Paperwork and Pony Rides

Bills and paperwork were spread out covering way too much real estate in the Living Room today, my head chock full with number crunching and keeping the kids happy and content at the same time, while my fingers ached from all the exercise. I actually secretly enjoy writing checks, balancing the checkbook, and licking envelopes. I think it might be a kickback to my old pen palling days (not that I ever sent them money though!)

The knock at the door was a welcome break, giving my eyes an appreciated change from the current depth of field they had been stuck in. It was my brother David... I was quite happy to see him, as it has been entirely way too long since our paths have crossed. He is such a busy guy these days, working two jobs. His newest job has been a sort of ranch hand/handyman of sorts at the hobby ranch of the sweetest and spunkiest older lady you've ever laid eyes on. They met through his other job at a local feed store, and he's been over there on his days off and in the evenings ever since.

After telling me all about the place with very apparent joy, he suggested we follow him out there so the girls and I could see it for ourselves. When he mentioned pony rides, the girls' eyes lit up and they jumped up and down when I said yes! :) We were running out for the afternoon anyways, so I just hurried up and left sooner.

We spent over an hour getting the grand tour of the charming little place. Every nook and corner was tidy and beautiful. Chris, the owner/David's boss, has sure whipped that place into shape since moving into an old mobile home amongst bushes 30 years ago! I was so happy to meet Chris, her cheery smile and chipper bounce to her step was so energizing to the air around her. I love it when I get to SEE God work in people's lives, orchestrating paths and lives crossing, like with my brother and this sweet joyful lady.

Elizabeth & Evangeline both got their pony rides, and I have to say I am quite proud of my little half-pint cowgirl Evangeline! She was happy to go first, riding on Sparky. His name should have been a clue... he shied and shimmied and Evangeline tumbled to the ground, getting a huge mouthful of dirt crammed up in her gums. What a trooper, though! After rinsing out her mouth, the girl who exercises the horses (Sarah) saddled up the other little pony, Smokey, and she hopped right back on with a smile! :) Both girls had a blast riding, petting all the horses and hanging out with Uncle David. The day was super gorgeous, windows down in the car weather all day long - it was too lovely.

Knowing I was going to be carrying my 22+ lb. baby on my hip, I opted for the little toy camera. I wish I'd brought my big one though, since the weather was SO pretty. The blue in the sky was such a vibrant hue!



Blessings and such

Recently I have been reminded in so many ways of how incredibly blessed I am!

It all started last Monday night when Scott came home from work with his hand tucked behind his back. With a kiss and a flourish, he presented me with the most unique old glass bottle, filled with flowers and a red heart. Years ago I started amassing a little collection of pretty and unique bottles that I found here and there; today the collection just continues to grow, especially with a man like mine! Tuesday night, Wednesday night, Thursday.... the whole week he continued to pop through the door with a beautiful bouquet in another vintage bottle! :) Scott finished the week long love message with a dozen red roses in a beautiful vase on Valentine's Day along with chocolates and sweets for the girls too, pretty much sealing the fact that he is indeed the world's most romantic and thoughtful man out there!

(taken with my little toy camera, so pardon the fuzzies!)

Each time I walk past the bouquets, I smile and am reminded of how truly and incredibly blessed I am. I decided to jot down some of the things that have touched me in some way just this week, as a reminder to myself when I am tempted to have a gloomy day of how rich I am in the things that matter the most!

* A warm and cozy house, with windows that look out on a chilly and blustery day

* A kitchen table covered with vintage glass bottles holding beautiful flowers, each one from my wonderful husband

* So many clothes for my family that they have inundated the couch with temporary residency ;)

* A healthy mind and heart that cultivates creativity

* A healthy happy family

* A devoted and amazing husband who loves me in spite of myself

* A sunshiney day amidst the cold dark days of winter, today at least!

* An occupation for my husband that he loves and is good at, that also provides for our needs

* Good sleep

* Loving relatives that live close by

* In-laws to die for, that also live close by!

* Marshmallows

* Dark chocolate

* Kickboxing

* The ability and joy to be able to go running!

* We get to live in the most charming town in the nation, and believe me - I've been around!

* My baby boy who has completely melted my heart just turned a happy and healthy 7 months

* A God who is merciful and full of kindness towards me, little me!

I'll close with another snapshot from my play camera, a portion of the huge framed print by Robert Doisneau - one of my favorite prints of all time - that I have hanging in our kitchen, right above all the flower lovelies... a sappy way to end a sappy post! :)



Joanna Rose

Her passion for all things Jesus is inspiring to witness... Her smile and laugh are infectious while her sky blue eyes twinkle and sparkle with a genuine love and zest for life. She calls me up and proposes ice cream and a good movie... or just a good ol' hangout day, complete with corny jokes that would make absolutely no sense any other time. I am so grateful for the Lord putting Joanna in my life, my family!

I was cleaning photos off the laptop and realized that I never shared these photos from a sunny afternoon last September. These were taken the week before my best friend and sister Joanna left for Bible School in Sweden... gone for 9 long months. We had a lovely day spent hanging out and just having fun with my kiddos... William was only 6 weeks old so I strapped him in my Baby Bjorn and we strolled up and down Main Street and had fun getting some fun shots of the girlies and their Auntie Jo.



First sign of Spring!

Sweet violets have one of the most amazing and delicious smells in the universe, the scent is quite powerful for such a delicate little blossom. When we moved to our little home I was surprised to see these cheerful little things nodding at me amongst the rocks and barren landscape that was here. I had never seen white violets before, but from the first I was smitten! Their scent is stronger than the purple variety (which we also have dotting around the yard). I love to pick a little posy of them and put them in the bathroom - their scent lingers for days.

