Thursday, May 31, 2012

Arizona Science Centering.

On the 21st, Freddy's day off, I surprised him by taking the family out to the Arizona Science Center in Phoenix. The best part was him guessing where we were going.  He was so sure {so many times} yet didn't guess right until we were close enough to see the signs. Ha!

I was able to get a Culture Pass from our local library, so we had two free passes, plus Nathan is still free, so we all went for free! :)

There were a lot of fun exhibits to check out-- some of our favorites are below:

Bed of nails-- I wasn't quite sleeping, like that image of the guy on the side of the bed, but it was surprising how comfortable? it was. Or more so, how uncomfortable it wasn't.

I love our family. :)
Outside at the water exhibit-- fun activity for a warm day!
Nathan and I making clouds together. :) 
This exhibit showed how water can shape the landscape, using sand in a trough-like thing and a  running faucet at one end.  Nathan liked it, but soon after was concerned because he was getting his hands all dirty. Funny kid.
Playing with tangrams. N loved them. He would have been content staying at this one table the entire. time. 
Playing tug of war. We totally won (once Freddy let go to come take a picture of us-- irrelevant). 
This was the. best. I loved this silhouette thing! Freddy was better at it than me because Nathan's heavier than I remember. 

We had fun! It was a pretty neat place to go! We're hoping to get the Culture Pass to the Children's Museum next! (Good luck to us--)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


On Saturday, we went to the Railroad Park in Scottsdale, with our friends, the Musselmans. Their youngest son, Andrew (two weeks older than Nathan), is pretty much Nathan's best friend.  Nathan includes him in our prayers at bedtime ("Please bless that we go to Andrew's house tomorrow,") and every time he sees him he says his name in this reminiscent voice like they haven't seen each other in five years ("Aaaaannnnndrrrewwwwww!!!!"). So yeah, it didn't really matter where we were going, as long as Andrew would be there, Nathan was all in. 

We had never heard of this place before, and it was the best. ever. It made the list of places-we'll-take-people-when-they-come-visit (so, pay attention). The railroad park has several fun things, all of which we couldn't document because we had our camera, but it was in the car, since it has a habit of not working when the batteries are already dead. So luckily, Andrew's mom, Elizabeth snapped a few pictures on her phone for us. 

There's a museum about trains and railroads, complete with a tour on the Roald Amundsen Pullman Car, which was pretty much like the Air Force One of trains, used by every president from Herbert Hoover through Dwight Eisenhower.  There's also a carousel (loved it!), a smaller train that goes through an arboretum, a electric train set exhibit (it was huuuuge!), two park play areas (that were awesome), and of course, all the trees and grass of any beautiful park.  It was perfect! And the best part was that we went on the last nice day before summer.  It was like, mid-eighties and such nice weather!  Pretty much it was the best day ever. So here's some of the pictures for you to enjoy! :)

This is us, riding the train that took us around the park (and through a tunnel too-- N's favorite part). 
Nathan and Andrew on the train together
Holding hands while walking through the electric train exhibit. 
Andrew really likes Nathan, and Nathan really likes Andrew.
We had tons of fun-- grabbed some lunch there, from the remodeled Southern Pacific Railroad Caboose, and ate while the kids played on the western themed play town area thing.  And we ended the day with getting ice cream from the Hartley's General Store. Delicious!

So now, who's coming with us next?! :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Westgate Fountain Park Play Date.

 On Thursday we went over to play in the Fountain Park at Westgate (the shopping center next to the AZ Cardinal's football stadium).  It was just Nathan and his friend, Zack-- but they still had a blast! And the moms got to enjoy the shade while they got nice and wet. :)
This picture makes me want to put some sort of caption like, "Ready to embark on their journey."
Or something equally as ridiculous. :)

Even when the fountains were little, like this, Nathan still wasn't super into them.
Eh. What can I say, the kid doesn't like getting water in his eyes.

Both the boys had plastic, Ziplock bags that they kept filling up with water.
Nathan was nice enough to bring it back to me so that I could cool off too. :) 
Sometimes I just had to dump the water on him instead. This kid would NOT get wet! It's not so bad nice to be outside in the 100 degree weather when you're wet. If you're not wet, then you're just hot! Sometimes you need a little help from Mom.
Sitting with Mama. :) Love this kid.

