April 26, 2017

Sewing class...check.

The girls made quilts as their last project.  All of the girls were supposed to bring fabric to swap with one another for the pieces and we were all surprised how well they unknowingly picked very coordinating colors.  I am so proud of these girls!  They worked so hard and were great students and had a great time doing it.

April 23, 2017

Yuma Territorial Prison

Ben's endorser was in town for a day and requested an afternoon with us.  Ben should really type this part out, since I am the opposite of a military wife, but he's kind of like his boss, but I would think of him more as a PCA Chaplain that chaplains him.  His wife called me (no one calls anymore, so I was impressed) before deployment to ask if I had anything I wanted to talk through and to tell me that she would be praying for me while Ben was gone.  This particular afternoon, they talked with us about deployment and how working at the command was going and if we had any questions about future things.

They asked to do an activity with us, so we took them to Yuma Territorial Prison. 

I was very impressed with the museum and we all really enjoyed it.
This was the cell block that would go in the "dark room" for the most severe punishment.

I always thought that just being in prison on the surface of the sun would be punishment enough, but it turns out that the prison had finer amenities, like air conditioning and a big library, than some houses in town.  When it closed down, the high school met there for 3 years while a new school was being built and the mascot is still the "prisoners". 

I always appreciate a museum that makes information kid AND adult friendly.  I think the kids learned a lot and had fun.

After the museum, we played at the park by the river for a few minutes and then went to Prison Hill Brewery for dinner.

I mean this with all politeness to our parents, but our boys saw this couple as grandparent material and pretty much instantly treated them like they were part of our family.  Colin talked sweet Alice's ear off the entire evening.  Eli mentioned that his birthday was the week before, so they had a special dessert brought to our table and sang to him.

Colin was certainly sad when we didn't get to see them the next day.  I love how welcoming our kids are; I just hope it doesn't freak some people out.

April 21, 2017


'Annie' is a week from today and I think we are all ready to perform.  If Alison isn't singing it, she's humming it and dancing.  If she has to fold laundry or clean her room, she blasts the CD so all the neighbors can enjoy the songs too.

She taught Colin a few of the songs.  So if they're missing a Sandy on show night, we have an understudy all ready to go.

(Sorry for the bouncy video...taken by Alison in the car)

This is a long one, but you can see how used to we are to hearing these songs; Eli just keeps rambling on about car seats in the background, oblivious to them recording.

April 20, 2017


After everyone was dressed for church, the kids found their baskets.

With everything going on, Easter was pretty low key this year.  In fact, baskets were brought to you by a care package I got the last week of deployment and saved all the candy to throw in their baskets.  The kids didn't seem to mind...I don't think you can go wrong with candy.

I also put zero effort into outfits and the kids wore what they wouldn't complain about.  Thankfully we still looked pretty good.  Except, it's never until pictures that I realize how bushy the boys' hair is. 

We had an egg hunt in the afternoon and then had lamb, red potatoes and asparagus for dinner and a fruit pizza "egg" for dessert.

We played Apples to Apples after dinner and Colin could not get enough of daddy's lap.

It was a perfect day of just being together as a family.

April 19, 2017

Taco Festival

We went to our second annual Taco Festival!

Oddly enough, this year there weren't very many taco trucks, but 2 fields full of random things like dip n' dots and ears of corn.  Naturally the kids wanted hot dogs.  I gave in because it wasn't the most taco-y taco festival.

We circled the festival a few times to scope out the food, but all the kids wanted to do was look at the toy stand.

Ben was happy to find a papusa stand.

We listened to a live band for a few minutes.

And scoured the place for a fry bread stand.  It was literally the last stand, tucked way back in the corner, but we found it and it was certainly worth the search.  It's basically a flat funnel cake and they put honey and powdered sugar on top.  We sat down to eat it and it was piping hot, so Alison blew it to cool it down and all the powder sugar flew off.  Ben and I laughed, but she was disappointed that there wasn't as much sugar.

watching kids climb a rock wall
Eli was dying to go on a ride.  He was too big for an airplane one and the others were too intense for either Ben or I to take him on...poor kid with weeny parents.  We settled on all going on the ferris wheel.  Alison and Colin were apprehensive but we kinda made them go.

Look how happy he is!

Our last stop was by the balloon lady.  She made the boys swords which lasted about 3 minutes.

P.S. Those green shorts are Colin's favorite and he tries to wear them every day, dirty or clean, with every random shirt.  Most days I can get them cleaned and convince him to change into a matching shirt, and other days he leaves the house looking...not as put together.

April 18, 2017

Castle Dome City

Castle Dome is an old mining town about an hour north of us.  We tried to go last year, but they close for the summer (like most things do around here).  We were talking about trying to go again this year and realized our window of opportunity was closing quickly, so we decided to seize the day that Ben had half a day off of work and make a venture up.  It was a very spontaneous decision and I told the kids, "Okay, we're skipping science today and going on an adventure!  Let's go explore!".  Eli loves it when we do this and Alison hates it.  It stresses her out and she was a nervous nellie the whole drive.  

We had the place to ourselves!  Another thing that I love and Alison strongly dislikes.  The bigger the crowd, the better in her books...so a ghost town that we had to ourselves was not her favorite.

Eli ate this place up.  He loved it all!  I think he spent the whole time saying, "Daddy look!" and then Ben would talk to him about whatever he was exploring.  I am so thankful that Ben jumps in and teaches them whenever he has the opportunity.

  Only Colin can rock the 'daddy's hat and sister's glasses' look.

It's called Castle Dome after the rock that looks like a dome on top of the mountain.  We also learned that this cactus is called an ocotillo. 

On the way home, we had dinner at Prison Hill Brewery.

 An hour away trip felt like a big deal to Eli and packed himself pj's for the car ride.  Ben compromised with him for dinner attire and let him wear the pj shirt with regular pants.  I wonder at what point during 7 does pj obsession stop...