Sunday, June 10, 2018

GG is 100!

Easter was April 1.  The Easter Bunny treated Nathan well.  We also went to church.

On 4/3, I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Reid Park Rose Garden,  Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens and Bach's Cactus Nursery.

I went to the Desert Museum on 4/4

The next day I went back to the Desert Museum, to Tucson Botanical Gardens and to Bach's Cactus Nursery.

On 4/6, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Back's Cactus Nursery.

Nathan attended the 7th annual great paper airplane fly-off at the Pima Air & Space Museum on 4/7.  He did not do as well as he did the previous year, but he had fun!

I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Reid Park Rose Gardens on 4/9.

I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens and Bach's Cactus Nursery on 4/11.  I ended up bringing home a snail with the African Daisy plant I purchased at Tohono Chul Park.  It stayed alive for a couple of weeks and then it was gone.  I saw a millipede or something in the plant which could have been the culprit.  I had fun taking pictures of it and I was sad when it was gone.  Unfortunately, my plant is not doing so good either after being without water when we were out of town for a week.  I am hoping it comes back to life, but so far no luck.

On 4/13, I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Reid Park Rose Garden.

I saw an orthopedic doctor for my right shoulder on 4/13.  He had me do an xray which came back normal.  He told me I had frozen shoulder and gave me a cortisone shot.  He suggested that I do physical therapy.  He gave me a work order to go a couple of times to learn at home exercises.  I went to Proactive Physical Therapy on 4/17.  I should have known it would not just be a two time thing.  They examined me and thought that I had a torn or inflamed rotator cuff.  They suggested I do physical therapy 2x/week for 6 weeks.  That would end right before our Chicago trip.  I did my 6 weeks and they gave me the bad news that they wanted me to continue after the Chicago trip for another 6 weeks.  The break in between seemed to do me some good.  I am still uncertain if the physical therapy is helping or not.  I started to feel better after the cortisone shot and I think I may have healed quicker without the physical therapy.  There is no way to know for sure now.  I am doing better, but still not 100% better.  The physical therapy is getting tougher, though, as they increase my strength exercises.  I hope that my arms are at least getting stronger and that maybe I am losing some arm fat!

On 4/14, we went to Wildlife World Zoo. 

I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on 4/18.

On 4/19, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Reid Park Rose Garden and Pima Prickly Park.

Paul and Nathan went to the Pima County Fair on 4/21. 

I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens on 4/24.

On 4/25, I went to Oro Valley Hospital to see my gynecologist.  I had not had a period for over 3 months.  They had me to a blood test and an ultrasound.  The ultrasound came back normal.  The blood test showed I am perimenopausal.  I am in full menopause when I have not had a period for at least 12 months.  As of today, it has been over 5 months now.  I really don't think I will have another period so I think menopause is close.  I am already getting all of the symptoms. 

While at the Oro Valley Hospital, I saw a lot of torch cacti blooming in their median.  After that I decided to go to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun and Tucson Botanical Gardens.

Nathan earned his 3rd stripe in Taekwondo on 4/26.  I also went to the Desert Museum and Bach's Cactus Nursery.

Nathan and Paul went to see Avengers on 4/29.

On 4/30, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.

I went to the Desert Museum on 5/4. 

On 5/7, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens. 

Nathan had his musical performance at school on 5/8.  He was not very excited about it.  I remember in preschool and kindergarten he loved them.  He was the music student of the year in kindergarten!  Maybe his love for music will return some day. 

On 5/9, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.  I went back to all of them the next two days.

On 5/12, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Bach's Cactus Nursery and to Lowe's (to photograph flowers). 

5/13 was Mother's Day.  Nathan made me a couple of cards and they bought me a cake.  Paul made me Greek chicken and potatoes.

I saw a turkey vulture flying behind our house on 5/17.  Nathan's favorite bird!

On 5/18, I went to the Desert Museum and to Lowe's again to take pictures of the flowers.

I went to Bach's Cactus Nursery on 5/21.

Nathan's last day of school was 5/24!  He ended up making honor roll again the 4th quarter.  He got a 94 is History, 93 is Reading, 95 in Recitation, 100 in Science, 91 in Math and 94 in English.  He was meeting the standard in Art, Music, PE and Spanish.  He is now a 3rd grader!

