Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

I've already been to one fall party and am leaving in a bit for party #2 and party #3!

We finally reached a decision about what to do tonight instead of trick-or-treating. My plan to stay home, make soup, and play games didn't fly. Our children earned some money for their awesome report cards, and they are dying to spend it, so our new plan is to go out for dinner (mexican, of course) and then head to Target. Our church is collecting shoeboxes this year for Operation Christmas Child, so they each need to buy something for their shoebox, and then they can buy something for themselves with whatever money they have left. It's a good plan, and we're all looking forward to it. And oh, they're going to get candy...from mom and dad...but I think we're going to pretend that we forgot to buy some and hide it in their pillowcases (thanks for the idea, DP) and let them be surprised to find it before bed.

Abbey dressed up as a princess for her class party this morning. And Sarah is planning to dress up like one of her American Girl dolls. Simple and EASY! Will is way too cool to dress up. I'm planning to let them go to a few of our neighbors houses to trick-or-treat, but just a couple and then we're heading out for our grand adventure!

I'm off to do some more celebrating. Enjoy your day!

PS--Abbey wanted me to tell you she knows how to whistle now. And that she has a loose tooth. She's growing up so fast!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

If you wear your hair in a ponytail... MUST try these bands. They're awesome. I have this one piece of hair that just will not stay in my hair band. It is constantly falling out and annoying me to no end. I picked up this package of hair bands earlier today, pulled my hair back when I got home, and they're the perfect solution. Those rubber grippy things hold my hair in place. Yay!

It just occurred to me that I might have to share these with my husband. Never in a million years did I think I'd be saying that.

And wow, two posts in one day, and BOTH are about hair. That's so weird.

Silly Putty

My five-year-old cannot stand having her hair brushed. Abbey is normally a very happy and pleasant girl, but every single morning, there is whining and crying until the task is completed and the brush is once again bansished to the drawer. Every single morning. She pleads for me to "brush it soft, mommy" and every single morning I do my best to brush soft so as not to hurt her tender head. An impossible feat, really.

Our hairbrushing session this morning was particularly hideous for us both. As I was brushing, and she was crying, I noticed a large clump of something in her hair. It was silly putty. Silly her HAIR.

I'll spare you all the details, just know that it wasn't a whole lot of fun. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I'm not a fan of silly putty. Probably because it always ends up somewhere besides that little red egg it comes in. Like, say, the carpet, or our clothes (I've picked it out of both carpet and clothes this week), or my daughter's hair!

As of this morning, all silly putty has been removed from this house, never to cross our threshold again. Because I simply cannot endure another experience with that smooth, pink stuff.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fall Y'all Giveaway!

***Comments are now closed. I'll post a winner shortly.***

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway, and I've decided to give away a Creative Memories Landscape album in peacock blue. The landscape album is 12x10 and comes with 15 white pages. I'm also including a set of 12x10 page protectors!

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this blog by 5:00PM MDT on Saturday, November 3. I'll draw a winner and post on Sunday, November 4. You don't have to be a blogger to enter this contest, but you must make sure that I have some way to contact you if you're the winner. Sorry, I can only ship to a US address.

Click here or on the button below to see the incredible list of items up for grabs and how you can participate! Such fun stuff!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Rockies lost, but I WON! I WON!

Okay, who doesn't read Boomama? If you have never visited her blog, you're missing out on so much southern goodness. Seriously, she makes me homesick for the South, and every time I visit there, I leave with a smile on my face! My smile was HUGE on Saturday when I saw that I was one of two lucky winners in her most recent giveaway. I won a jewelry set created by Lisa! I chose #2 and am so excited. Lisa is mailing it this week, and I can guarantee you I'll be checking my mailbox with anticipation. Lisa is seriously talented. Take a look at the beautiful jewelry she makes...and maybe you can knock out some of your holiday shopping!

