Thursday, June 30, 2016

Our Visit to Stanley

 Ethan had some extra time off last week, so we decided to take advantage of that and head to Stanley for his Dad's birthday. We left Thursday morning and got to Stanley about midday. We spent the rest of that day relaxing and just enjoying being surrounded by people we love.
Friday we loaded up our kids and headed into town to visit one of our favorite places; Explora!
 This was Sharli's first time, and she could not have been more enthralled!

 There were a few new additions that the kids really enjoyed. I love seeing them so completely engaged by something like this.

 The neatest thing they got to do that day was to have pictures of vehicles they had colored scanned into the computer, where they became part of this 3D video projected on the wall. Erik was fascinated by the idea that he could watch (and even interact) with something he had colored while it drove around.
 Sharli's favorite thing in the whole world is blowing bubbles, so this exhibit kept her (and the rest of us) busy for a long time.

Saturday Ethan and Erik went with Kerry and Cameron to go shear some alpaca. It was a long hot day full of hard work, but Erik loved getting to "go to work with Grandpa". He's been telling everyone who will listen about the adventures of that day.
While the menfolk were out working, the rest of us stayed home and enjoyed some time to sit and visit while the kids played. Marquette, Cameron, and their kids were also in Stanley that week and it was really fun to watch Sharli and Darrow play together.

 To free up some space in the house, our family was sleeping in tents in the yard. The only problem with this arrangement was that it was way too hot for the kids to take naps in their beds. We solved that with some blankets and pillows on the living room rug and it all worked out great.
 I love my in-laws, and it is always so much fun to get to be around them.


May began with a whole lot of endings for us. First was the end of Erik's first year of public school. For one last grand hurrah we loaded all his schoolmates up took them on a field trip to Deming to see the circus. They had a marvelous time!
 The older kids got to ride an elephant, but it was too expensive for everyone to get to do, so the littles all got to ride on this train. They thought it was just as cool as riding an elephant, silly kids!

 The last week of school the kids had pretty much mentally checked out already, so they took lots of breaks to do things like this instead:
 The very last day of school was a sad one for Erik. He loves school so much and has been asking ever since when he gets to go back. Here are pictures of his first day and his last day, just for fun.
August 2015
May 2016
  Another thing that came to an end (for the summer at least) was Kid's Church. Our town is so tiny that all the kids love to get together no matter what the setting, so Erik has been attending Kid's for Christ at our local Presbyterian church. For the big end of the year party they all got to go to the McKeen's ranch north of Alma and have a great party. They had a ton of fun!

My baby brother graduated from High School this month, so the kids and I headed down to Animas to help him celebrate. Like a dork though I forgot to take pictures at graduation, but I did get some of my kids with their Payne Great-Grandparents.
 Also this month we got to enjoy another visit from Nate and Kate. We took a picnic up to the newly re-opened Catwalk and then enjoyed the walk up to the end of the new trail. It's so pretty up there, I'm so excited to have this just a few minutes up the road!

 We asked a passer-by to snap a picture of us all and, while he took several, they all came out blurry. Oh well, it's better than nothing I guess.
 After the walk we turned the kids loose in the creek for some fun. They had a blast!

 Somewhere in all the fun this month we also managed to survive hail storms, a tooth infection, being forced to wean the baby, and lots of colds and sniffles.
 All in all though, it was a great month with lots of good memories made.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016


April is Prom month, and even though we don't have any kids anywhere near old enough to go to Prom we still managed to get in on some of the action. Some of the local kids were having their pre-dance dinner under the trees by the hatchery and they asked Erik to escort the girls out to meet their dates.
He was pretty nervous at first, but he warmed up to the idea pretty quickly. By the time he got all three girls to their dates he was having so much fun he jumped at their invitation to stay and eat with them. It was pretty cute!

The first half of the month was pretty normal. Or normal for us anyways...
Just hanging out eating snacks and reading books...on Dad.
The kids love to play outside, especially if it means getting dirty. Sharli may think she's all grown up now, but she still thinks dirt is the best snack ever.
Between what's on her face, and what we found in her clothing and diaper (see pic below) it's amazing there was anything left in the garden.

Snack time!

She's getting so big!
We took advantage of the great weather and went for some nice walks. We went a little too far this day though, all three kids were worn out.

Erik loves to be the big brother. He likes to help me pick out outfits for Maren to wear. It's pretty fun to see him trying to be a helper.
Half way through April we went to Animas to visit my family. The kids had been fighting colds for a few days, but we decided to go anyways since they weren't too sick. The first night we were there Maren started coughing and struggling so much to breathe that we had to have her sleep in the bathroom with the shower going. The steam helped, but she was still having a hard time in the morning so we took her in to the little clinic there in Animas. The doctor thought she had RSV and sent us up to the hospital in Silver City. After testing for RSV, the flu, and pneumonia it was decided that Maren had Bronciolitis (baby bronchitis). She was put on oxygen and admitted to the hospital for observation.
After spending two nights in the hospital she was finally able to maintain her oxygen levels on her own and we got to go home. To this day the poor baby hates to have her nose touched because of those 3 days in the hospital.
By the time Nate and Kate brought their family for a visit the next week Maren was feeling WORLDS better. We had a nice visit and had so much fun watching the kids play together.
Maren and Gwen
Erik and Blaine
Sharli and Neil
Sharli thinks "Tummy Time" means laying on the baby's tummy. Luckily Maren likes it!
One last picture for the month that I had to share. Erik built himself a doctor's office and was doing check-ups on all the stuffed animals. It was pretty cute!