Sunday, September 17, 2017

Picture Catch Up

As life in our home gets busier, my desire to do anything at night besides stare and sleep becomes REAL yall. Like, after 7:30 I can't do anything....especially type words that make sense.

So I am going to take a break from recapping our Race and try to catch up on life here sentence per picture!!!....Well oneish sentence(s).

She has been taking my phone a lot and I love looking through my albums later to see what she comes up with ;)

What is my best side???

Playing dress up with friends from San Angelo....Price Eric and a Rabbit/Bunny/Cat...we aren't sure!

Still getting nightly hair dos.

We have the best Sunday School class...we brought props for our Welcome Back Sunday and everyone played along!

Just watching the solar eclipse with my girl on the football field!

And with my boy, Collins (her cancer scans are clear yall!) and our new friend Zachary!

I searched the whole campus for him during the eclipse but he was tucked away with his favorite teacher...she was kind enough to send me these pictures!

Showing off her birthday gifts that she bought with the Disney giftcard from Aunt Erika and Uncle Jason!

Getting in as much time with Kason as possible. He moves to India for 2 years on October 2nd.

Our neighbors had a Mario Bros themed birthday party...we love how they matched so perfectly!

Making Terra Cotta Clay soldiers in 7th grade art class.

Look at this cute little 7th grade artist....his soldier really is one of my favorites, despite him being my boy.

Goober's first cross country meet....he did so well. Placed 3rd place for our school, beating out several 8th graders. This past week he took 2nd place and shaved 6 seconds off his own time!

Giving it his all right before the finish line.

Staying the night at the Perot Museum..we decided to sleep under the Anklosaurus!!

We made animal masks at the Perot too...and went on a 2 hour scavenger hunt..SO MUCH FUN

So proud of my older two for selling cookies and lemonade and raising over $800 to send down to Hurricane Harvey victims.

He loves eating Zucchini noodles!!

This was the meal; zucchini noodles, tomatoes, onions spinach and shrimp with a drop of lemon oil! YUM

More pictures on my phone of my girl.



Now thats a WINK!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Amazing Race Part 16

I can't believe I have time to post another blog....but at the same time I can't believe I am still documenting our summer trip :). Oh well.

Today we woke up to the news that all gas in DFW will be out over the Labor Day weekend. Great. We had plans to drive 2 hours to watch Goober's first cross country meet and then to Dallas for a fun overnight deal at the Perot. My hubby isn't too worried so we are going to carry on like normal for now. Thankfully my brain couldn't sleep and I was up way early this morning. So I went and filled up my tank (for a crazy price) and hit up a SPIN class....ouch, my thighs are still screaming at me!!

I am counting my blessings though that no gas is the only thing we have suffered through during his awful Hurricane. I am so overwhelmed with how many people are helping out and standing in line to volunteer!!! GO TEXAS!! GO JESUS!!!

I also have to mention that today is our Gotcha Day Anniversary for Goober and Ribbit. On this day in 2011 we went to court and made our family official. This was the day that two siblings, who would have been considered step siblings to the rest of the world, were made WHOLE, fully WHOLE siblings with the same mom and dad and promised to forever be treated as ours.....whether they like it or not :). I slipped some fun little notes in their lunchboxes for them to find later on today and we will probably celebrate tonight!

ok...On to the next day on our Amazing Race.

After a great night of sleep in our Tipi, Goober and I headed back over to Monument Valley High and even though my lungs were burning and I had a nosebleed at the end I got in 5 great miles. It was cool and I barely broke a sweat ------could have even used a jacket!

We headed back to camp, ate some oatmeal, took another long hot bath (not knowing when our next one would be) and found our next clue. We were to drive through the Valley of the Gods and name all the monuments before we looked up their real name. This was super fun for the kiddos and gave us something to do as we would through back country roads. The valley is low and it was quite foggy. We saw several people camping out in the middle of no-where and we didn't pity them at all ;).
We all guessed things like Train. Locomotive, etc. But this is 7 Sailors Monument

I'm telling you ...Ninja Warrior training happened everywhere out West!