We left for Chicago on 5/25.  We drove to Phoenix to fly out of the Phoenix International Airport.  We were able to catch an earlier flight so we got to Chicago a little earlier.  Unfortunately, we could not find Nathan's booster seat on the luggage return.  We finally located it, but it was after midnight and we were afraid that the car rental place would be closed.  It was still open!  We got a car and found a hotel room near Indiana Dunes for the night. 

We traveled to South Haven, MI the next day (5/26).  Nathan got to spend some time playing at the beach.  I walked around taking pictures.  We ate at Clementine's for lunch.  We stayed in Paw Paw that night. 

The next day (5/27) we went to Holland.  We were a couple weeks late to see the tulips :(  We were able to tour the windmill, though.  I went to photograph the Big Red, the lighthouse in Holland while the boys went to the Cherry Republic store.

The next day (5/28) we took the S S Badger, a car ferry from Ludington, MI to Manitowoc, WI.  The trip was about 4 hours.  We saw the movie Coco on the ride and played games like Uno, Bingo and Family Feud.  Our hotel was right where the S S Badger docked and very close to a lighthouse, too.  We drove around looking for a beach area for Nathan to play.  We finally found a small one pretty close to our hotel.  I decided to walk around and found very cool picture opportunities with boats, wildflowers, birds and the lighthouse.  They created a bird sanctuary there for pelicans, seagulls, barn swallows, etc...  We ate dinner that night at the Lighthouse Inn.     

The next day (5/29) we drove to Milwaukee and went to the Harley Davidson Museum.  We were all going to go to a Brewers vs Cardinals night game that night, but I was too tired so the boys went by themselves. 

We drove to Chicago the next day (5/30), stopping at Mars Cheese Castle for some sausage and cheese! We ran into a little rain, but it stopped in time for us to go to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  Unfortunately, none of their waterlilies or lotuses were blooming, the flowers I wanted to see the most from our previous visit.  The gardeners said maybe in a couple of weeks they would be blooming.  Not many of their roses were blooming yet either.  So it was disappointing, but they still had some pretty flowers to see.  We were also too late to see the lilacs blooming at Lilacia Park.  I tried going there on 6/1.  Not much to see.  They did not even many other flowers blooming.  I remember going there years ago and they had tons of tulips and other flowers blooming.  It really is fantastic when all of their lilacs are blooming, too. 

Paul went to lunch with his employees on 5/31.  Grandma June took Nathan and I to lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  Then we all met Paul at AMC in Oakbrook to see Star Wars, a Solo Story.  Then we met Debbie Madl and Cass for dinner at Stir Crazy.

The next day (6/1), Paul had to work from the hotel in Lombard.  Nathan's leg was hurting so he stayed in the hotel room.  I decided to go to Brookfield Zoo.  Then we went to Uncle Julio's for dinner.  I miss their chips and salsa!

On 6/2, we met Lisa and her family at the LaGrange Pet Parade.  Nathan loved the parade, seeing all of the pets (mostly dogs, but there were some cats, bunnies, birds, etc...).  He also got lots of candy and goodies!  Then we met Tracy and Aaron at Ledo's Pizza for lunch.  From there we headed to White Fence Farm for grandma's 100th birthday party!    Before heading back to Tucson the next day we spent a few hours at grandma's house visiting with her.

Nathan started summer school at Casas as soon as we got back on 6/4.  His first session he is taking Archery, Let it Fly, Science Olympics and Lego Mania.  He goes 8-2:15.  It is ironic that there are 2 other Nathan's in his archery class!  He said there are 3 girls with the same first name, too.     

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Rough year

It continues to be a rough start to the year for us.  My right arm and shoulder have been hurting for months.  I really need to get it checked it out.  It is worse at night when I am trying to sleep.  I have not had a decent night's sleep since this pain started.  I don't even know how I hurt it.  I think it may have been when I was trying to use small hand weights. 

On February 7th, I went to Tohono Chul Park.

Paul and Nathan went to the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show on February 10th.

Bella celebrated her 10th birthday on February 11th.  Both dogs seem to be doing pretty well for their age.  Tulla sometimes has small pee accidents in the house.  The vet gave her some medicine for it and that seems to be working.

I went to Reid Park and the Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on Valentine's Day. I bought Paul Krispy Kreme doughnuts even though he should not be eating them because of his diabetes.  Paul bought me flowers (per my request).

