Friday, April 29, 2011


We've had a go-cart for many years- ten I think; but it's been pretty much out of commission for the last three.

The Man of the House decided that this spring it would be fixed.
(He had a lot of persuasive help from the kids)

Over the past two days, they've been working on it.  Painting, welding, putting in a different name it,they fixed it.
They learned a lot, those kids.

While tweaking the throttle the first day, and before the brakes were fully done, the go-cart took off up the road...with my daughter on it.

At first she started laughing, looking back to see her dad and sister running after her.  Then she began pumping the brakes, trying to stop it on her own.
Nothing worked and she was barreling up the road, beginning to panic.
Finally, The Man of the House caught up to her and was able to kill the engine.  
She told him, "Dad, I was just getting ready to let go and say, "Jesus, take the wheel!"  
(Like the Carrie Underwood song)
She laughed and said that song was going through her head and it sounded like a good idea.

The brakes were fixed.

Finally ready to go, each of the kids took turns on it last night and were thrilled to have their go-cart back.
Some a bit annoyed that their bodies had about outgrown it, others happy to be big enough to drive it at last.

I love the looks of trepidation as she tries it out for the first time:

She quickly realized that the brakes work great and the throttle is fully under control.  Not to mention it's now covered in cool-looking flames!

The kids are thinking of the fun they'll have now that it's done.

The Man of the House is thinking of the fun they'll have now that it's done...and how cool it looks. 

As their teacher, I'm thinking of the skills they learned while welding, painting and doing engine work on a school day.
As their mom, I'm just hoping that no injuries will occur.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Old-Fashioned Baked Custard

When I was young, my mother often made old-fashioned baked custard in the fall and winter.
It still brings back fond memories.

Recently, I made some- even though it's spring-time.
On a rainy day, the smell of custard baking is absolute Heaven!

I use my mother's old recipe....from her tattered copy of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook.

It has become much more tattered since she gave it to me about 15 years ago.  
I cherish the book; not only because it contains recipes from my childhood, but also because of the inscription:
It was a gift from my mother to my father the year before they divorced.
I'm just glad I have it in my possession.  : ) 

The baked custard recipe within says this:

"This kindly old dessert still nourishes and comforts.  Traditionally served in familiar brown custard cups, it can also be made in one large baking dish." 
~The Fanny Farmer Cookbook, 1980

It's truly simple to make, although I've changed it slightly to my taste, increasing the sugar and vanilla:

Preheat oven to 325.  
Grease a one quart baking dish or 8 ramekins.  ( I use glass bread pans or ramekins)
Set a shallow cake pan large enough to hold the baking dish or ramekins in the oven.  Fill with 1 inch of hot water.

Beat together:
2 egg yolks
3 eggs

Stir in:
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups very hot milk.  (Heat milk to hot, but not boiling.)

Stir til sugar is dissolved, add a sprinkling of cinnamon.  (optional)

Poor into baking dish (es) and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Put baking dish into shallow water pan and bake for about 45 -60 minutes.  (Less time for small ramekins)
Custard is set when a knife inserted in center comes out clean.

(I doubled the recipe)
Content copyright © 2011 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Eat warm or cold- they're both divine!
 Content copyright © 2011 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


This is Henry.
He's a Barred Rock Rooster.
Early this spring, he finally found his voice.
And his purpose in life.

 To protect his ladies against all dangers: perceived or otherwise.

He's been fully trained in the rooster arts and is not afraid to demonstrate.
He is Henry.  
He is one year old and he likes to peck, flap and crow!

(And then run when I come into the chicken yard. )

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Fun

Yesterday, we celebrated the Easter weekend with fun.
After a busy morning of soccer games and house showings, we all got together for an egg hunt and an early dinner.
The skies, which had previously been toying with the idea of snowing, gave us a break long enough to get out and do our thing.

It was cold out, so The Man of the House stayed inside to keep the baby warm.
I was the official picture-taker so I braved the chilling wind in order to fulfill my duty.  And, as a mother, to admonish my teenage son for being out in shorts and flip flops!
(Not that the girls in their dresses were much warmer.)

 Then, it was back inside to get warm and visit some more.
And for the kids to go through their baskets!

In other neat Easter news, we had baby chicks hatching yesterday.
A few weeks ago, we decided to hatch some of our own eggs to see the process.
Somehow, without trying, we timed it perfectly for this weekend.

As I showed our home to three couples yesterday, each had to take a peek at the chicks already hatched and those emerging from their eggs.

Pretty amazing stuff!
My favorite part was hearing them peep inside the egg, before even a crack had appeared.

All in all, it was a lovely day.  How wonderful to experience our granddaughter's first Easter, and spend time with cousins and extended family.

Today, we are celebrating Easter with reverence 
and abounding Gratitude. 

May your Easter be filled with the same.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Another Spring Break

This past week, The Man of the House took two of our children on a mini-vacation.
They went camping.
A little early for swimming and the fun of camping in summer weather, but they enjoyed themselves all the same.

They fished, played, ate and fished some more.
Who wouldn't appreciate a schedule like that?
They also explored and let out some of that pent up energy from a too-long winter.

This son and daughter were able to spend some quality time together.
Typically, she and her older sister tend to band together against their brother; turning down his offers of fun while they do their own 'thing'.  
This trip allowed the two of them to rely on each other  and reconnect.

Doritos, Mac n' Cheese and soda...while not on my list of nutritious foods, they can certainly bring kids together in junk food delight! 

 Fishing and later, counting and cleaning their catch of trout.

Trips like these- even over a weekend- do so much for the body and spirit.
Being immersed in nature is such an important part of a nutritious childhood.

Camping with Dad, roasting food over the fire and listening to the frogs croak at twilight before snuggling up in sleeping bags for the night....these are the things of which cherished memories are made!

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