Wednesday, November 30, 2005

John took Sarah to AWANA tonight. She goes to AWANA at one of the churches here in town and she loves it. There are two teachers in her class and during the first 10-15 minutes of class, both teachers listen to the kids recite their memory verses for the week. As you can imagine, it gets a little rowdy in the classroom when both teachers are occupied. So, a few weeks ago, they recruited John to stay for the first few minutes of class and listen to the kids say their verses. Tonight, one of the teachers was telling him about how excited she was that one of the dads was going to help out during that time. She was grateful for the help, but wasn't sure this dad was a Christian, so she hoped that his work with AWANA might lead to an opportunity for him to come to know the Lord. Well, it turns out she was talking about John! We got a good chuckle out of that little story. She was a little embarrassed when she learned that John was a pastor, but was able to laugh at herself! John told her to keep praying...he's very close to making a decision.

We're NOT in Kansas anymore!!!

We've had quite an adventure this week getting home from Arkansas! A major blizzard shut down a large section of I-70 in Kansas...the interstate we travel to Colorado. We were stranded for two nights in Hays, Kansas while waiting for the interstate to re-open. What is typically a 12-13 hour drive turned into 2 days!!!! We were very fortunate to find a hotel room. We saw lots of news reports of families having to sleep in their cars or in a Red Cross shelter. I can't imagine having to do that with children!

We tried to make an adventure out of our predicament and we actually had fun as a family! It gave us all a chance to get caught up on our rest and the kids LOVED the fact that the hotel room had cable tv...a luxury they don't have at home! Our hotel was next door to Walmart so we had everything (and more) that we could possibly need. This really was an adventure that our kids will likely remember for a long time. I hated that they ended up missing two days of school though. Last month, we got stranded in Arkansas overnight when our return flight was cancelled, so I guess we're not having much luck leaving that state, are we???

We're happy to report that we're safe and sound. Our Thanksgiving was great. And we are so very glad to be back in Colorado. John and I are seriously considering boycotting travel next Thanksgiving and Christmas!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sarah did a GREAT job in her class Thanksgiving play this morning. She said all her lines perfectly! We are so proud of her. We're leaving in a few hours for Arkansas...a 17 hour road trip! I've got the van well stocked with movies, books on tape, games, toys, snacks, and more! I think I'm ready! Or at least I will be after I finish packing! Gotta run. We hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 21, 2005


Why is it so hectic when you're trying to leave town??? We're heading to Arkansas tomorrow and it has just been one thing after another. Abbey woke up early, early Sunday morning throwing up. We always get a little freaked when she starts vomiting because she can't seem to quit. We've made 3 trips to the ER in 2005 because she's vomited to the point of dehydration. She was actually admitted overnight after one of those ER trips. We know that we just have to watch her really carefully and try to keep her hydrated. Thankfully, (and that is a BIG THANKFULLY) she stopped throwing up this morning and was able to drink a lot and eat a little. She's kept it down all day and is asleep right now, so we're still on track for leaving tomorrow. No ER trip, no IV fluids, and a relatively short duration period...add those to our list of things to be thankful for this week.

Speaking of thankfulness, we finished our thankful chain this afternoon. We'll hang it up tonight at dinner when we're all home. We all have so many things to be thankful for, and our chain is a vivid reminder throughout the year of our many blessings!

Sarah's class is putting on a little Thanksgiving play at school tomorrow morning. She has a main part, and a LOT of lines to remember. She's got them down very well though and is getting excited (and a little nervous) about tomorrow. She's going to do great!!! I'm planning to video the play and take it to Arkansas with us so our family can watch it! If I have time before we leave tomorrow, I'll post a picture of our little actress.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Yesterday, the UPS guy left a package for us on the porch. He rang the doorbell to notify me of the package, and when he pressed the doorbell, it stayed depressed...and fried not only our doorbell, but our thermostat too (they're on the same circuit). Our heating unit wasn't disturbed, but I couldn't turn it on because my thermostat wasn't working! Since it's been in the teens and 20s at night, we decided we needed to get someone over to check it out for us. Of course, it was a Friday afternoon, and we ended up paying more for an after hours call, but one new thermostat later, we're toasty and warm! It's a good thing because it snowed again last night and this morning!

