Monday, October 31, 2016

Mogollon, NM

September is a great time of year around here. It's starting to cool off a bit, but it's still plenty warm enough to be out and about without having to pack sweaters. We decided to take advantage of a beautiful Saturday and head up the mountain to the tiny "ghost" town of Mogollon. It's a gorgeous drive with views across the valley, so just getting there is fun. Once you're there the cute little town is fun to check out. There's a museum, an art gallery, a tiny restaurant, and one or two other tiny businesses. There's a stream that runs right down the only road in town, and the whole thing is really quite picturesque.
There were tons of great fall wildflowers blooming when we got there, and the kids loved it!

They also really enjoyed throwing rocks in the creek, but then that's always their favorite thing to do no matter where we go.

The cemetery at Mogollon is fascinating, with lots of interesting old graves. Someone has taken the time to document each grave and everything that is known about the people buried there. All the information is in binders in a little building where you can go and look through it all in comfort.

After wandering through the town we got back in the car and drove up the road a little ways into the forest. There are ruins of old building all over the place, and we stopped to poke around some of them. We stopped to snap a picture of the kids, but then that turned into a full on photo-shoot. The kids were having way too much fun picking where to sit and how to pose for the camera.

It really bothered Erik that we had no way to get us all in the picture, so we handed him the camera and let him snap a few of Ethan and I. It's fun to have a kid old enough to do that!

Erik's "cool guy" pose.
Maren didn't really care about all the neat stuff around us. She just wanted to get down and play in the dirt. This girl LOVES to be outside!

Friday, October 28, 2016


 August began with Erik starting a new school year. He was SO excited for his first day of Kindergarten! He was so excited to go back to school that there was no way he was going to stand still for a normal picture.
He did however insist that I get at least one picture with Babs in there too. They sure love this silly little chicken.

 Sharli was pretty sad to be left behind when we took Erik to school, but not so distraught as to miss out on a opportunity to accessorize her outfit for the occasion. There was no way she was going to escort him to school without a backpack of her own.
 His teacher, Mrs. Nelson, was ready and waiting to welcome all her students back. She does such a great job with them and they love her to pieces.
 Erik loves being back in school, though he works and plays so hard he's often completely worn out by the time he gets home. He'll head down the hall intended to have play time like this...
 ...and ends up looking more like this...
 Sharli had a hard time getting used to being with out Erik during the days again. She followed me around like a lost puppy dog for the first few weeks. Slowly though, she started to remember how to keep herself busy. 
She loves to play dress-ups, help me out around the house, and help take care of her sister and her pets.
Ethan purchased her newest pet from the little roadside market held here in Glenwood every summer. His name is Rocky Rocky, and he is well loved!
Maren is spent August busily perfecting her sitting and crawling skills. She loves being able to go anywhere she wants to be!
I got to substitute for our church's Nursery Leader and spent every Sunday this month with Sharli and her friends in the nursery. It's so fun to be with the little kids, and it's nice to be somewhere where Maren can do whatever she wants and make all the noise she wants.
When we're not at school or church, playing outside is one of the kids favorite things to do. Erik won one of the prizes at our library's summer reading program and has had way too much fun catching and learning about all kinds of bugs with his new net.
Another favorite activity is to go to the Catwalk. It's so nice to have somewhere like this just up the road.

Thursday, September 22, 2016


 I feel like July is always a busy month. It always starts with a bang with Independence day, and then everyone has to cram in everything they can before school starts and summer's over in August.
We had a really fun 4th of July. Friday night our neighbor came and sat with the kids so Ethan and I could go to the dance (which was a blast!). Saturday morning Ethan took some of the items he'd forged and set up a table at the Saturday Market. The kids and I walked the 1/2 mile down there to see what was going on, but on the way home all three of them had had enough. I had Maren asleep in the stroller and both Erik and Sharli were too tired to keep walking. So, Erik stood on the foot rest on the front of the stroller, and I put Sharli on my back with the help of our baby backpack, and we managed to make it home. Next time I'll just take the car!
The next day (the 3rd) was the town parade and the fireworks show. We had so much fun watching the entire town turn out for the parade, and it was a good one! There was a drill team, some synchronized swimmers, the local rodeo queen, and even the fish hatchery had a float!
As there aren't too many kids around here, anytime the people in the parade saw any kids they would shower them in candy, and of course Erik and Sharli thought this was the best thing in the world.
 The next day (the 4th) we headed down to Lordsburg for the annual Payne family cook-out and the amazing fireworks the town puts on. It's always fun to be around that crazy crowd! After the party wound down we headed out to Cotton City to spend the night and soak up some more family time. We all love to visit there, but the kids just eat up the time with their Grandma and Grandpa!
 The next weekend we had a water day with some friends, and it was a blast. The kids played until they were completely wiped out. It's moments like this that make it easy to forget how big Erik is getting.
 Also that weekend we headed over to Thatcher for my cousin Brad's wedding. It was the first time in a long time (and definitely since the three babies were born) that all the cousins had been together, so Marquette made sure to snap a few pictures of the crazy bunch.
 This month saw our kids acquiring their very first pet. Her name is Babs, and she's a goofy little red hen. She was one of about a half dozen chickens in our neighbor's flock, but after a coyote got all her friends she was desperately lonely. Ethan took pity on her and brought her back to our house, where she follows us around like a puppy.
 Maren keeps getting bigger and bigger. She's mastered rolling over and loves having a little more control over her world. She is starting to appreciate having toys to play with, and is figuring out how to pick little things up and put them in her mouth.
The biggest event of the month for our family is Erik's birthday. He turned FIVE this year and is so excited to start Kindergarten! When I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday he said he wanted the exact same thing as last year, so that's what we did! We invited his friends over for snacks and lots of watery fun and he had a marvelous time!
Our friend Sally made this excellent cake for Erik. It was huge and adorable and SO yummy!
It was really funny how the boys tended to gravitate towards more active play (like running around shooting each other with water) and the girls all just wanted to pile into the pool together and quietly play in the water.
Grandma and Grandpa Richins were passing through town with cousins Wyler and James in tow, so we invited the boys to stay and join in the fun with us. Cousins are the best!
Also this month, the kids got to meet an adorable baby deer. Someone picked this little one up on the side of the road and brought him to the fish hatchery. While it was a shame for this sweetie to be separated from its mother, it was fun for the kids to get to know the little guy.
Ethan took a day hike up Mineral Creek canyon. We've been here before, but with little kids in tow we didn't make it very far. This time he was able to make it up the canyon to the ghost town of Cooney. It looks like a gorgeous canyon, I hope we get to go back there some day so I can see it too.
There were lots of ruins from the old mines that pockmark this county. He was really impressed with the size of some of the buildings, as the country here is pretty rough and hauling supplies up the canyon would have been a massive job.
Some days we just have more fun than the kids can handle, like this day when they both passed out within minutes of going to be for naptime. It cracked me up to go in their room and find them both snoring away in the exact same position.