Last Christmas Ida got a pink cloth bunny house from my sister. Inside is filled with a family of bunnies, cloth living room furniture, blankets, food, beds, tables, bathtub; well, basically everything except the kitchen sink. Ida adores it and Emerson is more than happy to play with her. He LOVES playing anything with anyone. The boy just loves to play.
Emerson has had Jubjub the frog since he was just a baby and it continues to be one of his favorite imaginative toys he loves to poke, throw, smash, hide, etc. Thank goodness it is made of cloth and can be washed and battered without fear of being broken.
Jubjub needed a house, so today we happily glued and glued and glued until we constructed a domicile with completely functioning windows, door, and chimney suitable to Emerson's standard of what Jubjub would like. "And it needs the number 4.0.2. on the front," says he.
I love playing in the leaves with the kids. The wet dirt mixed with the sweet smell of yellow leaves takes me back to being a kid playing under the big oak tree across the street with my sisters and neighbors. Or meticulously picking up walnuts from the back yard whilst being extremely careful not to get pegged by a sticky missile.
Upon deciding who would be buried in the leaves, mom lost (but won because I loved it). Emerson is convinced the grandfather of all bees is hiding in the leaves waiting to attack. He was stung a few months ago and can spot the yellow and black striped specks buzzing through the sky like my sister can spot a JCrew shirt hiding in a pile of clothes at Goodwill. Ida wanted to use the beach shovel so bad with leaves and started burying my feet before I could sit down.
Ruffles are huge this Fall and can be worn anywhere: during nap time, for Saturday morning walks, while watching cartoons, to the pumpkin patch, or while raking leaves. I couldn't be happier and neither could Ida. She has a superb sense of style.
Here are some goodies I found for your ruffly enjoyment.
Before coming home from the pumpkin patch, Daddy let each of us pick one treat. Emerson chose gummy tarantulas, Ida and Daddy are one in heart and die for doughnuts, and I chose a cute little handled bag full of Northern Spy and Ida Red apples. I am very partial to Ida Reds for pie making. They are an extremely tasty, gorgeous apple that I believe makes the best pies. The name Ida makes the best name for a daughter, as well, but I will share the story of how little Ida got her name later.
My friend, Rachel, asked me to share my "secret" apple pie recipe that has been passed down from my grandma to my mom and then to me. It really isn't a secret. It is yummy and the trick is lard. Don't wrinkle your nose. Be a proud lard user (it can be found either in the meat department or the baking department of your grocery store) and go make pie!
2 cups all-purpose flour ( I use unbleached flour)
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp lard ( Yes, I said lard. I never use Crisco)
4 to 5 Tbsp cold water
Mix flour and salt in medium bowl. Cut in lard, using pastry blender until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost leaves side of bowl (1 or 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).
Gather pastry into a ball. Divide into two even balls. One at a time, shape into a flattened round on lightly floured surface. If the pastry dough seems too soft or warm you can wrap it and stick it in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes if needed.
Roll pastry on lightly floured surface into a circle 2 inches larger than upside-down pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths and place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side. Don't stretch the pastry.
Repeat with the second ball of pastry. This round will be the top crust of the pie.
1/3 to 2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
dash of salt
8 cups thinly sliced peeled apples( I like Ida Red's or Mackintosh)
2 Tablespoons butter
Mix all the ingredients EXCEPT BUTTER in a large bowl. Turn into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces and sprinkle over apple filling. Cover with the top pastry. Seal the edges together. I usually crimp? it. Cut some slits in top pastry so the steam can vent. Cover edges with 2-to-3inch strips of aluminum foil to prevent burning.
Bake 40-50 minutes at 425 degrees . Remove the foil the last 15 minutes of baking. MAKE SURE juice is bubbling through the slits of crust before you take it out.
Please serve with a huge gob of ice cream and ENJOY!
Our afternoon stroll turned into a dandy porch stalking episode and I apologize to any innocent resident around town who may have feared that some crazy lady with a camera and two kids may have stared at their porch for way too long. I can't help it. I have a problem. I love porches.
This is our front porch. It is lacking in size and desperately needs some flowers, peonies or mums, but has such potential, no?
Here are some porches with a bundle of character. I found ALL of these awesome porches on two streets! This town is crawling with sassiness and I LOVE IT! I love where I live.
SOLD! May I please sit on your porch all evening?
Does anyone else like porches, or am I just crazy? Please answer first part of question only!
Five years ago Josh and I decided to move from our home in Fredericksburg, Texas back to live by our family. Though we had only lived there for one year, it was a VERY hard decision. We loved Texas and Fredericksburg and still do, and after moving back to where we grew up we searched every corner of our state looking for a "Fredericksburg" closer to home. After finding nothing we gave up and just decided to enjoy life where we are. It has been great and we have come to love where we live, a lot.
Now the reason for the long introduction. Last week Josh took a few days off work so we could go on our first family vacation. It wasn't huge, no plane rides, warm weather, foreign languages, or leaving the state. Instead, we hopped in the car and drove to Frankenmuth. We had never been and it was awesome. This little town has SO much to offer. And the best part for Josh and I? It is EXACTLY like Fredericksburg. Warm feelings gushed out the car windows the minute we drove into town. It was awesome. We finally found Fredericksburg closer to home. We have no plans on moving there. We are just so happy to know of a place where German sausage and fudge rule the town.
Hotel life was fun with the kids. Each parent bunked with a child. Josh won. Emerson was out about 15 minutes after we crawled into bed to watch a movie. Ida was a beast and wouldn't let herself or me fall asleep. I don't know if it was because she was so consumed with the idea of sharing a bed with mommy or because she thought it was hilarious to tickle my nose with her blanket each time I fell asleep. She finally just gave up......late.
Jumping on the bed was THE BEST!
Up and down the elevator......more than a few times. Oh, our room was on the first floor.
Visit to Bronners Christmas store.
The hobos were impressed and didn't break a thing. Ida looks a little crazier than I thought.
Swimming was a huGE, HUGE, favorite. Mommy liked it because pools are pretty sterile.
On the way home we passed a nasty land fill. Oh, it was SO hideous. The kids named it stinky mountain and laid the rule that one must sniff the stink one time before covering ones nose. We all followed that dumb rule. P.U.
Good vacation. It left us exhausted and looking like this when we got home.