DIY light sabers

DIY Light Sabers

Don’t you just love it when you have a moment of inspiration that doesn’t cost anything and that has the potential to make your children very happy?!

Certainly not an everyday occurrence, but I will gladly take these moments when they come!

DIY light sabers

Yesterday morning I was picking out clothes for my boys so they could get dressed before breakfast. I grabbed a new shirt that I recently found at Goodwill and showed it to my oldest son, Jack. The shirt is a parody on Stars Wars. More specifically, it is a “Sea Wars” shirt from the Georgia Aquarium.

My boys don’t know much about Star Wars since they are still too young to watch it, but they have a vague idea of who Darth Vader is and that he is a ‘bad guy’. Incidentally, if you ask them for a run down of ‘bad guys’, Darth Vader makes an appearance in a very short list, along with other notorious villains like Goliath and Zac from Wild Kratts who is always trying to hurt animals.

Seeing the light saber on his shirt, I had an idea. I asked him if he wanted me to make him a light saber. Duh. Yes please!

Literally, in about three minutes, Jack had a light saber that lit up and there was one less piece of trash on our garage floor. It was a win-win.

DIY light sabers

Chances are, summer has left you with the remnants of fun times forgotten. Water balloon pieces. Permanently flattened grass from a slip-and-slide. Bubble blowing paraphernalia.

You might be on top of your game and have a spotlessly clean garage and yard. Me, not so much. If you do have a bubble wand around (they were a hit at the Target dollar spot for a while this summer) and a flashlight, you can make a light saber for your Jedi-knights in training.

If you used to have multiple bubble wands but since have crushed them under the wheels of your vehicle (yep), then you can find another at Target for $1.99. Your second child who didn’t appreciate going the morning without his own light saber will thank you.

DIY light sabers

Directions.

I almost feel like I’m insulting your intelligence by calling these directions. But humor me.

1. Take empty, dry bubble wand. Line it up with flashlight. Wrap around tightly with tape. (I used packaging tape).

DIY light sabers

2. Turn on and find a dark place to duel.

3. Teach your children all the classic Star Wars lines and how to identify storm troopers needing to be dealt with.

dancing Darth Vader

Darth verse Luke

Storm Troopers

Pan Seared Scallops with Caramelized Onion Alfredo

Pan Roasted Scallops with Caramelized Onion Alfredo

Several months ago I was grocery shopping with my kids at Whole Foods. Usually when we go shopping, we are in no rush and we meander through the stores talking about what foods we see and trying to take advantage of various learning opportunities.

We finished up in the produce department and headed along to pick out our meats. Not being in a hurry, I pushed the cart towards the seafood case to talk about the fish and let my kids try and identify the types of seafood displayed. We pointed out the red salmon and drooled over the (out of our budget) fresh tuna and sea bass. I reminded the kids that soon it will be vacation time and we will be enjoying a lot of seafood at it’s freshest– right on the beach!

Having no actual intention of purchasing seafood, I attempt to move everyone along to find the next item on our list, chicken thighs. My eldest spots the clams though, and we linger longer, picking one up and talking about what it is. He begs me to get some. I had never cooked clams before, but the price was right, and it’s hard to turn down a three-year-old (at the time) asking to eat clams.

Shopping for clams

Bag of clams in hand, we are finally on our way.

That night, alongside my mother-in-law, I learned how to prepare clams. Tossed with some fresh pasta and a simple sauce, and Jack was hooked. Very delicious.

clam pasta

I am now regularly asked to buy clams. Or shrimp. Or salmon. My kids have developed a taste for the sea.

This week, I thought I would change it up and get fresh scallops. We enjoyed them at the beach with shrimp, roasted veggies, and angel hair pasta. Surely it would be a hit again at home.

At The Fresh Market this time, I ordered our scallops. I asked first about how many would equal the price per pound amount. 10-20 scallops per pound I was told. I asked for 15, and then my breath caught in my chest when he handed over the package. Waaaay more than I wanted to spend since I’m really trying to stay in budget. Either his approximation was off or I am just easily confused. Honestly, with three children with me, it is most likely the latter.

“Please…I’m sorry…I don’t want to spend this much on scallops…Can you just give me half of this?!”

I’m not sure why I felt so embarrassed, but I did. Oh, well.

The end result was a dish rich in flavor and decadent in its creamy pasta goodness. If you don’t want to have a potentially embarrassing moment at the seafood counter, you can easily substitute scallops for roasted chicken or shrimp. (If time and ambition do not allow, using boxed pasta would, of course, still make for a delicious dish, and one that would come together in a short time).

Pan Seared Scallops with Caramelized Onion Alfredo

(And since my clam-loving son declared that scallops are an “incredibly yucky meat” and asked to please not eat them again, I will likely pair it with shrimp the next time I make it so that I can spare him the yuck.)

I made the pasta with spelt flour ground in my WonderMill. Until using this mill, I had not been successful at making pasta with freshly ground flour. While I could use fresh flour for just about everything else, I have been in the habit of keeping a bag of unbleached flour on hand for pasta night.

There has been a learning curve in figuring out how to make it work, but I’m happy to say that now the pasta is as easy to roll out as it had been before using refined flour. The trick is to knead the flour for a few minutes longer when the dough is formed. This helps the dough to stay together and not become lacy (my previous problem) while it is passed through the pasta machine.

Spelt Berries & Wondermill

This recipe is a contributing part of an opportunity I’ve been given to test out the WonderMill. You can find the recipe for Pan Seared Scallops with Caramelized Onion Alfredo, as well as a ton of other recipes, on the Grain Mill Wagon’s website. 

The Days Are Long

The Days Are Long

The days are long.

Lately, this is the part of the familiar saying that stands out to me the most.

In the busyness of the past few weeks, I have barely been able to catch my breath most days.

The Days Are Long

Last night I left a load of laundry downstairs in the washer because I couldn’t muster the motivation to go down and deal with it. Which ended up being not so bad since my baby woke up this morning with a diaper blowout. Add dirty sheets, blankets, pajamas, and sleeping lovie to the load and rewash. Then wash the baby in the bathtub. Throw in the toddler for good measure. Make a mental note to wash the bathtub later. Promptly forget.

The rest of the week was full too. Our moms group started back this week. We had prayer night at church. Meals were taken to loved ones in a new house and to friends with a new baby. My husband had a meeting at church one evening and then a meeting with his fly fishing group the next. The baby got her first two teeth in and  has been learning to crawl everywhere. Little sleep plus added vigilance. Not exactly going together like a horse and carriage. And, our dishwasher was broken for over a week which meant LOTS of extra time washing dishes.

clean dishes

Do your days seem like this sometimes?

There is so much that is the same day in and day out. So much that needs to be done.

If your days tend to run together; if people comment every time you leave the house that “your hands are full”; and if at the end of the day you feel like you’ve given just about all you have to give, then you probably need to hear the same reminder that I do.

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