City of Rocks National Reserve

On May 12th, we unexpectedly lost our husband and father due to a pulmonary embolism.
Tevya’s funeral will be held at the Melba, Idaho Cemetery on May 22 at 1 pm. On May 21 there will be a viewing at Zeyer funeral home in Nampa — 4-6pm for family and 6-8pm for friends. Though slightly unconventional due to the current pandemic, all are invited to attend.

I am in awe of the tender mercy it has been to spend our last year together travelling the world with our little family and creating so many beautiful memories together. It was a growing experience for all of us, but over the past few months I was keenly aware of the growth I witnessed in Tevya. He truly came alive as we were finally living our dream, exploring ancient places and living the essentialist lifestyle that he had worked so hard for so long to afford us. My love for my best friend deepened as we took teamwork to a whole new level. He was thoughtful & calm, strong & tender, generous, funny, dependable, and smart. He is a fantastic father who had a special relationship with each of his children, and loved teaching them the gospel. I have never felt a sadness so deep, but also the peace from the love of so many. I’m trying to keep in mind the family motto we wanted to display once we settled and found a home. “Ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” (2 Nephi 31:19-20)

We love you forever, Tev 💙

Grutas Arcotete – San Cristobal De Las Casas, Chiapas

Throwback to our last adventure in Mexico! We had heard about the awesome nature parks in the mountains outside of San Cristobal, so we got a taxi to take us out there and explored a bit. The big kids loved the zipline that had two levels over a beautiful canyon, they explored the cave a bit, and all the kids played on the tire swing for at least an hour.

Cascada El Chiflon

Jill wasn’t feeling well, so I took the older 3 to explore the El Chiflon water falls. They were gorgeous. We really enjoyed being in the water again. It wasn’t as hot outside and the water was much colder than what we’d been used to at the beach. Lorelai had to sit out and warm up frequently. It was a great adventure.

This is from around a month ago. Catching up, now that we’re well and settled into “hunker down” mode in the US.

Ruinas De Tenam Puente

We stopped in Comitán so we could visit a few sites near the border. It was amazing to see this city called Tenam Puente, with steps leading to 5 terraces. We climbed all over and enjoyed having the place to ourselves.

Antigua Guatemala, Sacatepequez

Antigua, Guatemala was one cool city. Walking the cobblestone streets, you come across a different ancient church or ruin at every corner. I’d love to go back and take more time there someday!

ChocoMuseo Guatemala

From where the beans come from to making our our bar, we know allll about chocolate now! Did you know that the cacao fruit grows right on the trunk of the tree, with no stem? And it can be red, yellow, or green. The seeds take on the classic chocolate color and taste after being fermented and roasted. Now you know 🍫

Yesterday was one for the books! For Colter’s birthday experience, we hiked to Pacaya volcano, and the kids roasted marshmallows and pizza in a lava bed.
For the way up, we hired horses to take the kids and Tev and I hiked. Given the fact that our pace was being set by a couple of college ultramarathoners, and the horses with the kids kept up with them, the hike was grueling. I was constantly trying to catch up to the kids, because I couldn’t even see them anymore, and they never stopped for breaks! Add in that once at the top there was thick fog, and we were walking into the unknown.
But while we were roasting the marshmallows a tender mercy brought wind, and blew the clouds away so we could see the amazing wonder we were standing under! I was so, so grateful, and could have stayed up there forever watching lava chunks fly and sizzle down the mountain. When Tev asked if we will get any closer to the lava flows, our guide said “no no no, porque Pacaya es loco!”
For the hike down we were racing the sun, and the sun won. We all slid and ran down the sooty trail as quick as we could, but it was amazing to look back and see the glowing lava spitting out the top and dribbling down the sides of the volcano in the dark.
I’m grateful for that amazing, awful, memorable, wonderful experience yesterday. 🌋 -Jill

One of the fun things about staying in this area was meeting some of the kindest retired expats. Stanley was a Waldorf P.E. teacher for 30 years, and still teaches the local children some circus skills. He let our kids practice with the Devil’s Eye toy, and Ellie has gotten good enough that she can do some tricks!
-Jill

Lago de Atitlán

Yesterday we took a boat across Lake Atitlan to our new house for the week. This town has a totally different feel from the last, and we are definitely enjoying the views 🗻