Paul and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary by having dinner with Nathan at Vivace.  We were supposed to go to Hawaii for our 15th wedding anniversary, but since we traveled so much last year we decided to save our money.

On February 21st, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.

Finished our taxes on February 25th!  It was such a relief to have them done and we got a refund!

I went to the Desert Museum on February 27th.  I went back to the Desert Museum on March 1st.

On March 6th, Nathan went to the Renaissance Festival for a field trip at school.  At the last minute the bus company backed out so parents had to take the kids there.  Nathan went with his teacher.  He had a good time.  He made a candle and he liked the jousting.  He wanted to get a glow in the dark spider, but he ran out of money.  We were planning to go as a family anyway.

On March 8th, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.

I went to Reid Park Zoo on March 9th.

On March 10th, Paul and Nathan went to the U of A book fest.  The following day they went to NASCAR in Phoenix. I went to the Wildlife World Zoo.

I went to Sweetwater Wetlands on March 12th. 

On March 15th, I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.  That day I picked Nathan up from Taekwondo and he said his stomach was bothering him.  He had been running around playing at Taekwondo so he seemed like he was OK to me.  He ended up throwing up 3-4 times that night.  He had Sbarro pizza for lunch that day at school.  We thought maybe the pizza did it.  We were supposed to go up to Phoenix the following day for spring break.  Nathan was supposed to have a 1/2 day of school, but we had already planned a White Sox vs Cubs spring training game back when we thought that week was spring break (according to the tentative school schedule).  Well, that day Nathan was complaining of bad stomach pain.  We decided to take him to urgent care.  They thought it could be his appendix so they sent us to the emergency room at UA Banner.  We were there all night.  They tried to do a blood test, but could not get blood out of him.  He was crying and screaming in pain when they tried.  They did a urine test and an ultrasound.  The urine test came back fine and they could not see the appendix on the ultrasound which probably meant it was fine.  They sent us home with a prescription for nausea.  On St Patrick's Day we decided to stay home and monitor Nathan.  He seemed to be doing better so the next day he and Paul went to Phoenix to go to a Angels vs Texas Rangers spring training game.   I stayed home and went to church.  We missed out on seeing the Blue Angels perform in Phoenix.  Paul and Nathan stayed in Phoenix that night and planned to go to another spring training game the next day.  They got to the ballpark and they would not let them in with the sunscreen they had just bought.  Paul was mad so they just left.  They went to the train park that day and picked us up some Portillo's before heading home. 

I went to the Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on March 18th.  I went back there on March 22nd and to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

I took Nathan to the neurologist on March 21st.  He examined him and determined that he had some muscle weakness in both legs.  He ordered some blood tests for Nathan and said to see him again in 6 months.  The hip x-ray that his pediatrician ordered came back normal.  We tried to do the blood tests right after his neurology appointment, but once again they could not get blood out of him.  He got all worked up before the guy even got a needle in him.  Then his veins were moving all around.  He said we could come back to him the next day or go somewhere else to have the blood test done.  Paul decided to take him to Sonora Quest in the same building as his pediatrician.  They were the only ones who were able to successfully get blood out of him in the past.  They went on Friday, March 23rd. Nathan had to sit on Paul's lap while Paul held his arm down.  They were able to get blood out him this time.  The tests came back normal.  However, one of the tests they were not able to run (not enough blood?) so he has to go back.  I went to Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens that day.  After Nathan's blood test, we met for lunch at Oregano's.  They went to the Roadhouse Cinema afterward to see Pacific Rim Uprising.   I went to Fry's to get us tickets for the Renaissance Festival.

We went to the Renaissance Festival the next day, March 24th.  After that we went to see the Elvis Church in Apache Junction by the Superstition Mountains.  I got a few snapshots, but they closed shortly after we got there.  We will have to go back to explore the rest and go to the gift shop.

Nathan went to see the Easter Bunny on March 25th.   

I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens on March 26th.  Nathan was having stomach pains again and the school nurse ended up calling me when I was at the gardens.  I went to pick him up from school a couple of hours early that day.  I scheduled an appointment with his pediatrician for the next day after school.  His pediatrician thinks his stomach pain is caused by poor diet.  Too many carbs and dairy and not enough veggies, fruit and fiber.  She could tell that he was constipated.  She wanted him to take Miralax and do a stool test.  I turned in the stool samples to Sonora Quest yesterday, March 30th.

