Saturday, July 6, 2019

Fina's Birthday Party

It was a gorgeous day... Until party time when a storm came through. And the party was to be outdoors. No problem. It never got really bad, and the new easy-up jumped into action just when needed. I think the party-ers got the wettest out on their video scavenger hunt. All the photos are here.

During the video scavenger hunt (clips are in the main gallery, here.)

Everyone got to have s'mores!

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Playing with Da Vinci

We headed out to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science today specifically to see Grand Exhibition's traveling Da Vinci Inventions exhibit. Here's an article from the Denver Post. Totaling engaging for everyone (from 4 to 65). I had no idea what I was going to see and experience, which is why I left the camera behind. Don't ever leave the camera behind; all I had was my cell phone (all the pics are here). The reincarnation of the inventions was astounding. And some you could even play with! But the Mona Lisa... I saw it at the Louvre; ho hum. Never really intrigued me. But I had to tear myself away from this exhibit which was all about the studies, the techniques to get beneath the top layers, the way it looked over time. Who she started out as and who she ended up as. It was fascinating! And we hit Sam's No. 3 for dinner on the way home. If this traveling Da Vinci exhibit comes to a museum near you, don't miss it - even if you're not a Da Vinci fan. You might become one.

Da Vinci's self-supporting bridge.

The "play with" machines were marked with the green emblem at David's left hand.

Fun! Da Vinci catapult practice.

I had a cheap version of this clock for the longest time.

Then we did a little bit of their regular exhibits.

That's an adult T-Rex brain cast center-right foreground, life-size!

He's working on a triceratops bone recently discovered in Highland Park.

We all got into this mind game, literally make the ball move with brain activity.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Make your own Oreos

Want something a little healthier than Oreos? Here ya go... And since they won't last years, ya gotta eat 'em fast. OK! I wonder if a version of s'mores is in here somehow?...

2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar or glazing sugar
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cold water, or enough to make the filling cohesive
Beat together the sugar, shortening, salt, and vanilla. The mixture will seem very dry at first, but will eventually begin to clump together.
Add the water, beating until smooth and spreadable. The filling should be stiff, but not so stiff that you can't flatten it when you sandwich it between your cookies.
For best presentation, roll pieces of filling into a ball before gently flattening atop cookie bottoms, and adding cookie tops.
Yield: a heaping 1 1/2 cups filling, enough to fill about 24 to 30 medium (about 2 1/2") sandwich cookies.

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup black cocoa
1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa
Lightly grease (or line with parchment) two baking sheets, or more if you have them; you'll make 3 to 4 baking sheets' worth of cookies.
To make the cookies: In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, and espresso powder.
Beat in the egg and vanilla, then the flour and cocoa. Cover the dough, and chill for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Roll the dough about 1/8" thick; use cocoa instead of flour to dust your rolling board and the dough.
Cut into 2 ½"-round cookies. A biscuit cutter is handy for this.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Watch them closely at the end of the baking time, and if you start to smell chocolate before 10 minutes has gone by, take them out. When they're done, remove the cookies from the oven, and allow them to cool completely.
To make stack cakes: Whisk together the heavy cream and other ingredients. When blended, whip until the cream holds a soft peak.
Place one cookie on a small plate. Put about a tablespoon of whipped cream on top; our teaspoon cookie scoop, heaped up, works well here.
Top with a second cookie, using it to compress the whipped cream to about a ¼"-thick layer.
Repeat with 4 more cookies, finishing with a layer of whipped cream.
Refrigerate from 4 to 24 hours before serving.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Pool Fun

Shenanigans in the pool after the crowds and the lightning cleared out...

A Walk and a Run Scored

AJ's team won this game by quite a margin. Here's one of AJ's at-bats: a walk and a run scored.

Cervical Collar

Jonny's recent MRI showed the decompression still looks great but there's some instability issues in his spinal column (possibly) causing pain problems again. So we are doing a trial run in a cervical collar for the next week to see if that improves his symptoms. Pray it helps and it’s not a battle to keep on. So far so good. He got a very good night's sleep last night with the collar, even slept in!  #chiarimalformation #chiariawareness

Friday, June 28, 2019

Rock Climbing Camp

If that doesn't sound like the best idea ever for AJ! Today's the end of two weeks of rock climbing camp at CityROCK Climbing Center in downtown Colorado Springs. They've even got a cave to climb in. And in downtown!

Tracy got some good shots.

AJ's got his hair back in a pony tail for climbing in the
cave. He and Matteo are growing their hair to donate
to St. Baldrick's Foundation next Spring.
They need at least 8" to donate.
Sorry it's not a better photo of AJ, but the point was
to show the very cool climbing facilities.