Family Updates

I wanted to catch up with you all with a bit of family happenings.  I have been super busy with the holiday season when we welcomed 6 family visitors to sunny AZ, birthday happenings of 2 of my boys and my Shaklee business that has really taken off….. so busy that I haven’t posted here on the blog in awhile!  Time to catch up.

I hope you enjoy a few pictures I want to share with you all.

Connor turned 18!  His one wish was to go sky diving…..

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Hiking Camel Back Mountain with cousins

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The girls got mani pedi’s on Christmas Eve…

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And the boys went 4 wheeling…

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We went to church altogether and out to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. 

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Our weather here has been fabulous and I love to walk outside

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My Shaklee team taught a Work at Home seminar

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And… we celebrated all of our company promotions!

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My ‘baby’ had open house for Jr. High! 

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Carter has a small skate boarding accident resulting in a dislocated shoulder.  Thankfully he is fine now and definitely sees that value in wearing a helmet.  This mama is relieved.

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Connor and I have enjoyed a few hikes and walks together.  I just love spending time with him!

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Carter celebrated his 16th birthday with a few buddies out riding in the desert.

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And… Caden and I have enjoyed the pool!  Love the AZ winters!

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That’s a wrap for the last few months! 

What about you?  What’s new with you and your family lately?

Happy, Healthy Home to you,

Claire

Life Lately…..

Winter in Arizona is the time the people come out to play because the weather is so great.  It feels like spring and the temps are in the high 60’s and low 70’s. Before you get ready to hate me, I’ll just remind you that our summers are so darn hot that we spend most of that time indoors while all the other states come out to play ;) 

Anyway….we have thoroughly been enjoying the weather right now and are taking advantage of every moment!

Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to lately.

We continue to attend Saturday night church services and we like this set up because my husband works 6 days a week.  So we are able to have Sundays as a family day of rest.  Check out the palm trees and the Christmas lights and the blue sky… at.the.same.time.  One of the many things we are loving about Arizona right now.

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My three boys (love them so much!) 2 weeks before Christmas.

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Caden showing off his Green Machine that he got for Christmas.  He has been happily zipping around the neighborhood.  We are in a closed neighborhood loop and he has been loving playing outside everyday with the neighbor kids.  This was something we did not have previously. In the summer it was hard to meet neighbors because people stayed inside due to the HOT weather. 

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Rainbow loom bracelets.  It’s cool for boys too!

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The hiking is awesome around here!  We are taking advantage of the season to get out and explore and have done several in the last month.

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We celebrated 20 years of marriage with a short trip to San Diego.IMG_4138[1]

We took a 4 hour whale watching tour boat and the day was just beautiful!  I grew up on the Puget Sound near Seattle, WA so it felt like coming home being on the ocean again.  We saw several whales and they showed off nicely for us by breaching over and over.  Of course I was so into watching it that I forgot to take any pics…

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Our dear friends were celebrating a birthday and we were able to coordinate our trips to see each other while in San Diego.  We have been so blessed by their friendship and even though we live in different states, they are lifelong friends for sure. 

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We have had several neighborhood birthday parties and this have been great for getting to know more people, not to mention fun.  This party had a mad scientist theme complete with experiments!

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Our trombone player had his first concert and they also played for the school flag ceremony.  I was actually amazed at how good they sounded for their first year in band.

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It has been a busy and fun month! 

What about you?  What does life look like lately for you?

Our Simple Christmas Traditions

We are in countdown mode here in anticipation of Christmas day.  For our family, we cherish this day as a celebration of the birth of Christ.  However, it is SO easy to lose sight of that simple celebration in the midst of the holiday hype.  I admit it is easy for me to get swept up in the idea of the ‘perfect’ Christmas.  I can get easily stressed out over finding the perfect gift, creating the perfect memories for my boys, cooking the perfect treats and ……

Then I remember, it all comes down to this for our family: celebrate the gift of Jesus and share it with others.  yep.  everything else does not matter.

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These are a few of our simple Christmas traditions

  • decorate the Christmas tree
  • drink hot cocoa
  • look at Christmas lights
  • watch some Christmas movies
  • play games
  • have a birthday cake for Jesus
  • help another family

One thing I love about our tree is it tells stories.  With the ornaments we have collected over the past 20 years, it tells the story of our marriage, our first home, the birth of each of our three boys and God’s story of love for us.  From the time of creation through the birth of His son, Jesus.  Every year we decorate the tree we are reminded of these precious stories by each ornament that gets hung.

What about you?  What are your Christmas traditions? 

