We spent some time exploring some national parks.
White Sands in New Mexico
Carlsbad Caverns-New Mexico
See that hole behind me? That is the opening to the cave and we made the mistake of walking down the trail to the bottom. It was at least an hour long hike, downhill, and slippery...with 2 kids. No bueno. It was beautiful, but the elevator route is recommended.
Sam got the opportunity to go to Costa Mesa, CA for a Yellow Ribbon tour. It is something the Reserves do for the families before and after a deployment. There are classes you have to take and the kids stay in childcare. It was a lot more fun than we expected. We were so close to Disneyland, so we took the kids. We bought a 3 day pass, but only made it 2 days. It was exhausting and hot. The kids enjoyed it though and Sammy was a roller coaster queen. We also visited nearby beaches and the kids just jumped right in. Of course I was sitting safely on dry land having a panic attack over Matt getting swept away and taking pictures.
When we got back home there was a lot of boredom and the kids fought a lot, but we had more mini adventure: catching tadpoles! Sam called us from the clinic where he's doing his hours and told us there were a ton of tadpoles and the local kids were trying to kill them. Of course we made the hour long trip to save a few. Lo and behold they turned into frogs and the kids lost interest, so we released them at a pond at a neighborhood park.