Friday, February 27, 2009

Last Soccer Game in Arizona

Tomorrow we have Savannah's last soccer game for Arizona. She has become frustrated with her coach. He continues to raise his voice in frustration whenever the kids lose. The team was full of first time soccer players and they really have improved. The down side is Savannah's really bummed about the game. She has made several new friends on this team.

The soccer excitement will end in time for us to enjoy the early teasers of the great American pastime of baseball. We are going to see the Cubs and White Sox in Mesa. The last baseball game we all went to involved sun, humidity, a healthy dose of fatigued childhood whining (mostly from me, and I think the Cardinals even lost the game adding insult to injury. I hope the Sox win. The high tomorrow is forecast in the eighties without the St Louis humidity we endured during the last Cardinals game.

Traci seems to be down in the back a little. She let Shane and Sophia walk on her back to help her feel better and Shane jumped off. Although this may not have been the genesis of her back problems, the pain started then. The pain is pretty persistent lasting two weeks now with little relief coming from anti inflammatory medications. Our prayers go out to all who suffer with back problems. especially those of you who have required surgery recently. Know our prayers are with you.

Our energies are shifting forward to our next assignment in Washington. We have really enjoyed the winter in the valley but are eagerly anticipating greener scenes. Traci has been able to goodwill some more things and ship some things back to Illinois. We hope to take a smaller trailer north through Utah and Idaho. With 15,000 miles on the minivan since its purchase in September we want to take as much burden off of it as possible.

We have Colleen's visit in two weeks, a gathering of the Ak Chin employees at the Vaifales home, and a weekend for just getting around to some final site seeing. The last next few weeks will speed by.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Some More Mountain Park Adventures

The weekend was full of activity and some pining for Traci. The kids were up and ready early Saturday for Savannah's soccer game. They took a four to nothing score home and their coach finally gave up on yelling too much. The team really looks better every week however the score reflects none of their accomplishments.

The early rising of the children was brought about by and early begrudged bedtime. Their angelic disposition seemed to hasten into evil sibling malfeasance. I took to the task of cleaning up the dishes and all the world spun into ectopic insanity. Where there had been pleasant banter there was instant grating on each others psyche. There was the two on one exclusion attack followed with a retaliatory dizzying litany of harsh name calling. This expansion of evil will sent my relatively good nature into a tailspin of frustration and ire. I ordered the children immediately to brush teeth and go to bed. This interrupted a planned viewing of the latest release on DVD. The children snuggled in their beds and eventually slept.

After the soccer game we went fishing at a local park where Sophia and Savannah dropped their poles into the water, spent a few hours in the pool, ordered pizza, then watched the aforementioned DVD.

Sunday we went miniature golfing. This was an activity suggested by the eldest child as a fun way to spend the day. The kids had no time to wait for each other and burned through an eighteen hole miniature golf course in about 15 minutes.
There was enough of the day left to explore another mountain park, White Tank Mountain. Savannah had packed a lunch for us all and we headed for the park. The White Tank Mountains get their name from the tanks of water formed in the white granite. The tanks are 2-3 foot deep wells cut into the granite over several hundreds of years and supply water to wildlife in the area. These white tanks are also known as tinajas.

We ate our picnic lunch, played on the playground, then head out for a hike on the waterfall trail. We took the 0.9 mile trail to the end to discover tinajas and the waterfall, which at this time happened to be more of a trickle than a fall. The kids complained moderately on the way up the waterfall as we passed petroglyphs, cacti, flowers and many other hikers. We reached the top in this natural playground area with the pools of water, white granite climbing areas and the watertrickle. The kids were rooted. They were playing, climbing, walking through the water and I couldn't get them to leave. After the hike Savannah even said the whole hike was fun. I feel some small sense of accomplishment when I can hear her say fun and hike in the same breath.