Just a Day of sledding. . . at the Beach

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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

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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!


Its been almost a year since we posted last.  Here are some pics from our latest trip to the Omaha Zoo:

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Generally speaking we are doing great!  Lillia is finishing her year of preschool and has very advanced language and reading skills.  Eliza is very athletic for her age and is a great snuggler.  Janell is super busy with the relief society.   I still go to work than go home and play with kids, pretty much every day.  Thanks for visiting!

Life in Des Moines

I have not posted an entry in over a year now.  Shame on me.  Catching up on everything that has happened in this entry would be too daunting a task to even contemplate, so i will just sum it up.  Last July, I took a new job in West Des Moines and we have been enjoying life in a more urban environment.  Eliza is happy, healthy, and very strong.  Lillia is 4 and is still a charmer.  She has wonderful social skills and is getting very good at drawing and coloring.  I like my job, but traditional office life is making me fat.  Janell is happy, but very busy with her new calling in the relief society.  I have been able to cut down my hours to spend more time at home, but it is still challenging.  We bought a house in October and have dug our heels in.

We still miss Saipan. Sometimes terribly.  But we really like it here.   I have posted a few pics below.


Omaha Zoo


Last week we went to the Omaha Zoo.  SOme say it is even better than the San diego zoo.  The layout is better, but there are not as many animals.  I wouldn’t say better, but it is an outstanding zoo.




Leaving Paradise

So, eventually we had to leave our tropical paradise home and return to our beloved Iowa.  The short version is that we were blessed with a new member of our family.  Unfortunately, early ultrasounds revealed that, she, like Lillia, had hydrocephalus.  She would need brain surgery shortly after birth and then need several follow ups throughout the year.  The closest pediatric neurosurgeon was in the Philippines.  We could not figure out a way for it to work, so I started looking for jobs in Iowa.  I found a great job in a great little Iowa town and could not pass up on the opportunity.

It was hard to leave Saipan, but we are thrilled to start our new life in Humboldt.  I could probably devote a whole blog to that last sentence, but I won’t, because too much sentimentality gives me a headache.  I stead I will just write a little about how we are doing now.  Eliza was born on November 26 and, miraculously, did not have to have the shunt surgery.  Essentially, her head inexplicably fixed itself, which we chalk up to divine miracle.  All in all she is pretty healthy.  Although she has several abnormalities, none of them pose a significant threat to her health.  Also, of less importance, she is cute.

My next Few entries will probably backtrack to some of the things we missed.  Thanks for visiting!

Comming Soon