Saturday, July 30, 2011

Uncle Jimmy & Wickenberg, AZ

One of the hottest days of travel and we ended with a nice dinner with a long-lost (not really "lost") relative and a cool pool.
Uncle Jimmy is my Grampa's youngest brother who moved away when my dad was 9 or 10 (I think I have the story right), and it has been 50 years since my dad has seen Uncle Jimmy. He's a cowboy who lives life just serious enough and doesn't seem like the type to complain. He's so easy-going, it was as if we've always known him!
We met him at a remote (I'm telling you, remote!) cafe/bar that was dark and dusty and didn't even run an air conditioner...in the desert!!!
Uncle Jimmy greeted us and told us how nice and cool it was going to be in the restaurant.
I guess it wasn't so bad, and the food was surprisingly good!
Owen loved the cactus out front and wanted to touch it.
It reminded him of CARS! :-)

We had the place to ourselves!

The visit was short but sweet, and now we know who to call when we want to get a pony!
Navigating those mountains is going to be the biggest obstacle.
Just wait til you see what we drove through the day after this!

I think I captured the sunset in many of the places we visited.
I think we miss the sunset here because of trees and neighbors houses...
maybe someday I will have a home where I get to see the sunset everyday.

We drove a bit further to cut down on driving time the next day and ended up here: a nice vacation destination that had a spot for us. They even unlocked the pool when we arrived after dark and let us cool off. Owen loved the "glow in the dark" pool. I wish I would have thought to capture that in a photo. :-)
Once again...it was the cactus...
"It's just like in CARS, mom!"
Before heading out, I dunked the kids a few times because it was going to be another hot one!
More to come...
A taste?
THE GRAND CANYON!

Summer time fun...

Yes...I have more to blog about our trip, but I'd thought I'd catch up on since we've been back.
It's been rough. I was not motivated until yesterday to clean my kitchen and laundry finally got done yesterday. We got the lawn mowed today, and we are halfway through burning a branch that had fallen right before the trip. Uncle jack came and cut it up, but there were pieces that needed to be broken down a bit more to fit in the pit. Half way...

I got all our pictures from the trip uploaded to the internet to start my Heritage Makers book...stay tuned to see that one! :-)
What I did do this week???
I played:

We did picnic at the park and played...


We munched our way through the heat and humidity...

We started swimming lessons too!
After the first night, Owen didn't want to go back because he didn't want to get his face wet...
We convinced him to go a second time because Granny Nanny and Gramma Mimi came to watch.
I know he loves it, so I won't let him talk me out of it.

He works hard and wants to please...Gabby and I are taking a class too...it's kind of dumb and there are so many kids in the class with their parents that it's kind of useless...but, I would not be able to keep her out of the water to watch brother take his lessons so we go at the same time.her favorite part so far? Singing a teddy bear song and then jumping in...
I am glad it is not everyday so we are not rushed to go through that routine for a few weeks and then wonder what to do...
Yesterday I took the kids to the outdoor pool to get some sunshine and stay cool

We get to pack a lunch too!!
Owen practiced "swimming," floating, and putting his face in the water.
He is such a pleaser that he does this on his own
All Gabby says is, "no help! don't hold me!"
She sometimes gets in over her head...is this a sign of what's to come?


Yesterday we took the "longest bike ride ever" to Nanny's house (5 "blocks" away...or a bit longer).
This is probably not the safest thing I've done, but I had to capture the moment.
I don't know how the video ended up sideways, but I couldn't rotate it.
sorry about that!

video

More to come on trip...
ummmmmm...soon!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Last Days in California...remembering


To be honest, i was annoyed when Mom made me stop and take this picture, but now I am glad.
I guess that is what mothers do! :-) Me included...
At home, I always have something to do...or I find something to do.
This morning the kids were so glad to be home and played and ran outside and did not like my suggestion to go to the store (our fridge was empty!).
I put off going to the store and chose to hang out in the backyard instead. Instead of playing, though...I pulled weeds.
I pulled lots of weeds!

On this trip, I just got to BE. I stopped, knelt, and played.
I held and cuddled and played.
I sat and served and did what needed to be done and did not go looking for projects.
Well, except projects that the kids wanted to do. :-)

Owen got to play and be adored too. Xavi had eyes for him and Owen learned something new about himself: he can nurture. In taking care of someone else (including his sister), he has become more generous and less demanding. I've been praying for this day for over 5 years. :-)

Well, Xavi is easy to love: those brown eyes, that squishy, dark skin, that curl to his hair...

"What? Who? Me?"
Yes...squishy on a baby is a GOOD thing!
One of our last days in CA, we took a trip to San Diego.
We toured the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that's been docked since 1995 (I think).
MB and Xavi made the trek, along with all of us tourists.
We had another reason for going to San Diego, but we just told the kids that there was a special surprise waiting for them!
The ship was not the special surprise, but it was pretty cool!


There were real noises plugged into the halls we walked,
so once again my little girl plugged her ears...
From the top there was quite the view...
and the kids took it all in...

And...to be able to get into a helicopter!

and see gramma and grampa!

But the special surprise came after all that...
As we were leaving the USS Midway, Owen was tired and hungry and had been away from home two weeks already. It was the first time he said to me,
"I don't want to be on this trip. I just want to see my daddy."
It would have broken my heart, but I knew the special surprise...
Daddy was at the airport waiting for us to pick him up as he was saying these words.
He missed us enough to catch a one-way flight and ride back with us...\We were so glad to have him with us!
And, we were able to add one more day in CA so he got to spend a day at the beach!

Grampa endured the sun...the last day in CA...

Xavi took it all in too...
ahhhhh....Owen got to show Daddy how to yell at the waves..."Tsunami!"Playing...

Our last afternoon and evening...


I had to catch one whole California sunset...
And it was worth it...

Good bye California...

Still...more to come!