Month of the Military Child – Sierra Vista Herald Article

So the girls are famous now, at least across Fort Huachuca. Based on some brainstorming in the Public Affairs Office about April’s Month of the Military Child, my First Sergeant and I’s families were selected for an article in the Sierra Vista Herald about the wonder and difficulties of being a military child. Of course, I jumped at this opportunity and was very eager to support the initiative. The girls were pretty excited too at the prospect of being in the newspaper. When the crew arrived, Gabriella went shy and stayed in her room most of the time, while Elaina opened up as soon as the first question was asked of her. And just like that, the girls were a household name (within a five-mile radius).

To no one’s surprise, shy Gabriella just wanted to cuddle while Elaina the Extrovert would not stop talking.
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Run-up to Christmas

As I wrote in one of my last posts, the girls were spending Christmas with their mother in Texas, so we were trying to get most of our Christmas in before they left. They were still going to open some presents when they returned, but with the girls likely already tired of the holidays and with school starting back up again, it was best to really celebrate our holiday beforehand. We had a lot to do and a relatively short time to do it, so we dove right in as soon as they returned from Thanksgiving.

Even the Elf on the Shelf is getting into baking sourdough…
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Decorating Our Gingerbread Houses

Since the girls were spending Christmas this year with the mother in Texas, it meant that we had to try to really fill in the first three weeks of December with Christmas activities (not to mention doing the same thing when they return). Even before we got out the tree, ornaments, and decorations, the girls wanted to build gingerbread houses together. So let us see if my girls have what it takes to be successful tiny home architects (with rather unconventional building materials).

And they surprisingly did not eat all those materials
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Merry Christmas from the Calkins Family

While the girls spent Christmas this year in Texas with their mother, we still managed to take our family photos and get our Christmas card out on time. As always, they came out beautifully and everyone loved receiving them.

The picture on the right is proof that they really do love one another

I will be sure to write more this weekend about our run-up to Christmas (when I get some time). I have just been extremely busy since they left getting caught up on coursework, professional reading and writing, and taking care of myself by eating healthier and exercising more frequently.

A pretty productive year given the circumstances

Thanks for checking in on us. From our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

Cheers!

Valentine’s Day Card Boxes for School

It is that time of year again to receive candy from others… no, not Halloween… not Easter… we do seem to have a lot of these…  it is Valentine’s Day!  Which comes with the annual card exchange at Elaina and Gabriella’s schools.  Elaina had to make a box at home to receive all her cards, and while none of us are particularly amazing at arts & crafts, we managed to get our projects completed on time and in style.

Take that, Chip and Joanna!

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New Year’s at Great Wolf Lodge

I have never been a big New Year’s Eve person, as drinking and dancing are not particularly my idea of a good time.  But magic, miniature golfing, and waterparks… yes, please.  Coming off a great Christmas with the grandparents, the girls and I headed up to Scottsdale to spend our New Year’s holiday at Great Wolf Lodge.

“Howl if you are ready for New Year’s!”

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Calkins Family Christmas

It took a long time, but I finally got around to our Christmas post.  You have seen us put the ornaments on the tree, play in the snow, and take part in numerous holiday activities, but the short lead-up to Christmas Day deserves its own post.  Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Calkins Family Christmas!

Arizona Christmases definitely include cacti and rattlesnakes

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Snow Day!

My Mom only wanted one thing for Christmas, and that was for it to snow in Southern Arizona.  It happened for a few days last year, but it did not seem like it was going to happen over the holidays this time.  She must have been on the “Nice” list this year, as she got her wish right before they headed back home.

Pretty sure I am about to be hit with a snowball…

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Merry Christmas from the Calkins Family

I will post a good summary of our Christmas holiday later, but wanted to wish all of you a Merry Christmas, from my family to yours.

Different Card; Same Adorable Niñas

This is our family Christmas card that we sent out this year.  Bill Bonner at Reign Photography took our pictures for the second consecutive year, which we were obviously very happy with.  Thanks again, Bill.

It was honestly really tough to fit an entire year into an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper…

Along with our Christmas card, we also sent out our Year in Review.  While I have seen them, I had never done one before, and I will admit that it was quite hard to condense our amazing year down to a few bullet points.  For followers of this blog, you probably read the first-hand account from most of these adventures, but there may be a few new ones that snuck in there.

Actual Gabby Quote: “I want a unicorn… and a girl to ride the unicorn… oh, and I’ve been a really good girl… so please get me that.”

Since most of you probably did not get these in the mail, the girls and I just wanted to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas.  I hope you all have a great holiday season and I will try to get in another post before we head to Great Wolf Lodge in Scottsdale for New Year’s.

Thanks for checking in on us.

Cheers!