Friday, July 17, 2015

Summertime Favorites

Easiest summer water activity ever:  cup of water, an old paintbrush, and some cement.
So many pictures to make, so little time!
I used to do this when I taught first grade as part of our unit on the sun.
It is a great introduction to the sun as a heat source, that the sun has the power to evaporate water.
So not only is fun but it's educational.

Best "it's too hot to play outside" activity:  blanket forts.
They filled the whole family room.
And best part?  They actually picked it all up!
Best activity to teach your little brother:  bug hunting.
Zeke loves to hunt for bugs and is always turning over rocks and digging in the dirt to find them.
He showed Kai how to tip over the edgers by our mailbox and Kai is hooked.
Hearing Kai shriek and laugh over the ants is always smile inducing.

Favorite flower #1:  Zinnias

Favorite flower #2:  the butterfly bush

Favorite flower #4:  Gigantic  hostas
These hostas are Guacamole Hostas and they have huge leaves and fragrant flowers which is unusual for hostas.

Favorite flower #5:  Hydrangeas
I love hydrangeas and have 4 different kinds along our front.
These Annabelle Hydrangeas are one of my favorites because they produce huge mopheads
and because they grow on new growth so you don't have to protect them during the winter.
This flower was easily bigger than Kai's head.

Best summertime meal:  Brinner or brunch
French toast, pancakes and breakfast casseroles-we've had them all.
One of my favorite things to serve with pancakes is homemade syrup.
My kids love syrup so I am surprised that they prefer homemade to store bought but they do.
They always ask, "With homemade syrup?"
The recipe is below.

  • Homemade Pancake Syrup  (adapted from

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, salted or unsalted, well chilled cut into 8 pats.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract

  • Stir the water and brown sugar together in a heavy-bottomed 2 to 2½ quart saucepan with high sides. Place the pan over medium high heat and stir until the sugar is melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and allow it to boil for 4 minutes. When the time is up, gently drop one pat of butter into the mixture and stir until the butter is melted completely. Repeat the process with one pat of butter at a time, until all the butter has been melted and incorporated. Remove the pan from the heat. If using the extract, add it and stir it in now. Take care, as it will bubble up enthusiastically.  Let cool for 5 minutes or so before serving.  You can store any leftovers in a Mason jar in your fridge.  (I have also made this with less butter and it still tastes delicious.)

1 comment:

Kathy C. said...

Love the bug hunting. I didn't really think of him as the big brother! I was expecting to see K.