Thursday, December 21, 2006

Holiday Blizzard 06

Got snow? We sure do. 18 inches and counting!

The news media is calling this the Holiday Blizzard 06 and let me tell you it is a MESS! Here's a sampling of what's going on "in our neck of the woods". The wind has been howling since just after midnight Tuesday. Sustained wind speeds of 25-30 mph (gusts up to 65mph) have been blowing snow creating blizzard conditions for over 30 hours. We've got 4-5 foot drifts in our yard. I'm sitting at John's computer downstairs in the basement and our window wells (at least 4ft deep) are completely filled with snow. They haven't plowed our streets (wind would just re-cover the cleared area in minutes) and snow is up to the bumpers of cars outside (most of which are stuck in the street).

In Colorado Springs, malls are closed, banks are closed, and the Post Office and UPS called their delivery trucks in yesterday just after noon. Denver airport shut down, the interstate was closed from Denver to the Kansas border AND from Denver south to the New Mexico border.

John made it to work yesterday morning, but they sent him home at 10am. His return trip wasn't pretty. When the wind is blowing that hard, it creates white-out conditions where you literally can't see anything in front of you. He told me he had to stick his head out of the window (into blowing snow) to TRY to see if he was even on the road. His windshield wipers were freezing up, the defroster couldn't keep the windshield clear, and so he had to keep clearing the window everytime he stopped. Talk about a scary commute! He arrived safely two hours later, but had to walk the last block home when his car got stuck in deep snow at the end of our street. It's still there as are dozens of other cars, which is going to make plowing an interesting job--more likely a major headache for the plow drivers.

One of our good friends has been in South Africa since Thanksgiving on a sabbatical trip. His return flight was supposed to arrive in Denver last night around 6pm. Cancelled. Because of the heavy holiday traveling, he wasn't able to re-schedule his flight home until 10pm Friday night...and if he didn't take that one, his other choice was to arrive on Christmas day. What a NIGHTMARE! He's just one of THOUSANDS of passengers trying to get somewhere.

And think about retail. They've officially been closed for 1.5 days now (most have said they'll open at noon today). We're at the height of the holiday shopping season. When John worked at REI, it wasn't uncommon this time of year for daily sales to be in the $85,000-100,000 range. Think about what closing down does for them...yuck. And think about what malls and Walmart are gonna look like around here on Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I'm already cringing b/c I have some shopping to finish up myself.

I think that UPS and the USPS are feeling some stress right now. I just read on the newschannel's website that we won't be getting mail service again today. Their trucks can't get to our neighborhoods. Someone's gonna be busy on Christmas Eve, huh?

I'm am thrilled though that the kids didn't have school yesterday or today. I was whining about today being their last day, but things definitely worked out much more to my liking. We got started on some of our Christmas baking yesterday, and just enjoyed having the day "off" from errands and from holiday stress!

Holiday Blizzard 06! Fun, fun, fun! We're under a blizzard warning until noon today and hopefully the storm will move on out and things can begin to clear up around here. We're definitely going to have a white Christmas because this much snow isn't going anywhere!!!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Got It

We got that snow day I was hoping for. Started snowing last night and is quickly piling up out there. 8-16 inches predicted...whoo hoo!...and should continue through tomorrow afternoon. Snow is in the forecast for the weekend and again on Christmas Day! I LOVE it!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Today can best be summed up as a day of surprises--some good and some not so good.

John usually leaves about 7ish in the mornings, but this morning he had some things to do in Monument and left a little closer to 8am. He stopped at home right before I was leaving to take kids to school and offered to start my van...only it wouldn't start. Surprise (and not a good one!). John took everyone to school, took the morning off, and eventually we got Minnie-the-van going again ($2xx later--ugh!).

The kids and I got home this afternoon and found two packages on our front porch (surprise!). I wasn't expecting anything so that was extra nice, as were the 12 Christmas cards we got in the mail. I love going to the mailbox this time of year.

And tonight we had a babysitter come so we could attend a surprise 50th birthday party for one of our favorite friends. Her husband rented out a jazz club and it was a cool party. She was semi-surpised by it's hard to pull off a surprise that big, but she loved it and we felt privileged to be a part of her special night. And while we were there, we got to visit with a couple from our church that we sorta/kinda know. They invited us to grab some coffee after the party and we were again surprised by the easy conversation and the common ground we shared! Cool new friends! Surprise!

We had some other not so good surprises along the way felt more like opposition. A lot of stuff today felt really, really HARD! But...God also showed up and surprised us in some very personal and life-giving ways...and I'm thankful for the eyes to see His hand in it all.

I'm heading to bed in a few minutes...hoping to wake up to another surprise. Snow is in our forecast and I'd love to wake up to a snow day! That would be a very welcome gift! I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

One week until, oh man. My mantra these days is "It will all get done, it will all get done, it WILL all get done". John and I started our shopping last Friday night--online. We don't usually wait this long to begin shopping but between his new job (and finishing up the work he was previously contracted for) and my volunteer project, we were both swamped and unable to find time to shop. Thank goodness for the internet. I didn't even mind paying the steep shipping costs to insure on-time delivery. Anything that saves me a trip to the mall is a very good thing. I did have to get out and do some other shopping yesterday and again this afternoon, and I'll probably take Abbey tomorrow afternoon and finish up. They're forecasting a pretty big storm this week, so my hope is to get things wrapped up tomorrow.

My kids are in school until Thursday (Wednesday for Abbey)! Thursday! That seems so late to me...especially since most districts in and around Colorado Springs dismissed last Friday. I'm a little bummed that only gives us 2 days before Christmas Eve, but after further consideration, I realized it gave me a few extra days to get some things done before I have everyone at home. I'll take it!

We were excited last week to visit with some of our best friends from Arkansas. They spent several days skiing at Copper and then came and spent Thursday night and most of Friday with us. They brought their little guy with them and we enjoyed hanging out them so much!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

When John began his new job a month or so ago, a fellow employee from the art department approached him and asked if he'd be willing to be Jesus in an upcoming photo shoot. If you've seen John lately, you'd know why they asked him. His hair is long and he's got a full beard, and people jokingly refer to him as Jesus quite often. In fact, one lady at church told me recently that her little boy asked her when "the guy who looks like Jesus" was going to preach again. Funny. Well, today was the photo shoot and John came home with a lot of make-up on his face and a check for $25 in his pocket. I'll let you know what they use his photo for--some upcoming publication of some sort. He's becoming quite the model, huh? If you'll remember back to January, John and Will had their photo taken for an article in Pray! magazine. This time though, they actually took a photo of his face!

Monday, December 11, 2006

The North Pole!

Today a friend and I took our kids to the North Pole, a family theme park just outside of Colorado Springs. It was so FUN! I let them have the day off from school and that proved to be a very good thing. There were no crowds and therefore, no lines! We didn't have to wait for anything...not even our visit/photo with Santa. It was GREAT. We rode lots of rides, and because it wasn't crowded, the operators let the kids ride for as long as they wanted. I got to ride most of the rides too because Abbey needed an adult to go with her, and I realized that I'm not the biggest fan of roller coasters (even the kiddie coasters) and those pendulum-type rides that swing back and forth. Ughhh. Abbey was so fun to ride with though. She squealed with glee and her delight was contagious. It was a good day to be a kid! It even snowed on us...which just made it feel all the more like the NORTH POLE! I think we've discovered a new December tradition!

Today in Colorado Springs there was a memorial service for a police officer who was shot and killed during a traffic stop last week. So very sad. As we were driving back from the North Pole, we got to see the police motorcade. Cars were stopped all along the interstate (a 10-mile stretch of interstate was closed for the procession) and people were standing out in the cold saluting the officers as they drove past. It was very moving. Amond those standing outside were firefighters, highway department workers, truckers, and families. I've never seen anything like it, nor have I ever seen that many police cars. There were hundreds and they were from all over Colorado and many other states as well!!! They were all driving with their flashing lights on and you could see them coming for miles. I don't even have words to describe how moving it all was. It was a good opportunity to talk to the kids about sacrifice and honor...and it was a rather serious moment until Sarah cracked a joke and things went south from there. Check out photos from the procession at (click on blog and scroll down)

I'm hoping to get our Christmas cards mailed this week. It's a big job, but I've been chipping away at it...and John just finished our letter tonight. Yea. Almost finished. If you haven't gotten our letter in the past, send me your address and I'll add you to our list. You can reply to this post or click my profile and there's an email link! Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

What a Week!

To say that last week was busy for me would be a major understatement. It was insanely busy. I have a whole lot of stuff going on. All of it is good, but it's a lot to add to an already busy time of year. So this weekend was restful for me. And now I'm ready for another busy week (I hope!).

So in the midst of this busyness, I had a really, really cool gift delivered to my door last Wednesday afternoon. The gift was dinner! One of our friends in Chicago overnighted 2 world-famous deep dish Chicago pizzas to us. I just had to thaw and bake, and it was Y-U-M! It was THE best pizza I've ever put in my mouth...and there are some terrific pizza places in Colorado. Thanks RM (aka St. Nick!)! You rock!

Last week I got together with a friend and spent the morning baking. We made lots of cookies and some fudge and ran out of time to make some of our other Christmas favorites. I finished some of that up this weekend with the kids (relaxing for me!). While we were baking last week, we hatched a plan to take our kids to see Santa at the North Pole. Seriously. The North Pole is a mini-amusement park outside of Colorado Springs. They have rides, Christmas shops, elves, and of course Santa is there. The only problem was finding a time during all this craziness to actually GO. We decided it would be fun to let the kids miss school and go, so that's our plan for tomorrow. I didn't tell them until this afternoon, but they're pretty pumped! I'm just thankful that it won't be as crowded...unless there are other moms out there who are thinking what we're thinking. We'll see. It's supposed to be pretty cold tomorrow (fitting for the North Pole!) so we're taking hats, mittens, and plenty of hot cocoa!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Woo Hoo--It's a SNOW DAY!

