Thursday, April 20, 2017

A New Mexico Easter

Here we are in our new Easter outfits.  



I swear I look like I am in pain, but I believe it was just the sun hitting my eyes.  Or maybe I'm just getting old and it shows more when I smile. But I wanted to show my whole dress.  All of that is embroidery!  It comes from a new website that I was introduced to by a friend called eshakti.  They customize your dress for you.  You can change the neck, the sleeves, the length and give them your measurements and they make the dress for you.  Super excited about it!

We had a super low key Easter, but a nice one.  One where we laughed together and enjoyed each others company.  
I taught my class and did the eggs with objects in each one that represent the story of Christ's last time on the earth.  I have changed it a little to focus on the things I think should be focused on more.
My version:

1. Matt 26:26-28 (sacrament cup)  This is the Last supper and the institution of the sacrament
2. Matt 26:14-15 (3 pennies wrapped in tin foil) The 30 pieces of silver
3. Matt 26:36-45 (Olive oil) representing the Garden of Gethesemane
4. Matt 27:1-2 (rope) Jesus is bound
5. Matt 27:18-24 (soap) Pilate washes his hands
6. Matt 27:35 (dice) casting lots
7. Matt 27:50-54 (rocks) the earthquakes, ending with the soldiers believing that Jesus was the son of God
8. Matt 27:57-60 (white linen) burial
9. Matt 27:62-66 (large rock) stone sealed on tomb
10. Mark 16:1 (cloves) to anoint the body
11. John 20:2-9 (small roll of gauze) seeing the empty tomb 
12. Matt 28:6 (empty) he is not here but is risen

I would like to tweak it a little more and put in the part about Mary seeing Jesus.  More than anything I wanted to focus on the fact that he had risen and not so much about the death.  The death is in there, but it's not the main focus.  
What I found was 1. 8 year olds, even my smartie pants kids, have trouble reading long scriptures.
2. They don't understand how scriptures are laid out or are written down on a paper.  They kept saying Matt- what does Matt mean?  I had to tell them more than a couple times that Matt was short for Matthew.  Then they would say 26 dot dot 26 dash 28.  3. They really can't find scriptures.  I had to go around showing them every single time, even though we stayed in the same 2 chapters most of the time.  I had to say, "don't turn your page, don't turn your page.  Stay where you are" almost every single time and then come around and point to the right verse.  So that took our whole lesson!  But at least we talked of Christ and the real reason for Easter AND we learned a little about how to find scriptures!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

April Fools!

Today it was winter in New Mexico- no lie.  
It's been 70-80 degrees for 3 weeks, but today Mother Nature said, "April Fools!"

Sam's track meet was canceled after they ran the 3200m and the 4x100m.  Our girls scratched because they false started and then our boys scratched because they couldn't feel anything with their hands being frozen and dropped the baton.  Sam's race was up next when they decided to cancel the meet due to the snow!  That's right- Snow!  I had to laugh when I saw the Petroglyph National Monuments fire danger sign at Moderate!
Max however, completed his football game.  You think that's another April Fools?  Nope.  They have spring football here as well as fall.  We signed up late, but they let us on if we would go to the next town over to play with their team.  They have so few players that even when they let everyone they could sign up late, they still only have 10 healthy players and 2 sick ones.  We figured these guys have all played together since they were like 5 so it was about the only way Max would actually get to play.  He started on offense 

and kick return.  

He also played a little linebacker.  His hands were completely frozen when it was all done.  He couldn't even get his pads undone.
With all this winter weather it made me crave meat which I rarely do- so we went to the best burger around!  And we got to see a little Emma there!

What a start to April!

