Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Carlsbad Trip. Thanksgiving 2011

Be prepared for some pictures! We had a magnificent time driving out to see Melesa and Brett’s family in Carlsbad, NM for Thanksgiving this year. The best part was that we weren’t the only ones making the trip out there. Heidi and Austin, and Jesse and Randi drove out too!

We split the 9+ hour drive there between 2 days. We left Wednesday night and drove to Lordsburg, NM (about 4 hours) and stayed in a hotel Then woke up bright and early Thanksgiving morning and finished the trip there. We drove through Las Cruses, NM and El Paso, TX. The kids were excited about being in 3 different states in 2 days.

Between El Paso and Carlsbad there is a stretch of nothing. No trees, no mountains, and no cell phone service. But we did find what looked like a ship, out in the middle of nowhere. I had to snap a picture because Jeremiah’s dad was talking about buying a houseboat to put on his land, like a mobile home.  haha.  Thanksgiving Carlsbad trip 2011 007

Down the road another 45 minutes or so we found a real houseboat on a semi trailer parked on the side of the road. I missed the photo op but we laughed pretty hard.


I have 0 pictures from Thanksgiving day so picture this in your head: TONS of good food, pie coming out of our ears, family everywhere, kids playing, babies, guys at the shooting range, more food, laughing, story telling, and everyone having a great time.


Friday we drove to Carlsbad Caverns, the most anticipated part of the trip for Simon (and me).

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Ranger Simon

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Coming up to the mouth of the cave. It was massive! Jeremiah was excited too. lol.

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Simon was in heaven! He knew all of the names of the different parts of the cave, the stalactites and stalagmites, columns, etc. He spouted out cave trivia through the whole hike.


It really was a hike too. It was 1.5 miles to get into the “Great Room” of the cave and another 1.5ish miles around the Great Room. The hike in was steep and no strollers were allowed (for good reason) so I carried Mason in his Snugglie, and Jeremiah ended up carrying Ryan most of the way in because he was so tired and didn’t want to walk. When Jeremiah’s arms were about to fall off from carrying a 35 pound kid we tried putting him in the Snugglie instead. When that didn’t work Randi, my hero, took him by the hand and somehow convinced him to walk the next 2 miles!!!!


I switched Mason to the baby sling and he instantly fell asleep and stayed asleep until we got to the very end.


Oh, and by the way, I borrowed most of these cave pictures from Melesa. I had some major issues with cameras during this entire trip. About 1/4 of the way into our hike into the Cavern my camera battery died. So thank you Melesa for taking pictures!


Yeah! We’ve been there!

(Ryan was asleep in the car.)



Every night the boys had a sleepover party in Jackson and Kimble’s room. I got to read stories with them every night. I got to see what a great reader Jackson is too. These boys are so fun!


Mason is the happiest baby! He smiled and smiled and hardly cried at all. I’m such a lucky mommy!


More cute baby pictures!  We finally got a picture of the two babies together! Mason and Ellery will be buddies for sure! Aren’t they sweet?

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The guys stayed occupied by playing Xbox. Modern Warfare 3.

Most everyone left Carlsbad on Sunday but we stuck around an extra day and just enjoyed the company. Carlsbad is a fun little town. We got to drive around a bit and Melesa took our family pictures.

Here are some of my favorites that she took.



On Monday it was time to go back home. We didn’t the chance to go to White Sands with Melesa’s family so we decided to change our route home to include a trip to White Sands.

So we started driving.

I was the navigator and I put my trust in my Blackberry GPS map to get us to White Sands.

I won’t every trust my Blackberry again. We missed our turn and we drove an extra 45 minutes in the wrong direction. AH!

And we ended up on highway 13: a shortcut back to the road we should have been on.

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It was just a narrow old paved road for the first 30 minutes until we reached a real road. Jeremiah was getting worried that I had sent him the wrong way, again.


After leaving Carlsbad late, going the wrong way, and stopping for way too many potty breaks, we didn’t make it to White Sands until about 5:00. The park closes at 6 but we went in anyways and the park ranger didn’t even make us pay the fee to get in (yay!).

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So even though we didn’t get to spend much time playing in the sand, we go to see what all the fuss is about. It is stinkin’ COOL! It really looks like snow!

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It was chilly outside and we grabbed our jackets and hiked out through the dunes.

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Ryan thought it was snow. And it really was cold.

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And once again I was having camera issues so I don’t have very many pictures of this amazing place.

