Thursday, July 20, 2017

June 2017

This was such a fun month around here! We started off on the first of the month taking the kids to their first ever dentist appointments. Erik did great and they were able to examine his mouth and get his teeth (mostly) cleaned. Sharli wasn't so sure, so they just kinda peeked in there for a quick look and then let her go. Maren was having nothing to do with it all and wouldn't let her touch them.  Oh well. They all got balloons and bouncy balls out of the deal, so they were happy!
Look how grown up he's getting!!! 
One event that we LOVE celebrating every June is National Donut Day, and this year was no exception. Ethan invited a friend from work and we ate donuts until we were very literally sick. It was amazing! And painful...  :)
We had a fun visit from Kett and Cameron, and their kids got to spend a few days here with us playing with cousins and having a blast.
Even the babies got along pretty well and had a fun time.
One of our kids' favorite things to play (still) is Moana. They'll spend forever just voyaging through the living room in their make-shift boats. I love it!

Maren doesn't get in on the adventuring very often, but she does like to cuddle up nearby with her "gankget" and watch the fun from a safe distance.
One not-so-fun adventure we went on this month was Sharli's first visit to the Chiropractor. Poor thing threw out her neck while showing her muscles off to Erik at the crack of dawn. Luckily we found a chiropractor who could get her in right away and by the next day she was back to normal again. I hate neck pain so much, and it was so sad to watch her deal with it!
June was SO hot! We got within a few degrees of breaking the all time high temperature record for Phoenix, which tells you it was just WAY too hot! We tried really hard to just lay low and stay under the AC, but sometimes there were things going on that were worth leaving the house for. Like when we found out that Wildman Phil would be at the library with all his crazy critters. We met up with some friends for a great morning of learning about some fun animals.

Obviously the alligator was the kids' favorite, but all the animals were really neat.

Erik really loved this three-legged tortoise. They spent a few minutes gazing into each other's eyes...


This boy likes to think he's all grown up. He lost his second tooth this month is getting so big! Sometimes though he does something to remind me that he's still just a little guy though, like this day when he curled up for a nap while playing down the hall. I love this cute little/big guy.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

May 2017

 The month of May started off with a bang for us, with a visit from the Lathrop family. Sally has been my best friends since shortly after we first moved to Glenwood, and her girls and our kids have loved each other SO much. We were already missing them after the move, but then we found out they were going to be moving to Nebraska and we knew we had to find a way to see them again before they left. They ended up coming over to the valley to visit some of their family, and they made the trip across town to come spend some time visiting with us. It was so wonderful to get to see them again, even though we were pretty sure it would be the very last time.

After that visit, life continued on as normal. The kids discovered they know how to play Go Fish well enough to play completely on their own. That was a fun surprise and provided hours of fun.
We had one day when my car keys accidentally went to work with Ethan, so we had to walk Erik to and from school that day. It's about a mile walk, and May in Phoenix gets pretty warm, so we found some shade on the way home for a popsicle break. It made me glad to have a car to get around in!
A few weeks before the end of school I started collaborating with Erik's teacher and the PTA from his old school in Glenwood. We arranged to meet them in Tucson for an overnight field trip so we could have one last hurrah with all our friends. Even though it meant having to drive across the valley during both the morning and evening rush hours, it was totally worth it!

We picked up Sally and her girls who had just flown in from Nebraska, and met everyone else in Tucson for lunch at Chuck E. Cheese, where the kids had a BLAST! Then we loaded up and headed over to the Tucson Children's Museum. This place was a ton of fun, and they had some really neat exhibits.


After dinner at Golden Corral we headed for our hotel, where we swam in the pool and played games until the kids were ready to crash. The next day we got to visit the miniatures museum. It was really incredible, I could have spent hours and hours in there looking at everything!

It was so hard to say good bye to everyone and head back home again when we were done. When we moved from Glenwood the kids didn't really get what that Good Bye meant, but by the time we were leaving Tucson they had a better understanding of the implications, so it was much more difficult for us all.
 We got back from Tucson and Erik finished out his last few weeks of Kindergarten. He and his buddy Liam were sad to see each other leave!
 To kick off our summer vacation I found a great deal on a family summer pass to the Arizona Science Center. We spent a whole day playing, learning, and exploring there and had a blast!
 Playing with the power of water. 


 Mower's vs. the rest of the kids. Erik and Sharli worked together to beat the other kids in the room on this huge tug-of-war game.
 Erik learned about the power of pulleys by using one to lift his own weight.


Thursday, July 13, 2017

April 2017

 April was a really fun month. We were still finishing settling in to our new house, job, school, routines, etc. That didn't stop us from taking some time to explore our new surroundings and enjoy some family time.

 Erik started to make some new friends and settle in to his new class. He went from a school where the entire school had 8 students, to one where there were 25+ just in his class. It was a bit of a shock. He handled it all really well though.

While Erik was at school the girls and I found ways to fill our days. Playing in water is always a favorite with this bunch. 
 Locking herself in the bathroom alone was sure NOT one of Maren's favorite ways to spend her morning. I liked all the snuggles I got after I'd managed to rescue her (with the help of the neighbor across the street).
 One of the older kids' favorite things to do is play Moana. They steal my broom and mop to make a ship's mast and an oar and voyage all over the ocean without ever leaving the recliner.
 We made sure to spend some time together when Ethan was home exploring all the fun new things around us. One of the biggest hits this month was when we took the kids to Dillon's BBQ. They weren't too impressed with the food (it wasn't bad, but not good enough to be worth the price), but they loved that one entire wall of the dining room was a massive shark/sting ray aquarium. They just ate that part of it all up!
 We had to do our usual thing and misuse the statues. Too bad my phone camera just didn't handle the poor lighting real well.
 Another fun adventure we went on was to go to White Tank Mountain Regional Park and do some hiking around. It was a pretty easy hike, and it was fun to get out of the city for a few hours. We knew we were running out of nice weather and wanted to get outside before it was too late.
The big kids were pretty good about keeping up, as long as stopped at every spot of shade for a rest and a drink. Maren was just happy to be along for the ride.
 You can see that Sharli made sure she was approriately attired for desert hiking. Every desert explorer needs a pink tutu. It was fun to watch the reactions of the other hikers on the trail when they'd pass her.
 The trail we chose is supposed to have a waterfall at the end, although we were there at the wrong time of year to actually see the water falling. There was just a small pool of water left at the bottom. We'll have to go back when it's actually running.
 There may not have been water, but there were plenty of rocks to climb. The kids had a blast!



 While we go to go do lots of fun things, our plans didn't always work out. We had to miss a fun sidewalk art festival due to a nasty tummy bug, so we stayed home and made our own art work instead.
This month marked a big milestone for us. We had our first lost tooth this month. Erik handled it like a pro and couldn't wait to get to the dollar store to spend his dollar the tooth fairy left him.

Also this month we got to celebrate Easter! Erik was the first one to wake up, and it was all he could do to keep his fingers out of the Easter baskets until his sisters woke up.
 After church that afternoon we headed over to Gilbert to have dinner and an egg hunt with Nate and Kate and their crew. It was a ton of fun! It's nice to be near enough to cousins to get to see them regularly.

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.