What to say. . .I took Lillia to Mexico as a reward her for practicing her Spanish for 10 days in a row.  We went to the Mission Plaza Mall and took pictures.  The mall looked very modern and featured more entertainment than shopping opportunities.  It had an ice skating rink with a sledding run and rock wall, three arcades, including one with carnival rides, a movie theater, and a trampoline park.  No one there spoke English so we got some good practice speaking Spanish, especially when my GPS stopped working and we got lost and had to ask for directions a few times, in a very seedy part of Juarez.  FYI, your phone will have service as long you stay within a mile or two of the border.  Beyond that . . . not so much.

In any case, all’s well that ends well and we got to meet both the simpsons and the Joker (the scary Heath Ledger one).

joker simpsons

Happy camper



Thanksgiving 2017

What a great thanksgiving we had.  We celebrated Lillia’s baptism, Eliza’s birthday, and Thanksgiving  with tons of family who came to celebrate along with us.  Thank you sooo much to everyone who came to make it such a special occasion.  It was a little cramped, but we hope everyone had fun anyway.  I realized that while pictures were taken of the entire group, I didn’t take any of them.  Oh well.  I just have a few pictures from white sands and the Baylor canyon hike.  Thanks to Danny for the slow motion dune-jumping vids.  If anyone has more to feature please send them to me and I will be happy to show them.  Thanks for visiting everyone and have a merry Christmas!

3kings eliza tongue krista danny sands

The link to what I have is here:  https://photos.app.goo.gl/MyEzXGCZ1j5h0xQf1


Halloween, Party, and Baylor Canyon

Hurrah for Halloween!  We were all Unicorns.  Nothing more needs to be said.


Lillia went to a friends Birthday party.  His name was ET.  Here is a Picture.


Lillia and I hiked Baylor Canyon yesterday.  We saw a tarantula, 3 golden eagles, and climbed some big rocks.

baylor1 baylor2 ET uni1 uni2

Welcome Gabriel Leon Robinson!!!




Hi everybody.  Janell here.  on October 17, 2017, we welcomed a new member of our family: Baby boy Robinson.  It took us 3 days after his birth to come up with his name.  With our daughters we knew their names months before they were born.  with Gabriel it was a bit harder.  We like the name Gabriel, and Atticus from “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and Leon after Darren’s Grandfather.

Any way he weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces and was 18.5 inches long.  I had a big knot in his umbilical cord, which may explain his lower birth weight.  He was a scheduled C- section.  Darren was with me for the birth and my mom came to help me with the girls.  We were in the hospital for 3 days before going home.  It was the first time the baby was actually with us in the hospital.  The other two times, our babies were in the nicu while I recovered.

I feel like I could get up and move a lot faster after this one.  I also felt like I had more side effects, like swelling, head aches and gas pain by my collar bone.  But within a week I felt almost like my old self.

I am so happy to have a son, and that he is so healthy!  I have been nervous to have a little boy since I grew up with sisters.  So raising a boy is a little intimidating. ( I know that Darren is such an amazing dad and is so excited to have a son- it has been really cute to watch him interact with him and talk to him about all the things he will teach him as his dad ; wresting, track, camping, hiking…etc….)

I am so grateful for the little miracle that Gabriel is. After 3 miscarriages this was my last time trying before I was deciding to be grateful for the two girls I have and to move on with my life. I had alot of ultrasounds with him and during each one I was just waiting for the ultra sound technician to tell me something that was wrong but they kept telling me that he was going to be a small baby but that he looked totally healthy.

Thanks goes to my mom, my amazing husband and last but not least Leslie Knope for helping me survive the last two weeks. ;)   I am grateful but nervous to be a mom of 3 ( many people say that 3 is the “tipping point”)- you move from “man on man” defense to “zone” and mothers of three kids report being more stressed out than mothers with 4…5…6.. kids….I think researchers chalk up this phenomenon to the idea that if you have more then 3 kids you just chalk up chaos as a normal part of life and you learn as a parent to just “roll with the punches”…hahah

Eliza is my natural little mommy and loves to touch and “take care” of Gabriel. Eliza tells me at least 3-4 times a day, “mom- just make sure you take care of that baby.” She is very concerned about him and that he is happy. Lillia has taken a bit more convining to get her to warm up to Gabriel and convince her that she won’t break him- haha. They both are great big sisters and love having someone so cute and small in the house. They have been playing “babies” together none stop for the last week.



More pictures to follow.

Just a Day of sledding. . . at the Beach

esands sands sands2

White sands is like going to the snow and to the beach at the same time.  When we arrived, the white sand looked like snow.  To further the illusion we saw people with sleds sliding down the sand dunes. We found a place to park, and climbed the nearest dune.  We took off our shoes and ran around and played in the sand. as if at the beach.  we spread out a blanket and had a snack.  We watched the pink clouds and far off lightning until it got too dark and the lightning got too close.  We all had fun, but no one as much as Eliza.

See this video as well:

It’s Great to be 8!



