Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tumacacori National Historic Park- Lots of pictures!

We are looking into the sun... can you tell?

We went to Tumacacori National Historic Park on Saturday. It is a site where three missions are preserved. It was interesting history. Old churches are some of my favorite sites to tour. The kids enjoyed playing in the replica of a local Native American home with the "kitchen" and everything.

This is the San Xavier mission. It is still a working church and is being restored. It is quite beautiful. Logan thought it was fascinating that people go to church here. It is so different from what he is used to and I have to always remind myself to see through his eyes.

Afterward, we went into Tucson to go to a chocolate place Blake read about. We happened upon Trail Dust Town right in the middle of Tucson. It had gold-panning, shooting gallery, a little train, a merry-go-round circa 1920 and, of course, CHOCOLATE! We were only planning to go to the chocolate shop, but the kids were so excited that we stayed and let them play.

I told him to look as sad as he could.

All in all, a great time had by all!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Coronado National Monument

About two weeks after the last national monument, we hit the next one. The Coronado National Monument was very interesting. The Conquistadors walked over this barren land and through heat in very heavy armor (we actually tried some on) in search of Cebola (the seven cities of gold). We hiked up the mountain (drove most of the way) and as we hiked there were signs along the way of quotes from the expedition. The expedition was, of course, considered a failure because they did not find any cities of gold, but I thought one quote was especially poignant: "I have always noticed, and it is a fact, that often when we have something valuable in our possession and handle it freely, we do not esteem or appreciate it in all its worth, as we would if we could realize how much we would miss it if we were to lose it. Thus we gradually belittle its value, but once we have lost it and we miss its benefits we feel it in our hearts and are forever moody, thinking of ways and means to retrieve it. This, it seems to me, happened to all or most of those who went on that expedition, which Francisco Vazquez Coronado led in search of the Seven Cities, in the year of our Savior, Jesus Christ, 1540. For although they did not obtain the riches of which they had been told, they found the means to discover them and the beginning of a good land to settle in and from which to proceed onward." –Castaneda’s History of the Expedition, October, 1596

They were so caught up in finding some crazy mythical cities that they failed to notice the value of what we immediate around them. HHHHMMMM.....

Anyways, our kids were so proud of themselves to make it to the top of the mountain. It felt like we were on top of the world. You could see 360 degrees and it was a beautifully clear day so we could see forever!

It is funny; our kids show their personalities just by the way they hike. Reagan catches onto the idea immediately and is very single-minded to the task at hand (getting to the top). She doesn't want any help and is extremely determined. Chase wants to stay at the bottom just picking up rocks and sticks and throwing them. He dawdles... big time. Chase is quite content to stay in one spot explore the dirt immediately around him. Logan.... he is somewhere in the middle of Reagan and Chase. He loves throwing the rocks, but wants to get to the top as well. There is one more quote. A bit long, but I really enjoyed the description:

"From Coronado Peak the ranks of distant mountains seem to march across the plain. In silent procession they vanish over the horizon- and with them seems to go the urgent, pulsing time that man uses to count the years of a life or an age. In this perspective, past centuries blend into a timeless present…
Far below, where the green-banded course of the San Pedro River marks the valley floor, the expedition’s advance party crawls across the immense landscape. The marching line can barley be seen, so insignificant it is upon this spacious stage. Into the unknown these few men come undaunted. With them they bring the seeds of a new civilization. They look upon this great land as something to conquer. They will raise their crosses, declare dominion for God and King. They will name mountains and rivers and valleys after their saints. They are Conquistadors-God and Santiago give them strength.
There is an urge to dare in man; the difficult and the demanding challenge him. Goals and tools may change with the times, but the urge does not. Here on Coronado Peak that urge to dare, as it moved men four centuries ago, can be understood.
It is good that those dusty men below-fading now into distance and heat shimmer-are Spaniards. For they and their successors bring into North America a passionate culture that enriches our lives with rhythm and color, form and food.
With them comes the ardent soul of Spain and Mexico."

Chiricahua National Monument

Right after the Holidays, it was such nice weather that we decided to go to a local national monument. We went hiking (ALL of us!) and saw some interesting sights. It was like we were in Southern Utah. Logan loved climbing all over the rocks. Scared me to death, but he did great.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nerd Withdrawal---- HELP ME!

So, I was sick and tired of reading and watching all these series out that seem like they are never going to end (at least in the next year). Then I heard Battlestar Galactica was ending this year and it had awesome reviews from many critics. Perfect! I can watch a show that will have some kind of conclusive ending! So, I start renting season 1 of Battlestar Galactica. Blake was home when I started watching and he sat down with me. Well, very early on we were hooked. And by hooked, I mean obsessed. We get videos through and they were not coming fast enough (we get three at a time, mind you). We tried being patient, but soon Blockbuster had become our evil nemesis and we couldn't wait for them any longer. We bought all the series on and had it shipped to us overnight. Unfortunately, we did this on a Friday which meant we wouldn't get it until Monday. AARRRRGGHHH!!! We didn't know how we would live out the weekend! We would debate who we thought were the "final five," what we would do if we were Adama, what is with Starbuck's mental issues, why doesn't someone just kill Baltar, etc. We would dream Battlestar Galactica. Every night was a rush to put the kids to bed so we could watch BSG until 2:30 in the morning and wake-up with what we coined a BSG hangover.

Now, we have reached the last of the episodes on DVD and we have to watch the rest of the series ON REGULAR TV!!!! WEEK TO WEEK!!!! WITH COMMERCIALS AND EVERYTHING!!! What everyone on Earth is a Cylon!? I still can't believe Colonel Tye is one! What is with dead Starbuck? And what exactly does her being the harbinger of death REALLY mean? Is it because Cylons are mortal now? I so called it that Ellen was Cylon back in season 2! What have they done to Lee Adama's character now, he has become a whiner! Overload! Overload! My brain is melting! What do I do with my life now!? How do I go on?! I am going through nerd withdraw! Someone help me! Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all..... SO SAY WE ALL!

Reagan's First Dance Class

I started Reagan in "Pre-Ballet" for two-year-olds to give her something to do away from the boys and mommy. Reagan was not happy. The parents had to stay in the lobby while the dance class was going on. She was crying and crying and I was questioning my brilliant plan. I left her with the teacher (who said this was not unusual at all and they get used to it over time). I thought that she was crying for me and I felt so bad; then I finally heard, through the sobbing, what she was asking for: "I want my Chaseyman!" (What she calls Chase.) I didn't realize until that day that she was always around either Chase or Blake or myself. Even when I drop her off for nursery on Sundays (which she has never had a problem with) she has always had Chase with her. The second dance class went MUCH better. No crying (until the teacher took her boa at the end of class).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back to Pima Air Museum

A few days before Christmas, we went to the Pima Air and Space Museum with my parents and Aaron and his family. Our kids go crazy when they see airplanes and they LOVE this museum.

There is a play cockpit, several airplanes, and control tower.

We went on the tour through the Boneyard. It is a huge lot of thousands of planes being used for scrap, being rebuilt, and being put on display. I highly recommend the tour to anyone with a remote interest in airplane history.