Monday, May 22, 2017

CrossShire Shops

Recently Nathan, Malachi, and I have started a buisness on Etsy! All our products are handmade. We make necklaces, including real Petrified Wood and Arkansas Quartz, and are hoping to add new products soon. We are in the near future going to make essential oil relaxation pillows. The link to our site is

Friday, May 19, 2017

Cactus Candy

Our family is currently on a trip to Arizona, staying with Uncle Roger and Aunt Linda, so Dad can help them build their new house. The next few posts are going to be about some of the new things we’ve done or experienced in Arizona.
One of the most original things we’ve tried is called Cactus Candy. Unfortunately, it costs a fortune, but as a one time experience it was completely worth it. When we opened the lid of the box, we were greeted by six beautiful gummy-style candies, each covered in a sugar-like crust. But before we got our candy, Mom read to us the paragraph at the top of the box, explaining how they were made. Here it is:

We bit into the candy, and were all a little surprised. It is made with the cactus fruit, which tastes kind of like a blackberry/strawberry/maybe a touch of lemon flavor, very rich and delicious. I was surprised by it, as honestly I had been expecting sugared hard candy, with maybe a little dehydrated cactus pad thrown inside. Fortunately I was wrong. We are going to, now that we’ve tasted a sample, buy some cactus fruit at Sam’s Club, (They also sell cactus pads in the produce section!!!) and use it to make a pie; or some other cactus recipe. I will keep you posted on how the cactus fruit adventure turns out!


A few days ago I went snow skiing! Dad, Nathan and I were able to make last minute plans to stay in Arizona an extra day so we could go. We were so exited! We dug out our snow gear from where it was stashed in the van, and then all of us piled in the car on the way to the top of the mountain. The views were absolutely amazing!
When we got to the top Mom dropped us off for a full day of skiing. It was about 8:30 when we got there, and the lift opened at 10:00, so we had plenty of time to rent our gear. First we put on the ski boots, which feel like they are weighted down with solid metal soles. They are so heavy, especially on the toe, that it feels like you are on a different planet with a lot more gravity. And just try walking down stairs!
Next we got the skis. They were thinner than I expected, and longer too. We learned to put them on, you had to slide your toes in first, then step down hard with your heel, and they snapped into place. We asked about getting poles, but much to our surprise the man there said that as beginners, we would probably learn better without them.
By the time we finished with the renting and had finally gotten our shoes securely strapped on, it was almost time to hit the slopes. Although, on our first day, they probably wouldn’t be very big…. So we thought.
Anyway, as soon as we could, we got on the snow. Even though it was April, they had coated the trails with man made snow. It was 60 degrees outside as we staggered onto the ice in those huge boots, then strapped on our skis. The snow was flat, here in the line for the lift; but even so Nathan and I were delighted with our sliding, foot by foot, dragging skis along the snow.
Soon it was our turn for the lift. It goes on a giant track in a oval, some lift chairs coming up, and some empty ones coming down. To get on the lift, you stand in a certain place and the lift comes up behind you and picks you up. After that, you are speeding up a mountain with no seatbelt, and for most of the ride if you fall, you die. I got over my slight fear of falling a little ways up in the lift, so I could actually enjoy the ride. It is amazing, being over the treetops on a mountain, and gliding along seamlessly, like you are on top of the world.
Near the top of the lift, Nathan and I started to wonder how we were getting down, and Dad told us that the lift didn’t actually stop, but kept going while you jump on a hill of snow and start skiing down! We gave him our looks of astonishment, but didn’t have time for anything else before we were jumping off the lift and heading down a tiny slope. Slope size as it were, I still wiped out in the snow almost immediately after getting off the lift.
By the time I had gotten my skis back under me again, Nathan and Dad had decided that this time we would go easiest way down the mountain, and were already whizzing past me. I followed, and soon I had gotten ahead of them. Of course, the skis feel much different than your feet, and the hardest thing to master is stopping; or being ok with going fast. I had mastered neither of these skills, so I hugged the edge going about 5 mi an hour at the most, and if I gained any speed than I freaked out and purposefully fell over in the snow.
Starting to get the hang of it though, going slightly faster, and enjoying myself more by the second, I soon came to the end of the small trail. Ahead of me was what looked like an unending abyss of snow, and a very wide, icy path. Getting down that trail, Nathan and I made very slow progress, falling about every five seconds; but we didn’t care a bit. We were skiing!
Dad taught me how to zig-zag down the hill, and how you can stop by pointing your skis slightly uphill, and I started to get the hang of it. It took two hours, but we got down the hill. Then, Dad took us up a different lift. It was only halfway up the mountain that he told us that to get down we’d have to go down a black diamond trail! We survived, though it took us another two hours to get down the mountain again, and on all the black diamond trail Nathan and I scooted down.
After that, it was time for lunch. We made our stop as quick as possible, because Dad and I wanted to get back on the slopes. Nathan was worn out though, so we made a plan. Nathan would wait by the lift, while Dad and I went back up and took the trail down. The lift started, and I felt that sensation of gliding, my feet dragging behind. Then we reached the top of the hill, and started skiing down. The trail that my first time had seemed difficult, I now thought was much too slow, until it connected to the larger and steeper trail.
Of course, I fell in the snow several times, but not as much as before. I asked Dad later how fast I was going, and he said that he though 30 mi an hour was a good guess. It really felt like flying! I loved this kind of skiing, letting myself go and not being afraid of my speed.
We got back to the lift where we had started in 20 min, compared to our two hours of before, so we had time to go up the mountain two more times!!
The main things that I learned while skiing are this: It is perfectly fine to fall, but don’t do it on purpose, and that snow reflects UV rays. I learned the second the hard way, as afterward I got a pretty bad sunburn on my face. The sunburn was worth it though, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning how to ski, and can’t wait ‘til next time!