Do you find yourself getting stressed out during the season too?

This is my go to stress reliever!  All natural. Safe. Works.

{order from my Shaklee shop}

email me at claireshealthyhome(at)gmail.com for any questions

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Thanksgiving Blessings and Our Weekend

I have really enjoyed building holiday traditions with my 3 boys.  Some of them we have had since they were little, others are fairly new and change as they are getting older.  This year was our first Thanksgiving in Arizona.  I have to say, this first holiday since the move really sank in the reality that we are not home.  I am really missing my family and while it’s not the same, I still wanted to live in the moment and embrace our first holiday here. 

We are super blessed to have my brother and sister-in-law here so we were not alone.  And thanks to today’s technology we were able to skype and face time with family back home.

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It was a little strange to have sunny and 70 degree weather for Thanksgiving, but…..that’s Arizona!

After an awesome meal of turkey and all the trimmings, we headed out to the movies to see Catching Fire (awesome movie!).  That has become a tradition as our boys have gotten older and they really enjoy it.

Then we headed home to pack the RV and 4 wheelers to head out to the Dunes (CA) in the morning.

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The Sand Dunes 2013

I cannot even describe how many people were there?!  But it was so much fun and the weather was great.  We went riding, roasted marshmallows, made a TON of stove top popcorn, dug holes in the sand, watches a few movies and laughed!

Traveling on the way home, we blew not one but TWO tires…within a few hours of each other.  The first one we put the spare on.  When the second blew, it actually caught fire and then, thankfully, went out. 

Check it out!

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Thank goodness Clark is a good driver and knew how to handle it.  It was pretty scary.  After that, we had to all pile in my brother in laws RV to drive the last hour home.

Kind of a crazy end to a fabulous weekend!

How was your Thanksgiving?  Did you go anywhere?  Were you missing home and family like me?  What traditions do you have?

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The Pumpkin Patch

Fall is not complete without a visit to the pumpkin patch.  Although, my oldest did not go with us this year….he is not as excited as me anymore.  boooo.  Having moved here to AZ from the beautiful northwest makes fall pretty different.  No changing leaves and apples and sweaters and boots here.  But there are farms so off we went to enjoy the season in a new way.

Schnepf Farms was on my bucket list to visit so we chose this for our pumpkin patch fun.  They had a ton of activities!  We spent 3 1/2 hours there and we got tired out before we could do everything.  We did the hayride, 2 corn mazes, petting zoo, jump pillow, swings, roller coaster, slingshot game and kettle car races.  Palm trees at the farm was a first for us.  It seemed strange to us northwesterners.  They had a few food booths, but honestly I was a bit disappointed by the lack of pumpkin and apples dishes…like none.  darn. 

We had a blast.  Weather was good and I for sure want to come back sometime to visit the farm bakery and u-pick fruit and veggies.

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Did you go to the pumpkin patch yet this year? 

 

September {family picture recap}

The month flew by!  Here are some of our family high lights.

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Caden started playing the trombone in the school band.

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We were outside a lot!  We just love our neighborhood.  It has great sidewalks and a nice park.  Plus our street is gated and safe to play in the street.

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I finally hung pictures on the wall!  It’s feeling more like home.

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We experienced our first Arizona monsoon! 

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Caden finished reading the whole Action Bible.  He was SO proud of himself and I am too!

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One Sunday we took a few floaties and went to the lake.  It was a beautiful day and a great way to cool off in Arizona.  We are bringing our raft next time!

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On one of the many Target runs (we live dangerously close).  Caden keeps me giggling all the time.  He is such a goofball.

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I started decorating for fall.  These cuties were made by my 2 older boys when they were each in 1st grade.  I love to save and put out the kids’ seasonal artwork.

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Scorpion Hunt Hike with Usery Mountain and Ranger B was our September highlight!  We took black flashlights because they glow and counted over 50.  This one was big!  Most we saw were just little.  I thought I would be a bit creeped out, but it was really fun.  We will do this again for sure.

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And just like that…..we are on to October!

What were your favorite family highlights of September?

Playing Tourist

My mom cam to visit us the first week of August which also happened to be the first week of school for the boys.  We moved here officially in May and I was so excited to have her come!  It was a super busy and fun week with showing her the town, the boys’  schools, enjoying the sun and pool time, eating out, coffee runs and shopping.

We spent one morning relaxing at the pool while the boys were in school and took youngest with us on another day.  You can see him floating in the distance.  lol

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I made us smoothees daily!  It was fun to take care of my mom a bit in this way.  She does SO much for me… even long distance!

