Saturday, June 30, 2012

La Luz Trail

Well, after 2 weeks of unpacking, I think we are pretty settled into our new house. I put the last curtain rod up and we finished up the last box yesterday. There's still a bunch more to do, but I think we can slow down to a more reasonable pace now. And I'll get back to blogging.

Despite the unpacking, I still managed to go an overnight elder retreat and a hike up the La Luz Trail, both of which were planned months ago prior to our buying this house.
John asked me to try out a hike with him - little did I know what I was getting into! It looks innocuous enough, doesn't it?
We started out somewhere around 5,000 feet elevation or so, probably closer to 6,000 at the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. It was nice and shady at 6:30am.
At 8,800 feet, there was a scenic overlook.
This was the view there, pretty scenic.
The "Needle" was right next to us. That's a pretty blunt needle.
John doesn't look tired at all, does he?
4 hours later, we made it to the top!
I was surprised to find so many microclimates on the way. Several areas looked exactly like a hike through the mountains of Virginia - deciduous trees, grasses, flowers, etc. Nothing like the desert landscape at the bottom of the hike. Here's the view from the top. There you have it so you don't have to hike 4 hours unless you want to.
Wa-hoo! It was a very satisfying small accomplishment. One of the best things was not having to hike back down. We took the tram. Good plan John, good plan.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A new sermon

I didn't realize it's been quite so long since I last blogged. As you can imagine, moving, unpacking and setting things up have taken up most of my time outside of church ministry. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how to get our desktop connected to the internet to get back to blogging regularly again. But I'm close and I promise to post up pictures of our new house and thoughts about our new home soon enough.

In any case, last night we met with a couple for premarital counseling. While Sandy and I were talking with the young man and woman, the boys and girl were playing by themselves. Usually, they do Legos or Hero Factory or some other pretend world. But for some reason, Matt decided to write a sermon.

The translation (when correct spelling and proper punctuation are applied) goes something like this:
"We have to obey him and serve him. Who is stronger than him or Him? Him. This is Satan and this is God. Psalm 105:1 It says, 'O give thanks unto the Lord, call upon His name. Make known his deeds among [the people].' Now think. Followed by: Let us close in a word of prayer. 'Dear heavenly Father, please help me honor you in our works and to glorify You. Amen!'"

He's never done something like this before. I hope these words truly reflect his heart.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sea World

In the midst of packing and moving and more packing and more moving, here's a happy memory from our CA trip the other week - Sea World in SD.
If you've never been there, it's pretty fun. The whole family enjoyed it.
We, of course, saw Shamu, the killer whale. He splashed us guys pretty good. Mom and Emz were further away in the "splash zone" and just barely missed getting wet.
We saw some pretty cool acrobatics from Cirque de la Mer.
Sandy and I are going to practice this one.
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Here's some of the action.
We also got to see tons of aquatic life and even touch some too which was usually pretty slimy.
Everyone agrees, it was a great trip!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Albuquerque Isotopes

We don't have Major League Baseball, the NBA, the NFL or even NHL here in ABQ. But we do have the ABQ Isotopes baby! They are the AAA affiliate of the LA Dodgers. Our church bought group tickets and we went to our first game.
We got there early hoping to catch some batting practice and to partake in the 50 cent hot dogs. But alas, we missed BP though we got plenty of dogs. In this case, they were more like extended little smokies in a bun.
But the boys and girl had a blast. This was Emery's first time at any professional type sporting event. She was amazed though she had no idea what was going on. But the consensus was clear from them all - "This was the best night ever!"

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Crawdads!

One of the fun things about staying with Sandy's parents in CA is a nearby creek. We always go with the boys and girl for a walk or to see the wildlife.
It's a beautiful place with plenty of room to run around and find "naturey" stuff.
This trip, we discovered hidden creatures of days of old. Naturally, we tried to hunt them with sticks.
We had a ton of fun together trying to catch and kill crawdads. We managed to snag one.
Andrew is such the boy now. He was ready to dissect it.
And how did Emery feel about it all? She loved it too...when she wasn't posing for pics with mom!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Newport Beach

We went to Newport Beach this year. Man, that's a nice beach.
The boys and girl love the beach. Who wouldn't?
The waves are just mesmerizing.
The water felt great too, not too cold.
Emery looked ready to start surfing.
We built some sand castles with grandma.
And when everyone was shivering from the water, we put them in the oven to bake.

Friday, June 8, 2012

California there we went

We got back from our trip to CA last week, but I still haven't quite gotten back into the swing of things. It's not so much that I'm still there as it is that we're moving next week - a daunting proposition. But we had a really fun trip to CA.
This was a good time of the year to visit. But really, is there a bad time of year? The weather is pretty close to perfect, and it's so green and lush.
We got to throw the football around.
We had plenty of time to chill out.
And we got to see our cousins which is always a blast too. It was a good trip.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Happy Birthday Andrew!

Andrew just turned 10 today! I'm not sure how that happened. Is that how every parent feels? We entered a new world today - the video game world. The grandparents and everyone in our family all chipped in to get Andrew a Nintendo DSi. He's been wanting one for at least a year. I've held off on this as I've wanted to make sure that Andrew doesn't entertain himself to death nor will he worship the idol of a fantasy world of fun. I think he's old enough for us to talk through this with him and guide him through this new responsibility.
At times, I am amazed at how biblical knowledgeable he is and how biblically mature his thought process is. He understands so much about the heart and idolatry. He can even apply it sometimes too! But at other times, he's just an innocent little kid too. Happy to play basketball, Star Wars, Lego's, and re-create any story, book or movie he sees with his brother and sister in tow. He's still my goofy little guy who's always trying to tell jokes and be funny.
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Andrew has always responded to gifts with great emotion. I can still remember when he was 2 years-old, he couldn't contain himself with joy upon receiving Christmas toys. I hope he maintains his enthusiasm for life but always gains the most joy from the Giver of all gifts. Happy birthday buddy.