Friday, July 28, 2017

Tanque Verde Falls

The beginning of the trail to Tanque Verde Falls starts like most in Southern Arizona: saguaros as far as the eye can see.
The chollas happened to be in bloom when we went. The saguaros and prickly pear were just about ready to pop.
Flowing water! In the desert! In April!
What a ham!
Tanque Verde Canyon's walls are lined with impressive boulders. The saguaros grow right out of them.
A well-earned respite. Once you reach the creek, the nice trail is replaced by boulder-hopping and scrambling and creek crossing. Colby was so proud of his hiking/climbing skills that he declared himself Champion Hiker. Apparently, Dad needs to get a matching hiking shirt so that he can "hike better, too."
Apparently, Alice's snacks taste better than Claire's.

We had to turn around before we could make it to the actual falls, but this little waterfall is still impressive to desert-dwellers like us. We'll have to come back when we have a few more hours to kill and the water is flowing better.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Little Things :: May

We had Colby's best friend, Justin, over for a play date. We just found out they're moving back to Michigan and we're going to miss their family so much. Three years isn't long enough for friends like these.
Colby had the flu and missed his last week of school. Star Wars comic books helped make a lousy week a little more bearable. 

Colby speaks
  • Robb told Colby that bella means beautiful. "We have three bellas in our family...They're bellas and we're fellas!"
  • "Do you want to watch a YouTube video on how to teach little sisters to play Mario Kart Wii?"
I wanted to help the kids understand the difference between cities and states, so we made a map of our town and talked about how there are lots of cities in each state, and lots of states in our country. Then we checked out google maps. I'm not sure they got the point, but we had fun.
 Alice speaks
  • "Pretty princesses don't clean up 'cause they're too busy dancing. They have to do everything pretty, They don't do projects...except exciting projects."
  • "Here's a hat to wear at our tea party so you don't get food on your head. I don't need a hat because only grown ups get food on their heads, not kids."
  • To me after I didn't clear my dishes "When you don't clear your dishes it means that you're a kid."
Claire and the double-crown she insisted on wearing

Claire's new words
  • "Ahh dah"= all done
  • Uh-oh
  • "Wha-dis" while pointing her finger= what's this?
  • She signs more when we ask to say please and yesterday when we asked her to say please (instead of screeching) she only had one hand free, so she improvised. She made a fist and lightly punched herself in the face. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Colby Graduates from ECC

My little boy is growing up.

I'm realizing it slowly, like when I drag over the stool so Colby can help with dinner and find he can reach the counter fine on his own. Or when Alice asks for a story and I'm busy and I look over 5 minutes later to see Colby reading it for me.

He'll start Kindergarten in August as a Sahuarita Primary School Owl. There are so many little kids around here that they split the elementary schools: SPS is K-2 and SIS is 3-5. There will be 12 Kindergarten classes alone. 12!

Anyway, Colby's preschool had a little graduation ceremony and he wasn't really excited about going. The boys were leaving for the Father and Son camp-out immediately after and he didn't quite trust us when we said the ceremony would be short.

We lasted a grand total of 15 minutes. The place was packed. The invitation said due to lack of space, please limit guests to immediate family, but a couple families ignored that rule completely (one corner of the room had at least 15 aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents for one kid). 
Colby didn't want to go up and get his diploma, so his sweet teacher, Ms. Tabitha, brought it to him. We were so blessed for Colby to be in her class this year. She did so many little things specially to help him stay focused and engaged (like picking out silly stories and having the class practice sight words during reading time, so he wouldn't get bored). We are going to miss her and all of the wonderful teachers at the Early Childhood Center.
On to Kindergarten!
Colby doing the traditional "gaze into future" graduation pose

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Pair of Canyons

We sat down to plan out the next couple months of camping and realized we don't have a free weekend until June. 

No camping until June--what a depressing thought. To make ourselves feel better we decreed all Fridays from henceforth be hiking days (except next Friday when we'll all visit the dentist). 

Our first hike was through Hidden Canyon. It was supposed to be 1.5 miles...but it was more like 2.3 (according to Robb's phone). 
To distract the kids from their tired feet, we started teaching them the different names of cactus and other plants along the trail. The desert really is a beautiful place and I love sharing it with them.
Mandatory snack break
Almost everything blooms in the desert if you catch it at the right time

Today we hiked Honeybee Canyon, a 2 mile hike in a wash/trail running past some petroglyphs. 
Alice had a rough start (Bah-boo was missed in the car, she didn't want to use the bathroom, and she didn't want to hike), but she warmed up as soon as we got going. 
 Alice and I trailing behind the boys
 While stopping at a 200 year old dam built by sheep farmers, Colby leaned over and said "Look at the beautiful world!"
 "Take a picture of me, Mom!"
 Both kids kept sneaking off the trail to do a little rock climbing. "Let's explore the world!" or "wohd" in Alice's case

Monday, March 6, 2017

Death Star Play Dough!!!

Colby's first blog post

Saturday, January 21, 2017


December was cold (i.e. 40's/50's...we're wimps now) and packed with activities, so we took a break from hiking and camping. By January we needed another adventure. The weather report threatened 20 mph winds and a 60% chance of rain, but we decided to risk it anyway and drove our family to Tumacacori National Historical Park
Awesome picture brought to you by Robb
It's the site of an old Spanish compound with the remains of a mission, store house, cemetery, and an orchard. The sweet ladies at the front desk gave us Junior Rangers tour book with things to look for and questions to think about. Had the weather been 15 degrees warmer, I think Colby would've enjoyed it, but it was chilly and he really wanted to go home or at least the car...anywhere with indoor heating. We managed about 60% of the tour before Colby and his red nose had enough.
And somehow we convinced him to finish our trip with a short hike down to the river (running water in Arizona never ceases to amaze me). Everyone was happier. Maybe it was the sun finally coming out and warming us up. Maybe it was being out in nature. Maybe it was the promise of snacks on the way back.
It hailed a little bit just before we hit the Visitor's Center and then we were back in car (which we left wide open...thankfully nothing was taken).
As we were leaving:
Lakin: "Did you guys have fun?"
Alice: "Mama, do you know what pandas eat? Bamboo!"