When it started snowing last night, our kids started praying for a snow day. Will even did a little snow dance--quite hilarious I must say. John woke me up about 6am to tell me our district had a two hour delay, but at 7am when I turned on the tv, they had upgraded the delay to a CLOSURE! Woo Hoo. We're all excited about having a day at home! The only bummer in it all is that John had to go to work. We all prayed for him to arrive safely (he did) and prayed for us to enjoy our day without him--the kids were really sad to say goodbye this morning. Me too. I like it best when we're all home together. We're all still adjusting to this full-time thing.

It's VERY cold outside so I don't think we'll be venturing out. Our temp right now is 16degrees...and it will continue to drop throughout the day. We only have about 3-4 inches of snow, but we're supposed to get 3-6 more inches today. The kids want to bake cookies and just veg. Sounds great to me. We stopped by the library yesterday afternoon after running a few errands and the kids have new books to read and a couple of dvds to watch. They're upstairs reading right now...and I'm not far behind them.
UPDATE: We've had a restful, relaxing day. Baked cookies the easy way--from the dough we got from our dairy delivery service! Read some books, did some laundry, and right now the kids are upstairs watching The Electric Company. Now THAT'S a blast from the past, huh? I found a dvd yesterday at the library and my kids are glued to it. It's hilarious. HEY YOU GUUYYYSS! Remember that? I'm reliving my childhood while my kids are mesmerized. But hey, it's educational! So I'll let them watch a while longer!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Yesterday morning, I woke up and got my Sunday paper and sat down at the kitchen table with my tea to read and enjoy a slow Sunday morning. It's my favorite part of Sunday. Will stumbled into the kitchen just a few minutes after I did and asked for part of the paper. When I was his age, I did the same thing. And you know what part of the paper I wanted? The comics, of course. But not my X.5 year old. He specifically retrieves the Best Buy and Circuit City flyers EVERY week and proceeds to pore over them. Weird, huh? My kids are only in elementary school, but they have a Technology class. They're learning keyboarding, power point, and from time to time get to surf the net. When I was in high school I typed all my papers on a typewriter...using CORRECTION tape. They know nothing more than the delete key. I feel ancient when I think about that...but grateful for the role technology plays in each of our lives. Technology allows me to communicate with all of you via this blog. Cool, cool, cool!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving with our friends. It was so relaxing and FUN. We rode horses (just the kids) and four-wheelers and the weather was perfect. It was a perfect holiday really! The ranch they live on is beautiful and I think we explored every part of it. We saw deer and coyote and beautiful scenery everywhere we looked. We're going to go back this weekend and take our family Christmas picture!

Oh...I have a great movie recommendation for you. Last week we watched Akeelah and the Bee. It was terrific. It's about a young girl from the ghettos who shines at spelling...especially spelling bees. It was a beautiful story and the little girl will win your heart! We loved it.

Abbey and I went to Walmart this afternoon. Have I mentioned how much I dislike Walmart? I watched a documentary about the discount giant this summer and swore I'd never shop there again. One should really never say things like that unless you have an iron resolve. Walmart just opened in our town 2 months ago, and I've already been there 2-3 times. I think today was visit #4. They really are the cheapest place to shop--you know--Always Low Prices. My motto though is Always Bad Mood. Every time I leave that place I'm in a foul mood. I don't know why, but I am...just ask John. Anyway, we got what we needed and left. One thing on my list was a snow shovel. We're expecting another winter storm this week and our pitiful shovel broke during the blizzard last month. Now we're prepared!

Have you ever heard of Nooma? While at our friends last week, we watched 3 Noomas. They're short films about everyday stuff that convey a spiritual truth. I think the films are intended to be a springboard into discussion. And by the way, they are EXCELLENT. I'm hoping our small group will decide to use this format for our next semester. Really, really cool! The guy behind the idea is a Michigan pastor named Rob Bell. He also wrote a book titled "Velvet Elvis" which I'm reading right now and it is fantastic. Check it out at

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I forgot to mention...

I forgot to mention in yesterday's post that we STILL have snow on the ground from our blizzard last month. On Thursday, October 26, we got over 2 feet of snow in about 12 hours. It was CRAZY. At some points throughout the day, we were getting 3-5 inches PER HOUR!!! Colorado Springs was deserted...schools were closed, offices were closed, malls were closed, even the interstate was closed. We were scheduled to fly to Arkansas the next day. We were able to make it to Denver the next morning, but it took us 20 minutes just to get out of our DRIVEWAY! It was a mess! Despite our nice temps this week 50s/60s, there is still quite a bit of snow on the ground all over town, our backyard included. Not really enough to play in, but enough to remind us to be thankful for the beautiful week we're having!!!! Hope yours is nice too!

Monday, November 20, 2006


I didn't realize it had been so long since I've posted. I've been meaning to, really I have, but time just seems to escape me these days. I've LOVED today because we've stayed home ALL day. That has got to be one of my most favorite things...I'm definitely a home-body. The kids have the week off from school. That's a first since we've lived in Colorado, and it's unfortunate that we're not traveling this year. Those two extra days would have been very nice!

Our original plans were to join my family for Thanksgiving at my sister's house, but that all changed two weeks ago. John was offered a job at Cook Communications Ministries, a Christian publishing company in Colorado Springs, and he took it! Last Monday was his first day. His official title is Developmental/Acquisitions Editor (fancy-schmancy, huh?) and he'll be part of a team working to build the book division at Cook. It's definitely a change for our family, but he's excited about it and feels like it was time for this next step. I'm happy and a little sad too. I've loved having him work from home for the last two years, and not just because he has helped me so much...I just enjoy being around him. We'd eat lunch upstairs every day, run errands on his slow days, go for Starbucks dates when the kids were in school, and prepare dinner together each night. That all came to an abrupt end last week, and I'm grieving the loss. BUT, having a consistent paycheck will be so nice. It is a blessing for us.

So instead of traveling this week, we're taking it easy at home. Some very good friends of ours are caretakers on a ranch just west of Denver and they invited us to come spend some time this week with them. We're super excited about it. They're like grandparents to our kids who ADORE them. And Kathy called this morning with a great surprise: they got two horses over the weekend--Doc and Pale. I don't know who's more excited about that...them or our kids. They're already trying to figure out who's riding which horse first and which adult they want to go with them. So, it should be fun. We're heading there after we have our traditional Blase family Thanksgiving breakfast at IHOP (in our pajamas!). The kids think it's great because they don't have to wait on everyone to get dressed to go out to breakfast! We do get some strange looks, but it's FUN, and I guarantee you my kids will remember that for their lifetime!

Are you keeping up with the Razorbacks this season? They are ROCKIN'!!! I am pumped they're on television Friday (national television!) and will be glued to the tube. At Will's class Halloween party a few weeks ago, I was talking to another mom who is new to our school this year and she mentioned they were from Missouri. When I told her I was from Arkansas, she got so excited because she and her husband are UofA alums. Sarah and I had just been to the Razorback game in Little Rock that weekend and she was in disbelief. It's been fun to have a new friend who is as crazy about them as I am...AND who lives in Colorado! I've seen her at school the last few Mondays and we always talk Razorback football! I'm thinking I could get her to go with me to a game next year! Go HOGS Go! Beat LSU!!!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

so lovely

I took the kids to a birthday party on Saturday. It was a party for our next door neighbor who was four. His party was at this place in Colorado Springs called Pump It Up! It's a warehouse type building filled with giant inflatable slides, bounce houses, obstacle courses and more. You have so sign a waiver for your kids to play and it's really a lot of fun. I raced with Sarah and Will on the the obstacle course and lost every time. Abbey didn't like the obstacle course though and begged me to slide down the giant slide with being the fun mom I am, said "Sure, c'mon sweetie!". the end of the slide, we had a slight collision. Basically the back of her very hard head hit the bridge of my nose and POP! I heard it and thought it was broken. It started bleeding and swelling immediately and I had to lie down. I called John to come meet me and we got the kids situated and went to the ER for x-rays. It wasn't broken (thank God!) but very badly bruised. It's looking nice and lovely today and my eyes are both black. I'm a sight to behold. Wish I could hide out at home this week, but there is way too much going on! Moral of the story: Be very afraid of places that make you sign a waiver to play...the nurses at the ER told us they see sooooo many Pump It Up incidents. NOW you tell me!

Last week we had our first big snow. 8 inches. Wow! The kids had a delayed start at school and they were so excited about playing in it. I forgot how much I dread all the gear (and subsequent laundry) we have to have just to enjoy the snow! Then the weatherman reminded us that we have about 7 more months of snow...seriously!

The kids got their report cards yesterday (we're on trimester system) and they did so great. Very proud of them. We have conferences with their teachers tomorrow and they're out of school on Thursday and Friday. We're also gearing up for Halloween. I've got to get their costumes figured out. More on that later.

Last week we went to a fun party at some friends' house. They had wild game night. We didn't play TWISTER or PICTIONARY, but instead ate wild game--dove, pheasant, duck, quail, and venison. It was Yummy!!! Our hosts are friends of ours from church, but they have a couple of social circles they run in. They invited friends from each of their circles to get to gether and meet each other. I loved that idea. We have so much overlap in our own was nice to put faces with names and make new friends! Fun.

Gotta nose story was too funny NOT to blog about. And for those of you who know me really'll remember this is not the first time this has happened to me. About 12 years ago, I was at a Valentines Party and thinking I was running back inside to grab my purse, ran smack into a sliding glass door. Same thing--not broken, badly bruised, and two black eyes. Good grief!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wooooooooo Pig Sooooie!

It is a happy happy day for me when Arkansas Razorback games are televised nationally!! Such was the case today. I had forgotten until my sister called to remind me. So I parked my rear in front of the television and enjoyed three hours of fall football bliss. As usual, it was a nail-biting, breath-holding, fight-to-the-double-overtime-finish, but the Hogs won and I was happy! Razorback games are one thing that make me homesick. Sarah and I are hoping to make it to a game in October. It probably won't have the same drama as today's game, but we're both getting excited about it! Fun, fun, fun!