We're wrapping up a 4-day weekend. Our kids were out of school Thursday and Friday for conferences. I wish I could tell you we did something fun and exciting over our break, but the reality is that we didn't do much of anything. And it was very nice. The highlight for me was staying in my pajamas on Thursday and Friday until 11AM. I rarely get to do that, and it was great! The kids each had a playdate but that was the extent of our fun. Sarah's playdate didn't end up being too fun...she got sick and puked while her friend was here. So sad. She's much better now (thankfully!) and I promised to make it up to her and her friend.

We did do something crafty on Saturday after Sarah perked up a bit. We made these cute paper boxes! My friend showed me one that her daughter made at a craft class, and let me borrow it to make a template. It was so easy and so fun! What a fun little container for a Starbucks card, or how cute to make a box with Christmas or Valentine paper and fill it with candy or something "happy".

So speaking of being crafty... I'm usually NOT. I get the urge every so often, but generally, I'm pretty okay to spend my time doing other things. However, I'm trying to think of some creative and inexpensive gift ideas for teachers/neighbors/friends for the holiday season. Anyone have any GREAT ideas you want to share??

It's official. We're not trick-or-treating this year. I'm buying each of kids their own bag of candy, and we're making a big pot of this (it's so good) and are settling in for a fun family night. Yay! I know I'll be ready for a night at home after the crazy afternoon I'm planning to spend at their school parties.

Have I mentioned that I'm the co-leader for Abbey's Daisy troop? I'm crazy, I think. I had a hard time saying no to this because I really wanted Abbey to do it and no one was stepping up to lead. My friend is the official leader, but I'm helping her and we have our first meeting this week. I've still got some prep to do, but I think it's going to be so much fun. Abbey is thrilled about it, and I'm excited that it is something for us to do together.

I'm off to's way past my bedtime. That's the hard part of a long weekend. I've been staying up later and later, and sleeping in later and later... I know I'm not going to like my alarm clock when it starts beeping at me in the morning!


Stink! is what my daughter says when something doesn't go quite like she wanted it to. And that's what I'm saying right now, because the Red Sox just swept the world series and man, I was hoping the Rockies could pull of at least one win. I'm sad for those guys.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Grammar Blogs

I came across a couple of very funny blogs today. I'm a grammar nut, and think I would do well as a copy editor because I catch things that others apparently don't. Grammar mistakes usually annoy me. I've been known to circle grammatical errors in notes from my kids' school and send them back in. Seriously. If a teacher can't get it right, how will my children learn!? Today when I read these posts I was more humored than annoyed! Click here and here and see for yourself how rampant these mistakes really are. And please, laugh!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Just Ate _____!

The other day I was at my health food store and picked up some frozen entrees that were on sale. I enjoy having something hot for lunch on chilly days, and when I opened the freezer to look for something to eat today, I saw this box and thought that these black bean - vegetable enchiladas sounded perfect.

The smell from the microwave as they were cooking was delicious...and so was the first bite or two.

That's when I realized that the little white chunks I was seeing in my enchilada were not chunks of chicken, but TOFU.

Blech. Blech. Blech.

I just ate tofu. And I've gotta tell you, it will never be something I like, or can even tolerate.

And just so you know...nowhere on the front of that box does it mention tofu as an ingredient in the BLACK BEAN - VEGETABLE enchilada. Very misleading if you ask me.

Abbey's leftover pb&j is calling my name, so I'm signing off. Hope your day is lovely...and tofu-free!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Do you trick-or-treat with your kids?

We have always done this with our kids on Halloween. But this year, I'm trying to persuade the kids to stay home and have Family Night instead.

The bottom line is that I just don't like it, and yes, I realize that probably sounds incredibly selfish. It's always cold here on Halloween (and usually snowing) and I'm just not into making costumes either. I'm the creatively challenged parent who cringes when it's Pioneer Day at school and I have to come up with a pioneer costume...ugh. Trick-or-treating also results in massive amounts of candy, and I get really tired of my children asking begging and pleading with me to eat some of their sugary stash for weeks and weeks (I've been known to toss big handfuls of candy when they aren't looking!)