Spring Sing 2012

Back on May 5th, we had our annual Young Women fundraiser for Girls' Camp.  It's pretty much a dinner/auction/talent show, all rolled into one evening, full of fun! ;)
Being that it was on Cinco de Mayo, we felt it appropriate to have a Mexican fiesta, complete with tacos, rice, and beans for dinner, plus a salsa contest (like, the kind for your chips, not the kind for your hips).
All in all it was lots of fun and I got a few great things from the auction.  I wish I had pictures to post from the actual talent show (which was awesome) except that our camera always disappoints me, so all I have to show for the night is pictures like this:

Still, a great performance by all (except my camera).
But after the show, Nathan felt like it should be his turn to dance on stage. 

Except that he was disappointed that all the other performances got music. "But where's the muuusic? {Shaking his head} There's no muuuusic..."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Home Sweet Home.

So, this is a long time in coming, but I thought I should go ahead and post it anyway. When we were in Ecuador, we told F's family out there about our new home in Arizona.  And we were like, Oh! Hey! We have pictures on the BLOG! Yeaahhhh, except that we only ended up having the before and the during pictures, but not a single one of the after pictures. Well, hmph. So, last May I vowed that I would post pictures of the after. And what better time to follow through on that, than one full year later? {Whoops.}

So here's a few pictures of the before, just so you get a little reminder:
 In front of the island is the back of our old table top (we were still moving in, ya know)-- so just picture it all that dark brown color.
Also, the kitchen and dining room were a peachy color, and that half bath to the side of the dining room was yellow.
And the after pictures: 

There are still several a few things on the To-Do list, but for now, this looks so much brighter and better than it did. Next up, we'll post some pictures of the living room.. Just as soon as I can get it clean enough to be posted online. ;-)
So now that you've seen it in pictures, come see it in person! The Sarmiento Hotel has been revamped and updated, and we're ready for some visitors!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Dangers of IKEA.

So, we were shopping at IKEA on Saturday; what better way to spend your weekend, right?  We absolutely love that store.
And then we heard this over the loud speaker. "Will the owner of a blue, Toyota Camry, Arizona plate number ASF4387, please report to their vehicle immediately. Again, the owner of a blue, Toyota Camry, plate number ASF4387 please report to their vehicle immediately."
I smiled when they said blue Toyota Camry, just jokingly... but then when they announced the plate number I was like, "Uh, Freddy, isn't that our car?"
He was like, "I don't think so..?"
And I was like, "No, I'm pretty sure that's our car.. You want to go check it just in case?"
So he left, and I didn't hear anything from him, so I called to ask and he said, "Uhh, you probably want to come out here." Oh boy.
Well, here we go:
So from what I understood, and I came out just as the other car (a big, white pick-up truck) was leaving-- (she had young kids and they were getting restless..) she was trying to back out of the space and her brakes gave out, which resulted in this:
Whoops! There goes our (driver side) mirror... 

So, let's review the things that we're grateful for:

1. Neither Freddy or I have ever been in an accident, so this was pretty minor for our first ever.
2. Aka, it could have been worse!
3. It wasn't our fault, at all.
4. She didn't just drive off. (Which, from what I understand, she could have, but someone saw it happened and threatened to call the police. She's an illegal immigrant and didn't exactly want to get the police involved, so she was more than happy to notify the owners.)
5. She has insurance. I think AZ has the highest number of uninsured motorists in the country-- not my favorite stat, so we're lucky that she wasn't one of them.
6. We made it home safely, even without a mirror. (It's a bit of a drive to our only IKEA, but it's worth it!) Although it is weird to look left to check your mirror and there's nothing there--
7. The claim was filed just fine, and we should have someone coming to evaluate the vehicle either today or tomorrow, so that we can get it fixed as soon as possible. :)

So, we're down a side mirror, and up a huge dent, but hey, things could be worse! I'm glad that in times like this, I know I can count on Freddy to stay calm and keep level headed.