Monday, June 25, 2018

Taking the Family to The Grand Canyon

I am an Arizona fanatic. I absolutely love the state I live in. I love it so much that I put up with 115 degree summer days without letting them bother me. Okay, maybe the really hot days do make me a little grumpy, but it is a short 90 minute drive into the mountains to escape the heat and enjoy the

Friday, June 15, 2018

Homemade Dreamsicles: A Healthy Version of a Childhood Favorite

Many of us have memories of summer as a kid. For me, it was the fight over the Dreamsicle. If you are unfamiliar with a Dreamsicle, it is a heavenly combination of orange popsicle and vanilla ice cream. I could pound down Dreamsicles like there was no tomorrow. But, as an adult, I can only imagine what kind of ingredients were in those artificially flavored summer treats.

Enter my wonderful wife. I came home from work last week, and the kids started asking for Dreamsicles. She pulled out an ice cube tray and gave them an ice cube on a toothpick. They asked for another, and she gave it to them. She told them that they could have as many Dreamsicles as they wanted. STOP THE BUS! I have a wonderful mom, but I don't remember her ever saying that we could have as many anythings as we wanted. My brothers and I would have decimated the house if she had said that. So I had to try one of these so called Dreamsicles and see what kind of voodoo magic she was performing on our children.

I pulled one out of the ice cube tray, took a bite, and was immediately transported to my sandbox, G.I. Joes, Legos, and my jealousy over my neighbor's Slip'N Slide. These Dreamsicles are amazing, and thanks to my incredible wife, I am here to share her motherly, trick-your-children-into-thinking-they-get-dessert-when-they're-actually-eating-a-healthy-snack voodoo awesomeness.

Ingredients:

-1 banana
-vanilla yogurt
-orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
-ice cube tray
-tooth picks

To make:

1. Cut the banana into small chunks, about a third of the size of an ice cube.

2. Put the banana chunks onto toothpicks and place one chunk into each ice cube slot.

3. Mix equal parts-ish (close enough is perfect) of yogurt and orange juice, and fill the ice cube slots to the top.

4. Freeze.

Yeah. That's it. It takes almost no time to make, it is inexpensive, and the kids eat them like there's no tomorrow. Actually, Dad eats them like there's no tomorrow as well. Our kids think they're getting a treat, but really they're getting fruit and yogurt. As Big A said, "These get ten thumbs up!"

Let the summer games begin!

Going...
...gone!
...going...



Sunday, May 27, 2018

Daddy-Daughter Dance: Year Eight

When my oldest daughter, Big E, was 2, I took her to her first prom. I was a chaperone, and she was an adorable date. We danced and danced, and we decided on "our song," A Wink and a Smile. A couple of weeks after we had our first dance, our neighbor was going to her prom. We watched her parents take pictures in their front yard, and then she got into a car with her date and drove off. Big E looked at me and said, "Why isn't her daddy going with her?" I explained that her daddy was staying home and his daughter was going to prom with a different boy. With tears welling up in her big, brown eyes, she said, "I don't ever want to go to prom with anybody except my daddy."

DADDY WIN!!


Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hidden Hairdryer Storage

I have been slowly but surely working on our bathroom remodel for so long that I no longer know when I exactly began. The last post I wrote about our bathroom remodel outlined the first several steps, which were completed exactly one year ago. Since then I have chipped away little by little at the bathroom. Lately, I have added two cabinets that I bought at the Rosie on the House auction site, removed our mirrored closet door, and added a pocket door. While those projects have all had their challenges and moved us slightly closer to being done with the bathroom, I am most proud of this project--hidden hairdryer storage--because it brings me daily joy.

The previous owner of our house hardwired a power strip into an electrical box and attached it to the side of our bathroom cabinet (essentially he cut off the plug, stripped the wires, and gave the strip permanent power - not exactly up to building code). This power strip was used by my wife for her hairdryer, but because of the placement of the power strip the hairdryer either lived on the counter or between the vanity and the closet door. The removal of the closet doors and installation of the pocket door forced me to remove the power strip and add an actual electrical outlet in the wall. But the "storage space" for the hairdryer was gone.
Pocket door and wall cabinet

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Spring Gardening: Build the Foundation by Preparing the Soil

When I lived in Illinois, gardening was so easy. My wife and I lived in an old farmhouse. In the back corner of the yard were the remnants of an ancient tree, long since cut down. The roots were decaying, and the soil was so rich and fertile. We popped in a tomato plant and a jalapeno plant, and that summer we had no shortage of vegetables. We did nothing, and our crop was abundant. We congratulated ourselves on being gardening prodigies.

And then we moved to Arizona. Alkaline soil composed of clay, sand, and the tears of those who once dreamed of gardening. Irrigation that must be applied in the proper amounts at just the right time or we would be the reason the state would move toward complete drought. Tomatoes that would split their skins if the sun hit the fruit for five seconds too long, and would drop from the plant if I didn't sing to them each night. We were not in Kansas (or anywhere in the Midwest) anymore.

Follow by Email