Saturday, October 27, 2012

Thrilling Jeep Rides & Waterfalls

So I'm just now getting the courage to write about the next two days of our Colorado trip (over the summer!).   These days were thrilling and I was actually downright scared through some of it.  
I felt like Roo in this picture.
We rented a jeep for two days.  A jeep that would take us to some of the most amazing places I've ever seen.  But with that came narrow roads, steep inclines, and raised heartbeats!  The jeep trail that we did the first day was a bit long and really bumpy.  But nothing too major.  (That was day two!) Our day started off nice and calm at an old abandoned mine.  This house obviously belonged to a wealthy family.
 It even had an indoor potty.  I could have stayed in this house all day.  My love for houses does not discriminate between the old and the new.  

 Our next stop was so breathtaking I can't even try to describe it.  The name of the point on the map is called "oh" point because it leaves you speechless.  We enjoyed our lunch here with the most spectacular 360 degree view.
I was happily in charge of the map that gave historical information about each spot along the trail.  I still can't believe that the next spot was just a little dot on the map.  Not too much information but the word waterfall is like a magnet to my hubby so we had to stop.  And we couldn't just look at it from the nice overlook they provided.  Nope.  We walked straight down the crumbly trail to the base of the waterfall.
My baby girl was becoming a pro with those hiking boots.
 See?  He's in heaven.
 The water was very cold!



Here is another random waterfall on the way back to town.  They were everywhere.  It was like a game to see how many waterfalls we could find.  
But day two of jeep riding?  Oh how I wish I could go back and try to enjoy it more.  Honestly, I really did try.  I prayed my heart out to not be scared but but maybe I was just praying that I wouldn't die.  Hmm, that's not the same thing.  Anyway, if there was any day I could have a do over with it would be that one.  Hopefully I won't be away from the blog too long to tell you about it soon.  But I've got a crazy week ahead of me and I've got to prioritize my time.  That means cleaning because bible study is at my house this week!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hi


Hi.  I've forgotten how much I like to blog.  I've missed the little exhilarating feeling of hitting the publish button.  I won't try and recap (for the hundredth time!), but like with a good friend that you haven't talked to in a while, I'll just start sharing.

This week was hard.  J-man got upper and lower appliances in his mouth on Monday.  Now starts our adventure with orthodontics.  He has taken it way better than me.  That night, with all the slobber in his mouth, he was making jokes about waking up in a pool of spit.  Me?  I would have been crying.  I told him that he makes me want to be better and his quick response that I didn't have to be meant the world to me.  I think it's a bit too early to celebrate getting them off?


A few months ago, I accepted a volunteer leading position at my church in outreach.  I was certain I got a clear answer to prayer about if I should do it or not.  But the next day, the doubts and fears took over!  I'm stretching and learning and praying like crazy.  I had another meeting with my pastor yesterday and I've realized that it's way more about the people that I will be serving and the church I'll be helping.  It's changing me and I'm not too sure how I feel about it!  His question to me was "Why do you feel like you have to do it all on your own?"  Um, because that's how I've always done it.   My independence comes with a fault sometimes.



But I've started a Beth Moore bible study focusing on the fruit of the spirit.  And I know that it will help with my new job.  If I take most of myself out of it and let Him do his work, all will be well.  I'm clinging to this and to my new group of friends that I know will be helping me along the way!

I'm also knee deep in house projects.  (Isn't this why I started this blog in the first place?)  We finished the music room (minus a few accessories) but it has left other rooms in shambles.  So I'm off to get them worked on!

{Yikes!}

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Arrival in Silverton and a day trip to Ouray

I'm finally continuing on with our big summer trip.  I'm motivated now because we have completed several major projects in our house that I want to share.  But the trip must be documented before I move on or I fear it will never get finished!
After a nerve-wracking trip to Wally world in Durango, we drove on over to Silverton for the rest of our trip.  To be honest, when we arrived to Silverton on our train ride I was nervous that we wouldn't have much to do in that teeny tiny town.  But the drive there was one of the most beautiful drives I have ever experienced and I was wrong about not having anything to do.

We didn't have much planned that day except for travel, unpacking, and exploring the town.  (This is when I wish I had more pictures of the house!)  Here is one from the website but it definitely doesn't do it justice.  


As we were unpacking, a biker from on top of the mountain behind our house yelled down "WOLF!" and then took off.  James quickly had the kids get inside and I had to stand guard.  What in the world had we gotten ourselves into?!  After speaking to some locals later that evening, we learned it was only Wolfie, the town dog. 
Wolfie chases bears and coyotes away in exchange for food and comfort from the locals.  I actually felt safer knowing that he was around once we learned more about him.

With a view like this, I would play at this playground all day!The kids saw this sluice machine on train day and couldn't wait to try it out.  They "found" all kinds of minerals and gems to collect and sort.  It was the best 14 dollars spent that day.

