Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall is here

Fall has finally arrived in Arizona, and temperatures are cooling down - at least somewhat. Since the new baby has still not arrived, we have been enjoying lots of extra time with the older kids while taking them on special outings.

Here are some pictures from the last couple of weeks:

Solomon's birthday dinner at a local Mexican restaurant

Miriam fell asleep "reading" her New Testament

At the "Way out West Oktoberfest" in Tempe

Isaac always wears his shoes the wrong way like that.

A family trip to Tonto Natural Bridge State Park

I think this must be one of the most beautiful places in all of Arizona. The pictures on their website really do not do it any justice. We actually went here twice last week, in hopes that the change in elevation and the hiking would start my labor. No such luck, but we did have a lot of fun.

The first time, we hiked down into the canyon on a short but very steep trail. The second time I assumed that the other, longer trail to the bottom of the bridge (which we had never hiked before) would be less steep and therefore less strenuous, but boy, was I wrong! The trail descended into the canyon very quickly (200 foot drop in elevation in less than 1/4 mile), but left us about 1/2 mile up the canyon from the natural bridge and the waterfall that comes down over the bridge. Since this was in the bottom of a canyon, the trail ended and we were expected to hike through the creek bed, which was basically just a bunch of HUGE boulders and rocks. We did go on for another 10 minutes or so, but looking at the map I realized that we had probably twice as far still left to go, plus having to hike back out again, too. My husband was carrying Miriam the whole time, while the three older boys were managing pretty well on their own. The thing that really made me decide that it would be smart to turn around was when I went to put my hand on a big boulder for balance, when I saw a little critter scurry across where I was about to put my hand. I immediately recognized that it was a bark scorpion, the most poisonous kind we have here in Arizona. Though not necessarily always deadly, I wasn't sure what we would have done with a 9 months pregnant woman and four little kids in the bottom of a canyon, stuck half-way in a dry creek bed. Since this was a weekday there were no other hikers, and of course we were light years from cell phone reception. We made it back up to the parking lot safely, and my husband and his friend who had come with us hiked back down again on their own while the kids and I stayed and played in the creek up at the top of the bridge. Later, I was watching a video clip my husband had recorded of the absolutely gigantic fire ants that were up there. One of them was carrying something - a dead bark scorpion! The guy in the gift shop said that they do have a lot of scorpions there, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. He has found a total of 8 in his bed over the years (he lives in a house at right there at the park), but he had never been stung by one. Afterward, we all went out for some pizza.

At the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park

I took the kids here today with a friend from church. We all had a great time.

Baking pretzels

Miriam playing with her baby doll


  1. Hiking at 9 months?? Good thing you didn't have the baby right then and there!!

  2. I enjoyed seeing the pictures. Was it cold at Tonto Natural Bridge State Park? The reason I am asking is because it looks like you all were dressed in winter clothes. If it was cold, what was the temperature?

    I am sure you are ready to have the baby. Is your husband off work (his secular job) for a while? Is he going to help take care of the kids when you are in labor?


  3. I got so excited when I saw that you had a new post up. I was hoping that you had been quiet because you had the baby already and were busy with breastfeeding. Thanks for the update :)
    Have you got any plans to hurry things along?

  4. Tereza,

    if nothing else, it would have been the most scenic place to have a baby! :)


    it was quite a bit cooler up there, especially on the rim of the canyon where the wind was blowing (about 55 degrees), but warmer down in the bottom. Temperatures here in Phoenix are still in the 90s during the day.

    My husband has been working in town rather than making many out-of-town trips like he usually does. That way, he can be home much more often, especially overnight, and can also come home at a moment's notice. He has been helping a lot more with my chores, something he usually cannot do, and has also taken the other kids off my hand quite a bit.


    at this point, I wish I could get myself to hurry things along, but I just don't feel like it is a good idea. I'll talk about it with my midwife today when she comes over for a prenantal. I wouldn't mind just waiting around longer, but she is scheduled to leave town again next Tuesday.

  5. Zsuzsanna- again, I am in awe of you!

    I think back to when I was at term, or a couple of days past, and all I could do was perch myself on the couch- and wait, and wait, and wait! (21 days with baby #1!)

    I must tell you that the picture of Solomon and your husband at his birthday dinner is one of the sweetest pictures I have seen in a long time. So much love!

    Can I volunteer to be a virtual Grandma to your kids? They are all so precious!
    Can't wait to hear about the new little one!


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