On March 28th, Nathan had his honors assembly after school.  He made honor roll the 3rd quarter.  I went to Tohono Chul Park afterward.

The next day I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.

Yesterday, I went to Reid Park Zoo and Bach's Cactus Nursery.

Today Nathan is supposed to get his blood test done and color Easter eggs.  Tomorrow is Easter (and April Fools).  We plan to go to church.  I bought myself some honeybaked ham.  I hope to make mashed potatoes and deviled eggs today.  Maybe carrot cake, too.     

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tax time!

I turned 43 on 1/2.  It was a rather uneventful birthday.  Paul went back to work and I was home with Nathan.

The year started out rough for me.  My birthday was pretty depressing.  Then I had computer problems.  We had to basically wipe my computer clean and reload everything.  Luckily, it is working again, but it still seems to have some issues.  I think there is not enough memory to handle all of the pictures and graphics.  Also, if I have my computer on all day I find that it has trouble shutting down so it restarts.  To make matters worse, my Fitbit broke.  Like many people, one of my New Year's resolutions was to get healthier.  That was rather hard to do when my step calculator broke on me.  I got Fitbit to send a new one for free, but I was without a Fitbit for a couple of weeks.  Now it is tax time.  Oh how I hate doing our taxes!

I went to Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens on 1/6.

Nathan had his annual vision appointment on 1/9.  The optometrist said he is getting slightly nearsighted as more and more kids are due to screen usage, in this case computer games for Nathan.  As a preventative measure to slow down the nearsightedness, they are prescribing kid's bifocals.  So Nathan now has a new pair of glasses.  He was told to wear them at home for a couple of weeks and then start wearing them to school.  We are hesitant about him wearing them to school because we are afraid they are going to get broke or lost.  We know how careless and irresponsible Nathan can be sometimes as many kids are at his age.  He is anxious to bring them to school, though.  He loves his new glasses.  He picked out the frames.  They were a little more expensive, but I wanted him to like them or he would not want to wear them.  They are from Nike with yellow and black stripes.

On Martin Luther King Day, 1/15, we went to Saguaro National Park since National Parks were free that day.  We did some light hiking and had a good time.  It was our first time exploring the park there.  I would like to go back in the Spring.

Nathan had his honors assembly on 1/15 where he got awarded for making honor roll the second quarter.  After that I went to Sweetwater Wetlands.

Nathan had his wellness visit with his pediatrician on 1/22.  He weighs 55 lbs which is only in the 40th percentile.  He is 50.8 in tall which is in the 53rd percentile.  He brought up how he has been having problems with his left leg.  He says that when he is standing in line at school after lunch to go back inside that his leg sometimes gives out and he falls.  It has been happening for a couple of months.  She examined his legs and determined he had abnormal reflexes and had trouble squatting.  We did a blood test and the results showed his thyroid was fine, his muscle enzymes or something like that was fine, but that his vitamin D level was very low.  She does not think that is the cause of his leg problem, but he is now on a vitamin D supplement.  We went back yesterday for a follow up.  He told her that he had one more incident with his leg since seeing her a couple of weeks ago.  His reflexes were once again abnormal, but he did a little better with his squats.  I mentioned that he does not get his legs up when he is kicking at Taekwondo.  He did fine with his kicks in front of her so maybe he is just being lazy at Taekwondo.  I also mentioned that he used to love running and was pretty good at it, but that now he does not like running as much because he gets tired.  She decided to get an x-ray of his left hip.  We did that right after seeing her so we are awaiting the results.  She also wants him to see a neurologist.  She said there is a rare condition with the tip of the spine being tethered.  They can do a x-ray/mri of the spine, but he would have to be perfectly still so for kids they usually have to knock them out first.  So that test is a last resort, but she wants to see what a neurologist says.  I have never seen what Nathan has described, but I just thought it had to do with his growth because he also gets growing pains in his legs at night sometimes, just like I did when I was a kid.  His pediatrician thinks it could be something more, though.  It could be nothing, but she wants to make sure.  She says she does not think it is diet related or due to his Taekwondo.

I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on 1/25.

I went to Reid Park to see the ducks, Reid Park Zoo and back to the Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on 1/30.

On 2/1, I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens to see the Planters mobile!  Everybody says I am a nut!  That day, Nathan also tested for his yellow belt in Taekwondo.

