Monthly Archives: July 2014

Four More Days in New Mexico

Four more days here in New Mexico. I am still in shock at how fast the time has flown by. But it is real.  Our four big tubs have been pulled out of storage, and are lying in the middle of the living room to be packed.  We have one last play date at the park this afternoon, then I work tonight and the next two nights, sleep/pack on Friday, leave on Saturday.

Last night we walked as a family to the park near our house.  Embarrassingly enough, it was the first time we had done that.  It was a fun way to spend some quality time together and enjoy just being in New Mexico. I am going to miss the dry heat, and the oh-so-cute pueblo style that most of the houses sport.  Also the beautiful cacti and amazing rock formations.





Greetings from New Mexico

Categories: Countdown, Family Time, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

We Have The Prize

A genuine Navajo vase.  I’m wondering if I can guess now.


You are guessing how many miles we have put on our car since we left Salem to leaving our apartment for Wisconsin next Saturday.  You can go to the post titled Ready or Not to guess or on this one it is just fun to see what other people have guessed.

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Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

Phew…done with my fourth night, with the weekend to enjoy my family and maybe squeeze in one more sight-seeing trip.  A co-workers daughter is trying to get her permit driving hours in so she can get her license so she drives her mom to work and I drive her back home.  I have enjoyed getting to know her. It has been a while since I have talked to a teenager about their hopes and dreams, and also I count it a huge complement that this coworker whom I have known for such a short time trusts me with her baby.  After dropping her off I headed home with a plan to propose a day trip, albeit long, to one of the National Monuments close-ish to us that Chad and I had both been hoping to see.

Chad was on board with that, as long as it didn’t require a hotel stay as we need to save up for the 7 or so hotel stays it will take us to get to our next assignment.
We had breakfast.  I changed out of my work clothes, we walked Myra, and then all piled into the car.  I have joked about the kids developing calloused behinds, but I am partially serious.  The four and a half hours to the visitors center involved only a few requests for a bathroom stop and lunch, no complaints.


Waiting in line for the bathroom.



We passed lake Powell and if it wasn’t for a bit of a time crunch, may have had to jump in.  It would be a fun place to rent a house boat some time.




The visitor center at Grand Staircase-Escalante was smaller and less taken care of than I imagined it would be in the whole spectrum we have seen so far.  Funny because I didn’t realize I had an expectation until it wasn’t met.



Quoting from the visitors guide, “Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was established by Presidential Proclamation in 1996 (for our fellow homeschool kids, who was president at that time?)…According to the Proclamation, ‘Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument’s vast and austere landscape embraces a spectacular array of scientific and historic resources. This high, rugged, and remote region, where bold plateaus and multi-hued cliffs run for distances that defy human perspective, was the last place in the continental United Sates to be mapped. Even today, this unspoiled natural area remains a frontier, a quality that greatly enhances the Monument’s value for scientific study….'” It spans nearly 1.9 million acres of Americas Public lands.  Scientists from around the world come to GSENM for all kinds of areas of study.
We didn’t do their Jr. Scientist program, as it was after lunch and frankly, I didn’t have the energy for it.  I kind of regret that decision now, as it was an opportunity we never know if we will have again.  Oh well, it truly was beautiful and I LOVE bumpy dirt roads and exploring, so the park was a real treat.


















Hannah found a cool larva exoskeleton, we don’t know what kind of bug it is.










The Paria River, a wash, actually had water in it, as it is the rainy season here.


With the park being so HUGE, there is no way to see it all in one day and too hot do do any long hikes (only 102).  We really enjoyed our 30 miles one way up and back on a bumpy dirt road drive, but it is just the tip of the iceberg.  Chad, Caleb, and Hannah started up the Cottonwood South trail a little over 1/4 mile.


We keep saying we are going to need to come back to this area, maybe Flagstaff, because there is so much we had wanted to do but are just not going to get to.
We were sad to say good bye to the park, and turned on an audio book, pointing the car towards home.

Thank you Lord for this opportunity to learn more about your creation.

