Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Naughty or Nice....you be the judge

Silas and Levi preparing for Baby Four. I thought these pictures were funny. The kids are getting excited for Christmas. Silas is enjoying listening to The Secret Garden audio book and enjoying listening to me read through the Little House on the Prairie books. Priya talks about babies and babies and more babies all the time. Levi is growing and learning how to climb and wrestle and be gentle...and is talking more and more all the time. 

Christian is working on some windows in the wood shop. He's got a huge order for timbers and ladders for the local gold mine, so he's hired and young guy to work at the sawmill some. He spent last sunday sledding with the kids while I baked up a storm for the annual Christmas party. 

This week, I ventured to Gunnison yesterday, babysat and played volleyball today, and am planning a goody baking party, a tie-dyeing party, and lots more cooking and wrapping and trying not to get stomach flu again and avoid the 3-week cold virus that is chasing around this town. Busy, fun week. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Visions of sugar plums

They are so sweet when they're sleeping. These cold nights, we check to see if they are covered up before we go to bed...and sometimes find interesting positions. By the way, if you have a sugar plum, please mail me one, I don't think I have any idea what that is. Kind of like a craisin-prune?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Merry Merry

After a week of sugar cookies and stomach flu, we're all back to full health and ready for the season! I am now 14 weeks pregnant and feeling well (24-hour flu aside). I'm still running and working out in the early morning, which helps me stay sane in the long days inside a tiny house with three wild children. 
We've been cooking and baking many goodies. This week, we'll be making more sugar cookies because the kids have parties at school and a program at Kids' Klub, which is a gospel-oriented weekly program they attend. Also, I'm helping to organize a large Christmas party which will be next weekend at my in-laws' home. Last year, we had over 100 people!
The next week, I'll make one more Gunnison trip for groceries and last minute stocking stuffers and focus the rest of the week on making Christmas gifts.
We are thankful this year for our wonderful children, siblings, parents, and nephews, and for the little bean of a baby that I've already felt jumping around! Most of all, we are thankful for Christ, whose Advent here makes a true difference in our lives. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Nerf guns, fir trees, birthdays, oh my

Silas, my first baby, has passed the five year mark. How did this happen? A little bit about the boy you may know only in photos and blogland... He's tall and handsome and incredibly strong. He's super because he can fly. He flaps his arms and then he can get off the ground a little. He likes to read about hard-working kids in the "Little House" books, but is just himself learning to be a hard worker. He prefers any project his Dad is doing to the household duties he has with me. He is a chicken farmer. He loves to sing and "do art stuff." He's still a cuddler, and holds my hand when we walk, or in church, or just because. He LOVES his cousins. He wants to marry Priya when he grows up and be a fireman. He has great insight into life and asks wonderful, spritual questions. I love this kid so much. 

To celebrate his birthday, I made him name pancakes (with fruity crisp confetti). He unwrapped a nerf gun and a light saber and we went swimming in Gunnison. Life is good for a five-year-old as long as you remember where not to aim the nerf gun. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Growing like a weed

Levi was missed in the last two posts. No, he didn't get a costume. I barely had time to dress up the big kids since we had just gotten back from Santa Fe and Christian was suffering the effects of too much amazing Mexican food. But, Little Man has been growing like crazy lately!! I remember loving the 15 month to 2 yr stage with the other kids, too. Last week he took 3 naps that were 5 or 6 hours long. One day he fell asleep eating his lunch and woke up at 6:30 in time to snag the slice of pizza out of Christian's hand and start chomping. He has taken to wearing his brother's and sister's (!) shoes, dancing on the kitchen table, and playing golf and chess (just kidding). He is learning new words every day...my favorite new word is "PURPLE", about which he is passionate.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


We arrived home from a weekend in Santa Fe (see below post) just in time for knocking on doors and getting candy. The tradition is a little different here...you spend about 10 minutes at each house visiting. A lot of times there is hot chocolate or buttered rum or spiced cider for the parents...we only went to 10 houses or so, but it took forever! Priya made a smiley, rosy-cheeked Raggedy Ann...and Silas chose being a cowboy over a candy corn (the last minute options I gave him). Christian wasn't feeling well (too much yummy Mexican food?) So he and Levi stayed with the candy bowl at our house.