My ninjas!

This was Lady in a Bathtub...our guesses were nothing close :)

From there we left and headed to Gooseneck State Park which is almost a replica of Horseshoe Bend but its a double oxbow. There was no good way to take pictures and it was really just a quick scenic stop. We were glad it was still open on the Fourth of July as some of our other stops were unfortunately closed. However, God had a plan and our next stop was one of Adam and I's favorite!!
Isn't it beautiful? How can people see things like this and not believe in a Creator?

We headed to Fort Bluff Historic Site and from the minute we pulled up we knew it was going to be AWESOME. It is run by the Mormon church and they have done an amazing job of restoring and keeping the old Bluff City fort and cabins in tact. Its a small village filled with amazing history and facts and looks as if you  have stepped back in time everywhere you go. The staff was amazing and so delightful. They knew we were coming and had everyone ready to give us our clue once our kiddos completed the scavenger hunt--which led them to learn about everyday life at Fort Bluff.
Learning to lasso

Panning for Gold...we found some nuggets!
Inside the old church

Our first mission though upon arrival was LUNCH. They didn't have any lunch type foods and all the restaurants were closed for 4th of July so we did what we had to do and ate cookies, brownies and ice cream for lunch. It was all homemade and SO STINKING GOOD!!! Then we headed over to get dressed up like pioneers and learn!! The kids loved seeing weaving looms, hewn pegs, original furniture and Goober said the best part was the clean bathrooms :). We all agree that if we are ever anywhere close again we will go back to Fort Bluff Historic Site.
Hey guys, come in my TIPI!!

My sweet cowboys and pinoeer lady!

This was soooo much fun for everyone!

After we completed our scavenger hunt we were handed a clue that told us to head to the 4 Corners to take a picture in the corner of all 4 states; AZ, CO, UT and NM. This was fun and we only had to wait about 30  minutes to get our picture since so many others ventured out to do the same.

We were all covered in dirt, had great sock tan lines and were trying to take a quick picture since the line was growing behind us!

From there we headed to our final state COLORADO!!! I was personally so ready to see this state that my dad has spent my whole life telling me about. He grew up traveling around the world and yet most of his stories and best memories are from Japan and Colorado. As we headed into Cortez there was another drastic scenic change. We were all of sudden in the presence of trees again and fast food places. It sounds awful but I felt relaxed and like I was home the minute I saw trees...the West is breathtaking but dagum do I like the look of trees! least a little!

Retro Inn..stay here if you head to Mesa Verde or Cortez, Co!!!

We checked into our RETRO INN, a neat little spot on the main street filled with vinyl records, giant elvis statues, fun retro colors and a retro camper and ALL 5 of us immediately LAID IN THE BEDS....ahhh, beds, not on the floor, with mattresses and pillows! We didn't move for a solid hour and then our stomachs began to rumble. Since it was the 4th we decided to go out and celebrate with the locals. We found THE BEST hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, La Casitas and sat out on the porch in the great weather eating some of the best chips, dip, chicken, beef, fajitas we have ever had!
An hour long chess game....I think Dad won?

Hanging out with our good friend Elvis!

Inside the retro camper! Super cute!

We also found a great hill to park at to see the Cortez fireworks and the kids loved sitting on top of the van to watch them! Adam, Goober and Ribbit also enjoyed playing a game of chess with the giant size chess board at our hotel. Goober is pretty good!!!
Awesome way to spend the 4th of July!

Not too shabby

Everyone listed their favorite part of the day and fell into a deep sleep that night after getting in late from watching the fireworks.

