Thursday, June 18, 2015

First Favorite Days of Summer 2015...

Summer always seems to fly by.  This year, we get a few extra days in August due to the late Labor Day holiday (which also means getting out later next June 2016!), but I just know that in the blink of an eye, I'll be back at work.  So, I'm hoping to document our days so I can look back and remember all the FUN we had during the summer of 2015.

Some highlights of our FAVORITE ways to pass the days...

Day #1 - Georgia and I's first full day at home.  Cue the 5 seconds of panic... what to do with our day?!?!  In the morning, we headed to the library to sign Georgia up for her very own library card.  She was so cute and proud.  She clutched the card the entire time as she walked around the Children's Room exploring all the options.  I asked the librarian how many books she could sign out and was shocked to hear the answer was 100.  That's a tad too many for us to keep track of, so we settled for 4.

Fun Fact --- If you are local, sign up for the Summer Reading 2015 program on the MC library website.  It's free!  Kids can earn "badges" and prizes.  As of this morning, Georgia already earned tickets to our local minor league baseball team and was entered into a lottery for Orioles tickets just because I typed in the names of the books that we read together yesterday.




Day #2 - Our first Thursday home, which meant that Georgia went to school for the day.  It wasn't too hard to convince her to pack up and go since it was also the first sprinkler/water day at school. 


"Frozen" backpack and her beloved Glamour kitty

That left me at home for the day... guess it was time to rediscover the gym.  I was non-stop running during the months of February/March/April at least 4-5 days per week training for all my races.  I took most of May off from running to give my knees a break.  All that running had my legs feeling great for softball season after a rough year last spring with a nagging hamstring injury.  But, fall race dates are rapidly approaching and I got talked into a local mud run with a bunch of friends at the end of August, so it's back to the gym I go...




Our typical afternoon summer storm rolled through right at daycare pick-up time so I waited a bit to pick-up Georgia.  By the time we got home, the sun was shining and we discovered that we now owned lakeside property... muddy brown lakeside property!  Nick was working from home and had the perfect toy for our new pond... a new remote-controlled boat that he had just bought for our annual NY lake trip later this summer.









video



After "boating," Georgia tried a new dinner... gnocchi... and it was a hit!




And we finished off the day with a walk/ride around the neighborhood...




I could get used to days like this!



Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hello Summer 2015!

It is official... we are on summer break in the Thoman household.  There are 68 days until I have to go back to work and we're hoping to fill those days with lots of fun activities, day trips, vacations, etc.  Georgia will still be going to school on Tuesday/Thursday so that she can maintain her spot in her class, socialize with friends, and participate in her school's summer program (lots of fun in-school field trips, sprinkler days, etc.), but all the other days of the week are free, free, free!

The best part about summer - no alarm clocks!  We can get up whenever we want to rise and shine.  No more harassing my kid and dragging her out of bed every day...




We definitely push bedtime a bit in the summer too.  This weekend, our neighborhood had a movie night at the local school.  Georgia wasn't too into the movie, but she loved running around the playground at night with a friend and I got to chat and hang out with a friend and enjoy a warm and muggy night in the neighborhood too.  At least, Nick enjoyed/watched the movie!!





It's definitely FELT like summer here in MD for weeks.  Last week, it was so hot after one of our last days of school that Georgia and I boycotted going home and instead packed ourselves dinner (sandwiches) and went straight to the pool.  We both swam the afternoon away until Nick called wondering where we were hiding!


UGH!!!!


Sunset swimming in the deep end

We have been BLOWN AWAY by how amazing Georgia has been swimming for only having been in the pool for just a few weeks.  Her and her little friends are really starting to get the hang of it.  Nick has been earning major brownie points by constantly swimming around with her and giving out "swimming lessons" in the deep end.  It's amazing the difference between last year and this year.