Friday, September 22, 2006 has officially arrived. Snow. It's been snowing off and on all day today. Mostly it's been mixed with rain and it hasn't been sticking, but it's definitely snow. More chances of it tomorrow too. And it looks like winter in the mountains west of here...icy roads, blowing snow advisories, FEET of snow, etc. Crazy stuff, huh? We went to some friends house today (kids were out today for a teacher work-day) and they came running upstairs when they spotted the first flakes. They were hoping Monday would be a snow day and were already planning how they'd spend it. I hate to disappoint them, but those days will arrive soon enough! I believe this is the earliest we've seen snow since we've lived here. Yesterday was the official end of summer (today the beginning of fall) and it's felt more like winter around here with highs in the 40s. I'm off to find my fleece pjs and curl up by the fireplace with a cup of chai and another LOST dvd. See ya!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Thankful Heart

Hi all. I don't think I'm back "full-time" on this blog, but I'm feeling very thankful this morning and this is a good place to share what I'm thankful for...

...for snow on Pikes Peak
...for my children's teachers this year. God answered prayer! They're all great!
...for all of you who've been praying for me
...for the work God is doing in my heart/life (vague, I know, but stay tuned...)
...for glorious temperatures in Colorado (60s/70s day, 30s/40s night!)
...for Abbey's improved health (we were in the hospital last week b/c of another vomiting episode!)
...for God's hand in my's going really, really well these days
...for John, and his commitment to me and our children
...for a new day, with new mercies
...for my friends, Angela, Jan, and Char who have greatly blessed my heart this week
...for health and LIFE...there are so many we know who are suffering right now
...for Jesus

Sunday, August 06, 2006

In just a little while John's parents will be arriving for a visit. I've been working like mad trying to get things in order around here and have finally found a few minutes to rest before they arrive. We're looking forward to their visit. Our kids have a long list of things they want to do with their Mimi and Papa. John and I have a list too. We're hoping to get away for an overnight trip while they're here. We haven't done that in such a long time. And we need it.

Last week we took a little road trip to Santa Fe. John was planning to go alone and meet up with a dear friend. He spent a week in Santa Fe last year at a retreat. This year, time and finances didn't allow him to go for the entire time, but he took a couple of days and we tagged along with him. He and his friend were gracious to allow the kids and I to share their time. Anyway, it was beautiful there. The architecture was fascinating, and so was all the art. I read on the internet that Santa Fe is the 3rd largest art market in the US behind New York and Los Angeles. Pretty impressive. Our time was too short to fully explore all that Santa Fe had to offer, though we did get a taste. We hope to go back...alone...sometime. The kids were thrilled though that the hotel had a pool. I'm pretty sure that if you asked them they'd tell you that getting to swim made their entire summer.

We took the long way home from Santa Fe...up through Taos and the Sangre de Cristo mountains. It was the best part of the entire trip for me. It was breathtakingly beautiful. La Veta Pass in southern Colorado is stunning. I think I would move in a heartbeat. We saw grove after grove of aspen and even a herd of elk grazing at dusk. So beautiful. My heart was so sick that I forgot my camera on this trip. Can you believe it? I always have my camera with me...but not this time. Thankfully John's friend took some for me! I was so grateful.

We stopped and ate dinner in Taos and while there this car flagged us down in a parking lot. The folks were from Arkansas and noticed my Arkansas Razorback license plate frame. Turns out they were from Hot Springs...about 20 miles from where we moved here from. We talked for a few minutes and they asked us if we'd heard any Arkansas news that week. We had indeed heard the day we left that Paul Eells, a beloved sportscaster had died in a tragic car accident. I was so sad when John's mom passed that news onto us that morning. I'm a huge Hogs fan and if the Hogs were playing on television, I'd always mute the tv to hear Paul Eells' broadcast. He was such a great guy and his death is a huge, huge loss to the entire state of Arkansas. That same sadness will be felt this fall when the Hogs play and I can't stream the audio from the games. It struck me as odd that we found ourselves in Taos, NM grieving together with fellow Arkansasans over his death. Small world, huh?

Friday afternoon John found a snake in our garage. YIKES! It was pretty small but any size snake is scary to me. He killed it and disposed of it and we still don't know what kind it was. Hopefully non-poisonous. It freaked me out a little that the kids and I had been outside about 30 minutes before he saw of course.

This morning at church we sang on of my new favorite worship songs. It's called AMAZING GOD and it is beautiful. Here are a couple of lines from it: Indescribable, Uncontainable, You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name, You are Amazing God...and another line...You see the depths of my heart and You love me the are Amazing God. So that particular line about God seeing the depths of my heart really struck me. Right now there is a lot being stirred in the depths of my heart...and truthfully, it is hard for me. God is asking me to journey through some of that stuff right now and I've tip-toed into it. I know He's asking me to go a little deeper and I'm doing that...just very slowly. All that to say that I'm going to take a little break from blogging. I don't know how long a break it will be. I do know that I need to take care of myself right now. My temptation is great on the days that I blog to paint the happy picture of our lives. Truth be told, our lives are happy, very happy. But along with the happy is also some hard stuff. And I need to look at that honestly and wholeheartedly. So...stay tuned. I'll be back and I'm sure I'll have plenty to report. And if you would pray for me while I look at some of this stuff that runs deep...I'd be grateful.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Eight-Year-Old Fashion Diva

We've got a little fashion queen living in our home. Sarah has a real sense of what's fashionable and what's not, what she wants to wear and what she doesn't want to wear. Yesterday the kids and I met some friends in Castle Rock for a movie. After the movie, we made a quick stop at the GAP outlet, because it's a shame to be that close and not venture in. I have great luck there finding stuff for the kids and their prices are great! I was looking at the boys stuff, then the toddler girls stuff while Sarah spent about 10 minutes perusing the little girls section. She then came and found me and showed me the outfit she had picked out. It's quite gauchos and a hip, green tee. Being the "yes" mom that I am these days, I let her buy it. She did a little fashion show for her dad when we got home and he gave the thumbs up. She looks adorable in it. I've learned the hard way that Sarah has her own fashion sense...and it's quite different from mine. Sometimes I rebel against her style and just buy the clothes I think she should wear. I usually regret it because they hang in her closet looking new at the end of the season, leading to some serious school morning battles. (Abbey has a great many outfits waiting for her to grow into!) I'm slowly realizing that she just needs the space to forge her own way here. Being allowed to choose her clothes that match her style is a good thing, and I see how it makes her little heart come alive. She loves it. She even loves picking out my clothes. John and I got a sitter and went on a date last Saturday night and she came in my room before I started getting ready and rummaged through my closet for the perfect outfit for me. She chose one, took the things off of the hangers, then laid it out on the bed for me...complete with jewelry and shoes. She told me what I needed to wear to the movies yesterday, and she gets Abbey dressed for me most mornings. I think she'd even pick out her daddy's clothes if he'd let her! I'm kinda slow sometimes to get things, but I think I'm finally, ever so slowly, tuning in to the heart of this creative child of mine. And lengthening my motherly tether just a bit. Just a bit.

And then there is her big brother. So much like me. I told John the other night that I think I need to call both of my parents and apologize for being such a pest at age 9. You know how your parents tell you they hope you have a child just like yourself? Well...I got one. John just looks from me to Will and back to me and laughs out loud sometimes. Slightly irritating. But Will is so much like me. He's constantly asking things like...are you sure you know how to get there, are we going to be on time, did we bring enough money? And he has ears that don't miss ANYTHING. John and I used to talk in code around him but he's even deciphered most of that by now. So now we just whisper...and even that is often overheard. "Mom, did you say we were going to Target? Really? Don't they have toys there? Can I get a toy? I have $8 but the one I want costs $15, so can I still get it? Are we still going to Target? When are we going to Target? Have you decided if I can get the toy I want?" Get the picture? I know I was the same way. So left-brained...and so not like John and Sarah.

The jury's still out on Abbey but we're starting to see some of that birth order stuff emerge. She is very funny...and she knows it. Usually the youngest tends to be the clown and it seems that's the path she's taking. John told me the other morning she woke up early, shortly after he did, and she asked him to cut up a banana for her. Maybe ten seconds later she walked in the kitchen and asked him, "Dad, how are you coming along with that banana?" She makes us all laugh around here. And her own laughter is contagious.

Well my intent wasn't to turn this into a post all about our kids but I've strayed far from that intent. It's okay though. They're the central focus of our lives right now and they're each a beautiful gift. So unique and so very loved. Fiercely loved.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006


John's sermon from a few weeks ago is available for download from our church's website (see link on the sidebar at right)...the bummer is that only the first 7 minutes got recorded. That is definitely too bad because it was one of his best sermons yet. Our loss for sure.

I'm a newsy girl. I read the Denver Post faithfully every morning while drinking my tea, and I try to catch the news every evening. We have a particular news station that we like here. The news team is kinda goofy, but we like the main weather guy a lot. Tonight I turned on the news while getting dinner together, and instead of the usual weather guy appearing, the station manager came on and reported that Mr. Weatherman was "suspended without pay" until further notice. Apparently, last night the weatherman cut into local programming with a storm alert, and when they went back to regular programming, his mic wasn't turned off and he let a couple of "f" bombs slip. Yikes. He apologized on air last night (the one night I didn't watch the 10 o'clock news!) but his future is yet to be determined. I feel sorry for him. We all make mistakes and I really hope this one doesn't cost him his job. Seems like a well known guy made a similar mistake recently and the public was pretty willing to overlook it and forgive him.

