Category Archives: Albuquerque

A FUN Play Date!

Well, I must say, before my family moved here to Albuquerque, New Mexico last year, I NEVER thought we would be having an outdoor, swimming play date on September 20th! After all, back in Michigan by that date, we were generally breaking out the hoodies and such!

But THIS year, we spent the day (on September 20th!) with another home-schooling family from our church, who had invited the boys and me to their new home. We ate lunch outdoors on the patio, and the kids spent the day swimming in their (unheated!) pool. On September 20th!

As you can see, the kids had a WONDERFUL time, and they (right along with me!) really, really like the milder weather here! πŸ™‚

Here are “The Artist”, “The Puzzler” & “Mr. Loquacious” . . .

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Here are “Mr. Loquacious”, “The Batman” & their friends having fun in the pool . . .

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“The Artist”, floating around . . .

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The “Artist”, drying off for lunch . . .

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“The Artist” back in the water . . .

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“The Puzzler” & “The Batman” & “Mr. Loquacious” with one of their friends . . .

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All of the kiddos had a great time in and around the pool . . .

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Here is “The Batman”, riding the whale!

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“The Puzzler” . . . “in? or Out? That is the question!

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Apparently the answer was “out” for a bit, but the others were all in, and having a blast!

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I had planned to swim as well, but had cut my finger pretty badly the night before. We thought it best for me to stay out of the pool that day. 😦

What a great time we all had, and what a benefit of home-schooling, that once again, we get to work school in around life, instead of the other way around! πŸ™‚

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Filed under 2013, Albuquerque, changes, exercise, family, home education, homeschooling, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, moving, NM, Transitions

Transitions Part 6: A 1700 Mile Adventure

lorim (2)

When we left off yesterday, my boys and I had just left Oklahoma City and headed toward Texas, where we would be spending one final night on the road. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, as I had never driven so far on my own before. I had been out west, as far as Phoenix and California, many years ago, but had gone by plane, never driving. I had honestly had my doubts about how well I would manage, and thought I would get lost, even with my GPS lady talking to me through my phone blue tooth, and my printed out directions from place to place. But so far, I had done well, even on the stretches where we had changed hotels, and thus changed directions!

My husband had warned me to put the AC on re-circulate for a while after crossing the Texas border, and he was RIGHT! I’ve never driven through cow country before, and the smell is very strong! We did enjoy looking at the scenery while going through the state though. I think Texas is where we saw a massive windmill farm. The boys thought that was pretty cool. They had been seeing lots of horse trailers on the freeway for a while, too, which was new to them.

At one point, we stopped for gas, and I took a picture of the sign for the sole purpose of posting it to Facebook, back to our friends in Port Huron, because when I left Port Huron, I paid nearly four dollars per gallon for my gas!

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We also took the opportunity to have everyone go to the bathroom. In the ladies bathroom, they had put up large sections of paper for travelers to write something about their trip. I added “moving from Pt. Huron MI to Albuquerque NM”

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Eventually, later than planned again, we reached our motel in Amarillo Texas. My husband had booked us into a Super 8, where we ended up with a surprising room! I got us checked in, and we went to the room we were directed to, but once I opened the door and went in, I was SURE they had us in the wrong room. I told the kids to stay put while I went back to the lobby to find out what was up. I asked the lady who checked us in if this was the room my husband booked us into, and she said yes, it was. Still concerned, because I honestly thought that perhaps after seeing that I had all the kids with me she had switched us to a bigger room without saying so, I asked how much they were charging me for this room. “$72.99”, she said. “Seriously?” I asked. “But it’s a suite!” She then told me that all of their rooms were like that, and that it was the only Super 8 in the country set up like this. So, if you ever need to stay in Amarillo Texas, go here!

When I texted my husband to tell him, he cracked up, because the only reason we were at that Super 8 was that the one he had stayed in when HE moved to Albuquerque the month previously was all booked up! πŸ™‚

Here are all the boys relaxing in the living room of our little suite . . .

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The couch pulled out to a bed for the twins, so no using their inflatable sleeping bags that night!

Our eat-in kitchen area, where we chose to eat supper. Rather than going out, I ordered in a pizza for the boys and a salad for me . . .

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Here is the bedroom . . .

