. πŸ™‚ Leah was slicing strawberries, and Emma was eating… I mean helping. πŸ™‚

I made hair appointments for the kids and myself this week! I never could stomach up enough nerve to cut anyone’s hair, no matter how many youtube tutorials I watched. The salon’s around here have opened back up, by appointment only of course. I LOVE the kids haircuts. Cuteness overload!!

Today we had a family reunion with Andrew’s family! It was the first time since Christmas for us all to be together! The kids love playing with their cousins! They are all around the same ages, and so when they get together it is a lot of fun! It’s hard to get good pictures because they are running around, playing in different rooms, and doing their best to avoid pictures. πŸ™‚ The older ones especially! That’s why you don’t see David in these pictures. He is busy playing with his cousin Robbie. I barely saw him at all while we were there. Emma loves playing with cousins Henry and Oliver which are about the same age, and Samuel and Patrick are close in age too. Yes, that’s them kissing!! πŸ˜‚ They are kissing cousins I guess. 🀣 It’s so sweet!

My garden is doing really well so far this year! My cilantro bush has grown so big that I had to cut it back! So with all the cilantro I’ve been trying to cook some recipes that use cilantro! πŸ™‚ This is a Mahi Mahi with Mango-cucumber salsa. I love fish! Especially in the summer. It is very light and refreshing with this salsa! Just season the fish with salt and pepper, and grill on an oiled grill pan or skillet over high heat. For the salsa combine mango (peaches could also be used), cucumber, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nothing speaks summer time like strawberry pie! I don’t know about light, but it’s definitely cool and refreshing! πŸ™‚ I found this great strawberry pie recipe from Amy. I like it because it uses all fresh ingredients, no jello. I made my own pie crusts and baked them. After the crusts cool completely, then add the strawberry filling. It’s best to let it refrigerate for a couple hours before serving with a delicious dollop of whipped cream.

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Love,

PK

 

Mothers and Things. May 9, 2020

Mothers and Things. May 9, 2020

Happy Mom’s Day!!! I wish all mom’s everywhere the best, most relaxing day ever! Here is a picture of my mom and I! This was taken a couple years ago I think…in a time when I had a haircut, and we were able to go places. πŸ™‚ Since becoming a mom I’ve gained a new appreciation for my mom! She made this mom thing look easy, like a piece of cake! I hope I do half as good a job! Love you MOM!!! πŸ’•

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I took this picture of Emma last Sunday. Every morning she dresses herself. She goes into her room, pics out her clothes, and comes out seeking my approval. A majority of the time she does really well! I praise her for it! I can’t take credit, picking out stylish clothes is something I still struggle with! It must come from her Auntie Leah! I think Emma and Leah share a lot of the same genes. πŸ™‚ However, sometimes she comes out wearing clothes that are not appropriate for the weather or something that just doesn’t quite match. It depends on the day/occasion whether or not I let it go. πŸ™‚ Emma is three and a half. Sometimes I forget that because she is so smart. She is definitely growing up so fast!

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Early in the week we had a very warm day. I decided to break out the sprinkler! David loves playing in the water. I don’t know how much Emma really remembers playing in the water from last summer, but she loved it. This was Samuel’s first time to play in the sprinkler. The reaction from all of them was priceless when I turned on the water! After a few seconds of realizing what was happening, Samuel became ecstatic and did a happy dance! David went crazy and ran right in it. Emma turned, ran to me and requested to go put on her swim clothes. After changing into the appropriate attire, she had the best time too! It was so funny, their different responses! They played in the water for quite a long time. We kept moving the sprinkler around the yard so as to avoid one huge mud puddle. It was a great day!

After that day the temperature dropped, and we were back to long sleeves or jackets. πŸ€·β€β™€οΈ David decided he was going to have a “shop”. He found a few items he no longer wanted, or that mom no longer wanted, and set them up at the end of the driveway. I made him a “for sale” sign. A couple generous souls came by and bought a few things from him. It was really cute! He sat out there for a long time before getting tired.

