Thursday, April 25, 2013


here's how I got the directions to make these vegan, raw brownies...

"Mix equal parts walnuts and dates in the food processor."

"Add some cacao,maybe a 1/3 cup or so."

"Just squirt a bit of agave nectar in there."

"Oh yeah, vanilla, add a few drops vanilla.  Maybe a 1/4 or 1/2 tsp.  Or more if you like it."

"Press in a pan and chill in fridge.
Or just eat it in balls right out of the food processor bowl."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Birthday dinner

On their birthday every year, the kids get to choose where they want to have dinner out
They have chosen the same few restaurants.
Leigh picked Manuel's again this year.  
We had to wait till Wednesday after her birthday to go because the reason we go there
is the balloon lady.
She is truly awesome.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

Good Friends

Right before Carson was born, one of my good friends had a crazy occurrence with one of her kids.
There was a lot of uncertainty and unknown scary changes going on suddenly.
A few of us did what friends do
We drove in a minivan to Tucson with a batch of kids to see her.
With Rice Krispie treats.
A couple weeks later, a baby was born and a boy had surgery
and life went on.
The boy who had surgery still has his struggles; his family in their positive joyful way deals with those struggles.
The baby grew up, there was something about the relationship between the baby and the boy...
something special.
The baby (now a boy) has some sort of connection with the boy (now a teenager)
He receives news of events about the boy (a teenager) with reflection.
And seems to know just what the boy needs to have.

Today he thought he needed 
(and an animal shaped punching balloon)

On the way home, the baby (now a boy) said
"Mom, B___ will always remember me, even when he grows up, he will still know me."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I am Nine today!

I'm sensing a sleeping bag theme here....

Saturday, April 20, 2013

And the party continues...

Apparently one night of sleepovers was not enough....
Mary stayed while her parents celebrated their anniversary.  Girls watched the Hobbit
(Although nobody was able to stay awake for the whole L O N G movie...)
Exhaustion finally set in.

Friday, April 19, 2013

first sleepover party

This was the first year we did not have an all out blow out-invite-EVERYone-we-know party for one of the kids birthdays.
We let Leigh decide on a sleepover with some friends
Started out with 8 and quickly progressed to 13 with all the littles in the neighborhood also invited for pasta and cake.  So, about 25 for dinner.
We had the typically chosen crazy sugary store bought cake:
Yes, those are "8" candles...forgot to get the "9"
Many girls asleep in the living room...wasn't sure they would all fit
but not a problem!

 One of Leigh's presents was some awesome fabric paint and Tshirts
the girls put together a crafting time to create during the party.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sci Center

4 kids
A beautiful Day
1 Train Ride
Science Center!
Waiting at the Station

Big Scorpions in AZ!

I "Must ache" you something...

water physics

How much harder is it to pull your own weight?

A variety of magnets experiment
The really cool thing is, we were 2 homeschooling families combined and we ran into and spent much of the day with a homeschooling family of similar ages visiting for the week from CA!  ALL of the kids had a good time!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Our windows on our world

 We can just never leave well enough alone.  We are perpetual home-improvers.  We try to use green materials when possible (low voc paints, re purposed items when possible) and with our windows we take the tactic that good windows save energy.  We've worked out a window deal on our past 2 residences and along with other energy saving moves, have managed to really make a huge dent in our energy costs.
Aside from the fact that the new windows also LOOK 100% better, we are enjoying the breeze blowing through from one corner to the next....

***These photos are of the windows we replaced.  I'll post new photos another day...

Saturday, April 13, 2013


Good Morning!  Enjoying my flowers that we got yesterday before I go to work and the kids head off to friends for the day and Legos later....

Friday, April 12, 2013


Leigh has played piano for a couple of years now and she wanted to add a band instrument to the mix this year.
It has been a struggle to get her to practice daily and this goal is frequently not met...
She does seem to love it and does not ever want to miss class.  She has made friends in the band and they play together, which makes me glad that I was able to get her into a group learning experience.
The homeschool enrichment program had their open house on Thursday evening and the band played a few numbers.  I was amazed at the talent of all of the kids, the newer ones have really improved A LOT since the concert in December.

