Saturday, November 29, 2008

Writing Prevails...

I am trying to complete a couple of short stories and I am finding it difficult to manage the kids, writing, and posting interesting and endearing things here on my beloved blog.

I have decided to take a bloggy break for a week or so... I will be back with pictures from our recent trip, and a review of The Polar Express children's book and three of our children's birthdays are in December, so I will also have lots of birthday pictures to post as well.

I wish you all a blessed December and Holiday Season!!


Thursday, November 27, 2008

On Thankfulness...

This past weekend we went on a family trip to experience "The Polar Express" at the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, AZ.  The popular Christmas story is recreated including: singing waiters, cookies and hot chocolate, a bizillion kids and parents in their pajamas, a train ride to the North Pole and a visit from Santa who gives each child a gift of a reindeer bell. 

We also visited Sedona, AZ on the way and on Monday we toured Sunset Crater National Monument and Wupatki (early Indian dwelling ruins). We hiked on volcanic cinder cones and lava fields. We explored incredible dwellings with artifacts and pottery from the 1100's.  

On the drive home I asked everyone to share their favorite thing on the trip that they were most thankful for:

Lil' Expert (8 year old) was most thankful for the hike we did to the volcano crater. 

Brown-eyed girl (3 year old) was most thankful for her bell she received from Santa.

Lil' Red (1 year old) was most thankful to dance with the singing waitresses on the train trip.  

Big Expert (Daddy) liked checking out the Indian dwellings.  

I (mommy) was happy to be away from home for a couple of days and enjoy the family time.  

and last but not least... 

Storytellin' Boy (5 year old) was most thankful for getting to jump on the beds in our hotel room.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your Family

StorytellinMama and the Gang

*Photos from our trip to come in future posts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Behind the Scenes at the Zoo...

Feeding the Zebra.

Nose to Nose with the Giraffe.

Wow, look at those Rhino horns.

Petting the Rhino.

Last Friday, at my son's kindergarten field trip, the kids interacted with the animals up close and personal.  

My son, in the brown sweatshirt, enjoyed touching, feeding, and seeing the animals. 

We also toured the zoo keeper's kitchen and saw all the different foods the animals are fed each day.

 A great day of seeing and learning about zoo animals.   

Wordless Wednesday here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three year Old Wisdom...

I was buckling my three year old daughter into her car seat yesterday and I noticed my son had left a big mess in the back seat from his lunchbox the day before.

I said, "Oh, what a big mess"

She said, "He's so naughty."

I said,"He's not really naughty, just messy."  

She said, "Well, he's a boy. A messy boy."

As if  that summed it all up and that was the last word on the subject! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm Thankful for Our Unique Desert Beauty...

Saguaro Park East

Catalina State Park

Our Backyard

Apache Lake

Sabino Canyon

We moved to Tucson, Arizona a little over four years ago from a very green Southern California and I remember how everything looked so brown and barren.   It took some time, but now I appreciate the desert's beauty. It is subtle and austere and majestic.

A few of my husband's photos of desert flowers taken over the last few months at some of our favorite family hiking destinations.  Our kids love the outdoors and we are fortunate to have many places close by to hike and picnic.

My kid's continue to be a little under the weather but on the mend. I thought I'd post something beautiful to deter from the stuffy noses and dreary inside time of the last few days. 

As we count down the days before Thanksgiving I am so grateful that we live in an area rich with wonder and beauty.

I'm participating in Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom.  

Monday, November 17, 2008

Four Little Snifflers...


by Shel Silverstein

"I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay,
"I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash, and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I'm going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I've counted sixteen chicken pox
And there's one more--that's seventeen,
And don't you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I'm sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button's caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle's sprained,
My 'pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow's bent, my spine ain't straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What's that? What's that you say?
You say today is---Saturday?
G'bye, I'm going out to play!"

I always loved this poem as a child.

Unfortunately, I have four little ones who probably will not be going to school tomorrow. Sniffles, sore throats, fevers...

Hopefully, with a little rest and down time everyone will be well soon!!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Dinner made Easy...

Like a lot of families we try to be together and have a nice meal on Sunday. Today I am making something so easy, that even though the day is hectic we can still enjoy our family time together.

Crock Pot Coca-Cola Chicken  

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours


  • Chicken (boneless, skinless breasts or pieces)
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup coke


Place chicken in the pot and add one cup of your favorite bbq sauce and 1 cup of coke (plain old Coca-Cola). Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. The carbonation in the coke tenderizes the meat. I also use this combination with pork chops. So good and easy. You can alter the amount of coke and barbecue sauce depending on how much chicken you cook, all chicken should be completely covered in the crock pot.

My kids like the barbecue/coca-cola sauce combination over rice along with the chicken and we serve an easy vegetable like corn or green beans.

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Evening Rerun...

Well, it's been a crazy week and I don't expect the weekend is going to be calming down much, so I thought I would republish something from the past. In fact, my very first post. Back then I had about one or two readers.  

Have a great weekend and I'll be back with fresh material soon... 

This was originally posted on April 27, 2008

Where's the Baby?

Mother’s day is a time of mixed blessings, a day to celebrate being a mother, but it is also a day of renewal like New Year’s day. On this day, I pledge once again to be a better mother and not to lose the baby in the house…

I lost the baby in the house for a little while today. I wish I could say this was the first time.

