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Showing posts from December, 2014

Cusco and the Andean Culture

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When our family revisited Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu (our first visit was when Marcus was 3-years old) this December, we learned a lot about the Andean culture, still alive and well in Peru today.

The Peruvian-Andean culture dates all the way back to the mysterious Inca empire of the thirteenth century. At its glory, the Inca empire stretched into Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Its center and command was Cusco.

Cusco is situated in the Andes Mountain range, at an elevation of approximately 3,300 meters above sea level (that is well over 10,000 feet). Cusco features cobbled streets, quaint hole-in-the-wall shops and restaurants (the pizza is good), plus a towering cathedral in the main square and nearby ruins which are hotspots for tourists. Most significantly, Cusco is the portal to Machu Picchu, the hidden Inca city; the only part of the Inca empire not to be plundered by the Spanish conquerors.


The Incas called their empire, Tahuantinsuyu, which mea…

Merry Christmas!

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This is such a special week with Christmas just days away. I hope you're enjoying this time with your loved ones. Today, Darcie and I made Christmas cookies together. Tonight my girls watched 2 Christmas romance movies with me while David took the boys out for some father-son time. Tomorrow we are baking some more. Marcus turns 12 on Christmas Eve.We're reading, A Christmas Carol, as a family. I love, love, love this time of year, and so I'm going to take a break from posting for a while and focus my time and energy on my precious family. But, first I wanted to share my Christmas wish with you: My wish is that we all feel our Savior's love for us as we celebrate His birth. What an amazing gift our Heavenly Father gave us: His Son. I was thinking about what I want to give Jesus this year. It's too personal to share, but I mention it because I hope we all want to give our Savior a gift from our hearts this Christmas. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

Family Vacation to Cusco and Machu Picchu

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I hope you've enjoyed the Christmas videos I've shared while we've been on our family vacation to Cusco and Machu Picchu and other fun sites in between. I will be sharing more about this trip after Christmas, but here are my favorite highlights:

We started out by flying from Lima to Cusco and checking into a hotel that was two blocks from the main square. Later that afternoon we enjoyed a private tour of the city and nearby ruins, including my favorite, Sacsayhuaman (pronounced a lot like "sexy woman").

We spent two days in Cusco. On the second day we took a private excursion to a little town called, Chincheros, where we were dressed up in native clothing. Our favorite part of the day was touring the salt mines at Maras.
On the third day, we checked out of our hotel. Our next destination was the Sacred Valley. On the way, we stopped at an Awanacancha animal rescue where we saw llamas, alpacas, condors, and other native animals who are being cared for until they c…

What Shall We Give?

The Reason Behind Christmas

O Come, Emmanuel

Wise Men Still Seek Him

This really touched my heart. I hope it touches your heart, too.

He is the Gift

Greek Mythology Unit- Week 2

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Although we've been busy settling back into a routine here in Lima, Peru, Marcus and I managed to make time to read about more Greek gods in our National Geographic Treasury of Greek Mythology book. We read about Poseidon (God of the Seas), Athena (Goddess of Wisdom), Hades (God of the Underworld), Demeter (Goddess of the Harvest), Apollo (God of Music) and Artemis (Goddess of the Hunt).

Marcus has also been learning about ancient Greece and Greek mythology in his Liahona history class with Sister Rowley, and for that class he made these adorable Greek columns-

From left to right, his columns represent the following styles: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Caryatid
Marcus made these columns out of empty prescription bottles, which we liked because these bottles are taller than toilet paper rolls, but shorter than paper towel rolls. He covered them with felt and used yarn, chenille stems, burlap as decoration.

Marcus also wrote a persuasive essay on why he believes Apollo was the bes…

How We Count Down To Christmas

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This year we are celebrating the Christmas season in Peru as we did last year. In our family, we like to end each night with something to remind us of the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
A fun and easy way to count down to Christmas is with a paper scripture advent chain. Each alternating red or green link has a scripture verse on it that is either about the birth of Christ or His purpose as our Savior and Redeemer.

Scripture verses I chose for this year's advent chain- 1 Nephi 10:4; 2 Nephi 19:6; 3 Nephi 1:19; Helaman 14:3-4; Helaman 14:5; Alma 7:10; Ether 3:14; Moses 5:57; D&C 3:1-3; D&C 45:71; D&C 76:41; Isaiah 7:14; Micah 5:2; Psalms 89:27; Romans 8:29; Galatians 4:4; Matthew 1:23; Matthew 2:1-2; Luke 1:31; Luke 2:4-5; Luke 2:11; Luke 2:15-16; Luke 18:15-17; John 14:6

These verses can be searched from HERE.

We also like to read a Christmas story together each night leading up to Christmas. We choose meaningful stories such a…