Categories: Family Time, Fun, National Park, national parks, new mexico | 2 Comments

Ready or Not

Ready or not the count down is on!  Two shifts down half way through the week, one week to go, 6 more shifts, one more weekend, we leave on the 26th for Wisconsin.

Now we are ready for guesses!!!!  How many miles do you think we put on our car this assignment?????????
This counts from when we left Salem until we Leave from our apartment for Wisconsin.

Winner gets a prize from the trading post.

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

A Day of Rest

It was sad to say goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa Sherman this morning.  It has been fun to share our new life with them, even if it was just for two days.  They watched the kids while Chad was in Honduras, and then brought them back, for which we are so grateful.
Church was good, Bible study was about faith as an action word, and the main service sermon was about the shield of faith, which was so appropriate as we have been learning about the armor of God.  We set up a play date for the kids with the friends they have made here.  They happen to be siblings and also homeschoolers.  It would have been fun to meet their parents earlier, as they seem like very fun people.  We have kind of started saying our goodbyes as we only have one more Sunday here which is such a weird feeling.
After Church, we opted for something that sounded fun, but completely away from our normal diet…apples, cheese, and crackers.  Caleb helped me pick out two kinds of unique artisan cheeses, Hannah picked out the apples deciding on Fuji, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious, Eve picked out the crackers, we checked out and headed home.  Lunch was fun as we took turns paring different kinds of cheese with different slices of apples.
It has been quite a while since we have had an afternoon nap, but what better way to spend our day of rest.  The kids all slept, with Me and Eve being the last ones up at nearly 6:00pm.  So late, we must have really needed our rest.
May we wish you all a good week.

Categories: church, Family Time, food, Friends, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

Diné Saturday Market and Shiprock Scenic Drive

We knew if we didn’t make a plan we would end up hanging out at the house all day.  Mom and dad wanted to do something with us that we had not yet done and we knew exactly what it was that we wanted to do, go to the flea market/Saturday market in Shiprock.  We all got ready to go out stopping at Dunkin Donuts for coffee on the way out of town.



Dad wanted to get some cash and being out of practice, I had forgotten to grab extra pull-ups, wipes, and change of clothes for Eve.  So from DD Chad and dad headed to Walmart, and mom and I headed back to the apartment and then on to Walmart so we could travel together out to Shiprock.  We found dad’s car in the parking lot and they were still inside.  Mom asked if I could get something out of their car for her and handed me the key.  I smiled, thinking we have keys to their car!?! It is our duty to move it then, just to make them feel loved.  Mom thought it was a great idea so we got in and and started the car moving it down the same row about twenty spaces. Just far enough to make them wonder if they were just losing it or did they really park it out that far.  We then parked nose to nose with their car and waited. They came wandering out soon and smiled as they recognized our car.  We had got them.  Dad said that next time we move their car we should put the seat back when we are done.  LOL.  I love to see him smile that boyish grin.
From there we headed to Shiprock and the Diné (Navajo people) flea market.


20140712-190709-68829301.jpg We had traditional mutton on fry bread for lunch (I had a piece of mutton no fry bread).



Also we got a new key ring that says hello and welcome in Navajo.

When we had seen the entire market thoroughly we left heading south towards Gallup a short ways. We wanted to drive up to Shiprock the geologic feature that the town was named after. We had driven around it before but were unsure of we were allowed to drive the dirt road that lead up to it. I had since asked at work and assured that we could drive up to it but not to climb on it at all for it was sacred to the Navajo people. Wanting to respect that we were careful and stayed on the dirt roads and did not climb on or touch the rock.

















We continued down the road, finding ourselves on a very scenic tour of the Reservation, including beautiful red rock formations and curvy dirt roads.  Keeping an eye on the clock and our gas situation we turned around and headed home just before dinner time.
On our way home we stopped at a little famous for the area tamale stand and bought tamales and Navajo fruit pies for dinner.


The tamales, bigger than most burritos, were more than filling and a great way to end the day.  It has been so fun to share four corners life with my parents.

Categories: Family Time, food, Friends, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

First Date Night in Three Months!