Springbreak Losers

We didn't plan anything for Springbreak- maybe we had premonitions?  We were planning to do something for the end of the week- maybe Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  But then Rob got in an accident on Monday and we had appointments on Monday.  Then Rob was supposed to be convalescing, so we couldn't go anywhere.  
I did let the kids have friends over to play capture the flag. (I invited the entire YM/YW and only 2 young kids came, luckily Sam had invited all his track buddies so they had enough for a game.  Another depressing thing about this ward- or maybe it's just us.  Haven't figured that out yet.) 
I did take them to a fun center where we played miniature golf

Joe trying really hard to keep his eyes open!
and laser tag (which I got 2nd in) and a simulated video game type thing (which I got dead last on, because I died 4 or 5 times and killed no one.  I couldn't figure out why it kept ejecting me until I realized about halfway through the game that meant I had been killed- who knew!), and did bumper boats and go karts!  It was a fun day.
We also got Sam signed up for his ACT's.  He couldn't get the last thing done- the picture.  It kept rejecting all of them, saying his eyes were closed.  This is the one that got accepted.  

Crazy much?
We also hiked around and on the three volcanos that are just behind our housing area.  It was a really nice hike!
We are a little bit of Springbreak losers like Emma calls us, but at least we did a few things around the area that we had been meaning to do!

New Mexico Driver's are seriously the Worst!

The only driver's I have seen worse than New Mexican's are Roman's and they believe all traffic rules are suggestions.  Well New Mexican think most of the traffic rules are suggestions.  They don't use their blinkers, they cut across 3-4 lanes of traffic at once and expect those they cut off to just react, they drive distracted and they go at least 20 miles over the speed limit at all times!  It's amazing we haven't been in a crash until now.  The other day Rob came home with his hair a mess just 30 minutes or so after he left.  While getting onto the on ramp for the high way a semi hit him while going about 25-30 mph.  

Rob never saw it coming.  He said, at one point he was slowing down and the next he was airborne.  He did a "good combat roll" and jumped right back up.   His motorcycle is a total loss. 

He was acting a little funny when he came home so I really wanted to take him in, but he said he had to go to work.  He only got to stay at work for a short time before the boss told him he had to go to the ED.  He went to the VA and with his report back of what they did and didn't do, the way the doctor acted towards him and the nurses and the absurd amount of time it took (he wasn't home until  4 pm) I solidified my opinion of VA hospitals and how I will never ever work at one!  The doctor never even looked at him, he just looked at his scans and x-rays that were ordered by the triage nurse!  All Rob had to do was take off his shirt and I saw a huge bruise on his lower abdomen.  He made an actually appointment with his primary care physician for a same day appointment the next day to get all the things they didn't check out, checked out!  Luckily the bruise was not not internal bleeding.  He got away with cuts, bruises, a broken thumb and a TBI.  He was forced to take 2 weeks of conversant leave which he thought was ridiculous, but after a couple days realized he needed.   He was one of the only smart people in New Mexico and was wearing his helmet.  His uniform miraculously kept him from getting road rash!  That stuff is made of some pretty awesome material!  I am so thankful that he was kept safe.  This definitely could have been much worse!

Jump High!

Track season has begun.


Sam was running only the hurdles and a relay race until they saw him box jump over his own head.  Now he is doing high jump again.

They never have him practice it during the week, but they figure they can get an extra point or two out of him.  So far he has only gotten them 1/2 a point for it, but I guess that's better than no points, right?  And since he won his 110m hurdles right after, 

I guess it didn't affect his race either!

St. Patrick's day

As per tradition, we had to have green pancakes for St. Patrick's day.

I sent Emma this cute scarf and got one for myself, too so that we wouldn't be pinched due to lack of green!

Happy something-we-don't-even-know-why-we-celebrate day!

Everybody loves a Wedding

Our handsome nephew who came home from his mission from Germany about a month after we left decided to go and get married.

They did it in California- a mere 12 hours driving time away, so we decided to actually attend a family wedding (something we aren't known to do!)



Kade's immediate family
It was a fun time even though it was raining and a little too chilly.




Friday, March 31, 2017

Angus being Angus

Angus the Scottish Terrier is part cat!

He likes his belly scratched, when he wants it scratched.  

When he's decided he has had enough of human contact he will go far away from you and lie down.  He loves to walk on the edges of the furniture, including in the car.  

