Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Camping in the White Mountains

On a complete spur of the moment we decided to drive out of town and go camping. We literally threw this trip together in a days time. We had recently found out about this really cool place to camp from our friend Gina at church. So we were literally entering unknown territory. It ended up being a beautiful place to be. I think all of us needed to get away. We camped right along the White river. There was this little island that the kids hung out on. The kids were in the water except to eat and sleep. It is hard to see in this picture but the river forks around that spot right in front of our trailer. It was awesome hearing the rush of the water during the night. It was so peaceful early in the morning. I sat beside the waters edge early in the morning contemplating life. It was awesome. Daphne would park herself somewhere with blank paper and a pencil to draw whatever came to mind.
Victoria was cracking us up. She found this "walking stick" and was singing and dancing with it. She was putting on one of her many shows. She is cute. And yeah, she knows her Mama loves to watch. All of the other kids were always so quiet. This one loves the attention. So yea, I give it to her. Why not. It builds self esteem.
This is Victoria's..."I need a nap" look. She claimed to be thinking about what she wanted to do next.
Here are the boys fishing.
This was an Osprey nest literally right across from where we camped. Everytime the parents left the nest the baby would be chirping away. One of the parents is stitting out on the end of that very top branch. On Sunday morning I heard a loud "plunk" like someone had thrown a boulder into the river. One of the Osprey had caught a fish. It was so amazeing. And then a couple minutes later a humongous Great Blue Heron flew by. It looked like a mile long from it's beak to the end of its tail. It was really neat.
The boys were good scouts and cleaned up any trash they found in the river. They know all about the Leave No Trace policy. On the Indian Reservation, I guess they have a little different policy...not sure. It goes to show you that you need to pack out what you pack in. But they did an awesome job of cleaning up whatever has traveled down the river. A little surprising. The two most interesting pieces was a shredded piece of tire and a flip flop that a tree branch had grown through. Sheera...Warrior Queen of the Wilderness. By the way, we now have this very stick in our backyard. It had to come home with us. Kaleb and Victoria played in this sand bar for hours. I caught Jared fishing with Victoria's Pretty Princess fishing pole. He claims to have seen a fish near it and thought he could catch it. Of course he is trying to deny fishing with a pink Princess pole while Kirk is saying..."Yeah, and the fish was this big! Daddy and daughter. This is proof that Daphne was really there. It is hard getting pictures of everybody sometimes. Of course you always get the little one because they are always in your space. I sometimes wear myself out trying to get to everyone. I love each of my kids and want to spend time with them. Sometimes I just have to let them know I am there watching and that is enough for them. They are a funny crowd. Never a dull moment. I am just so thankful to have a husband that says "Okay" when I say, "Hey, lets go camping". "When? " "I don't know, tomorrow?"

It's Raining

Every little girl who lives in the desert who own Hello Kitty rain boots and a pretty pink ski jacket has to find every opportunity to wear them. It was cloudy all day and finally rained. Not alot of rain but enough to make everything wet. I was standing in the kitchen and Victoria walked past me with her whole get up on. I couldn't resist a picture. When Daphne was about that age...long ago...she had a rain coat and a pink checkered umbrella. She would be wearing it over her bathingsuit in the middle of the summer monsoons.


Scout Day Camps

Jared and Kaleb both went to day camp the same week but different places. Jared rode the bus everyday at 7:30 in the morning to Lake Pleasant for kayaking certification and merit badge work in Archaeology, Canoeing and Energy. He would get off the bus pretty tired at 5 p.m. ready to eat. With all of the water he carried and the rest of his gear he needed, his backpack weighed 20 pounds. Jared was a blur that week.

Kaleb and I went to his day camp which really ends up being evening camp. His was from 2:30 to 9:30 p.m. This was our second year doing it. The whole object is to keep the kids hydrated inside and out. They had sprinklers going all the time and hoses to spray down the kids. Water balloons were greatly encouraged. A boys paradise. They also had full permission to bomb any adult who looked dry. Of course it was a challenge for most of the kids to tye the balloons, so I struck up a deal with the boys. I will tye their balloons but they have to bring me a handful of blown balloon remnants. I think the other parents thought I was nuts. They always hung back and sat around and talked. I figure you get what you put into it. Our den had a good group of kids. The boys tyed these poles together. I think they were shocked that it actually held together when they picked it up. Kaleb earned his rifle patch and shooting pin.

The last day, the counselors attached balloons to pop with the arrows. The kids did pretty well. It was impressive. They feel so good about life and themselves when they can shoot something and hit a target. It must be the testosterone running through their blood.Kaleb liked the obstacle course the best. Of course I ended up giving quite a few of the boys a leg up to get over the wall. But I had to get the kids to stop spraying the water whenever I was helping. I was pretty drenched. The good thing about Arizona is that you dry in about 5 minutes. Literally. By the third time the boys were going over the wall, none of them needed help. They were so amped they were pratically soaring over the wall. I wish I had brought the video camera. The program really kept these kids moving. I really enjoyed watching. By the third night Kaleb and I had a really hard time dragging ourselves there. Kaleb fell asleep on the way there. There were some major attention defecit problems in our den that night. It was actually kind of funny. I think the boys were just exhausted from all of the fun.

