Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Long Time Friends

Monday, we had a small gathering that consisted of Ed, myself, Phyllis, and Terrence. This is part of a group that has been friends for a long time! In fact, Phyllis and Terrence were both in our wedding party way back when! The missing people were Rodney, who lives in Corpus Christie now, and Denise who lives in North Carolina with her new husband Rob. They were all missed! Oh, as a matter of fact, Denise and Rodney were also in our wedding party!! So great, that we are all still friends!

Ed and Terrence tried out Guitar Hero.
This was the first time for Terrence.
Terrence enjoyed it so much he played a few songs against Clark!

Other than Guitar Hero, we mostly sat around drinking Almond Champagne that Terrence brought from California with him and chatting. As always, it was great to spend time with them and catch up!

Phyllis headed back to her stomping grounds in South Austin. Terrence caught a plane back to California bright and early this morning.

I think we may drive out to California this summer to go to Lego Land and visit Terrence and Dennis!

Oh, Dennis and Charlie- you two were missed as well, even though you, like Rob, you were not in our wedding party!! :-)


O.K... One day, I was working at the candy store. A man who looked like a pirate walked up to me and asked if he could buy a gumdrop. I replied, "Why would you want to buy gum that's been dropped?" He didn't think that was very funny. He took me to his ship and was about to make me walk the plank, when I asked if I could have one last request. He said yes, so I asked for a mug of root beer. He gave me a mug, and then I jumped, even though I didn't know how to swim. I would have drowned, except for one thing... ROOT BEER FLOATS!!!! ^_^ Ha ha! Get it?!?!


Monday, December 29, 2008

Home for christmas x3

We got home from our Winter trip on Christmas Eve. To our delight, Santa had beaten us there! Yeah! The boys excitedly opened Santa's gifts, stockings, and then went straight to the gifts under the tree!
Here are a couple of shots of Santa gifts.....

Mom's dog, Rajah, got into the gift opening fun too.
Christmas Day we went to Mom & Roger's to spend the holiday with them, Nana, and later the Tiemans. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera! So I can only tell you about the nice meal we ate there, the great presents we opened, and how nice it was to see my Nephew Phillip.

That night Dane slept in the living room with his new house shoes on. So cute, he was, we had to snap a photo.

On Sunday morning, Granlally, Grandad, and Oma came to our house for breakfast and presents. They brought a gift for Dane half his size!
Grandlally helped Dane tear into it!

Ta da! Just what Dane wanted!

All dressed up!
Mason got an official Turkish soccer practice jacket.
And the thing he wanted the most....
A custom made "Goomby" deck!
"Ace" is Mason's skater nickname.
Clark got the gifts favored by teens across the USA,
I Tunes Card and Cash-ola!
Here are some shots of O'ma and Grandad opening gifts.

While everyone played with their new goodies, Oma, Lally, Ed, and I played "Chicken Foot." Lally won the game! She says it is the first time EVER that she has won playing against family members. (Ok, so we are all a lot competitive!)

We had a nice time with everyone and we appreciate all the wonderful gifts!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Tubing Video Shorts

As promised! Movie Shorts!
Going Up??? Clark and Mason head to the top of the mountain!


Mason tubing

Clark Tubing

Dane Tubing

Ed & Dane on a double tube.

Clark sums it up.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

In search of snow- day 4

This post can also be titled "Pistachios, Tubing, & SNOW!"

First, the pistachios! Pistachio orchards are all over the place in this area. When we first started seeing them, I thought they were pecan orchards. Nope! Pistachios trees! So on our way to go tubing, we stopped off at a road side store built next to an orchard. This place had grape vines and a winery, too.
My Limbaugh nuts holding up a gigantic pistachio!

One of the ladies in the store was an author. She wrote and illustrated a book on New Mexico animals that was just perfect for Dane. She autographed it and posed with him for a picture. What a great souvenir for Dane!

Sonya Devine and Dane with the book,
"The Enchanted Desert, A Counting Backwards Book."
Secondly, the tubing! We drove to Riodoso, New Mexico to tube at a place called Winter Wonderland. I previously mentioned it as Ski Apache in an earlier post. We bought tickets for a 3 hour block and turned it loose! Being sun worshiping Texans, we all layered up in long johns, snow boots, thick snow socks, coats, hats, gloves, and neck warmers (made by my Oma') in anticipation of cold fun.

The conveyor belt that takes people to the top of the runs.
Clark, Mason, Ed, and Dane going up!

Dane makes the first run down!

