Couple of Pics

We now have a camera cable...yea! So here's the picture of Michelle and the boys with the rocky mountains as the back drop. And the next photo is the shirt I made for James this christmas. One of our first dates...the first one we held hands at was a trip to a Renaissance fair. He's always liked this kind of getup, so I made him a shirt perfect for it. He already has some dark mocassin boots, he just needs a big leather belt and some baggy beige pants.


Merry Christmas

I love Christmas...but then who doesn't. I am glad that family gets together and that it is one of the only times really respected by the rest of the world just for families. I used to say how I hated the commercialism of it, but now I recognize that I don't entirely. I don't really like the push to buy gifts and that your love (to some I think) is measured by the gift you give. But within this is a push to show others you care for them, and for others to show they care for you. No other time do aqquaintences bring you homeade jam and bread, caramels, and toffee. (I returned it with some of my homeade granola) Yet we remember the true "reason for the season." We are greatful for the birth of Christ our Lord and that we can be together as a young family and celebrate it, have a roof over our heads, food to eat, good health, and a job to ensure these things continue. We have the Lord to thank for these things.

This is our first Christmas as a small family. No family lives immediately nearby, though my sister in law, Jackie and hubby Ryan are driving through on thier move to California and will be by later today. Tomorrow or the next day we'll make the drive to Denver to see extended family of mine and visit with my brother Chris, Noelle and my only nephew Christian.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas, and a Happy New Year!


Being the idiot on the side of the road..

Today, I was the idiot on the side of the road. I was driving slow on the ice, on my way to costco and there was about an inch drop off to the non existant curb/shoulder. Did I mention that the road was so covered with snow and ice you can't see the lane marker paint... well, everyone else was doing fine, I thought I could too. It was just me and the boys, James was at work. Driving along, got down the one inch shoulder and the ice took hold and took me right off the road. I got the van in so deep that when I opened my driver side door, (turned nearly 360 degrees around, facing traffic) I was pushing the snow aside. The sheriff and a couple other guys helped get me out with a tow line. I didn't go to costco, just straight home. It is now top on my list to get snow tires.


New Home

New home, new town, fresh start I suppose. We're in Eagle, Colorado. Pretty small, the post office doesn't even deliver to homes(possibly because of snow but we haven't seen sufficient yet to stop a mailman), so we have a PO Box. But it's a quaint, nice little town and the people are all generally nice/helpful. I am amazed at the amount of spanish speakers here. I go into the grocery store and hear half of the communication over finding ingredients in spanish. I discovered the library in town right at opening time to find out it was reading time for kiddos up to five years old. IN SPANISH! Of course they have other days in English, I am just so grateful to be able to understand almost all of it now. And James pointed out to me that this area was owned by Mexico way back before the US had it, so that's why so many Spanish named counties and cities are here, as well as the name of the state: Colorado literally means colored in spanish. I never realized that before; that may be because some of the mountains here are red (like with red sand.)

My stepmom, Michelle was so helpful, she took off of work and drove up with me and the boys while James took care of moving our stuff from STL. I am so grateful because that trip could have been horrendous with little boys bored and tired of sitting in car seats for two days straight. Michelle tried to keep them entertained, and then helped me get the whole house organized while James started his new job here. He's enjoying it, basically the same thing that he did in St Louis full time and with benefits. I have a great picture of Michelle and the boys with a background of the Rocky Mountains on my camera, but can't find the camera cable to put it up. Probably in a box somewhere, hopefully I find it sometime soon....


Here's the Downlow

So, I held off from sharing the possibility, hoping it might not come true, but it has. We're moving to Colorado. The business in STL won't be steady for a little while, and has no benefits. So we looked around for secure jobs and James sent in his resume. He went in for the interview and beat out a couple others for the job offer. It's in Eagle, near Aspen, Breckenridge and Vail, some of the most famous places for skiing....so if you're looking to ski, give us a call!

Even though we are detouring, we still plan on returing to St. Louis after a while. Now we're not close to our near family in Texas or friends and family in StL, but this is where the Lord has designated as our next home, so we're gonna make the best of it. (and learn to ski/snowboard in the process)


We're back...