Last year I took them to a fall festival sponsored by a local church because it was bitterly cold and we had tons of snow and ice on the ground. It was a bust. Everyone else had the same idea and we stood in line for 20+ minutes to play a single game and get one or two pieces of candy. I gave up and took them trick-or-treating, but it was so cold they had to wear their coats over their costumes...and they weren't very happy with me, and let's just say it was a very, very long night.

I'm just curious if I'm the only one who struggles with this. Am I a total party pooper? How does your family handle trick-or-treating????

I'm hoping they'll go for my plan to stay home, make a big pot of soup, pop some popcorn and make some caramel apples, watch a movie or play games, and just enjoy a cozy fall night with our family. A little bribery might help too...I promised them each an entire bag of their favorite candy.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ready or Not

I'm not sure I'm ready for this...

We woke up to snow this morning. When we left for church this morning we had about 3-4 inches on the ground. When we returned, we had 3-4 additional inches. It stopped snowing about 10 minutes ago, and we can finally see the mountains behind our house...and a few rays of sunshine too. Yay!

I have a love-hate relationship with snow. I love it most of the time. I love watching it fall. I love how clean and white and pretty it makes things look. I love being inside on snowy days and making soup or baking cookies with my kids. And I even love playing in it.

What I don't love is how long our snow season lasts. It starts in October and lasts until May. Seven long months of snow. It snowed on my kids last day of school...May 23. I'm usually tired of it by February. And I get tired of my car being dirty, my floors being dirty, and all of our shoes being dirty. I don't like driving in it either.

Looks like snow season is here...ready or not.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, October 19, 2007


I can't remember exactly when my husband started calling me his "girlfriend", but he does, and I like it. I'm so used to it that I don't even notice when he does it, but let me tell you, other people notice.

John wrote a letter to the editor of our small town newspaper this week. It was a letter about homework and the ridiculous amount that our children bring home each night. And in the letter, John referred to me as his girlfriend. I thought nothing of it. Until my email inbox starting filling up and my phone started ringing with questions from my friends wanting to know if I was the girlfriend.

It was kinda hard not to laugh. One of the secretaries from my kids' school called me and after I reassured her that John and I are still happily married, she told the others gathered around the phone, "See, I told you." The others thought that maybe he really did have a girlfriend and that I was unaware and that "they" should break the news to me. Hilarious. Maybe.

I'm slightly worried that folks in our small town might not get the gist of the homework issue he wrote about because they're sidelined by the whole "girlfriend" phrase.

So, I'm working on getting girlfriend privileges...more dates, more phone calls, more flowers, more jewelry. You get the picture. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Rockies are Going to the World Series!

Woo Hoo!!!! I am so excited! It is WAY past my bedtime, but I had to know the outcome of tonight's game! Thrilling!!

By the way, the only game of the entire season that got rained out was the only game we tried to go to this year. Isn't that a major bummer???

The best part of my day

Today was definitely Monday, and Monday is my least favorite day of the week.

It's been a hard day. Hard for several different reasons which I don't feel like delving into.

I WILL tell you about the highlight of my day. My morning hike. Okay, if that sounds like I hike every day, I don't, but I do meet with some friends several mornings each week to walk and we try to mix it up a little every now and then with a hike.

Here are some pics from our hike this morning...

I love seeing the clouds reflected in this pond!!

If you look closely in the photo above, you'll see some of the snow left from yesterday! And I LOVE that yellow patch of aspen trees to the left of the rocks. I can see it from my back window and until yesterday, when the wind blew most of the leaves away, that patch of trees looked like it was in the shape of a heart.

We almost didn't go this morning because it was so cold and rainy (with some snow mixed in) yesterday and the forecast called for more of the same for the early part of today. Reluctantly, we bundled up and set out into the cloudy morning, and we were rewarded soon after with clear blue sky and a crisp fall day. Beautiful. We hiked up to this rock formation (trying hard not to pay attention to all the mountain lion habitat warning signs) and it was stunning. We could see for miles. The aspen trees and scrub oak were wearing their fall colors, and there was even some remaining snow on the trees and it was just beautiful!

