Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas to All ...

and to all a good night.  xoxo

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"No one could ever look quite so merry as Peter, and the loveliest of gurgles was his laugh.  He had his first laugh still."
J.M. Barrie,  Peter Pan

Their first laugh.  This is the perfect description for it.  I instantly thought of Tell's infectious laugh, if only he could hang on to it forever....

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Just a few favorites ...

Braving the bugs, sacrificing my ankles, and learning again, as if for the first time, the magical allure of the sea.  The ocean during the day is magnificent, at night it is simply enchanting when lit by the light of the moon.  I don't believe we are ever the same once we experience it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Breaking my own rule.

I had made my own rule to stay off of the computer until after dark, but already on the first day I am breaking that rule.  Dang it.

But I just had to put out in the world how much my heart aches for the recent school shooting.  I am so confused.  I am so heartbroken.  What is going on in the world?  More directly, what is going wrong?  Where has the link broken?  The only thing I can come up with is the breakdown of the nuclear family.  I know it's not that simple, but sometimes I think the answers to complex problems might be hiding in the most simplest of places.  Sometimes I think in the rush and stress of being successful and surviving ourselves, we forget to take a second and think of others and really look at them.  Care for them.

My heart hurts for all the children and people effected and lost.  My prayers go up.

?????? .......

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Photo Bomb.

From the top:
:: new-school pogo stick
:: little cowboy had to have his hat on before saddling up
:: the evidence of cutting and stacking all the wood at -30
:: trying out Papa's big boots
:: gotta try on Mama's big boots too
:: warming up our muscles for the beach :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A couple good ones.

:: Some words for us to tuck away in our hearts.  Especially when I feel these little ones slipping through my fingers faster and faster... 

On Children. By Khalil Gibran.

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and he bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He love the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

:: And a definite keeper of a recipe found on the blog Annie's Eats.  You won't regret baking this one.  Perfect flavors for the holidays.  I left the kisses off the top, simply because I didn't have them, and they were delicious straight out of the oven, melting chocolate and all.  

Link:  Annie's Eats

Peppermint Brownies
Yield: 1 9×13-inch pan (about 36 brownies)
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups unsalted butter
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1½ tsp. peppermint extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 (1.55 oz) milk chocolate bars, broken into segments
1 bag Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, wrappers removed and coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Combine the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over simmering water; heat, stirring occasionally, until completely melted and smooth.  Remove from the heat.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the chocolate mixture with the sugar and eggs until well blended.  Whisk in the peppermint and vanilla extracts and the salt.  Whisk in the flour just until incorporated.
Spread half of the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Layer with the milk chocolate pieces.  Spread the remaining batter evenly over the milk chocolate pieces.  Bake 30-35 minutes.
Remove the brownies from the oven but maintain the oven temperature.  Sprinkle the chopped Candy Cane Kisses over the top of the brownies and return the pan to the oven for 3 more minutes.  Transfer to a wire cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.  Chill the brownies until the candy topping has firmed up.  Slice and serve.
Source: slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction

P.S.  It's been -30 degrees below zero for about three weeks.  We are all going a little crazy in here, up here, whatever ....  

Friday, November 30, 2012

29 is going to be a good year.

One candle for one wish.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Great Story.

My favorite part -- "He returned to the man, knelt down and put the footwear on him."


A Couple Christmas Freebies

Just stumbled across a couple of free Christmas-related online goodies that I thought I'd share:

1. Family Advent Christmas Devotional with Ornaments


2. Free Christmas Album Downloads

Hey, It's Christmas! - Vol. 3 cover art

I haven't had a chance to go through either of them fully, but they look promising!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Importance of the everyday ....

lakeside bliss
"How we live our days is ... how we live our lives."
Annie Dillard

Think about it ....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Moose be Christmas time...

I hate to admit that I fell for all the after Thanksgiving shopping shenanigans.  Via the internet.  But in my defense, there were some good deals out there!  Although, I must say that I think my blood pressure and anxiety levels suffered.  Next year I am Christmas shopping in March.  I love what I read on the last Life in Grace post:

I want to make memories that don’t involve shopping malls. 
I want to do less and be more.
Shall we start a revolution?!