Next comes Ed!
Mason is next!
Here's Clark!
Ed and Dane try out a double tube.
Lisa & Dane wait in line to go up the conveyor belt.
Dane pulls his tube to the end of the run.
Great shot of Clark sliding down sideways!
Mason pulls his tube to the end of the run.

Lastly, the SNOW!! As if the Gods of the Mountains (the name of a local resort and casino) heard our deepest wishes, it started to snow. Not just a few flurries- thick, fast, white balls of snow!!! We were so excited to get real snow!! Check out the snow falling in these pictures.....

Self Snowy Portrait

Huge flakes fall on Mason.
Clark has snow all over his hood.
Heavy snow falls as Clark goes up the conveyor belt.
Dane is up to some heavy work as he lifts a big snow ball!
We stopped in Riodoso for lunch then headed back to Alamogordo. We pulled over at one point to collect pine cones that had fallen on the side of the road. We have about a dozen to bring home.

I have several short videos of the sledding but will save those for another time. We are packing up for an early wake up. We are planning to drive all the way home tomorrow. We will get home late on Christmas Eve. Maybe Santa will beat us there??? The boys are anxious to find out!

Operation In Search of Snow- Successful!!
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

In search of snow- day 3

-This morning we ventured over to the New Mexico Museum of Space History on the campus of New Mexico State University. There was a lot to see starting outside the building.

Interesting fact- The first chimp to go in space, HAM, is buried just in front of the small wall in the picture above.

We moved inside to browse through the 4 floors of exhibits. The boys and I moved through more quickly then Ed. Here are some shots from inside.

A real piece of Moon rock brought back to earth by the Apollo 11.
It is enclosed in the prism of glass which is housed inside another case of glass.
The boys and the view of the city from the 3rd floor.
An over head exhibit of satellites.

At an interactive exhibit, the boys had a little extra fun!
Too funny!

Ed stayed at the museum while the boys and I ran over to the IMAX theater across the parking lot. We watched the movie entitled, "Blue Planet." It was a movie about Earth as seen from space. It was a good one and educational, too.

For lunch we visited a local Mexican restaurant called "Si Senor." The flavors had subtle differences from that of the Tex Mex we love to eat. We all cleaned our plates!

Next was a trip back out to the White Sands. Here is video from there.




We haven't found snow yet, other than glimpses of white on distant mountain tops. So, our friendly hotel clerk has pointed us in the right direction. Tomorrow we head to a place close to Riodosa to "Ski Apache" for sledding and tubing on man-made snow. It is only about 45 minuets from here. Yeah! Tomorrow will be the big day!
Publish Post
This is Ed with a middle of the night report.  This has been a fantastic trip so far, although I don't remember exactly at what point my boys got out and a bunch of weenie sorority girls got in!   We've seen so much of the landscape between San Antonio and El Paso up close after stopping every 40 miles so one or more participants could pee on a tree!  Geez, you'd think it was a Girl Scout Jamboree with all the potty breaks we've had to take.  Just the same, we've had a blast sliding down the sand dunes. Tomorrow we're going back for more!  

Sunday, December 21, 2008

In search of snow- day 2

We left Fort Stockton in the morning and headed West! It was a long boring drive but made bearable with a few scenic moments like these.


Side story: When looking at the above cactus, I was thinking of the Dr. Seuss book, The Lorax. I asked the boys, "Who does that plant look like?" Mason and Dane yelled out, "Mr. Brown!" (Mr. Brown is a teacher from their school who has stand up hair. He is also Mason's guitar teacher. For a look at the hair, check out the post about the awards ceremony. He is in the picture with the coaches biting their medals. Mr. Brown is in the baby blue shirt.)

It was exciting to cross into Mountain Time Zone. We got an hour back!

Just when we thought we would never see civilization again, we got to El Paso, Texas! Whew! It was a real city! We stopped for lunch and gas then got back on the road heading North West. Finally, we crossed into New Mexico!!
It was only about 60 miles to our home base of Alamogordo, New Mexico. Here is a scenic shot, followed by the view from our hotel!

The Sacramento Mountains
We checked into our hotel and made nice with the clerk. She gave us some tips about the city. She also loaned us the round sleds for the White Sands Monument. Off we ran, 15 miles West, to the Monument.

This place is incredible! You go into another world completely foreign to all you know. I took a ton of pictures! I have tried to narrow it down to the best. Get ready- it is amazing! So much so, we are planning to go back tomorrow to hike some of the paths and forge deeper into this white world. For your viewing pleasure, in the order they were taken....

See? I told you it was amazing! How many times did you think you were looking at snow?? It is sand!!! And what another amazingly colored sunset! It was like floating candy floss in hues of pink.

Good night!