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But luckily we did get a few pics to look back on.

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After taking this shot I set my Canon Rebel on the handrail to do a timed shot so I could be in it with my family and when we pushed the button for it to start the timer the vibrations from running to get into the shot knocked my precious camera into the sand!  (Yes, I almost cried.)

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And the rest of my pictures turned out like this. And the flash wouldn’t work. ugh!


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But Jeremiah got some great shots of the sunset with our other camera! (He’s a lifesaver!) Watching the sun go down over the pure white sand was absolutely breathtaking. It was like being in another world.

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Sand angels!


Then we got back on the road again and drove through Las Cruses once again,

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and to our hotel in Deming, NM.

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The boys really enjoyed the hotel since we rarely stay in them. We got to sleep in this time and eat breakfast and watch cartoons.

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And Mason was a little angel, of course.


The rest of the trip home felt like an eternity. 

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After so many hours in the car we were stoked to see this sign!

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And we stopped at good ol’ R&R Pizza in Benson, AZ.


Once we reached Tucson we stopped again to see the Pima Air and Space Museum. I have so many pictures that the rest of the trip home will have to be another post.

To be continued. . .

Reading and dancing - Kids being kids.

I talk a lot about what a smarty Simon is. Well,  I finally have some proof! I caught him reading the Disney Christmas Collection book a few days before Christmas.  (Please excuse the sniffles, he was battling a cold.)

 He was reading a story about Wall-E and Eve. This isn't a simple book either. It's full of big words and there are only a few pictures and a lot of reading!

I am so proud of this kid!

Here's a really fun video of the boys just being themselves. Simon turns into the SimonBot 360.

Hope it made you smile!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Halloween post (now that it’s almost Christmas)


Once again I am way behind on my posts but what else is new, right?

I just couldn’t resist sharing our fabulous Halloween fun. This is more of a picture montage than a real post.

Sit back and enjoy!

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Ryan was bound and determined to be Wall-E. And luckily I had a box in the perfect size just waiting to be turned into a robot costume. I'm pretty sure this is my favorite costume I’ve made yet. I waited until the last minute to make it so he is missing wheels and hands but no big deal, Ryan loved it, and he made the cutest Wall-E ever! Especially when he would get sad or scared and tuck himself into his box, just like the real Wall-E. Did I mention Wall-E is his favorite movie?

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Mason was a little owl. I crocheted his hat and sewed “feathers” and wings onto his onesie. I just want to snuggle with that cute little owl. I love this baby sooooo much! He is a little beam of sunshine in our home.

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Simon was a robot too. Not just any robot. . . the SimonBot 360! I didn’t get pics of his costume until we were in Round Valley at our Halloween Party. He loved his costume too. A little metallic silver spray paint, a couple of boxes and some dixie cups, easy peasy! And he got “voted” the best costume of the night by our friendly neighbors when we went Trick-or-Treating. Ryan, a.k.a. Wall-E went trick or treating with us too but after about 5 houses he was exhausted from wearing his big ol’ box and his Aunt Karissa took he and Mason home to play.


As I mentioned, we spent Saturday and Sunday in Round Valley. We had a fabulous family Halloween party with spooky food and costumes.


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Here are our boys with their cousins during our costume parade! Simon is disappearing into his costume. Now he just looks like the XBox 360 instead of the SimonBot 360.  haha.

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Being Goofy!  (Keaton, Allyson, Ezra, Everett, Simon, and Ryan)



Are you Hungry!?


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How about a plate of slimy worms!

This stomach churning dish was our contribution to the party menu. It’s hot dog worms! To make it just just up you hot dog into 6 long pieces and boil until they start to curl a little, then add some BBQ sauce. That’s it!

And what goes better with worms than meat feet?

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Grandma Sue made these frightening meatloaf feet! eewww! (they tasted great!)

Here are some more random pictures of our trip.

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Cabrena being green.

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Pumpkin Rice Crispies!

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The kids were fascinated by the witches brew. Dry ice is amazing!

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On our way to the mountains we found this souped up Camero with black racing stripes. The license plate says GR4NDMA. From now on I will be proud when someone tells me I drive like a grandma.

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Ally loved my butterfly wings and she made a beautiful butterfly!

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Where did everyone go?


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And the final pose!

Good times! I can’t wait until next Halloween!

I have a camera full of pictures from hiking,  Thanksgiving in Carlsbad, and Christmas time. Be prepared for more mega posts in the near future!

Si and Ry

Si and Ry