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Since we didn’t have to check out until 11:00 a.m., we didn’t! It was a comfortable room, and really, we needed to kill some time anyway. Our plan was to arrive at our new home AFTER my husband had gotten out of work that day, since I didn’t yet have keys to the house.

We left the Super 8 at around 11:00 a.m., and hit the road for New Mexico. According to my directions list from Google, which matched my GPS turn for turn, it would be about 5 hours (I think) to Albuquerque, so I figured it would work out just fine for getting there AFTER my husband was home. But then, as we crossed the state line into New Mexico, there it was. The big sign that said “you are now entering mountain time”. I had forgotten we would be going through one last time change, and it would suddenly be an hour earlier! So, I decided we needed to stop for lunch and kill another hour!

We got off the freeway at “Historic Santa Rosa NM”, where we saw signs saying we were on historic Route 66, and found this restaurant . . .

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From the Santa Rosa, NM website:

“Route 66 Restaurant

Offering the best in American and Mexican food, including home-made specialties like chile rellenos. Walking distance to major motels.
Historic Route 66
Contact: Patricia Velasquez
Phone: 472 9925”

We really enjoyed our experience there, the food was very good, and the children’s menu had Mexican dishes for my twins, which they liked. The place is decorated with historical Route 66 pictures and memorabilia, and my kids were snapping pictures of everything, using their camera functions on their electronic games. I would definitely go there again. It’s locally owned and operated, which is something my husband and I really like.

Stopping for lunch used up just the right amount of time, and we crossed into Albuquerque shortly after 4:00 p.m., right in the middle of big city (to me!) rush hour traffic. It scared me half to death! We had just moved from Port Huron, MI, a city of about 7 square miles in area, to Albuquerque, a city of about 187 square miles in area, and I had not had a lot of experience with this amount of traffic, at least not in a very long time. But, we made it to the house, getting there about 5 minutes before my husband. He took us in, and we saw our new home for the first time, filled with moving boxes that had finally arrived.

This is our front room, which is now a combination playroom, TV room, music room, library and craft room.

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The dining room area, just off the kitchen . . .

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Master bedroom . . .

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and master bath . . .

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As you can see, a lot of work was ahead, to get all of those boxes unpacked and put away! One of the first things on my agenda was to get the master bedroom in order, so we’d have a comfortable sanctuary at the end of each day . . .

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But before getting started on putting things to order, I just wanted to sit. This is me, in my new living room, after going around to look at all of my new home . . .

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Then, my husband took us out to supper at IHop, since we’d not had one in Port Huron, and the boys had never been. It was good, but I was tired, so once we got home again, I think it wasn’t too long before we all went to bed, because, as I said, there was a lot of work ahead! πŸ™‚

I’ve come to the end of the 2013 Summer Blog Hop, and have enjoyed it, so much so that I think I’ll probably participate in the next blog hop hosted by the Review Crew, so stay tuned! And as always, to make it easier for you to stay tuned, I invite you to follow me via email, by clicking the “sign me up” button at the top of the page. I’d love to have you join me on my “journeys through life”!

and hop on over to the main blog post, to check out the other 89 bloggers participating, by clicking below . . .

Summer Blog Hop

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, family, food, moving, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, Transitions, Travel

Transitions Part 5: A 1700 Mile Adventure

lorim (2)

Well, we’ve come to Saturday, August 4, 2012 now, and have left Republic, MO to head toward Owasso, OK, where an old and dear friend of mine lives with his wife. When he found out we would be driving cross country to move to Albuquerque, he was wonderful enough to offer their hospitality to us, inviting the boys and me to come there for the night. Owasso is a suburb of Tulsa, OK, and I found it quite pretty during our drive to Chip and Sheila’s home.

We arrived to find Chip and Sheila preparing a wonderful cookout dinner. Chip was grilling burgers, while Sheila had made really good potato salad, and all sorts of other things I don’t remember, but it was all very good! They made us feel very welcome, and were very patient with my boys.

The boys especially loved the pool in the back yard, and because their swimwear was packed separately since we’d begun our trip at Torch Lake in northern MI, I was able to easily get it for them. They spent the rest of the afternoon and early evening in the pool.

Here, all four boys are playing in the water . . .

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Here is “The Puzzler” jumping in . . .

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and now, “Mr. Loquacious” taking the plunge as well!

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They had, as you can see, a great time!

