Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Yes, we know, it's called football.

That clarified, soccer season has begun with a vengeance! Daisy is one of about 500 kids across Anthem playing soccer this season and yes, she plays competitive games each Saturday with training every Tuesday. (The first game we had to point out what a goal was to the children and what they were meant to do with it!)

Daisy loves it and is amazing at running after the ball - and has scored a goal in both games so far!!!


Soccer moms and dads...


Daisy during half time. We love how she's sitting!!


This is Coach 'V' who we love! He has the perfect attitude for coaching 3 and 4 year olds - that is, let them have a good time and who cares if they hand ball/look at the rabbits/pick flowers/run hand in hand with their friends... Not all the coaches have the same attitude though - the team we played last Saturday left the field in disgust!! (We all thought it was funny!)

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The Pumpkin Patch

A couple of weeks ago we travelled up to Dewey to visit Young's Farm. It's apparently tradition that you choose your pumpkins from a pumpkin patch, and we hear that there's none better in Arizona than this one. We had a wonderful day as we did everything from hay rides to bouncy castles...


This is Daisy and Lucy being pulled by a tractor. We LOVE Lucy's face on this!


This is the real pumpkin patch where they grow the pumpkins.


We ate lunch there and felt very American with all the red and white table cloths and country music playing in the background!


This is the pumpkin patch where you get to choose your favourite pumpkin. We got 3 to go outside our front door (check the Mallon's blog for more on fall decorating!!).

Our favourite part of the day was a hay ride where 'Farmer Buzz' (9 children, 23 grandchildren!) told us all about the farm, raising free range turkeys, how to strip and eat fresh corn (yum) - and how Arizona water tax has meant that Young's Farm is having to close, so this is the last year the pumpkin patch will ever be there. We and Farmer Buzz were welling up together as he told us. Lizzy's planning her protest march...! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A beautiful vacation in Flagstaff

We realised we've never had a holiday with just the 4 of us since Lucy was born, so decided to put it right. A friend of a friend has a cabin in Flagstaff which we stayed in for a few nights. It was such a beautiful place and just what we needed. Daisy particularly enjoyed the trampoline...

...yes that really is the house where we stayed. It was so big we didn't even use the downstairs - or any of the 7 ATVs (quad bikes) they had there!!! This was the view from the front balcony, early one frosty morning. And yes, that is our 'pond'.

We did lots of hiking: we climbed extinct volcanoes, picnic'd where Gareth had snowboarded 18 months ago, and visited the country's highest arboretum, which had a great kid's maze. We took this photo there of Arizona's highest peak just near Flagstaff - over 12,000ft.

After eating lunch looking out over the painted desert - an amazing vista where you can see the 60 miles to the Grand Canyon - photos just don't do it justice - we went to Wupatki National Monument, a village from around 1200AD, the ruins of which are still there. Daisy and Lucy both walked much better when they pretended to be Dora the Explorer, with Lucy as Boots the monkey, both with their maps:

It was also a time to face our fears - Gareth saw a tarantula as we walked back from the trampoline, and Lucy got used to The Bear and The Moose:

We drove home via Oak Creek Canyon and Sedona which we love. It was so good to see leaves turning yellow, feeling the cold air on our face (it got below freezing once!!) and hanging out together as a family - awww. And thanks to the Lord for the amazing people who so generously let us use their house!!

Lucy's birthday

Lucy is now 2 years old - amazing.

She got lots of presents, including a kitchen from Grannies and Grandpas, lego from us and a Nemo costume from Daisy.

We had a party for her in our back yard with lots of her friends and their parents - here in the sand pit with her are Xander (her very best friend) and Paige.

We had a Pinata, of course. The instructions said we should get everyone to pull a ribbon on the bottom to release the candy. We were mercilessly mocked by all Americans present that what you're really meant to do is beat the *&#! out of it... which we knew but we thought we'd go for a pacifistic approach. So much for that - nothing happened, so out came the broom handle...!

We were also persuaded to adopt the American tradition of opening presents in front of everyone...

Happy Birthday Lucy!