Monday, December 22, 2014

Almost Christmas!

On Thanksgiving we went to dinner at the Alvirs.  They are kind enough to cook for us every year.

We took Nathan to see Santa at Foothills Mall on 11/29.

We went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra perform in Phoenix on 11/30.  Paul and Nathan did not enjoy it much, but I did.

Paul and Nathan went to the Sonic Rush Tour to see Mater on 12/6.

Paul had to go to Chicago for work 12/8-12/10.  Of course whenever he leaves town something goes wrong here.  I tried to take Nathan to Zoo Lights on 12/10.  I fainted when we were standing in line. Luckily, there was a police officer there with his family.  He helped me and offered to wheel me around the zoo with his family so Nathan could still see the lights.

On 12/13, Paul went to the U of A vs Michigan basketball game.  He could not get three seats together so he went by himself.  U of A won.

The net day was Nathan's birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza.  Only 4 kids came from class...all girls. Emily, Eirene, Jade and Sadie.  I think they all had fun, though.  The theme was Disney Planes Fire & Rescue.

Nathan had school on his birthday, 12/15.  I brought cupcakes for his class.  That night he wanted to go to Oregano's for dinner.

The next day was his Christmas program at school.  "Look at all of the decorations!".

Nathan's Christmas party at school was on 12/17.  I went to help out.  The class made gingerbread houses.  I had never made a gingerbread house before so the one I helped Nathan make did not turn out that well.

We went on a mule/donkey hayride by River Rd to see Christmas lights on 12/19.

We went to play in the snow on Mt Lemmon on 12/20.  That was the first time we ever went up there when there was snow.  That night we went to see the Christmas lights in Winterhaven.  They had some pretty cool houses this year: A Christmas Vacation House, a Polar Express train that blew smoke, a fountain display, A Disney Frozen display with a snow machine, etc....

We went to Sabino Canyon to see the last of the Fall colors on 12/21.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

San Diego

So we just got back from our San Diego Trip.

11/15 We got there in the late afternoon and we all spent the evening on Coronado Island.

11/16  We went to Children's Beach in La Jolla, went to the San Diego Botanical Gardens and went to Oceanside Pier.

11/17 My mom and I went to San Diego Zoo while the boys went to the museums (air and space, auto, natural history).  That evening we went to Seaport Village.

11/18 I took pictures of the flowers in Balboa Park while the rest of the gang went to the Miniature Railroad Museum.  Then we went over to Coronado.  Paul and Nathan played on the beach while my parents and I ate lunch at Hotel Del Coronado.  Then we drove to see the Point Loma Lighthouse before it closed.

11/19  The boys went to the USS Midway Museum while my mom and I went to Seaport Village.  Then we took a harbor cruise.  We ate dinner at Kansas City BBQ where they shot scenes from Top Gun.

11/20 was my mom's 60th birthday.  We took my parents to LA.  We first stopped in Hollywood.  Then we drove to Rodeo Drive.  We ate dinner on Santa Monica Pier.

11/21 We let Nathan play at the beach on Coronado before we headed home.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The holidays are here!

9/29/14 I went to Reid Park Zoo.

10/1/14 I went to Tohono Chul Park and Tucson Botanical Gardens.  It was the first day of the butterfly exhibit at the gardens.

10//2/14 I took Nathan to the Children's Museum.

10/4/14 we took Nathan to Arthur Pack Park.  This was the first time I got to see him ride his big boy bike.

10/10/14 Nathan took his school pics.  Very disappointed in them.  I did end up ordering some, though.

10/11/14 I did a Worldwide Photo Walk at the Desert Museum.  That evening we went to a U of A football game vs USC.  We lost :(

10/12/14 we went to Apple Annie's to pick our pumpkins.

10/18/14  Got food poisoning.  I think it was from Athens the night before.  Paul brought me home food.  Soup, salad and potatoes.  It was either that or one of the tomatoes I ate earlier in the day.  I saw some of them were starting to mold.

10/21/14 I took Nathan up to Mt Lemmon to see Fall colors.  Unfortunately, the ski lift and restaurant were closed and I could not find the Bear Wallow trail that supposedly had a lot of Fall colors.

10/22/14 Nathan had a party at school.  The kids were to dress up as religious characters or nursery rhyme characters.  Paul ended up making him a shepherd costume.

10/23/14 Nathan and I went to Reid Park Zoo.  We got to see the new baby flamingo!  Tucson News Now shared one of my Mt Lemmon pictures on their Facebook page!

10/24/14 Matt Brode from News 4 shared one of my Mt Lemmon pictures on his Facebook page!

10/25/14 We all went back up to Mt Lemmon.  We found the Bear Wallow trail!  It was beautiful.  I just love Fall colors!  That night Paul and Nathan finished Nathan's patriotic pumpkin.  Arizona Highways shared one of my pictures on their Friday Photos!

10/26/14  We took the side rail off Nathan's bed.  I went in that night and saw that he did roll out of bed.  Daddy had put a bunch of cushion there, though, for him to fall onto.  We really need to get him big boy furniture!

10/29/14 We went to our first Phoenix Suns game.  It was the season opener against the Lakers.  Suns won!

On Halloween, I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens during the day.  That night we took Nathan trick or treating and then he helped us hand out candy.  This year he wanted to be a train engineer.  The dogs were both wonder woman!

11/1/14 I went to Reid Park Zoo to see the animals being fed pumpkins.  Then I met the boys on the other side of the park for the Cops & Rodders show.  That night we went to Tempe for our first ASU football game.  They won against Utah in overtime!

11/8/14 I went to Wildlife World Zoo while the boys went to a NASCAR race.  I was not feeling that well that day.  I had a lot of body pain that I had off and on for a week.  We were to stay in the Phoenix that night so we could all go back to the races on Sunday.  We stayed at Victory Inn and it was infested with roaches!  I tried to stay there, but when I woke up at 1 and saw them crawling on the walls and ceiling outside of the bathroom I could not take it.  We checked out and tried to find another hotel.  Unfortunately, all of them were booked because of the races.  We gave up around 2 and drove home.  The boys drove back on Sunday to go the race.   I stayed home since I was still not feeling well.  We found out that stupid hotel would not give us a refund, too!  I also got bit by an ant at the zoo Saturday and by Monday it was itchy, red and swollen.  Tomorrow I think I am going to go to the doctor to get it checked out.

11/9/14 Tulla turned 8!  Unfortunately, she spent her birthday at the dog boarders :(

I found out that I won an honorable mention on the Arizona Game and Fish calender for my prairie dog picture!

So our nightly routine is to go in Nathan's room and say our prayer.  Dad sits in the rocking chair and I sit on the floor.  The dogs usually come in, too.  Nathan lays in my lap.  We say prayer and dad leaves.  Then Nathan tells me that he is going to sleep on me forever and not let me up.  Seriously, I try to leave and he grabs my leg.  I love snuggling with him and it is so hard to leave him!

Saturday we leave to go to San Diego for a week!  The timing makes it rough being so busy during the holidays, but we are celebrating my 40th birthday and my mom's 60th birthday.



Sunday, September 28, 2014

Come on Fall!

I joined Pixoto on 7/27 and I have been obsessed with it ever since.  I have won numerous awards....but no money :(

I went to Sweetwater Wetlands on 7/28 to see the baby coots I had been hearing about.  I had never seen babies before so that was kind of cool.

Nathan has been so cute lately.  He has been giving me long kisses an hugs, particularly hugs.  When he is done giving me a long hug he says "That is how much I love you".

I took Nathan to the zoo on 7/31.  We got to see the new capybara.  They now have a female and male and it was really cute seeing them together.

7/31 was meet the teacher night at Nathan's school.  He had been in Mrs. Robbins class several times last year when Ms. Monica was not there.  I like her.  The bad thing is that she is also student teaching this year.  She was there the first few weeks and then she started student teaching.  She is supposed to be back the middle/end of October.  The teacher teaching in his place was good, but then she took a position elsewhere.  So Nathan is on his third teacher this year.  Mrs. Amy Wilson is good and always did the break times for his past teachers so he is familiar with her, too.  I just hate the inconsistency.  I will be glad when Mrs. Robbins is back.  He started off the year so good with her. Then he started telling me that some of the boys in the class were not being nice to him and not sharing.  I talked to the teacher about it (the one who ended up leaving) and she said she would pay closer attention to it.  Later that day she agreed that he was being nice to them, but they were not being as nice back so she talked to the class about sharing and about everyone being friends.  She said the day got better after that.  Unfortunately, that is the last day I saw her because she left and they switched teachers again.  The next day Nathan was in school he had a hard time at nap time, keeping the other kids up, so he had to be sent to the office.  We talked about the change in teachers and we told Nathan that he had to be good at nap time even if he was not tired.  He had a much better day the next time.  Meanwhile, I have already started the application process for Kindergarten next year at Sonoran Science Academy.  The application was lengthy, but I submitted it.  Now we wait. Not everyone gets accepted.  I almost wish that he was staying at Casas because he is used to it there and it is a Christian school.  He talks about God all of the time and some of that is because of that school.  However, Paul wants him to have the best education.  Sonoran Science Academy is supposed to be a great school and it goes all the way up to 12th grade.

Nathan's first day of school was 8/4.  It seems like they start earlier and earlier each year.  He picked out what he wanted to wear which ended up being his hot air balloon shirt from Albuquerque.  He had a great first day.  While Nathan was in school, I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden and Tucson Botanical Gardens.

On 8/7, I saw that one of my capybara photos was photo of the week on the Reid Park Zoo website. Also that day I asked my son if I could play this little piggy on his feet.  He said I could only do this little piggy if I play cars with him.

8/15:  My son is such a sweetie.  He gives me the longest hugs.  He says mommy this hug is going to last all the way until tomorrow.  He crawls in my lap (as big as he is)!), puts his head on my shoulder and just stays there for the longest time.  I don't want him to grow up!

Nathan was playing with his mega blocks before school on 8/18.  I ask him if I could kiss him all over.  He says, no mommy I need my space.  So then he says, when I am playing with my toys I need my space, but when I am done you can kiss me all over.  Of course at the end he said that I could play blocks with him if I wanted to.  Kids say the cutest things.

8/20, Nathan came home with the cutest book he made at school. One page said my name is and he had to write his name.  Another one said I want to be when I grow up and he said a fireman so he drew a fire truck (although he told me that he wanted to be a lot of things, but they would not let him finish), one page had his handprint, one page had his favorite color red, etc...  Then he had a page where he had to draw his family.  He drew me, daddy, himself and grandpa.  He said he ran out of room to draw grandma, but that we were on an airplane to go see her.  Grandpa had no hair in his drawing!

Nathan and I went to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun on 8/21 because the monsoons produced a bunch more cactus flowers.  Saw some beautiful peach ones!  Later that day Nathan and I made pumpkin cupcakes!

On 8/25, I went to the Sweetwater Wetlands to see the "baby"coots again and then I went to the Desert Museum.

The following day I took Nathan to the Children's Museum.  They changed some things around in there and Nathan had a blast.

On 8/26 someone told me on one of my Facebook groups that she wanted to paint one of my pictures.  I said sure and that I would like to see it when it is done.  I have not heard anything since, though.

Bella and Tulla went to the vet on 8/30 for their 6 month check up.  All is well.  Bella lost a couple of pounds, but she needs to lose a little more.  Tulla lost quite a bit of weight so we are actually feeding her more now.  Tulla is still itching like crazy.  The vet prescribed an antihistamine, but it did not really help her.  She is still itching so I am hoping that it stops if the weather will ever cool down.

On 8/30, I told my son I love his feet.  He said to say goodbye to his feet because they are leaving!

Paul went to work for awhile on Labor Day, 9/1.  Doesn't he realize that is one of the days of the year when you are not supposed to work?!

