Simple Sunday – Simply Pie

Yesterday we celebrated Summer Pie Day.  It is not a real holiday but one made up and eagerly anticipated by our family (and dare I say, friends).  Simply, we invite family and friends to come over with a homemade pie and we eat. 


As I do each year, I try a new recipe. 


I made this delicious berry crumble bar.  It called for pearl sugar, something I had never heard of and, I found, is rather difficult to track down.  I called half a dozen places in town, panicked about it to Husband, who ordered it same day delivery from Amazon.  Planning ahead would have been a good thing in this case.

Pearl Sugar

My berry cobbler was nice eaten warm the day of, but even better cold the day after with an accompanying cup of dark coffee.  (For those of you wondering, this was the first year we opened up Pie Day to cobblers as they are just so berry good!  I realize they are not true pies, but it is my made up holiday so my rules.)


The boys participated in Summer Pie Day as well.  Carter, who usually makes chocolate pudding (not at all a pie), made his pudding but asked to put it in a graham cracker crust.  For added flair, he topped it with whipping cream and sprinkles.


You may notice the costume change.  While licking the spatula, Carter ended up with a shirt streaked with chocolate.  Also, note the body armor in the second picture with the finished product.  He took time out from planning and executing a Nerf gun war to make his pie.

Cody Pie 2017

Cody, not one for pies, made pigs in a blanket.  Carter, sporting his body armor and 80’s headband, made for a good helper.

Husband, pressured by the boys (“But Poppa, it won’t be Pie Day without your peanut butter pie!”), made his usual.


Soooo good!

My favorite moment of any Pie Day is the lull in conversation as the guests dish up and begin to sample all the tasty hard work we all gathered together to share.  And so another Summer Pie Day has come and gone, slices of leftover pie waiting in the fridge to be eaten.

Lastly, I must apologize for the various collages, boarders, and colors.  I am trying out a new photo editor, Fotor, and got a bit carried away.  Care to share what photo editor you use?

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Eating your Fractions

To keep their brains in somewhat of a school mode, I conduct a summer school of sorts at our dining room table.  Monday through Thursday for an hour or two in the morning the boys work on maintaining their reading, writing, and math skills.  We also do science experiments (which they LOVE) and typing practice (which they LOATHE).  Friday is Field trip Friday so we go to the local zoo, botanical garden, science center, museum, or whatever event that catches our interest.

On Monday the boys worked on simplifying fractions.  Good times.

First they watched a Khan Academy lesson about equivalent fractions.  It made good use of visuals, and of course, was free.  Win, win.


Then I gave them their task – Scrumptiously Simplified Fractions – one of many wonderful resources by Teaching with a Mountain View that I came across while prepping for next school year (i.e. working for free).


Eagerly they sorted out their 1/4 cup of M&M’s by color. 


Following the directions, they created fractions based upon the color, using the total number as their denominator.  After simplifying their fractions they then added a couple of those fractions together, creating different color combinations.


Lastly, they got to eat their fractions.


Yes, you get to eat your fractions now, my crazy-haired child!  Overall it was a success.  For Cody it was a good review and for Carter, it was just beyond what he had done with fractions at the end of third grade. 

Chocolate and math, a winning combination!




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Simple Sunday – Missing Piece

Husband left this afternoon on a business trip.  It is not long, less than a week, but it is unusual and the boys and I feel its strangeness.

He had been gone perhaps an hour.  The boys and I finished the chapter book we had been reading together.  I cleaned the kitchen.  Carter laid out a large blanket in their room and set up their disco ball while Cody picked out some music.

Cody came through the kitchen pushing a chair load of stuffed owls, invited guests to their dance party arriving by chair chariot, as I was loading the dishwasher.

cody:  Momma, it feels odd with Poppa gone.  It feels like a piece – if you were to think of our family as a puzzle – a piece of our puzzle is missing.  And Poppa is that piece.

He says all this without stopping, without missing a stride, simply saying what he feels, as if he did not just drop some beautiful poetry and walk away.

Happy Father’s Day Husband – I agree with Cody, you are a piece of our wonderful family puzzle and without you, life would not be as it should.

