March 11, 2018

This week

This week could be titled: Do as many things outside as you can before it gets too hot.

It also involved working on the kids clothes as growth spurts have hit this house yet again.  One perk of living in Arizona is I don't have to completely redo closets with the seasons.  Basically the kids have a couple of pairs of pants and a few long sleeves and the rest is shorts and t-shirts.  Colin is starting to feel the hand-me-down blues, so we treated him with a few new things just to spruce things up.  He looks so stinkin' cute in these pj's!

Brothers, in pj's, playing Mario Cart is always the best.

We went to see the bugle band and silent drill team on base.  It was hard to get a great picture, but it was such a fun experience.   I loved that the kids got to see the different instruments and a little taste of daddy's work life.  During the silent drill, they pulled out the knives at the end of the gun and Eli said very loudly, "They could kill themselves!!!".   Thankfully everyone around us chuckled.

Ben met up with us and we got to sit with our friends, the Helton's.  Shane deployed with Ben last year and since then, him and his wife have started coming to our church. 

We also went to the camel farm with the White's.

 There was also a zebra and a zedonk (a mix of zebra and donkey).

There were lots of goats and ducks too.


Because it's not every day you get to stand by a camel:

A picnic at Sonic was also a must.  Next time we go, it will probably be to get a drink so we survive the rest of the drive home.

February 24, 2018

This week

We took the week off of school.  Ben had a few days off of work and we jumped into some "spring" cleaning.  While Ben took Alison and Eli to piano, Colin and I stayed home to play some games.  One of his cards fell into the couch and when I reached in to get it, I discovered LOTS of things were hiding in our couch...not just under the cushion, but actually inside the couch.  Colin was excited to see what all we could discover so we decided to end the game and spring clean the living room instead.

This is all the stuff that came out of the couch (not including several game pieces and DS games that were already put away...oh, and lots more legos that Colin had already stashed away)!!!  I would love to know how a hanger ended up there.

 Alison and I went on a little date to get hot cocoa and buy a rubix cube.

Ben also took the kids to the dentist for me (wahoo!) and we met some friends at the park to play.

Colin asked Daddy to read him a book, and Maya shoved herself under the couch to be with them.  She is still a little puppy in her head.

Eli takes his job very seriously these days.  He washes off the plates and Colin loads them into the dishwasher and there is no getting in their way.

 There was lots and lots and lots of cleaning this week.  I lost count how many magic erasers and dusters we used.  The kids helped me scrub walls and baseboards, cleaned up their rooms and Colin even helped mop the floor.  But Ben wins the prize...he came home with a carpet cleaner and deep cleaned the whole house.  Maya growled out it the entire time and couldn't stop sniffing the carpets after they were cleaned.

I largely underestimated how dirty our house was.  Living in the desert takes cleaning to a whole new level!

Saved the best for last.  Colin lost his first tooth this week!

February 19, 2018

Valentine's Day

What a great Valentine's Day we had!
The boys were very excited about getting Alison presents, and each picked out a little something for her.  Eli also made her a Lego card and box of chocolates!

"wrapped" box of chocolates
Alison reading Colin's card and Eli showing her the chocolates
We still had school, but the kids had earned a lunch out and we thought this was the perfect day to use it.  They picked McDonald's for their treat.

I got the treat of running in the rain!  I can't remember the last time it rained here and it's certainly been years since I've had the opportunity to run in it.


 Daddy came home from work and completely spoiled us.

I love this's a pretty good picture of my life at 5:00; cooking dinner+the excitement of daddy coming home+4 people telling me different things+trying to video something special.

Alison also made daddy a card and we made him apple cobbler for dessert.

More than gifts and candy, it was the best just to be together on this day.

February 15, 2018

This and That

The kids have been very excited about the idea of camping.  We would love for that to be part of our life soon, but right now, we don't have the all the equipment for it.  So, as a compromise, Ben set up the tents we do have in the backyard and let the kids play camping for an evening.  We told them they could stay out there until 9:00, but they quickly got cold and were inside by 7:30.

Colin continues to love helping any chance he can get.  We did an experiment one day of which Pinterest method of cleaning grout worked best.  I do not understand the tile is extremely frustrating to try and clean, but Colin happily helped me scrub :)

The boys asked to do the dishes one night and took their job very seriously.  When they were through, they said, "That was FUN!".  I hope it stays fun for a very long time!

Colin even got the quesadilla out of the toaster oven for me one day and cut it up to serve to everyone.  He is fearless when it comes to a helping job.

Alison made a cake for small group, all by herself, complete with decorations.

Eli, the master builder, built this really cool hot air balloon.

And has also really loved playing the piano lately.  He's getting really good :)

February 8, 2018

Alison's piano recital

Alison and Eli have been doing a wonderful job learning the piano!  The place they take lessons held a recital and let the students choose to participate, which we appreciated as they are just at the beginning stages of learning.  Alison jumped right on the opportunity and signed up.
She did a great job and we were so proud of her!

A different kind of school day

Ben had the day off work and took us out to the shooting range.  We had our very own gun safety class and shooting instruction!

Learning how to load the magazines:

It was pretty loud out there (apparently snowbirds are all about the shooting range), so Alison and Colin camped out in the car for a bit, but Eli loved reloading the magazines for us.

When we were done, we headed to From the Farm right down the road.  It's an antique store and restaurant, but I couldn't quite figure out what was "from the farm".  The kids LOVED it.  Walking through the antique store, I picked up an old phone and asked if they knew what it was.  Nope.  So he had an impromtu history lesson right there.

And then we saw this desk and their faces were priceless when I told them that is what students used to sit in for school.  I hope they appreciate their big, comfy chairs a little bit more.

The kids got ice cream and sat by the pond.  We are soaking up every bit of being outside that we can right now :)

Alison and Eli absolutely loved their strawberry ice cream.  It's a shame they don't remember the amazing-ness that came from the strawberry patch in Virginia.

I would say the day was a fun success because they all asked if we could do it again the next day.  If only daddy could be home with us every day...that would be fun.