Friday, April 19, 2013


Right in front of our little section of neighborhood someone built up some dirt hills for biking. The boys loved it! Luckily, Kimball spotted the rattlesnake and ran away fast before anyone was hurt. It slid into it's den and left us alone.  So the rest of the time we got to play without getting hurt.

 Scardy cat mom :)

 brave little boys

Then everyone started catching some air (except mom, but she's fine with that)

Surprise infestation and Peter's birthday

So last fall when Peter and I were hiking in the mountains, I found a really cool cocoon  It looked a little harder than most cocoons  but I thought, "they must need to be more tough out here in the desert." I brought it home and just set it on the window sill, thinking how fun it would be to have a butterfly in the spring.  Well, The first week of March I started noticing these tiny, little baby preying mantises around the kitchen  I had never seen a baby one and I kept thinking how strange that they were getting in the house.  By the 10th one, the light bulb was finally starting to fire on and I realized I better look up exactly y what type of "cocoon" I had brought home.  Well, you guessed it. It was not a cocoon at all but a preying mantis egg sac which contains up to 200 babies. Aye, yae, yae. I just hope all the rest left willing and are not waiting for months in the cupboards somewhere ..ready to attack when they're full grown.  
Lesson learned:  if you're going to bring home a "cocoon," at least keep it in a lidded jar.

The morning of Peter's birthday we decided to take home to see the waterfall the boys and I had discovered.  It was a beautiful day and fun to splash around in the water.

 The boys loved walking though and jumping over the stream.

 After the waterfall, we went to check out the campsites there for the next weekend. It is all open range, so there were lots of cows and cow pies on the sites

 Since Peter is not a "cake person," I have to be creative for his birthday.  These are rapberyy sweet rolls.  They were sooo good.

 Candy from the boys.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Spring Break Vacation

 We started off our little vacation going horseback riding with in Phoenix.. I was worried because they website said that kids 5 and up ride their own horse.  Joey and Kimball had never been in charge of their own horse before, but they did great.  They had sweet, good horses that followed for the most part...except Joeys old horse Doc that didn't want to move very fast. Poor Dad got stuck in the back on a horse that only wanted to eat the whole time so he had a constant wrestling match with his horse.  It was so fun though to ride through the beautiful desert and just enjoy a fun, calm adventure.
The highlight of the trip was when Joey's horse started to pee and Kimball's horse walked right up next to it and started peeing too (for a LONG time)--they thought that was hilarious   My female horse was wise enough to step around the pee soaked path, but Dad's horse went right through it and splashed some unwanted liquids around.

Joey got the horse to talk
 saddling up

 we even got to ride by some petroglyphs

After we continued our drive north to Camp Verde. We stopped by the museum to learn about the Indians who once lived there. Joey was really interested in all the arrow heads.

 Then we ran over to Montezuma's Castle and were amazed at the incredible dwellings formed in the side of a cliff.  Totally incredible.

Just down the path, were the neighbors who were not so concerned about how cool their houses looked, They had more rustic homes that looked like little holes in the side of the cliff, but apparently opened up to many small rooms for different purposes and families. I think there were 60 rooms.

 If you look closely you can see the proximity of the rustic houses to the castle

 After all that looking and sign reading--which Kimball was not enjoying very much :)  We played by the river and on the big tree.  It was fun to think that maybe a little Indian boy played there many years ago. 

Then, one of the best parts of a trip for the boys--the hotel. Joey was excited to have his own little window bench bed and Kimball was excited to have the whole big bed to himself.

 The next morning we stopped at the nearby river to play.  It was Beaver creek and we saw lots of evidence of beavers chopping down trees.  I even spotted one running away as we got near.

 Skipping rocks with Dad.  Kimball and his constant moon shine.

 In the afternoon we went to some more ruins relatively close called Tuzigoot. These were fun because you could actually climb in these.
 The boys worked hard answering all their questions to earn their Junior Ranger badges.

 The cute Ranger, after checking over their answers and giving a short talk on the importance of protecting animals and our national parks, presented the boys with their badges.  It was actually really cool, and the rangers make it really special for the kids. The boys were proud and happy.

 They then went to town stamping their certificates.

 Hotel #2 was fun. After some pool fun we just relaxed in our room. We had a room that was sectioned off so it felt like 2 rooms. The boys could watch the cartoons they are always deprived of, and Peter could watch the basketball games he too is deprived of. I was content to just lay on the bed and relax

The next day we went to Arizona Air Time-- a great place that is full of trampolines. We bounced, flipped and played trampoline dodge-ball until we were exhausted.  At least Peter and I were--we did have to force the boys to leave.  I think they wanted to live there.  It was a really fun place to play.
The foam pit was a great place to practice flips


We ended the trip with a visit to the temple. Unfortunately they closed early that day because they were having the pageant, but we went to the visitors center and got a boost of the Spirit.