Tuesday, March 3, 2009

And this is White Sands National Park! It was cool...literally and poor Hanny got a bit of a burn on her cheeks! If you can see sight, it is a recommend! Also, one of the pics is the girls rendition of the Sand Canyons--cute huh? Hannah thought of that! I guess she gets humorous when she begins on delirious--setting in from the heat! My girls are so darn cute! We told Hannah she is quite the comedian and she shrugged her shoulders and said in a very matter-of-fact way, "I know, it's what I do!" That's my girl!

Hey All!
This is the Hot Springs Pool...and Zeke upset he can't go in! HEE HEE!

In the morning we tested out the brakes and they were indeed fine. We didn’t feel completely at ease with the answer the park manager had given us, but more at ease that our God was going to keep us from harm, just as he has, had and will.
We made our way to the cliff dwellings, which were more spectacular than the ones in northern NM. We all agreed that the Mesa Verde dwellings are now on our list to see which are the largest in the US and in CO.
Pics posted. There is little I can say about this except go and see them. It is a history lesson in itself. Just amazing, simply amazing.
We then ventured onto a town called Truth or Consequences. It used to be called Hot Springs, but as the story goes, the TV show challenged any town to change the name of the town if they came and did a show there. The town accepted and ever since the annual Truth or Consequences Reunion is held there. The town is known for its fabulous medicinal hot springs. Of course we had to check it out. When Nick and I traveled to Hot Springs, AR we wanted to take a bath, but it was quite pricey (about the same for a massage). In T or C, you can get a spring bath for $6.00. The whole family went and we had our own private pool. It was sooo neat. The water comes up out of the rocks and depending on how warm your preference can you can choose a bath from 99-110 degrees. We had a bath at 99 degrees so the kids could bath. It was great. Our skin was sooo soft after we came out. There are over 36 minerals found in the water of the spring baths making it a phenomenon of medicinal healing.
That night we spent the night in Las Cruces, NM.
The next morning we went to service in Las Cruces (meaning the city of crosses). It was a great service and the church was so welcoming. We got invited to and enjoyed a tasty potluck and then warmly invited to a home to continue fellowship. It was a great hug from God extended through wonderfully kind and generous people.
That night we spent the night in Alamogordo, NM (which means the fat cotton wood) and headed to White Sands National Monument. It was out of this world. I have never seen sand so white and the kids were in heaven…running, playing, rolling, skipping, digging, spinning through the dunes and all there splendor. It was remarkably cool in the dunes so we forgot about sunscreen. Everyone is a bit pink except Hannah who is crispy. I feel awful. I should have known better. It felt like air conditioning in the dunes and we were all wearing sweatshirts. It totally slipped my mind and poor Hanny’s cheeks are just red apple red.
Tonight we are in a State Park just outside of Carlsbad and will go see the Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow. We’re all pumped! I will try to get on as many pics as I can.
Miss you all, just not Wisconsin winter! Please keep us in your prayers!

