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Take Me to the River

Yesterday, a wise last minute decision moved soccer practice from the school field to the banks of the river. Shin guards and cleats were cast aside in favor of bathing suits and goggles. After each barefoot and sandy drill the girls would run and plunge into the water to cool off. It's been close to 100 degrees here the last few days, thank goodness for coaches who think on their toes.

What's New and Good?

Isn't that a great question? So much better than "how are you?".

So what's new and good? For me it's this fun new design I've been working on and wearing out and about. I don't tell people I made it... but they do notice it's large, colorful presence around my neck and have paid wonderful compliments! It's a pretty magical feeling to secretly walk around with my own art adorning my neck and receive feedback from friends and perfect strangers alike.

I think I might make a few more.

Tell me, what is new and good with you? My life is overflowing with tasks and details at the moment and I would love to get lost in your good vibes.

I'm Not Much of a City Girl...



The oldest continually lived on street in the United States.

... but Philadelphia sure had me rethinking my country ways. Our little group had an amazing time visiting last week. Emily and I cannot wait to return with Adam as a family. Wonderful food, beautiful architecture, simple to navigate public transportation, a decent amount of green space, and crowds that felt manageable. We were all pretty happy tourists.

This week held a few unexpected twists that kept me busy and away from visiting my blog and yours very much. Hopefully next week will look a little different. Until then, enjoy the weekend!

PS ~ I think I'm convinced trains are the only way to travel. Thirty seven years on the planet and I've never done this...? I definitely see more train travel in my future.

making spring rolls with children



This is something you can really get your kids into. You know how children always want to come into the kitchen when it's time to frost the cupcakes? (It's fun!) Trust me, they will also love to "build" a platter of spring rolls.

With summer right around the corner, I know many of you (and me) are looking for healthy, no-cook ideas to feed the littlest and the biggest members of your household. Might I suggest making spring rolls? Kids love to be involved with this process, and by simply searching through the refrigerator you will likely find no need to turn the stove on at all.

The wrappers used in spring rolls are made from rice, so they are gluten free for those interested in that. They can be found in the Thai or Macrobiotic section of any health food store and some grocery stores. A package of about 50 wrappers is just a couple of dollars. As you can see in a picture above, to "soften" them, Emily dips them in a bit of warm water. A pie plate works nicely for this. Most package instructions say to dip them in the water for 30 seconds but I find this to be way too long and the wrappers become too tender and fall apart easily. We just sort of dip and go... moving the wrapper to our cutting board where we build the spring roll. There is plenty of moisture remaining to soften the wrapper.

What goes inside is entirely up to you! On this particular day we had on hand: carrots, avocado, baked tofu, gomassio, cilantro, and parsley. You really only need about two heaping tablespoons of filling per roll. We first placed the long strips of tofu and avocado, then the shredded carrot, herbs, and a hefty sprinkling of gomassio. I've made spring rolls as a dessert before too. The filling was a coconut jasmine rice pudding with mango and I served them with a dipping sauce that was made of coconut milk, jasmine tea (a concentrated infusion), honey and lime zest. Oh my, typing that list of flavors makes me feel a little desperate to get in the kitchen and make a batch. So good.

Remember, there is no real recipe. The most important ingredient is the kids. Bring them into the kitchen and include them! My daughter does not have the same predisposition for cooking that I seemed to have at her age, but this? This is fun! I would say even three year olds could give it a go with a little support... pretty fabulous fine motor development indeed! Teach them how to roll one (put the filling sort-of in the center, gently fold the two sides in, then roll lengthwise, not too tight), and they will be off and running. As for a dipping sauce we love Coconut Peanut Sauce from Feeding the Whole Family (this sauce is good on many, many things and keeps for a couple weeks in the fridge). As for the man of the house? He thinks a heaping platter of these with a great dipping sauce would be great game food. A huge success all around!

Be Back Soon...

:: Tomorrow morning, just as the sun rises, Emily and I (along with her fellow sixth grade classmates and teacher) will be boarding a train destined for Philadelphia. All sorts of fun things are planned and we are quite excited. (Her sixth grade class has five students, so her teacher and I can provide plenty of supervision. I realize most classes are bigger and didn't want anyone to feel alarmed that we were taking 25-30 children with just two adults!) One of our planned stops that I am particularly looking forward to is food related (of course), we will have lunch one day at The Reading Terminal. Have any of you been there? What little place must we try? Also, I know of one young man in particular who would love a superb Philly Cheese steak recommendation. Leave us a comment, I'll still be checking them throughout the day today.

:: So many your packages are shipping out today!! The rest (later placed orders) will ship out over the weekend or first thing next week. I've developed a nice little system for producing such a large number of zipper pouches that seems to be running efficiently which is good news for all of us! ;) I have a new colorway to introduce next week too!  

:: Julia has so kindly asked if she could borrow a recent post of mine to share at Rhythm of the Home, of course, Julia! I just may be sharing other things once in a while over there too. Who could ask for a more wonderful place to hang out?

:: Have you seen Tara's new venture? Surely a wonderful, unique service to pass along to friends and family. How interesting that Tara offers the perspective of both a child who was unschooled, and now, as a mama who is unschooling with her own family. Beautiful. I haven't commented on the spectacle that was Good Morning America's attempt to educate the country about the life of an unschooling family, but Tara was among the many bloggers who helped give correct insight into the life of such a family. I will say one thing about that piece... did that reporter even notice the half dozen guitars in the thirteen year old boy's bedroom? Why didn't she ask about them and his obvious passion for music? Yet again, I am reminded of the scene in Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon's character is having a fit because people always ask "the wrong questions." Anyway, I can think of many families who would benefit from Tara's wisdom so I wanted to share her link. Plus, I am all for supporting this Veggie RV family find ways to stay on the road and keep on keepin' on...

Promise Me This


Three times a week minimum. Find a trail and get on it. It is who you are, Heather. Get lost in the woods. This is vital. No excuses. Do it for you. Do it for everyone around you. The dishes and laundry can wait. Your soul cannot. Be good to yourself and don't feel guilty about it. Don't you dare feel guilty about it. Your God shines brightly among the trees. Come to think of it, so do you. Tell me, are you one in the same? Is the divine within? That's what they say. Who are they? No matter. Just keep getting out there. It works. Promise me this.