Monday, March 13, 2017

Arizona New Year

Christmas was over, but we had some sunshine to store up before we could go home to rainy Seattle, so we went with the Campbells to the zoo.  
 The elephant exhibit at the zoo in Tucson is amazing.  The elephants were moved away from our zoo in Seattle because we didn't have enough room for the elephants to be healthy.
 Tucson has nothing but space, so they have lots of elephants.

 A zookeeper brought out an anteater to demonstrate its skills and abilities up close.
 Sammy was a fan of giant tortoises.
 We got to spend more time with the Hoefferles.  I wonder what we could do to persuade them to move to Washington.
These Northwesterner children are not used to the excessive sunshine of Tucson.  Sometimes we even have to wear our sunglasses indoors.
While the rest of you are bundling up for the end of the year, we are outside in shorts eating ice cream.
One of the things I wanted to do in AZ was visit the San Xavier Mission just south of Tucson.  Our homeschool curriculum this year includes the spread of Christianity around the world, and this is a living example.
Of course we have lots of crafts and games,
and lots of cousin time.
The cuteness continues.
We took a trip to the ostrich farm at Picacho Peak with all of the cousins.  B and Ryan are best friends.  Each of the kids got a big cup of animal feed to give to the animals.

One of the burros bit Sammy, and the fun of being close to animals was over for him.  Since this experience, butterflies have been known to frighten Sammy.
Birds,
deer,
mean and scary ostriches,
cute kiddos,
ducks,
and lorikeets that landed right on us.
This was enjoyed by everyone except for Sammy.

We had one more chance to see Uncle Fred and my cousins, Graelyn and Isaac, who came out for a few days after Christmas.  We met them at El Guero Canelo for some authentic Sonoran Mexican food.  Uncle Fred had the kids as diverted as ever.
We had a big family kickball game on New Year's Eve.  The kids went around and around kicking, running bases, and getting back in line.  After almost an hour of this, space case Peyton asked me why she was getting back in line.  Apparently she had never really seen the point, but it hadn't occurred to her to ask before.  Most of the rest of the kids were done soon after.  I think Eloise and Jared could have played all night, but it started to rain.

All rain in Tucson is short lived.  It was dry enough to do sparklers outside for our New Year's celebration.
Happy 2017!

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