Thursday, July 24, 2008

On Top of the World

I think that the best way to get a little perspective on priorities is to get away from all of you "priorities" for a little. Earlier this week I drove the family along with my mom, up to the top of the Sandia Mountains. Up where you can actually see the curvature of the earth, given a moment of silence, things tend to re-focus and you regain a grip on the hectic pace of things below.

It is not always a euphoric moment preceded by a bright light, more often, it is a simple "oh yeah" moment. 

Monday, July 21, 2008

Bikers Dudes and Guns

Uncle Bob and Nathan getting ready for a ride

Uncle Bob  pleading with me not to mangle his bike.

Many men become dads but fail to become fathers. My uncle Bob did just the opposite. He had no kids of his own and when my own father died when I was ten, Uncle Bob stepped up to the plate and took us camping, shooting and taught us many of the lessons in life that only a father can.

Today, Nathan and I spent the morning with Uncle Bob and Aunt Debra. Their house is a young boys paradise. Bob has a huge collection of animal skulls, collects guns and has a new motorcycle. He took Nathan out on the bike (I got to ride too, which only strengthened my resolve to get a bike,) then he showed off his skulls and guns. Nathan got to keep the slug to a .45. What better gift can you give a ten year old boy? He has palmed it for most of the afternoon.

After lunch Uncle Bob and Debra came up to mom's for a delicious lasagna lunch followed by a huge water fight. Tons of fun... except that my wife tried to stick me with a broken gun while she soaked me with her perfectly good one. }:-(

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Breakfast on the veranda

The name of the blog is small town, small house, big life. You may be wondering why... you may not. If you are, here is an explanation. Carlsbad is definitely a small town, not only in population, but it is made smaller by it's isolation for surrounding towns. It is a good hours drive to the nearest Starbucks. (For those who are unaware, Starbucks is an establishment that masquerades as an expensive coffee house, but has no idea what coffee is. more on that later.) But I digress. The second part of the name is "Small house". So named because we purchased a smaller, less expensive home to avoid debt.

While we enjoy not having a huge house payment, 1,000 sqft can get a little cramped. Especially when the single bathroom is occupied or when the girls are watching High School Musical 2 in the living room and Nathan is watching Dirty Jobs in our bedroom.

We have looked at various solutions for creating more space, but they all end up increasing debt. The week after Vacation Bible School, I was hit with an epiphany (didn't hurt). Our front yard is shaded by a large pecan tree but the small concrete slab that serves as our front porch isn't very comfortable to sit on. And so, last week we built a front porch. It is open to the sky (no roof) and it still needs a few finishing touches, but it is like we added a new room to the house. I have never thought of myself as much of a handyman, but I must say that it looks like a right proper porch. .

The girls use it both for a river boat and for tea parties. Kerri and I enjoy a good cup of coffee in the evening and if we ever get up early enough, it will be a perfect spot for breakfast.

Oh and the last part of the name of the blog... Big life, well, even in a small house located in a small town in the middle of the high plains desert, a life lived to it's full potential is nothing if not BIG. 

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Commenting on the Blog

For those of you who are new to blogging, you can leave relevant comments below each posting by simply clicking the word "comment" at the end of each post.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Build-a-Bunny Workshop

We have just arrived home from an overnight trip to El Paso, TX to visit our good friends, the Brittons and to celebrate Ruthie's sixth birthday at Chucky Cheese. Aside from the great time spent visiting with Betz and Julian and Kenya and Xander, the highlight of the visit was a trip to the Build-A-Bear Workshop. If you have little girls and haven't been, make tracks quickly. At the workshop, kids build their own stuffed animal from the stuffing up. (kind of like Frankenstien, but not as scary.) Ruthie chose the hull of a cute stuffed bunny rabbit, stuffed it to the perfect softness and dressed it a white "CHEETAH GIRLS" tee, a pink skirt, denim sandals and underneath it all, bunnyrabbit underpants (complete with a hole for the tail). She named her bunny, Hopsalot, because it hops a lot. 

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Ruthie Roo

Our little girl hit the big six today. It doesn't seem like six years since I was racing across town in order to get the the hospital. There was a time before 2002 when we could not imagine what she would look like, how she would sound, or even that she would have such beautiful "lellow" hair.

Now we can't imagine life without her.

Happy birthday Ruthie.

Monday, July 14, 2008

How fragile this life is

On a rather sobering note, returning from Roswell we were informed that our next door neighbor was killed in an auto accident. We are not sure if she knew Jesus and honestly did not make much of an effort to find out while she lived next door. She was a nice neighbor, quiet and friendly. Our sympathies go out the her family.

It is also a wake up call to us. Maybe we should spend a little less time in front of the TV and a little more energy getting to know our neighbors.

Keep your kids off the sidewalks

This last weekend was my 36th birthday. I would like to thank Dave Bryant for pointing out that I am now closer to being 70 than I am to my actual birthday. Thanks a lot Dave.

For the weekend of my birthday, the beautiful Mrs. Christensen took the kids and me up to Roswell, NM for the weekend. While she and the kids splashed around in the hotel pool (The kids can swim now, thanks to two weeks of swimming lessons) I spent the majority of the time in "Motorcycle School". I completed the Motorcycle Safety Beginners course with flying colors! Although flying is one of the things I hope not to be doing on or rather off of a motorcycle anytime soon.

I am now searching for an inexpensive cruizer. Hopefully we can save a little gas, but that is not the main reason. Maybe I am having a midlife crisis... who knows? Maybe next I will try skydiving or learn how to ride bulls? (kidding... Kerri and mom).

Teaching at NMSU Carlsbad has some major perks. Being off for two months in the summer is definitely one of those. Not only does it allow me to direct our Vacation Bible school (15 kids saved!!!!) it also allows for side trips and spending time with the kids.

Right now I have to go purty myself up for a new drivers license picture... with motorcycle endorsement! 

Note: The photo is not my bike, just a 3D model of a 1946 Indian Chief that I made last spring using Maya. Those bike run in the mid $50,ooo range today.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I guess this is it.

Here we are on the edge of the great void known as "blogging". One might think that I would have adopted this media a bit sooner, seeing as how I am on the computer ten hours a day and am supposed to be one of the more "digital" guys at work.

But here I am after 36 years, tentatively creeping onto the blog scene, years after the rest of the world... sigh.

In the near future I hope to add photos and interesting newsy stuff about my family and friends. For now those, let this post serve as evidence that the Carlsbad Christensen clan has an online presence at long last.