It's been a busy week. Only three more until school starts! Bummer indeed. The time is already filling up and that only makes it seem shorter. So as much as I can, I'm trying to rest and have days of doing nothing. As much as I can.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Wiping Decade

In January '04 I attended a Captivating conference in Buena Vista, CO. Captivating is the sister book to Wild at Heart by John Eldredge and he co-wrote Captivating with his wife, Stasi. Anyway, Stasi was describing the current season of life I find myself in as the wiping decade...ten years of wiping noses, bottoms, tears, spills, etc. When I heard that term, Abbey wasn't yet two and it really resonated with me. But I've realized this summer that my decade of wiping is drawing to a close. Not too long ago I took the kids to their favorite park (Colorado Springs has GREAT parks) and I took along a book and a lawn chair. I spent most of the time reading uninterrupted. Two years ago that seemed like a far-away dream. One afternoon this week I spent about 2 hours scrapbooking in my room, while the kids played in theirs. Unbelievable. Even last summer that was impossible unless they were all tucked in for the night. So I'm thrilled that the labor-intensive part of parenting is coming to a close, but wondering what the next decade of parenting will hold for us.

Okay...I need to do a little nutritional ranting. Unless you've been on Jupiter for the last year or two, you've heard and know how bad trans fat is for you and your arteries. There's been a major campaign to get trans fat out of chips, baked goods, things with a shelf life, etc. I'm usually very careful about reading labels but was surprised recently to find that I brought home two items with trans fat in them. One was Bisquik (for Sarah's saugage balls) and the other was Nutri-grain waffles. The Bisquik I can understand, and probably should have read more carefully, but the Nutrigrain waffles really threw me for a loop. I'm constantly looking for ways to incorporate more whole grains into the kids' diet and I thought the waffles would be a hit. They were--just not for me. Even Chik-Fil-A boasts a trans-fat-free menu. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that, and that's what makes me so surprised to learn that trans fat is still lurking out there on the grocery aisles. So heads things carefully! I know I will be more careful from now on.

Friends in the south...take heart. Our high temperature yesterday was 77. If the usual west-to-east pattern persists, cooler weather might just be headed your way. And some rain too. It was nice here yesterday and today is a repeat of it. Here's to hoping you can catch a break out east! Or maybe you should consider a plane ticket to naturally air-conditioned Colorado. We LOVE company!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

ho hum

It is so HOT here! I know I probably shouln't complain...we're hovering around 90 while our families are enduring sweltering temps in the 100s. John talked to his parents last night and they said they were at 105. And that was the actual temperature. Factor in the humidity and the heat index only raises that temp. Ugh.

Will got his tooth pulled yesterday afternoon. He did great. He even got $5 from the tooth fairy. Lucky kid. He's been to the dentist 4 times in the last week, and John has taken him 3 out of those 4 times. So yesterday, the dental assistant asked John (with great sympathy) if he was a single-dad. I got a kick out of that. I had been there the day before with Will getting his teeth cleaned, but I guess she wasn't paying attention...or maybe she was. Who knows??

So far our week has been filled with appointments--haircuts, dentist, and the pediatrician. Today Abbey had her 4-year check-up. I'm a little behind on that huh? She turned 4 in March! Our doctor recently sold her practice, so this was our first visit with our new doctor and Abbey loved her. Although I wasn't expecting it, Abbey ended up getting 3 immunizations today. The doctor said we could do it today, or come back in the spring because she'll need them to start kindergarten next year. I gave Abbey the choice, and she bravely chose today. She was brave indeed...didn't even cry!

Thanks for praying for our friends I mentioned in my last post. Things seemed to have settled down a bit for both families. Our neighbor won't know conclusively about diabetes for about 3-4 weeks. But it looks like he won't be insulin-dependent at this point. They're going to have to manage his blood sugar with diet right now. That is very good news. Again, thanks for your prayers.

You know...there really never is a dull moment around here. I don't think I'd know what to do if we had one either!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

in the blink of an eye

This afternoon we were planning to go with our next door neighbors up to her parents cabin just north of here. We planned to hike, let the kids play, then have dinner with her parents. We touched base about an hour before leaving and she told me she wasn't sure if her 3-year-old was feeling well...he had been very lethargic all day. I met her out at the van to get our stuff loaded up a few minutes before leaving and she said he still hadn't perked up. She was puzzled about what was going on and wondered out loud if he could be diabetic (her husband is) and she went back inside to prick his finger. Well...long story short, his blood sugar was sky high and they headed to the ER where the doctor said it probably is juvenile diabetes...nothing else generates that kind of a spike in kids blood sugar. So in the blink of an eye their lives have changed. Oh and did I mention that in addition to their 3-year-old, they have 13 month old twins??? They've got so much on their plate already and now this!?!

And the day that Sarah had her birthday party, my friend (who did the party for us) got a phone call from her mom. Her mom hadn't been feeling well for a few weeks but had gone to the doctor that day and they found many suspicious spots that needed attention. She headed to the Mayo Clinic and got a report this week that they were all malignant, very widespread, and that surgery wasn't an option. In the span of one week (the blink of an eye) things went from bad to worse. It's very overwhelming stuff. And I feel so helpless in all of this. All I can and know to do is pray...but somehow it doesn't feel like it's enough. But if you want to pray too, please join me. For the Richardson and Luhring families.

This morning we had an amazing church service. On Sunday nights in June, our church offered a class on Psalms. John was one of three that led the class, and a huge part of it involved the participants writing their own psalms...ones of thanksgiving, praise, and lament (more, but I can't recall the other forms right now). In place of the sermon this morning several volunteered to share their psalms corporately, and it was a beautiful worship experience. It was so courageous of those folks to "lift the veil" and let us peer deep into their hearts for a few minutes. John probably has words to express how moving it was, but I find myself lacking the words. Just know it was a rich time. And the blink of an eye...the fire alarms started going off right before communion. In a really calm voice, our pastor asked everyone to gather their belongings and leave the building (a real life fire drill!!!) It was surreal. We all gathered on the lawn right in front of Shove Chapel and without skipping a beat, Pastor Ken led us right into communion with the alarms still blaring and the siren of the firetrucks en route wailing in the background. Can't say I've ever experienced anything like that before. But it was wonderful. We sang a cappella and everyone just lingered there after we formally dismissed. It was the most memorable service we've attended in a long time.

Interestingly, across the campus lawn (our church meets in the chapel on the Colorado College campus) there is a huge parking lot where most of our church members park. This morning, that parking lot was the starting line-up point for the Gay Pride parade through downtown Colorado Springs. So while we were having this beautiful service out on the campus lawn, there is a huge hoopla going on about 300 yards away. We had to do some explaining to our kids on the way to the dressed in drag isn't something they see everyday. Maybe one of the more humorous moments of the day though.

I just had another thought or two to add to the above post. First, our church was fine. There wasn't a fire but there was quite a bit of smoke. The college and our church have partnered together and every Sunday afternoon they feed the homeless in downtown Colorado Springs. They were grilling something today and it burned and the smoke triggered the alarms. So that's all good!

The other thing is that we really love our neighborhood...because we love our neighbors. They're not just our neighbors, they're our friends. Last night, my next door friend and I left our kids at home with our husbands and went to Target, then out for dinner. And we were planning to join them this afternoon until a trip to the ER changed things a bit. That's what makes the diabetes thing so hard for us. Last night we were talking over dinner about potty-training, time-outs, and other kid stuff...tonight they're facing a major health concern with their young child. Because they're our friends it affects us too.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Curly Girl

So last Sunday I was sitting behind this girl at church with a headful of beautiful, red curls. Really beautiful curls. I see her at church all the time and always notice her hair. It's hard not to miss because it is an extraordinary shade of red. Anyway, I introducted myself after the service and complimented her hair. We started talking about other things but ended back on the hair topic. My hair is naturally wavy/curly though the flat iron has been my best friend for about 4 years now. Long story short, she inspired me to let mine go free...and I haven't straightened it all week. She directed me to some websites and a suggested a book that I picked up at the library this morning, and I've decided to stop fighting my hair and become an official "curly girl" least for a few weeks. an important thing to women!

Sarah's birthday was great. She was queen for the day and doesn't seem willing to relinquish the throne anytime soon. She's got a bunch of birthday money burning a hole in her pocket right now and is scheming for a trip to Walmart. I'll take her anywhere BUT Walmart...I can't stand that place.

Abbey went to a little day camp this morning at the kid's play gym here in town. The theme for today was Princes and Princesses. She loved it. She made a cute crown, had a royal snack, and got to play to her hearts delight. It was a nice way for her to spend the morning, and it was nice for me to have a break too. A few days ago we went and toured her new preschool. She'll go M/W/F this year but she doesn't start until after Labor Day. We're switching to a new preschool this year. I should have done it last year but wasn't really thinking until it was too late. Her new one is right across the street from Will and Sarah's elementary school. So, I can take Abbey to school and then walk her brother and sister across the street too (such fun on cold, snowy mornings!). Both schools are pretty close our house. I was so logistically challenged last year on preschool mornings. This will be a nice and welcome change. Abbey's excited too but a bit sad that her friends from the last two years will be staying at her old preschool. She's such a great kid though and makes new friends very quickly. She'll be FINE!!

Our neighborhood is having a big garage sale weekend. Will and Sarah begged me this morning to ride our bikes around to all the sales. We hit a few of them and they spent some of their money on some things they didn't really need. They each bought a beanbag chair. Sarah found hers for $1, but Will had to pay $5 for his. Good lesson for them about economics, huh? Anyway, the sale continues through tomorrow and they're both begging (pleading is more like it) to let them sell some of their old things. I can't stand having yard sales. So much work for so little profit. We'll see. I keep telling them to ask their dad. He's nicer than I am though so he'll probably say "Sure...just don't bother your mom"...which never ends up working out quite like he suggests it might. I'll let you know...maybe we can sell that stupid NordicTrak that's still sitting in our garage.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The "D" Word

The "D"entist. Well...little Will didn't get his tooth pulled today. John took him this afternoon and they were home sooner than I expected them. Will walked in the back door crying, but said it wasn't because his tooth hurt. He freaked out when they put the mask over his nose for the nitric oxide (I think that's the name of the gas). He hates that part...I remember from his previous experience. They tried for a while to get him to cooperate but to no avail so the the dentist pulled the plug, wrote him a prescription for some valium, then re-scheduled for next week. Lucky kid. So next Tuesday he has to take his valium before he goes to the dentist and hopefully will be relaxed enough not to fight the gas mask. Start praying NOW!

