December 10, 2012


Hello Family and Friends!

Another year has passed - and while putting together this year's update page, I had to think long and hard about material. I mean, not a whole lot happened this year. I know that sounds boring, but I think we're good with boring - for once. Last year we had broken legs and constant travel. The year prior - more travel. The year prior, medical expenses and more travel. You get the picture. So, yes, boring is just fine.

This was the first year in many that I had fewer than 10 flights, and it looks like -thanks to a company field re-alignment- 2013 will net me even fewer trips. I am pleased about that - I've had enough travel from the past couple of years to last me a while. I still get a pang in my stomach now when I drive to the airport for any sort of travel.

But - speaking of flights - we did take a trip to Houston this summer to see family and friends.

In Houston, while staying with Dave's sister's family, we had a few opportunties to swim in their pool. The kids have really had not had a lot of opportunities to spend time around pools and/or to fully appreciate water (hey - we live in the desert). Upon returning home, Dave made a commitment to teach the kids to swim. We started at the local water complex which was just recently built in our growing area. I managed to take a bit of video of the process and posted it to our videos (I'll admit, I have a little work to do with video editing).

Pics of the various pools in the area that we spent summer days teaching Elyce and Gavin the basics of swimming. While they are not completely fluent in the skillsets, they came a long way by the end of summer.

Ironically, Troy called a few weeks prior to our trip saying he and his family was travelling west to see New Mexico ... the same week we were flying to Houston. We tried to back plans out and reschedule, but it simply was not possible for either of us at that point. It was a predicament that we had live with but end up laughing at. While we were in Houston seeing family, he was out here being a tourist. The day after the night we flew back home, we did have a chance to catch up -albeit briefly- over breakfast in a nearby town before they drove back east.

l to r: Gavin trying on glasses at the local optometrist (not real happy about this, as you can see). Gavin and Elyce both receiving their "Student of the Semester" awards in their respective grade levels. Spring was a lot more fun this year since we had the work/landscaping done in the back.

Both Elyce and Gavin received the "Student of the Semester" this year in both of their respective grades - which really pleased each and the parental unit. Elyce got it for the first semester of the year - and Gavin, seeing the adulation and pomp, decided he would do whatever he could to be designated the same in his own class. He is extremely competitive - extremely. But he did it - and we where all pretty psyched about it.

Tina spent a lot more time this year with some plants we've tried to grow in the past. In the past we have attempted to grow various fruit-bearing plants, but prior to the landscaping/construction we had done over the past couple of years it was difficult to yield anything as the rabits and other wildlife could easily access and destroy anything that was grown. This being our first full spring/summer with the landscaping we had done, it afforded many more areas in which Tina could plant. She grew a HUGE pumpkin, a gargantuan-sized cabbage (for a contest at the kids' school), and a tomato plant that went pretty crazy towards the fall. I think, due to the agricultural successes she experienced this year outside, we may see a pretty bountiful harvest in '13. I have to admit, it was pretty cool picking fresh tomatoes off the vine and having them in salad that night.

Gavin FINALLY lost his first tooth in October. About a month later, we received a notice from his school that a routine optical test at school necessitated him to get his eyes checked by a doctor. We took him to an eye-doctor and he came home with glasses. He wasn't too thrilled about it, but it was eye-opening (no pun inteneded) just how much his vision was off. We think it may have even had something to do with his broken leg last year, as his depth perception was way off. Fortunately for him, these probably won't be a permanent thing - just long enough to fix a 'lazy eye'.

  l to r: Gavin and Grandpa Fox during a visit in the spring. In Houston at Kemah Boardwalk, feeding the seagulls. Getting off the plane from our trip to Houston in the summer. Troy and Dave for a brief breakfast while crossing paths in New Mexico.

No dog yet. But I think that by our next holiday update that may be changing. Can't really get into too many details here (kids would hold us to it), but much of this decision lies on preparation of some semblance of a kennel that I have designated to build behind the house. At this point the area is cleared out and half-built block walls are built. With Spring will come wall completion, gate installation, and stucco. Additionally, we are working to ensure the kids understand the responsibility before making that move.

l to r: Sweet Rolls at Frontier on Mothers' Day. Yep ... I took a picture of a salad - Fresh Tomatoes from our tomato plant this year which we were particularly proud of. One of the kids' new cousins this year - Maya. Elyce as some weird Vampiress and Gavin as an Ice Ninja on Halloween.

In October, Dave took a week off to get some outstanding projects completed around the house ... frankly, many of the outside ones were delayed as our neighbor was in the middle of his addition and from about 8am to 6pm every day we heard this sound. That must be some sort of torture used by some country somewhere - hearing it for hours on end. In the course of our neighbor buidling his additon, we had the joy of discovering our leach field for our septic system was on our neighbors property. So we had to move it. It could have been a lot worse, actually. The innitial quotes I was getting was around $10,000. We managed to get it to around 5k. Frankly, poop is the last thing I'm wanting to spend $5,000 on, but at least we now know our septic system is sound in location and condition. When we first moved back to NM and when we were looking for homes, one thing that we really appreciated about this house was the rustic attributes like dirt roads and the larger-than-suburbia plot. But its land-space and non-cookie cutter benefits come with a price - but we understand that and always have. With the growth we are seeing out here, I can't imagine it being too much longer before these characteristics change. We've already begun discussing larger space, so who knows what the future will bring ...

The kids gained two new cousins this year with the birth of Maya and . Tina has been driving into Abq once a week to help Kim out, as an extra hand (as we certainly remember) is always appreciated by a new mom.

Otherwise, as said, it was a quiet year out here. Check out 2012 (still a tad unorganized ... trying to find moments in this lifetime to truly organize, tag, etc this part of the site) pics here.

We hope you have a great holiday season - and thanks for stopping by. And as always, Drop us a line if you're bored.

Dave, Tina, Elyce, and Gavin