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“Where’s the Tequila?” Asks My 11 Year Old Son

What do you do when it is 108 degrees out and the weather forecast is predicting 120 degrees in just a few days time?  You practice making sweet sun tea.


Cody and Carter researched sun tea and found a recipe they wanted to try.  It was simple enough and would have gone swimmingly had the new sun tea container spigot not leaked causing me to madly pour our newly made tea into several random glass containers.  I spilled a good portion of it on the pool deck, inadvertently feeding the same ants Husband has been trying to kill all summer.  Ooops, sorry about that.

Once Husband tightened the spigot and our tea had steeped in the backyard, we poured it back into the cute sun tea container and were ready to give it a try. 

Cody insisted we drink the tea in small Dixie cups so we labeled our cups for reuse and each had some tea.  Carter hated it, but had informed me earlier that he did not like any sun tea (this, regardless of the fact that he had never had sun tea before), so his reaction was no surprise.  Cody loved it and Husband and I thought it was pretty good (a bit too sweet , but not bad). 

Husband went back down the hall to his in-home office and the boys and I entertained ourselves with making sock puppets.  At some point, Cody decided to see if Husband wanted another 5 oz cup of sun tea so he when off down the hall to ask him. Cody came back into the kitchen asking, “where’s the tequila?” under his breath several times. 

I was shocked.  Why was Cody looking for the tequila?  Husband would never drink while working nor would he ever ask one of our boys to pour him a shot.  I was trying to process what was happening and thinking of what to say, when Cody located the tequila bottle on our kitchen counter (no judging – it is summer and hot and margaritas make for a nice pre-dinner drink).  He let out an exclamation of joy and reached toward the bottle. 

Sitting next to the bottle was Husband’s sun tea Dixie cup.  Husband had told Cody that he would love another cup of sun tea, and had told him where he could find his cup.

Apparently my mind does not jump to the simplest nor the most innocent of answers.

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The Unicorn in my Backyard

Like a mythical beast, elusive and awe inspiring, summer has slipped into our lives. 

Knowing it is only here for a little while increases the desire to grab onto it, to look it square in the face and drink it in.  But it is best looked at from the corner of your eye. 

In fact that is really the only way to see it.  For if you try to look it full on, the powerful and shimmering white of the unicorn, its’ spiraling horn almost piercing the clouds, it becomes nothing more than the reflections of the sun shimmering off the chlorinated water of the swimming pool.    

Today is the first day of summer.  Cody and Carter’s backpacks lay in the living room where they were unceremoniously tossed after getting home from school yesterday. 

I slept in until 7:30 this morning – it was glorious.

We ran errands, bought summer movie tickets, and played with Nerf guns.

I went to the bathroom any time I wanted not just during the time my students were at a specials class or at lunch. 

And yes, I did some work, already preparing for next year.  But I did not have to, because it is summer vacation.

Oh hooray, hooray!!!

Image result for unicorn

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Simple Sunday – Snacks and Scents

Saturday we celebrated Carter’s birthday (yes, I know it is late, but his birthday fell close to Mother’s Day and one simply cannot compete with that when putting together a party).  He picked out the snack bags and was put in charge of arranging them for the party.  First he sorted them by type.


Then he neatly stacked them into baskets.


The Cheetos did not fit so he used them as a boarder. 

Carter was also put in charge of picking out the scent he wanted me to use in my doTERRA.  I was busy getting the house presentable so he picked out the essential oil he wanted and hollered to me that his pick was next to his dinosaur.

And so it was.


Great fun was had.  The chips were eaten, their organization only minimally disturbed.  The dinosaur remained the keeper of the chosen scent long after the party was over. 

I like he dinosaur idea so much I might just use it to display the current scent – much like a music store of old would display on their counter, the CD of the music playing throughout the store.

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Simple Sunday – Happy Mother’s Day. Here have a new Toilet Seat.

The day started off rather nicely.  Husband had convinced Cody that instead of serving me breakfast in bed this year, toast and coffee would suffice.  This would then allow me to have breakfast with all of them around the breakfast table.

After carefully eating my toast in bed so as not to leave behind crumbs and washing it down with coffee (all the while ooohing and ahhhing over a handmade note and crafts Carter made at school for me), I took a shower and readied myself for a morning stroll in our neighborhood.


