Boyce Thompson Arboretum

I’ve heard about the arboretum here in Arizona from my father-in-law quite a bit. He knows how much I loved the arboretum in Texas.

So, I randomly decided one morning that I’d go check it out. The girls were running around the house dressed like fairies and it reminded me of Texas so… off we went!

When we were driving there I told the girls to look out for mile marker 223 since our turn was right after that. They started shouting out each number as we passed… “210! 211!….218! 219! 220! 221!”
Payson was watching the girls with a smile on his face. Then he started shouting with them, “tee, tee, tee! tee tee tee!”
Close enough, Payson, close enough.

The girls were pretty much skipping as we entered the arboretum. They were so excited.
There is a special children’s area there and that made them even more excited.

Payson loved pushing the stroller around the place. He was actually really, really good about staying with us and walking where we walked. I’ve been letting him walk most places (even the store) and he’s doing so well 🙂

I’m pretty sure every person passing us commented on the girls’ outfits. Most called them butterflies.

I LOVE skirts with shorts sewn in. ALL little girl skirts should have that!

I walked quickly through the cactus garden and then waited outside for the girls. It was heated in there! Bleh.

A snap of the three kids together. Can you believe in October there will be 4?!

I desaturated the photo above, the true colors are like in the photo below. It was bright and very orangey-green.

Brooklyn said climbing these boulders was her favorite part.

Sierra striking a pose? My goodness, she’s usually anti-camera!

The next few pictures are my favorite. The light in this little area was so gorgeous.

Her very own pose. I have NO IDEA where she gets these poses from! I have about 15 pictures of her on this rock striking all kinds of poses!

Payson thought it was a lot of fun to shake this tree because it made a loud noise. He was giggling and his cute little gapped teeth were all showing. SO CUTE.

And then there’s this gorgeous little girl of mine.

Those trees. Those mountains. *sigh* Just gorgeous.

I know one day I’ll appreciate utilizing my camera’s timer and jumping in some pictures.

Even though I look really goth compared to the bright little girls next to me. lol
It’s not my fault I outgrew all my clothes except two shirts which are both dark!!

Brooklyn is growing up so much lately. It blows me away.

I was setting my camera up on some rocks to take a picture with the timer and Sierra gave me this adorable smile..

And before heading home, one last group picture.

Belly Pictures at Week 8

I did not want to take these and I certainly don’t want to share them, but I’ve already gotten requests!

I’ve lost 7 pounds during this pregnancy (yay me, super healthy eating!) but my stomach is huge! The baby is the size of a kidney bean so it must be fat, right? Why is all my fat relocating to my stomach? Not fair!!

Oh geez. I’m going to be a whale.

Rainy Day

And to answer this:
Did you stuggle at all with either of your girls when it came time for lowercase letters? We are having a hard time writing those – the uppercase are easy as can be, it’s those lowercase that are really throwing her. Any suggestions at all – or will it just come in it’s own time?

Handwriting is the only part of homeschooling that has been a struggle. Teaching it is relatively easy. Getting Brooklyn to do the work is hard! I’ve actually finally started telling her she can’t have afternoon snack or lunch until her handwriting worksheet is done. This works VERY well and she finishes it in 5 minutes now! That worksheet is letter formation instruction. She also does another page of writing but it’s to review what she just learned and she does that after snacktime.

She also writes a LOT when she does her other worksheets, a few sentences of copywork (usually a poem she’s memorizing) and every day in her journal. I don’t make her properly write letters in her personal journal. She can write however she wants, spell however she wants… I just like her writing without having to worry about that sort of thing since she gets plenty of other assignments for proper handwriting/grammar.

Whew… handwriting. I NEVER thought handwriting would be the biggest struggle with homeschooling. I was really good at handwriting early on so it never occured to me that children actually struggle with it. Dare I admit I actually thought kids with poor handwriting were just lazy and not practicing!
Now I know better.

And now after having a child that struggles so much with handwriting I STRONGLY recommend the Handwriting Without Tears program. It is worth every single penny to me. I just put another $50 worth of stuff in my online shopping cart to continue with Brooklyn and start Sierra!

Snaps of the Girls

Sierra looked so darn cute today.

Once in a while she is totally willing and wanting to have her picture taken.

And then there’s Brooklyn. Always wanting her picture taken.

And how can I post pictures of my girls without sharing the faces they give the camera most often.