Things have been so busy lately.  The holidays are the busiest.  Then I had to put all of the Christmas stuff back away.  It seems like I have been going back and forth to doctor appointments for myself and for Nathan.  I went to the gynecologist the end of last year and she wanted to see me back in 3 months.  Nathan had his vision appointment and we had to go back to get his glasses.  We will have to go back in 3 months to see how he is doing with his glasses.  Then he had his pediatrician appointment, got his blood tested, went back to see her a couple of weeks later, got the x-ray of his hip and now we have to see the neurologist.  Next week Nathan has his 6 month dentist appointment.  Parent-teacher conferences are that week, too, starting on Valentine's Day.  The following week I go for my 6 month dentist appointment.  Our 15th anniversary is on 2/17.  The dogs go on the 18th for their 6 month check up and teeth cleaning.  I hope things slow down once we get through all of this and get the taxes done!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

The older you get, the faster time goes.  Hard to believe another year is gone.  As usual, we celebrated New Years just the 3 of us.  We played some Uno and then watched the ball drop in NYC on tv at 10:00 our time.

My New Years Resolutions are pretty much the same this year because, unfortunately, I don't seem to accomplish them the previous year!
1) Lose weight.  I need to lose 30-40 lbs.  Cook more at home.  Try new recipes.  Walk 5k-10k steps/day.  Do the elliptical every day.  Walk Tulla when it is nice out.  Drink less Starbucks.  Drink more water.  Eat only one piece of chocolate/day.
2) Start scrapbooking.  Scan/take photos of momentos.  Scan great-grandparents' birth certificates.  Start with Nathan's baby book.
3)  Work on clutter.  Go through papers in office.  Get bookshelves for scrapbook room and organize that room, including going through the travel papers.  Get quilt made from Nathan's baby clothes.  Get custom bookcase in Nathan's room.
4) Clean e-mail
5) Spend more time with Nathan
6) Go to Chicago for GG's 100th birthday
7) Find a new doctor.  Get a skin cancer test.  Go to a vein specialist for my leg.  Get shoulder checked out.  Improve cholesterol and triglycerides.
8)  Go through pictures.  Sell pictures.  Get pictures on walls.
9) Get new furniture.  Patio set, kitchen set, entertainment center and coffee table.  Refurbish hope chest from great-grandparents.  Epoxy garage floor.
10) teach Nathan to swim, ride bike and tie shoes.
11) Give personalized Christmas gifts next year.  Photo books?  Get an outdoor nativity.
12) volunteer
13) Spend less time on computer.  This is a tricky one, though, if I am going to be working on pictures and e-mail.
14) Read the Bible & pray every day
15)  Relax more!
16) Do not complain on Facebook
17) Go to bed by 10
There are a lot more, but I know that most of these I have mentioned already probably will not get done.  They say if you write them down you have a better chance, though.

So grandma and grandpa came 12/5-12/12.  We went to Dave & Busters on Saturday, 12/9 for Nathan's birthday party.  We got pictures taken at J C Penney on 12/10.  The ones of Nathan came out great.  He wore a new cowboy hat that grandpa bought him while they were in town.

Nathan read the Night Before My Birthday Book on 12/14.  At the end it asks what dreams came true this year.  He said getting a cowboy hat (fresh in his mind).  He could not think of anything else.  I mentioned going to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and he wanted me to put that down.  He did not like my suggestion of going to Vegas for the Monster Jam World Finals or any of our other trips.  I think going to Vancouver would be on his list since it was his first time going out of the country.  I also mentioned grandma and grandpa coming to celebrate an early birthday and Christmas with him.

Nathan turned 8 on 12/15!  I surprised him by having his bedroom decorated in Star Wars when he got home from school.  He knew we were redoing his room, but he did not know that it would be done that day!  Grandma, Grandpa, mom and dad all chipped in to make it happen.  That night we went to Peter Piper Pizza for dinner.

On 12/16 we went to the movies to see Ferdinand and Star Wars the Last Jedi.