The remainder of my week is very, very full. Field trips, volunteer obligations, kid stuff, and more. I'm so thankful for the time outdoors today. It is just what I needed. A big breath of life to fill and sustain me through the craziness of the days to come! It was the very best part of this Monday.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Football Fiasco

I love Razorback football. And I am NOT a fickle fan. I stick with the Hogs through thick and thin, but this season is feeling particularly thin and I'm trying hard to maintain my enthusiasm for them from 1000 miles away. I'm so bummed they lost to Auburn tonight...and in the last 30 seconds too! Ugh. This was the one and only home game I really wanted to go to. And now, I'm glad it didn't work out for me to fly home for it. I would have been hugely disappointed. At least LSU lost to Kentucky. That eases my pain a bit!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Delightful Day

I had THE best day today! I got to spend the day with two new friends, friends I met in blogland! Holly lives about 5 miles away, and we met this summer. She is so sweet, full of joy, and is always so encouraging and thoughtful. I've enjoyed getting to know her very much. Holly introduced me to Joanne's blog and I've been a faithful reader ever since. I was thrilled when Joanne invited me and Holly to come and spend the day with her. She is just as warm and gracious and hospitable and crafty as I expected her to be! Really, it was a lovely time together.

We chatted for awhile, then Joanne made a delicious lunch for us and would not let us do anything to help her. I felt so pampered! She put so much thought into everything and made it really special.'s the table she set for us...isn't it beautiful? And do you see that pumpkin? She grew it in her garden!

Our time together was way too short...I could have stayed all day (had I not had kiddos to retrieve and a play to attend and an unexpected errand to run) but we'll just have to get together again!! Before we left, Joanne gave us each a fall basket full of goodies--zucchini from her garden, homemade peach butter, a loaf of homemade bread (Joanne, my kids gave you RAVE reviews after school while snacking on bread and butter!), a pretty fall dishtowel, fall napkins, and an adorable pumpkin she made. Joanne loves to have people in her home and it is so evident that hospitality is her gift. It was a wonderful, blessed day, and I'm so thankful for my new friends!

Thanks, Joanne for the photos...I totally stole them from you!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

It's only Tuesday...

It's only Tuesday and I'm already starting to dread the weekend. I'm dreading it because it is filling up fast. With playdates, and birthday parties, and many more activities. Ugh.

I'm not an anti-fun-mom. I'm really not. I love for my kids to have play-dates, and I love birthday parties, but I also love my weekends and I love family time. I'm a homebody through and through and when I have a weekend that is full of activity and little time at home, I start to feel a bit claustrophobic. And that is exactly how I'm feeling right now--claustrophobic. And have I mentioned that it's only Tuesday!?!

So what do I say "no" to? I'm actually praying about it because I don't know. All of the things on tap for the weekend are good things and involve people we love. Do I suck it up and just do it all knowing that it's just this one weekend that is particularly crazy? Or do I go with my gut, say no and guard our family time, ensuring we all get some needed rest, but risk hurting some feelings. I really don't know. You can pray for some wisdom to come my way.

Monday, October 08, 2007


I love getting a fresh haircut. And I love the girl who cuts my hair. It took me awhile to find her, but she's cut my hair for 2+ years and I'm hoping for a long-lasting relationship! She's great. So great in fact, that my husband started going to her as well. And a ton of other people too. She's that good! And because she's that good, she's *always* full. I can't just decide on a whim that I need a haircut...I have to schedule it 2 months in advance! I usually try to go 8-10 weeks in between haircuts anyway, so I just make an appointment when I go in for a cut.

Anyway, John mentioned last week that he needed to call Rachel about getting a hair cut. I laughed out loud and wished him luck seeing as how it takes months to get an appointment with her. Not weeks, but months. I gave him her phone number, and when he arrived home from work that evening, he told me he had an appointment for Tuesday (tomorrow). Shock and disbelief were all over my face. HOW did you do that I demanded.

Seems he called and the receptionist told him exactly what I told him...take a number, mister. He could hear her flipping pages in her big 'ole appointment book. She then sweetly asked who she was speaking to? When he told her, she said, "Oh, John...well let me see what I can do? How about next Tuesday at 10:30, sweetie?"


My next appointment has been on the books forEVER, and he calls on a Thursday and gets an appointment for Tuesday!!!

That sweet receptionist called a bit ago to remind J of his appointment and asked if I wanted mine cut too. Seems Rachel had a cancellation right before John. Of course I jumped at the chance to get beautified (quit laughing) alongside my husband, but mostly because Rachel is going on maternity leave soon and this will give me a chance to squeeze one more cut in before she disappears for 3 months. And you have no idea how many times I've prayed that she won't decide to become a stay-at-home mom.

So tomorrow morning John and I have a hot date planned...for Starbucks and then the salon. I can't wait.

Sunday, October 07, 2007


I have a tender heart.

It took years for me to understand that and allow it to be true.

Shortly after John and I were married, we took the Myers-Briggs personality test. I was an ESTJ, my husband an INFP. Complete and total opposites.

The third letter in each profile, T/F, represents a thinking versus a feeling person. I was so prideful back then of my "T", my thinking personality. I remember being proud that my head ruled my heart. And heaven forbid my heart might rule my head. Oh no. Not this girl. I was steely and cold...always in contol of my all costs.

And then I had a child. And another. And another. And the girl I was began to soften and melt away. No longer could I control my emotions. When they'd rise to the surface, I was embarrassed and ashamed of them and did everything I knew to push them back down and bury them. My heart was softening, but I didn't like it one bit. To be honest, it scared me. And I didn't like losing control of something I'd had control of for so long.

Slowly and tenderly, God has been showing me that my tender heart is good. It is how He created me. And slowly, I've been releasing the need to keep my emotions and my tears buried. Relinquishing control.

I mentioned before that my kids laugh at me because I cry when I'm overwhelmed by beauty. Sometimes I see Pikes Peak in all her spendor and the only way I can respond is with tears. I cry when I'm hurt, I cry when I'm sad, when I'm happy, when I'm angry, when I'm thankful, I cry when my heart is breaking, and sometimes I cry when I'm afraid. I'm trying to get to the point that I'm okay with my tears...that it's okay for them to fall. Sometimes I'm much more comfortable with them than others.

I was at a retreat at my church about a year ago, and on that particular day, I was a mess. There were some things going on in my life that felt extremely weighty. The moment we began worship, my tears started falling. They didn't stop for most of the day either. It felt weird to be seen and exposed like that, but you know what happened? A couple of very good friends came and started praying for me. I couldn't even really tell them what was wrong or how to pray, but my tears led them to intercede for me. I apologized to one friend for my lack of emotional control, and she told me to stop being ridiculous...and then she told me that my tears were a beautiful offering of my her and to God. She gave me permission to fall apart and cry. I will never forget that either.

I'm trying to also teach my girls that it's okay to cry. That is how God made females, we feel things deeply. Sadness, joy, hurt, heartache. And when we feel those things, crying is perfectly acceptable. One afternoon last spring, Abbey was watching The BFG (stands for Big, Friendly Giant) and at the end of the movie, the giant has to say good-bye to his friend, Sophie. I was in the kitchen doing something while listening to the movie. I peeked around the corner to see Abbey trying really hard to hold back her tears. When she saw me, the dam broke, the tears burst forth and she had a very good cry. She did it again a few weeks ago while listening to a song. It made her sad...and she had to cry about it. I LOVE that. She feels things deeply and is able to respond with emotion.

I had a friend once who told me that she hated for her kids to see her cry. I think a lot of moms feel that way, but I personally struggle a bit with that opinion. If our children (and especially our daughters) never see us cry when we're happy, sad, angry, joyful, at a loss for words, what do they learn from us? I think that they learn to squelch a part of the beautiful heart that God has given them. I think they learn to steel themselves, and learn to be tough instead of tender...and I believe that violates the very way that God created them. I think that when we allow our children to see our tears, it communicates tenderness and mercy and warmth and love, and reflects the face of God.

