Saturday, January 31, 2009

Azalea & Rachel: Photo In Need of a Caption

I found this picture while I was sorting through the pictures of Azalea's first year. Since I have such clever witty friends, I thought I'd open up the opportunity for you to supply the caption. Don't let me down.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Today is draw a dinosaur day. Mine is a closeup... and also maybe something from doom.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Nate is a Wizard.

Noooooo....he's wearing that silly hood to show that he has completed his MASTER'S DEGREE! Yaaaaaay!
After years of hard work, Nate has finally graduated with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science and Engineering. He is again hard at work slathering the internet with his resume hoping to get a job during this time of *ahem* hiring freezes.

Azalea and I love you so much Nate, and we are very very proud of you. Thanks for being such a great husband and dad.

P.S. Nate would like you to know that he's better than you now because of his degree.

Sunday, January 25, 2009


My father-in-law would like me to include the fact that the steer pictured below is, in fact, alive.

I am not afraid of stuffed cows.

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Time Agaaaaaaain!

I KNOW you've all been wondering when we're going to post pictures from this year's National Western Stock Show, so here they are!

I must first say that the stock show (as well as a whole lot of other things) is like, a million times more fun with a kid. See something you think is cool but don't want to look lame taking a picture of it by yourself? Just plop your baby down on it and voila! Best photo-op EVER. Observe:

We pretty much made a bee-line for the gigantic long-horned bull/steer (? I didn't check) to get a picture with Azalea riding on top. After wrenching Azalea's fingers out of her mouth, we were able to eek a few moments of smiles out of her.

My parents will attest to the fact that when I was a little kid there would have been no way in crap I would have gotten on top of that steer. I don't care how many other kids were doing it...I would have been too scared. And don't be fooled by my seeming nonchalance while atop this beast. There was a brief moment when Nate and I were deciding who would get up there with Azalea when I thought, "no! I'm too scared." But I'm a grown up now and I know that sometimes you have to work through the fear to get a good picture of your kid. See how motherhood has made me so self-sacrificing?

Next stop: Petting Zoo sans ice cream cone full of food for the animals. We were pretty positive that either Azalea would eat the food before the animals could get to it, or one of the animals would bite her entire hand off when trying to get the food from her (herbivore or not man). Okay, I'll shut up for a minute so you can look at pictures.

Hey look, a kid and a kid. HA!

You know how much I adore goats, right?

Azalea was curious as to whether or not this thing's mama was a llama.

Nate had to hold both of Azalea's hands all the time to keep her from sucking on her fingers after petting the animals.

We spotted this donkey in the corner but he seemed to be pretty engrossed in eating so we didn't think it would be wise to disturb him.

Then we moved on to look at the less-fun but very cute bunnies. Azalea thought it was stupid that people are supposed to keep their fingers out of the cage, especially since her fingers were the perfect size to fit inside.

Oh yeah, and then I took this picture to document the fact that my child has completely stopped looking anything like me and now looks 100% like her father.

And then I took these pictures to document this momentous occasion... That's right, Azalea's CLAPPIN' SUCKAZ!

And of course the stock show experience would not be complete without Azalea eating an entire brisket platter by herself. She said it was "no Pat Hendrix barbecue, but good nonetheless."

***I would like to take this opportunity to give my family in Idaho a shout-out to tell them that we missed them all this year. The hall of education just isn't as fun without you Aunt Kathy. Also, to those of you who have never come to visit us during the stock show (I'm pretty much just talking to you Chad and Lisa)...LAME.***

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


It's no secret that I have wanted a 'big man TV' for some time now. Well, I finally decided to take the fiduciary plunge and go for it... plus it's on 3 year financing with 0% interest. Also, it makes me feel like I'm doing my little part to pull us out of this recession. Anyway, doesn't it look great?

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, it broke. As soon as I left the house this morning I guess it started doing that. But it's ok, it's under manufacturer warranty. Plus, I bought the extended warranty so it'll all be fine. Also, don't ask me why I'm watching According to Jim, I don't know either. And before the questions start pouring in (based on all the readers we have) (and based on all the people that actually read posts not about Azalea) the lines don't go away when I switch inputs or turn the TV on and off. Actually, turning the TV on and off changes the patterns of the lines, but they're all still there. The thing that really vexes me about it though, is that the lines go exactly half way across the screen... strange.

That'll about do it

It's official, as of today I have, "Successfully completed all requirements for the degree Master of Science (Environmental Science and Engineering)." Or at least that's what my letter of completion says. It's no diploma but that will come in May when I 'officially graduate.' And to celebrate, a present for all of you. Can you guess what it is? Well it's a pdf version of my thesis: Membrane Distillation Processes for Treatment and Recovery of Water in Geothermal Power Plants. I know, exciting right? Anyway, if you do decide to take a look I'd suggest page 51 (63 of the entire document). There are some pretty pictures there. I mean, they're not of Azalea or anything but I think they're pretty sweet.

