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The Tucker Family: Tales From New Mexico

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Spring Riding and Camping

Hey all!

It has been a busy spring and early summer for the Tucker Family. We have been on several rides here in New Mexico and were able to go into Colorado for a fun camp out.

The first few rides and camping were in the Pecos Wilderness area of New Mexico as we spent a cold Memorial Day camping with our Back Country Horseman’s group. We did some trail maintenance and tread work in Jack’s Creek. As the name implies we were working around a creek, and the horses had a bit of trouble remembering what running water was. So we had to work on that a bit and they are doing much better, thanks to some friends and quite a bit of work.

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We did get snowed on a bit while we were up there and it really made us remember what camping during that time of year is like! Heidi and JW had a great time with camping and did really well for it being their first time camping out side of the back yard and for it being so cold.

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We also went down south a bit for some riding in the Manzano mountains and some more trail maintenance there. While there Heidi and JW helped saw the logs that needed to be removed and loved the fact that they could play with the tools.

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The last camping trip we took was to Colorado just outside of Westcliffe. We met up with some old college friends and their kids. The kids out numbered the adults and it was a ton of fun for everyone. Even though it rained a little bit it was a fun time. It was really nice for Derek and Nichole as well as it had been some time since we had seen some of these friends and their kids.

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So far we have been really busy and the horses have been getting  great workouts. Heidi has been enjoying Summer break and we also have been able to have some fun days at home. We are so blessed to be back in the Mountains and be able to share all this fun with the kids.

Hope you all are well.

Nichole, Derek, Heidi and JW

 

Spring back in the Mountains

Well it has been a while since we have posted. Spring has sprung in the mountains of New Mexico, or some days we still had winter. It has been a little bit of an adjustment to realize that we can’t plant the garden for a few more weeks and snow is still possible over the past few months. Especially as we see the gardens of our friends in Florida and how big and green they are. However, we have loved the weather getting warmer and seeing the kids really enjoy the mountains.

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Over the past couple of months we have taken quite a bit of trips into the surrounding mountains on the horses and Heidi is really becoming a good rider and spending most of the time riding by herself on the trail. The terrain we have been in has been rugged at times and she has handled it well, even the cold wintry weather we had last month. JW is enjoying riding with his Daddy and being outside as much as he can.

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Heidi is doing excellent in school and is getting ready for her progression ceremony out of kindergarten in the next couple of weeks. She continues to excel at Math and stated she wants to be a Veterinarian when she grows up. She loves her animals and being on her horse or playing with the dogs.

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Derek has been extremely busy with work and has started to travel again and is really enjoying the work he is doing. Nichole has been involved with the school and helping Heidi’s class and riding her horses again. Since we have moved to New Mexico we have found some really excellent doctors and have been able to get her UC under control and she has been able to ride for long periods of time and really enjoying it.

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Hope everyone is having a great spring. We are planning on being busy camping with the horses and riding as all the kids want to do this summer is camp. Derek, Nichole, Heidi, and JW

Winter Riding

Hey ya’ll!

Once again its time for a blog post. We have had a fun few weeks enjoying some snow and some warming temperatures. Heidi had her first snow day and the kids learned how to use a sled. It was so much fun to have the day with them and be able to play in the snow. They have really grown to love the snow and their Daddy could not be prouder.

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We were able to go on a horseback ride on the western side of the Sandia Mountains on Saturday. It was nice to get the horses out and the kids had a fun time as well. It was a nice day and it felt great to be able to ride in the middle of January, and it was fun to be able to explore a new area.

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Derek has been busy with Scouts and work both of which are going very well. The scouts are planning another camp out soon and Derek is looking forward to some more winter camping.

Nichole has been doing well with the new medication and will be off the steroids soon so hopefully the meds will continue to work. She was excited to get back to riding and her leg seems to be doing ok.

We hope you all are doing well!

Winter in New Mexico

I am sitting here watching it snow this morning and realized how much I have missed it and all it brings with it. The kids again are excited every time we have gotten snow regardless of the amount. Though James is now calling it Christmas snow and was upset that it almost all of it was blown away or melted the last time. We will see how long this one lasts as it probably will be melted by Christmas, though we should get more right after Christmas. Things are going well with work and Nichole and the kids are enjoying all the Christmastime has to offer around. I have posted our Christmas letter below for everyones enjoyment. It is a wonderful time of year to share the true gift of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, and that through Him all things are possible.

