Sick day

I felt exceptionally unwell today, so for the most part I lay in bed and gave thanks that Mary loves her pack-n-play so much. Abe and I were supposed to go to Toscana to celebrate our anniversary, but I was so sick I didn’t think I could muster up the energy to go. We rescheduled for next Friday. In the meantime, here’s what happened when I wasn’t in bed.

I took the girls outside for lunch today. It is so nice to be able to do that now that the weather is beautiful! No post-lunch clean-up!!!

I took the girls outside for lunch today. It is so nice to be able to do that now that the weather is beautiful! No post-lunch clean-up!!!

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She was happy, I promise. That's just her way of grinning at the moment.

She was happy, I promise. That’s just her way of grinning at the moment.

Lydia looking pensive.

Lydia looking pensive.

Her pensive mood took her to the lawn.

Her pensive mood took her to the lawn.

Still thinking.

Still thinking.

Yay for so much green!

Yay for so much green!

No longer pensive!

No longer pensive!

I love, love, love these roses. That they bloom until the fall helps me enjoy them without feeling anxious that they will die soon.

I love, love, love these roses. That they bloom until the fall helps me enjoy them without feeling anxious that they will die soon. (That’s always on my mind with tulips. I love seeing them, but in the back of my mind, I start feeling stressed that their bloom season is so darn short.)

The anniversary bouquet is blooming! My two favorite flowers--peonies and tiger lilies. The smell is happy.

The anniversary bouquet is blooming! My two favorite flowers are peonies and tiger lilies. The smell is happy.

After dinner I collapsed in this chair and let the girls climb over me. Abe grabbed the camera to capture their antics.

After dinner I collapsed in this chair and let the girls climb over me. Abe grabbed the camera to capture their antics.

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One of Mary's favorite books is "Red hat Blue hat" by Sandra Boynton. She knows it's funny, but she doesn't know to time her laugh after the "Oops!" parts, so she just laughs every time I turn the page.

One of Mary’s favorite books is “Red Hat Green Hat” by Sandra Boynton. She knows it’s funny, but she doesn’t know to time her laugh after the “Oops!” parts, so she just laughs every time I turn the page–and keeps laughing until the next page. Basically, this is a laugh-intensive book.

4th Anniversary!

I am getting lazy! Just posting pictures due to the fact that I am sick and it is past midnight.

It's our anniversary today! Bob, the Anniversary Elf, always leaves us flowers and a letter. He chose my favorite flowers this time--peonies!!

It’s our anniversary today! Bob, the Anniversary Elf, always leaves us flowers and a letter. He chose my favorite flowers this time–peonies!!

Lydia had a really weepy day today. At one point, she refused to stand up. Mary went over and kneeled by her. She peered at Lydia's face really closely and then reached for Lydia's hand. She then stood up and tried to pull Lydia up! Lydia was immediately cheered and got up using Mary's help. I couldn't get that on camera, but I took this right afterward.

Lydia had a really weepy day today. At one point, she refused to stand up. Mary went over and kneeled by her. She peered at Lydia’s face really closely and then reached for Lydia’s hand. She then stood up and tried to pull Lydia up! Lydia was immediately cheered and got up using Mary’s help. I couldn’t get that on camera, but I took this right afterward.

I took Lydia outside to ride her bike while Mary napped.

I took Lydia outside to ride her bike while Mary napped.

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Everything is lush now! Summer feels like it has arrived.

Everything is lush now! Summer feels like it has arrived.

Ron, our land lord, gave me these roses from the garden yesterday. He is such a sweetie.

Ron, our land lord, gave me these roses from the garden yesterday. He is such a sweetie.

Coconut sherry slush. (I had cooking school tonight--tonight was Jamaican themed).

Coconut sherry slush. (I had cooking school tonight–tonight was Jamaican themed).

Rice and beans with three really complicated recipes. They were the best rice and beans I've ever had, but still-rice and beans! Waaaay too much work for just that.

Rice and beans with three really complicated recipes. They were the best rice and beans I’ve ever had, but still-rice and beans! Waaaay too much work for just that.

