Saturday, April 30, 2011

School is in Session - Part 2 - Ruins and Scenery - by Ladybug

 I didn't just see cool things on this trip, I learned lots of educational stuffHere are some of the words I leaned on this trip. Others are by the pictures later in the blog.
      Cairn - a pile of rocks to mark trails or other things.
      Anasazi - ancient indians that left ruins in the canyons of the southwest.

My Dad and I hiked a very long way.  33 miles in four days. I didn't know I could hike that far until this trip.  I would like to do it again soon.

The first day we found a lot of ruins.  Some were in good shape and some had fallen.  Some were like lookout towers on the cliffs and were impossible to climb to.  Others were where the people lived and could be reached easily.

It got dark early so I had time to draw some of the ruins that we had seen.  I wrote some in my journal too.

There were lots of cool rock formations and pretty views during this trip.  Here are some of them.

My dad and I saw pictograph.  It was fun to try and guess what they meant.  A pictograph is painted and a petroglyph is carved or scratched out of the petrified desert varnish.

kiva - a round, underground building that was used for meetings and protection.  The door is always on the ceiling.  I think that they also had feasts in there.

There were lots of pottery and grinding stones around the ruins.  We left them there so others could see them too.  This was the law for hiking there.

I found some arrowheads out in the river area.  These were used for hunting and fighting.

Some of the rocks looked like painted waves.

Some parts of the creeks were still frozen from the winter and were very beautiful.

My Dad took this while he was going to the bathroom.  He had to take the shot fast before the clouds changed.  It was funny.

This was my friend on the trip.  She has the same name as me.  Cool, huh.

This was the coolest rock thing on the whole trip.  It looks like the little rock in the middle fell from the sky and cracked the big rock.  This was right on the trail.

Thanks Dad for taking me on this trip!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sunrise Breakfast

I've always wanted to have a sunrise breakfast for Easter... ideally in the mountains where I could watch the sun come up and think about the resurrection. 

I am sick and need my sleep so we rose long after sunrise.  Not willing to give up my dream, Ladybug and I ate on my deck, simple fare, pesto eggs and grapefruit.  It did not matter that it was not fancy.  The birds chirped, the breeze was light, the cows and horses were frolicking the the field beneath us and it was quiet, special, beautiful, ours.  

We sang He is risen to all the animals that kept us company this morning. I guess all that mattered was that we were together, thinking of him... it was enough. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Cookies

It was late... we really should be getting to bed.  We'd had a lovely day.  Ladybug accompanied me to a hair appointment, then we weeded and mowed the lawn, then a trip to her therapy apointment, out to lunch at in-and-out.  Animal style and Animal style.  We shopped, planted flowers, worked out together, steamed to let the menthol clear my sore throat, and had soup for dinner. 

But, Easter was tomorrow, and we needed to commemorate it.  We ran to the store... AGAIN, and grabbed eggs.  "Who's going to do this with us Mom?"  "No one.  It's still Easter and we are important too.  Grab your apron." 

It was sweet, touching, and fun.  It got us both in the mood and then kept us up a bit late as we discussed the deeper elements of the story in answer to Bug's questions. 

Easter Cookies

To be made the evening before Easter
  • 1cup whole pecans
  • 1tsp vinegar
  • 3 egg whites
  • pinch salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • zipper baggie
  • wooden spoon
  • tape
  • Bible
Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important, don't wait till you're half done with the recipe!)

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested, He was Beaten by the Roman soldiers.  Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar.  Put 1tsp vinegar into mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.  Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar.  Eggs represent life.  Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life.  Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.  Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.
Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him.  Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus.  Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.  Read Matthew 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.  Read Matthew 27:65-66.

GO TO BED!  Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight.  Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.  Read John 16:20 and 22.

 On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie.  Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!  On the first Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.  Read Matthew 28:1-9.

Plus.... they're quite yummy.

Weekend Munchies

Ladybug and I are at home.  Alone.  Easter Weekend.  Family is playing in the warmth with extended family... egg hunts, hikes, swimming.

All of Ladybug's therapy assignments effect me too.  So in effect, we are both in therapy.  Many would say I need it, so I guess that $90 an hour is getting a bang for its buck.

