Thursday, June 28, 2012

Safe, but heartbroken. Please pray for Colorado Springs.

Good morning, friends.

As you probably know by now, much of the area where we live is being threatened by a wildfire. My family is safe and sound on the Gulf Coast and we're keeping an eye on things from 1400 miles away.

The images we're seeing online are heart wrenching. Many, many friends have been evacuated from their homes and they are not out of danger yet.

Yesterday, we were alerted to a pre-evacuation notice for our neighborhood. At this point it is NOT mandatory but precautionary. If the fire progresses north of Colorado Springs (we live just north of the US Air Force Academy) then evacuation will become mandatory. Our house-sitter, along with the help of some friends and neighbors gathered up the things most valuable to us and moved them to a safe place. One of them even videoed the contents of our home. We are so blessed to have amazing friends looking out for us.

Despite all of the scary images and uncertainty of this fire, we are having a GREAT vacation. We're obviously a bit distracted by the fires back home but being here has it's perks. I just wish I could dump a fraction of the water we've spent our days staring at onto the parched soil of my beloved Colorado.

Please pray that the winds would die down and that those who are working SO hard to manage this beast of a fire could see some containment soon. We have lots of firefighter friends who are working the front lines on very little sleep and in some pretty extreme temperatures. Pray for supernatural strength for them. And pray for rain! We need it desperately.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


It's just another summer Thursday around here but I have a few minutes to blog and nothing really exciting to blog about. Since I tend to be listy, how about a list?

1. Sarah gets home this afternoon from YoungLife camp! Yay! I've missed that girl. She was home for about 24 hours last weekend in between a church trip and camp so needless to say, we've all missed her. Abbey has had a harder time than I expected without Sarah around--those two are pretty close and it's very, very sweet.

2. The smoke from the wildfire in Fort Collins about 2.5 hours north of here has permeated the air outside. It's weird. It's super hazy and smells smoky and I'm hoping and praying that they can get that fire contained. So devastating. We need rain so desperately.

3. We ate dinner with some friends last night and she made the Barefoot Contessa's Chinese Chicken Salad. Oh my gosh, it was so good. I could have eaten the entire bowl, I think. I'm going to have to make it soon because John and I both loved it.

4. I have to go swimsuit shopping very soon. Is there anything more dreaded than swimsuit shopping? I have one suit that I like but I'd like to have another for the beach. Any suggestions on where to look? I don't mind spending money for a good suit, but I'd really like to keep it reasonable.

5. I got a speeding ticket a few weeks ago. I find it upsetting because I hardly ever speed, but on this particular day I was out shopping with Sarah and she was chatting my ear off and I didn't notice the posted speed signs in the construction zone (if you're local, it was Powers/Union--so be careful--I saw five others get ticketed that same day). I knew the normal speed limit (and was actually driving the same speed as everyone around me) but I got pulled over and ticketed. Ugh. I don't know what the fine is yet;  I have to go to court. And I actually have to go to the courthouse tomorrow because my court date is the day we leave for vacation and I have to appear in person to change it. It's such a pain in the butt and such a costly mistake. When I think about it, it makes me sick. John was super cool about it though and I love him even more for that.

6. Yesterday we pulled out our ice shaver and made sno cones! I was telling some friends about the recipe I use for homemade sno-cone syrup. Super easy and super yummy and super duper sugary!!

7. I'm obviously not being as careful with my sugar intake lately as I was last summer/fall. In fact, I came across this dessert yesterday that I can't wait to try. And I'm going to make this cobbler for dessert tonight. I use frozen mixed berries and it's really, really good!

8. Okay, that's all for now. I must get to work. We have a friend coming to dog/house-sit while we are on vacation and I feel the irrational need to leave my house in immaculate shape, so I'm on a mission to clean every nook and cranny. And just so you know, that is an impossible task to accomplish, but I'm determined to give it my best shot!

Peace out, peeps.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I've been a terrible blogger lately. May was so incredibly crazy around here. The kids got out of school before Memorial day and I feel like I'm finally catching my breath and settling into my summer pace. And it's g-o-o-d.

It would take forever and a day to fill you in on all the happenings around here but I'll hit the highlights!

We enjoyed a having my mom here for a week-long visit in early May. One day while the kids were in school, we rode the cog train up Pikes Peak. I'd never done that before and it was really cool!

In case you were wondering, it was c-c-cold at the top! Awesome, but cold. 

Part of the reason my mom chose early May for a visit was because Sarah was confirmed at our church and we wanted her to be here for Sarah's special day. We were really proud of Sarah and this faith-step. One part of the confirmation process for her was writing her faith statement, outlining her beliefs about things such as the Trinity, grace and forgiveness, scripture, prayer, the body of Christ, communion, baptism, etc. I'm continually amazed at kid's ability to grasp big concepts. I guess I shouldn't be, but I am. She took a trip last week to South Dakota with our pastors + all of the kids in her confirmation class and they further explored some of their confirmation promises. She had a GREAT time.

I love this picture! I have lots more but they're on John's computer--which is with him at work.

May was a big month for Sarah. She also finished middle school and had her 8th grade continuation ceremony. Can't believe I'll have TWO kids in high school this fall. 

Other than that, May was filled with lots and lots of year-end activities and lots of work craziness for me with two huge back-to-back fundraising events. Yikes! I was so run-down that it's not surprising I got really sick the last week of school. Thankfully, I survived and still managed to pull off a simple "Welcome to Summer" neighborhood party after the last day of school. Thank you, Pinterest. 

Movin' on to June...

I had so much fun with my neighbors last year when they had their annual garage sale that I decided to see what I could scrounge up to sell. When I say scrounge, I mean scrounge because we'd donated a ton of stuff to the Young Life garage sale a few weeks prior. I didn't make a ton of money (shocker!) but I did have a fun time hanging out with my neighbors.

I've also been hiking a LOT this month which makes me crazy-happy! Here are a few pics from recent hikes.
The pics above were from Stanley Canyon on the USAFA property. The pics below were from Roxborough State Park. If you're local and you've never been to Roxborough State Park, then you absolutely MUST go. It is so beautiful and is like a hidden treasure tucked away just south of Denver. Honestly, it was stunning!

Sarah is at YoungLife camp this week and we're all really missing her. I don't know what I was thinking when I agreed to back-to-back trips for her! We're leaving next week for vacation--to the BEACH--and we're all very excited. We've never taken a beach vacation as a family and even though I consider myself more of a mountain girl, I'm really looking forward to parking myself in a sunny spot and staring at the ocean. I'm counting on it being pure relaxation!

That's all I've got for today. I'm going to try to get my blog groove back this month!