Monthly Archives: March 2012

contemplating sand

this is the LAST series of photos from last week’s adventure at freestone park. i promise. but you’ll be glad i shared them. i double promise.


alex isn’t too sure about this stuff we call “sand:”


check out how she curled her toes:


but after about 10 minutes, she was REACHING for the sand:


and just a few minutes after that she was TOUCHING the sand:


and she was allowing it to drip through her fingers:


and not photographed: alex TASTING sand. multiple times. blech!


my sweet girl, who does NOT like to sit, stand or crawl in/on grass, dirt, concrete, cement, pavement (you get the idea), was actively engaged with SAND.

sliding fun

i was SO happy to capture these photos last week thursday when we were at Freestone Park.




and i need to record SOMEWHERE (so why not here?!) that these two LOVE to play “super hero.” usually “Marvell Super Heroes” or “The Avengers.” well, davey does, at least. samantha usually goes along with davey’s choice but every now and then she puts her foot down (literally) and says/shouts “I WANT TO PLAY FAM-UH-LEE!”

Happy Birthday Nana!

photo to come from last night’s celebration, but today (sunday), NANA (aka: my mom, Carol Sarapata), celebrated her BIRTHDAY! we are SO THANKFUL that she was here, in Mesa, to celebrate with us! Happy Birthday, Nana! We all (Dave, Tam, Davey, Sam & Alex) love you!


the rains came down….

we had a false alarm here last month with a “big rainstorm” that turned out to be less “storm” and less “rain” than we expected. we have apparently been lulled into a stupor thanks to the sunshine and happiness of this vast and beautiful desert where we now live because when they called for a “big rainstorm” this past weekend, we neglected to PREPARE for it. we had cardboard boxes all over the backyard (can someone PLEASE tell me where there’s a recycling center?!) along with toys, strollers, bikes, scooters, balls, buckets, stuffed animals and more. we woke up on sunday morning to a LOT of rain and to some COLD weather (the high for the day was 55*!) and to some waterlogged boxes and toys. oops. guess those 12.5 years i spent in the great northwest have been wiped clean from my system after just 7 weeks here in arizona!


no one….

no one…. and i mean NO ONE can make alex laugh harder or louder than samantha can.



shortly after taking this photo, my camera card was full. i missed a LOT of good laughing photo ops, but i was able to ENJOY the moment. and that, my friends, was worth it.



Munchkin photo shoot gone awry

i found these Christmastime photos the other day when i was looking for some specific family photos. i’m pretty sure i never shared these with you and you would like to see them b/c they are SO TYPICAL of what happens when i TRY to take a photo of all three Munchkins.


not a great photo, but at least everyone’s looking at the camera. let’s not discuss the reality that davey isn’t wearing any pants:


sam’s looking away and davey, while trying to be helpful, is obviously working hard to “hold” alex in place:


sam’s STILL looking away, alex is now sticking out her tongue (cute, yes, but great photo, no) and davey is looking down:


and now, before we’ve even captured a photo that’s “okay,” alex is finished with this photo session… and she’s crawling her way out of the viewfinder:


but then she decides she wants to WATCH the action rather than be a PART of the action, so she plops down DIRECTLY IN FRONT of the camera:


and then alex realizes she’s in the way and starts to move… off to better activities, i suppose:


and THAT, my friends, is why photos of ALL THREE of the Dunkin Munchkins are difficult to come by! [i can only imagine how difficult it is to get a decent family photo of the Duggers!]



