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Tuesday, August 30, 2011


All of the girls have seriously green hair from all the hard water in the pools we have been in down here.
Seriously Green!

So I loaded their hair up with tomato paste...

Nope, I'm not kidding :-)

Seriously Red!
let it sit for spelling and read-alouds...
sent them through the shower... three times...

and voile!!
Three Beautiful Golden heads once again!!
Thank goodness!
Mr. Cookie was right! It was REALLY green and I needed to do something about it. I see them every day and I knew that their hair had turned a little, but it wasn't until I saw the immediate change that I realized how VERY GREEN their mops had become.
Yet another Arizona experience... :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011


OH, Does this boy LOVE his BOOTS!!!
 He just keeps walking...
... and walking...
...and running...
He LOVES these Boots!!

$1.00 at Goodwill!!!!!!!!
I love a Great deal!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Amy's Grilled Garden Veggie Salad

Amy's Grilled Garden Veggie Pasta Salad

Prep: 40 Min.
Grill: 10 Min.
Yield: 26 servings (3/4 cup each)

1 lb fusilli or pasta of your choice
2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow summer squash
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 in. slices
1 medium red sweet pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
3 Roma plum tomatoes, chopped
1 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley

Parmesan Vinaigrette:
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
3 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and
rinse in cold water. Place in a large bowl and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini, summer squash, red onion,
and red pepper into 3/4 in. cubes. Sprinkle veggies with oil,
salt, and pepper. Stir to coat evenly. Grill vegetables, covered,
over medium heat for 6-12 minutes or until crisp-tender.
Allow to cool slightly.

3. Add the tomatoes, cheese, parsley, and grilled veggies to
the pasta. In a small bowl, whisk the vinaigrette ingredients.
Pour over salad; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

As a side note, I think I actually grilled the tomatoes with the
other veggies. I also made the dressing first and let it sit, melding
flavors together until the rest was ready.

We made this salad for a dinner party at our house. It was a hit! The recipe makes a HUGE amount though so, a couple nights later we added the left-over grilled chicken to it and had it for our main dish. Delicious!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Back to School...

This week we started back at school!
Welcome Schoolyear 2011-2012
We REALLY LOVE school!!
Oreo Cookie is always the first to rise and shine!
Happy and eager to see what the day brings!
Not too far behind her is Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Always bright eyed and bushy tailed!
The girls got some exercise via the WII.
Not sure how I didn't get a picture of Chocolate Chip at her desk.
Much later...
and not very bright eyed...
and certainly NOT bushy tailed...
The sweet and adorable Butterscotch Chip Cookie rolls out.
If she wants to wake up happy, she can. And she is really focusing on blessing her family in the morning this way during the month of August. When September arrives, she is going to have it mastered!
Mini Chip had a very full morning and couldn't quite make it through lunch!
Before lunch he had plenty of vim and vigor!
He has turned into something of a peanut butter caper!
Influences of his big brother I'm sure!

Loving life, Christina

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Happy Birthdays...

Nate and I got to celebrate our birthdays together at Benihana! We have not celebrated our birthdays together in person since we were kids.
 One of the VERY GREATEST things about being in Arizona is getting to know him again after all these years :-)
 He's a great guy!
He stopped over later to test his scuba gear in our pool...
... AND taught the girls and Jim!!!!
 Very Exciting! But first he and I had this idea crazy idea! The pool was really warm, like 95 degrees warm, so we thought that putting some ice in it would maybe cool it off...
... we put 20 giant ice blocks in the pool! TeeHee!! LOL!!!
It didn't cool the pool off any, but it sure cooled the kids off! They stood on them, hugged them, swam around and licked them! HeeHee!! Very fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Christina's Cacklings

I have much on my brain today and thought I would type it instead of write it and create a post and organize my thoughts at the same time. :-)
Cactus in bloom.
My family is a very snacky family.
I aim to change that!
Mommy's Little Helper.
Organizing books by topic on the shelves.
This morning I woke up and decided to make some of the changes I have been thinking, talking, and dreaming about a reality.
Hiking while on our camping trip June 24, 2011.
For starters, I made hard boiled eggs and celery/carrot sticks for the refridgerator, and washed some grapes for the counter. I know, you are thinking that this is encouraging snacking... TRUST me! We are already snacky and fast foody thanks to our recent Minnesota trip. My idea is to take the junk out of our snacking first and make our meals more nutritional and filling which in my mind will automatically reduce the snackiness of our lives.
Time will tell.
Hiking while on our camping trip June 24, 2011.
Then, I have this crazy idea that my family needs to love beans... must be something southern... or something. In Minnesota, we called them legumes. YUCK!! I do NOT want my family to love legumes! I want them to love beans. Beans are so nutritional and filling and just good for you.
I also have this idea in my head to make chili flavored pinto beans. I can find no recipe for them, so, I made it up. I'll let you know if it works out. Anyways, these yummy and filling beans can also be in the fridge for quick meals in tortillas, cheese topped, or whatever.
Hiking while on our camping trip June 24, 2011.
Today, I definitely need to get more school planning done. The trip back home was not very good timing for school planning type things. It was very good for other things, just not for school planning. Which reminds me, please be praying for my Dad, I do not want to explain it right now, but he is not in good health and has started chemotherapy last week.
I purchased a new curriculum, Tapestry of Grace. I like to make my own curriculum/schedule but this is such wonderful curriculum and so flexible and covers so many levels and... I think it will help me to not stress out about covering everything. Also, I LOVE that all of my children study the same thing, at their own level, and that their writing, reading, etc. is all based on history. Last year it seemed that history and science were the first to go if something else came up, which was often. This year, they are in a science co-op with some members of our AWESOME homeschool group and the rest of their studies center around history.
I love the exciting feeling of a fresh new year!
Oh, the potential!!
Anyway, I also purchased the teacher training cds for Tapestry of Grace. That is what I am trying to get through yesterday and today. Then, I will finish planning the first 3 weeks of school so we can go school shopping and get started on the 15th. It feels very rushed, probably because it is, and like not enough planning, but by only doing the first three weeks, I won't throw away any planning if I decide to change things up... learning curve :-)
Hiking and shooting while on our camping trip June 24, 2011.
Also, decluttering needs to happen this week. Closets and dressers are overflowing! This frustrates me and needs to be remedied. We usually do this kind of continually, but it has really backed up around here. It frustrates me because everything takes longer to accomplish if there is excess clutter. Laundry, room tidying, and there is not a home for everything. Even the games and books are crazy.
One thing that is harder for me is that my wonderful husband has asked us to not have garage sales and to just donate everything instead. He feels that with being new to homeschooling 3 kids, new to Arizona, and a new baby boy it makes more sense. I do agree with him, not that I have to, it is just hard for my brain to adjust to the idea.
Sweet little monkey boy
Camping June 24, 2011
Okay, I feel the need to DO something now, so, wish me luck! :-
 I think this is going to be a new heading for me to simply ramble about whatever... I am thinking that in this case, less boundaries will mean less stress.
Christina :-)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

It's been a while!

 Oh my, has it been a while!

 I took a break from posting on my blog because I was really feeling quite stressed about making sure that I "reported" on everything and that all of the appropriate photos were included.
Perfectionism SUCKS!!
There must be a better way!
So, I am going to really try to be different from my "all or nothing" self and try and find the middle ground of posting more often, as often as possible even, but not necessarily posting on everything (maybe I will even get to a point of letting a type-o go through!)
 And if the computer is giving me a hard time about pics, I will simply say so, post my words, and move on, rather than not posting at all.
I am pretty sure I can do this, but if I don't post for a while, feel free to keep poking me! :-)