Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas

I think I’ve decided I could live in Taos forever…but I know that is just this awesome winter working on me. I had forgotten how much fun playing in the snow is until this past month where we’ve had great snow and lots of activities so close. I so have the itch to go skiing once we get baby-sitting coordinated. Christmas was great for us. This was the first year that we spent Christmas at home with just our little family, and we made the most of it. Sage was so excited to go ice skating, and it was hilarious to watch her.
The rink provided these walker-thingees that were awesome for her. She pushed it all over the ice. She didn’t even want us to skate near her. She is definitely a better skater than I am, although she did biff it a few times, especially when she tried to say hello to other skaters. Too fun.
We also went sledding one afternoon, and we decided to make our own track down the hill. So of course, Sage got pelted with snow all over the front of her. We just played in the snow after that. Keiger didn’t enjoy it too much either. Poor Keiger. He sure puts up with a lot from us as we drag him along on all these crazy adventures.
On Christmas Eve, we took Sage skiing for the first time. We took her to a practice run at Sipapu so we didn’t have to buy lift tickets and we could just walk beside her. She did pretty good. It’s a lot to get the hang off for such a little one, so we’ll probably call it good for this year and put her on some shorter skis next winter. And, of course, Keiger tagged along in the sled. He’s such a good sport. Sage got the most fun out of watching people load onto the chair lift. She’s so into stuff like that.
We got her this marble run for Christmas, and she sits in her room watching it. You can just see her mind working to try and figure it out. Anyway. Christmas was really nice. It’s been neat to think of the traditions that we want to have. Sage did say over breakfast, “Wait. Santa forgot my puppy!” What do you say to that?

Christmas afternoon we went to the Pueblo to watch the deer dance. There was chanting and drumming and it got a bit chilly as we waited for things to really get started. We saw the clowns (kind-of the authorities for the day) all painted black and white and wearing straw hats with turkey wings and feathers. They built a huge bonfire and ran all over. Yes, they scared Keiger. The Pueblo women danced, and then the deer came. I guess all the men had been hunting the week before, so they all dressed in the skins and heads of the deer and elk they killed. They held sticks in their hands to look like they had four legs. Then they started to dance. By that time all we could see were bobbing antlers over the crowd, and we headed home to get warm. There is so much culture. I wish I understood more. You can’t take pictures of any of the dances at the Pueblo. I wish you could because it is so cool to see the snow draped over the roofs of the old adobes up against the mountain. Speaking of culture, we headed to the Bishops for dinner, and we just don’t quite fit in yet. It’s so funny. So for dinner there was posole with pig’s feet, enchiladas, spoon bread, shrimp salsa stuff, chips and salsa, chili, tortillas, tamales, and lots of chilies. And what do we bring? …Rolls. Doesn’t quite fit, does it? I love it. We had a great time and heard alls sorts of funny stories about the ward, like the time they used tortilla chips for the Sacrament or the Sunday the mariachi band played during Sacrament meeting, now known as “Mariachi Sunday.” Too fun. I love Taos. Honestly, the people here are so real and sincere, just who they are.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


This year, we continued our tree-cutting tradition and headed to the woods to find the perfect tree. (And we had the perfect weather for it; we’ve had snow ever since we returned from Phoenix.) After some searching, Sage wanted to cut this little tree. Jake found a different one that looks pretty good—better than some of the Charlie Brown trees we’ve had.
Sage made the ornaments for the tree and decorated a bit. She’s quite proud. All of the bottom branches of the tree are empty: the Keiger-zone.
Sage continues to play outside in the snow pretty much every day. This is the snowman she and Daddy made.
We had our ward Christmas party the other night. Pretty fun. Jacob and I were volunteered to play Mary and Joseph in the little play. I got some great looks from the primary kids when they saw my beach ball belly. We had tamales, posole, and tortillas for dinner. I so need to get used to hot food! The primary sang a few songs at the party. Sage was so excited to sing “Away in a Manger,” and she did a great job. Santa made an appearance. Sage asked him for a puppy. She might learn a bit about disappointment this Christmas.

Keiger lost a fight with the dresser this week. He was jumping on the bed and fell into the corner of the dresser. We sure thought his nose and eyes would look a lot worse, but he still looks a bit beat up. Sage prays for his bump to get better each night.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Happy Birthday Keiger!

Well a little late in coming, but Keiger turned the big 1 on December 1st. We were in Phoenix during the past two weeks and Keiger enjoyed being with family for his birthday. When it came to the gifts, Sage and Kalei were probably more excited but Keiger actually did a good job of opening them. Morgan made cupcakes in icecream cones - an adventure - but they were fantastic. Phoenix was fun for Morgan and the kids, and the trainings weren’t too bad. Nani, Papa, Shayla and Bryan were able to come for a while and it was great to see all of them. Sage and Morgan went to the Nutcracker with Nani, Shayla, Maile and Kalei, they had a blast. Sage and Kalei danced the night away, but paused and posed for a few pictures.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Snow

The day after Thanksgiving, we woke up to quite a bit of snow. Yeah! We’ve been waiting for the snow to come! It made for a great holiday.

