October 31, 2015 Halloween!!

It’s Halloween and in addition to going to Nathan’s play there is Halloween to consider. I buy some candy for Nathan and Sam and also decide to make Snickerdoodle cookies. Now I am notorious for making bad Halloween cookies. My first attempt many years ago when Jon and Sarah were kids ended up with orange pumpkin cookies that lasted for an entire year in the cookie jar without being eaten. Armed with Sarah’s recipe, though, I know I will do better.

My Snickerdoodle cookies

My Snickerdoodle cookies

After the play we go back to Ryan and Jon’s where the cookies and candies are a big hit. Nathan and Sam put on their Halloween costumes for us and are eager to start their trick or treating. Auntie Leigh has made the costumes and as usual has done a superb job.

Nathan's costume is Pacman. The entire outline lights up and the open mouth is a receptacle for Halloween candy

Nathan’s costume is Pacman. The entire outline lights up and the open mouth is a receptacle for Halloween candy

Sam is Skylanders Wash Buckler. His insignia lights up.

Sam is Skylander’s Wash Buckler. His insignia of what look like ladders light up. Ryan says that having lighted features on their costumes makes it easier to find them in the dark.

Happy Halloween!

October 31, 2015 Nathan appears in Pumpkin Fiesta!

Nathan has been working hard with his fellow actors at the Palo Alto Children’s Theater. Today we see the product of that hard work, the play Pumpkin Fiesta. The gist of the play is that there is a woman, Old Juana, in this Mexican town who grows great pumpkins and always wins the pumpkin crown at the fair. Fernando wants the crown and he tries various ways to make his pumpkins as large and beautiful. In the end he steals her pumpkins but is caught and promises to use the real best way to grow award winning pumpkins. The children take the parts of the people, vegetables, insects, and animals. Nathan is Fernando’s scarecrow and is on stage the entire time. He says his lines with artistic flair and sings beautifully. In fact he is the best singer among the cast. Who knew? He must get his vocal genes from Ryan and Jon who are both very good singers.

Nathan as Foolish Fernando's Scarecrow

Nathan as Foolish Fernando’s Scarecrow

Fernando's Scarecrow and Old Juana's Scarecrow have many interactions

Fernando’s Scarecrow and Old Juana’s Scarecrow have many interactions

Nathan on stage with Old Juana, vegetables and bees

Nathan on stage with Old Juana, vegetables and bees

Nathan knew all the songs and his lines well

Nathan knew all the songs and his lines well

Here he is singing with Toro the bull

Here he is singing with Toro the bull

He looks so handsome in his costume!

He looks so handsome in his costume!

He has a solo singing a song with his scarecrow counterpart. He does really great!!

He has a solo singing a song with his scarecrow counterpart. He does really great!!

The cast on stage to take a final bow

The cast on stage to take a final bow

Needless to say I am pretty teary through the whole thing. John and I are really proud of Nathan’s skill and determination.

 

 

October 28, 2015 Tapas night

While John is at work Sarah and I decide to have some fun in the kitchen. We plan a tapas dinner, shop and cook the ingredients and then enjoy the results when John gets home from work. I can’t say that I will do this again soon.  It is a lot of work!

Here are the dishes in order of their being served –

Huevos rellenos de atun (Eggs stuffed with tuna and marinated vegetables)

Huevos rellenos de atun
(Eggs stuffed with tuna and marinated vegetables)

Pan con tomate, ajo y perejil (Bread with tomato, garlic and parsley) Needs work

Pan con tomate, ajo y perejil
(Bread with tomato, garlic and parsley)
Needs work. All the recipes come from the book shown which we bought in Ronda, Spain

Anchoas marinadas (Marinated anchovies) Love the white anchovies!

Anchoas marinadas
(Marinated anchovies)
Love the white anchovies!

Gambas al ajillo (Prawns in garlic) Exceptional!

Gambas al ajillo
(Prawns in garlic)
Exceptional!

Tapa de cebollitas y foiegras de pollo (Shallots and chicken liver pate) OMG so good! These were my favorites!