Goober-touching 4 states at once
Ribbit-dressing up in pioneer clothes
Little Man-panning for gold at the Fort
Mom-LUNCH OF ICE CREAM AND BROWNIES ( i mean we had to right?)
Dad-all of the history at the Fort

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Amazing Race Part 15

As I write this Houston is under water...our church and school are constantly updating us on ways we can help. Please pray for those who are displaced or still unaccounted for.  We are completely unaffected and praying that God would show his power through anyway he can!

After a fantastic night under the stars in Monument Valley, Goober and I woke up early to get in a run. We drove about 1/2 mile away to Monument Valley High School and used their track. We thought it was really neat to find out that their mascot is also the cougar!!! I honestly could not run more than 2.5 was such a different altitude. I was quite pleased at my pace but was breathless and wished for my TX humidity for all of a brief second :).
Home of the Cougars

My partner and protector! See that big monument in the background?

My view when I got back...bless that sweet little booty.

The sunrise was beautiful that morning and Goober and I tiptoed around when we got back as everyone slept in. We all took full advantage of having a shower and took long hot ones. Our next clue sent us to Dineh Horse Tours in the middle of Monument Valley to ride horses. When we arrived the owners were still asleep in office chairs outside of their slapboard office. We even had to strike a deal with them as they insisted on cash only and we were short. I was grateful that our guide Bennett was an experienced horsemen and knew each one and its behavior. He matched up horses to each kiddo and then got us on and our saddles just right. I was very unsure of the kids riding by themselves but he was fully confident. Goober got on Sundance, who wanted to stop and eat grass the whole 2 hours but who Goober convinced to go faster then all of the rest of us :). Ribbit got on Sam and he was sleepy from being wore out from other riders the day before. Little Man got on Charlie who was mild mannered and easy to ride. Adam got on Chochee, a beautiful white horse. I got on Rico who was stubborn and lazy (just fine with me).
Ready to get going!

Lots of movies were shot here!

A bucket list item for sure!

It was breathtaking!

Me and Rico were always in the back!

Bennett knew a lot about the valley and grew up there. He told us that the Navajo (which is what Dineh means) learn their language at home and English at school. He was upset that many parents are teaching their culture and language to their children so the Navajo language is dying out. He lives in a Hogan during the busy riding season and believes that the Earth is filled with spirits. He told us that he knew a shapeshifter or skinwalker because in order to become one you have to sacrifice a family member. His own brother is a medicine man and he said he was destined to be it from the time he was a little boy. He said another medicine man or psychic (he used that term too) saw it in him. Bennett did not offer up this information but I was so intrigued in their beliefs that I quizzed him to death since my horse Rico had no intention of doing anything I asked. Bennett had to ride beside me and yell at the horse :).
A pro at this!

Letting horses rest in the shade!

He loved getting his horse to trot!

Heading back!

He showed us where Transformers, Back to the Future, Lone Ranger, a Metallica music video and several other films were shot at. He pointed out every major formation and showed us ruins of old hogan and sweat shacks. We were not ready to return but a little over 2 hours later we returned to the horses stalls and they were very thirsty. We thanked them and Adam had to leave to go get the rest of the money while we gave them my driver license to hold onto for collateral.
Souvenir shops

Lots of great picture opps!

Panoramic view

The kids and I went down the road to a big jewelry post and found several gifts for family members. We loved learning more and more about the Navajo culture as we spoke with several of the stand owners.
John Waynes cabin

Adam came and got us after paying Dineh and we headed to a famous trading post and to see John Waynes cabin, or at least where he bunked when he was filming in that area. We loved seeing the relationship between Indians and early settlers and how many of them were loving and helpful to one another. We found ice cream at a gas station close by and ate it quickly after being in the direct heat all morning long. From there we headed back to the Tipi Village for a low key afternoon and evening of Ninja Warrior games, long cold (on purpose this time) showers, Hot Dogs, Smores and teaching the kids how to play MASH!!
Home Sweet Tipi

The sweetest little thing.

We had booked an actual Tipi for that night and it was the best sleep yet as it was COOL, DARK and we had a fan running to block out all other sounds!!!