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We have been finding ways to entertain ourselves at home. The kids have been playing outside as much as possible, and being really creative about it! They have been playing with their toy cars outside the last couple days. They made roads and garages with chalk! A few games of tic tac toe have even taken place. πŸ™‚

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I hope everyone is well, and giving their loved ones extra huggs!

Love,

PK

Carefully Venturing Out! May 1, 2020

Carefully Venturing Out! May 1, 2020

I went to my parents house this week! It’s not exactly what you think, I didn’t go completely rogue and break a whole bunch of social distancing rules. My mom had a foot surgery on Wednesday, and I wanted to go help out for a couple days. I know, technically I did break social distancing rules, but since we have both been quarantined for approximately seven weeks, we decided it was probably okay. My mom’s surgery went well, and she is on the path to recovery. It was wonderful seeing my parents again! It was almost a little awkward at first meeting. I was cautious about hugging them due to some kind of mental, social distancing hangover, but then it came to me how crazy I was being, and we hugged away! πŸ™‚ While I went to help her out, it also helped me out. I REALLY needed a break and change of scenery, even if just for forty-eight hours! It was refreshing for me, and I have the best husband in the world for taking over parent duty full time! πŸ™‚ The kids want to go see Nana and Papa so terribly, and so we are planning to go back next weekend and visit with the kids. I’m thankful that we are starting to carefully visit loved ones again! While it may be a while before we venture out into public places, I can handle that! It’s not being able to come into contact with those we love, that made this so hard anyway.

Other than my little adventure to MO, the last couple weeks have been pretty routine. We have been enjoying the weather and spending as much time outside as possible. We planted these flowers in our flower beds last week. Like with everything I plant, I worry and fret about their well being, growth, and ultimate survival. Please pray with me.

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The kids have been enjoying their sandbox. I’m afraid our whole back porch and yard is starting to look like a sandy beach. It even finds its way into our house, reminding me of our times on vacation at a condo on the beach. In this sense I don’t mind the sand! Crazy huh! πŸ™‚

The kids decided to make their own miniature golf course in our back yard this past week too! They were pretty creative! David retrieved items from our garage and made a five hole course, using buckets, jump ropes, storage bins, and other toys. They had a lot of fun! Last year on our beach vacation we went mini-golfing, and the kids loved it! There is also a Curious George book where George creates his own golf course. David wanted to try building his own miniature golf course like George did. πŸ™‚ I hope we get to go to the beach again soon!

One of the foods we have been missing around here is Chinese food! So we decided to make our own! We made general Tso’s chicken, rice, steamed broccoli, and cream cheese wantons! Andrew cooked the chicken, and I cooked the wantons. This is a pretty labor intensive meal, but totally worth it to satisfy the craving! I’m thankful my husband is a good cook. He likes this cooking vlog show called Binging with Babbish, and so we used the recipe for General Tso’s Chicken from this blog. The chicken turned out amazing! I totally recommend using the arbol chiles in the sauce to add spice! We used a few, but were afraid of it being too spice. We should have listened to the recipe and used at least six.Β  I made the cream cheese wantons. I watched Ree Drummond make these on her cooking show quite some time ago, and wanted to try her recipe. They are super easy to make, however, it takes time to individually wrap each wanton. I believe one could make the wantons ahead of time and keep them covered in the refrigerator with a damp tea towel. Then you wouldn’t have to spend all that time trying to wrap wantons while preparing the rest of the meal! If you are having that Chinese craving, I totally recommend these recipes!

Samuel saw me using chop sticks, and wanted to give them a try. He is pretty smart, and after a while started stabbing his food onto the stick! πŸ™‚

Love,

PK

P.S. Did you notice how long everyone’s hair is?! It’s starting to get pretty serious! I may need some major help in the hair cutting department soon! Any suggestions or recommended tutorials? My other option is to just let everyone have long hair! That’s what I’m starting to lean towards! πŸ™‚

 

