Saturday, December 27, 2008

Days of Holidays

We've celebrated the Christmas day. Going to a local church for service Christmas eve. Waking early to greet the children's frenzied mania over beautifully wrapped packages from Santa. Swimming in the pool for a break. Exploring all the new gadgets and toys, playing with games, losing and finding key pieces of contraptions. The day was filled with many new experiences for our family. The ham, corn and twice baked sweet potatoes were delightful.

We were able to talk to our families back home, receiving and giving blessings of good health to all our friends and family. Traci and I feel fortunate to have all the great relationships we have with people. Everyone has been so supportive of our efforts on this adventure.
Friday it was back to work for Dad and the rest of the family continued their study of all the things they received on Christmas. Friday evening we all played the Wii for several hours.

Saturday we woke and went to Papago park for a hike. The local park system is impressive. There are many activities available to do within an hours drive. We hiked a little, Savannah and Sophie grumbled a little. There was a visit from two jack rabbits along the trail. Sophie ended with a stomach ache which led to a hurried drive home for some relief.

Latest news is we'll be here through the end of March then up to the northwest. Savannah has trip home for ten days coming in January. She has a new soccer team which practices this Monday in Tempe. Traci and I are having a little challenge trying to figure out how I can get back from Ak Chin while she's in Tempe.

Quirkle is an interesting game of tiles placed in rows. The row have to either have the same color or shape to be counted as played correctly. Traci and I quickly fell in love with the game!
The late nights with the holiday and the long days full of all the new stimuli have been wearing some nerves thin. We did have the comfort of pumpkin pie to help bring us relief.

The family needs some more sleep this weekend. Even Shane has complained of a sore back, maybe from the Wii.

Weather broke into sunshine today from cloudy, rainy days for the past few days. While we were outside it was a little chilly in the shade, only up in the 50's. We're expecting frost in the valley tonight.

Good sleeping weather.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Title was inspired by the Christmas carol that is blaring in my ear compliments of Savannah. The gloomy overcast sky of yesterday has made way for sporadic fluffy clouds and blue sky. There are storm warnings for the higher altitude, but clear skies in the valley. The temperature will hold steady in the low 60's for the rest of the week. We stand out in our short sleeves and occasional shorts. Native Arizonians bundle themselves in winter coats, scarves, gloves,hats, and boots. I smirked at one woman in the post office yesterday morning whom I thought was slightly overdressed for the weather....

The children have spent the day finishing some schooling, and watching Christmas shows. We made it outdoors and while I sat on the sidelines shivering in the cool breeze, the children splashed and swam in the pool. The water temperature is 85 degrees so as long as they stayed under the water they stayed warm. One woman came out and asked if she could take a picture of them. She wanted to send it to her family back East to show what the children in Arizona are doing in December.

After a swim and shower, we got busy in the kitchen. We decided to make Russian Tea Cakes for Santa. Everyone pitched in and soon we were covered in powdered sugar. You can imagine how much Sophie enjoyed that!

Shane just came over to snuggle next to me. He smells so good. Just like a cookie!
Sophie is lamenting over the presents, "I want to open these up! I just can't take it anymore!" And Savannah is busy IMing her friends back in Illinois. I am eagerly awaiting my wonderful husband to arrive home from work so I can head out to the shops in search of "one more" gift.

Stay warm!