So first, I need to preface this post with telling you that C is leaving us tomorrow till Friday! He has work back East, so we will be missing him for five very long days. We're trying to keep a good attitude about it (we know he needs to do these trips occasionally to keep his career going strong), but he's just so essential to our family, it's hard to continue marching forward each day without his presence.
To all of you military wives who say goodbye to your husbands for months (or years?) at a time, I am humbled by your strength and courage and I know my five-day separation sounds whiny, so I apologize. (A special shout-out to all my female in-laws who have been military wives or are military wives and have been on their own plenty. Woot-woot!)
But for us, five days apart is a lot.
So when C is going away on business, we try to beef up the family together time more than usual so the kids are in a better mood when Daddy goes and hopefully, it holds them till he returns. This was that kind of weekend.
Friday, C and S did their usual Friday night thing and attended her teen group, while I hung with the younger four.
Saturday, three of the kids attended a local VBS-like one-day event called A Day in Bethlehem that lasts six hours! We have pretty much attended this event every December since we moved here (except last year when we somehow missed the date). Anyway, while they were there, C and I had a breakfast date and then went to Staples and Best Buy without kids so C could research some upgrade hardware for our computer -- he didn't find what he was looking for, but I found 12-packs of colorful Sharpies on sale for $6 each. Yes!
We picked up the two kids at home and had lunch with them, as the other three were dining in Bethlehem. We browsed a couple more shops for fun and researched coconut ice cream -- no dairy, no soy, no sugar, etc. -- at our local natural foods store.
Tangent, again... when C goes, I kind of got into the habit of splurging on those mini Ben and Jerry's ice creams each night, kind of like a personal reward for surviving a whole day without C. So with him going, I was desperate to find something similar that would allow me to stick to Paleo, but still have my husband-gone daily reward when the kids go to bed.
I think we have found it with So Delicious' brand of ice cream -- I am trying the mint chocolate chip flavor. I'll let you know what I think after I have some.
Anyway, after picking everyone up (the kids had a great time as usual! made so many cool crafts and learned a lot) and went home for a bit, we headed to Corrales for their Starlight Parade. Corrales is a favorite little riverside farmer's town that we enjoy visiting regularly for their various restaurants and shops and events.
J remembered the homecoming parade we attended in September when they got so much candy tossed at them that they had to carry it in an empty chip bag. So she went to this parade very prepared and brought everyone their own bags to collect candy in (she was planning on a haul). Little did she know that not much candy gets tossed in parades that happen after dark.
There was some, however, and at one point, O held up his bag to protect himself when some was being tossed towards him and a Dum-Dum lollipop went right into his bag! He couldn't have caught it that successfully if he'd been trying. He was so excited!
None of my photos came out from the parade, but I have a little video of one "float," to share with you here (to break up the monotony of all this text!).
We ate dinner at home afterwards.
Then this morning, after church service, we headed up to Santa Fe. S has been begging to go back to the Museum of International Folk Art ever since we visited last autumn. It just so happens that Sundays are free for state residents.
But before hitting the museum, we went to lunch at this place I'd found when trying to research a place to eat that would have some Paleo options. It was called Bobcat Bite.
I knew it would be perfect because it just has the kind of charm C loves in a restaurant. He always goes for the places that are well-known for what they do (in this case, burgers), that have been around for awhile, that aren't in the least bit like the chain restaurants (though we visit plenty of those, too) and just have an element of divey-ness about them.
That's not necessarily what I look for in a restaurant, but he loves that stuff and the people who run them. So I told him about it and he was anxious to give it a try.
It turns out, they make a righteous burger from fresh ground chuck and a darn good salad, too!
|This was C's green chile cheeseburger. I ate a green chile burger (no bun, no cheese) with a green salad. Delish!|
The place was kind of in the middle of nowhere, but it's been there since 1953, so I guess the location is working out for them. Their place only seats about 25 at the most, but it was pretty full when we arrived. They stay busy all the time. C said it was completely worth the drive and that his burger was definitely in the top-ten of all burgers he's ever eaten.
If you're ever passing through Santa Fe, be sure to stop by Bobcat Bite for a bite. You won't regret it.
So then, we headed over to the museum.
I love this museum. Everything about it is just bold and colorful. And interesting! There is more to look at than one visit can encompass -- or even two, we found out.
Art museums bring out my inner creative person. I get inspired to try all kinds of craft ideas with the kids (which may or may not happen ... when the high wears off in a week or two). I love art museums.
Our kids all seem to enjoy them, too, on different levels. We've visited many different art museums over the course of their lives and I've seen their own artwork mature after visits to places like this. They may not consciously realize that it's impacting their art, but it does. I love that, too, about art museums.
Anyway, this time, they had a whole gallery dedicated to HIV/AIDS awareness. This is a topic we intend to talk more about later in the human body study we're working on, but we did go in and have some very brief discussions so they knew what the artwork was supposed to be about.
The tricky thing was that there was this awesome hands-on table where people can create a quilt square to be added to a big quilt they're making there, I guess. The kids just wanted to sew. Both J and O sat down on stools and sewed buttons on their quilt squares.... while the 20-something lady next to them sewed a packaged condom onto hers with the words: Protect Yourself.
Yes, there were baskets full of condoms in that room. First, J, then O, dug their hands deep into the colorful, artsy packages in a big basket and asked, "Mama, what are these?!" I mean, they did look pretty in their special packages, so it's hard to blame them. (I neglected to take a picture, but I really didn't want to hang around the basket too much and make the kids more curious.)
I said, "Well, why don't we talk more about that later. Let's continue sewing buttons on over here." And for the most part, they didn't bring it up again (yet). They were just happy to practice sewing. Phew.
|This is an artist who has made me love his work. I'd never heard of him before visiting the museum last autumn, but now, I look forward to seeing his stuff there (and wherever)! I just love his simplistic, bold designs. If anyone wants to buy me the nativity set he designed, it's only $800. But I promise to love it and display it proudly every Christmas!|
|This book made me wish we had a child who would still appreciate a book teaching about colors -- but still, it was almost $15 at the museum gift shop. For a baby book! Have you noticed how babies read books? It involves a lot of slobber... so too much to spend in my opinion. However, that book next to it, with all the letters, is a grown-up book about "Sandro" (yes, we are on a nickname basis now) that is thick as an unabridged dictionary and filled with photos of so much of his artwork! It's only $200 if that's more affordable for any of you -- I'd enjoy that, too. Oh! Just looked on Amazon, where it's only $154. Ha.|
|Another book in the shop (don't you love how I just photograph stuff in the store instead of buying it?) that C says S has been asking for. I have never heard her ask, but anyway, it's kind of a fun journal idea for any of you avid journalers out there. It give space to write, but also, it gives you lots of boredom busters with suggestions about how to wreck the journal.|
|And this book is definitely one I want to add to our geography shelf in the homeschool room. It's an interesting way to take something that is pretty standard in its use the world over and understand a little more about each country's culture based on this everyday item. I thought it was a joke book at first, but it turns out, it's pretty interesting! I know the kids would love it.|
Anyway, that concludes the photos from our weekend. Sorry I didn't photograph more artwork, but behind the plexiglass and stuff, it really doesn't look as cool as it does in person. So when you're in Santa Fe for a Bobcat Bite, be sure to visit the museum while you're at it.
So this evening, we've had dinner at home and just worked on settling in and now kids are in bed. I'd better use the remaining time I have with C before his early flight tomorrow!