Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Carlsbad Caverns!

Alright, this post is months overdue.  At the end of June, my mom and dad came to visit from Idaho.  They recently returned from an 18 month mission in Ireland for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (aka-the Mormon Church).  While they were serving the Lord in Ireland, my family uprooted from Idaho and moved to New Mexico.  I was able to visit in February right after they returned to the states.

Since they hadn't seen any of their six kids in nearly two years, Mom and Dad, planned to visit each one of them this summer, which they did!  I have a brother in California, a sister in Arizona, a brother in Boise, Idaho, and two brothers closer to my home town in Idaho.  It was quite the traveling feat, not to mention visiting all of both of my parents' siblings and their own parents.  What a busy summer for them!

We were very pleased when they made to New Mexico.  It was a new adventure for all of us!  We took some time out to travel South East to Carlsbad.  In Carlsbad is one of the worlds largest caves known.  It was a very fun time... the caves were nice and cool and very extraordinary!  In the evening time, just before the sun goes down, there is a bat show, where thousands (maybe even millions) of bats flock out of the caves at one time!  We had to get back home due to responsibilities the very next day, but we plan on going back so we can see the spectacle!

Now for the pictures!

My little family posing for the camera inside the caves!

One of the many rock formations.  You cannot touch any of the rocks, or else the oils from your hands will stunt the growth.

A very deep water hole.  I have a feeling they are deeper than they look.

Peak a boo dad and Little H!

Very cool.  I wonder how many thousands of years it will take for this one to reach the ceiling!

Some of these reminded me of melting wax. :)

Little H walking with Grandma K up the slope.

Grandpa T, Grandma K, Big T, and Little H.  It was nearly pitch black when I took this picture, so I could not align the picture appropriately!  In fact, many of the pictures of the formations were just guesses.  Some turned out, some didn't.

This formation reminded me of a huge sea lion.  My camera did not capture it the way it should have.  It was my favorite formation that was near the end of the tour.

The view from the far side of the parking lot to the caves.  Isn't it gorgeous!?

Looking a different way... this one is my favorite view from the parking lot.  Just beautiful.

Keep checking!!!

For the most recent episode for SORA'S JOURNEY click here----> Episode#13
All are welcome to read, comment and share this story!  It has been fun to write!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How to be Creative?

I have a question to ask... an opinion of sorts.  I remember my sister telling me about her eldest son's kindergarten teacher telling him how to draw a person.  She told him that the head looks like "this" and the body looks like "this,"  The legs look like "this," and so and and so forth.  My sister's argument was that you need to let the child use his or her own personal creativity to draw the picture.  How does he or she think a person looks? 

Here is what happened to us.  Hoss and I volunteered yesterday (Friday) in Little H's kindergarten class.  We were helping them decorate gingerbread cookies.  It was fun.  Many of the kids asked me how they should decorate it.  I told them to use their imagination.  I said, "How do you think it should look?"  Then they would start putting on the allotted candies etc.  After the cookies were decorated, we went in to help the kids get settle down to eat their creations.  While half of the class was decorating their cookies, the other half colored a picture of a cutout of a gingerbread man (then they would swap when the first group was finished with the cookies).  Okay, here is where I find the conflict....

I went in to see the teacher instructing the kids on how they have to color their gingerbread man.  She said, "Remember how I colored my gingerbread man?  Put his eyes right here (she pointed to where they go on the head)...."  She proceeded to tell the kids how his clothes should be, and exactly where every feature of the gingerbread man should be.  This is where I was concerned.  Just like my sister.  I don't want my child to grow up thinking that art has to be "a certain way."  It is your creation, so why not own it!?  

I love art.  I paint, and I use other forms of medium to create art.  Is it wrong to tell a child how exactly to draw something...not letting them express themselves?  I am seriously wondering if I should mention this to my child's teacher.  Any time Little H has asked how to draw something, I have asked her how she thinks it should look?  Then I usually prompt, "well, does it have a head... eyes... nose... mouth?"  I let her choose where to put any, if any of it.

Keep checking!!!

To read the most recent episode of SORA'S JOURNEY, click here --> Episode#13
For a synopsis of this story, check the top left of this page.

A New Interest

Big T has been so interested in drawing as of late.  Most particularly with the markers that I bought for her and Little H to share.  Big T has papered our walls with drawings of so many different pictures.  Some pictures consist of her and Hoss (daddy), some are with her and I.  And there are many pictures featuring Titus, our dog.

Here is part of the alphabet that Big T made and cut out.  She started out drawing the letters right in the center of an 8 1/2 X 11 piece of paper, then cutting out the letter and discarding 75% of the page!  Silly girl.  Hoss put a stop to that one, very quickly!

Here is the last set of the alphabet.  I'm sorry, I must have missed taking pictures of the beginning of the alphabet.

Big T showing us her goof ball face.  She is such a character nowadays!

Here is the letter that she made for me... it was very interesting.  :)  This is the envelope.

Here is the inside.  I sure hate to receive bad "noos."  Especially bad "noos" of this caliber.   On a positive note, Big T's writing is getting pretty good!  She has been working on her penmanship.

