Tuesday, March 6, 2012

880 Miles

(Ok, I know that these next few posts happened over the last two months, but I'm going to go ahead and blog about our adventures as a keepsake for our family.  I hope you enjoy reading about our January and February adventures.)

Whew...we made it all the way across Texas!  It's 880 miles.... Beaumont to El Paso!

Remember from the last post that we "raced" across Texas to beat the impending snow storm???  Well, this was it!  If you look closely, you can see the flakes :)  The kids were so disappointed that they didn't wake up to 2" of snow to play in.  However, you would not believe how excited they were when it started "snowing" at 9:00am!  They ran out side to catch snowflakes on their tongues.  And they did!  It was so "warm" though that as soon as the snowflakes were hitting them, they melted.  So really... the were soaking wet like they had been playing in rain :)

Pure joy!

What we didn't get at the base of the mountain was there on the top of the Franklin Mountains!  So pretty!

We had a great 5 amazing days in El Paso (January 8-12).  A major reason El Paso was a must stop on our journey is that our eldest daughter, Faith was born there at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center.  We showed her the sights of her birth city... the border town we called home for 3 years.  The best part of our tour of duty there was our little jalapeño and some dear amigos y amigas that we made.

First, we enjoyed the sights of El Paso, our old house, Ft. Bliss Army Post, seeing the hospital that Faith was born in, some of the famous shops, driving along the border and looking at Juaréz, Mexico (we did not cross the border in El Paso), sharing our "before kids" history with our kids.

Enjoying the El Paso Saddleblanket Co.

They don't call 911 in Texas!

The Rio Grande and Juaréz, Mexico at sunset.
Juaréz, Mexico
The border crossing at night in downtown El Paso...over this bridge is Juaréz, Mexico.
(Sorry it's blurry... we were driving by it without stopping!)

Then, we enjoyed visiting with old friends.  The last time we all saw each other our first borns were all babies!  Even though it's been 12 years since we last saw each other, it was as if we saw them only last week.  Dear friends are like that :)  Watching our kids play together and establish new friendships was priceless.  We are so blessed that God has placed such amazing, sweet people in our life at the perfect time.  The Grays and the Greens are two families that were such a blessing to us back in the late 90's and again... 12 years later.

The Gray and Montgomery children 

The Green children with the Monty kids

We also did a lot of school in the mornings, then headed out in the afternoons for *F*U*N field trips!!!

First field trip:   White Sands National Monument... Alamogordo, NM.

We always start our time at national parks in the visitor center...to learn about the park and to pick up Junior Ranger books.

Working hard on their Junior Ranger books.
After working on their badges in the visitor center we head out for a nature hike, as required to earn the badge.  

This was a GREAT park ranger...she LOVED her job!  What a joy for the kids!

After earning their Jr. Ranger Badges, our friends the Greens joined us for a picnic and sledding!!!  

Jolie catching air off the jump!

Faith spinning down the hill.

DT giggling all the way down!

Thank-you Lord for another fabulous day!

Second field trip:  The Border Patrol Museum

This is a neat little museum.  We learned the history of the Border Patrol and their vision.  We got to play in vehicles they used "way back in the day".  There were also a few "vehicles" on display that were confiscated by those attempting to cross our borders.  We were impressed with the valor and courage with which Border Patrol agents serve America.  They are an often forgot agency responsible for the defense of America.

The symbol of the Border Patrol

This is a homemade motorcycle used to smuggle illegals across the border, often 4-5 on the bike at once!

See the boat in the picture below:

This smuggler's boat was made from 2 truck hoods!  

Our third field trip:
Hiking and Geocaching in the Franklin Mountains State Park

First things first...SNOWBALL fights before hiking!!!!

Hiking the Cottonwood Trail...if you look in front of us... you'll see where the trail leads:
all the way ahead and UP the mountain!

Yeah, we were prepared to hike in snow :)

It's so much fun hiking in the snow!!!  The kids were very happy :)

Made it to the top!
The reward:  a GREAT view 

Long hike down... 

We took the Geomate Jr. (http://mygeomate.com/) that we got the kids for Christmas out for the day's adventure.  We hiked, geocached, and we found our first two caches!!!!!

Our very first cache!!!  Whoop!!!  This one is called Agave Hill.

Cache #2

Cache #2
What is a cache?  What is geocaching?  Check out:  http://www.geocaching.com/  to learn what this fun hobby is all about!  We're modern day treasure hunters :)  2 caches found... only 1,667,351 more to find!

Adios El Paso and the great state of Texas...

Sunset over the Franklin Mountains


  1. Love the picture of the kids jumping at the top of the hill. Such a great adventure you're taking. Family memories that will last a lifetime... :)

    1. Hi Bonni... I love that picture, too :) Maybe we'll make it to your neck of the woods this summer!

  2. Awesome. We are on our way in the End of May to go live in FT. Bliss for the year while Scott attends E9 school. Theses pic's make us very excited!! any recommendations on churches?

    1. We attended Abundant Living Faith Center on the east end of town (http://www.alfc.com). I highly recommend Calvary Chapel Sun City on the west side of the mountain (http://www.ccsuncity.org). The friends we mentioned in the blog post... the Grays, are the pastors there. They planted the church when we lived there in the late 90's. They are the most precious family. Enjoy your time in El Paso!