We made it safely home. We spent a couple of days before we left with nothing in the house so that we could sell it before we left, and we got everything else packed. We spent one whole day at the airports of tapachula(mexico), mexico city, houston and dallas texas with no luggage to show for it. After a billion phone calls to houston (which is where we saw it last) it was sent to DFW so we could pick it up the next evening. But we are absolutely THRILLED to be back home and with family. So a couple of things I've learned from living in Guatemala are: The US impacts probably every country in the world, so we have respect (and disrespect) from everywhere. In some ways the US pales in comparison to the beauty of central america. I am 100% more grateful for pesticide trucks, the dog people that take away strays, and good roads(this may be number 1). Cooked right, I love diets of entirely fresh food from the market, it just takes a lot longer to prepare. US citizens are lucky and (i think) take a lot of things for granted, like free public school. Don't complain to me about teachers, some children don't get any! I learned a lot of spanish and mayan culture that is to me priceless. This post isn't organized at all, but I just needed to get some of these things out. Living in Guatemala was such an experience that I've been humbled tremendously. I'm so glad we did it, but I'm ready for some time home. For a couple of weeks we'll be spending time with our parents in Texas.....warning, blog posts may be spaced out.


Lucas´s Birthday

Ok, its a little late and I just threw the photos together, but here they are! Lucas hadn´t been eating due to his sore gums and teething, but he loved the cake, as you can see. (He has since regained his appetite, though the gums are still red and teeth aren´t through)
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One Year Already

In two days time, Lucas will be one year old! So this flashback friday is for him. Here's a picture from his delivery around 1:30 am.

He's grown so much in this little time. Right now he's battling swollen gums and fever from teething, but hopefully they'll come through soon. In contrast, I put up a picture I took the other day on the column to the right. I can't seem to get a good picture of this boy. I know he looks kinda goofy, but in all of his pictures he looks really goofy. Well, we've already decided he looks like his grandfather on his daddy's side. ( :


Lovin the hammock

We spent about an hour yesterday afternoon in our hammock(we all fit!) I hope we can find somewhere to hang it when we get back.
And a cute pic from bathtime.


Halloween Fun

Follow this link to digitally carve a pumpkin, mess excluded!
Thanks for the tip Mindy!


Cobin's a funny boy

Yesterday Cobin put Lucas's teddy bear in time out. I asked him what he did to get time out, and he didn't really have a response, so I asked if he was throwing toys. "Yes" was the response, followed by "no throwing, teddy." Here's a picture of poor teddy.

Today James was going to take Cobin with him to Monnies house, but Cobin wanted to take four car toys and had his hands full ready to go. Dadda said (in spanish) it'd be better if you just take two. So he looked down at his hands, dropped one, then another and looked at his dad and said only two(in spanish). Our boy can subtract! and in another language. Yea!

He knows he's not allowed to go outside without shoes, so he just put dad's on since they were right there by the door. Daddy and a friend were outside and he wanted to go too. Clown feet...


Flashback Friday

I love this idea (and am borrowing from Kanani) of flashback fridays. I started the blog after some fun things happened so why not recount them. ( :

One of the reasons I fell in love with James was his creative ways to show he cares about me. My first Valentines day with him...technically before we were dating because I was still 15...was a beautiful sunday morning. My stepmom was totally in on the plot without me knowing. She insisted that I go get her purse from her car trunk because she needed her lipstick for church. I was a let's say hesistant teenager to do my mom's bidding, but she got to be pretty demanding. I was thinking, If you need to paint your face, go get it yourself woman!...but I'd never say that. So, I went to her car and on top of the trunk were a bunch of red and silver hershey kisses with a clue. Thus had begun my scavenger hunt. The clue led me to the post office, which gave me another clue and kisses....then to his house (five minutes from mine with a chocolate rose in addition to kisses taped onto his front door) then to his church. At this point we were pretty late for my baptist church meeting. I guess it was ok with mom, but at that clue we had to stop and go to church. That last clue (which we followed after church) led to my house...and there on the kitchen table waiting for me were two dozen beautiful pink tipped yellow rozes and a valentine. ( : I had a few bags worth of hershey kisses and one of the best valentines day ever!