I made these! They are fish fritters made with salt cod.

I made these! They are fish fritters made with salt cod.

I also made that nasty polenta/okra cake. Yuck! But  I didn't know a creative way around a recipe that called for you to mix okra into polenta. At least they didn't make us try to incorporate okra into a cupcake!

I also made that nasty polenta/okra cake. Yuck! But I didn’t know a creative way around a recipe that called for you to mix okra into polenta. At least they didn’t make us try to incorporate okra into a cupcake!

Abe took this while I was at school. We have a new rule now that we are home: Mary can have her binkies whenever she's in her pack 'n play, but no other time. Today she crawled into her pack 'n play at 11am and had zero desire to leave until well past 3 pm. She gets 2 binkies in her pack 'n play, and she seems to enjoy them both.

Abe took this while I was at school. We have a new rule now that we are home: Mary can have her binkies whenever she’s in her pack ‘n play, but no other time. Today she crawled into her pack ‘n play at 11am and had zero desire to leave until well past 3 pm. She gets 2 binkies in her pack ‘n play, and she seems to enjoy them both.

Road trip catch-up!

We just got back last night from our long road trip to Illinois and back. Thirty plus hours in the car with two small children–without electronic entertainment, thanks to my rushed packing right before the trip–was a great adventure. We were surprised by how well both kids did in the car, especially since both were sick at various times.

Since I have innumerable pictures, I’m cutting straight to those:

Lydia running around getting her wiggles out before the trip.

Lydia running around getting her wiggles out before the trip.

IMG_7710On the way to Springfield, we stopped by Hannibal, the home of Mark Twain:

Blocking the model of a statue that was supposed to pay tribute to Twain. It was slated to be erected during the Depression, and because of its expense, it never got built.

Blocking the model of a statue that was supposed to pay tribute to Twain. It was slated to be erected during the Depression, and because of its expense, it never got built.

In Mark Twain's house.

In Mark Twain’s house.

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Mark Twain with a binky.

Mark Twain with a binky.

Our own Becky Thatcher.

Our own Becky Thatcher.

Tom Sawyer's white picket fence.

Tom Sawyer’s white picket fence.

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In the museum.

In the museum.

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That night we arrived in Springfield in time to catch the tail end of a family pizza party. I don’t have any pictures, but the girls were soooooooo happy to see my mom.

We stayed at the Presidential Abraham Lincoln Hotel, which is where my grandma always took us swimming whenever we visited her. I got up three hours before Abe and the girls, and after eating breakfast, I swam in the pool. It felt exactly the same as it did when I was little–they haven’t changed the decor one bit! The only thing missing was the sauna. Maybe it wasn’t safe enough, but I did feel nostalgic when I noticed it was gone.

Abe and the girls woke up at 10:30am, just in time to get Maid-Rite and head to the picnic. Maid-Rite is the nation’s first drive-thru; it’s also one of my favorite Springfield spots because we used to go there every time we visited Grandma.

At Maid-Rite, in the car.

At Maid-Rite, in the car.

IMG_0067At the picnic:

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My cousin, Kathy, pushing Lydia on the swing. Lydia and her kids, Kole and Kaitlyn, became great friends.

My cousin, Kathy, pushing Lydia on the swing. Lydia and her kids, Kole and Kaitlyn, became great friends.

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Beth attending to the three dogs, Bella, Cooper, and Payton.

Beth attending to the three dogs, Bella, Cooper, and Payton.

Lydia showing Grandma her boo-boo.

Lydia showing Grandma her boo-boo.

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Frisbee with the cousins.

Frisbee with the cousins.

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Frisbee with cousins

Action shot.

Then we went back to the hotel so Abe and the girls could swim before dinner. At dinner, we took a lot of family pictures, all of which can be accessed here for the next couple weeks. After that, I’ll need to upload them from the CD which my mom is so kindly sending me. Thanks, mom!

Here are the pictures I did get:

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Taylor sang us a song, and Aunt Dee held the speakers.

Taylor sang us a song, and Aunt Dee held the speakers.

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Parker sang "Never Mind, I'll Find Someone Like You" by Adele. He was amazing!