Treasure Loop

other than some ridiculous sun burns, we survived today’s hike! we had sunscreen in our backpack but i neglected to use it on ANY of us. ugh. BAD MAMA! additionally, alex was NOT a happy hiker riding along on dave’s back. or my back. so she ended up being “worn” on my front. many thanks to my friend Jenni for loaning us her ergo.


today we hiked Treasure Loop which is 2.4 miles including some UP HILL and the kids did well. see that “rock” at the bottom of the mountain right about in the middle of the photo below? THAT is known as Green Rock. And Treasure Loop “loops” around Green Rock.


as we were hiking, davey was pretty whiney and crabby and slow. we’re pretty sure he didn’t get enough sleep. so on the way UP the mountain, he was lagging behind. our first break on the trail was when we made it to a cactus. not really a certain one, but just a cactus that was about halfway from the parking lot to Green Rock. then we stopped at Green Rock. sam and i made it there first.

see the colorful dots in the middle of the above photo? yep. that’s davey and dave.

and here’s the little dude picking up steam:


and then it was snack break time!

while we snacked and rested, dave did a little bit of free climbing:

the rock behind him is the back side of Green Rock.


and then we were off to reach the highest elevation on our hike (approximately 2500 feet – though our snack break time occurred at only 2400 feet) where we even found a nice guy to take a photo of us:

not too bad even though sam REFUSED to be in the photo (i literally pulled her from behind the sign post)!



a little glimpse of the beauty that is Arizona. it’s dry. barren. dusty. dessert. but it’s beautiful. and oh-so-very-different from the lush, green, mossy, wet beauty of the northwest. i love both.


before we made it to the base of the trail where there are restrooms, sam and davey BOTH announced they had to pee and then they started to hold themselves. UH OH! dave took them off into the bushes off the trail for a little pit stop. here they are, walking back to me:


overall, it was a great hike and davey and sam could definitely do it again. while on our way UP to the cactus stopping point, a woman and her daughter who were walking DOWN the trail (we were walking up) told us if we reverse the trail it’d be easier on the kiddos, so we’ll have to try that next time. taking the left most path UP and the right most path DOWN.

-would we do this hike again? DEFINITELY.

-would we recommend it to friends? DEFINITELY.

-would we apply sunscreen before and maybe even DURING the hike? DEFINITELY.

-are we happy we went? DEFINITELY


after our hike, we enjoyed a packed, picnic lunch using a table like this:


and then we took the 0.33 mile walk along some path to see the cool things they listed including Bat Houses and a Sundial. we were sorely disappointed (we were also exhausted) but here are some fun photos anyway:


birdie on a cactus:


petting a coyote – part of the sundial

(Uncle Tom would’ve been VERY proud of these two kids. at this point in the day, they were pretending to be Dora and Diego and they were speaking in as much Spanish as they could remember…. not a lot, but enough to keep themselves and us entertained!)

lost dutchman state park

yes, it’s really called the lost dutchman state park. very fitting that we live pretty close to it and we plan to do lots of hiking there, eh? see Lynden-ites…. you’ll ALWAYS be in our hearts!


we took a drive last saturday (instead of our planned family hike) and ended up at the LDSP. we took a little walk on one of the trails to check out the area. it got us pretty excited to actually HIKE. so tomorrow¬†(friday), we’re heading back to to the LDSP and we’re going to hike. as a family. here’s a sneak preview of what we’ll be doing/where we’ll be tomorrow morning:


$15 investment

our $15 investment into one of THESE Ikea dry erase and chalkboard easels was VERY worthwhile! we have it downstairs in our kitchen/family room area. the kids LOVE to draw on it (especially the dry erase side). it often keeps them quiet and entertained while i’m preparing lunch or dinner. i love those moments of “peace.”


but along with the help it provides me at meal-prep time, it also has helped davey improve his drawing and writing skills. he drew a robot earlier this week that was ridiculously cool. unfortunately, he erased it before i could snap a photo. but this morning, he surprised dave and i with a drawing of a person (standard for him) and then a BUNNY! yep. a bunny. a RECOGNIZABLE bunny.


wanna see?



i told you. pretty darn cool, right?


this kid amazes me every single day. he’s growing up. he’s learning so quickly. and in just over 5 months, he’ll be in kindergarten FULL TIME EVERY DAY and i will not know what to do with myself. my little boy is growing up and it only cost me $15 to realize it…..