Sunday, March 13, 2011

Of Service Scavenger Hunts

We had the cutest bunch of young men over the other night. They were doing a service scavenger hunt for their mutual activity. What a fun idea! They folded a bunch of my laundry, watered my plants, and even combed out Maile's hair after her bath. The little guy who did it was so shy about was really cute! Maile loved it and was sad when they left. I was sad when they left, too!


I realized I never posted photos of Leila's birthday. Isn't she a sweet little thing?!



Posted by Picasa
We made these cute little bookworms last week out of rice crispie treats. Yum! (Thanks Family Fun!)



Posted by Picasa

Of Fruit Salsa

Check out this AMAZING fruit salsa I made. The tortilla chips were super yummy too! We cooked up fresh tortillas, brushed them with butter, sprinkled them with cinnamon sugar, and baked them for a few minutes until they got kinda hard and crispy. It was a big hit!

Posted by Picasa

OF Tuna and Cucumbers

The other day we took a spontaneous fieldtrip on some trails nearby our house. We were hunting for the tops of cactus, which we learned are called "tuna." I have always wanted to try them. Apparently one can make all sorts of things with them--syrup, juice, candy, etc. We found several juicy looking ones, and despite minimal injuries and perhaps a small amount of blood, we managed to bag seven or eight of them.

Enoch de-spiked them....

cut them up...

boiled them with sugar and attemted to make cactus candy. We have yet to try it, but it looks yummy!

Enoch also found this interesting looking bit of flora, which we identified as a wild cucumber, if our internet sources were correct. (Not edible...well, according to most of the sources we read, anyway.)
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Of Enie

My brother, Enoch, is staying with us until May. We have so very much enjoyed having him here, and we're not sure we can let him go when the time comes! He is so good with the kids, (they call him Uncle Enie) and man, he can make a mean batch of fries! We're not talking your quick dip-in-the-oil type of fries, we're talking your take-a-nice-relaxing-bath-in-the-oil-for-an-hour type of fries. Yummy unhealthy deliciousness!

We are also currently trying to find him a short-term job so he can earn $500 for a humanitarian trip to Mexico after he leaves here. The problem is, he is somewhat limited because of a lack of vehicle, short duration of stay here, and age. (Under 18) We have tried to think of some creative ideas, such as starting a day camp, but there is some worry about liability issues. So far our best idea outside of a regular job is to become professional garage salers, buy stuff cheap, then try to resell it on Craigslist. Hmmmm....any of my readers have any better suggestions? Please comment!

Of Mean Parents

Apparently Curtis and I are pretty mean parents. At least, Maile is sure to inform us of that fact that several times a day. Yes, it is true, AND our kids are deprived because we have never before bought them tickets to an amusement park. Nope, if our kids want to go to an amusement park, they have to EARN it. Anyway, sometime after we moved here to Carlsbad, Curtis challenged the kids to read 1000 books. The reward for achieving that goal was season passes to Legoland, which is conveniently located in the city we live in. Of course, anyone who knows of Curtis' love of Legos will know that it wasn't really for the kids' enjoyment, it was for his, but, I digress. Well, we finally reached our goal a few days ago. We read 1000 books as a family, and we got the tickets! We've been twice so far, and the kids love it.


I am undecided as to whether I enjoy it or not. To me, the lines and crowds and $$ spent on silly things epitomize the rat race, which I hate. However, it is fun to see the smiles and hear the laughter on kids' faces, and it is a fun family activity. Anyway, I'm sure the kids will enjoy it!

Of More Prisons then Grocery Stores

Last week, the kids and I trucked over to our little Coastal Academy (our homeschool "umbrella"), where we got to view many different displays from American History, presented by the young teenaged kids from said academy. We also got to sample some foods from different cultures at the "immigration station," and watch a few little plays the kids had put together of various battles from history. It was quite delightful, however, the highlight for me was getting to hear from a black lady that had actually been heavily involved in the civil rights movement. It was so interesting and touching hearing of her experiences, and I'll admit to becoming a little teary eyed during parts of her narrative. She said she had been in more prisons then the kids had grocery stores, she had been shot at, spit on, dragged through the streets...Wow! The kids and I had just been listening to the American Girl books on CD of Addy, who was a (fictional) black girl who had escaped slavery and gone to Philidelphia for freedom, only to discover that "freedom ain't free." There was still great oppression, even being in a "free" society. I am so grateful for people who have had, and still have, the courage to stand up for what is right, even if it causes great personal pain. I hope I am that kind of person, and I hope I can teach my kids to be that kind of person, because I can pretty much guarantee there will be political conflict again in their lifetimes, and because of our personal beliefs and values, my guess is that they probably won't end up being on the politically correct side.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Of My Little Scroungers

Arden is definitely his father's son. (Bet you were all wondering--glad to clear that up!) He goes to some little school classes on Thursdays so I pack him a lunch. Last week he came home complaining that he had to scrounge food off of people because he couldn't find his lunch box in his backpack. The only other thing in it was a notebook. ONE notebook. Sigh...