Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas and Anniversary

Check out this sunset!

This Christmas was definitely a different one. It was good though. It actually was overcast instead of sunny which was nice. Christmas Eve we went to Old Town Albuquerque. It's a lot like Santa Fe with all the little shops and whatnot.

All the luminarias. These are huge out here. I don't think I'd ever really heard of them before. Everyone puts them out for Christmas Even.
A church where there was a live nativity scene.

The friaris singing. They were reading the Christmas story as it happened. For example, they read about the Wise men and then sang We Three Kings. There aren't any pictures of the nativity because it was too crowded to see much.
Matt and I with his mom, sister Faith and her husband Kourtney.

This tree was huge...except it actually isn't a tree. It's a bunch of trees put together to make one!

Christmas morning!

Then yesterday was Matt and I's 2nd Anniversary!
We took a train to Santa Fe.
The Lady of Guadalupe church (I think there's supposed to be an "Our" before Lady but whatever). Personally, I think it's kind of creepy. I don't know the story behind her, but the guy coming from the ground, pulling up her dress...what's up with that? Also, in front of her, where you can't see, they had a tiny statue of Jesus on the cross. Hmm......

Another church, probably with 'St.' or 'Our' at the beginning of the name, but I can't remember. It's really nice though!
And this is what is inside that mysterious named church: The Mysterious Staircase. It has no middle beam or any sort of support to it. Apparently the "sisters" back in the day needed a staircase that wouldn't take up room for seating. So they prayed. Then some carpenter showed up and built this. I guess architects can't really figure it out. It sure is pretty!
Then we went to this River of Lights back in Albuquerque. Since we didn't get a picture of the train we rode, I figured this would work.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fall continues...

Let's do some comparing...

My backyard November 16, 2005.
Crystal Falls, MI

My backyard November 21, 2008.
Albuquerque, NM

I'll tell ya what, I could really get used to the warm weather here! This week it's been in the upper 60's and lower 70's. Nice. Today is a bit cooler. And this summer was hot. But I love fall, and fall has lasted for like forever here! It's great.
For sure a brown Thanksgiving for us! I know you're jealous Mom. But I do wish we were home with family for Thanksgiving! I think we're going to be going some friends house. It'll be good.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Carlsbad Caverns and Mexico Mission Trip

Last week Matt's mom came out to visit. We weren't able to do too much because we were all so busy. But we were able to go to Carlsbad Caverns!

These pictures totally don't do it justice. It was pretty much impossible to get a good picture in there. It's a huge cave and just really amazing.

These are called like the Giants because well, they're HUGE!The fam with one of those giant thing behind us.See the drop?One of the few that are actually still growing. If you look close you can see that it's wet.

These are called a lions tail. Can you guess why?This is just to show how huge the cave is (and this is just one part!). See the people?


So then this past weekend was our first mission trip to Jaurez, Mexico. It was an awesome trip. I went to Jaurez on my first mission trip with Teen Mania when I was 12 so it was cool to go back, even though I don't remember much. We stayed at a compound of a church there. It was suprisingly really nice. I didn't get any real good shots of it, but both the church and the compound stand out because they're nice and painted real bright colors.

Our van on the way down.
The view from the balacony.The ever faithful watchdog. This is the diningroom area in the compound.

All the ladies.

Saturday morning we split up into smaller groups. My group painted a school, Matt's group mixed and poured cement for someone in the church's shower, and other groups tarred a roof and did some electrical work.

The kids came over and wanted to help, so we put em to work!
This little girl was so cute. She was going and talking to everyone and then she made a heart on the sidewalk next to me.

This seemed to be pretty normal....

The whole gang at the church.
Saturday evening the church was having a futball (soccer) and volleyball tournament. So we went and played and just hung out with the kids. It was really awesome. This is my team.
Matt playing futball. Of course all us Americans pale in comparison to those Mexicans at this game.
Ben's fan club.

The church. It was a really neat building.

This is from the balcony of the church overlooking the volleyball court and soccer field.

Amanda, Lilee and I. Lilee was the coolest girl. She didn't speak English but it was awesome just trying to talk to her. She is 20 and is in college for biology and wants to do something in genetics. I was amazed! She is a Christian and sings for the worship team at the church too. At one point she was asking us girls if we had boyfriends and then we asked her and she said no but she wanted one and then she poiinted up and said something along the lines of "God knows." I was so encouraged just fellowshipping with believers of another country. It's stilly, but I realize now that I didn't view them as the same as us, but they are! Joking around with her and stuff it really humbled and made me realize that we're really all just children of God. And that's neat.
Some of us girls with Lilee and Lube.
Then Sunday morning for church service we helped out. I helped out in the nursery. This little boy got mad at us for not letting him leave. Isn't he cute!

By Sunday afternoon, this is what we all looked like!
And a beautiful New mexico sunset.

Also, Matt and I found out that he can speak Spanish! He can't like speak fluently at all, but enough to get by that's for sure! By the end of Saturday night people were calling him over to help them understand what someone was saying! And the crazy thing is he only took one year his freshman year and got like a D in the class. Guess he's just good at it or something, or maybe it was the Lord. :-D Either way it was awesome, cause like I said, I dont' think he even realized he could speak it that well. The last kids we talked to Saturday night were these two emo girls (Yeah! they have emo girls in Mexico! I was amazed at least) and one of their boyfriends. they were sitting there listening to screamo music, and they even could say screamo when Matt asked about what bands they like (Underoath being one of them!) It was just awesome talking to them. The guy when asked if he goes to church there he said "No, I just listen to music." Does that sound familiar? To me it does, and as I said, it really was a lesson on how there really is very little if any difference between the youth down there and up here.