Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Desert Museum

We had the opportunity to join a group from church going to the Desert Museum this week.  Rob already had the day off, which made the day all the more enjoyable!

We were following one of the Jr. Docents to her assigned stations at the Museum and exploring a bit between stops.  We got to hear about local plants and wild life.


There were plenty of hands on activities too!


We had a picnic lunch.

Then we split off from our group to explore a bit on our own.  We had a great time and it seemed to be the perfect time to go.  It was nice and warm, but not too hot.


*We didn't get a picture of them, but Miss J was so excited to hear that we would be seeing "Fairy Dogs." We told her many times on our way to the exhibit that they were P-P-P-Prairie dogs, but I guess it did not sink in.  Upon seeing them the first thing she said was "Why aren't they flying?"  We were then able to explain that they were Prairie dogs, and there are no Fairy Dogs.  She thought they were cute anyways.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What's with the weather?

Moving around so much with the military has taken us to many areas of the country, which means many climates as well.  We've often marveled at the wonders of God's creation, one of those marvels being weather.

Watching the water go slowly from calm to turbulent showing the signs of the incoming storm before the sky shows any hint of what is coming.  A blizzard that shuts down the city the day after a hot sunny day.  Foggy dreary mornings that turn into warm sunny afternoons.  These are all situations that we have marveled at during past assignments.  This assignment has been no different; in that it too is very different.  ;)

All year we've been mumbling about this supposedly hot desert which we've moved to, one that we had heard rumors about never needing anything heavier than a light jacket a couple of days a year, as we've experienced freeze warnings (and had to wrap our pipes to prevent freezing and bursting), and the need for long johns, heavy coats, hats, mittens and scarves!

This past week took the cake though.  We've been enjoying highs in the 80's for about a week when all of a sudden it all came crashing down.  The high wind told of the impending weather change, so I stopped putting all of those warm winter clothes away.

The clouds rolled in.


The hail came down, and it looked like there may have even been snow mixed in!

When the clouds lifted we could see snow on the mountains.  This is the view I would expect to see in March (minus the cactus) while living in Colorado, but NOT in Arizona!

We are back on our way up to 80's again, and despite the ups and downs we are truly enjoying living here!  I guess we all needs ups and downs in our lives anyways.  They keep us on our toes and keep us marveling at God's creation as well as His love for us.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

New kittens the living room!

Our sweet mama cat has been expecting kittens, and on Wednesday this week we thought for sure she would be having them.  She was acting strange; Miss E noticed that she seemed to want company in the little nest she had claimed in the garage.  Miss E spent quite a bit on time in there, but no kittens.

On Thursday morning I could hear mama cat in the garage "crying" so I went to check on her.  She walked right in, sat herself down on the arm chair in the living room and stayed.  She seemed to be wanting to cuddle, and Mr. S enjoyed that, but slowly she took over the whole chair.  As I looked at her I could just tell she was laboring.  I asked Rob to at least put a couple of towels under her, just in case.  About 5 minutes after that was taken care of it became very obvious that she would be having her kittens in the living room.  During morning Bible reading.  In my arm chair.

I had to just put a smile on my face, remember that the towels were there and that the chair could be cleaned and be thankful that she was making the homeschooling aspect very easy on me.  The kids had all been asking if they could watch her have her kittens, but since we had assumed that she would want peace and quiet we told them that it would have to be just one or two of them IF we knew when it was happening.  To say the kids were excited with this turn of events would be an understatement.


She had four kittens on Thursday morning and we left her in her spot all day.  By evening she was wandering around the house and we decided that it would be best to transfer all of them to her little nest in the garage with the heating lamp we had set up.

The next morning we discovered a still born kitten (#5).  Our kids have had enough lessons in death to be okay with this event, but it was still a bit sad.  They dug a hole and buried it and made a little marker.

We are enjoying peaking at the kittens and I'm already noticing some changes in them.

You may recall that mama cat came to us with three kittens.  One seems to have had a tragic run in with a coyote (we think) and the other two were passed on to friends.  

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A hike with Daddy!

Rob has been wanting to take the kids out for a hike now that things have settled down around here a bit. I had a big task to handle at home though, so we decided that the best use of our time would be to have me stay home with Mr. K.  Miss E asked if she could stay and help, so Rob left her and Miss C behind as well.

They drove about 1 hour up the mountain to a trail  that had been recommended by a friend.  Miss J was thrilled to be included with the "big kids" and did not seem to mind that she was the only girl going.

I've been enjoying hearing stories of their adventures as they....

Explored the mountain.

Played in snow.


Checked out the stream.

And just had a great time with daddy.

