It’s been a long haul, but finally on Friday, we got our Xavier home again. The afternoon was spent with the siblings getting caught up. We had an early supper from Little Caesar’s, and then the kids all trouped off with Dad to have some fun at the Dollar Tree. You would be AMAZED how much fun kids can have there with a little cash in their pockets. Then it was to bed slightly earlier than normal because Saturday would be an early wake up call. Paul and Laurent had hatched a plan to take the kids up north to do some hiking and see the Montezuma Castle National Monument.
They were up by 5:30 and out the door shortly after 6am and on their way. I was home for the duration, as of course I am not able to do any hiking at present. They were gone much longer than I anticipated, arriving home late in the afternoon. At that point in the day there was no point starting chores, so it was just a relaxed evening getting showers and so on, preparing for Sunday.
This morning we all, 100% of us, made it to church together for the first time in months. It was wonderful to see our Fr. Camou and Youth Director, Jen Pitera, returned from a youth pilgrimage to Ireland, the home of our Loreto sisters. Wonderful mass. So blessed. Thank you Lord!
Taking a small break to wait for Paul to write up a narrative of his day with the kids –
can’t wait to hear the details!
July 15, 2023 —
This Saturday day trip was all Laurent’s idea, and a very good idea it
was. We left early in the morning, about 6am, to avoid the heat, and
drove up to Camp Verde. We had to take two cars, due to the obnoxious
number of kids, and a dog to boot. We started at Montezuma’s Castle, an
ancient cliff dwelling, built by the Sinagua, perhaps 900 years ago. It
is a beautiful area, near a small stream. By the time we got there, it
was already starting to get hot, and the kids were getting fussy. We had
a great time anyway.
After that, we drove to nearby Montezuma’s well. This isn’t really a
well, but rather a hole in the ground with water in it. A nearby creek
keeps parts of the area very green and very pretty. The hike to the well
was, however, mostly in the sun, which made the kids even fussier. Ellie
got a bloody nose, which made her grouchy.
The rest of the day we spent at Beaver Creek Day Use Area. We spent
quite a bit of time here, mostly swimming and having a picnic. The place
was very crowded, but that didn’t much matter. The kids had a blast, and
we had an awfully hard time getting them out of that creek when the time
came to go.
Here are photos from the scenic Saturday excursion. This batch is from Paul’s phone, and the second batch were taken by Natalie on hers.
Finally, it must be noted that today is the commemoration of the birth of my second oldest daughter Megan. She is having a wonderful time being celebrated by her family, so I merely want to say that we all are wishing her the happiest of days, and hoping her year is especially graced with growth and fulfillment. Happy Birthday, Meg!