Dentist is a "d" word, but the other "d" word that hit me today was divorce. I got a call this morning from one of my friends in Arkansas telling me that some friends of ours are getting a divorce. It's a terribly sad situation. Unfortunately, getting phone calls like that is becoming all to familiar...we know four couples who are in the midst of that right now. It grieves my heart. As I was listening on the phone this morning, I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I don't know quite what to do with information like that except to pray for them...and especially for their children. In all four cases young children are involved. I just want to cry for them.

Tonight we were outside with the kids and I was pulling weeds in our flower beds. Here's a thought provoking question for you...what exactly are weeds good for? Do they exist for a purpose? And why do we have so much trouble growing grass but not dandelions and all those other pesky varieties? Anyone have a good answer????

Tomorrow is Sarah's 8th birthday. She is very excited about it too. She woke up this morning asking about her cake, presents, birthday breakfast, birthday lunch, birthday dinner, and tonight asked us if she could invite the kids in the neighborhood over for a birthday party. I reminded her that we had a party last week but she wasn't quite satisfied that and is still scheming for some sort of neighborhood bash tomorrow afternoon. I wasn't planning to make a cake because we had birthday cupcakes at her party last week so we talked her into making some ice cream sundaes tomorrow night. She agreed on the condition that we serve ice cream with blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Sounds yummy to me. She's requested sausage balls for her birthday breakfast and Subway for dinner tomorrow night. And we've got the presents taken care of though I need to get them wrapped in a little while. We pulled out her baby album this morning and I was amazed at how fast the last 8 years have gone. The days on her infancy don't seem that far away. Anyway, she's a great kid and we're so proud of her. Tomorrow should be a fun-filled day!!!

Oh was the first day this month that we surpassed 80 degrees. It finally felt like JULY!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Remember back in April and May when I was so ready for school to be out because I LOVED having the kids all at home with me? Well...toay I'm ready for school to start again. Arghhh. I think I'm going crazy. I had to leave for a little while today and I couldn't have been happier about it. They're whining and arguing and seeming not to listen to or care about a single thing I say. It's getting really old. And summer is feeling really long. Thankfully John has been around to absorb some of this for me, and that's been a really good thing.

Will is having a tooth extracted tomorrow. It's a molar on the bottom left. He had a cavity in that tooth a long time ago, but now it has started to abcess and has to come out. Better sooner than later, so we have an appointment tomorrow afternoon. Ouch! It makes me hurt just thinking about it. He actually had a tooth pulled a couple of years ago and did great. We're hoping for a repeat procedure. This time around though we have dental insurance. We haven't had it in YEARS, so it will actually be nice when it comes time to pay the dentist tomorrow...or at least that part won't be painful. Our health insurance is the reason that John continues to work at REI. They offer health insurance to all part-time employees--regardless of hours worked. For over a year we paid for our own and the cost was outrageous and our coverage pitiful. REI has been a huge blessing in that regard.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

hodge podge

We finished watching America's Funniest Videos a little while ago. We all love to laugh and that show keeps us in stitches. After it was over, John was flipping channels and the Simpsons was on FOX. I was doing something with Will, but I heard Abbey say, "'s the Cheese-sticks!" After a couple of minutes had passed I burst out laughing. I buy string cheese for the kids all the time, and the Simpsons characters are on the packaging of a particular brand. When she saw the Simpsons on tv, she immediately associated them with string cheese and kept asking to go back to the Cheesesticks show. Hilarious. It was also funny during the Sonic commercial when she told us she wanted a bubble gum "flushie". I think she meant a "slushie". Hope so anyway.

John shared a fantastic message this morning. I'm pretty sure it was recorded, but I don't think it will be available from our church website for a week or so because the guy who does that is out of town until next week. I'll try to alert you via this blog if and when it is available for your listening pleasure. smile. It is always a little hard for me when he preaches. Mostly because I know that he is really enjoying himself and is living out his calling. Seriously, so many people come up to us both after he preaches and tell us things like...he has a gift, his words are annointed, and wow...that was beautiful. And that creates tension in me because I have really enjoyed this break from pastoral ministry for almost two years. Our last church experience was very, very hard for me. Selfish, yeah. Honest, you bet. I'm not exactly sure what to do with all that either. I guess I wish that he could just keep doing things the way he's doing them full-time in publishing and preach a little on the side. I like not feeling the "pressure of the position" and I know he likes that too. But when he's in that role, like he was this morning, I know that preaching is not completely written out of our future. So we both contine to pray about that and keep all options open.

I just have to give you a little weather report because our July weather has been so bizarre. It has continued raining all day today and we haven't seen the sun since Friday. Our lawn is loving this rain, and so is our checking account. Water here is so expensive because there isn't enough of it. We have watering restrictions and are only allowed to water three times/week. We've had significant rainfall every day this month. It's creating problems all around us too...roads washing out, flooding, rockslides (the front page of today's Denver Post showed a car parked along a highway smashed flat by a boulder that fell!), and standing water everywhere. So unusual for a state that has had drought-like conditions for the three years we've lived here. The rain has brought very cool temps though. I don't think we've hit 80 degrees since the end of June. We went to the park after church for a party for a friend and it was FREEZING! The bank temp sign read 55 degrees at 2:30 this afternoon. So, not only are we saving money by not having to water...we're not having to run our air conditioner either. Nice.

Oh yeah...John's meeting with Eugene Peterson on Friday was cool. He went to a large assemby meeting at NavPress where Mr. Peterson spoke, then he went with a group of 10 to lunch with him. It was nice, and John said he was pretty much as he expected him to be. It was a neat opportunity and John was grateful for it!

Every so often I think of something that I really miss about living in the South. Last week, I remembered how much I miss swimming pools. You just rarely see them around here (water is scarce--seriously!). But in the're everywhere. I get such a kick out of flying into DFW airport from here. As you're landing, you look out the window of the plane and all you see is a blur of turquoise from all the pools. We do have a few pools around here, but most of them are indoors. They get more use out of them that way because when it's 68-70 degrees in July, it's not really warm enough to swim. When we lived in Arkadelphia, we had lots of friends with pools as well as a great aquatic park. I would take Will and Sarah swimming almost every day (before Abbey came along!). It is great fun and a great way to get your kids to sleep at night...exhaustion works wonders. We've been swimming once since we've lived here...isn't that SAD? My next door neighbor took us to the pool at her parent's high-rise condo in downtown Denver last summer. It was fun, but kinda weird too. The pool was on the third floor. Still fun though. So yeah...I really miss swimming and having a pool to swim in.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lazy Day

Today is one of those days that just screams LAZY! We've yet to see the sun though we've seen a slow, steady rain for a few hours now! I love it! It's one of those days where I think I could just stay in bed and read or watch tv ALL DAY!!! I can't even remember the last time I did something like that. Probably BK--before kids.

Anyway, John gave me a chance to be lazy today. He gave me the morning off...a huge gift. He's so busy with work these days and that leaves me dealing with the kids for long stretches without a break. And breaks are really, really nice. So I got one this morning. He got everyone up (actually, Abbey got everyone up about 6:50 AM), fed them breakfast, got them dressed, then took them with him to run errands. I got to stay in bed and read for awhile, then work on getting our Estes Park photos from last week in a scrapbook. Very relaxing, and very good for my heart!!! They were gone for about 4 hours and I enjoyed every single second of quiet. Sometimes I like to leave the house for a break, but the best break for me is when THEY leave and I get to stay home. So, thanks John!!! I owe you.

Sarah had a fun birthday party this week. It was a rubber-stamping/scrapbook party. One of my friends is a rubber-stamping enthusiast (it's actually her business) and she has a scrapbook room in her basement. We went to her house and she organized some projects for the girls and then let them have lots of creative space. It was GREAT and Sarah was really in her element. She helped me put together some fun treat bags for her guests--full of scrapbooking goodies. So, I was kinda in my element too. It's fun that we've found something we both enjoy and love doing together. We followed up the party with lunch at Fatburger. So she was queen for the day, and thinks she will remain queen until her actual birthday arrives this week! I'm all for it!!! Birthdays usually last awhile around our house.

Our weekend is feeling really full. We have a friend's 40th birthday party to go to tonight, and another party after church tomorrow to celebrate one of Sarah's friend's victory over cancer. John preaches in the morning too. So yeah, a full weekend. Glad I got rested up this morning!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Rain, Rain, and More Rain

It has been raining for about 3 hours now. And I can't even begin to tell you how uncommon that is in Colorado. It has rained like this for the last 4-5 days and it's GREAT! We are usually so dry that we pray for this kind of moisture. It's not unusual to get a shower or two each afternoon in the summer, but they're usually brief and the sun comes right back out. These however, have been slow-moving storms that are dumping major rainfall, and we've got puddles all over the neighborhood. It's amazing, and we're so grateful! Our fireworks even got rained out last night. We didn't go downtown as planned because we had major storms yesterday afternoon and the ground was soaked. We went instead to the cul-de-sac at the end of our street and watched two different firework shows from afar...until the second storm that moved through put an end to things. It was fine that time we were wiped out from the activites of the day and were only a few hundred yards from home!! Oh was freezing cold too! We all had on jeans and fleece and were wrapped up in blankets and were still shivering! I LOVE summertime in Colorado!!!

Next week Sarah will be eight years old. We're having a birthday party for her tomorrow! She is so excited. Should be fun...I'll let you know how it goes!

Tonight is the first time in about a month that all of our kids were in bed with the lights out at 8PM. With our company here, then vacation, then July 4, we were pushing 9:30-10:00 every night. Highly unusual for us. Our kids are in bed by 7:30 on school nights!!! I'm ready to get back on schedule. Otherwise John and I never have any time alone.