I'm looking forward to going on the next hike with them.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

March cupcakes

After coming home from our trip and making Rob's birthday cake I just didn't think I could come up with the energy to make cupcakes for this month.  I broke the news to Emma.  She offered to make them.  I didn't think I even had the energy to make up a list, go to the store, and oversee the making of the cupcakes.

She surprised me by picking up everything she needed to make some cupcakes while out on an errand with daddy!  She made these cupcakes all by herself, and though they did not turn out as she expected (they are supposed to be cats and kittens) I'm so proud of the initiative and effort she put out in making these!  She is such a blessing to our family and I'm so proud of the young woman she is becoming!

Monday, March 5, 2012

DVD giveaway!

Please head on over to my other blog and check out the giveaway I've got going over there for some wonderful family friendly God honoring movies made by large families!

Happy Birthday Rob!

We celebrated Rob's birthday this week-end.  We got up at a reasonable time (all the little ones slept past six) and I made a special breakfast for Rob.  He took the boys to a local gun show while the girls and little Mr. K stayed home and worked on baking his cake and cleaning up around the house.

Miss E made bagel dogs for Rob for his birthday lunch, one of his favorites.  Yes, she made up the dough, wrapped the hot dogs in the dough, broiled, boiled, and baked them!  She is a natural in the kitchen!

I made German food for dinner;  Spaetzle, schnitzel, rouladen, gravy and even purple cabbage!  Yum!

Rob requested a German chocolate cake.  Miss E helped a bit with making the cake, though I did end up doing most of it.  Miss J had plans for how to decorate the cake and was so excited that she is getting big enough to do that sort of thing, so we let her go ahead and take care of that job.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Film festival day 3

Day three was another very early start, but with an earlier bed time the night before we had an easier start.  Since we made good time getting out the door I decided that a stop at Starbucks was in order to keep me going through the morning.  The barrista was very kind to offer to make the kids "sample" vanilla bean frappuccinos!


The kids had all been looking forward to watching Dad the Hero on Vacation since they had watched the trailer a week or so earlier.  The movie did not disappoint.  It was a sweet, God honoring, family centered film that was full of laughs.  We enjoyed meeting the sweet family that made this movie, and they even provided a copy of each of their two movies for me to give away!  Go check out the give away on my other blog!


It seemed that every time we turned around Miss J was making a new friend.  While we all enjoyed socializing it seems that she may be the most outgoing of our kids.  Young and old, she did not seem to care if they had a smiling happy face she wanted to be their friend; she had no lack of options at this film festival!

We took a break in the afternoon and Rob found a place for the kids to run around and play for a bit.


We had planned to have dinner with the Wintons and as we were all walking together to the restaraunt we ran into friends of theirs that we had been wanting to meet (so many people had been asking if we knew this family as we had been stationed near them in the past).  They blessed us by joining our group and it was wonderful to finally be able to connect with them.

The awards caramony was the last event we attended and the kids surprised us with their very good behavior considering that the three little ones had gotten sick and were Oh. So. Very. Tired.  We enjoyed getting to attend this film festival, and the fellowship we were able to enjoy while there.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Film Festival Day 2

Day two of the film festival started very early for us, and we really were not sure we would make the 8:30 am showing that we were hoping for after being out so late the night before.  Thanks to a couple of early birds though, we were able to dash out and make it in time.

Most of our day looked like this....

Yep, sitting and watching showing after showing.  Fortunately the quality of all of the shows was great and we did enjoy them!

The kids enjoyed the seemingly endless supply of popcorn.


We only made it to one feature film in the big theater, Seven days in Utopia.  We needed to sit near the back with a bit of floor space and easy access to doors for the little ones, but we let the big kids sit in front on their own.

Rob enjoyed a talk from Kevin Swanson on the Fantasy Genre while I took all of the kids to a showing of a documentary on Monarch Butterflies.

We ended our day a bit early and headed out to get dinner.  On our way out we went through the mall.  Miss J had spotted all of the princess dresses in the window of the Disney store on our way in earlier in the day and had GASPED at the sight of all of those lovely dresses.  Daddy was kind enough to take a detour into the store so she could get a closer look.

***This trip was not all fun and games, smiles and giggles but we don't take pictures of those moments.  ;) Taking kids on trips always has its ups and downs.  Rob and I each spent our fair share of time taking little ones out for potty trips or because of fussing.  Some older kids had their rough moments as well, which is to be expected with so many late nights and being constantly on the go.  This is where our teaching and training comes in though.  The kids were generally well behaved and we were able to regroup after some tough moments and enjoy our time.  Stopping to pray and ask God for wisdom and grace allowed us to keep going and to enjoy this trip.