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Category: Katya

Staff Lunch – Salad Bar

Staff Lunch – Salad Bar

Summertime means I have two extra helpers for staff lunch!  Hooray!

Here’s what we had this month:

A huge pile of salad ingredients

Basil Orange Dressing

Buttermilk Rolls

Cracked Wheat Rolls

Apricots (Sprouts has good sales!)

Citrus Butter Cookies – This is a Pioneer Woman recipe, so you really just have to go to her blog to find it.  Partly because that is the kind, right, copyright-friendly thing to do.  And partly because she writes recipes way better than I do!!

If you only make one thing, make the dressing.  You won’t regret it, even if it takes a whole basil plant.  I promise.

Katya’s Role Model

Katya’s Role Model

Today’s final “kid bragging” post is a writing assignment that Katya did.  It was deeply encouraging and humbling, especially to this mom who often finds herself at odds with her creative, independent, passionate daughter.

“My mom is a great role model for me for many reasons.  To begin, my mom is a Christian woman.  My mom shows that she is a Christian by disciplining me very well.  Also, she teaches me about God and how to love God.  Next, when I think of my mom I think about how loving she is.  My mom comforts me when I am sad, and she is gentle when I am hurt or sick.  Also, she encourages me in hard times and is patient with me when I am grumpy.  Last, my mom is always joyful.  I can see that she is joyful because she always wears bright colors.  Also, my mom smiles a lot and loves everyone around her.  I admire my mom as a role model.”

Some moments are so very hard, but then there are other moments that are so richly beautiful.  Thanks, sweet girl.

Nathan’s Hero

Nathan’s Hero

One more “student work” post from Nathan…

Hero Project

My hero is my little sister, Katya. She is a charismatic person who loves acrobatics, art, and people. She is my hero because she proves that the best gifts come in small packages and she shows me an example of generosity. She is generous, creative, sweet, adorable, innocent and brilliant and she shows me how to have fun even when everything seems serious. She is very creative and adds new things to playtime every day. She is very responsible and she is similar to Aurelianus [a character in the book this pieces was an assignment for] because she loves dogs, she is a lover of harmony, and she loves magic. She also is very observant and knows lots of things. She is different than Aurelianus because she does not have a very conventional mind she has more of a creative one. (She also doesn’t have a fur coat that changes colors, wink, wink.) Katya helps so many people have love and joy in their lives. She gives gifts and smiles at what people say. She fills people’s lives with creative ideas. Katya and I are alike because we both love each other very much. We are different because she is very creative but I like orderly, conventional thinking.

Katya’s Dog Poetry

Katya’s Dog Poetry

Normally I try not to do too much “kid bragging” on the blog, but sometimes it is just the best forum for sharing what they are up to!  As the school year ends and the summer begins, I’ve got a few things I’ve collected from their year that I hope you enjoy.

First up, poetry!!  Of course, when it is time to write some poems, you choose your favorite thing.  And for Katya, that would be dogs!  This writing even got illustrations…


There once was a big dog named Bear

Who chased hare after hare

One day while chasing a hare she jumped into a lake

and she came out holding a rake

and she swam out of the lake with much care

Golden Retrievers

A big ball of fluffy happiness

fun, silly, smart, crazy ball of fluff

frolicking, licking, running ball of sunshine

doing tricks, playing games, your best friend

in the water splash, splishing, sploshing

licking children, being friendly, your pet!

A Bean Grows in Denver

A Bean Grows in Denver

As part of her science unit at school, Katya has been carefully tending some bean seeds in a plastic cup.  She has loved watching them appear and has faithfully photographed their growth from when the sprout appeared to when we put it outside.

I was amazed at how quickly they grew–the first few photos were taken with only about 12 hours between each picture!

Creation is amazing!

Spring Break (Catching Up)

Spring Break (Catching Up)

How did I miss posting about our spring break road trip?!!  We traveled to St. Louis (as we have done before) and took with us special guests Uncle Nate and Aunt Kerry (which we haven’t done before).  I suppose it is a bit late to write a long play-by-play of our visit, but it is worth noting that we went and were SO glad we did.  We visited some old favorite places and some new spots, but were especially happy about having rich times with so many different parts of our family.

Recital (Catching-Up)

Recital (Catching-Up)

Baylor Music Studio Spring Recital–cookies, kids, parents, music–always somewhat the same, but always new too!

Nathan and Katya played a duet together for the first time, and Nathan’s clarinet teacher came for one of the performances to play a clarinet duet with him as well.  We sure heard some good music from so many students!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, the cookie selections included…


Coconut Macaroons

Sugar Cookie Sandwiches with Strawberry Icing

Pecan Brownies

Raspberry Oatmeal Squares

Toffee Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Orange Ricotta Cookies

Almond Cream Cheese Bars

Classic Chocolate Chippers with Walnuts

Easter (Catching-Up)

Easter (Catching-Up)

Wow, I haven’t downloaded pictures from my phone or posted on the blog in 3 months.  What happened?!!

I suppose there are plenty of explanations–life happened, work and church and school and family and whatever else.  The kids are bigger, they aren’t here doing cute stuff every 5 minutes all day long, and there are so many good things to spend time on.

However, for my faithful followers there are still some fun photos and seasonal events to share.  I’ll try to get caught up and break the silence so it isn’t so daunting to post over the summer!

Here is Catching-Up #1–Easter pics.  I’m not sure they need much explanation, they are what they are!


A Girl in Love

A Girl in Love

Get ready to fall in love…

Katya had the chance to go with her Sunday school teacher to see a litter of the sweetest, fluffiest Golden Retrievers ever!!  She was so thrilled, and had a wonderful time soaking in the puppy wonderfulness.

As if that wasn’t enough to fill her nearly-9-year-old girl heart, the dog breeder also let her visit the horse and hold the Ragdoll cat.

Thanks to her teacher for arranging this special outing, and to the dog breeder for filling this little girl’s love bucket!  (Can you tell that these photos just make my heart happy?!)

Pasta with Sausage and Fennel

Pasta with Sausage and Fennel

Another random holiday photo share, and another recipe at the end.  Today’s pictures feature our gingerbread construction.  First, the gingerbread items arrive in the mail.  They are safely stored away until the ideal moment arrives.

On a calm afternoon, it’s time to pair off and go to work.  Two teams, two gingerbread projects, and the last of the coloring tablecloth to catch all the crumbs!

The finished products are proudly displayed for quite a while (although the jelly beans start disappearing remarkably quickly…)

Good work, builders!

Print Recipe
Pasta with Sausage and Fennel
This pasta recipe isn't that hard to assemble, and the fennel and fun pasta shapes make it a good meal for entertaining guests. Don't be afraid of fennel's licorice-y reputation. Its flavor mellows nicely when cooked, and no one at our table was bothered by it. This dish is also surprisingly good as a leftover, which is unusual for pasta.
Course Main Dish
Course Main Dish
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet or electric frying pan over medium high heat. Add sausage and brown, breaking up large pieces with a wooden spoon.
  3. Cut thick stalks off the fennel bulb (reserving leafy fronds for garnish). Remove the core of the fennel bulb and slice the rest into thin strips. Slice the onion half thinly as well. Halve the cherry tomatoes or chop regular tomatoes.
  4. Add fennel and onion to sausage. Cook 6 minutes and reduce heat to medium.
  5. Stir in chopped tomatoes. Cook 3 minutes or just until warmed. Garnish with fennel fronds if desired.
  6. Serve immediately with plenty of Parmesan cheese.
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