When we noticed that there was something floating in the air, Chip and Sheila explained it was ash from the wild fires. Heading west, this was our first real experience with the wild-fire season, and they told us that we might not even be able to continue on the next day, as the freeway we were taking to Oklahoma City had been closed because of the fires, and could get closed again. I had seen signs on the freeway warning about not driving through smoke, something I’ve never seen on freeway signage before! All was well though, and we were able to continue on the next day.

We were so glad we got to stop and spend that time with our friends, I hadn’t seen Chip since his nephew’s wedding, about eight years ago, so it was great to see him and to meet his new wife. All to soon, it was time to get on the road for our next stop, Oklahoma City.

Here we are, getting our good-bye pictures!

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We continued on our adventure, stopping in Oklahoma City, OK. There, we were meeting up for lunch with a friend of mine from an online home-schooling group called CCU (Christ Centered Unschooling). This was exciting for me, we’d never met in person, and it’s just the second time for me to meet a friend from the list who lives far away. Deanna doesn’t actually live IN Oklahoma City, I believe she drove about 80 miles to meet us! We met at this really cool fast food place called City Bites. It was not your usual fast food place though. They had fabulous salads and subs, with lots of mix and match ingredients. My kids really loved the dΓ©cor in the restaurant, it was all sort of a jungle theme! Here are some pictures . . .

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Here we all are, with my friend Deanna West Piercy, from CCU. You can get to know her at one of HER blogs, Tea With Dee. She actually has a few different blogs, I imagine they can be found through Tea With Dee. πŸ™‚

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It was so much fun to spend this time at lunch with my friend, and I’m very glad we made the stop.

Eventually, it was time for City Bites to close for the day, so it was time to hit the road again. We said our good-byes, and headed toward Texas, where we would spend our final night on the road. I’ll tell you about that, and about our arrival to our new home, tomorrow, in my last post for this year’s Summer Blog Hop, so be sure to come back!

And as always, if you sign up to follow by email using the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, you’ll never miss another post! I’d love to have you join me on my journeys!

Hop on over to the main Summer Blog Hop post to see what 89 other bloggers are talking about! You can go through the topics and find things to inspire, to learn from, or just fun things to enjoy!

Summer Blog Hop

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Filed under Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, Christian faith, family, Kids, Transitions, Travel

Transitions Part 4: A 1700 Mile Adventure

lorim (2)

Well, I should have mentioned this yesterday, but I didn’t even realize it until I was going to bed last night! Yesterday, August 6, 2013, my kids and I had officially been here in NM for a whole year! Honestly, it doesn’t seem like it’s been a whole year since we arrived! It’s been a year full of change, and has had its ups and downs. My husband and I have, between us, gone through three surgeries, we found a wonderful church family, my kids and I got booted out of the first home-school group we joined (which turned out to be a good thing, but I digress!). Our first winter here was the best winter I’ve ever been through, as you can guess, having come from Michigan. We really do like being here! So now, let’s get on with our journey from Michigan to New Mexico, with our day in St. Louis, MO!

We had a very nice sleep Thursday night, in our beautiful room that my cousin Anne had gotten for us, and woke ready to have a great day in St. Louis! After everyone was showered and dressed, we went to the very good breakfast that came with our room. I think the hotel lost money on the breakfast that my boys had that day, lol! Then, while waiting for Anne to arrive, we went ahead and got packed back up and put our belongings back into the minivan.

When Anne arrived, we piled into the minivan and headed to the St. Louis Arch . . .

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Which is part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, and is a National Park.

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We parked on what I *think* I was told is a levee, right at the river, where we saw this riverboat cruise boat.

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Stretched across the area where we parked were many of these very heavy chains. You can see in the picture of the riverboat that they are used for mooring. The boys found them interesting, and were pretending to try to lift them (they were, of course, way too heavy!)

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So, we walked along the river front to a point where we could get to the Arch, which is really quite beautiful, as you can see in the picture higher up in this post. There are a TON of steps to climb to get to the Arch!

Here is “The Artist” stopping on the way up . . .

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and here am I, with “Mr. Loquacious”

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I’m going to stop right here and tell you, I was really nervous about this excursion! My improved health from my weight loss was still relatively new, and I worried over whether I would really be able to handle all of the steps, etc. Well, as you can see, I did! I was also able to get through all of the little turnstiles inside, as well as fit into the tiny little carriers that we went to the top in. Here are pictures of each of us inside the one they have set up for photos . . .

