This past weekend was a busy one in our household.  Packed with a homecoming, a celebration, working with heavy equipment, a little bit of pruning, a night outdoors and a goodbye.


At the end of all of our comings and goings, it turns out the weekend was all to brief…


Homecoming:


Our weekend began on Friday night when we all loaded up into the car & truck (one vehicle doesn’t fit us all), and headed out to the airport to pick up our daughter, Rachele, who was flying in from Mississippi after finishing up her combat school.


After showing up at the wrong terminal, we were just in time to meet Rachele as she walked into baggage claim.

It was so great to see her again.  

I apologize for the a few of the following pictures, since all I had was my phone camera.


Kai decided that he wanted to try to carry Rachele’s sea bag to the car.

Well, it was so heavy, that he almost fell backward 😉


So dad carried it instead.


What you are witnessing in the photo above, is a joyful reunion.  Rachele had bought her first new car all by herself and had only 2 days to drive it before leaving for Mississippi for combat school.  So, she was very happy to see her car again.

Celebration:


On Saturday morning, we celebrated my oldest daughter, Brittney’s, 27th birthday.  I can hardly believe that she is mine 🙂

Brittney had two requests for her birthday.  One – she wanted a cast iron skillet.  She loves to cook!


Of course, if you give someone a cast iron skillet, you need to pair it with a cookbook.  
Now, my daughter is not a ‘dummie’, but that was the only cast iron cookbook that our local Barnes & Noble had.


My nephew, Oliver and my son Kai are trying their best to look interested while Brittney is opening her gifts, when they would much rather get back to playing ‘zombies’.


Now it was time for the cake.  Every year my two oldest daughters request that I make the same cake, which is called ‘Holy Cow’.  And every year I try to convince them to let me make another type of cake.

Not that I don’t like ‘Holy Cow’ cake – but I am a recreational cake baker and like to experiment with different cake recipes.

But, every year, I give in and make their favorite birthday cake.


The cake starts with a chocolate cake mix with lots of good things added including sweetened condensed milk, caramel, whip cream, cream cheese and crushed Butterfinger candy bars.

You can find the recipe here if you are interested in making this delicious cake.  But be forewarned – your family will not let you make any other kind of cake after they taste this one.


While the birthday celebration wore on, my daughter, Rachele, showed us the 7 different ways that you can carry people that she learned in her combat school.

Her younger sister, Gracie, was happy to help her demonstrate.


My granddaughter Lily was intrigued.
Notice the mother-daughter matching Vans shoes?


Lily decided to volunteer to help her Aunt Rachele show how to carry people.


Then it was time for Lily to visit the object of her latest obsession – our 4-month-old puppy, Penny.


Lily did her best to get Penny to come so she could pet her.


But Penny was too tired to get up 😉

Heavy Equipment:

My daughter Rachele is an Equipment Operator in the Navy.  She has just finished 6 months of training and can operate all types of heavy equipment.


So, when she stopped by the family farm (where my mother, sister and her family reside), she volunteered to help with some of the work they were doing.


They were leveling parts of the backyard to get rid of gopher holes.

It was so fun for her dad to see her do this for the first time.  He said that he was so proud to see what she could do – it felt like he was witnessing her college graduation.

Pruning:


Meanwhile at our homestead, there was pruning to be done.  
I took this picture just as half of the shrubs were pruned away.

You see, I have a pair of Red Bird-of-Paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) growing underneath my kitchen window.  

In the summer, I love how they grow in front of my window because they visually cool my kitchen with their pretty foliage and flowers.

But, once fall arrives, I want to see my side garden again.  So, even though you should wait until January to prune them back to 1 foot, I asked my husband if he wouldn’t mind doing it now.

Night Outdoors:


On Sunday night, my son decided that he wanted to camp outdoors – or rather on our patio.

So, he and his dad set up the tent and got it all set up.  

Of course, you need vital equipment including wearing your ‘camo’ pajamas and backpack, a knit hat, a sleeping bag with a few blankets just to make sure you will keep warm.

I half expected Kai to wake up in the middle of the night to come indoors to sleep in his own bed.

BUT…


At 9:00 in the morning, he was still sleeping.

Goodbye:

Early on Monday morning, Rachele, left for her permanent posting in California.  It is an exciting time for her, now that she has finished her Navy training and can now begin her career with the Navy.

Because she lives so close to us now, we will be able to see her much more often.

**Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to read about our family’s adventures.  

I’d love to hear about your past weekend.  What did you do?
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *