Monday, July 16, 2012

This Week...

I am back and trying hard to post about once a week, to keep some sort of family record that we can look back on.  I fell off for a little bit, but really want to keep up again!  This week didn't have any earth-shattering news or goings on, just some tidbits and fun things to remember. 

This past weekend, Corey decided he wanted to get the boys their first baseball cards.  Baseball has become a big deal around our house this past year, so really, it was only fitting that they discover baseball cards.  The kids loved them, and have been carrying them around everywhere, very likely discouraging any chance of future monetary value, but what's the fun in keeping them all nice when your a kid?  Seriously though, my boys play baseball with their stuffed animals, cars(yes, cars can play baseball too!), they play 'pretend' baseball together in the house(including running the bases, which they get in a little trouble for least they use pretend bats), and of course, they play the 'real deal' outside as much as they can.  We even have a burned spot right in the middle of our lawn where a base was left out one day too long after being used as a pitcher's mound. Ah, well.

Corey and I went to YANNI this weekend.  No, not the restaurant on central, but the actual concert by the Greek man himself.  We had joked with people beforehand about how nerdy we were for going, and although I was actually looking forward to it, I was in no way expecting the experience we had.  It was AMAZING.  The show itself was a combo of Yanni playing the piano and conducting the musicians, along with a slew of incredibly talented people playing drums, percussion, cello, violin, harp, french horn, another horn I can't remember the name of, keyboards, guitar, and some super soprano vocalists.  I've been to concerts and I've been to the symphony, but this seemed to be neither, and both at the same time.  It gave me goosebumps, and one of the violin soloists almost brought me to tears(not joking, tears were welling up). Amazing. And Yanni was actually funny too. He had this great, positive personality and a good sense of humor.  Corey and I were so impressed with the show.  So, if you ever get a chance to go, do it. You won't regret it.  Oh, and our kids love the song 'Santorini''s the one everyone seems to have heard, and the first thing he played at the concert.  They want to hear it over and over. Beckett asks to hear 'the church song'.  Funny kid:)

And to end it all, here's a funny thing I heard about Asher yesterday...In primary, a teacher stood up, ready to teach a 'Sharing Time' lesson on reverence to all the kids. To start off, she asked, "How should we act at church?"  Asher, always ready to answer a question, raised his hand.  His answer?  "NORMAL." 

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Fourth

Our super cool home teacher in his uniform.
Fourth of July!  I love this holiday because it always makes me reflect on the amazing country I live in, which seems to get lost in the shuffle of nonsense politics and agendas too often.  We live in the best country in the world with everything at our fingertips, and an amazing heritage and forefathers who tried to give us all the freedom we know today.  Corey and I tried out 'indexing' on the LDS website last weekend. I thought it was very sleuth-y, and actually really enjoyed it.  I indexed names for people living in the U.S. who were from places all over Europe with varied occupations and family situations.  I figure they left family and familiarity to come here, willingly, and so it must have offered significant hope and opportunity, and must have been worth the risk.  It was a good reminder to me of how many people appreciated the United States as a place for hope and it had me thinking and feeling grateful this week. 

I also love this holiday because it represents summer to me.  It's smack dab in the middle of it(happy and sad...only about 4 weeks left...booo), and always includes friends, family, watermelon, and fireworks.  It's pretty awesome.  My lucky little neice was born on the 4th, so we get to celbrate 2 great things...Emery and America!  This year's party was lots of fun, and we stayed late laughing and talking at Aaron and Meagan's place.  In the morning, we went to a breakfast at the Payne's house(an awesome family in the ward), and then to get Slurpees and snacks at Blakes in the afternoon. The unfortunate part was that Corey had to work the next day, so it was a really weird week, but a day off is still better, so no real complaints! The kids loved the fireworks(ok, so did I), and danced around while the sky was lighting up all over the city.

Corey's parents were here for a visit for the week, and the kids were really excited about it:)  They both just love it when family is near...grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, it's all a treat to them, and I think it's just so sweet. 

