Grand Canyon

We went to the Grand Canyon!
It's kinda funny. We have been to the most random places in Arizona, but not the Grand Canyon until Saturday.

We stayed in Flagstaff on Friday night after visiting some Indian ruins in Northern AZ. Once you have seen one ruin you have seen them all, but the Wupatki Ruins are among the best.

Flagstaff is pretty hip, minus one crazy lady that tried to run us off the road while cackling, throwing her head back, and flipping me off.
I was only trying to tell her the light was green and this really is what she looked like.

gc 2008

The Grand Canyon is pretty overwhelming and breathtaking. It was pretty hard to wrap my head around it. I felt like I was staring at a huge canvas painting. Like I could reach out and touch it.
The day was overcast with a little rain which made it nice. Easy E is hiking down into Havasupai this fall and I am totally jealous. I think the best way to really experience the GC is to hike it. I'm sure it's like nothing else.

ham aug 2008

We found flowers. Lots.


Poppy Loves NieNie

All PoppySeeds sales proceeds will go directly to the NieNie fund today.

See The Poppy Blog for more info!



Not really,
but they make you look like a really awesome in the eyes of a toddler!

Breakfast Cookies

2 c old fashioned oats
1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
1 c all purpose flour
1 c grape-nuts cereal
1/2 c wheat germ
1/2 c oat bran
2 c unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 c brown sugar (packed)
1/2 c sugar
1 T vanilla extract
1 c chopped almonds
1 c pitted chopped dates
oh, and I added some chocolate chips - there is the indulgence

oven 350. mix oats, flours, grape-nuts, germ, oat bran, and baking soda in large bowl. using electric mixer, beat butter until creamy - add eggs, sugars, and vanilla and beat until smooth. add cereal mixture and stir. mix in almonds, raisins, and dates. cover and chill. let soften at room temp. then scoop and mound onto cookie sheets. recipe says to bake for 15min, but mine were done at 10. i guess you better just keep an eye on them.


Time Away

It's a strange feeling to leave your kids and "go away" and I guess I didn't fully understand the value in it. After all, we have pretty well behaved kids and they are easy to take with us. It's just what we do as parents. Right? We take our kids with us...everywhere. Well, if it weren't for my generous father-in-law I guess it wouldn't have happened, but he had me pick a date to leave the kids with them, so that Mr Gardiner and I could have the weekend together. That's right. Just us, without two little creatures to occupy our thoughts, time, and energy for the first time in 3 years.

To say the least...WE were ecstatic.

They were too. This was taken right before we left for home, after church, and before nap time. You understand.

I picked a little place on the Central California Coast that neither the man or I had been to.
Did I mention it was only 65 degrees there?

Cambria is where the "pines meet the sea." I don't believe I'll ever see a place quite like it. Much of the time we felt like a couple of locals just doing what we love, hiking, walking the beach, sightseeing, observing wildlife, kayaking, and eating fresh food. Plus, the town is anything but a crowded tourist trap which is what we really loved about it.

On our way up the coast we stopped at the Madonna Inn for lunch. Much like Vegas, only a little more... umm...pink!

Bauer's Guilded Nest
The B&B Homestay where we slept.

Nit Wit Ridge
crazy old man = condemned crazy old house

Hearst Castle

Lazy Elephant Seals.
I believe the huge one on the far right is trying to give us the finger.

San Simeon Bay where we went kayaking

Strawberry Canyon

Eric's nice legs

Yes, I caught an innocent little crab and ripped a starfish off a rock.
Dude, I was on vacation and living it up!

E is trying to convince me to stay put while this wave is about to pumble me.

Can I go back...

Kent and Deb asked if we'll go again next year.
I'm not sure we can wait that long.

Mi Amor.


Little Miss Mae

I just became aware of a little thing called Adobe Exchange. If you happen to be a PS lover, you should check it out. There are oodles of fun downloads available.
I used a brush set called Paper Damage on this one of Mae. I still know very little about PS, but am loving anything new and fun to try.


Keeper of the Stump

I'm not sure how many of you remember this post, but I finally did it. I made dolls to keep the sick little umbilical cords that I saved from both of my girls. I know it's disgusting, but I am so proud of myself for actually doing it and I no longer have dried up scabs in Blondie's jewelry box. Eww!

I saw the templates from the Black Apple Dolls (featured on Martha) and found my motivation since they were so dang cute! As you could guess I had my fair share of cursing and ripping apart seams. One's head got put on backwards and I mindlessly finished Mae's before getting the stump in and had to rip it apart a little, shove the shriveled cord in, and sew her back up.

Of course the girls loved playing with their dolly's just for the afternoon then they were thrown into the toy box to be forgotten about. Don't they look so thrilled with their sick rag dolls?

I must say that I love to sew, but am in no way a "good" seamstress. I hate all the prep work, washing, ironing, marking, pining. I just cut and sew in hopes that my project will look somewhat presentable. Usually it's up to my standards, but I'm sure Martha would cringe.


Entertaining The Blonde One

when it's 108 degrees out.


Grandpa Kent

Grandpa came this weekend to visit. We didn't take too many pictures, but Blondie drew one this morning of them together. Whenever she draws him she says, "Grandpa has crazy hair Mommy!" As you can see she made sure that she has a belly button and grandpa has ears. Apparently arms come out of our heads. We'll have to work on that one, but I think she does pretty well for a 2 year old.

BTW, Kent is quite the trooper. He traveled across the California and Arizona desert in his little Honda with no a/c to see us. We always love having him here! I think he read over 50 books to her in 3 days.


"Where is my toothbrush?"

Eric asks me this every evening.

I always know where it has been.

But never the current location.

GM is a scavenger.

For toothbrushes.


Weekend Trips and Tips

Since we moved to Arizona 2.5 years ago we have tried to visit most of the states historical sites. Well, E has and I have tagged along. Last weekend we visited the southern part of the state and went to Tombstone as well as Kartchner Caverns.

Tombstone was a dud. Another old town that is trying it's best to suck every penny out of visiting tourists. Like Virginia City, but hotter and like Jerome, but not as crazy (no homes falling off steep cliffs.) A carriage ride was $10 per person. To visit the Bird Cage Theatre was another $10 per person and another $10 for the gun fight. The thing that really topped it off was that I forgot my camera, so we have no documentation of the suck-y-ness of Tombstone. The best part was we shared a Sasparilla for only $1 and had a decent dinner.
The most anticipated part of our trip was Kartchner Caverns one of the few pristine caves in existence. It was a pretty surreal experience as we walked through 2 sets of air vaulted doors and under a misting system before entering. It felt like we were literally going to be see a buried treasure. Which we later realized that we in fact had. Unfortunately though, I had to struggle with a wiggly, tired, cranky, and sweaty baby (the cave has like 89% humidity) so I didn't get to enjoy it as much as I'd have liked to. It's a place that I'd like to go back to again and again. Without babies though and with reservations. Oh, and if you touch anything in the cave they have to mark it for the cleaning crew to come and disinfect it.

We stayed Friday night in a cheap hotel. Mae and I started in one bed with E and Blondie in the other. I grew tired of the kicks to the face, head butts, and Miss Mae standing up at any given hour to clap her hands, so The Man took over. About fifteen minutes later he comes over to the other bed and the baby finally falls asleep. Alone. All by herself in a great big bed. We didn't care at that point and were grateful for the few hours of rest before dawn.

To our surprise Southern AZ was very green due to the heavy monsoon rains that preceded our visit. It was nice to be out our our scorching valley and off to cooler weather. Yeah, the south was a bit cooler.
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