I was at my desk completely absorbed in an article from CNN, the baby playing nearby on the floor. My friend from Peru called to say she had passed her citizenship test. I was jumping around and congratulating her. She was telling me how to make Peruvian yellow pepper sauce, and I started to unload the dishwasher. On the top rack, I saw the dog’s bowls and remembered they needed some food and water. I went out to the garage and filled both their dishes. While I was out there, I decided to check the mail. A neighbor drove by and stopped to say hello, commenting on the height of the Century plant in the front yard.

Back in the house, no crying anywhere, just the sounds of my other children playing in the backyard. Where’s the baby? I rush around to all the bathrooms. Maybe she is playing in toilet water, or worse she’s been swallowed up. I lift the closed lids. I check the pantry; she like’s to climb up on the bottom shelf. 

I follow a trail of toys out of the office. Multicolored balls from her Playskool ball popper, a blue ring from her wooden stacker, and one of the twin dolls she likes to carry.

“Abbie, Abbie,” I call.

I remember other moments of forgetting the children. After our second son Michael was born I left him in the car. It was in the excitement of a real estate deal. We had put the house on the market and we had three offers in one day. I was still used to having only one child and afraid the deal might get away. I parked at the realtor’s office and ran in leaving the baby strapped in his car seat.

“Where’s your son,” the realtor asked.

“He’s at preschool,” I said.

“Don’t you have another son, a baby,” he said.

There are different ways for children to get lost. My daughter Madeline got lost in a maze of tunnels at a McDonald’s indoors playland. She’s up there somewhere on the higher levels, unable to find a way out.

“Mommy, mommy I can’t get down.”

I’m eight months pregnant, not sure I’ll fit. I burrow through the passages, my big belly dragging along the plastic walls.

“Mommy’s coming,” I yell.

But I’ve reached a dead end. I’m stuck squeezed in like an oversized sausage. A man is having lunch with his young son. He crawls up, dislodges me, and helps me turn around. A giant fat lady, I ride the slide down. I watch as a stranger sets my daughter to the ground. 

After a few minutes of searching, I end up in the master bedroom. Abigail is fast asleep on the carpet, a little pink cell phone clutched in her tiny hand. She’s sleeping so peaceful, and I take a moment thankful the baby’s been found.

This Mother’s Day we will go out for brunch, the children will offer gifts, flowers, and freely given love. For the coming year, I will try to offer them a mother who is tuned in, more aware, and at the end of the day knows the whereabouts of all of her children.

*Well, this baby will be two years old next month and she doesn't get lost in the house anymore!! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Reading Buddies...

Reading side by side with my littlest girl.

Today is Wordless Wednesday, more photos at 5 Minutes for Mom.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fall Yard Shape Up...


Plants overgrown after Summer Monsoons in need of pruning.

Weeds, Weeds, Weeds


Looking Good

Plants have a lot more space.

A Panoramic View

The weather here in the Sonoran Desert has been just beautiful. Temperatures have been in the high seventies/low eighties and we have really been enjoying taking advantage of our large yard. We also cleaned up the backyard and the kids have been playing outside non-stop.  It is great to have such a moderate fall after our warm summer. 

*Click on photos for a closer view!

It's Tackle it Tuesday, projects tackled here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Parachute Play...

Up, up, and away
the parachute flies skyward
kids run undercover.

At my husband's company picnic a few weeks ago, the kids enjoyed playing with this giant parachute. My kids, in blue and brown, are the three running under the parachute in the first picture. They also loved making the balls bounce into the air by waving the parachute up and down.

More Haiku's at A Mommy's Story.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Hopes for November...

Thirteen Things I Love about November...

Yesterday was the first hint of Fall weather 
here in the Sonoran Desert! 

1. Cups of tea, hot chocolate, coffee, hot cider...
I love the feel of a warm cup in cold hands.

2. A new pair of slippers as I tromp around our tile. 

3. Any kind of food involving pumpkins...
pie, cheesecake, soup, roasted pumpkin seeds.

4. The kids in footed pajamas.

5. Colorful leaves.

6. A new novel that's never been cracked
especially if I can read it in my favorite chair
after the kid's have gone to bed

7. Hot bubble baths.

8. Dinners and get together's with family and friends. 

9. Sharing with the kids about things we are thankful for
and all of our blessings.

10. Inside activities- Monopoly, movie nights, and stories
read aloud.

11. Outside activities- Hiking at some of our favorite places...
Sabino Canyon, Mt. Lemmon, Madera Canyon.

12. Holiday Shopping.

13. Getting up in the morning when 
it's still dark and watching the sun come up
before anyone else wakes up! 

Well, October's had hectic days... economic turmoil, political tension, busy kid schedules and Halloween. My wish in this time of historical change is for a peaceful November.

This quote sums up for me the right attitude towards thankfulness...

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. -G.K. Chesterton    

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Gamer in Training...

It's Wordless Wednesday at 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stair Envy

A few weeks ago my husband went along with my son's class on the second grade field trip to the pumpkin patch.  

A new friend and my son were talking about getting together to play at each other's house for the first time. 

Overheard by my husband on the way to the field trip:

Lil Expert: "Do you have stairs at your house?"

Friend: "No." 

Friend: "Do you have stairs at your house?"

Lil Expert: "No."

Lil Expert: "I wish we had stairs at our house. I LOVE a house with stairs."

Friend: "So do I!"

The two boys have since played at each other's houses a few times and formed a strong new friendship even without the stairs!!

Silly Monkey Stories here!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Haunts...

The boys decided to go for a scary look on Halloween night.

Trick or treating last Sunday at the Zoo.

My little Star Wars fans so enjoyed posing with these characters.

  Two Jack Skelingtons, a Ghostie, and Raggedy Ann.  

Raggedy Ann

Another successful year of halloween fun!!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek