28 July 2012

And the winner is . . .

 . . . Nikki from Nikki's Notes!

It was a close call - I had a grand total of 4 entries from 2 people. (I'm sorry Sierra, next time! :) )

Be sure to check out Nikki and Sierra's wonderful blogs!

Congratulations Nikki! You have won a $25 gift certificate to Silpada jewelry and a couple of codes for 10% off of a Shutterfly order!

I'll mail you the code, since I know where you live, hehe. :)

26 July 2012

Not too late!

It's not too late to enter my Give-Away! Tomorrow's the last day, so you'd better hurry! Enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Silpada Jewelry!

Now I leave you with this image:

Don't forget to love on someone you love today! :)

22 July 2012

Summer days

Summer is here! Well, summer has been here for a while, but I haven't written too much about it.

We're still in a drought here, but we have been getting some rain, which is a God-send and answered prayer! If normal monsoon season is to have a warm, sunny day until mid-afternoon, then have gray clouds roll in and get some wonderful, refreshing rain in late afternoon, evening, I would have to say I could get used to living here! I love those days!

The kids are getting used to the rain too, and they actually like it now. We actually have gotten so little rain in the two years we've been here (that's right, we're at our half way mark, officially!), they didn't know what to think of it at first. I know, sad, right?

Anyway, we have a bit of a different routine in the summer for the week. PWOC isn't meeting for Bible study on a regular basis, and our community group from church also doesn't meet. It just seems different to me.

And, now that Daphne is mobile, things have gotten pretty busy around here. It was a big adjustment for everyone, including Sophie and Edward, to have Daphne be able to move around and grab things, chase things and go after her big brother and sister (she loves to follow them- Edward likes it, Sophie doesn't).

Since Sophie is starting preschool this August and I won't be back from picking her up until middle afternoon, I've been working on pushing the kids naptimes back until a little later. That's been going well (Sophie is pretty much able to go without a nap now most days), but it makes for a looonnngg morning. Then a short evening. It's kind of weird. Not bad weird, just different weird.

So our day usually consists of waking up and getting dressed and breakfast eaten. Then I attempt to unload the dishwasher and do a few other chores, we go for a morning constitutional, which sometimes only lasts a few minutes because Edward will just sit down and refuse to go any further. He does fine in the evening, so I don't know what's up with that. Then we do things together, such as read (we do a lot of reading - our favorites right now are Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, The Christmas Story, Rumble in the Jungle by Giles Andre (the long time running favorite) and the Ocean Alphabet Book) or building blocks. I'm working on getting coloring in there and have incorporated a Bible story with a coloring page to go with it daily. Sometimes they color, sometimes not. Then trying to get more chores done, get lunch ready, eat lunch and then if I have the energy and it's not super-duper hot, we head outside to the backyard to play in the kittie pool or with the water table, which is everyone's favorite, especially Daphne's. Usually I just stick them out in their diapers instead of doing swimsuits. We're in a fenced in backyard and it's easier. I know it sounds lazy, but oh well. Except Sophie, who is now potty trained (yay!!), she gets a swimsuit.

Then it's inside for quiet time. Then fix dinner, eat, go for a walk, water the garden, baths and ready for bed. We bath all three kids at the same time - it saves water, time, energy and sanity. If you have more than one child I highly recommend this. Unless of course your youngest is too little to sit on their own in a tub. We started putting Daphne in the bath with Sophie and Edward when she was about nine months old. She loves it!

And that's life!

21 July 2012

Evening walks

I would have to say that one of the highlights of my day is our family walks in the evening.

Here in the high desert, once the sun starts to go down, it cools off quite a bit, making for some really beautiful evenings. Usually there's a really nice, light breeze wafting through the air and it's just such a wonderful time to be out enjoying God's creation as a family. Plus the sunsets here are sometimes quite stunning - I count this as a bonus.

I love that our whole family gets out and goes for a walk together and I really hope that it will be something that we continue to do as long as we are together as a family. That is, to say, until the kids are grown and leave home.

We have lots and lots of cottontails here.
 Usually Edward pushes his little cart, and Daphne rides in the umbrella stroller and Sophie either walks or pushes the umbrella stroller or sometimes rides on the fire truck. She a tricycle, but learning to ride it properly has been a work in progress for going on three months now. Sometimes she gets it, but most of the time she doesn't. She'll get there.

Plus there's this - just being loved.
 Mike and I also use this time to just catch up with each other; how are day was, plans and dreams, the usual couple stuff. Holding hands is so wonderful! (It's not just for courting, you know!)

Edward, being the youngest who walks, usually leads the way, and therefore set the pace, so this is a very nice stroll. I love that the base housing has so many paths that you can take - we can go a different way just about every day of the week.

So incredibly handsome! Mike is one of those men that just looks better and better with age.
 I know that this is memories in the making, times to cherish, and cherish them I do. :)

Don't forget to head over to my Give Away post!

Daphne is trying out the fire truck while the kids play on the playground.

Of course, this almost always happens on the way home - Edward has to be carried. Luckily his cart hooks pretty easily onto the handlebars of the umbrella stroller.

There is always lots of investigating (especially of ants) while we are.

Edward carrying his bubble wand at the playground. Sunhats are a must here.

Sometimes our walks lead us to playgrounds.

Daphne obviously enjoys our outtings as well.

Birthday outing

Daphne's birthday isn't for another three weeks, but Mike is going to be away for her birthday and we've got plans for the other Saturdays in between, so  today was the perfect day to have a little Daphne birthday family outing.

We decided to go to the Aquarium since she was so enthralled with fish in Florida. Plus it was pretty hot outside.

The aquarium was pretty nice, it was more crowded than I've seen it before, although I haven't been on a Saturday before . . .

The kids had a lot of fun and Sophie and Edward even got to pet some sea creatures.

After the aquarium Mike, Sophie and Edward had a snack in the shade while Daphne and I browsed the gift stores. (There are two - one for the Botanical Gardens, which is adjacent to the Aquarium, and one for the aquarium.)

My plans was to purchase a stuffed animal for Daphne for her birthday since she is always trying to take Edward's. Daphne wasn't interested in any of the stuffed animals at the Botanical Gardens gift shop, so we went into the Aquarium gift shop. There was a whole wall to choose from, but Daphne didn't really seem interested in most of them. I would show her one and she would turn away and what not. I finally picked up a super soft plush penguin, and she immediately opened her arms to hug it, so I knew that was the one. She was a little upset that she couldn't hold it until after I paid for it. I also picked up an awesome book for Sophie and Edward (our little collection is growing!). I cut the tag off at the counter and she got to hold her penguin. She immediately cuddled right into it with her arms wrapped around it. So cute!

Since the kids had just had a snack, we decided to stay and visit the Gardens, even though it was pretty hot. Mike had never seen the animals at the Gardens, so we went to see those. The kids especially loved the horses and the chickens.

Mike wants to take me back to the Gardens so the two of us can have a romantic date. So sweet! Hopefully we can do that soon.

We went to lunch at Shark Reef Cafe, since it is right there on the property. We also really liked that the produce grown in the Botanical Gardens is used in the cafe - can't get any fresher than that! The kids really love seeing the sharks and the sting rays swimming around as well.

All in all it was a really great day. I love spending time with my family, be it on family walks, hanging out at the house or out and about doing stuff like today. I feel so blessed! :)