I took Nathan to the zoo again on 9/2.  Later that day he thanked me for everything under the sun...buying him clothes, buying him toys, taking him to the zoo, doing his laundry, buying him food, etc.... and then he kept telling me how much he loved me.  I said I don't know why you love mommy so much, but I am glad you do.  He said I love you so much because I really like you.

Nathan was  being really sweet again on 9/4.  I wrote down some of the things he told me.  He still keeps thanking me for everything.  He said, "You are the best one on earth I ever saw", "I love you more than all of the people out there" and "I will love you forever" among others.

On 9/5, I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden and to Prickly Park.

On 9/6, we all went to the Desert Museum.

9/9 was National Teddy Bear day so I made Nathan take some pictures with his teddy bear!

Debbie Madl came out to visit on 9/10.  The next day we took her to Sedona.  We ate at the Open Range when we got there.  The next day we went to Cathedral Rock and then we went over to Chapel of the Holy Cross as well as Bell Rock.  We went to Slide Rock Park, but they had the swimming area closed due to the recent fires.  They opened it up again shortly after we left Sedona :(.  We drove a little up toward Flagstaff, but saw that they still had the West Fork hiking trail closed so we drove a little further up and then decided to come back.

The following day we went hiking.  We started at Boynton and then decided to do Devil's Bridge. We did not know what we were getting ourselves into at Devil's Bridge.  The trail was a lot longer and harder than we thought.  The views at the bridge were amazing, though.  We all went swimming back at the hotel that night.

On 9/14, we went up to Bearizona.  We got to see some wildflowers along the way.  From there we headed back to Tucson.  The following day Debbie went back home.  I was disappointed that there were not more Fall colors for her to see in Sedona.  It is so beautiful in the Fall.

On 9/17, Nathan had another good quote "God is a good boy!".  I was also told that day by someone that he thought I was 25.  Not bad for a woman getting ready to turn 40!

Nathan and I watched the Muppet Movie on 9/19.  I had not seen it in years and Nathan had never seen it.  I don't think he was very impressed, but he did like Kermit.

9/20 was Paul's 44th birthday.  He did not want to do much that day.  I ordered him tropical flowers, including his favorite bird of paradise.  I got him ho-hos and a new pair of shoes.  We went to eat at our favorite place, Athens.

My son gave me 50 kisses on 9/20!

I went to the zoo on 9/22 to see the new baby elephant.  She was out with her mom and brother Sudzu.  Later that day I asked Nathan if I could get his feet (yes, I am obsessed) and he said no, but you can kiss me all over!  I don't think Nathan has ever seen the movie We Bought a Zoo.  However, I think he wants to live Matt Damon's life in that movie.  He keeps telling me that when he gets older he is going to have a zoo and he is going to have a house to live in inside the zoo (actually he has changed it to a hotel).

9/25:  My son told me that he will always love me to heaven and back.  I said I hope so.  He said I am sure I will!

9/26:  Our family has Flintstone vitamins every night.  Whenever Nathan gets the Fred Flintstone one he keeps calling it Tombstone.  Only a kid who lives in southern AZ!

We went up to the Phoenix area yesterday, 9/27.  I went to Butterfly Wonderland while Paul and Nathan went to McMormick-Stillman Railroad Park.  We went to Portillos for lunch.  Then we battled the thunderstorm over to Chase Field.  It was pretty scary because it was hard to even see on the highway.  We saw the Diamondbacks play the Cardinals.  Diamondbacks won.  When we left it was pouring.  We waited in the parking garage for awhile and we decided to venture out the rain was not as bad.

Yesterday was such a long day so today we decided to stay home from church.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Summer heat!

4th of July we stayed home.  We cooked out and Nathan swam in his pool.  In the evening we made smores outside and watched the fireworks from our balcony.

The next day we tried to go to Sabino Canyon, but there was no water flowing.  So we took Nathan to the splash pad.  Then I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden for awhile.

On 7/10, I went to Tohono Chul Park for their Queen of the Night event.  I went back the next day to see if some of the cactus flowers had opened.  I also went over to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun to see some of their cactus flowers. I repeated that the next day!

We went to Peach Mania at Apple Annie's in Willcox on 7/19.  We ate their peach pancake breakfast and had the peach ice cream.  We picked peaches and veggies.

Donnie and his family stayed last night.  We took them to Tombstone today.

Monday, June 30, 2014


We rented a Toyota Prius Hybrid and drove that baby over 6000 miles across America.  

We started our vacation on 6/11 and our first stop was Lake Havasu City to see the London Bridge.  We ate lunch there and then drove to Hoover Dam.  From there we went to Las Vegas and stayed the night.  We stayed at Excalibur which Nathan loved because it looks like a big castle.  We went for a gondola ride at the Venetian, ate dinner at the Harley Davidson Cafe and we saw the fountain at Bellagio.  

The next day we headed to Utah Olympic Park in Park City where Paul rode the bobsled and we all did the alpine slide.  Driving to Idaho that day we got in a horrible dust storm.  We saw a bunch of tumbleweed flying in the road and a little drizzle and then out of nowhere the dust hit and we could not see a thing.  We quickly got to the side of the road along with other cars and trucks and it was a miracle that none of us hit each other.  That night we stopped at the Idaho Potato Museum, but they were closed.  We just took pictures in front of it.  That night we got the Presidential suite in Idaho Falls so that I could soak in the whirlpool tub.  They gave us a discount on the room, but even though we still paid a pretty penny for it, it was worth it because it finally got rid of my bodyaches that I had for days after getting a painful massage.  

On 6/13, we headed to Grand Teton National Park.  We saw a lot of moose which I had never seen in person before, including a baby and one adult that got pretty close to us near a visitor's center.  I really enjoyed the Grand Tetons and the snow capped mountains were just beautiful.  Next we drove to Yellowstone.  One of the first of many animals we saw was a mother and baby elk.  We saw Old Faithful before heading out of the park for the night.  

We returned to Yellowstone the next day.  We saw lots of buffalo, geysers, waterfalls, and wildflowers.  We saw a bear and some crazy people who were getting too close for comfort to take pictures of it.  On the way back to our hotel that night we saw a fox.  I think that is the first time I had ever seen a fox in the wild.  

On 6/15, we started the day at Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center just outside Yellowstone.  From there we headed back to Yellowstone for the day.  

On 6/16, we headed to Devil’s Tower National Monument.  We saw deer, ram and prairie dogs.  We also made a stop at Montana Grizzly Encounter.  During our travels that day we saw pronghorn sheep, too.  That night we stayed in Deadwood, SD.  

The next day we headed to Sturgis stopping at the Harley Shop there.  Then we went to Bear Country USA, a drive thru wildlife park similar to Bearizona in Arizona.  After Bear Country USA, we headed to Mount Rushmore.  After Mount Rushmore, we drove through the Badlands.  That night we drove through a horrible thunderstorm on the way to Sioux Falls.  It was so scary we had to stop under some bridges to wait it out a bit, but then we decided to go on.  

The next morning we visited the Sioux Falls before heading out of town.  We drove through Iowa stopping at a cave that Paul and Nathan went in.  I opted out because there were 250 stairs and caves do not really thrill me.  We ate dinner at Fried Green Tomatoes in Galena, IL before heading to Rockford for the night.  

The next day we met grandma and grandpa Hoehn at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL.  We ate dinner at Stir Crazy!  We stayed the night in Bolingbrook with Paul’s sister Tracy.  

The next day we visited with Paul’s brother and his family before heading to my grandma’s for the night.  

6/21 we went to Brookfield Zoo and spent the day with Paul’s sister Lisa and her family.  

6/22 we met grandma and grandpa Hoehn in South Haven, MI.  Nathan loved playing at the beach.  That night we drove to Grand Haven to see the lighted musical fountain.  I was excited because I figured out some settings on my camera to actually get decent shots of it.  Usually I am terrible at night shots.  

6/23 we went to Lincoln Park Zoo.  We met grandma and grandpa Hoehn and Carol at Uncle Julio's in Orland Park for dinner.  Paul and I used to eat at the Uncle Julio's in the northern suburbs back when we worked in that area.  This one was just as good!  

6/24 we started our trip back to Tucson.  We stopped at the World’s Largest Truck Stop in Iowa and we got to see the covered bridges in Madison County.   We had lunch in Omaha, Nebraska.    

6/25 we drove to Denver and went to a Rockies/Cardinals game.  We stayed the night in Denver and the next day we went to the Wild Animal Sanctuary and then to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.  

6/27 we went to Garden of the gods and then drove up to Pike’s Peak in Colorado Springs.  Then we went to Colorado Wolf & Wildlife Center hoping to “kiss a wolf”.  The tour was booked and we did not have a lot of time to wait around for the next one.  However, I got to interact with foxes!  Nathan was too young to go in with the foxes so I got to feed them and get close to them.  They took a lot of pictures of me and gave me a photo CD.  It was a very cool experience.  

6/28 we went to Arches National Park.  I did not know what I was getting myself into when we started the hike to Delicate Arch.  It was a strenuous 1.5 mile uphill hike in 90+ temps.  It was depressing to see people heavier and/or older than myself hiking it while I was about to die.  I made it, though, and I stood under the arch.  After Arches National Park we drove through part of the Canyonlands.  It was getting late so we started driving toward Page, AZ.  We stayed the night in Page and did the upper Antelope Canyon tour in the morning.  Then we made the drive home and arrived last night.                      

I did a lot of experimenting with my camera this trip which I have to admit did not work out so well.  Just proves that I really need to learn more about my camera and photography.  I did a class a year or so ago and I was really overwhelmed, but I need to somehow find the time to learn more.  It also would be nice to get new equipment, like a longer lens (my zoom is 300mm).  Still, I took over 3000 shots so I hope that some of them are decent!

So we got to see a lot of animals and wildflowers this trip which exited me.  Nathan got to play in snow and at the beach all in one trip.  This was a very busy vacation so there was no time for relaxing.  I need a vacation from my vacation!  Instead, I have to unpack everything, do a million loads of laundry, get groceries, pay bills, go through mail, check my email and Facebook, go through 3000+ pictures, etc....

Summer is here!

Memorial Day we went up to Mt Lemmon.

5/31 we went to Tucson International Speedway.

On 6/6, I went to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun and Sweetwater Wetlands.

I went to the Desert Museum's Saturday Summer Nights on 6/7.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


On 5/7, I went to the Reid Park Rose Garden, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Columbus Park, Sweetwater Wetllands, and Arthur Pack Park.

I took Nathan to Arthur Pack Park on 5/8.

5/11 was Mother's Day.  It was not a very good one for me and I will leave it at that.

Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum on 5/13.

Nathan had his Pre-K celebration at school on 5/15.  Technically, he did not graduate preschool with the rest of the class.  He got moved up to this class mid-year so he still has another year of preschool.  He successfully completed Ms. Monica's class, though.  They did the pledge of allegiance, sang and danced to songs, including What does a fox say.  It was cute.

Nathan went with daddy to a local car race here in Tucson on 5/17.

On 5/19, I went to Reid Park Zoo, the Reid Park Rose Garden and to Arthur Pack Park.

We went to the first Friday Summer Nights at Reid Park Zoo on 5/23.

Today Paul and Nathan went to a U of A baseball game.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

May already...

I can not believe how fast this year is flying by.  It seem like Christmas was just yesterday.

On 4/22, Nathan and I went to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun to photograph more cactus flowers and to Christopher Columbus Park.  Nathan loved one of the big trees there.  He wanted to climb it.  Not too many climbing trees in Tucson.

The next day I went back to Christopher Columbus Park.  I got to photograph several birds...yes, I have become a birder now!  I saw vermilion flycatcher, night heron, kildeer and a great blue heron nest with two babies!  The nest is pretty far for me so even with my 300mm zoom lens I can only get mediocre pictures of the heron family.  Still, pretty cool to see.

Nathan and I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens on 4/24. Their torch cactus garden was in full bloom and we got to see the butterflies.  That afternoon I let him play at our park in our subdivision, but it was pretty hot by that time so we did not stay long.

Paul and I had a date day on 4/25!  We went to Tohono Chul Park.  We walked around looking at the flowers and we had lunch there.  Then we went over to Christopher Columbus Park.  He was not impressed.  He thought it was dumpy.  I agree, but I like the birds there.  They also have a model airplane spot.

On 4/26 I decided to take the drive by myself to go back to Wildlife World Zoo.  It rained in the morning and it was a little windy, but I am glad I went.  I got a lot of pictures of the baby otters, the baby meerkats and the young white lion.  Afterward, I went to the Gilbert Riparian Reserve.  I heard it is a great place for birding.  I did not see a lot other than a stilt.

We went to the Pima County Fair on 4/27.  Nathan had fun on all of the rides.  I liked the petting zoo.  We also got pictures taken with parrots, a monkey and a seal/sea lion!  Oh, and a picture in a HUGE chair.

I went back to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun on 4/28 to make more pictures of their cactus flowers.

Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum on 4/29.  Their torch cactus garden was in full bloom.  We got to see Cruz, the mountain lion, by the glass.  I saw one young prairie dog, but last year at this time there were a ton of them.  There were a few baby hummingbirds.

On 4/30, I decided to go to Brach's Cactus Nursery.  Karen McCreroy had told me about it.  I picked a good day to go because a lot of their cacti had flowers.  I did not have a lot of time, though, because I had a hair appointment.  I ended up getting out of there late and I got lost so I was almost an hour late to my hair appointment.   She asked me to come back in about an hour so I went over to DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun.  After my hair appointment I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens.  It was the last day of their butterfly exhibit and they had a few more cactus flowers, including the beautiful flying saucer.

I went back to Brach's Cactus Nursery on 5/2.  There were only a few cacti blooming, not nearly as many a couple of days prior.  They said they only get like 3 days a year where there that many flowers.  The cool thing that day is catching a dove on a saguaro flower, though.

Monday, April 21, 2014


On 4/2, I went to the Reid Park Zoo, the Reid Park Rose Garden and the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

On 4/9, I went to the Desert Museum.

On 4/10, I stopped by Nortwest Self Storage and took pictures of their night blooming cacti.  Then I took Nathan to Arthur Pack Park.  They are working on the park, but he was still able to ride his big wheel on the sidewalk.

Took more pictures of the night blooming cacti at Northwest Self Storage on 4/11.  That night we took Nathan to Spring Fling at U of A.  Some of the kiddie rides were too fast for Nathan, but he liked the ones where he got to climb and go down slides.  He also really liked the bumper cars!

We went to the Thunderbirds Air Show on 4/12.  Unfortunately, it was too windy for the Thunderbirds to fly that day.

We went to Tombstone on 4/13 for their Rose Festival.  I wanted to see their rose tree in full bloom.  It was sort of a let down.  But, we took an old time photo of us and Nathan got to shoot a gun with paint pellets.  On the way home, we stopped at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to see the Thunderbirds since they were unable to perform the day before.

On 4/16, I went to Reid Park Zoo, Reid Park Rose Garden, Tucson Botanical Gardens and Fort Lowell Park.  Got to see a vermilion flycatcher at Fort Lowell Park so that was pretty cool.  Unfortunately, I also got a ticket that day for failure to stop for a school bus.  It was on Oracle which is a very busy street, almost like a highway.  I did not expect a school bus to stop on that street and it was in the far right lane while I was in the far left lane getting ready to turn on a side road.  I did not see it in time to stop.  Now I am going to take traffic school to get it off my record.

Nathan and I colored Easter eggs on 4/18 and we took him to see the Easter Bunny.

We took Nathan to the Children's Museum for their Easter egg hunt on 4/19.  It was a little cheesy because it was really crowded and each child only got 4 eggs.

The Easter Bunny spoiled Nathan again this year.  He got sand toys, coloring books, candy, several Disney planes, a Scooby Doo monster truck, Connor the train and a lot of cars (Herbie the love bug, two color shifters, #4 Kevin Harvick Jimmy Johns NASCAR, #43 Petty NASCAR, Peeps, '62 thunderbird, bumper car, Lightning McQueen, a delorean and the Hooters NASCAR).   We went to church.  Paul and Nathan went to Hooters for lunch and I stayed home and ate my honey baked ham!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Proud new owners of a 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid...

So 3/17 we did not get to see Shombay, the daddy lion, out with his cubs.  I guess they let him out before the zoo opened in case there were any incidents.  So we stayed for a little bit at the zoo to see the cubs with mom and then we headed for the Childrens Museum.  Unfortunately, it was closed because they are closed on Mondays!  I felt so bad for Nathan.  I ended up taking him to Arthur Pack Park to ride his big wheel. We had our corned beef and cabbage for dinner.

I went back to the zoo on 3/19 while Nathan was in school. This time I got to see daddy lion out with his cubs.  He put up with so much!  Those cubs would not leave him alone and they were biting at his fur and tail.

Aunt Lisa and Connor arrived at our house that night.  The following day we went to Tucson Botanical Gardens.  There were quite a bit of cacti blooming which was cool to see.  I also took them to Sauce and Frost for lunch...their favorites.

3/21 we headed to Phoenix.  We went to the Sox spring training park and watched them lose to the Cubs!

3/22 we went to Wildlife World Zoo.  It was cool to see a young white lion, although I did not get very good pictures of it.  Also saw baby monkeys, meerkats and otters.

3/23 we went to another spring training game to see the Angels and Indians (Angels won).

On 3/24, I dropped the gang off at Phoenix Zoo and I headed to the Desert Botanical Gardens.  I am so glad I went because there were a lot of cacti in bloom (as well as wildflowers).  I then met up with them at the Phoenix Zoo.  We drove home that night.  Nathan was so talkative in the car on the way back.

