Tuesday, August 30, 2011

brown cake

This is Salsie and Pops (and you know who else).
We don't get to see them nearly as often as we would like, but when we do boy do we have fun.
Salsie has this dreamy, amazing cake that she makes. She calls it "Inside-out Bundt Cake." Jimmy calls it "Brown Cake." Somehow that name seems to have stuck.

Without further ado, here is Salsie's recipe:
1 pkg instant chocolate pudding
1 pkg Devil's food cake mix
1 pkg choc chips
1 3/4 cups milk
2 eggs

Combine pudding mix, cake mix, milk and eggs into a bowl. Mix with a spoon until well-blended, about 2 minutes. Mix in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased Bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Don't over bake! Cool 15 minutes, then remove from pan.

Because Bundt cakes and I sometimes tear one another apart and because Sir Nathan isn't as much of a die-hard chocolate lover as I am, I've made a few modifications:
I do it in a 9x13, substitute vanilla pudding mix for chocolate, and do a milk chocolate cake mix instead of devil's food. I whip it up the same way and bake, but keep an eye on it as it should be done in about 40 minutes or so.

It will make you and yours oh so happy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Last night Jimmy was telling us about a boy in his class. This is how it went down:
J: Well, he talks kind of different and he smells different too.
Us: What do you mean?
G: Yeah, does he have an accent or something?
J: No. Well, well he talks kind of SALTY.
Us: SALTY?!??
J: Yep, and he smells salty too.
G: Maybe he's from The Coast.

Yeah, maybe. There are lots of Coasts here in AZ!

(ps The above picture was actually taken on the coast last March and it features four rowdy cousins and my favorite bridge.)

Friday, August 19, 2011


This little man of mine lost his first tooth last night.

Oh, and if you wonder at his ensemble, he is of course a secret delivery agent who digs dinosaurs.
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Wednesday, August 10, 2011


In the last 24 hours I discovered that Superman's alias is not named Clark Kent.
His real name is Nate.
This man can fix a non-functioning laptop, dismantle a non-working washing machine, diagnose its problem, and then reassemble it with a new part, oversee the construction of a fort in the front room, give a speech to a high-rollin' group to raise big bank for the hospital, teach me how to sweet talk another computer into working, slow dance in the family room, and work on his sourdough starter.
He can do all of this in a 27 hour period of time, and still keep his day job.
(I wish I would have bought him this shirt)
Thank you, Superman, I mean Clark Kent, I mean Nate! What on earth would we do without you?

Monday, August 8, 2011

the most wonderful time of the year

Are you ready for this?
A Fourth Grader!
And a Kindergartner!!
I'd say we're off to a fine start.

All I can say is "Wooo hooo!!!!"

Saturday, August 6, 2011

a grand adventure

With school starting on Monday, it seems only fitting that I finally get around to tell you about our grand adventure.
On our first real weekend of summer break (which happened to be Memorial Day weekend), we ventured North.
We saw vast vistas with lots of other visitors trying to vie to see the same vistas we were.
We clung to security fences and obeyed all signs of safety and precaution (except when we were climbing trees).
It was truly an adventurous and windy time.
Oh, and we saw a canyon.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

things from today from a long, long time ago

All summer I've wanted to take the kids to the dinosaur museum. Seemed like the thing to do when it was 108 degrees outside.
We finally did it today. I must say there was some good sibling vibes going on.
We saw all kinds of dinosaur bones (this of course is a bad picture of a triceratops).
We saw a crazy meteorite that crashed into Tucson ages ago.
We assembled a mastodon (well, really they did, I was just along to provide photographic evidence).
The above was my favorite sign of the day (it was even worth reading, if you ask me). I've been chuckling about it all afternoon.
Grace demonstrated that if we were dependent on grinding our own corn and wheat with this method we would indeed be hungry and rather skinny.
Jimmy proves he may not be as big as a dinosaur, but he's pretty tough (or something).

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the end

All good things must come to an end. We ended ours by cruising up to Santa Cruz and walking about the boardwalk.
As you can see, we weren't alone. And many of those people you see pictured made for some mighty fine people watching.
There was some lovely beach watching, sail sighting,
toe dangling,
and raucous riding!
It was beautiful. There really is something about that California coast, it gets me every time.
But the best sight is what greeted us at home (note how they donned their souvenir t-shirts and are wielding their darling otters - Jimmy's shirt reads "The Otters Strike Back" and Grace's shirt of course depicts "Hairy Otter")

Happy Summer, one and all!

ps school starts next week, can you believe it?!

Monday, August 1, 2011


Guess what I found that I love to do and never did before...
Did you guess, kayaking? Good job if you did.
We rented a kayak for two and skimmed on top of the Bay. It was so fun. I did get a bit nervous when I realized there were real live animals (with real live teeth) that were swimming about near us.
Nate loved the fact that there were real live animals swimming near us and didn't seem bothered by the idea of their teeth in the least. The most fun to watch were the otters. They would laze about on top of kelp beds (lots of kelp beds, one of the reasons the otters love Monterey Bay) and then get up and play and frolic about. The stinkiest animals to see were the seals (or were they sea lions?) Thankfully we weren't too close to note the location of their ears which is how one would differentiate between the two (see I do know things, even if I don't read all the signs).
Above you will see a view of where we stayed. It was very Water-Front.
After kayaking about, we got cleaned up and hit the town. See, aren't we just darned cute? Have we really known each other for 17 years? We certainly don't look that old, well at least in this light, right (right??)
And while we were dining I discovered a new treat. See, prawns used to knock my socks off. They are still good, but I found more that scallops would swim about in my culinary dreams. And after this delight, a perfectly executed calamari steak floats right at the top. Here it is - the best meal of the trip - teeny, tiny micro greens on top of a mountain made of calamari steak, sea scallops, and prawns, on top of a bed of creamy risotto, flecked with capers, with sweet asparagus thrown in just to make things even better.
This is us after we are full. Full and happy.

Oh man, I love vacation.
(Think we need to find a new selves-portrait pose? We've perfected this one, I'd say.)