Monday, August 24, 2015

U8 Soccer: The Annoying Squirrels!

First practice of the season

Book forty-eight: Northanger Abbey by Val McDermid

I feel like this book had a whole lot of setup, and some weird fascination with vampires, and then abruptly ended with a quick chapter that tied up the loose ends.

Apparently the author is well-known for  her psychological thrillers. The writing was great so I'd definitely look into one of those. I would recommend this book to friends, but it wouldn't be the first book I'd share.

48 down plus 4 to go.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


Lakeside movie #2
tsunami, mountain lion, hard work, female empowerment, aliens, battles, triumph

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Coffee shop photo, seven years later

hen and papa / same coffee shop, new owners / seven years later

Book forty-seven: Housebreaking by Dan Pope

Ben Mandelbaum's life has taken a turn for the worse. His wife kicked him out, he's back home living with his dad, his kids won't talk to him. Then his high school crush moves into the neighborhood. She's had her own heartache and is now left to deal with a husband whose career is on the fritz and an uncommunicative rebellious daughter.

This is a sadly tragic but ultimately hopeful tale about four people.

47 down plus 5 to go!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Trackers Camp: Junior Archery Adventure

A little boy named Hen was super excited for camp this morning. Well, he was after we managed to get him out of bed, dressed with teeth brushed, and his lunch packed. (This kid takes work sometimes.) But once all that was done, he was excited. This is our third year doing a week of Trackers camp. It's fabulous! Hen is doing the Junior Archery Adventure week with his preschool bud, Elliot. Here's the camp overview: Develop the foundations in the art of the bow and arrow. Train with our handcrafted traditional wood bows and modern recurves. Play fun archery games at the range and beyond.

It should be fun! Hen really wanted to be able to blend in for the stealth bow games they'll play this week. I have been tasked with buying a camo shirt today to go with his camo shorts.

Return to Lakeside

We had another great camping experience at Lakeside. The best part is that as the boys get older we feel more comfortable letting them do things without immediate adult supervision. That's a plus on all sides. Here are just a few pics…

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oward to Canada for the World Cup! Pictorial, part two

hen and mia @ uncle nick and aunt megan's backyard pool

drinks @ our home away from home

morning @ vancouver, bc

night @ vancouver, bc

hazy day @ vancouver, bc

women's world cup final @ bc place

me and the old man @ bc place

vp biden with the winners @ bc place

Book forty-six: See How Small by Scott Blackwood

Meh. I really liked some parts of the story but it was so disjointed I couldn't get a handle on the specific characters. This speaks to my inability to carve large amounts of time out to read large passages rather than small segments whenever I have a free second more than the author's inability to tell a good story. Since I'm usually reading when my attention is focused on more than just the book in front of me - like when Hen's swimming and my eyes continually check the pool to find out where he is at and if he appears in distress* - I kept plugging along even though I often found myself asking which character was which and how they were connected with the overall tragedy. Perhaps I'll try this one again someday when Hen is out of the house and I am able to make time to enjoy it. Because those parts I did like, I really liked. There's no doubt Blackwood can spin a yarn.

46 down plus 6 to go. Woohoo!

*Don't panic and label me a bad mama. This is at the community pool where there are between 7 and 13 lifeguards on duty so I feel it's okay not to watch my boy every second. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

I read this book to Hen over breakfast this morning. (You can buy it here.)

Me: The tree takes in the Sun's energy, carbon dioxide, and water  and converts them into sugar for food.


Me: Yeah, the tree eats sugar all day.

Hen, mumbling: Unfair.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Book forty-five: Descent by Tim Johnston

Caitlin goes for a run in the mountains with her brother in tow. Her brother returns. She does not.

And so begins the tale of Tim Johnston's Descent. Full of suspense, heartbreak, terror, and grief, this tale goes beyond retelling the horror Caitlin experiences while captive, allowing you to feel the family's loss as well. Denise, the mom, goes back home and tries to start living. Grant moves to the town so he can continue the search. And, once mended, her brother (a.k.a. Dudley and "the boy"). grows up, leaves home to search for the boy he lost on that mountain, trying to fix what went wrong.

This is a book that will grab you and hold you until the end.

Personal growth in the kitchen

Note: This is a 'pat yourself on the back moment', brought to you by Christie. 

I am definitely getting more comfortable in the kitchen. (And just a shade over four decades, alright!) 

For example, this morning I went to the kitchen intending to make blueberry muffins for breakfast. I'm using Smitten Kitchen's recipe

The first hurtle I had to overcome* was the lack of plain yogurt or sour cream in my fridge. No problem, I'll just use vanilla yogurt. We normally have that on hand and the addition of vanilla can't hurt. 

Nuts. There is no vanilla yogurt. But we do have blueberry. We'll give that a try. 

Nuts. The recipe calls for 3/4 cup and I have about a 1/2 cup. But we do have buttermilk. We'll give that a try. 

Once all the ingredients were sorted out and substitutions made, I continued with the muffin baking experience. I totally winged it on the amount of buttermilk, pouring it in until I received what I hoped was the correct consistency, which S.K. says is "quite thick". I also adjusted my baking time down to 17 minutes from her original 25 to 30 minutes. My muffin tin is smaller than the standard size so I'm going to get around 15 muffins.

I'm typing all of this up as my first batch is baking. 

Approx. 7 minutes later…
Success! Hen says the muffins are "the best" and that I "would win if I made these muffins on MasterChef". 

*In the olden days this initial setback would have been enough to derail the project. 

A rose is a rose is a rose

Hen, takes a whiff as we cuddle: Mama, smell your armpits.

Me, after sniffing both pits: Smells good.

Hen: I know. It smells like flowers.

Me: It does smell like flowers.

Hen: What? Are you rubbing your armpits with flowers all day long?

Me: Yep.

Thanks, Dove deodorant. My pits do smell good.