Thursday, December 31, 2009

LAST POST OF 2009 Birds and Blizzards

As 2009 comes to a close here we are doing a few more trips to spend some time with the Kids. We want to go to Flagstaff but determine that Jackson has Football practice tonight. So I decide to go over to Tres Rios to take a few bird pictures. Within minutes all the clan has decided to go with me! Whoo Hoo!!

Tres Rios is a city park in Phoenix that sits next to one of the big waste water treatment plants here in the valley of the Sun. Phoenix had for many years a Riparian Habitat along the Salt River. Where it meets the Agua Fria River and the Gila Rivers the area is known as Tres Rios. It is only about 15 minutes from the house so is an easy

As we pull down into the parking lot, I spy this guy sitting across the road with about 20 of his cousins in the trees.
His buddies

Laura and I enjoying some quality time

The Kids checking out one of the man made ponds that is cleaning waste water and providing a home to water fowl again after many years of little water in the basin.

You can see the waste water tanks in the background

By total chance I see Diane walking around the park and she is right when she says that it is like two totally different worlds right next to each other.

Everywhere you look there are birds.

A Yellow Rumped Warbler

Michael beats the bushes looking for more birds.

While Laura and Jackson spend some quality time together.

Cinnamon Teals and Mallards on the Lake

And the gate keeper is still there as we leave.

The next morning it is up early and we are off to the snow again. We have a few houses we want to check out and have decided to let the kids go sledding one more time.

It is actually snowing pretty good by the time we get up to Munds Park.

The first house we see is really nice with a nice small dog run, and a nice layout. It is a bit far out of town, but the upside is it is about 20 miles closer to Phoenix which is good if I am going to commute for a while.

After looking at a few more areas I make good on the promise to take the minions out sledding some more. You can see they are ready to go.

I have decided that in order to really enjoy the day, I need to get out of character and act like the biggest kid on the playground. Unlike last trip, it is about 24 degrees out, snowing and cold.

I bust out the cold gear! With this and a Sherpa, I could take K2.

I declare myself Head Hun of the Hill and declare all should fear me!

The other sledders flee as best they can!

As I dance my way up to the sled run!

This will be an amazing run!

My Faithful assistant stand ready to give me that needed push!

I am the blur in the middle of this picture wink


I so rock!

The Worlds Greatest Sherpa!

I love her!!

After sledding we go and get our standard hot drinks and homemade lunch at Late For the Train Coffee House on 180. I love them so much more than Starbucks. It is really snowing now. Laura gets all stoked because a nearly perfect snowflake falls on her.

Said snowflake.

Colyn amazingly makes a decision here in under 20 seconds opting for a Hot Chocolate! I love it when she does it!

I love Hippy Logic. The older I get the more it makes sense to me.

We set off to get some more house hunting done. Now we head into older parts of the city that we have not looked at.

I like this cool sign.

We find a really cool house, but it has almost no yard and no garage. Still it is one we will go back and look at again.

The ride home is goofy with the amount of snow piling up and desert people not knowing how to drive all that well. Still it a great day!

See you all in 2010!

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Ahh Christmas is here and the kids are making it pretty special. Laura and I are done running around, have all the presents and now are just enjoying the moment.

First stop for us is my parents house for Christmas Eve Dinner of German Sausages that I have been having since I was a little kid.

The Spread is being watched over by my Pop who is sure that we have too much food on the table as usual.

I explain to him that my minions are in top form tonight. Some have even donned Christmas War Paint to make sure no brat escapes the room. My Mother is tickled beyond words at the way the kids eat.

In the end a great victory can be claimed by the clan and we have given my mother a wonderful gift. If you know my Mom, she LOVES to feed people.

Next we are off to the Living Room where we share presents. Here the photographer is asking me "To show the Christmas Love"

Three Happy Fellas

We agree to regroup at our house in the morning and I get the minions loaded up into the Tahoe and we make our way back home. The kids are really anxious to make sure that the cookies they made today are out for Santa

The Cookies look amazing and are Sugar Free. Each of the kids writes Santa a letter to be placed with the treats and heads off to bed.

Somewhere in the night magic happens....

The Turkey gets brined....


Even our trusty night watchman who here is faithfully doing his rounds misses it....

The Arrival of SANTA! Wow we are one lucky family.

The Kids notice right away that he was there.

Even the Dogs are involved in the ensuing carnage.



Ok Way Cooler.

My favorite Christmas present...EVER!

The Carnage afterwards made us all famished!

But as usual Laura has an amazing breakfast prepared for us. MMMMMM

As some of you know, Santa brought Jackson a bike for Christmas. Not a toy bike, but a Real GIANT bike with gears so he can ride with us. This should hold him over for a few years.


Did I mention I got this Uber Worthy Gift?

The kids also got Golf Clubs from their Dad.

It really is amazing to watch them hit balls. Both of them are really good already.

All in all a great day was had by all and I for one am one happy Camper.

Merry Christmas Everyone. See you soon...