California: There...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This is way overdue, but it's summer time and life is busy, so I'm going to go with the saying "Better late then never"

Helping paint at the Benders

It's fun seeing a house move towards completion every time we visit... I'm sure they're enjoying seeing it get done even more!

Prepping to paint the cabinets. You may be wondering why we are taping paper around them to paint... no we aren't that messy painting with a brush, but why use a brush/roller when you can spray it on?

Mid month (in May) while heading to Pa's training in LA our van decided it wanted a break... in the middle of nowhere!

This really nice truck driver stopped to see if he could help. They figured out the transmission died which meant the rest stop 2 miles away wouldn't help.

We later found out that had we been one mile further we wouldn't have been able to receive any cell phone connection. Even in breaking down there are so many things to be thankful for and ways to see God's hand orchestrating it all.


While waiting for the tow truck we explored the area... No need to be worried about getting lost when there is nothing around and you can see for miles

"The grass withers, the flower fades,
Because the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
Surely the people are grass. 
 The grass withers, the flower fades,
But the word of our God stands forever."

Marscel found this cool little hub cap looking thing that made for a fun and affordable time of entertainment.

See those lights in front? Those are the lights to the top of a tow truck. Marscel and I got to travel inside the van ON the tow truck. Sure is a nice view from up there. Here is a small clip of our ride.

Some of you reading this may laugh when you see this, others may be thinking this was our destination... keep thinking

The following day waiting for our ride. We found out the auto shop we had been towed to didn't have the ability to fix our van and the closest place was two hours away.

That big truck was our next ride from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque, New Mexico. After that it was towed again to the auto shop (this truck was too big for the road the shop was on)

Since it was going to take a few days to repair we changed our plans a bit and visited Albuquerque... not a place I would have thought to have as vacation time, but we really enjoyed it and found a lot of interesting places to visit. First stop? Old Town... a town that had been there a while.

Favorite picture of the day.

The sunglasses trio

Lovebirds for more then 30 years!

Though Old Town is row after row of little shops there were about 25 street vendors too... most selling pretty much the same thing. And we still stopped to look at it all.

Did you know there were soldiers stationed in Albuquerque during the War Between the States? 
They had two cannons on the green that were cast in the foundry of Cyrus Alger and Company of Boston, Massachusetts

These are so not me... my family thought I could rock them, though

There was so much in this store to explore

My hot brother... 
ok, the last three captions are about as good as I get with puns

Capturing our time together and the unique art around us

As we were leaving this stranger got in our car next to me and asked if we could give him a lift. He seemed nice enough.

When we got back to our hotel they told us there would be a live band playing out in the pool area. We went out to see what it was like and were delightfully surprised. Instrumental salsa style music filled the air and one by one those listening all started dancing... really well! Turns out the hotel manager taught dance and a bunch of friends from class all came to hear the music. This older gentleman came over and motioned for Mom to come dance. She picked the steps up super fast...

And taught them to Pa...

 As the gentleman showed them to me.

The following day we went on a beautiful 4 mile hike on the Sandia Mountains. This was supposed to show the view behind us, but my arm is only so long and after 10 or so attempts we decided having a picture with out any of us cut out was good enough.

I think these flowers are lost or read the wrong directions for their destination... unless they are a flower that just looks like Texas Bluebonnets in which case I'd say they're spies

Minor injuries may occur on such hikes, but when you go with Mom you don't have to worry. Ever prepared she had her little bag of Young Living Oils and we had him patched in a jiffy.

There were hundreds of bug carcasses on the trees in this one area. I thought it was neat how there was an actual live bug behind the carcass.

Out of the depths of the forest we emerge to an overlook

Any Jonathan Park fans? This was the first place I've been to, since we heard the series, that is mentioned in one of them and since I thought that the Sandia Mountains were in some other country, I was super excited to be there.  (Guess the only logical reason I thought that was because I must not have paid close attention when they said where they were and I always learn geography best by visiting the location... kids, make sure you listen close so you know your geography better then me!)

I think we have pictures of Michael, Matthew and Micaiah all carrying Mom... and now Marscel is.

With our van back on the road we continue our journey west. 
I love his hair here... It's funny how much weather can effect our hair. Marscel and I lost almost all of our curl in NM and as soon as we made it to LA it was back.


Every night after Pa's work we would eat supper and then walk one of the beaches.... so relaxing and refreshing!

We walked this beach on Sunday and had to come back to try these things. It was like a playground for adults! The stronger you are the higher you can pull yourself... I was happy I could make it to one side and back on my first day considering I landed on my bottom the first time I tried it. You can see us trying them out here.

We have this unwritten tradition of reminding each other to take time and smell the roses... Must have been from Mom telling us when we were little... no wonder she enjoys life so much!

Uncle Johnny!!!

These two can be dangerous together at a place where you're supposed to be quiet... One starts laughing, which makes the other laugh...

Another favorite

People may wonder where some of our family members get their silly side... I think this pictures answers that.

One of my favorite photo props

L ♥ V E

I've never seen so many layers and colors of bark on one tree

So near and yet so far!

Ah, this is better... fresh oranges within reach.

"How can I get all this goodness in me?!"

As we spent enough time in this traffic I thought it fitting to end part one of our California trip with us waiting in traffic... it's kind of like having to wait for some of my blog posts.

Stay tuned for part 2