My dad's comment on the whole deal: "Boy, you're in trouble. I only got her mom one dozen. Doesn't look good for me for you to show me up like this." HAHAHA



Recently our good friend Noah came to visit, so he and James took a drive to do the zipline canopy tour.
We also went to Fuentes Georginas (hot springs) again. It is one of my favorite places in the world. so far..
This last picture was taken in the restaraunt at Fuentes Georginas. We were all bundled up because the air is pretty cool, so once you get out of the hot water, it's pretty cold.


New Rings

We recently had our wedding rings permanently borrowed from us...(not here in Guatemala ironically enough) so we had been planning on finding new ones. James went to Lake Atitlan (where we went for our anniversary) with our friend Noah to do the zip line tour again. While he was there he found us some replacements...from Jade! Kinda hard to miss the bold statement that we're both spoken for! and a nice reminder we lived here.



I'm heartbroken. Well not really heartbroken, but sad. We learned the hard way how buying a house goes, and then it didn't work out. We got out of the contract. We haven't been through this before, so we didn't understand that if you want to buy a fixer upper, you have to fix it up before you can actually buy it. (some of the things anyways) What great sense! I mean, who's going to fix a house they haven't bought yet. I know it's not that clear cut, but our impressions were wrong and I guess it was good to learn before we got in over our heads. *Advice* Don't try buying a house from another country.


Mullet no more

Lucas was starting to get a little bit of a mullet, his hair came in longer in the back than in the front....so we had to trim it. Here he is on the day of his first hair cut, before pic (notice the new top teeth):And let me explain the snail. Ever find stuff in your produce? We once found a spider in the grapes, but this was the biggest surprise. I put the broccoli in the fridge on saturday and pulled it out on sunday to use...but as I was cutting it up, I found this snail! Freaked me out a little...

I have a friend here that just had a baby and I wanted to paint this for her nursery. Classic Winnie the Pooh was the theme, and here's a pillow from it. Her son's name is Paolo, the spanish version of Paul. My favorite letters are the A and the L...isnt' it cute? I thought so.

I am still working on the roses, I am painting them from the top and they are looking good so far. Roses are HARD to paint though...so little by little I'll get it done.


~100~ well no, just ~50~

A few friends have on their blog 100 things about them. I think I'll have fun writing this, so here's mine:

1. I went to the senior prom with James when I was 15.
2. I fell off my bike and broke my front tooth when I was little.
3. My favorite scent is mandarin vanilla lotion from sears.
4. I can't swim well with my face in the water unless I'm holding my nose.
5. I hate to be cold.
6. I have two brothers.
7. I've always wanted a sister.
8. I started singing in the Texas Girls Choir when I was in elementary school.
9. My favorite drink is hot chocolate.
10. I like to eat breakfast for dinner.
11. I really, really like the Harry Potter books.
12. I can sew pretty good.
13. I was co-captain of my high school soccer team with my now sister-in-law.
14. She and I sewed our own spandex superhero halloween costumes with capes......and wore them to school.
15. I love horses.
16. I bought a guitar to learn, but my fingers hurt on the steel strings so I took up the flute instead.
17. I was born in Creve Coure, MO.
18. I found Cobin's name on a liscense plate.
19. I don't really like to cook, just bake.
20. I lived with my grandmother, Gama, my first year of college.
21. I like to run.
22. I think boxing is the epitome of stupidity.
23. Little adobe houses fascinate me.
24. I think I'm claustrophobic.
25. I think african americans have the most adorable babies.
26. I have only been given one speeding ticket to my husbands 12 or so.
27. I missed one of my best friend's weddings to come to Guatemala. ) :
28. If I watch a suspenseful/scary movie, I cover my eyes during the scary music that tells you something's coming.
29. I really like family traditions.
30. I think I only have one memory before 1st grade.
31. My parents let me paint my bedroom neptune: a bright aqua color, which it still is.
32. I like power yoga.
33. I miss Forest Park in St. Louis.
34. My second toe on my left foot is a tad longer than my big toe, on my right they're even.
35. In high school during one summer I watched All My Children everyday.
36. The only person I've ever cussed out was my high school sweetheart, now my husband.
37. My brother and I used to take Taekwando classes together.
38. I've never liked playing hide and seek.
39. I got engaged to James while I was dating someone else.
40. I'll tell you anything I think if you ask me to, I'm usually too honest.
41. I think a cubic zirconia looks better than a diamond and costs way less. (james bought me diamonds for my engagement ring anyway)
42. I like action movies.
43. My first cell phone had a translucent neon green cover.
44. I think fleas could've been one of the seven plagues.
45. I'm planning on homeschooling.
46. I want to name a girl we have Zoey, but James refuses.
45. My teddy bear's name is Ted. (yes, I still have him somewhere)
46. I'm a tshirt and jeans girl all the way.
47. I've never really liked to shop.
48. I love all holiday decorations.
49. I can't wait to decorate my own home!
50. I love my husband more than anyone on this earth.