After a surprise (you can’t leave the unit unstaffed and all the perm staff are going) staff meeting that kept us at work almost a whole extra hour, I was very eager to get home to my awaiting family.
I thoroughly enjoyed my large bowl of watermelon breakfast surrounded by my three little baby birds mouths wide open for bites.  I had planned to push myself and stay up all day but I was pretty foggy and glazed over, so I decided to take a two hour nap.  Chad had to come wake me up two or three times before I was actually awake long enough to get my feet on the ground and my brain in first gear.  We spent the afternoon chillin and relaxing as a family.  Mom and dad asked us if we wanted to go on a date while they were here to watch the kids.  We jumped at the opportunity.
I had walked past Clancy’s several times in the last week walking to the coffee shop and I wanted to try it out.  It had a large variety of foods and would have something Chad and I would both like.


Chad had a Cesar salad and I had seaweed salad and sushi.


It was so nice to have alone time. We talked about all kinds of things and made some plans. A walk at the mall brought us to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and dessert. Ending our date with a little adventuring drive around Farmington Reservoir.








The sun set as we drove back towards our apartment.


20140712-183236-66756292.jpg thank you God for bringing my family back to me safely and thank you mom and dad for a wonderful surprise date night.

Categories: Family Time, Fun, new mexico | Leave a comment

I Got My Babies Back!!!

This much awaited day has come.  It started with a phone call from Chad saying his flight from Denver to Farmington was canceled and that he would be on standby for a later flight.  I had a good night at work and was in a much better frame of mind than the previous day, so it wasn’t as upsetting of news as it might have been.  Roll with the punches, go with the flow, is the name of the game here and isn’t so bad if we recognize it as an exercise in flexibility rather than an inconvenience or mini crises.  It did however mean that I would not get to see Chad before work as I would have loved.  Sleep was good to me despite my poor decision to drink a caffeinated beverage before bed.  Jill and I had planned ahead in case of a flight delay and so we were prepared.  We left a little early for work and I followed her to the airport where we dropped off the car for Chad.  We then continued on to Shiprock and work.  Shortly after the shift started I got a message that my parents and kids were 17 miles out from the hospital and were going to stop and say hi on the way by.





It was a quick hello, but all those little hugs felt so great and did this mamas heart good.  Chad texted me that he had made it home, and a beautiful delivery soon followed.  It is well with my soul.  Now the count down is on until morning….I don’t plan on getting any sleep tomorrow.  It will be a family day for sure.

Categories: Family Time, Friends, Fun, Travel, Travel Nursing, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Please Just Hit Me While I’m Down

After a slow moving morning in preparation for a work all nighter, I looked up the closest veterinarian.  Myra has been acting like her ears were sore for the last couple of days and now she shakes her head and let’s out a yelp of pain.  There did look like some black sediment was building up in there and some redness was notable so I figured we were dealing with an ear infection.
We didn’t do the best job negotiating this contract and we knew ahead of time that our savings was going to take a hit, but it was the area we wanted and it was our first contract so we were chalking it up to a learning experience, steep curve expected.  That with a spendy transportation hiccup…when the vet recommended anesthetizing Myra to clean her ears I could hear the ching ching sound almost audibly. I found myself asking what the other options were and saying, “yeah, we’re not going to do that.” This isn’t my first rodeo. Oscar had ear infections frequently it wasn’t $250 a pop, so I didn’t see it coming at all. I left feeling like a bad doggy mommy having refused plan A of the vets recommended treatment. As we walked the mile back home I stewed with stress, feelings of inadequacy, and those feelings of being judged as a selfish, un sacrificing pet owner.  I facetimed Chad to show him the breakdown of the bill and totally slipped on the carpeted stairs completely unhurt and embarrassed the tears started to fall.  Chad assured me that it was fine.  He would help me clean Myra’s ears and the meds they put her on should work.  All the other things I was stressing about were fine too.
Oh that man, he has a way of making me feel better.  Getting those tears out helped too.  My three weeks without him have been too long and I feel relieved that this adventure, the flying solo one, will be over tomorrow.



Categories: Family Time, Heart, Road Trip, Travel | Leave a comment

An article on the Great Lakes

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