Today is a major cleaning day around here...but so far, I'm the only one doing any cleaning! It's a familiar feeling, but thankfully they're all playing well together, so I can actually get some work done. I'm trying to get things in good shape before we leave for Arkansas...only three more days. YIKES!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Refrigerator Art

Did you know that most refrigerators can do double-duty as a dry erase board surface? Abbey got into some of our art stuff this this afternoon and found a dry-erase marker. John was trying to explain to her that you have to use it on a special writing board...and that we didn't have one. A lightbulb appeared over my head, and I remembered reading somewhere that you can write with those markers on your fridge. So, we cleared a section of ours off and let her go to work! She was in HEAVEN! I'll have to remember this in the future (no doubt she'll help me remember) because she was busy drawing away for at least an hour. If you try this at home, keep the bottle of windex handy!

Check out her artwork. I think we have another artist in the family! She told me that this is a picture of Abbey. The crown on her head is full of jewlels, because she is a princess. She also told me that I needed to leave so she could concentrate. Funny! Her drawing is actually quite good for a three-year old, isn't it?

By the way, did you know that Abbey is left-handed? She has preferred her left hand since she was a baby!

Abbey's preschool class learned all about the first Thanksgiving today. I helped in her classroom this morning, and had the best time. They each made a pilgrim hat and an indian hat. Then, their teacher told them the story of the indians helping the pilgrims grow and harvest food, and giving thanks to God together at the first feast. They acted out the story a few times, taking turns playing pilgrims and indians (wearing the appropriate hat), and then sat down to a yummy "friendship feast". It was the cutest thing! Her teacher had constructed the Mayflower out of a cardboard box (it was awesome!) and used it as a prop in the "play". They all wanted to be pilgrims so they could get in the Mayflower!

Abbey missed both days of preschool last week because she was sick, and didn't have school Tuesday because of snow. Her friends were happy to see her today, and she was happy to see them too!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today has been a whirlwind of a day! It always seem to be like that after a snow day. I think having kids at home is great, but I seem to get SO much more done when they're at school.

I had to run some errands today for the volunteer project I'm working on. I was making a delivery in a nearby mountain community, and there in the middle of the road was a really large mule deer. It was just sauntering across the street, oblivious to my van..and pretty much everything else around it. It was a buck and I counted 8 points. Isn't that funny? It's actually not uncommon to see deer walking across the highway, or even in neighborhood streets in this particular community. It still catches me off guard! I'm hoping to see a deer than a bear or mountain lion though--from inside my van of course!

Sarah is at AWANA tonight. She goes every Wednesday night to one of the churches here in town to their AWANA program. She loves it. It's a pretty challenging program. You should see the number of Bible verses she has to memorize each week. She's great at it though, and we're really proud of her. Will doesn't really want to go, and we certainly don't make him. I think one reason Sarah likes it is because it's something that is uniquely "hers". In the picture above she's wearing her AWANA vest. For those of you who are familiar with AWANA, she's a Hiker this year and is working on the red jewels.

You know, there's never really a dull moment around here. After dinner and homework, we were working on our thankful chain, and I asked Will to bring me the stapler. Somewhere between the kitchen drawer and the kitchen table, he managed to staple his thumb. You should have heard him scream when he realized the staple was in his flesh! YOW! Well, we got it cleaned up and bandaged, and all is well with the world again, but I don't think he'll be asking to use the stapler any time soon!

Abbey was John's buddy today. He stayed home with her for a couple of hours while I ran errands this afternoon. They have a lot of fun together. Today, when I came home, they were playing with Will's matchbox cars, but it's not unusual for them to play Polly Pocket or princesses together. John, of course, gets to be the prince in the princess make-believe game. Cute! He's a great dad!

Mystery Solved!

I think we've solved the mystery of Abbey's hives...pistachios! They were such a hit, that I bought some more this week. The kids were eating them in the den, and all of the sudden Abbey started crying because her eyes were "hurting" and she was itching. It happened again a day later, and so being the Einstein that I am, I put two and two together and promptly removed the offending nut from her presence, and she's been fine ever since. Isn't that crazy??!!?? I may have to let Will and Sarah finish eating this round of pistachios on the sly, but I don't think I'll be buying more.

