Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cliff Jumping, among other fun things with the Elams!!

So yesterday Jack and I (along with Kimi, Jeremy and a bunch of youth from the church) decided we'd drive on up to Abiquiu, NM to do some fun cliff jumping into Abiquiu Lake. We had a blast! The weather was perfect, nice and warm and the water felt amazing...once you finally got the nerve to jump in! We are guessing the jump was about 30 feet being that the water levels were down about 10 feet from previous years but the lake was still ridiculously deep and the conditions were perfect...nice ledges with absolutely no rocks beneath them, extremely deep water all the way up to the rock face, very clear water so you could see quite a ways down into the water, etc. The initial jump was definitely the scariest...standing on the ledge was more nerve wracking than we thought it would be but jumping was so worth it. After a few jumps we all decided to swim across to the other side of the small part of the lake we were on and lounge around then we swam back, had some lunch and then jumped a few more times. Then it was off back to Santa Fe with some sore necks and fun stories...unfortunately, Jack didn't master the pencil jump and hit his bum twice pretty good and ended up with a bruised tail bone but a nice u-shaped pillow helped with that. Then we had some yummy pizza and a rousing game of Spades and Dice with Kimi and Jeremy and then hit the hay. Fun times. :)

Kimi taking the plunge!!

off I leapt!

Kimi and I decided to jump together...and then both of our ears hurt...hmmm

Jack had a blast throwing frisbee and getting guys to jump off the ledge for the disc!

Jack's attempt to go in pencil straight to save the bum.
Colin was ready to leap for Jack's disc

Ohhh so close!!! :)

I decided to try a back flip off...notice the pointed toes (debs) hahahah

the old farts of the group :) we had a blast!!

I almost threw her off....

View of part of the pretty lake :)

The leaping off place down at the bottom. It was so much fun!!! Definitely going back.

The day before cliff jumping we had fun playing tennis...and were all sore the next day :)

Whole group. What fun friends.

Our rousing dice game after our spades game.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just call them Mr. Mechanic

So last summer my Honda Civic of 12 years decided to go on the fritz and I wasn't willing to put the money in to fix it the way it needed to be so I decided to say adios and sell the sucker. Thankfully, God graciously provided a free car from Jack's family that had been through numerous family members before belonging to us. Jack's grandparents bought a 1989 Toyota Camry brank-spanking new and Jack even remembers riding around in it when he was 9 years old or so. After his grandparents "turned in their keys" so to speak Jack's dad inherited the car. After a few years Jack's sister inherited the car. Then in 2010 we inherited KenGen....oh, and did I mention it only had 89,000 miles on it...being 21 years old? :) Yep! After commuting back and forth to work for a few months Jack and I were able to drive it across the country for the big move to NM. By then it only had just over 100,000 miles on it. Wowsers. And yes, having such an old car with so little miles on it probably helped get me out of getting a speeding ticket in Texas on that lovely drive....:

(and excerpt from our cross country trip) After rounding one particular trailer I noticed a  cop driving in front of the big rig. I slowed down to 70 and passed the cop. Next thing I know blue lights are in my rearview side mirrors so I pulled over. As the policeman approached the car we saw him inspecting all the stuff crammed into the back of the car and as he came up to the window I smiled sweetly as he told me it appeared to him that I was going a little fast as I came out around the tractor trailer. Woops! He then proceeded to have quite an extensive conversation with Jack and me about the age of the car, the great condition it was in and was wondering where we were headed. We filled him in on our "story" and off he went to run my license. He came back with a warning and told us if we make it to Santa Fe then we deserve to be in a Toyota commercial. For those that don't know, we were driving a 1989 Toyota Camry with only 106,000 miles on it. The cop even asked us if the odometer had rolled over already. NOPE!! :)

Anyways, all that to say...the car was in need of a tune-up and thankfully we have a great friend here who loves working on cars so Jack and Dixon hung out 2 days that I had to work, jacked the car up, took off the tires and the axels and the boots and the hairclips err ok so I don't really know all that they did, but I do know that they sure made it sound like we were living in a mechanic's shop and when I went down they were covered in grease! Now the car rides smoothly, the breaks work great and the suspension is much more hitting our heads on the ceiling when going over speed humps...or you know, not. :)

The car before leaving NC...tons of stuff packed in.

Somewhere in Texas filling up with gas and cleaning the windows. The suspension was getting a good workout.
Jack was a bit dirty that night

Working hard and making a big mess.

All jacked up

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Project Chair Recovering

While Jack's parents were in town we I roped them into helping me with a project I had planned for many months now but never had the umph to actually break down and do it. Jack and I were very fortunate to inherit some great furniture from his family when he moved out of the house/got married. We barely spent any money after our wedding on furnishing our new pad because we were given a great dining room set, had hand me down living room furniture, were passed along some great dressers and beds for our bedrooms, etc. So while we loved our "new" furniture I always knew there was some updating that needed to be done. Mainly, our dining room chairs. Jack's dad grew up with the dining set that we now have. His parents had them recovered quite a number of years ago and while they looked great when redone, I'm sure, by the time we received them they were looking a little worse for wear. The quality was still in great condition but the style/color were a bit dated. So, we celebrated our country's birthday by re-doing some outdated furniture!! Then we enjoyed the new chairs with a yummy dinner. Good times!
the original cover that we took off (forgot to get a before picture, shucks)
Jack's dad slaving over his cushion trying to get the 80+ staples removed from the back!

How many does it take to recover a chair?! Actually, all 4 of us!

Jack and Gary did a great job getting the corners exactly how I wanted them. I was a task-master!

The finished products!! We love them :)

Then we relaxed outside with cold drinks...our cups were so patriotic.

Jack's excited about the 4th!

