Saturday, September 28, 2013

Soccer and Red Ninjas

Soccer at the Summit Tournament in Flagstaff
Picture by Cristy Zeller

Let's just say it's rained A LOT in Flagstaff this summer. Even with being gone for most of the monsoon season (in July), I was sick of the rain after about 3.4 days back home. It's just annoying and keeps me from doing the things I love most. If I wanted it to rain every day then I would move back to Germany. I live in the desert for a reason! And even after an incredibly wet summer, people still get ridiculously excited when they see a dark cloud over the city, snap a picture, and then post it on Facebook. Really? I don't get it. 

Noah is back to practicing soccer most days and his team played in their first tournament of the season a few weeks ago. After the long and fairly unstructured summer, it took him a while to get back into the routine of school and soccer but now he is used to it and seems happy. The boys had been playing on wet and muddy fields in the rain quite a bit up here in Flagstaff and that weekend was no different. I got so wet and cold on Saturday afternoon that I fell sick that very day and now, two weeks later, I am still dealing with a head and chest cold. But it was worth it. Noah has developed into quite the player and has scored more goals in games so far this season than all of last year. Not that we are counting or anything, but I am pretty sure. It's fun to see him play well. He even got invited to go down to Phoenix with the U9 team to play league with them last weekend and he was thrilled! Neither Karl nor I shared that feeling, so we found him a ride with a friend. We love soccer and I feel we are pretty supportive but it was late notice and the Valley is still extremely hot and we simply had other plans. It worked out well and he had a great time! Nothing like a little independence! 

the siblings stay entertained while the big brothers play soccer
Max is wearing Noah's #15

Max played soccer (AYSO) as well in August and the beginning of September. We missed most of his season because we spent all of July in Utah but he still had a blast. His team was named the Red Ninjas and, boy, did they ever live up to that name! It was quite the good little team but they very much behaved like any group of 5-year-old boys would. Kudos to their coach, Tarah, who did a great job with these rascals! 

Noah played AYSO as well but never went to any of the practices. He was sad about it but it was on the other side of town on a night when he was already playing with his club team. His team happened to be the best team in their age group and they won all of their games. Some by a rather large margin. The boys loved it and felt like super stars! Quite the difference to playing tournaments on a club team down in the Valley. It was good for Noah's confidence. Not that he appears to be lacking any when it comes to his soccer skills...

beautiful Sedona
picture by Bethany Skelton

Today Noah got to go down to Sedona to play one of their teams. I will take any excuse to go there. I love Sedona! I mean: Look at that picture! Blue sky, red rocks, green grass. Heaven! It was a good morning. The boys won their game, I got to go for a little trail run while they hung out and played with friends on the field, and it felt like summer still! Flagstaff is below 30 at night and in the mornings now and I am not a fan. 75 degrees was perfect! Karl, who got called to be scout master a while ago, had to stay home and drag boy scouts up to the top of Mount Elden. I am sure it was fun but this was much better! 

Here is to many more soccer games in the sun! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Fresh Peach Pie

picture not taken by me. but this is what it looks like. 

Seeing how I was gone all weekend including Monday morning, the day of Karl's birthday, I felt a bit guilty. So I decided to make a pie and a cake for him. Really, I wanted to only make this pie but knew the kids wouldn't like it much if at all. I didn't want to disappoint them because I hardly ever bake, so I on top of the peach pie I made a gingerbread cake. Much better for putting candles in anyway...

This peach pie is heaven! I got the recipe from my dear friend, Mandy, who is an excellent cook and baker. (She made our wedding cake and it was gorgeous!) You really should try it. Especially now that peaches are in season. But beware: It's so good, you might want to eat the entire thing by yourself. Like I did.

I used to adapt recipes to make them healthier so I could feel ok about eating lots of it. I stopped doing that because it only gave me an excuse to eat more than I would've otherwise. Which isn't really any healthier. So I put all of the butter it asked for in this pie promising myself that I wouldn't eat any of it. Well, that backfired. While I didn't really eat the entire thing, I ate a good two thirds of it. Then I forced myself to stop and made Karl promise he would take the rest of it to school with him. Which he did. While it still tasted amazing, it didn't look very presentable, so Karl ate the rest of it by himself that afternoon. He didn't feel so hot on the track running that night...

I think this explains why I don't bake often. But next time I bake, I am going to make this pie again.

Cookie Crumb Pie Crust

1 c flour
1/2 c butter
1/4 c powdered sugar

Cut together just until crumbly. Press in pie plate or baking pan. Bake 5-6 minutes. Poke holes with fork. Finish baking until golden brown. 

Fresh Peach Pie

7 large peaches 
1 c sugar (I only use 1/2)
3 T cornstarch
1/2 c water
dash salt
1 t almond extract
1 T butter

Slice 4 peaches into pie shell. Mash 3 soft peaches. Add sugar, cornstarch, water, and salt. Bring to a boil. Boil for 1 minute. Add extract and butter. Pour over peaches in pie shell. Refrigerate until served. 
Optional: Cover with whipped cream.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Cherry Chub Camping Reunion

Finally! Another Cherry Chub* Reunion! 
The last time we all (and even more of us) got together was in Las Vegas at the beginning of 2010. I just looked at the pictures from back then and it's crazy to see how much the kids have grown up and how many more of them there are now. Basically everyone has had a baby since then except me... 

*The Cherry Chubs all lived together on 1234 Cherry Lane while attending BYU. 

our little tent village

This time we chose to go camping up a little canyon by Huntsville, Utah. Pretty brave considering that it was just a bunch of moms and lots of kids. But Cherry Chubs are known to be independent, self-sufficient, and adventurous. So this reunion venue was very fitting! 

the babies hanging out while we set up camp

It was wonderful to all be together. The mom chubs got to visit and hang out while the mini chubs  played and had a great time. We had some fun activities planned and I think it was the perfect mixture of letting the kids run wild and spending time all together. Because I not only love the Cherry Chubs but their kids too.

The first night we had an awesome campfire. Thanks to Courtney who claims she hates making fire but did a great job! 

We danced around the fire, 

had a camp meeting,

and sang silly songs

We, of course, also had s'mores. Lots of them. 

The next morning, the kids went on a cereal treasure hunt. Courtney had hidden little boxes of fun cereal all over camp and the kids needed to find their own breakfast. What a great idea! 

Then we made bracelets. For hours. I kid you not. They kids were loving it and couldn't get enough. Although, as you can tell, there are more boys than girls here... Thanks, Jen, for bringing all those pretty beads!

Next up: A mini hike. Not quite like in the old days where we would go backpacking for a few days. This time a walk around the campground was enough. But still fun! 

Later in the afternoon* we headed down to Huntsville to play in Pineview Lake

*In case you are thinking: Wow. They really did a lot in just one short day... It's because all the kids were up and ready to go at 6:30am. So the trip wasn't particularly relaxing for the moms but that's not what we came for... 

The water wasn't particularly clear and the beach left a few things to be desired but we all really enjoyed ourselves. So much so that we decided to skip the planned dutch oven dinner (which sounded super yummy) and settle for Subway sandwiches and more play time. Good decision!

I am so glad we got to go and have a couple of days to bond with each other and our kids. Roommates are the best and I am so glad we are friends for life! 
We love and miss you all of you!