Joshua Tree

After 7 years of marriage Mike and I have learned a few things about how we function best. Well, at least Mike has. Our neighbor, Robin and her daughter Lilly were camping in Joshua Tree for a week and invited us to join them at any point during their time. We really had a pretty busy week, but have been itching to camp and see Joshua Tree. If Mike has said, "Let's do it! Wednesday night! We'll leave early in the morning, stay the night and come back after supper on Thursday. It won't be a big deal. We'll keep it simple!"...if he had said that, I would have immediately started stressing about the planning (because we all know that camping is a great big fat hassle that is totally worth it, but a stinkin' lot of work). BUT he said, "You know, I'm not completely sure we should go, but if we are going to do it we should leave in the morning. Let's just act like we are doing it and head in that direction until we are derailed and decide it isn't the thing to do." I started making pasta salad for supper and protein bars for hiking and piling clothes on the bed (which I almost didn't even pack because I figured we would just wear the same thing both days). It was stress free! And we made it!Desert camping is different than East TN Mtn. camping. It's own kind of beautiful. I love it!
Mike went out for a dawn walk and met some friends. We heard them a lot during the night.
It was a hair chilly morning and evening, but HOT during the day - desert camping. Those tall trees with the green bunches on top.
Three climbing partners. Terra was camping beside us.

Can't explain this pose. I just called her name and she struck a ballet move.
She's hooked. They loved climbing. You wouldn't believe the stuff people do out there. Robin's friend who joined her the day we left has been climbing out there since he was a kid. He did climbed close to 200 feet without gear. In fact, if you scroll back up to the first picture, it was the big rock in the background.

Cant' wait to go back! The kids slept great in the tent! Now that we finally have them all camping ready, we are starting back a square one with another baby. Oh well.

She is dying to be an animal trainer

So in the mean time she practices on her siblings.

Case you needed a closer look at that cuteness.

Batter up!

Well, here it is - the first t-ball game of our lives! I have to say it far exceeded my expectations. It is excruciating (for a competitive person like myself) and hilarious. These kids are so cute. The first hit everyone just stood there and watched the ball. Now, three games into the season they are wrestling for possession.

Pre-game warm-up. Joe's the one in the camo. We don't have him pants yet.
Stretches supervised by your sister.
Stretches supervised by your other sister.
Playing the field.
Batting tips from Coach Manny. He's great. Already coached his older boys all the way through high school. Now they are starting over with their surprise kid Peyton.
Whammo, first swing!

Everybody hits! Everybody scores! That's t-ball. Four innings or AN HOUR AND A HALF!! which ever comes first. By the third inning they are stealing each other's hat and chatting it up with the base runners. But the four innings of practice are good.
That stance must just come naturally. (Actually, I think he forgot to wear underwear. It happens sometimes.)
Good game!! You should come watch! It is great fun!


This kid is biz-ee! (busy) Any yet she will sit a color for a good 30 minutes. Have no idea why she loves it so much that she colors in books that don't belong to us. But I like it. (No that she draws in books, but that she likes to draw.)
Check out that grip! (She knew I was taking pictures at this point and started to ham it up.)

Matched her shirt to the bruise on her forehead. Like it?

Sew fun

Two years ago I tried to get Olivia interested in sewing. We used this burlap and a big needle. She sewed those jagged orange lines on there, somewhat reluctantly, and never picked it back up. We had a revival last week. She said she wanted to sew and I suggested to practice some more lines...or, I could write her name and she could 'trace' it. She did. Then she immediately wanted to cut those baby orange lines off . I'll post pics soon of her original creations. She's already given one away to a friend. She's moved on to fabric and tomorrow she will learn to thread her own needle! She is so proud of herself and I am honestly a bit impressed.