Nathan's 8th Bday Questionnaire:
favorite color - green (& yellow)
favorite toy - white jet w/flames & ultimate garage
favorite show/movie - Terminator & Star Wars
favorite thing to eat for lunch - Grandma's grilled cheese
favorite thing to wear - Harley Davidson shirt w/lightning & Star Wars shirt
favorite game - soccer
favorite snack - Oreos
favorite animal - cat
favorite song - Air Drums
favorite book - Battle Bugs
best friend - Jade
favorite cereal - Lucky Charms
favorite thing to do outside/place to go - Dave & Busters & Funtastics
favorite drink - lemonade & egg nog
favorite holiday - Christmas & Veteran's Day
What do you like to take to bed with you at night - Slithers the yellow-bellied sea snake (along with a million other stuffed animals)
favorite thing to eat for breakfast - dinosaur egg oatmeal
What do you want for dinner on your birthday - Peter Piper Pizza
what do you want to be when you grow up - soccer player, football player, basketball player, race car driver, truck driver, runner, vet, President (he is going to be a busy man!)
favorite thing to do at school - play at recess, dodge ball at P.E. and art class
food you don't like - sushi
what is something you are good at - Slither I O (computer game), tag, kissing mommy, farting
favorite food - brownie & carrot cake
favorite vegetable - carrot
Ones he added this year!
favorite person in the family - mom, dad the farter, grandma June, crazy grandpa Fred, GG, crazy Bella, Scaredy Tulla, one and only Nina, Aunt Lisa
favorite dog - wiener dog
favorite reptile - snake
favorite bird - parrot & turkey vulture (turkey vulture? Out of so many pretty birds he picks a turkey vulture! He has a turkey vulture stuffed animal coming for Christmas)
favorite pizza topping - pepperoni
He could have added a bunch more to this questionnaire, but I thought we better quit while we are ahead!

On 12/21, I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Reid Park Rose Garden and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens.  Nathan had a half day that day and started his winter break.  Nathan finished the 2nd quarter on honor roll.  93.8 in History/Geography, 86.1 in Reading, 100 in Recitation (demonstrates respect and consideration of others), M for Art, M for P.E., M for Music, 88.9 for Science, 94.0 for Math (uses class time constructively), M for Spanish and 93.4 for English.

I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden and the zoo on 12/23.

Christmas Eve we went to church.  Santa came that night and left a lot of gifts for Nathan!  Christmas Day we stayed home and Nathan played with all of his new toys (legos, cars, dvds, soccer ball, star wars slippers, Toys R Us and Dave & Busters gift cards, etc...).  One of his favorite gifts was a turkey vulture stuffed animal!  During his birthday interview he revealed that the parrot and turkey vulture are his favorite birds.  I got Paul tie racks and a mouse pad with Nathan's picture on it.  He got my car cleaned inside and out a couple of days prior and bought me new windshield wipers!  We told each other we would not get the other gifts this year since funds were running low.  Nathan made us a nice card with a $1 bill in it!  I bought honey baked ham for myself, but other than that we did not have a big meal.  Paul ended up cooking food out on the grill.

We went to the Phoenix Zoo on 12/28.  It was crowded.  I think the best attraction was watching a baby orangutan with its parent.  We returned to Phoenix the next day.  Paul and Nathan went to Legoland and Rainforest Cafe in Tempe.  I went to Butterfly Wonderland and Odysea Aquarium.  Aquariums are very challenging when it comes to photography.  Most of my pictures did not turn out, but they had a few cool exhibits like the big tank full of clownfish and another of just lionfish.  I did not think it was worth buying a membership, though.  I may go back to try and get better pictures, but overall I was a little disappointed.

New Years Eve we played Uno for awhile until we watched the ball drop in NYC on TV at 10:00 our time.  We were all in bed before midnight.

Today is a new year.  Paul took Nathan to work for awhile and then they are going to Dave & Busters to use some of his gift cards.  He got one from us for Christmas and he got some from Aunt Lisa and Aunt Tracy.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hard to believe the holidays are here already and the year is almost over!

We sold our Grand Prix to Carmax for $700.  We were hoping for more, but given the circumstances (11 years old, over 140k miles, bad transmission, etc...) I guess it is good we got something for it.

We went to the Leman Fall Festival on 10/27

We participated in the Boneyard 5K walk again this year on 10/28.  Paul finished 50:16, Nathan finished 50:26 and I finished 1:04.  I at least was not last!  That night we went to the U of A homecoming football game vs. Washington.  Arizona won!

For Halloween, Nathan was Luke Skywalker, Paul was Darth Vader, Bella was Chewbacca and Tulla was Princess Leia.  That day I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden and the zoo.

We went to the Cops and Rodders car show on 11/4.  At the car show, Nathan participated in his first pinewood derby.  He made it to one of the final rounds.

