Back In Az. Oct 25 – Nov. 2, 2018

Mesa, Arizona

We got back into Az in the late evening last night. It was so awesome to see the Arizona sunset and even though I thought I wouldn’t miss it was really sweet. God put on a great show. I really enjoyed to seeing the desert again.

Hal had to go and catch up with his clients here in Mesa so the kids and I stayed at Sunshine Acres. It was so weird to be in the place where we had spent so much time, met so many friends and had great relationships with, it feels good to be back but kind of odd to. Kind of like an outsider looking in, kind of knowing like we should be doing something but we are not because we’re visiting. We are going to be volunteering, but it’s different than actually working in a place. 

The kids have enjoyed getting to know new kids but also playing with their old friends. Steven and Calvin had a great time playing with Julian today at the playground. Calvin has talked about Julian since the day we left and how excited he was going to be to see him again. This is of them before we left last year. Oh, my gosh! How much they have grown in the last year. These 3 are such clowns and good friends.

My twin sister, Sandy, came to say hi before she went to work. It was really nice to see her after all of the turmoil we had last year. I’m glad that the relationship has been healed. It was good to see her face.

The big kids spent the weekend with her and her family. I am glad they get to spend time with them. Halim likes to run around the desert that is around their house.

Alima likes to go horseback riding with my sister and play with their snake.

That is something they can enjoy at my sisters house because that’s an animal that we will not have in our house. Hal and I do not do snakes, cats, birds, creepy crawlybugs, or rodents of any kind. Dogs, horses and some kinds of farm animals are really all that we are willing to house with us. So, I know that they appreciate the fact that other people have those animals and that they get to go over and play with them. 

Calvin and Hal and I took a morning stroll to the barn. Hal was chatting with a volunteer there so Calvin and I went to talk with the steers. It was so cute to see him sit down and watch the cows and have the cows watch him. He just sat looking at them for the longest time. I tried to see if he wanted to pet one and he said no. I thought, “Well, if you won’t I will.”

I went over to them and some were very friendly and curious but many of them seemed to be afraid and wouldn’t let me pet them. I went over to them and just stood there looking at them when one of them came over and started to lick my shoe which the progressed to more licking of my shoe which, then turned into it trying to bite my shoe and that’s when I knew, “Ok, I’m done. I like having all my toes ON my foot so I’m walking away now.”

Hal’s friend, Zack, has a haunted house if he puts on for the neighborhood and we went to go do a preview of it last night. Calvin was so fascinated by it, I was kind of creeped out. He just walked through it like it was normal. And then, when they turned all the lights on after they were done, he walked around the inside and was looking at stuff, checking everything out. He was not afraid at all. Steven, on the other hand, went in one time and that was it. He was done. I didn’t even make it through the first room. I was so scared, but I also don’t like haunted houses. My parents took me to one when I was a kid and ever since then I don’t like them, it’s too scary for me.

We were invited to Alimas friends aunts neighborhood for Halloween block party. This is a party they have been having for years. It’s so big the block of street and the whole neighborhood participates. It was really cool to see all the houses go all out for decorations and all the kids wandering around in costume. I am glad the weather was nice for them to do it, it had been chilly in the evenings lately. The kids had a great time wandering around the neighborhood. The little boys had no idea how to trick or treat so I had to tell them it worked. It was so cute watching them go up the street to each of the houses and ask for candy.

Before that I had to go to the store and get candy which is where I ran into this guy. He is a teacher at one of the nearby schools and I thought he looked great! I love to see that people can have fun with a holiday and maybe be a little weird for Halloween. His suit was, with out a doubt, unique. I was so glad he was such a great sport for letting me get his picture.

One of the parks in Mesa that we really love is the Mesa Riverview Park. The kids always have such a great time playing there and there is so much for them to play on. It’s also next to a sporting facility and lots of shopping. It has a lake that you can fish in and the kids love the climbing tower. I personally don’t see me getting up there any time soon, but who knows, maybe I might get a wild hair and just go up there.

 So, this thing I call the “Kid Dryer”. If you have ever wondered what your clothes feel like when they are tumbling around in the clothes dryer, well,  hop in this and you will get the idea really quick. It just spins around and around. I tried it and it was fun. Calvin doesn’t like it as much. Steven hates it, Halim and Alima love it. 

At Sunshine Acres there is a thrift store that you can go to where you can buy stuff that helps support the children’s home. I like to go there a lot, probably too much since we have a tiny space, but anyhow. On one trip, to see what they had and to visit my friend who works there, I found this.​

Now many of you might see this as just an old suitcase or whatever but not me. This case holds so many sweet, fond memories of my childhood. I’m not sure how we got them but my sister and I each had identical ones. We would take them to my grandparents house when we would spend the weekend. 

I loved my grandparents house. My grandma was very old fashioned but she was a strong, loving woman. She didn’t put up with a lot of nonsense but she was so willing to help in any way she could, if you needed it. 

I remember waking up and smelling the yummy smell of her pancakes or waffles. My brother would eat sooooo many. We loved being there.

My grandpa had a garden out in the backyard where he grew tomatoes. Now, anyone who has had homegrown tomatoes knows how tasty they are and when you add a pinch of salt to them, you know you’ve got something magical in your mouth. We would go in the back yard and pick so many and just sit at my grandparents table eating those yummy things, they were like eating candy to us.

When we didn’t use them for going to my grandparents they were turned into storage for our Barbies, or the plethora of My Little Ponies we had, or tack/ horse storage for our Breyer horses. Man, we loved those things too.

Unfortunately I don’t know what happened to the cases my sister and I had. I’m sure they got lost somewhere in a move or given away cause we didn’t use them as often as we would have liked, but I never forgot about the case I had. When I saw this one I knew I had to have it. I even checked to see if it smelled like how I remembered and to my sweet surprise it did.

When my friend saw how special it was to me she saved it and when she came to see me one day she had that sweet case with her and said when she saw how much it meant to me she knew she had to get it for me. I cried. I cried because I was so happy. I cried because she saw the importance that such an odd thing held for me. 

So, now it is my home sitting in my closet holding my treasures like it once did as I was a child. I am so glad I have it. It’s weird how something like that can bring back so many memories and how even a smell can trigger good thoughts from your childhood. I miss my grandparents but I’m glad I have such a treasure to help me remember those times.

Where we went