Thursday, September 22, 2016


 I feel like July is always a busy month. It always starts with a bang with Independence day, and then everyone has to cram in everything they can before school starts and summer's over in August.
We had a really fun 4th of July. Friday night our neighbor came and sat with the kids so Ethan and I could go to the dance (which was a blast!). Saturday morning Ethan took some of the items he'd forged and set up a table at the Saturday Market. The kids and I walked the 1/2 mile down there to see what was going on, but on the way home all three of them had had enough. I had Maren asleep in the stroller and both Erik and Sharli were too tired to keep walking. So, Erik stood on the foot rest on the front of the stroller, and I put Sharli on my back with the help of our baby backpack, and we managed to make it home. Next time I'll just take the car!
The next day (the 3rd) was the town parade and the fireworks show. We had so much fun watching the entire town turn out for the parade, and it was a good one! There was a drill team, some synchronized swimmers, the local rodeo queen, and even the fish hatchery had a float!
As there aren't too many kids around here, anytime the people in the parade saw any kids they would shower them in candy, and of course Erik and Sharli thought this was the best thing in the world.
 The next day (the 4th) we headed down to Lordsburg for the annual Payne family cook-out and the amazing fireworks the town puts on. It's always fun to be around that crazy crowd! After the party wound down we headed out to Cotton City to spend the night and soak up some more family time. We all love to visit there, but the kids just eat up the time with their Grandma and Grandpa!
 The next weekend we had a water day with some friends, and it was a blast. The kids played until they were completely wiped out. It's moments like this that make it easy to forget how big Erik is getting.
 Also that weekend we headed over to Thatcher for my cousin Brad's wedding. It was the first time in a long time (and definitely since the three babies were born) that all the cousins had been together, so Marquette made sure to snap a few pictures of the crazy bunch.
 This month saw our kids acquiring their very first pet. Her name is Babs, and she's a goofy little red hen. She was one of about a half dozen chickens in our neighbor's flock, but after a coyote got all her friends she was desperately lonely. Ethan took pity on her and brought her back to our house, where she follows us around like a puppy.
 Maren keeps getting bigger and bigger. She's mastered rolling over and loves having a little more control over her world. She is starting to appreciate having toys to play with, and is figuring out how to pick little things up and put them in her mouth.
The biggest event of the month for our family is Erik's birthday. He turned FIVE this year and is so excited to start Kindergarten! When I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday he said he wanted the exact same thing as last year, so that's what we did! We invited his friends over for snacks and lots of watery fun and he had a marvelous time!
Our friend Sally made this excellent cake for Erik. It was huge and adorable and SO yummy!
It was really funny how the boys tended to gravitate towards more active play (like running around shooting each other with water) and the girls all just wanted to pile into the pool together and quietly play in the water.
Grandma and Grandpa Richins were passing through town with cousins Wyler and James in tow, so we invited the boys to stay and join in the fun with us. Cousins are the best!
Also this month, the kids got to meet an adorable baby deer. Someone picked this little one up on the side of the road and brought him to the fish hatchery. While it was a shame for this sweetie to be separated from its mother, it was fun for the kids to get to know the little guy.
Ethan took a day hike up Mineral Creek canyon. We've been here before, but with little kids in tow we didn't make it very far. This time he was able to make it up the canyon to the ghost town of Cooney. It looks like a gorgeous canyon, I hope we get to go back there some day so I can see it too.
There were lots of ruins from the old mines that pockmark this county. He was really impressed with the size of some of the buildings, as the country here is pretty rough and hauling supplies up the canyon would have been a massive job.
Some days we just have more fun than the kids can handle, like this day when they both passed out within minutes of going to be for naptime. It cracked me up to go in their room and find them both snoring away in the exact same position.

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