Friday, January 31, 2014


Hello friends.

Pretty calm week in these parts.

We went to dinner at Country Buffet the other day.

The back story here is that AJ is obsessed with buffets and has been asking to go to one like this forever.

Ab had cotton candy for dessert and they each got a balloon animal...

Ab requested a unicorn, Brody a dinosaur, and AJ a white dog with a Starbucks drink.

She did it. She made him a white dog with a Starbucks drink out of balloons.

He said it was "just like Heaven"

So there you have it. Heaven is just like Country Buffet.

AJ and I ventured to Daniel's Park to watch the sunset and pray with other Young Life leaders one night.

The view was awesome.

Then we battled it out at Dart Wars...
which is just a big room with cardboard boxes covered in duct tape & a bunch of nerf guns. They have to be making bank.

Ab was over the moon to decorate her Valentine's Day box after watching her big brother get to do it the last two years.

It looked like a princess exploded on it...
Totally an Ab box.

I pulled out my Valentine socks.

Some parts of being an elementary teacher never change.

Like my love of holiday themed socks.

AJ requested Mindcraft Valentines.

We downloaded them from Over The Big Moon for free!

He loves them.

Ab turned 5 on Thursday!

So crazy how fast these 5 years have gone. The morning we drove to the hospital for her birth is still so fresh in my mind. Can't believe she going to be in Kindergarten next year. Sniff sniff.

Love this sweet girl.

We surprised her with pink sprinkle pancakes for breakfast.
Love how some food color and sprinkles in batter can transform a breakfast into an extra special meal.
She was pretty excited.
And asked if we happened to have any cherries...
She was so proud to go to school as a big 5 year old.
She was on top of the world.

Big weekend ahead.

Ab's Glamour Girl birthday brunch...and the Super Bowl!

Whoop Whoop!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ab Turns 5

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

A Girl And Her Valentines

Girlfriend insisted on hand making every one of her valentines this year.

So we started early.

She took it very seriously.
And painted and signed 20 valentines.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Rodeo

I love any reason to wear my cowgirls boots.

I mean I get all giddy inside about it, and the whole world just seems like a brighter place when I wear them.

And I love seeing Girlfriend rock her cowgirl boots with the same pride.

Our hearts would be so happy living in an old farmhouse in the country.

With chickens and a wrap around porch and a tree swing.

Last weekend we ventured to the rodeo with good friends.

Abby and Brody were all decked out in their western attire.

AJ wore his Wranglers and was holding out for a Western Stock Show t-shirt. He has been wanting one for a year.

Last year Grandpa Ed took AJ to his first rodeo.

This year Grandpa Ed's boots went to the rodeo with us.

Abby met Miss Rodeo America and instantly wanted her tiara.

AJ got his National Western Stock Show t-shirt.

Brody got his tractor fix and took home a John Deere calendar for him and papa.
That boy loves tractors the way AJ loved trains.
We ate ballpark pretzels and enjoyed the excitement of the show.

Brody refuses to wear anything but his cowboy boots now and has his John Deere calendar hanging on his bedroom wall.

And until we have our farmhouse in the country, we'll keep getting our country fix at the rodeo.

Friday, January 24, 2014


Maybe next week I'll blog more than once a week. Maybe.

I made my mom's enchilada casserole the other night. I haven't made it in years. It feeds a lot, and we never could finish it all. Till now with 5 peeps eating.

I pulled out the recipe and seeing my mom's handwriting kinda took me back. I had to stop and really look at it. Then I thought of her sitting and writing it out. Which made me think of her hands. I have her hands.

It is strange how these little things melt away as the years go by. And how a list of ingredients can jolt them back.

Andy told the kiddos to load up in the van other night after dinner. At this point we realize the van battery is dead. Not thwarted, we loaded up in the truck, and when most sane people are getting their kids ready for bed...we fed ours milkshakes.

The next morning Andy went and got a new battery for the van, and Brody is overjoyed with oatmeal for breakfast....

Abby goes off to cheer camp...

And I have a special day with AJ and friends...

At the Wildlife museum.

Sunday after church Ab and I had our special afternoon together shopping winter clearance sales at the outlets while the boys watched football. Her love of color, sparkles, peace signs and rainbows will be very apparent in her wardrobe next fall/winter.

Brody mastered escaping and climbing back into the crib a little while ago.

It was when he started pushing the crib around the room and using it to climb to higher the top of the closet and the window sills that we said the crib had to go. He was right there hauling it out.

And super excited to have a red race car bed in its place.

He climbs in every day at nap and every night at bed time, gets tucked in and goes to sleep like a big boy.

Melts my heart that my baby is growing up.

He is still a lover of all books.

I love reminders to shine.

And I need them amongst the hustle and bustle of the daily grind.

AJ was gifted with a couple farm fresh eggs from his school's chickens. This boy is so loyal to the things he loves, and his school is one of his greatest passions. So getting these eggs was a big deal.

Abby, Brody and I went and dropped off the paperwork to register Brody in preschool for next year the other morning (Crazytown!), and then ran to the library to pick up a book on hold for Andy. I told Abby to smile and I would send a pic to daddy.

This is what I got...

Another reminder to shine...

Sometimes I need a little help to shine.

Via an iced venti chai.

Liquid shine right there.

