Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Some days I wave.

We are starting to get into a rhythm here at the ranch.
Christian drives the girls into town each weekday at 5:30 a.m. to be at seminary.
I stay in dreamland with the three younger as long as I can.
But usually I am up around 6:45 to run.  I slip out quietly as my littles sleep.
At Fox Hill in Utah, the mountains were behind my 
house and the sun hid behind them
 making exercising nice at most normal hours of the morning. 
(I have to say, I do miss my daily hikes to the Y).
Here in New Mexico the sun is up and the blue sky stretches 
on for miles and miles.  The train rumbles in the distance and every morning
around 7:15, a small plane zips over the ranch property.
I'm thinking its a courier plane coming from Albuquerque
going somewhere... some days I wave.
The classic New Mexico clouds start forming around 11:00 a.m.,
 then in the afternoon typically after lunch, those puffy clouds turn dark 
and a nice rainstorm falls; usually a downpour for a several minutes. 
Then the clouds float away as fast as they came in 
to open up to a magnificent sunset to end our day.  
It's really lovely.

This morning when the girls got home from seminary, 
Jane went back to bed for an hour while Claire and I 
He spends hours and days in the Spring getting this colorful garden in, 
and it is designed to produce the most beautiful and delicious bounty.

Nicholas must have caught (and released) about 50 grasshoppers this afternoon 
 when a downpour caught him in the middle of the field.
I was swinging on the porch with Lottie and the ranch cat "Kevin".
Then it hit me as I was watching him run back to the ranch house,
with rain dripping off his yellow hair: we made the right move coming here.  
We miss home, we ache for the ease of life, and for our family, and friends.  
But life here is unique and grand, and my children are only young once.
Oh, I did see a snake slithering in the marigolds.  
I don't really like that much.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


Yesterday (as you know) was the eclipse, (and I know you know
 because probably like me, your whole social media feeds were of everyone 
with peculiar glasses on or with empty cereal boxes looking at it I right?).
It was pretty amazing, and I was able to view it because 
I used Mr. Nielson's welding mask.
Each of the Little Nies took turns peeking into the welding mask and
 we all got to experience the wonder and miracle of this event.
The New Mexico sky was a little bit overcast, but we managed to view it.
All I can think about is: God is amazing. God has everything under control.
(The Little Nies taking turns with the welding mask near
the garage).

Monday, August 21, 2017

Traditions and belt buckles.

We finally have unpacked enough boxes that I decided it 
was time resume our usual traditions such as: Pizza Night.
And it was also time to start new ones like: Exploring Saturday. 
 (I know it's a cheesy name, I can't think of anything more clever).

Pizza night is an important family tradition
because we've been doing it for years,
 and I knew it would really help us feel settled--
as much as possible right now anyway.
The oven at the ranch house oven is tricky to regulate 
but I think I figured out how to make pizza perfectly.
 I also think we will need to build an outdoor pizza oven in our new homestead.
Everyday I wake up in this beautiful place and stare at so much land, 
land that I am dying to explore.
Each early morning weekday I find and run a new trail
 and one morning after a wonderful run, I came home
and talked to Mr. Nielson about spending our Saturday's
 as a day to explore the ranch as a family.
So last Saturday after jobs were completed, we jumped on the wheeler's and 
Mr. Nielson took us to a place northwest of the ranch headquarters 
where we hiked around dry river beds and rough rock formations.

The sky was dark and ominous as we stopped under a
overhanging boulder and near a huge fallen pine tree to eat our packed lunch.
We had to be back in time for Clane to leave and attend their first
 youth dance with kids from several others areas of New Mexico and Arizona. 
The dance was about 2 1/2 hours away so I drove the girls to the
 local Dairy Queen where they jumped in the car with other
 youth and members of our church congregation. 
 They had tears in their eyes when we said goodbye, because they
were not too keen on the idea of the whole event.
But, Mr. Nielson was pretty adamant they go and meet other kids their ages.
 I was so proud of them for being brave and doing it.
Plus, you can do anything when you have your sister as your bestie.
Around 12:30 a.m. Mr. Nielson drove off the ranch road
in the thick darkness back to the 
Dairy Queen parking lot where he picked up Clane.
 I stayed up until 1:00 waiting for them to come home to tell me about it!
The report was: the first few hours were rough, (get to know you games, 
dancing in front of others--you know things teenagers typically hate-
well, my teenagers anyway). 
But the slow dancing dancing part was fun, they said
and the girls met some cute friends (boys too!).
One of my girls (not mentioning any names), 
danced with the same boy (not mentioning his name either) several times. 
Sounds like they really hit it off, and she was really excited.
He also wore a big belt buckle, and she swoooooned!
(Sure wish I had a pics of the evening).
But I did happen to take a picture of the evening sky
and cotton candy clouds.