Carving our pumpkins 2019

After going to the pumpkin patch, we had to carve our little friends. Halloween is only a day away, so it’s now or never!

Thank you, Daddy for getting some carving instruments.

Now it’s time to take off his hat. Go TOT!

Let’s peek inside.

Glory be; look at all those seeds and pulp. These will be fun to roast. Also, working on these pumpkins reminds me of our hearts. They need to be cleaned and renewed, just like this pumpkin. He needs to be carved up (pruned like what we need)…

And then the light goes in and shines. (Just like when we ask Jesus to renew us inside and become our savior).

You two made masterpieces!

Happy Halloween! I love you Hays!

Has she grown from not coughing?

It started out to be a lovely cold fall day. Yes, it was finally in the 40’s this morning! October never has been so cold. Tatum dressed the part, bow and all, and OH did she win the cute contest.

After a pumpkiny breakfast, gratitude journal, prayers and rushing out the door, we bundled up and headed to school.

I’d pick her up early today. If you have been following Tatum’s life, you’d know that she has had a serious coughing issue. We finally went to an allergist, and he gave her a steroid inhaler plus a protocol of nightly Zyrtec. After one month of this, she would return today to follow up.

When we arrived there, we went through her math flashcards, and a 100% earned her a coveted taffy they had at the front desk. When it was her time to go in, they took her height. SHE IS NOW 41.5 INCHES TALL!!! She has grown 1/2 inch in one month, but her weight has stayed the same. (38 lbs). WOWZA! Has the lack of coughing made her grow?

Anyway, when the Dr. came in, we reported that she has had ZERO coughing in one month.

IT HAS WORKED! Dr. Cowan, we are so grateful for you. He told us to continue with the protocol right before soccer season or before the new blooms. Until then, we can lay off. He then gave us 2 free steroid inhalers (These have got to be $100 each). WOW again!. What a blessing.

Here is the visit:

Tatum, you are thriving! I’m so grateful for you and blessed to be your mommy. You’re working so hard in school, working so hard to grow in character, and your attention to your health is truly paying off. Thank you, Jesus!!!

Final day of Tucson 3rd HAA: Pumpkins!

We decided to surprise Tatum by taking her to the biggest pumpkin patch in AZ. It’s near Tucson in Marana.

It was a beautiful fall day, and we were ready to enjoy all the sights and pick out some plump orange orbs. Tatum was regular admission because she is now above 34″. There is much rejoicing.

We couldn’t believe the size of this place, so we went to the petting zoo first.

I got all the feels seeing these cute llamas, peacocks, goats, pigs, and turkeys.

There was an enormous bounce house which was really just giant pillows. Tatum and I couldn’t resist.

Daddy took pictures of sunflowers while we bounced. He knows these are my favorites.

Train ride around the huge farm, but first, an icee for Tot. Bubble gum was the flavor du jour.

We wanted to make the pig races at the top of an hour. Yes, pig races. We sat next to Charger hoping he was the winner.

Our pig did win! There was so much energy in this place! It made it so much fun.

Time to go pick out our pumpkins.

We picked out 3 of these beauties and took them home to carve. Stay tuned for this fun event.

Time to go. We had a great time, and now time to eat. At Subway, Tatum went around to the tables and got to know the patrons. She is a social butterfly and always making friends.

She didn’t make friends with this poor coyote.

Yes, for $1300, you too could have this friend at your home. What would Coopy think!?

Well, my love…my loves. Doug, Tatum, I just love you both so much. I’m committed to uniting our family and to praying daily for us. We had a wonderful time, and we continue to grow.

We missed you, sweet puppy, but you enjoyed your time at Boulder Falls.

He was so happy to come home, and we were so grateful to see him.

Our 3rd HAA was a success. What will we do for our 4th?? Stay tuned!

Tucson Day 2: Kitt Peak Observatory

After a decent night’s sleep, we headed to the mini-gym with Tot for a short workout. Then, it was time to head to Kitt Peak for our 3 tours. Now, I couldn’t wait! I had wanted to go to this place for many years, and today it would happen. I had high expectations.

Our drive up there was quite windy and exciting. It happened to be very chilly, and none of us dressed for this. From the road, we started to get excited no matter the temperature.

When we arrived, we headed into the visitor’s center to buy our tickets.

When the 10am tour began, Noel introduced himself as our guide. We sat and watched a short history about the observatory. It sits on 3 million acres of the Tohono O’ohdham Indian reservation. Kitt Peak is the 2nd most sacred place.

Tatum was full of questions, and Noel was patient with her. She was very enthusiastic about learning.

We then headed out, and my honey was very cold in his short sleeved shirt, so Noel let him borrow his jacket. Phew! So grateful. Tot and Doug are now all bundled.

We headed first to the solar telescope. We had high hopes to see through it!

When we got there, we found out it was not operational right now. (OH how sad!!)

It was magnificent however.

The pictures it has taken were quite extraordinary but very dated. The technology has not kept up.

We did learn about the size and temperatures. God is glorious!

Now look at the comparisons!

We learned about the prism of light.

And Tatum tried to catch it!

Finally, we headed to the 2.1 M Telescope next.

Sadly, again, we couldn’t look into it, but we did see the ladybug castle. They’re everywhere!

And they land on you constantly! It was a highlight.

We opted not to go through the final tour. It was a bit of a disappointment, but we all did learn so much. I just appreciate the vastness of our universe, and the power of God to have created it all in one day.

We headed to Subway from our adventure. Daddy told us jokes the whole lunch. Tatum was laughing hysterically (srsly!)

