Saturday, November 2, 2013

Wow- It's been about a year and a half without a post!  Life has been busy for us- Munch is now a second grader, and I've taken on the Transitional Kindergarten at my school, which doesn't leave much energy for anything else.  But lucky for me, Munch wants to start posting now too!  So maybe with her help, we'll stay a little more current around here!  I hope you enjoy her ramblings...

Endangered Animals

by Munch

    Just like the White Rhino any animal can become endangered. Animals can be endangered for many reasons. Sometimes animals could be endangered because humans are hunting them for different parts of them. Other times it could be that humans are cutting down their homes. If I was voting to save animals I would say " What would it feel like to you if your home was being destroyed by animals!!".

    Scientists are wondering if they could bring an extinct animal back to life (but not a T- Rex). How they would do it is they need a frozen one then they would take certain cells from it then put it in a container with root cells and slowly the animal would appear. But sometime in the future, what if animals disappear?
If "YOU" want to help out try these links. It really makes a difference.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sugar Cookies

Yummmmm...chewy, sweet, with just a hint of crispness at the edges. I love these sugar cookies. We made a batch today while watching the Olympics- Munch is absolutely hooked. She stayed up for the entire Opening Ceremony, reading off all the names of the countries and commenting on their outfits and population statistics as I fought off yawns. I think she'd park herself on the couch munching these sookies for the next several days if I'd let her!

Sugar Cookies
2 1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 c. sugar, plus 1/3 c.
2 oz. cream cheese, room temp.
6 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tbs. milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Whisk together the dry ingredients in a small bowl. In a mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and melted butter at medium-low speed until smooth. Add the vegetable oil, egg, vanilla, and milk and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients a few spoonfuls at a time, scraping down the bowl occasionally.
Scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll gently into balls. Roll dough balls into additional 1/3 c. sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Using the bottom of a glass, press dough balls gently to flatten slightly. Sprinkle with additional sugar and bake until edges start to tan but cookies are still pale and puffy, about 9-10 minutes. Cool on a rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Opening day of the county fair finally arrived and Munch's Dairy Day category was among the first to be presented and judged. We wrapped Munch's cheesecake up really well for transport. She chose a deep blue platter which gave the cheesecake a really nice red, white, and blue presentation. Having never participated in something like this before, we didn't know what to expect. As it turned out, there was a LOT of waiting. That was easily remedied with an ice cream topped funnel cake!

More waiting, and finally all the entries, 18 in the junior cheesecake division, were in place-

The judges reviewed the entries, tasted, and deliberated-

Participants were given ribbons for entering, but Munch's name was not called. Turns out she placed 6th in her category!

Her "prize-winning" cheesecake-

And the prize check that later arrived in the mail-

Monday, July 2, 2012


Now that we are living much closer to San Francisco, I've been trying to get Munch into the city more often. We recently visited the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The ticket booth was not yet open, so we stopped into Peet's for a latte and a cup of hot chocolate, as it was a typical gray, rainy San Francisco summer morning-

It was fun sitting at a cafe table on the corner and watching, hearing, and feeling all the busy-ness around us.

Once inside the museum (kids 12 years and under are free when accompanied by an adult!), we enjoyed the twinkling lights that hung over the entry. As we ascended the stairs, we could see that the lights actually formed a sort of video screen. One gallery had a lounge area with an interactive presentation where Munch could explore artists and styles, create her own artwork, and even email it so someone. The presentation, based on artist Roy de Forest's Country Dog Gentlemen, is also on the museum's website-

To prepare Munch for our visit, we had talked briefly during the drive over about modern art, the variety of media she would see, and I had her bring a notepad. Munch paused in several galleries to make little sketches of things she saw, but this portrait of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera inspired her to stop and draw for a long time-

The museum actually has a great education center, which we didn't come to until after exploring most of the second floor. However, I'd recommend that families stop in there first to pick up a few Family Guides or a MOMA treasure hunt, which contain fun activities to help keep kids focused and thinking about the artwork during their visit. There are even activities to keep adults entertained during their museum visit, many which have been designed by other guests (such as photograph the strangest item to be checked in to the coat check). Munch also chose to try an art hunt in which she donned a mask and adopted the persona of another character to try to find artwork in the galleries that might appeal to that imaginary character.

Before leaving, we sat and enjoyed this beauty, probably our favorite of the day, Collection by Robert Rauschenberg-

Monday, June 18, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? Update

Our mid-summer garden. I am amazed at how happy the tomatoes are and never expected to grow as tall as me! My carrots and beets did not do so well, but I might try for a fall crop when the intense heat of summer has passed. Lettuces never turned up either, so we'll try a fall planting of those too. The corn is starting to set and we are getting a zucchini ever couple of days. The blueberries seem to be finishing up- we got a nice big harvest of those. So, for a first time vegetable garden, I'm pretty pleased and at least have a better sense now of what grows well and where and what our summers will be like for future planning!