Friday, April 22, 2016

Spring Stuff

Whew!  Spring has been a blur of sports, school projects, holidays and fun times with these boys.  Aside from the sports, here are some of the things that spring has sprung.

Corey started teaching Asher to tie his own tie.  Brilliant!  I, myself can only do the 'fastening snap in the back kind' made for kids so I should probably take a lesson too.  Ironically, Corey can't get the snappy ones right, so this seemed a better way to go.  Either way, Asher is learning a valuable lesson each Sunday morning with his Dad. When I peak around the corner, this is my view each week.  I love it.

The annual Chamiza Science Fair was a success this year too.  Beckett chose to do a research type project this year on Garter Snakes.  He'd found a snake skin on a camping trip and had been wanting to delve into snakes a little more.  He worked hard on his project, learned a lot and he was able to proudly display his snakeskin!  Asher's project this year was an experiment with growing crystals of several different kinds.  We both learned lots as he observed the jars we set up all along the kitchen window sil.  Growing different crystals was fun and some of them were truly amazing.  The boys both had a great time presenting their findings, learning more and getting to be a part of science night.

We celebrated St. Patrick's day with our (now) annual fruit plate.  Green clover pancakes for breakfast were great too, but their favorite thing was after school when they found that the toilet water had mysteriously turned green.  This is something that started up after Beckett brought a leprechaun trap home from preschool a few years back.  Leprechauns hadn't visited before then, but now the boys write notes, hunt around, and expect some sort of mischief and prizes.  It's an interesting thing, this Leprechaun business, and it definitely never happened when I was growing up!

Then there's this little guy.  His curiosity about the world and his love for, well, everything is just wonderful.  He's always smiling, continues to sleep like a champ, and everyone adores him.  He gets to play basketball with Corey, Beckett gives him rides in the giant Tonka truck and Asher scoots him through the house in his little chair. He just loves to go outside and cries if the boys go out without him.  He's started playing on our climber and his most favorite thing to do is the big pink slide.  His laughter as he shoots on down is just the best.  He loves ALL of it.


We planted a garden this year too, so we will see how things go.  We planted absolutely nothing last year.  A new baby put the garden on the back burner, so we are excited to see what will grow this year.  Asher planted some melons and Beckett really wanted some carrots and pumpkins.  I am so excited about tomatoes warm off the vine.  Yum.  I'm the only one so I'd better get creative with ways to hide them in whatever it is we are eating come August.

Welcome Spring!


Monday, April 11, 2016

Spring Break 2016

For Spring Break this year, we were home and happy.  We decided to do some outdoors-y exploring in and around where we live.  I'd recently heard about a little hike called 'Carlito Springs' that's just up in the East Mountains, so we put that and Santa Fe on our list of places to hit.  We packed up snacks, backpacks and hiking sticks (the boys' persistent requests) and headed on our way!

Carlito Springs was very unique.  The hike is actually a hike/walk up a road to what was once a personal residence but is now owned by the County.  There's a natural spring right in the middle of the property that runs down and around to pools, little streams, etc and it makes everything REALLY green and lush in what is otherwise the typical high desert mountain surroundings.  It was beautiful! We really could not believe just how green it was.  On the way up we could see lots of daffodils and fruit trees lining the path too, making it more picturesque.  The boys had a great time exploring, watching skeeters and wondering if any bears would come say hello (there are apparently bears who visit the area from time to time).  From the main property (where there are also other buildings but it's akin to a itty bitty ghost town) we hiked some other trails that take you around the other side of the mountain where the terrain turned to reddish sandy trails, pinon and sage brush...more of what you'd expect to find in the area.  We enjoyed the uniqueness of Carlito Springs and will definitely go back again.

We also spent a day in Santa Fe.  We found a good hiking trail up past the main town area in the surrounding mountains and explored.  There were some amazing birds in the area, and we actually ended up circling up to an Audobon Society Building which was well off the beaten path but a very nice facility (finding a bathroom while you're out hiking is always welcome!).  We explored the complex of building they had and discovered that as part of their property there is a historical stone home (you can tour it during parts of the year, although not now), with a small orchard and some picnic tables.  The pretty little spot served our needs well for a nice place to rest and eat some snacks.  The kids were starving at this point!  It was a very nice hike and everyone did great, even our smallest buddy, Dawson.

After our hike, we drove down to Old Town Santa Fe and had a fun lunch on the plaza, followed by yummy gelato (Ecco is always a favorite).  We toured around old town a bit and decided to see the Loretto Chapel and the 'Miraculous Stair' inside.  The old Catholic chapel is creaky and interesting, as the ones around Santa Fe usually are, but the staircase inside really is special.  It's a helix shaped spiral staircase built in the late 1800's by an unknown architect.  It's 'miraculous' because it was made with wooden nails/pegs and meager simple tools and has no attachment to any walls or poles to hold it up.  The carpenter/builder's name being unknown adds to its mysteriousness.  We liked seeing it and thought it was a fun diversion.
Instead of going straight back to Albuquerque and after talking about never having been to the Santa Fe ski resort, we drove on up the mountain.  As it happens, that day was their last day of the season so we saw a number of people still skiing as well as a fair amount of snow the further up we went.  It was beautiful with lots of trees and a fantastic view to boot.  We keep talking about getting the kids out skiing sometime soon, so maybe this will be a good place to go that's not so far from home. 


Spring Break was adventurous, fun and very relaxing!  We're so glad we could have this time to take a little break from the norm and enjoy being with each other.  We are looking forward to warmer weather and summer just around the corner!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Easter 2016

 Spring!  Easter!  Joy!  This time of year is so great.  It also means that summer is just around the corner! Our Easter this year was very nice.  Amidst the chaos and busyness of our soccer Saturday, we made the time to dye some eggs which is always a favorite at our house.  This year we attempted a new technique and it's a keeper (thank you Martha Stewart). We put various textured things like rice, beans, or corn in cups and then added a few drops of dye and swished them around.  Then we put eggs in the cups and swirled them a bit, and...magic!  Beautiful colors and patterns abound with a flick of the wrist.  I thought they were so pretty and not nearly so messy as other crazy things you can do to try to get eggs to look spectacular.  We'll do it again for sure.


Easter Sunday was both fun and spiritual.  We try hard to make sure the boys know what the holiday is REALLY for.  Celebrating the resurrection of our Savior is the reason for the eggs (I love the symbolism) and the special dinner and all the FHE lessons we do on the atonement and Jesus throughout the month.  Easter is such a wonderful holiday with so much meaning and love behind it and I love spending this day with my boys.  Church was nice and the boys all looked handsome to boot.  

Of course, on Easter morning, the boys found a basket (this year in the form of an outdoor butterfly net, and a new bike helmet for D) with prizes, plastic eggs filled with treats and a mound of Easter grass (that I'll still somehow find bits of 6 months from now).  Dawson had some good times with jelly beans and Easter grass.  It was hilarious to watch him and he could hardly believe his luck when the plastic eggs opened up and little jelly belly's poured out.  Yay for jelly beans!

Happy Easter 2016!