Friday, December 14, 2012


"Mommy, Nibbles doesn't recognize me in [whispering] my disguise."

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Balloon Fest 2012

Last year the event was canceled due to fog, so this was our first time to really get up close at our local balloon festival.  It was really fun, and the weather was clear and warm (ish).  If anyone wants to plan a visit out here in early December next year, this would be a very worthwhile event to attend (weather permitting).  I highly recommend it!
Hiking up:
We arrived early enough that the balloonists were still arriving and getting set up:

At the top:


Coming down, with a brief detour to roll down the dunes:

One of the many benefits of such a small balloon festival: some of the pilots love getting as close as possible to the rest of us!

(before you cross the street, look both ways and watch for hot air balloons!)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

We spent the first couple of days at home, doing the usual kind of thing...

fruit turkeys!

real turkeys!
...and then we hit the road.  We visited the Painted Desert and Petrified National Forest,


...and then onward to Sedona!



To anyone who is planning a visit to the Southwest and plans to go to Arizona, I highly recommend a stop in Sedona.  This area could have been (perhaps should have been) made into a National Park.  It is just beautiful. 

As it is, there are plenty of state parks to hike and bike and climb in, and a river I hear is good for swimming in (haven't tried that yet), and plenty of other stuff to do.  We've barely scratched the surface.

Thanks for the visit, Granny and Papa!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas Wishlist

We cannot seem to locate the original copy of L.'s Christmas wishlist.  This constitutes, in this blogger's humble and unbiased opinion, a tragic loss for humanity. 

I cannot recall the full contents, but I know that it included, among other essentials:

- a disco ball
- a visit from cousin P-roc
- books of all kind [naturally]
- a girl hamster [as a companion to our boy hamster, presumably]
- permission to watch Harry Potter at sleepovers
- proof of Santa
- attention.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

First Communion

Her smile was like this all day long.
Actually, it just got wider and wider.


Friday, November 16, 2012

miss manners

A. made up these charts as refreshers before a friend came over for dinner.

(#8 is my fave.)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

a spontaneous trip

The camera didn't cooperate when I tried to photograph outdoors, but I did get other proof of the snowstorm.  Daddy taking a midday nap and trying to stay warm, a happy kid, ready to play outside...
...and then some evidence of cabin fever:
Once the storm ended, and instead of sitting around feeling sorry for ourselves that the Brooklyn folks didn't make it out for the weekend as planned, we decided to hit the road ourselves.

see ya later, red rocks!
Some of us were excited to go....

...but others were apprehensive about the risks.  L. presented me with a few personal progress notes within the first couple hours of the drive:
the "so-far diagram"
But we were convinced that what we all could use was a change; we just needed to see some new sights, and some trees.  And water.

Water! (a hot spring)
This was the only portion of the "Catwalk" that was open. Too bad.

We found the very remote yet stunning City of Rocks.  Totally worth the drive.

(how is this tree growing?!?)
The "city" is a perfect playground for boys of all ages...


The Rocks were a hit with everyone and we would like to go back again sometime soon. 
Other sights included the impressive Santa Rita mine, some of the most remote areas of our state, a couple of National Forests, and sunsets over the desert.  It was fun. 
Even L., despite her initial misgivings, agreed.
(we'll stay to the right, thanks)