February 28, 2013

When someone turns twelve

                              There is a balloon, because nobody is sad with a balloon:)

                        And lemon cake, because twelve year old girls have a peculiar taste...

                        ...with yellow candles, they go well with lemon cake and being twelve:)

                                   Being twelve starts looking more serious...

                       ...yet twelve year old still has to practice. Even on her birthday:)

                       There are few birthday cards from those who remembered...

                        ...and a promise of a meeting with favorite author of the favorite series, ever.

                           May your wishes come true. Always.

                                              Love, mama.

February 27, 2013

Needle and thREAD


It is raining today. Or rather pouring down. It did cancel our daily neighborhood walk...

It was a good day to try a new recipe, though:) The oatcakes. Perfect for tealess tea time with almond butter, or with ricotta cheese and drizzle of maple syrup for breakfast or with cheddar cheese for school lunches.

The weather made it easy to pick a book up and read. I followed Ginny's choice " Homegrown and Homemade." There are few great tips that I might put in work while planning my garden this year. It almost makes me want to give comfortable city life...but not quite. At this point in my life I would be afraid of failure. But it doesn't mean that I can't make my garden bigger and better!

As for my knitting project, it is finished. I like the way it looks. I like how well it goes with the dress.
Having said all that, I think its purpose of keeping Zuzanna warm in case of cold weather is rather silly. The good news is that I have enough yarn to make it again, maybe few stitches bigger and longer, with long sleeves. It is rather an easy knitting:)


February 26, 2013

About the bread...

I have planned way too much for today. It seems that I wanted to squeeze in the undone things from yesterday, today's errands  and some of tomorrow's. Well, let's just say that it is not a good way of planning:)

Kateri had her "shadowing" in Pegasus program. She did like the school and the way of learning.
Next Saturday she needs to attend a five hour interview and later the parents will have their own interview too!!! What if she won't be admitted because her parents failed?!
Anyway...I do not want to get too excited. The program sounds great and tempting but first she needs to be accepted and then there is the tuition...

Zuzanna had her first afterschool activity. Karate. That girl is so easy to pleased. Her ear to ear smile, while I picked her up, told me everything:)

Kubus had his " being away from anybody he knows" time. He did cry a lot:(
Apparently, when I left, he stopped crying and happily played with trucks for over an hour. I think I took it worse that he. On the other hand it was nice to talk with other moms and converse about CHILDREN, mothering, Hawaii, homesteading, home improving and CHILDREN again. So much for "Time Out", right?

My errands in the morning kept me out of the house until 2pm. Not good. The bread was waiting to be baked, the enchiladas to be made, the girls to be picked up, homeworks, afterschooling, sewing, work out and so on...

I have succeed in baking the bread, about which this post was supposed to be.

Few of my, I like to think, faithful readers, had asked me about the recipe. I have posted a link, but I do not mind sharing my adventures in breadmaking:)

In the evening I mix, in the big, pasta pot ( you can use a bowl ):

6 cups of unbleached flour,
1/2 tsp of yeast
1 Tbl of salt
2 1/2-3/4 cups of cold water.

The whole process takes me 5 minutes .

Then I cover it with a lid, and put a kitchen towel over it.
I keep the dough on the countertop overnight.

In the morning the dough is ready. Any time of that day is good to continue.

I uncover the dough, dust it with a flour and spread the kitchen towel on the countertop. I dust it with flour too. Then I take the dough out and try to shape it into a ball, pulling it under. It is actually quite easy. After it is shaped into a ball, I place it on the towel, dust it again and cover it. Then I have to make sure, that Kubus doesn't mistake it for a play dough. It had happened in my house:)

After about 2 hours, I place a cast iron (5 or 6 qt) pot into the oven and preheat it to 425 F.
When the oven is ready, I take the lid off, with a very well insulated kitchen mitten!, and put the dough in. It took me few tries to get hang of it, and the flour was and still is flying all over, but that's OK.

I put the lid back on and bake it for 45 minutes.

