From The CSA This Week: Swiss Chard

May 31, 2016

  If you haven't guessed yet, Swiss chard grows *really* well here.  We have gotten it two weeks in a row in our CSA shares.  While it's not hard to use in recipes (you can use it any recipe that calls for cooked spinach), it comes in such large bunches that the sheer quantity of greens to be used can be overwhelming.  I used last week's bunch in a lentil and chorizo stew and this week's got made into a swiss chard tart.   This recipe, just like last week's CSA share recipe,  comes from The Joy of Cooking (1997 edition).

Just a Regular Day

May 26, 2016

It's been a while since my last Regular Day  post (and things were not even close to regular yet then!) so I thought it was about time to give you a glimpse into what the front edge of summer on an ordinary day looks like around here. 
  Brothers, just chillin' on the couch before school.  These were the only two up early this morning.  Fire has a few days left of summer school before he's home for the month of June. 

From The CSA This Week: Squash Blossoms

May 24, 2016

  My first introduction to edible flowers came when I was working at a local green house one summer when I was in college.  We sold nasturtiums and I was shocked when some one told me that a lot of people bought them because the you could eat the flowers.  I just shook my head and never tried it myself (It just sounded weird to me!).

Getting Ready for Summer

May 22, 2016

Summer is coming!  Sky is already done with school and Fire has one week left.  This will be my first summer as a stay at home mom and I'm pretty nervous about it.  I don't want to spend a whole month shouting at the kids (Fire will be home with me for June and then go back to summer school since he's got some catching up to do academically) so I did what I do best: I planned ahead.
  I've hired a high school girl to come four mornings a week to be an extra pair of hands and to shake up our dynamic a bit.   Fire and Earth are signed up for swimming lessons, Fire is going to short soccer camp at the beginning of the month, and Sky will be going to gymnastics camp at the end of the month.
  Even with those activities and a mother's helper, I wanted to be prepared when the kids get bored and start sniping at each other.  Luckily, a good friend gave me a great book: 101 Kids Activities.  All the activities are easy for quick and would be fun for little kids and it has an art section which is especially good for Sky, since she loves art and hasn't been doing as much as lately since her new school doesn't have art classes (don't get me started on that!)  I also have the Pocket Daring Book for Girls, a gift from my mother to Sky to use for ideas.

Around Here Lately, in Pictures

May 20, 2016

  If Water and Earth wake up early, I'll sometimes take them for runs so that they can get a little bit more sleep.  It works like magic every time (and I get a little bit more workout from pushing them!)

Here We Go Again!

May 18, 2016


  We are diving back into the immigration and naturalization process with the USCIS.  We had a very straight-forward and successful process with Sky and Fire's naturalization using the N600K a few years ago (see this page for more information) but since we're living in the US now, things are a little different. 
  We've been given conflicting information from others in the process and from different people at the USCIS but we're going ahead with the process that was outlined for us just before we moved: enter the country on the RMI's Compact of Free Association's visa waiver, then apply for a change of status to legal resident using the I485.  Once Earth has legal residence here and has lived with us for two years, we'll file for naturalization using the N600. 
  I sent his first set of forms in this week and they've been received.  I'll share updates on our progress here as the process moves forward.  Wish us luck!!

The End of Kindergarten!

May 16, 2016

  Sky's almost done with Kindergarten!  This year has gone so fast and Sky has grown so much.  She was definitely ready for school and has hit her stride in it.  Her class had it's end of the year celebration today, with a program in the courtyard and and party in her classroom.  Sky made lots of good friends at her new school and loved her teacher, Ms H.  She's excited for the summer vacation (and sleeping in, since school start SO early here!) and is looking forward to first grade next year.

Best Mother's Day Yet

May 9, 2016

 Mother's day last year was terrible and I knew I wanted things to be different this year. Just like last year, D and I talked about the day ahead of time but this year I realized that it just wasn't possible for me to get the day off.  There was no way I wasn't going to do my job for the day and I was okay with that going into it- I actually had no expectations for the day at all, beyond going to church in the morning.

Teething is a Pain!

May 6, 2016

  Earth is getting his top two teeth in right now and it's been painful for all of us!  We've been through this three other times but this time is the hardest.  It doesn't help that a terrible cold and sore throat have been making the rounds in our family and of course, Earth caught it.  Between the two, he didn't sleep through the night at all last week and was fussy most of the days.  He even stopped eating or taking a bottle for two days in the middle of it and I considered taking him to the hospital to see if he was dehydrated.  It was pretty scary for me and made me really glad that we have access to that kind of medical care, even if we didn't need it.  
  It was so nice to see him smiling again a few days ago- I've missed our happy boy.  Earth had another rough night last night after three good ones but since his teeth are through, I'm hopeful that we're past the worst of it.
  How do you help your kids through teething?  We've tried everything but are always open to new ideas.

Fire's 4th Family Day

May 4, 2016

Four years!  I can't believe that Fire has been home for four years already.  I still remember the moment we decided to start the process to bring him home like it was yesterday.   He's still living up to his fiery name and we're working more, and having some success, at teaching him how to deal better with his siblings.  Like everyone, he has his good days and bad days but we wouldn't trade our Fire for anything.

     Fire's Family Day Pictures
2016

From the CSA This Week: Summer Squash

May 3, 2016


   When I read that we were getting summer squash in our harvest, I expected the long yellow squash I'm used to seeing at the grocery store.  Like so many vegetables we've gotten through the Tucson CSA, this one surprised me.

Remodel Part One: Done!

May 1, 2016

  The first stage of our home remodel is done!  Those of you tackling big projects will laugh at the scale of the work that we had done but it's already made an amazing difference in the house.  We live in a "master-planned community" and many of the homes here have similar features.  One of those features is a half-wall between the dining area and family room. You can see it in the picture below just behind the table:
  The family room was also really cramped by the half-wall.  One of our bookshelves covered a window and the toy bins blocked part of the sliding glass door.  One of the reasons we chose this house was because it would give the kids room to play and that just wasn't happening the way we wanted it to.
Our Charmed Life. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.