Saturday, August 29, 2015

Quick Takes #189 Summer Recap


This is in a sense our last full week of summer what with school and September starting next week for us. So a few thoughts.
  1. Swimming was the great fun surprise of the summer ~ the kids all loved their swim lessons and made wonderful progress. This will go down as the summer that both the older two learned to put their faces in the water. Lisbeth is now swimming without any floatation aids and Liam very nearly is. 
  2. "Summer work" as I called it went as well as could be expected and even better than I had anticipated. Liam had fun with his workbooks and only resisted actually writing letters and numbers a bit. Lisbeth did all her summer reading with only a bit of complaining and her book reports with none at all.  The quiet of the older ones working also allowed for Caitie's to nap more times than not.
  3. I was able to keep reading which I really enjoy and hopefully sets a good example for the kids. I mixed a few ought to's with some fun want to's striking a great balance. Charlie and I were able to read a couple of books together and I honestly can't remember when that last happened.
  4. This summer has also seen the end of the high chair according to Caitlin. While she happily went back to sleeping in her crib after vacation she is much less happy to sit in the high chair, or rather much more interested in sitting at the little blue table her sibs eat at. Which I admit is very cute if lacking the advantage of keeping her buckled until I can wipe hands & face.
  5. A quick reviews of the different camps the kids attended finds Liam liking Tot Lot and his week at the gymnastic camp; Lisbeth was less impressed with Kid Lot and her week at gymnastics camp. She did however really enjoy the enrichment week at her school.
  6. The staycation never came together so unfortunately the number of unpacked boxes in our office/guest room was only reduced by a few. I did manage to get some painting done in Liam's room. Lisbeth largely learned how to tie her shoes but teaching Caitlin to use the potty got deferred to the fall.  We managed to grow a lot of mint and grape tomatoes and a nice bunch of basil. 
  7. And now onward: what with the start of three school years, Liam's birthday and a Papal Visit to our fair city ~ September is likely to be quite the fun, crazy ride!!
And for more of this week's Quick Takes please head over to Kelly's


Friday, August 21, 2015

Quick Takes #188 Vacation Days


Sharing 7 things I don't want to forget about our vacation this year.
  1. Dr Daddy was able to leave a bit early on Friday and so our plan to split the trip over two days actually came to be. The kids seem to appreciate the shorter drives and it allowed us to spend the afternoon with my aunt and uncle in New Hampshire and still make it to Maine by Saturday evening.  The kids had great fun playing in their yard and pool and the grown-ups really enjoyed catching up after not seeing each other in a few years ~ as in this was their first time meeting Caitlin.
  2. We discovered when we got to G-ma's that Caitlin was not going to fit in the Pack&Play up there and so with crossed fingers and a quiet prayer to her guardian angel we tucked her in with Liam in a queen size bed which while lovely is also quite high up.  She did great and tugged at my heart strings night after night as she went to bed with her sister and brother in a Big Kid bed!!
  3. As hoped the big kids had a blast swimming and performed amazing feats of swimming underwater, doing flips, and in Liam case by the end of the week taking giant leaps off the edge into the water.
  4. As various family members scattered to different activities Lisbeth and I had the change to go miniature golfing. Always so much fun to get one-on-one time with one of them and be able to really focus and listen to their ideas. 
  5. The ocean always soothes my soul and brings me back to myself and this year was no different. It was also during our time at the ocean I was able to quiet the noise and really just be as I watched the kids. Liam in particular as he laughed and raced in and out of the waves seemed to turn 5 (actually in a couple weeks) right before my eyes.
  6. The food was delish; Charlie outdid himself and cooked brunch most mornings and many a morning I was able to sit out on the screened porch with my mother & sister-in-law with our tea or coffees, talk and watch the hummingbirds. At our favorite ice cream place the flavors of the year according to the kids were Dino Crunch and Strawberry Lemonade.  The kids also really enjoyed the night we made s'mores and I will cherish the night I got to indulge on a yummy lobster while I watched the kids go to town with clam strips.
  7. And now the photo dump :)






Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

As Traditions Evolve

Hello again ~ we are back from a wonderful vacation week in Maine with family,  of which I will tell you more later, the end of which involved sitting through many a long traffic jam in Connecticut. Given the slowness of progress and the diminishing of patience as the hour grows later and they grow more tired starting at Waterbury we were treating to many (MANY) questions about how close to New York we were? ~ and why weren't we in New York yet?

Because you see as of about 6 months ago whenever we travel into New York we play this song:



Which got me thinking about traditions and what of these days will my kids carry with them and reflect on in days to come.

Will it be the song we always play to mark a certain point in the trip or the favorite ice cream place we always go to. Will it be gathering kindling for the s'more night or picking blackberries on Blackberry Lane.

For me growing-up traveling north always meant stopping for an ice cream cone somewhere in Connecticut, playing Battleship with my sisters in the car and Crazy 8 at the cabin. Going to Galilee Beach and eating clam cakes after playing in the water. Mirror Lake, the Swift river and loving our rides along the Kancamagus Highway.

What memories or places say summer vacation to you?

