Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Slip 'n Slide

One thing I can clearly remember from when I was young was that my dad never let us have a slip and slide because he said they ruined the lawn. Hmmm. Not sure about that. A muddy mess- sure, but a ruined lawn? Hardly. It's a wonder I lived through such a deprived childhood, really. This weekend I made the sacrifice of my own front lawn in the name of summer fun when Smith brought his new and improved fancy slip and slide over. Had it been warmer I think I may have even tried it out (though it seems like a broken bone just waiting to happen). The boys loved it. And you know what? The lawn is perfectly fine. Because how does water ruin a lawn, anyway?

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Anderson has been doing a lot of dancing lately. A lot. He discovered this duck song yesterday and was in heaven.

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Very Best Lemon Bars

Having just picked a ton of lemons and having an incredible summer sweet tooth I made my favorite lemon bars a few days ago. Oh, how I love lemon bars. And I love how incredibly easy they are to make. I did, however, forget that the recipe makes a 9x13 pan until I had already begun and therefore had to consume a mass quantity of them all by myself (seems not everybody shares my affinity for puckery shortbread desserts). Sadly I have the canker sore to prove it. Totally worth it.

Lemon Bars
recipe from Gourmet magazine, 1999
Ingredients for the shortbread
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the lemon topping
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • powdered sugar for sprinkling on top
For the shortbread:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut butter into 1/2 inch pieces and pulse with all other ingredients in a food processor until the mixture forms small lumps. Sprinkle into a 13x9 inch pan and press evenly onto the bottom. Bake in the middle of the oven until golden, about 20 minutes. While baking, prepare the topping.

For the topping:
In a bowl whisk together eggs and sugar until combined well and stir in lemon juice and flour. Pour over hot shortbread base. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. and bake in the middle of the oven until set, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan and cut into squares. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving. Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, July 23, 2012


The average numbers of times I begin a sentence with either "no", "don't" or "stop" on any given day. No joke. I counted. Well, maybe not exactly, but that number sounds about right.
photo by Natalie Moser

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ice Cream Man

I like to think of the ice cream man as a sweet old man wearing a striped shirt and one of those boat-shaped paper hats riding around in a little vintage ice cream truck that plays nursery tunes. But, alas, ours is a middle-aged man who drives an early 1980's hand-painted van that plays Christmas carols (Jingle Bells, to be exact).
Being around the corner from the middle school he cruises up and down the street almost daily September through June, but wouldn't you know we have not so much as heard a note since school let out mid-June? Yesterday was one of the first truly hot days since summer began and as soon as we heard him enter the tract the four of us ran outside to flag him down. We were too late which meant that Anderson and I had to run after him. Literally. We took off down the street faster than I have run in probably 5 years this was for ice cream, after all! and kept going. Around the corner, down the next street, around the next corner and there he was. We flagged him down (Anderson was now riding piggy-back and my legs were about to give out) and Anderson kept waving and yelling "ice cream man, that way! our house is that way! turn! turn!". At this point I was about to pass out from over-exertion but thankfully Anderson wanted down so he could run home as fast as he could to the waiting truck, er van. Phewww. Needless to say we all indulged and made a huge sticky mess while sitting in the welcome heat.
Anderson's first door-to-door ice cream experience was a total success, albeit an adventurous one. It even ended with a wash-down in the sprinklers, just as it should. Oh, and so as not to have to accidentally engage in exercise the next time, I did inform the ice cream man that if he promised to make the trip down our dead-end street that we promised to always indulge. A win-win I would say.
 It was such a tough choice for Anderson, but he decided on this rainbow sno-cone after finding out they were all out of the pink Italian ice he wanted. I'm not so sure he was super thrilled with his decision as he ate half of my popsicle as well. In his defense, it pretty much just tasted like an ice cube. Live and learn.
 Oh, Baby Beck. You are such a ragamuffin. Seriously. So, so messy. And that hair! Poor thing.
 Baby Beck looks a bit like a satiated vampire. Oh my.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I choose to remember this moment from today. And not the over-tired, cranky monster who had pouty fish lips most of the afternoon.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Because Anderson is highly advanced or because he watches too much Caillou he's been asking to go to a museum. Needless to say there are not a ton of museums geared towards three year olds and even fewer that do not charge a fortune for admission so we headed to the Discovery Science Center last week to brush up on our science skills. Well, I brushed up on propulsion and trajectory and the kids mainly just ran around like, well, kids. We didn't stay but an hour and a half, but the kids saw a crocodile and a monkey, jumped on lily pads, played a garbage sorting game and pretended to be mama birds feeding their babies. They had a pretty great time and admission was free! I'm hoping to head back for some more exploring before summer's end and to see the dinosaur exhibit that Anderson has not stopped talking about yet refused to go see while we were there.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Growing tomatoes simply makes me happy. This time of year when everyday I am greeted with new ripe fruit and Anderson and I play a game of who can find a red one first? is my favorite. There is something so satisfying about growing and harvesting fruits and vegetables right in the back yard and, even better, sharing the bounty with good friends.

Friday, July 13, 2012

This I love

It was a pretty rough morning this morning, but yesterday was pretty perfect: tickles, jammies, and good moods. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Father's Day

Hmmm...well, it seems I more than a bit late with this one, but is it really ever too late to celebrate? I say no. So celebrate I will a pretty great guy who just so happens to also be pretty much the best dad ever. As I type this I am reminded of the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry's dad and Izzy Mandelbaum nearly come to blows over which is in fact better: World's Greatest or #1 Dad. And I am fairly certain that most normal people would neither understand nor appreciate this reference, but since my husband is exactly half of all the people who read this blog and he will totally get it, I am mentioning it. Right, honey? But I digress...I guess you really never know the type of father your husband will be until its already a bit too late. The truth is I got really lucky and my kids have one awesome daddy.

Gabe, I love you through and through and I admire you for all that you are to our boys. You are their world and in their eyes you do absolutely no wrong. Ever. You are the easy-going parent, the push-over, and the candy-giver. You are "the nice one". I watch you as you make memories with your boys daily and it I am grateful. I love you. We love you. Happy Father's Day (again).

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July

It was a nice Fourth this year, complete with fireworks, a barbecue, and the parade. We're hoping the kids will be able to stay up past dark next year to enjoy real fireworks, but the few sparklers and twirly flowers we set off in the front yard (finally legal after 20 years!)  in bright daylight seemed to satisfy Anderson all the same.

Ha, ha! The guy from Storage Wars was a celebrity guest!
Anderson was practicing saluting the soldiers which was pretty much the sweetest thing ever.

The Shriners cars are one of my favorites. Anderson's, too.