Then I take lid off and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more.

When the bread is ready I take it out of the oven and TRY to cool it down...:) It is really hard to resist the smell of a freshly baked bread:)

 I have mentioned, it doesn't always work out the way I plan. So I have skipped the afterschooling, the sewing and the dinner post, and there is no a chance for my Tuesday work out. I am afraid that my personal wii coach is going to quit...

Kubus kept himself occupied and even tried to "help" with cooking.

They have to learn early, right?

But if Zuzia's homework and Kubus' train will have any impact on their cooking skills, that's a different story:) Not to mention the teddy bear!


February 25, 2013

Going back to the routine on Manual Mode Monday:)

"Just don't tell me that you're getting sick"! Zuzia sounded very serious when she heard me sneezing in the kitchen. "No, Zuzia, I just sneeze without the reason", I felt as if I was caught red handed and had to make an excuse...
No, seriously I am fine, and the good news is that the kiddoes are getting better and Kateri did not catch strep throat, yet...

It is getting back to the regular routine day. As much as I love having my family at home, I know that having a routine is good too. I get up early, have more things done, girls are more organize and Kubus can count on more time with just mommy. And I am rather spoiled with the fact that my children came into this world with a big space in between them. It wasn't done on purpose:) but it works for me. I enjoy the one on one time with each of them while they are little.

Looking back at our last week, it was a well spent family time. I have to admit that I counted on more skiing time with all of the promise of snow...Unfortunately the weather people missed it big time and we ended up with a lot of rain. The dusting last night did not help, Andrzej was willing to take half a day off, so I could enjoy skiing in Pulaski today. Instead of skiing, just bootprints on the porch...

                                                                     1/1000 F3.5 ISO 400

This coming week has a promise of birthday cake in Lent. Somebody is turning twelve! More on the actual birthday day :)

There are rehearsals to attend for Kateri, a new after school activity for Zuzanna, violin class and "shadowing" tomorrow for Kateri in the new potential school, walks and story time for Jacob, some sewing plans for me, few books to read and maybe a family weekend getaway! I won't post the daily baking, cooking, cleaning, washing, the regular routine, the daily chores of simple but happy life:) I am tempted though with some dinner posts...any thoughts?

My paleo eating has been not so good lately, so no wonder I feel, well... not comfortable!
Maybe the going to back routine week is going to help my  eating habits...after eating the birthday cake of course!

As for plans for today, one is already checked.
I gave Kubus a haircut. His golden hair was way too long, so I shaved it short. I like my handsome boys with a very short hair.

                                                                     1/100 F4.8 ISO 800

                                                                 1/80 F5 ISO 800
 Well, what do you think?


P.S. Joining Sarah for Manual Mode Monday!

February 24, 2013

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

                                        ~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

                                                          Joining  Like Mother, Like Daughter!


Last night my girls and I went out for a mother-daughters date. Their friend Mollie was preforming in "Singing in the Rain".  We joined her afterwards to congratulate her on her good work.
(The flowers are not from us, unfortunately. Kiki insisted, but we did not have time to get them. Sorry Mollie!!!)


                             Waiting for the show to start. Pretty happy to be there!


                              With a time to spare, who doesn't want to joke around:)
                           The other funny thing was, that it WAS raining outside for the "Singing in the Rain":)


                  Zuzanna is studying the cast. One has to know all the actors, right?
                 Oh, and I REALly have to work on taking good indoors pictures!


February 22, 2013

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo, few words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. Inspired by Amanda at SouleMama.

My girls are NOT each other's best friends. Sometimes I am afraid that they are not friends at all. I can blame it on the age difference, different personalities or interests, or even schools. But I must say that being together this past week was good. Apart from regular, minor bickering, they were good friends.

It is true that children thrive when they are nurtured at home.

So today at our  "good bye winter vacation" pinkberry treat, I caught a special sister moment. I would like to capture more of those:)


February 21, 2013

Needle and thREAD and the cute bunnies:)

I am joining Ginny in Yarn Along today...

