FIRST DAY OF JULY

The first day of July greeted us with rain. Much needed rain although more would be better. It was overcast and cool – a mere 81 degrees around noon - but got warmer later in the afternoon.  At breakfast, my husband mentioned that it was cold. I said that I liked it and it was a perfect day to be in the kitchen to make some soup. “Welcome to Germany”, he said. I think I will like it in Berlin later this month.

I spent most of the day in the kitchen while the children were upstairs "cleaning" their main playroom. I say "main" because the rest of the house is also being used as a giant playroom with toys scattered everywhere. I don't think there is a single room without at least one of their toys, papers, or crayons. I'm sure that one day we'll miss seeing these little signs of childhood. For now, we'll try not to step on them.

After they decided all was clean, they wanted to play. In this case, it meant taking out nearly every wooden train track and building an entire station. Saffron is really good at building intricate layouts.

A late lunch. Another puffy pancake. This one with Grand Marnier and orange zest and better than the first two. It was all gone within 5 minutes. I need to think about using a larger pan and revising the recipe. It was hardly enough for 5 hungry people.

Sagey must be going through a growth spurt. He's been sleeping a lot lately. After lunch, he took his elephant pillow upstairs and fell asleep in Papa's office.

Meanwhile, the girls were downstairs packing for Oma's house - despite the fact that it'll be another 3 weeks until we leave.

They filled their backpacks with books, a lantern, paper, pens, and even a present for Oma that Saffi wrapped (I think Papa helped her with the bow).

Afterwards, they grabbed the iPhones from both me and my husband and sat on the bed to watch some cartoons.

It still hasn't sunk in that we're actually going. I've been wondering what I will need to take from the kitchen. Which tools might be missing at the rental apartment? The first thing I noticed when I saw photos of the place was the light coming in through the kitchen window. The bakery is next door and I'm looking forward to walking for groceries. Every day - except Sundays, because everything is closed on Sundays.

It was after 18h and I still didn't have any idea what to make for dinner. Pasta is easy and always a favorite of the children, but I wanted something with more flavour. So, I looked in the pantry and the refrigerator to see what I could make with what was available. I cooked a cup of beluga lentils in water for about 25 minutes. Meanwhile, I chopped a few cloves of garlic and walked out to garden to pick a few fresh sprigs of Italian oregano and thyme. Those were then added to the garlic and further chopped. I took two small red bell peppers from a farmer's market purchase and chopped those along with broccoli. Cook garlic and herbs in olive oil. Add peppers. Add broccoli. Briefly cook. Remove from heat. Cook spaghetti. Drain beluga lentils. Return to pot. Add veggies, zest of one lemon, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Salt, pepper, feta. Simple, healthy, and delicious. Saffi was the only child who ate the lentil mixture. The other two ate the spaghetti with feta.

All three asleep before midnight...