What Happens When Baseball is Over

What DOES happen when baseball is over?  Summer.  Not to say that summer doesn't happen until baseball is over, but that it continues, or progresses, or unfolds a little more. 

Thursday night our baseball season came to a final close.  The second loss in three games of a double elimination tournament sent the boys out of the dugout with their heads hanging a little.  It was going to happen eventually...baseball being done...but it's always more fun to celebrate the end on a win versus a loss.  Baseball has been the current event in our household now since the middle of April, and while we are excited to have a little extra time back in our days, we will miss the baseball atmosphere of chalked up fields, sunflower seeds, and the clank of an aluminum bat.  Crazy as the last several months have been, they have been full of joy.  To everything that we do, there is a sight, a smell, a sound, and often even a taste.  We'll have to savor the memories of those senses until the season comes around again.  I'm sure it won't take any time at all!

You've gotta love small town baseball...from players who are friends to the familiar faces in the stands to coaches who genuinely care about these boys (not to mention double as taxi service to provide this mom an extra hour at home for out-of-town-games...Thanks Jeff and Kelly!)

This is Amelia's version of skybox seating during a baseball game!  Best seat in the house!

Someday, I'm sure she'll be on the other side of the chain link.

We start young...and if you're counting, we are pretty close to fielding a whole team!

Yep...young...and apparently naked too!

We'll be taking donations for uniforms for next year.  :)

Until next year...great job Hurricanes (and Pirates and Eagle Auto--I guess the t-ballers didn't have a mascot, just a sponsor.)

Soooo...what DO we do when baseball is over?  We make ice cream and go swimming and watch a movie and get caught up on laundry and make dinner that isn't out of a box and without peanut butter.  We take our time and take naps and let summer continue to unfold.

The boys made ice cream with a little guidance.  The result??  Mmmmmmmmm.  Chocolate S'more icecream.  We found a base recipe that we really like:
1 cup of whole milk
2 cups of heavy cream
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar

Stir together and heat the milk, and half of both the cream and sugar.  At this point, the mixture is ready to absorb flavor, so we added in 1 cup of semisweet chocolate until it melted and a tsp of vanilla.  While it is heating, whisk the egg yolks, remaining sugar and salt.  Pour half of the cream mixture into the egg mixture to temper it and then pour back into the pan and stir in the rest of the cream, cooking and stirring until thickened.  Transfer to a bowl and chill for about 6 hours.  (We can never wait this long, so we put it in an ice bath and the fridge and wait about 2-3 hours)  Process in ice cream freezer.  As it was nearing completion, we added pieces of graham crackers and some minature marshmallows. 

It was sooooo good.  We decided to overlook the calories and fat...
I'm sure I could have taken a picture that made it look more appealing.  My mouth is watering just remembering how great it tasted.  I wasn't the only one who thought so...this is what the view of everyone was as they worked to get every last lick!

It was a perfect day for swimming too.
I even convinced Jakob to go and hang out in the baby pool with us.  He is Amelia's new best buddy.  (And he had fun too, despite lugging the big splint around trying to keep it dry)
And end to one big part of summer transitions us to enjoy the fullness of what we have left of our vacation from school. 
Oh!  And laundry was exciting because last week while at the grocery store I discovered these dryer sheets that smelled, well, heavenly.  I didn't buy them because they were pricey and I don't really use fabric softeners, but I couldn't help but think about them all week until I finally went back and bought a box.  I have been so eager all week to remove from my dryer, laundry that is infused with the most delightful smell.  I said it smells like heaven and Jakob replied, "You don't know what heaven smells like", to which my response was, "True, but if I were to imagine, this is what it would be."