G and her BFF swimming this weekend


Before school finished for the summer, all our amazing readers headed outside to see how many books the entire school had read during the 2014-2015 school year.  Drum roll.. 37,000+.  Throughout the school year, students added a "link" to their classroom chain and wrote the name of the book they read on the paper.  With them all connected, they easily wrapped around our outdoor fields and then later around the entire school.  WOW!!  I took some video of the craziness...


video



A few local news/media outlets picked up the story and a few days later, I even spotted my backside in the newspaper.  Can you find me (hint - all the teachers were in our official red t-shirt from this school year)?!?!




On Tuesday morning, Georgia and I both headed off to our final day of school/work.  I grabbed a quick photo of her so I could compare the beginning of the year with the last day...





After turning in my office keys on Tuesday, I kicked off summer by relaxing for a few hours and prepping the house for our weekly "Bachelorette" watch since I was hosting this week.  I lasted for almost 5 hours before I hit Staples for a new planner for next year (I'm blaming my Type A teammates who bought their calendars weeks ago!!)...



You know you are a Type A educator when you get excited about a pretty new BLANK calendar!
 
 
Summer also blessed us with our first tomato and even a handful of sugar snap peas from all the plants that we potted in the spring...





Another little someone is quite happy to have some company during the summer...




Off to create some wonderful memories during the summer of 2015...





Monday, June 15, 2015

Thoman Treats - Batch #2

About a week ago, I kicked off a new feature on the blog called Thoman Treats.  I'm hoping to make it a running series with some of our favorite treats that are delicious, as well as safe for Georgia.  Food allergies don't always make baking easy, but we do our best to work around nuts and dairy and still have fun with food!

Since we had roughly 5,081 pounds of strawberries after our trip to the farm, I was left searching Pinterest for a good recipe to use up some of our riper berries.  I stumbled across lots of recipes that were heavy with butter and cream and some that just had way too many steps for me to embark on after a full day of work.  After almost giving up, I decided to mesh a few different recipes together and came up with a Strawberry Cake-Pie.  Yes, that's right, a cake and a pie all in one.  I kept referring to it as a "cake" and everyone else in the house referred to it as a "pie."  It's now a cake-pie.

Strawberry Cake-Pie

**Nut-free**
**Not completely dairy-free, since Georgia can tolerate baked dairy, but you could easily substitute the butter and make
this recipe dairy-free too**
**Not egg-free, but the 1 egg could also be easily replaced with a substitute to make the recipe egg-free**

Ingredients:
  • 6 tbsp. of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1.5 cups of flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk ---- I used dairy-free vanilla flavored rice milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup strawberries, chopped (I had already washed, chopped and frozen our strawberries from the farm, so I used frozen strawberries)
    • You could probably use more or less strawberries - I probably could have thrown in even more
    • I think this recipe would work well with other fruit too - I'm already planning to try it with blueberries in a few weeks after we pick those at the farm



Our frozen little delights


Directions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt
  • Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar until creamy (about 90 seconds - 2 minutes with my KitchenAid mixer)
  • Add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix until everything is combined


I may have stolen a lick of two of the batter!


  • Carefully add in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine until well-blended
  • Gently fold in your strawberries (or other fruit) to the batter






  • Butter/Spray a 8x8 glass casserole dish and dump mixture inside dish



  • I almost sprinkled a little extra sugar on top for some crunch factor - next time, I'll be sure to sprinkle a teaspoon or two on top
  • Bake for 10 minutes in the 350 degree oven, before turning the oven down to 325 and cook for an additional 45 minutes or so (I kept an eye on it and pulled it out right before the timer went off since it looked perfectly brown to me!)





The only problem with this recipe... we polished off that small casserole dish in 2-3 days flat!  I may need to double the recipe next time and put it in a 9x11 dish instead of the smaller 8x8. 

This was one of the first times that we've let Georgia have that much butter/dairy in a baked recipe, but since it baked for almost an hour, I was okay with letting her try it.  Total success - no reactions!!