Growing! April 18, 2020

Growing! April 18, 2020

I believe this is week five or six of quarantine? These days I generally have no clue what the date is, or what day of the week it is! The only thing that is keeping me on track with time is the fact that I am teaching online piano lessons, and have to keep track of who to call when. Without that, I would be totally oblivious to time! Feeling a little restless, and naive to the state of the world, I decided it would be good to get out and go to the Home Depot to buy garden plants. (I’ve been looking forward to planting a garden for quite some time.) After all, the plants would be outside in the fresh air. We all piled in the car for the first time in over a month. When we arrived at the store I was shocked by what I saw. It was like a scene from a movie. First of all, there were a lot of people there! (I thought people were supposed to be staying home! How dare they get out, just when I wanted to go buy garden plants! πŸ™‚ ) Second, almost everyone seemed to be wearing face masks and gloves. It looked scary. We decided that it would be best to keep the kids in the car, and Andrew (who has been doing all our shopping lately) would go get the plants.Β  We then drove to one of our favorite restaurants, ordered take out, and drove back home to eat lunch. It’s hard to describe the emotions this all brings. It’s very similar to grief! I just keep telling myself that I have many things to be thankful for. Our family is safe and healthy. We have food. We have technology to help us stay connected, and so much more!

We all had a hand in the gardening this time! The kids are so excited about it! They loved helping to dig and remove the big grass clumps. After I worked up the first half of the garden, Andrew did the second half. David and Emma helped me plant and water the vegetables. I hope I can keep a green thumb and that the plants do well. David and Emma don’t realize how long it’s going to take for the plants to grow and produce, and they are constantly going to check on the garden. πŸ™‚

The kids have been really good at entertaining themselves this week. It’s amazing what entertainment a bunch of pillows and boxes can provide! They have built forts, played musical chairs (but with pillows), made their own bounce house, built tunnels, created a don’t fall off the rocks game, and some pillow fights too.

We have also been outdoors quite a bit this week. This is not the best picture, but the baby birds hatched! Their mamma has been doing an excellent job caring for them. πŸ™‚

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We were doing some art on the driveway, and I drew these hearts with our names inside. Then I tried to get a picture with the kids sitting in front of their heart. They weren’t too into it! Ha! I thought it was sweet anyway! πŸ™‚

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This is a picture of pizza crust dough. This crust recipe is from Ree Drummonds favorite pizza recipe. When Andrew did our shopping this past week he couldn’t find the pizza crust we usually buy, and so I decided to make my own pizza crust! It actually turned out really good! Way better than my past attempts at pizza crust. However, don’t be like me. Read the recipe, and notice that this recipe makes TWO crusts! I put all the dough into one big cookie sheet, and it was a little too much crust for our liking! It tasted great though! I learn from my mistakes! Apparently I was really an airhead that day because I also forgot to take a picture of the pizza once it was assembled and baked. I made it half pepperoni (for the chillins) and half buffalo chicken. So if you find yourself wanting a pizza, but don’t have any ready made crust on hand, I recommend trying this recipe. It’s very easy to make!

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Popsicle Faces!

Love,

PK

Unconventional Easter! April 13, 2020

Unconventional Easter! April 13, 2020

This was the first Easter I can ever remember not going to church! Being a musician and married to a Reverend, Holy week and Easter Sunday is usually one of the biggest weeks of the year for us. This year was quite unusual! We started Easter Sunday off with a lite breakfast, and then we put on our Easter best. In my heart, I needed to dress as if I was going to church on Easter Sunday. Times are unprecedented, at least I can control what I wear! After getting the kids dressed in their outfits, which was no small feat, we immediately took some pictures. It was definitely a three ring circus! I gave up! They are cuties anyway! This was before they had candy! πŸ™‚

Then we went outside to take a family picture. It had stopped raining momentarily. These pictures turned out slightly better. πŸ™‚

The kids were ready for their egg hunt, and despite all the threats I made about how they would not get any candy if they didn’t behave for their picture, I caved and let them hunt eggs. I’m a softy. I can’t help it. Does that make me a bad mom? Sigh!

This was Samuel’s first egg hunt! He found one egg, opened it, got a taste of the candy, and sat there the rest of the time eating his chocolate. πŸ™‚ I put a few more eggs in his basket. David and Emma are “all’s fair in love and war” when it comes to egg hunts!

