Monday, January 30, 2012

cowboy tex:

so malachi may beturning out to be a little cowboy... the hazards of growing up in tx, i guess ;)

giddy-up giraffe...

see, giraffe works too, i caught the cow!

Friday, January 20, 2012

more pics of our last run

i already posted the boring details of my last run. but i thought i'd better add a little more because it was only the second run that the kids have come to... each of the races by the drc has a kids race after, usually it's not very far, but the kids get a racing bib and at the end they get a little prize, rayna ran one lap (about 100 meters), and afton ran 2 laps, so they each got a little pin (afton got 2, for doing both laps), and afton forgot to turn in her little tag-thing so they didn't call her out as a winner, but i thought she did pretty well. 

aren't we cute?! this was at the end of the races.
it was pretty chilly that morning. and i was really excited about the sun coming up... unfortunately the thick grey clouds hit about 10 minutes after the sun came up--go figure. but it wasn't bad while running, i just felt bad for the kids ane paul waiting for me... i wish it had made me run faster!
here's rayna finishing her lap--i ran with her because she was nervous

afton did awesome! this was her second lap, and she was still going pretty fast :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

new year's eve

for new year's eve last year afton planned the whole party :) it's amazing to me how much she enjoys it all. she got everyone to dress-up (though that's a somewhat relative term for us), planned games--button, button, who has the button and tic-tac-toe featured prominately, and made sure everyone was having fun (you'd be surprised how fun those games can be if your 5-yr old hostess is entertaining everyone with them!). there was plenty of food and balloons and crackers. and we even got naps that afternoon so we could stay up really really late (10!!!)

rayna stuffed balloons under her skirt so it would POOF
(i just loved her expression too--so cute!)

just before bed (almost 10!) covered with streamers (yes, paul thinks he's funny)

afton ready with her cracker

the whole party complete with crowns from the crackers, and a couple little toys too :)

okay, i must admit, the rest of us stayed up past midnight, playing games that might pass as more enjoyable than afton's choices, but i think we all had a blast ringing in the new year, and having quite the party for our last night in az! thanks so much to sarah for sharing dominion with us, we loved it (though i evidentally never caught on fully to strategy--i was doing better by the end there)!

we've got just a little bit from new year's day:

this one's actually new year's day. malachi got his own fork for breakfast, and proceeded to eat with it fairly well too. i was impressed how well it worked at least!

we also really enjoyed later church (11) at grandma's house, where the girls relaly wanted to go to primary, so they got to try out a new ward before their own new classes back in tx the next week! i was proud of them for staying the whole time and having fun too! after church we packed up pretty quick so we could head out as soon as possible for our long drive back. the drive was gloriously uneventful and we made it home by lunch time :) here's just a few more pictures from the way home:
and a few sunrise pics from our drive home. this is middle-of-no-where, TX, and i was mostly impressed with myself and my new camera because i took it while driving through the window, and still got some pretty good shots off :)

gotta love those windmills too!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

picacho peak

so one of the things the girls were most excited to do in az was climb a mountain. they've never had a lot of mountain climbing experience, as the average rise anywhere near dallas is best described as a "little hill," but i thought we found a pretty good one for their first mountain. it was also fun to see my aunt and her family again, we don't see them nearly often enough since we moved away from az!
picacho peak:
this is the view from the highway, we hiked up to the little saddle on the right-hand side of the peak there
the hike officially continues up to the peak, which paul and i did about 6 years ago, but it would have been really hard for the kids (especially since we forgot the baby-carrier), and impossible for our cousins' dog.

first we did a little quick-hike to this cute little cave for the kids to play in

the boys got a little ahead of us :)

i was really impressed with afton and rayna both, they both hiked all the way up with only the occasional assistance, and afton refused more than a couple hands' up, she really wanted to do it all herself! rayna stayed relatively close to me, but i was still impressed (amazed) that she did so well!

pause for a cousin picture. this is at the base of the big rock, just before the last climb to the saddle, if you look in the first picture, you can see a large tan rock face just under the saddle, pretty cool, huh?!
enjoying the view and some snacks at the saddle. they climbed over 900 verticle feet, and i think it was just over a mile, each way laterally.
our climbing buddies! thanks so much for coming with us, we had a blast, and we appreciate your help and encouragement too!

the view from the top... and you can see our car, especially if you click on the picture to make it big, we've got the tan spot on the top of that loop :) it was also a great climb for watching trains go by, afton gave up counting train cars pretty fast, but i think we saw 12 seperate trains that day!