Very silly (or, uh, frightening) ones!

Another Day in Paradise

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this but once every 6 months or once a year I like to write down every single thing I do every day (kinda like my day-in-the-life posts but without pictures). I save them and absolutely love to look back on them.
I have one from when Payson was a newborn and had severe colic and we were selling our house and having it shown many times a week and I included what I was feeling while I was doing the things I was doing and I just TREASURE that little list!

So today I did the same thing. I didn’t write down my feelings because they were pretty darn simple and would look like this:
“I feel nauseated but happy that I’m getting stuff done. I wish it was 5 weeks from now.” Repeat

Start washing machine
Make breakfast
Feed girls
Change Payson’s diaper
Feed Payson
Sweep all tile (holy crap there’s a lot)
Wash 1 load of dishes
Empty garbage
Payson bottle
Payson to bed
Move laundry to dryer
Start new load of laundry
Organize the day’s school work, make needed copies
Start kids on school work. Specifically handwriting (Brooklyn is doing handwriting without tears for the second time)
Eat a small handful of tropical trail mix
Start kids on math
Fold three loads of laundry
Eat slice of bread
Feed the girls a snack
Talk about the priviledge of using crayons with the girls, let them color (we had yet another coloring on furniture incident last week)
Fold another load of laundry
Refill girls’ water
Move laundry to the dryer
Start another load in the washing machine
Help Sierra with rhyming (even though she previously rocked at rhyming, she kept doing alliteration today instead!)
Put away dry dishes
Wash another load of dishes
Iron Allan’s work shirts
Help Brooklyn with telling time
Make lunch
Payson’s up from nap
Eat lunch with kids
Check voicemail. 5 new messages, think to myself that I should check it more often
Clean up from lunch
Finish ironing (hallelujah)
Switch laundry from washer to dryer
Start washing machine again (final load!)
Spend a good hour helping the girls with school (total of the day probably 3 hours with the girls on school work, they spent a good 5 hours on school work)
Give kids a bath
Make bed while kids are in bath
Talk to the pest control guy on the phone (give him driving directions)
Get the kids dressed
Talk to the pest control guy at the door, Payson screams hysterically.
Take 5 minute shower
Get dressed, do makeup, don’t do hair
Pack the diaper bag with snacks and diapers
Talk to Allan on the phone
Meet Allan and drive together to the OBGYN
Change Payson’s poopy diaper in the back of the car.
See baby and baby’s heartbeat, hear baby’s heartbeat. Feel very emotional.
Quick trip to Sprouts for gluten-free crackers and citra-solv
Trip to Costco for rice milk and cream of mushroom soup. End up stocking up on stuff and spending $120.
Stop at the dollar store on the way home so the girls can pick out a toy because they did well with their chores this week.
Drive home, feeding Payson crackers on the way.
Allan unloads car while I start dinner.
Feed kids.
Allan talks with kids at table while I blog. (I usually talk with them but let Allan have alone time today)
Feel completely and utterly exhausted at 6:30pm!

And last but not least, today’s picture of the day.
Blog world, meet baby at 7 weeks 2 days along.
We saw his/her little heart beating and heard it (150 bpm) and that’s about it, just a white blob for now. But he/she is my sweet little white blob. lol

Day Out

Even though what I’d like most in the world is to lay on the couch feeling sorry for myself all day I’ve been taking the kids to the park every day because the weather here is so perfect.

We bring picnic breakfasts or lunches sometimes.
This day was breakfast. Kind of an odd one, too. Bagels for the girls and me, sandwich for Payson (with tapioca bread), carrots, and bananas.

On the walk to the park Payson had pulled my hair, that’s why my bobby pins are jacked up.

After the park we went out for ice cream. I stopped at Panda Express first to get Payson some food so he wouldn’t feel left out.

Sorry I don’t have much else to say. I feel pretty darn bad these days.


Since I feel very blah I’m going to make a goal to post one picture a day. Taking, resizing and posting one photo isn’t a big commitment at all. I’ll blog more often if I have such a simple task.
I’m sure sometime at the end of March or beginning of April I’ll be back to my regular long, rambling, heavy-photo posts.

The first photo of the day is this one I snapped last night. Allan bought steak for us for Valentine’s… but obviously we didn’t eat it on Valentine’s Day, we ate it last night 🙂
And yes, we need to finish painting that hallway. But who knows when that’ll actually happen!