Yeah! School is back in session today, and the kids are about to leave. We've still got snow on the ground, and it is very, very cold. John had breakfast really early this morning with some friends, and when he got home this morning, he said it was 5 degrees! Brrrrrrrr

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

We made chocolate chip cookies this afternoon. I don't really have enough counter space for three helpers, so we just sat down in the kitchen floor and mixed away. They were great helpers and we have some yummy cookies for dessert tonight!  Posted by Picasa

Sarah, the snow angel

We actually didn't venture out in the snow until later this afternoon. John volunteered to go out with them when he finished working, so I gladly let him. It didn't get above 26 degrees today, and that is just a little too cold for my liking! The kids don't seem to mind though. We'll see how warm their new gloves and boots are when they come inside. When it snowed in early October, we found the kids had outgrown their gloves and snowboots. We bought them all some new gloves and boots at REI (using John's great employee discount) a few weeks ago, but until today, we hadn't even taken the tags off! Posted by Picasa

Snow angel Abbey

Until this year, Abbey hasn't really liked being out in the snow. She usually lasts about 5 or 10 minutes and then wants to come inside. However, the last snow we had, she LOVED. I watched her this afternoon walk down the front steps, turn around and fall backwards into the snow, and immediately start laughing while moving her arms and legs in angel fashion. She can't get enough of it! She is too cute out there. Posted by Picasa

Will is probably the biggest fan of the snow. He'd stay out there all day if we'd let him! He has a really cool toboggan and he will sled down the front steps, or find the slightest slope and take off. Of course he loves to pound his dad (and little sisters too) with snowballs, but mom usually advises against throwing them at the girsl. He found a huge icicle this afternoon, and that is what he's holding here. Throwing those is DEFINITELY off limits! Posted by Picasa

On another note, our Mr. Turkey that I was so proud of yesterday, has likely met his demise. Snow and pumpkins make for a mushy mess. I was hoping he'd last until Thanksgiving, but he looked pretty sad out there earlier. I think he's done until next year!

SNOW DAY!!!!!!!!!

We woke up this morning to about 4 inches of snow. John turned on the tv, and saw that our district closed school for the day! Yipee!!! I love snow days! I always consider them a gift because everything stops and we're forced to slow down and REST! So, today, I'm planning to let the kids help me make some cookies and later, we're going to try out the kids' new snow-boots! It's very cold today...our high is supposed to be about 28 degrees, but the sun is out and the sky is blue, so that always makes it seem a little warmer than it really is! By the way, Abbey's preschool is closed too!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Abbey and I made play-dough this afternoon...and of course it had to be PINK! She loves to get out my cookie cutters and make all sorts of shapes and things...especially princesses. After years of picking play-dough off the floor and out of the carpet, I finally came across a terrific idea. I give her a large cookie sheet and let that be her work surface. It's extremely portable, and the mess is contained! Clean-up is a breeze! I just wish I had known about this years ago! Posted by Picasa

It started snowing this afternoon around 4:oo. There is a winter storm just west of here that is dumping major snow in the mountains. The ski resorts are getting some great powder. We'll likely only get a few inches, but it's still fun for us. We've lived here for two years, and we are always excited when it starts to snow. It really just makes me want to hole up inside with a warm bowl of soup or a cup of hot tea.

Mr. Turkey

Our kids are getting really excited about Thanksgiving! I'm still in shock that it is NEXT WEEK!!! We're going to Arkansas to visit John's parents, and we leave a week from tomorrow! The kids get to see their two cousins, and I think they're most excited about that, and eating some of Mimi's pumpkin bread. Last weekend, we pulled out our thanksgiving decorations and converted our biggest halloween pumpkin into a plump, Mr. Turkey. I bought "Mr. Turkey" about 10 years ago at the Tate Barn Sale in Camden, AR, and he still brings a smile to my face when we pull things out of the box each November!

More things you might not know...