Then, we played ping pong, badminton, and swimming.

The amount of laughter going on during the ping-pong made the whole day worth it.

The evening was simple. We did have to have a long conversation about a few wrong choices on Tot’s part. But, the result was amazing. We all prayed and we all stressed that HAYS are a team. Let’s be on the same side.

Hay family, I love you. We are working out the kinks. The Holy Spirit is in all of us to guide us! Tomorrow, the PUMPKIN PATCH!

3rd HAA! (This is day one of our trip to Tucson)

It’s the third Hay Arizona adventure (HAA), and we decided to go down to see the Saguaros, Kitt Peak Observatory, and the biggest pumpkin patch in AZ in Marana. (plus stay in a historical hotel, The Arizona Inn).

I also see these trips as a way to bond. The Hay Family is having some growing pains as is normal with any new group. In fact, I love that it is a bit difficult because it is forcing us to be proactive and deal with any underlying hidden issues that might be overlooked if we just lived our busy lives. The three of us are learning about each other, and Tatum is learning to have a Daddy in her life (as he is one who loves her extraordinarily).

First, we had to say goodbye to Coopy for a second time.

He’d be going to his hotel again, Boulder Falls. They love him there.

Bye bye fuzzball. We LOVE YOU!

Ok off we go. We listened to the audio of Lion Witch and Wardrobe.

I taught this book in my middle school ELA classes for years, and I love the story. It’s an analogy of the love and grace of God, and the sacrifice he made for us through Jesus. It also gives us a distinct understanding of the power of temptation and the dark side. Lots of good conversation and then learning for all of us.

We first hit the Saguaro National Park. My honey found it with his tremendous mapping skills (smile).

The saguaros we magnificent, and knowing that this is the only place in the world you’ll see them, made it even better.

Daddy informed us to watch out for the jumping cacti, and instantly Tatum was glued to him for protection.

He won’t let any critter or cactus come near the little cutie. I, on the other hand, was not scared of anything (haha). It was a short little walk, but it definitely got our wiggles out. Tatum found the sweet part of the cactus which is how the little critters can eat.

Off to the Arizona Inn now. Doug stayed there many times in his past with Mora, so we were excited to see it now!

Historic, bright, and manicured, it was glorious! Our room was as well.

The pool, however, was not so hot. Literally. Not hot at all. It was not heated as they touted, so again, Daddy to the rescue again to warm up Tot.

Later on in the evening, Tatum and Daddy played. Now, the challenge is not riling up Tatum too much because she has a difficult time winding down. She gets so overly excited (and rough-housed-up) with Daddy, it can get messy. We are learning strategies to calm down. This might not be the best way.

We are ready to have a new day at Kitt Peak Observatory. We pray for a sound night sleep.

She has a PRAYING mommy

Raising Tatum is not just a physical job. Sure, spending time with her, doing things for her, interacting with her…all of this is vital. But there is another aspect that must not be overlooked. I must pray pray pray!

According to Mrs. Finnman (her 1st grade teacher) (and pretty much most people who meet Tatum), she has a BIG personality tucked into her little self. She is bold, spirited, strong, and incredibly smart. It’s a great blessing and an honor to raise her. It’s also hard. It takes effort to get her strongest traits directed to be used for good. If left on their own, atrophy takes place. They’ll become her biggest problems.

For example, she is very social, and in class, this can be a problem. She must be reminded that FIRST TIME ASKED = obedience. (Not when you feel like it after you talked to your friends).

She also is experiencing what it takes to be a friend and what hurt can feel like. At a time or two, she has been the instigator of a broken heart, and now she is realizing that you REAP what you SOW.

Just the other day, we went on a nature walk, and she pointed out the grass.

Mommy, see this grass? Spread bad seed, you’ll have bad grass and trees. Spread goodness and kindness and you’ll have a CROP of kind come back to you. Jesus would say this same thing. He often told his lessons using trees and nature to illustrate. She totally understands this.

She is learning and so am I. Patience, grace, and so much prayer to the Holy Spirit.

She bought the shoes and toy with her own allowance.

I LOVE her spirit and spunk. I love her heart too. She is QUICK to be aware of her mistake and make it right. Her issue is the impulse of doing it in the first place. Helping Tatum STOP, THINK, and PRAY is vital for teaching her self-control and making good choices. As it says:

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE (You were created for a purpose!) which is your mission statement on your wall.

Sweet girl, I love you beyond measure. Here is what I pray for you daily. A verse is attached to each thing I desire for you.

The snuggling and smuggling of Cooper

He is a multi-faceted dog. First, he is quite the snuggle-bug. He loves to be on the couch with one of us and get belly rubs. Daddy is quite partial to petting the little guy.

When I’m reading at night, he’ll find any excuse to cozy right up to me.

Tatum loves bringing Coopy into her room and finding ways to cuddle with the pup. She wanted to pop up her tent and hide him in there.

Hmmmm….speaking of hiding, this is Cooper’s favorite thing to do:

He’ll grab a toy, whip it around, then he’ll gently push it under the couch. He has smuggled multiple toys from his toy box and now they live under the sofa!

Then, he’ll look at me needily and whine incessantly.

Cooper, you are creating your own drama. I cannot rescue your toy every time you do this.

Then he’ll just mourn at a few decibels higher than before, and guess who finally gives in?

Yes, I’M THE ONE who is creating this monster. I’m feeding the tiger. I’m adding fuel to the fire. ME! So, what can I expect? He is a spoiled little pup and definitely is getting his way.

Yes, don’t let this innocent little face fool you. He’s a little smuggle bug. (wince!)