Parker sang “Never Mind, I’ll Find Someone Like You” by Adele. He was amazing!

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Abe joined the kids in serenading us with a resounding rendition of "Let it Go."

Abe joined the kids in serenading us with a resounding rendition of “Let it Go.”

IMG_7928 IMG_7931 IMG_7937Then Clark, Swathi, Abe, the girls and I took a walk to Abe’s Lincoln House. It was dark, so I didn’t take my camera. Too bad! The house was lit up and beautiful. It’s right downtown, so the walk wasn’t too demanding–which was great, considering we’d gorged ourselves at dinner.

But before our walk, I got a picture of Abe posing as Abe.

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The next morning, we barely made it to church in time to hear my mom give a fantastic Relief Society lesson on love. (Well, I got to hear it. Abe and the girls can’t go to Relief Society.)

Then we headed to Grandma’s for lunch and some visiting. While there, Lydia suddenly came down with a 103 degree fever. As I cuddled her, Abe gave her medicine. Oops! She vomited that right up, all over me. Emma, pictured below, is my new favorite person. She was so great at helping me clean the vomit off in the bathroom. Seriously, whenever I have my next baby, I want her to be the nurse.

Emma and Grandma put on a great puppet show. Emma is one of my new favorite people. When Lydia got sick and happened to vomit all over me, I handed her off to Abe and headed to the bathroom to clean off. Emma came with me and helped the whole time--I now want her to help me deliver my next baby (whenever that happens!).

Emma and Grandma put on a great puppet show.

IMG_7949After saying hasty goodbyes, we headed off. Lydia slept until we arrived at a Dairy Queen, several hours later. She was feeling better, so we got her an ice cream cone.

Lydia gets very subdued and polite when ill. Here she is meditating (or waiting patiently--same thing?) outside of Dairy Queen.

Lydia gets very subdued and polite when ill. Here she is meditating (or waiting patiently–same thing?) outside of Dairy Queen.

That night, we stayed at Abe’s Aunt Bonnie’s lake house in rural Missouri. It was gorgeous.

The view from the porch.

The view from the porch.

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Aunt Bonnie's house.

Aunt Bonnie’s house.

Mary padding around chasing the cats the night we got in.

Mary padding around chasing the cats the night we got in.

The next day, we stopped in Independence, Missouri, to visit our church’s visitor center. The Independence temple lot is really important to Latter-Day Saints. The Community of Christ (formerly the Reformed Latter-Day Saint Church) owns most of the lot, and they’ve built their own temple on their portion. We visited that, too.

Inside a reconstructed log cabin.

Inside a reconstructed log cabin.

In front of the Christus. Lydia really wanted to touch Jesus' toe.

In front of the Christus. Lydia really wanted to touch Jesus’ toe.

The Community of Christ's temple.

The Community of Christ’s temple.

The inside of that spiral dome.

The inside of that spiral dome.

Mary wanted to be done touring.

Mary wanted to be done touring.

We spent the rest of the day driving. Kansas, in my opinion, is a little spooky. Since the land is flat and a lot of time there aren’t any trees in sight, it feels like you’re lost at sea. The sky is so big and oppressive. But, at the same time, it’s also pretty:

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We got to Denver late that night, and in the morning, we completed our Grandparent Grand tour.

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Forsythe.

Visiting Grandma and Grandpa Forsythe.

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At Grandma and Grandpa Edmudson's house. The girls and I met them for the first time--so long overdue! We enjoyed them a lot.

At Grandma and Grandpa Edmudson’s house. The girls and I met them for the first time–so long overdue! We enjoyed them a lot.

William Norris Edmondson, Abe's great-grandfather.

William Norris Edmondson, Abe’s great-grandfather.

Abe's great grandparents, William Norris Edmondson and Mary Hazel Coulter.

Abe’s great grandparents, William Norris Edmondson and Mary Hazel Coulter.

Abe's grandpa and great-grandpa. Abe's grandpa was very sick with asthma his whole childhood, and no one expected him to survive.

Abe’s grandpa and great-grandpa. Abe’s grandpa was very sick with asthma his whole childhood, and no one expected him to survive.

I think this is a picture of Abe's great-grandparents, Jeremiah Couter and Amanda Staten.

I think this is a picture of Abe’s great-grandparents, Jeremiah Couter and Amanda Staten.

The family home back in Kentucky. Abe's grandpa came to Colorado in 1961, and his whole family stayed behind.

The family home back in Kentucky. Abe’s grandpa came to Colorado in 1961, and his whole family stayed behind.

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Karin, Grandpa Edmondson, Grandma Edmondson, Mary, Abe, Lydia, and me.

Karin, Grandpa Edmondson, Grandma Edmondson, Mary, Abe, Lydia, and me.

Then we drove home.

Driving out of Brighton, Colorado (where Abe's Grandma and Grandpa Edmondson live).

Driving out of Brighton, Colorado (where Abe’s Grandma and Grandpa Edmondson live).

This is hide and seek--NOT peek-a-boo. Did you know you could play hide-and-seek in a car?

This is hide and seek–NOT peek-a-boo. Did you know you could play hide-and-seek in a car?

Mary played with her feet most of the trip.

Mary played with her feet most of the trip.

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Nearing Salt Lake. We love where we live. If only it could be a little closer to the family we just left!

Nearing Salt Lake. We love where we live. If only it could be a little closer to the family we just left!

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Emergency doctor’s visit…and we’re off!

This morning Mary woke up so sleepy that I read to her for an hour while she cuddled in my arms by the open window. It felt so luxurious and magical. The breezes smell so sweet this time of year, but since they are still brisk, I wrapped Mary in a blanket and rocked with her while we read.

We read the books on the floor in front of the chair.

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Then Mary fell asleep in my arms. Normally I transition her to her crib, but I thought, “This feels so beautiful, and what could be more important?” We rocked for an hour while I day dreamed and looked out the window. Heaven (my version).

Mary woke up and I fed the girls breakfast. When I discovered Mary had fallen asleep again on her high chair, I started to get worried. Yesterday Abe played chase with the girls and Mary ran into a door. Her face got a little black and blue, and I started to wonder if she had a concussion.

I transferred her to the crib and she slept for another three hours. When she woke up lethargic and sleepy, I called the doctor. We are leaving for our Springfield trip in forty minutes, and it felt a little crazy to drop it all and run to the doctor–but Mary seemed really sick.

Turns out she had a temperature of 102, her white blood cell count was really low, and her little heart was racing. She has a nasty virus, and she is currently sleeping (again). We are packing lots of Tylanol for the trip and hoping the hours upon hours in the car give her plenty of time to rest.

I have to go finish cleaning before we leave. Here are some more pictures I took this morning:

We weaned her off of her binky over a month ago (except for naps), but with all of the travel, her teething, and now this virus, she's getting a LOT of binky time.

We weaned her off of her binky over a month ago (except for naps), but with all of the travel, her teething, and now this virus, she’s getting a LOT of binky time.

All of Lydia's leggings get holes in the right knee. I don't know why that knee is more prone than the other, but at any rate, these pants are no exception.

Almost all of Lydia’s leggings get holes in the right knee. I don’t know why that knee is more prone than the other, but at any rate, these pants are no exception.

Planting Seedlings and plans for cheese

This morning, Mary slept-in until 10 AM.  It was amazing.  Lily took advantage of the time to clean the bathroom, wash, dry, fold and put away laundrey and get a lot of other things done.  When sleepy-headed Mary got up, Lily and the girls planted the seedlings that Aria gave us last night (see pictures from yesterday!).

[change in blog authors] Abe is exhausted from allergies, so he stopped blogging and it’s Lily now. I’m just going to throw up the pictures from today:

On our way to plant seedlings.

On our way to plant seedlings.

The girls with the seedlings.

The girls with the seedlings.

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Waving bye-bye to Abe and Mary before class (Lydia was asleep in the car). It was especially hard to leave Mary today--she was only awake three hours of the entire time I was with her! (And one of those hours we spent driving to school in the car.)

