Making apple pie

We are lucky to have an abundance of Grandma’s. First there is my mom and Dan’s mom both of which live within 15 min of our house. We also have G-ma Judy who lives in Seattle. G-ma Judy is actually my sister’s, mother-in-law but she is also my Godmother and one of my mom’s best friends. So it only seems fitting that she would also be one of my kids G-ma’s after all she’s their cousins G-ma so it only makes sense!And yet that was a bit confusing.

 

We had the very fortunate experience of having G-ma Judy teach us how to make an apple pie; crust and all. First she taught my mom how to make a pie (why does my mom not know how to make pie?) which turned out so good they made another pie and this time we all learned her secrets. Ok, I don’t think there really were any secrets besides how easy it is.

and here’s my Dad playing with Ann:

So Thomas decided that apple pie is now his favorite dessert. Especially when he makes it himself!

I guess I didn’t take any pictures of the finished pie, probably because it didn’t last long. Somehow we managed to eat that whole, huge apple pie in one night. Even Daniel was amazed by how fast it was gone, he wanted a piece the next day and couldn’t believe it when he found the empty pan.

Birthday breakfasts

Thomas recently had his 12th b-day. 12 years ago I was upstairs in my bedroom delivering Thomas on my waterbed with 2 midwives, an apprentice and my family all present. For future reference do NOT try to deliver a baby on a waterbed! But I digress this is about birthday breakfasts. We don’t have a lot of family traditions but one that has lasted through the years is crepes for birthday breakfasts. This tradition started in a completely different way; when I was much younger whenever I would spend the night at my best friend Patti’s house she would make me crepes for breakfast. I love crepes! Somehow that turned into me making crepes for the kids on their birthdays. It’s pretty much the only time we make crepes but they have come to expect it year after year.

Actually making the crepe batter is super easy, just dump the ingredients in the blender and voila you’re done. The bigger challenge is having all the fillings and toppings prepared. This year we were without one of the favorite components, chocolate ice cream but we did have all the other favorites. Bananas, blueberries, strawberries, jam, cream cheese, dark chocolate chips, chocolate syrup (with HFCS how did that sneak into the house?) whipped cream and real maple syrup. This breakfast has not been healthafied like so many other things in our house. But they are eating a lot of fruit along with all the sweets so 3 times a year we’ll let it slide.

Engineering students and Halloween

IMG_3262Every year for Trick or Treating we go to my mom’s house and walk around her neighborhood for our candy collection. Since Columbus doesn’t understand that trick or treating is supposed to happen on Halloween we often get to double dip and go one night in Hilliard and another night in our neighborhood in Columbus. This year we had all the regulars players; Dan, Beth, Thomas, my mom & dad; we also had an unexpected visit from Daniel. He came home from OSU with 3 friends so they could stock up on candy to get them through midterms. It was nice seeing him and meeting some of his friends. They seemed like great kids that had no problem putting on a costume and trekking through the neighborhood. A positive difference between Columbus and the rest of the country, people don’t seem to mind when older kids trick or treat as long as they’re polite and wearing a costume. My kids have always trick or treated and no one has ever said anything about them being too old.

So after the allotted 2 hours of candy gathering (another difference from the rest of the country, the time is highly regulated. You trick or treat from 6-8pm and that is all. My kids would die if they knew in other cities you start at dark and stay out as late as you want.) Anyway after gathering more than enough candy we headed back to G-ma & G-pa’s house to examine the loot. Daniel and his friends were sharing 2 bags between the 4 of them. So what are 3 engineering students (and 1 undecided) to do with all that candy? Sort it into very precise piles, of course. Each candy was put in its own group; split up by type, size and color, then divvied up exactly equal. With a debate over who should get each extra piece when it wasn’t equal. It was all done very analytically exactly how you would expect a bunch of engineers to go about it!

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What you may ask did we do with all that candy? IMG_3264

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Well the college kids took theirs back to campus where I’m sure it was devoured. But Bethany & Thomas, after a bit of cajoling on my part and a few days of candy eating, gave up what was left of their candy in exchange for $25 each. With all the hype about the flu and the effect that sugar has on lowering your immune system I just didn’t want them to have anything extra taxing their systems.

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Thomas as a ninja

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Beth as The Backseats man, she is so weird!

A fun day at Coco Keys

Coco Keys Water Park was offering a fantastic deal. Get here between 3 and 5, M-TH and get in for free. Well how can you resist that? We couldn’t! So we got our free tickets on line with 2 extras so we could bring our neighbors Karen and Victoria (because it’s always more fun when you have a friend along.) And here we are. I played in the water with the kids for awhile then I grabbed my laptop and headed to a private cabana (you’re supposed to rent them but the very nice attendant told me I could use it so I could plug in my computer) to catch up on blogs. I’ve had several ideas floating around in my head but no time to sit and write them. The offer goes through next week. If you pair it with a trip to The Works Museum in Newark you would have a very full and very fun day!

As for the water park it’s not as big as some that I’ve seen advertised. While it’s open until 9pm I think the kids will grow bored of it long before that. There are 3 large slides that don’t open until 5pm, a smallish lazy river, a family hot tub that is not too hot, an adult hot tub, a small challenge course (well 4 floaty things that you have to walk across.) a play area for wee little ones, and a larger play space with the ever popular large bucket that dumps water every 15 minutes or so. There is also a pool area with basketball hoops. All the regular stuff you see at water park but on a smaller scale. It was definitely worth the drive for free tickets but I think it may be geared towards a younger crowd.

There is also a pizza hut express that we planned on eating dinner at (since you can’t bring your own food) $18 for a med cheese pizza may be where they make back their money. A better option would be to bring some food for the car eat before you go in and then eat when you leave. We didn’t think that far ahead but instead of the very overpriced pizza we stopped for dinner on the way home.

These next 2 pics were taken underwater with my awesome waterproof camera.
Our neighbor Victoria, this is my favorite picture of the day!
I loved how the water park looked when the sun went down. It had a much more peaceful feel, even with the music and many, very loud children.