Sunday, May 15, 2016

And her name is????

In the fine tradition of naming our cars, we have finally named the newest edition of our car family....

Erza "the Beast" Walles

Some of you may be wondering why we would need such a big car since we only have two kids. Well all we can say is that we smell a change in the air. And so you will just have to wait and see what grand things lay in our future.


Lucy Asuna Walles

So we have a new member of the family, a kitten named Lucy. She is frisky and full of pep. In fact, we wonder who keeps sneaking her "speed" and putting it in her food cause she goes into this lightning mode that is 100mph. It's crazy!!  It's like she's trying to impersonate Dash from The Incredibles without ACTUALLY being a superhero.

She is so tiny compared to Rambo, but way more active, and has a lot of character to boot.

She loves to attack ANYTHING that moves around.

Josh even enjoys her when she isn't freaking out.  We think.

Lucy has been good for not just us but to Rambo as well. She gets him fired up and active and they "wrestle" all the time. They act like all siblings should. One moment their best friends the next mortal enemies. 

Journalism Class.....Rocks!!!

Meagan had such a blast being involved with this class. She started out the year looking like...

As the year went by and the MANY deadlines came and went, she ended the year looking like this...

She had such a good time with the kids in class and they all joke about the deadlines and the sleepless nights etc... it was great!!

Two examples of their newspaper can be found HERE and HERE.  By the end of the year, the last paper they did, they decided to make it as fun as they could so they made a joke paper, which can be found HERE.


Let's do some hard things!!!

Meagan had a class last semester called, "Do hard things". In it, she was pushed out of her comfort zone to help serve and love others. She decided not to take it the second semester, but anyone who took it could help out with some of the service they did in the new semester. Meagan chose to help out at The Ronald McDonald house, and make breakfast for families living there while their son/daughter/siblings were in the hospital.

They chose to wake up early on their day to sleep in (Saturday) and cook. Meagan said she really enjoyed it and loved talking to people and helping out whereever she could.

I am so proud of the young woman she is becoming. You amaze me Meagan and always remember, "Never give up... Never surrender!!"


Sun-up or sun-down.....Texas style

I have always been a scenery loving person, and the move to Lubbock was a complete shock to my system. The hardest part of the move here was that I knew that my days of watching trees and mountains and the beauty of scenery was over......Or so I thought.

There is beauty in everything the Lord creates, and it took me a while to see it here in West Texas.
I present you the beauty of sun-ups and sun-downs.

All I can say is WOW... such radiant, vivid, beautiful streaks of color. There is amazing artistry all around.  Sometimes you can see it right away, and sometimes it takes time, but there is such beauty to be held here in Lubbock too.

- Sarah                   

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Ward Father-Son Campout nearly blew us away!

Ever since we were not able to make the ward Father-Son campout last year, Jacob has been anticipating this year's campout.  We drove up to Camp Post with a friend and his 4 sons and, though late, were still the first ones there.  Others soon followed, though not as many as I had expected, and we made our way to the campsite.  When we got there, what we found was an abundance of life that I don't normally see in Texas, including a snake.  One of the other brothers caught it so that the children could have a closer look.  Jacob was NOT shy.  I, personally, was content to take the picture.

We set up the tents and none too soon.  It immediately began to rain.  About 45 minutes of rain and high winds, and it stopped.  Afterward there was a beautiful double rainbow to remind us of God's majesty.

In typical "guy" fashion, we ended up with pizza and chips for dinner.  Junk food of champions.  But it was a good bunch and some good conversation.  The kids had fun talking together and I got to know some of the dads that I didn't usually get to associate with much outside of church.

During dinner, our entertainment was one of the better lightning storms I have ever seen.  Got a little bit of it on video to share, but by this time, the battery on my phone was running out, so it's not very long.

Dessert was, of course, smores which is ALWAYS a kid-favorite.  Even with all the rain, both what we had already had and everything that was to come, the fire stayed going

The rest of the night, was an adventure.  Starting at about 11:00 PM, the wind picked up and it started raining.  Our tent might as well have been a sail.  The rain flap was about vertical and, as those of you who have spent any time camping in "modern" tents know, the ceiling of the actual tent is not solid, but mesh (to let out the body heat because the nylon of the tent would trap it and make the inside a suffocating, humid, bucket of suck.  Mesh, however, has no problem letting rain in, so we started to get wet.  I spent some time, half in the tent, half out, trying to tie down the rain tarp so that it didn't blow up as high as it was.  It took a bit, but I was moderately successful.  At that point, the ground was saturated enough that the stakes of the tent started coming up, collapsing portions of the tent on our gear.  Naturally, when that happens, the gear soaks water through the tent so it got all wet too.

The wind got even stronger, and as nice as those tents are, the fiberglass poles that bend and dome so well, do not stand up well to Mother Nature when she gets serious about blowing something down.  So in an effort to allow Jacob to hopefully get some sleep, I stayed up and attempted to keep those poles bent the way they were intended: in a dome OVER us.  I was mostly successful.  This lasted until about 4:00AM, when the wind finally died down, and the rain slowed down enough that I did not have to fight the tent anymore.  I managed to get about an hour of sleep (maybe a little less), until the wind and the rain picked up again at about 5:00AM.  This lasted another hour and a half or two hours where, once again, I did battle with the tent and Mother Nature.  Things finally calmed down around 7:00 in the morning.

Despite the lack of cooperation of the weather, and much of our gear getting soaked, Jacob seemed to have a really good time spending moments with me and with some of his friends that were there.  And that was really why I went: to spend time with my son, even if we did it in a man-made water container.

He seems happy enough in the picture below.  Of course, that could just be the look of a boy wolfing down a smore.  Either way, I'll take it and call it a success.

Perhaps one day, we'll be able to go camping without a "weather-related incident" causing havoc (tornado alley, I'm looking at YOU).  Until then, I guess I'll take whatever I can get.  The kids are growing up fast.  Both Sarah and I are trying to make as many memories as we can and are capable of with them.  They'll be on their own soon enough, and when they are, I want them to be able to remember fondly how their parents loved them and wanted to spend time with them, even in the rain.

- Josh                     

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Three Amigos!!!

Jacob, Ben, and Daniel are considered the Three Amigos. Whenever our families get together, you will always see these kids off adventuring into many new worlds and places. Usually they are in the world of Minecraft, or in the world of Zelda, or off adventuring with Super Mario etc..

They always have fun when we get together and, just like any sibling knows, there are times when we just don't get along. These boys are brothers forever (and I wouldn't want it any other way).

- Sarah