Dusted off my sewing machine for a small project this week...

Gotta love a name pillowcase for an adorable soon to be 3 year old nephew!

Abby, Brody, and I painted it up the other night while AJ was at Shepherd's Promise. It was refreshing to paint like a kid again.

And that was our week.

Have a great weekend!

We are going to cowboy up and head to the rodeo!



Friday, January 17, 2014

Insta-Friday Compulsive Randomness

Hello friends!

I was all set to blog last Friday.

Then I almost died of a sudden violent stomach bug. It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad 24 hours last Friday

I have made a full recovery, and I'm back in the game now.

And you a very long Insta-Friday post.


If I would have blogged last Friday, I would have blogged about how at the end of winter break we ventured downtown to the Denver Art Museum with good friends.

I could just leave it at that...

or I could give you some insight into my crazy head...

I survived the drive and parking and finding the museum.

I have to just dive into these adventures. And not think about it. I have a horrible fear of driving downtown.and taking the kids into the an unfamiliar place. If I start to think about it, I freeze and start to panic and can't process what to do next. I totally freak out in my head.

So I just go and do it full steam ahead...not letting myself pause to think about it and let panic set in.

It was super easy. Drive where Lola, my nav system, says to go, park in the parking garage, take the elevator down, and the clouds part, the sun shines down and there is the entrance into the museum. Right there. I stop holding my breath and walk over to our friends.

We had a lovely day sketching in sketch books, watching a skit, and doing activities provided in a back pack that we checked out from the museum. It was super cool. If you haven't gone, I highly suggest it. Lots of cool stuff geared for kiddos.

Then at the end of the day we took the elevator back up to the top of the parking garage, walk out to where I parked the van, AND IT IS GONE.


I clench the stroller handles, my heart rate speeds up, panic sets in, I start to sweat, I feel like I can't breath, my mind races with incomplete thoughts. I have 3 kids. Downtown. By myself. And no van. I'm freaking out in my head...did it get towed...was it stolen...who steals a mini-van?! Do I call Andy or 911?

Then AJ looks around the corner and says, "Oh, here's the van."

Oh thank you sweet Jesus.

Apparently the elevator we took down to the museum was a different elevator than than the one we took back up to the van.

Then we get stuck in rush hour traffic. Abby has to potty in rush hour traffic. And almost two hours later we make it home safe and sound.

And I crack open a cold Dr. Pepper.

*******pretend there is some sort of transition here*******

I love my new chalk markers! Love, love, love them! I want them in every color.

And I love Mother Teresa. She has always been an inspiration throughout my life.

Do small things with great love.

That's powerful if you really stop and think about it and try to live it everyday.

I wonder if she had any words of wisdom on driving downtown to new places. She would probably have said...You may have a panic attack taking your kids to awesome new places, do it anyway.

Every since the first time we set foot in Sharkey's Abby has wanted a birthday party there. She has talked about it and day dreamed about it for a year now.

I am so torn on birthday parties. I want to give my kids the world. But at what point is too much just too much? Some times I feel like we give them so many things and so many big things, they stop truly appreciating the little things. That they don't even notice the little things.

I feel like birthday parties have kinda gotten out of control. And I fell right into the crazy, over the top birthday party trap. And once you've gone there, it's hard to go back.

How do we reign it back in? How do we teach our kiddos to truly value sentiment over materialism?

I am loving the scarf look. Love how a scarf can turn a pair of jeans, a t-shirt, and sloppy up-do into a cute trendy outfit...and transforms feeling frumpy to feeling cute with a simple twist of a knot.

These are the moments I just want to bottle up and keep forever.

Watching these bonds form and grow is simply magical.

I savor these quiet, peaceful moments after the kids go to bed.

Where you can just sit. That's it. Just sit.

Sit and let the exhaustion of the day settle in.

Andy and I are coaching a first grade Destination Imagination team.
10 first graders working together on creative problem solving.
It's loud, it's energetic, it's exhausting, it's exhilarating!
These young kiddos impress and amaze me every week.

It has begun. With the school turn-in deadline less than a month away, the planning, email and announcement writing, and trimming/sorting/counting/bundling has started! I am so very blessed to have awesome volunteers to help with all of this! I love them for so kindly giving of their time and energy with this crazy adventure.

I have to confess, there is something calming to me to trim/sort/count/bundle these things. Bringing order to the chaos of all the baggies and envelopes of torn packages satisfies my OCD.

Labels for Education means free stuff for our kiddos! This week I inventoried our first order that came in! It's so exciting to start to see the impact all those hours of trimming/sorting/counting/bundling have!

Some of my Young Life Capernaum friends graduated on to their next season in life beyond Young Life. We gathered to visit, eat, and celebrate this transition. It's a bitter sweet time as they leave to start something new.

I love how this boy has a passion for books.

He always has. Those little chubby hands melt my heart.

AJ started his Valentine's Day box. It's a work in progress.
I don't get Mindcraft. But AJ loves it.
I started reading Divergent on Wednesday and finished it Thursday. It was a fast read. It was intriguing. I'm sure I'll dive into the next book after a couple sewing projects.
Love these guys all decked out for Spirit Day.
This kid is the happiest kid I've ever seen...
He just smiles all day long.

So there you have it. A window into my compulsive mind that never shuts down.