13 September 2018

Auxier Cabin, Justin Hates Fun

Labor Day was very low key. Amelia spent most of the day reading a book from the Septimus Heap series. We cleaned a bit, watched TV a bit, and got a bit bored. I wanted to hike around Tonto but that did not work out again. Drat! Amelia and I spent an hour making friendship bracelets. We went to the mall for our activity. The mall was super crowded with other folks enjoying a day off. The kids were delighted to eat cheap pizza at a buffet place. Josie surprised me with the amount of pizza she wolfed down. The kids enjoyed walking around the mall, checking out all the fun displays. They played in the play area for a while, Amelia and I went to Claire's just for kicks. The escalator was a huge highlight. Evelyn showed off her new earrings to the guy who pierced them a few days before. For FHE Justin built a fire in the pit so we could roast marshmallows for Smores. The temperature was hovering over 100, our mister took down the temps a few degrees and provided tempting water for the kids to get wet and style their hair (Phillip). Evelyn came out onto the patio with her shorts hiked up her bum, I thought she looked so cute and unassuming in that moment. We read a talk from the Ensign for our lesson. Those gooey Smores tasted just like a slice of heaven.

Josie and I spent a nice morning at the library playing Legos and reading books. She was happy to have my lap all to herself. We read 20-30 board books just because we had the time. Everett has a goal to lift weights for 30 minutes each day. His goal is get stronger than Phillip so he can beat him when they wrestle! I should probably give him some pointers but watching him struggle is hilarious.

Sometimes I am funny. Sometimes my jokes come back to haunt me. I am haunted this week. We were discussing where to eat some lunch. I suggested we go to Peter Pipers (pizza and arcade). Justin instantly tossed that idea out the window and suggest Pizza Pie Cafe. The kids were whining in the back: WHY??? I replied, "Well, Dad HATES fun!" We heard a resounding chorus: "Dad HATES fun?!" Yep! We went to the not-so-fun restaurant for lunch. Later in the week someone in the ward was giving out free Hale Theater tickets to see the Scarlet Pimpernel. I asked Amelia if she wanted to go with me since "Dad HATES fun." She really wanted to go, but Justin said she can go if he can't have fun. He ended up going to the show with me, I'm thinking he hated it. It was too fun. I really did enjoy the show. It was difficult not to sing along to all my favorite songs. Justin and Clarissa (a ward member) did not seem to mind or notice. The show was well-performed, I rather enjoyed the changes made to the script and music. The costumes were brilliant, for example, the wigs were made of folded/curled fabric! We owe a huge thank you to Sister Tanner for coming last moment to watch the kids on a school night.

I made tacos wearing a tiara. Evelyn got tired of wearing the tiara and needed a head to hold it until after her costume change. I felt rather regal making tacos with the sparkly accessory perched on my curls. Made my perfect eyebrows looks rather on point.

Corissa Smith, Laura Webster, and I...plus 3 kids...drove up to Payson for the day. Our objective was to scout out mini session locations for family photos. Our first stop proved to be lovely, perfect for what we had in mind. We tried to hike down a bumpy trail with a stroller, it was soon abandoned by the way side. The little ones carried down the trail until we changed our minds. Instead we drove along the trail and found several spots right off the road for easy access. Looks like there will be 4-5 families attending the Payson mini sessions. We had hamburgers for lunch before heading back home. I walked into the house 2 minutes before my first piano student arrived, close call! 

We are lucky to have Aunt Shirley Joyce nearby. The kids invited her to their school for Grandparent's Day on Friday morning. I left my phone at home but did not have time to fetch it so we prayed she would find us! We met up right at the crosswalk in front of the school! The kids were so excited to share doughnuts with Grandma Shirley. Earlier in the day Evelyn asked when Charlie was coming over. I did not understand her at all, she got angry when I told her Charlie was her baby cousin. Turns out she had trouble saying and remembering the name Shirley. Aunt Charlie got a kick out of her new name. The kids showed her around some of the halls. They lead us into the chaotic library for the book fair. Whoever arranged that is brilliant! Justin had the day off so he helped herd the kids along. Phillip earned a Student of the Month award for being eager to learn! He was so sad last year, took him until the end of the year before he earned an award. This year...he's the first to get one! Hooray for Phillip.

Spenser and Laura invited us to the Auxier cabin in Pinetop for the weekend. Justin and I joked that maybe we should just stay home because Justin HATES fun...and the cabin would be fun. I went to Walmart by myself for recipe ingredients, that is always a treat. This time I chose the lazy method for packing: the collapsible laundry baskets. Shoved in PJs, change of clothing, a blanket, stuffy, and pillow per kid. The idea was once back home the baskets would already have dirty clothes. I picked up the kids at 3 so we could make the 3.5 hour drive earlier than if the kids rode the bus home. The drive up to Pinetop was so gorgeous. The views! Oh the views! Lovely! Towards the summit my ears plugged up from elevation changes. The hairpin turns gave us all a bit of nausea, but the views! Made it worth the car sickness. We ate some dinner at a Mexican place rated with 4.5 stars, it was more like 2 stars. I knew the ratings were skewed because the Quikstop was rated 5 stars. As soon as we arrived the whooping and hollering started as the boys joyously explored the cabin inside and out. Evelyn and Josie loved the water bed, it was quite bouncy. Evelyn and Josie were starving, they asked for food every 5-10 minutes. I tell ya, dinner was not so great. "I still hungry, mom!" Our family was in charge of breakfast. I whipped up french toast with freshly made raspberry compote, bacon on the side. The boys were outside playing some game with weapons and strategy. Everett got quite upset because the boys would not listen to his strategy. He sulked off in search of Gary who was not keen on playing outside. The girls loved the hammock. The girls brought me fistfuls of wild flowers, I loved the ones with the roots attached. We all headed up to Mt Baldy for a short hike and picnic. Spenser showed us all the beaver dam. All the kids got their toes wet in freezing cold mountain water. Anna even caught a few leeches on her ankles while wading in the mud. The dogs were off exploring once off their leashes. Everything was brilliant green, seemed more like spring than fall. The place had a magical feel with the bright colors, blue sky, cotton clouds, and such. We stopped once again at a large boulder, the allure of climbing it was magnetic. Fun times! We passed a shocking field of yellow wild black-eyed Susan, or small sunflowers. Several families were out in the field taking photos so we joined in the fun. Up close the field also boasted periwinkle bachelor buttons and blue wild flowers. The scene felt like something out of the Wizard of Oz, except the flowers were yellow. We relaxed until dinner, then ate delicious pork chops and fresh off the tree apple sauce. All too soon we headed back to the hot desert.

Amelia sang with 4 other kids in Sacrament Meeting the next morning. Our Primary Presidency spoke as well. The kids sounded amazing. We all practiced enough the prior week. She was quite nervous until it was over. Phillip was asked to sing "I am a child of God" as a solo for the Primary Program. He is very excited, is learning to play the song on the piano as well.

**we heard this past week that Drew Haley was in a football accident. Basically his knee cap was ripped to the side, in the process a major vein was damaged but not discovered until after his leg was deprived of oxygen for over a day. His leg was removed from the knee down this week. I don't cry much. Goodness, I cried for Drew. He reminds me of my Phillip, is such a beacon of hope for me that Phillip can grow up to be like. We love the Haley family. You are in our prayers!