Finding Nemo is a family favorite with many classic quotes peppered in our lives. Dory's quote keeps playing in my head. :)
Dory: Hey there, Mr. Grumpy Gills. When life gets you down do you wanna know what you've gotta do?
Marlin: No I don't wanna know.
Dory: [singing] Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. What do we do? We swim, swim.
My little fish have sure learned to swim. This is one of the greatest parts of moving here. I can't believe my 3 year old swims!!!
Just keep swimming, swimming... You know you are going to be singing it all day long. :)
I am officially homesick. The excitement of our adventure has worn off. The feeling that we are on some sort of extended vacation is gone. It's back to work, back to school and the weekly grind of homework and activities. I miss the daily distraction the kids provided before they went to school. It is much easier to be an ant at work than have time to think and miss home.
The heat is oppressive. This week alone we broke one record and tied two more. The paper reported that this is the hottest August ever recorded. I am longing for the crisp evenings that come in late August in Colorado. The smell of fall and the glorious turning of the leaves that is soon to follow. Not here. It is so hot the kids have to sit in the "cool room" for recess. We have had a week long "extreme heat warning." If you ask me, I think the whole summer would fit in that category. When we walk home from the bus stop it feels as though flames are licking your skin. People are not meant to live in the desert. It is very hostile.
Scorpions don't like the heat either. Once it gets too much above 105, they seek shelter. Unfortunately, they are seeking it in my home. We have tried pest control, attempting to seal all possible entrances and Max goes hunting at night for them. However, they remain. In the last three weeks they have single handedly made it so I am ready to pack up and move. There were two giant ones under the dog dish, two in my towels, one fell off my shirt hanging in the closet. Not to mention the numerous others just hanging out in the bathrooms. I praise God that no one has been stung. The experts say seeing 7 in a season is really bad. We have been having one or two daily. The scorpion lady feels they are living in our walls. Sweet dreams.
Three Berry Eggless Muffins
2 cups flour
1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 tsp orange juice
1 cup fat free milk
1/3 cup oil
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup fresh strawberries sliced
1/2 cup fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients.
In a large bowl combine the wet ingredients.
Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
Gently fold in the berries.
I like to use cupcake papers. Fill either well greased muffin tins or papers 2/3 full.
Bake in the oven for 22 minutes.
Allow them to cool for 15-20 min on a wire rack.
They are best the next morning but the kids thought they were just fine fresh out of the oven. :)
Blueberry Chocolate Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp Hershey's Cocoa
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp vinegar
2/3 cup oil
1/2 cup blueberries
2 cups water
1 cup of blueberries for decorating
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Put the blueberries and 2 cups of water in a blender or food processor and blend. Use a strainer to remove the pulp. Add your blueberry juice to a medium bowl and then add the remaining wet ingredients. Mix well.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients until combined.
Pour batter into a greased 9 inch springform pan.
Bake for one hour or until toothpick comes out clean at the center of cake. I pulled mine out a little too soon and the center collapsed a little. But it made a perfect spot for a pile of blueberries. :)
Allow cake to cool for at least 2 hours and then transfer to serving platter.
Then pour this Chocolate Ganache (aka heaven) over the cake. I used most of a bag of Ghiradelli Bittersweet Baking chips. Start in the center and move outward allowing the ganache to roll off the edges. I made an additional little mote around the base of the cake for the blueberries to swim in. If some is good, more is better!
Allow the ganache to set up for about 10 minutes then add the blueberries around the side and in the center.
You see, for the last decade I have been raising babies and kids. Someone has always needed me. Needed me for nearly every waking hour and in many cases even in the sleeping hour! For the first time in a very long time I am alone. I have ten hours a week now with just me, without anyone needing me. I know many moms would shout for joy. Sure I will be happy to run errands alone and can start making great meals. I will have time to do all those little projects I have been putting off and start volunteering. Heck, I might even be able to finish a few books. But I am done with yet another chapter in my life. I am now a mom to school-age kids. No longer am I a mom to babies or toddlers. The chapters are ending faster than I would like. While many wonderful chapters still await to be written, by far some of my best have been read.
20 Years ago today Max asked me to be his girl. We were standing by the pool in my parent's backyard. He would soon ask me to our Freshman Homecoming, then Sophomore, then Junior, then Senior and both Proms. Here we are 20 years ago! (Yes, those are Z. Cavariccis and yes, that is a bleach blonde mullet!)
Karlie is a big 2nd grader and was really excited to make some new friends. Her teacher is about as warm and nice as they come. Karlie made two new friends and was already invited for play date!
I didn't want to mortify Hailey, so I just gave her a hug and spared her the picture at her desk. Sniff, Sniff. Soon I won't even be able to hug her goodbye.
Today Daisy turned 14!!! During the dog days of summer you have to find an excuse to celebrate, so we went all out for our girl.
dogs. :) This time the girls decorated the cake. They did all the bones and little balls. We made a chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting covered with fondant. While we made the cake, Max and Hank worked to replace the garage door opener. They worked liked dogs and were practically panting when they came in.
dogs in Daisy's honor.
dog new tricks. Daisy has never been fond of water, and doggone it, I don't think even 115 degrees can change her mind.
dog house if she ate off the table, but Hailey gave her a little taste of cream cheese and soon she realized she was top dog for the day!
dog. While this might be our firstborn's last birthday, today we celebrate all she has taught us, all she has endured (being kicked down the totem pole 4 times!), and all the joy she has given us over our 14 years and her 98 years! We love you old dog.
dogs if you weren't counting! :)
We have lots of fun weekends of painting ahead of us. Max painted the family room right away. The color they had for the family room and our bedroom was a yellow, brown that had the feel of Santa Fe gone wrong.
We still have lots of decorating to do but at least we have walls that calm us rather than give us hot flashes.
Next on the chopping block was Karlie and Kaitlin's room... RED ROOM had to die. This was how they had the room. The girls immediately took sharpie (under dad's supervision) and wrote GIRLS ROCK and put a D in front of the RULE. They also added K Buddies RULE. Their first (hopefully last) graffiti.