Happy St. Patrick’s Day

The first time I heard anything about a St. Patrick’s Day boiled dinner was when I was pregnant with the Little Professor.  My mother in law made it every year, it was a tradition.  When my husband explained to me what it was, my pregnant stomach could barely handle it.  Of course, we ended up going…after all it was for St. Patrick’s day.

Am I ever glad we did!  It was delicious!  It’s been delicious every year since and not just because it’s a meal I didn’t have to cook.  The meat is so tender and the vegetables have so much flavour.  Now I look forward to it every year, as do the children, just like Daddy always has.  Both the Professor and the Princess cleaned their plates and had seconds.

My mother in law always makes a huge dinner so that everyone can have leftovers to take home.   We end chopping it up and making hash out of it, which ends up being even more delicious than the original dinner…if that’s even possible!

For dessert I made some carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Yummy!  I’ll post the recipe in the near future.

 

 

Let it Begin….

It’s that time of year again when proud parents from all over sign their little ones up for spring soccer and we are no different.   This will be the 4th season of soccer for the Little Professor and he can hardly contain his excitement.  When he first started playing he liked to look up at the sky and watch the clouds or tangle himself up in the net of the goal post, like a little fish struggling for freedom.  As the seasons past he started getting better and paying attention more.  He tries harder now and he spends time practicing his running so he can be faster.

 

The thing that I love about soccer and the Little Professor is that when the uniform is on, it’s like he’s playing the World Cup.  He plays hard, he hydrates hard, he sit’s on his ball watching from the sidelines…well, hard and he enjoys every minute of it.   He may not be the best 6 year old player out there but he sure knows how to act the part!

The Little Professor loves playing soccer, he looks forward to it every spring and fall.

The Princess on the other hand…not so much!

Oh, she was definitely one of the cutest, little players in her tiny little uniform with the socks that reached her shorts and little piggy tails swinging while she ran.  She tried to hang out with the older girls and they really couldn’t resist her while they waited for their practice to start.

For the princess soccer was all rainbows and butterflies until it actually started and someone took the ball away from her.   That’s when the  pouting began.  She would sit by the goal posts or on the side lines ignoring the coaches requests while we unsuccessfully tried reasoning, bribing,  and threatening her to get back on the field.

To the Princess soccer is about other kids being mean and taking away her ball.  Why can’t everyone just get along and play with their own ball?!

With every practice and game we were met with the same fight of getting her dressed and to the field.  It would have been so easy to give in and not go, but we repeatedly explained that she signed up for a season and she will complete it, however once it was over she never had to play soccer again.  Daddy and I would rather find her something she loved to do than force her to play soccer.

 So to my surprise and not without a little weariness I was met with an indignant statement of “I want to play soccer too!”, after hearing that her older brother is playing again this season.  Along with…”We’ll pay it with Daddy’s money…ok?!”.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

When life gives you lemons make

Meyer Lemon cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting.

The secret to these cupcakes being a yummy, lemony delight is the Meyer Lemon.

It has a taste that is a cross between a lemon and a sweet orange,

so it’s flavour is more mellow but still refreshing.

  I just loved how pretty they turned out that I decided not to top them with anything

but you could use some candied lemon peels or whatever you fancy.

They are the perfect cupcake to welcome an early spring!

Meyer Lemon Cupcakes

1 box of yellow cake mix

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp. of buttermilk

2 tbsp. of freshly squeezed meyer lemons

1 tbsp. of finely grated Meyer lemon peel (yellow part only)

3 eggs

1/2 cups of vegetable oil

1/2 tsp. of lemon extract  – if you want a little stronger lemon flavour

Mix ingredients together and continue with directions on the box.

Meyer Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

1/4 cup of butter

1 8oz. package of cream cheese

5 cups of sifted powdered sugar

1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemons

1/4 tsp. of lemon extract or to taste

(keep in mind not to over power the Meyer Lemon’s flavour)

Mix all ingredients together and let chill for a bit.

