Thursday, August 28, 2008

Nephi's Boat

Tyler was reading "My First Book of Mormon Stories" to Lillian and they got to the page about Nephi building a boat. This is how he sang it:

The Lord commanded Nephi to go and build a boat
Nephi's lousy brothers told him it would not float
Laman and Lemuel just wou-ld not help out
Nephi was industrious, and this is what he shout(ed):

Chorus as usual.

Tyler's memory for words to songs is not so hot, but it's always funny.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Angel Hair Pasta with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts, & Basil

I like making a meat-less dinner once a week or so (not counting when I don't feel like cooking and we eat grilled cheese sandwiches). I'd been eyeing this recipe for a long time, but I was always turned off by how much pine nuts cost. But I did it and it was so super yummy and it made a lot: enough for us to eat it two nights in a row (and me to eat it for lunch on the second day).

1/4 c EVOO
1/2 c pine nuts
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 6-oz jars marinated artichoke
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 c chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
one package angel hair pasta, cooked
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add pine nuts and saute until light brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. (They're not joking on the 2 minutes, don't walk away from the stove. I walked away to help Lillian turn on the Wiggles, and by the time I came back, mine had slightly burned.) Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, artichoke hearts, vinegar, basil, and oregano. Heat through. Season with salt and pepper. Add cooked pasta to tomato mixture in skillet and toss thoroughly. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Serves: 5 adults and one child who eats like a bird.

Mmmm, mmmm. So yummy.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Wednesday evening began like so many others here in Tucson. On this night, we ate dinner, and then went to the bookstore. Around eight o'clock, we made our way back home and noticed thunder and lightening way off over the mountains. This is not that uncommon and happens probably four nights out of the week. The evening news says there's a flash flood warning, but there's always a flash flood warning, and it's not even raining. As we're going about putting Lillian to bed, I hear something like knocking on the window. I look out and it's rain mixed with hail. Soon, the wind picks up and is blowing so hard, it's making all the windows shudder and rattling the blinds.

The thunder is really loud and Lillian's starting to cry. Tyler tells her everything is alright and puts her in the bath. Five minutes later, the lights go out. And stay out. Lillian is freaking out, I'm thinking, "Great, another bad bath memory," and Tyler is stumbling around trying to find a flashlight.

As Mom says "Big rain: little rain, Little rain: big rain," (meaning that if the rain comes hard and fast, it won't last very long, but if it is drizzly and light, it will hang around awhile) so the rain stopped after maybe two hours. But it for sure left it's mark. In the picture below on the left, there used to be two trees standing close together. You can see one is still standing, right next to it, what looks like a bush, is actually the bottom of the tree, uprooted, with some branches covering the roots.

We didn't get power back until after dinner on Thursday night. I was dreading not having air conditioning, but it didn't get that hot in our house. Lillian was devastated that there was no "Little Eimsteims" to be had all day long. We saved most of our food as the power company set up a booth to hand out free ice. I'm not sure about the eggs though: with the ice in the fridge, the moisture content of the air went up, and then when the power came back on, everything froze. Including the eggs. I haven't cracked one open yet, but I'm scared. Mom and Allison thought they'd probably be OK, but I'm not convinced.

We had to climb our way out to take Tyler to work. They've mostly got it all cleaned up. There were a lot of birds in the trees that got booted out and/or injured in the storm. The neighbor's dogs got out and made short work of them, much to my neighbor's VERY vocal protestations.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Reid Park Zoo

This zoo is pretty small, but it's pretty cool. We got there just in time to be able to feed the giraffes. Tyler tried to make Lillian do it, but she freaked out and threw her giraffe treat on the ground. You can tell she loved every minute of the experience.

There's a polar bear in the background. This was easily Lillian's favorite exhibits. It had everything you could want: water, a waterfall, a polar bear, and at least 30 feet and double-plated Plexiglas between her and the animals.

That's Tyler's head in the corner. The tiger paced back and forth in front of this window maybe 10 times. And then it peed on us. Well, it peed on the window, but the intent was there. Below is a video of Pip, the vulture. As the handler explained to us, they were working with Pip to try to teach him to fly from person to person, but as Tucson is very hot, they didn't want to dehydrate the poor thing. So, as vultures do quite a bit of hopping around on the ground in the wild, they thought they'd try teaching him to hop over a stick. It worked out so well... they couldn't stop themselves.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Drowning in boredom

I don't know why my friend-making efforts have all crashed and burned. I mean, who wouldn't want to be friends with me? I've tried talking to people at church, in the complex, and I even failed at trying to join the local mom's club. I was complaining to my friend Candie (on the phone) how I feel like I'm running a failing restaurant and I can't seem to make people come eat no matter how much I advertise how fabulous the parmesan chicken is. She suggested I should have a slogan like "Amanda... she's funny." That was just her first try, I'm sure we could come up with something punchier. (Myriah, I'm looking in your direction)

I was ready to lose my mind what with being Lillian's sole entertainment and all, so I called mom who's always got good ideas on how to keep two-year-old hands busy.

Tyler told me this morning that he was out of shaving cream. I pretended I didn't know anything about it.

By the way, my legs are still so itchy I don't even want to talk about it. Plus, yesterday, I got five new bites on my ankles and some on my arms. Where are these bugs coming from?

Friday, August 01, 2008

So much worse

Regardless of the fact that my legs still didn't photograph well, I wanted to get across how much worse my bites look (and feel). They itch so bad!!! Last night, I took a colloid oatmeal bath and have been alternating calamine lotion and betamethasone (which is like prescription cortisone-10).

Does anyone have any other ideas as to how to get the itch out?
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