Sage loved playing outside, especially in her pink snow boots from Aunt Mackenzie. Too fun!
We also got to one of our favorite places, Twirl, for their holiday tree lighting. It was a little chilly, but beautiful with the fresh snow.

Monday, November 19, 2007

We Love Shayla!

Today is Shayla Day! Everyday should be Shayla Day, because whenever I think about Shayla, I am happy. Shayla, you are someone I am honored to know. One of my most special days was when I got to go to your wedding. During the ceremony, there was this beautiful spirit about you that I knew came from the purity of your life, your worthiness and innocence, and just who you are. That left a very real impression on me, and I am still so grateful to remember being in the temple that day.

I also hope you know that you are quite famous. Whenever I visit my grandparents or connect with old friends, they always ask about you. I hope you know that you influenced so many people.

Sage colored in the “We Love You, Shayla!” poster for you. She has been taught that when you use an exclamation point, you are to say it with passion. So when we say we love you, we really mean it. And, you must know that Sage was adamant that we make a poster for Bryan too. So sorry! But, Bryan, we do love you. I am so glad you guys were married to be there for each other and to help each other.

Shayla, I love being around you. You have a way of just lifting people up and making others feel good that is so contagious. The spirit I felt from you on your wedding day still remains. It teaches me of everything that is good and right and what I want to be. You’re awesome. I know Heavenly Father and Jesus are so proud of you and that you are so close to them. I am so grateful to be in this family so I could know you. I love you, Morgan

Hi, Shayla! I just looked at Daisha and Cole's blog spot for the first time and saw the photographs of new little Tessa in your arms. I thought how beautiful you both are!! Quite the miracle girl, that's you, Shayla! When I think back to that scary, scary time two years ago and realize all the tender mercies in your behalf and all the huge courage and incredibly hard work and commitment that you and those who love you have expended (especially Bryan and your mom), it's amazing! What a cherished example you have been for all of us who know and love you even though we're so far away.

Whenever I get bogged down, thinking something is really hard - I think of you and the days and days of difficult that you have tackled and conquered with such style and fortitude. You have accomplished so very, very much that I tell people about your story all the time and then your powerful influence for good is sent out from your life to the lives of others you don't even know about. The ripples of your strength and goodness just keep going on and on! I am so grateful for your beautiful smile, your soft, sweet voice that you have worked so hard to be able to express, your tender love for your dear family - especially the little ones, your sparkling eyes that really light up when you are happy, and the sweetest spirit that absolutely shines from within you, On the days of discouragement that sometimes come - be sure to remember all that is so very lovely and special about who you are! And remember too Moroni 7:29 - Have miracles ceased? Nay, and the work of angels is all about us! Here's to the next two years of mighty miracles!!

I'm sorry that all the real work is left to you all - but I hope it helps to know that our prayers and fasts and invisible hugs are continually sent your way from clear down here, and the power of your influence is being continually felt and shared far beyond what you might imagine. Best to you for a memorable Thanksgiving Day. We love you! Jayne, Steve, Mackenzie, and all our extended clan!

Wow, two years since you where gifted back to us – and it is a true gift. It is too bad that we are so far apart so we can more fully appreciate the inspiring person you are. But, we are really excited that you and Bryan are coming to Phoenix, it will be a blast (at least for you guys – darn trainings ;-) Thank you for being our miracle sister, who has brought so much happiness and joy into our family for as long as I can remember (except that period of time that you wouldn’t eat anything that mom cooked for dinner and only wanted ’Cheerios’ – by the way I think you some how passed that on to Sage J).

So today I am grateful for you, Shayla, for the light you shine to all of those around you, for the fighter you are, the example, the embodiment of hope and courage in the face of adversity. You have no idea how much you mean to me and those around you. I LOVE YOU and am grateful for the privilege to be your brother. - Jacob

May each new day bring more light to our Sunshine on a Stick!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Not much happening

We seem to be busy but can't really pinpoint why. It is probably due to the up coming Thanksgiving and trip to Phoenix (which we can't wait for and are pumped that Shayla and Bryan are now coming - Cole and Daisha, we wish you guys could be there too). Anyway we did make a spontaneous decision on Saturday to hike up to Williams Lake in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness. It was a little chilly, but not bad for 11,000 feet. We also finally finished the inside of the house, patching and painting the laundry room - so exciting. Also, with the time change it allows me to get back outside in the mornings before work to get more done in the yard (nothing like doing yard work in 20 degree temperatures :-)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Taos Festivities

