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Happy New Year - January 2021

It's a new year, but not many new things happened to our family in January. So little, in fact, that I've waited until the last day of the month to write this blog. And it's going to be a short one.

But no news can be good news! We are in good health and slowly adjusting to our new home. Our days follow the same basic pattern: get the kids ready for school, get the kids on the bus, work at home, clean, write (working on that historical romance novel), exercise, get the kids off the bus, supervise homework, grocery shopping, make and eat dinner, get kids ready for bed. Repeat. On the weekends, we go hiking. On Sundays, we go to church. That's about it!

Since hiking is all we seem to do outside of school and work, here are some hiking photos from the last few weeks. Clearly, I really love my green sweater.

In other news, Barkley's dad got us a trampoline for Christmas! (Thanks, Dad!) We set it up about two weeks ago and then, after months of dry weather, Arizona dumped rain. When it sprinkled in December (for the first time-since we moved here in August) I went out into our backyard and soaked in the tiny sprinkles at ten o'clock at night. This time, the rain was more like a downpour; it even hailed! So although we enjoyed the rain for the first few days, we are now thoroughly ready for it to stop so that we can use our trampoline!

The photo on the left was the day we set it up. Beautiful sunshine. The two on the right are from the day that it hailed. You'll notice our yard is a little bare. Right now, it's just dirt. We've hired a landscaper to put in turf and rocks and a dining patio, but because of Covid (and now the rain), our schedule keeps getting pushed back. Hopefully, by my next blog post I'll have pictures of a nice backyard ready to share with you! Barkley is planning to build a pergola down the road, so I'm very excited for that, as well.

Maybe next month I'll get organized enough to take photos of the house and do a mini house tour on the blog. Until then, I'll just share my newest addition to our kitchen: our mug bar. We've collected Starbucks' "Been There Series" of mugs from all the places we've lived near, (including the four Disney World parks) because, (let's face it) for two years we were annual pass holders and we went to Disney every single weekend. It felt like we lived there. So why not have all the mugs?

Starbucks designs each mug with images representing the location. There are at least one or two images on each mug that directly correspond to a memory I've had in each place. Which fills my heart with joy when I use them. I grew up just west of Denver, so I love seeing the image of Red Rocks, which was one of my favorite places to go as a teenager, and that's where Barkley proposed to me on a beautiful snowy morning at sunrise twelve years ago. I also love the image of the Fairgrounds where the National Western Stock Show is each year. Our family never missed the rodeo and the dressage events, and I remember loving the walk through the grounds to see all the cows. Fascinating stuff. We've run out of space on the bar, and I still need to get Colorado's mug. And knowing how frequently we move, I'll need another mug before I know it!

Continuing my "AZ wildlife" topic from my last several blogs, I can now add hummingbirds to my list! There are tons of them flitting around here and I love seeing them. I've heard coyotes yipping and howling at night, but no daytime appearances yet. And to my relief, we can check off another month without scorpions or snakes. Thank goodness!

Hopefully, I'll have more to share with you next month. Until then, I hope your new year is off to a good start and that this year brings you good health and endless blessings!

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