First, “The Artist” . . .

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“Mr. Loquacious” . . .

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“The Batman” . . .

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“The Puzzler” . . .

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And me!

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Now, you can see how small those things are, right? Now imagine all six of us, crammed into one for the ride to the top. A year previously, I would never have managed, not at 320 pounds. I also would have been quite miserable upon moving to Albuquerque, where we are almost a mile higher in elevation than we were in Pt. Huron. The weight loss journey is one I am so glad to have taken, for many reasons!

Anne went and got our tickets to go to the top of the Arch, and then we had a little over an hour before our scheduled ride, so we used that time to walk through as much of the museum as we could. We really enjoyed it!

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All of the boys in front of one of the exhibits . . .

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all the boys with Anne . . .

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Anne and me . . .

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one of the views through the windows at the top of the Arch . . .

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After we had finished at the Arch, we drove back over to the hotel to pick up Anne’s car, and then went to eat an early supper at a restaurant nearby, for BBQ. It was very good, I’d never had BBQ done the way they do it! I don’t recall the name of the restaurant, but it was right across the parking lot from the hotel, and we loved it!

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After our dinner, we said our good-byes. Anne headed off to her home, and we headed on to Republic, MO, where we spent the night at a motel and then the next morning, Saturday, we spent the morning visiting with another cousin, Anne’s brother Ed and his family. Unfortunately, I forgot to have my camera with me during that visit, so I have no pictures. 😦

From Republic, we headed toward Oklahoma, where we would be spending the night at the home of a long time dear friend of mine, which I will tell you about tomorrow, if you come back! πŸ™‚

As always, I’d love it if you would follow my blog by email! Never miss an update by just going to the top right of the blog and clicking on the “sign me up” button. Just follow the directions and you’ll be notified of new posts by email!

Meanwhile, please, hop on over to the main crew post to see what the other Summer Blog Hop participants are up to!

Summer Blog Hop

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Filed under 1700 Mile Adventure, Albuquerque, Blog Hop Aug. 5 - 9, exercise, family, health, Kids, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, Transitions, Travel, weight loss

I Have Just the BEST Hairstylist in Albuquerque!

I know I posted a while back, when I first found a new hairstylist finally, after moving to New Mexico, and having to give up C.J., the fantastic lady who cut and colored my hair back in Pt. Huron, MI, but I’m writing about Jody Muniz again, because she has left the salon she was working for and gone out on her own!

Jody has moved from a salon where she was an employee to a salon where she is her own boss, and it appears that she could not be happier! I know that I couldn’t be happier, because I have someone again who understands my hair, and understands what I like.

I was finally able to get in to see Jody this past Saturday, July 20, 2013, after being unable to go for the whole time I’ve been recovering from surgery on five toes, and boy, was it beyond time to go!

Here I am before . . .

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As you can see, it’s WAY past time for a color and trim! Jody and I got right to work deciding what to do about color this time, and we decided to go with a lighter base, and stick with that from now on (probably), just changing up the accent colors that she puts in each time. That way, if I need to, I can go a little longer between appointments, because the golden blonde base will blend with any grey new growth. For the other colors as high and low lights, she used a chocolate color and a lighter blonde.

My hair has been really coming back nicely (finally) since my bariatric surgery, and as you can see, it takes a ton of foils to do the high/low lights!

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It’s more than worth it though, for the end results! Here is an “after” picture of me, with my wonderful stylist Jody!

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I’m so thankful to my husband . . . since I’m not yet driving after my surgery, he and the boys (all four of them!) took me to my appointment, which was at 9:30 a.m., meaning we needed to leave our house at about 8:45 a.m. (this is a BIG city, and you just never know about traffic!), and then he took the boys to McDonald’s, to get THEIR hair cut, and to a park while waiting for me to be done, about three hours later. Wasn’t that nice of him? πŸ™‚

If you are in the Albuquerque, NM area, and want to have a wonderful, pampering, just for you time, and come out looking great, you can contact my stylist, Jody Muniz through Genesis Hair Studio, or you can contact her directly at (575)993-4972. I promise, you won’t regret it!

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Filed under Albuquerque, Bariatric Surgery, hair stylist, just me, weight loss