It's only June 27, but today I realized that the beginning of the school year is right around the corner.
And I have to say,...
I hate that.
Because it just means so many things.
Our eldest will enter her sophomore year of college with a focus on a new major and a job on campus that she is extremely excited about because it will benefit her future career.
Our middle daughter will be in her final year of high school, a senior, making final decisions on where she would like to go to school and what her studies will be. Right now, she's thinking neuroscience, but as we all know...that could change. A senior in high school...
And the baby, our dear, sweet baby boy. No, he's not actually a baby. He's all of 14 years old and will be a freshman at the high school his older sister attends, but
This thought process all started at 5:23 this morning when I dropped him off for cross country practice at the high school.
As I pulled away and looked into the rear view mirror, I could see him walking towards the track.
A stranger in a completely new atmosphere.
The sting of tears filled my eyes and my throat became tight.
No longer "on top of it all", he is now the low man on the totem pole.
I had the same feeling with the girls, but this time...
This one is different
He's it. The last. The baby.
In four years, Mr. 365 and I will be alone (or should be) to enjoy each other's company without scheduling conflicts, homework assignments or sports activities.
I'm not ready.
I'm finding it so difficult to imagine that one day they all won't be a part of our everyday life.
That they won't need to talk to me or at least need something from mom.
But that's what we raise them for: to go out and be on their own, to be responsible, independent, and wise adults who don't need to call mom for the slightest little thing.
But mommy isn't ready...
I thought it was extremely difficult when they were little, fighting and going in fifty different directions, but I'm finding this is harder. MUCH harder.
As these next four years go by, I'll see my boy turn into a young man, my daughters transform into independent women and gradually, very gradually, I'll be ready.
Or at least, I hope to be.
I know I said yesterday I'd be making cookies or cupcakes today, but my daughter found this Cinn-a-bun Cheesecake on Perry's Plate and begged me to make it. Thank you, Natalie for this wonderful recipe!
1½ cups finely crushed iced oatmeal cookies or any spice cookie
¼ cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely crushed cookies (same as above)
¼ cup caramel sundae topping
1 teaspoon cinnamon mixed with ¼ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 325ºF and place a pan of water on the bottom rack.
Mix together cookie crumbs, melted butter and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch spring form pan.
Then spray the sides of the pan with cooking spray.
In a large mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, combine cream cheese, sugar and sour cream and beat on medium speed until smooth approximately 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides and also bottom of the bowl at least twice during the process.
Add the eggs, vanilla and flour and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes.
Spoon 1/3 of the filling into the pan and sprinkle 1/3 of the cookie crumbs. Drizzle with caramel sauce and sprinkle 1/3 of the cinnamon/sugar mixture on top.
Repeat by adding another 1/3 of the filling, 1/3 of the cookie crumbs, caramel sauce, and cinnamon/sugar.
Pour final layer of filling, following with remaining ingredients.
Bake for 50-55 minutes or until cheesecake pulls away from the sides about 2 inches and is slightly wiggly in the middle.
Turn the oven off, leaving the door slightly open and allow the cheesecake to cool enough so that it can be removed from the oven with the use of oven mitts.
Allow to cool to room temperature and the refrigerate overnight.
The preliminary tasting event of my first ever cheesecake revealed that this gem should earn 3½ rolling pins!
Everything I bake is rated on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being the absolute "you haven't lived until you've made this dish!"
The family was too anxious to wait until morning to try it.
Yes, it was still a little warm, but still really yummy anyway.
I don't even like cheesecake. And I ate it. And it was warm.
And I LIKED it!
Not bad for my first cheesecake attempt, I think.
The top did crack though, but that certainly didn't affect the taste! It may not be as pretty as those from that factory restaurant with the same name, but it works!
If you'd like some cheesecake baking tips I found this site, Diana's Desserts, which should really help you out, especially with those top cracking issues. So read before you bake.
I'm signing off as my kids are goofing off, dancing in the living room to a Justin Bieber song and making a video on my daughter's computer.
Every night when they were little we would put music on and they would just dance and dance and dance.
It was awesome.
Needless to say, this is the first time they've done it in years, so this is a spontaneous treat.
I don't dare look because I know they'll yell, "MMMOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!!!!!", and stop.
Happy baking everyone!