Sunday, June 8, 2014

Serious Summer Activities


Well friends, we're on summer break now.  Thursday school finished, and Friday, we went Berry Picking.  Today, being the first official Saturday in our summer vacation, was the first day of Swim Classes for the yahoos.  This year, Sam is 5, so he upgraded to the Big Reef swimmers, for ages 5 and up.  So this year, Chris and Sam are in the same swim class.  And Jacob even got in on the action, participating in a Mommy (or Daddy) and Me class.  It's an outdoor pool, not heated or fancy, so that it can get pretty chilly when the summer is first beginning.  Daddy 'won' the privilege this year to get in the water, because I just wasn't up for being that cold.  He could have objected, but he's sweet like that, and much more hot-blooded, that generally the cold doesn't bother him.  Bothers the heck out of me.  But it doesn't seem to bother the all.

This year's swimsuits are brought to you by the color green.  Chris is on the upper left edge in a green suit, teenage mutant ninja turtles.  And Sam is on the right.  Eric is on the foreground with Jacob in his arms, and Jake is in a green, white, and blue suit.  

Chris was a champ, he couldn't wait to get in.  He really took off swimming last year, and this year he couldn't wait to go underwater like a shark again.  I even saw him holding the lifeguard and kicking like a maniac.  They got him to float on his back, not wonderfully, but without fighting.  It's taken us years to get to this point, but it's been worth it. I appreciate these lifeguards, they do a great job, and are so patient with my kids. 


Sam was disinclined to get fully in the water.  They wanted him to jump in, so he sat down, got his legs in, and turned around.  That's as far to jumping in as he got.  I don't know anyone like that. ;) 

Jacob wasn't really too much of a fan when I went over to take pictures.  I saw Daddy bouncing and dipping the baby in the water.  And he may have splashed a little, but not much.  I heard him crying more than I saw him happy.  But after I took this picture, he saw me, and started revving up again, so I had to hide.  I suspect when its my turn, Jake will hold on to me for dear life.  What a sweetie.  

Someone thought Swim class was exhausting. 
Eric gave me the baby and I was trying to pick up, so I wrapped him in his towel as class was ending.  I could get him dressed while Eric and the big boys got dressed.  And Jake was so exhausted, he started to fall asleep on me just holding him putting things away.  And again on the way home.  That boy needed a Serious Nap.  It took a little work, after he thought 10 minutes on the way home was a good nap, to convince him otherwise, but we were able to get a decent nap in later.  

Then for Part Two of Saturday's activities...aka After Naptime. 

Do you wanna make pie?

Every time I make a pie, I can't help but think of this Backyardigans episode, the video kind of stinks, but you can get the gist, Do you wanna make pie?  I keep singing this in my head.  But with all these fresh berries, I couldn't help NOT singing the song, when I wanted to make This Pie.  It's a pie recommended by some freezer cooking friends of mine, and it is Delicious!  

First I made the crust.  Yeah, that's right with nilla wafers and orange zest, and all that wonderful buttery sweet goodness.  I baked that bad boy up, and it looked so pretty.  I haven't cooked this much in Ages.  And though my back hurt, I didn't care, it looked, smelled, and tasted so good.  

How can you go wrong filling a pie with these?!

I did have a special helper, Sam was helping with my glaze for a little bit.  But I goofed up my first round of glaze when I accidently mixed in baking soda instead of corn starch to thicken it.  In case you wonder, first it foamed up, then turned blackish purple, and when I went to taste it, it tasted like nothing, like powdered feet.  Not tasting like sugared up strawberries.  Good thing I didn't put it on my berries and crust.  

But that was the first layer of strawberries before I whipped up more glaze.  

We picked about 5 1/2 pounds aka 12 dollars in strawberries, and this was what I was able to make out of it.  1 pie. 1 jar of strawberry syrup, and 2 2/3 jars of jam.  Although my jam didn't thicken up very much, so I think it will be more of a topping or spread.  Still, it's all strawberry and sugary goodness, so you can't go wrong, even if it didn't thicken.  I'm out of the groove for canning.  I need a bit more practice.  Next month, I may go back for blueberries. ;)