My knitting project is still not finished. I have started it two weeks ago, but between making the yarn ready, winter vacation, game of bridge and doctor visits I am still working on it. I am not a speedy knitter :) The good news is that I am seeing the end of it. Maybe it will be done before weekend is over.

As for reading, let's say that for the same reasons mentioned above,( besides the yarn one ), I am continuing the "Thomas Aquinas " by Father Barron. One can't rush the deep spiritual reading, right?

In the meantime I have added a variety of other books that I am reading with or to someone:)
So from "Thomas Aquinas" I go to "Jacques Cousteau", "Changes for Felicity", and "Joseph and Chico", through "Sleepy ABC" and finishing with "Trucks". The last two selections are being read at least three times a days. Favorites of my little boy:)

Some serious reading, don't you agree?:)

Andrzej went to work today. Enough of vacation for him. The rest of us took it easy, which meant a little too much of computer time, a little too little time outdoors. We ended up visiting few libraries though.
The promise of seeing bunnies was just too hard to pass:)

Don't my children look seriously deprived of pets?:)


February 20, 2013

Pulaski Park

Today we enjoyed another Great Outdoor Pursuit activity. It took place in Pulaski Park that is located on the line with Connecticut state. The park is named after a Polish nobleman and a soldier, Kazimierz (Casimir ) Pulaski.

Pulaski was one of the commanders of Bar Confederation against Russian domination of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, in XVIII century. After the defeat he emigrated to  North America and was fighting alongside George Washington during the Revolutionary War. He became a general in Continental army and reformed the American cavalry.

Pulaski is one of the most honored persons in American history, in terms of places and events named in his honor. And Pulaski park in RI is one of them...

Well that's enough of the history part.:)

We had traveled a whole 35 minutes to get there:) This how big is Rhode Island . When I remember our Texan times, the 35 minutes wouldn't even get us out of Austin limits:)

I took my skis with me with a lot of hope for "me time" again. I skied in Pulaski a couple of years ago and remember it as a and beautiful place with interesting wooded trails. Unfortunately the snow today was very, very icy! It was really hard to enjoy a good run, so after playing a little with a camera...


     ...and falling onto the hard snow, I have decided to go back to my family.

     They on the other hand had been enjoying sliding walking on the ice and...

...visiting a beaver's dam.

     They also participated in ice fishing and did not care about falling into occasional fishing holes:)

      I must say that the happiest person was Zuzanna. Her dream of ice fishing had finally come true:)


February 19, 2013

GOP and the doctor visit

Great Outdoor Pursuit activity, that is.:)
We have started participating in GOP programs a couple of years ago. It gives a great opportunity to check out the RI nature and historical trails. It usually runs in summer, and the purpose of it is to make the whole families involved in outdoor activities without necessarily leaving RI. The locations are very interesting and offer a chance of swimming, fishing, kayaking, tasting new foods, participating in scavenger hunts, and so on. And it is FREE!!! Sounds good, doesn't it?

Well, last week we have gotten and email that during the winter vacation there are two hikes organized by GOP. Today was the first one...

We had hiked in John H. Chafee Preserve in North Kingstown. 
Half of the hike took us through the woods, half of it on the shell-y beach. All together 2 1/2 miles.

The main purpose of the hike was to watch the seals. To see them, one had to have a very good
binoculars. We still have to make that investment. The girls borrowed one from somebody, and claimed, that they have seen the seals.

But even without seeing the seals and with all the mud that we had gathered into the car and our home, it was a very well spent morning.


Unfortunately from there the plans went downhill.
At the visit at the doctor, we have found out that Zuzia has a strep throat and minor congestion in her lungs. Kubus on the other hand has double ear infection, and bronchitis. They are both contagious for few days.

So instead to go out for planned, clam cakes/dough boys/fried calamari, treat at Iggy's, Andrzej went to get them, along with a unplanned and doubtful dessert of few antibiotics for a next 10 days for the two youngest members of our family:(