Tag Archives: new life

A Day At McCall’s Pumpkin Patch!

Yesterday, we spent the day at McCall’s Pumpkin Patch with the homeschool group from our church. It is about an hour away from where we live, but it turned out to be worth the drive!

Here is our group . . .
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I, of course, totally messed up and didn’t get any pictures in the actual pumpkin field, but here we are in the hay wagon for the ride there and back, shortly after we arrived . . .

First, here is “The Batman”, “The Artist”, one of their friends, “Mr. Loquacious” and “The Puzzler” . . .
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And here I am, with one of my friends, the grandmother of the extra boy in the previous picture!
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There were a lot of really cool opportunities for fun photos.

Here are all of my boys with my friend’s grandkids in one of the teepees . . .
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Although I forgot to take pictures when they were choosing their pumpkins, we did find some really nice arrangements that were PERFECT for photos!
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There were these very neat antique trucks filled with hay and pumpkins . . .
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An antique tractor . . .
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This cool hay wagon . . .
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The Soda Wagon . . .
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One of my favorites, the giant rocking chair!
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I liked this spot, too . . .
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They had a “corn bin”, which was like a sandbox, but filled with corn kernels!

“The Puzzler” . . .
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“Mr. Loquacious” . . .
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“The Artist” . . .
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“The Batman” . . .
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“Here is “The Artist”, letting the younger kids bury him in the corn!
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Here, “The Batman” is feeding the goats . . .
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And last but not least, here we all are, being the farm animals!
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As you can see, we had a really good day, with lots of time walking around in the fresh air. It was a beautiful day, and so nice to be doing this at the end of October, and NOT needing winter coats! πŸ™‚

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Filed under Christian faith, Church, education, family, home education, Home-school Group, Homeschool Field Trip, homeschooling, Kids, McCall's Pumpkin Patch, Mesa Baptist Church, NM, Travel, Ultimate Blog Challenge 2013

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

Ultimate Blog Challenge, Day 20 . . .

I decided to do this now, because tomorrow, Sunday, is generally very busy for me, and really, it IS the 20th of October in the eastern time zone, right? πŸ™‚

So, tomorrow, I have to get up very early, because I’m in the choir, and the choir is singing special music tomorrow, so we need to be at church no later than 8:30 a.m. for our practice and sound check. We live a good distance from church, so we will need to be pulling out of our driveway absolutely no later than 7:45 a.m., though even earlier would be good, lol!

My husband Mike will drop me at church, then go off to get a coffee at McDonald’s, before coming back with the boys.

We love our church, and we’re so glad to be part of it! I am in the choir, I also sing special music occasionally on my own, and I serve in the nursery and the Care Bear ministry (taking meals to people when there’s a need). My older boys are in teen choir, and they also have ministered by being part of the teen group which runs the summer program for the littles, it’s called UTX (Under The Cross). My younger boys are in the Sunshine Kids Choir, and my husband serves in the sound booth.

We love it here, and we know we are meant by God to be here! πŸ™‚

If you live in the Albuquerque, NM area, or you will be visiting the area, I encourage you to come and visit, I know you won’t regret it! For more information, including how to find us, please go here.

As always, I would 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 never miss an update again! Oh, and please, go and “like” our Facebook page, here. I sure would appreciate it! πŸ™‚

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Filed under Albuquerque, Christian faith, Church, family, Kids, 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

See It And Say It Flip Flop Spanish . . . A T.O.S. Review

Anyone who is a regular reader here at My Journeys Through Life knows that my family moved all the way from Port Huron, Michigan to Albuquerque, New Mexico a little over a year ago. Ever since then, no matter where we go, we hear the Spanish language being spoken, and have developed a real desire to learn it for ourselves. So, when I was offered the opportunity to review a curriculum called See It And Say It Flip Flop Spanish by Senora Gose from Flip Flop Learning, I grabbed at it!

Flip Flop Learning’s See It And Say It Spanish

is SUPER easy to use . . . all I needed to do was get a three-ring binder with the clear pockets on the outside for the cover and spine (which, by the way, were included in my package), put the curriculum in the binder, stick the first CD (also included) into the laptop, and away we went!

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Flip Flop Learning’s See It and Say It Spanish claims to be a full, two-year Spanish curriculum for ages 3 to 93, and judging by what we’ve seen thus far, I believe it is.

With the very first lesson, we learned six words/phrases, enough to begin making sentences immediately! Now, you all know my motto . . . “instant gratification takes too long”, so this was PERFECT for us! πŸ™‚

Because of an error in shipping, we did not receive our curriculum as quickly as the company intended, but that’s OK, because it really allows me to honestly tell you that you CAN learn a lot in a short period of time, with the right materials. It was already a given that we would be taking this at our own pace, just as we do with most everything, to accommodate the various special needs of my children, but I’m telling you, this curriculum has been a very good starting point for us to move from our desire to learn Spanish, to actually being able to speak several sentences, right away!

