Five for Friday #31: A Week of Beginnings

January 29, 2016

  High five, friends!  It's Friday; the week is over and we're headed for another weekend.  How was your week?  Ours was actually pretty exciting in a bunch of small ways.  Let's start with this one:

Fire's ears are fine!

Cooking From the CSA #2: Pumpkins!

January 27, 2016

  I was super excited to see our produce list for our second week's CSA pick-up: arugula, navel oranges, pecans, pie pumpkins, pinto beans, red potatoes, red russian kale, and yellow onions.  Not only were the ingredients all ones I was familiar with (and wouldn't have to convince my kids to try) there were pumpkins!  I've been wanting to try making my own pumpkin puree for a long time and now I was going to get the chance.


January 25, 2016

  You might not have known this but on Kwajalein, the work week is Tuesday through Saturday so the weekend is Sunday and Monday.  Although we got used to it, it felt strange not to have a real Saturday at the end of the week- that first day of the weekend where you sleep late and then putter the day away.  Since our weekends there started on Sunday, we still had someplace to be and it changed the vibe of the whole weekend.
  I'm still getting used to Monday being the first day of the work week but I am loving having a regular weekend schedule and we are making the most of it.  This past weekend was an amazing one.  It felt just like a weekend is supposed to- some laying around, some getting things done, with lots of fun thrown in.

 On Saturday evening we drove up to Tucson under a beautiful winter sunset

Five for Friday #30: Finding Her Joy

January 22, 2016

 High five, friends!  We made it to Friday again.  This was my first full week on my own as a stay-at-home mom so I'll take a beer with that high-five, please.   I'm hoping that it will get easier as the house gets set up and we all settle into a routine but there were some really rocky moments that were pretty tough to get through.  We did get through them and we're looking forward to our weekend together.  Here are some of high and low points from our week:

Cooking from the CSA #1: Eating Greens

January 19, 2016

Once we committed to D's new job here in Tucson, one of the first things we started looking for was a Community Sponsored Agriculture (CSA) program to join.  We'd always loved eating seasonally from the Farmer's Market in Omaha before we moved to Kwaj and had really missed that aspect of our cooking and eating lives while we lived overseas.
  I got us signed up for the Tucson CSA as soon as Sky and I arrived here and we had our first pick up last week.  I do love a challenge but this first CSA box really threw me for a loop because it was almost all winter greens : arugula, braising mix, napa cabbage, quelites, rapini, toscano kale, plus navel oranges and pecans.  I didn't even know what some of them were!  Braising mix?  Quelites?

A Day at the Zoo

January 18, 2016

  Sky had off of school today for MLK Day, so we made plans with friends to hit the zoo.  My kids love zoos and access to one, even a smaller one like Tucson's Reid Park Zoo, is a huge perk of living in the States for us.  It was a beautiful day, Sky's new friend A was there, and there were plenty of bigger kids to love on Water.  We all had a great morning at the zoo and I'm sure we'll be going back soon.

House Tour (The Before Pictures)

January 14, 2016

   Our new house is in a small town south of Tucson.  It's a tract home and there are probably five others just like it just on our block and hundreds in the neighborhood.  The previous owners used it as a rental and while it's in good shape, it's still very much a builders- grade blank canvas.  That's actually one of the reason that we chose this house- so that we could make it our own.  We've hired a designer (Liz Ryan of to help us add more functionality and character to the house and we're hoping to get started on the first phase of renovations soon.  Everything is on hold for now though, because we haven't received our household goods shipments from Omaha or Kwaj.
  I wanted to record how the house looks before we make any changes, so that when it's done we can look back and see how far we've come.  Be warned, these are the real-life photos that I wouldn't usually post- rooms and counters aren't clean and beds aren't made (blogging is more important than making beds, right?). I've labeled each picture above and put our design ideas below.

Getting Setteled In

January 12, 2016

  Well hi there!  Sorry for that blog hiatus but things were just so crazy over the last few weeks that I never had the opportunity to do any real blogging.  I'm hoping now that school and work have started that things will settle down a bit and I'll be able to start back up again regularly. 
  After spending the holidays with D's family in Kansas, we're all together again here in Tucson.  Sky and I actually flew in before D and the boys to get the lay of the land and start setting up the house.  I was so great to have time with just Sky- she's a different, more grown up person without her little brothers around.
  D started work yesterday and Sky and Fire are both in school (Kindergarten and preschool, respectively).  I started my new job as a stay-at-home mom and am so glad that my mom is visiting for the week to help me get a handle on things.  There's so much to do in a day and it's doubled by the fact that we're still getting moved in.
  We only have a little bit of furniture but hopefully our shipments from Kwaj and from Omaha (where we lived before Kwaj) will be delivered before the end of the month.  Until then, we're still mostly camping but doing our best.  We're making new friends, enjoying all the new things to do here, and trying to make the most of life here.  I'll be working up some dedicated move and house posts soon but here's a little bit of a photo catch up for now:

 Four car seats and room to spare- exactly why we got an Excursion.
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