Sunday, July 27, 2008

Last week's recap

This coming week is our last week of summer break. Usually, we don't start school until early September but this year we are starting a month early because the kids will have the whole month of October off for the birth of the new baby. There are lots of projects I still need to wrap up so the next few days are certain to be very busy.

I would definitely say that I have been having the "nesting instinct". This past week, I cleaned out and reorganized every nook and cranny in the boys' bedroom and in our bedroom. The last room in the house that still needs to be de-cluttered and reorganized is the kitchen, but I did get started on that last week, too. My most dreaded part about that job is having to clean out our 2 huge refrigerators.

The results from my blood work came back and were relieving in that I did not have a condition known as "cholestasis", which is what I was most worried about. There were some minor issues with my kidneys but I was expecting that since I tend to get kidney infections during pregnancy (which is caused by a problem with my back). I also had a slightly elevated white blood cell count and a slightly low red blood cell count, meaning my body was fighting some kind of infection, but other than being tired and a little stuffed up I feel fine. My horrible, itchy rash went away after my friend Leslie and I went swimming at a creek up north last week. She said the water there contained travertine and that it was pretty much a miracle cure for insect bites, rashes, and other skin issues, and she was definitely right.

We went there last Tuesday with all the kids. It was well over 100 miles away, so the drive was long. On the way, we stopped at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park, which was breathtakingly beautiful. The pictures really don't do it justice.

This hole at the top of the natural bridge (which is under the cement walkway) goes all the way to the creek at the bottom of the bridge, a good 100 feet below. Miriam loved looking down there but you can't really tell from the picture how far down it goes.

We had just gotten to the point where we had to leave the main road and head 9 miles down a very steep grade on a dirt road to get to the creek when my "low tire pressure" light came on. Some of you may remember my previous adventure and near miss when off-roading in my van, so I was a little more cautious this time. We pulled over at a gas station and decided that the front passenger tire (that I had just hit the curb with a couple of days before) looked a little low. We added some air but there was no gauge and we just went by feeling and inflated the tire until it "looked right". We got back on the road and less than a mile later, the light came back on. We pulled over again, and at this point Leslie realized that my back passenger tire had a nail in it. Since we were just across the street from a mechanic we pulled in and he patched up the tire for us in 20 minutes, something the kids very much enjoyed watching. We got back on the road and, of course, the low tire light came on a couple of miles later just as we started down the mountain. We looked at the tires one more time and since they all looked fine I figured that the vent on the tire that had just been fixed was acting up and setting the light off for no reason (I've had that happen before). We made it down to the creek just fine, which was good because there is no cell phone reception once you leave the main road. There were other people nearby, though, so it's not like we were really taking any serious risks.

Fossil Creek was absolutely awesome. It was a little scary because in some parts, the water was moving a lot faster, while in other parts it was in standing pools and very calm. Us two adults were caring for 4 little kids, only one of which knew how to swim - in a backyard pool and not a raging creek! I didn't take my camera with me, but below are some pictures that Leslie sent me to give you an idea of how beautiful it was. We were a little farther down the creek where the water was not nearly as wild as in these photos.

We drove back up the mountain a couple of hours later, the tire pressure light still on. I did hit a few serious rocks and holes on the bumpy road but wasn't too worried because I thought everything was fine with the tires. On the way home, much to the kids' delight, we stopped at a goat farm and at the oldest standing school house in Arizona. We got back home very late, very tired, and very happy. By this point, my rash was almost completely gone. I know it was from the water because my upper arms, which got exposed to the water the least, were itching more than the rest of my body.

Just to be safe, I took my van to Sam's Club a couple of days later for them to check and make sure the tires were fine, and to replace the valve if it was faulty. They guy took one look at my tires and said that my front passenger tire (the one we had inflated "by feeling") was totally over-inflated. He measured it at over 70 lbs, when it should have been 32 lbs! He said I was lucky it didn't blow out, especially considering how many rocks I was hitting on the dirt road and how hot the tire got driving all the way back home to Phoenix at night. He let air out of the tire and the light has never come back on again. Mental note: buy a tire gauge this week. Not sure what happened to the one that used to be in my glove compartment.

On Thursday, my husband turned 27, but he was on a business trip in California until Saturday. The kids and I made cookies and a birthday cake for him to have when he got back.

I am definitely not planning on any more adventures this week!


  1. Ha! I would never have thought that Pastor Anderson was so young!

  2. Dear Zsuzsanna,
    I found your blog via Karl Keating's email. You have a beautiful family. Living a Christian life is not easy, but is surely worth it. Thank you for being such a good witness.


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