Fire Plays Soccer

April 29, 2016

  Fire has always loved to play with balls- it didn't matter if he was throwing them or kicking them or sitting on them, they've always been one of his favorite toys.  We would bring him with to Sky's soccer practices on Kwaj and he would spend the entire time happily kicking a ball around (he had the best ball control!) so when the chance to put him in a soccer program here presented itself, we jumped on it.
  Fire was very shy at first and was very reluctant to practice without D or I holding his hand but his coaches were persistent in just the right way and he slowly came out of his shell.  Fire is still figuring out exactly what he's supposed to be doing on the field but he loves to put on his uniform and play and at four, that's the whole point.  I'm so glad we found something that he can look forward to and have fun doing!

From the CSA this Week: Kohlrabi

April 27, 2016

  Kohlrabi, that weird-looking vegetable that looks like a root vegetable (like carrots) but is actually a kind of cabbage.  The round bulb that the leaves sprout from is actually the stem.  You can eat it raw or cooked and it has a light, crunchy flavor.  While you can eat the leaves, I haven't cooked with them yet.  Before this week when we've gotten kohlrabi in our CSA share, I've  grated the bulb (after removing the leaves and tough outer skin) and used it on salads to give them a bit more bite.  I decided to try cooking them this time and thought that fritters might be a good way to go, since they grate well and don't have too much flavor on their own.

An Evening at the County Fair

April 22, 2016

We are doing our best to get out and see the sights now that we're back in the States and when I saw that it was time for the county fair, I knew we had to go.  We had an early dinner at homew (cushion for the sugary onslaught that was sure to come), packed up the kids, the stroller, and sweaters against the night desert chill and headed up to the fairgrounds.
  We got there late enough that we missed the animal exhibits but we all had a blast strolling around the midway.  The kids couldn't take their eyes off the lights and went on as many rides as they could.  With for little kids, it could have been a disaster but everyone had a great time and we all left smiling.  Thanks for a fun night out, Pima County Fair!

Sky's Kindergarten Show

April 18, 2016

  Sky tends to be shy and not volunteer for anything so D and I were really surprised when she came home from school with lines for her class play. She was going to be the Star Fish and had five lines she had to memorize.  She picked out her costume (the music teacher gave her a few choices and of course, she chose the most glamours option!) and we practiced her lines most evenings after dinner.

Choo, choo! An Afternoon at the Tucson Toy Train Museum

April 17, 2016

Two weeks ago, D and Sky took a little trip to Phoenix together and I had the boys all to myself for the weekend.  What to do with three boys on a rainy afternoon?  A quick scan through one of my new favorite websites,, led me to an open house at the Gadsen Pacific Toy Train Museum.  Fire is more of a car kid but Water is crazy for trains so I thought we'd give it a try. 
  We all had a great time! The boys spent two hours walking between the exhibits marveling at the miniature trains and pressing every button they could find.  They loved the lights and the horns and had fun finding the unique features of all the model towns the trains ran through.  The museum had stools for the kids to stand on so they could see the trains on the tables and most were (wisely) protected from small hands by plexiglass.  There was one table with two hands-on Thomas trains and the boys returned to it over and over.  I didn't get a picture of it but they also run a large scale model train with passenger cars.  We got to ride on it just before the rain started.  Water loved it and spent the whole ride saying, "Choo, choo!" and waving to everyone we passed.
  When I finally pulled the boys away they were excited about trains and asking to go back.  Fire asked me take the wooden train set out of the closet and has played with it every time he can (which is when Water is sleeping, since he loves destroying whatever Fire builds!).  One of the members mentioned that they offer birthday parties- that would be so fun for a child who loves trains!  We might be back next year for Fire's fifth birthday.
  I think the only negative about the place would be that the members of the toy train club never engaged the boys.  One of their stated purposes is to share the love of trains and toy trains with others but no one approached the kids to talk to them about trains.  Perhaps we'll find someone more out-going to talk to when we come back next time.
  If you're looking for something to do in Tucson when the days get hot, consider stopping by the Tucson Toy Train museum.  I would definitely recommend it for any child who loves to watch things go!

Exploring the Oro Valley Children's Museum

April 15, 2016

  I love exploring whatever town I'm living in and now that we're unpacked and settled in to the house here, I'm starting to get out more and find new things to do.  A friend had told me about a small children's museum north of Tucson in Oro Valley and last week, a friend and I decided to check it out. 
  The museum is more of an exploration place, perfectly designed for toddlers.  My friend's daughter is five and many of the activities were too small for her, both in size and interest level.  Water loved the museum and happily spent two hours running from one exhibit to another, coloring, going down the slide, playing with the air tubes, and then going back to coloring again.  You can see the entire room from any corner so I was able to let him explore without having to hover but was close enough to intervene if he needed help sharing something. 
  There's a sandwich shop in the same strip mall as the museum and lunch at their outdoor tables was the perfect way to end our morning. 
  It was great to get out of Tucson and find something new and while it's a bit of a drive for us, I think I'll be heading up there more often once Earth is mobile, since it will be a safe and fun place for both of them to play.  The museum offers yearly memberships and is affiliated with the Tucson Children's Museum.

From the CSA This Week: Tatsoi

April 13, 2016

  We're still getting a lot of greens from the CSA and this week, I'm featuring one that was new to us: tatsoi.  A quick search of ever-helpful Google told me that it can be used like spinach in many recipes.  I used it in a salad this week and loved the taste- like spring time with a hint of lemon- but I wouldn't make an entire salad out of it.  I also tried it cooked in a Thai curry and that's the recipe I'm sharing this week. 

An Open House

April 11, 2016

  Welcome to my home!  I love having people over and I'm so happy that the house is finally set up enough that I can show you how it looks.  I've done a few other posts to show the progress on the house but since the first step in our remodel will start next week (yay!!), I wanted to show you document where we started.
  Because of some other unexpected expenses (Jeep!  cough, cough) we're doing the remodel in small gradual projects.  This first one will involve taking down the half wall that divides the dining area from the family room and installing a pocket door between the laundry room and the kitchen.  Other projects I hope to tackle are remodeling the master bath, replacing several other doors with pocket doors, and remodeling the kitchen.
  I'll keep you posted on our progress but here's how things look before everything gets started:

This and That and Easter Pictures

April 8, 2016

  I haven't been as good about taking pictures as I've wanted to lately so rather than doing a "High Five for Friday" post just about our week, I thought I'd share a little of what we've been up to lately, some of the this and that of our new life here in Arizona
 There are so many amazing parks near our house and most afternoons I'll take the kids to one to run off some energy and have a snack.  We all look forward to it and I hope we can keep up with this new tradition.

From the CSA This Week: Rapini

April 7, 2016

  I've decided that instead of sharing all of my cooking from the week, I'm going to focus on one meal that I made and discuss it a bit more in depth.  As before, the meal will be based off  the produce we get each week from the Tucson CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture) project and will have a family focus, since three of my eaters are under 7.

Earth at Six Months

April 5, 2016

   I can't believe Earth is Six months old! It seems like just yesterday he was three weeks old and  I was bringing him home from Ebeye.  Earth has a joyful personality and loves to be held, especially by his brothers and sister.  Just seeing any of them makes him laugh. 
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