malachi really wanted to come down teh mountain by himself... he didn't really believe me that he was too little, and got very frustrated with me when i tried to help him, but rayna needed to use the bathroom, so we were in a little bit of a hurry
(he and i ended up being last down anyways)

it was pretty cool to see how far up we'd gone when we got to the playarea at the base of the mountain too. that's our saddle the sun's peaking through

and rayna loved this cactus the best, she said it looked like a man :) two eyes, two arms. (sorry i missed the front view, we were driving past when she pointed it out)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

tucson and tamales

so you know, with all the pictures i took on this trip... there are an awful lot i forgot to take too :). we were in tucson for more than 24 hours, visiting the taylors (who we haven't seen in a year) and some other friends stopped by from our past (i think we hadn't seen them in more like 4 years!) with their 2 1/2 yr old twin boys (that's right, never even met them before), and i dind't get a single picture of any of them, let alone any cute candids or whatever that would be officially blog-worthy... and we stopped by a wedding reception (gate crashed, actually as we didn't even know it was going to be then til we got there--and in our jeans!) to visit with a few more poeple we used to know from church! but we did have a great time at our little party, and we loved seeing all of you again!
the two pictures i did take in tucson:
nothing like a good batch of tamales to ring in the new year right! and these were fantastic, we were so glad to steal a couple dozen to bring home with us, paul and i have been eating them for dessert for the last two weeks :D

and there's no place like the taylors to find beautiful dress-up clothes! the girls "took turns" with this one, but really afton wore it about the whole time we were there, including playing on the swingset and traipsing through the sand and thorns in the backyard! she's such a tom-boy princess!

thanks agian taylors for letting us come stay with you! and arranging everything so we could do so much in such a short time!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

one Thursday morning...

if a picture is worth a thousand words, i probably don't need to add any to these:

i love afton's reflection in the car window

i just love overalls!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

PHX zoo

i know you've seen a million zoo pics from us over the last three year, but these are a little different, and i even have a few new (compared to our zoo) animals :)
who can see the wolf?

if you click on the picture, it'll get bigger too

hint: over afton's head, grey

who ever would have guessed?! javelina are zoo-animals! not just pests :)
i think they called them collared peccary

roadrunner imitating owl (both pictured)

these guys are just pictured because prarie dogs are afton's new favorite animal!
have you ever seen one of these at the zoo before?
(they were peeking into an exhibit as rayna and i returned from a bathroom run, and i thought it was funny... maybe only if you could see them from the opposite sidewalk...)

gila monsters... and girly monsters ;)

i didn't get a pic of the real dragon, but here's the girls on the statue-dragon! cool, huh?!

the kids were enthralled with the pelicans!

malachi wasn't so enthralled with the iguanas...
sorry, i couldn't help myself...

the girls were so happy to let this guy preen for us.

most of the crew :) i wasn't ready to try to focus this shot and run and jump in it with the timer, but i still like how it turned out

and finally, what do you really go to AZ from TX to see...
\----longhorns! ----/
(though the giraffes and ostriches in the background make up for that a little

Monday, January 9, 2012

a few favorites

these are a few of my favorite super heros, i'm a little hazy on the details, but i think afton was a princess and rayna had super powers (in the fight against the wicked warlock, because uncle matthew wouldn't be a wicked witch). sarah was particularly tickled by the armrest cover-headpieces :)

i love this one of the girls with grandma
the girls loved their new sleeping bags, they were sleeping together on an air mattress, and when we would come in to check on them we'd usually find them either  
snuggled close together

or afton would roll away... i don't think she made it through a single night without rolling off the bed, but it didn't seem to bother her either :)
 and speaking of sleep patterns, this was malachi one night--we forgot his blue soft blanket, which he loves, so we borrowed a piece of soft pink fleece from grandma f. before we left tx, and it was nearly good enough for malachi... this pic cracks me up because he managed to stay pretty wrapped up in his blankets, but his feet are on his pillow, and his pink blanket is completely over his head!

three generations of williamson men! i love this one too!

and game time for the napper when his sisters are in bed and he can have some quality daddy-time...
and hit something too!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

marshmallow wars and the park

rayna announced about a week before Christmas that she wanted a marshmallow gun. i'm not sure where she learned about this kind of thing, but i think she was thinking it was more of a marshmallow dispenser... (i think the idea came from an oriental trading company catalog). needless to say, paul and i thought that was a fabulous idea and we went out and got the pvc pieces to make guns for 4 people (not all in the same location for Christmas, but still, it's always a good idea, right?). rayna's was for her, but to share with afton and malachi, but uncle matthew's was just for him, and aunt sarah's was for defense! the day after Christmas we went out to a local park and had a lot of fun!



we were having a lot of fun at the park, and i was playing with my new camera, so there's a ton of pictures from the park... here's some of my favorites:
malachi LOVES climbing and sliding

rayna jumped off the jeep

lots of swinging...

awww, how cute ;)

i loved the light in this one, uncle matt took a bunch of cool shots of rayna and chi on this little climber

grandma and grandpa came too... but they didn't swing or slide at all, can you believe it?! ;)

malachi was hanging from the monkey bars... he's getting stronger!