The next morning, after doing some research on-line, we figured out the problem with the bathroom. To tell you in short, there was access blocking the hole closure in the toilet not allowing it to shut all the way. I forgot to mention that at the same time the water pump went out at the same time. We decided the pump could wait. We decided we would head to the nearest town to an assisted living facility to sing for the residents. We arrived prepared to sing and were awaiting for the rest of the troops to arrive while the residents that were gathered looked at us like, “Watcha waiting fer?” We asked the resident assistant how many more we coming and were informed that those gathered WAS all the residents. There were seven of them and they enjoyed our singing. One cute lady was trying to keep up with the gestures the kids were doing along to one of the songs. It was again a blessing, I believe more to us than to them. So now the real test came…would something crazy follow?
We headed to Silver City which is the last stop before the 2 ½ hour hike up and around a mountain to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. We stopped at a grocery store to pick a couple things up and noticed a homeless person lingering around. We offered him, Steve, some oranges and some money. It has been our experience so far with the homeless, that they are amazingly humble and often times refusing our giving. Steve, said he only needed one orange, but did accept when Nick insisted he take them all. What a blessing for us. The kids have been the look-out squad and whenever there is someone to be helped you can garutnee one of the kids has spotted them.
We continued on our route into the mountains. There is only one way in and one way out. The sights were absolutely amazing. It was a 10-15 accent which took us an hour and a desent down in 3 miles that took 20 mins! There were warning signs along all the turns (which are also called switch backs) to stay in low gear (using brakes as little as possible). It was near the end of our descent when Nick started hollering, “Brakes, Brakes, Brakes!” I had no idea what was going on. I thought he was screaming at someone outside the vehicle, until I saw him pumping on the RV brakes and all I could hear was the hissing sound of air. We had NO brakes and Nick was trying the best he could to keep us on the road and not in an accident. We finally scaled to a stop and just stayed a minute in the middle of the road with dropped jaws and blank stares. What had happened was nothing short of a miracle. If we would have lost our brakes even one turn sooner we would have shot of a cliff side at 7,500 ft above ground. We had no idea how to proceed as we had no idea what was around the next corner. How could we proceed with no brakes? Nick accelerated to only a couple miles per hour and was able to basically coast into the RV park that we had scoped out before hand. It was just 1/5 of a mile up the road. God is good. Another attack and our lives had been spared. But why? Why such the dramatic attempts by the enemy? After singing at the old age home and helping the homeless…two hours later...BAM..once again! We were told by the park manager that overheated brakes is VERY common coming down that mountain side and on several occasions he had literally witnessed people rolling into their park with smoking breaks. That night we made dinner and praised God for life. Again, fustrated…I had to wonder was it God telling us to go home…shutting the doors….or Satan rearing his ugly mug because he’s been disturbed at our love for the Lord and others? My mind was put to rest when I came along this passage:
Psalm 121-
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Well, there certainly has been quite a series of events since I last wrote. Hang in there...here we go…
We stayed in Benson, AZ for another night at the RV Park, which is 30 mins south of Tucson. The kids loved hanging out in the pool. We got to tour a HUGE RV…the diesel pushers that look pretty much like those HUGE tour buses you see on the highway. It was a presentation at the RV Park and so we thought...free doughnuts, why not? I absolutely can not believe how much room is in those beasts. It was absolutely incredible as well as absolutely expensive! The salesman said they usually go for a quarter mill but because of the market they are being given away at slightly over cost…$90,000-100,000. Go ahead, you can choke, I did. So we measled our way back to our small class C, feeling VERY cramped, BUT very fortunate we picked this thing up for a small, small, small fraction compared to that price. Before we left the park, we asked if we could perform in their banquet hall that afternoon at 3:00 p.m. We had a whopping crowd of seven; however there was one couple that wouldn’t stop complementing us on the music and our wonderful family. Big blessing come in small packages and it was a blessing to sing for those that came to listen.
We had to make one stop before leaving town and we began to smell a REALLY foul scent. We immediately started searching out the window at where on earth it could be coming from…cows? Nope. Some sort of factory? Nope. Nick thought perhaps it was the number of RV campgrounds and all the waste from sewer stations. Anyhow, the girls and I were like…”Wow, that is awful!” Nick added, “Yeah, let’s get out of this stinky town!” We saw some trains on a nearby track and Nick said, “Maybe it’s those trains.” We got on the highway and were once again in the desert. We had been traveling for only about 5 miles and now there was absolutely nothing around, and the stench was still present. I said to Nick, “Honey, I think you better pull over as soon as you can…something is NOT right.”
Not knowing exactly why we were smelling the foul stench, we definitely knew it was coming from our bathroom area and there was going to be no way to keep driving. The air blowing through that area fumigated the RV and we all felt like vomiting. It was like riding in a big terd.
We pulled off at the next exit and found an RV park and that night Nick and I sat in dismay wondering WHY all these things were happening. Was God purposely shutting doors, in effort to get us to go home or was it just the devil trying once again to discourage us. It seemed as if we had a pattern…every time we sang somewhere…BAM...attacks from the enemy. We were not going to give in and both agreed that as soon as we figured out the dilemma we would find some where to sing praises to God (even in this storm).
That night I had the biggest headache ever! Nick and I decided to play cards to get our minds off of it all and while playing I just began to laugh out loud. Nick looked at me and said, “What?” I could barely speak and I said, “Let’s get out of this stinky town,” remembering how we were trying to blame the foul scent on anything but us. We both busted out in laughter, barely being able to breathe. It was great. God is awesome…He even provided us with comic relief.
I will post pics and write more on our following days in another entry so it isn’t too long…To be continued….