Santa Fe

Last weekend, we drove down to Santa Fe to celebrate our 8th Anniversary. We spent two nights away from the kids, who were happy and safe with Christian's parents. We left Friday afternoon got a haircut in Creede, bought some grapes in Southfork, and saw the pictured CRAZY handmade house in La Jara complete with folk religion signs...and arrived in time for some killer sushi in Santa Fe. Saturday we went up in the hills (I ran 5 miles and Christian hiked some). We cleaned up and then walked all around downtown all day including the artist's and farmer's markets and then ate some killer Mexican food (fish tacos and mango Margarita and more chips and salsa than I'd like to admit). We did some shopping at the highly recommended Trader Joe's; and hit the road to come home. What a refreshing time. We arrived home in time for some quick costuming and trick-or-treating (see above post).

Saturday, October 16, 2010


Hello all, just a few photos to keep you engaged. This fall, we've had lots of family visits and activities. Christian's brother moved to town...we now have all (soon to be 8) cousins in the same little town. Robin is pregnant and due this spring...we're enjoying having all 4 of our nephews around. 

The family photo was taken at a recent wedding we attended. (I know, the children look like they've just been incarcerated.)

Christian surprised me by buying me a rowing shell (long skinny boat with lovely long wooden oars and sliding seat) last month and I have been rowing on Lake San Cristobal some. Still running a lot, too. The fall has been glorious here...extended colors and warmish weather.

Christian has had lots of orders to fill at the saw mill, so I've been putting in some morning hours working with him. Levi will ride in the backpack while I stain decking or move lumber or load up firewood...and whichever older kid is not in pre-school that day will entertain themselves with rocks or sticks and the like. I've enjoyed being around him more since he has been working long hours to fulfill the orders. 

bonus quote from Silas: "We brush our teeth so we don't get cabbages." 
He would also like a "lifesaver" for his birthday. You and I would call it a light-saber. We have cousin Judah to thank for the Star Wars interest. (I don't think Silas even knows it is a movie yet).

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Alpine Loop Bike Trip

Christian and I embarked on kids-free mountain adventure yesterday when we biked over the Alpine Loop. This 55 mile loop encircles the mountains between Lake City, Silverton, and Ouray. Here's a little synopsis for those who want to know:

We left at 6am, with all of the kids still sleeping. Oh, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors, Ross and Mindy Smith, who watched all three of our kiddos. We climbed the 9 miles to Capital City, which was once the proposed capital of Colorado. We watched the sunrise here and ate a peach and some trailmix.
We climbed another 5 miles through the aspens and up a hill to the Empire Chief Mine, where in 1920 or so, an avalanche killed several miners. The historic mine was destroyed in another avalanche a couple of years ago. Up past Rose's Cabin and the road turned steep and rocky. 
We stopped for another snack at Thoreau's Cabin, a lovely home perched on the mountain with a suspension bridge entrance. If you're interested, it is for sale for $700,000. This is where we first saw a car, and about where the road got serious about kicking our butts. 
We stopped to admire the view of the peaks and said howdy to a high altitude shepherd and his doggies. Most folks do this loop in a jeep or ATV (for you Bama folks, that is a fancy way of saying four-wheeler). So, they wouldn't notice that the sign for Engineer Pass (the big exciting summit), is actually a lot lower than the summit. So I was saying "whoopie" a little too early. From Engineer Pass down to the town of Ouray (aka little Switzerland) is only 10 miles or so. We seriously considered cruising down and soaking at the hot springs and getting a room! But, sticking to our plan, we turned toward the gnarly part of the road and pointed our trusty titanium steeds downhill.
Now, I read somewhere on the internet, that from Engineer Pass the road went downhill and then back up to Cinnamon Pass. This is mostly true, however the downhill was so steep and rocky and held so many switchbacks, that it did not feel like the break for which I was hoping. 
We stopped above Animas Forks, a mining ghost town, for lunch and a nap. For all of you wondering, yes there's gold in these here hills, and silver. In fact, one of our friends now manages a mine here that is the largest gold ore producer in the country. Christian has milled some support beams for the mine...but we didn't get too much gold for that. The top photo is from lunch, notice the wildflowers and the marmot.
After lunch, I spent a while being obsessively thirsty, tired, and hungry. I had been training for this...but not at altitude. The two passes are 12,800 ft and 12, 650 above sea level. So, I was loosing my cool a little. I found out, to my complete joy, that I could walk and push my bike uphill as fast as I could ride it...So folks, I did.
After a long climb up Cinnamon Pass, drinking some creek water, crossing my fingers about the creek water...we pointed downhill for the rest of the trip. After we were down the steep stuff, around American Basin, ahhhhhhh....the road felt like butter. Of course it was still dirt and gravel, but not river rock and vertical!  We had a blast cruising down the road hitting the pot holes and riding the boulders. We passed some locals who were fishing an ATV off the cliff of the "shelf road". I guess this caused a little stir among our family who heard only "a couple went off the shelf road." Thankfully, it wasn't us, and the couple lived to tell the tale of their cliff jumping experience. To make a long story short (too late)....we raced home to find our kids playing at the park. We fed them and put them to bed, then took a shower and went to bed ourselves. 

