Friday, August 22, 2014

7 (Not So) Quick Takes (and Peeps S'mores!)

Welcome to those of you who find yourselves here for the first time. It's so good to see you!

If you follow my parenting blog then you know that things are a bit out of sorts there and have been for most of the summer. While this hard-headed student learns a massive lesson about patience, some of the fun things I've been waiting to share over there are going to be over here. I don't really know why I'm telling you this, and I suspect most of you don't really care, but I feel like I owe a little bit of a explanation for why this place might be a bit more kid-centered in the future than it usually is. 

In the meantime, rest assured (I am) that some very smart and capable folks are working on fixing SimpleKids.net and she'll be back and good as new, maybe even better just as soon as is possible. A few prayers for the good people taking care of the site would be mighty appreciated! (I'm mostly just wringing my hands and breathing into paper bags, ha ha!)

Speaking of drowning my sorrows in sugar (oh, wasn't I? I thought it was implied, ha ha!) and kid-centric things, last month we headed to The Turkey Palace (as we have affectionately named my parents' place in the middle of the woods) for a few days of rest, relaxation, and eating the kind of things I don't normally put on our weekly menu plan.

Including s'mores made with ... get ready for it ... Peeps!




Peeps Minis, to be more specific.  We were sent some for review and we thought it might be fun to kick our usual s'more routine up a notch or two. It ended up being messy, but awesome. The sugar on the Peeps did this kind of brulee type of thing and we had fun experimenting with different candy bar and graham cracker and cookie blends.

Just the kind of messy, sugary treat this mama and her kiddos had been craving! 

S'mores are a good excuse to gather your favorite "peeps" around a fire, don't you agree?


 Some of us in the family are decidedly s'mores purists and want me to point out that no other variation beyond marshmallow, chocolate, and graham cracker is needed.  

My favorite s'more from this little experiment (which I've been told by the purists isn't really a true s'more, ha ha!)  was the chocolate mini peeps and the carmel milky way bars inside of the sugar cone. I wrapped it in foil and put it on the fire for a while and it was ooey, gooey awesome! (no pictures, because I ate the evidence too fast).

What camp do you fall into when it comes to s'mores? Purist or up for anything?

Another adventure we had at my parents involved these cool balsa wood planes.  Inexpensive but quite literally entertaining for hours (right up until they crash landed one too many times and fell apart). SO much fun!

In fact, Max made you a little 1 minute video about his plane:



The kids crashed and wound and wound and crashed and played with the planes for hours (which I couldn't believe), launching them off of grandma and grandpa's porch over and over again.

I was impressed that
1) they had the patience for something that was often futile (lots of winding time, loads of crashing)
2) it held their attention for a good long time - adults and kids alike

If you're ever on the fence about those dollar store balsa wood planes, grab one! You and your kiddos will have an awesome time flying and crashing and giggling together.

Totally fun unplugged play!

Overheard at our house this week:

"Can you make me a tortilla, mommy? And this time not set it on fire?"

Oh, like that conversation never happens at your house.

 

This has been a challenging summer for me, a growing summer. Just when I think this fortieth year has taught me all that it can, there are more lessons for me to learn.

40 is the new brave. It's not just hair color and eating better and walking miles and miles. There are opportunities for bravery everywhere. Every day.

I started the summer with some stones in my pockets, weighing me down. You let me pour that out here and you listened.

Still, the guilt built and built and by Amelia's third birthday at the beginning of this month, I was kind of a wreck.

But you reached out and reminded me of a few things. Things I took to heart. This journey, this tangle of depression and guilt and motherhood and living, it has been a twisty one.

I've talked to God.

I've talked to my husband.

I've talked to myself.

But you've been a part of the conversation, too. I put words out here that I am so afraid to type, and still you stay. You read. You reply. You reach out. And you teach me.

It humbles me that on occasion God uses something I write here and reaches someone exactly when they need to read it. I'll always remember that, because it helps me to stay brave. Thank you.


Speaking of growing and learning ...

I really loved this post from Sarah Bessey and I'm going through our bookshelves.  I am not powerless. You are not powerless. I'm thankful to Sarah for showing us a way we can DO something today.


I've never watched Gilmore Girls. I've never read a George R. R. Martin book. I've never been to Texas (well, okay, once but only for ten minutes while I ran to my next flight). And I've never knit a Featherweight Cardigan.

One of those things is happening now.


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Googling myself

For you, Cari Donaldson, I google image searched myself:




I'm quite pleased with that first photo. I've always been such a classic.

Okay, actually, this is my first photo that is, you know, actually me:


It's from when I first unleashed my green hair on the world.


Also, now I know that there is another Kara Fleck out there and this one works for a radio station. And we sort of even look alike.

And some random tiny photo of a dude that I don't have a clue about.

And my son holding a bowl of asparagus from my dad's garden.

That so much knitting and so many hair colors appear makes both my Inner Nerd and my Inner Rock Star quite happy.

I cannot say the same for the instagram image of my messy bedroom. Yikes.

Want to play along? Go visit Clan Donaldson.