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Thursday, November 29, 2012


Our first Holiday in the new house!  I rushed to get everything pre-decorated for Christmas. I wanted Ari and Anthony to see it decorated because they won't be able to make it home for Christmas this year. Thanksgiving went well, lots of good food.  Dinner was great.  I was so glad to have the girls and Anthony come home to visit and my mom and dad drove out.  We spent lots of time catching up, eating, and watching movies.  Saturday, we went out to St. Charles, MO for dinner and to see the town all dressed up for Christmas. I didn't take any new pics this year, but you can follow the link to a previous blog.   

Everyone, this month, has been posting all the things they are thankful for.  I think it's a great idea to take a few minutes and remember how blessed we are.  I didn't get around to doing anything like that this year, but it's been fun reading what everyone's been thankful for.  There are so many things I'm thankful for.  I couldn't begin to list it all.  I'm most thankful to our God for all the promises He keeps and that He cares about all our needs, wants, desires big or small and that He loves us regardless of how we fail.  When you look around the world, it's easy to see we are blessed beyond measure.

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his love endures forever.
Psalm 106:1  NIV

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Narrows

When you are in the mountains, in order to see some of the wonderful sights, you've got to hike in.  One of the most adventurous things I've done so far is to hike up The Narrows.  The thought of it made me pretty nervous, if not scared!  I told John I wasn't planning on going very far, but once we were on our way, I sort of started getting the hang of it.  The Narrows is a thin and steep canyon that is the home of the Virgin River.  So in order to get through it, you have to walk in the river and cross over it many times over slippery rock and fast moving water.  We rented the gear and rather large wooden walking sticks to use to support ourselves when in the water.  I held on to that stick like it was my lifeline!  Many times it kept me from being pushed over by the moving water.  It was an amazing trip and so worth it.  I'm proud of myself for doing it and I went way farther than I thought I could.  It took us seven hours to complete the trip and we didn't even go as far as you can go.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Angel's Landing Hike - Zion National Park

We did many hikes this trip, but one of the most strenuous was going up to Angel's Landing.  It was an uphill climb the whole way.  We didn't actually go all the way to Angel's Landing.  When you get to a certain point, in order to get to Angel's Landing you have to go up a dangerous section of rock with the only thing keeping you from falling off the mountain is a chain.  John thought about it, even started up the first little stretch, sat there for awhile, then decided to come back.  He didn't need to be #7 to fall!  I know hundreds of people do this, but in my mind, it's just not worth the risk.

We started hiking down by the river and followed the path up that goes through the middle of this photo.
The highest peak was Angel's Landing!  And you can see the landing where most people stopped and waited.
Here's the chain link fence you were to hold onto.  Ummm....I don't think so!!
Angel's Landing is at the top of the peak in the middle of this photo...follow the ridge line up.  You can see there is nothing on the other side.  So if you fell...pretty much straight down!


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Zion - A Place of Refuge

Zion National Park earned its name well...a Place of Refuge.  As you drive into the canyon, you are surrounded by walls of mountains and beauty in all directions.  John and I have fallen in love with these massive mountains, often talking about what it would be like to live near them.  We planned this trip hoping to hit the fall color change, but, as it turns out, we were about 2 weeks early.  There was some color change in the higher altitudes.  I'll share some of those later.  It was still beautiful and some of the photos we got are amazing.  We got up and hiked every morning, then enjoyed relaxing time at the pool in the afternoons, great tasting meals at the local restaurants, and hot tub therapy for all my aching muscles in the evening! 

When you stand in the mountains, there is a closeness felt with our Creator unparalleled to anywhere else.  One realizes that this world was no accident, that this incredible place we call home was perfectly placed in the universe and painted by divine design.  It truly takes your breathe away.  And at those altitudes, I mean that physically and figuratively.  ;o) 

Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the whole world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Psalm 90:2 NIV


If you click on this picture, you can see the light reflecting in the waterfall.


Monday, November 5, 2012

Trip to Zion - Springdale and ER

The cute little town of Springdale is the entry point to Zion National Park.  We stayed at the Desert Pearl Inn which sits at the base of a mountain alongside a creek.  This was our second trip to Zion and we really enjoy our stay at the Desert Pearl.  We are always greeted with great service, clean rooms, an awesome pool, and a beautiful view.  And, of course, they make Starbucks Mochas! 

Our second day on vacation brought me a surprise.  As I took an ibuprofen with my coffee, something that had been lodged in my throat moved and closed off my esophagus.  I tried for 4 hours to dislodge what I thought at first was the pill.  But, after several hours, I knew the pill was dissolved and something else was preventing me from swallowing.  So, I ended up in the ER undergoing an endoscopy.  The GI doctor did a biopsy and took some photos as well as removing what was stuck.  It turns out I have a condition called Eosinophilic Esophagitis, EoE.  It's when your esophagus develops allergy cells called eosinophiles that cause the esophagus to become irritated and swollen which causes difficulty in swallowing.  So, it seems I am having some kind of allergic reaction and will be heading to an allergy clinic for testing to determine what is causing this.  I'm other symptoms.  As long as I chew and swallow carefully, no food gets stuck.  Other than being a little tired after the procedure, I had no other problems the rest of the trip.  This condition is hereditary, I believe, running on my Grandma Barb's side.  Even though I was told eight years ago by a nurse practitioner that this was normal to have food get stuck in your throat, I have now learned that isn't the case.  It's not normal!  So I have dealt with the anxiety of this disorder for years when I could have had treatment.  It's a horrible feeling to be out or around people and constantly worrying if what you eat is going to get lodged.  So, I guess it was a blessing this happened and I am now finally getting some answers.  There is a chance, if we determine what is the cause of the allergy, that my esophagus can return to normal. 

One of the local residents!



Famous Bumbleberry Pie

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