Wednesday, March 22, 2017

52 List Fail

Friends, I had great plans for the 52 list project.  I was so excited to share a list every week.  I thought it would kickstart me into blogging again.  But alas, List 3 had some personal things on it I didn't want to share, and then. . . the wheels fell off.  So I guess I'm not sharing every list.  Sorry.

But let me make a list of things we've been up to the past few months.
  • We've greatly improved our scripture study as a family.  It might not happen every night, but it happens most nights.  And even though it's borderline painful to get Ella through her 5 verses every night (the scriptures are hard for a new reader, who also happens to have ants in her pants and loses her place every 3 words), I still feel the spirit as we read and share gospel truths.  
  • Julia had her first orchestra concert. My little heart burst as I glimpsed into the orchestra concerts of the future.  I can't wait for the next one.
  • I've been walking and walking.  On rainy days, I go to the mall.  On cold days, I wear my balaclava.   But I go on a walk just about every day.  Got to get to that 500 mile mark.  I'm currently at 140, so I think I've made a solid start.
  • I've also had weekly organ practice, and I'm slowly but surely making my way through all the hymns.  I even conquered the beast that is For the Strength of the Hills.  I barely made it out alive.
  • The girls sold girl scout cookies.  I only cursed the girl scout program a handful of times.
  • We finally went to the Lego Discovery Center of Chicago!  I wish we'd gone when the girls were a little younger.  But they still had a wonderful time looking at the Star Wars legos, going on the 2 little rides, watching the 4-D movie, and playing in the playcenter.  Then we all coveted the legos in the gift shop.  
  • Going along with the lego theme, the girls have been participating in all the library lego programs, and getting pretty creative with their builds.  I love that they can play with the buckets and buckets of legos that the library owns, and then the library cleans them up and stores them. 
  • Julia had her 3rd and 4th grade music concert.  They sang songs from different musicals.  These songs have been sung around our house for MONTHS, and I was glad to finally have the concert over.  Sadly, Ella is still singing them.  However, I did enjoy signing along in my head at the concert, so there is that. 
  • The girls did a few After School Enrichment programs, and I volunteered at a couple of them.  One of them was break dancing.  I tried a few of the moves myself.  My entire body hurt for the next 3 days.  I think 35 is a little old to start learning to break dance. 
  • We celebrated Valentine's Day!  Well, actually, Clark was out of town for Valentine's Day, and we still haven't celebrated it together.  But the girls and I enjoyed the day together.  It wasn't horrible.
  • We went to the Field Museum!  Along with the rest of the city of Chicago!  It was a free-to-Illinois-residents day, on a Saturday, and the weather was beautiful.  So everyone went to the museum!  We were exhausted by the end of the day, but it was fun to see Sue, the other dinos, the gems, and various other things.  Good times.
  • We had glorious weather in February!  We even went to the park (in short sleeves!) one day.  And we saw someone kayaking in our little pond.  That was unexpected.
  • WE WENT TO DISNEYLAND!  That deserves it's own post, but the short take away is: it was amazing.  Memories were made.

Pi(e) Day 2017

There is one glorious day each year wherein I make a plethora of pies, and then we eat them.  And we make passing mentions of pi.  But mostly, we eat pie. 

3.14 is one of my favorite holidays, and I take it pretty seriously.  This year we had our customary pie party, inviting some friends over to share in the flaky goodness.  I have a few tried and true pies that I make every year, but this year I tested some new recipes, and I'm pleased to say they were successes!  Here's the lineup:


This is my very favorite pie, and I make sure to freeze some of my Georgia peaches that I buy every summer just for this occasion.  It did not disappoint.  New addition: the star in the middle.  Shan got fancy with the cookie cutters.

Allen's Favorite Cherry

Allen is my dad.  This was his favorite cherry pie when he was a kid.  It was a family favorite when I was a kid.  And now it's Julia's favorite as well.  A graham cracker crust with a whipped cream/cream cheese base and cherry pie filling on top.  It always disappears quickly.  Bonus: Julia had to share her "favorite thing" at Activity Days the day after Pie Day, and she chose this pie.  We cut a big slice out for her to take to the gift exchange. 

Chocolate Pudding

This is the simplest of simple: graham cracker crust, chocolate pudding from a box.  Bam.  In fact, Ella made this pie.  She had requested a chocolate pie, and I often make a chocolate custard one, but on further probing we discovered that she would really be just as happy with chocolate pudding, and that saves me a lot of work so. . . we went with a box of jello pudding.  She loved it.  Especially when I let her have a piece for breakfast the next day.

Blueberry Sour Cream

I had been looking for a blueberry pie that I could use frozen blueberries in (since March is not exactly blueberry season), and this recipe was the winner.  It turned out pretty great.  Almost like a blueberry cheesecake.  I'll definitely be putting this recipe in my collection.

Hoosier Sugar Cream

This was the surprise hit of the night.  I had never heard of a sugar cream pie before, but I was really intrigued.  Especially when I read the recipe: flour, sugar, and salt; add cream and vanilla; bake.  What is this crazy magic??  How does this runny mixture firm up to become a creamy, smooth pie??  I don't know, but it was magic indeed.  I compare the taste to snickerdoodle cookie dough.  Very yummy.  Next time I might try it with nutmeg on top instead of cinnamon.  We have lived in a state bordering Indiana for 6 years, so it's like an almost-local delicacy.  Look at me, embracing the midwest!

 Our friends added to the spread, to make Pi(e) Day truly wonderful this year. 
The night ended with happy, full bellies, and happy, full hearts.  Pie and friendship is truly the best combination.