Monday, November 21, 2011

Time flies by

It seems like the summer was a total blurrrrrrr. Kyle graduated in July from Air Force basic training, and is now in San Angelo Texas. Mark and I were able to stop and visit them in their new abode while driving cross country. Hyrum totally loves his daddy.

Another fun addition to our family, is Jennie and Jon's son Ricky. I was introducing Hyrum to his cousin, and boy did I have my hands full. Hyrum thought Ricky should play with him. I hope they can have some play time when they are a little older.

We had a visitor in our backyard last week. This Iguana was over 5 feet long. They say they are pretty harmless, but I'll just stay clear of them. Can I say UGLY!!!!! these are not native to Puerto Rico, like so many things someone brought them as pets from another country, just what I want stowed in my carry on. A cute cuddly Iguana!!!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creating Wonderful Memories

WARNING: If you get bored silly looking at the family vacation album, this blog is NOT for you.

Since Marlow had a three day week-end, we decided we needed to get out and do some exploring. What I really need is a map of Puerto Rico, but with limited skills that isn't going to happen. We drove to Cabo Rojo, which is the Southwest corner of the island. There is a lighthouse on the point down there that we wanted to see. Just before the lighthouse we stopped at this observation station. We found out that they harvest sea salt here, and this summer will mark the 500th year of doing that.

This is the Cabo Rojo lighthouse. It is still operational and helps ships navigate through the Mona Passage from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.

The road to get to the lighthouse was most interesting. It reminded me of a baja roadway, and was better suited to a dune buggy than a car. One spot was a giant mud pit, glad we didn't disappear into the bottom. This is the walkway up to the lighthouse, at least there were rocks here, the road was just dirt, and lots of holes strategically placed so there was no way to avoid them.

I was most intrigued by the spiral stairway up to the observation deck.

Once out on the deck you see the beautiful La Playuela beach. The ranger told us it was voted 3rd most beautiful secluded beach in the world. It is truly breath taking. I didn't put pictures of the stunning cliffs all around the lighthouse, so much to see.

What is ironic about this beach, is the body of water you see right behind it is bracish, and stinky, you wouldn't want to be swimming in it!

So, here is the question of the day:

When you go on a week-end get away, is every detail planned out, or do you like to fly by the seat of your pants????

After we left the beach we wandered to the place we reserved to stay in. WELL, although the internet site let us register for a room, there was no room in the inn. They had a studio room they would let us stay in which reminded me of where you put someone you don't like very well. But as Marlow said, at least it's a room.

Then, we realized the AC wasn't working, and I decided I didn't want to stay. The place was really nice about helping us find a room, but with it being a holiday week-end every place was full. They finally found a room in La Parguera, yeeee hawww!!!!

It actually worked out pretty nice since we wanted to see the bioluminescent bay. The bay is something you see at night. A boat takes you about 20 minutes. There are micro-organisms that grow in this particular bay that glow when there is movement. A diver entered the water and you could see his movements as the water glows. We had a perfect night, no moon very dark, it was really neat. The boat ride was relaxing, and it was a nice little hamlet to stay in.

The next morning we had to wait for the store to open up to check out of our room, so we drove around, and found a beautiful seaside park.

The trees grow right on the waterline, and the roots help save the beach from erosion

We saw all kinds of animal life, a lot of crabs not only in the water, but also in the soft beach. We saw several hermit crabs in the shallow water. I hope you can see the arms in the picture below. The shell was probably 3-4 inches. You could see where they had been. Very fascinating.

I love the vegetaion, I'll have to find the names of these things. It looked like a bunch of grapes.

You have to have chickens if you have a picture of Puerto Rico.

Not to disappoint anyone, Mr Iguana also showed up. As a side note, when we were walking around at the first hotel, I noticed something moving in the tree, yup, it was a HUGE Iguana on one of branches. Makes you want to check the tree foilage before walking under a tree.

Once checked out of room, we headed toward Ponce. It was a beautiful drive, but one town caught our attention. The houses on the hill were all painted so BRIGHT. We decided we wanted to get a better look. The town is


Every "town" in PR has a town square, and you will always have a church on the town square. We are attempting to visit all the town squares in PR, and get a picture of their church. I love how beautiful the churches are.

