Tuesday, January 5, 2010

You better get yourself to the Grand Canyon!!

A trip of a life time!

On our way, the kids asleep on the road. We left Dallas on Dec. 26th at 6:00 in the morning. It was the day after Christmas, can you say tired?? Our trip was planned, 18 hours to drive. 12 hours the first day and 6 hours the next.

Our first stop, Old Rout 66. Along the side of the High way in Arizona.

The second National Park we have visited. The Petrified Forest! Very cool. Wood that had turned into stone. I have no idea how? I am sure I should have read it on a sign somewhere? Something about water and surviving hundreds of years...

Stop number 2: The worlds most preserved meteor site. Let's just say Joe went crazy. Yes, son a really large rock can fall from the sky! Very large hole in the ground. Neat to stop and see if you are driving through the desert in Phoenix.

Here we go! The descent! I can't even begin to tell you how scared I was to be taking the kids down in. Can they make it...can I make it...can we get out...how many people die doing this??? Just a few thoughts going through my head!

I can honestly say after the first 5 minutes I was the happiest girl on earth. What a site! The kids were practically running down the GIANT hole in the ground. Really, Sara never really stopped! I was so impressed with her. She had a ball. We got out of the snow about 3 miles in to the climb down.

When Joe first took in the view he said, "Momma, we are almost in the picture!" The further we went in to the canyon he kept saying, " we are in the picture now!"

YEAH!! The river!!! This means we are close to the bottom! 7 miles to get to the bottom, it took us 4 hours to get there. I can't say there was not any pain. I was really hurting about mile 3. Towards the end Sara was about 25 yards in front of me. I never would have guessed! I was so proud of her!!


Hangin' with the mules at the ranch.

Brushing teeth in the community sink. We washed our dishes here too, BTW.

This was on our way back out. We stayed 2 nights in the canyon and then hiked out 5 miles to another camp site. Then another 5 miles out to the rim. It rained on us for about 4 of the 5 miles up to the camp site. We set up our tent and then the rained turned to snow. Yes, it was cold!

Gotta stay dry!

Joe kept Mike busy for, no kidding, 4 hours asking questions about Indiana Jones. Mike told Joe they filmed the movie in the canyon. Joe was hooked!

Sara did awesome until about 1.5 miles to go. Her toes got cold and she could see the path of the mules and could tell where we had to go and just couldn't recover. Let's just say we had some tears. But, in her defence, we were going straight up!! Switch backs like I have NEVER seen. The name of the path was Devils cork screw.

Back at the car. While we were in the canyon, the rim got 6 inches of snow!
The next morning watching the sun rise on the canyon. Our God is an awesome God!! What a creation!
I must say this was the best trip I have taken in a long time. I truly enjoyed every second! It was fun to watch our kids challenge themselves and watch them grow up right before your eyes.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A White Christmas! 2009

Texas had it's first white Christmas in recorded history! It was so beautiful.

We had our Christmas Eve get together. Before church I try to have some friends over and just hang out and celebrate the season. I LOVE a full house.

Miss Caren, D'Lane and myself.
The LaLa's! This is Sara's number one friend. Sally. Crazy enough they both have the same family nick name, LaLa. Named for the place they most often visit, LaLa make-believe land! ;)

This is our family tradition, a huge puzzle that we work on for the entire month of December. The puzzles usually have 1000 pieces. My mother work a puzzle like no one you have even seen!

Funny little story. Sara and Joe get to go and pick out their very own presents for everyone. This usually happens at a special event at church, but we missed it this year. So, Mike took them to the Dollar Store and let them pick out whatever they wanted for the family. Sara got everyone a roll of their very own Duct Tape! A girl after my own heart.
Notice in the picture my PINK tool belt! Thanks Honey!!

The Rah Rah Brunch...First of the Christmas Parties

All our children. We have a total of 14!

Sara and Baily Balderson (Robin's daughter) and Mike as Santa
Our annual Christmas Brunch tradition always kicks off the season for me. I have a group of friends from high school that get together every year for Christmas. We have done this for the past, I think, at least 7 years. We always invite Santa, this year played by Mike. He did a great job. A little skinny Santa, but very cute! I love these ladies and our continued friendship!
(Robin is missing from the picture.)