I like this letter better than the first.  I'd never like to receive news like the last one.  On the inside of this card, it said, "I <3 you!"  (I heart you).  This one is hanging above my desk on my cork board.

Keep Checking!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sleep Deprivation

First things first.  If you don't already, feel free to follow this blog.  It will be full of stuff concerning my little family in New Mexico!  I'd love to have ya!

Alright, it has been five years since I had my last baby.  You could say that is a long time, right?  Let's just say that I have forgotten what it feels like to be pregnant.  Yes, I am claiming it.  I haven't done so until now, because I felt it was too early.  Pretty much family is all that has been privy to this information, so if this is news to you, I am sorry.  It is not easy to share with everyone and the sun that you are pregnant when you have suffered through a miscarriage before.  In fact, I probably would not have told my family that I was preggers when I did, but I thought I was nearly a month further along than I really am (another thing I forgot about my pregnancies--always not as far along as the calculations determine).

Back to the things that I have forgotten about pregnancy.  Fatigue.  Now, not just being tired from a hard day's work, but absolutely exhausted from waking up and getting the older kids off to school.  Yesterday, I stood outside chatting with my neighbor about this and that (she is 'the go to' for any information on anything or anyone in this town).  We talked for one hour!  After that I had to go in and have a nap!  That is a very long time for me --apparently-- to be standing consecutively!

I never forgot about the nausea and morning sickness; I did forget how awful it is to throw up every day, sometimes multiple times.  And let's just hope that your bladder is not full when you are heading to the toilet!

I have talked with many women who have given birth to a baby, and they freely share their horror stories.  Hey, I have even been one of those women!  I think it is in God's plan for us women to forget the traumatizing things that we experience during childbirth.  If we didn't I am not so sure that we would have more than one child!  Well, my doctor gave me some reading material, like most doctors do at the beginning of the pregnancy.  I have been reading through it...most of it, I already know, so I skimmed past.  As I got to the part about "going into labor," I slowed down and read a little bit more thoroughly.

I will tell you, that as I began reading that chapter, flashbacks came back of my last childbirth incident.  It even brought tears to my eyes!  Even though I am approximately six months away from the blessed day when this child comes, I am finding myself worrying and stressing over how it is going to go.  I might remind you that Big T was a nice 6lb 12oz.  Well, Little H came in at a whopping 8lb 9oz!  Any appointment that I have been to, each person asks how big my babies were.  I tell them, and each one of these people have said, "Wow!  That is quite the jump!"

I say, "Yeah.... no kidding!"

So, here I am thinking about how big this baby is going to be.  If it is a boy, is it going to be enormous!?  I will also add that my brother just older than me came out just over 10lbs.  Hoss's younger brother came out right around the same!  I think big baby syndrome is a non-negotiable in this family!

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am not at all complaining about being pregnant.  Hoss and I have been trying to have another baby for four years now.  It just hadn't been the right time.  Now that we got rid of all of our baby furniture and clothes, we are expecting!  How ironic I think!  We had accepted that we might not ever had any more children.  And to be quite honest, we have two pretty great little girls, so we were happy with that.

I feel extremely blessed to have this child on the way.  It has been a long road, and quite the anticipation for this little one.  By the way, we don't know if it is a boy or a girl, so we have named it Baby for the time being.  It might be a nickname that sticks... who knows!

Big T and Little H are both very excited for Baby to come.  Little H will give me a huge hug and ask, "Does Baby like that hug?"

I will always answer, "Yes, Baby loves that hug!  Baby would even love a kiss!"  Then she proceeds to give me a kiss on the cheek.

The official due date at this time is February 5th, 2010.  I will be having an ultrasound next month.  I think we should find out if Baby is a boy or a girl then!  What are you guesses?

So, I have learned, the hard way that I do not function without sleep.  The migraines come with increased nausea and all the rest.  I am pleased to be having another baby, but I look forward to being able to be past the pregnancy and labor and just being able to dote and love on the new baby.  That is the part I really love!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Birthday for a Princess!

Little H turned 5 on Friday the 13th of August!  On her birthday, I thought back to the day she was born.  I wondered if, when her birthday landed on Friday the 13th, if she would have a bad day.  I have to say that she did not.  This dispelled any lingering thoughts of superstition that I may have had.  No bad luck for Little H or anyone in our household!  In fact, to Little H's good fortune, we celebrated her birthday for 3 days!  Since Hoss (daddy) has to work every week night until well after bedtime, we decided that we would celebrate the next day (Saturday).

So here is how it worked out:  

Friday:  Little H got to open a present that her cousin from Utah sent to her.  She was so excited, since it had arrived in our mail box the day before.  She was not happy to wait.... but she survived!  The present contained an enormous pair of glasses, fun little crazy bracelets, and some jelly bellies!  To top it off, there was a card written from her cousin.

Little H was super excited to take her enormous glasses to school.  She started Kindergarten earlier that week, and Friday was her very first full day of school.  She got to take a birthday treat for her class mates and do a show and tell (which was her enormous glasses).  She had a blast that day at school!