Ok, I give up. Fifty was hard enough to do, props to those who can or have done the hundred. Interesting thinking back on some of these that made me laugh and some that made me cry. Some are just how I am. I regret a few things, but none of these!


We splurge on treats once a week. Our treat night is on monday nights after FHE. One thing all the ice cream vendors with their little push freezers have that I LOVE is a chocolate covered banana. I found a chocolate dip specifically for it, but I think any form of chocolate will work. All you do is put peeled bananas with a fork stuck in them into the freezer 12-24 hours beforehand. We only put them in about 12 hours beforehand so they weren't too hard to eat, but still cold enough to chill the chocolate for a coating. Melt the chocolate in a double-boiler. Dip the banana (or half banana) in the chocolate, let it cool and dip it twice if you like....we did. I didn't think about taking pictures, we were all too busy eating them, but they were great!


In the market...

We've been looking at houses online and we think we've found one....We're so excited to have our own house. Maryland Heights Ward: we're coming home! So if anyone wants to help us move all of our stuff from my grandmother's house, we'll need it around mid november... ( :


Housewife Progress

I've learned alot about cooking. While we had a maid, she loved to cook, and she didn't have to pay for it... so I learned from her how to cook some things using fresh produce from the market. I've never before seen the death of a chicken turn into a chicken soup, but I have now! I can also make juices of all kinds, spaghetti sauces, salsas for chips or to go over meats, and TORTILLAS. Down here people eat tortillas with EVERY meal, not kidding. Corn tortillas, which we've never been a fan of. So, Monnie taught me how to make a flour tortilla which we do on occasion, not every meal. Anyone who wants to learn how, I can teach you! I'm also a fan of the newly aquired skill of making chow-main. Now that I like the foods here, I have more motivation to have a bigger, better garden than I did last year so I can continue with the fresh stuff and can for future use.

As far as teaching my children, I've been teaching Cobin the alphabet, colors, and shapes with a homemade flashcard like notebook. Hes doing so good, we're also working on various songs in english and spanish. The teacher in me made out a two step lesson plan for every day this week so I don't forget.

Lastly, I'm glad that we've lived here for the knowledge of how to live without things like electricity and washing machines and Target. Some people don't have a refrigerator...I'm glad for the knowledge, but also grateful that I don't have to live without my conveniences. I now know how to wash clothes by hand and hang dry them. I might sound less intelligent saying that, but to really get them clean and dry in a timely manner (ie, before the afternoon rains come) there are guidelines I've learned. Even now that I have a dryer, I still mostly hang dry everything and plan on continuing to do so when I return to the states because its absolutely free and just requires a little bit of planning. I feel bad for all the times I've been too lazy to fold clothes right after they were done and just popped them back in the dryer so I didn't have to iron them....


A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood.

Jeremy (James's bro) and wife Sherry are still newlyweds....they just got married last November and went to Costa Rica on a honeymoon. They also got to schedule some vacation time and right now they are in: Ireland! I'm jealous. Luckeeee, that's all I have to say. I'm glad you guys are having so much fun!