My tasks are to bond, to maintain strict order, to refrain from any activity which Bug has not earned AND to have a wonderful weekend for me where I can recoup.  Uh... putting these conflicting goals together is hard work.

Nonetheless, we are completing all the assigned tasks.  Food isn't banned so we went to Costco and loaded up on my favorites... Wasabi cheese, Smoked Gouda, RiceWorks crackers, Jalapeno Yogurt dip, Veggies, Shrimp... AND, we are only eating in beautiful stimulating places, tonight that means my tea table.  Hey I'm celebrating within my boundaries.

Ladybug asked if the Queen ever did what we are doing with her daughters... she felt like a princess.  I said I doubted if they did that they had quite as much fun.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Briz has made a remarkable recovery.  I am so proud of him for allowing us to wheel him around for days.  He has tried to make healthy eating choices and for him, this is TOUGH.  But, so is he. 

Today in church he spoke of wake up calls that force him to realize that he spends much of his time on the unimportant. 

From my perspective, I reach over and pet his head, grateful that it is there for me.  He jumps up and down outside my shower with a mischievous grin and though I chastise him, I glow that his hyper self is still around to pester me.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Beach for What Ails You

The beach is magical.  The sun seeps in our starved skin and the vitamin D drugs us with a sense of well being.

Briz stares down anyone who oogles his strangly shaved chest, giving me the confidence to flaunt my opaque winter hide.  The children jump the waves, hand in hand, screaming in delighted terror.

Briz lies peacefully on the towel, manfully saying it is freeing that he is not able to participate in any water activity.  We inflate our giant volleyball and play boing-boing on the beach to the great disgust of the mostly naked strutting tan females who want the extra space to coyly waggle their hips at the happy football throwing bare-chested teens.  Ladybug occupies herself by discovering the hatching ground of minuscule transparent crabs. 

Little Mother and Sunshine dig like dogs till their every crevice is filled with grit.

After hours of sand creation, we pass through the swimming area, with its hamburger and hot dog grills, sand castles, and naked children peeing in the sand, through the surfing area with hundreds of wet suits dotting the waves,  old men with pony tales and young women with buzz cuts, muscular marines, and bleach blondes serious about their fun to the marine institute. 

A short 10 minute walk north of La Jolla past the board walk and we are practicly alone.  Alone to frolic and play among the rocks and tide pools, we watch the little water creatures squirt.

We scale countless rocks covered with oyster beds hidding emerald crabs with ruby red claws.  The magic of discovery leads us on and on till we find our own private beach.  Caught up in creatures, Briz forgot his infirmity until it was time to return.

With backs burned and feet blistered, we happily eat fabulous Mexican in Old Town, San Diego.

May I say AWESOME?  Plus, I don't like Mexican.  Then we returned for the obligatory hotel swim in the dark - yes, it was a highlight for the kids.

Monday, April 4, 2011


 I tried to keep the kids busy this weekend.  But when I brought Briz home, I could see that we were going to have a rough week.  I couldn't keep them occupied or happy, so, I just said, "Grab what you can, we'll leave in an hour!"

"Where are we going?"

"I'm not sure.  We'll figure it out as we go."

Briz reclined in the front with leg outstretched as I drove.  We tried to rest, but again... not enough to do to keep my little ones busy and rest their weary parents.  Have I ever said that I do most everything with the family and it doesn't seem to matter if Briz is there or not?  If I have, I IMMEDIATELY retract.  I realize how much he does, that I don't even notice.  I loaded bags, drove with kids screaming, pumped gas, unloaded, breakfasted.... some of which I do, but he usually PLAYS with kids while I do the necessaries.  Then he does the unpleasants, like ask where such and such is, help with discipline... etc. etc.  I suppose it was a huge blessing that I went swimming with the little ones.

They loved it, and surprisingly, so did I.   I'm just not sure I like being the shark or the bad guy to run away from as I approach in the pool. 

I'm too tired to stay here.  I need more structure to offers the wigglies.  Tomorrow at 4:00 a.m. we'll head for some sunshine.