Category Archives: Transitions

Mom’s Night Out!

Once a month, some of the moms from our church get together at a local restaurant for a little “Mom’s Night Out”. Last night, 3 of us went to a place we all enjoyed, Dion’s. Funny thing, all three of us were pretty good, and stuck to salads, like the delicious Chef Salad I chose! I got the medium size salad, knowing I would be taking about half of it home with me. It will be my supper tonight! πŸ™‚

Our Mom’s Night Out times are so important! Even though it’s only a couple of hours out of the month, it’s a time when we can connect, talk, and just enjoy the company of other women, while our husbands stay at home and hang out with the kids! This is something I did not have back in Michigan, and I’m very grateful for it now! We’ve already scheduled our November Mom’s Night Out! πŸ™‚

If you aren’t doing one of these every month, I encourage you to get a group going. It’s very good for we ladies to have this, and it’s good for our families, too!

As always, I’d Love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Just enter your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, do go and “like” our Facebook page here. Never miss another update!

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Filed under Albuquerque, Church, family, just me, Mesa Baptist Church, Mom's Night Out, NM, Transitions

Sunshine Kids Choir!

Sunday night, our Sunshine Kids Choir did a special at our church, something they do about once per month during each session. They did such a good job, and two of my boys are members! “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” both participated in the skit this time, as you can see in the video below. I’m sorry the video got a bit shaky when switching from the skit to the song . . . I’m still learning how to manage doing videos, and didn’t realize I was too close to get all of the kids when the singing began, and would need to move back! Other than that, though, I think it came out fairly well! πŸ™‚

If you live in or near Albuquerque, NM, or will be visiting or moving here and are looking for a great church to visit, this is the one! For more information, please click here

As always, I’d love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information in the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog, and please, go and “like” our Facebook page here

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Filed under Albuquerque, Christian faith, Church, family, Kids, Mesa Baptist Church, NM, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

A Very Cool Discovery . . .

Yesterday, I needed to go to a different area of Albuquerque to pick up a long-desired Kitchen-Aid Pouring Shield for my Kitchen-Aid Mixer from another freecycler. If you don’t yet know about, or participate in, freecycling, I strongly encourage you to check it out! πŸ™‚ Anyway, here is a picture of my new pouring shield, which was in like new condition, the other freecycler had used it four times, and never used it again!

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Now, when I make my home-made cakes and frostings, I won’t be making such a mess anymore. Great, huh?

As the kids and I got closer and closer to where we were going, we could see the mountains, so much closer, and I was wishing I had brought my camera. Then I remembered the camera on my phone, but really couldn’t find a good place to stop and get any good shots. I happened to mention to the other freecycler how beautiful the area was, and how fortunate she was to be so close to that view, and she pointed me toward a trail head entrance just a couple of streets away. So, we decided to go check it out, and here are the pictures we took!

First, the obligatory warning sign (if you click on the actual picture, it will get bigger and you can read all of the warnings, lol!) . . .

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Up next, here are some quick shots I took of the actual beginning area of the trail . . .

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This particular shot, I didn’t realize how pretty it was until I looked later. I think the way the sun is shining at that angle almost makes a little rainbow over the plant life!

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Here are the boys …

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And finally, me, too!

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The more we see here, the more there is to enjoy! I told the boys that one day, when we have extra time (and money for gas, lol) we would just do a little field trip of our own, deliberately get a little lost (hey, I can use the gps on my phone to get us back home, after all), and just see what beautiful sights we can find.

As always, I would love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”. Please enter your email information into the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and “like” our facebook page by going here. Never miss another update! πŸ™‚

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Filed under Albuquerque, family, freecycling, Kids, Mountain trailhead, NM, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

We’re FINALLY Back to Park Days Again!

Since I had surgery on BOTH of my feet in May of this year, the boys and I have not been able to attend the weekly home-school park days all summer. 😦 First, I couldn’t walk, or drive, then, I could walk only using a walker, then eventually a cane.

In the meanwhile, there had been a change in where the weekly park day would be held, so we’re at a new to us park. We like this park, and it’s a little easier and quicker for us to get to! πŸ™‚

Happily, two weeks ago, the boys and I were finally able to go again, which we did for the very first time since before I had surgery back on May 15. I took my camera with me. And then, I forgot to take it out and actually USE it!

Last week, we didn’t attend. As you know, last Thursday we had company, friends who came in from Oklahoma to go to the International Balloon Fiesta.

So, yesterday, we were able to go to our home-school park day again, after another week off. It turns out though, that last Thursday, with the wind and rain in the area of the park, it pretty much didn’t happen anyway. THIS week, I remembered that I had my camera!

Here is the “The Batman”, waiting for a ball to be sent his way . . .

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“The Puzzler”, on his way to join the game (and unfortunately, it’s the only shot I got of him, which is why it’s somewhat blurry) . . .

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“Mr. Loquacious” was walking around, looking for “things to build stuff with” . . .

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And “The Artist” was just walking back to where we were to get some water and a snack . . .

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Meanwhile, *I* was sitting with a bunch of other moms . . .

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. . . truly enjoying the time I get each week to interact with other homeschooling moms, while my kids spend time with other home-school kids, and the added bonus that they are out in the fresh air, playing, running around. We do not have a good yard to play in, or a park right by our house, so they don’t get this all that often, unless we can get to a park day.

It’s also great for me to be with other moms on a regular basis who “get it” when it comes to my special needs kids, who have varying disabilities, including developmental delays and mental retardation. πŸ™‚

If you are achomeschooling family, I strongly encourage you to become involved in a local park day group. This group is a pretty good bunch, and my boys and I are quite happy to be part of it!

As always, I would love it if you join me on all of “My Journeys Through Life”! Just enter your email information at the “sign me up” button at the top of the page, and never miss an update again!

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Filed under 2013, ABQparkday.com, Albuquerque, education, exercise, family, health, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Park Day, homeschooling, Kids, moving, special needs education, Transitions, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

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

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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