We'll shoot for that next year.  Or maybe in the next few weeks.  Christmas shopping can be stressful, even when it's done from home.  I'm definitely ready for New Year's.  Definitely ready for a resolution.  Less computer.  Less phone.  Not necessarily less communication, but definitely an attempt to be more present where I am.

I'm real excited to find an Advent activity to do with Ever.  Definitely something focusing on the four weeks leading up to it this year.  Last year we did the 25 days and little gifts or ornaments, but I think she's old enough to start focusing on some of the meat and potatoes of the holiday and not just the sugar cookies. :)

Anyway, back to Christmas Lists.  My shopping list gets longer every year, and I am so very grateful for that.  It just means I need to get started earlier.  My own personal Wish List?  Well, that goes from 0-100 in seconds.  Here's the latest... except picture me.  With a top on, of course.  I really searched to find the best picture I could ;)  It's a long shot, but Santa did bring me a puppy in 6th grade and that was a long shot too. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Love and Gratitude 8x10 print by Katie Daisy on Etsy
Source: Katie Daisy

After a little tiff of crabbiness this a.m., this is my mantra.

Happy Thanksgiving -- Love, Jack

Monday, November 19, 2012

One Lucky Birthday Girl.

In the bewilderment that is online shopping, Bry surprised me and told me what my birthday present was and said I could go ahead and pick them out myself because, holy cow, there are way too many to choose from.

And, holy cow, there are way too many to choose from.

And holy smokes, people spend some cash on these things.

Yep, dragging him to Nebraska paid off because I may have planted some sensitivity to my roots :)  For my birthday present this year I get cowgirl boots!

How in the world will I decide??
Womens Old Gringo Marsha Boots Chocolate And Orange #L427-39
Anderson Bean Macie Bean Ladies Chocolate Brown wFloral Embroidered Snip Toe BootWomens Lucchese Since 1883 Western boots by Lucchese Cafe Glitter Calf with Cream Inlays M3574

I have my favorites, but price will definitely be a factor, because these puppies get spendy fast.  Kinda wishing we would've known this in Nebraska so we could go try some on in person.  But I did tell Bry he might be starting a bad thing here .... uh-oh.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fall Needles.

A bit of the knitting I did this fall.  The to-do list never ends.  Thanks to the internet and a growing family, I'm always seeing things that somehow I need to find time to make....

 Ollie's Purl Bee Heirloom hat
 Ever's Go Diagonal Scarf
 Tell modeling a Quynn hat made for a gift
 Sarrtjes booties for another new babe
 Tell's own Quynn
 Tell's new Fisherman Pullover, although he might call it "torture straight-jacket" if he could talk.  Thank goodness he can't :)  Dang itchy wool.
Had to include these dreamy eyes to brighten your day.  

Seek the wisdom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Thank you veterans.
Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers, Daughters, Sons.  
Thank you.


Yesterday we said goodbye to a "faithful friend."  Bry's parent's dog, Andy, lived to the ripe old age of 17.  He'd been around these parts longer than I have.... We will miss him dearly.  And I'm nervous to see how Diesel will react when he realizes he is gone.  They were real good buddies.

Yesterday Ever also informed me she is ready for home school and would like me to give her some homework.  The things these kids pick up.  Well, ask and you shall receive, my girl :)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Fall Trip Photo Album.

What a wonderful time to visit the Midwest.  I loved seeing the silhouette of gorgeous, bare trees against a forever sky.  We saw more pumpkins than I could imagine.  We bought pumpkins and watermelons for next to nothing.  We carved pumpkins.  We walked from house-to-house and begged for candy.  We met two beautiful fall babies, new to the world.  We couldn't get enough of family, family, family.  We saw old friends.  We feasted our eyes at the zoo.  One of us got his first not-Mom haircut in Denver.  We played in the leaves.  We rode a horse and couldn't quit smiling.  We got to go on a date.  

I wasn't ready to leave, but I am happy to be home.  We can't wait until next time... xoxo