Leigh's flute

On Friday while Leigh was at Girl Scouts, Carson and I went to run a couple errands in Chandler and we decided to stop and see Daddy at school on his lunch break.
Carson had picked out some Iced Tea for him so we had to add some lemon and mix....
Carson was all into that.
 Oh yeah, and sampling...can't forget to sample before you decide its good enough for Daddy...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

4 feet

Carson gets himself ready for his day with minimal help most mornings.  He has his own select style and appreciates differences in his choices.  Today he had on two different socks and wanted me to see because he said, "One is colorful and talking and the other is just watching."

When I was taking a picture, he said, "Put your feet in so you can see how small mine are!"
Crazy kid...

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


We decided to join a group of friends today and hit the zoo, getting some use out of our membership before the sweltering weather hits.
Kids love everything about it, the animals, the water, the walking...
I couldn't decide on just ONE picture today though...

chasing shadows at the entrance

learning that an elephant trunk can weigh 300lbs

Carson's lizard friend lounging...

Checking out the prairie dogs

Building a dam at the treehouse.
And NO ONE got sunburned...good job Mommy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Dust Storm

On Monday night, there was quite a large dust storm here in the Valley and our car (which was parked outside of the yoga studio during it) was covered in a fine layer of dust, mixed with (I swear) a few drops of rain...
So with a recommendation in hand, we went to the $3 drive through car wash.
Carson got up front during the wash and was amazed!

It might have freaked him out a little; he climbed back into his car seat and buckled himself back in before it was finished...

Monday, April 8, 2013

Play Practice

Leigh has secured a part in a play for the AZHT (Arizona Homeschool Theatre) Production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Carson had no interest in auditioning so during play practice in Scottsdale, we occupy the nearby meeting room with whatever we have brought.  This week (as in some other weeks) Carson brought the tablet and was playing games for the duration of play practice.  He is becoming quite the astute gamer.
You can see the concentration...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Skater Girl

So, on Sunday, Daddy took the kids to Goodwill, their favorite haunt for exploring and discovering...
Leigh found
a skateboard, she is more than thrilled.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Lunch at work

I have to say that I always eat lunch at work.
We have some of the best chefs in town!
Whenever people come to visit our community, they can not believe the variety offered.
Usually I get just a salad; different kinds like grilled chicken, Caesar, garden, Greek.
This weekend, one of our chefs, Rob, brought in crab legs.
When he made my lunch, he asked what I wanted and I said,
"Surprise me."
Well, he did.

crab salad

Friday, April 5, 2013


So I have been enjoying oatmeal in the mornings.  Just a simply made bowl of fresh rolled oats, cooked up and enjoyed in my Pampered Chef Batter Bowl...
I have been adding many different things to it:
dried fruit
agave nectar
maple syrup
All in all, it has proven to be a good healthy quick breakfast!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Healthy Choices

I love fortune cookies!  I love all Asian food (except some Thai)  Since I have been doing Bikram Yoga most days, I have found myself craving not sandwiches so much.  With Bryce being wheat and gluten free, we have little wheat in our home.  He also does not eat meat so we have little of that. 
So most of what I have been eating (for a while now actually) is more than slightly healthy.  Add daily juicing to that and my energy has increased and my 'aches and pains' have decreased.
Even the kids have phased out a lot of wheat products in favor of more healthy choices....most of the time.
Of course, fortune cookies are wheat so the kids usually eat ours.

We are also celebrating the opening about 5 weeks ago of what is fast becoming our go to drive through...Salad and Go !!
The kids love their salads (they can polish off a large salad between them) and the owners are SO friendly and positive.  They are always ready to talk about their place and the idea for it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Photos by Leigh

self portrait of self portrait

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fancy a game, anyone?

A boy and his checkers
Both my kids are so different in their interests even though they share a bunch of common interests.
Leigh would rather read or draw.  If she gets a good book, she can read for hours and tune the world out.  She would rather create her own cards, posters and bookmarks rather than buy one.
Carson has no interest in anything literary (unless there are awesome pictures involved) but loves board games and numbers.  So much so that he bought himself a calculator rather than a book at the book store last time he had money to spend there.  He walks around figuring out equations and asking people to guess what certain figurings equal.
So his choice of activities on Monday morning relaxing time is a game.  Which he did pretty good at.