Monday, July 25, 2011

Summer Road Trip

I already blogged about our trip to wonderland last Monday, but I skipped over Albuquerque, and we've been doing a lot since we've been here, so this one is overlapping and catching up.

We left Tucson last Friday. Our fist stop was Albuquerque, where we stayed for two nights with my aunt and uncle and their kids. Noah really loves the big kids. The first night we went to a concert at the zoo. The music was great, and Noah was super happy with the glow necklace, animals, and chocolate ice cream.

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More ice cream??

The next morning a trip to REI and then to the Explora (kind of like a children's discovery museum). Noah loved the place, especially the giant bubbles. Chris liked the tight rope bicycle ride.

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Sunday we headed to Amarillo to make it for Xander's 2nd birthday in the evening. It was hot outside, but the kiddie pool kept the little guys happy.

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Grandma Patti's pool is always a lot of fun for cooling down too, and uncle Scott was sure fun for Noah to play with.

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Wednesday I went with all the girls for a pedicure at the local salon. I've never had designs on my toenails before, but I felt like I fit in just a tiny bit better in Texas with these:

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Thursday it was a trip to the lake for the rest of the week with Dennis and Lisa and everybody to stay in the big RV. The lake was really low so we had to boat out to a little island offshore to find a sandy beach, but the boys had a great time swimming, boating, and playing in the sand.

One evening we decided to head back out to the island at sunset and watch the stars come out from the floating island. They couldn't possibly have come out any slower though, with Noah asking, "Where'd the stars go? Where's the other stars? Where'd the stars go?..." Over and over and over again. He sang twinkle little star a few times to help them along, but oh boy, I think he's going to be a talker.

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Saturday we left the lake to meet our friend Kristin and her two kids, Ani and Ian for some camping in Oklahoma. They moved away from Tucson last year, and we had grand plans of driving all the way to Arkansas to visit them, but we chickened out. Luckily Kristin was willing to drive a ways and meet us though. We stayed at a pretty campground that had a fishing pond and a pool. Good thing for the pool, because it was HOT! We were thinking of staying two nights, but after it didn't cool down at all until 3am or so, and there wasn't even enough of a breeze to rattle the tree leaves, we decided to tree back in the afternoon instead.

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Ian and Ani brought their fishing poles, and so when Chris went into town in the morning to pick up more ice for the cooler, he came back with a pole for Noah, which made for a very happy little boy. Noah and Ani just casted with weights, but Ian tried with a hook. We didn't catch anything, but it was sure exciting. I don't think that's going to be the last time Noah goes fishing either, judging by his enthusiasm for it.

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This morning, back in Amarillo, Noah was scoping out Patti's garage. I couldn't help snapping this one of my perfect little American tourist. I think he's ready for hawaii again...

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Wonderland

Family night at the Amusement park in Amarillo with $1 rides. Noah's first look at Wonderland. His jaw dropped, and he lasted until 10pm when the park closed.

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We couldn't believe just how much Noah wanted to ride everything he possibly could.
"What do you mean I can't go on the roller coaster!? And the bumper cars??"
He was just barely close enough to 36" tall and got to go on the water ride and the scrambler. He wanted to ride the helicopter and the carousel all by himself.

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Grandma Patti had a good time too.

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Uncle Scott loves cotton candy... another "yes peeeaassse."

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I just love the colors in this one. I was wishing I hadn't thought my phone would be enough camera for this evening. The sunset lighting and all the colors, combined with grinning face made for some great photo opps. Maybe we'll go back next Monday...

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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer baba ganoush

Actually, just traditional baba ganoush, but without using the oven to roast the eggplant. I used this recipe from allrecipes.com:
Ingredients

* 1 eggplant
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 1/4 cup tahini
* 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* salt and pepper to taste
* 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
2. Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off.
3. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Refrigerate for 3 hours before serving.

I was reluctant to turn on the oven though, since the AC is already running all day to battle the heat outside. But one reviewer comment said this:

"I love this recipe, but I roasted my eggplant the way my Greek mother-in-law showed me...I place the whole eggplant, skin and all on the stove burner and charred each side over medium-high heat until it is soft and black all over. Then, i wrap it tightly in foil and placed in on the burner at low heat for about 30 min, turning once. By this time it should be very soft. Let it sit until it cools enough to handle and unwrap the foil over a bowl to collect all of the juices that leak (the juices add so much flavor) and carefully remove the blackened outer skin and discard that. Then you are left with a perfectly smoky eggplant pulp to add to the other ingredients."

I figured that a lebanese grandmother might know what she was talking about, and it left the oven out... turns out it was a wonderful idea and the best baba ganoush I've ever made!





Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fun in the pool

And fun with a new iphone app. This was taken with a really cool old-fashioned camera app that Tasha turned me on to called hipstamatic. You'll probably be seeing some more like this around here because of how fun it is to take them, and how easy it is to upload them here (no cords or anything).

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As I mentioned before, this is what we're doing the most of around here these days. It's hot outside!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

We don't like going to the dentist...

Or do we?

after a trip to the dentist
After a trip to the dentist with his daddy.

Aspen Picnic

One of the kids my mom used to do with us when I was a kid was go out to Hart's Prairie with take-out Chinese food and have a picnic in the aspen trees. We changed it up a bit and got Thai food this time, but otherwise it was a great little picnic in the aspens. We got lucky with a view of the Peaks and of Kendrick peak from the top of the little hill we climbed.

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

An Aardvark from HOPit

Last Sunday morning we got up early to get to the Farmer's market before all the good stuff was gone. We also wanted to see my friend Mar's booth where she sells her hand-knit and crocheted animals and veggies. Noah picked out this little Aardvark (which he says is a bunny) and asked if we could take it home. How could Nana resist? I've never seen him show so much interest in a stuffed animal before. But, of course, this one is special. Check out her etsy shop and the heirloom tomatoes at HOPit.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fireworks for the Fourth

Just sparklers, not big fireworks, but still awesome to a two-year-old. Thanks Tasha!

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Monsoon Arrival

The monsoons have arrived in Tucson. Tons of wind and lightning and heavy rain for the past three evenings! This is from our afternoon walk yesterday evening. You can't see the little bit of water running down the Santa Cruz river in this shot, but it's there. It's a lot easier to love Tucson this time of year when we have a river to walk along so close to our house.

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I have a few more photos from our flagstaff trip that I want to post, but I couldn't wait on this one. The monsoons are so special.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Home on the Range

Friday morning we visited my friend Fran and her little boy at their new ranch house out by twin arrows. Noah helped Tristan chase the chickens. He also got to hold some kitten in the little barn, and see the goats and a horse. It was fun to see Fran as a real ranch wife out there. Once she gets her goat milk business going I'll be promoting it here! (sorry I didn't take enough pictures!)

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Noah really liked this little guitar with a strap. Maybe that would make a good gift for next Christmas (hint hint Dad, if you see one :)

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Saturday, July 2, 2011

To live in a Mountain Town

Chris and I have been itching for the last couple of years to move something a little smaller, and a little more mountain-townish. Like the kind of place where you can wear your chacos anywhere, and if you wear nice jeans with a black shirt you look kind of dressed up. I could really enjoy a flower garden like this, and little concerts in the park on Wednesday afternoons.

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A concert in the park. The Hula hoops are there for the kids to play with.

Sweet baby girl

I got lucky enough to babysit my friend Juliana's little girl the other day. When she got into the ribbon basket and I found this flower/bow left over from what I wore for Juliana's wedding, I couldn't resist the hairdo. Isn't she adorable?!

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This hairdo is from taking the bow out :)

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