Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Oliver was so pleased (and so were the rest of us!) with his white chocolate fudge. Super easy, kid-friendly, and definitely tasty. He is an amazing cook, and really an amazing person. I'll have more of his Good Eats feature in future posts.

1 2/3 Cups Vanilla Baking Chips
2/3 Cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 tsp. Vanilla Extract

Butter an 8x8 pan. In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt chips and milk, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Spread into prepared pan, cover & refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).

(Picture: How can a tiny little barely-3 year-old manage to take up an entire King size bed all by herself? It happens. Like, all the time.)

(Picture: Jeff, Oliver, Eleanor & Charlotte at the 4th of July Parade when we got to ride on the very cool antique firetruck).
Just for my own records (and if anyone ever dares ask what a mom does all day), here's a brief recounting of my day so far (written at 5pm): It began with a 5am swim, 6am bike ride (27 miles); breakfast, laundry, washed the hard floors, cleaned all six bathrooms, watered all 27 potted plants, tidied up the attic, the main floor, and the basement, then I made lunch. After I got the kids their lunch, I emptied the dishwasher, then set up the little pools outside, then sent the kids out to play. While they played I cleaned up from lunch, answered some emails, worked on the laundry, then spent about 1 1/2 hours outside with the kids - I was hulling strawberries while I watched them play. Now I've made them afternoon snacks, got them ready for soccer, and am waiting for a window-blind guy to arrive to measure windows in the basement. At 6 pm I have to get 2 kids to 2 different parks for 2 soccer games, and 7pm we have a 3rd soccer game at a 3rd park. All three children are providing soccer treats for their teams tonight. I hope Jeff comes home soon. Oh, and I think it's time I had my breakfast now. And my lunch. No wonder I'm dragging!

Yep, today I'm feeling very human. I'm finding that I do have limits! Sometimes you just keep doing what you're supposed to because it's the right thing to do, even though it is tough. It's all good, though, because it is worth it. Still, wouldn't it be nice sometimes to cave in and just play all the time? I picture myself riding off into the sunset on my great big horse (which I don't have and won't ever have, but would still like to have), leaving behind housework, meetings, deadlines, schedules, and just plain being lazy for once. I guess that probably wouldn't be permanently satisfying. Hmm. I feel like I'm talking to myself. In the end, I admit I am pleased with the results of hard work and love the chance to involve the kids. I do it for them and for Jeff, and that's what matters most to me. They make it worthwhile. Cheesy though it may seem, my favorite part of the day is when Jeff walks in the door after work, happy to see us, and the kids all shout in delight, "Dad's home!"

(Picture: Sam marching in his first summer band parade - alto clarinet in hand. He's awesome).

Tomorrow I will meet a friend for some serious swim drills in the morning (I'm really excited to get her help!), maybe run, vacuum the carpets, dust, finish folding laundry, set out beds for our company, get the boys to piano, the girls to their weekly summer club, put up window treatments, make dinner for our I'll be skipping book group tomorrow night but for a good cause. Meanwhile, I have to plan a Relief Society (women's church group) activity sometime soon!
(Picture: Out on a hike on the South Butte with our great friend and my former geology professor Ed Williams).

Since I'm calendaring and have a captive audience of, well, of at least me :) I'll keep going: Thursday - long morning run (hoping for 18 miles), company visits then leaves, 3 soccer games. Friday: Jeff will be off on a morning bike ride so I have a good excuse to sleep in (since one of us always has to be here w/the kids, I might as well stay in bed!). Note to self: on Friday I need to bake Samuel's birthday cake. Saturday - I'll be pushing my brother in his running chair at the St. Anthony Pioneer Days 5K and running alongside my boys. I'm excited to share the race with my sons and brother. We'll stay for the parade afterwards, spend the day at the cabin, then have Samuel's 11th birthday party that night - I'm pretty sure he wasn't born eleven years ago, though. I think it's been only 3 or 4 at the most. My, how time does fly! We'll celebrate two days early so Jeff's parents can join us before they leave on Sunday to go to Utah to begin their 2-week training before heading off to Ukraine to serve in the LDS Kiev (Kyev) Temple for the next 2 years!! How excited we all are for them! We're already exploring the idea of visiting them. Time to learn a little Russian and Ukrainian, I guess!

How I love that my kids are friends!

Eleanor & Charlotte, both such sweet little things, taking care of each other.

My boys (sans video games which are on probation/banned), enjoying Life. Really. They love this game.

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