On 11/6, Nathan went on a school field trip to Colossal Cave field trip

I went to the Desert Museum on 11/7.

Tulla turned 11 on 11/9.  She is doing pretty good for her age, but she is starting to have issues controlling her bladder.

Paul and Nathan went to a NASCAR race on 11/12 while I went to the Wildlife World Zoo.

I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden and the zoo on 11/20.

I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Reid Park Rose Garden and the Desert Museum on 11/21.

We celebrated Thanksgiving just the 3 of us at home on 11/23.  I made a traditional turkey meal for myself, but the boys had shrimp.  We are such an unconventional family.

Paul and Nathan went to see Thor on 11/24

We went to see Santa in the mall on 11/26 after church.  I noticed later that Paul and I wore the exact same clothes for our picture with Santa back in 2013!

I went to the Reid Park Zoo on 11/28.

I went to the Desert Museum on 11/30.

I went to Reid Park Zoo and the Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on 12/1.

Nathan attended a class at Home Depot on 12/2 to build a wooden gingerbread house.  Later that day he attended a birthday party at Toys R Us.

Tomorrow, Grandma June and Grandpa Fred are coming to visit us.  They will be here until 12/12.  We plan to celebrate Nathan's 8th birthday with them this weekend.  His theme this year is construction trucks.  We are doing family pictures at JC Penney on Sunday, 12/10.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Is it Fall?

The end of October and it has still been in the 90s!  Luckily, we were able to escape the heat for awhile and see the Fall colors in New England.

On 8/29/17 I went to Tohono Chul Park, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun and the Pima County Cooperative Extension Garden

On 8/30 I went to Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens

I went to Sweetwater Wetlands on 9/5

On 9/7 I went to Tohono Chul Park, DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun and Tucson Botanical Gardens

Paul and Nathan went to see Lego Ninjago on 9/24

I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens, the Reid Park Rose Garden and the Pima County Cooperative Extension Garden on 9/25

Nathan took his school picture on 9/28.  He also got the 3rd stripe on his white belt in Taekwondo.

Christopher Carson and Janay got married on 9/30

On 10/3 I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens and the Pima County Cooperative Extension Garden

Nathan tested for his orange belt in Taekwondo on 10/5

We went to New England during Nathan's Fall Break 10/6-10/14.  We flew into Newark, NJ on 10/6.  We went to NYC on Saturday, 10/7.  It was hot and humid that day, but we took the Big Bus to the Empire State Building, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, the Statue of Liberty and Times Square.  Paul and I had been to NYC before, but this was Nathan's first time.  He was excited to see the Statue of Liberty.  We took the cruise to it, but the tickets  were sold our to go up inside.  The next day we drove though New York and went to Kaaterskill Falls.  We hiked down to the bottom of the falls.  It was a difficult hike for me who is not an experienced hiker.  There was little water coming down, but it was still pretty.  On Monday, we saw the Eerie Canal and then drove through Vermont.  We stopped at a few covered bridges.  The Fall colors were amazing, but the it was foggy and rainy that day.  The next day we went to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory.  Nathan really enjoyed the Vermont Teddy Bear Company.  He made his own Vermont Teddy Bear with a soccer outfit and he and I came up with the name Honey since it is a Honey Bear.  On Wednesday, 10/11, we took a ride on the Mount Washington Cog Railway in New Hampshire.  It gave us great views of the colorful trees and we could even see part of the Atlantic Ocean at the top of the mountain.  At the top it was very cold and windy.  The coldest and windiest readings in the world have been recorded on Mount Washington.  I could not even tolerate standing out there to get a family picture so I went inside the building to warm up and take pictures from the windows.  And it is not even winter yet!  After the cog railway, we went to the Main Wildlife Park.  We were a little disappointed in it, but they are basically a bunch of rescued animals which is a good thing.  The only live moose we saw on our trip was here at this wildlife park.  The enclosures were very camera unfriendly so I did not get many decent pictures of the moose or other animals there.  On Thursday, we went to Acadia National Park.  We saw only a small portion of the park due to time restraints.  The park is very beautiful with wonderful views of the Atlantic Ocean.  However, I did not find it very photogenic because it was mostly open water without too many other interesting elements to add to the shots.  We did not have time to hike or explore the park much outside of the car so maybe we would have better picture taking opportunities if we did so.  We did see the Bass Harbor Lighthouse there.  Again, it was hard to get pictures of it.  It is pretty much right in your face if you approach it from the park.  I think better pictures could be taken from a distance in the ocean.  They offer lighthouse cruises in Maine where you can see numerous lighthouses in one trip.  I would like to do that the next time I go.  I would also like to see the puffins on Egg Rock Island.  They breed during the spring and summer and there are tour boats that take you close to see them.  On our last day we went to Trailside Zoo on Bear Mountain in New York.  It was another disappointing zoo, but again the animals are mostly rescues.  The people in New England told us that they had a heat wave a couple of weeks ago which delayed the Fall colors.  Then they had some rain which we ran into a couple of days that we were there which really set the Fall colors in motion.  So some areas were exploding in color while others were just getting started.  While the scenery was beautiful, I took a lot of shots from the car and others during the fog and rain.  Thus, many did not come out well.  Hopefully, there are a few good ones in the mix.  We already decided that we would like to go back some time, maybe during the summer.  This was our first time in New Hampshire and Vermont.  It was my first time in Maine, too.  I loved it all, but I loved the color and country atmosphere of Vermont.  I loved being by the ocean, too, though.  There was just so much to see and not enough time as usual.  I always feel rushed to take my pictures so I hope that we can go back soon.

