Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Down Time .... A real rarity at the cabin in Flagstaff

Climbing trees, a hike to the pond, carrying piles of bones back to the house, chasing Squirrels, building forts, taking down a pine tree, riding bikes, and everything else they had spent their day doing looks to have been exhausting.

After enjoying some afternoon TV and a short rest they were ready to go again!

Monday, September 28, 2009

No Front Teeth ... and Couldn't Feel any Cuter!

"Don't I look cute without my teeth Grandma?" She was very surprised to learn that even Grandma had lost her two front teeth many years ago!

A Beautiful Display of Teamwork!

It was so much fun watching the grandkids working together to get this tree down. You should have heard all of the commands and suggestions that they were yelling out to one another. A lot of muscle, cooperation, and an enormous amount of energy was put into this challenging feat of determination. For grandma.....it was a beautiful display of teamwork!

Monkeys or Grandkids?

I won't kid you . . . . this very loved activity makes me very, very nervous. When these granddaughters visit there is no keeping them out of the Pine Trees! They are on the ground one second and the next they are yelling out; "Grandma, look at me!" I look up and they are half way up a Pine Tree.

The younger kids just look up in awe, wishing they too could be up there. These are very well rounded and very active girls. They are as happy climbing a Pine Tree as they are all decked out in a frilly dance costume covered in sequins with their hair and make up done for a Pink Carpet Premier!

Their Teachers Would be Very Proud

The cousins are out of school for the weekend. They and their parents came for a weekend visit to the cabin. The oldest cousin who is nine was the pretend teacher and she turned the back patio into a classroom and school was in session. They worked hard on their assignments and then played hard on on their very frequent recesses climbing trees and building forts.

I love seeing my grandchildren playing together as cousins and good friends!

Our Littlest Mountain Guest

This little guy (my youngest grandchild) stays busy and on the move checking things out when he visits us in Flagstaff. He loves being outdoors and seeing all of the forest animals scurrying around the yard. He has discovered the bunny's hiding place and he loves seeing the bunny run away when he heads that way. He likes to chase the Squirrels and Chipmunks and watch the birds eating from their feeders. He is ALL boy and his clothes and shoes prove it when it is time to come in to the cabin.

Butterfly Crafts

My grandsons were great sports with this cabin craft. I had purchased two craft kits to have on hand to help keep the grand kids busy when they visited. They were both glitter art kits. I had purchased one of birds for the boys and one of butterflies for the girls visit. Well on the boys visit I could not find the bird kit that I had purchased for them. They willingly and beautifully completed the butterfly project. Being the boys they are they would not touch the pink glitter that the kit included! They insisted that they were making all boy butterflies. They were very proud of their artwork and they were as tickled as they could be to be doing crafts with their grandma.....even if they were butterflies!

The birds have still not turned up. I know they are hidden somewhere in the house to stay safely hidden as a surprise for the boys. I will be the surprised one now when I finally happen upon them!

An Adventure through the Meadow

Papa and I had been living across from this meadow and pond for a few weeks without ever going to check it out. We had no idea what exciting things we would discover when we headed out on this adventure with our three young grandsons and their parents.

Everything was discovered with so much excitement. There were several piles of animal bones, some complete skeletons. You can only imagine the thrill of their grizzly finds. They discovered bedding areas of large animals. We guessed probably the beds of deer or elk. The ponds edge was filled with thousands of growing cat tails which they harvested as a souvenir. A big highlight for these three boys was finding a decaying Racoon at the waters edge.

The boy's daddy and their Papa taught the boys how to skip rocks and each tried to outdo one another by creating big splashes tossing bigger and bigger stones into the pond. It was a beautiful day for such an adventure. Discovering the meadow and the pond through the eyes of our grandsons was an absolute gift.

Papa Sharing Big Boy Toys

This was a very exciting activity for our three grandsons who were visiting us in Flagstaff. Their Papa had a water trailer at the house with a fireman hose attached. Papa gave them each a turn at holding and running the powerful water hose. A very simple everyday thing for their Papa....by sharing it with his grandsons.... created what will be a long remembered memory.

Helping Papa with Cabin Chores

Three of our grandsons each had a turn getting to climb the ladder and helping their Papa fill the bird feeders on a recent visit to Flagstaff. It was also watering day for the plants. The watering pan for the animals was also cleaned and filled with fresh water.

They had way too much fun with their Papa to even know that they were helping with the chores!

Yummy Fireside Treats

All of my grandchildren love helping to build a camp fire. It is a must do (and a well supervised) activity when they come to visit us in the mountains. This night we roasted marshmallows and the kids made S'mores for their treat. The adults enjoyed a really yummy pineapple upside down cake that my daughter and her husband baked in their dutch oven. It was perfectly baked and sooooo good!

Hello, Mama Bear

Let me introduce you to Mama Bear and her baby. This life size bear is part of the decor in our temporary mountain home. She stands right next to a bank of windows on the back of the house and next to one of the patio doors. It took me the longest time to get used to her standing there. She frightened me for weeks when I would catch a glimpse of her when I was home alone.

I have since made friends with her and I now greet her every time I enter the house alone. (Not to worry.....I know I'm being silly.) My youngest grandson has made friends with her too. On his last visit he entered the house and the first thing he did was give the bear and her baby a huge smile like he was visiting a dear old friend. He waved and waved to the bear and kept telling her hi! He was a bit puzzled and very disappointed that the bear was not sharing in his excitement of seeing one another again.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Home Away from Home

Well here it is... our home away from home. This has been home for the last six weeks or so and it will be our home until my husbands job on the Navajo Nation is complete. It is a beautiful four bedroom home nestled among the Pines of Flagstaff, Arizona. Our view just beyond the Pines in the front is a very large meadow with a large pond. The backyard is a wildlife playground. The lot backs up to National Forest. At the end of our lane, just right of the house is an additional two car carriage house with an apartment above. The property also has a large fire ring for building big bonfires. It is a great place to do dutch oven cooking and the roasting of marshmallows for some really tasty s'mores.

All of the living spaces have large uncovered windows to invite the natural light and the beauty of the outdoors in. The breakfast nook in the back of the house overlooks two bird feeders and a bird bath. We have Squirrels, Chipmunks, lizards, and a wide variety of birds who have parties just outside our windows all day long! A couple of my favorite wildlife guests are a pair of large Jay Birds. They are bright blue with a black crown on the top of their heads.

The homes interior is beautiful and fully furnished. I only added a few items to the fireplace mantle to make it feel a bit more like home. The home also has a baby grand piano which has given me an opportunity to brush up on my very rusty piano skills. Just this past week a skunk was spotted hiding under our front walkway. All I could think of is the amount of times I have swept that front walk with the skunk probably being just inches from me!!!!

My very favorite guests are the two legged variety that come up from the valley to visit. Our children and grandchildren have been frequent visitors and it is they who have turned this home away from home and it's furnishings into a real home for us!