Thursday, December 29, 2011

We just realized...

that we have one more day of Christmas break than I thought.  And we are so happy about it!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Snow fun

One of the many things I love about living in Colorado is the great variety of weather we get to enjoy.   I love all four seasons and winter has its upside too.  The snow is so fun for the kids to play in.  When my children went sledding at the park down the street ( I love having that in walking distance!) Savanna saw all of that smooth untouched snow and saw an art opportunity.  Can you see what she did?
Let me flip the photo for you and you can see this gigantic snowman she stomped into the snow.  I love it! 
Happy Snowy weather!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

It's been quite a week.  I won't go over the details.  Let's just say that we enjoyed being home from school, and we did not enjoy being violenty ill.  We have had a great time getting ready for Christmas and now that they day is here I can honestly say its been wonderful (except for that sickness part).

I had this perfect picture in my mind of how we would all look dressed up for church today.  Let's just say that here we are, keeping it real! Yes Emma really went with her hair like that and refused to allow me to touch it.  And the pink cowgirl boots don't match the red skirt at all.  Ah well.  

I loved being at church today and singing songs about my Savior, Jesus Christ.  I am so thankful for His humble birth and His never ending mercy.  May you all rejoice in this season!
Sailing on to a new year,

Friday, December 16, 2011

Gift Tags

Over at Sisterview, a blog recently created with my sisters and sister in law, we had a Christmas Gift tag challenge.  That got me started.  I have created a few more since then.  Because we do only a few gifts for each child, I have found so much pleasure in making these fancy tags for each package.  I think it makes the recipient feel important and I like how it looks under the tree!  I enjoy adding a handmade touch.  You can make several tags from just a few scraps of paper. I know, easy for me to say, coming from the lady who has WAY TOO MANY pieces of cute paper at her house.

I love having a new baby at this time of year.  I have been sitting next to the lighted tree in the evening, holding my new little one, being at peace in that moment.  I want to learn how to keep that feeling with me more often.  I guess that's why I am a little saddened that the 25th is approaching so rapidly.  I won't be ready for it all to be over so quickly.  I love this.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011


I am in love with this photo.
Love love love it.  I love how much this boy loves his baby sister.  I love his big brown eyes and how serious he is about holding her. Just had to share.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A word to the wise...

If you go to see the parade of lights downtown Denver when it is about 20 degrees outside make sure your 9 year old daughter (!!!!)  is not wearing thin boots without socks (!!!).  Becuase if she is, you may end up sitting in the corner bakery cafe trying to catch a glimpse of the floats out the window while you warm her feet up by putting gloves on them.  Just a thought!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 32:   People are a gift.
I have had cause recenlty to reflect on a lot of things.  Having a new baby and attending a funeral within 3 weeks of each other will do that to you:).  I have realized that throughout my life I have been blessed to be surrounded by outstanding people.  Honestly, some people only know a small handful of wonderful people their entire life.  I have had them in abundance for as long as I can remember now.  Sometimes I forget to remember what an important gift this is.  Sometimes I wish the gift was prosperity or other things - and then I realize that I am being blessed with exactly what I need.  God knows that people is what is best for me.  He knows that I love people and I love to be around people who lift me up.  My family is a perfect example of this:  I am child number four of eight.  We are quite a crowd.  There are, as of right now, twenty one grandchildren.  My parents have sacrificed much and dedicated their life to their family.  Is it perfect?  No.  Is it an amazing, fun, wild, huge gift?  YES.

This past week I had another example of this with a dear friend.  I opened this package and look what it was.

I am in awe.  I love this beautiful quilt and I love the woman who made it.  Look at all of those adorable birds and the snuggly black and white polka dot on the back!  I think of the time it took to sew and put together and the thought that went into it.   I can just feel that love when Faye and I wrap up in it when I am nursing her.  It has literally warmed my body and soul.  Thank you, dear friend!

