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.

October 2016

 The kids and I kicked off the month of October with a visit to Marquette and Cameron's house. Ethan had to be gone for work for almost 2 weeks, and I just couldn't face being cooped up with three kids all by myself for that long so we hopped in the car. We had so much fun seeing their new home and spending time with family!
One of they days we were there the wash behind the house ran a little and the kids knew just what to do with that water!

 On our way back home, we stopped to hike around in 5 Mile Draw, just north of Snowflake, AZ. It's a pretty, narrow little canyon with petroglyphs all over the canyon walls. It was a fun little hike
 After Ethan got home from his work trip, we decided it was time to go on another family adventure. We loaded our crew into the car and drove around the mountain to the Gila Cliff Dwellings. I have lived within a few hours drive of here for most of my life, but had never been there until now. It was a pretty warm day for October, and perfect for being outside in. 

 The thing the kids were looking forward to most this month (of course) was Halloween. Sharli wanted to be Princess Sofia the First, so we started shopping around for tiaras and materials to make her skirt and amulet. She was THRILLED!
 Maren was going to be Sofia's cute little sidekick Clover the bunny, but I ran out of time. Instead I threw together a little red cape for her at the last minute and she got to be Little Red Riding Hood. Surprisingly she didn't seem to mind wearing the cape and hood. 
 And somehow I didn't manage to get a picture of just Erik in his costume. He was a pirate, complete with awesome hat and sword. He was pretty excited about it all!
We had a wonderful Halloween this year. The Saturday before Halloween the community had a Trunk-or-Treat, and it was so much fun. There was a great turn out and everyone was so excited to see all the kids out having fun. They all had a marvelous time. On Halloween night (monday), we took the kids trick-or-treating. We had only intended to go to a couple of houses, but each person sent us on to someone else so we kept going for several hours. We met up with Sally and her girls along the way and it was so PERFECT watching the kids, holding hands with their best friends, skipping through the leaves from house to house. It was such a wonderful happy night for our family, I have a hard time imagining a better one.
 Also this month, the children napped in weird ways and weird spaces. So basically it was a normal month. :)
 Maren learned a new skill this month; closing doors. The problem though is she can only close them when she is inside the room pushing on the door, so she tend to lock herself in to places she doesn't want to be. It's almost become like some weird game; did Maren close herself in behind door number one or door number two?
 She has also started working on pulling up to standing, and is even thinking about taking a step or two here or there.

September 2016

 September was a fun month at our house. Maren was really starting to get around well and was working hard to be part of everything that was going on. She was becoming an expert at crawling and sitting, and was SO much happier with life because of it. She started heading to the playroom to hang out with the big kids. Not sure that they loved it, but I loved watching them together.
 Being able to sit well on her own also made grocery trips SO much easier. No more lugging a big car seat into the store for us!
 September is also county fair time. We went to both the Grant and Catron county fairs, and the kids had a blast!
 This time of year is gorgeous in Glenwood, and we tried to squeeze every last drop of fun out of it we could.

 We also went for a drive up the mountain to Mogollon, but since I already told you about all that I won't bore you with the details here.