Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Park Exploring

I am SO enjoying this warm winter.  I couldn't live in any other state.  Because it's been so beautiful outside lately, we've been going to parks often.
 A little while ago my mom discovered a new one
 so we took the girls one day and it was so much fun.  

Not because of the play equipment  - because there were only climbers and a tire swing.
 Which were fun, don't get me wrong.
 But because of the lake with a walkway going across is and the huge cement amphitheater steps to climb on.
View from the bottom.
View from the top.

We had the most enjoyable time there, climbing up and down the steps, trying to skip rocks on the lake and watching turtles pop their heads out of the water.  There was also a dog park on the opposite shore of the lake so the girls got a kick out of watching the dogs jump in the water to retrieve balls for their owners.

It inspired me to try and visit a new park at least once a week and see what kind of fun can be found.  We'll never know unless we go out and look for it.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Butterfly Wonderland

Last week Josh's mom took us to Butterfly Wonderland up in Scottsdale.   Being butterfly enthusiasts already, we were quite excited.  It was so neat!   First they had us watch a movie.  The theater room was just like a regular movie theater,  just smaller and much cleaner....and without the smell of popcorn.  They gave us glasses since the movie was in 3d.  Wow!  I really liked the movie!  I have never been impressed with 3d stuff before but this 15 minute documentary that followed the life/migration of a monarch butterfly was seriously cool. (mostly because of the 3d)  The girls were literally trying to catch butterflies that appeared to be inches from their faces.  Even Paige wore the glasses and was content watching most of it.  She has a new found wanderlust so I had to take her out. 

After that we went to a room that had hundreds on chrysalides, cocoons, pupae (whatever you prefer to call them)  It was AMAZING. 
Being familiar with the process from my mom's butterflies I think I appreciated the variety more than most people.

Then we went to the atrium.  (and a little word of advise - it is very warm and moist in there so if you go, wear shorts and short sleeves,)  The girls were concerned that the butterflies wouldn't land on them but as you can see they had nothing to worry about.

The littler girls got tired and hungry (this picture is evidence of that)
 so we stopped for a snack at the cafe inside
  and then found that there was also a small stingray exhibit
 I love Paige's face,  she was so excited but didn't know why.
 Paige prefers fish over butterflies.

 We went back to the atrium for a little while longer but it was getting late and at 4:30 the butterflies stop flying around and eat so there was not as much action.

We had a wonderful time!  It was definitely a worth while trip that I would recommend.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

My New, Old-Fashioned Hobby

Last January I started some gifts for this past Christmas.  For some reason I was compelled to take up a new hobby that requires an absurd amount of time and patience because you know how I have plenty of both of those things.

I started with this half square triangle quilt for my nephew TJ.
I was really feeling accomplished when I finished it in March.  
 I then started on this one for my cousin Marisol.
 The drunkards path squares proved to be much more difficult and I kept putting it aside for many weeks at a time as the year's busy-ness kept getting in the way.  It was a close call the last 3 weeks before Christmas as I still had to bind it with my broken wrist but I got it done and I am quite pleased with the finished product.

Originally, I had hoped to gift 3 or 4 quilts this year.  Maybe next Christmas, we'll see how this year goes.

These quilts are in their new homes now and I hope the old saying is true: 
 "One who sleeps under a quilt is comforted by love."

Friday, December 19, 2014

Leaves > Snow

We can tell it's almost Christmas because the leaves at Nana's house are finally falling.  

  The girls LOVE to play in the leaves.  A much better alternative to snow in my opinion.

Paige particularly liked it this time.

She is our little comedian. 

 She has a ton of silly faces.
 She thought she was sneaking up on me to throw leaves on my head.

I'm still finding leaves in the laundry.

Hours and hours of fun!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Seeing Santa

The past two years we've done big Christmas excursions (Polar Express and the North Pole Experience) but this year we decided to take a break and do something not so expensive.  We were just going to see Santa at the mall but there was/is a Groupon out for MacDonald Ranch's Christmas Festival so we thought it would be fun to try.   It was way up on Scottsdale Rd and Jomax.  I was glad at first that it wasn't crowded but it was so empty that it was awkward.  For a long time it seemed that we were the only people there but eventually a few more people came.

The girls had a good time.  

There was a petting zoo, 
 a hayride and a train. (the cowboy took this blurry picture)
  Panning for gold was by far the favorite though - they could have done that for hours.  
Santa was there and each girl (but not Paige!) told Santa what they wanted for Christmas. (Anna and Elsa dolls - the small Barbie size kind) 
I was so proud of Joy for not being too shy and she spoke loudly and clearly as she told Santa her wish.  Joy says that Santa "freaks her heart out."

When we got home we decorated our Christmas tree and Claire was ecstatic that our 3 little Christmas Elves were found hiding in the tree that we bought early that day!  What luck that we happened to buy the tree they were hiding in!
Now that we have our tree and our elves, our house is full of Christmas excitement.