Sunday, May 31, 2020


In our new home in the desert, the sun beats down mercilessly.  Todd has always hated hats, but he felt the need to get something to wear on his head that is big enough to embarrass the kids when he meets them at their bus stop.  Here is B modeling it for you. 
 None of us had school on labor day, so we went for a hike at Sabino Canyon.  The kids saw a gila monster.  That was a cool find. We see zillions of lizards, but gila monsters (one of only two species of lizard that is poisonous) are uncommon. 
 There was a big disgusting puddle of stagnant water at the end of the hike.  The kids had fun looking for frogs.  Only Ryan fell in.  With ten adventurous little humans in our midst, I felt like one kid soaked in stinky water was a pretty good record. 
 Todd flew back to Kirkland for the week to work from his office and get our house ready for renters, so I got to figure out how to hold down the fort at home while being in school full time.  I had LOTS of help from Grandma, and it was still exhausting. 
 Todd got to spend time with the Christensens.  If we could have chosen one thing from Kirkland to bring to Arizona with us, it would have been the Christensens.  We miss them. 
 Our kids' school had a McDonald's fundraiser night.  Sammy and Ryan dressed alike by accident. And by accident, I mean that Sammy wore his uniform, and Ryan happened to match him.  Sammy was delighted.  You can probably tell by the way Sammy is looking at Ryan in this photo that Sammy idolizes his big cousin. 
 I had never been to a school fundraiser like this.  I expected that we would just get food and a portion of the profits would support the school.  I was not expecting the entire staff of the school to be taking orders, giving out homework passes, hosting a dance party in part of the parking lot, and making an ordinary fundraiser into a huge community/family event.  I love this school. 
 Our nearest city park is about a mile from home.  We biked there to meet cousins and Grandma and play.  Shadow is not used to the heat. 
 I drive by a couple of frozen custard places on my way to school every day, and I wanted to know what it was.  The word custard sounds rich and delicious, since pumpkin pie filling is a custard, and my favorite ice cream as a kid was Aggie Ice Cream lemon custard flavor that was very rich and delicious.  Others may disagree with me, but I found frozen custard to be a huge letdown.  It tasted exactly like a creamy soft-serve ice cream.  A low quality soft-serve ice cream made with fake vanilla. I'm disappointed that they could cheapen the word custard like that, since this concoction was clearly not made with eggs at all.  The kids are huge fans of McDonald's soft-serve, and they have never tasted Aggie Ice Cream, so they were ecstatic about frozen custard.  I feel sort of like I have failed as a parent. 
 Our back yard in our rental house not very hospitable.  Any adventure out there leaves our shoes full of thorns from the spiny weeds.  We do most of our relaxing in Grandma and Grandpa's superior back yard across the street.  Sometimes we even take our Friday pizza there. 
 Sammy and I had Fridays off of school, so we went to exercise class at the church and did our grocery shopping and silliness together while the kids were in school. 

 Don't worry.  Laundry happens at least once a week, so that is how often Sammy gets to wear his uniform. 
 In Washington we had our watch out for Sasquatch signs. Here we have our "Watch out for venomous creatures" sign.  This is just before the sign that says "Bollards in use."  If you know what a bollard is without looking it up I will give you a prize. 
 B and Ryan were very pleased to find their photos on Grandpa's most wanted wall. 
 The kids had two weeks of fall break in September.  I signed Jared and Eloise up for horse camp, thinking it would be a chance for them to fulfill all of my childhood dreams. 
 Eloise hated it.  Jared liked it.  Horse camp was a huge disaster.  Jared liked it because there was absolutely no structure, almost no adult supervision, very little time actually doing things with horses, and he was allowed to build forts out of garbage all day.  Eloise hated it because there was no structure and she didn't want to build forts out of garbage all day.  Fortunately most of the days of horse camp were cancelled because it started to rain like crazy, and the road to horse camp went through a couple of washes that filled up with water.  I still want the kids to learn to ride, but we will definitely look for something more structured in the future. 
 Eloise got glasses!  She discovered that she couldn't read the board in third grade, so she asked for an eye exam.  Sure enough, she needs a little assistance to read things from far away.  You won't see her in the glasses very much, since they are primarily for reading the board at school.  She picked the style all by herself, complete with turquoise leopard print posts. 
 Sammy and B wanted to get in on her new glasses photo shoot. 
 B got some jealousy glasses.  I ordered these frames with clear glass for him when I caught him brainstorming ways to make his eyesight worse so he could get glasses, too.  Oh, brothers. 
 *Cue my mama heart melting* My five and a half year apart twins reading to each other is the best thing I saw all month.   
 Maybe the Tucson sky is spectacular to offset the barren and prickly earth here.  That sky, though.  I can't get enough of it. 

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