Isn't it beautiful there? We decided to spend some of our saturday morning at the park....with a gigantic ball. Daddy and Cobin had tons of fun together.Some friends of ours bought the boys matching Mickey Mouse hats. Here's the new tooth!Lucas loves the stairs, so this week we've resorted to putting the sofa in front of them to keep him on the first floor. Cobin is so helping to his little brother, he pulled the sofa back when I wasn't looking and I came back in to check on them and found Cobin and Lucas side by side a step away from the top! Cobin was so supportive, encouraging him as I looked on. I have to keep my eye on these boys more than ever!


Another Day in the Field

If Aaron Richardson can have his own blog, the least I can do is write on our Family Blog (this is James obviously). So I was reading Aaron's blog where he talks about the Chubb trail in Eureka, MO and I thought, "I wonder if he'd like biking out here with me on the narrow little paths between the corn fields surrounded by mountains..." So here is an example of what it looks like when I go out into the field to speak K'iche' and do ethnograpy with the locals. I go out with my K'iche' tutor usually two or three times a week; the bike rides usually last around a half an hour to an hour, and it pretty much all looks like this. I could take the car, but I have to leave it and walk quite a ways on foot, so it's just easier to take the bike. It is awesome, but the path in the picture is twice the size of most of the paths I have to go on, and I've taken out a few corn stalks on more than one occasion...It is certainly one of the things I will miss most about Guatemala. In K'iche' they say "tajin katinik ri q'ij" which means "the sun is taking a bath." Not sure why, but it is really cool looking. Ever see anything like it? (and no, it's not the camera. The sky really did this)
My favorite food is Ceviche. This particular bowl has octopus, shrimp, tomato, onion, cilantro, worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, and a ton of lime (or is it lemon?)
Like father like son!



Bisnieto stands for great-grandson. I'm not sure if that's the correct spelling, but here Lucas is with his great-grandmother, Monnie.
Sometimes you just get those feelings that you're so happy to have your family and I've been getting them today. I know, who doesn't think that their own family is adorable, but I do. When Lucas starts to crawl he sticks his tongue out over his top lip and looks around, seemingly thinking "Where do I wanna go?...now that I can move on my own." He is looking more like his Grandfather Ronnie all the time, we'll see if it stays that way. Lucas has the softest cheeks, I can't help but kiss one every time I pick him up, and just after bathtime,he smells so good. I've thought about trying out the soap myself, but I just don't think it'd be the same. I love my babies!


Adventures of the Weekend

Saturday morning we decided we wanted to check out the zoo here. We got there and there were venders everywhere at the entrance and we bought Cobin a little helicopter that works when you push it....it was only 12 quetzales which is equivalent to about $1.50. He loves it, paid more attention to that than the animals or the park. So what's a Guatemalan zoo like? Pretty small....I'll try to remember the animals that they did have: turtles, rabbits, jaguars, monkeys, coyotes, parrots, owls, racoons, and some possom looking things. They also had a few animals that I don't think we've seen before; all the animals were native and they had a map that showed where they are common in Guatemala. And again the playground was probably made in the 70's but it's better than nothing.

We were running late so we decided to get Wendy's, the first time since we've been here because it's kinda expensive, I was so excited to get a frosty! Well, on the way home we got into an accident, the worst I've ever been in. The Wendy's we were all excited about was wet all over the floor.. ) : No one here observes stop signs, they're more like slow down signs, and now neither does my husband. There was a van in the way and the other guy sped up to try to beat it, but James didn't see it. The other car was undrivable, the wheel at a 45 degree angle, but our car was relatively unhurt. This cheap Kia Rio sure is holding up for us! No one was hurt, thank goodness but it was a long day.....we all had to sit in the car through naptime, but of course no one was napping. Days like these sure do put life and the important things into perspective.



My little boy is pretty lazy. Lucas is finally crawling.

Grandparents, here's the proof:

He also has his first tooth poking through, though you can't see it yet, but mommy has felt it... And, in case you're wondering why it seems like Lucas is often in his pjs, it's because he is. He doesn't like me changing his clothes too often and I don't like a fussy baby, so some days he stays in his pajamas from one bathtime to the next. Who's complaining?


