Thursday, May 31, 2018

Key Lime Pie

This key lime pie tastes like summer. It's adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe, so you know it's good. For this recipe, I chose a whipped cream topping over meringue, because I prefer the creamier texture and the additional sweet flavor. The steps are really simple; I think the hardest part is squeezing and zesting the limes.

1  1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (12 rectangular sheets of graham crackers)
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons sugar

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 Tablespoon grated lime zest

Whipped cream topping:
1  1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons sugar


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 3 T of sugar. Mix well, and press into a 9-inch pie plate.

Bake until light brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees. 

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk condensed milk, egg yolks, lime juice, and lime zest. Pour into the crust, and bake for 15-17 minutes. The center should be set, but still quiver when shook.

Let the pie cool.

Combine heavy cream and sugar with a whisk attachment in the mixer on medium speed until billowing soft peaks form. Spread over the top of the pie.

Garnish with lime zest and lime slices. Keep in the fridge.

You will love it!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Free indeed

May 18... how? The hours of the day really fly by with three little ones. I certainly am never bored! Things are fairly simple around here, but I still find myself longing to make them even simpler. I think the goal is to get the chores and the work done more quickly and efficiently so that I can spend more time actually playing with the boys, and also focusing on my own physical and spiritual health. Motherhood is such a crazy balancing act!

Here's what we've been up to this week:

I keep thinking that we're going to have a rainy day or a cold day, and somehow, it's still been warm and sunny! I've pulled all of the summer clothes out of the closets, and we are soaking up the time outside.

These two cousins are starting to play together more often, and I think they're going to be best friends!

This is Bricks, our dog nephew. He's huge and a major guard dog, but he's warming up to me :)

We had a school week about Bears. I LOVED that "Winnie" book - the true story of Winnie the Pooh. It made me shed some tears! "A Bear's Life" has beautiful photography. Also, the Mother Bruce books are always a fun favorite.

On Saturday mornings, when my oldest and youngest are up by 7, I'm grateful for this sweet boy who loves to sleep.

Steve's parents were able to visit from PA last weekend, and we had the best time! They got to watch Nolan's soccer game, they came to see our new church, and we had a big taco lunch for Mother's Day.

I found August with the watering can. He knows what to do!

I'm so grateful for these three sweet faces, for their homemade cards, and their generous kisses. It was a special Mother's Day.

The boys are SO excited for Incredibles 2 to come out next month. They have money saved in their paper wallets for tickets!

Last week, I mentioned we have a Mama Robin outside our front door. I got up on a chair to take photos of these gorgeous blue eggs. The babies will be here any day now!

We collected a bunch of bird books from the library. The "Just Ducks" book is really cute, "My Book of Birds" has beautiful illustrations and is very informative, and my favorite is "Have You Heard the Nesting Bird?" I'll definitely be buying the last two.

Our world right now is centered around finding a house. We have been inside nine houses, but we haven't found the right fit yet. A few of them we didn't realize were foreclosed. The photos online made them seem decent, but when we walked in, we were shocked at how rough they were. Think: mold, animal mess, birds living in the siding, no floors. We are hoping that this weekend, our new house will come on the market!

This little trooper had his blood drawn and got an MMR shot in one morning. I'm glad those are over now!

One afternoon this week, I walked around our house to the side that we don't usually go on, and I found these amazing irises. I've never seen multi-colored irises before!

Yesterday, Nolan drew a family portrait of us. My favorite part is my hair ;)

We picked forget-me-nots and some other blooms growing in our backyard. Whoever lived in this house before really loved his/her flowers!

When raspberries are cheaper than blueberries (they've been $.99 a container at Target), I make raspberry muffins :)

I've been thinking about this verse the past couple of days. "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free." Galatians 5:1

We can be free from slavery to sin and guilt, and free from that feeling of not being good enough. I am the queen of beating myself up over a mistake, vowing to never do it again, and then messing up the next day. I am working on letting go of that guilt, accepting freedom and grace, while still aiming to be kinder, more patient, and more self-controlled. Only with Him, only with constant prayer, can I change.

This verse popped up in my One-Year Bible reading a couple nights ago, 
Jesus said "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
John 8:36

 Off to the library and to pick up a Friday night pizza!


Friday, May 11, 2018

May days

It seems we've fast-forwarded straight from winter to summer! We haven't turned on our air conditioning yet, but today might be the day with a high of 87! My in-laws are coming for a visit, so we are looking forward to a big family weekend. Here's a little recap of our week.

