End of Summer

We have had the most interesting weather the past few days here. Usually at this point in August, the temperature is averaging 100 degrees, and we’re cringing at the mere thought of longsleeves or sweaters. But with all the rain and cool weather we’ve had, fall is seeming more and more like an imminent possibility. Four inches of rain fell overnight in Oklahoma City; in other parts, we actually had 11 inches! 

This evening, as I stepped out to get the mail, there was a cool mist and everything felt so fresh and clean. I’m ready to curl up in a sweater with a good book. I grabbed the camera and shot a few photos of the trees in the front yard. The bark is completely saturated with water and the greens just pop against all of that bark and moss.
Yesterday, my nephew Matthew called and wondered if he could come over to hang out with Jude. I had just gotten home from the grocery store, and was happy to have him come hang out. Matthew will start the third grade tomorrow and is a gourmet cook in the making, and I love to make stuff with him. A couple of years ago at Thanksgiving, he helped me make the yummiest apple pie. I know he has great potential for big things and even bigger ideas. For dinner, we made spicy chicken strips with corn and smashed potatoes (individual Yukon gold potatoes: boiled, and then smooshed and then baked with cheese, chives, bacon, butter, etc. SOOOO good). For dessert, there was a YUM chocolate chip cookie bar recipe.
Jude was totally enthralled with his cousin and could not take his eyes off of him. We are so lucky to have such wonderful boys in our family for Jude to look up to. I am realizing more and more what an influence that older kids can have for little ones, even at this early age. 

So today, I got to hang out with Matthew’s older brother Benjamin. Ben is starting the fifth grade tomorrow, and wanted to spend the last evening of summer freedom with us, and I was happy to oblige him. I cannot tell you what a joy these boys are! Anyway, with the rain and all, we ended up going to Barnes & Noble to look at books. Like Matthew, Ben is really good with Jude, and — like with Matthew — Jude was enthralled with his older cousin. When we came home, I made chicken fried rice while the boys ate crackers (above). Here’s Matthew (below) with Jude on Monday night. Aren’t they sweet?
Here’s the beginnings of the chicken fried rice (below). It’s one of my favorite things to make and is an easy crowd pleaser. Ben made us some delicious peanut butter cookies. We laughed that they were inadvertently vegan PB cookies … because an egg was forgotten in the mix. 🙂  Oh well, they were still really delicious!

With all the rainy-ness, I went out the other night and shot some photos outside. In my college photography class, I really enjoyed learning how to shoot outside in the dark. You can get some really interesting results. It was one of my favorite projects… Anyway, I’d like to start trying some different things in my photos, but this was a start. 

Finally, a few photos of family silliness. Jude sure loves his daddy, and so do I!