Boo boos and Construction Men

We have been regretting teaching Cobin the word "Boo boo" for two reasons: 1) It's still pretty hard to distinguish between poo poo and boo boo, and that's pretty important to know. and 2) we taught him that boo boos are all better if you kiss them. Now every little scratch or bump has to have a kiss! (he's stopped trying to get us to kiss his tongue or foot when he gets boo boos there, we've refused too many times.) From now on we'll try owie and save the kisses for the bad stuff, maybe just tell them it's too far from their heart to kill them. (as would Monnie)

And I have to tell something I thought was funny. I was outside playing with the boys and we can often hear the radio of the many construction workers building nearby houses. Where else will I ever hear a bunch of men listening to a cover of Bette Midler's "You are the wind" or whatever it's called and Celine Dion's Titanic theme, both done by a male vocalist belting it out loud and proud on a construction site radio? Gotta love it.



Since I'm the secretary of the family, can't I have a little fun with it? This has been on one of my friend's blogs and it looks like fun. 1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember! 2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.


Bike Ride

Ok, I got the bike ride on tape, here it is!

By the way, thanks Sheri for helping me with my blog template. Actually, you helped me from the beginning! Anyone who doesn't know what a good blog looks like...go see Sheri's personal and family blogs!

Here's one way we've been taking advantage of the "eternal spring." These are some of the plants we've grown in the short time we've been here. I've got a few in the back too, but they are more modest growers.
I got a picture of James and Cobin on one of their daily bike rides. I have to get a video of them because Cobin just gets going....he had trouble at first with the pedals, but not anymore! And Gama- here's how they wear babies here, newborns till four years old. It's great! The snuggli front carrier is great from about two to four months, but after that it kills my shoulders... Since Lucas still can't walk and I don't want him crawling on the ground whenever we go somewhere, he's often on my back. He doesn't mind at all, that mommas boy!
Every now and then I carry Cobin for a bit, he thinks its a great treat, but not too long cause he's getting so heavy....


Anniversary Trip

On June 28th, James and I celebrated five years of being married. Last year I got to plan our anniversary, so we went to Lake of the Ozarks to go parasailing. Unfortuately they wouldn't let me go because I was five months pregnant with Lucas, but we had a fun time anyway. This year it was James's turn to plan it, so he took me to Lake Atitlan. I was skeptical at first, but my expectations were way surpassed! He found a beautiful hotel...and I mean beautiful. The garden at the hotel could compete with any botanical garden out there.

First thing we did was extreme cables: canopy tour. We were so high on the first cable I couldn't look anywhere except where I was going to land, but the rest of it I looked around and got some breath-taking views.

The next thing we did was kayak. We'd never done it before and we had a lot of fun. We saw another touristy couple that went out as we were about done (we were trying to avoid the pending rain) and we just made it back to the hotel in time for the down pour. We were pretty sure they got pelted. Thanks again James, it was awesome! I love you!



James and Cobin doing their
push ups and crunches before shower time...( :


Miscellaneous Stuff...

We went to the temple in Guatemala City, the capital here. An old mission companion and his wife had an extra room for us and were so great, they kept Cobin. The drive was quite an adventure with the four hour ride through rain and potholes, and crazy drivers! James fits in quite well..
We got some things from my mom and for Cobin's birthday, she gave Cobin some rubber cowboy boots. He loves them, even wore them to church today. Cobin has been potty trained for a month and we are so excited to have only one boy in diapers! Props to Amy Petersen for the method. He's been learning still in Spanish and English, and recently he's been learning to count. He understands quantities up to five, but he has his own way of counting. When he's about to kick a ball or wants us to pick him up when we are walking holding his hands, he counts: "One, Two, Tres" He's so cute sometimes! We've corrected him, but I guess he just likes that mix, because he continues on counting that way.

James and I recently disputed with his grandmother over the existence of four leaf clovers. She was right, they do exist. We found proof in our backyard!
And we don't really have many family pictures up, so here's another one right before we left for our weekend adventure. Cobin's saying hello!