We did not do much on 3/25.  I tried to catch up on things at home.

On 3/26, I took Lisa and Connor to the Desert Museum.  Not much was in bloom there, but we went to the free flight show and got to see some other cool stuff.  We picked Nathan up from school that day and found out that he had an awesome day!  The teacher said he was so good that day.

So Lisa and Connor left to go back to Chicago on 3/27.

Daddy decided to spend his last vacation day with Nathan on Friday, 3/28, so he pulled Nathan out of school again.  I was not that happy about it, but he took him to the Childrens Museum and to Pima Air & Space Museum.  I stayed home and did a lot of cleaning.  Unfortunately, I started feeling pretty sick toward the end of the day with another horrible headache.  Luckily, I felt better the next day. Stress and dehydration?

Today we got a call from Oracle Ford that our 2014 Ford Fusion was ready to be picked up.  So, we traded in our 2002 Pontiac Grand Am and picked up our new car.  We got $1800 for our Grand Am. We ended up with 3.09% financing for 63 months on the new car, including an extended warranty. We are covered for pretty much everything for like 6 years, including oil changes.  The financed price is $26,103.80 and our payment will be $449.97.    

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Marching into March

On March 8th, we met our friend Megan from Athens on 4th at the zoo.  She really wanted to spend some time with Nathan.  We had a good day.

On March 11th, I took Nathan to the zoo to see the lion cubs again.  After seeing the cubs I took him to the desert museum.  We saw the raptor show and some baby hummingbirds.

Nathan had a bad day at school on 3/12.  He got wrote up for his behavior.  He spit in another kid's food.  I asked him why and he said he is mean to the other kids because they do no want to play with him.  I told him that is not the way to get them to play with him.  I told him if he is nice to them then they will be nice to him. I reminded him that these kids have been in class together for awhile, but he is newer to the class so they are still getting to know him.  His teacher seemed pretty concerned about his behavior and so I am afraid that if he does not improve then they will eventually kick him out. She says he just does not do very well in the larger class size because he always wants attention.  

Nathan had a better day at school on Friday, 3/14.  Of course there were fewer kids there that day. Next week is spring break and he will be out of the school the following Monday, too.  I hope that he behaves in class once he returns.  After school I took some pictures of Nathan for St Patty's Day coming up.

We had a long, interesting day yesterday, 3/15.  We drove 4 hours over to El Centro, CA to see the blue angels air show.  We got there and there were supposed to be ATM machines, but there were not any.  We did not bring much cash with us and most of the places only accepted cash, including the food vendors.  The show itself was slow and boring at times.  There were many times when no planes were in the air and I do not remember it being that way at the thunderbird show here in Tucson a couple of years ago.  The blue angel part was pretty cool.  They also did a reenactment with a Japanese plane and the Pearl Harbor bombing.  They also had a star wars theme going with many people dressed up the part to take pictures with them.  Getting out of the base took like an hour and a half.  For being a military base, they were not very efficient.  They made us drive like 3/4 around the base just to get out.  For the longest time we just sat there trying to get out of the parking lot.  We did see a couple of owls on the way out.  They were just watching the cars drive by.  We got home around 10:00 pm.  Honestly, I don't think we would go back to that air show again.  It was cool to see the blue angels, but I liked the thunderbird air show here in Tucson a couple of years ago better. They will be having one again next month so we plan to go to that.

Tomorrow is St Patty's Day.  Nathan and I are going to the zoo.  The whole lion family is supposed to be out, including the dad.  After that we are supposed to go to the childrens museum.  Then I need to make our corned beef and cabbage for dinner!

Wednesday Lisa and Connor will be coming to visit for a week and a half.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Spring is here!

So we went to the NASCAR race in Phoenix on 3/2.  Once again, #4 (#29 prior) Kevin Harvick won.  I think he has won 3 times since we started going to the races there.  We had a good time.

On 3/4 I took a picture of Nathan taking a picture with this "camera (aka viewfinder) of the sunset.  I submitted to some of the news channels on Facebook and my picture was featured on the 10:00 news!

On 3/5, I went to Reid Park Zoo to see the lion cubs.  They had not been out prior because one of the cubs was still sick.  It was a great day.  I got some good pictures this time.  I wish I could go every day to see them!  After the zoo I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens.  There were some cacti blooming already and one of the irises was in bloom.  I saw the most beautiful hummingbird, but it quickly flew away before I could get a decent picture.  After the gardens I saw some poppies on the side of the road.  It was a great day for photography and a sure tell sign of Spring!

Tuesday, 3/4, was Fat Tuesday and I could not resist getting a paczki from Bashas.  I did not get there until Wednesday and they only came in a box of 6.  I ended up eating 3 of them in the last couple of days and I think the sugar overload made me faint this morning.  Fortunately, it was not bad.  I was making Nathan's lunch for school and woke up on the floor.  I had bumped my head.  Otherwise, I recovered quickly after fainting, unlike the last several times that I fainted and felt sick the rest of the day.  Time to get my sugar back under control...other than that Shamrock shake I still want to get!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March already

On 2/7, I went to Sweetwater Wetlands for the first time.  I saw a few birds and ducks, but not a lot.  One of the birds I saw was a Black Phoebe.  It was cool.  I think the most exciting thing, though, was seeing a bobcat.  I don't think I had ever seen one in the wild.  I guess he is a regular there.

On 2/8, we took Nathan to Reid Park Zoo.

On 2/9, we went to Sabino Canyon.  We took the tram up and ALL of us walked the whole way down this time.  I saw some lesser goldfinches and we met the friendliest roadrunner.

We also took the dogs to the vet on 2/9 for their 6 month check up and to get their teeth cleaned.  All looks good, but Bella has put on about 6 lbs since last time!  I had switched foods because Tulla was itching like crazy and I increased Bella's food intake according to the recommendations on the bag.  I get to feed her a little less now which is good on the budget because that grain-free food is expensive!

Bella turned 6 on 2/11!  I bought her a new care bear toy for her birthday.