There have been times in my life when I have felt like I didn't have time to work on developing relationships - with friends and family.  I know that sounds crazy but when I get buried under the weight of life I tend to isolate myself.  I am slowly learning that I do much better when I reach out to loving people and friends instead.  I am a better person when I watch the examples I have in my life of incredible people and attempt to do what they would do in my situation.  I'm so glad I have such great people in my life.  If you are reading this I'm sure that means you.  Thank you!  What precious gifts I am blessed with!

Monday, December 5, 2011

3 weeks

Wow.  3 weeks.  I have not accomplished much.  Christmas decorations and boxes litter the floor and the house.  The tree is up but not completely decorated.  I have stacks of clothes all over my room - trying to figure out what might fit (!!!) and put the maternity clothes away.
Thanksgiving was simply wonderful.  I had such a great time with the family that we were able to be with and I feel very blessed.  Thanks to my Mother and Sister I didn't do any of the kitchen work yet was able to enjoy an amazing meal with my family.  THANK YOU!

I am loving this baby girl and have been overwhelmed by the gifts, service, and help I have received from family and friends (more to come on that with photos!)
My camera is back and this brings me so much happiness!

I just completed a Christmas gift project that I have been wanting to do that is important to me.  I hope those I am giving them to enjoy them as much as I hope.

I am determined to get back in a groove this week... wish me luck!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 31:
Life is fragile.  Life is Precious.  Life is unpredictable.  Life is beautiful.
A wonderful woman whom I love and admire was killed in a car accident last night.  She has had a great influence on my life for 15+ years.  This has given me pause.  I am blessed in my life to know many great women (many of whom I am releated to) and to have them influence my life for good.  If you will excuse me now I need to get to work on being more like them and less like my grouchy old self.
Sailing on,

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Growing up

With her birthday quickly approaching, I have been reflecting on the growing up of my oldest child.  I wouldn't say she has been an easy child; yet she is awesome.  She is smart and creative.  She is a great student.  We have our fair share of power struggles and sassy backtalk; all the while she is quite helpful and takes upon herself the job of looking out for her younger siblings.  I am so thankful she has yet to be caught up in being overly worried about her appearance and clothing and all of that.  I know it will come at some point; but I'm glad it hasn't yet.  I think she's beautiful.

Being the oldest child is tricky; I've realized  I send her mixed messages all of the time.  Some of the time I'm telling her to enjoy being a kid and not to worry so much and over-anayze.  Then other times I ask for her help and expect quite a bit from her as she IS the oldest.  It takes a special personality to be the oldest child and I'm sure she will be ok in spite of my trial by error learning mothering experience.  She is excited to be turning 11 this month and I am excited for her.  She is a great kid!  

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Today I had the chance to take some photos of these adorable children.   In the 45 minutes that we were taking pictures we went from wind, snow, rain and back to wind and rain again.  They were troopers!  I have a friend to thank for allowing me to borrow her camera, as my repair says it will be 12 days before I get it back!  (that sounds like an eternity to me!)

If you need family photos give me a call!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Snow Day

Yesterday was a snow day.

It was a huge relief to me in so many ways.  Madeline was supposed to be on her way to the mountains for Outdoor Ed for 2 days and 2 nights.  I wasn't very excited about the prospect of her having a two hour bus ride in a blizzard or being stuck far away from me.  The trip is pushed back to next week and I'm relieved.
It was wonderful to sleep in until 7 and have hot cocoa and breakfast cake and not leave the house.  The day was a perfect mixture of productivity, play, and rest.  I worked to finish up some projects I have had going on for way too long.   I did laundry (which is a constant).  I cleaned a bit.  I dressed kids to go out in the snow (which takes longer than they play outside sometimes.)  Funny how that works.  We made pumpkin cookies.  We watched a movie.  The kids played in the snow for most of the day.  Sometimes it surprises me how long Christian and Savanna will stay out there.  I'm glad they can enjoy it so much and use their imagination to build all kinds of piles of snow which serve different purposes.  Apparently this particular pile is for rolling off of.