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Christmas Letter 14

Merry Christmas!

Derek, Nichole, Heidi, and JW

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are so glad to have been able to have Derek’s Family come for Thanksgiving this year. It was the first time that we got to meet our nephew Blake as he was adopted this past spring and it had been almost 2 years since we had seen JJ so it was fun to see how much the boys had grown. Heidi and JW loved playing with their cousins and spending time with Grammy, Papa, Uncle Matt and Aunt Traci! We had a great time riding and showing them around downtown Albuquerque, as it was the first time any of them had been here. The weather has been pretty warm so it was an enjoyable few days.

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We have been keeping pretty busy with Heidi’s school and JW and Mommy were able to go to the Thanksgiving celebration, which was a pretty fun snack time with some games and costumes. Heidi continues to do very well at school and is starting to read lots of words and sounds some out that she doesn’t know. She is making us very proud.

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JW is busy being Mommy’s helper and we are working on his letters and shapes. He also likes to ride his horse with Daddy and is working on steering the horse a little by himself. He also had his first boy accident and had to get a staple in his head after bucking him self out of the Kubota and falling on the gravel driveway. He was fine except for a little road rash but if this is the indication of things to come we may need to find a closer Urgent Care!

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Derek has been busy with projects at work and with his Boy Scouts. They worked on their cooking merit badge this month and made some yummy green chicken chili casseroles and homemade ice cream.

Nichole has been busy with the kids and starting the new medication Humira. She has had 2 doses and it seems to be helping along with being on some steroids for a short period which she will be going off of this week. We will know if this medication will work in the next couple of months so fingers crossed this one will take.

We are looking forward to the Christmas season and the kids are hoping for some more snow soon so they can go out and play in it again. They had a blast a couple of weeks ago when it was snowing and they got to play in it. The horses and dogs all had to remember what the white stuff was and made some funny faces. Swifty who had never seen snow was shocked as he saw Summit running around and loving it.

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Love to you all!

Nichole, Derek, Heidi and JW

Halloween 2014

We had our first Halloween in New Mexico and we had a blast. It was great to spend it with our good friends from College, the Martinez family and the cute daughter Macey. Nichole made the kids costumes as usual this year. Heidi went as Elsa from the Disney movie Frozen and JW was a Knight. The kids had a great time trick or treating and brought home more Candy than they need or that Dad and Mom can eat.

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We also have been enjoying having a mountain fall again with the air being crisp and the Aspen trees turning colors. It is going to be a learning winter for us as it has been awhile since we have been back in the mountains with a colder winter and snow. Heidi is enjoying school and is doing extremely well as she is the top in her class, especially in Math which she loves. Nichole is having to start a new medication as it was determined that current medication is not working so hopefully the next one will work. She has a great doctor here who is really up to date on all the medications and has a good game plan going forward. Hopefully we she will be in remission soon.

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Derek, Nichole, Heidi, and JW

Fall is Falling!

Hello all!

We are trying to get better at updating this again. Lots has happened since our last blog post. First Derek has been enjoying working with the Young Men at church and did his first camp out a couple of weeks ago. He really liked being able to build a fire because they needed too not just because they wanted too. Heidi is continuing to do well at school and her first Parent Teacher conference went really well. She is excelling in math and ahead of most of the class. JW had adjusted to being home with Mom and is a big helper. Nichole has been called to serve in the women’s organization Relief Society at church as the 2nd councilor. While a new experience she is looking forward to working with these amazing women. She has had some setbacks with her health and is going to have another colonoscopy so the GI doctor can try to figure out why she keeps flairing.

We had some visitors in September as Nichole’s Uncle Frank came for a few days and we had a good visit. He loved playing with the kids and seeing some new country. Derek’s parents also came for a weekend and were able to help us get some projects done around the house and workshop. They drove their camper down and the kids loved taking turns spending the night in there with them.