 We were glad to have our fleeces and hats ready for the afternoon storms that rolled in every evening.

The next morning the early birds (that would be Justin and I), sorted and classified all of the treasures found the night before.  I enjoyed it as much as he did.  
After the sleepy heads woke up we packed up our gear for our first hiking trip to Ouray.  We had our sights set on a easy hike up to a waterfall.  It so reminded me of our Yosemite trip.  It's just amazing that you can see such beauty a short walk up from your car!



 And here is where the day turned for me.  Do you see that drop off to the right of my husband?  Do you see that rock right about their heads?  Do you see how that gravely trail slopes down?!  My heart is beating faster right now just looking at this picture.  I was scared to death and this was not the only moment on this trip I felt this way.  Let's just leave it at that for now.

The rest of the day was filled with more waterfalls, a rain storm that kept us waiting to swim in the hot springs pool and picking up hitchhikers and taking them back to Silverton.  We've never picked up hitchhikers before but it was such a blessing for us to help them and to have a serious talk about the dangers of drugs (she was clearly using) with our kids.  Quite a day.
And what a surprise it was to come home to hail/snow all over our deck.  The boys were picking up the jeep for the next day so Roo got it all to herself for a while.  She was in heaven!
Yes, that is the gorgeous view right from our deck.

Wanna see how Texans make snowballs?  (-:




Monday, September 3, 2012

Colorado Trip 2012 Part 2-Durango to Silverton Train Ride

On our second full day of our trip, we boarded this beauty for a scenic trip to Silverton, Colorado.
I love that this picture gives you another chance to see the views all around Durango.

When we arrived in Silverton, we made a beeline to a little restaurant called Avalanche (thanks to Yelp!).  We explored the town and got excited for the next 7 days that we would be spending there.  We spent most of the time looking for the grocery store and quickly decided that we would be doing most of our shopping in Durango and bringing it with us!  The store was so tiny and expensive.  But I was glad to know that we had options just in case we forgot something.
I have to be honest, the train ride was long and bumpy.   And because it started so early in the morning, a few of us may have been a little grumpy.   Also, our views were somewhat limited in the covered cars on the way to Silverton, so we moved out to the open gondolas on the way back to Durango.  It made the other 3 1/2 hours go a bit faster, I think.
We could actually stick our heads out and see the bridges we were going over.

And we really got to experience the cliffs that we were hugging.  This my friends, is a straight shot all the way down.
Ah, this is more like it.  Flat on the ground and a gorgeous river roaring right beside us.  

We ended the day with a good dinner with even better family conversations.  I had the opportunity to check my email and find out that J-man had officially been assigned a drum lesson time.  Roo quickly expressed that she wanted to do piano lessons instead of soccer and "Musical Fall" was born!  With hubby's crazy shift schedule, we made it very clear to the kids that for now only one child could be in a sport.  It was Roo's turn.  But now, since she is in lessons as well, we can enjoy our weekends together and not feel pressured going here and there for games.  I know it won't be forever but we are looking forward to spending more time together as a family this Fall.  And to learning and playing new instruments in our new music room.  More of that to come!  I've been busy painting.....  



Monday, August 20, 2012

Colorado Trip 2012 Part 1- Mesa Verde

We had an amazing trip to Colorado.  Like our California trip, we had to change plans at the last minute (a few weeks before).  We usually "full-out" camp in Colorado but due to the recent devestating fires there, all campfires were banned.  No campfire means no cooking and heating up water to bathe and clean.  Hubby, our travel agent, planned for three nights in Durango and seven in Silverton.  We drove and tried to save a little money staying in KOA cabins along the way.  The drive there was nothing to write home about except for a faith story that I will share after I'm done documenting the trip.  So after a long drive, we arrived in Durango and I fell in love with that town!
It was a big city that wasn't too big and had spectacular views from all around.  Seriously, this is our view from our little KOA cabin.
  The first night we all witnessed a storm with a lightning show up on that mountain.  We didn't spend too much time in our cabin though because we were up early and getting ready for our adventures during the day.  Mesa Verde was our very first one and it was everything I had hoped it would be.

You have to climb this ladder to get there.  
 Not for the faint of heart but I made it.  One step at a time.  Don't worry Mom, it was very sturdy and the kids had a blast climbing it.  
I could have stayed up there all day and imagined about what it would have been like to live in that time period.  What I took away from our trip that day was a sense of community.  I could feel it from those walls.  And how it was out of necessity to work together or they would die.  I think there is much we can learn from those walls.
 Roo's wish was granted when she got to go down into a recreated kiva.  It was dark and dusty and SMALL.  I could not imagine being stuck down there with so many other people to keep warm in the winter.
We are peering through a window(door?) to look way up and see this beautiful ancient artwork.
And we ended the day with this amazing sight.  It's a view of 100 miles all around and this site was originally used for watching for wildfires.  Some things are worth turning around for.  Thanks honey!





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