Because of the shipping mistake, Senora Gose was very generous and sent me a copy of one of her other books, “The Key To Learning Everything” vol. 1, which I can also very highly recommend to you!

We are learning with three different styles all at once . . . audial, tactile, and visual. We hear Senora Gose give the lesson, we touch the cards with the pictures (the Spanish and English words are on the back of the cards), and we see both the pictures and the words as we go.

Here are the cards we were using by the second lesson, including two that we were instructed to make, for the words “Y” (and), and the word pero (but), which helped us make even longer, more complete sentences.

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In this picture, you can see all of the boys, as we practice with the cards.

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Beginning with lesson one, we were instructed to read the manual, lay out the cards called for, and then, listen to the tracks referred to in the lesson while following along. Each lesson is repeated at least three days before moving on to the next, and on the third day, we were told to do the lesson without the CD, that way my children and I are learning to interact with each other in Spanish, not just with the CD (although, Senora Gose DOES have a voice which is very pleasant, easy to listen to and understand, and a clear, smooth speaking style). That’s really all there is to it! Even the description on the back cover tells you there are just 3 easy steps to See It And Say It Spanish . . .

1. Read the manual

2. select the flash cards for the lesson (just 4 or 6 cards per week)

3. play the CD and follow along

Our lessons are taking around 15 – 20 minutes, 3 times per week. The manual says 8 – 15 minutes, but as I said, we take things slower, plus my boys are having fun, so sometimes we play around with making sentences for a longer time.

Here are some short videos of the boys after only our second lesson:

“The Puzzler”

“The Batman”

“The Artist”

“Mr. Loquacious”

And finally, even I am learning! πŸ™‚

Once we did lesson two, we were given a speed round to do. That was harder, and not just for the boys, but I know we will get better at it as we go along! πŸ™‚ After that, the curriculum also added in what it calls “extra fun”. To learn even more, we put the noun cards we had already learned into a brown paper bag and took turns drawing them out. Using the white paddle board and the dry erase pen that came with the curriculum, the person whose turn it was would attempt to draw a picture of the noun on the paddle for us to guess (remember Pictionary?). The first one who could correctly call out what the card was would win that card. We had fun with that, we really enjoy games, and my husband and I particularly like what HE calls “stealth” games, which are games in which you are learning without realizing it, lol!

So . . . you probably want to know what all is included in this curriculum, and whether or not you will have added expense for extra materials, don’t you? Well, this is what you will receive when you order this curriculum:

One curriculum manual, with 150 pages of four semesters of lessons

3 sets of flash cards (135 cards) which are color coded

4 CD’s of audio lessons

1 dry erase paddle

1 dry erase marker

2 card holder pages for sentence building (although we build our sentences right on the kitchen table or the floor!)

Really, the ONLY extra thing I bought was a three-ring binder with clear insert covers, and that was only because we had run out of the right sized binders!

Some included vocabulary topics are:

common household nouns

colors and opinions

animals

clothing

food and family

manners

rooms in the house

places in town

Some of the activities which are included for extra learning are:

charades

Paleta (drawing board paddle)

speed rounds

skits

crosswords

find a word

and others.

Grammar concepts included are:

Spanish phonetics

definite and indefinite articles

conjugation of ser, estar, ir, and tener

regular -ar verb conjugation

forming questions

singular vs. plural

noun/adjective agreement

command forms

numbers up to 50

possessive

adjectives

parts of speech

prepositions

Spanish syntax

According to Senora Gose, we will learn over 250 words, and thousands of possible Spanish sentences!

See It And Say It Spanish can be ordered here for the current price of $99.95, with the regular retail price being $129.95. Our family gives it a resounding “”me gusta – “I like”!

To check out what the other Schoolhouse Review Crew Members thought of See It and Say It Flip Flop Spanish, please click on the graphic below!

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As always, I would just love it if you would join me on all of “My Journeys”, by clicking on the “sign me up” button at the top of the blog and entering your email information. Never miss an update again! πŸ™‚

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Filed under education, educational games, family, Flip Flop Learning, Foreign language homeschooling, home education, homeschool products, homeschooling, Kids, moving, NM, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post, See It And Say It Spanish, special needs education, TOS Review

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

Changes . . . and a benefit to help a Sheriff’s Deputy!

