Friday, August 4, 2017

July 2017

 Wow, looking through all the pictures from this month made me realize what a busy but super fun month this was. We got to see and do so many great things!

Of course we kicked the month off with Independence Day, and what better way to celebrate America than to watch a baseball game and some fire works?! The Phoenix valley is where all the major league baseball teams come for Spring Training, so there are nice ball fields all over the place. We went over to Surprise and watched the Rookie league match-up between the Kansas City Royals vs. The Texas Rangers.
Not being huge baseball fans we weren't really into the game (which moved SO SLOW!), but the atmosphere was fun and the kids really enjoyed wandering the stadium and taking it all in.
Erik had no idea what was going on, but he was sure excited to be there! Later in the evening someone even gave him a ball that had flown into the stands during the game. He was tickled pink! He named it "Bally Bally".
I love this picture!
 Maren's favorite part of the evening was when she scored a Dum Dum sucker. Best night ever!

 After the awesome fireworks show we spent ages fighting the traffic to get home and get our tired kids in bed. It was a really nice day! We were a little sad to not be with the Payne clan in Lordsburg. This was the first time in 6 years we had to miss out on that party, but there's always next year!

The next big event of the month was Sharli's ear surgery. She had been dealing with hearing loss and ear aches since March, and we finally managed to get her in to get tubes put in her ears and her adenoids removed. She was sleepy the day of the surgery, and then after that you'd never know anything had happened to her. She was able to hear better almost instantly, and felt SO much better than she had for months!
A few days later we got to go to a fun Family Art Day at ASU, you can read all about that here.

Ethan got to spend a couple of days over in Thatcher wandering through our old stomping grounds and being a "fish superhero", as the kids called him. He was with a team that hiked up Mt. Graham to rescue endangered Gila Trout after the Frye forest fire. It was hard work, but he got to see some pretty country. You can read about it here.
While he was gone, the kids and I joined in on Cow Appreciation Day at Chik-Fil-A. The kids were so proud of the hats they had made.

 We have been really enjoying the library system here. They have just about anything you could want to watch or read. They also put on lots of great events, like the Balloon Show we went to.
Erik got to be a monster. Sharli didn't get picked to come up and help with the show, but she was lucky enough to score the princess' castle afterwards. They were pretty excited!
 Maren is growing like a weed. She's practicing really hard for the "terrible twos", and oh boy is she getting good at it! ;) She has her good moments too. She learned to say "cheese" and smile for the camera. It's fun to be able to get some nice pictures of her cute smile now!
She found this little foam ball that she carried around for days. When it started to get a little shabby I cut a slit in it to make it work as a clown nose. She LOVES it! 
 One of the other big events that we can count on every July is Erik's birthday. He turned 6 this year! His birthday was a lot of fun. There was a water activity at the church that day (just a coincidence that it happened on his b-day), so he got his dream party without me having to do any of the work. He got water balloons, friends, slip-n-slides, popsicles, and fun, which is exactly what he most wanted. We had a coupon for a free cake from the grocery store, so we went to pick that up and they announced his birthday over the intercom so everyone knew it was his day. That night we had cake and ice cream, and discovered I had accidentally bought trick candles. He was totally confused at first when they kept relighting, then just frustrated. Oops. :)
 We ended the month with a bang by going on a tour of our local fire station with some of our friends. It was really fun, and the kids loved getting to see it all. Read more about that here.

ASU Family Art Day

Since moving to the Phoenix valley we've been really enjoying the opportunities to experience some fun new things that weren't available to us before. There's always something going on around here, and if you look hard enough you can typically even find things that are not only fun and family-friendly, but also FREE! Those things are our favorites!
A few weeks ago we heard about the Family Art Day at the ASU modern art museum. It sounded like fun, so we piled in the car and headed that direction. There were fun, kid friendly crafts set up in each of the art galleries and even in the lobby. We spent a couple of hours working our way through them all and watching the kids have fun creating their own art. They got to try their hands at things like coil pottery and screen printing, as well as less sophisticated things like coloring refrigerator magnets and making superhero masks. They ate it all up!
Coloring refrigerator magnets.
Creating their own modern art.
We're not real big into modern art, but there were a few of the pieces that the kids enjoyed. 
After the art museum, we headed over to McDonald's to grab a quick lunch and a treat. Oh boy do we love cheap ice cream!

These super hero masks were probably the favorite of all the crafts we'd done that morning. 
Maren decided today was the day to master the art of drinking through a straw. She even put aside the ice cream in favor of her cup of ice water and a straw. It took some work, but she got it figured out. :)

After lunch we realized we were right down the street from the Bass Pro Shop, and there was no way we'd pass up the chance to go check that out! We haven't been to one of those since our trip to Mobile, AL when Erik was a baby. Of course we spent the most time in front of the big fish tank...
...but the camping section was a close second.
We had to try out ALL the tents, chairs, and sleeping bags.

This was such a fun day! I can't wait for the next Family Art Day in a few months!