July 21, 2014

A tiny praying mantis

 We made friends with a tiny praying mantis in our backyard!
 We named him Fred.
video
Hope you're having a wonderful summer!

June 30, 2014

Nerd glasses

New glasses for all?!!!  Nerd glasses are "in." 
 We painted people on rocks, inspired by this photo.  Below are ours, Olivia did the French guy with a mustache...and Hannah the pretty woman on the far right:
I made vegan tapioca a few times this week.  This time I used almond milk, following this recipe, but making a triple batch.  Honestly, I prefer using coconut cream (in a can) instead of almond milk, as it's creamier and tastes great!
Our gladiolas are wonderful this year!  And our garden is growing tomatoes, peas, lettuce, squash, carrots, beets, onions...are you growing vegetables or fruit?

June 27, 2014

Getting her ears pierced!!!

Hannah's officially a teenager.  For her 13th birthday, she got her ears pierced! 
Before...and after!  She choose 14k gold 5mm cubic zirconium studs.  After, she said "I know it sounds silly, but I really feel like a princess!"  
 Hannah with Peepaw and Grammie ♥

June 25, 2014

Dolmas

We have 4 grape plants that have grown like crazy this past year.  The grapes are small and green right now, but the leaves are ready for picking.  I picked just 25 and blanched them, following the directions here:  http://greekfood.about.com/od/ingredientpreptechniques/a/abelofylla.htm
Dolmas is what we call stuffed grape leaves.  Next time I'll try to pick the leaves earlier in June, as they were a bit tough and chewy.  Or maybe I just needed to blanch them more than 3 minutes in boiling water?  They were still very good! 

Olivia ate 5 of them while rolling them up!!!  Here's the basic recipe we followed:  http://greatist.com/health/recipe-stuffed-grape-leaves 
If you want to try to make them, and don't have a grape vine, you can buy canned grape leaves.  I'd like to try to make them stuffed with meat and rice sometime in the future.

June 19, 2014

Swim team

 On your mark, get set, go!!!  Our swim team is called the piranhas.
 
 Hannah on the far right of the 3 swimmers who are starting 100 meters of back stroke.  It's not her favorite, but...
 That's one of my favorite pictures I took at last night's swim meet, all the blue:

June 11, 2014

Bourbon banana cake

This was delish.  We've had a few cool typical spring days, with rain this week...and so I was baking!
  I found a  recipe for bourbon banana cake in a book I picked up at the library called One Bowl Baking.
We visited the Arab Orthodox church, for their festival.  I had been there about 6 years ago.  That was where my littlest sister was married. 
And tonight is the first swim meet of the season!  My girls are swimming freestyle and breast stroke.  They are good at butterfly and backstroke, but slow.

June 9, 2014

Feels like summer

Olivia is now 11...we celebrated her birthday twice.  I made a cake with a layer of raspberry jam in the middle, in the shape of a dog bone (she's a dog lover, and that's what she requested) on her birthday, which was the feast of Ascension, so we brought that to church to share.  AND 36 dog cupcakes (we used Trader Joe's super-scrumptious chocolate-covered sea salt caramels for the nose, they turned out really cute!) for the party with friends. 
It really feels like summer, although we still have a bit more of spring left. We went to Graeter's to enjoy some ice cream, thanks to Uncle John, Aunt Susanna and kids who gave Olivia a gift card there for her birthday!
 My niece Natalia and friend Warren taking turns blowing bubbles.
We walked across the Purple People bridge on Friday with our homeschool friends.
It connects Kentucky to Ohio.  Here the kids are climbing the Serpentine Wall which borders the Ohio River:
Early Saturday, we went to the Parkinson's Steady Strides 5k.  It was a hot morning!
Saturday we got to go to King's Island!  It had been about 20 years for my husband and I...but the first time for our girls to go there.  Rob's company picnic was there, they paid for parking ($15), lunch and admission for all of us.  We all went up the Eiffel tower to the look-out and then on the Beast (which has been open since 1979)! 
Then we cooled off in Breaker's Bay, which makes huge 6' waves, like the ocean!  Finally, we went home, changed and went to Vigil for Pentecost.