John is up to preach again on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it! He's swamped with work and deadlines right now and is trying to squeeze some sermon prep in somewhere. Last week was so nice for him...he really needed a break from all he's got going on right now. But right now, Estes Park feels like a lifetime ago. He's getting excited about Friday. It's the day he gets to meet Eugene Peterson (the Message guy) at NavPress. Exciting stuff.

Monday, July 03, 2006

4th of July!!

I love the 4th of July. In fact, it is my favorite holiday. People look at me funny when I say that, but I'm serious! I think it has something to do with the fact that I LOVE summertime, love being outside, and love being around other people...and all those things are usually a part of our 4th celebrations. I remember as a kid waking up on the 4th of July to my dad playing John Phillips Sousa records on his old turntable. We'd usually have some sort of bar-b-que plans with friends and family, then we'd sit outside in our driveway and watch the Elks Club fireworks while being eaten alive by mosquitos. When I remember my childhood 4th of Julys, I smell smoke and Off insect repellent! Nice!

My favorite 4th of July ever was in 1990--the year John and I got married. We honeymooned in Boston, and were there for July 4. We sat on the banks of the St. Charles river and listened to the Boston Pops concert and watched the most amazing fireworks display we've ever seen! It was awesome and is forever etched in my memory!

This will be our third July 4th celebration in Colorado and we're making new traditions that I hope our children will remember fondly! Monument has a 4th of July parade, so we're heading downtown in the morning. It is so much fun!!! It is a long 2 hours long...and there are floats, bands, firetrucks--the works. The kids love it because most of the float participants throw candy, and they scramble to collect as much as they possibly can! Politicians pass out popsicles, churches give out water bottles, and one dentist even throws toothbrushes to the crowd (we need them after all the candy!). Ours is a small town and it's doubly fun because you see so many people you know--spectators and parade participants! Tomorrow some friends from our small group at church are joining us. Should be fun for the kids and adults too.

I also love the 4th of July in Colorado because it's NOT usually hot! Our high tomorrow is supposed to be 77...and we'll need to take fleece with us to the park for fireworks. Nothing muggy or buggy about this holiday and I love it!

Tonight we invited some of our little neighborhood friends over to make firecracker hats for the parade tomorrow. I saw the idea in my Family Fun magazine and they are super cute. The kids went with me to Hobby Lobby this afternoon to get the stuff, and we set up two tables in our garage (it was raining) for craft-night! They turned out great and the kids will look quite festive tomorrow. We're also planning to have a little neighborhood bike parade tomorrow afternoon. We've invited some neighborhood kids to make a few loops around the block with us. Everyone is going to decorate their bike, wear their hats, and ride all together. I think it will be so much fun!

The downside to all this 4th of July fun is that John has to work at REI. We were both so surprised. We never even considered that he might be scheduled to work. After being off last week, and needing some time off this week for meetings, he's kinda at their we'll celebrate without him...and that is so hard for me. He feels so bad (and sad) about it too because he knows I love this holiday, and he likes it a lot himself. At least he'll be able to go to the park for fireworks with us. Our friend is a self-proclaimed fireworks snob and says the best show is in downtown Colorado Springs. I think we're going to trek down there even though we can see two really great displays from our backyard because it's always more fun with friends!

Happy 4th of July to you! Celebrate freedom this day!!!!!

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jig

We're back from our stay in Estes Park. We had a really good week together and did lots of fun things. My favorite thing was spending time in Rocky Mountain National Park. You can not believe how beautiful that place is until you see it for yourself. I'm moved to tears each time we're there. Seriously, it's that beautiful. God is the best artist!! We did some hiking and I was so proud of the kids, especially Abbey, for completing a two-mile hike uphill to Alberta Falls. We did some more hiking too, and saw some elk and deer and lots of chipmunks. Every time we're at the park, we try to see the bighorn sheep at Sheeps Lake. The sheep live up in the mountains, but come down to these kettle lakes to lick minerals from the mud. The times of their descent are never predictable, and we've never seen them in the park. Big bummer! The bighorn sheep is the symbol of RMNP, but the visitors who actually see those elusive animals are the lucky ones!

Our kids will tell you their favorite thing was the go-karts and bumper boats and the giant slide. That was fun, but they love being in the park as much as their parents do.

Um...if you're ever headed to Estes Park, let me tell you where NOT to stay. Our little cabin that I fell in love with last year quickly lost it's charm on this trip. Seems the owners had a problem with mice. Eek! It really was so gross. The first night we were there we were watching a movie all together and John thought he kept seeing things out of the corner of his eye. That was all he had to say for me to be a ball of nerves. Literally, I curled up in a ball on the couch and stayed that way for the rest of the movie. We got the kids to bed and he got out the broom to do a little searching. Sure enough, we saw two mice. He shooed one out the door, but we never found the second one again. The next morning, he got the owners to set some traps out. Let me just say we stopped counting at 8 dead ones. So, so gross. I was really irritated. John felt bad about it all week. If we could have found another place to stay, we would have, but Estes Park is packed in June and July. NO VACANCY is a sign you see everywhere. We finished out the week, but the owners knew we weren't happy and wouldn't be back next year. I understand that the cabin is on a cliffside, and field mice are sure to turn up every now and then, but this was infestation. It was NOT a restful week for me! The kids were great about it though, and didn't seem to be too aware of our guests...or their mother's fear. We ended up eating out a lot more than we planned to...simply because I didn't want to be in that place! We did find another cabin we'd like to stay in next time. We were shopping one day (we spent a lot of time out!!!!) and discovered a cabin on the river that we wanted to check out. We stopped in and the owner showed it to us, and I was delightfully surprised to find that it fits our budget and is WAY nicer than the Mouse House! I'm there!

The weather there was fabulous. Highs were in the 70s, lows in the 40s. We had to turn on the heat at night! And we wore fleece when we were hiking. Up in the higher elevations of the park, the temperature is much lower! One night we went to a dulcimer concert downtown in Estes Park. I was freezing! The wind was blowing and temps were in the 50s. Despite my layers and fleece, I couldn't get warm, so we left...and went for ice cream! John and the kids could eat ice cream even if it was 30 below. I passed up ice cream for a chai from Starbucks! It warmed me right up!

Before we left home, John and I gave each of the kids a roll of quarters. The deal was that every time they complained, argued, talked back, or whined, they lost a quarter. At the end of the week, any money they had left was theirs to spend on whatever they wanted. They each lost a couple of dollars, but their daddy taught them an important lesson about grace...getting something you don't letting them spend money they didn't really have! Good lesson, and I think they "got it"!

Oh yeah...about those license plates we've been searching for. We're still lacking four states--Hawaii, Rhode Island, Delaware, and West Virginia. I'm sure
we could have found them in Estes Park, but John wasn't quite as into this quest as the rest of us, and didn't want to drive us through the parking lots! So...we keep searching.

Monday, June 26, 2006

We're off this week to Estes Park for a little vacation and a lot of rest! We discovered Estes Park last summer and it has become our favorite spot in Colorado. Last June we rented a little cabin for a week and spent one of our best family vacations in that place. We loved it so much, we're headed to the same cabin this week. It's not fancy schmancy or anything, but it's got a great screened-in porch and a big family room, a terrific view of Longs Peak, and you see elk when you glance out the window. BEAUTIFUL!!! We're planning to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park doing some hiking and exploring. We also hope to take a trail ride on horseback. We're taking UNO and a 1000 piece puzzle, and books and our dvd player and movies! Can you tell I'm excited?

We're actually leaving before my mom does...aren't we hospitable? She's flying home with a friend from home who's here visiting in Colorado. That worked out well for them and eased my guilt a little!

Last Thursday John had a meeting with a guy from NavPress. At their meeting he gave John two advance copies of the WORLDVIEWS book he wrote in December. It's a book he co-authored with another guy named John. He actually re-wrote some of the other guys work, then finished up the second half. Anyway, it looks great, and I actually read the chapter on Postmodernism! Terrific! I'm not sure when it comes out (officially), but I'm so proud of him. It's a really cool thing to watch a book evolve from words on a screen to a book you hold in your hands. Really cool. I hope there is much more of that in his future!

We've taken advantage of my mom being here as a babysitter. This Friday is our 16th anniversary and we celebrated a week early with dinner and a movie in downtown Colorado Springs. We went to see A Prairie Home Companion and loved it. John has always been a Garrison Keillor fan! Our favorite part was the jokes the two cowboys told. Some were a little crude, but most were very funny!!!

I'm off to get things ready for Estes Park. We take our own food and cook most of our meals at the cabin (or "cavern" as Abbey calls it!). It's very chilly here this morning with temps in the upper 40s, and Estes Park is higher in elevation (translated even cooler) so I'm going to have to dig out some cool-weather clothes! Not that I mind or anything!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Fifty States

Saturday afternoon we were stuck in a bit of traffic. Yuck. Summertime in Colorado always seems to bring an influx of traffic. I've gradually begun to realize (sometimes I'm slow) that it's mostly from tourism. So while we were stuck, I got the kids to help me identify as many license plates as we could find from different states. Five days later, we've spotted tags from 40 of the 50 states. I think that's pretty incredible, don't you?? I'm sure that next week when we go to Estes Park we'll be able to complete our list. Last summer the parking lots were full of cars from all over the country and I remember thinking that there were more people from out of state at Rocky Mountain National Park than there were from Colorado. Estes Park is our favorite place in Colorado.

We took the kids to see Cars yesterday afternoon, and I thought it was a cute movie. It took me awhile to get into it but I loved it...especially the ending. I discovered that our theater offers a FREE movie every week for kids during the summer. They've got some great movies showing too...Dreamer, Curious George, Madagascar, Zathura, and more. I think tomorrow we may take the kids to see Dreamer. It's one of our favorites and who can say no to a free movie?!?

Will's hair grows so fast. I accidentally scalped him on Sunday, but he's already got some new growth that you can easily see. I think I've learned my lesson about those clippers and I'll gladly fork over $12-$15 for him to get his hair cut/buzzed by a licensed professional from now on! Live and learn, baby!