Nathan made honor roll for the 1st quarter.  He got a couple of Bs this quarter, but his grades were high enough to average 93.8%.  The awards assembly will be 10/24.

Nathan got his new orange belt in Taekwondo on 10/18

We went to the U of A red blue game on 10/20.  Shaquille O'Neal was there.

My Grand Prix was close to overheating on 10/20.  I took it to Pep Boys and they had to replace the thermostat and water pump that were leaking.  They told me the transmission was really bad and that the car probably needed new rotors because the brakes were vibrating.  The mechanic suggested that we sell the car as soon as possible before the transmission falls out.

We bought a new 2018 red Ford Fusion Hybrid today!  Paul will start driving the new car and I will drive our 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid!  We are going to try to sell the Grand Prix tomorrow at Carmax.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Paul and Nathan went to see the Transformers movie on 7/15.

Nathan lost his 7th tooth when he was at summer school at Casas Christian School on 7/18.

Nathan missed the last 3 days of summer school (7/19-7/21) because he got an infection on his ear. Then he also got the cysts back on his head.  Unfortunately, he had an allergic reaction to the antibiotic which turned out to be Bactrim and I am allergic to it, too.  Nathan got a rash, mostly on his face.

My uncle John Kubis died on 7/20.  He had been sick for a long time and my aunt Brenda had passed away many years prior.

Paul and Nathan went to a Diamondbacks game on 7/23.

We went to the Leman Academy Meet & Greet on 7/31 to meet Nathan's 2nd grade teacher.  This is Mrs. Avenenti's first year at Leman.

Nathan started 2nd grade on 8/2.

We went to Apple Annie's Peach Mania on 8/5.  We picked peaches, had some peach ice cream, ate roasted corn and brought home a lot of fresh veggies and goodies.

We finally got Nathan to sleep in his room!  He came to me one day and said he would make a deal. If I bought him this bed tent he would sleep in his bed.  It worked!  The tent was not expensive at all and he has been sleeping in it every night ALL night long!

I went to Tohono Chul Park, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Pima County Cooperative Extension Gardens on 8/8.

Nathan started Taekwondo on 8/9.  He will have Taekwondo on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  I went to Pima Prickly Park that day.  I went back to Pima Prickly Park on 8/11 and 8/14.

Nathan started Lego Club on 8/15.  Lego Club will meet every Tuesday.  I went to Pima Prickly Park and Bach's Cactus nursery that day.

On 8/17 I went to the Desert Museum and Pima Prickly Park.

We went to a pre-season game between the Cardinals and the Bears on 8/19.  This was Nathan and Dawn's first professional football game.  Nathan and I were rooting for the Cardinals, but honestly I was not too disappointed that the Bears ended up winning by one point.

Nathan lost his 8th tooth at home on 8/20.

I went to Reid Park Zoo, the Reid Park Rose Garden and Pima Prickly Park on 8/21.

Nathan got his first stripe on his Taekwondo white belt on 8/24 for performing 9 different moves.  I went back to the Desert Museum that day.