Say “Hi” to Matt, and Mandy Sanchez!
and our children, Arie, Reese, Rowen, and Charlotte.
What is your favorite part about living in your neighborhood?
The People! we especially love our street because of all the kids! My kids are outside all day playing with the neighbor kids, making memories and being active!
What do you like to do as a family on the weekend?
We really like going to the movies! Our girls love the movie theater and we always get ice cream on the weekends. Menchies is our favorite place to get ice cream every Saturday. That’s our number one weekend activity. We also like to go to Mansell Carter Oasis park; OK we really love that and it’s right down the street from our house so we can ride our bikes there. They have a great splashpad that the girls run through the water spouts and get dumped water on them from the hanging buckets that fill up. They also like to run up the hill and play on the large playground area. There is a large man-made pond that is stocked with fish. Sometimes in the summer we will play there for hours, fish and then I’ll go pick up Chick-fil-A and we will eat at the picnic tables under the ramadas and make it a full day of fun!
Are your girls involved in any type of sports or activities?
Our girls Love Softball, they play in the Queen Creek Heat league and they absolutely love it! Tristan has been their coach the past couple years and its really become a family activity!
What type of Activities or Hobbies do you enjoy?
Tristan Loves CrossFit, and goes to CrossFit Incite. I love house projects like doing ship lap, putting up wallpaper and anything I can use a power tool on. We all love going to the movies, getting ice-cream, and hanging out as a family.
It’s a rainy day (or 122° day!) what do you do as a family around town?
We have just discovered Elevate Queen Creek! Elevate is a great indoor kid/adult friendly trampoline place with all kinds of fun activities. My girls love the OdySea Aquarium and Butterfly Wonderland in Scottdale. I recently took my kids to the Lego Discovery Center in Tempe and they really had a great time. There’s also a new Crayola Experience in the Chandler mall and that one is top notch.
Has there ever been a moment or time when you didn’t want to live in Arizona?
I feel that way at least once a summer when the temperatures hit 115 degrees and then winter comes and I realize that this is the perfect place to live!
Where is the best place to watch the sunrise or sunset in your opinion?
I will have to say just in Queen Creek because we still have a lot of open fields. I just walk outside my door and have the most magical view. I mean we really have a stunning sunset every night. They’re so beautiful you don’t have to go far.
Where is the best place to go where you feel most like a “local”?
I feel like the activities and events that Queen Creek hosts throughout the year is a great way to get involved with the community and see what is happening in the town. On Friday nights, the local food trucks gather near the library. You can meet friends and hang out listening to music and trying some great food!
If you had a recommendation of a little-known “locals” spot to go to, what would it be?
We’ve got really cool little things like a Mexican market called Mercado on Ocotillo and S. Ellsworth. I think it’s really authentic stuff. I like to buy my vanilla there and it’s kind of a hidden treasure.
For Mexican food we Love Deans Hermanos, the people are so nice and it’s a family place for sure! We are also excited for Barrio Queen to open. We enjoy Oreganos, and Sauce and you can’t go wrong with some DoughLicious Desserts to end the night!
We recently took a trip to Mission Beach San Diego and we fell in love with it! We can’t wait to take the kids back there! Tristan and I really want to go on another Caribbean cruise! We go to Disneyland a few times a year as well!
Favorite Sports Teams:
Tristan loves The Utah JAZZ, and ALABAMA Crimson Tide.
There are so many shows and movies I love, but I love outlander and Poldark, I really love time pieces! We love anything Disney.
How long have you lived in this neighborhood?
We have been residents of the Ocotillo area for four years now. We just moved from Fulton Ranch to Watermark last month. Our baby, Charlotte, was born and brought home to our home in Fulton Ranch! Everyone we have met during our time here has been welcoming and helpful. There is an active dynamic to this area of the Valley that feels inclusive and safe. There are always children playing throughout the neighborhoods, ours included. Friendly faces are always out and about walking their dogs, jogging the trails, working in their yards—and you will always be noticed and greeted with a wave.
What do you like to do to relax?
We are very active members of the Village Health Club! Matt does his workouts early in the morning. He enjoys the Spartan race series and we have traveled a few places including North Carolina and Hawaii for him to take part in races. Next month we are heading to California to run one together. I enjoy the Yoga, muscle, and other various classes the Village has to offer while the kids are at school. Our children enjoy the yoga program as well! We are always finding something to do at the club! We even have date night at the café!
Arie (11,) and Charlotte (2)
Arie is a member of the Performance Plus dance team at Starz in Motion! Along with several of the neighborhood girls, she has really found her passion and talent at this studio! Reese and Rowen play various sports including soccer on the fields at Snedigar. Charlotte has been in swim lessons since she was about 3 months old at SwimKids USA! She also took tumbling there from the time she was little. I try to volunteer at the kids’ schools as often as I can. Being involved in their education is important to me. Whether I am stuffing folders, chaperoning field trips, or planning preschool parties, I want my kids to know I support them in their education. As a family, we enjoy going to the community park when the weather is nice, attending church together on the weekends, and supporting each other in our events. With such a large blended family, someone is always doing something, and we make sure they have a large cheering section! We have jokingly dubbed our family the #SanchezSquad. No one is ever alone in our active house!
One of our biggest vacations to date was a week in CA taking everyone to watch Arie’s dance team perform at Disneyland, and following that up with Matt and I’s wedding in Rancho Palos Verde—that was quite the week. We love going to New Mexico to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Sometimes we like to bring them here for a staycation! The kiddos are begging for a beach vacation so maybe we will have to branch out next year.
We are a house greatly divided when it comes to sports. I grew up in Ohio and you will find me supporting the Buckeye’s every Saturday! Matt attended Notre Dame, so he is forever Irish. Charlotte was born right after the Buckeye’s defeated the Irish in the Fiesta Bowl (which we attended), so I think she’s a Buckeye fan. Arie sides with her Dad for the Irish and Reese usually strings over for OSU. Rowen has yet to choose a side!
The kids love to command Alexa to play songs to get a dance party started! Everything from The Wheels on the Bus, to JoJo Siwa, to the Spice Girls gets played around the house! One show we all enjoy watching together is America’s Funniest Home Videos! I remember watching this as a kid with my family and knowing my kids will still sit down and watch a show all together makes it a great one! Everyone loves a funny baby or dog video!
As the Mom and Stepmom, I try to always make sure we sit down to eat dinner together. Whether it is a full home cooked dinner or take out, I try to get all six of us around the table to spend time talking about our days. There are NO ELECTRONICS allowed during these meal times which is amazing and wonderful! We try to stay involved in activities grounded in the community. We do summer reading at the library, community give-back through our church, and fall and spring festivals at local farms. During Christmas, I have started “saving Christmas trees” with the kids. We drive around to all the Christmas tree lots and find the “Charlie Brown” trees that no one wants. We bring them home to decorate with whatever we can find and throw presents under all of them. The last few years I think we had three trees and a few smaller artificial ones. The kids have to open presents in many different rooms on Christmas!