Waving bye-bye to Abe and Mary before class (Lydia was asleep in the car). It was especially hard to leave Mary today–she was only awake three hours of the entire time I was with her! (And one of those hours we spent driving to school in the car.)

I made cheese tonight. This is fromage blanc and mascarpone.

I made cheese tonight. This is fromage blanc and mascarpone.

I also formed mozzarella. We didn't make the curd, so I'm hoping we do that sometime in the future. I asked Chef if we could take cheese home, and he agreed. When he saw that I had packed six pounds of cheese, he made me put some back. Sorry, but it was really good!! I had great plans for that six pounds of cheese...

I also formed mozzarella. We didn’t make the curd, so I’m hoping we do that sometime in the future. I asked Chef if we could take cheese home, and he agreed. When he saw that I had packed six pounds of cheese, he made me put some back. Sorry, but it was really good!! I had great plans for that six pounds of cheese…

seedlings and such

Today was a really easy day. I loaded the kids in the jogger this morning and went to Marilyn’s house for visit teaching. I love visiting her and today ended up visiting until lunch. Then I trekked back home and fed the kiddos.

Mary proceeded to nap for four hours, during which, I am sorry to say, Lydia spent the time glued to the iPad. I took a two hour nap and then did homework for two hours.

Then it was feed-the-kids time again and off to school. Tonight we made cheeses, another terrine and a broccoli mousseline.

When I arrived home, I discovered this:

Yesterday I told Aria about how I'd killed all of my seedlings. While I was at school, she dropped off all of these!! I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. Now I need to end my blog so I can e-mail her a thank-you.

Yesterday I told Aria about how I’d killed all of my seedlings. While I was at school, she dropped off all of these!! I was so touched by her thoughtfulness. Now I need to end my blog so I can e-mail her a thank-you.

Abe’s allergies hit him hard today, so he’s already asleep. Just one more email, and maybe I’ll get another good night’s sleep again, too!

Picnics and iPad videos

Today we had an inspiring Sunday School, and Abe and I got to pay attention again because Mary stayed in nursery! We are so happy about her transition.

After church, we went to Ensign Park for a picnic with Aria, Clay, Espen, Enna, Paige, Mike, Ada and Liv.

IMG_0026 IMG_0017 IMG_0018 IMG_0022 IMG_0023 IMG_0024Then we came home and napped. When we finally got up, we took the rest of the evening sloowly. I made strawberry-rhubarb bars, and we ate snacks for dinner while watching some of these videos on the iPad.

Abe and Lydia did the dishes:

IMG_7695Then Abe chased the girls (since Mary napped until 7:15 pm) until they were ready for bed.

Now for our first early bed time all week!

Cupcake competition, etc.

I am so exhausted I can barely function, but guess what? I won second place at the cupcake competition this morning! Since we had to use garlic, I made a garlic/chocolate gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting and a garlic/ginger/walnut brittle on top. In my humble opinion, the cupcake turned out delicious! Actually, everyone did a great job. The winner had been practicing her cupcake for over a month, so I think she deserved to win (although I secretly liked mine better). Here are everyone’s cupcakes:

Mine!

Mine! I used this recipe. I added blanched, minced garlic and ginger to the cupcake.  I can’t find the link I used for the brittle, but basically I found a garlic brittle recipe and added some ginger (both powdered and fresh, blanched and minced).

This is a chocolate garlic cupcake with hibiscus icing and an inside surprise of figs soaked in a port wine reduction.

This is a chocolate garlic cupcake with hibiscus icing and an inside surprise of figs soaked in a port wine reduction.

cornmeal cupcakes with saffron icing and avocado garnish.

cornmeal cupcakes with saffron icing and avocado garnish.

an ancho chile chocolate cupcake next to the winner, a basil cupcake soaked in a garlic simple syrup topped with blackberry icing, white chocolate and garlic brittle.

an ancho chile chocolate cupcake next to the winner, a basil cupcake soaked in a garlic simple syrup topped with blackberry icing, white chocolate and garlic brittle.

One of the cupcakes wasn't pictured, but it was a garlic chocolate mousse cupcake with a garlicky ganache. It was really garlicky, but very good!