John just continues to get more and more projects pitched his way. He has a meeting tomorrow with a guy about a potential project for a publication in the works. His name got passed along as a result of a proposal he presented about two weeks ago. We're curious about where this meeting tomorrow might go. He's got so much on his plate this summer that we're not sure at this point if we'll be able to make another trip to Arkansas. We're still thinking/praying about that.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Random News

It's been several days since I've posted because we've been busy enjoying our company! My mom is here visiting from Arkansas. We've enjoyed having her here, and have more fun stuff planned for this week.

John had a nice Father's Day yesterday. We surprised him with three books from an author he recently discovered. He preached at our church yesterday too, and shared a beautiful message. If you care to listen, you can download it from our church's website (International Anglican Church--see the sidebar on the right side of this blog). He loves having the opportunity to preach when he can, and is up again in July!

About two weeks ago I gave Will a buzz haircut with my neighbor's clippers. It has been looking shaggy lately, so we borrowed them again yesterday and I was going to straighten it up. I should have gotten her to re-instruct me on how to use them. I forgot to put the guard on, and even though I set it on the highest setting, he was nearly bald after the first swipe through his hair. Of course I started at the front of his head, so it looked like he had an inverted mohawk. I gotta tell you that some really bad words came out of my mouth. I was near tears, but had to keep going. John was cool about it, and Will LOVES it. He called his friend to come over and see it when I was done. My mom was just thankful she had gotten some cute pictures of him before he was bald. Seriously, he has NO HAIR! I'm getting used to it though, and have already smeared sunscreen on his bald pate this morning. Wouldn't that be a painful sunburn? Ouch!

I've got my mom out working in my yard. Neither John and I are "yard" people, and she has about five green thumbs. She loves it, and I love that she loves it. It's hot out there today though...upper 80s. We should have been out there working on Friday afternoon when the temps were in the upper 40s...yes, I said 40s!!! It was downright cold!

On Saturday afternoon we went down to Old Colorado City and walked around. There are lots of neat shops and art galleries on that stretch, and it's just a fun place to explore when we have out-of-town guests. Anyway, I saw a lady with an Arkansas Razorback t-shirt on and stopped to talk to her for a minute. Turns out she is related to one of our doctor friends in Arkadelphia (the last place we lived before moving here), and she is friends with one of my cousins. Small, small world isn't it???

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

You've Got Mail!

Today was a good mail day! I'm talking about snail mail. I don't like to go the mailbox and come home with bills, advertisements, and catalogs. I like letters! The personal stuff! Today was great in that regard. I got an invitation to a baby shower for friend at church. That was nice. The kids got letters from their grandparents in Arkansas. That made their day. We got two more Little House on the Prairie dvds from We'll watch a couple episodes tonight! John got a Father's Day card with $$. Always nice. And we got an invitation to a celebration of life for Sarah's little friend who is a cancer survivor. That's one celebration we don't want to miss. And finally, John got a letter from his parents that included an article from their hometown newspaper. When we were there in May, the Nashville News interviewed him and wrote a feature article about his leap from the pulpit to the publishing world, complete with a picture of him holding a few of his books. If the photo of him and Will in Pray! magazine didn't do it, I guess this article cements his celebrity status. SMILE!! So yeah, it was a good mail day. And if you want to rib him about being a "celebrity"...I think he'd probably laugh right along with you!

We're off in a few minutes to Denver to get my mom from the airport. She's spending some time with us this month, and we're excited! The kids already have plenty of ideas of how they want her to spend her time. Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The "Yes" Mom

I love summer more than anything! I love having no schedule, I love being outside, I love having my kids all home, and I love being the "yes" mom. Yes, you can have a sleepover; yes, you can go to the movies; yes, you can play outside; yes, we can go for a bike ride; yes, you can have a friend over; yes, you can go to your friend's house; yes, you can stay up late; yes, we can go for ice cream; and yes to so many many more things. Will told us yesterday (after two sleepovers and a movie with friends) that we were the "ultimate" parents. I don't know about that, but I do like saying yes to his requests, and it seems so much easier in the summer!

We've been outside so much lately, that my house is in major disarray. That is stressing me out a little because we have company coming tomorrow (and here I am on the computer instead of tackling the myriad of tasks that await me!). Our kids have lost interest in those chores they were so gung-ho about last week (isn't that the way it goes?). They still help me, but they need lots of persuading (and bribing!). Who can blame them? They want to be outside as much as I do! So we've been doing the bare minimum every day! And that's okay's SUMMER!!!!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

We've been working for a while now with Sarah on learning to ride her bike...without training wheels. For whatever reason, she hasn't been too interested in learning until a few weeks ago, and even then was really tentative and cautious. When she didn't "get it" right away and had a bad fall, she lost interest....until Wednesday when our five-year-old neighbor across the street learned how to ride hers. Our neighbor (she's cute as a bug) was riding up and down the street in front of our house, saying "Hi Sarah" each time she rode past. So Thursday morning, we were outside playing, and I was talking to our neighbor, and Sarah asked me to get her bike. She got on and started pedaling while I was holding onto her seat. And away she pedaled...again and again and again! Yesterday she mastered starting on her own and turning corners well. So today we all went to REI and bought her a new bike and helmet. An early birthday present. They had to build the bike, so it's not quite ready, but she and her daddy are going to pick it up this afternoon. We're thrilled that she's riding on her own now, and she is pretty darn proud of herself as well. Way to go Sarah!

We're all pretty proud of John too. He had a meeting on Thursday with some folks at a publishing company. They asked him to submit a proposal for a women's devotional bible. They asked for something different than what is already out there...something really "out of the box". So, he presented his proposal on Thursday (while Sarah was learning to ride!) and they loved his ideas. He got some good affirmation, and possibly some more work! It was really great for me to see him "in his element" as far as the creative process goes, and equally great for them to recognize his creative capacity. He doesn't know what will come of the meeting, but it seemed promising, and he was grateful to be asked for his ideas.

I posted a few days ago about how God seems to be blessing my little home business. In the last two days, I've gotten even more unsolicited orders for over $300 of product. I'm thinking that maybe I should really start working this a little more. If that's what keeps happening without effort on my part, think what I might could do if I really started to get serious about it. I'm actually pretty motivated right now, but still praying about how to proceed.

No signs of our little mouse today. John didn't see it yesterday either, but said that he was trying to climb out of the window well on Thursday. There's not much for him to "grip" onto though, so he'd get about half-way up and fall back to the ground. Poor thing. Maybe his determination won out and he's found his way to freedom! We'll keep watching for him, but I'd be fine to never see him or his kind ever again!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I was deleting old messages from our answering machine a few days ago, and made an interesting observation...our kids get more messages than their parents do! I deleted about 6-7 messages, and 4 of them were for our nine-year-old. He has a couple of neighborhood friends who call all the time for him (and let me stress all the time!) . Seriously, my phone might ring 10x a day, and I bet 5-6 of those calls are for Will. Sarah gets calls too, but not the volume that Will does. Is this a sign of times to come??? Yikes.

Today I got a real treat. A pedicure. My neighbor gave me a gift certificate for one last summer...and I just now got around to using it. It was luxurious, and I'm so thankful for her gift. John was gracious to watch the kids for me. He is insanely busy these days, so the luxury of time was as much a gift as the pedicure.

God is really blessing my Creative Memories business. In the last two days, I've gotten phone calls from friends wanting to order over $150 of product. I've really put very little effort into this business, but things keep happening. It's exciting to watch and wonder where God is taking this. I met another consultant a couple of months ago and am really praying about how she and I might work together. She's been doing this for a long time, but just recently moved to Colorado. Again, I don't know where God is taking this, but I'm enjoying the ride. We'll see what happens!

Oh yeah...about that mouse in the window well downstairs. I've yet to see it, but apparently that little mouse likes to watch John while he's working. This afternoon, John rummaged around in the garage until he found his air rifle, then he went around to the window well to put an end to the little guy. He's a sneaky little critter and kept burrowing underground, so John wasn't even able to find him much less shoot him. So the saga continues. I hope he'll try again tomorrow. I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Well, we finally broke down and turned the air conditioner on today. We're actually the envy of our neighborhood because we actually have a/c. It was complete shock to us when we were house-hunting to realize that most homes in Colorado don't. Friends without it usually tell us that it's only miserable for a week or so in July, but we've had some warm temps this week. I'm just thankful it's running and that our house is nice and cool!

I'm downstairs typing on John's computer right now. His desk sits underneath a window with not much of a view. Because his "office" is in the basement, and most of the basement is underground, the view from his window is the inside of our window well. I came down here earlier to tell him something and he told me to listen very carefully and not react to what he needed to tell me. Seems he had been watching a mouse all morning...apparently one trapped in the window well. It was all I could do not to scream. Tiny creatures I know, but they freak me out!!! I haven't seen the mouse this afternoon, but really don't want to either, so this will be a short post. I'm not too worried about it migrating indoors. I think it just must have fallen down into the well, and there's really no way it can climb back out without assistance. So hopefully, John will be removing a dead mouse really soon. I think he's burrowed down into the cool ground right now...just hope he can't burrow through our concrete basement wall. YUCK!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Ah...Sunday afternoons. My favorite time of the week. I like Friday nights too, but Sundays usually have a lazy, restful pace that I really love.

On the way to church this morning, I noticed that Pikes Peak only has a few spotty patches of snow left on her! Not really surprising considering that our temps in June have been in the 80s! Quite a change from those nice 60s we were enjoying earlier in the week. At least it's beginning to feel like summer around here.

Daily chores are a part of our summer routine. Each of my kids has a "chore-chart" on the fridge, and they check their completed chores off of their chart each day. Believe it or not, it's something they really look forward every morning. Sarah and I were up early yesterday morning and she had all her boxes "checked" before 7am. She and Will are so darn competitive with each other that it's a race to finish first...every single day. Today, he was up before her racing to finish his chores before she awoke. They even help Abbey get her chores checked off, hoping that I'll give them a bonus check for assisting her. And heaven forbid one of them get more check marks. They're both reading right now, each afraid that the other will log more hours on their summer reading plan. Hmmm...I wonder where that competitive gene came from? If you're thinking it came from their mother, guess again. John and I are equally stubborn and competitive. At least I've motivated our kids to help me out around here. And let me tell you, my house is dust-free and my kitchen appliances are sparkling. Nice!