We took our family photos last weekend up in Santa Fe, we posted some on face book and the rest are in the gallery. It was so beautiful to see the aspens turning and to see the signs of fall and to have cooler weather. We are so great full to be here and to be enjoying the area and the weather.

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We hope everyone is doing well!

Mountains and School

 

We are getting settled into the house here in New Mexico and are enjoying being back in the mountains again. The people here are wonderful and we have already made some new friends and have gotten reacquainted with old ones. We went out last weekend on a trail ride with the horses up on the east side of the Sandia mountains. We had a great trip and the kids did great on their first trail ride in the mountains. Heidi loved riding Emma by herself and picking the wildflowers along the trail.

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Heidi has also started Kindergarten and is absolutely loving it. The school is close to our home and one of her friends from church is in her class so she has adjusted quickly and loves her teacher. She comes home everyday talking about all the fun stuff they did and loves to show off her work. We can’t believe our oldest has started school and how quickly time has flown by.

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Derek is enjoying the new job and all the new research he is getting to do. It has been pretty cool having neighbors and people from church working at the same facility. It has enabled Derek to carpool to work which saves on gas money and makes the commute more enjoyable. Derek has also gotten back into the mountains and went hiking with our neighbors to summit Santa Fe Baldy at 12600ft and find a few geocaches on the way. For those that know Derek he loves being in the mountains, especially up high and he loved the hike even though his body is still adjusting to the altitude. He also was called back into the YM presidency at church, so he will be at home working with the young men and scouts.

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Nichole is doing well and has found good doctors here which has helped tremendously. She also is trying to get adjusted to having just JW home all day, though it seems JW was the one who took Heidi going to school the hardest as he was missing his playmate. The first few days JW wanted to keep going back and get Heidi to play with. Nichole has also started volunteering at the school which will keep her busy besides chasing the little monkey around the property.

Derek, Nichole, Heidi, and JW

 

Changes and More Changes

We have been neglecting the blog and decided to give an update. After we accepted the new job in Albuquerque at Sandia National Laboratories, Derek successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation and finished his dream of getting his doctorate. It was a long road and it feels good to finally not have school to do anymore. Shortly there after Derek left to start the new job in New Mexico while Nichole stayed in Florida to wrap up the doctors appointments, the house, and the move. The rest of the family arrived in Edgewood, NM the end of July were we have purchased a new home on 5 acres with pastures and a barn.

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We then have been in the thrills of unpacking and getting a new house and barn set up. In the past 5 years from our last big move we seemed to have acquired a lot of stuff and this time it has taken a lot longer to unpack and we will have pictures of the house up in the next few weeks. We are loving the small town of Edgewood which is East of Albuquerque by 20mi. Our next door neighbors are members of the church and have 5 kids which have already become good friends with Heidi and JW. The ward here is large and really nice. It is a little weird being back in a large ward with so much activity but it is great being back so close to the temple and members all around. Nichole has found good doctors and has really been doing well and her new GI has a few ideas to continue to help keep her in remission for the UC. Derek is enjoying the new position and they are keeping him very busy since day one. We have all enjoyed being back in the West and near friends from college and enjoying the mountain air. Plus since Derek doesn’t have school anymore we are enjoying the evenings riding horses as a family.

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Heidi is starting school next week and we are excited and nervous at the same time that our oldest child is starting school. Heidi is excited as well and has loved all the school shopping with mom, picking out her backpack, clothes, and all the supplies. The school is only a few miles away and Nichole has already started getting involved with a few of the other mom’s that we have met at church. We are getting settled in and hopefully we will be back in a routine. There are pictures up in the gallery for everyone to catch up on what we have been up to.

Derek, Nichole, Heidi, aand JW

 

New Job

I have some exciting news, I just accepted a new job at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico for a senior level research position. This means that we will moving around the middle of June back west. This a wonderful opportunity for our family and my career as I finish up my PhD this spring. We are sad to leave the wonderful friends that we have made in Florida, but as John Muir said, “The mountains are calling and I must go”. We are exited to be back closer to family and friends from college as well has to be near mountains again. Now the fun of the logistics of selling a house and moving (so if anyone knows anyone interested in buying our house let them know its on Zillow).