Thursday, April 20, 2017

March 2017

 Oh boy was this month crazy! As I mentioned in my last post, Ethan got a new job as a Research Biologist with the Arizona Game and Fish, so we packed up and left Glenwood for El Mirage, AZ. The first week and a half was mostly spent cleaning and packing, but I did take a break to go enjoy one last get together with some friends. Sally had put together a going away party for me and it was so nice to have a chance to see everyone one last time. Also during the first part of the month Ethan's Grandma Clements passed away. We agonized over whether to try to get to Idaho for the funeral, but since it ended up being scheduled for the day after our move there was just no way to make it work.
 Our good friend Tyler let us use his stock trailer and truck to move in, so we spent several days loading and doing the final packing.
 The morning of March 10th we woke up, ate our last meal in our new house, and started ironing out the final details before we left. Our neighbors, Pam and Loralee, came and helped us finish the loading and cleaning. Pam made sure to snap a picture of us on the front porch that Ethan built before we got in the cars and headed out. It was so hard to say good-bye! We loved Glenwood so much! I think it may be the place we have been the most happy in our entire marriage. We have so many good friends and happy memories there that we will forever cherish!
 Our trip over to AZ was uneventful. My mom came along to help me drive (I'm not yet a city driver, but I'm working on it) and Dad met us here to help unload and get settled. It was fun to have them along for the ride on this adventure. Our new house is beautiful, by far the nicest house we've ever had. There is a small yard in back where the kids have space to play, and it even has a small garden already growing for me! The kids discovered they could climb the tree in the back, but between Sharli falling out of the tree, and several branches getting ripped right off we had to put a stop to the climbing.
The kids' favorite thing about our new neighborhood is the park just around the corner. They love it and beg to go there every day.


 Other things we have enjoyed about living in "the Valley":
All the citrus! A member of our new ward had a lemon tree that was loaded with fruit, so we went and picked a few bags full and enjoyed yummy lemonade and other treats for a few weeks. We also have a Calamansi lime tree in our front yard and got to try those for the first time.
 IKEA!!!  It is fun to live close enough that we can get to Ikea in under an hour we went there our first weekend after we moved in and found several things that helped to make our new home more convenient and cozy.
Trying out all the beds. :)
 March 27th was Erik's first day at his new school. He was nervous but very excited to make new friends. Adjusting to a full day, five days a week schedule has been hard on him, but he is loving it. As far as new friends, I know he's been successful in that department as well because there are two kids in his class that will not let him leave at the end of the day without big bear hugs, and several other kids often jump in on the action once the first two get the hugs started. It's so cute and makes me so happy to see him finding new friends.
So many changes for our little family in one month, but we know this is where we're supposed to be and we're excited for a whole new set of adventures.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

January & February OR Getting Ready To Move

 The first few months of 2017 ended up being something of a busy time for us, but not in a way that lent itself to lots of pictures or interesting blog posts.

JANUARY:
We had a fair amount of rain (and even some snow) in late December and Early January. The creek by our house ran really big (probably the biggest we'd seen it in our nearly 3 years living in Glenwood) and washed out a lot of the anti-flood measures that had been put in. Don't worry, we weren't in any danger, but there were lots of repairs to be made to the creek bed itself, as well as to the large banks of dirt along the creek bed to prevent flooding. For several weeks we had 3-4 large bulldozers working near our house and the surrounding town. The highway department parked their machines by our house during nights and weekends so Erik got plenty of chances to watch them at work. I was SO tired of the noise and the house shaking with their movement, but the kids would have loved to have them there always. 
 In many ways January was fairly uneventful for us. We mostly went on with our normal lives, doing things like playing dress-ups...
 ...cooking dinner with my little helpers...
 ...and enjoying the great outdoors.
 One BIG thing that happened this month was that Ethan got offered a new job with the AZ Game and Fish. We made a trip over to Phoenix and started the process of finding a house to rent and getting arrangements made to move our family.
FEBRUARY:
With the weather warming up we tried to make sure we squeezed every moment of enjoyment out of our remaining time in Glenwood. We went for walks to some of our favorite places and visited all our favorite people. It was harder than we thought getting all the moving arrangements made, so it was nice to forget that stress and just enjoy time together.



 Our big event for the month of February was Sharli's 3rd birthday. Our friends Sally, Jubilee, and Bianca came, as well as Carolyn and her kids. Sharli told me she wanted her birthday to be PINK!!! So, I made a big batch of pink glittery playdough for the kids to play with as we waited for all our guests to arrive. Some of the boys weren't too sure about all that pink, but most everyone enjoyed it. When the play dough started to lose its magic, I sent the kids outside to play in a swimming pool filled with pink rice and other fun pink things. I had no idea how captivating  40 lbs of rice could be!

