Friday, February 17, 2017

school field trips--Mission talk and Sleeping Beauty (with puppets!)

We've taken a couple of great field trips this week!

We are on week #23 (out of 32) with our Mother of Divine Grace Curriculum.  That's AWESOME because the ~~shhh~~ big secret is that technically, once you get through week #24, you can be finished with the year.  Not that we will do that!!!!  But it is amazing to think that we are one week away from being in the "safe zone"...

On Tuesday morning I dropped the 2 youngest kids off with Mrs. Cole.  Mrs. Cole is a wonderful lady from church who has been doing childcare for years and years...and has agreed to a drop-in program for me!  The 4 older kids and I took advantage of this opportunity to hear a priest from Fathers of Mercy (based in Kentucky) give a talk for our week-long parish mission.  The talk focused on "Jesus: our Best Friend" and explained all the ways Jesus can be considered like our best friend.  :o)

At the Parish Mission

After the Mission, we went to my NEW favorite coffee shop,
Manaia!!  LOVE their "Snicker's Surf!"

Yesterday we headed to Portland for a Northwest Children's Theater production of "Sleeping Beauty...with Puppets!"  This time we left Bunny with her grandmother since Bunny is not feeling well, and I took the 5 youngest.  The kids were patient and awesome and really loved the morning!

Meeting with the STARlings before the show

I had organized this field trip for our homeschool group, so we were joined by 3 other families.  Gemma hit it off with a friend's daughter, so I see some playdates in our future. I loved that I could see some of my mom friends (and meet a set of grandparents, too!).

The performance was amazing!  NWCT always does awesome work (they've won a ton of awards).  All these puppets were hand-made by one guy, and all the script and music was original.  Really, I just can't say enough about the quality of this show, and of others I've seen at NWCT!!

Over the years, we've seen a good handful of fantastic shows at NWCT.  Some were traditional, like Annie.  Others were 100% unique, like "Go Dog Go, the Musical" and "Goodnight Moon."  I mean, really, how in the world can you make a WHOLE production out of those short books, without adding any additional story?  But they do, and it's awesome!  We really liked "Alice in Wonderland--Jazz Version" last year with all-original music.

After the show we stopped at Burger King for their nuggets
and fries, and a "custom" pop from their machine.
And a few PM pizzas for dinner, since Marcus was on
a trip.  Gotta make it easy for mama!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

More Arizona fun

Now that the holidays have come and gone, I have more time to blog!

Here is more of our Arizona photo diary.

All this activity is tiring Gemma out!!

On Saturday of our extended weekend trip, Joe and Steph took us to the Scottsdale Farmer's Market: 

A quick stop to the library to pick up Cultural
Passes for free admission to a local garden.

In the afternoon, we took a trip to Lost Dutchman to do some real desert hiking!

The secondary goal of this trip was to really immerse ourselves in desert culture (the primary goal was to see Joe and Steph of course!).  This trip really satisfied that!  At the Lost Dutchman Park we hiked some very easy trails that had us feel like WE were the Dutchman that got lost so many years ago.  :o)  The cacti, especially, were amazing.

Luckily we found our way back to the car for a nice picnic lunch.  :o)

Next stop was to a little town that was a recreation of a wild-west settlement.  That was fun!  The views were beautiful and the kids really liked all the activity.

That evening we enjoyed yummy pizza at a local brewery (surprise surprise--Joe and Steph love them some beer).

Movie night--Gemma was lucky to get her
hair done by Auntie Steph!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Fun in Arizona

Last month, James, Gemma and I went to ARIZONA to visit Uncle Joe and Auntie Steph!!

My brother Joe married Stephanie last year in Durango CO (that such a fun trip!) and moved to Arizona.  They have just bought their first house and James, Gemma, and I were so happy to go visit.

(We are starting to split up trips because it's just not practical to travel with 8 people all the time.  :o)  I knew I could take 2 kids and we would still all fit in Steph's car.  I'll probably take a trip with Bunny and/or Mariposa soon, or I'll send them somewhere, just the two of them.)

Kids snack packs on the airplane (love those
Wikki Stix!)
Our first outing: hiking the Papagos area near their home

Breakfast the next morning
morning chores: watering the new citrus trees
searching for "treasures" under the mesquite tree
 I love Joe and Steph's Scottsdale home!  It is so clean and spacious, and the location is great.  Can you believe they have a Dutch Bros down the street?  (Joe says it's ALWAYS busy.) They have a master bedroom, two additional bedrooms, a large main bathroom, and two living rooms along with the kitchen, of course.  The backyard is great!!  It is completely fenced in (perfect for a dog...or kids) and it is currently a blank slate for them to landscape however they want.  I can see many more visits in my future....

Big news for our first full day there:  Joe and Steph bought
passes to Legoland!!!

We ended this adventure with a trip to a local Polish restaurant for pierogi and potato pancakes.  BAM! What a great start to our trip!!!