What does the day after look like? Well, Christian was lifting 200lb logs all day, as per usual. And, after 11 hours of sleep, I felt fine enough to take the boys in the bike trailer up to Alpine Gulch trail head and hike a ways while Priya was in school. I love this mountain life. The price for all this adventure? One completely, utterly, totally messy house. Don't judge me, folks, I just have different priorities.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Weddings and first days of school and bike rides and chickens, oh my! 

Weddings: We've been to four weddings this summer (and one more to go). Many people who fall in love with each other in this town also fall in love with the town...so they decide to hold their ceremonies here, which means we can attend! One of the recent brides borrowed my wedding dress. It was great to finally justify to Christian why that thing has been hanging in the closet all these years. She looked amazing in the dress!

Biking: I tore my meniscus in my knee last October...running long distances was no longer an option. Someone recommended biking to me as a way to rehab the knee without surgery...It is totally healed and I am obsessed with biking now. With all the mountains around here, it is quite the workout...but then, there's coming down...whew, what fun! Christian and I are biking the Alpine Loop one day next week. It is about 55 mountain miles...with two 13,000 ft mountain passes. 

School: Silas and Priya started school this week. Silas goes to Pre-K, Priya to pre-pre-K. Silas goes three mornings a week, and Priya just one. It has given me a little more freedom in the mornings to only have two kiddos. Yesterday, I biked the boys up to the Alpine Gulch trail. We then hiked and picked raspberries and biked down to pick up the sister. Then, we went swimming at the lake after lunch. It felt like a mini vacation (or a triathlon).

Chickens: One of our little chickens started laying two weeks ago. She's a very good layer. About 1/2 of her eggs have double yolks. She lets us know when she's ready to lay; Silas carries her to the coop where she climbs to the highest shelf and drops her egg. She makes a big announcement and then goes back with the chickens in the yard. I hope the others start laying soon.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Priya had the opportunity to be a flower girl in a wedding this weekend. We decided that she would do better if she had an assistant, so Kate held Priya's hand, and the basket of petals. (You may remember Kate from a post two years ago. She was the Mary to Silas' Joseph at Christmastime.) Kate is 5, but the girls are the exact same size and looked just precious throwing the petals and walking through the trees down to the river. It was difficult to get a photo, Priya kept flitting about all over the yard. There was a little play house at the wedding location that the kids loved! Congrats Nate and Sara! What a beautiful wedding!

....snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes...  

come on, you know you want to sing it!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

just for laughs

We've been keeping a pretty impressive schedule this summer. I usually sleep only 6 or 6 1/2 hours a night...getting up early to bike or run or go to kick boxing class and staying up late to hang out with all the people that are not around in the long, dark winter. Last week, I logged 93 miles on the bike. I've been working up to bike the Alpine loop at the end of the summer. I need to do some more high altitude stuff before I'm ready, but it has been a fun goal. 

The kids have been having a blast swimming and tubing in the chilly river, playing with the hose, putting undies on their heads (classic), chasing and catching chickens, building towers, cooking with me, and hanging out at the park. 

(We had to set an execution date for our rooster, pictured above on our roof; he tried to kill one of our hens; and I heard that roosters don't lay eggs.) 

Christian is building some custom doors right now, taking orders for more portable saunas and other buildings, and milling up a bunch of inventory for the fall and winter.

We are attending a wedding this weekend in which Priya will be a flower girl...and then three more wedding this summer/early fall.