He is not as nimble as a cat however and has fallen off more than once, hitting himself in the head!  He doesn't seem to mind, though.  He just gets up and pretends nothing happened.
Angus is too smart for his own good.  We put some fencing up in our backyard, because he is too tiny and can get through our fence slats.  I put him out back one day and went to go to the gym.  When I came back I couldn't find him, but I had to get Joseph to an appointment so I ran around looking in neighbors backyards real quick, because I knew that's where he would go.  He loves saying hello to other dogs and other people.  I finally had to go, though.  Max texted me when he got home to say he couldn't find him.  I told him that he had run away and to go with his friend and go look.  Sam saw the text too and ran home to look.  That started almost a week of putting his picture and information on several different websites, pleading for help to find him.  I was sure he was either hit by a car, eaten by a coyote, or stolen, since he is so cute, pure bred and not fixed.  Finally Max made up flyers and I walked around with him to put them up.  2 days later we got a call.  He had gotten into a neighbors yard to say hello to their dog and then they had blocked the fence so that he couldn't get back out.  Then they just sat and waited until they found someone who wanted him.  The boys had gone door to door, but they skipped that house, because it is one of those latin homes with the gate then a walkway and then a door.  He went nuts when we came to pick him up!  I guess he does at least like us!


 We fixed the fencing so that he couldn't pull it apart and left for church.  Rob said, "I just want to go around the corner and see."  Sure enough the dog was out!  He had learned to jump up on Rob's arrow shooting targets and jump over the fencing.  As the boys chased him, a lady yelled at them to secure their dog or someone would steal him.  Ya, thanks a lot lady!  Now we have an additional layer of fencing, but we don't trust him out there.  We have come out several times and seen him working at it.  We got a collar and tag and a bigger crate that he can walk in a little and that's where he has to stay for now!  Poor silly puppy!  But the kids were absolutely devastated when he was gone and we can't risk it again!  

Birthday fun

I had a sweet friend set up a birthday lunch for me.  It was nice to have people come and say we like you enough to show up for lunch.  I have had a hard time in this ward feeling wanted, needed, relevant, or having anything at all in common with any of them.  I was looking out at the ward leaving from sacrament meeting one Sunday and Robert asked me, "what are you thinking (or feeling maybe?)" and I said, "I'm just depressed."   That's what I feel almost every Sunday now, depressed!   Luckily, there are some people that  help make it better and these ladies definitely help.

Besides a lovely lunch, my family took me to the Cheesecake factory.  We all ordered different cheesecakes and I got to try each one.  Sam refused to get anything interesting and only got the plain. It was my least favorite.  Rob actually got my favorite and I ate more of his than any others!  Joe really didn't want cheesecake, but he was forced to order one.  He got the Hershey's and it was actually quite good.
 Nice pose Sam!  Check out Max just checking out the cheesecake- it's his favorite too!
All those yummy cheesecakes in a bag!

For Emma and my birthday I had a friend send a bunch of chocolate from Germany, too. 

I sent some up to Emma, but she definitely didn't get the mother load that we got!  Yummmmmmm
Well anyway, Happy out of your teen years Birthday to our beautiful daughter!

I would run 500 miles and I would run 500 more!

One of our goals for 2016 was to run 1000 miles.  It required carefully keeping track and being very regular about our running.  I liked the regularity that we needed.  It was hard while we moved and went on trips to keep it up, but we did- even on cruises.  We both finished the goal a little early- Rob a little earlier than me (and he even had two bone spurs and plantar fasciitis.)  I also dealt with a little plantar fasciitis, but my main problem was being so exhausted all the time.  I still haven't figured it out, but I am slowly getting better.  I can't run like I used to, but I am slowly getting faster and being able to run longer again.  Remember when we were training for and running marathons?  Ya- not even close any more.  I can barely run 6 miles and I am exhausted for the rest of the day.  But I'm not giving up and I'm not giving in!
Definitely had to buy new shoes after 1000 miles!
Here's to keeping and meeting your goals!  We crushed 1000 miles!

Sam is a Mess!

