Sunday, March 26, 2006

This morning as we were driving to church, we counted a dozen or more prairie dogs. There is an open field by close by and it is a big prairie dog community. It was warm and sunny this morning and we kept seeing them out scampering or standing up sunning themselves. They're so darn cute! We counted a dozen more on the way home from church too. I think that we must be getting closer to spring...they were out in full force today!

The field they live in is also home to the preble mouse. It's got some official species classification name, but most folks around here call it the !*&^#? preble mouse. That's because it's on the endangered species list and a lot of the undeveloped land around here is preble mouse habitat...and therefore is restricted from being developed. Just recently, the mouse was taken off the endangered list, but not before making a lot of developers unhappy. There is one interstate exit rampthat takes you on a half-mile loop south and then back north to the overpass....just because of the preble mouse habitat that couldn't be interfered with when the ramp was constructed. Very interesting and very talked about in this community. So there's a little bit of preble mouse fun for you today. I know you're just so glad you know that!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

It's Back

Lately, John and I have been organizing the "junk" we have stored in our basement. We had Goodwill come by and pick up some items last week, and we threw a lot of things away as well. The last thing we needed to do something with is our NordicTrac exercise machine. A friend gave it to us a few years ago and it has been taking up a corner in the basement for WAY too long. It's GREAT exercise, but you have to be pretty coordinated to get the exercise benefit. And neither of us fits that bill. We bought a treadmill last year which we use frequently (well, John uses it frequently!) so the NordicTrac needed to go. Yesterday, I hauled it upstairs and out to the curb and taped a FREE sign to it. It was gone in less than an hour and I was soooo happy and quite proud that my little plan worked! John was happy too. This morning when I went to get the newspaper, guess what was back on our curb? You guessed it...that stupid NordicTrac. I guess whoever took it decided they weren't coordinated enough or didn't have a free corner in their basement. That was about 7:30 this morning. It's 3:30 now and it's still sitting there.......arghhh. We can't even GIVE the thing away. So I guess we'll be hauling it to Goodwill next week or returning it to that corner again. Anybody interested in taking it off our hands?

On another note, we're having a beautiful day here. Abbey rode her new scooter for awhile and she's great at it...she goes really fast too. Fun!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Happy Birthday... John and Abbey. Abbey is four years old today, and John is thirty-nine! We began the day opening gifts, then Abbey had her choice of breakfast--cinnamon rolls. We didn't have a big party for either of them, just a simple family celebration, complete with a Belle cake. (Belle is the princess in Beauty and the Beast.) John was a great sport to share the Belle cake with Abbey. Abbey got a princess scooter but because we still have snow outside, she had to ride it in the house. Times like these are when an unfinished basement is a good thing. She had a fun day! John had a busy day, but we're going to watch a movie together in a little bit, and hopefully we can have a date night next week when we have a free babysitter. His parents are arriving Monday and will spend the week with us. It's Spring Break and the kids will be out of school, so it's a great time for them to come and we're getting really excited!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Springtime in the Rockies!

Well, I finally got that snow day I've been wanting for a while. We have about 6 inches on the ground and it's still snowing. Our school district, and every district in our county is closed today. Yeah!

Interestingly, today is the first day of spring. The weather forecasters around here are quite fond of the phrase "springtime in the Rockies". It's used to describe the widely varied weather conditions we experience this time of year. And varied is an appropriate word. Yesterday, we heard thunder, saw lightning, had fog, sunshine, rain, snow, and sleet, all in the space of a few hours. Definitely varied.

So we're going to take advantage of this day at home and catch up on some rest. Last week I got the Little House on the Prairie dvds from (by the way, I LOVE and the kids thought watching Laura and Ma and Pa and Mary was just the greatest thing ever. We're going to watch a couple episodes today and later head over to Toboggan Hill for some serious sledding. Should be fun!

Friday, March 17, 2006


Happy St. Patrick's Day! Abbey's preschool class celebrated St. Patrick's day yesterday and she was so excited when I picked her up. Apparently a leprechaun visited her classroom and left them tiny shamrock sequins (she saved them for my "crapbook"...translated scrapbook) and gold candy coins. They didn't see the leprechaun though...he must have come while they were gone to chapel. Her teacher told them to be on the lookout for the leprechaun. He might even visit them at home. She took those words to heart and had her eye out for that leprechaun for the remainder of yesterday. She even set a trap for him in our den floor. The trap involved pulling out every single dvd we own and arranging them in a grid-like pattern on the floor. So funny. She found one of those shamrock sequins this morning and her eyes got so big when she told me that he WAS HERE!!! I think she was upset that I made her pick up the "trap" she set. Oh to be a kid again!!!