I explained how to quickly frost them with the M1 tip at the bottom of THIS post.

Daddy says… My amazing wife

Let me tell you about my amazing wife “Honestly Mummy”.  She is the most beautiful, talented and brilliant woman I have ever known.

She lovingly teaches and cares for our three children everyday, handles and runs our household like a well organized and efficient machine, and deals with (and is patient with!) me and my crazy work and school schedules.  She does more in one day than a lot of people do in a week, and somehow manages to find time to write a blog post everyday, occasionally bake some amazing cupcakes and makes time to (and genuinely wants to) spend time to talk with me when I finally do make it home in the evenings.

We share a lot of things, our interest, our passions, our Faith, our children and our lives, but I am truly fortunate that she shares one thing in particular with me everyday – herself.

The Saga Begins…

The other day The Little Professor was sitting at the kitchen table quietly drawing like he does many times every day.  He was singing a song to himself.  The Princess and the Milk Monkey were playing quietly by my feet as I was busy getting some work done at my desk, enjoying the closeness of my children.  It was a familiar scene in our house, one that makes my heart content.

Later that evening when Daddy arrived home he asked me if I had seen what the Professor was working on.

I had not and what he showed me made me smile.

For those who have no idea what he wrote, you can find it HERE.

He amazes me!

Practice Camping

One of my goals  in life (my husband’s too) was to get a trailer and travel around North America full time with our children.   This past Friday we managed to get one step closer to our dream.   After years of researching, saving and waiting for the right time, we finally brought home our trailer!

We decided to get this particular trailer because it had the features and space we were looking for our three children and any relatives or friends who wanted to hop on.   The problem was Daddy and I had never had a trailer before, nor had either of us pulled a trailer.  We realized that maybe pulling a 35 foot trailer for our first time might not have been the best idea!  It was a stressful ride for the first 45mins or so, but we soon realized that Daddy was a natural…a real pro!

It was smooth towing the rest of the way home!

We had some very excited children greeting us when we pulled up.  We were all really excited to camp out but knew it was still too cold to add water to the pipes.   We did hook up the electric, and get the propane furnace going…it was nice and cozy!   Later in the evening we closed it up and went to bed in hopes that Saturday would bring us warmer weather.  Instead we woke up to snow!

However, Sunday turned out to be a lot warmer so we decided to practice camping in the backyard!

We made a campfire and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows…

Daddy roasted a hotdog for Mummy….it was so romantic!

The Milk Monkey loved sitting by the fire…he even napped at one point, all cozy and content in his stroller while his siblings ran around collecting twigs and sticks to keep the blaze going.

Later in the afternoon it started to cool off so we took to the trailer with the heater keeping us toasty warm.  The kids played and tried out the new beds and all the seating, they eventually watched a movie while Daddy and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle.

The day was so relaxing and magical.  We all spent it with huge grins on our faces as we were transported to some far off campground, our backyard gradually disappearing.   We were blessed to have a small glimpse at what our future holds for our family.

Haircuts…

Yesterday was a big day for our little Princess – it was her first official haircut!

I say official because there was the time when her big brother decided to cut her hair so it would turn brown and lose it’s magical powers (Tangled).  He didn’t want anyone to kidnap her.  It’s hard to get angry with that kind of reasoning.

The Princess has resisted all other attempts of getting her hair cut or trimmed,  however today she decided to get it cut.  Before she could change her mind I packed up my three wonderful little sweethearts and made our way to the nearest Snip Its!

I was so proud, as usual.  She really is an amazing little girl!

She articulated her exact wishes of what style of cut she wanted.  She sat so still and was so serious about the whole process.  It turned out absolutely beautiful if I do say so myself!

In the afternoon, our Little Professor was planning out his school project.  He had asked us to get him some whipping cream so he could make some butter.   It was a project from his curriculum.

 He patiently whipped and whipped the butter – it took a long, long time.

The end product was delicious!

