Sunday, March 19, 2017


Last weekend Redick said he wanted a break from the beach. That was understandable, we did go to the beach 3 weekends in a row! Tough life here! He wanted to hike instead. We decided to check out a new spot called Venterón. It was really pretty close to home, less than an hour drive. Venterón is a tall hill behind Volcán Masaya. It has an incredible view of the volcano, the valley and a lot of rolling hill farmland. It wasn't actually a hike, per se, more of a walk up a really dusty road. 

The coolest fact about Venterón we learned after we got home. On the top of the hill Elder Richard G. Scott gave a devotional and dedicatory prayer to officially dedicate the LDS proselyting effort in Nicaragua. This was on April 9, 1990. In 1990 there were only 3,500 members of the LDS church in Nicaragua. Now there are over 92,000! 


When we got out of the car to start the hike Redick grabbed his sword and Capitan America shield and proudly announced that he would be the 'scout' and walk in front to take care of any bad guys for us. 

This is the view of the back side of Volcán Masaya. The dark ash and smoke you see is because the volcano is 'technically' erupting right now! In December of 2015 the earth shifted and the bottom of the crater opened up to expose the boiling molten lava lake below!  

Redick took this family photo. :)

This weekend we took another fairly local trip to Hacienda San Hacinto. It is just 30 minutes or so north of Managua. 
Way back in the 1850s an American named William Walker decided to organize a private military operation and go conquering territories in Central America. He called his band of militants Filibusters. He was not officially sanctioned by the US government and his intent was to gain control of his conquered territories for himself personally. His terror permeated most of Central America and William Walker even managed to usurp complete power in Nicaragua and was the President of Nicaragua from July 12, 1856 to May 1, 1857.

On September 14, 1856 the Nicaraguans fought a battle against William Walker's Filibusters. There were 300 Filibusters against 100 Nicaraguan soldiers and 60 indigenous men armed with bows and arrows providing support from the perimeter. The battle lasted 4 hours and from the Nicaraguan side there were 10 deaths and 7 wounded and the Filibusters suffered 27 deaths.In the end the Filibusters retreated and the Nicaraguans declared victory.

Part of the reason we decided to visit Hacienda San Jacinto this weekend was to give the kids a chance to explore some wide open spaces with few if any limits. They had such a great time!! They ran as far as they could out in this field and then wound their way back. They climbed a giant 200+ year old tree and generally had a great time feeling free to explore. Freedom and exploration are much more limited and different in the city.

Rifles with bayonets that were used in the battle

This is an original painting depicting the battle at San Jacinto.

Iron work from the time

Audrey can tell you all about these Nicaraguan symbols. The national flower is the sacuanjoche, national tree is the Modroño and the national bird is the Guardabarranco. Also pictured here is Rubén Darío, a famous Nicaraguan poet as well as the lyrics from the Nicaraguan National Hymn.
Audrey can even sing the National Hymn for you!! *She fudges most of the words but isn't her pronunciation ON POINT??!?!? Her Spanish is coming along great!

Redick and Reid really loved being able to run off and explore. The area was huge and there was only low brush so no way to get lost.

This is the Hacienda. It was built in 1841

Later in the day the kids attended the birthday party of one of their friends that lives here in our condo complex. It was a huge bash with 2 inflatable water slides, a bounce house, catered food, popcorn and shaved ice. Along with the condo clubhouse pool, of course. It was very fun!

Here are some other random photos for posterity. 

It appears that Mitchell took a picture of me "putting the boys to bed." They often push their 2 twin beds together so they can tell stories at night. I love that Reid has his arm around me. 

Mitchell befriended a man at church who was investigating the church. When the time came, he asked Mitchell to actually baptize him. It was a neat experience for Mitchell and also for our kids to witness it. 

At the new school they are given a lot of freedom and materials to pursue their creative ideas. Redick's current fascination is with the face paints. He painted his own face here, it's supposed to be war paint. I asked him to give me a fierce look but it came off as more concerned than anything. 

These 2 are good buddies and love to do strange things to get a laugh! Here they were asked to go put on their jammies and they came down like this.

Reid likes to refer to himself as "the Sports Kid." He loves all things sports and can often be found outside kicking a soccer ball or hitting baseballs. He's getting pretty good too! The other day Redick said to Mitchell, "Reid likes sports and I like to draw." These are 2 of Redick's latest masterpieces. He used a step by step how to draw YouTube video to help and I think they turned out fantastic!


A Racecar

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