I took some Valentine's pictures of Nathan on 2/13.  We also got a heart shaped pizza to share for lunch. Paul brought home 2 dozen red roses!  He and Nathan also bought me some jewelry at the Tucson gem and mineral show.  Paul bought me some green gemstone earrings trying to match the ring that we had made last year.  Nathan bought mommy some garnet earrings.  Paul also bought me a Starbucks gift card.  I forget which of these gifts were for Valentine's Day and which were for our anniversary.  He did good this year, though.  Whereas I did not get him anything for a change...I could not figure out what to get him.  

For Valentine's Day we went out to dinner at Olive Garden.  We tried to get there early, but it was still packed.  Our service was so slow that they gave me my entree for free.  It was still a nice dinner, though.
I also tried a new idea this year for Valentine's.  Each day from February 1st until February 14th I put a heart on Nathan's door with something that I love about him written on it.  He really liked it and he and Paul thought that I should do the same thing for I did.

On 2/15, we ordered a new car from Oracle Ford.  We are buying a Ford Fusion Hybrid.  It will not be here for another couple of months, though.

Paul and I celebrated our 11th anniversary on 2/17.  We all went to dinner at our favorite place, Athens on 4th Avenue.  We go there at least once a week now.  For dessert, Nathan and I went home and made chocolate covered strawberries.

On 2/19, I went to Reid Park and Reid Park Zoo.

We went to the NHRA event in Phoenix on 2/21.  It was a long day!  But, we got to meet John Force and his daughters Brittany and Courtney.

Nathan and I went to lunch at Pita Jungle on 2/25.  Then I took him over to Arthur Park so he could ride his Harley big wheel.  When we were getting ready to leave another boy showed up on his big wheel.  They were having too much fun together so I let him stay for awhile.  The ironic thing is that his name was Nathan, too.  We were at that park for like 2 1/2 hours that day!  I was going around the park taking pictures of all of the round tailed ground squirrels.

Nathan and I went to Breakfast with the Lions to meet the new lion cubs on 2/27.  There are 4 cubs this time.  There were 5, but one died shortly after birth.  5 is a big litter so losing 1 is not uncommon.  There are 3 boys and 1 girl.  They are very cute.  They are out with mom in the mornings now and dad comes out in the afternoon.  It will be cool to see the whole family together when they get a little bigger.  Right now I want to take as many pictures of them while I can when they are so tiny.  I was not very happy with the pictures I took that day.  I tried to go back the next day, but they were not out.  One of the cubs ate too much grass the day before and got sick.  I heard they are still not out today.  I hope the little guy will be okay.  I am anxious to see them again.

Today it is raining so we are staying in.  We are supposed to go to the NASCAR race in Phoenix tomorrow.  I hope it does not rain on us!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

End of January

After the Jack Hanna show on 1/26, we ate dinner at Gentle Ben's.  Paul and I both got food poisoning.  We were sicker than dogs the next day.  Neither of us could take Nathan to school so he was not happy about that.  He likes his new class now.

On Wednesday, 1/29, I spent like 5 hours at Pep Boys with Paul's Grand Am.  I went for an oil change, but ended up getting brake pads, too.  We plan to sell the car soon and we will probably be buying a Ford Fusion Hybrid.

On Friday, 1/31, I went to the Tucson Botanical Gardens to see the butterflies.  I have been so disappointed in their display this year.  I only saw like a handful of different kinds of butterflies.  It really does not compare to Butterfly Wonderland.  Afterward, I stopped by Fort Lowell Park to take pictures of the ducks and birds.  I only saw two kinds of birds, the woodpecker and the kingfisher. The kingfisher did its best to escape me, but I did get one picture of it.

This weekend Paul got another ear infection.  He and Nathan spent most of Saturday at CVS Minute Clinic.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Busy weekend ahead

Nathan is still doing well in his new class.  He only had one pushing incident on Wednesday, but today he was good.  He even told me today that he likes his new class.

On 1/12, we took Nathan to Arthur Pack Park to ride his Harley big wheel.  He used to not use the pedals. Not only does he use the pedals now, but he goes fast!  He may be ready for a big boy bike soon.

I took Nathan to the Childrens Museum on 1/14.

Nathan made a train drawing for Aunt Tracy on 1/16.

On Saturday, 1/18, we went to Phoenix.  I went to Butterfly Wonderland while the boys went to McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park.  Then we all went to Phoenix Zoo.

1/19 marked the one year anniversary for our doggies!  One year ago we adopted them.

Nathan picked out his clothes and dressed himself on 1/21.  He wore red pants with an orange Snoopy Halloween shirt.

Tomorrow (1/25) we are going to Monster Jam in Phoenix.

Sunday (1/26) we are going to see Jack Hanna.  I won tickets!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Nathan updates

So when I took Nathan to school on Wednesday, 1/8, they asked me if we wanted to try out the new class that day.  So Nathan started in the 4 year old class.  He had been wanting to move to move to the new class ever since we first mentioned it to him as a possibility, but that day when it was actually happening he said he wanted to go back to Ms. Twyla's class.  I think he just got scared so I told him to try out this class and if he does not like it than maybe he could go back to the other class.  I told him that he will never know if he likes or it not unless he tries and that I thought he was going to like it.  He did really good.  Ms Monica said that he behaved great.  The other kids are really good with him, too.  They know that he is a little younger than them so they try to help him and they are patient with him.  He had to get used to the fast pace of the class because they quickly move from one thing to another and it is very structured.  He did not get a lot of time to play with toys which is one thing that he did not like.  She said that she is a little worried that he may get frustrated academically because they are doing stuff that may be over his head right now.  She is not too concerned about it on her end because he will be doing it all again next year, but she just does not want him to get frustrated.  She said she may even give him different worksheets to do in the class than what the rest of the kids are doing.  They do things like recognizing the letters of the alphabet, knowing the sounds of the letters including the short vowels, counting up to 100, writing letters and numbers, reading 2 and 3 letter words, basic math like 1+1 or 1-0, memorizing bible verses, etc...  Ms Monica said that she would like 1 or 2 more trial days in the class, but that she would talk to the office about it.  Nathan seemed to enjoy himself that day and was pretty talkative and happy all night.  Yet a couple of times he still said that he wanted to go back to Ms Twyla's class.  I think it is because it is still new to him and he doesn't know the kids very well yet.