The Princess enjoyed it so much she thought it would be nice to give it to people and then maybe they could give us some money.  That one is going to be a little business woman!

We are all getting so excited to pick up our trailer on Friday.  It should be an interesting day since Daddy has never pulled a trailer let alone a 35 foot trailer.  Please pray for our safety and dry weather 🙂

Be a Cupcake Hero

Cupcakes have become so popular.  They are the perfect delectable treat for all ages.

The Little Professor and the Princess are “big fans” too.

The best part about is, they are so easy to make.

You don’t have to spend  a lot of money at an expensive  store to get great cupcakes

and you don’t even have to spend all day in the kitchen baking them from scratch

to get those great flavours and beautiful looking cakes.

Whether you work all day or spend your days homeschooling your children,

with a few changes to a box of cake mix

you can still be the cupcake hero at the next bake sale or party.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cup Cakes

Cupcakes:

1 box of chocolate cake mix

1 cup of buttermilk (milk will work just fine)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

4 eggs

1/2 cup of oil

Mix together and continue on with instructions on the cake box.

Frosting:

1 container of vanilla frosting

Mint extract to taste ( I use approx. 1 tsp.)

1 Candy Cane crushed up

(for the rest of the year substitute with shaved Mint Chocolate)

____________________

I made these cupcakes the other day and Daddy took them to the office.  They didn’t last long!

Back at home, I had two disppointed kids on my hands,

apparently one cupcake each was “just not fair!“.

These cupcakes take a little bit more time  (10 mins) to grill the banana’s but it’s worth it.

Grilled Banana Rum Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Cupcakes:

1 box of yellow cake mix

2.5 Grilled bananas ( I used the indoor grill and it took me less than 10 minutes)

3/4 cup of milk

1/2 cup of oil

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 tsp. rum extract

Mix ingredients together and continue on with instructions on the cake box.

Frosting:

1 8oz package of cream cheese softened

1/4 cup of butter softened

4 cups of icing

1/4 cup of cocoa powder

a little extra cocoa powder to sprinkle

____________________

The trick to making them look amazing is an M1 decorating tip.

Just swirl the frosting beginning at the edge working inwards gradually getting higher.

It’s so easy and fun and it allows you to save precious time when it comes to frosting your little cakes!

 

“I think it’s great that you homeschool, but I could never do it.”

I think it’s great that you homeschool, but I could never do it.  It’s a phrase I hear often.  People are always curious about our life as a homeschooling family but they are quick to add that little tidbit of information  into our conversation.   It’s quickly accompanied by one of the following:

  • I wouldn’t have the patience for it
  • I would go crazy if my kids were home all day
  • I just don’t think I could ever do it
  • You have to have a lot of money to do it

I usually just smile and nod but what I’d really like to tell them is this:

  • At the beginning it’ll feel like you don’t have enough patience.  You will be frustrated, you will want to give up but with time your patience will grow and the things that were so trying will become easier.   Homeschooling makes you a more patient person.
  • Some days you will walk the fine line between sanity and lunacy but isn’t that how it is already?  You have to spend the day with someone wouldn’t you rather do it with the craziness that are your kids?
  •  You absolutely can do it!  You gave birth to those children, you taught them to eat, talk and walk.  You taught them how to use the potty and dress them selves.  You taught them to tie their shoes, button their shirts, zip up their coats.  You taught them to count, to write their names, to say the alphabet.  You could teach them if you really want to.
  • You do not need a lot of money to homeschool, but you do need to budget and sacrifice.  There will be times you’ll have to go without, get by with one car, or buy the smaller house but you’ll be investing in your children’s lives.
For those who do not want to homeschool their children or seriously can not, that is your decision and I fully respect it.   However,  if you are thinking about homeschooling, know this;  You are capable and even though it’s not always easy, be encouraged, anything of value takes effort and hard work.
Do I think homeschooling is better than conventional schooling…absolutely!  If I didn’t, we wouldn’t be homeschooling.