Happy Birthday Kirk!

Kirk decided that with his birthday money from his parents that he wanted to get roller blades. He is quite a scene. The kids were laughing hysterically as they were whizzing past him on their scooters. I thought the broom was a nice touch. It gave the neighbors something to chuckle about. I think he enjoyed his 44th birthday.

Summer's Here

Up until last week we were having the most unusually beautiful weather. The highs were staying below 90 and it was cooling off at night. So in the early mornings I have been out in the yard tending to the plants and walking the dog. Whatever comes to mind at 5 in the morning. It is so peaceful being up before the rest of the house is up. I think Benjamin Bunny likes it too. He likes it when the dog is nowhere to be seen. At this hour Henry is still pretty out cold sleeping in the boy's room.

My mom's dog Sugar...which we call "Psycho Doggy", loves to swim! And she likes Victoria. I think because she is small. They like to swim together. It's cute.

Jared and my Dad were having water wars. Now that the kids are older there is no mercy. The big kid too. I stay out of the way.

Hawaiian Cactus?

This little cactus was out at our friends church in Cave Creek. It had a ring of flowers that had bloomed. I couldn't resist photoshopping some eyes on it. I am going to print out a 5x7 for Nanny across the street. Her husband was hawaiian. The proof is in her last name...Keaweahawaii. She will get a kick out of it.

Glow Stick Sword

Kaleb and Dad had fun one night with kaleb's glow stick sword. I had already gone to bed and I hear all of this "ooh" and "aaahs" out in the livingroom. It took a little skill on Kalebs part to get the letter forward facing. Kirk says he kept forming the letter backwards. It took a few tries. Looks neat. Puts new meaning to writing in the air.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sea World

Wow, our trip to Sea World was a whole month ago! Time flies! It was a wonderful trip. We had a pretty good time. This was a wall of ice. Jared had passed by it twice and hadn't noticed that it was ice. We were wondering how the finger holes got there. Kaleb and I decided that perhaps someone with really warm hands stood there and melted hand grips.
This polar bear looked like a big teddy bear. He got tired of playing and was hugging his toy. The Shamu show is just as great as it was when I was little. We all liked this show the best. Whales are beautiful animals. The kids wanted to see if they were as long as Shamu. I think they ended up being about the same length. It was a little eerie watching this huge whale swim up close to my children. Victoria has a new favorite animal. She has set aside her Bison and has picked up her Orca that she named Prince Charming. I love how little kids think.There is never a dull moment in our house. Sometimes I wonder if anyone can be serious. Actually Daphne is pretty serious. Kirk was pretending to be attacked by an octopus. Kaleb quickly followed. The guy behind the register just shook his headIt is so nice having teenagers. It is so much easier to send Daphne or Jared in after Victoria. I had the wrong kind of shoes. So I was informed to wear different shoes the second day because climbing the nets was alot of fun. It looks alot easier than it really is. This particular part was a little intimidating to Victoria so Daphne actually carried her across. I am surprised she was actually able to do it. I think they bonded that very moment because Victoria thought her big sister was pretty cool after that. Atleast for that day. Heehee.

Kaleb envisioning what it would be like to be Mr. Popper and one of his penguinsThis was Daphne's and Kaleb's favorite spot. They both could have stood for hours inspecting the sea stars.
I think Jared would have liked to be this turtle. Sleeping in a ray of sunshine. He didn't feel all that great for the first couple days we were in San Diego. He still enjoyed himself though. We just had to keep him fed and we were all okay.Syd or Seymore...I can't remember which is which now, performed their usual show. I remember these two from when I was little. And the pink walrus too. I know they live a long time. It was pretty neat to share some of my childhood with my own children. It was fun. Daphne took this picture along with about 500 others of this seal jumping over this pole. I am so thankful for digital cameras. The sky is the limit on the number of pictures taken. When Jared was real little, I think around 3 or 4. His favorite animal was a manatee. So we had to get an updated picture of him sitting on the manatee. Daphne was hanging on for dear life. She kept sliding back down the tail and I would have to slide her back up just to get one picture.

San Diego

We took a extremely needed trip to San Diego. We have been studying Marine Biology this past year. What a great field trip! A visit to the beach, Sea World and hopefully the tide pools. It was awesome to get away and take a break. After spending so many years in my youth at the beach it was like coming home. The salty air, the wind, sand, sea weed. It felt incredibly comfortable to be here. Victoria was amazed of how much sand was there. She just couldn't wait to dig! Every childs dream. There is just something so calming about watching the waves roll in and out. Expert castle builders! I freely volunteered to hang out on shore with Victoria while she played in the sand. It was a bit chilly that morning. We aren't used to cooler weather.

We managed to visit the tide pools at just the right time. They were loaded with activity from crabs.