P.S. Beck went to his first 'friend' birthday party this week. He was SO excited, and was acting all grown up about the whole thing. He's been talking about it for a couple of weeks, and had a great fave was when he was just itching to give birthday boy Gavin his present. Beck waited in a line then tried to find a better way for him to open it quicker. Cute boy:)
Bearing gifts and looking a little serious, squinting into the sun, right before the party.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Staycation- noun; a vacation in which the participants stay home and enjoy the offerings of their own city, rather than traveling to do so.  Mandatory requisites includes no answering phone calls, or performance of regular duties and husbands taking a minimum of one week off from work.

Instead of a traditional vacation this year, which we had been planning, on a whim we decided to just.....stay home!  Weird, I know.  And I think everyone we told must think we're nuts.  Corey and I started thinking about past vacations, and that we often do things we could do here at home, but never, ever do.  And you know how after a vacation, you wish you had just a few more days to regroup before getting back to the grind?  Those thoughts, combined with the idea of sleeping in our own beds, and the kids having all their toys at hand so we could actually relax too brought the idea of a staycation to fruition. And so we planned.  And these were the things we came up with.  In the end I feel like we know our city a little better, and even discovered some fun surprises.

We camped in the backyard the first night, and the boys were thrilled with the idea.  It's just another one of those things we always say we'll do, but never do. We went ahead and roasted some marshmallows too, in the true spirit of camping(and my favorite part!). 

I slept okay(for camping sleep, anyway), but now know that a certain bird sings an obnoxiously boisterous solo every morning, right before the sun comes up.  Somehow everyone else slept through it.
The tram was a must.  I've only been up once and our boys have never been.  They thought it was amazing, and actually, so did I. What a beautiful view all the way up. We decided to hike a trail that the visitor's center claimed was .9 miles.  We figured our little crew could handle that.  Along the way, the boys looked for fossils in the rocks, collected pinecones(which are still resting on their dresser like prized trophies), and discovered butterflies landing on their clothes.  It was beautiful and shady, but it seemed like more than .9 miles.  And it was.  Oh, the trickery of hiking signs.  It ended up being a mile and a half
each way, and Beckett barely made it, even with
the promise of an Icee at the bottom and snacks
along the way. Corey did his part and carried him a little ways since Beck was, "just too tired."

Our destination was the little rock house built a while back on the cliff of the mountain. It had spectacular views and was a nice little walk, at least if you're older than three.

One day we went to Cliff's, the local theme park, which(shamefully), we've never been too.  It was better than expected, and we found out that our Beck loves the rollercoasters.  Despite the blistering heat, we had a great time, and an almost perfect day.  Unfortunately, Asher slipped on a stair at the 'Monkey Mania' water park there(we didn't love it), and split open his chin.  It ended up not being too bad, and he left the Guest Service area with a band-aid, a new stuffed animal and a bag of cotton candy.  That definitely helped:) 

We also went swimming, watched the 'Topes (we all got to run the bases, woot!), hit ABQ jump and let the kids bounce around for a while, ate some yummy food (Beck decided to try a chicken heart at Tucanos and liked it, ew), went to the Explora museum and did some shopping.  Oh, and we took naps, several of them. All of us. 

Our last day was a unique one.  Running through our city is the famed 'Rio Grande', only everyone who lives here knows it's not so grand. I mean, it's nice, and really makes our city beautiful, but it's not huge and full of lots of water, and you never really see people in it.  A couple of months back I found an ad in a magazine for a company that kayaks down the river, and I thought, wow....where do they do that? Corey looked into it and signed us up.  It's just about a 20 minute drive from our house to the departure point, and they took us out and let us kayak down the river with the kiddos for a couple of hours.  It was really beautiful!  We saw tons of dragonflies, a turtle, fish, two deer taking a dip in the river (I didn't even know we had deer around here!), and a blue heron that followed us for half of our trip.  Beck was my mini passenger, and helped me paddle while racing Corey and Asher.  He did get a little tuckered out and laid down in my lap for the last 20 minutes or so, because yet again, he was "just too tired."  It was relaxing, and gave me a new appreciation for our grand river. 

And so, the staycation was a success!  We really enjoyed exploring our own town.  What a wonderful and relaxing vacation it turned out to be (thank goodness for the naps).