Today while outside working in the garden I noticed the white little heads popping up, ready to cheer away the winter clouds. Here is the little bunch that now smiles at all who see them! :)

Oh, and as a funny side note, William happily sat in his little bumbo seat on the lawn while we worked... picking tender little grass shoots and slobbering on them as fast as he could before we caught him! I wonder if any made it down... I guess it is a form of minerals, right?! :)



William. 6.5 Months

My baby is growing up too fast! In the past 24 hours William has mastered the art of "army crawling" to the maximum (zooming around the living room at top speed, tearing into everything he can get to before we catch up with him), developed the skill of waving (or rather slamming his hand up and down in the air, hitting his leg each time), and as of this evening is exhibiting rather unWilliam-like behavior, crankily letting the world around him know that his first teeth are making their advance in his gummy mouth! Oh yes, and he also took to his bottle with gusto for the first time, all other attempts have been pretty halfhearted.

After posting all those photos of the little guy so stoic the other day, I had to show some laughing ones... this afternoon Scott took a few of my tickling his cheek with kisses and his reactions. My heart is happy looking at these pictures! (click on the photo to see it larger)



Lacing up

This morning Robin & Rehn came knocking bright and early... and Rehn's first words coming in the door were "Baby William!" Robin and I decided that it was about time to get back on the old routine of meeting together to go running, and today was that day! It felt SO good to get out in the cold fresh air, gasp for breath, and feel the tingling in my legs... sounds unpleasant but it was anything but! I love the feel of my blood coursing through my veins, and the time spent chatting and catching up with my sister in law! We solve so many of the world's problems on the walking trail! :)

Here's to the Runner's High!



Hello there

Wow it has been awhile; amazingly enough this blog is not on the brink of extinction, merely just ran by a girl who has a full life and who has suffered just a touch of writer's block (which is also synonymous with laziness at times I think). I grew up journaling in various different notebooks (which sit in a sweet row above my desk), and now miss the daily entry style that used to such a therapeutic habit of mine. I am going to attempt a New Year's Resolution (who says it has to begin on the first of January?!) and blog/journal my thoughts much more often. Consequently, you may have to wade through a bit more of this boring type than before. Guess you have to deal with it! :)

My last entry was before Christmas, so you can imagine that there is a lot of memories to back up on here... But instead of trying to catch up neat and orderly like, I'm going to splash some fun up here today. I was heartbroken when I discovered that Polaroid film was discontinued this past year... but last night I got to experience some of that old thrill as I blew through almost $25 worth of film (figuratively speaking) when I came across Poladroid. Whew, was that fun, and so much cheaper! I decided to share some of the recent past in a vintage way... so enjoy!

Here are our three kiddlets Thanksgiving weekend, at Grandma Helen & Pop's house. Contrary to what you would think just seeing these pictures, William actually smiles most of the time. :) He has been such a great baby and I am so in love with him... and by the photos you can see we all are!

This was our Christmas picture this year, taken in a rush one Sunday after church by my dad. I loved how it turned out though! It was snowing, but the pictures didn't really pick up the snowflakes very well (if you look close you can see a few on Elizabeth's hair).

This one of me was that same Sunday afternoon, driving home in the light snow we came upon these Black Oaks being so dramatic, so I asked Scott if he'd take a few of me in the middle of the road - something I'd always imagined. Here is one of my favorites. Brrr, it was cold that day!

The weekend after New Year's, my amazing and generous grandma (Grandmary, we call her) treated the whole extended family to Disneyland yet again, the fourth year running. Scott had to stay home this year due to work, so our little family blended into my larger family for the weekend. I couldn't have enjoyed the weekend without my parents and sister Mary, who helped spread the load of three kidlets. Other than missing Scott, the weekend was actually quite fun! The two days were filled with childish glee and awe at all the rides. Elizabeth and Evangeline are in their prime for this sort of thing at 4.5 and 3.5! The first night they were SO excited to arrive at our destination (the hotel!) that Elizabeth jumped out of the van and just stood there, her neck craned back as far as possible, staring up at the 10 story hotel all lit up in it's glory and exclaimed "Wow. Just Wow. A BIG wow!!" After settling into our room for the night, Evangeline asked me "When do we get to go to the OTHER Disneyland?" :) Here is the photo I took right before she asked that...

Something else I have to mention... I didn't bring my fourth child (my camera) along for this trip because I knew I was going to have my hands full semi single parenting it... I planned on swiping my dad's handy little camera for a few shots here and there. Ha. After practically absconding with it the first morning, I got on the phone with a local Best Buy and found a good deal on one for me. My mom decided to get one too for her own use, so my dad was awesome enough to take off and pick those toys up for us! :) I've been wanting a "mom camera" that I can toss in the diaper bag for those times I want to snap a memory and don't need the portrait quality - this has been perfect. The these photos you see here are from this fun little guy! (And yes, my camera collection is getting huge. I think it's somewhere around 10, hehe)

My 17 year old brother John and I were bench buddies in the van on the long drive home. Here is one of the less incriminating photos among the vast amount we took! I was experimenting with the settings on the new toy, and we were a bit stir crazy by then.

And that is it for an update... but I'm not going yet. I had too much fun with the instant gratification poladroid last night... going through and picking random favorite photos I've taken the past year or so. Enjoy the slide show!