When we got back, Husband made us a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon, and sautéed veggies (with more coffee). 

I was digesting my breakfast and lesson planning when Husband came out of the bathroom and announced that, in addition to Costco, we would need to make a stop at Home Depot.  Now, I did not ask too many questions, but apparently while Husband was behind closed doors, the toilet seat broke. 

And so, we have a nice new toilet seat, just in time for Mother’s Day.

And yes, since it is my special day, I got to use it first.

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The Evil Tables

In my classroom there are 31 students.  We have seven groups of tables, four groups of four and three groups of five. 

At various times of the day, I call certain tables to come to turn in papers, come to the rug, line up, or whatever else we happen to be doing at the time.  I do this to stagger them out, so there is not a large herd of third graders moving from place to place all at once.

As we were packing up for the day, I called the even tables to check their mailboxes, pack up, and come to the rug for our end of the day jokes and sharing.  After a minute or two, I then called the odd tables.  One little boy, who sits at table four, came up to me. 

“Mrs. M.” he asked “have you called the evil tables yet?” 

As soon as it was out of his mouth, he realized his mistake and began to laugh.  Upon seeing this, I joined it, steepled my fingertips together, evil villain style, and in my most Dracula sounding voice proclaimed , “And now, the eeeevilllll tables may pack up!” 

A student who was passing by and who had not heard the start of the conversation stopped and stared at me.  He paused and then cautiously asked if I had said it was alright for the good tables to pack up.

I told him yes, and with much relief, he went on his way.  

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Boobs are for Ladies

Carter turned up his nose at the thought of making our own birthday invitations and instead wanted to go to the store and buy some.


Carter with his invitations hamming it up.

We found our invitations and were walking past the rack of cards on our way to the register when we got sidetracked.  A cute card of a little dog holding a little suitcase in his mouth next to  a big dog holding a larger suitcase in his mouth, caught my eye.  I opened it – It is not about where you travel, but who you travel with – something like that was the message.  I turned to share it with Carter at the exact same time he turned to me to share the card he was holding.  I let him share first.

His card had a checklist on the front :

  • Make a lot of money
  • Drive a fast car
  • Touch a boob

(The message being that the person whose birthday it was, had the same checklist now as when they were twelve.)

He stumbled over the last word, perhaps unfamiliar with it (and due to the fact that phonic is not his strong suit.)

He asked me about it.  I brushed it aside, telling him some cards were not appropriate for kids.  The lady next to us snickered.

We bought our invitations and headed to the car.  As we crossed the parking lot, Carter started wondering aloud.

carter: Momma, why would anyone want to touch a boob?  Boobs are for ladies.  Besides babies drink milk from boobs so technically everyone has already touched a boob.

In Carter’s mind, the third item on the checklist was irrelevant.  That mission had been accomplished at birth. 

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Today my youngest turned nine.  For some reason I can’t quite explain, this birthday seems heavy.  Nine is not really very little.  It is not that I want my boys to stay little forever, I am proud of them and enjoy watching them grow and mature, but the marching of time seems more pronounced with this particular birthday.

He opened presents before breakfast (his top three gifts, not counting the check from his grandma (“whoa, my first check!”) were a Calvin and Hobbes comic book, blue Nike high tops sneakers, and a fidget spinner).  Oh fidget spinners…

For dinner we got take out at one of his favorite places (he ordered a pepperoni calzone) and we had a small triple chocolate fudge cake.  It was a bundt cake, apparently his first one, for he was shocked and slightly taken aback when he discovered the hole in the middle.

He will have a birthday pool party here at Casa de Wrong Feet on the 20th with friends, so tonight was just for us.

As Cody showered, Carter and I snuggled on the couch.  He read aloud to me Where the Wild Things Are and I “read” to him two library books that are wordless.  We both enjoyed looking at the illustrations and talking about what we felt was going on in the story.

It was a good day.  And as I often do, I catch myself reflecting back on his early birth and thinking about just how lucky we are to have such a sweet soul as a part of our family.

Love you Carter.  Love you to the moon and more.

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