One of the cupcakes wasn’t pictured, but it was a garlic chocolate mousse cupcake with a garlicky ganache. It was really garlicky, but very good!

The contenders ready for judgment.

The contenders ready for judgment.

Abe and the girls showed up at the end, but they didn’t let them in the kitchen. I gave them cupcakes to go outside and eat:

cupcake mary cupcake mary cupcake2 lydia eating cupcakeI won a James Beard Award winning cookbook on bread baking (can’t remember the title) and a bunch of things that I actually already own. But it was still so fun!

Here are the other activities of the day:

6 am Bikram Yoga; getting my mom’s car serviced/washed; errands at Target, the gas station, sprouts and Smith’s Garden Center; FHE; planting tomatoes as a family (almost all of the plants I planted earlier died from frost and, um, because I forgot to water them); cooking dinner; eating outside; cleaning the kitchen; bathing the girls; paying bills; tidying various parts of the house.

Here are the accompanying pictures:

Abe took a break from paying bills and played with Lydia. It was one of the happiest parts of his day.

Abe took a break from paying bills and played with Lydia. It was one of the happiest parts of his day.

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Planting tomatoes. Lydia went really nuts with the hose and basically gave the entire exterior of our house a big shower.

Planting tomatoes. Lydia went really nuts with the hose and basically gave the entire exterior of our house a big shower.

Abe and I have been trying to watch a movie for months. We are both so tired–but we’re determined to finally watch one. I think we might to either Saving Mr. Banks or Lincoln. (Whichever’s shorter??)

 

Fun Friday (and I’m pooped).

I feel like I’m going to jinx myself by saying this, but today was another in what feels like a string of good days. Lydia and I started off by painting our nails (with me doing all of the painting).

Then I fed the girls and practiced piano. The girls played together.

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Lydia had Puss give Mary a kiss!

Lydia had Puss give Mary a kiss!

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After that fun, I dropped them off at Sarah’s house for a play date. Sarah volunteered to watch the girls while I slipped out to go to the temple. She lives about a block away, and it felt so great to get to the temple! I had a very meaningful visit, and I can’t thank Sarah enough. Mary didn’t even cry. I think I found myself the perfect swap buddy today!

Then I came home and rested for a bit while the girls had quiet time/nap time. After a while, I realized I had a ton of leftover tamales and other food from class last night, so I called Misty and invited her family over for dinner. It was the perfect ending to a busy week–and a perfect beginning to the weekend.

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A happy, warm, successful day

This morning Lydia and I made buckwheat muffins again. It’s a good thing, too, since I found out today the competition on Saturday is a cupcake competition, and one of the ingredients is garlic. I am thinking of revamping the buckwheat muffin and calling it a cupcake. Maybe I’ll pipe some onion/garlic jam in the middle and top it with some sort of honey frosting and toasted almonds. We’ll see.

After we made cupcakes, we headed out to meet Misty, Sophia and Max at the park for a play date/ picnic. While we were there, we also ran into Jen, Eldon, Natalie, Laddie and Spencer–a two for one play date!

IMG_0007 IMG_0001 IMG_0002 IMG_0003Then we went home for naps and such. After I fed the girls again, we headed to the car to go to school. Tonight I made spinach and cheese tamales. I was so excited because I got to partner up with the best student in class. I have observed her in awe all semester–she cooks so fast, so clean, and her food always tastes amazing. Sadly, she got sick half way through and had to go home. I was terrified to plate our food all by myself, but it turned out okay. I forgot to take a picture because I was so frazzled. Her ceviche and shredded meat dish turned out amazingly good.

But by far, the best news of the day is about Abe. Abe met his quota at work today, and the quarter is only half done! I was so proud of him and really grateful to God for the blessing. I have been praying a lot and feeling really close to God lately, and this felt like some direct divine communication. Yay, Abe!

Also, Mary is finally talking more. She is learning to say “please” instead of screaming in her high chair. Glory be, allelujah. I am always so charmed by her cuteness that it’s hard to get mad at her, but I won’t miss her screaming in her high chair one bit.