Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One Word Wednesday - Braces Off

OK, my one word is two, but this one is worth it. :)



Monday, June 28, 2010


It's hard to believe that it was over a year ago that we drove down to Tombstone and then back up to see San Xavier del Bac, or "The White Dove of the Desert".  It was one of those impromptu trips where we woke up in the morning and decided to go!  It was quite a drive, doing it all in one day, but what a fun day it was. :)

"A" Mountain

Cool cloud formations

We're here!

Court House now a State Park museum. The kids earned their Jr. Ranger badge here.

 They look a little too happy for the gallows.


 Court room

After leaving Tombstone we headed back north to the mission.

On our way to San Xavier del Bac Mission

Can you imagine traveling through the hot, dry desert and seeing this in the distance.  What a welcome site it must have brought to many travelers.

It's incredibly ornate

Pretty details on the windows
The mission was amazing. Almost every surface had some type of ornamentation, whether it was painted or guilded, or plastered in some design, the whole place was just beautiful.  They still hold Mass here regularly. :)  We went to the museum next door where there were artifacts and the history of the museum.

Illuminated Writing 
My two oldest had learned about Illuminated writing through their school work so it was neat to see some original work.

Cool wood roof on the patio

R and J sitting in a window well.  (they're wearing their Jr. Ranger badges ;) )
You can see how thick the walls are from this picture.

Some Indian Fry Bread on the way out - Yum!

We left the mission and headed back north into Tucson for dinner. A funny thing about our drive back up the freeway is every exit off the freeway to go into Tucson proper was closed!  We got a big chuckle out of that.  It was as if they were saying, "Sorry, Tucson is closed for the evening." I'm sure there were ways into the city if you knew your way around off the freeway, but we don't and we didn't put much effort into trying.  So, just north of town we saw a restaurant and stopped.  I can't remember where we ate now.  I think it was a Texas Roadhouse? It was good and filled a need - Food for our "starving" children. ;)

 While we were in Tombstone we bought, My Darling Clementine and the kids watched it on the ride home.  They loved the movie! 

 By the time we were heading by Picacho Peak, the sun was setting.  It was a beautiful sunset and a perfect ending to a really fun, impromptu vacation.

Blast from the past!

Here's an oldie.  This is a "First day of School" picture, taken in front of our garage doors in Ohio (click on link to see it bigger).  Oh my, look how little my sweet gals are.  I'm guessing, 5, 4 and 2. (they're now 12, 11 in a few weeks and 9!) Such sweet memories.  Where did that Tickety Clock go?  Can't say I miss her! LOL

Our summer so far

We've been on our summer break since mid May and until recently our temperatures have been beautiful!  Sadly, summer has set it and we are having record breaking heat that drives us to the indoors where we can huddle around the air conditioning vents.  Okay, we're not really huddling (it's too hot to get that close to each other) and the air is rather cool through out the entire house, it just sounded more romantic that way.  You know, like huddling around the campfire on a cold camping night? :)

Because the temps were so nice for so long, we spent the time outdoors a lot, anticipating the rise in the bad ozone days that go along w/ the rise in mercury.  We took lots of pictures of our various antics, which I will look through and share with all of you soon.  Hopefully today, but don't hold your breath as I would hate for my lack of follow through be the cause of anyone losing consciousness from lack of oxygen. ;)

Speaking of Oxygen, my oldest daughter has been working through Apologia's General Science (like my segue? pretty clever, eh?) and is almost through with the book.  She is such a trooper and has accepted my accelerated pace for her to go through this book w/ only a few, "Are you kidding me?" looks.  It's recommended to take two weeks per chapter, she's doing it in one.  I would not recommend doing this under normal circumstances and would never dream of doing it with my next child in line, but, for her and her schedule for next year, it was needed and doable.

The course is awesome and is full, full, full of great science material.  The experiments are fun and the materials are easily found in your house, seriously!  I know you see that often w/ science books only to discover that's not the case and you're off running around town looking for the missing items the day of the experiment.  What?  You all plan ahead?  Yeah well, ahem, good for you! LOL  I always plan to plan ahead but then something happens and I forget and then the experiment is here and we find out we need red cabbage only, come to find out we ATE all of the red cabbage the night before, or, we're missing a round balloon or iodine or something like that and there goes the momentum for the day.  Which is why I'm tellin' ya, the experiments in this book really are, for the most part, common items you'd have hanging around your house.  I did plan ahead this week, yeah me.  Turns out it was a good thing as we did need some things I don't normally keep around the house.  Dd was able to do her experiment as she encountered it in the book and all was done and completed before lunch. :)  Good day for sure.

I'll be back w/ pictures of our days soon!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Swim Meet

Two of my girls, a & R, are swimming this summer on a team.  This is our first foray into swimming competitively.  Gotta love first experiences. :)

They started practice this week and had their first meet tonight.  I am disappointed that I couldn't be there for them but we decided between the heat, the amount of people going to be there and the small pool decking at the pool we were going to be at, it was best I stayed home w/ the three youngest while hubby took the three oldest.  Here are some pictures hubby took of the chaos.

Standing room only!

Here's the crazy thing about this meet, these are all kids and their families from the same team!  Tonights meet was a practice/time trial type meet to get the kids (and the parents) familiar with what they are to expect on a meet night and to get the times down for future meets so they know who will be swimming in each event. There are over 200 swimmers on their team!  That's a crazy-lot of swimmers. :)

My sweet A waiting in line for her ribbon

My girls didn't place high but boy did they have fun and that's all that really matters. :)

Banana Bread

Doesn't that look yummy?  Wanna know a secret?  It's gluten free and it's not from a mix!

Wahoo! My first non-mix gluten free attempt was a success.  This bread tasted so yummy.  I had one slice before it was, literally, inhaled by the rest of the family.  I say that is a success all the way around. :)

I used my old, faithful Better Homes and Garden, basic cookbook and just replaced the wheat flour w/ a gluten free blend of white rice flour, tapioca starch, arrowroot, xanthan gum and gelatin, cup for cup.  I followed the recipe, just like I normally would but added this blend instead of wheat.  The results were this surprisingly light, full of flavor (you could really taste the sweetness which might have had more to do w/ the extremely over ripe bananas I was using than the lack of wheat ;) ), non-gritty bread.  The texture was great, the flavor was great.  Definitely results that have given me more confidence to make some more gluten free creations. :)