This post is by me, Lillia. A few days ago was my birthday!  And I turned 8.  I had cake, presents and a flying disco ball!!!  Let’s Party!  When I opened my first it was a game called slamwitch.  Then I opened my second present and it was a dinosaur digging kit.  And then my third present was a scuba diving kit from Granny.  I also got a set of Geodes and 2 rock collections.  One collection came with a book and a magnifying glass and the other came with a book and a game.  I also got a skateboard.  then we had cake.  It was 3 layer cake with cream cheese frosting and chocolate chips all over it.  And my whole family sang happy birthday.  So I blew out the candles, but just then, I found out they were relighting birthday candles.  I blew and blew and blew and blew, but they just kept coming back.  Click on the link below to see a video.  My dad had to put them out with his finglers.  And then my mom smashed my face in the cake.  It looked like I had a mud-mask on, but white.  and I had sloppy joes for dindin.and soon ill  get baptized and so , thats why it,s great to be eight!!!





Snakes, Turtles and more snakes

Hi everybody.  Its me, Lillia. Today we visited the Chihuahua Desert Natural Park.  It is a only a few miles away from our house.  well, we were driving on the desert road.  my dad, spotted an animal crossing the road.  I figured out what animal it was.  TURTLE!!!!!!!!!!!  SO we pulled over. . . so we got a good look at it.  We figured it was an endangered tortoise.  so we let it go and hopped back into our car.  So we continued driving.  a few seconds after we did, we saw a rattle snake out of my sister’s window.  It was just laying on the side of the road.  so we got a good look at him (in the car).  And so as soon as we made it there, we started walking along the trail.  Dad was in front of us just to be safe from RATTLE SNAKES.  A few minutes after we passed a few signs, we bumped into another RATTLESNAKE!!!!  AAAAAAAAAHHHHH! RATTLESNAKE!  on the path.  RUN! So we found a different path. soon,we got to the end of the path on some benches my dad found in the bushes, a 4 foot long rattlesnake skin. But there were lots of ants on it.  so my dad flung them off. ” AAAAHHH!” the ants hollered.  And my dad made funny comments about the rattlesnake skin.  Like. . .

Rattlesnake: “I’m taking a shower, do do do do do.  now I am going to put my skin back on. . .  AAAAAHHHH, who took my skin?!?!?!?!”

Other rattlesnake: “ha ha your naked ha ha!”  (I added that part).

And so we took it home and put it in the garage.  It turned out to be a great Sunday adventure.  See the pictures below and click the links to see the videos







New House

We just moved into a brand new house and am enjoying the nice “new house’ smell. We are right across from Lillia’s school and a super fancy playground. The playground includes a splash pad and 100 foot zip line. It’s not what you would really expect from a small neighborhood surrounded by desert, but there it is. Our backyard is small, but if you ignore the wall behind it, it appears endless. Take a look at the view out the back window.

backNot too shabby, eh.
Our old house in Iowa was super cool, with its 3 floors, beautiful lawn and trees, and view of the old cemetary. We frequently saw opossums, racoons, squirrels and various birds stealing food from our back porch and once we saw a bunch of vultures eating a squirell in our back yard. Everything there was close by. We were within 15 minutes 4 malls, 3 walmarts, downtown Des Moines, the Iowa State Fair, my office, the zoo, the science center, the airport and less than 5 minutes from the governor’s mansion and Drake University. The finished basement was a devoted play room. it was really nice to be able to quarantine the toy mess to a single floor. When the kids had too much energy, we would find excuses to send them from the play room back to their rooms several times. all that climbing would invariably tire them out.
Some things, I will miss, like never having to water the lawn, and. . . having a lawn. By the way, anyone want to buy a lawnmower and edger? Other things, I won’t, like clearing away all the fallen tree branches after a storm and sharing the upstairs bathroom with three girls.
Anyway, thanks for visiting and reading this boring post. We will include some fun stories in the future.

On to Las Cruces New Mexico

canyon hill hill2 pan

After five fabulous years in the great state of Iowa, we took a job in beautiful Las Cruces, New Mexico.  It is a beautiful desert town of about 100K people, about 50 minutes away from El Paso and the Mexican border.  It is surrounded by scenic desert and mountains and is a growing retirement community.  We are looking forward to mild winters and long summers.  The main industry is pecan and chili pepper production.  You can drive four miles through the large green pecan trees, which seem out of place in the middle of the desert.  Las Cruces is close to the town of Hatch, which grows the best chili peppers in the world.  Las Cruces is also home to New Mexico State University.  Go Aggies!

There is a robust LDS community in town, including 7 wards.  The major builders in the area have LDS roots.  There is a neighborhood with a Nephite Court, a Lamanite Court and a Jaredite Ct.  We almost Bought a house in Lamanite Ct.  Instead, we bought a lovely brand new house in a brand new subdivision organized by the stake president.

We are enjoying our time here and have already enjoyed a few interesting adventures, including the time Janell accidentally went to mexico without any passport or ID for the kids.  I will try to get her to tell the story.  Be sure to check out our photos page.

Thanks for stopping by!