March 2014: The Children Are Tender

Caregiving, teaching little kids to read, and riding in the pickup with Farmer John; I tweet, pin, and blog, from my home in rural Kansas. If you've landed here looking for information about my books, visit my author's page by clicking this link: A. Born. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Carrot Cake, Buttercream Frosting, and Ordinary Days

Our grandkids, clockwise from upper left: this two-year-old guy demonstrates why his mom should never turn her back; our two-year-old with the golden curls standing next to the rocking chair I used when I was her age; our studious ten-year-old; and our innovative, mischievous, artistic five-year-old.  

Doesn't the photo at left warm your heart?  I love goodbye hugs among the cousins. Right top: I am providing homeschool language arts lessons to our five-year-old grandson, and it is such a joy for me to return to the love I have for teaching kids to read.  Middle right: I made a carrot cake and put it in the freezer for our Easter celebration, recipe link below.  Lower right: My grands and I have discovered the joy of Calico Critters.  

 This month no one had an emergency room trip, in fact, no one suffered crises of any kind.  As a bonus, we all stayed healthy despite the continuation of the influenza epidemic in our area.  Yes, the weather was mostly cloudy and cold, and outdoor activities didn't hold much appeal, but how blessed we were to enjoy a series of ordinary days.

When our daughter was five, John made a dollhouse for her.  It is so sturdy that it has survived being used as a bookshelf for the past 30 years or so, and now has been reinstated as an abode for my new collection of Calico Critters. Have you seen these sweet little characters?  I just love them.  Our two older grand boys enjoy engineering room arrangements, creating lighting (velcro and battery operated tea lights), and are building a patio, while the younger pair just love playing with the furniture and acting out stories with the adorable figures. 

I wanted to make an old fashioned carrot cake for our family Easter celebration tomorrow, and searched for a recipe that called for both crushed pineapple and golden raisins. I found one that looked good at Taste of Home (here's the link) and my preliminary taste test affirms it is yummy.  Farmer John doesn't care for cream cheese icing, and so I made my standby buttercream.

Spring is not my favorite time of year; the time change always throws me for a loop and I have spring allergies that keep me indoors. But I can truthfully say that I enjoyed our ordinary March.

 Buttercream Frosting

2 lbs powdered sugar
1 cup butter or Earth Balance margarine
1/4 teaspoon salt, 3/8 teaspoon if you used unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 
Enough warm water to bring to spreading consistency

Combine all ingredients in bowl of electric mixer, add water a Tablespoon at a time until close to right consistency then whip frosting on medium high speed until fluffy, adding more water 1 teaspoon at a time until just right!  

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