Everything Leading up to Thanksgiving

Woohoo I get to type in English! I was busy website-translating all morning ;)

My parents, brother, and sister joined me in El Paso for Thanksgiving this year, but they actually arrived the Saturday BEFORE, so we had almost a whole week to help Chris get everything ready for the group from his home church to come and serve approx. 1400 Thanksgiving dinners and explore the sights before we barely had time to breathe for 3 days once they were actually here. I was going to lump everything into 1 entry, but there are sooooo many pictures and I didn't want it to go on forever, so I split it into 2. Look for the other one tomorrow probably. I think it's going to be easiest if I just tell you about what we did as I go...

They got there 2 days after my birthday so we celebrated...AGAIN!...when they got there. This was my 4th birthday cake! I kept Ariel and Flounder ;)

LOTS of Cardinals stuff...just wait until tomorrow's blog...there's more...

Sunday we went to the new worship service at Sin Paredes that started around a month ago. Ministry started there in mid-May but that only consisted of a weekly gathering/meal on Wednesdays. This is what we had to drive through to get there...maybe next time I'll try and find a back way!

The stalls had everything imaginable for sale, and there was even a ferris wheel!

I love the colors of this picture. It's a good thing the building is bright red with a cross on top too since I had only been there a couple of times and didn't exactly remember which street it was on. We found it though, when we saw the building a couple blocks down from where we had turned in the wrong place!

The retaining wall that members of Sin Paredes, San Lucas, and Cristo Rey have been helping build for a couple months now is almost done! Basically, they want to build additional classrooms on the land that would be to the left of this picture eventually but the road is like 3 ft. below it so they have to have something in place so it doesn't collapse.

Much like a couple of the other congregations in Juarez, Sin Paredes has a mini-thrift store going to try and generate some revenue for the church.

All the kids were playing in this big wooden box before the service started so of course I had to go play with them. The funniest thing about this picture is that when Mom was taking it, she counted to three in Spanish--uno, dos, tres--and this one little girl yelled, "cuatro!"

The service was led by Javier and Pastor Martinez, with Rosy there to help out with music and bulletins and stuff. I'd say there were around 30-35 people there with 10-15 kids on top of that.

Monday we went to White Sands National Monument. I had been there once before, in May with Erica and Squared, but thought it would be a cool place to take my family. We started off doing this Junior Park Ranger thingee and we were supposed to find all these things, including some kind of bird...this is as close as we came (fighter jets...the area is also home to White Sands Missile Range).

The trail on the first nature hike we went on.

Sledding in November! Later on we took a family picture to be used on our Christmas cards and when I designed them I put something on there about "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland!"

So Dad wrote this in the sand and took a picture of it...but then he forgot where it was so no one else got to see the real thing...


The last time I came, we wanted to stay for the Sunset Stroll but it got REALLY windy and started pouring so we left. This time the weather cooperated though, and it was worth it.

Kyle, Kara, Mom, and I.

Wednesday we went to Hueco Tanks, another place that I have been before--twice actually--but that I love and think is neat for visitors to see (Tuesday we did some painting on YLM building #1, grocery shopping for the group, and other assorted stuff around the mission). Basically, you take a guided tour on which you climb lots of big rocks and look at lots of cool Indian rock art. It's also a world-renowned place to go bouldering if you're into that. Dad got LOTS of neat pictures of the rock art.

My whole family at Hueco Tanks.

We had a different tour guide this time than I had the previous 2 times, so I got to see a little different side of the park, like the rock that looks like a turtle...haven't seen that before! I have to admit I was getting tired of hearing the same thing. This guy was definitely on Mexico time since the tour was like 3 hours long, but you could tell he was totally in love with the place because he had lots of neat stories about the art and knew a ton about the vegetation. I learned that "alamo" means "cottonwood."

Here is all of us doing some of the painting I mentioned above, which was one of the Our Father group's assigned work projects; the other was working on a trailer in Horizon City. Yes, they did 2 work projects in 3 days in addition to serving 1400 meals.

The colors are called "Queen Anne's Lace" and "Burgundy Wine." Eventually the rest of the buildings are all going to get painted too.

You had to paint the window trim THROUGH these metal bars, which eventually got repainted as well. It was a pain until you had the technique figured out.

The group from Our Father got there on Wednesday evening, and as soon as they unloaded all their vehicles, we all went to Andale for dinner. SOMEONE told the waiters that had been my birthday recently (P.S. I got my 5th helping of birthday cake!)...I'm not going to say names but I think it might have been Chris...

The craziness began the next day...

Until next time, blessings!


chill said…
Yup, it was me. I told them. Sorry. At least you didn't put any pictures up of the first 2 cakes I tried to make for you that both stuck to the pan, even though I put like a whole can of pam in the pans for the second cake. Fired Up.