Summer round up

wpid-20140724_124951.jpgHalfway through summer. I feel I’ve struck a good balance between Tiger Mother and Lazy Mom. The lists are still working amazingly well with Mr. Eleven and Miss Nine. Five out of seven days their beds are made, they’ve done a chore, worked on some math review, practiced their instruments. Their rooms are pretty clean. We’ve clocked two or three hours a week at the library, just hanging out. Miss Nine has become good friends with a girl down the street, so most days she has someone to play with.

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The past two weeks, the boys were in enrichment classes every morning. The ride home after dropping them off was peaceful. Miss Nine is not a child who needs to chatter constantly (unlike her brothers). We’d go home, do our chores, maybe run an errand. A couple weeks ago, she baked this cake for our anniversary, adding chopped up Snickers bars between the layers (half the recipe, baked in two 9-inch cake pans, made enough dessert for three nights. Next time, though, I wouldn’t halve the ganache.)

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We discovered that she doesn’t have the strength yet to use the pastry bag, but she scratched the letters in the frosting with a toothpick, and I traced them with the icing.

This week Miss Nine is at Farm Camp, riding horses and feeding the animals, while the boys are home. Little Six spends his days either playing with Legos, hooking bracelets on his Rainbow Loom, or careening down the sidewalk on his bike, feet in the air. From training wheels to trick rider in 10 short days. When he gets bored with those, he plays the piano. The same two songs, for nearly an hour. Mr. Eleven is playing Minecraft, of course.

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Since I haven’t taken on any big projects, I’ve had time to do a few more little ones. I sorted and filed the ragged pile of recipes that had collected in my recipe binder. I washed the cushions on the kitchen barstools. Next week I might start in on the family room slipcovers. Over the weekend, the Hub started cleaning out the fridge, and I finished with the freezer.

I’ve even had the urge to bake a little. Our favorite banana bread, Dutch Baby pancakes for breakfast (soooo much easier than flipping several dozen individual pancakes), a quiche for tonight’s dinner.

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I made a batch of sesame noodles for dinner the other night. They make the perfect cold summer lunch. I also tried this cold Avocado Cucumber Soup for the first time–definitely a keeper. And as soon as I get my hands on some more blueberries, I’ll be baking these Blueberry Crumb Bars again, too. The best of summer squished into a buttery baked good. What more do you want?

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