Last week, you learned some things you didn't know about Will, so this week I thought I'd share some things you might not know about John. He is 38 years old and shares a March birthday with our youngest daughter. He was a pastor for 12 years, and is currently a freelance writer/editor. He became a Christian at age 6. He loves being a dad to Will, Sarah, and Abbey, and he also enjoys running, reading, and hiking.

Favorite movie: To Kill a Mockingbird
Favorite author: Frederick Buechner
Favorite food: steak
Favorite color: blue
Favorite time of day: dusk
Favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon: take a nap
A few other favorites: Where we live (Colorado), getting up early while we're all still in bed and reading a book with a good cup of coffee.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil...ah, if it was only that simple! It was Sarah's idea to pose like this for our picture. I took several pictures of them because they kept having to change the specific part they were covering up! Funny!

John and the girls had another lazy day. Abbey still isn't feeling great, so John stayed home from church with her. For years, I've been the one to miss church when the kids are sick, because the pastor REALLY needs to be there, so this was a nice change. He asked if I'd like to go, and he didn't have to ask twice. Will went with me, but Sarah wanted to stay home with Abbey and Dad.

Will and I had a little "date" after church. We went to Burger King (his choice) and then to Walmart. I try to avoid Walmart at all costs, but it was close and there were a few things we needed, so we ventured in. I also ran another "errand" while we were out. I persuaded Will to go to the scrapbook store with me. A new store, Archiver's, opened a few months ago, and it it super cool! They send discount coupons every month and I hate to see them go to waste. I had to use them today before they expired!

Every Sunday night we camp out in front of the television (sometimes with dinner, other times with popcorn) and watch America's Funniest home videos. I love to hear the kids laughing out loud! John and I are usually laughing right along with them. I still don't know why seeing people fall, or get hit in the head or crotch is so funny, but it is. And laughing is a great way to end the weekend!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Lazy Day

John had to work today, so I had some fun things planned to do with the kids. We were going to the library for a Narnia party they were hosting in anticipation of the release of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe next month. We just finished reading the book together as a family, and the kids were excited because they were going to serve Turkish delight at the party. I'm still not really sure what Turkish delight is exactly, but it sounds nice. Also, there is a pond behind our library that is home to lots of ducks and sometimes geese. I saw tons of geese there earlier in the week, and I thought it'd be fun to go a few minutes before the party and feed them...and take fun pictures, of course. Posted by Picasa

Well, Abbey woke up this morning with a bad case of hives. Her arms and face were red and blotchy and her face and eyes were really swollen. One eyelid in particular was several times it's normal size and she kept telling me that her "eyebrow" was in her way. Funny. Well, she's doped up on Benadryl, it's obvious she's not feeling well, so we opted to forgo the geese and the party at the library and stay home. No one seems to mind though. Will's been reading, Sarah is still in her pajamas, and Abbey is playing "makeover" with her. She keeps insisting she needs real make-up though. Make-up is actually on her Christmas wish list! Yikes!!! No wonder the girl has hives on her face.

So, we've officially proclaimed today "Lazy Day" and we're all enjoying it. It is nice to have one of those every so often!

Friday, November 11, 2005

I really don't like coffee at all, but I'm quite addicted to the nonfat chai latte from Starbucks. I consider it a special treat, and I was very kind to myself this afternoon! There's really nothing better on a cold afternoon.  Posted by Picasa


Yesterday after school, Sarah and Will went with me to the grocery store to pick up a few things for dinner. I let them each pick out a healthy snack for their lunches, and Will chose pistachios...yes, the green nut. I'm 100% sure that I've never even bought a pistachio, much less offered one to my son, but he convinced me that this was indeed the snack he just had to have. Well, we bought about 3/4lb of them, and 24 hours later, there are about a dozen of them left in the bag. They absolutely devoured them...even Abbey, though we had to show her how to get the nut out without eating the shell. Pistachios...who knew???

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Missing Tooth, A Sick Girl, and Our Annual Thankful Chain

Sarah lost another tooth a few days ago. Even though it was VERY loose, she was quite surprised when she gave it a yank and out it came! She put the tooth in our tooth fairy pillow, tucked it under her pillow, and awoke to find $2!!!! Wow! She's pretty proud of the gap she's got, and she's rich too!