Later we celebrated our Risen Savior by watching worship on tv, singing songs of praise, feasting, and taking a nap! I cooked brunch for lunch. We had bacon, pop-eyes, roasted asparagus with holondaise sauce, cheese potato casserole, and angel food cake with strawberry glaze and whipped cream for dessert. There is a reason we took a nap afterward!

I want to share the angel food cake recipe from Sally’s baking addiction. This cake is heavenly! (pun intended) It is so light, airy, and delicious! For the strawberry glaze I took approximately 1 1/2 lbs of strawberries, added 1/2 cup of sugar, and a splash of vanilla. Then roughly pureed them with the blender. The homemade whip cream is also very simple. It’s two cups of heavy whipping cream and approximately 1/4 to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. (depending on how sweet you like it) Whip until desired thickness is reached.

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I hope y’all had a blessed and Happy Easter!Β  That you are staying safe and well, and giving those close to you a hug.

Love,

PK

Counting my Blessings. April 3rd, 2020

Counting my Blessings. April 3rd, 2020

This week has been more difficult for me personally. I am starting to feel the effects of isolation. Moments of sadness, loneliness, and edginess. The constant twenty-four seven routine, is starting to take its toll. There are moments when I can hear myself losing patience, raising my voice or taking a tone, and needing just fifteen minutes to myself. Yes, I just said I need a few moments to myself, in the middle of quarantine! I’m definitely going nuts! When I start to feelΒ  this way I remind myself to think about all the blessings in my life, and how much I still have to be thankful for! I’m thankful for my faith. I’m thankful for my family, and that we are all still healthy. I’m thankful for our home and plenty of food. I’m thankful for music, and that I can still teach via face time. I have so much to be thankful for that I can just keep naming things, and this is how I will get through this.

I had high hopes of coming through this with a much cleaner house, but instead things are getting messier by the day! I can’t seem to keep on top of the daily messes, much less any other spring cleaning projects I want to accomplish. Oh well! At least the kids are having fun! We have been spending a lot of time outside. There are ponds across from our house, and so we have gone fishing a couple times this week. It’s hard to catch anything when I’m constantly having to chase after Samuel. (He likes to wander off, way more than I ever remember the other two wandering.) David and Emma like to play more than watch their fishing poles. So, we “go fishing”, but not a lot of fish are being caught. πŸ™‚

Today we went to the pond and there is a small sand bank along the edge. David and Emma decided to play in the muddy sand, and I don’t know, but I overheard something about making dinner, and buried treasure. πŸ™‚

This week was a whole new experience for me teaching piano! I taught my students via google duo! πŸ™‚ It’s a whole different world when you can’t be physically present to teach! I found myself thinking of ways to verbally express what I was trying to get across. I also learned a lot about my students, their pianos, and their practice environment. It explains a lot! πŸ™‚ It also makes me rethink how I might teach some things once we are able to do traditional lessons again. Teaching through face time is not ideal, but it’s better than nothing. I was very happy to see my student’s smiling faces, and hear their playing. I am so thankful for technology, and that we are able to continue in this way.

I tried a new recipe today!Β Maple Glazed Chicken Kabobs with Sweet Jalapeno Salad! This recipe by Ree Drummond was super simple and light. I used chicken thighs instead of breast. I also lessened the amount of jalapeno in the salad, but that is because I have littles that don’t like super spicy food. I told the kids it was chicken on a stick, and they liked that. I also served their salad on the side. They mostly just ate the pineapple. πŸ™‚

The kids were playing in the front yard the other day around our magnolia tree. I noticed a very unhappy mother bird, letting her voice be known. I looked and sure enough there was this beautiful nest. It was low enough I could reach up and snap this picture! The eggs are so pretty. I love the color of Robin’s eggs! Spring is here, and new life all around. I showed this picture to the kids, and there were amazed! They have been very careful to not bother the tree since.