This street will give you a taste for the bright houses we saw from the freeway.

This town is know for their banans, and coffee.

Marlow loves Ponce. This is one of the areas he served in while on his mission. We visited here 6 years ago when we celebrated our 25th wedding anniversart. It was intriguing to come back and see it again. It is a beautiful city with a rich and colorful history.

They have a beautiful town square.

And the church is stunning.

I asked a question earlier about planning week-ends. As we strolled the square they had a train trolley that took you on a tour. I thought it looked fun, and it proved a high-light of the day. The ticket cost us $2.00 per person, and I think the tour lasted 45 minutes. Gave us lots of information, and took us past many important parts of the city.

There was a big fire in Ponce January 25, 1899. Many firefighters were killed fighting the fire. In gratitude to them, houses were built for their families. It was sobering to see how many houses were on this block, each house representing a death.

This sand sculpture was built over a year ago, it was amazing to see it has lasted this long, and to see the detail in it.

The symbol of Ponce is the lion. This is the gate to the city, with a lion on either side.

We came home through the middle of the island. It is good road most of the way, but right in the middle there is a 10 mile stretch that is not for the faint of heart. Narrow, curvy road that hugs the side of the mountain. I must be getting used to the terrain, because it didn't bother me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Today is my youngest childs birthday. Mark hits the ripe old age of 21. We mormons have an odd tradition of sending our young men out into the world to "preach and teach" and so they normally celebrate their 20th, and 21st birthdays away from family.
Mark definitely adds spice to our lives. I have been reminded of things Mark has done as I have read Rachel and Megan's facebook accounts of their boys. It isn't always easy raising enthusiastic children. Sometimes you just have to hang on, and hope your grip is strong enough to keep your head above water. I cannot even begin to tell all the tales of Mark. Nor would he want me to tell them. Mark was attending BYU-I when he received his mission call. We decided that he would benefit by attending the temple close by in Rexburg. So we flew him home to Alabama one week-end so we could go through the temple with him. After we got home he made this token fire to burn some items that would no longer be needed. Silly boy, but this is so reflective of Mark.

Mark was so anxious to leave on his mission. The only thing he regretted was not seeing Josh return from his mission before he left, they over lapped by a couple of months. This is our Christmas call from Josh. Gotta love the calls from your missionary.

As a mom, you start teaching your young sons about missions almost the day they are born. We sing songs about serving missions, we talk of their service, we save for that big day. I remember so well as Kyle prepared to leave. I started wondering, have I taught him all he will need to serve? I started to worry, and became anxious. Although he was doing the very thing I knew to be right, I had doubts and fears. And then he was set apart as a missionary by our Stake President. I will never forget the peace that filled my soul. I knew that my son was in our Heavenly Fathers care, and the areas that he might be inadequate would be covered.
I am so thankful for the choice my sons have made to serve a mission. I am grateful for the peace I have felt during their service. Grateful for the opportunities they had that have shaped them into the amazing men that returned home to us.

Happy birthday Mark. I love you

Monday, February 28, 2011

Jennie----help me!!!!

Jennie, I need you to drop by and help me lay this quilt top out....
give me a call when you have a chance, and give me your in-put.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

for the beauty of the earth...

I often marvel at the beauty and diversity of our world. Waves fascinate me.
I could sit for hours and watch the waves roll in. Something soothing about it.We went down to the beach early this morning. We are hoping to catch a glimpse of the migration of the whales. No luck this morning, but we enjoyed the beauty all around us.

I love the clouds here, the way the sky turns so many shades of pink as the sun rises and sets.

I only wish that I could capture a little of the beauty in a picture.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Our visit with J,J,&J

I was really looking forward to our visit from Josh, Jon & Jennie. I had carefully planned out how I would spend the 3 days with Josh before Jon & Jennie came, and then what we would ALL do together, and then the 3 days with just Jon & Jennie after Josh flew home. Josh and I visited the Arecibo Observatory. I didn't find out til later that the road terrified him. WHAT, now if you want terrrifying, I had a perfect road for that.

