Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunny Eggs, Hot Dogs and the Like




What a fun weekend!  Started off with Saturday breakfast...I'm in the process of nailing down soft boiled eggs.  When I was little and got sick, my mom would always make really buttery toast, tear it up and put it in a bowl, with soft boiled eggs on top.  Mmmmm, comfort in a bowl.  I saw these little egg cups at the thrift store the other day, and couldn't pass them up- $.30 a piece!!! (I think it's a sad comment on our economic situation these days that the "cents" sign is nowhere to be found on the keyboard!!!).  But back to eggs.  This is my second attempt, and I think third time will be the charm.  First time out I left them too long, and they weren't runny at all.  These guys were ALMOST too runny, but drizzled on toast they were fabulous.  I think this next time will be it.  When we were eating, Isabel said, "Mama, this reminds me of when I'm sick and you make those eggs for me!"  Ahhh, comforting traditions are so soothing to the soul!

The heat wave in Santa Paula is effectively over as of today (Monday), but this weekend it was in it's prime.  Molly was soaking in the sun...



  and so was Ava...


Meanwhile, out in front, a mad game of Sprinkler Football was ensuing...

Running plays with Gabe and James

                                                               INTERCEPTED!
Girls get a Go...
                                                

TACKLED!

And then there was the Citrus Festival.  I actually entered a Lemoncello Cheesecake in the Lemon Dessert category.  It was my first entry in anything like this...and I didn't win.  But I did have a couple who wanted to buy it!  Which is really what I plan on doing with it eventually anyways.  Oh well, Mom says I'll get 'em next time.  Love you Mom!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bullfrog Snowcones with Salt and Pepper- YUM!!!

Things are heating up in Santa Paula...!  Today we broke out the Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine for it's maiden run.  I thought it might be slow-going, grinding one ice-cube at a time...times five.  It was!  But the kids didn't seem to mind, they thought it was great fun, and took turns shoveling the ice out (that has to be my favorite part- the little red shovel!) and grinding.  I was prepared to cheat, and broke out the blender just in case it got too hard to wait.  What was I thinking?! They were engaged in the process, and the wait just made it better when they finally got a full dixie-cup of grape-sugar heaven.

                                             This is definitely a group effort!


                                              Everyone gets a turn to crush the ice.

                                               Just add sugar and ....

                                                                         PAYOFF!         

We also saw an ad on Craig's List for a Star Wars Bullfrog habitat for free...how cool is that?!  We had gone down to the creek at the end of our street about a month ago and collected little tadpoles to watch, and had one turn into a tiny little frog.  So we went to pick it up, and were very surprised at the size of the two inhabitants of the Dagobah system (besides Yoda, who is tiny and cute- uh...powerful and wise, I mean!).  They are gi-normous! One of them has already changed into a bullfrog, who is eating crickets and small children.  The other is a hafling, and it may take him months before he changes.  Super-cool.

The family we got them from was really sweet, and just happened to live near the thrift stores in Oxnard... ;)  I never thought I would collect salt and pepper shakers, but when I saw these guys, I couldn't pass them up.  I loved them even more once I got them home and put them on the red bookcase in the kitchen- they seem to be right at home.  My friend asked me why I felt it necessary to have them, and her sister answered- "Duh! Everyone needs a baby with a moustache and red lipstick."   They speak to me, what can I say?!  Are they the start of yet another collection?  Only time will tell...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Girly Things of All Sorts

So this weekend was really fun.



Friday I finally started teaching the girls (and really, myself) to embroider.  I've been wanting to for a long time, and it has just been pushed to the back.  Olivia kept asking though, so I made up little samplers for us all, and I have to say they picked it up really quickly.  I have lace up cardboard shapes for Ava that I am trying to track down...part of the move that still hasn't been unpacked...
Also, I talked to our neighbor across the street, Margaret, who is in her 70's.  She quilts like crazy- she's actually at a quilt show now.  When she comes back, she is going to teach us how to make a simple family quilt.  I've really been wanting to mix generations up lately- to learn from women who are older and have so many amazing things to teach.  I am blessed to be surrounded by these women who are willing to pass on what they know.  Especially since my mom is not close (in distance!) right now.  We are working on that one :)