Taos really does have some cool stuff. Last weekend was the annual hot air balloon rally. These are pictures taken from our front yard during the Saturday morning mass ascension. We all were fascinated, especially Sage. We went to see the balloon shine that night, but it was cancelled because of the wind. Sage did get to meet one of the balloon pilots, though, and he gave her a card with a picture of balloons on it. She says she “will never lose it.” Too fun.
My family came to visit this week and to go to the Taos Storytelling Festival. The performers were very entertaining. My dad (Tim the Tool Man) decided to put in a new back door. He slaved over it for three days straight and made several trips to the hardware store. He loves that. Keiger spent most of his time in with the power tools. He really likes to play with the hammer. Anyway, the door looks great. We’re going to paint it turquoise to match the front door. (-:
Halloween here in Taos turned out to be so fun. Sage decided to wear her Snow White dress, and Keiger wore a Frankenstein shirt. That was costume enough for me. During the afternoon, we were able to trick-or-treat at the historic downtown plaza. One particular street of shops was decorated with huge spider webs and hanging orange globes that looked like pumpkins. And so many people dressed in fun costumes. It really was charming. Sage, of course, had a ball. Her Elmo bucket was so full of candy, she was too tired to carry it. We did convince her to stuff all her candy under her bed on Halloween night so the “Candy Fairy” could pick it up in exchange for a special surprise. In her case, a new Care Bear, which she adores. On Halloween night, we had a party for some of her little friends and the nursery kids in the ward. We had hot cider and made way too many donuts. Thankfully, Mom and Mackenzie were there to man the stove. The kids made balloon ghosts. It was pretty short and simple, but way fun. We made the milk jug ghosts from the Family Fun October issue. They looked so cool glowing on our front walkway.

I’m glad my family was here so my kids were so entertained because I have been pretty absorbed in the Twilight series of books by Stephenie Meyer. I know it sounds cheesy, but for books about vampires, these are actually very engaging.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Weekly update

Sage and Keiger have been sick this week. Sage has a cold and Keiger has gone through A LOT of diapers. Fun. We went to a family in the ward for dinner and Keiger puked on Jacob several times. It was great. Wish we had a picture. Hopefully, the kids get well since we have preschool here this week and we are going with Jacob to Albuquerque to play while he goes to one of his trainings.

Sage continues to love preschool with her two little friends from the ward. They are both already four, so Sage is definitely the youngest and acts like it in a cute way. It is really sweet to see her shout things like, “Hip hip hooray!” when one of her friends accomplishes even the smallest task. She also has been so excited to create pictures for all of her cousins and her grandparents. As soon as we get stamps, I’ve promised her I’ll mail them. This girl goes through so much glue and tape it’s crazy. She’s really into Angelina Ballerina books right now, and she has decided to be a princess for Halloween. We had a pink princess dress for her, but she’s worn it around so much that it is pretty frayed.

Keiger has actually been pleasantly mellow since he’s been sick. He will sit still and let you read books to him, and since he doesn’t have much appetite, the kitchen has become a much quieter place. He has become so communicative as late. He loves to wave, clap, rub his hands, play peek-a-boo, share, and, of course, follow Sage around. His favorite word is, “ooh.” It’s his exploring word and his “look what I found” word.

I am staying pretty busy. Storytime is a bit time-consuming, but so fun. I know it is cheesy, but Dancing with the Stars has returned. I’m a bit into it. Sage asked if after Family Home Evening tomorrow night, we’d be able to watch Dancing with the Stars. Of course. Nursery is really fun for me, but I would love to hear any ideas on activities to do the kids. I’m having to get really creative. Oh, if you need something romantic to watch and you’re into Pride and Prejudice, I just watched North and South, done by the BBC. So good. Jacob said it was ok….but, he watched it. That says something. Actually, apparently it doesn’t. Jacob just said he watches everything.

Jacob continues to wake up early and putt around the house doing stuff before going to work. His latest project was to clean out the garage so we can park the car in it. Good thing too because we had our first snow today! We were able to find Jacob a nice, cheap pair of skis last week at a ski swap, so we’re excited for the season to come. Even Sage wants to learn to ski this year. This has been a wonderful autumn for us. We’ve really been able to get outside and enjoy how beautiful it is here. I’m still so impressed that there are so many hikes and neat places to play so close to home. And, best of all, we’ve had a backyard with grass and leaves to play in. We are all so grateful for that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Elk Hunting

Due to some great generosity I was able to get an elk tag. It is only a five day hunt (and one day was Sunday), so I was in the woods for four days (THANK YOU, Morgan) but it was beautiful and thankfully I was able to put some meat in the freezer.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What am I doing?

Well, I guess I am doing it - creating a blog. It is probably the best way for you family and friends to 'see' us and hear what we are up to. Morgan will probably do the writing and I will probably we will see how things go. - Jacob