In the middle of our Picture Perfect Christmas we had to stop and take Sam to they urgent care for cauliflower ear.  He had it sliced open and drained- although it seemed to take forever for it to go down in size.  We were very afraid that we had waited too long to have it done and it would now look like that forever.  


Somewhere during our time up north he developed a rash and some "drainage" that didn't look good to me.  I told him I thought he might have ringworm, but he blew me off.  That is until he got back to school and the coach took one look at him and said, "go home, have that checked out by a doctor.  I think you have ringworm and maybe impetigo.  You can't wrestle until it's gone."  So off we went to the clinic and sure enough he had ringworm and impetigo!  He is still fighting with the ringworm to this day!  He is now taking oral medication.  I was not a happy mother when I found out how many people on the wrestling team were fighting ringworm and that they never clean their mats!  Absolutely disgusting and unsanitary!!  I decided this one wasn't worth the fight however.  If he decides he absolutely must wrestle next year, we will have a discussion.
But wait that's not all!  Right after new years, Rob wanted to take his clay shooter out and try it out.  
This is what the ground looked like where we took it to try it out.  Angus kept trying to eat them!
While we were setting up, Joseph stepped back to get out of the way and accidentally stepped on the trigger mechanism which shot the throwing arm right into Sam's shin!  I was sure he had broken a leg!  When we got him to the urgent care, they were full and unable to take more patients.  Sam decided he had made it in without a wheelchair and therefore he didn't need to go in.  It seemed to heal Ok.  
Boy what a wreck that kid was over the winter!  Let's pray for a little break from accidents, injuries and diseases for a little while!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Picture Perfect Christmas

In order to have a picture perfect Christmas- 

 My front entry way.

you must have family around.  Emma was not going to be able to get more than a day or two off of Walmart so we decided it would be another away Christmas.  We generally don't like to go away for Christmas, but we did last year, so why not again this year? 

We stopped on the way to pick up a new addition to the family.  The boys have been begging for a dog for years and we always had a good excuse not to get one.  We no longer have an excuse!  Rob found this dog, after almost getting tricked into an internet scam "dog."  Luckily, I kept feeling it was a scam and kept nagging about it, so he made me check it totally out and we figured out it was indeed a scam.  Non-scam dogs are much more expensive! 




Angus is a full bred Scottish Terrier.  He is cute and smart and also too smart for his own good, but more on that later.

We also stopped to see a couple arches at Arches National Park as we headed up.

Next we stopped at my parents house to give them their presents and get our.  The boys got a day at a fun center with go karts and mini golf and laser tag, among other things.  I got a night out with Mom to see the Nutcracker Ballet by Ballet West. 

It was wonderful!  There were all kinds of little girls all dressed up with their moms there.  It is obviously a tradition for many people in the area.  We just had never done it before.

Rob and Sam hopped over to Rob's brother's home and did some picture perfect snow machining.  



Lots and lots of snow is required for a picture perfect Christmas and we got just that!  

The kids made a snow dog to go with the snowman.
Poor little Angus was buried in the snow every time he went out!  I don't think he enjoyed going out much- besides that he still wasn't trained to potty without a door open all the time.  He pottied a lot on many different rugs!  Oops! Sorry!

Lots of dog friends, family and fun games made it even more perfect.




Christmas day was nice.  They don't get excited as they used to, but they still play along pretty well.  Sam wrapped Joe's present that he really really wanted, but I refused to buy, up with some bullets for his nerf gun.  Joseph said, "oh, I know what these are.  Yep, bullets." And then he saw the game he had wanted.  He went crazy!  It was super fun!  Best thank you ever.


Before New Year's we left, since Robert had to go to work right afterwards.  We had a super subdued New year's.  In fact I don't think anyone actually stayed up.  We were woken up by gun shots at Midnight however, because that is obviously a thing you do here in New Mexico on New Years!  We have since had one snow day.  This was our crazy amount of snow that day-

Dosen't quite compare, does it?  We had a few heavy presents that couldn't come with us visiting, so we opened those too.  One was a basketball hoop and one was clay thrower for Rob.