Recently, I needed to put together a two page scrapbook layout as a sample of one of our new Close To My Heart paper packets and Workshops on the go Scrapbooking Kits, which made me really realize just how far I have come from the beginning of my bariatric journey. I chose to use the Workshops on the Go Sarita Scrapbooking Kit, because I really like both the papers and the theme. I felt the theme, although shown in the idea book as a romantic layout, also perfectly fit the changes I have gone through over the past two and a half years, and since I’ve done very little scrapbooking about myself (because I so hated pictures of me), it would be fitting to use this layout to showcase what I have done, for me and for my health.

The left side of the two page layout shows pictures of me from January, 2011, the day before my bariatric surgery.

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And this one, which is the right side of the two page layout, shows pictures of me from Christmas 2011, and May of 2012, which is when I was honored at the Centurian Awards Ceremony held at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit MI, and received my Centurian pin, given to those who have lost at least 100 pounds and/or reached a healthy BMI. I had done both! πŸ™‚

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If you click on the pictures, you can see them bigger than they are on the blog post.

I am so pleased with the difference this has made in my health, and in my physical abilities. With four special needs children, I NEEDED to get healthier, and I have. I am no longer taking two different versions of insulin, whereas before surgery I was on a short acting insulin shot before every meal and a long acting insulin shot before bed each night. I no longer take blood pressure medication or cholesterol medication. I am no longer restricted to shopping in plus size clothing stores, having gone from a size women’s 28 down to a Misses size 12 – 14, depending upon the style and manufacturer. I have lost 157 pounds, and I intend to never, ever go back to what I was when I weighed in at 320 pounds!

Now, after years of avoiding putting pictures of myself into the scrapbooks I love to make, I want to make one documenting my own journey from before weight loss to now. Close To My Heart is going to help me do that, with the beautiful, quality products available, which are extremely easy to use for anyone. Trust me, if *I* can stamp and not mess it up, so can you, and the CTMH scrapbooking and card making products are so beautiful, I know you’ll love using them as much as I do!

While you can, of course, use the Workshops On The Go Kits exactly as they are pictured in the idea book, as you can see by what I did, they are certainly adaptable to whatever theme you want to make them into.

I would love it if you would consider me for your paper-crafting wants needs. You can go directly to my CTMH website and shop to your heart’s content! There will often be a gathering listed on the site. If you click on the link by “join one of Lori’s gatherings”, you can join that gathering to shop. Even if there is no current gathering, you can still shop directly from the site and your products will be shipped directly to you!

There is currently a gathering listed as “New Idea Book Open House”, which will be closing as of this Friday, August 30, 2013. If you’re interested in purchasing from Close To My Heart, this would be the perfect gathering for you to join, because not only will you receive the yummy August Stamp of the Month Set “A Chocolate Affair” absolutely free with your $50.00 order, this gathering is actually a benefit for Deputy Shannon Key, a Deputy with the Bernalillo County NM Sheriff’s Department, who is a deacon in our church. You can read more about his ongoing battle with brain cancer here, in a series of articles and news stories.

If you order from the current gathering (New Idea Book Open House” on my Close To My Heart Site and get your order in by this Friday afternoon (August 30, 2013), then you will also be eligible for my prize drawing. With every $25.00 (pre-shipping/tax) on your order, you will have one entry in a drawing for your choice of a set of hand-crafted by me note cards (value $25.00), a retired paper packet (value $19.95) or a retired stamp set (value varies). The winner will be drawn by one of Deputy Key’s children, and will be able to choose which prize they prefer. If you book your own online gathering with me, and date it within the next month, I will give you an additional entry and set you up with E-Zinvite, so that you can invite all of your guests via email, and you can also make it an even on your Facebook page. Your party will have its own link on my site, your guests will receive their product shipped directly to them, and you’ll receive generous hostess rewards. What a win/win for you!

I hope to hear from you very soon, and I hope many of you will want to help Deputy Key by making an order on the current gathering “New Idea Book Open House”. All of my commission from this gathering is being donated to the Deputy Shannon Key Fund to help with the many costs associated with the treatment he must undergo, and to help his family during this time. Please consider this a worthy cause, and help out by ordering from this gathering. You’ll be helping someone who is very humble and deserving of your aid, and also making yourself more able to beautifully document the “changes” in your OWN life! πŸ™‚

As always, I would love to have you join me on all of my “journeys through life” by following my blog. To receive a notice each time there is a new post, just go to the “sign me up” button at the top right of this page, click on it and enter your email. Hope to have you join me on “my journeys”!

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Filed under Bariatric Surgery, card making, changes, Close to My Heart, health, just me, scrapbooking, stamping, weight loss

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”

paper in bathroom

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

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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