Friday, August 7, 2015

Quick Takes #187 of the random linkish kind



  1. Happy August! So far that has meant getting the car inspected and big tuition payments; looking forward to the other thing it means ~ our trip to Maine tops the list!
  2. I've decided to extending my offer of modeling for you lovely reader my romper/jumpsuit from days of yesteryear if my Facebook page reaches 100 post for another month. And if you haven't yet had the chance head over to Rosie's for her fun-filled romper post.
  3. Congratulations to Hallie and Anna!! New Babies and life renews itself!!
  4. Caprese salad; we are growing tomatoes and basil this year ~ maybe by next year I will know how to make mozzarella cheese and it will be completely homemade.
  5. The local press on the upcoming Papal Visit has been all over the map but for sharing useful information in a humous way this post gets my vote for the week.
  6. Baby Book Moment: As of this week when Caitie jumps ~ her feet actually leave the ground!
  7. Happy Weekend!
Now please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WWRW August 5th



A Town like Alice  by Nevil Shute; I read this as part of the MMD challenge for the category 'a book my mom love' only to find out later that she loves the movie but can't remember if she has ever read the book. Well I have now and really enjoyed it. It's actually three books in one.
A young Englishwoman receives an inheritance and tells the story of her experiences in WWII in Malaya where she was a POW of the Japanese with a group of women and children who trekked from one camp to another and another.  She decides to use part of her inheritance to thank the village women who gave her group shelter when they were left stranded after their last guard died.
She reminisces about another POW, an Australian who is driving a truck, who helped her group with stolen food, soap, and medicine. Their deepening relationship is built on small telling details that grab your heart.
    Sgt Joe Harmon is the kind of hero you'll love and remember for the rest of your life.
After her stay with the Malayan women, Jean decides to visit the outback town where Joe had lived; small and rough, with nothing to offer its young people, nothing at all like Alice Springs, a thriving boomtown. Her story here would be a completely satisfying romance novel by itself.  All of those is told from the perspective of an elderly lawyer back in England who serves as the major trustee to the trust set-up surrounding her inheritance.

Historical aside: This is a work of fiction but based on the actual events that took place on Sumatra during WWII.



Sorcery and Cecelia by Patricia Wrede and Caroline Stevemer; I received this book for my birthday and I have already hit up the giver to see if she had the sequel (which she did and I'm happily taking on vacation).  This is a delightful regency mystery told in a series of letters exchanged between two cousins one attending the Season in London and one back at home with just a bit of magic and wizardary thrown in. Sweet, funny, well paced with just the right about of suspense and trepidation thrown in.

Currently reading Fr James Martin's Between Heaven and Mirth, more on which I will say next time.

Now please head over to Jessica's for more WWRW.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Slow cooker link-up

Linking up with Dwija and sharing some of our favorite crockable meals:

Firstly our take on Salsa Chicken

2 pounds of skinless/boneless chicken breast
1 cup salsa
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pkg taco seasoning
small can corn
1/2 can black beans

Place chicken in crockpot
add beans and corn
add taco seasoning
mix salsa and soup and pour over chicken mixture
cover and cook for 6 hours; add 1 cup of sour cream for the last hour if
you prefer a creamy result.

We usually serve over rice but I imagine could be a stand alone dish.


Fruited Chicken and Barley
from Cooking Light: 5 Ingredient  15 minute Cookbook

1 1/4 cups pearl barley, uncooked
6 cups water
2 pounds skinned chicken thighs
1 lg onion, coarsely chopped
1 (8oz ) package dried mixed fruit
1 tbs salt-free Caribbean spice rub
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a 4 quart slow cooker; stir well
Cover and cook on high setting 4 hrs or until chicken is tender
Or, cover and cook on high setting 1 hr; reduce to low setting and cook 7 hrs

Neither my husband nor I like spicy food so I substituted nutmeg and poultry seasoning in place of the Caribbean spice rub.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Quick Takes #186: Swimming fun, NFP, and lots of mint!


  1. Life recently was super hot and then it wasn't or more accurately the humidity took a dive!! What a relief; cue many an afternoon of backyard water play in the paddling pool, water table and slip&slide. This has also allowed for a bit more reading time for me! 
  2. Our local Y divides swimming lessons into two sessions and we have just started the second. I'm going to need to keep my expectations under control cause they all did great during their first 6 lessons. Lisbeth now routinely puts her face in the water and has even jumped off the diving blocks both things she absolutely refused to do at the beginning of June. Liam has gone from being afraid to swim without anyone holding him to reveling in it; I'm seriously considering 'forgetting' his vest for our Maine trip and seeing how he does with just arm floats. Lastly I'm having such fun splashing around with Caitie; she is not at all afraid of the water and really enjoys kicking and paddling around.
  3. Rosie of A blog for my mom is on a mission to reach the milestone of 500 'likes' for her Facebook page without FB help. In return for which she will model many a romper for us. So if you are on FB and are not already enjoying her wonderful writing and her kids antics ~ please consider.
  4. And on a much smaller scale if I get my little ole page to 100 likes will model a jumpsuit of mine from back in the day aka 20 years ago that has survived every closet purge, and be depicted for posterity.
  5. NFP week ~ I never know what to write ~ luckily these lovely ladies do; please pay a visit to Kathryn's and Haley's for this and this.
  6. Free space to rest after your click trip :)
  7. Last year as a housewarming gift we were given a mint plant which I planted and now we have a LOT of mint ~ any suggestions what to do with it?
Please head over to Kelly's for more 7QT's!