Saturday:  Hoss (daddy) went to do a service project with the young men in the ward.  There is an older lady whose room had been leaking.  They got a hold of the shingles, tools, and plenty of water and headed over to her house at 6:30 that morning.  It was a very long, hot project.  Each of the men and young men took turns slaving away on top of the room.  Hoss got home close to 2 or 3pm.  We were so happy that he could serve the woman in need... yet we were very ready for him to be home so we could start our party!

I didn't have time to bake Little H's birthday cake yet, but hoped to do so later that night (it didn't happen).  After Hoss got showered, we took the birthday presents and headed out to Dairy Queen where we ate "linner" and opened presents!  Little H was so excited to get some fun beads and a Jessie and Bullseye doll from Toy Story.  It has been the hit of the toys ever since (we might have to encourage Santa to bring more of the Toy Story toys this December).

Following dinner, we decided to take the girls (Big T and Little H) to the movies.  We watched Cats and Dogs.  To my surprise, it was a cute movie.  I may have been partial to the German shepherd that looked exactly to my belated dog Boomer.

After the movie, we went into the mall in search of some pretty dresses and church shoes for the girls.  Both of them got two dresses and one pair of shoes.  All of them were well over due.  

Needless to say, it was a very long day, and by the time we got home, I did not have the birthday cake baked.  And since Baby takes all of my extra energy (I am now 15 weeks pregnant), I decided to go to bed.  Church would be all too soon.

Sunday:  We went to church, just like every other Sunday.  It is always such a wonderful way to recharge our spiritual batteries and relax.  After church, we went home and just hung out.  I baked the birthday cake, and we decided to watch a very cute family movie called "Follow Me, Boys!"  It is an older movie about boy scouts (Hoss works in the morning time at the boy scout office here--the lent us the movie).  It turns out that this movie is very long!  I ended up frosting the cake around 9pm.  The movie got over shortly after that, and we moved into the kitchen to light the candles and take pictures of Little H blowing them out.  I might add that Little H had fallen asleep on Hoss's lap during the movie.  She was tired, but was still excited to blow out those candles.  The funny thing is, we just went to bed after that.  We ended up having cake the next day.  

This is the recap of our very poorly planned birthday weekend to celebrate Little H turning five!  We had fun, but missed all of our Idaho, Arizona, and Cali family!  

And now pictures!

 Little H's birthday hair do.  It is called chutes and ladders.  It is only half the do, but it turned out cute!

 Little H: The birthday girl!

Big sister, Big T, wishing she could open some presents too!

Present #1...................drum roll please!

 Cool creative beads!  They have been a hit!... found them at Target FYI

 Present #2!  The suspense was killing both Little H, and Big T!!

 The girls BOTH love Toy Story.  So they were thrilled to see this super cool toy, Jessie and Bulls Eye!  Needless to say, we have had to monitor the turn taking with this particular toy.  Usually one girl is Jessie, while the other is Bulls Eye.  And Little H sleeps with both nearly every night!

 Finally!!! BIRTHDAY CAKE!  I'm so glad we finally got to that point of the 3 day party!

 Like a tornado that blew out the candles!  Great work Little H!  We love you!  We are so glad that we got to celebrate five years of your life!

Still to come pictures of our visit to the Carlsbad Caverns!  Hope your weeks is fantastic!

Keep checking!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Times are Changing!

Okay, so I repent for not being as thorough with my family's comings and goings this summer.  In my defense, I have had a ringer of a summer... but it is turning out pretty good I think!

Tressa and Hailee are starting school next week!  I can't believe that my baby of the two is starting school.  It is very easy for me to remember rocking her when she was a third of the size.  I suppose it makes me a little sad, but I am so excited for her to experience school.  We met her teacher yesterday, and I have to say that I am excited for Hailee!  She will be such a fun and exciting teacher.  Her name is Mrs. Simitz.  She is an experienced teacher with a lot of energy!  She already has Hailee excited to make ginger bread cookies for one of the very first activities!

We have not yet met Tressa's teacher.  I am told that we should learn who he or she is today.  I think Tressa feels a little bit left out, since Hailee is getting so much attention.  Since we moved toward the end of the school year, we could not transfer Tressa's information, or else she would have had to switch schools at the last minute.  I got her all registered on Monday, and I have a feeling that she is going to really enjoy her school year as well!

The school that Tressa was going to was fine, but the crowd was a rougher one.  I think Tressa and Hailee both will make some good friends and have a very positive experience at this new school.  They are attending Valley View Elementary, and I have been impressed with every aspect thus far!

There are many changes that are working their way to the top at this time.  They will be fully disclosed as the time comes!  We are very grateful to be where we are.  We are happy, and healthy... even though we miss all of our family in Idaho, Arizona, and California!  We wish you all a happy beginning of the school year.... end of the summer..... start of a new season to you all (whatever it is that is changing in your life)!

Keep checking!  I suspect changes very soon to be posted!