Last week John got a really cool invitation. Most of his writing/editing involves The Message translation of the Bible. The guy who translated the Message is Eugene Peterson. Mr. Peterson is very particular about Message-related products and has very specific ideas of what those products should and shouldn't look like. Anyway, John has wanted for a while now to talk to the man himself, and last week got an inviation to do just that. Mr. Peterson is going to be at NavPress in July. John was invited to attend a large assemby, then have lunch and be a part of smaller, Message-related team meeting with him. I'm excited for him! I wish I could tag along!

I'm heading outside in a few minutes. It's too nice a day to spend inside on the computer. We have some lilac bushes in our front yard that bloomed this week and they smell so amazing. We also have columbine (Colorado state flower) and iris blooming too. I think the lady we bought this house from must have liked purple because all of the blooms are lavendar! I love the kind of flowers and plants that come back every year without me having to do anything. I'm not a yard all! Sadly, John isn't either.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Dreary Wednesday

It is a really dreary day. We don't get too many days like these. When we moved here our realtor told us that this city has about 320 days of sunshine a year...and it's true. It's also wonderful! I love the sun.

I can't really complain about it not being sunny today though because we haven't yet reached 60 degrees today. It's downright chilly. The kids were outside playing in the backyard earlier this morning and came inside to put their fleece on. How's that make you guys in Arkansas feel right now???

Anyway, I had planned to take the kids to the park to watch the *free* air show from the Air Force graduation today. But it's not really fun to play at the park when it's cold outside. And it's been raining off and on all morning, so I didn't want to sit in the rain either. We made a good choice and stayed home and saw a little of the Thunderbirds, but viewing is difficult in our neighborhood because of all the rooftops.

Earlier in May, I took Will to get his hair buzzed for summer. It's already grown so much and has been looking really shaggy. My neighbor let me borrow her clippers this morning and I buzzed his head myself a little while ago. I never knew it was that easy. Will was a little skeptical and protested loudly about me doing it. He said he was afraid I'd mess up. I told him if I messed up, I'd pay him $ offer he didn't hesitate to refuse. He was pleased with the results and said I could just pay him $1 instead...the $1 I took away from him yesterday for continually picking on Sarah. Money is a powerful motivator for him!

So after John finishes up for the day, he promised to take them all to our local toy store to spend some money they got from grandparents. They begged to stop at every Walmart in Oklahoma and Kansas to spend it, but we made them wait! They're not very patient when they have money in their pockets!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Good to be Home

Our family is back home after a whirlwind trip to Arkansas. John's grandfather passed away last Tuesday, and we left Wednesday for his funeral. It is a grueling trip, but we were very thankful to be able to be there to honor him.

We had really hoped to fly instead of drive, but the cheapest plane tickets John found were $700 apiece...and there are five of us. We knew we could drive for way less than that...but it meant driving 18 hours. It's never pleasant, but it's always worth it. Especially when we get to see our kids enjoying their cousins. Their only cousins are on John's side of the family, and they LOVE them so much.

We have tentatively been planning to make a two-week trip to Arkansas sometime later this summer. I'm not even willing to discuss it at this point (give me a few weeks). I tell people that drive is so much like labor...I need to forget how bad it is before I'm ready to do it again. Note that I stopped after having three children! smile! I will say that it has gotten much easier to travel that distance as our children have gotten bigger. Abbey being potty-trained makes a really big difference. Apparently, she's overcome her fear of public restrooms being that we had to stop once an hour for her yesterday morning. And we've also discovered books on cd. We listened to Frindle, Anastasia Krupnik, Amber Brown is NOT a Crayon, and Henry and Ribsy during our drive. Enlightening stuff! The dvd player is nice too, but I make them alternate between movies and books...mainly because I can't stand the dvd player noise in my ear (it hooks onto the back of my seat).

Since we got home yesterday afternoon, I guess that makes today the kid's first official day of summer vacation. I was thinking we might head to the library. They signed up last week for the summer reading program, and they've been asking if I'd let them count all the books we listened to as hours read. Hmmmm...because each book is roughly three recorded hours, they'd be finished with the entire game card no way! They're bummed, and I'm the mean mom. Whatever.

A few minutes ago, I heard and recognized one of my favorite sounds. It was the sound of the Air Force Thunderbirds flying overhead. We live about 5 miles north of the Air Force Academy and every year at the AF graduation, the Thunderbirds perform. The perk for us is that they practice flying overhead for a few days. They practice their stunts and their formation flying and it's just super cool. So, in a little while, we're heading out back to take in some amazing sights. Awesome! Just another one of the many reasons we love living here.

Another reason would have to be the cool mountain air. We were greeted by it yesterday afternoon, and with temps in the low 60s, it was a welcome change from the mid 90s we experienced in Arkansas. 90+ temps with 90% humidity is really HOT. I don't miss that or those pesky mosquitoes one bit!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Winding Down

The school year is winding down. Only two more days. I don't know who's or the kids! Only 2 more days of making lunches and rushing out the door in the mornings. I LOVE summer!

This afternoon a tornado touched down just east of here. Tornados aren't too common in Colorado and I'm thankful for that. Tornados terrify me!

Back in March when John's parents were here, we visited Focus on the Family. In the kid's mini-theater, they were playing a Veggie Tales Video that had Will quite intrigued. Our kids were huge Veggie Tale fans when they were smaller, but have been "so done" with that for a long time now...until Will saw a little bit of the "Lord of the Beans" video. He was begging me to buy it for him, but I was skeptical because I didn't want to add another Veggie Tales video to my yard sale bin. So, we put a hold on it at our local library, and we just got the video yesterday. It is HILARIOUS! It's based on the Lord of the Rings trilogy. John and I are big Tolkein fans, but this video takes the cake. It's Toto, instead of Frodo...EarofCorn rather than Aragorn...flobbits instead of hobbits...and the list of humorous similarities goes on and on and on. If you're familiar with the LOTR trilogy, you'll get a good chuckle from Lord of the Beans. I'm thinking it's one I really would like to add to our collection!

Yesterday, we worshipped at a Seventh Day Adventist Church. Now...hear me out while you pick your jaw up off the floor. The Anglican church we attend meets at a chapel on a college campus. Twice a year, our church gets the "boot" because of campus events. Yesterday was one of those occasions...the baccalaureate service was going on in the chapel, so we had to find an alternative meeting spot. Last year, we met at a park (which was so great!) but this year, they decided to keep us inside and so we borrowed the Seventh Day Adventists' sanctuary. I don't really know what Seventh Day Adventists are all about, but they had a beautiful building. You know John is going to be writing a book on denominations this summer; I hope he can fill me in on those 7th day guys.

Thursday, May 18, 2006


Okay, gotta tell you that VBS (Vacation Bible School) in Colorado is WAY different than what we're used to. In the past two weeks, I've seen ads in the paper for three different bible schools...and the cost to attend each of those is $15, $35, or $45 PER CHILD! What in the world? Have you ever heard of such a thing or am I just really, really out of it???

I've been a part of different VBS programs for most of my life and I've never heard of a child having to pay to go! At each church John pastored, VBS was a huge part of our church budget every year. It was just something you planned for and the church paid for. I guess it's just not the same here in the west.

Any thoughts on this??? Anyone else think this is crazy?

I have found a few programs that don't charge for their VBS. They have an enrollment list though and once it's full you're put on a waiting list. I'm not really a cheap person, but I'm thinking I could have VBS in my own backyard this summer and funnel the money I would have spent into our vacation fund!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Blues

I've got the blues. Blue legs that is. I got a new pair of denim capris on Mother's Day, and I love them. But every time I take them off, my legs have a bluish tint. Really weird. When I first noticed it, I thought maybe I was having circulation problems. I showed John and he thought I had bruises all over. Today I wore them again and not only were my legs blue, but my hands were too (from having them in my pockets). I guess I need to wash them and see if that takes care of it. They're a really dark wash, but I've NEVER seen anything like this. My blue legs make me look like a Smurf!

I just got back from having dinner with my friend who is moving to Fort Collins. We ate at Pei Wei. It's an Asian diner and it's really yummy. It's right around the corner from REI and every time I drive by that shopping strip it makes me laugh that the letters P-E-I, W-E-I, and R-E-I are in such close proximity to each other. I think they should name it EI square or something. I know...I'm weird. I really do notice letters and words and such. Sometimes I even see words in my head when I'm talking. John thinks it's strange...and I think that it's strange that he doesn't see words in his head--he being the writer and all.

Abbey and I ran to the grocery store this afternoon and picked up some stuff for dinner. John had dinner duty since I was meeting my friend, and he said he wanted to make hamburgers. John's great at cooking burgers on the G. Foreman grill. Anyway, I bought 2.5lbs of meat thinking he'd cook it all and we'd have some leftovers for lunch tomorrow. He just informed me that the four of them ate ALL of the burgers. Two and a half pounds of ground chuck between the four of them! Unbelievable. Actually, the amount of food our kids consume really is unbelievable. The other day they had a snack--cheese and crackers--and in 15 minutes they had eaten a half-pound of cheese! What's that about? We get our milk and bread from a dairy service that delivers to our door. I filled my order out this morning and upped my bread to three loaves. I usually order two a week, but always have to make a run for another loaf or two. Some of our friends have five kids (I shudder to think what their food bill looks like) and she bakes her own bread. Maybe I'll get her to teach me how to do that this summer! Or maybe not.

Tomorrow is another CRAZY day around here. I think I have somewhere to be every hour from 8AM to 4PM. I'm LIVING for Friday when I have absolutely nowhere I have to be!