 I have great memories of playing in the snow as a child and it makes me happy to see my children doing the same.
Now I need to adjust my thinking to get back on track for the remainder of the week!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Halloween 2011

I am one of those mothers who doesn't love Halloween.  How awful, I know.  I don't decorate for it and I find the whole thing a bit tiresome and wasteful.  What to do with that obscene amount of candy?
I require my children to come up with costumes from what I have, or something we can make.  In years past we have been creative and had some really fun things.  This year we went with easy.  Madeline wore her stop sign that I made a few years ago (huge score for me!), Emma was a ballerina and everyone else was a cowboy or cowgirl.  The weather was beautiful and this is the first time my children have really gotten into trick or treating around the neighborhood.  I am not kidding when I say I think each of their bags weighed 15 - 20 pounds.

Thankfully, the Halloween Fairy came last night and traded their candy for books and stickers.  Several of the children informed me today that next year they will not be participating with the Halloween Fairy  but will be hiding their stash from her instead.  Hmmmm, we will have to see about that.
It was a fun day.  I'm glad it's over.  I'm looking forward to children who are not on a constant sugar high.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 30:
Sometimes you just have to do what you just have to do.
For me this is way too big of a deal.  I packed up my camera today to send in for repairs.  OH!  Can I live without my camera?  I don't know.... it's going to be a test.  But I figured I better get it fixed and back in time for some family photo shoots and so I can have great pictures of the new baby.
Seriously, though.  I find myself telling my children this and it is an important lesson.  You just have to take care of things when they need taking care of.  I know from experience that when you let them go on for too long past the point of needing attention I wish I would have addressed them earlier.  I'm still learning this.
We do have a little digital point and shoot camera around.... how spoiled and sassy am I that it seems an insult to me to try to capture a Halloween photo of my children with that little thing?  I know... poor me.
Here is the beginning of some very sad, photo - free blog posts.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Photo Favorite: Cowboy UP

I love my cowboys.  I love that these costumes have been used multiple times.  The vest and chaps Christian has on were worn by my brothers when we were his age.  Real leather, authentic cowboy style.  Excuse me for thinking they are the best looking cowboys the world has ever seen.


Friday, October 28, 2011


I thought these were small yellow squash but apparently I was mistaken!

I find this especially funny because children of this generation have never acutally seen a telephone shaped this way.  Everything they have ever seen has been in the shape of a straight rectangular cell phone type.  That just goes to show you that children know everything really! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Flying Lessons

Lesson 29:
Taking a break is a really good thing.

Fall Break was this past week for us.  We had a wonderful time.  We didn't do anything spectacular - no big trip out of town or a visit to the zoo.  We went to two really fun parks near by that we have not played at for a long time and ate lunch there with friends.  The children all played for several hours and had a great time.  Christian has become quite the snake finder and even found a little snake to play with at one park.  I love how he shared his find with his little brother.

We slept in every morning (7am! and even 8 one day!)  We had waffles for breakfast and ate lunch outside.  The weather was AMAZING - between 65 and 80 degrees every day.  We raked leaves and made leaf crafts.  Madeline made me this awesome garland for the mantel.

 I let go of expectations and didn't mention schoolwork once.   We had a movie night and stayed up late eating popcorn.  Kurt took the the children one night to the local stadium to watch a huge marching band competition.  We did a little cleaning and re-organizing of bedrooms and did art in the basement.  We learned how to make yo-yo's and created huge bubbles in the front yard and painted the sidewalk with soapy water.  We picked more veggies from the garden (at the end of October in Colorado - I still can't get over this!).

It was a great week.  After sending the big kids back to school monday morning (on time and ready to go!) I felt ready to tackle all that needs to happen in the next three weeks before baby girl is born.  I can't wait to show you how my HUGE kitchen project is turning out (because that will mean that I am finally FINISHED with it).

Sometimes it doesn't seem logical to take a break and I often feel like I CAN'T because there is always so much to be done.  Yet it is necessary, rejuvinating.  Not too much of a break; I can't just let things go completely - but all work and no play makes for an unhappy Mom and stressed out home.  So take a break when you need it - then get back at it!