 We had a "hundred layer" birthday cake (Sharli wanted a hundred layers, but I only managed 4. She was bitterly dissapointed), berries, Jello, and chips to keep the fun fueled.
 That night Ethan got home from a work trip, bringing with him Sharli's birthday present; a pink unicorn stick horse. It was love at first sight. 
After the birthday party, the packing and cleaning got going full swing. The kids found ways to keep themselves busy, while I got stuff done. Maren mostly just followed me around like a little puppy dog. Good thing she's cute!


Erik built this camera out of Duplos
These first two months this year were busy and stressful, but filled with happy memories as well.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

December 2016

This month started out just like any other month. We were busy with all the normal things, like playing with friends, school, housework, and playing dress-ups.

 We had some friends over to decorate gingerbread cookies. It was so much fun, we love hanging out with our Haught friends.
 Erik decided to mix things up a little for us, lest things be too normal. His asthma flared up and he got to spend two nights in the hospital trying to get it under control. Poor kid, it was definitely not fun, but he was a trooper!
 After we got Erik home life returned to normal again, or at least as much as it ever is this close to Christmas. Erik and Sharli got on a kick making "shops" in the play room. They love having someone come buy their stuff from them. 
 December 23 brought Maren's first birthday. We didn't do anything too big for it, but I did make her a pumpkin cheesecake to celebrate. We all thought it was pretty yummy!
 On Christmas Eve Erik got to participate in the Glenwood community Christmas Pageant. He was Joseph, and did a great job. It's amazing to see how much he's grown and changed in the last few years. The first year he was in the program he was so scared and shy he was barely able to take part. This year he had lines to deliver (and he remembered them all) and stage directions to follow, and he did great!
 Christmas morning we woke up to a light layer of snow on the ground. The kids were THRILLED! They had been sure that Christmas couldn't come without snow, and they weren't disappointed. Snow makes everything look so pretty!
 We did all the normal Christmas morning stuff, and the kids just ate it all up. There was some disappointment over Santa not bringing exactly what they had asked for, but they soon got over it.



 After breakfast and presents, we bundled up to go enjoy the snow before it melted away. It was so much fun to watch the kids play. 
 With the all the rain and snow we'd had that week, the creek was coming down from having flooded the highest we'd seen it for the whole time we had lived there. We had to walk over and see what was going on with that. The amounts of soil that had been washed away in the last week was mind boggling.




The day after Christmas we loaded the kids in the car and headed over to Safford for a surprise. We took them to lunch, the we went to the movie theater for our kids to enjoy their first ever movie theater experience. We watched Disney's Moana, and the kids loved it. To the see the awe on their faces when they realized that the wall they were looking at turned into a giant movie screen was so much fun. After the show we took them for donuts and did some shopping. It was a wonderful day together as a family, and we had so much fun!

2016 was a great year for our family. Here's hoping 2017 will be just as amazing!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

November 2016

November is always fun. It's Thanksgiving time, what could be better than that?
Erik's school participated in a Veteran's Day program at the local Senior Center. The kids were really cute and had a fun time. Mrs. Nelson always does such a good job managing such a wide range of ages and abilities.
Maren keeps getting more and more involved in the daily happenings around here. She is less and less interested in being snuggled by enthusiastic older siblings.
She also decided to adopt a favorite blanket, which she tries to take with her everywhere she goes. She's still not real steady on her feet when it comes to walking, but she still tries her hardest to bring her blankie with her.
The Senior Center hosts a Christmas Bazaar every November, and while there are lots of fun vendors (including Ethan with his hand-forged ironwork), the highlight for our kids is SANTA! He arrives on the firetruck and comes rolling in with lights and sirens going. I'm not sure if Erik was more excited about the truck or Santa.
There is a photographer there to take pictures of the kids with Santa. Of course, you have to get the kids to cooperate, which can be a bit tricky.


As part of a school project Erik and his classmates made pumpkin pie. And I don't mean just one pie. Each kid got to bring home a whole pie to share with their family. YUM!
We spent Thanksgiving with the Richins family in the Chiricahua mountains. We ate tons of food, played board/card games, and had lots of fun. I love that my kids get to create these memories with their cousins!

Maren was determined to show off her newly gained walking skills, and she had plenty of adoring admirers to cheer her on.


The day after Thanksgiving we headed over to Gilbert, AZ to go spend a few days with Nate and Kate. We had more great fun, more great food, and more time with more of our favorite people. They took us to visit the Phoenix Children's Museum, which was AMAZING! I'll share pictures over on the Playing to Learn blog in the next few days and I'll add a link here.