Boston and Cape Cod

We took the kids to visit Boston for 2 days and then spent a week on gorgeous Cape Cod.  (This all happened about 2 weeks ago, but I am quite behind in blogging).  I wasn't great about taking photos on this vacation...it was non-stop and I just didn't have the time or desire to lug around my big heavy camera.  Sometimes I just need a break from camera-readiness also.

So here's a little of Boston:
1. I can spend hours and hours in the old cemeteries.  There were a few in our party who could not spend hours and hours.  So we didn't.  But there is something so peaceful about these places in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city.

2. The boys were more into the street performers.  What a life.

3. Relaxing at the hotel before we venture out.

4. In the evening, Jeff took the older kids to see Blue Man Group.  Patrick and I hit the bagel shop and book store, and then headed back for a bath and bedtime.  Cookies and milk were delivered (a perk of the hotel apparently) and we had our own little special event.

5. Of course we walked the Freedom Trail.  Towards the end there were a few kids who were losing it.  Not the younger ones.  Older boys have their own idea of fun, and I don't think that included a historical tour.

6. Harvard Yard...Andrew was really into this chess game we came upon.  Winner takes a dollar.

7. Jeff wanted to see Harvard Law.  Nice students took our picture.

8. Funny kids.

9. Funny, sad kid who felt left out, hence the face.

10. Riding the subway might have been the highlight of the trip.

1. Then we went on to Cape Cod.  Here's a house near where we stayed.  It's called the Hydrangea Walk.  It was lovely.  Apparently it has been renovated to the tune of $20,000,000 or so.  I asked about it at an art gallery...I wanted some inside information.  It has had new owners who renovated it, bought adjacent property and knocked a house down that was blocking the view of the ocean, and put on several new additions.  I liked it more before I knew all that.  It's not the house's fault though, right?  It is probably a bit embarrassed by all this ostentatious behavior and just wanted to live with the quiet admiration it enjoyed previously.

2. I can't get over the hydrangeas.  They are everywhere and gorgeous and I have to be at peace with the fact that nowhere else will they grow more beautifully.

3. Here's the cute cottage where we stayed.  Cute cottages, houses, mansions are a dime a dozen here.  I love the shingle style.

4. The hit was the swing in the back.

5. On Martha's Vineyard at the Big Dipper.

6. My favorite part of the trip is when my friend Pam came to visit us for a day.  We met at one of the prettiest beaches I've ever been on, and of course I have no pictures to show you.  The tidal pools went out for at least a mile and we just sat and talked and talked and talked while the kids played.  She has the nicest, sweetest kids ever.  Here are a few of them, back at our house, on the hammock after pizza.  The kids had so much fun together.

7. My kids loved the huge waves...and Jeff did too.  He went out and bought a man-sized boogie board and fins, what a dork.

8.  Here I am...on the last day the waves were scary big.  I couldn't relax a second watching the kids.  They had so much fun though, getting tossed around and knocked over.

9. Isaac and Matt love skim boarding.

10.  Andrew spent every minute in the water.  That kid is a fish.  Here he is warming up just to go back in.

And at the end of it all, I loved coming home.
I always do.
There's no place like home.


Things I Know By Now...

...but need to be reminded of every once in awhile.

1. Getting up earlier than the kids, if at all possible, even for 15 minutes, makes my day magically run so much smoother.

2. If I want to get any big project accomplished, I need to break it down into tiny steps so it won't be overwhelming and I won't feel frustrated.

3. Planning meals and ingredients and a weekly shopping trip is essential.  Trying to think of what to make for dinner at 5 p.m. makes me miserable, as does not having the right ingredients.  And hungry children at 6:00 p.m. are really really scary.

4. If I want free time, it MUST be planned.  It will never just happen.  Someone will always need something.  It is up to me to plan for it, and if I complain about not having a minute to myself, I only have one person to blame: me.

5. Positive reinforcement goes much farther than nagging, harping, and criticizing


Golden Books

I am not the collector type, but I am really tempted to start one with one of my favorite things: Golden Books.

Here are my favorites:

I was thrilled to find A Child's Year at a little used book shop for .50 cents.  I love Joan Anglund...I remember my mom having her calendars when I was young.

Abbey bought this one for me at an antique store in our little town.

My most favorite of all, Little Mommy.  I had a copy when I was little and wore it out.  When I found a new copy years later I could remember every little detail of every page, I had studied them so hard when I was a little girl.

Funny how this looked like my bedroom for awhile in real life. (But put the baby IN my bed.)


Peanut Butter Cookies

A family favorite peanut butter cookie recipe-soft and chewy:

Mix together in bowl:
1 cup softened butter
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

Roll or scoop into balls, and mash down with a fork dipped in sugar.
Bake for 8-10 minutes at 375.

Melt in your mouth goodness.



My kids love these little breaded cheese raviolis.  We don't have them often, but when I do make them, they are gone in seconds.

2 TBS whole milk
1 egg
1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
25 oz. package frozen cheese ravioli, thawed
3 cups of vegetable oil for frying
2 TBS parmesan cheese
1 jar of spaghetti sauce, for dipping

Thaw raviolis.  

Combine milk and egg in a small bowl.  Place breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in another bowl.  Dip ravioli in milk mixture, and coat with breadcrumbs.

Heat sauce in a small pan for later.

In a large heavy frying pan, pour oil to depth of 2 inches.  Heat oil over medium heat until a small amount of breading sizzles and turns brown. Fry ravioli, a few at a time, until each side is golden.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with heated sauce for dipping.

(These are very hot and take awhile to cool after frying.  Beware!)


Raspberry or Blueberry Muffins

Finally raspberries and blueberries don't cost an arm and a leg!  We've been making these:

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup half-and-half cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. lemon extract
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries or raspberries, whatever you'd prefer

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Combine the eggs, cream, oil and lemon extract: stir into dry ingedients just until moistened.
Fold in berries, carefully.
Spoon into paper lined muffin cups.
Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes.
Yields 18 muffins.