The above picture are of the hike in the Coronado National Forest. I have lost the camera, so I can't post the pictures of the desert museum, but we had a blast. The kids loved seeing all the animals and vegetation. There were several guides with a wealth of information, Josiah got all his questions about eating cactus answered. FYI-they are toxic to our kidneys and should not be consumed raw. So, they are not good for desert survival as a water source. They also got to touch a snake. The boys really enjoyed getting park maps and navigating us through the exhibits.
I think it is an indication that your life is incredibly stressful if over the past 2 or 3 years, the calmest most peaceful time I can remember is the four weeks we spent in Mexico taking care of 23 additional children in a foreign language. I'm not complaining, it has all been necessary. We renovated a house, moved twice, Sam deployed for a year, I trained to be a midwife, and downsized to a 300 sq foot RV, just to name a few. I have been on call all of this year, up until the moment we left for AZ. Our schedule has been in constant flex. The trip out here took three days of driving.
I say all that to say we have needed a reprieve more than we could have ever imagined. As we look forward to the rest of the year, we see a packed schedule with many hours of driving and we buckled down ready to do it.
Then we arrived in AZ. Our friends the Elkins, friends from Army days in Germany, were waiting with open arms. They have fed us wonderful food until we can eat no more. They have given us space to rest and use the internet. They have planned fun things for us to do everyday. Never once have I even thought about feeling bad I have five children. God has blessed them with a beautiful house and they have opened it up to be a blessing to us. Even typing this I could cry at the amazing God we have, who knew exactly how much stress we could handle and exactly the rest we needed to be able to go forward.