St. Patrick's Day isn't one of those holidays that we go all out for. I have some friends who think it's fun to make a green meal for their family--green mashed potatoes, green meatloaf, etc. Last year we ate a traditional Irish dinner of corned beef and cabbage with some friends...along with green jello and green beans and green rice krispie treats for dessert. I think John was disappointed that's not on the menu for tonight...our kids, however, are pretty okay to stick with pizza. I just hope you enjoy the day regardless of how you celebrate.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Random News

The wind started blowing this morning about 4am...and when I say blowing, I mean BLOWING. I am a very sound sleeper, but the rattling shutters and screens woke me up. It even blew our gas grill over. I'd say that is some strong wind.

Next week my baby will be FOUR years old. Her daddy will be 39. Most of you know that those two share a birthday. Isn't that neat? Abbey is counting down the days...eight more, which we mark on our caledar every day. I asked her yesterday after preschool what mommy was going to do when she turned four. She told me I would cry. She's probably right. She tells everyone that she wants princess stuff and real make-up. She wanted real make-up for Christmas and didn't get it, so I'm guessing she'll keep asking until she does. We'll see.

Last night John and I watched the movie Seabiscuit. It's one of those movies, like Cinderella Man, that we've rented countless times from Blockbuster and borrowed from the library at least 5 times and always returned unwatched. So we finally watched it. And it was beautiful. I don't think that if I had watched it any of the previous times I've had it that it would have spoken to me the way it did last night. If you haven't seen it, you simply must! It's great.

Monday, March 13, 2006


The calendar tells me it should be spring, the sunshine tells me it should be spring, and retailer's advertisements tell me it should be spring...BUT nothing around here looks much like spring. We have snow on the ground (it snowed all day yesterday) and icy roads, and the bank sign said 24 degrees when I took the kids to school this morning. It still feels and looks like winter around here!!! And though I love it here in Colorado, spring is one of the things I miss. We do have a spring, but usually in late May. The first year that we lived here, I found myself planting petunias and other annuals in JULY. One July, (in Arkansas) I tried to get some bedding plants to spruce up my yard. There were none to be found. So, all of you in the South, enjoy your daffodils. Enjoy your azaleas and tulips and butterflies. Enjoy your green lawns and the pear trees that will soon blossom. Enjoy the warm temps and eating dinner on your patio/deck. Enjoy SPRING!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Funny stuff

My kids say some really funny things. I try to remember them all but of course that's impossible. However, I have a couple of recent things to pass on...

Will: "Dad, don't ever leave the "er" off of butter." (That's a word he's not allowed to say!)

Sarah: We were leaving some friend's house the other night and Sarah told us that their daughter said the "d" word and the "s" word. Upon further inquiry, we learned that Gracie said D-A-N-G and S-T-U-P-I-D...again, words we don't say at our house, but much better than what I was expecting to hear!

Abbey: I was sitting in my bedroom floor this afternoon and trying to get Abbey to come sit in my lap and look at something with me. She obviously didn't want to and her excuse was that if she stayed in my bedroom, she'd want to look at my bed, and that would make her want to jump on it (which isn't allowed) so she just needed to "get outta here". Funny.

Switching subjects, let me tell you that John has gotten a lot of affirmation lately about his writing. It has been a big boost for him. I try to encourage him often, but it means something different when he hears it from other sources. We're grateful for the encouragement that has come his way this week.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Today is a beautiful Colorado day. Lots of sunshine and temps in the upper 50s. A drastic change from yesterday--it snowed all day long and was very cold. Most of that snow is melted now, but the roads were a little icy this morning. I was hoping for a delayed start, but no such luck. April is actually our snowiest month, so I'm guessing we have a few more snow-days or delayed-start mornings to come.

Today was my morning to work in the library at the kids school. I'd been re-shelving books for a while and looked up to see my sweet husband standing there with a steaming cup of Starbucks chai latte in his hand. Just for me! My favorite. Wasn't that sweet? It was a nice surprise...and so nice of him to bring it to school for me!