Saturday we had a women's retreat/day based on themes from the movie "Chocolat".  It's funny to me- the thought of a women's retreat doesn't always appeal to me- usually not the first place I'd pick to be.  But it always ends up being really good to be surrounded by women- lots of whom I didn't know.  Different ages, backgrounds, stages in life, even different places in their faith in God.  I love listening to the stories- the struggles, the lessons, the need for Jesus to strengthen weak places.  And I guess I love that no matter what place we're at, we all have something to offer- hope, encouragement, a sympathetic ear.  And it didn't hurt that there were truffles the size of my fist... :)  There were so many good things spoken, many things God has been speaking to my heart that were confirmed there.  I think the one thing that I am hanging on to right now is to live in the moment- give people your love by giving them your attention, your time.  Be fully present- so hard to do sometimes, but so rewarding for you and those around you. 

Rob had taken the kids to a day at the park while I was gone, so when I got back, I heard the stories (like the fact that they had to hit 3 parks in Ventura to find one that wasn't having a "Garcia" family reunion!  Or that Olivia was running so fast down a hill that her legs ended up over her head- and of course she got up with a laugh!).  They also hit a garage sale right by our house that had two vintage Schwinn bikes (Rob's been looking).  So Rob and I took a quick drive, met a great neighbor, and ended up with his favorite old bike- he let us steal it for $10!!!  Such a blessing- Rob is so excited :) AND, he'll probably end up riding with our new friend.  So cool. (And not so "girly" at all, but definitely noteworthy!)

Sunday, to end a girl-themed weekend, a friend down the street was having a garage sale (this was the weekend to shop!), and I walked down to peruse and say hello.  The kids came with me, and Olivia and I spotted a doll that was really adorable. And I'm usually not a "doll" kinda girl.  I wasn't going to buy, and we started for home when Olivia said, "Mama, I really liked that doll.  I have money, I could buy her."  I had no idea how much she would want, but we turned around to ask.  Not only did she give it to her for a dime(!!!), she also told her there was a friend for her on the table, and she could have her.  I had seen her "friend", and had been a little scared of her!  She is a very ethnic doll, kinda wierd at first.  But Olivia loved her right away, and I have to admit, she does grow on you.  I love her dress, and she is definitely hand made.  She has a basket you can't see in the picture, attached to her back.  Olivia and I both agreed that she works in the corn fields.  Her name is Susana, and Olivia thinks she might be ten. :) The other one she named Maria, which I think is perfect.  Definitely a singer/dancer in a Latin nightclub.  She is so cute- maybe from the 60's would be my guess.  Olivia says she is her age(haha!).  I'm so glad she made me go back!
                         This is Susana- she even has sandals!  Why she is blonde, I do not know!


                            Here is Maria- I love the long, tan legs, and the dramatic eyes!
                                                     Must've danced her pants off.... :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

BBQ & BLUES

So Rob (in begining of June) just turned the BIG FOUR-OHHHH!  And we had a little bash to celebrate him and how wonderful he is :)  Thanks to everyone who traveled near and far (very far!) to honor him with your love and friendship- it meant so much to us, and we had a time to remember.  Of course I should have designated a photographer, didn't get nearly as many pictures as I would have liked!  But you'll get the idea...

My brother Robert sent a long list of necessary blues songs to get us through the day and into the night, and in combination with the R&B oldies that Sarah and Caleb (who, by the way, magically made the blues list turn into little disks... :) ) helped out with, we were chillin' to some tasty music.  Piles of bbq pork and chicken to throw on some buns, and this party was smokin!  For dessert, Wendy, Sophia and I had gone early that morning to a farm to get fresh strawberries (50 lbs!), which everyone helped slice for shortcake (and, yes, for jam later!).  Mom's lemon cake, and chocolate mocha birthday cake rounded it out...yummmmm!


To end the night, those who stayed to the end (literally!) were involved in a raucous game of BIG BOOTY....in which Rob was never dethroned from his King Booty title. :)  Everyone needs a little birthday booty, right? :)  (okay, for those of you not schooled in big booty, it's a rhythm hand clapping game where you try to knock people out of order to become the "BIG BOOTY")  So much fun, and a great way to go out!  Love to you all!