Walker 2009

Also, this scribd thing is pretty neat. Click on the upper right side of the window to make it full screen.

Update: Some guy added my thesis as a favorite on Scribd which freaked me out because I plan to publish some of my findings. I changed the privacy setting to private. This means if you're looking at this in a reader the document won't show up. To solve this problem come look at the blog itself.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Peaceful Transfer of Power

I know Azalea will never remember this historic day, but I thought she might someday appreciate some proof that she was there... if only through television.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

You're going to have to dance for it...

Attention: I have found my recipe for the sandwiches that I previously posted about. My friend who gave me the recipe said it was okay to share, but since the recipe is a friend of a friend's, I'm not going to plaster it all over the interwebs. (Shut-up, I know we have like 5,000 readers) So if you would like the recipe for these sandwiches please email me at mirmandy27(at)yahoo(dot)com.

That is all.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Azalea's Resolution

Azalea thinks she needs to be like her mom and start exercising more.

She's gonna get so toned.

Good Eats

Okay folks, we've got A LOT of food pictures to post and I've decided to put them all up at once. I don't blame you if you just look at the pictures. Food pictures are some of my favorite eye candy. Also, you're welcome for including the recipes.

These are the sandwiches I made to feed the people that attended Nate's thesis defense in November. I got the recipe from my friend Sarah and to use her words "these are heaven!" I made half of them with ham and swiss, and the other half with roasted red pepper and provolone. They were a big hit and (in my opinion) were a huge contributor to the fact that Nate passed his defense.

While we were in Hawaii I had my DREAM BREAKFAST. Pineapple waffles with whipped cream and coconut syrup (drool). I could hardly stop thinking about them and made sure to buy coconut syrup while we were in Hawaii. I decided to re-create it for our Christmas morning breakfast and it was all I hoped it would be. I even got a new Belgian waffle maker as an early Christmas present so I could make them the way I wanted to! (Yes, that means I have 3 waffle makers...what, I like waffles, back off.)

This is a picture of our lovely Christmas dinner. Nothing too special: ham, Gail's dressing, red potatoes, and these really good green beans we heard about on NPR. You should try them.

Zayely ate cheerios. No I'm just kidding. She ate everything we ate. It's possible that she would never stop eating if we allowed it.

We had so much ham leftover that I decided to make split-pea soup with homemade sourdough croutons. It was so really good. Hey Mom! Look! I made and ate split-pea soup!

I made these delicious homemade peppermint marshmallows after being inspired by my dear friend Rachel and also A MILLION OTHER BLOGS. You know how it is when the internet makes you think you need to do things that you don't actually need to do? Homemade marshmallows are one of those things. Mine weren't as fluffy as Rachel's... I think I may have beat them too long. But they were still good and great in hot chocolate.


A few years ago I read a Sunset article about a family that ate crab every year for New Year's. I decided then that I would like to do the same. Then...we moved away from Seattle.
But this year my dream came true! Ben's birthday was on January 1 and he is also one of our only friends who likes crab. We decided to give Ben a crab dinner for this birthday and thus Crab Crackin' New Year's was born! We got Alaskan King crab from Costco and it was amazing(way better than what Carl and Nicki had). We all stuffed ourselves so much with crab that we barely had room for the baked potatoes and salad.

Azalea didn't eat any crab. Instead she ate cheerios and lemons. Because baby cakes likes her some lemons.

P.S. I forgot to take a picture of these Kahlua Pecans that I made but they were just, oh my gosh, I'm out of excited words to use about how great these are. Make them.

Azalea Meets Santa

If you've had the wonderful oportunity to meet Azalea face-to-face, you may have commented on how sociable and pleasant she is. She is rarely scared to go to anybody and we've never had to deal with any separation anxiety (knock on wood). Of course when it comes to Santa...the story changes.

Azalea met Santa while we were in Hawaii. We plopped her down on his lap and walked back to check out the adorable picture that was about to be taken. At first everything was okay...

Then Azalea had a look at exactly who was holding her...

Then she tried to escape...

Then the water works started!

(I'm so sorry to admit I think pictures of babies crying on Santa's lap are hilarious! If we hadn't sent out a Christmas card already, THIS would have been our picture.)
Fortunately, dad was able to step in and save the day. This Santa was super nice and let us take a bunch of pictures with our own camera so that we made sure we got a few without Z crying!

Better luck next year?