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Miss Abbey is in girl heaven today. She has her daddy home and she has his full attention. She talked him into playing Groovy Girls with her. Isn't he a groovy dad to do that?

I'm sitting in the kitchen and I can hear them in the next room. She's pretending that her groovy girls are staying at the Stanley Hotel. The Stanley Hotel is in Estes Park and we spent some time visiting there a couple weeks ago. They're just too cute in there playing, so I walk in to take their picture.

I asked Abbey if she knew where the Stanley Hotel was. She looked at me blankly, and I tell her that it's located in mommy's favorite spot in the world. Still blank looks from her. I finally tell her that the Stanley Hotel is in Estes Park, and without missing a beat she said, "Mommy, I thought your favorite place in the world was HOME". Oh yeah, she's right it is my favorite place. And she told me it was hers too. And I thought my heart might explode when she said it. So sweet!

Lazy Weekend

Ahhh...a lazy weekend. I love it. We all slept in this morning and are still in our pjs. I don't know if I can find words to tell you how much I LOVE days like these. Nothing in on the agenda, except a trip to the library this afternoon. And maybe a craft project with the kids. Abbey keeps telling me she wants to decorate for fall and so I'm heading downstairs in a bit to get my fall stuff out and let her help me scatter pumpkins and scarecrows and leaves everywhere! All of that is fun for me, and it's so much more fun when you have unhurried time to do it.

Tomorrow looks restful too! We haven't been to church in a couple of weeks since we've been out of town, so church is on the agenda...then another lazy afternoon. We're bracing for a cold front that's moving through tomorrow (with the chance of SNOW--Yippee!) so I'm making soup and hoping to catch the Broncos game! Or read. Or both.

We need a weekend like this...I'm so thankful for a chance to enjoy my family and catch up on our rest. Hope you can do the same!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Steamboat Springs

We LOVED Steamboat Springs. It was a really beautiful place, and it was a beautiful drive up there as well. The mountains were aglow with aspen color, and it did in fact snow on Saturday night. So pretty! And such a treat. I love snow, but I'm not really ready for it to start falling here at home. I'd like to enjoy fall first.

On Saturday, we hiked up to Fish Creek Falls, then had a picnic. The weather was wonderful, and the falls were breathtaking! John and I found a trail we'd like to go back and hike another time...up to a lake above the falls.

Um, so much for thinking I might actually get a good family photo for our Christmas cards!

We also spent some time walking downtown and window shopping. My favorite place we visited was the Thomas Mangelsen gallery. Mangelsen is a nature photographer and his work is absolutely stunning. My kids make fun of me all the time because I cry when I'm overcome by life, in nature, in a lot of things actually...and that gallery moved me to tears. Some of the most beautiful nature photographs I've ever seen. And my in-laws bought me a small framed photo...which I love. (Again, thank you so very much!) I chose a photo of aspen trees with their distinctive white bark and golden leaves. So lovely.

Our children were disappointed that the alpine slide was closed for the season. That really would have been fun! And I didn't know before this weekend that Steamboat Springs is home to the Olympic Alpine Training Center. Very neat.

Our visit was a short one, but we enjoyed it, and enjoyed spending time with John's parents. What a treat to get to see them two weekends in a row...both in Colorado.

Oh...we didn't see any bears this time, but we heard that one visited our condo grounds each night. John got up to run Sunday morning (in the SNOW) and saw the overturned dumpster and strewn garbage. If we'd seen a bear two weekends in a row, I don't think I could have handled such excitement!

Can you see the ski runs in the photo above?

The above photo was taken looking down into the valley as we were driving away from Steamboat Springs.

We saw lots of snow on Rabbit Ears Pass. It was so pretty and white against the brilliant blue sky!

See what I mean when I say this was a beautiful drive? There wasn't much snow on these mountains when we drove through on Friday...but wow, what a difference two days made.

We made a quick stop at the outlet mall on the way home and stopped again in Evergreen for a dinner at a mexican place we like, we like it so much in fact, that we ate at the one in Steamboat the night before. Have I mentioned that we really, really like mexican food! Yum!