I’m sure you’ve heard about this blog post by Jen Hatmaker titled “Worst End of School Mom Ever”. I’m so there right now I can’t even believe it. Barely functioning is a good day for me. I don’t even have a picture to put with this post.
Today I have one child going to a swimming party, one child going to a party at the movie theater, one child who was “science wizard” (it was supposed to be turned in last Friday, but will be turned in tomorrow), a child who has their last meeting of cub scouts today, a prescription to pick up at Target, a run to Home Depot to make sure they don’t order the wrong carpet for our house since they lost our information when we picked it out the first time, a church visit to make, and I need to pick my parents up at the airport. Amidst all that I will somehow feed my family something for dinner. Something that is not totally disgusting or completely unhealthy. Last night my husband announced that he is “going Paleo” tomorrow (a diet where you don’t eat any grains of any kind). Oh, good! I thought. This is the last week of school. This is the second busiest week of my life; second only to the week before Christmas. I think I would love to go through all of our pantries and throw stuff out, then go to the store and buy new food so that I can struggle making meals that I don’t really know how to make. Can you PLEASE wait until next week?
If you don’t see a post from me in a while it’s because I’m drowning in a sea of permission slips, teacher gifts, and food for parties. Maybe you could check out Jen’s post in the meantime.
Homemade hamburger buns…mmmm! I have tried many different recipes for these, including brioche buns that you have to mix for 20 minutes. In the end, this is my favorite recipe:
2 Tbsp active dry yeast
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp warm water
1/3 c vegetable oil
1/4 c sugar
1 tsp salt
3 to 31/2 c all-purpose flour
In a small bowl mix water, yeast, and sugar. Let stand for 10 minutes until foamy. Mix with other ingredients in stand mixer and knead on low for 3-5 minutes. Cover with a towel and let rise for approximately one hour or until doubled in size. Punch down dough and shape into 12 balls, adding flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking to your hands. Place 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until golden brown.
This is changed a bit from a recipe a friend shared with me. You can find the original recipe here. I have done it without the one hour rise as well, and they are still very good. I just prefer to let the dough rise a bit before baking. People get really stressed about rise times. What if I have to go pick up my kids from soccer and it ends up rising for an hour and 45 minutes? That’s fine. When you’re making bread, you really don’t need to be that specific with rise times. Things can rise for a lot of extra time without it affecting the dough. Just pay attention to how much yeast and how much sugar are in the recipe – these make things rise faster. If you have to make the dough well ahead of time, you can do that and put it in the refrigerator which will make it rise much slower.
I love making homemade hamburger buns because they’re very easy and inexpensive and they bring your meal to a whole new level.
One of my new year’s resolutions this year was to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator. I’ve had it on my computer for several years, and always wanted to learn how to use it, but it never happened. So this year I wrote down my goal. Then I bought Adobe Classroom in a Book and went through each chapter. It was a great and affordable way to learn the basics of Illustrator. After this I felt very capable and super awesome.
I decided to take an online class from Alma Loveland at Nicole’s classes. It was a really fun class, and Alma was great! She REALLY knows what she’s doing and she’s totally willing to share her big brain with you. It was so nice to have someone to e-mail my many questions to instead of spending endless hours searching the web and youtube.
Unfortunately, I realized that I really need a lot more practice and should probably take a class about how to illustrate so I can learn some basics about perspective, shading, etc… (see my illustration above…yeah, lots of work needed), but that’s okay! The other thing I really loved about the class was being able to see the other student’s work in the student gallery. It was very inspiring to see what I could work toward! Nicole’s classes has a lot of other classes too like photography, photoshop, watercolor painting, even sewing! If you’re trying to learn something new, you should definitely check out Nicole’s classes! (They also have lots of excellent free tutorials)
This is Cousin Alice. She is my dad’s second cousin. She’s 95 years old and lives in San Francisco, a few blocks from Golden Gate Park. What an amazing woman she is! What fun we had visiting her! She decorates her entire house for Halloween, Christmas and Easter. And when I say her entire house, I mean it. She must have at least 15 boxes of decorations for each holiday. There are little curios hiding in every corner and peeking out from every shelf. She puts them all up and takes them all down by herself!
While we were there, Alice told us stories of the home she lives in, which she moved into in 1935 as a new bride and how she and her husband raised their six children there. She told us how the area all around her house used to be sandlots, and she would have to go sweep all the sand off the porch every day. She showed us incredible photographs from an era when men wore hats and people dressed up to go out.
There is something urgent about the stories of a 95 year old woman. The words are thicker. They cling to the air and swirl about the room just a little bit longer than ordinary words, hoping to be caught and preserved before they’re lost forever.
Cousin Alice is an amazing woman! She is so happy and positive! We are already looking forward to visiting her again!
Consider the grid it cord system by Cocoon. It’s the perfect way to keep all those pesky cords and chargers organized. The overlapping strips of elastic make it easy to customize to whatever you happen to be bringing with you. As the person in charge of the GEM (Giant Electronic Mess -a phrase coined by my dad) for our family, I give the grid it a ringing endorsement!
My feet were killing me after two days of slogging around Disney, but it was totally worth it. Josh had his first ride on Space Mountain, and loved it. Now I have a buddy to share my favorite ride with! Then we went to Newport beach. We visited lots of family – the kids’ cousins, my cousins, my sister, my aunt, my grandma. It was a great trip!