Last Friday, we went to Steve's school to watch some college baseball, and August made fast friends with this 10-week-old golden puppy.

Right when we got to the field there was a rain delay, but twenty minutes later, it was bright and sunny again. The boys had fun, though they did get bored, so we didn't stay and watch the entire game.

Those little calves! :)

Last Saturday, we had Nolan's soccer game, and then we went over to their cousins' house for pizza. Ephraim could have played in this green sand all day!

Sixteen months now, and he wants to be so independent!

Cute little overalls (thanks Wendy + Carol!)

I was dreaming of summery desserts, so I made my first key lime pie. It was delicious and hit the spot!

Our church has a swingset in the back, so we have a new favorite spot to play.

Pure joy, this one!

One morning this week, we woke up to this note. I'm not sure what sparked his desire to go to Stockholm, but it's so cute! I can't wait for my souvenir magnet.

The Eastern Redbuds are so beautiful right now! I love seeing purple on our drives through town.

Steve is done teaching for several weeks until summer school begins in July! We are so happy to have him home, even though he always has some kind of scholaring to do.

We noticed Mama Robin has built a nest on our neighbor's gutter (right outside our front door). I'm so excited! The past few years in Pennsylvania, we had amazing experiences watching robins' and cardinals' nests around our house, and I've been disappointed with the lack of nature here at our current house. But, now we should get a front row seat to some babies soon!

After making the key lime pie, I had some egg whites left over, and I decided to make macarons with them. 

Aww! My brown-eyed boys.

I'm desiring to be more of a "yes" mom. Today, "Mommy will you come watch my puppet show?" Yes. "Mommy, can you camp out with me under my bed?" Yes. "Mommy, can you read me this book for the 100th time?" Yes. It's not my natural response, but I know that it makes them feel happy and valued. It's hard to find time to be one-on-one with each boy, but it's one of my main goals in the next few weeks.

I came across this verse and don't remember hearing it before. . . it's beautiful.

 "Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles." 
Psalm 105:4-5

Enjoy some sun this weekend!


Saturday, May 5, 2018

Cinco de mayo

Good morning! I'm sipping some coffee, reflecting on the week, and thinking about how glad I am that it's May. All the green, the new flowers, the warmth, the extra daylight. . . it's so good for my soul.

 August is slowly transitioning to just one nap a day, and I have to say, I am really going to miss the morning nap and the things I used to get done at that time!

Since he learned to walk in the winter, this was the first time he walked on a field of grass. He kept staring at his feet, and bending over to feel the blades in his fingers.

Six cute cousins on a Friday night.

He asks me to read his Daniel Tiger books all day, every day. He really is understanding most of what we say, and he can make all of his animal noises. I'm so impressed!

Ephraim always seems to trip and fall on sidewalks, so I have to hold his hand in a tight grip during our walks. I don't mind the extra hand-holding. I know he'll probably outgrow it soon.

Steve and I both had dentist appointments, and we had to keep the boys entertained at the office. Dr. Tim made them latex glove balloons with funny faces. :)  Isn't this the prettiest waiting room? They had a Keurig and the TV was playing HGTV. . .  I kind of wish they had left me there for a few hours! :)

My favorite food.

Nolan had a soccer game that was so cold and windy, that Ephraim and I spent the whole game cuddling under a thick blanket.

Zoning out with some Thomas the Tank Engine after a long day.

This week, I worked on transferring some of our seedlings into big pots. I wish I had space to save all of our little plants, but there just isn't any spot for them in the ground outside.

 Nolan's having a lot of fun playing soccer! I sometimes see him playing in the mud or stuffing rocks into his socks or spitting into the air while he's supposed to be playing, but overall, I think he's improving. ;)

That tummy!

 I think four might be the best age. They're so chatty, and imaginative, and funny!

Nolan and Ephraim are fiercely competitive and also the best of friends.

When I run out of things for them to do, I say, "Do you want to wash the dishes?" :)

They didn't call us into a room right away at the doctor's office, so I had a few moments to check out this pretty magazine. Also... something crazy... I think Nolan got a dTaP shot that he didn't need because our old doctor's office didn't record that he already had one a year and a half ago!

 My happy place in the evenings.

 Steve was gone to New York for a couple of nights, and I was happy to survive a weekend of solo parenting. It's not for the faint of heart!

The bright pink magnolia blooms have been a gorgeous sight!

Babies don't keep, so I treasure the moments when he still looks like one!

Just four guys who happen to all be in blue, having an afternoon snack. :)

Yay for romper weather! I can't believe the 80 degree weather we've been having! It makes the long winter worth it.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!



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