Our fun decorations...Jack found the flags in our garage, woohoo! Pretty flowers from Jennie.

Jack and I forgot to get dressed up for dinner..oh well, at least we wore the right colors!
What did you do for the 4th?!


We love Tedashii...we love Shane and Shane...soooo...of course Tedashii + Shane n' Shane = WOOtotheHOO!!

From his new cd, Blacklight: Finally

This momentary trouble is a lot to own but I'm not alone, I'm not alone
I'm moving to a city where the pain is gone, ohh, I'll be home (home)

You can catch me with my hands up, hey this my stance now
Firm like a group of lawyers, this is worship hands down
I let them tears fall; cryin' out for hope
Christ in my line of sight like a scope (my aim)
'Cause the pain's risin', but I keep smilin'
This life just can't compare to paradise, it's like an island
No fear no shame in me
I wanna give him some time but it's plain to see

Lord you always have a plan for life; no backup
Close 'cause I stand with Christ
So I live with the end in mind, call it retirement
Heaven's will lived on Earth; what I'm desirin'

This momentary trouble is a lot to own but I'm not alone, I'm not alone
I'm moving to a city where the pain is gone, ohh, I'll be home (home)
Home... Finally, I can see You, ohhhh
Finally, I can see You

I heard 'em sayin' hang on, people will tell ya stay strong
Encouragement is cool dependin' what it's based on
People grippin empty wishes, hopin' for something different
No faith, no escape, who can I run to?
When this world is a graveyard
Here today, gone today, with no hope for tomorrow

But it's different for the children of God
We hold to every promise even when it gets hard
Now can't compare to later, when we will see the Savior
Until we get to Heaven, I pray that He sustains us
Empty aim, unless it's in His name
Even when I pass away my remains, remain

This momentary trouble is a lot to own but I'm not alone, I'm not alone
I'm moving to a city where the pain is gone, ohh, I'll be home (home)

Even if we held down, hang on to your happiness
Hopin' in His holiness and the fact He's compassionate
Eternal in perspective (huh) even in the rough times
Only for a moment (ahh) they could never shut us down
My pain is not pleasure, my grief is not joy
But both of them are in the fact that I'll see the LORD

And so will everyone, born to blood and water
Salvation's comin' so keep hopin' in the Father

This momentary trouble is a lot to own but I'm not alone, I'm not alone
I'm moving to a city where the pain is gone, ohh, I'll be home (home)

Home... Finally, I can see You, ohhhh
Finally, I can see You, ohhh [x5]

Monday, July 11, 2011

Carlsbad Caverns Galloway style

So Jack's parents came for a visit over the 4th of July weekend. It was nice to have familiar faces out here when everybody we knew was evacuating for the LA fire and headed off to different places. We were starting to feel a bit lonely and left behind and weren't sure what to do with ourselves with both of our jobs being canceled for a week! Thursday afternoon we headed down to ABQ to pick them up from the airport and then we were off on our adventure to southern New Mexico. It was about a 4hr drive to Carlsbad and we passed through Roswell, NM on our trip and made sure we kept our eyes out for UFOs! :) (click pictures to enlarge)

Gary and Jennie scared of being in Roswell!

Jack and Gary ready to head down into the Mines of Moria Carlsbad Caverns :)

Just call him RG - Ranger Gary.

Ranger Jack :)

Ranger Becky...just doesn't have the right ring to it.

The King's Palace...back in the 20's and 30's they would bring people down to go ballroom dancing here...that's why the floor is so smooth.

Do you see the witch's broom?!

A cave pool, so still, there was no movement!

We were the crazy ones who took the elevator DOWN into the caverns and decided to hike UP the 1200 feet! This was a beautiful sight!

From the outside looking in you would never believe what you would find down there...amazing.

On our way to White Sands, was a bit hot outside. Didn't snap the picture of the 104* temp we saw as well.
So after spending the morning and afternoon in the caverns we decided to head over to White Sands, NM. We had a blast at Carlsbad and were in so much awe of the beauty of the cave. Fun, interesting fact...back in the 1890s a cowboy named Jim White (16 years old) was out surveying a fence line around dusk when he saw what he thought to be a big cloud of smoke coming from the mountains. He rode his horse a few miles over to see where the fire was coming from and discovered that it wasn't smoke but it was actually a large swarm of bats flying out of a cave in the mountains. The next day or so he decided he wanted to explore this cave and with a 60ft rope he had on hand he lowered himself into the cave. From that point on he traversed the cave numerous times, leading many explorations and worked as a park ranger in the caves until he died in 1946 at the age of 63.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

LA Fire Update

From our dear friend who has stayed up in Los Alamos during this time here's the latest news we've received.

At the end of day 6 of the Las Conchas fire, the total acreage is in excess of 100,000 acres, setting a new record for New Mexico wildfires. The fire is still growing aggressively to the north and west of Los Alamos, with several hot spots burning within sight of town. The County has not announced when they will open up the town for residents to return. There is still a lot of work occurring, from clearing fire breaks to building access roads to reach hot spots north and west of town. I really thought that they would start letting people in this weekend, but am hearing otherwise, like Monday at the earliest. The Las Conchas fire continues to be very active outside of Loa Alamos County. Please continue to pray for those responding to the fire, more crews are on the way and for the communities that are still threatened by the fire. Los Alamos appears to be spared, but others are still in the fire's path. Last evening I went up on North Mesa after dark to observe the panorama of the night sky. It was sad to see a ring of fire encircling the town on the North, West and South. While this fire doesn't have the same scaring impact visible from Los Alamos that the Cerro Grande fire (back in 2000) did, there will be other places in the Jemez mountains that will have the visible impact far more significant than what Cerro Grande left behind.

Please keep praying for this situation.