 

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We visited Old Town in Scottsdale, had shrimp tacos at The Mission and window shopped.  We loved all the cowboy boots and colors!

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One night mom treated us to Rustler’s Roost, a fun restaurant with a western flair.  We got cowgirl hats and I got to wear my Texas boots.  Caden wore his awesome Texan hat too.  We listened to live music and the balloon man came by.  This restaurant is know for the rattlesnake appetizer so of course we tried it!  My oldest loved it.  I tried a few bites but couldn’t really get past picturing his face and fangs.  lol  Then they gave us cotton candy for dessert. 

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Just about every night the Arizona gives us a beautiful sunset!  So we took advantage and took some great pics outside.

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family august 2013

We had such a great time and it was sad to see her go. 

Do you like to play tourist with out of town guests?  Since we’ve only been here 6 months, we still have a huge Arizona bucket list.  Can’t wait for more visitors!

claire

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Summer of ‘13 {recap}

Summer has flown by and I cannot believe we are at the start of another school year.  Summer has always been my favorite season of the year because of the good weather and my boys are out of school so we can play! It always seems to be over too soon and I am reminded how quickly time flies.  As my boys get older I can’t help but think how short my time left with them is before they grow up and leave the nest.  I want to purpose to cherish our family time and making memories. 

Here are a few … {ok a LOT} snap shots of our summer of ‘13.

 

Family Walks.  Ice Cream.  Riding in the Desert. Cooking Dinner. Birthdays.

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Road Trip to Oregon. Paining our Rental House. Moving to Arizona.

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July 4th. Good Friends. Fireworks.

Summer 2013 3

Seattle. Cousins. Grandparents. The Beach. Home Away from Home. Coffee. Sister.

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The Beach. Hermit Crabs. Cousins. Friends. Sand. Hiking. Trees.

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Oregon Coast. Cousins. Starfish. Grandma.

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Scooter. Cousins. Roasting Marshmallows. The River.

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So thankful for our family and friends and the time we have together.

What was your summer of ‘13 favorite?

xoxo,

Claire

Sunsplash Water Park

To celebrate the end of school and the first of our summer break, we went to our local water park, Sunsplash.

Our local Costco had discount tickets so we grabbed those and lunch and off we went!  At 100+ degrees outside we went when they opened at 11am to avoid the highest heat of the day. 

The boys were most excited to go on the Storm Rider and my oldest actually got interviewed by a radio station there that day.  When they asked him what ride he was excited about, this is the one!  They gave him a $15 I-tunes card too.

Caden wasn’t sure about the waterslides at first, so he and I went to the lazy river and the wave pool. Then he got brave and I took him on a slide and he was hooked!  That’s also when he thought it would be more fun to go with Dad….sometimes mom just isn’t as cool. 

family day at sunsplash

We had a blast celebrating the end of the school year.

Did you do anything to celebrate?

Happy Summer!

Claire

We Moved into a House!

When I found out we were staying in Arizona I immediately started searching for a house.  We have chosen to rent for this year and look to buy something next year.  After a couple of weeks of calling on houses I liked only to find out they had just been rented, I finally found one we love.  The boys came with me to look at almost all of them because I wanted them to have a say in where we lived and because I really value their opinion.  My oldest actually was very helpful because he has such a logical mind. 

The things we like most about our house are:

* one bedroom has a private bath and can be used for a guest room

* open concept for the kitchen, dining and family room

* fairly new appliances and upgrades like RO water

* community pool, hot tub, playground, sport court and tennis courts

* next to the elementary school that I wanted Caden to go to

* a few blocks from the high school Connor and Carter will attend

* close to hubby’s work

* close to family

Here are the pictures we took before we moved in…..

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Moving from a 37 foot 5th wheel to a 1900 sq ft house feels huge!  However, I would definitely say that our perspective of space is different than it was a year ago.  We are all liking more space for sure!  The boys have been playing hide and seek and having nerf gun wars. lol  Plus there is a community pool 2 blocks away.

When we moved in we did not have ANY furniture other than our camping chairs.  lol  Since then we have gotten a great leather couch from craigslist and basic desks from IKEA for our school and work space. Surprisingly, we have plenty of things from what we brought with us in the 5th wheel.  We have all discovered we really like living minimally and simply!  We do have a few things in a storage unit back in Oregon which we will get and bring back in July.  Until then we are fine with our mattresses on the floor and our couch and camping chairs.

It will be fun to decorate it and I will be sure to share pictures when I do!

xoxo,

Claire

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