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Hanging out together on the porch. I love these sweet faces! πŸ’•

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Love,

PK

“Nothing” Friday, March 27, 2020

“Nothing” Friday, March 27, 2020

This week was “spring break” week, and so we spent a lot of time doing nothing! πŸ™‚ Nothing is a word we just kind of throw around…, for example, Andrew: “Hi Honey, what have you been doing today?” Myself: “Oh, nothing much…”. When in fact I did a whole boat load of things! I digress! So in the midst of all our doing nothing, we played games, did some art, baked some muffins, played outside, etc.

We’ve been taking a lot of walks to the pond lately. The kids love throwing rocks in the water. I’ve never quite understood the fascination kids have with throwing objects in the water. However, they love it! David was super excited when he found this mussel shell by the pond! David and Emma know not to get to close to the edge of the pond. (I still keep a hawks eye on them though.) I walk behind Samuel hanging on to his coat hood or hand because I’m convinced he would step right off!

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The kids watchedΒ Toy Story 4 the other night. They LOVE Forky, and how he is always trying to get in the trash! It’s pretty hilarious! πŸ™‚ After watching it, I thought why don’t we make forky! So the next day the kids made “forky”. I didn’t have any sporks around so we used plastic spoons. The tricky part about making forky is getting his feet to stick to the spoon. I had the kids chew up some bubble gum! I know, it’s gross! It worked though! πŸ™‚

We made a bead bowl this week. We had a bunch of loose beads just sitting in a bag, and I saw this project on pbs kids. It’s super easy, and they loved it. Preheat oven to 350. Using a glass oven safe bowl (spray with nonstick cooking spray), press the beads down so that they go up the sides of the bowl. Even them out. Put it in the oven for about fifteen minutes. When it cools, the beads come out in the shape of a bowl! Emma especially loved seeing what happened to her beads. πŸ™‚

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I saw on Facebook this week about people making beautiful artwork on their fences, (Apparently people are doing it on their windows too, but I didn’t see that till later) and so we did a little sidewalk art. It’s pretty cool looking! The kids loved coloring in the shapes, and then they turned it into some kind of make believe house. πŸ™‚

I had some extra blueberries in the fridge that needed to be used, and so we made blueberry muffins this week. I used my favorite,Β To Die For Blueberry Muffins recipe! I had David read the recipe directions. It was a good lesson in understanding recipe shorthand and measurements! A cup vs a teaspoon, how many halves make a whole, etc. We may need to go over it a few more times! πŸ™‚ Samuel wanted to participate too, so he had fun eating/making mess of the extra blueberries.

We have been cooking non-stop, three meals a day around here, as I’m sure a lot of you have too. I wanted to share this easy mini-meatball pasta bake recipe with you. We have half of it left over in our fridge for another meal this weekend! It is inspired by the Pioneer Woman recipe, but I made a couple simplifications. For the meatballs, I use Italian bread crumbs instead of the rolled oats. I don’t know why, I have always used bread crumbs or crumbled Ritz crackers when making meatballs, meatloaf, etc. Do what floats your boat! The BIG thing is that I cheated on the sauce, and used jarred spaghetti sauce instead. SHHHHH, DON’T TELL ANYONE! Actually, I have made the sauce like the recipe says before, and it’s really good that way too. I just didn’t feel like standing over the stove to make sauce. The kids loved it! Which is always a win when all of them like a recipe!

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Here are some more pics of us doing nothing. πŸ˜‰ I LOVE the picture of Andrew reading to Emma. That sweet little smile. We have Sorry! matches going on. Emma won today, so she is currently the champion. πŸ™‚

Earlier this week David was able to zoom with his teacher and classmates. It was the sweetest thing! I loved his reaction to seeing his friends and his teacher. They are all so sweet!

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We are greatly missing our family and friends! I’m soon going to forget how to have an adult conversation. There is this awkwardness to meeting friends on the street or passing by their house. You want to stop and talk to them, but at the same time you don’t know if you should, or if they even want you to! Am I the only one who is feeling like this? I’m an introvert as it is, and so I struggle under normal circumstances to talk to people. What are ya’ll doing to help with the social awkwardness? Perhaps it’s just me!

Get ready for cuteness overload!! I took this picture of Emma riding Samuel on the back of her tricycle! It’s the heart clincher of the week for me!

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Love,

PK