Abbey has been sick for a few days. She has the same viral infection (respiratory) that Will had last week. It's pretty pitiful to see her not feel well. She's almost completely lost her voice, and her raspiness is enough to make you wanna cry. She spent most the day in our bed...watching videos, looking at our scrapbooks, and drinking iced tea. She doesn't get to drink tea very often, but she informed me that "you're supposed to drink tea when you're sick, mom!" She was running a temp, so I was just thankful she wanted to drink ANYTHING!! I knew she was starting to perk up a little when she asked to wear her "ballerina clothes". She is into anything pink, purple, or frilly! Cute.

Also today, we started making our annual thankful chain. It's really a simple paper chain (like you made with red and green construction paper in grade school), but I cut strips of paper, and every day we each write something we're thankful for. On Thanksgiving, we hang the chain up in our kitchen and it stays up until the next Thanksgiving. I'll post a picture of the finished chain closer to Thanksgiving, but here are a few of the things we were thankful for today....Dad, our family, princesses, God's provision for our family, and for a good haircut! Like Madame Blueberry learns in the Veggie Tales video...a thankful heart is a happy heart...and we've got some happy hearts around here.

The Three Amigos

We are so thankful that Will, Sarah, and Abbey get along so well. Of course, they have their moments, but usually, they're pretty sweet together. One night, I took these cute pics of them before was a night that they were all pretty chummy!

Trick or Treat

The kids really love getting dressed up for Halloween. They love deciding what they want to be, then helping me find the stuff to create their costume. This year, Abbey chose to be a fairy. Sarah, true to her creative self, decided to be an artist. (She got tons of compliments on her creative costume!) And Will decided the morning of Halloween that he'd like to be a knight, which sent me on a wild chase to find some knightly attire. It was really, really cold at trick-or-treat time, so we tried to dress them warmly. We visited several houses on our street, but it was so cold after the first few houses, that John had to get the van and drive us around the neighborhood. Abbey and I came home after about 20 minutes and passed out candy to our trick-or-treaters, but John, Will, and Sarah went back out for more candy. They came back with so much loot. They even helped replenish our bowl of treats we were giving away a couple of times! I think we're going to be eating candy for a long, long time!

When we moved to Colorado two years ago, everyone warned us that it is always cold and snowy on Halloween...and amazingly it has been pretty true. This year, we escaped the snow (it snowed the day before) but it was a bitterly cold night. That's okay though...I remember plenty of Halloweens when it was muggy and hot, and we'd come home with mosquito bites!!! I can't say I miss that!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Last fall, John wrote a series of Bible Studies for Navpress. Two of the four studies were published this summer for release this fall. John saw early copies of the books at the Christian Bookseller's Convention this summer in Denver. Last week, he received his personal copies in the mail. It was a happy day, and we are so, so proud of him. The series is titled Living the Questions and there is a study of each of the four gospels.

October Highlights

October was a busy month for us and I want to hit a few of the highlights for you all.

We were surprised early in the month with over a FOOT of snow! It was crazy, but we all loved it. The kids missed school for two days!!! We love snow days and
love coming inside for hot chocolate. I hope we have
many, many more snow days this season!

Shortly after the snow melted, we made a weekend trip to Arkansas. Mer's dad's celebrated his 60th birthday and most of Meredith's aunts/uncles/cousins were present for the weekend. The highlight of the trip was the Arkansas/Auburn football game. It was Abbey's first Razorback game...and even though the Hogs lost, it was really fun for the kids. Will absolutely loved it, and came home asking to be a Razorback football player for Halloween.

The kids were out of school for a couple of days at the end of the month for parent/teacher conferences. John was in between projects, so we enjoyed some family time! We took the kids to a neat place downtown and shopped a little, then we took them to see the movie Dreamer. In September, I bought the book for the kids to read in anticipation of seeing the movie. Will devoured the book, and I now know why. It was an awesome movie...and we highly recommend seeing it! While downtown, the kids discovered an awesome pile of fall leaves. I happened to have my camera in my purse (imagine that!!) and took some fun pics of them playing in the leaves!