Nathan had his 4 year old wellness appointment at the pediatrician's office on 1/9.  The time of the appointment was not very good because he did not get to take much of a nap.  I think he was pretty tired and so he was not as cooperative as I wanted him to be.  But, the doctor does not seem to have any concerns.  We discussed the school situation and that he is trying out the 4 year old class.  She agreed that it will probably be good for him.  We also discussed that we may be starting up speech therapy again and she agreed that may help him, too.  He did not talk much that day for her to hear his speech, but he did say at least one sentence so she was pleased to see that he was at least speaking in sentences.  She did not seem to be too concerned about the fact that Nathan sleeps in our room most nights.  She said it is very common for kids his age to get scared at night and she said this could go on for a couple of years.  They tested his hearing, too.  He did not do very well distinguishing which ear he heard the beeps is, but that is because he still gets his left and right confused.  They said that is common, too and at this age they just want to see if he can hear the beeps at all...some kids won't even sit down for the test.  They had me fill out a form while we were there where I basically had to ask Nathan a bunch of questions such as a to draw a circle, draw a person, balance on one foot, what does he do when he is hungry, etc...  I had to answer questions like if he dresses himself, brushes his own teeth, etc...  I did not complete it until the end of his visit and we never went over it while we were there.  They just want to make sure that he can do most of the things that he should be doing as a 4 year old and I think that he can.  I guess they will let me know otherwise.  He weighed 38 lbs (60%) and is 41" tall (75%).

So on Friday, 1/10, I went to the school office since I had not heard which class he would be going to.  Ms Monica happened to be in there.  They told me that he would be in there for a month.  A month?  That seems odd to me.  What happens after a month if it does not work out...he is just supposed to go back to Ms Twyla's class and get all acclimated again?  Sometimes I do not know about that school.  They also asked me if we do play dates or anything like that with Nathan since they know that he is an only child and Ms Monica noticed that he played by himself a lot in her class that first day.  I got a little defensive and told them that we do not know many people here in Tucson and our neighbors don't really talk to us so no we do not.  They asked what about the kids from his class.  I said, well now he is in a new class with all new kids who he does not know yet.  I told them that we tried library time when he was younger, but that it would not go well because he was too disruptive and would not sit still.  I said we could try it again now that he is younger.  I told him the main reason we started him at this school in the first place was to get him more social with other kids.  Unfortunately, Nathan's leg was hurting that day because he got shots the day before at the doctor.  The school called me that morning to see if I would come give him some Tylenol for the pain.  So I did.  I guess he did better after that.  He had another good day.  He did have a little more interaction with the kids that day and I told her that I thought he would be more social as he gets to know the kids better.  She actually gave us homework for the weekend (not sure if this will be an every day thing, M-W-F when he goes or a weekly thing).  He is supposed to work on writing the letter Q.  She said mostly she wants him to hold the pencil correctly.  He is also supposed to trace all of the letters and start matching up the capital letters with the small letters.  I gave this project to daddy, but they have not worked on it yet and it is now Sunday.  Yesterday they went to work for a little while and then to the Desert Museum.  I also tried to meet them at the Desert Museum, but we never met up...they did their own thing there and I did mine.

I also met with Debi, the speech therapist on Friday to discuss his evaluation results.  His receptive language is great.  His expressive language is normal for his age.  Thus, the numbers do not indicate that he needs speech therapy.  However, she still recommends it only because sometimes his difficulties with his speech frustrate him and cause behavioral problems.  So I agreed to start speech therapy.  He will start on Monday.  She said that he is a very smart boy.  He knows it all in his head, but he just has trouble getting it out.  I really like her, Nathan likes her and I think this experience will be much better than our experience through the state.  I hope that he will benefit from it and that he will not have to do speech therapy for very long.                  

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A new year...

Nathan had his Christmas program at school on 12/19.  He was certainly the most energetic.

Christmas Day Nathan opened up all of his presents.  It was so nice that day that we cooked out and ate outside in our back yard.  That evening we went to see the Christmas lights in Winterhaven.  This year they no longer have the mule rides so we just walked it.  It made for better picture taking.

We went to Sabino Canyon on 12/29.  I think we missed the peak of the Fall colors, but it was still pretty and there was water flowing.  We took the tram up and started walking down.  Nathan got tired halfway so he and daddy took the tram back down.  Mommy walked the whole way down!  I saw two cardinals that day, too!

I went to Tucson Botanical Gardens on on 12/30 to see the butterflies.

Nathan and I went to the Desert Museum on 12/31.  We saw Cruz, the mountain lion, at the window again. We met daddy for dinner at Athens on 4th Avenue.  Then we rang in the New Year at home.  Nathan loved the noise makers that I bought.  We stayed up until 10 and saw New York ring in the New Year on TV.

I turned 39 on 1/2.  Not a very good birthday.  Nathan was home with me and I spent the whole day cleaning and taking down the ornaments on the tree.  It was quite depressing.  Next year will be worse because I will be the big 4-0.

Nathan went to school yesterday so I went to La Placita Village, Reid Park (to see the ducks and the rose garden) and to the zoo.

Today we went to a U of A basketball game.  Wildcats won!

Nathan's school approached us a week or two ago and asked if we would be interested in moving him up to the 4 year old class.  He is one of the oldest in his class and his behavioral problems may be caused by the fact that he is getting bored in class because he already knows a lot of what they are doing in there.  He also likes to pick on the other kids, maybe because they are younger and smaller than him.  They think socially it could help him a lot and they think he may struggle at first academically, but that he should catch up because he is smart. We agreed, but now they say it is up to Cindy, the Director, and she does not return to school until 1/6.  So we will see.