Free at last!

Some mothers dread having their children out of school for the summer.

Not this one.
I didn’t want to send them back after spring break.

Yesterday was our last day of school, and let me just tell you how good it feels to be done.

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I realize that it means lots of noise all day long and nonstop trips to the kitchen for something to eat.
(But, you see, with 3 preschoolers and a kindergartener, I already have that every day.)

What makes me jump for joy is that now I am free to do what is best for US, not what is best for someone else’s schedule, priorities, and so forth.

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Sure, summer brings its own brand of busyness, but it’s the kind that allows us to do what meets our needs, and let everything else go.  It means my little ones can nap until they wake up, not until it’s time to get in the car and pick someone up from somewhere.

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It means I can quit accumulating hundreds of new freckles on the left side of my face simply by not being in the car for several hours every afternoon!

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It means we can read until the book ends, play until it’s dark outside, work until the job is done, and generally experience good, old-fashioned childhood for a while.

Worth celebrating?   YES!!!!

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And let me tell you, as happy as the kids are, THE MOM IS EVEN HAPPIER!

(P.S. My daughter is wearing a skort, so any questionable views are of the shorts underneath, nothing more.  Just so ya know.)

Grapefruit Slush

This is a recipe that my Aunt shared with me a few years ago.
In my recipe book it’s written on a 3×5 card in her handwriting.  I like that.
I’ve modified it just a little, but it’s super yummy.  It has more substance and less sugar than the  Slush that I grew up eating.

And it’s so pretty!

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The recipe is very simple.  You just have to make it at least 24 hours before you want to serve it so that it has time to freeze.

First, combine 3 cups sugar and 3 cups water in a saucepan.

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Bring to a rolling boil for 2 minutes and remove from the heat to cool.

Meanwhile, open two cans of grapefruit.  With a fork, remove the grapefruit from the cans while preserving as much juice as possible.

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Place the grapefruit sections on a cutting board.

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Slice the grapefruit into small pieces.

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Put the grapefruit back into the cans.  Drain the juice from a bottle of maraschino cherries.
Pour them onto a cutting board.

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Now chop them up!

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When the sugar syrup has cooled, add the grapefruit to it.

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Then add the chopped cherries.

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Now open two cans of crushed pineapple and dump them in.  No draining!

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Stir it together.

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Pour the slush into a large freezer-safe container.
I like to save the big plastic buckets that we sometimes buy ice cream in.
They are perfect for freezing things like this.
Now freeze the slush for 24 hours or until firm.

To serve, remove from freezer and let soften until you can scoop it.
Place slush in a cup and add some 7-UP or Sprite.

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Grab a spoon and enjoy!
This is a great summertime refresher.

Here’s the recipe:

Grapefruit Slush

3 cups sugar
3 cups water
2 cans grapefruit sections (around 14 oz.)
1 jar maraschino cherries
2 cans crushed pineapple (20 oz.)
2 liters 7-Up or Sprite (you could also use ginger ale)

Combine sugar and water in large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat to cool.
Remove grapefruit from cans, reserving juice, and chop.
Drain jar of maraschino cherries.  Chop cherries into small pieces.

When sugar syrup has cooled somewhat, add grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
Add maraschino cherries.  Open cans of pineapple and add.
Stir well.  Pour into large freezer-safe container and freeze 24 hours or until firm.

To serve, thaw slush at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
Spoon in to glasses, top with 7-UP or Sprite.
Enjoy!

Makes about 1 gallon of slush.

Gratitude: good for the soul

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.”  -G.K. Chesterton

I love that quote.  It’s one of my favorites.
Earlier this week I was feeling a little bit tired, frustrated, and to be very honest, sorry for myself.
I realized that I needed to move to a higher plane of thought, to remind myself that it’s not about me.

So I sat down and wrote some letters of gratitude to people who have blessed my life lately.

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It felt good.   In fact, it was a great cure for the way I was feeling.
It reminded me once again that the choice to be grateful is a powerful one.
It changes our lives because it changes us.
And that’s really all that we can control.

So today, find something or someone to be grateful for and no matter how busy you are, do something about it.  Enjoy the lift that will follow your efforts.

Happy day to you!

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