Jon & Jennie flew into San Juan Christmas afternoon. We opened most of our Christmas presents the evening of Christmas, not to be confused with Christmas eve.

All the kids got Puerto Rico t-shirts, easy peasy.

The 3 J's were really looking forward to beach time. WELL, high surf warnings, and cold overcast skies kept us out of the water most of their visit. On the last day we braved the elements, and went swimming. I was sorta nervous even though I felt we were in a safe spot. Nancy & Janice, this is actually where we would go swimmng while you were here, just what was behind us, the tidal pool. The kids went for a short time where we swam, but the ocean was just too angry, not good for swimmers.

The water wasn't too bad temp wise, once you got used to it.

This parasail looked so fun, there is a huge fan behind the pilot that allows them to fly for a LONG time. When he saw that I was trying to take his picture, he actually circled around and buzzed us, way cool.

Jennie and I were on the beach watching the guys. We thought they were much too close to the big waves, and were nervous nellies the whole time. They said the waves were at least 60 feet beyond them, ummm I don't think so!!!!

This is a horrible picture, and on it's side tahboot. Jennie wanted to see what the Sam's club was like here in Puerto Rico. I had told her that it is right on the coast, and is in such a beautiful setting, almost seems a shame to waste such a beautiful view on a warehouse store. WELL... Sam's is about 40 minutes away, and we are tootling along, we reach Hatillo, and there are a lot of cars parked on the side of the road, and then we see a LOT of police in full riot gear, and crazy decked out vehicles, and ....I remember a shop keeper in Isabela telling me not to go to San Juan on the 28th because of some festival in Hatillo. OOPS!!!! Well, we make it through, and I call to tell Marlow about all the craziness. He calls back just a few minutes later, we had just gotten to Sam's, and tells me it probably isn't safe for us to be there. Come to find out, the patron saint they are celebrating is sorta like april fools day for children, except the children keep getting older and older. We noticed a lot of cars covered in either shaving cream or whipped cream, and I guess that is why the high police presence, to try to keep control of a volitile situation.

I love the pathway by the train tunnel. The walk is right on the ocean, and beautiful.

Sorry this is turning into a documentary, but for those who have been here, it might bring back some memories, and for those who haven't been, what you waiting for?????

I told you at the start how carefully I had planned our activities. You know what they say about the best of plans???? A huge storm in the Northeast dashed all my careful planning. Not that I am complaining. I'm grateful that since Josh had to get stranded it was in our home, not some airport. But, our little car is wondering what we did to it. I am amazed that we were able to get that much luggage to fit. I was going to stay home when Marlow took the kiddos to the airport, but Jennie would have none of that. Sooooo we set off the 5 of us in our little Kia Rio. We had a wonderful time seeing El Morro, Jennie & Jon are in front of the entrance to the wonderful old fort. It is an amazing structure to wander around in.

I think it is like over 500 years old, I'll have to ask my walking encyclopedia about that next time I see him. Regardless, it is amazing, like stepping back in time.

This is a circular staircase you go from one level to the next, it's a bit weird because the steps are taller than what you are used to.

We were almost done exploring El Morro, look up, and this HUGE ocean liner is going out to sea.

I am so glad that we spent a wonderful day together, what happy memories we made.

One of our favorite things about Old San Juan is the refreshing ice cream you can buy from the street vendors. Jennie had him mix all three flavors, parcha, coco, ooohhh what was the third??

After wandering the streets of Old San Juan, we exited through the Princess gate onto the outer walk way, it was an absolute breath taking sunset. I'm sad that pictures just don't capture the coloring of the moment.

It was a wonderful way to bring to close an awesome week with my loved ones.

The next morning we headed to the airport. Jon & Jennie left bright and early. Josh's flight left in the late afternoon, so we did some more exploring. We actually found a really nice beach, and wished we had our swim suits handy, because as

Jennie & Jon flew out, the sun came out of hiding.

I love to watch the waves, something so calming about the ocean.

Marlow and Josh were able to spend some much needed Father & son time.

It was great to have the kids here. Thanks for the memories, hey that sounds like a great title for a post!!!!