Really. I promise I won’t make any stupid Ross-like decisions, but my second girlie got baptized this past weekend, and while it was wonderful, I am now physically and emotionally exhausted. Add that to visiting family and the science fair–for TWO kiddos this year–and I’m just plain taking a week off from anything that’s not actually required. I’ll see you on the 25th–in the meantime, wish me luck! (Tomorrow, for example, I get to do the baking part of my third grader’s project with her. We’re varying the amount of baking powder in muffins to see what happens. My hubby’s working with our fifth grader!)
I needed a crockpot meal on Wednesday, since my oldest has dance from 3:50 to 4:50, and pulled this Slow Cooker Pesto Mozzarella Chicken Pasta recipe from one of my Pinterest boards. It was easy to throw together, moist, and flavorful, although my kids mostly gave it a thumbs middle (I think they’re iffy with pesto). I quite enjoyed it, though, so I’m thinking it will happen again. I might add more lemon next time–I put in extra and really couldn’t taste it–but otherwise it works as is. And now, since it’s been an exhausting weekend, I’m going to bed!
I’m not sure imitation is the word exactly, but when I’ve been reading or listening to certain things, they absolutely affect my speaking and writing. When I’m on an Agatha Christie kick I tend to favor “one” as a pronoun; I once wrote an entire talk I couldn’t use because it was the week after General Conference and it sounded like I thought I was an apostle; and tonight, even as I considered what to write about, I realized that rereading “The Lord of the Rings” on the treadmill meant that any review I attempted was going to come out exceedingly, well, Tolkien-y. And while I can’t necessarily consider that a bad thing, it wasn’t going to work for any of the things I was contemplating. Until Sunday, then! (I’ll have finished Return of the King by then.)
Blech. That’s what I have to say. Three kids means three order forms for the same overpriced, unimpressive popcorn and chocolates. (Yes, I have four kids, but only three attending elementary school!) And since I’m a slacker mom, I’m currently filling out those order forms and writing checks, since they’re due, you know, tomorrow. AND since slacker mom = slacker blogger, well–you’ll have to wait until Wednesday for that book review.
I already had enough on the docket this week for it to be slightly daunting, but since I’m now teaching a class in church tomorrow, I’m declaring a book review just too much to manage on what concentration I have left tonight. See y’all Tuesday!
I’ll grant you that calling a sequel competent might come across as damning with faint praise, but I’m apparently too tired to think of a better description. (“More of the same” seemed worse to me.) And really, it’s a good description of The Memory of Lemon. Neely from The Cake Therapist is right about where we left her, working to make her bakery a success and divorce her philandering football player husband; another story from the past shares the spotlight. (I liked that story a bit better than Neely’s this time–mostly because the situation with Luke dragged on a bit long for my taste–but it covered more ground than its predecessor, and that possibly cost it some detail I would have appreciated.) Fans of The Cake Therapist will enjoy The Memory of Lemon, in the same way we enjoy seconds of a good dessert. The question now is whether the ending left enough room for a sequel–and I’m honestly not sure of the answer.
We had dinner at my in-laws’ on Sunday, and since the weather’s been delightfully cool and I’ve been REVELING in the autumn-ness of it, I decided to make a pumpkin dessert. (The decision was aided by the fact that the apple and maple dessert I was eyeing required a trip to the store, and THAT wasn’t happening.) I looked around a bit and decided on these Pumpkin Pie Bars, because I tend to like my pumpkin on the cream cheese-y side but can’t deal with the recipes that call for two 8 oz. packages of it. (Cream cheese is not as cheap as it used to be.) I did leave out the pecans and add more oatmeal, because I love my oldest daughter and I’d like to keep her around, but other than that I made the recipe as is…believe it or not.
I have to say, they were tasty. I want to love pumpkin more than I do, honestly, but these were a nice mix of pumpkin and creaminess, and it’s hard to go wrong with buttery, sugary oatmeal baked on top. I will say that despite the specific baking instructions, I wish I’d left them in a bit longer or turned the oven to broil for a minute or two; the topping wanted to be browned and more crispy on top. (It also, in my opinion, wanted cinnamon.) Overall, though, if you want a dessert that tastes sort of like a pumpkin pie crisp, give these a try!
I was trying to gear up to review tonight’s new dessert, but all I ended up thinking about was how grateful I am for the blessings in my life. I spent the day listening to inspired counsel from my church leaders–surrounded by family. We had lunch at a park–the nature kind, not the playground kind–where I tailed my two-year-old as she walked back and forth on the bridge over a pond while the rest of my kids played with cousins. I cross-stitched a little, I exercised, I read a bit, and I visited with family and friends. I have more incredible family less than a day’s drive away, and I have a car that will get us there. I have amazing friends…and five library cards at my disposal.
How do you adequately give thanks for the people in your life? How can we ever spend enough time being grateful for the everyday things we enjoy? Why do I ever complain?
Now, lest I sound phony, I absolutely will. I’ll gripe a bit about what to have for dinner tomorrow when my number 2 has dance from 4:50-5:50. I grouched this morning because I was trying to hurry to get ready to go and the steady flow of interruptions was especially impressive. I’ll get discouraged at how easily my lower back starts to ache–again–and at how much work it seems to take to keep my house only as messy as it is. I’ll grit my teeth and growl at my middles, who are currently doing the “he’s kicking me/she’s bothering me” thing with each other on a regular basis, with spectacularly frustrating results. My two-year-old will take toys from her brother and yell at me for cruelly trying to, say, feed her breakfast, and my oldest will use her “why do you make me suffer by asking me to clean up after myself” voice, AGAIN. These things are also reality.
At this moment, however, I am bowled over by what I have, and I am grateful–so very grateful–to my Heavenly Father for it all. May we all have such moments in our lives!
I borrowed Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere from my friend Britt a month or so ago because we’ve enjoyed Elise Gravel’s picture books; Olga is one of those highly illustrated not-quite-graphic novels, and I was hoping it would be similar but, well, MORE. Well, it is–and it isn’t.
Like Gravel’s picture books, Olga is quirky, funny, and somewhat oddly illustrated (but in a fun way!); with added length, however, plus an animal-focused plot, comes a significant number of references to pee, poop, and farts. Some of that could hardly be avoided, of course, since dealing with an animal means dealing with its bodily functions. Ultimately, however, it felt like Gravel wasn’t trying as hard to branch out a bit as I wanted her to. I will say that none of the bodily functions references are thrown in quite gratuitously–they all connect to Olga and her pursuit of animal science, so to speak–I just kind of wanted fewer of them. Bottom line? If my kids find it themselves and want to read it, I won’t stop them, but I’m not going to purposefully put it in their books piles when they have so many other books to read.*
*Olga IS fun. No question. So if you weren’t raised by an old-fashioned, incredibly-picky-about-that-sort-of-thing mother, you’re probably fine. Let me know what you think!