Sunday, December 13, 2015

A teenager and a trip to Carlsbad Caverns

We can hardly believe it's beginning.  We have a teenager, and will have one for at least 17 more years.  A person couldn't have a better son than our guy Dallas though, so no complaints.  So far.  We're so happy he's turned 13!  We've been doing the four elements from Avatar each year for his birthday themes, and this year was Earth.  Earth benders are known to travel underground, so we made a day trip to the caves in Carlsbad New Mexico.  It was a no fee day!

The elevators were broken, so we ended up having to hike in and out.  Here's where it began...the cave entrance.  Leia wasn't so sure about this.  For a minute I thought I'd have to sit out the whole thing with her.  She hates dark places and it was pretty scary going deeper and deeper down into this dark hole.

However, though it was very dark, some parts were well lit so visitors could see the beautiful formations.  We spent about 4 hours underground and walked about 3.5 miles during that time.  Charles and Leia walked most of it, though it was very steep.  Going down we were trying to slow ourselves down, but climbing back out was killer.
The flash is unbearable underground!
There were so many neat things to see.  We liked to imagine we lived in these caves to survive a nuclear attack.  There's pure water, and plenty of room.  In fact, it was so big we'd probably get lost from each other forever just trying to go to the bathroom.  And we would need a 10 year supply of lanterns, candles, flashlights and food.  That's all.

It is very cool underground, but very humid.  When I went in my hair was straight.  It just kept getting bigger and curlier the longer we were underground.  Here we're resting before the next climb.

Mom and Dal rounding a corner.

Finally out in the open air and sky.

Of course we drove through Roswell twice.  We saw for ourselves that aliens do exist.  I actually do believe the government covered the truth up.  Pat rolls his eyes at me.

We got dinner at IHOP because that's what D wanted, and luckily it was a kids eat free night.  
Dallas got an MP3 player from his parents, and Sam and Evan got him a Lego set.  It was a pretty awesome birthday!

I feel like I should write up a few paragraphs of what my oldest is like at this point in his life, but really, kids get to the age where they do so much and they really should be speaking for themselves.  Suffice it to say, D is very smart, very distracted by everything when it's time to do math, very helpful in everything I could possibly need, very helpful to his younger brothers and sister, very funny, and very hungry. 

Speaking of hungry... Dallas is my soup (and salad) kid.  He loves it when I make soup (all kinds of soup) and will eat at least 5 bowls full.  We used up every bit of our 18lb. turkey over the week after Thanksgiving, including simmering the bones for 3 days to make this delicious green minestrone soup.

(Below, is D playing one of his latest songs.  I love it when my kids play beautiful music.)
D has three friends, one in each of the three wards in our area, and they all went to the youth dance together this week and actually spent most of the time dancing.  It seems they'd all challenge each other to ask specific girls to dance and then they had to do it.  Once D's friend even challenged him to dance with a mom (an adult chaperone) and he did!  He is about a million times more mature or secure than I was at his age.  Dances used to put me into anxiety attacks when I first started going, and he goes and lives it up!!  It helps that he doesn't much care about what others think of him yet.  I wonder if that will change.

Dallas just wanted brownies for his birthday, so yay!  And we didn't have any birthday candles so he used his candle he made.  I noticed he's wearing his Airbender shirt from two years ago.  We never made Waterbender shirts for last year, but we made awesome Earthbender shirts this year!!!

This just in:  I just found out I got A's in both my English and my Humanities class this semester.  Yay!  I learned that I hate grammar, though I thought I was good at it before.  My good grades on essays made up for my bad grades on grammar tests.  I received good grades on all of the essays and on one of them my teacher even gave me extra credit and said this:

Karissa, wow! This is a perfect evaluative essay. Your thesis is awesome, and you support your points nicely. The paper is interesting, and runs smooth. You have minor grammatical errors. Could you message me a copy of this to use as an example of future classes? I will also give you some extra credit here. Well done. Thank you for such great writing. :)

My Humanities class was all essays, 2-3 a week, so LOTS of writing this semester.  I wonder if I'll even pass the upcoming math and science classes. 


Steph said...

THIRTEEN? Are you kidding me? I remember when he was a baby!! I feel SO OLD! Also, what an amazing teenager that boy is.

I love that picture of Evan! So handsome. I miss your kids and I wish I could squeeze all of their guts out.

By the way, I never got my brownie. Thanks for sharing.

Great job on your classes!! Even with a long trip in the middle, you did it!!

We love and miss you all so much!!

Karisa said...

Thanks Steph. This means a lot to me. :)