A funny thing...last night the kids were brushing their teeth before bed and John asked me if I knew where the crust was?!??? What??? He was mimicking Abbey. She like to brush her teeth with the "crust toothpaste". Apparently she's not fond of Crest...unless you pronounce it crust. Smile!

Monday, March 06, 2006

It's Definitely a Monday!

What is it with Mondays? Do you ever have one of those days where everything you do seems hard??? That would describe my day perfectly. John's too. We're both just kinda scratching our heads and wondering where some of this stuff is coming from? And praying. And pushing through it.

Abbey woke up with a fever this morning and was complaining about her ear. I took her to the doctor and she has an infection in both of her ears. She hasn't had an ear infection in three years...and today she has two. Getting to the doctor this morning was interesting. I had plenty of time to make our 10AM appointment, but so many things kept delaying us and we arrived by the skin of our teeth at 9:59:59!! The pharmacy was a fun adventure too. They didn't have the medicine prescribed for her. I didn't have my cell phone with me (the one time I really needed it) to call the doctor and see if they'd prescribe a different medicine, and of course, the pharmacist wouldn't call them for me. Here is the good part of my day...I ran into a friend at the pharmacy counter who let me borrow her cell to make the call to our doctor, saving me two trips across town. That in itself was a small miracle because it's a well-known fact that you can't get a phone signal inside that store. I'll spare you the rest of the details of our day. Things can only get better from this point on!

Maybe things seem so hard when you're coming off of a good weekend. Ours was nice and relaxing. One of those that you hate to see come to an end.

On Saturday, John was digging around in his drawers (his dresser drawers) and he came across the resignation letter he read the day he resigned as pastor of Second BC in Arkadelphia. He read it, then gave it to me to read. It was interesting to say the least. Interesting because it was somewhat prophetic. A couple examples. He wrote that moving to Colorado was something that he felt he MUST do. He acknowledged that it felt risky and he didn't know what the future held, but that he felt compelled to go. Defintely interesting. Definitely true. And maybe very good that we didn't know what the road ahead would look like. Another thing he said was that we weren't running from anything, but rather towards Someone. The path we've been on since moving here has pushed us closer to Jesus than I could ever have imagined. And though it's been hard at times, it's all been for good. At one point in his letter, he was mentions heaven and he said something about how Gary Turner referred to it as the land of "no mores". I could't keep the tears from falling as I read that and was thinking that Gary Turner (a pastor friend from Arkadelphia) is indeed in that place of no more cancer, no more pain, no more suffering, and no more tears. He's home.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Company's Coming!

We're having company for dinner tonight. We invited a friend from church to join us. She is actually our new Children's Pastor so the kids are excited about that (because they really like her!) but they're more excited that they get to have dessert. We rarely have dessert at our house. I'm known as the Sugar Sheriff around here. I'll spare you my nutritional rant for now. Just know that sugar is terrible for our bodies, and that's why it's seriously limited around here. kids know that when we have friends over, there is usually some type of treat for after dinner...and that treat is usually sweet! They're counting down the minutes.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Only in Colorado

Yesterday we had record-breaking temps in the mid 70s and this afternoon the snow clouds have blown in as predicted. We're only supposed to have light flurries tonight, but it is so weird because yesterday the kids playing outside in shorts! Only in Colorado can you have sunshine one minute and snow the next.

I'm reading a book right now called "Scraping Heaven" by Cindy Ross. The author and her husband were both avid long-distance hikers before they had children. Becoming parents didn't dampen their enthusiasm for hiking. This book tells the story of their family hiking the Continental Divide Trail, from the Canadian to Mexican border over 5 summers. The first section they hiked (about 600 miles) found them hiking with two toddlers (one in diapers at the time--and not the disposable variety either!) They used 3-6 llamas to carry their stuff and would schedule stops to replenish their supplies along the way. After hiking the Colorado Trail the first summer, they decided to hike the remaining sections (north and south) over the next several summers. It's a fascinating book, but I don't think I'll be hiking with kids and llamas anytime soon. Their kids were troopers, but she writes pretty honestly about the parenting challenges they faced on the trail. Not for me! My friend recommened this book to me last summer and now I'll recommend it to you all. It's a good read.