After making the decision that our big tree had to come down, we had a revelation. Maybe we could just cut it far enough down to make a treehouse on top. With Papa and his imagination on board we are proceeding with that plan! During the last visit Papa spread a mixture on each of the trunks to slow the drying process, thus reducing splitting. Marshall is busy imagining all the possibilities. As Papa told us after seeing the cut tree for the first time "You could build a castle up there". Yep, there's A LOT of space. It was a darn big tree.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today I received a forwarded email from my mom, giving the recipe for 5 Minute Chocolate Cake. Anything with the words chocolate and cake spark my attention...and given that my laptop sits right on the kitchen counter and my little munchkin is napping, I thought hey, let's give this a go. The recipe is very straightforward and quick, with a 3 minute "bake" time in the microwave. The recipe warns that the cake will rise out of the cup, but not to be alarmed. I peaked in at 2 minutes and it was rubbing on the top of my micro! Hmmm...wish I'd wiped that off before. The beeper beeped and I peaked inside again...now my cake had disappeared! Fearing that the cake had exploded into a million bits I carefully opened the door and removed the cup. This is what I found. Hmm...again, looking a little odd. Now for the taste test. Do they make chocolate flavored sponges? If so, nibble on one and you'll get the real experience as you read. Now ladies, if you're like me sometimes a girl just needs a chocolate fix and this will do. If you've ever eaten a dried up tootsie roll in the bottom of last year's Halloween bucket, just for that little pick me up you know what I'm talking about. It wasn't terrible, but was a little scary to look at. Sometimes you've gotta do, what you've gotta do.
MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE
1 Coffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour(that's plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
Small splash of vanilla
Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well Add the egg and mix thoroughly.Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Monday, September 29, 2008
Okay, Christmas is several months away...but I'm thinking in overdrive already about what gifts to start making. I'm now OBSESSED with felt food...it's adorable, handmade, inspires creative play and there are so many possibilities!! There are several small people in my life that may need to open a felt grocery store. ;-)
photos from web several years ago, so I apologize to not remembering who to give credit for these beautiful foods
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 3:24 PM
Saturday, September 27, 2008
After all that has gone on in our community as of late, things that have made me reassess my priorities and to whom those priorities are directed, I've been thinking a lot about my past and the past that existed before I existed. A time when ladies were ladies and things were simpler. Sometimes I wonder if I was born in the wrong generation, since those things are so dear to my heart. Everyone makes a choice everyday as to how to live their life and how to treat others and I hope my children will always think their mom fulfills the highest standards in life and motherhood.
pictured are my great grandmother and three of her six sisters.
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 9:25 AM
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
After arriving home from getting the mail, Marsh inquired if it was okay to still blow bubbles now that it is Fall. I said, of course! Kind of like a dear friend said to me the other day..."Is there something wrong with serving sno cones with a pot of chili?" Certainly not, if you have kids and live in Iowa where in the span of five minutes the weather can go from "sno cone" to "chili".
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 1:39 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Marshall Ames has developed into quite a photographer this week. I gave him an old cell phone to play with and by darned if the little smarty didn't figure out how to take photos with it! I could barely figure that out! He walked all around the house, the yard, the town taking photos. Today he used the digital camera and took this montage. :-)
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 9:26 PM
Friday, September 19, 2008
Daddy has been called away on business....to Sweden this time. We'll anxiously await his return home, but look forward to his updates from the land of meatballs. Marsh is quick to pick up geography...and eagerly wanted to know where Sweden was on his globe.
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 8:20 PM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The beautiful dandelion I was presented with on the way home from preschool today. Marsh told me "Here Mommy, this is for you. You can put it in your hair and look pretty." In my heart of hearts I hope Marsh grows up to be a man who thinks about giving flowers to put in his wife's hair.
Marshall...my beautiful, gentle old soul.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Powered by Marshall. I can't say that I even recall how "Good Ducks Eat" came into being....just saying it was hatched in the brain of my beautiful, creative son is enough. Good Duck, the namesake, is Marshall's cuddly, furry duck that he has toted around for the past 3 years of his young life. This is a duck that is missing hair, needs a good bath every once in a while and has pretty much had the stuffing hugged out of him, but we wouldn't trade him for the world. Marshall has decided to open a restaurant in Good Duck's honor, thus the name "Good Ducks Eat". We're not talking about some pretend, cardboard concoction....we're talking about a plan that includes the location shown (that was Marsh's idea too), menu has been developed, repairs assessed (he decided his Papa would be a good helper with that part of the project, but he'd need to buy Papa some new tools at the tool store in Cedar Rapids), china and decor chosen, and now we're on to the financial plan. Marsh informed me at supper that he'd like to make that trip to the bank tomorrow that we've been talking about because he needs to get some money to open his business. We've already met with the city clerk, who told Marsh she'd check into some things for him. ;-) Everyone meets his inquiries with a grin and a wink, as he asks very serious questions that he expects answers to. What a kid.
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 8:41 PM
Monday, September 15, 2008
The focal point of our backyard slowly disappeared today. Limb by limb, branch by branch the big tree was taken down. I was more emotional than I thought I would be...I knew I would be sad, but I felt awful about the tree coming to the end of its life today. The tree was sick and getting weaker and weaker and beginning to threaten the house but nonetheless, it makes me sad. We will replant three more to replace it on the south side of the drive, but none will be the same. Goodbye big friend.
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 8:54 PM
Friday, September 12, 2008
Fall's bounty gave Marsh Potato and I a relaxing project for the afternoon. While baby brother napped we walked around the yard, collecting our treasures and depositing them on the front porch. For the second wreath we collected the little beauties in reverse order (per Marsh's request ;-) Hydrangea, bittersweet, rose hips and a random yellow weed contributed to some very lovely wreaths, one for the front door and one for the back. I can't say how wonderful this time was to spend with my little guy...he snipped the wire and I arranged the wreath, with his suggestions of course. The weather was cool, rainy and calm today and we enjoyed a nice conversation while we created.
Brotherly love....is there anything better? Marshall has told us on many occassions that his brother is "The Baby President". There is a whole backstory and set of appropriate protocol that go along with having the baby president living in one's home. We have to use the back stairway when we are carrying Clancey because that is the secret presidential passageway, we eat in the presidential restaurant (aka, the kitchen) and the foyer is the presidential pressroom where Clancey gives speeches to all the other babies. Today Marsh informed me that he is the "Presidential Helper"...his job is to clean up the pressroom after the babies hear Clancey speak because "the babies eat popcorn in there and like to turn it upside down sometimes". Is there a way to bottle this imagination?
Posted by Jen@Notes From the Heartland at 12:46 PM
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Well here I am world, blogging. Life is good, and I want to share that. There are certainly bumps and bruises, but the joys make it so worth it. I think my understanding of this phenomena is that its a way for us to share our lives in a way that used to be common....that we had common stories, threads in our lives that we shared with neighbors, except now our neighbors might live on the other side of the world. Its a way to connect with our past and our future and to live our lives twice...we can just look over what we've written, savor the good things, reflect on the challenges and learn.
farmstead where my great grandparents and great great grandparents rasied thier families...slowly disappearing, but captured in stories and memories.