Tapa de cebollitas y foiegras de pollo
(Shallots and chicken liver pate)
OMG so good! These were my favorites!

 

Lomo adobado y manzanas caramelizadas (Marinated pork (we used bacon) with caramelized apples) Surprisingly the least successful. Originally it was supposed to also have an apple sauce with it. It could have used the moisture.

Lomo adobado y manzanas caramelizadas
(Marinated pork (we used bacon) with caramelized apples)
Surprisingly the least successful. Originally it was supposed to also have an apple sauce with it. It could have used the moisture.

Queso de cabra sobre cebolla (Goat cheese and shallot jam) We considered this our dessert. Sweetness from the shallots and tanginess from the goat cheese.

Queso de cabra sobre cebolla
(Goat cheese and shallot jam)
We considered this our dessert. Sweetness from the shallots and tanginess from the goat cheese.

 

 

 

October 18, 2015 A visit to the Pumpkin Patch

On Sunday Ryan, Jon, Nathan and Sam come over for lunch and we also visit the Pumpkin Patch so they can pick out some pumpkins and the kids can play in the amusement area.

First we have lunch at Main St. Brewery. This is usually our go-to place but today the food disappoints so we may have to find a new lunch venue.

Nathan and Jonathan at Main St. Brewery

Nathan and Jonathan at Main St. Brewery

Ryan and Sam at Main St. Brewery

Ryan and Sam at Main St. Brewery

Sam peruses the menu

Sam peruses the menu

Then it is on to the Pumpkin Patch at the Fairgrounds. Ryan and Jon came up with the idea to go there for pumpkins and fun and it was a good one. The kids really enjoy the blow-up slides and games. The adults enjoy watching them have fun.

Going down the slide is so much fun for Sam

Going down the slide is so much fun for Sam

He enjoys it in various positions

He enjoys it in various positions

Nathan is not too old yet to have a good time on the slide

Nathan is not too old yet to have a good time on the slide

Nathan demonstrates how to look cool while going down the slide

Nathan demonstrates how to look cool while going down the slide

Many of Jon's shots hit the rim but when Beeba stepped up to the line, the ball went through the first time with just a swish! (I enjoyed that a lot! No way could I ever repeat it again.)

Many of Jon’s shots hit the rim but when Beeba steps up to the line, the ball goes through the first time with just a swish! (I enjoyed that a lot! No way could I ever repeat it again.)

October 5-12, 2015 Jonathan visits St. George

Jonathan arrives by plane at the St. George airport for a week of fun. During the week we go hiking, play tennis, cook some excellent meals and he plays golf. We have an great time. Here are some pictures from the week.

Red Mountain Trail to Snow Canyon Overlook

Just south of Veyo is the trailhead for a long trail which ends up in Ivins. About two miles into the hike there is a half-mile spur to an overlook of spectacular Snow Canyon. The four and a half plus mile hike is the longest we’ve done in a long time and the trail is very rocky but the wondeful view into Snow Canyon is definitely worth it.

Jon and John at the Red Mountain Trailhead

Jon and John at the Red Mountain Trailhead

Hiking along the slickrock

Hiking along the slickrock

View of Snow Canyon

View of Snow Canyon

Jon at the end of the trail

Jon at the end of the trail

Happy hikers

Happy hikers

Playing tennis at Entrada

We play tennis with Jonathan almost every weekend when we are home. In St. George we play at least every other day. It is so much fun! Sometimes John is the lone man and I play with Jonathan and most of the time it is the old folks versus Jonathan. Over the years we’ve all improved and now can keep the rallies going for more than two or three shots. It is my favorite way to exercise.

Jonathan is at the net for a volley

Jonathan is at the net for a volley

Jonathan uses an extreme Western grip to give his forehand a ton of topspin

Jonathan uses an extreme Western grip to give his forehand a ton of topspin

Here's John about to hit a forehand

Here’s John about to hit a forehand…

and the follow-through!

and the follow-through!

We are looking forward to the next time that Jonathan visits St. George!